« AnteriorContinuar »
H. OF R.]
Buffalo and New Orleans Road.
[APRIL 13, 1830.
almost every possible means of expending for the purpose twenty-four millionsmaking twice as many dollars as of continuing to raise it. One of these means is a general people. The population of East Tennessee is about two system of internal improvements, not for the proper pur- hundred thousand, and two dollars a bead amounts to poses of the Governmept itself, but for distributing the the four hundred thousand before stated. About balf the movey that more may be raised. Various contrivances whole revenue from commerce goes every year towards are resorted to for scattering some of it among the peo- paying the national debt; and, if that were paid, the one ple, in order to flatter and tempt them to sanction this dollar a bead, or to hundred thousand dollars every insidious and ruinous policy. As long as the national year, might be returned to East Tennessee as its propor debt shall be unpaid, a powerful argument will exist for tion of the surplus, if the duties and revenue should not continuing to raise a large reveque; and, therefore, it is be diminished, deducting from that amouut the expenses the business of the politicians of whom I speak, to delay of collecting and refunding. Or, if the revenue should the final payment of that debt as much as possible. Al be diminished to the ordinary expenses of the Governthough every dollar wbich is not necessary for the ordina- ment, the surplus two hundred thousand dollars migbt rery expenses of the Government, might be applied to that main in the pockets of the people, without any deduction debt, so as to have it paid off in a short time, yet the ut- for collecting and refunding. In this way it appears that most ingenuity and invention seem to be resorted to for the surplus revenue for between eighteen mouths and draiving the treasury, to postpone the payment of the na- two years would be equal to the utmost amount that this tional debt, and for committing the Government, in the road could ever bring iuto East Tennessee; and, as the namean time, in various projects of enormous expenditure, so tional debt might be paid, but for this system, about as soon as to create a necessity for continuing bigh duties. Co- as the making of this road would commence, the people of operatiug with these politicians, on the one hand, there are Eaet Tennessee might have as much money in two years, some who look more to the effects of raising than of dis- after paying the debt, as they would get in four, by means bursing the revenue, while, ou the other hand, there are of this road; and, in the one case, by reducing the resome who look more to the disbursing than to the raising venue, they would have kept their own money; while, in of it; but the joint operation is a grand system of ins and the other, they would bave to work for it outs, calculated to increase the powers of this Government Will any gentleman from that quarter say that we do from year to year, to an unlimited extent, while its con- not pay our average share of the common revenuci ! trolling influence will be felt in all our concerns, until dis- apprehend that any one would hesitate to give such an opitraction and disunion may follow from the gross inequality nion, looking to the condition of the southern and southof its exactions and favors.
western States, as compared with others; and it might be Although it is apparent, from what I have heretofore a pity thus to spoil our own arguments in favor of getting shown, that the payment of the national debt would be a full sbare of what is going. It is impossible to ascer. very little retarded by making this road alone, get the tain the precise proportion paid by any part of the Univo; danger is, that so many other projects might be adopted as nor is it my purpose now to attempt a general develop to delay the payment until this road would come in for its ment of the various operations of our revenue and profull share in the work of procrastination. In this connexion, tecting systems united. It is enough for my purpose too, it is worthy of remark, that, while other parts of the say, what candor ought always to admit
, that the burden Union, in various projects now before Congress, are ready falls and remains on three classes of our general commuto receive and use whatever they can get, to the amount nity: First. The producers of the articles sent to foreign of millions, as fast as laws can be passed to give it to markets, including not only those who are immediately them, the people
on this road would have just begun to re- engaged in raising those articles, but also such as furnish ceive something two or three years bence. What would them with food and
other necessary supplies. Second, then be their condition, if this Government were to go on The carriers. Third. The consumers of the goods brought from this time in a system of internal improvements, and back in return for our produce. We all know that the other liberal expenditures Could they expect, although southern country produces about two-thirds of all the thus postponed that any other improvements would be articles taken from the United States to foreigo markets
, put into operation near to this road during its progress in and the cotton planters alone more than half of the whole making ? No, sir. Its importance has been so magnified Thus we see, at once, bow East Tennessee, of which I by its over-zealous friends, that they could look for have been speaking, sustains, both directly and indirectly
, nothing, or but very little more, in a long time. But the as a producer, far more than its proportional share of the Goverument, in the mean while, would be involved in pro- common burden. But the disproportion does not stop jects enough to exhaust all the surplus revenue for many bere, and reaches beyond what we pay into the treasury years to come, and the people near to this road, would also, on account of the distance and difficulty of transport have it, and nothing else, probably, as their only consola- ation between us and our seaboard markets. Some of tion for millions on millions, paid and to be paid by them, the improvements coutemplated would diminish this eril in support of the darling system which I have already de but it must always continue comparatively great. The scribed.
duties on the goods originally paid by the importing mer I would ask some of my colleagues, especially, to pause chant grow with every change of owners, and with the and reflect on this system; to calculate its supposed ad- progress of distance and of time, until the consumer makes vantages and real burdens. General principles are some bis payment. This is substantially true, too, whether the times best understood by particular examples; and I will
, consumer indemnifies for actual duties paid on foreign ar therefore, apply a few remarks to that section of country ticles
, or is compelled to give a higher price, on account in which I live. How much will this whole road give to of such duties, for articles "made in our own country, as is East Tennessee ? Not more than between three and four the case in the indispensable item of salt. Whatever may hundred
thousand dollars; and that would not all get there be the condition of others, it is absolutely certain that the in less than six years. On the other hand,
how much does people of East Tennessee bear these burders : First. In that same East Tennessee
pay every year into the treasury the higher prices which they have to pay for what they of the United States? If we pay at an average rate with buy and consume: their tools, clothing, and food, even in other parts of the Union, our contribution is about four every mouthful, if they can get salt to put in it. And
, hundred thousand dollars every year. The calculation is second. In their diminished sales and lower prices for 80 plain and easy, that no man can misunderstand it. The what they may sell to those who are less able to buy, for whole number of people in the United States, is about similar reasons. twelve milliops, and the revenue from commerce is about I hope to be pardoned for adducing these common li
APRIL 13, 1830.)
Buffalo and New Orleans Road.
[H. OF R.
place ideas; fur, after all, they contain truths which ought I even to squander it in a general system of internal im not to be forgotteu; and on the neglect or correct appli- provements. But it is the kindness of cruelty itself to cation of which depend some of the most important re-wrest it from their hands, where it is worth, for exanıple, sults. The section of country in wbich I live, as well as six per cent., in order to spend it in projects, which can other parts of the Union, has been for years laboring un- never yield to the Government and the community any der the consuming influence of the policy alluded to, and advantages equal to three, or two, or even one per cent. without even the semblance of any correlative advantage, I ask, emphatically, if the people would submit to it-if until its pecudiary resources are almost exbausted, and its they would allow this Government to carry on a general spirit of industry and enterprise, beyond absolute neces system of internal improvements, if the money had to sity, is almost extinguished. It is withered, like the leaves be raised from them by direct taxation ! No, in that in autumn, by the frost of this chilling policy. The case there would not be on that floor even one advosmooth, plump figure of health and plenty is wasting away cate for the system. My honorable colleague (Mr. Blain] to the mere skeleton of what it once was. How long will told us frankly and plainly that he would be far, very we continue to attribute our disease to something else thau far, from thus taxing his people for any such purpose; the true cause, and consequently fail to apply the proper and yet, direct taxation to the same amount with unremedy? Shall we look to favors from this Government, to restricted commerce, would be preferable for all that porcompensate for the evils ? What will all the promised or tion of the Union, to the present mode of raising our reexpected disbursements amount to in that quarter, compar- venue. If none would be found favorable to the system ed with our burdens? Who is so stupid as to suppose that with direct taxes, are we, nevertheless, to be told, that East Tennessee could get even two hundred thousand dol- these same people ought to be taxed to the same amount, lars a year expeoded in it, although an absolute gift of and for the very same purpose, but in a different mode, that sum would be far, very far, from equal to its share which is more oppressive in some respects, notwithstandof the burden in sustaining this intolerable policy? But ing the delusion by which it flatters us to the contrary? even an equal distribution of the treasury would not in- Do gentlemen intend to deceive their constituents i Or demoify that country, which would continue to suffer more do they think the people incapable of examining this than an equal share of the injury.
thing to the bottom? If they are, sir, it is vain to hope It is only necessary to understand the facts, in order to for preserving their liberties, as secured by our present koow, with perfect certainty, what ought to be our policy. forms of Government. We all see how fashionable it is Instead of continuing beyond the ordioary necessities of becoming to look on State Governments with jealousy, the Government, to raise money in order to scatter it if not contempt, while this Government is regarded as the again over the country, we ought to let it remain in the exhaustless source of favors. The former raise their re. pockets of the people, and save them all the expense, and venue by direct, the latter by indirect taxation. If the trouble, and difficulty of collecting and returning that people will not understand and feel that indirect taxes are which, as a general rule, had better have remained where a burden, what is to restrain us from raising them to an it started. Nor should the old adage. be forgotten, that indefinite extent, if for vo other purpose than to squander "a bird in the band is worth two in the bush." The them among those who regard themselves only as remoney might never return; much of it would be sure to ceivers, and not as payers? And what could then prevent stiek by the way; and those who have, or can get any, had this Government from extending its powers without limitabelter keep it, than send it here under the hope of getting tion, and to the utter extinction of all State authorities ! it back again at some future day. In the hands of indi- After what I have seen_what every citizen ought to know viduals, it will generally be used to best advantage; but, if -tell me not of constitutional barriers-of cobwebs--as opeither the General or State Governments should have any posed to such an influence. Every day's experience con. extraordinary or special object to accomplish, enough will firms the awful truth, that our liberties depend on a corbe always at command, when every man could rub toge- rect understanding by the people of the principles of taxather a few dollars in his pocket. Nearly every improve- tion by our respective Governments. And, if our political ment, however, of public importance, and which would be system shall cver fail
, its ruin will be traced to this differworth the cost of making it might be accomplished by in- epce between direct and indirect taxation. dividual enterprise and corporate companies. The weal We are warned by every thing dear to man, against thy would vest a portion of their capital ib public works, being deceived ourselves, or attempting to deceive others. and thus distribute their treasures uinong the poorer class. We ought to rely on the intelligence of uur constituents, es, when the Government bad ceased to give direction to and not practice on their supposed ignorance. They that capital, and, at tbe same time, freed the poor as well have placed honorable reliance on us, not merely to serve as the rich from uppecessary taxation.
them faithfully here, but, also, to profit by our situation in Towards attaining these ends, the first great step is to obtaining information for them. While we respect their pay the national debt as soon as possible. If that were opinions, let us perform our twofold duty with becoming done, every citized would at once inquire, why the re- firmness and candor. Whatever may be our votes on the venue might not be reduced one-half, and let the people particular subject before us, let us tell our people the keep in their own bands the amount which goes every year undeniable truth, that the contemplated system of internal to that debt. To get the nation properly to this inquiry, | improvements cannot be supported, except with their own is a matter of the very first importance; and therefore, money drawn from them in some way. Then, after they
every dollar that can be spared, ought to be applied to shall have reflected on it maturely, they will respond to Lipe the debt, and every unuecessary expenditure avoided. us in the significant phrase of the sagacious Franklin, “it of The work of reduction might then be completed, as it would, indeed, be paying too dear for the whistle.”
should be; but it cught to progress from the present time. Mr. NORTON said, that, representing as be did the disIt is not my purpose now to say on what artícles, or how trict in which this great natioual road was contemplated to low the duties ought to be reduced, but to indicate a prio- be commenced, and knowing that his constituents felt a deep ciple to be extended as far as the various interests of the interest in the passage of the law authorising the construccountry will allow--as far as propriety will justify. tion of it, he was not at liberty to follow his own inclina
It is astonishing to hear gentlemen talking of our distri- tion by giviog a silent though an affirmative vote. buting money, as if we had the faculty of speaking it into The bonorable gentleman from Peopsylvania, (said Mr. existence, or obtaining it from some foreign country. If N.] who reported this bill, having gone at length into the this Goveroment really got its money any where else than constitutional question—a question that never fails to arise from our own people, it might be a blessing to them, whenever apy project of intergal improvemept is pre
H. OF R.)
Buffalo and New Orleans Road.
[APRIL 13, 1830.
sented to this House; and having, in my opinion, shown, which I request the committee to bear in mind. In that most conclusively, that no one provision of that constitution northern region we geberally have good sleighing three will be violated by the passage of this act, it would be ob- or four months in the year; and, when that is the case, all trusive in me to eay one word upon that subject; and that your supplies for an army, with the exception, perhaps, gentleman, as well as many others, having also clearly of very heavy ordnance, can be transported, upon a good pointed out the advantages that would accrue to almost road, cheaper, and more rapidly than they can upon the every section of this Union, both in a mercantile and com- canal, where it is navigable. And, again, says the gentle. mercial point of view, it would be trespassing upon the in. man from Georgia, suppose there should be an invasion of dulgence of this committee to compel them to 'listen to the western part of the State of New York, they would further argument upon that division of the subject. need no aid from us at the South, or from the seat of
But there is another branch of this imposing project that Government. They have the means at band of repelI must not pass over in silence; indeed, if I were to do so, ling it, vested in the patriotism of a dense and hardy popu. I should be greatly wanting in courtesy to the bonorable lation. All this it suits my pride to admit
, so far as it gentleman from Virginia, who opened the debate in oppo- relates to defence. But suppose it should be determined sition to this bill. I mean, that division of the argument in a grave council of war, bere at Washington, that Canawhich particularly relates to the military operations of this da must be invaded, and orders given to the general offiGovernment.
cer who happens to be in comroand on that frontier at that The honorable chairman of the Committee on Internal time, to call to his aid all the hardy sons of the North for Improvements, in opening this debate, portrayed, in strong the purpose of making the conquest, first of Upper, and and persuasive language, not only the facilities that would then of Lower Canada ; and suppose that this whole popube afforded for defence, but also the duty that this and lation does, in fact, obey this call, as they would be very every other Government owes to its citizens, or to its sub likely to do, and all rally round the national standard at jects, to render them efficient protection whenever dangers Lewiston, or at Buffalo, as the case may be. What then! arise from abroad.
Why, they would be first paraded, and then, according to The answer to this, by the gentleman from Virginia, was, custom, they would be formed into a bollow square; and, that heavy ordnance, and other munitions of war, would after having listened to an appropriate address from the never be transported by land, while there was a safe, commanding general, they would be marched to the banks cheap, and expeditious communication by water; and that, of the river Niagara, and there they would be called upon by the enterprise of the citizens of the great and power- to survey the proud conquest before them. But, while fúl State of New York, the General Government had been contemplating this mighty conquest, and their fancied lau. furnished with such a communication, from the seat of Go- rels, with the banner in one hand and the constitution in Veroment to the northwestern frontier,
the other, they are saluted from the other shore with the And now I do assure this committee, that no part of the sound of the bugle and a shower of Congreve rockets, gentleman's argument, however eloquent and imposing, which unexpected and unwelcome salutation throws the created in my mind the least alarm, except the one now camp into some confusion, and finally results in a conferunder consideration; and I confess that there was a plau.ence between citizens and soldiers ; at which conference sibility displayed by the contrast drawn between water they gravely determine that they are not bound by any and land carriages, that could not fail to catch the ear of law, vor called upon by any duty, to cross the line--that every careless observer; and at this late bour in the de. the constitution of the United States does not require the bate, I should not bave claimed the attention of the commilitia or volunteer citizens of the State of New York to mittee, had I not felt a full confidence that I should be seek foreign conquest—and that they have the same good able, in a very few words, to show the total fallacy of all right to avail themselves of the besign provisions of that the gentleman's reasoning upon that subject. And here constitution, and particularly when life is at stake, as the let me assure the gentleman that I intend no disrespect to people of the middle or even the southern States have, him, when I say that he seemed to bave forgotten the lati- wheu a turopike road or canal is projected. tude of the New York canal, and that it was actually Now, for the sake of argument, we will suppose that blocked with ice almost one-half the year; and that, too, this road is not essentially necessary to transport troops or "in the season when we should be most likely to be invaded munitions of war from the seat of Government to the southfrom the North. Sad experience has taught us this lesson. ern or eastern frontiers. But may we not suppose a case, Climate will have its influence upon the minds of gentle where it would be of vital importance to make rapid movemen. Avd here the gentleman will excuse me for sug- ments from the frontiers to the seat of Government ? Is it gesting another difficulty, which, also, escaped his critical pot possible that even this proud city of Washington may observation. It is well known to almost every gentleman want aid? The time has been, when a few thousands of in this House, that the Hudson and Erie canal, more than these patriotic sods of the western part of the State of one half of its distance, runs parallel with the Canada New York would have received a most hearty welcome line, and in many places contiguous to it; and I do not in this hospitable city. Yes, I repeat, the time has been, hesitate to say, that, in one hour, with a spade or a hoe, when a portion of the hardy yeomanry of the North, and I could make such breaches in its embankments, as could of the West, would have beer bailed here as deliverers in not be repaired in a wbole campaign; and this may be warding the bayonets of the invading foe from the hearts done either by soldiers from the enemy's camp, or by of your citizens, extinguishing the torches of foreigo intraitors in our own.
vaders, and saving your country from the deep bumiliation There is one important fact to which I beg leave to call of surrendering its capítol to the pillage of the common the attention of the committee, before I quit this branch enemy. of the subject. It is this: If we should be again involved Much has been said about the expeuse of making this in a war with Great Britain, and should determine to in- road, and many predictions have been indulged in, and vade the Canadas, our preparations must be made in the many calculations made, varying from two and a half to · winter season, when not only the canal, but all the water. fifty millions. The calculation of the committee is two and courses in my section of the country are closed by ice. It is a half millions; and I have more confidence in that caleaduring this season that our troups must be enlisted, drilled, Intion than any other that I have heard. If that is correct, and marehed to the frontier; that our provisions, camp it falls greatly short of the value of the public buildings in equipage, military and hospital stores, orduance, and am. this city, which I understood bave cost more than five milmunition must be collected, and placed in deposit, at or lions. But I do not mention the expenditures in this city near the place of embarkation, And there is another fact, in the spirit of retrenchment, but for the purpose of show
APRIL 13, 1830.]
Buffalo and New Orleans Road.
(H. OF R.
ing the past importance of making early preparation to question. It would afford me pleasure. I consider it a point defend the public property, in case this city should be long since settled—a point which, at this day, should not again assailed. If we differ in opinion about the proprie be called in question. If Congress have not the right to ty of making this road, we must agree in this, that we all authorize internal improvements, for the purpose of reguhave a deep stake even in this single monument of nation- lating commerce and promoting the general welfare, to al grandeur; and that we have a much deeper one in render the transportation of the mail more easy and rapid, guarding the pational character against the effects of an- to contribute to the comforts and happiness of the people other farce at Bladensburg.
in time of peace, and their security in time of war, it has I now owe it to the committee and to my owo character, no rights whatever; it might as well not exist–it might to say, that, in the description I have given of an army con- as well be expelled from this ball. I vote against the bill
, stituted of the volunteer citizens and of the militia of our not on constítutional principles therefore, but because I country, I have intended nothing in the spirit of ridicule. think its passage unnecessary and inexpedient, at this time I have taken the last war as my text, and the commentary at least, is a literal history of what has happened. And it is what The passage of the bill, I contend, is unnecessary. It will always happen, when you rely upon such a soldiery, is not necessary, as some gentlemen who bave preceded either for attack or defence; and the officer whose misfor- bave asserted, to establish a constitutional principle, the tune it is to be in command, whatever may be his merit, as right of the General Government to make internal im: a man or as a soldier, is certain to meet with discomfi- provements. No, this question, as I have already said, ture and disgrace.
has, in my humble opinion, been long since settled. WhatMr. MUHLENBERG, of Pennsylvania, rose to claim ever this Congress may do, it will deither tend to settle or the indulgence of the committee for a few moments only, unsettle it. The express words of the constitution itself; as he did not wish to enter into a lengthy discussion of a the opinions of our ablest men on the bench; the opinions subject which bad already been more than sufficieutly dis- of all our Presidents, from him who was deservedly first cussed. He presumed every member of the committee, in the hearts of the people, from Washington down to the who had given it any attention whatever, must, by that present illustrious Chief; the opinion of the lamented Clintime, bave made up his mind upon the question; and be ton, undoubtedly a siatesman of the very first order; the could not futter himself that any thing he might say, for opinions of a large majority of our State Legislatures-all or against the measure, would change a single vote. He bave established it beyond a question, except with a few, rose merely to express a regret at the vote he found him who, although no doubt sincere in their opinions, and on self obliged to give if he wished to satisfy his own con- that account ought to be respected, are yet too much in the science, and promote, in his view of thivgs, the best inte babit of splitting hairs, both on the north and south side, rests of the whole people of the Union, as he considered to have much reliance placed on their judgment. Neither bimself a representative for the whole, and not for a part (said Mr. M.] does the passage of the bill appear to me neonly.
cessary, as is further contended by some gentlemen who Šir, (said Mr. M.] I must, when called upon, record have been in advance of me, to promote the interests of my vote against the bill on your table. I regret this cir- commerce and agriculture, the transportation of the mail, the cumstance, because I shall thereby vote against a measure comfort of the people in peace, their security in time of war. which my much esteemed friend and colleague, (Mr. No, I ain far fron admitting this. From this place to BufHEMPHILL) the honorable chairman of the Coinmittee op falo, we have already more than one road, and probably as Internal Improvements, seems to have much at heart. He, direct as any can be made. None certainly can be made betno doubt, sincerely believes that it is a measure which will ter for less than three times the sum fixed as an average for tend to the general welfare, and promote the good, not the mile in the bill now before 18. Indeed, we have, by oply of his dative State, but of the Union at large; that it taking a circuit of a few miles, an excellent turnpike for will further the interests of commerce, of agriculture, of at least one-half the distance. We want, at present, in our manufactures, add to the comforts of the people in peace, section of the Union, no more roads for the accommodation and their security in time of war, as well on the southern of trade, or the transportation of the mail, or even for the as on the northern and northwestern frontier. A more comfort and convenience of the travellers; and as for the amiable man, a more patriotic and disinterested legislator, couveyance of troops and munitions of war, it is futile to may not be found on this floor. He may possibly be cor- speak about it. I have to use the words of the venerable rect in his views, and I in error. It is, however, buman gentleman from Rhode Island, who sits on my left, (Mr. nature to differ; but every honest man must be guided by Burges] been utterly. astonished and confounded” at bis own convictions of right and wrong, of the expediency the assertions of some gentlemen in this respect. How or inexpediency of any measure upon which he is called long could a mud road, costing only fifteen hundred dolin duty to decide.
lars a mile, be used for such a purpose, io tbe spring and I regret [said Mr. M.] the vote I must give, because it fall, if Government chose to use it, which I strongly susis in opposition to the opinion of many, perhaps in opposi- pect will never be the case? The situation of the South tion to the opinion of a large majority of my colleagues, and West, I will admit, may be different. They may be vho bave more experience io legislative matters than my- more in want of roads than the northern section of the self, and for whose opinion, collectively and individually, I Union. I do not pretend to pass a positive opinion. But have the highest regard.
grænt to the States, south and west of this, through which I regret it
, because it is apparently against the immedi- the road is proposed to be run, the sum to be expended ate interest of a considerable portion of my native State, under the bill, and the road will be infinitely better made, which I bave the honor to represent, in part
, on this floor, at much less cost, and in one-half the time. Indeed, adso far at least as the expenditiire of a cousiderable sum out mitting the road to be made, I know not what you are to of the common fund, within the boundaries of that State, transport upon it, either in peace or in war. Not only the may be considered a benefit.
cutting of innumerable roads, the opening of canals, the But (said Mr. M.] duty compels me to overcome these improvement of our rivers in every direction, the use of regrets. What Iowe to the people and their welfare, calls all-powerful steam, bas, within a few years past
, since the upon me to lay aside all personal feelings, and vote against conclusion of the late war, upon which gentlemen have the bill under discussion ; not, indeed, because I think a mea barped so much to show the necessity of this road, entiresure of this kind unconstitutional. No, I have no scruples ly changed the whole situation of our country as regards on tbat head. If that were the only point in dispute, I could internal communications. Produce will no longer be conhave no hesitation and no regrets in giving a vote on the I veyed by land for any distance. It will every where seek
H. OF R.)
(APRIL 14, 1830.
the watercourses, and they are everywhere near at hand. An amendment offered by Mr. McCoy, to give discreTroops and munitions of war, if they should hereafter be tionary power to vary the route through Virginia, vas required at extreme points, will be moved upon these also negatived—as was also Mr. RICHARDSON'S amendthree times the distance in one-balf the time that would ment to provide for a road from the lakes to Boston. be required upon laod, where, with the best of roads, rail The committee then rose, and reported the bill to the roads excepted, the practical result of these, carried to a House. distance, has not yet been fully ascertained.
It would appear, then, [said Mr. M.] that the passage of the bill under consideration is unnecessary. And not only
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 14, 1830. that; it appears to me extremely inexpedient at this time.
THE ARMY. Our first object (it strikes me at least in this light) should The House Dext resumed the consideration of the reso be to pay off the national debt, then to reduce-I will not lution introduced by the Military Committee, calling on say entirely take off-to reduce the duties on all articles the Secretary of War for a plan to reduce the dumber of which we can neither manufacture por grow, or wbich no officers in the army, without injury to the public service. longer require protection, that the burdens of our people Mr. VANCE said, he thought if the House reflected on may be lightened, if not entirely taken away. And bur: the principles on which the army was organized at its dened they must be, in some instances, when our annual last reduction, it would come to the conclusion that that exports amount to little more than fifty millions of dollars, organization should not be disturbed. He then explained and the duties on the return cargoes to twenty-four mil- the principles on which it was then established_its neceslions. The district I have the bonor to represent must sary expansion over the country, and the necessity for the pay an enormous tax upon the single article of salta tax present proportion of officers. It had been said by the amounting to not much less than thirty thousand dollars gentleman from Tennessee, [Mr. DESHA) and from Kenper appum. Can the agricultural interest-the interest tucky, (Mr. WICKLIFFE] that the present ratio of officers wbich should be most cherished in our country-flourish and men was as one to seven and a balf. He did not know under such circumstances ? If we enter into the measure where these gentlemen procured their information, or from under discussion now, if we continue appropriating such what data they reckoned. He had, bimself, taken much enormous sums as we have heretofore done, both the one pains to satisfy himself on this subject, and the result of and the other, I mean the payment of the public debt and his examination was, that there were now employed in the the reduction of unnecessary duties, will be materially re- service only one commissioned officer to each eighteen tarded, perhaps never accomplished. This road will cost, and about a third of the med. He then gave a history of the not as is estimated in the bill, two and a half millions, it service of officers, compiled from the last Army Register, will cost fifteen or twenty millions before we are done with stating the number employed in the several departments it. Are the people of this country forever to be taxed of the army, making a total of six hundred and twelve. heavily for their tea, their coffee, their sugar, their salt, From these he deducted seventy belonging to the Pay and their spices, and other articles which have become necessa. Purchasing Department, leaving only five bundred and ries of life, that the sums thus taken from the sweat of forty-two. He next deducted forty for those employed their brow may be squandered upon the useless and worse in the Engineer Department, leaving but five hundred and than useless projects of wild theorists? I hope not. Let two officers in actual command. He went on to show the us be just before we are generous. Let us pay our debts. various duties assigned to some of these by the nature of Let us reduce our duties where they are not necessary to their offices, as belonging to the Ordnance, Engineer, and aid and protect internal industry. This internal indus- Subsistence Departments, stationed at the Military Acadetry must be supported at all costs and at all bazards; my, on the recruiting service, &c., making one bundred upon it ultimately depends the salvation and permauent and ninety-nine; and, when deducted from the aggregate, welfare of the country. Theo let us divide, honestly and leaving only three hundred and three officers to be sta. equally, our surplus revenue. Let this be used for the pur. tioned at the several posts. He would ask what officers poses of internal improvements by the States, and with the gentleman would dispense with in the contemplated reone dollar we shall effect more, than in the mode now conduction ? Would they take them from the Quartermaster's templated with three or four. We sball
, by this course, Department ? It is but a few days since a bill was passed to at the same time, allay sectional jealousies. We shall pro- increase the number in that branch; and it is now commote concord and harmony in our great family, between plained by the Quartermaster General that there are not our brethren of the North and the South, of the East and now enough to perform its duties. Would they dispense the West. We shall promote the interests of agriculture, with the services of those engaged in the Ordnance Departundoubtedly the first of our country, the interests of com- ment? By examination, it would be found that they bad merce, of manufactures, the welfare of all our people in in their care more than twelve millions of dollars worth of peace, and their security in war.
property, and bad charge of the disbursement of one milI will not (said Mr. M.] tax the indulgence of the com- lion per annum; and he asked if these men were to be dismittee any longer, and am grateful for the kind attention charged, and inexperienced persons appointed to do the I have received. I repeat, it is with regret I shall vote duties with which they had become familiar. He believed against the bill under consideration, but vote against it I they would pause before they took such a step. Should must, or vote against the convictions of my own mind, and they then be taken from the Engineer Department! Why, what I deem the best interests of the country,
[said Mr. V.] we have lately increased their numbers by The question being then loudly called for from various the additioti of thirty officers; and if you proceed with parts of the House, it was put, being on the motion to the system of erecting, fortifications, a much greater numstrike out the épacting clause of the bill, (to destroy it,) ber will have to be added to the corps. He presumed the and negatived: yeas, 75-pays, 77.
choice of the gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. WICKLIFFE) The blank for the per diem allowance to the commis- would be, if any officers were to be dispensed with, to take sioners was filled with four dollars.
them from the corps of topographical engineers, as he The committee then took up, successively, the amend believed he bad opposed all surveys that had been directments offered by Mr. A. H. SHEPPERD, Mr. CARSON, ed; but he doubted whether the people would consent to and Mr. BARRINGER, to change the proposed route of this; and the House had already taken measures for the inthe road, the last named gentleman being for the eastern, crease of that corps. Mr. V. proceeded at some length to or metropolitan route--all of wbich were rejected by large show the extent of essential fortifications now in progress, majorities.
and said he bad intended to say more, but indísposition