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[Mr. W. here read from the treasury report.]
Cents. Mills. Swedish West Indies, - - - 5 5 * Danish West Indies, - - - 3 3 Dutch West Indies, - - - - 5 Q British West Indies, - - - - 5 4. British American colonies, - - 9 9 French American colonies, - * 4. 2 Hayti, - - - - - 9 1 Cuba, - - - - - - 5 3 Other Spanish West Indies, - - 4. 9 Coast of Brazil, - - - - 5 6 Colombia, - - - - - 6 0 All other places, - (- - - 6 3
Having thus gained some insight into the average prices in the countries of our vicinity, let us see what news, if any, can be obtained from New Orleans. I read from “Bright's New Orleans Prices Current and Commercial Intelligencer,” a paper of undoubted authority, of the 5th February, 1831, head Sugar: “The demand has abated very much, and we quote at five cents, dull. None but that of very good quality will command that price; to obtain more, the article must be superior in every respect, and at such distance from the city as will suit convenience.” I will also beg leave to read an extract of a letter dated January 26, from an eminent commission merchant in New Orleans, a gentleman well known to many in this House. The letter was not addressed to me, nor written with any reference to such a use, and I owe it to the politeness of his correspondent that I am permitted to read it. He says, “Sugar is down to 4 a 5+ cents.” We thus find that the average price is, in reality, between four and five cents; and that, after all this uproar, this prodigious outcry about three cents in the pound, wrenched from the consumer, as a gratuity to the producer, these three millions of taxes, as a bounty to inflate the pockets of a few planters in Louisiana—in point of fact, the bounty proceeds from the planter, and is enjoyed by the consumer; that it is we who are taxed and oppressed; that we have taxed ourselves—inveigled into it by your policy—have taxed our time, our industry, our yigils, our capital, to such an extent, that we now supply the cravings of your appetite for less than you can buy the luxury for on the plantations of the West Indies. That we actually do, in a general way, undersell the Swedish and British islands, as well as Cuba, and that we get a trifle more than half the price it commands at Hayti. Now, by what possible means, by what magic spell, we have ever been able to accomplish so much, is, one would think, a question which, when the physical and adventitious circumstances of the two countries are considered, would puzzle even the facile imagination of the honorable mover himself. The enigma of the sphynx would seem to be a commonplace child's riddle in the comparison. There is but one solution to it, and that is, the all-surmounting energies of American enterprise when induced to exert itself in any given direction.. Sir, what are the relative, natural, and accidental circumstances of that archipelago and of Louisiana? Why, on those genial isles, those ocean gems, the fostering sun beams vertically from January to January. There the plant has the whole twelve months, with twelve more to that if necessary, to mature and concoct its juices. With us it has but six short months to grow—from the last frosts of spring to the first blasts which chill the autumn. They have the livelong year to grind and manufacture in; we can claim but the hurried period of two or three months, which is liable to be abridged. They get their laborers from the banks of the Niger, or the Zaire,
". This is the interior Muscovado, which is quite a different article, and does not come in competition with the ordinary brown sugar.
for about one hundred dollars a piece. We procure ours from the shores of the Chesapeake and its tributaries, and from the gentleman’s own Savannah, at four, five, and six hundred dollars. Their ploughmen or their hoemen want no purchased clothing; like our primitive parents, a figleaf is the ordinary costume they prefer. Ours are clad at great aggregate expense from the product of your manufactories. For their people they have little or no food to buy; they require none; they are sustained by “the gushing fruits which nature gives untilled.” A patch of plantains and bananas, once formed, supports the man forever and a day. Ours are nourished by the costly aliments; the corn, the fish, the pork, which you supply. And yet, with all these advantages on their side, it is a notorious fact that all the colonies have, of late years been in the most deplorable condition; and it has been an engrossing object with the parent countries to try and devise expedients to uphold and save them from utter bankruptcy; while we, with all our opposing obstacles, contributing, as we have to do, annual millions to the rest of you, have not only brought them down in their prices, but have descended to compete, and do compete, with them, on the level of their own platform. And yet there are gentlemen who still pretend to believe, for I cannot give credit for any thing but pretence, that we are annually coining cent per cent. on the capital we employ! But, Mr. Speaker, there is one proposition, of the truth of which I feel a deeper sense of conviction than of any other proposition connected with the subject. It is this, that all our inquiries, touching the relative price at home and abroad, can serve no other end than to gratify a mere idle, speculative curiosity; that, if they properly understood the subject, the people of the United States, and especially those of Georgia and Virginia, would scout all such attempts to delude them by phantoms and bugbears, and would perceive that their only motive of interest in looking to the price of sugar at New Orleans should be to watch over it, and keep it up to a standard of fair profit there; that the fifty millions employed in the culture are fifty millions at work for their emolument—with this discrimination from ordinary investments, that you have neither the risk of the capital nor the trouble of the administration. This would fetch me to that part of the subject which relates to the great question of the market; a question of more intrinsic importance than all the rest combined. Sir, if I were to attempt an exposition of the enormity of the demand which the sugar making creates for the productions of all the people in this Union, from those . who dwell on our extreme Eastern seaboard, with their oil and their fish, down to those who live on our immediate confines, with another species of bipodal property, it would require more time than I have consumed in all the other topics put together. But, sir, my moments are counted: I see the goal beyond which I cannot be allowed to proceed; and I must, therefore, with a view to obtain, not a full description of the subject, but a mere vista leading into the interminable field, again invite the attention of gentlemen to the documents on the table; wherein they will perceive that it creates an annual inland trade of from four to seven millions, and that the balance is against us; that the sugar planters of Louisiana have been actually buying from the rest of the people of the United States, for millions beyond the whole amount of their revenues. It is a fact, not more curious than true; and I only lament that time cannot be allowed to offer some explanation of the seeming anomaly, by giving an account of the sums diverted from other employments, and raised by forced loans, which they have been pouring over your respective lands, creating brisk demands and high prices for every thing you have had to sell. The unvarnished tale might, possibly, vibrate the chord of self-interest in the bosoms of
all, and more especially of those from whom this strange, unaccountable move proceeds: yet I must needs, however loth, pass the subject by. There was another gentleman, who spoke on this resolution, to whose argument I am bound, from comity, to bestow some notice—a gentleman from Virginia, [Mr. Alex ANDER.] Very little fell from him to require any answer on my part. He admits that the success of this project would materially impair the value of the property of his constituents. That is just what I say; and, there. fore, in that respect, there is nothing at issue between us. But he says that, with a full knowledge of the injury it would be to his people, he is induced to advocate the measure, because it depends on a principle. On a principle? Why, how does that, alter the case? Do not we all proceed on a principle?—as well those who vote for the maintenance of duties as those who go for their abolition? The opposite points of the needle, which feel for the opposing poles of the earth, act each on its principle—a great physical principle, impressed by the inscrutable hand of Creation. So, also, in the moral world, the most diverging points of conduct all claim to have a principle to which they tend. Every thing is a principle. Hut, sir, there are two principles in the world. There is the principle beneficent, and the principle maleficent. The Hindoos also had their Brama and their Vichenou– one the good principle, the creating and preserving principle; the other the evil principle, the destroying principle. And, sir, each had its votaries, equally ready to hazard all and everything in its vindication. I had hoped the days of such enthusiasm had gone by. It is a principle with the gentleman to construe the powers of this Government differently from all the past politicians of his own State—the very men who fought the good fight of the revolution, and helped to build up the frame-work of this republic. It is a principle with me to interpret them as Washington and Adams, and their colaborators—as Jefferson, and Madison, and Monroe, have done; to say nothing of the patriots of our own days, the monument of whose fame and public services towers too high to be seen by our poor obfuscated vision, filmed by the passion of party, in all that beauty and sublimity of outline which the remove of another generation will impart to the view. With the gentleman it is a principle to deny to this Government the right to provide for the general weal of its people. With me it is a principle to preserve to it, as far as my feeble efforts may, the powers necessary to secure me in the enjoyment of “life and the pursuit of happiness,” and liberty, too—rational liberty—that which depends for its being on obedience to the law; not that wild, unbridled liberty, the most odious form of despotism, “which knows no master but its mood.”
REPRINTING OLD DOCUMENTS.
The engrossed bill making provision for a subscription to a compilation of congressional documents, was read the third time.
Mr. SPEIGHT said he did not know that anything he could say on this subject would at this time have any avail on the decision of the House. He had little hope that any appeal he might make to the sober judgment of the House would prevent the passage of this obnoxious measure. But a duty which he felt he owed to his constituents, to himself, and his country, forbid his giving a silent vote. Sir, said Mr. S., I can but express my regret that, at this late period of the session, this measure, without attempting to explain its utility or probable expense, should be hurried through the House in this unprecedented manner. He asked gentlemen if this was the usual course for bills containing appropriations to take. Was it not usual for them to go to a Committee of the
Whole, and be there discussed, and a free interchange of opinion take place? He had too much respect for the chairman of the Library committee, who had reported this bill, to even presume he would hold back any insormation which might be useful in relation to the probable expense to be incurred. It, however, had not been given, and the House, almost at the close of the session, were called upon to adopt a measure which, if carried into effect, would incur an expense of between fifty and sixty thousand dollars—and for what,' sir? Why to reprint a parcel of old documents, now in the archives of the House, where any gentleman can command them if he wishes. Sir, continued Mr. S., you have passed pension bills this session, you have pensioned the poor soldier, and the rich soldier, but you are now about to pass a pension law more obnoxious than any heretofore passed. You are about pensioning two printers in this city, whom you have heretofore discarded from your confidence. Yes, sir, #." now propose to give them a job equal to the printing for Congress ten years. These printers, Messrs.
Gales and Seaton, who, two years ago, were discarded from
the confidence of the House on account of their political principles, are now to be taken in preference to all others, and given this job as an annuity or pension; and for what, sir? Could any gentleman tell what this pension is for? Is it because they have and are daily vomiting forth pollution or abuse of Andrew Jackson and his administration?
He asked gentlemen if these printers were not using every ...
means in their power, just and unjust, to bring this administration into contempt. He could only express his regret to some of the friends of the administration, in the ranks of the opposition, lending their sanction to a measure which would effectually give it a stab. Why, sir, is it that Gales and Seaton are selected in preference to all other printers to do this work, if it is expedient to effect it? Why not have it discretionary with the Clerk of the House to employ those who would do it the cheapest? Is there not on your table a proposition to print these documents, and let you take them at your own price. When they should be printed, the House could judge of their value. He was admonished that the time of the House was precious. He rose only to do what he considered his duty. It did seem to him that the House were about to take a step which would not by any means meet the sanction of the people. He wished his constituents to see his vote. He asked for the yeas and nays. Mr. DRAYTON said, to decide upon the passage or rejection of this bill, it appears to me that we should determine, 1st, whether the documents proposed to be published, are such as we stand in need of in the discharge of our legislatlve duties; 2dly, whether, supposing this to be the case, we have the legitimate power to procure them. The documents referred to comprehend those State papers of the Executive and its departments, and those reports of both branches of Congress, which are of peculiar importance, from their throwing light upon the principles of the interior and exterior policy of our Government during the long interval which elapsed from the adoption of the federal constitution to the year 1813. The contents of these papers are known but to few. Of many of them
there are but two or three copies extant, and others of
them are only to be found in manuscript, in the possession of a small number of persons. Surely the records of the United States, upon subjects which ought to be familiar to every Senator and Representative, should be easily attainable; and yet the reverse is notoriously the fact. Within my own limited experience as a member of a committee of this House, it has occurred to me, upon several occasions, to make fruitless exertions to obtain documents relating to an early period of our Government, which would have aided me in the performance of my duties. These impediments in our way ought to be removed; and should this bill become a law, they will be cffectually removcd.
Should it be rejected, we must, to a certain extent, be deprived of the benefit of the labors of those who have preceded us, and be less competent to cxecute those which devolve upon ourselves. The constitutional power to make an appropriation of money for these documents, I think we clearly possess. We have a right to resort to the necessary means to cnable us to discharge the duties which are prescribed to us as legislators. Without information upon a variety of questions which engaged the minds, and a variety of facts, the investigation of which occupied the time of our predecessors, we should frequently be deficient in the knowledge requisite to direct our judgments. This evil will be increased by delay. We should, therefore, apply the remedy whilst it is in our power to do so. I have always been opposed to appropriating money for books to be distributed among the members, which could be purchased at the book shops; but a work like this under consideration will never be undertaken without the aid of Congress. Our right to have these documents published, stands upon the same footing as ordering to be printed an additional number of the Executive messages, or congressional reports--a right which has been acquiesced in without a single dissentient voice. It has been said by gentlemen, that, admitting the propriety of having executed what this bill contemplates, the expense incidental to it will be enormous-—that the selection of what is to be printed, is left to the unlimited discretion of the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of this House, who may sanction the publication of useless trash, so as to increase the number of volumes, and to augment the cost far beyond what we should feel ourselves justified in appropriating. I can only reply to these arguments, that I am informed by the most respectable authority, that the expense cannot exceed $30,000, and that the bill sufficiently guards against the other objection of abuse of authority in the officers of this and of the other House. The Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives will be bound by the respect which they owe to themselves, and by the obligations of their official responsibility, to perform faithfully the trust which is confided to them. If the publication be provided for, these officers are best qualified to superintend and direct it. We have clected them to the situations in which they are placed–-they have discharged the duties assigned to them with ability and integrity, and their repeated elections manifest that the opinions which we orginally entertained of them, have remained unimpaired. Is it reasonable, then, to suspect that they will fail to execute what is required of them, without any temptation from interest, and with the means in the Representatives of detecting any treachery or impropriety in their conduct? Gentlemen have also urged that we ought not to pass this bill, because the effect would be to confer a lucrative employment upon those who are hostile to the administration. The press is free. The indviduals alluded to are as well entitled to express their sentiments as I am to cxpress mine. Their opinion may be correct, and mine wrong, or the reverse may be the case. However this may be, I would never inquire to what party any one was attached who proposed to enter into a contract for printing our proceedings. My sole inquiries would be, whether he could execute it with fidelity, and for a just compensation. Satisfied upon these points, I should regard it as a proscription which ought not to be tolerated in a free and enlightened body, to reject his application because his political opinions were at variance with those of the majority. If our votes are to be influenced by such a motive, to talk of the liberty of the press would be a delusoon and a mockery. Mr. WAYNE also advocated the passage of the bill; and Mr. POLK and Mr. YANCEY warmly opposed it.
Mr. DAVIS, of Massachusetts, then said he desired to state the reasons which would influence his mind in the vote he was about to give, for gentlemen had made such broad and unqualified assertions, that his motives might be misunderstood if he gave that vote silently. The gentleman from North Carolina, [Mr. Speight,) and the gentleman from Tennessee, [Mr. Polk, had deprecated the passage of the bill in language censorious and reproachful to a very large portion of the House, for they had declared that, under the pretence of printing old musty documents, we were about to pension the printers of a public newspaper opposed to the administration. If, Mr. Speaker, I viewed this matter as those gentlemen declare they do, I should most certainly unite with them in defeating the bill, for they cannot more earnestly deprecate such a motive than I do. A pension to printers of a newspaper, and for what? For nothing. We are charged with an intention to thrust our hands into the treasury, and to abstract from it the funds of the nation, to gratify a spirit of wastefulness. Sir, the charge is one of grave import; and let us look at the facts, and see whether we are about to abuse the confidence of our constituents in this reckless manner. Gentlemen speak of the proposition as if it were new, but it has been brought before the two Houses repeatedly within the last four years, not by special legislation, but by our regular standing committees, who have examined into the matter, and have laid the facts before us, by which they were brought to the conclusion that the public good called for the measure. They tell us, that by fire, and from other causes, the documents of several years are so out of print, that the Government has not a copy for its use; that of some years we have a single copy, of others a few. They, therefore, come to the conclusion that a reprint is necessary. The proposition is to publish only such as are of public importance, and may be useful to the several branches of the Government, in performing its arduous and complex duties. Who does not know, sir, that those documents contain matter most deeply interesting not only to the Government, but to this great, free people? for they contain the thoughts, reasoning, and principles of the men who have been called to administer affairs through a long series of years. They contain much of our civil and political history, which ought and will be preserved, if we place a proper value upon the experience of the past. This Government, sir, has its foundations in the public will; and if we wish it to strike deep into public affection, and to be cherished and upheld, the public must understand not only its operations of to-day, but its history. Its records must not be confined to the files of this hall, where nonc but members can have access to them, and not even they, for useful purposes; but they must be published to the world, that the wisdom and the experience of the past may enlighten and guide us in thc future. We have nothing to conceal from the public, and should not grudge a little of the public money, when it goes to aid the cause of liberty, by difiusing abroad a knowledge of the principles upon which our Government rests, and by establishing it more firmly in the hearts of the people. But it is said by a gentleman from Kentucky, [Mr. Wickliffe,) that we have no necd of those documents, for he never seeks for one which he cannot find. Sir, this may be true, though many others have not been so successful in their researches. Is it enough, sir, that we have files of the papers which are sent into, or originate in this body. If the gentleman means so to be understood, I call on him to explain to me the reason why we are annually paying such large sums of money for printing to the public printer. Why do we have a public printer? If the mere fact that we have a copy of a document on file, which may be consulted, is a good reason for not o copics, the argument would prove that we need no public printer, and the pay to him is a waste of public treasure; and yet the
joins of the gentleman has failed to convince himself
chanan, Burges, Butman, Cahoon, Chilton, Clark, Condict, Cooper, Coulter, Cowles, Craig, Crane, Crockett, Creighton, Crowninshield, John Davis, Denny, Dickinson, Doddridge, Drayton, Dudley, Duncan, Dwight, Eager, #. George Evans, Joshua Evans, Edward Everett, Horace Everett, Finch, Forward, Gilmore, Grennell, Gurley, Hawkins, Hemphill, Hodges, Hughes, Hunt, Huntington, Ingersoll, Johns, R. M. Johnson, Kendall, Kincaid, Leiper, Letcher, Martindale, Mercer, Mitchell, Muhlenberg, Pearce, Pierson, Ramsey, Randolph, Reed, Richardson, Rose, William B. Shepard, Semmes, Sill, Ambrose Spencer, , Stanbery, Sterigere, Henry R. Storrs, William L. Storrs, Strong, Sutherland, Swann, Swift, Taliaferro, Taylor, Test, Tracy, Vance, Varnum, Verplanck, Vinton, Washington, Wayne, Whittlesey, C. P. White, E. D. White, Wilde, Williams, Wilson, Wingate, Young.— 98.
NAYS.–Messrs. Alexander, Allen, Alston, Anderson, Angel, Armstrong, Barnwell, James Blair, John Blair, Bockee, Boon, Borst, Brodhead, Brown, Cambreleng, Carson, Chandler, Claiborne, Clay, Coke, Coleman, Conner, Crawford, Crocheron, Daniel, Davenport, Warren R. Davis, Desha, De Witt, Draper, Earll, Findlay, Ford, Foster, Fry, Gaither, Gordon, Hall, Halsey, Hammons, Harvey, Haynes, Hinds, Holland, Hoffman, Howard, Hubbard, Ihrie, W. W. Irvin, Isacks, Jarvis, Cave Johnson, Kennon, Perkins King, Adam King, Lamar, Lea, Leavitt, Lecompte, Lent, Lewis, Loyall, Lumpkin, Magee, Thomas Maxwell, McCreery, McCoy, McDuffie, McIntire, Miller, Nuckolls, Overton, Patton, Pettis, Polk, Potter, Rencher, Roane, Russel, Sanford, Aug. H. Shepperd, Shields, Speight, Richard Spencer, Standefer, Stephens, Wiley Thompson, John Thomson, Trezvant, Tucker, Weeks, Wickliffe, Yancey.—93.
Mr. McDUFFIE moved to suspend the rule, to enable him to make a motion to discharge the Committee of the Whole from the resolution to amend the constitution relative to the election of President, it was understood, and bring it into the House, but there were not quite two-thirds in the affirmative, and the motion was lost.
Mox DAY, FEBRUARY 28.
A message was received from the Senate by their Secretary, notifying this House that the honorable JAMEs No BLE, a Senator of the United States from the State of Indiana, died at his o in this city on the 27th instant, and that his funeral will take place this day at half past eleven o’clock A. M. Whereupon, Mr. TEST moved the following resolution, viz. Resolved, That the members of this House will attend the funeral of the honorable JAMEs No BLE, late a member of the Senate from the State of Indiana, this day, at the hour o and as a testimony of respect for the memory of the deceased, they will go into mourning, and wear crape round the left arm for thirty days. This resolution was agreed to unanimously. On motion of Mr. VANCE, it was then Ordered, That, for the purpose of attending the funeral of the late Senator Noble, the House will take a recess until three o’clock P. M. And then the House adjourned to three o'clock. Thitre o’clock P. M. The House resumed its session according to adjournment. INDIAN QUESTION. The House resumed the consideration of the memorial from Massachusetts, presented on the 7th instant by Mr. E. EveRETT, and the motion made by Mr. EveRETT on the 14th instant, that the said memorial be referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs, “with instructions to report
a bill making further provision for executing the laws of
Mr. VINTON, from the Committee on Internal Improvements, to which was referred the bill from the Senate, entitled “An act declaring the assent of Congress to an act of the General Assembly of the State of Ohio,” hereinafter recited, reported the same with an amendment, affecting the tolls and exemptions from tolls on the Cumberland road; which being read, a considerable debate arose; and, after the debate had continued some time,
A motion was made by Mr. SUTHERLAND, that the further consideration thereof be postponed until to-morrow. This motion was decided in the negative.
The question was then put, that the House do agree to the amendment reported to the said bill, and decided in the negative-–63 to 80.
Another amendment was then proposed to said bill by Mr. ANGEL; when
The previous question was moved by Mr. STANBERY, and being carried,
The main question was put, viz. Shall the bill be read a third time? and passed in the affirmative without a diviSlon.
The House proceeded to the consideration of the bill to carry into effect certain Indian treaties; and the amendments reported from the Committee of the Whole House on the 25th ultimo were read, and concurred in by the House.
Mr. McDUFFIE renewed the motion made by him in Committee of the Whole, to insert an appropriation of eighty thousand dollars for carrying into effect the Choctaw treaty lately ratified by the Senate.
Mr. STANBERY objected to this, because the appropriation of last year of five hundred thousand dollars would cover this object; and a long debate arose on the subject, in which Messrs. LUMPKIN, STRONG, WILDE, POLK, McDUFFIE, WAYNE, W1CKLIFFE, CAMBRELENG, LEWIS, YANCEY, and TAYLOR, joined. The amendment was modified, on the motion of Mr. TAYLOR, and was
agreed to; and the bill was then ordered to a third read-
The House proceeded to the consideration of the bill making appropriations for the Indian Department for the year 1831; and the amendments reported thereto from the Committee of the Whole House on the 17th instant, were read, and concurred in by the House.
A motion was made by Mr. BATES, of Mass., further to amend the said bill, by adding thereto the following as an additional section, viz.
“..And be it further enacted, That the annuities to the Indian nations or tribes shall be paid hereafter in the way and manner they have usually been paid since the grant thereof, or until the said nations or tribes, respectively, shall, in general council, otherwise direct.”
Mr. BATES said he offered this amendment in Committee of the Whole, and in deference to the wishes of the Committee of Ways and Means; and, upon the assurance that an opportunity should be afforded in the House, he forbore then to state the grounds of it. At this late hour of the day, and late day of the session, said Mr. B., I will confine myself strictly to the point, because I do not intend to afford the slightest apology or occasion for a demand of the previous question, as I wish to obtain the judgment of the House distinctly upon the proposition involved in the amendment proposed.
Since the foundation of the Government, said Mr. B., the practice has been one and undeviating—that of paying these Indian annuities to the nations, and not to the individuals composing the nations. This Government has never intermeddled with the disbursement or distribution of them. Sometimes they have been applied by the natives, partly for the support of their Government, for the maintenance of their schools, the purchase of agricultural implements, or for any other purpose which was most pleasing to themselves. The annuity to the Cherokees has latterly been paid into the public treasury of that nation; the annuity to the Creeks has been paid to the headmen of the different towns; and the annuities to the other nations have been paid in the way and manner they thought proper to direct.
In June last an order was issued by the Executive, reversing this ancient and uniform practice. I will send the order to the Clerk, and thank him to read it. It is as fol. lows:
DEPARTMENT OF WAR, 18th June, 1830.
Sir: The President directs that the practice of paying annuities to the treasurer of the Cherokee nation shall from henceforth be discontinued; and that, with a view to secure to the mass of the nation their proper proportion of such annuity, the same shall be hereafter
paid in every ease to the individuals respectively entitled; that is to say, to the chiefs and warriors and common Indians, and their families, in the ratio in which these several classes are entitled; where
there are Indians without families, the payments are to be made to