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currency; instead of which, they have doubled the paper circulation, and now exclaim against and endeavor to transfor to their opponents the blame and responsibility for the evils they have brought upon the country. But it may be asked, how have the measures of the admin. istration brought those evils upon the country? I answer, by the prosti ation of the United States Bank; an institution which they still continue to pursue with unabated rancor, because they have not been able entirely to destroy it. I may be asked, in what neasure were we indebted to the United States [3ank for the soundness of our currency at the time the Government passed into the hands of the present administration? I answer, that that bank, considering itself a national institution, felt it to be a part of its duty, as well as its interest, to preserve a sound currency in the country as far as it possibly could; to accomplish which it voluntarily subjected itself to considerable expense and the liability of sustaining heavy losses. This desirable object it accomplished in the fol. lowing manner: Whenever it sound, by the quantity of paper in circulation belonging to any bank, city, or State, that an overissue had taken place, the bank collected these overissues whenever they were to be found in the possession of its debtors, returned them on the institutions which had put them into circulation, and demanded payment. If the banks thus brought in debt were unable to pay, which was often the case, the United States Bank, instead of oppressing or straitening them unnecessarily, made arrangements with them, and, by receiving a reasonable interest, gave them time to redeem their notes by gradual curtailments. Thus, sir, they were restrained within proper limits, and a wholesome currency preserved in the country, while the United States Bank ran the risk, in case a failure should take place of any bank whose notes they held, of sustaining the whole loss of the notes then in its possession. This wholesome check has been removed by the present administration and its friends, and the consequence predicted by the opposition has followed. The country has become flooded with State bank paper, until the authors of the evil have themselves become alarmed, and now endeavor, by every wile and stratagem which they can invent, to transfer the odium to their opponents, who labored from the first to avert the evil. But there is another subject which my honorable colleague and the petitioners have thought proper to bring before this House, with which, in my humble opinion, we have nothing to do. The United States Bank, which was chartered by the Legislature of Pennsylvania during the last session of that body, is gravely charged with re. issuing the notes of the United States Bank, the charter of which expired last March. Well, sir, suppose they have. Had they not a right so to do? Must the present United States Bank be deprived of a privilege that belongs to every other bank and individual in the United States’ Suppose the bank in possession of a quantity of the notes of the old bank, which have been received in payment of debts due to the present bank, (and I am unacquainted with any other means by which it became possessed of them,) and an individual should be not only willing but desirous to receive these notes for a debt due from the bank to him, why should the United States Bank be deprived of the privilege of paying them out, any more than any other bank or individual in the country? I know of no reason except that the bank happens to be in bad odor with the present administration of the Union and its supporters. Sir, the paper of this wantonly and unjustly abused and vilified bank is at this moment the best paper cur. rency in the country. There is not a gentleman within the sound of my voice, from the South or West, that docs not know that this paper is anxiously sought and purchased in their sections of the country, at srem three
to five per cent. premium. It is found to be the only paper with which they can travel through all parts of the country, without being subjected to inconvenience or loss by the payment of discounts during their journey. But another idea is thrown out, Mr. Speaker: that the circulation of these notes by the present Bank of the United States will prevent the old bank from winding up its affairs, and subject the United States, in common with the other stockholders, to the liability of losses which they would not otherwise incur. Is this the fact? If it be, I should like to be told in what manner it can happen. The notes are liable to be lost or destroyed; will that be a loss to the stockholders? I apprehend not, as they will never have to pay them if they are not presented. This will be a gain instead of a loss to the bank, and consequently an advantage to the stockholders. But will it prevent the bank from winding up its af. fairs? I apprehend not, sir. It is well known that every bank keeps a record of all the notes it issues, and that it must at all times hold itself prepared to redeem them. Now, let us suppose that this bank is desirous to wind up its affairs, and pay over the amount of stock and dividends due to the stockholders, and upon examination it finds that there is still a hundred thousand dollars of its notes in circulation. What, then, becomes its duty” Why, simply to set aside a hundred thousand dollars for the purpose of paying these notes as they shall be presented, and paying over to the stockholders the balance of assets which it may then possess, which is all to which they can lay any legal claim. Need I pursue this argument any further, to prove that the stockholders cannot possibly lose any thing by this operation, or that the winding up of the bank need not be delayed in consequence of some of its notes being in circulation? I have never been the advocate of banks of any description; but if we must have them, and I believe such is the general sentiment of the country, then let us not carry on a war against these that are best managed, and are calculated to do most good, and nurture those from whom we have most evil to apprehend. Sir, the objects sought to be accomplished by the pe. titioners cannot be effected by this House without an alteration of the constitution of the United States, or the unsettling of the whole principles upon which your Government has been administered ever since the adoption of the federal constitution. They ask you to take away a power which the States have always possessed—that of granting bank charters. Have you a right to deprive the states of that power, without an alteration of the constitution of the United States? A negative to this question would, I believe, be almost unanimous throughout the Union. To what committee, them, should the petition go? I answer, to the committee already appointed, which has in charge the various amendments proposed to the constitution of the United States. If you send it to a select committee, what will be the object, and what have we to expect? A report that will contradict the assertion of my colleague, “that this is not a party measure, or intended for party purposes.” You, sir, I predict, if you get a report at all, will get one of a most decided partisan character. , Sir, I had no intention when I came in of saying a word on this subject, and regret that I have detained the House so long. Mr. MANN, of New York, said he had no idea, when he stated on yesterday that he wished to have his friend from Pennsylvania gratified in his request, that this subject would create a debate taking so wide a range as that which the House had witnessed; and it was no part of his purpose now to extend it much further. He had perceived, however, a disposition in the House to become early possessed of some subject worthy of debate in that body, on which to hang speeches for the edification of the public. Mr. M. said he had not deemed this
of such general interest, although he would admit its intrinsic importance; and he expressed the hope that the standing committees of the House would very soon be able to present to its consideration, and for its action, the important measures of the session. These he deemed were—the reduction of the revenue to the wants of the Government; the restriction of the sales of the public lands to actual settlers; the maintenance of our neutrality towards belligerant nations, more especially towards Mexico and Texas; and the annual necessary appropriations for the support of Government. When these subjects are before the House, honorable gentlemen will have a field wide enough to exercise their highest powers. The House would recollect (said Mr. M.) that his friend from Pennsylvania [Mr. GAL an A1th] had heretofore made some efforts to bring the subject of this petition before it and before the country, in which he had not been as successful as he (Mr. M.) thought he deserved. That gentleman had not often asked the House for favors of any kind; he had been as modest in that respect as most gentlemen representing the people on that floor. Mr. M. said he understood that his friend who resented this petition felt a deep interest in the subject, because the Bank of the United States of the State of Pennsylvania had established, or were about establishing, a branch of that institution in the district which he represented; and Mr. M. thought it but right that the gentleman should have an opportunity, as chairman of a select committee, to resist what he deemed an encroachment upon the rights of his constituents, by a great mo. meyed power. He desired, also, at the same time, to resist the extension of the paper system—of paper money—whether under the federal or State authorities, by an examination of the subject in reference to the spirit of our institutions. To this Mr. M. saw no well-founded objection, because it was not proposed by the petitioners, or the gentleman from Pennsylvania, to apply the powers of this Government to remedy the present evils, but to strike at the root, by considering the expediency of amending the constitution so as to prohibit the States, by their own consent, from granting banking privileges and profits by their legislation to one class of their citizens, (under the pretence of the public good,) which, in the nature of things, must be denied to all others. Sir, (said Mr. M.,) has not the paper system of this country extended itself far enough, identifying itself with all the interests of society in every department of trade, devouring the productive labor of those who submit to the laws of Heaven, and procure their bread by the sweat of their brows? Why is it, sir, that for the last ten or fifteen years the community has been kept almost constantly in a severish condition repecting the currency, rendering their property and their productive labor insecure, by changing the standard of value, or rather destroying it? Has it not been principally owing to the fluctuations in our paper system, sometimes swelling it. self like the full tides of the ocean, and then suddenly receding, carrying its thoughtless and careless votaries to the dark abodes of devouring avarice? What is a proper remedy for this? asked Mr. M. Why, the gentleman from Pennsylvania, who has just resumed his sea", [Mr. HARPER, ) finds it in a Bank of the United states, to regulate the issues of the subordinate factories, by driving their products home, and substituting their own, which, he believes, is the very best currency in the world. This remedy, sir, has usually increased the disease. Instead of regulating, restraining, or controlling, the paper issues by the State banks, it has increasod them by the addition of its own issues failing into their to: o: o Follon from Massachusetts Mr. LIN colN J supposes that it is a li ple to even entertain the idea of o: system in its operation, and does not scem willing to
treat this petition with common respect: There are, sir, (said Mr. M.,) those in the State which in part he had the honor to répresent, as well as in Massachusetto, who maintain that the greater part of the blessings vouchsased from God to man come through a bank under their con: trol. It has, however, been doubted there, by some, whether those blessings are not shaved and diminished before they effect the purposes designed by the Groot Giver. This is not the case (Mr. M. presumed) with the constituency of the honorable gentleman from Mas: sachusetts, and therefore he is clear that things are blessings to them, which are esteemed evils by most all oth. ers. Mr. M. said he could here make answer to the several positions assumed by the honorable gentlem." from Massachusetts, which he trusted would be satisfactory; but he had already occupied the House much longer to: he intended when he arose, and he could not deem it necessary or useful to detain it longer for such purpo. He hoped the petition would receive the same topo which was usually accorded to those which were in respectful terms. Mr. PEARCE, of Rhode Island, was under the impression that, at the last session, this memorial was referred to one of the standing committees of the House. The gentleman srom Pennsylvania [Mr. Galbraith] takes it from the files in the clerk's office, and "5*" presents it to our consideration, because, for want of time, or from some other cause, it was not finally dispo. sed of at a former session. Why (said Mr. P.) should it now receive a different direction? What has transpired to require this? Because it did not receive the action of a Committee at a former session, it did not follow !" it would not receive such action at the present sess” To reser it now to a select committee would not, Po haps, be a direct censure upon one of the standing committees of the house; but he would submit to gentle" whetherit would be paying that deference and respo to a standing committee it was entitled to. To such a committee it legitimately belonged, and I (said Mr. P.) am not disposed to gratify my friend from Pennsylvania, or any other man, to take from committees what belongs to them. I have taken my stand upon "... ject, and my friend from Pennsylvania will understan that it is not to oppose him that I object to his no but to maintain a consistency in my own course of legislation. Heretofore, select committees were not * dered as a matter of course, never without good to and not always when, in the opinion of many gentlemen, there has been good cause. Such has been the temper of the House, in regard to them, and such has been the tenacity with which those who composed the standing committees of the House clung, to what belonged to them. A regret to say that, at this session, tho have been already appointed more select commoto than i had ever before known during a whole * son of the House. I will for a moment examine the effect which will be produced by, and the consequences which will follow, the too frequent appointment of these select committeesOne member wants a subject referred to a select com: mittee, which is proper for the consideration of one of the standing committees of the House, because he, as the jairman of that committee, can have it under his special care, will be able to present it to the House in a fir light, and more, speedily, for its action thereon. well,"sir, this, in the estimation of some gentlemen, may be all well enough; but are they prepared to say that j omber shall have, by concession and the ind". gence of the House, what shall be denied to another? If not, sir, then where and in what situation do we find ourselves? Every thing which any member has in charge must go, or certainly may go, to a select committee. W.T. tanding committees may be ousted of their juro
diction, and might as well be abolished at one time as at another. There is withal a little right and a little justice involved in this consideration. Is it right, is it just, that an interest should be committed to those who are known, in advance, to be in favor of it? I think not; as you may not, in such a case, have that full investigation, and that fair and impartial representation, which may be had of one of the standing committees of the House. For an illustration of my views I will (said Mr. P.) recur to what has taken place at this session, not to ar. raign the presiding officer of the House, who has, I know, done no more than conform to usage and the course of those who have preceded him, but to show the consequences of an order for a select committee. An honorable member from Kentucky, [Mr. Hawes,) with an avowed hostility and opposition to the military school at West Point, honest and sincere, I have no doubt, in his convictions of the inutility of that institution, submits a proposition and inquiry which involve, or may involve, the further continuance of that institution, and prays for a select committee. Such a committee is ordered, consisting of nine members; and it is found that, of the nine, seven are friendly to the proposition submitted by the honorable gentleman from Kentucky, and unfriendly to the institution, and but two are the friends of the same. I complain not of this, as the select committee was or. dered, because it was organized according to the usages of the House, existing in the organization of such committees; but I do, Mr. Speaker, derive from it an argument, and I hope the House will see the full force of it, against the too frequent appointment of select committees. I have often witnessed a spirit which well becomes them, evinced by those who are the heads of standing committees in the House, to claim all that belonged to them. I hope I shall see further manifestations of this spirit. We made at the commencement of the session a very good beginning. An honorable member from Alabama [Mr. Lewis] moved a reference to a select committee of a subject which the veteran chairman of the Committee of Claims clearly showed belonged to that committee; and, by a very large vote of the House, the select committee was denied, and the subject was referred to the standing committee of which the honorable gentleman from Ohio [Mr. Whittlesex) is chairman. Why was this done? There was a general disposition on the part of the House, I have no doubt, to gratify the gentleman from Alabama; but it could not be done without a violation of our own rules, and encroaching upon the rights of a standing committee of the House. But what, Mr. Speaker, are we called upon to do by those gentlemen memorialists, twenty-eight in number, comprising, I hope, not all the virtue and intelligence, purity of purpose, and integrity of character, yet remaining in the State of Pennsylvania? They complain of the increasing issues of bank paper money by incorporated companies in the different States; they wish Congress to inquire into the expediency of proposing an amendment to the constitution, restricting the incorporation of banks by the several States; they say that the notes of the Bank of the United States, which had been returned to the bank for redemption, and redeemed, had been reissued since the 4th of March last, when the charter of the Bank of the United States expired; and they pray, generally, for relief in the premises. When (said Mr. P.) men are in mud and mire so deep that they cannot, in their opinions, extricate themselves without calling on their friends, it has been generally thought to be necessary for them to show, before they received the required aid, that the proper effort on their part has been made. Sir, can we confer upon
these honest men any aid which they may not have and enjoy, independently of any action on our part? What says the constitution of the United States upon one of the subjects referred to us for consideration by these twentyeight men? “Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this constitution; or, on the application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a convention for proposing amendments,” &c. I would say, sir, to those honorable men, why is not this good work begun at home? Do not yet call on Hercules, for you have not yet shown that you have done all you were able to do. I may be told that the Legislature of Pennsylvania is corrupt, and an appeal to that body would be an ineffectual one. Then I would say, appeal to the ballot-box; and if, perchance, I should be told that even there the proper relief could not be had, I would say to the people of Pennsylvania, adopt and carry into operation the suggestions of at least two of her Governors, Wolf and Ritner: establish free schools, and extend the diffusion of light and science; apply all that will to you belong, under our late distribution act, for the purpose of enlightening the rising generation. I repeat, sir, let the men of Pennsylvania begin their good work at home; for, in my opinion, it does not become them to put upon record their own infamy, their bribery, and their corruption, and the influence of Mr. Biddle and his bank over them. Sir, I am sorry that the corrupting influences of the man or his bank are brought to our view: let every man have his due. Mr. Biddle says that he was quite indifferent about a recharter, by the Legislature of Pennsylvania, of the Bank of the United States. He made no application for a recharter; he neither corrupted nor seduced any one; that if any rapacious act was committed, it was by the Legislature upon him, and not by him upon them; and one would suppose, from his first letter addressed to my venerable friend from Massachusetts, that there would not have been any violence of any kind, but for the proceedings of the Pennsylvania Legislature. Surely, sir, these twenty-eight men do not wish us to save them from their own worst enemies, themselves. It is, has long been, a mooted point, and I think it will long remain so, whether Congress, under the constitution, can in any way restrain or restrict the issues of bank paper by local banks. Deposite banks can be compelled to perform what they are bound by contract with the Treasury Department to do, and here I think the matter must end. . I am not now prepared to say that Congress can, as the constitution now is, say to any State in this Union, you shall incorporate so many and no more banking institutions, and the issues of those incorporated shall be to such an extent as we may prescribe, and not beyond. Sir, I am not a very great stickler for State rights; at any rate, I have not said so much in favor of them as many others have said; but this I do say, that I am ready, and as well prepared as any man can be, to resist all encroachments upon State sovereignties, let them come from whatever quarter they may, and act, when there shall be an attempt here to restrain the Legislature of the State from which I come, in what we deem to be the lawsul exercise of its powers, whether in incorporating banking institutions, or any other institutions, that attempt will be fairly met, not by me alone, and will be properly resisted. We are not yet driven to the necessity of declaring to the world our own infamy, and begging Congress, because we are corrupt, to take us under its protection, to act for us, and pass laws to restrain us in our infamous and corrupt course. Sir, let it not be inferred from what I have said that I am in favor of the moneyed incorporations of the coun
try. No, sir; I am opposed to them, and all other incorporations; and as I now am I always have been, and I verily believe I shall continue to be. What are they but additional facilities for the rich to oppress the poor, and, in their march to do it, to travel with steam power? for an irresponsible body, without soul, to do what no man, as an individual, with heart or soul, ever did or ever will do—to steal power from the many, to whom it belongs, and confer it upon the few, who never ought to have it, and clothe that few with the full possession and exercise of it? Sir, upon this subject I have nothing to disguise. I here avow my sentiments, as I have avowed them elsewhere; and I stand or fall by them, here and every where. Sir, it may be very questionable whether power can be met by, or resisted by, any thing but power; and whether there is strength enough, if there be virtue and integrity sufficient, in the people of this country to meet or put down what may be called the major vis—the mo. mey power and the corporation power—except by meeting it with its own weapons, and opposing to it a force not unlike that which it wields. The people of my own State, (said Mr. P.,) one would suppose, have gone upon this principle; that is to say, to meet power of a certain kind by the exercise against it of a power of the like kind. Finding themselves, in the incorporation of bank institutions, “ stepped in so far that returning would be as bad as to go o'er,” they are now, from necessity, to keep in a sound healthy state institutions created, obliged to create all that are asked for, that one may operate as a check to and counteract the evil tendencies and effect of the other. Mr. Speaker, the Bank of the United States recently chartered by the Legislature of Pennsylvania is a creature of Pennsylvania. As we all take our wives, let them take that, for better and for worse, and not trou. ble us about bribery and corruption. If they have been bribed, or felt the corrupting influence of money, the sooner they are in a state which will enable them to resist the one or the other, the better for them. I thought at the last session, when we with great unanimity repealed one of the sections in the charter of the late Bank of the United States, which, in the opinions of some men, was operative, notwithstanding the expiration of the charter itself; operative so far as to compel receiving officers to receive the bills of that bank, in the payment of Government dues, we should not hear, in the form of direct communications, any thing more of the monster, and nothing more would be said of it, and nothing more would be done in regard to it, until we took the proper steps to make it disgorge what it had belonging to us. I have been mistaken, In conclusion, said Mr. P., when in order to make that motion, I will move, and if now in order will now move, that this memorial be referred to the Committee of ways and Means. Mr. DENNY said he rose to trouble the House with a remark or two, in consequence of the extraordinary ground taken by the gentleman from New York, [Mr. MANN.] I had supposed, from the motion made by that gentleman on yesterday, that his object was to submit at large some cogent and satisfactory arguments for indulging my colleague [Mr. GALI RAI rh] with a select committee. He has not done this, however, and the only reason he has urged amounts to this: that it is apprehended some change may take place in the opinions of the constituents of my colleague; therefore the power of this House must be exercised to counteract it. He says there is a special reason for granting the motion of my colleague; which is, that the Pennsylvania Bank of the United States is about to establish a branch in the district represented by my colleague; and this select committee is desired in order “to resist this em.
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croachment on the principles of his [Mr. GALphalta's] constituents, by this moneyed power.” I presume it is known to most gentlemen on this floor that the bank chartered by Pennsylvania has established a branch at the town of Erie, in the county of Frie, and within the district represented by my colleague. But, sir, this branch was authorized by the Legislature of Pennsylvania, and 1 believe at the special instance and request of the constituents of my colleague. It was on the motion of the gentleman who represented the peo. ple of Erie county in the Legislature that the authority was given to establish this branch. It did not proceed from any spontaneous movement of the bank itself. This is termed an encroachment on “the principles of the constituents of my colleague.” And because the gen: tleman imagines this measure may produce a change in the opinions of many of the constituents of my colleague, and cause them to differ from him, therefore we mustin. terpose the power of this House to prevent it. We are called on to interfere with the opinions of the people, where it is supposed they may differ from those entertain. ed by their Representative here? Carry out the argument, the same reason would justify our interfering with the press. And gentlemen might with equal propriety call for the power of this House to be exercised to put down a press established in his district, because it might produce a change in the opinions or principles of his constituents. The doctrine is alarming, and claims for this House a power which I cannot concede to it. If my colleague has views peculiar to himself on the subject mentioned in the memorial, and which he thinks important and worthy of being made public, the press is to open to him; he can freely communicate them through that channel. But I cannot agree that this House should lend its sanction to the doctrine contended for by the gentleman from New York. If any disposition is to be made of the memorial, I have no great objection to sending the first branch of it to the committee indicated by the gentleman from Mas: sachusetts. Yet I think the whole had better be laid on the table. This memorial was gotten up last year, at a period of political excitement. The présidential election was ap: proaching, and something was to effected. That coll’ test is now over, and this memorial might well have been left on the files of the House. So much of it §§ relates to an amendment of the constitution I am willing should be referred to the committee already having charge of propositions for that purpose, With regard to the second part of the memorial, I am opposed to any reference whatever. In this part of the memorial we are called upon to interfere with a State is: stitution. And for what reason? Because the bank chartered by Pennsylvania has received and paid." notesformerly put into circulation by the Bank of the United States chartered by Congress. Has not every bank a right to do this? The Pennsylvania Bank of the United States is distinct from the old Bank of the United States; they have different individuals as their presiding officers. Your power extends to the bank chartered by Congress; but you have no right to go into an examination of the affairs of the institution established by Pennsylva: nia; it is a State institution, not amenable to you, and over which you have no control. Large as are the powers of this House, they can extend only to those institutions connected with this Government. That established by Pennsylvania is beyond your jurisdiction, and exclusively within the jurisdiction of that State, and we cannot in'
terfere with it.
elicited discussion, and will elicit more. In this memorial is asked an amendment of the constitution of the United States, in matters not affecting a portion of the people, or one part of the country, but an amendment that is to control the action and legislation of the State Legislatures and State authorities of all the States composing the Government, in relation to banking institutions and other corporations. Another branch of this memorial proposes an investigation of the acts and proceedings of a Pennsylvania State institution, created and maintained by State authority; and the question now before the House, and which is the subject of discussion, is the reference or disposition to be made of this memorial, for which the mover asks a select committee to be raised. It is to be considered whether it is deserving of a reference to any committee, from the character of the memorial, and the circumstances under which it is got up and presented. This memorial, signed by twentyeight citizens of Pennsylvania, was presented at the last session of Congress, and, by a vote of this House, was laid on the table, where it was allowed to rest. It has, however, been raised from the tomb of the Capulets, to which it was supposed to be consigned, and again brought before the House by my colleague. It has already performed its office: it was presented to the last Congress by him, with such remarks as he chose to make, and he has been allowed the opportunity of again presenting it, and making his remarks. This is enough, and as much probably as was expected, or ought to have been expected, for such a memorial. It is, however, now asked and pressed that a select committee shall be raised for the special purpose of considering this memorial. It is unreasonable that a select committee should be formed and charged, under the direction of this House, with considering certain proposed amendments to the constitution, limiting State authority and State legislation in all the States, and abridging the rights of the people from one end of the Union to the other, on the application of twenty-eight petitioners from one State, whose memorial had been presented to the last Congress, and, by a vote of the House, laid on the table, without a reference to any committee. Without any fresh memorial from the people, without any indication of public sentiment on the part of the people on this subject of general interest, this House is asked to give my colleague, on this sleeping memorial, a select committee, to consider and report amendments of the constitution that shall restrain and limit State jurisdiction and legislation. It will lead to no amendment, nor will it lead to any legislation by this House, and it ought not to receive the attention that would seem to be given to it by raising a select committee. The most proper disposition of this memorial would be such as was given to it at the last session—by laying it on the table. But, sir, if it is to have a reference to a committee, that portion of it which relates to the amendment of the constitution should be referred to the select committee some time since appointed, and to which the various propositions in relation to the amendment of the constitution have already been referred. It would be appropriate for that committee to consider this, or other amendments that may be proposed. Is this House going to set the precedent of indulging every set of petition. ers, be their numbers great or small, with a select committee to consider their projects? If this be established as the rule and practice of this House, these memorials will multiply on our hands much, with various schemes of amendment, and we shall have as many projected amendments, and as many select committees, as there are articles in the constitution. Let us set no such precedent; but, if the House will give it a reference, let it
complained that the Pennsylvania United States Bank, in its business transactions, uses, to a certain extent, some of the bank notes of the late United States Bank. Whether it does or does not, whether it is right or wrong in this, and whether it be authorized or prohibited, are questions and matters with which this House has nothing to do; they belong to the people of Pennsylvania. It is a State institution, created by State authority, and amenable to our State Judiciary and State Legislature for the abuses of its powers, if they be abused. Our State tribunals are fully competent to take care of our State institutions and protect our citizens, without the interference of this House, in a matter of which it has no cognizance or jurisdiction; and if it does interfere, it is by encroaching on State rights, and usurping power and authority which does not belong to it. By whom is it that this House is asked to inquire into a subject belonging to the courts and Legislature of Pennsylvania? It is on the memorial of twenty-eight petioners from Pennsylvania, out of a population of one million and a half; a memorial not now emanating from the people, complaining of any existing or recent grievance or abuse, but raised up from the old files of the House, where it was supposed to be buried. Is this all that is required to induce the House to take Pennsylvania under its charge, and assume to do what belongs to the people of Pennsylvania and her State authorities? Against any such interference or assumption of power, as one of the representatives of Pennsylvania, I protest. But, sir, we are told by the honorable member from New York, [Mr. MANN,) in more than a whisper, that there is a special reason and propriety in indulging my colleague with a select committee, as he understood that this State bank was about to locate a branch in the district of my colleague; and as my honorable colleague [Mr. Galan A1th] was sitting near the member from New York, he may take this as his suggestion. It was further alleged, as a reason for the interference of the House to make the inquiry, that the proposed branch of the State bank might, it was apprehended, corrupt the people of that district. The location of a branch of this State bank in that district is a question of policy, expediency, and power, for the consideration of the people and Legislature of Pennsylvania. It belongs exclusively to them and the bank, and they can and will settle the question for themselves. This House has no jurisdiction or power over it. If the location of the branch in the district of my colleague is a grievance, tending to corrupt the people, and they are opposed to it, how is it, out of a population of fifty thousand and more in that district, it should be left to these twenty-eight petitioners to take care of the interests of the people of that district, and to manifest their opposition? Such considerations, thus supported, ought not to influence this House in assuming to legislate on a subject out of their power and jurisdiction, and within the power and cognizance alone of State authority. It cannot, I think, be seriously expected that there will be any legislation by this House on this memorial; and as the whole subject is one calculated to produce discussion, create excitement, rouse party feelings, and consume time, without leading to any practical legislation, I move to lay the memorial, &c. on the table. Mr. VANDERPOEL said he was surprised that so much sensibility had becn discovered by gentlemen on account of the introduction of the petition now under consideration. It stated no new, no unknown grievance; it proposed no very strange or unreasonable remedy. It proceeded on the assumption that gold and silver was
be made to a committee already selected, having charge of the subject.
the legal and constitutional currenty of this country;