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This memorial Mr. GALn RA1th having moved to refer to a select committee, and the question upon that disposition of it having been stated from the Chair— Mr. GALBRAITH said: It is with great reluctance that I rise on the present occasion to address the House on presenting this memorial from a portion of my constituents, and asking for it that reference which I have moved. I am aware that the time of this House, at the present period, is precious; but inasmuch as the object and purpose of the memorialists seem to be strenuously resisted by some, and by others not exactly comprehend. ed, I feel myself called upon, by a sense of duty and respect which I owe to them, to submit a few remarks in explanation of the views entertained by the memorialists, as I understand them. i shall, in the first place, endeavor to show that this memorial, from the source from which it comes, and the subject on which it asks the inquiry of this body, is entitled to a respectful consideration, and a reference to some committee; and, in the next place, I think I shall be able to satisfy the members of this House that the appropriate direction is that which I have proposed in moving that it be referred to a select committee. Mr. Speaker, the memorial comes from a portion of the respectable and intelligent citizens of this Union, residing in the State, which i have the honor, in part, to represent. It is clothed in respectful and appropriate language, and suggests considerations of deep and vital importance, not only to themselves and those of the State of Pennsylvania, but to the whole people of this wide-spread confederacy. The memorial embraces two distinct subjects of inquiry; either of which, I apprehend, is of sufficient magwitude and importance to demand the grave and deliber. ate investigation of this body. The first is that of an amendment to the constitution of the United States, to be proposed to the Legislatur.s of the several States, restricting the incorporation of banking companies by the states, and limiting such as may hereafter be incorporated in the issues of bank paper money. This proposition necessarily involves the inquiry, how far the constitution as it now stands, in those cláises which provide that “the Congress shall have power to coin money, regulate the value thereof and of foreign coin, and fix the stand. ard of weights and measures,” “to provide for the pun. ishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States,” and that “no state shall coin mo. noy, eo bols of credit, make anything but gold or to...". *... "payment of debts," contains a prolo to issue i. . incorporate companies with aucredit, and form an a . or, in other words, bills of on the part of all the §. sment or compact, already made ***, not to incorporate such com

National Currency.

[Dec. 29, 1836.

panies. Without expressing, at present, any opinion of my own, or any indication on the part of the memorialists on this branch of the inquiry, I will barely remark that the constitution has been construed, by some of the best political writers and economists this country has produced, as containing such prohibition or compact, (a constitution being neither more nor less than a compact or agreement.) Among those are names intimately connected with the constitution itself. Is there not strong reason to conclude that such was the intention of those who framed the constitution? They had experienced the evils of an uncertain currency; they had witnessed the derangements and confusion of bills of credit issued under the Provincial Government, each province issuing bills of credit, according to its own circumstances, without regard to those of the others, and often very different in quantity and value. And they had also witnessed the no less fluctuation and evil results from the enormous issues and ruinous depreciation of the continental paper. The same clause in the constitution which yields to Congress, the general Legislature for the whole of the States united, the power of fixing the standard of “weights and measures,” surrenders to it the power “to coin money, regulate the value thereof and of foreign coin.” Is there not the same reason that the standard of value or price should be uniform, and the same ! throughout all the States, as the standard of weight or that of measure? neither of which would probably be so, or, in the nature of things, could be so, without giving the power of regulation to the National Legislature. The provision was framed and adapted to a state of circumstances as they then existed; the States had, individually, on their own responsibility, and according to the wants or caprices of its Provincial Legislature, emitted “bills of credit,” which circulated as money, became the circulating medium of price; and what the price was in one province was not the same in another. Against this, the framers of that instrument provided that “no State shall coin money, emit bills of credit,” &c. It did did not, perhaps, occur to them that the States would separately and individually authorize incorporated com: panies, infuse life into soulless bodies of their own creation, to do indirectly what they were prohibited from doing directly, by the solemn compact agreed to by all. But, sir, it is true, a different construction has practo cally obtained in most of the States. Companies incorporated by the different State Legislatures have grown up almost in every quarter, authorized to issue “bills of credit,” or paper money, virtually supplying the circulating medium throughout the Union, necessarily and unavoidably varying the standard of value according to the amount and denomination of their issues. In some of the States, they are authorized to issue bills of the denom: ination of one, two, and three dollars; in others, limited to five dollars, as the lowest denomination; and in others, progress is making to fix ten dollars as the lowest, denomination. In some, seven, eight, or ten paper dullars, at times, represent one of specie; in others, two or three; and in all, different at different times, and according as circumstances may operate upon them, the same evils, the same fluctuation and uncertainty in the standard of price, or rather the same want of standard of value, against which the constitution was intended to provide. What is worth nominally $3,000 this year may, through the operations of those companies alone, be worth but $1,000 next. The price of labor and every product or commodity is controlled and governed according to the interests or the caprices of those incorporated companies; and the whole sovereignty, so far as re. gards the regulation of the currency, is, to all intent; and purposes, surrendered to them; and every individual in the commun")', whether farmer, mechanic, merchant,

or manufacture” placed at their mercy. How far this

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state of things has been effected by the active vigilance and constant attention of the speculating few, always awake to their own particular interests, gradually framing and fitting up this complicated and delusive machinery, while the industrious many were better employed, need not now be particularly inquired into; it is sufficient that it exists, and that it does will not be denied by any one acquainted with the affairs of this community. If it be granted, therefore, that the constitution does not prohibit the incorporation of companies by the States, to “emit bills of credit,” it is only on the assumption that circumstances, as they then existed, did not require it. Is it not as important now to inquire and provide for a state of circumstances as they now exist as it was then? The evil is the same; and is it not subject to the same or similar remedy? The memorialists do not ask that any power should be vested in the General Government to incorporate banking companies, nor do they suggest an absolute prohibition of such power in the States; the former they expressly repudiate, and do not indicate the latter. All they seek is an inquiry how far good policy and the safety and permanency of the currency, and its uniformity throughout the Union, require that this power in the States should be restrained and limited, to effect the general good of the whole. The importance, the vital importance, of every consideration touching the circulating medium of the country, affecting more or less the interests of every man, cannot be doubted. If the importance of the subject, sir, is sufficient to entitle it to the deliberation of this House, the next inquiry is, to what committee can this branch of it be most appropriately referred? It looks to a constitutional remedy, a provision in the fundamental instrument itself. None other can be provided. This may and can, as well and as effectually now, to meet the circumstances now, as the constitution already formed provided against the circumstances then. A proposition to amend the constitution is beyond the appropriate and peculiar inquiry of any of the standing committees. It is as broad and general in its character as the Government itself, and appropriate only for a select committee, raised for the purpose; and such has been the invariable practice here, for years, on all such propositions. Why, then, should not this proposition receive a similar direction with all others of a similar character? The second subject of inquiry, Mr. Speaker, to which your attention is called by the memorial, is that of the reissues of the notes of the Bank of the United States, since the expiration of its charter for all purposes except that of continuing its corporate name, to use and be used in order to close up the concerns of the institution. Notes issued by that bank, while this Government was a stockholder to the amount of seven millions of the stock, previous to the 4th of March, returned for redemption, and redeemed, it is said, have been again issued and thrown into circulation. It is perhaps known to the members of this House that, in the month of February last, shortly before the expiration of the charter under the act of Congress of the 4th of March, 1816, by which it was incorporated for twenty years, an act of the Legislature of the State of Pennsylvania was passed, incorporating the same stockholders, except the United States, under the same name, and with the same amount of capital, thirty-five millions, for thirty years. One set of officers were elected for the old bank, in which the United States is a stockholder of seven millions, and a set of officers, being many of the same, for the new State bank, in which the United States is not a stockholder. The now president of the old bank, (Matthew L. Bevan,) I believe, is a director of the new bank; and the former president of the old bank, now president of the new one under the State, (Nicholas Biddle,) I believe, is one of the directors of the

old bank. Several of the directors of the old are also directors of the new one, so that they may for all practi. cal purposes be considered as the same men, although constituting two different boards of direction. Their legitimate duties are distinctly different. The proper business of the officers of the old bank is to wind up its affairs, to call in the notes of that bank, redeem from its proper sources the funds of the old bank, and cancel the paper as having been returned and redeemed. The business of the new bank is to issue its own notes, on the responsibility of its own officers and its own stockholders, unconnected with the old bank, in which this Government was a large stockholder. Now, if the officers of the old bank, many of them being the same individuals as the officers of the new one, instead of cancelling the old notes when redeemed, reissue the same through the new bank, as the President of the United States justly observes in his last annual message, it is either a fraud upon the Government or upon the people. If the notes are to be redeemed a second, third, or fourth time, out of the funds of the old bank, what can it be but a downright fraud upon the Government, being a stockholder and a sharer in those funds, and not in those of the new one? The funds of the old bank must, of course, now become exhausted; and the Government, instead, of receiving her just proportion of the stock and profits, suffer the loss of having them applied to the redemption of the same notes which had been over and over again redeemed before. If the reissued notes are to be redeemed out of the funds of the new bank, the holder has not the security for their redemption which the notes purport to give; or, rather, he has no security at all; they were a gross and palpable deception upon him. The old bank, with the Government as a partner, bound in good faith and honor, whose notes they purport to be, and whose credit they bear, has once redeemed them, and therefore ought not to be bound again. The new bank is not bound for their redemption, because they are not its proper issues, and its obligation is not given, and it could not be made legally liable. It is true that, as long as it is the interest of the new bank to redeem such reissues, they would most probably be redeemed; but should an honest holder of such notes be subject to the mere will of such an institution, to decide whether he should receive his just debt or not, and be made to depend upon its interest, whether he had or had not a good security for payment? Such a conclusion would be cruelty. If such reissues consist of notes of the denomination of five dollars, they are a glaring evasion of the provisions of its State charter, which prohibits its issuing notes of less denomination than ten dollars. Sir, shall we, the representatives of the people, so far as this Government is concerned, sleep and slumber at our posts, and look calmly with indifference upon a practice such as this, both upon the Government and upon the community? shall it be said that there is no remedy in the power of Congress? That we have nothing to do with the State institutions of Pennsylvania? I admit that, so far as regards the State bank issuing its own notes, upon its own responsibility, we have nothing to do with it, and have no control whatever over it; but I am not prepared to admit that such is the case with regard to the old bank, chartered by Congress, and its officers. Although it has ceased for some purposes, that of discounting notes and issuing its paper, &c., it still exists for other purposes, that of winding up its affairs, settling with its debtors, creditors, and stockholders, and redeeming its floating paper, and still under the regulation of the power which gave it birth. were the act of 1816, granting the charter, even silent on this subject, it would follow, as a matter of course, that the mode and manner of winding up its concerns should be placed

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under the direction of Congress; but that act contains an express provision, in its 17th section, “ that Congress may, at any time hereafter, enact such laws, enforcing and regulating the recovery of the amount of the notes, bills, obligations, or other debts,” &c.; and this power exists as well after the expiration of its charter, for the purpose of a final settlement and liquidation of its affairs, as before. Is it not, then, competent for Congress to legislate so as to regulate and control, and even punish the conduct of the officers of the old bank” And if they so far mismanage its affairs as to authorize or permit its notes to be reissued and put again into circulation, after they have been once redeemed, I ask if it is not a fair and legitimate subject for the legislation of Congress, and one which demands our serious and grave deliberation? Again: at the last session of Congress, an act was passed authorizing the Secretary of the Treasury, as the agent of the Government, to settle the claim of the United States, as a stockholder, with the bank. By his report, which has been laid upon your tables, it appears that duty has been discharged, as far as it could be on his part; but no satisfactory information has been given by the officers of the bank how much is due to the Government, or when or in what manner it shall be paid. Instead of settling up the affairs of the institution with the Government, its largest stockholder, now no longer a stockholder, according to the provisions of the act of Congress of last session, we find its officers, (if what is said be true, and it has not been denied,) being also officers of the new bank, practising a gross fraud upon this Government and this nation, treating with neglect and contempt your agent authorized to settle with them; aud its president, at the head of the great broker fraternity, commencing an unprovoked attack and making war upon the measures of your administration. I do not deisre that the proposition I have made should be drawn into a partisan discussion or assume a political character; it is one which assects the great interests of the country, and in that light only do I wish it to be considered, and in that point of view it must be apparent to every one as demanding mature and grave consideration, as well as prompt and decisive action. I am aware that it opens a field for discussion, upon which much might he said, to show the extent and depth of the evil, the various remedies which might be proposed, either those operating by mere inducement, or those by direct provision or legislative sanction. 13ut I think I have said enough on this mere question of reference; it is time enough to go into more detail when the subject is referred, and brought back again on some distinct proposition. Then, to what committee should this branch of the subject embraced in the memorial be referred? It may be said that all subjects relating to the 13.ank of the United States have already been committed to the Committee of Ways and Means, in the disposition of the President's message. But, sir, it is well known that the appropriate and legitimate duties of that committee are of a financial rather than a judicial or general character— to take into consideration propositions relating to the revenues of the country and appropriations of money. This part of the memorial seeks for legislative remedy against a supposed evil of a general nature, not peculiarly affecting the revenue, but the community at large; rather of a judicial than financial character, but partaking partly of both, and therefore not exclusively appropriate to either, but the proper subject for a select committee, more broad and general in its inquiries. I have said thus much, by way of explaining the views and objects of the memorialists. I have endeavored to discharge my duty to them, as well as to the nation whose intores's I am bound, as far as my feeble abilities will enable me, to serve, and whose constitution I am

Currency. [Dec. 29, 1836.

sworn to support. I have sought to give to the memorial the direction to which I thought it, from its importance and peculiar character, entitled. If its purpose be comprehended, I am satisfied. It remains for the House to fo it that disposition to which it may be thought entitled. Mr. Ll NCOLN said that he hoped no such reference as had been proposed would be given to the memorial. His attention had been casually drawn to its character, and he trusted that, before any disposition was made of it, it would be better understood by the House. The gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Galph AITH) had said that the memorial was of a various charac. ter. He (Mr. L.) believed that, when analyzed, it would be found to be of a very extraordinary character. Such an appeal, he would venture to say, had never before been made to the consideration of Congress. It was altogether peculiar and anomalous. It had been brought up from the files of a former session; and from an abstract of the contents of the paper, as given in the Globe of this morning, the 11ouse might learn something of its object. It was his (Mr. L’s) intention, before he sat down, to propose so to amend the motion of the gentleman from Pennsylvania as to send the memorial to the committee already appointed on the subject of amendments to the constitution of the United States; for it seemed to him to belong more properly to one of those pigeon-holes kept in reserve for matters of this description, than to the custody of such a committee as the gentleman from Pennsylvania had in view. From the manner in which the subject is now brought forward, as well as from the place of its origin, he feared there was something concealed and sinister to be accomplished. He asked the attention of the House to the character of the paper, as given in the abstract to which he had referred. It commenced with a lamentation on the encroachments of incorporated companies upon the rights and liberties of the people, and especially insists upon the danger to personal rights and civil libc rty from the practice of the State Governments to create banking institutions. This is no less than an arraignment of State legislation. The wisdom is not the purity of the State Governments is impeached at the bar of this House, and that authority and discretion which have been exercised for nearly half a century, in the constitution of incorporated companies, comes now to be denounced as an abuse of power, dan: gerous to the liberties of the people. Iły whom (asked Mr. L.) is the power which is thus complained of exercised, and from whom is it derived? By the immediate representatives of the people, deriving all their authority directly, by delegation, from the people themselves. The complaint is a libel upon the good sense, the virtue, and the patriotism, of the country. And was it true that there existed in every part of the Union incorporated companics, which were continually encroaching on popular rights, while only some twenty individuals in the State of Pennsylvania were heed sul of the danger, and all the rest of the community unconsciously slumbering over their injuries? The suggestion was unworthy of serious notice. But (proceeded Mr. L.) these pure-minded and pa. triotic memorialists do not rest their allegations upon mere generalities. They point out to the attention of this House the specific violations of the constitution which State legislation has committed. The creation of banking corporations, say they, contravenes that provision of the constitution which prohibits the States from coining money and emitting bills of credit. National sovereignty is thus invaded, and the safeguards of the people violated! Surely the objection is presented here for the first time at rather too late a day for the intervention of the power of Congress to a prevention cs the Dec. 29, 1836.]

evil, if the application of that power could even have been so directed. Singular, however, as was the objection, when addressed to the consideration of this House, it had not altogether the merit of novelty. The gentleman from Pennsylvania, in his speech, has seemed, indeed, to give to it the sanction of his countenance. He (Mr. L.) remembered to have read, in the early history of banking institutions in his own State, something of a newspaper argument to the same point; but it had been overruled and repudiated by the judgment of wise and intelligent men, and by the uniform legislation of the States on the subject. Its serious repetition, as a practical rule of action, would now be scouted by every considerate politician in the country. He could not believe that any gentleman worthy of a seat on this floor would attempt to sustain for a moment an argument upon the objection. * But the memorialists complain of the abuses and perversions of the powers of chartered corporations, of the exclusive privileges and monopolies which they confer, and of their encroachment upon the just and equal rights of all the citizens. remedy which the gentleman from Pennsylvania would propose by his select committee? Most certainly not the exercise of a supervisory authority by Congress over State legislation. This would more directly conflict with the constitution, which guaranties to the States the exercise of all the powers not granted to the Federal Government. If these powers are indiscreetly exercised by the States, redress is with the people; but if the ground of complaint be in the abuse of a limited and delegated authority, conferred by acts of incorporation, the appeal is to the source of that authority, the Legislature itself, or to the Judiciary. In either case, the remedy is not to be found here. It is at home, with the memorialists themselves, and the constituents of those who administer their Government; with the people, and those who are accountable to the people. Congress has no power over the subject. Did the gentleman from Pennsylvania pretend that Congress had such power? And was this the argument upon which this select committee was to be raised 2 But he (Mr. L.) was desirous of calling the attention of the House more particularly to another part of the memorial. As if aware that neither the measure of prevention nor redress for existing greivances rested with Congress, these twenty or more memorialists gravely request that the assembled wisdom of the nation would propose to the States an amendment to the constitution of the United States, by which they may be restrained in the exercise of their own jurisdiction and sovereignty. The States were to be called upon to surrender the right which they had enjoyed for a period of time coeval with their existence, and under the authority of which institutions had been created in all the departments of business, and in aid of every important interest in the community. An amendment of the constitution, prohibiting the States from granting acts of incorporation. Is there a man weak enough to believe that such a proposition would find favor with a single Legislature in the Union; or mad enough, in the present state of the business concerns of the country, to desire its success? What! ask a State Legislature to surrender a portion of its State sovereignty, to deny to itself a salutary power, lest it may be unwisely and unprofitably used; a power now become essential to the prosperity of the people, and without which there could be no security for pressent possessions, or hope of improvement in the future! But it may be said that the restriction proposed is of banking incorporations only, and the amendment would operate but a partial abridgment of a questionable au. thority. It is sufficient to reply, that the authority has Vol. XIII,-75

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nicipal regulations be denied to the State Legislatures,

And what is the measure of


as, in the present state of things, the right of granting to the operations of business the facilities of banking institutions be withdrawn. The gentleman from Pennsylvania himself, upon his own responsibility, will not venture to propose it. He adroitly and somewhat cautiously advocates sending the subject to an inquiry only, without suggesting an opinion of what should be the definite result. But he (Mr. L.) would put it to the House to consider the effect of the proposition. An amendment to the constitution could have no retrospective operation. It could not impair the existence or the powers of banks already created. In restraining the States from further grants, it would but increase the influence and augment the power for mischief, if that was their tendency, as the memorialists assume, of such as were already in being. It would, indeed, be to create exclusive privileges, and constitute, during the continuance of pre-existing charters, odious moneyed monopolies. And was this the purpose the memorialists had in view? He would submit to the gentleman from Pennsylvania to answer. Mr. L. contended that it was most obvious nothing of legitimate legislation could come of the reference of the memorial to a select committee of this House. The alleged abuses by the State banks, and the supposed danger to public liberty from the existence of such institutions, were subjects not within the cognizance of Congress. They belonged to, and might properly be addressed to the consideration of, the people. The proposition to amend the constitution in the particular pointed out in the memorial was too preposterous to be entertained for a moment. The gentleman who asks the reference will not do himself the discredit to advocate the measure. There must be something, then, in the motive for the presentation of the memorial, at this time, beyond that which meets the eye. . A further reference to the document may explain the object--I would not be misunderstood, (said Mr. L.)—not the object of the gentleman, but of the memorialists; of persons not here, but elsewhere. If he recollected rightly the contents of the paper, it conveys a complaint of a violation of law by the Bank of the United States; and hence, probably, the inducement for an appeal to Congress. The Bank of the United States, say the memorialists, has reissued bills before redeemed, and which, by law, should thereafter have been excluded from circulation. What bank has committed this outrage upon public law, and what bills have been thus reissued The Bank of the United States chartered by the authority of the State of Pennsylvania has reissued the bills of the Bank of the United States chartered by the authority of the Federal Government. Admitting the truth of the accusation, he, {Mr. L.,) upon his responsibility as a lawyer, would tell the gentleman from Pennsylvania that Congress had no power over the matter. He would plead to the jurisdiction. He denied the right of Congress to institute an investigation into the conduct of a bank deriving its existence and holding its powers from State authority, or of inquiring into any of its measures. The Bank of the United States incorporated by the State of Pennsylvania is such an institution. It owes no accountability to the Federal Government, and is amenable to no animadversion from this source. Whether it has issued its own bills, or reissued the bills of other banks, lawfully or unlawfully, it may well deride the authority of this body to take cognizance of the matter. It belongs to the Government of the State, and to that only, in its legisla

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tive or judicial department, to punish any infraction of its charter. If an offence consists in the facts charged by the memorialists, it is not for this House to apply the corrective. Nor can it be urged that the aspect of the case is changed by considering the federal Bank of the United States privy to the reissue of its bills by the State institution; for what rule of law does this violate? Is any gentleman here (induired Mr. L.) so little conversant with the business of banks as not to know that these institutions are daily receiving the bills of each other, and as freely paving them out as their own original issues? The memorial alleges no agency of the federal bank in the act complained of imputes no refusal to redeem its paper; charges no neglect of duty, or violation of obligation. What, then, is to be inquired into” That which, if admitted, constitutes no wrong in the corporation subject to your jurisdiction; and, if any crime in another, is entirely beyond your control. Mr. L. proceeded, at some length, to show that the memorial contained nothing to which the inquiry of a committee could properly be directed, and that its presentation, at this time, was delusive and colorable, intended to cover other and unavowed objects. It is not (said Mr. L.) in my nature unworthily to distrust the motives and suspect the honest purposes of others; and I beg again the gentleman from Pennsylvania to understand that I ascribe to him no improper views in this matter. . But there may be those who, it may not be uncharitable to suspect, in the absence of all other dis. coverable motives, may intend more than the gentleman himself is aware of. It is possible, even, that this me. morial is brought up, at this time, not for the purpose of correcting existing abuses, but for party political effect-not here, in this House, but elsewhere—at home, in the country, with the people of Pennsylvania. This House (continued Mr. L.) need not to be informed that it had been doubted by some gentlemen whether the power of the Legislature of Pennsylvania had been wisely exercised in the recharter, as it was termed, of the Bank of the United States as a State institution. This was a question with which he conceived the House had nothing to do. For himself, he had felt no personal interest in the sate of the old bank, and had no especial sympathy with those who mourned over its destruction; neither did he take any concern, such as the memorialis's of Pennsylvania might indulge, in the new institution, which, like a phoenix, had arisen from its ashes. He had understood, however, that a proposition was before the Legislature of Pennsylvania to ascertain under what influences the new charter was obtained. It might aid the l, urposes of those who instigated that investigation, that a clamor should be raised in the House against the institution. It might be that, by getting up a report by a select committee, distrust was to be thrown upon all similar institutions in the country. It might be that the report of such a committee, properly constituted, would promote essentially the purposes of the inquiry in Pennsylvania. The banks might be discredited, the currency discredited, paper money refused, and the golden age, so authoritatively predicted and promised, confided in. He (Mr. L.) would not say that this was the end intended to be accomplished; but this he would say, there were those who would derive a weight of influence in favor of their opinions from the appointment of the committee, more especially in the event of a certain issue to their deliberations, which it would be most difficult to withstand. iie, in short, greatly feared that the mere appointment of a committee, upon such vague suggestions as the memorial contained, would throw distrust over all banking institu

o, ". *...". little remaining confidence : ". - in ting medium of the cou the soundness of the circula

"y. In this point of view, the

subject was certainly deserving of the most serious consideration; and if the object proposed by the gentleman from Pennsylvania was only such as he has avowed, he would respectfully suggest that it might well be effected without giving to the most suspicious occasion for alarm. Let the gentleman accede to his (Mr. L’s) proposed amendment to his motion, and send the memorial to the committee appointed to revise the constitution, without particular reference to the objects of these memorialists. if he will not consent to this, let him boldly assume the responsibility of the whole proposition, and offer a resolution declaring the expediency of restricting the States in the power of creating banking corporations, and be himself among the first to ask the consent of his own enlightened commonwealth to its adoption, and the sur: render of its own discretion to the dictation of federal power. If the dangers from banks and other coro; tions be such as the memorial represents, this will be laying the axe to the root of the mischief; for, by the wholesome reform of denying power to the States, there will be found the most effectual protection from * abuse. The gentleman himself might be hardly yet prepared for the application of so thorough a corrective: Mr. L. concluded by moving to amend the motion of the gentleman from Pennsylvania by striking out ho words “a select committee,” and inserting “the select committee to whom was referred that part of the Pres: dent's message which relates to a proposed amendment to the constitution of the United States, and also Pet” tions and resolutions presented at the last and present session, on the subject of amendments to the const" tion.” Mr. HARPER said his colleague had closed his remarks by saying that this was not a party measure, or intended to operate on the present parties of the county. I wish (said Mr. H.) I could believe this as far as re. spects all who are concerned in getting up this memorial and bringing it before this House. It is now, as it or '8" naily was, I have no doubt, intended to bring the character and influence of this House to bear upon this quo tion in another body, now engaged or expected to be engaged in an inquiry into the affairs of the United Sta" Bank. I shall not attempt to follow my colleague through * various ramifications and views that he has thought ProP" er to take of this subject, but shall confine myself too petition and such matters as necessarily grow out of it. This petition, which now seriously engages the delibera: tions and time of this House, is signed by twenty-eight names, not five, perhaps, of whom have the least knowledge of the operations of banking; and what do they ask? that Congress shall take into its hands and remodel the whole banking system of the United States. But, as this is not a subject which has heretofore been consider: ed to be legitimately within the province of the official duties of Congress, I should not have adverted to it but for the purpose of showing how well those petitioners are acquainted with the subject to which they have thought proper to call the attention of this House. Sir, my colleague has thought proper, in the course of his remarks, to comment on the depreciated state of the currency of the country. Without stopping to inquire how far he or the petitioners are correct in that respect, let us suppose that it is so that there has a depreciation in the currency taken place. To whom, I ask, are we indebted for that depreciation? To the present admin' istration and its supporters, among whom my colleague has been one of the most zealous. When they assumed the reins of government we had a sound if not the very ...undest currency in the world; when it was of a mix ...racter, of specie and paper combined. Well, so i., set about to mond it; and how have they done is They declared it to be their intention to give us a specie

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