« AnteriorContinuar »
Feb. 11, 1837.]
else? Gentlemen surely ought to see how unreasonable this was, and to suffer this subjeet to lie on the table, and to proceed to something of more importance. It would seem. from the remarks of some gentlemen that there was a crisis in our affairs, and that there was about to be a secession of the Western States, unless there was something done with regard to the public lands to meet their demands. What, then, he would ask, was there from that section of the country, which caused this measure to be so earnestly pressed on Congress? Were there any petitions or memorials, or had public meetings been called on the subject? Not so. This measure was the voluntary act of an individual member of the Senate, and bne too who did not represent any one of the new States; and though it was loudly hailed by the Western members, nothing was presented from the people they represented to support it. He did not mean to call in question the motives of the gentleman who introduced the bill. His object was no doubt liberal and patriotic; but it appeared that he was so entirely opposed to the land bill which had just passed, and lookcd upon it as so mischievous in its tendency, that he brought forward the present measure, in order to divest the United States at once of an interest which, in his opinion, was so liable to abuse. The manner in which this subject was now pressed had caused him to look back to a period when Congress was operated on by an extraordinary pressure. He alluded to the time when the act in regard to the funding system was pending, and when the Eastern States threatened a secession unless it was adopted. The Eastern States carried their point, and from that time to this Congress had always acted under an irresistible pressure. Mr. N. said that this was not a proper time to act on this subject; it was premature, and therefore inexpedient. If, said he, public sentiment exists in the new States, as it is represented to be, they will before long present the subject to the consideration of Congress, and when they did come forward and demand a hearing, far be it from him to deny it to them. He was willing to give them a full hearing, when they came forward of themselves; but he could not agree that it was proper in Congress to create public feeling. This was tried in 1834, when the panic season was brought on, and they had all seen the results. It was time for Congress to act, when public sentiment took the lead, but it never could be right for Congress to direct it. One great objection he had to this measure was, that the land bill just passed had not yet been tried. It was true it was but an experiment, but, having voted for one experiment, it seemed to him unreasonable to vote for another till that one is tried. He should therefore vote not only against the second reading of the bill, but against its reference. Mr. ROBINSON did not see any direct connexion between the bill that had been passed and the one then before them. He voted for this land bill with more reluctance than he ever voted for any measure in his life, though it came from his friends. This bill, however, he looked upon in entirely a different light. It was not a temporary measure, like the land bill, but one in which the new States felt the deepest interest, and which promised them the most lasting benefits. . We view it, said Mr. R., as a struggle in which money is the object on your part, and sovereignty and independence that on ours. Thus circumstanced, what, said he, do we ask? . Only that this subject may be laid before the people of the United States, and not that it may be acted on at this session, but that it may be maturely considered and prepared for action on it at the next. Now, why did gentlemen object to these simple and reasonable propositions? Were they afraid of the truth? Let the rePort on this measure go to the people, and abide by their decision; but do not, said Mr. R., muzzle us, and
prevent us from explaining what our object is, and how we propose to accomplish it. With regard to this bill, he was highly gratified that it should come from the quarter it did. We of the new States, said he, might propose such a measure, and make speech upon speech upon it, and year after year, without success; but coming, as this bill did, from a member from one of the old States, and therefore from a disinterested source, he indulged the most flattering hopes of its ultimate success. On the part of the new States, he begged leave to express his most heartfelt thanks to the gentleman who had brought forward this measure, promising them such important advantages. It was worthy of the occasion, and worthy of the man, and he was entitled to the lasting gratitude of the West. Mr. SOUTHARD said that if the minds of Senators were made up on the subject, they were prepared to vote now as well as at any future period. It was not a new question; it had been agitated at former times; but it was a new question, so far as the opinions of Senators from the new States were to be regarded. He did not wish that the subject should be agitated now; and, in saying this, he did not mean any disrespect to the Senators srom the new States. The Senate had been told that the people of the new States had asked a hearing. When did they? He was not aware of the fact, not having seen any paper in which they asked Congress to cede the public lands. [Mr. WALicen. We have several memorials before the Committee on Public Lands. Mr. South Ann. It may be so; I was not aware of it. Mr. Walken. There are memorials from the Legislatures of Arkansas and Missouri, asking a cession of lands within their limits.] Mr. South.And said he was under the impression that the prayer of the memorials would be found not to go to the extent of asking what the bill contemplated, but merely a special cession. Adverting to the provisions of the bill, he contended that Congress, having once ceded the lands, would not have the power of compelling the new states to fulfil the terms under which they received them. He argued that Congress did not possess the power to cede the lands, that it would be a violation of the grant by which they were bound to preserve the public domain for the benefit of the whole Union. He concluded by saying that he should vote against the second reading of the bill. Mr. CALIHOUN observed that one of the reasons assigned against reading the bill a second time was, that it would prevent agitation. The subject had already been agitated; and he, for one, so long as he should have a seat on that floor, would continue to agitate it, until public attention should be thouroughly aroused. . He contended that this attempt to prevent the bill from being again read and referred would only cause the subject to be the more deeply agitated. The provisions and principles of the bill could not be so well tested as if sent to a committee, where they would be deliberately examined. They would then make a report on the bill, which would go out to the country, and the people would have an opportunity of forming a deliberate judgment respecting it, and the effect might be to convince the new States themselves that the measure was wrong; and if so, an early termination would be put to it. Then, why should this not be done? He felt a profound regret that Senators did not think fit to permit the bill to take the usual course. He had not risen for the purpose of advancing a new argument, but merely to reply to the constitutional objections of the Senator from Massachusetts. If it were necessary, he could at least present an argument ad hominem. If Čongress possessed the right to make donations to individuals of eighty acres of land, as was remarked by SENATE.]
Cession of the Public Lands.
[FEB. 11, 1837.
the Senator from Mississippi, [Mr. WALKEn,) had they not equally, on the same principle, the power to make donations of hundreds, or one hundred thousand? If there were any distinction, he (Mr. C.) was not able to see it. Congress had a right, as was said by the Senator from Massachusetts, to make donations to States for certain purposes. Now, if they could make a donation for any purpose—for a deaf and durmb asylum, for an infirmary, or for any purpose whatever—he would ask, why not make a gift of the public lands? He repeated, that is there were a distinction, he, for one, was incapable of perceiving it. The Senator from Massachusetts had said Congress had no right to give up the trust delegated to them. The object of the bill was to make a sale, and not a trust. It was a series of conditions of sale, which were intended to be beneficial to the new States as well as to the old; and the question was, “Can you make a sale of the public lands?” Congress could dispose of lands to individuals: thcn, why not to a State? If they could make an absolute sale, could not they make a conditional sale? That was the simple question. If they could not, then all he could say was, that he did not understand the argument. He must say that if he ever did entertain any constitutional scruples on the subject, the Senator’s argument had satisfied him that there were none. He knew that the gentleman was capable of presenting (if there were any) objections in the strongest possible light; but he had not succeeded in convincing him (Mr. C.) that there were any. But the Senator had said that the grounds upon which he (Mr. C.) had put his bill at this time was the passage of the land bill, objectionable as it was, and which he [Mr. WebstERJ said might not yet become a law. Now, that was not so; he did not place the bill upon the naked fact of the land bill having passed this body. It was the character of the bill which had satisfied his mind that we had reached the time when something must be done on the subject. He would not characterize the bill, for he had already expressed his opinions on it. He asked whether every Senator opposed to the administration had not opposed the land bill' Did gentlemen not see there were political causes in operation? The time had arrived when the corrupt tendency of such bills should cease, which was controlling, to a certain extent, the action of Senators on that floor. These were the indications which induced him to introduce this bill. But the Senator from Massachusetts said that what he (Mr. C.) proposed to effect could scarcely be effected by this measure, or rather that the evil did not exist; that the present condition of things did not affect the sovereignty of the new States, or that they are in a state of vassalage. He admitted that this was a strong term, and he had used it in the heat of debate. He begged gentlemen to look at the fact. Could any thing be more local than the territory of a State? And was there no small state of dependency in a people being obliged to come here from a distance of eight hundred or a thousand miles? He would ask the Senator from Massachusetts, whether this was not giving the General Government an unreasonable control over the new states? Their officers were diffused, every where, creating a state of dependence, which did not exist in the other states of tie Union. People were obliged to come here, session after session, to get what they claimed to be just. If the control at present exercised by the General Government was not inco" with the sovereignty of a state, it was at least a derogation. The Senator remarked that t tation, and that the new stic long, and ask that the (Mr. C.) did not
his bill would not stop agis would come here before he conditions should be altered. Ile think it improbable that they would do
that, but it would probably be eight or ten years first; and in the mean time our councils would be free from the control under which they at present suffered, and from political agitation, growing out of the discussion of questions connected with the public lands. And if, at the end of that time, any of these conditions should be found burdensome, it would remain for those who might be here to apply the proper remedy. But the Senator argued that the bill would prove of no benefit to the new States; that they were small in population, and would be subject to agitation themselves, and might not fulfil the conditions of this bill. The bill, however, provided certain restrictions, which could not be overcone. Should any one of them be violated, the grant would be null and void. After some further remarks, in explanation and defence of the provisions of the bill, he concluded by an expression of his hope that Senators would permit it to be read a sceond time and referred; so that on opportunity would be given the country to examine and deliberate on the report which would be spread before it, in relation to this important measure. Mr. TIPTON said the Legislature of Indiana had, in 1829, sent a memorial to Congress, for the purpose of obtaining a cession of the public lands, and claiming it as a right. Other memorials also had been sent on the same'subject. The proposition, therefore, was not new. All the Senators of the new States felt a deep interest in it, and were desirous that it should be referred, and a report made upon it. Mr. T. had voted sor the restrictive land bill with great reluctance. He preferred that the lands should be ceded to the new States for a fair consideration. Mr. HUBBARD said he was aware of the memorial or resolution of the Indiana Legislature, to which the Senator had alluded. But that resolution was, that Indiana had a right to possess the public lands within her limits, without purchase. That doctrine, he said, did once prevail, but it was now set up by no one. Mr. BENTON rose for the purpose of supporting what had been said by the Senator from Indiana. He thought, is gentlemen would look over the documents, they would find a dozen memorials in which both the principles of this bill were embraced–-be meant graduation and the extinction of the federal title to the lands in the new States. Yes, he said, “extinction of the federal title;” for he always spoke on this subject in the same scnse as speaking of the extinction of an Indian title. He had, he believed, had more correspondence with the West than any other gentleman in the Senate; and, when writing on the subject, he always said that these two propositions (graduation and extinction of the federal title) had been thrown by the proposition to divide the proceeds of the land sales; and that they must first fight down and kill this distribution scheme before they could hope for success. He told his correspondents, also, that the greatest service that President Jackson ever i cudered to his country was to put his foot– his large foot—on this proposition. He might say, surther, that if he (Mr. B ) had cver rendered any service to the country at all, it was in helping to kill that bill; and it now lay prostrate, a corpse. That impediment being now removed, we can, said Mr. B., now begin again. I shall put my shoulders to the wheel, and keep pushing till we carry it through. He was for both the principles contained in this bill; and as to the details, when he was cordial about a principle, he never should balk at them; he would give and take. While up, he would express the hope that the subject might be referred to a select committee; and, having said this, he would say, further, that he had no expectation of accomplishing any thing at the present session. Mr. BUCH ANAN said that we were now less than Feb. 11, 1837. }
three weeks from the close of the session, and it was impossible that within this period we could transact all the necessary public business; yet it was at such a moment that this measure was urged upon our consideration. It was an apple of discord thrown into this body, which must cause the waste of much precious time, and give birth to protracted and angry discussion, unless we should promptly resolve to relieve ourselves from it. One effect which it would most probably produce was the defeat of the land bill in the other House--a consideration which ought to have its weight, especially in the minds of Western Senators. Mr. B. asked, what did this bill propose? Why, sir, an absolute gift to the new States of two thirds of all the proceeds of our public lands within their limits, whilst we retained but one third for ourselves. No such request had ever been made to Congress by any of these States, within his knowledge; certainly not during the past or present sessions of Congress. They had never asked for any thing so unreasonable and so unjust. The applications from Mississippi and Arkansas, which had been referred to in this debate, were altogether of a different character. He would venture to say that there was no new State in this Union which, if the question had been submitted to its own intrinsic sense of equity and justice, would have ever thought of making such a proposition to Congress as that contained in this bill. When these States shall come forward with any reasonable and well-digested plan of their own, asking for the cession of the public lands within their limits, upon fair terms, he should then be prepared to hear them most respectfully. There was no occasion to stimulate them to pursue this or any other course in which they felt their own interests were involved. We had abundant evidence that their Senators on this floor were both able and willing to enforce any just proposition proceeding from their constituents. Senators ought to recollect that there would be two parties to any such arrangement. The people of the old States had and felt as deep an interest in this question as those of the new. If reasonable terms should be proposed, it was probable that the old States might consent to the adjustment of this difficult and embarrassing question, in such a manner as would give satisfaction to their brethren in the West. But, said Mr. B., let me tell gentlemen that I would almost as soon think of putting my hand into the pocket of one of my constituents, and taking from him two thirds of the money it contained, for the purpose of giving it away to a stranger, as I should agree to vote for this bill, in opposition to the wishes of those who sent me here. If any equitable arrangement of this question could be made between the parties interested, he should rejoice at such a result. For his own part, he felt disposed to grant liberal terms to the new States; but he should never consent to abandon the rights of his own constituents, in order to propitiate the people of the West, however much he might regard their good opinion. He would not, if he could, to use the language of the Senator from Illinois, [Mr. Ronixson,] become their Magnus Apollo upon any such terms. What, then, did the Senator from South Carolina [Mr. CALhou N] ask us to do? To send this bill to a select committee. And for what purpose? Not that there shall be any final action upon it during the present ses. flion, because that was manifestly impossible, but to obtain a report in favor of its provisions. This report, containing a long, ingenious, and able argument, in favor of giving all the public lands to the new States, with the exception of one third of their gross proceeds, would be circulated far, and wide throughout the whole Union. Whilst it would excite unfounded hopes in the minds of the people of the new States, it would produce an alarm
equally groundless throughout the old States. It would have a tendency to exasperate the feelings of both parties, and might, and probably would, greatly retard, if not forever prevent, the adoption of any fair compromise on the subject. This report, we had a right to presume, would be altogether on one side, whilst the other would not be heard. It might prevent the new States from offering such terms as we of the old States could think of accepting. He should wait until the new States themselves thought proper to move in this business. They were not slow to act in any manner which they thought might promote their own welfare. Mr. B. said he was now determined to ascertain whether the Senate would, at this session, spend any more of their precious time upon this subject. He should, therefore, renew the motion which had been made by the Senator from New Hampshire, [Mr. Hubu And,) to lay the bill upon the table; and he gave notice, in advance, that he would not withdraw it on the request of any Senator whatsocwer. Mr. NORVELL trustcol that the bill would be allowed to be read a second time, for reference. He believed that no bill of any kind, with perhaps one exception, had, for a lung time, been refused a second reading and reference. That now before the Senate was of such deep importance, and involved interests of such magnitude, especially to the new States, that he thought its rejection at this stage of the proceeding would not only be unusual, but very extraordinary. He therefore expressed the hope that Senators would suffer the bill to be again read, and referred, either to the Land Committee or to a select committee, that it might be maturely considered and reported upon. The question was then taken, and the bill was laid on the table: Yeas 26, nays 20, as follows: YEAs–Messrs. Bayard, Brown, Buchanan, Clayton, Crittenden, Dana, Ewing of Ohio, Hubbard, Kent, Knight, Niles, Page, Parker, Prentiss, Rives, Robbins, Ruggles, Southard, Spence, Strange, Swift, Tallmadge, Tomlinson, Wall, Webster, Wright—26. NAys–Messrs. Benton, Black, Calhoun, Ewing of Illinois, Fulton, Grundy, Hendricks, King of Alabama, Linn, Lyon, Moore, Mouton, Nicholas, Norwell, Preston, Robinson, Sevier, Tipton, Walker, White--20.
The Senate then proceeded to take up a bill making provision for the collection of materials and the purchase of sites for certain fortifications therein designated. [It appropriates about a million and a half of dollars to these objects.] Mr. CRITT ENDEN demanded further information in reference to the necessity of these works, the estimates upon which the appropriations were founded, and the total expense of completing the works for which this bill, appropriating a million and a half of dollars, proposed only to make preparation. Mr. BENTON, chairman of the Military Committee, who had reported the bill, stated, in reply, that it was identically the same bill which had passed the Senate at the last session. The Senator was, therefore, in possession of full information in regard to it. Mr. SOUTHARD opposed the bill in most of its seatures. It was a carrying out of the plan which had been laid down by General Bernard. And though the scheme of desence by sortifications proposed by that celebrated engineer might have been wise ly adapted to the state of the country at that period, its condition had since been so greatly changed, by the increase of its population and the augmentation of its power, that many of the features of the plan were no longer necessary, and might advantageously be dispensed with. The improvements which had been made in the means for transportation of SENATE. J
Military propriation hill-paint on.
[Feb. 13, 1837.
the munitions of war rendered it now a comparatively easy thing to concentrate large bodies of the militia at any point that might be threatened by a foe. And thus the necessity of many forts otherwise requisite was superseded. And forts, is not judiciously located, were not only of no valuable service, but, owing to the train of consequences they drew after them, were a positive evil. Mr. S. had carefully examined the report of the Scoretary of War on this subject, made to Congress at a preceding session, and he had then become satisfied that inany of the proposed works were of this description. He wished to have further time to examine the bill; and therefore moved to lay it upon the table till Monday; but withdrew the motion at the request of Mr. BENTON, who briefly replied, stating that the estimates upon which the bill was founded bad all been submitted and explained at the last session, after which the bill had passed the Senate. Ile admitted the facility with which large bodies of troops might be thrown into any city or town that was threatened by an enemy. But when they were there, though there should be half a million of them, of what avail would they be against a bombardment? A bomb charged with bushels of powder and balls could be discharged at the distance of 4,000 yards, and if it exploded in the midst of a squadron of horse or a column of troops, it would scatter or destroy them. A man-of-war would desire no better amusement, while its crew would remain in perfect safe. ty from the force on shore. Forts were also necessary for the protection of merchant vessels, and even of our ships of war, when pursued by a greatly unequal force. Mr. SOUTHARD now renewed his motion to lay the bill on the table. Mr. BUCHANAN denanded the yeas and nays; which, being taken, were: Yeas 12, nays 26. So the Senate resused to lay the bill on the table. The bill being at its third reading, and the question being on its passage, Mr. BENTON demanded the yeas and nays; which were taken, and stood as follows: YEAs–Messrs. Benton, Buchanan, Dana, Fulton, Grundy, Hubbard, Kent, King of Alabama, Knight, Linn, Lyon, Mouton, Nicholas, Niles, Norvell, Page, Robbins, Ruggles, Sevier, Strange, Tallmadge, Tipton, Tomlinson, Walker, Wall, Wright—26. NArs—Messrs. Black, Calhoun, Clay, Crittenden, Moore, Prentiss, Robinson, Southard, Spence, Swift, Webster, White—12. So the bill was passed.
MILITARY APPROPRIATION BILL,
on motion of Mr. W RIGHT, the Senate then took up the military appropriation bill, in which he proposed a slight amendment, to include an appropriation for the Tennessee volunteers, who were ordered into service, and then discharged.
As the bill was at its third reading, this motion could only be made by unanimous consent.
Mr. SOUTHA18D said that he felt favorably disposed towards the amendment, but, wishing a little further time to look at it, suggested that the bill be laid on the table until Monday; to which
Mr. WIRIGHT assenting, the bill was laid on the table accordingly.
The Senate then adjourned.
Mox DAY, FEBRUARY 13. PATENT OFFICE. On motion of Mr. RUGGLES, the Senate proceeded to the consideration of the bill supplementary to the act for the improvement of the usesul arts. A variety of amendments, offered by Mr. RUGGLES,
were all adopted, with the exception of the salary of the two examining clerks, which was made $1,500 instead of $1,700, as Mr. R. proposed. Mr. KNIGHT moved to strike out the 4th section of the bill, which provides for restoring the most important models, which were all destroyed by the burning of the Post Office building. Mr. RUGGLES remarked that it was only proposed to restore the most important models, and that the expense of doing so would be paid from the contributions of patentees. Mr. NILES spoke at some length in favor of the motion. Mr. WEBSTER remarked on the impossibility of the examining clerks, for whose appointment and support provision had just been made, performing properly the duties assignc d them, of deciding on the justness of claims to patents, unless the most important portion of the models, all of which had been destroyed, should be restored. He regarded the appropriation as absolutely necessary. Mr. KNIGHT suggested that all improvements of much importance were generally known, and that the fourth section, if not stricken out, ought therefore to be limited to the last fourteen years. Mr. SEVIER moved to lay the bill on the table. Negatived. Mr. RUGGLES further explained the bearing and importance of this section of the bill. It was designed, he said, to restore only 3,000 out of 7,000 or 8,000 models that were destroyed. Mr. NILES suggested $20,000 instead of $100,000, which he considered as altogether too large a sum for the object proposed. He also insisted that the money would be paid out of the public Treasury. Mr. BAY ARD read portions of the report of the Commissioner of the Patent Office, stating that the restoration of about 3,000 of the models was due both to inventors and to science. A few minutes’ inspection of them would often save years of reflection to an inventor, and would suggest what would in many cases be never originally suggested. As an example of this, Fulton's improvement in steamboats, immensely important as it is known to be, was based on inventions which had been abandoned, and were utterly useless. Such models were also absolutely necessary, to enable the examiners properly to perform the duties assigned them. Inventors were exceedingly tenacious in regard to the orginality of their inventions, and would not yield without the most conclusive testimony. Mr. B. said such were the opinions of the Commissioner at the head of the bureau, which Mr. B. enforced by arguments, especially regarding the Patent Office as a school of science, and a regular history of the improvements in the usesul arts in this country: Mr. NiI.ES remarked that many models, practically useless, might be useful as affording a history of the pro: gress of inventions. But is an expenditure of this kind should be begun, it would have no end. Mr. N. moved to strike out $100,000, and insert $20,000. Mr. STRANGE, as a member of the committee, said the committee understood it to be the desire of the Senate that the Patent Office should be restored, as far as possible, to its original state. . They had found on hand $300,000, derived from the sale of patents, and available for the great object contemplated by the establishment of the Patent Office. The $100,000 was not necessarily all to be expended, but was the extreme limit of the expenditures, though Mr. S. was satisfied that nearly so much would be required; and $20,000 he regarded as worse than nothing. Mr. KNIGHT now rose to withdraw his motion to strike out the 4th section, but, as the yeas and nays had
FEB, 13, 1837.]
been ordered, the Chair decided that it could not be done. The motion to strike out was then negatived, as follows: YEAs–Messrs. Black, Buchanan, Ewing of Illinois, King of Alabama, Knight, Moore, Nicholas, Niles, Page, Robinson, Sevier, Walker, White—13. Nars—Messrs. Bayard, Benton, Brown, Clayton, Cuthbert, Dana, Ewing of Ohio, Fulton, Hendricks, Hubbard, Kent, King of Georgia, Linn, Lyon, Mouton, Norvell, Parker, Prentiss, Preston, Robbins, Ruggles, Strange, Swift, Tallmadge, Tipton, Tomlinson, Wall, Webster, Wright—29. Mr. PRENTISS, after some explanatory remarks, moved to strike out the word “assignees,” in the 7th section. Negatived. The bill, as amended, was then ordered to be engrossed for a third reading, without a division.
RECOGNITION OF TEXAS.
Mr. WALKER moved to take up the resolution offered by him some time since, recognising the independence of Texas; on which motion he demanded the yeas and nays. Mr. WRIGHT urged the taking up of the army appropriation bill. Mr. BENTON strenuously urged and claimed as a right that the unfinished business should first be taken up. He had a bill for the increase of the army, which would regularly come up as the unfinished business. The vote to take it up now would, if rejected, be decisive of its fate. It had been early reported, but had been kept out of its place by the land bill and the regulating currency bill, and he claimed that it should now be considered. Mr. WALKER pleaded for his Texas resolution, and insisted that the honor of the country demanded that it should be acted upon without delay. Mr. BENTON objected, with some warmth, to Senators jumping up in this manner and interrupting the regular business of the House, as reported from standing committees, by interposing the consideration of resolutions of their own. The army bills were of great importance, and if this resolution should be taken up before them, the prolonged debate to which it would lead must effectually defeat all hope of having them considered in time to go to the other House. Mr. PRESTON admitted the importance of the army bills, and should not object to their being considered; but this resolution on the subject of Texas had been of. fered a month ago, and, if longer postponed, must in all probability be lost. The question was then taken on considering Mr. WALKER's resolution, and decided in the negative, by the following vote: YBAs-Messrs. Black, Calhoun, Clay, Fulton, Hendricks, King of Georgia, Moore, Mouton, Parker, Preston, Walker, White—12. Nars-Messrs. Bayard, Benton, Brown, Buchanan, Clayton, Cuthbert, Dana, Davis, Ewing of Illinois, Grundy, Hubbard, Kent, King of Alabama, Knight, Linn, Lyon, Morris, Nicholas, Niles, Norvell, Page, Prentiss, Robbins, Robinson, Ruggles, Strange, Swift, Tallmadge, Tipton, Tomlinson, Wall, Wright—32. The Senate then proceeded to the consideration of a bill ‘‘ to increase the present military establishment of the United States, and for other purposes.” Mr. BENTON, chairman of the Military Committee, took up the bill by sections, briefly explaining the purpose of each, together with the amendments reported from that committee. No opposition was made to them, and they were all agreed to; when the bill was reported to the Senate, and ordered to its third reading.
Recognition of Texas—Armory Bill.
The army appropriation bill was read a third time and passed.
The Senate having taken up the bill to establish a foundry, an armory in the West or Southwest, arsenals in the States in which none have yet been established, and depots for arms in certain States and Territories— Mr. BENTON, chairman of the Military Committee, who had reported the bill, briefly explained its design, and the grounds on which it had been reported. Mr. CRITTENDEN suggested doubts as to the propriety of establishing arsenals in all the States, though he admitted that they might be requisite in some. The States, however, were verv competent to erect arsenals for themselves, and would not thank the General Government for any charitable establishment of this kind. Mr. C. reprobated such an unnecessary expenditure of the public money, and was against the extension of federal power, to which a measure of this kind must necessarily lead. Mr. BENTON contended that it was a part of the theory of our Government that the nation should be armed; and, in order to this end, it was necessary both that the manufacture of arms should be extended, and that depots should be established for keeping them in all the States. He then read returns from the ordnance department, showing in what States arsenals had been erected, and in what States there were none; on which he remarked that those States which most needed arsenals were entirely destitute of them, while States far less exposed were well supplied. No amendment being proposed to the bill, it was reported to the Senate; and the question being on its engrossment for a third reading— Mr. CALHOUN observed that he had looked at the provisions of the bill, and that nothing in this world could be more useless than the expenditure it proposed. The country had already on hand about 800,000 stands of arms——an amount almost equal to that provided by Great Britain for her immense military establishment. The mere interest on such an investment was itself a heavy charge upon the Treasury; besides which, there was the liability to have the whole superseded by the invention of a better species of arms. The Government had already two large armories, capable of furnishing arms much faster than they were needed; and there was a necessity rather for retrenching than extending the means of supply. These arguments had all been urged at the last session; but he supposed it was vain to repeat them. They had not been answered, and could not be. But the money was to be expended on something, and perhaps it might as well be on this as on any thing else. The Government must get clear of it in some way; it must not go back to the States; and ways and means must be devised to expend it. The bill had no other object on the face of the earth. Mr. C. appealed to the majority of the Senate, entreating them to economize the public expenditure. He reminded them of the strong denunciations which had been poured on a previous administration for its alleged extravagance, and that it was on the plea and promise of economy that the present party had come into power. Yet no sooner had they got control of the Treasury, than they went on to expend beyond all previous example. The moral effect of this state of things had been most pernicious. It had led the nation to conclude that the professions of no party could be believed. They were not believed; and the result of this incredulity in the public mind would always tend to place in the hands of an existing administration a vast amount of power. Mr. BENTON, in reply, read from the returns of the Treasury Department the sums paid for the manufac