Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

way between the North and Western frontier and the sea I ask, where is the difference between granting a sum of board. It is a road that will be of immense importance money to be expended under the direction of this Governto this place and to the Government. It will be a welding ment to clear out the mouth of a river or creek, or the link to solder together this Union. There is not a mem- granting a sum of money to make a road? The one is to ber in my hearing, that does not know that each State in let the boat pass, and the other to let the wagon pass. the Union has a seat of Government within the central Aod, further, where the difference between the United limits of the State, and has erected public buildings for States making a steamboat channel to carry the United the couvenience of the legislative bodies and public offi- States' mail through, or the United States making a road cers. I take it for granted that other States bave done as to carry the mail over! I, for the soul of me, can see nope. Pennsylvania bas. Harrisburg is the capital, or seat of Go. It is four hundred iniles from this to Albany; we are as verument, and that State bas, out of the State funds, ex- Dear Buffalo at this place, (Wasbington city,) as when we pended very large sums to make roads and avenues to and arrive at Albady. Now, will apy gentleman tell me that from that place-a turnpike road by the southern route, it is of no importance to save four hundred miles in the as it is called, to Pittsburg; one by the north route to the transportation of the mail from this place to Buffalo same place; one to Lancaster, one to Reading, a bridge at My people want this road ; they want to come here with Harrisburg, and one at Clark's ferry. Not less than five their produce; there is no direct road to this place in a hundred thousand dollars of money bas been expended Dorthern direction; all the roads in my State lead to the to make roads, bridges, &c. to lead to and from the seat seaboard. The influence of Philadelphia has caused all of Government of my State, so that every individual who our public roads to point that way. Last year the Legishad business to transact at the seat of Government might lature of Pennsylvania nearly unanimously refused to per bave a good, safe, and convenient way to travel over, mit the patriotic Baltimoreads to make a railroad up into Now, are we not sent here to legislate for the whole com- tbat State. It is said this is to be a direct road. I can tell the munity, and particularly for this ten miles square, the Dis- gentlemen from Virginia and North Carolina, that if the trict? Will this great, growing, and prosperous Uviou be Government will give me the one thousaud five bundred behind the States? This Government, with a treasury dollars per mile that this bill proposes, I will make a road overflowing, will it refuse to make roads and avenues to for two hundred miles from this place towards Buffalo for lead to and from this capital ? I hope not. I do not know, that sum, wbich they would travel forty miles out of their por do I believe there bas been one dollar expended by way, were they going in that directivo, to get upon, if they this Goverument, to make a road from the interior to did not think their consciences were to be effected by reach this place, the capital of this Union. Then, if the travelling on an unconstitutional road. My constituents different States make good roads and avenues to lead from want this road. They say they have a right to ask for it. different parts of the State to the capital, on the same There is money enough to make it. The people along principle I contend that we are called on to aid in making this road bave paid more money long since into the treasimilar provision to reach this capital, from the interior of sury tban would make it. They have sent me here to speak this great and very rapidly growing nation. I hold it as for them, and express their wishes and desires ; I do it an imperative duty for us to do so. Make the road from most willingly, and honestly believing I ask nothing but this to Buffalo, (that is, the part I will speak of,) it will what is just and right run through some of the most rich and fertile valleys in I expect a disinterested magnanimity from many of the the United States. You will see, in ten years or less from members from New York. It is true this road will run this time, from fifty to a bundred wagons a day, in the through but a corner of that State: it does not lead down months of November, December, and January, in the the canal to the city of New York; yet I bope to hear the streets of this city, loaded with iron, flour, beef, pork, members from that State Bay, much has been done for the whiskey, and a great variety of other articles. Would eastern end of the State, we will not now witbbold from that be of no advantage to this place? Have we not our the western end this small pittance they ask. I hope poye Davy yard bere, our inarine barracks, with a great variety of my colleagues will be found voting against this bill; of other public works? And no doubt more will be built

. the western part cannot, with any propriety, in my opinWould it not be of vast importance that every thing from ion, vote against it; they have bad many favors extended the interior should be got upon the best terins to supply to them out of the public treasury, and they expect many those public works! And where will you get such sup- more. The eastern part I know will not, from the examplies but from the interior? Yes, make this road ag con- ple set by the chairman of the Committee on Internal Imtemplated by the bill, and you will see wagons and teams provements, who reported this bill. He has acted a highly from the district I have the honor in part to represent, in honorable part in this project, and be merits tbe applause the streets of this city, one of which would load up and of the American nation. baul off ten of your wagons, horses, and loads, that we I now appeal to another class of men, and I hope to see now see in the streets, at one load. It is said we have do them act the part of honorable, liberal men-I mean the right to legislate beyond this District on the subject of commercial part; they have bad upwards of thirty millions roads. Now, suppose Maryland and Virginia were each of dollars given for light-houses, sea-walls, barbors, piers, to pass a law to make a wall around the District, (as it is wbarves, fortifications, &c. to protect commerce. The contended we cannot go beyond it,) wbat would we then State of North Carolina alone has got upwards of two hundo? Would the fine spun arguments of the gentlemen dred and eighty thousand dollars for light-houses, and I befrom North Carolina and Virginia keep us here, or not let lieve one hundred and fifty thousand dollars to the Dismal us come to this capital to legislate for the whole United Swamp canal ; yet gentlemen say she has got nothing. Now, States ? Of what use would this House, and all the public can gentlemen ask me, or any other member residing off the works erected here, be to the United States, if we could not seaboard, to vote away. millions appually for the breakget to them? What would be said of Congress

, after spend- water, light-houses, &c. for their direct and consequential ing froin six to ten millions at this place in erecting public advantage, and not give to the people in the interior what works, if we could not get to them for want of a road. they have a right so justly to ask for, that they may have

We have been doing indirectly that which it is con- some of the direct and consequential advantages from an tended we cannot do directly. Congress has appropriated expenditure of a part of the public money amongst them! Dear four millions of dollars to internal improvements, If the deepening of channels, opening the mouths of creeks, such as canals, roads, &c., and as much of the public lands rivers, harbors, and inlets, and the erection of light-houses as would make four millions of dollars more for roads and and fortifications, &c. is necessary to the convenience and canals.

interest of commerce on the seaboard, and a direct advan

[ocr errors]

H. OF R.]

Buffalo and New Orleans Road.

[MARCH 25, 1830.

tage to the neighborhood where the money is expended, tribes & Will be conteod that to build a ship is to regulate let me ask those seaboard gentlemeu, if we, who reside in foreigo commerce! If not, how can be contend that to the interior, have not a right to ask their aid in the passage make a road is to regulate commerce anong the States of this bill? I think none will deny that we have that. Sir, when it shall be proved tbat carnes, ships, and roads

Methinks I hear every gentleman recording bis vote in are commercial regulations, otherwise commercial Jaws, favor of it. If they do not, they say to us, you may get then I will give up this point. to the seat of Governinent by some of the old Indian paths, Sir, if there is any question respecting the power of or down some stream io a canal, or on the back of a pack- Congress, that has been decided against the claim of power, horse or mule. No, no, I cannot for one moment harbor in a way that ought to be satisfactory, final, and conclusive, such an opinion ; but as bigb-minded, honorable men, to it is this. We have the authority of Jefferson, Madison, whom the interior has always granted every thing they and Monroe, that Congress do vot possess jurisdiction to have asked for, I hope to see one and all of you come out make roads. Mr. Madison and Mr. Monroe expressed their manfully and vote for the bill, and not shelter yourselves opinions in the most solemn manner, when rejecting bills bebind the constitution ; for there is no otber excuse left passed by both Houses of Congress, assuming this power. for you, in my opinion.

The last act of Mr. Madison's admioistration was to return, I am too feeble to say more ; I hope some gentleman rejected, a bill assuming this power. But we bave pot more capable than I am will do justice to this subject. only the authority of these great pames. This House bas

Mr. SMYTH said, I have had no concern whatever in repeatedly, on great debate, decided that Congress bave forming the bill now before the committee. I am to vote pot the power; and there is not an act in the whole staupon it ; and I will do my duty to my constituents, the tute book that assumes it. In March, 1818, after a procommonwealth, and the constitution. I will very briefly tracted discussion, this House decided that Congress had discuss, first, the power claimed by this Govervient to not power to construct post roads and military roads, by make roads, and assume jurisdiction over them ; second, eighty-four votes against eiglity-two; and that Congress the power to appropriate money for the purpose of mak. had not power to construct roads between the States, by ing roads, without assuming jurisdiction over them; third, ninety-five votes against seventy-one. And when Mr. the power to aid internal improvements

, by subscribing for Monroe had negatived tbe bill establishing toll gates on the stock of companies incorporated to make them ; fourth, the Cumberland road, and returned it with bis objec. the power to appropriate money in fulfilment of a com- tions

, on reconsideration, a majority of the House voted pact ; fifth, the power conferred on the President by the against it; a satisfactory proof that it had been passed bill; sixth, the general expediency of this appropriation ; without due consideration. seventh, the particular utility of the road proposed to be Sir, as this power is claimed by implication, and as in made.

forty years not one act bas been passed that asserts it, this The gentleman from Tennessee [Mr. Isacks] contends long nonuser should be taken as evidence that it is not that the power to establish post roads, conferred on Con contained in the grant; and we should now consider it as gress by the constitution, is a power to make them. I settled, that Congress have not power to enter into & contend that "establisb," wherever used in the consti- State, assume jurisdiction, and construct roads. tution, signifies, to give legal existence, or legal effect. I will now consider the claim of power to appropriate The people “ ordain and establish the constitution;" one money to the making of roads, without assuming_jurisdicof their objects is declared to be “ to establish justice ;" tion. I have not found it in the constitution. But more Congress shall have power “ to establish a uniform rule than fifty acts of Congress, passed during the last twentyof naturalization;" “the ratification of the convention of eight years, make such appropriations. The groupit on nine States shall be sufficient for the establishment of this which we, who opposed the construction which authorizes constitution.”. “Congress shall make no law respecting such appropriations, stood, is nearly beaten from under us. an establishinent of religion.” In all these cases, it is ob- The States and the people may construe their constitution; vious that to establish means to give legal effect, to give and the construction thereof, by them, must be copelusive. legal existence, to set up by law. Congress have power The long use of a power by Congress, by the approbationi " to establish post offices and post roads." Whatever of the State Legislatures and the people, may sanction the be the meaning of establish, as it relates to post offices, construction of the constitution by which it is assumed. I must be its meaning as relates to post roads. The same would like to see the opinion of the State Legislatures word, used in different sentences, may have different mean- taken, to ascertain if three-fourths of them admit that this ings ; but the same word, only once used in the same power is in Congress. The people, by re-electing those who sentence, cannot have different meanings. Does power have assumed it, seem to have given it their sanction. to establish post offices signify power to build, to put up I will next consider the power of Congress to aid brick and mortar ? No, it signifies power to give legal interpal improvements, by subscribing for the stock of existence to offices. So, power to establish post roads, companies incorporated to make them

I have always is power to designate, by law, the roads on which the mail been of opinion since I had a seat here, that Congress shall be carried ; and this construction has been acted on possessed this power as a fiscal operation, which might by Congress during forty years.

be necessary if the treasury was füll. It is well known The gentleman from l'ennessee [Mr. ISAOKS) contends to my colleague, the laté chairman of the Committee that Congress have power to regulate commerce" among on Internal Improvements [Mr. MEBOER] that such has the several States.;""and, therefore, may make roads for been my opinion. If we have a surplus revenue, it carrying on that commerce.

would be inexpedient to have it lying in the treasury, or Sír, the power to regulate commerce, signifies power in bonds, unproductive. It must be a question of expeto pass laws controlling commerce. Laws are regulations diency, whether money should be tbus invested; and I Regulations are laws. “No preferenóe shall be given by hold that it will be always inexpedient, when we bave a any regulation of commerce, or revenue, to the ports of debt to pay, and that debt is payable. The object of such one State over those of another.” The power given to an operation should be a profitable investment of our Congress to regulate commerce among the States, is a money. The promotion of internal improvements would power to control it, and to prevent the State Legislatures be an incident. This power, duly exercised, would give from burdening it by duties, taxes, or licenses, and so on; to the Goveroment command of the accumulated surplus by which one State might oppress the inhabitants of an- of its revenue, on any emergency; and it would be very other. Will the gentleman from Tennessee contend that convenient to have fifty millions of productive stock to disto make a canoe is to regulate commerce with the Indian pose of at the commencement of a war. This power

March 25, 1830.)

Buffalo and New Orleans Road.

(H. OF R.

for this purpose.

has been exercised, and we do possess stock to a considera- , they are the only duties which are not imposed for their ble amount,

benefit

. Repeal those duties, and you exempt the mapuI am next to consider the power of Congress to appro- facturers from all burdens. Let me caution Southern priate money in fulfilment of a compact. In 1802, the gentlemen against repealing these seven and a half millions United States entered into a compact with the State of of duties. Such a measure would render the reduction of Ohio, on admitting that State into the Union, that five per the imposts which oppress their people hopeless. Let cent. of the nett proceeds of land in that State, sold by the whole of the imposts be gradually reduced, so as pot Congress, should be applied to the making of roads from suddenly to affect any interest. The manufactories being the navigable waters of the Atlantic to and through the brought into existence by protection, it ought not to be said State, under the authority of Congress, with the con- suddenly withdrawn. sept of the Statey through which the road should pass ; My colleague would not follow the example of France and, in consideration thereof, the State engaged to exempt and England, in making internal improvements. The from taxes, for the term of five years from the sale there people of those countries are depressed, and many of them of, the land to be sold by Congress. In pursuance of this paupers. Sir, it was not the capal of Languedoc that decompact, the Cumberland road was made. And here again pressed the people of France in the reign of Louis XIV: ve hnve the authority of Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Madison, and That great work cost five hundred and forty thousand Mr. Monroe, who severally approved the appropriations pounds, and was finished in fifteen years. It was the per

petual wars of Louis XIV, which, in his latter days, were Now, sir, you have the like compact with the States of disastrous. It was that despicable bigotry which drove Alabama and Mississippi. That with the State of Alaba- five hundred thousand protestants from their country, and ma provides that five per cent. of the nett proceeds of scattered their wealth and arts over all christendom. It lands within the territory, “ shall be reserved for making was not the expense of making canals and roads that depublic roads, canals, and improving the navigation of pressed the people of England. Canals in England are rivers, of which three-fifths shall be applied to those ob- but of recent date; they are made by companies ; occasionjects, within the snid State, under the direction of the le- ally the Governmeut gives a small grant. It is the public gislature thereof, and two-fifths to the making of a road debt of England that depresses the people. At the end of or roads leading to the said State, under the direction of the year 1701 it was six millions ; in 1714 it was fifty Congress." And, in consideration thereof, the State of millions ; in 1775 it was one hundred and thirty-five milAlabama has engaged not to tax the lands sold by Congress lions; in 1784 it was two hundred and sixty-six millions; it for five years ; that the lands of non-residents sball be tax- is now perbaps a thousand millions. Thus, we see that it ed no higher than that of residents, and that po tax sball was the wars of the American and French revolutions that be imposed on the lands of the United States. Here, then bave involved England in a debt wbich can never be paid; we have a valuable consideration for the money which we and this depresses her people. Her hierarchy adds grievsball appropriate to make this road, leading to Alabama ously to the burden. The revenues of the Episcopal and Mississippi. We owe a debt; we bave an unquestiona Church in England amount to about forty millions of dol. ble right to appropriate money to pay it. This appropria- lurs, paid to eighteen thousand priests; while eight thoution, in pursuance of our compact, is as fully authorized. sand other priests receive about two million two bundred as the appropriation of fifteen millions for the purcbase of and twenty thousand dollars. It is not the expense of inLouisiana, made in fulfilment of a treaty.*

terpal improvement that has reduced seven thousand of I will next consider the powers granted to the President the people of Dubliu to live on three balf-pence each day. by the bill. He is authorized to appoint commissioners, In Ireland, seventeen hundred episcopal priests receive who are to lay out the roads ; he is theu to take the necessa- five million seven hundred and seventy-two thousand dol. ry measures for the construction of the road; contracts are lars, extorted from agriculture, while two thousand seven to be entered into, and releases obtained from the proprie- bundred and thirty-eight other priests receive one million Lors of lands. No jurisdiction is assumed; no power is and sixty-one thousand dollars. There is no danger that given to take and condemn the lands. In adopting mea internal improvements will depress the people. sures for the construction of this road, the President must

I will say something of the general expediency of this pursue the authority given by this bill, or have recourse to appropriation. If there is a surplus of revenue to expend the existing laws. I will now notice some of the objections made by my, and as equally as circumstances will admit. This appro

in a beneficent way, it should be distributed as generally eloquent colleague, (Mr. P. P. BARBOUR] who opposed priation will be extensively beneficial; seven great States the bill. He would disenade Congress from making this will share in its benefits. This road will extend through appropriation, because there are seven and a half millions the interior of the country, where nothing has been disof imposts which might be repealed without touching the pensed for internal improvements, and little for any other of duties which protect domestic manufactures. Sir, many the expenses of the Government. Set one point of a pair of of those duties which he would thus repeal, protect agri; compasses at my residence, describe a circle of the diameculture; many of them are paid by manufacturers, and ter of five hundred miles, within that extent, not a cent

has been disbursed by this Government for any work or Ettract from a speech delivered by Mr. Smyth in the House of improvement; not a salary is paid within my knowledge, "I will justify the appropriation made for the construction of the and no compensation, except' to members of Congress, Cumberland road. Congress are authorized 'to dispose of, and make-mail contractors, postmasters, jurors, and for taking the all needful regulations respecting the territory and other property belonging to the United States. Now I apprehend no regulation can be

Your expenditures for the army, navy, fortificamore needful than one which preserves to the United States a title tions, and collection, of revenue, are on the seaboard, in to their property. Is it certain that, admitting a new State into the the cities, or on the frontier. The interior suffers by a Union on an equal footing, in all respoçts, with the original States; perpetual drain of its money, none of which is restored by an acknowledgment of the independence of a colony! Be that as it the Government. The prevailing policy is to have a remay, Ohio, by this compact, surrendered her right to tax, during five venue above the amount of the necessary expenses of the years, the land which the United States might sell

, and thus gavo an Government. I did not sanction this policy; but, as it is adoptdisburse in making roads leading to that State. To make needful ed, as the system is fixed upon us, lét a small part of the surregulations respecting the public lands, is a granted power. Con- plus be expended, according to our compact with the Southgress may pass the necessary laws to execute that power, and conse- western States, in the district of my colleague, and of mine. quently may pass appropriation laws for executing this' needful regulation, this compact with Ohio. Thus the appropriations for

I am to say something of the particular utility of the road making the Camborland road, appear to have been constitutional.” | proposed to be made. My colleague (Mr. BARBOUR) sup

VOL. VI.-86.

census.

H. OF R.

Internal Improvements.- Pensioners of the United States.

(March 26, 1830

[merged small][ocr errors]

posed it of no commercial utility. Commerce, he says, For the continuance of the road from Detroit to Chicagoes from West to East. He has never been in the south- go, with eight thonsand dollars. west quarter of Virginia, and knows nothing of the direc For the continuance of the road from Pensacola to St. tion of the commerce of that part of the country. The Augustine, with five thousand dollars commerce of East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia does Mr. HEMPHILL moved to amend that clause of the not go to the East. The merchants obtain their merchan- bill containing the appropriation of thirty thousand dollars dise from Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York. The for defraying the expenses of examinations and surveys, caravans of wagons which carry on merchandising between and of arrearages for the years 1826, 1827, and 1828, by Knoxville and Baltimore, now pursue the proposed route increasing the sum to thirty-five thousand dollars. three hundred and fifty miles ; and, when the road is made, Mr. WICKLIFFE desired that the arrearages should they may pass through this place, or continue through be made the subject of a separate appropriation, and not Winchester, as at present. It is true, that, eastward of blended with that for defraying the expenses of the surthe Blue ridge, in Virginia, commerce goes to the East; veys. He inquired of the chairman of the committee who therefore the middle route, on the east side of the Blue reported the bill, what was the amount of arrearages. ridge, would be useless for commercial purposes, except Mr. McDUFFIE replied they amounted to five thouthat some hogsheads of tobacco, within thirty or forty sand one bundred and forty dollars. miles of James river or Roanoke, might be carried along At the suggestion of Mr. INGERSOLL, the proposed road, if made on that route, to those rivers. Mr. HEMPHILL withdrew his amendment; and then The commerce of the interior and western ports of North Mr. WICKLIFFE moved to amend that part of the bill Carolina passes eastward to her own towns, or to Nor- stating the objects of the appropriation, so that they would folk and Petersburg. The most eastern route through be confined to surveys already commenced and not comthe capitals of the Southern States will only facilitate go- pleted, and to works of a national character. He was vernmental and commercial correspondence. On the west-opposed to instituting any new surveys. ern route, the colton of Alabama and the south of Tennes Mr. CLAY and Mr. MERCER opposed the amendment. see may be brought to, and manufactured in, the towns Mr. M. urged the necessity of continuing the surveys, of the great valley as far as Winchester, and will pass which [he said) were done at so trifling an expense, since four hundred miles along the proposed road. The engi- the topographical engineers who made them must of deneers have given this route a decided preference ; they cessity be employed by Government, even if the surveys show it to be the best and the cheapest; it will require less were discontinued. expense in causeways and bridges: and the expenses of Mr. LEA suggested to Mr. WICKLIFFE to enlarge making the road from this place to New Orleans, should it the object of bis amendment, so as to embrace " such surbe Macadamized, would cost, according to their estimate, veys as are recommended by either House of Congress." more than a million of dollars less than making it on the Mr. WICKLIFFE said, he would prefer that the genmiddle route, advocated by the gentleman from North tleman should offer the subject of bis suggestion as an Carolina, (Mr. Carson.]

amendment. He wished to test the sense of the commitThe engineers do not seem to have observed the fact, tee on the proposition be offered. that James river is pavigable where the western route Subsequently he accepted the amendment as a modifipasses that stream. There will terminate the trip of wacation of his proposition. gods bringing from the Southwest produce for the Rich The amendment was negatived: yeas, 50-Days, 66.' mond market. To the other recommendations of the On motion of Mr. VERPLANCK, an appropriation was western route, I will add that the accommodations for inserted of five thousand four hundred and fifty dollars for travellers, along the great valley, from Knoxville to Win office rent, &c. chester, about four hundred and fifty miles, are, in my On motion of Mr. McDUFFIE, this bill was then laid opinion, not equalled, in goodness and cheapness, on any aside, and the bill “ making appropriations for improving road, of the same length, in the world. Sir, the road harbors," &c. was taken up. through the southwest of Virginia is an exceeding import The blanks containing appropriations for the improveant highway. It was formerly the usual road to Kentucky; ment of certain harbors therein mentioned, being filled, but the making of the Cumberland road, and the Kenhawa The committee then rose, and reported the two bills. road, has lessened its importance. It is still necessary to the inhabitants of the south of Kentucky, as the gentleman

FRIDAY, MARCH 26, 1830. before me [Mr. LETCHER] well knows. They send along it to market vast numbers of live stock, to the northern

PENSIONERS OF THE UNITED STATES. parts of Virginia, to Maryland, and even to Pennsylvania. Mr. BATES, from the Committee on Pensions, report

The gentlemen from North Carolina (Mr. C.] asks if this ed the following joint resolution : road can ever compete with the Mississippi. Sir, the Mis Resolved by the Senate, &c. That the heads of the desissippi does not rup near us; and if our branches of that partments who may be severally charged with the adminriver were navigable, New Orleans never can compete istration of the pension laws of the United States of Amewith Baltimore in supplying us with merchandise. rica, be, and they are hereby, respectively directed and

On motion of Mr. SHEPARD, the committee then rose, required, as soon as may be after the opening of each sesand reported progress.

sion of Congress, to present to the Senate and House of INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS.

Representatives a several list of such persons, whether

revolutiovary, invalid, or otherwise, as shall bave made On motion of Mr. McDUFFIE, the House again resolv. application for a pension or an increase of pension, and as ed itself into a Committee of the Whole on the state of in their opinion respectively ought to be placed upon the the Union, Mr. LETCHER in the chair, and took up the pension roll, or otherwise provided for, and for doing consideration of the bill “ making appropriations for ex- which they have no sufficient power or authority, with aminations and surveys; and, also, for certain works of the names and residences of such persons, the capacity in internal improvements." The blanks in that part of the which they served, the degree of relief proposed, and a bill containing the appropriation for the continuance of brief statement of the grounds thereof, to the end that the road from Detroit to Fort Gratiot, was filled with Congress may consider the same. seven thousand dollars.

The resolution was twice read; and For the continuance of the road from Detroit to Saga Mr. TUCKER moved to amend it, by adding to it the naw bay, with seven thousand dollars.

following words:

MARCH 27, 29, 1830.]

Pay of Members.

(H. or R.

Days, 69.

"And also the names of the several pensioners, and

MONDAY, MARCH 29, 1830. their residence, who continue to receive their pensions; The House again resumed the consideration of the resoand likewise the whole amount of applicants for pensions

, lution offered by Mr. McDUFFIE on the 18th instant, under the law of 1818, giving pensions to revolutionary relative to a reduction of the compensation of members, soldiers."

in case they remain in session after a certain period in each Mr. TUCKER'S amendment was agreed to : yeas, 77— session, as specified therein.

Mr. COULTER concluded his remarks commenced op Mr. CHILTON was opposed both to the amendment Saturday, against the adoption of the resolution. and the resolution. He argued that the power and the (They were to the following effect:) patronage of the Executive Department of the Government Mr. Č. said, I would not of my free choice say any thing were sufficient already, without vesting in it what the re. concerning the proposition now before the House. I am solution proposed; for, if it passed, not five or ten, but induced to do so solely by the accidental circumstance of fifty additional officers would be necessary to examine the my belonging to the Committee on Retrenchment, whose cases, and prepare the information called for. Instead of especial duty, it seems to be considered, is to aid and abet this general reference of all the cases of application for every gentleman in cutting down and breaking up every pensions to the War Department, or a Board of Commis- part of the machinery of this Government which does not sioners, with discretionary power to dispose of them, be meet with his approbation. As I cannot, in this instance, preferred that every case should come at once before Cop: labor in the vocation which has been assigned to me, it is gress to judge of its specific merits. The plan he thought perhaps due to myself, and only respectful to the House, wrong, because, after imposing this labor on the officer, to state my reasons. If, however, this resolution bad been the cases would still have to come to Congress; so that the offered, as some have been, and I suppose will be again, only, effect would be to give useless employment to a large by gentlemen who love to amuse their constituents, I number of additional clerks. Mr. C. went on to remark should not have touched it. It might have come upon the on another subject. He was aware [he said] that the stage, made its bow, and exit, and went off, like its pre- / transaction of the legislative business required commit- decessors and associates, in a flourish. But it comes upon tees; but he thought it a dangerous practice to give to us urged and sustained by a gentleman of high political committees unlimited confidence, and making it an apolo- consideration, who is likely to win for it much favor, here gy for members of this House to neglect investigation and in the nation. It is meet, therefore, tbat it should be themselves. He meant no reflection on the motives of considered with the gravity and respect due to the gentleany ope; but the practice was bad. The consequence man from South Carolina, (Mr. McDUFFIE.] I regret that was, that the House passed measures without knowing any those who now give this proposition their patronage, had thing of their merits, trusting entirely to the reports of not brought it forward at an earlier period of the session, committees. No chairman of a committee, he presumed, especially as a most appropriate occasion was then affordwould venture to report a pension bill solely on the ab-ed them for presenting it to the House. It will be recolstract which should be furnished by the Secretary of War, lected that one bill, concerning the compensation of mem. and therefore it would be as well for the subject to stand bers of Congress, passed this House about the last of as it does, and let the committee report the cases on their December. In thał bill the proposition now under conown examination.

Bideration was once contained. But a majority of the Mr. BATES was indifferent to the fate of the resolution Committee on Retrenchment of this year divested the since the amendment was added to it, because it would re- bill of what they considered an unjust and odious feature. quire the reporting of a large volume every year of use. Yet when it was undergoing the action of the House, less matter. The resolution had been offered to the House it was competent for the gentleman from South Carolina, by the committee, because a great deal of time was now or the chairman of the Retrenchment Committee, (Mr. lost in investigating individual cases, which have been pre- WICKLIFFE) to have offered an amendment, embracing sented to the War Department, and, after examination this their favorite proposition. Business had not then there, rejected, as not coming with the provisions of the thickened upon the House, and time, which, it is now said existing laws. The committee thought that, as these cases was then wasted, might have been employed in considernecessarily passed under the investigation of the head of ing what we are now discussing. If it had then been the department, he could prepare with ease and accuracy acted upon, it might, by operating on our avarice, have a summary view of the nature and merits of each case, produced some of the good with which the gentleman for the information of the committee. Nothing was to be from South Carolina feeds his fancy. Now it is too late referred to his discretion; he was merely to report facts ; it for this Congress, at all events. But at that time we imposed on him no additional responsibility, and would heard nothing of this proposition. No, not even from the give him but little additional trouble. Mr. B. therefore Magnus Apollo of retrenchment. A proposition in rethought it a wise provision, calculated to save time, and lation to the daily pay of members, which the gentleman facilitate the business, so as to grant relief in cases which from Kentucky [Mr. CHILTON] did then offer as an amendwere entitled to it, and ascertain at once those which were ment, received so little countenance or encouragement, improper.

that the House refused to order the yeas and pays upon The resolution was then ordered to a third reading its rejection. I think the House did wisely and well. It

is certainly a delicate affair for this or any other legis

lative body to agitate the question of its own compenSATURDAY, MARCH 27, 1830.

sation. The necessity of the case constitutes it an excep

tion from the general rule, which forbids public functionPAY OF MEMBERS.

aries to be the judges of their own salaries. It has been The House agaio resumed the consideration of the reso-judged safer, in all free countries, to rest this power in lution offered by Mr. McDUFFIE on the 18th instant, re- the legislature, though interested, than in any other deducing the compensation of members of Congress to two partment. But the delicacy of their positioa ought to dollars a day for every day the House may sit after the make them cautious in their movements. If they attempt expiration of one hundred and twenty days of the long increase their allowance, it will be ascribed to love of session, and of ninety days of the short session.

gain. If they attempt to reduce it, ten to one if they either Mr. COULTER addressed the House in opposition to get or deserve credit for patriotism or sincerity. They the resolution, till the hour for considering resolutions will most probably be charged with the grovelling design elapsed.

of purchasing popularity, by relinquishing a modicum of

[ocr errors]

yeas, 95.

« AnteriorContinuar »