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roe, Greenleaf's Point, and Harper's Ferry, and were | ed, and scattered them promiscuously over a long join. approved by the able and experienced officer at the head ers' workbench. One hundred stocks were then brought of the ordnance department, (Colonel Bomford.) Re- from Hall's armory, which had been just finished, and on ports had been made by these boards of officers, among which no work or mounting had ever been put. The whom were General Eustis, Colonel Crane, and Major workmen then commenced putting the work taken from Hickman; all of whom, as well as Colonel Bomford, con- off the stocks brought from the United States arsenal on cur in bearing testimony in favor of the rifle. the 100 new stocks, the work having been repeatedly The board convened at Fortress Monroe stated that, in mixed and changed by us and the workmen also; all this long ranges of , although the rifles were fired was done in our presence, and the arms, as fast as they with the usual charge of powder, viz: two eighths the were put together, were handed to us and minutely exweight of their bullet, and the muskets with the increas. amined. We were unable to discover any inaccuracy in ed proportion of two fifths the weight of the ball, the any of their parts fitting each other, and we are fully relative execution was found to be in favor of Hall's ri- persuaded that the parts fitted, after all the changes fle; that, after having undergone 8,710 discharges, the they must have undergone by the workmen, as well as rifle appeared to be in a fit condition for service, consid- those made designedly by us in the course of two or ering the severe proof to which it had been subjected; three days, with as much accuracy and correctness as that it was equal to the service of sixteen active cam. they did when on the stocks to which they originally bepaigns; and that further proof was considered unneces- longed. sary, and was consequently discontinued. - “If the uniformity, therefore, in the component parts Captain Hall was also the inventor of machinery for the of small arms is an important desideratum, which, we identical construction of the different parts of firearms. presume, will not be doubted by any one the least conHe had accomplished what no other mechanic had been versant with the subject, it is, in our opinion, completeable to accomplish in this or any other country—the iden- ly accomplished by the plan which Captain Hall has car. tical construction of firearms. This name, had been tied into effect. By no other process known to us (and given to the parts of firearms which were all perfectly we have seen most, if not all, that are in use in the United equal, and made with such uniformity that, after dis- States) could arms be made so exactly alike as to intermounting any number of these guns, and mixing their change and require no marks on the different parts; and different parts promiscuously together, we were able, we very much doubt whether the best workmen that from the confused mass of materials, to form a perfectly may be selected from any armory, with the aid of the fitted arm with the utmost facility, and without regard to best machines in use elsewhere, could, in a whole life, the particular stocks from which the mountings had been make a hundred rifles or muskets that would, after bel stripped. As evidence that Captain Hall had accomplish- ing promiscuously mixed together, fit each other with ed this most desirable object, he referred to a portion of the exact nicety that is to be found in those manufacturthe report of a board of practical armorers, appointed in ed by Captain Hall.” 1827, to examine the rifle and machinery invented by An attempt had been made by the Government of him. They say: France, as early as 1722, to accomplish the identical con“In making this examination, our attention was di- struction of firearms; but it was abandoned, after expendrected, in the first place, for several days, to viewing the ing a large amount in the experiment. The attempt was operations of the numerous machines which were exhib- renewed in 1785; some hundreds of sets were made, but, ited to us by the inventor, John H. Hall. Captain Hall on being subjected to proof, it was found that the arms has formed and adopted a system in the manufacture of were only similar, not identical, and the effort was again small arms entirely novel, and which, no doubt, may be abandoned. attended with the most beneficial results to the country, Mr. T. said that Captain Hall had spent the best part especially if carried into effect on a large scale. of a long life in the fabrication of arms, and machinery “His machines for this purpose are of several distinct connected with their manufacture. He had obtained classes, and are used for cutting iron and steel, and for patents for his invention, according to law; and báth his executing wood work, all of which are essentially dis- rifles and carbines, as well as the machinery for their ferent from each other, and differ materially from any identical construction, had been introduced and were other machines we have ever seen in any other establish- extensively used in our armory. The bill which had Islent. - been reported made an appropriation of $20,000, to be “Their general merits and demerits, when contrasted paid to Mr. Hall for the right of using his arms and mawith the several machines hitherto in general use for the chinery by the United States. A sum equal to this had manufacture of small arms, will, perhaps, be better un- been paid by an act of the last session to Captain Bell, of derstood by pointing out the difference, of the results the ordnance, for his patent right to his new mode of produced by them, than by any very accurate descrip- pointing cannon; and he considered the improvements of tion of the machines themselves. Captain Hall as a much more important invention. “It is well known, we believe, that arms have never | There had not been a full meeting of the Military Comyet been made so exactly similar to each other, by any mittee when he was instructed to report the bill. The other process, as to require no marking of their several sum fixed on was the lowest proposed by any member parts, and so that those parts, on being changed, would present. He had no doubt that, if all the facts were unsuit equally well when applied to every other arm, (of derstood by the Senate, a larger sum would be voted to the same kind;) but the machines we have examined ef- Mr. Hall. The statements now on our table sustained fect this with a certainty and precision we should not this opinion. They could be read, if any Senator wished have believed till we witnessed their operation. it. The Senator from Mississippi [Mr. Black] said there “To determine this point, and test their uniformity was some prejudice against Hall’s rifle. Mr. T. said beyond all controversy, we requested Colonel Lee, act- that was true. He had himself entertained strong pre; ing superintendent of the United States armory at this judices until the arm had been distributed, and had come place, to send to Hall's armory five boxes, containing 100 into actual service. He was convinced of its durability rifles manufactured by him in 1824, and which had been and usefulness. . He had been, as it were, raised with a in the arsenal [United States arsenal] since that period. rifle in his hand; and, aster a careful examination of the We then directed two of his workmen to strip off the one now referred to, he was glad to state his confidence work from the stocks of the whole hundred, and also to in its importance. The reports of the different boards take to pieces the several parts of the receivers, so call- of skilful officers would, he hoped, convince the Senate. Colonel.Arbuckle–Inauguration of President of the United States, &c.
The Senator from South Carolina [Mr. PREston] objected to the second section of the bill, on account of the provision it contained for the employment of Mr. Hall in fur armory at Harper's Ferry. Mr. H. was now employed, he believed, under a regulation of the pepartment. His services had been found indispensable; he had been continually making improvements in the machinery used there. If the bill passed, the Executive was authorized to employ Mr. H. at a salary not exceeding $2,500, and his services could be dispensed with whenever the President or Congress thought proper. Mr. Hall had been offered double the amount proposed to be given him by the bill, by an agent of a foreign Government, for leave to use in that Government his patent right for his invention; but he had rejected the proposition, and chose to depend on the justice and liberality of his own Government.
Mr. T. said that it had been his duty, as a member of the Committee on Military Affairs, to bring this subject before the Senate. He had done so in a manner that would, he believed, give the members a proper understanding of the case. If, however, further information was called for, the rest of the report could be read. He felt, personally, no solicitude on the subject. He knew that other arms, more recently invented, had been presented at the War Department, and that a board had been directed to examine and prove them. But that board was unable to prosecute that duty satisfactorily during the cold weather of last month. A report need not be expected before we adjourn; and he would be content should the Senate postpone the decision of this case until the next session, or determine upon it at this time. He could not doubt that the inventor of this valuable and useful improvement would one day be amply compensated by our Government.
Mr. PRESTON also explained; but observed that va. rious discoveries had been made since the rifle of Captain Hall, which might possibly supersede it. To settle this point, a series of experiments had been instituted, and were proceeding at this time. He doubted the propriety of passing the bill in the mean time. He admitted the merit of that part of Captain Hall's invention by which the various parts of a musket were made so uniformly that they might promiscuously be taken, and at once be put together, and would fit perfectly.
Mr. TIPTON further explained, and vindicated the provisions of the bill. It was not imperative, but only permitted the Executive to employ his services as long as they might be needed, at a salary not exceeding $2,500 a year.
Mr. LINN testified, from the result of experience on the Western frontier, to the merits of this rifle, of which he spoke in high terms.
Mr. BLACK moved to lay the bill on the table; which motion prevailed, and the bill was laid on the table accordingly.
COLONEL AR BUCKLE,
The bill for the relief of Colonel Matthew Arbuckle, of the United States army, having reference to certain land claims in Louisiana, was considered as in Committee of the Whole, and explanations of it, involving various legal considerations, were given by Mr. SEVIER in its favor, and by Messrs. PRESTON, BLACK, BUCHANAN, and FULTON, in opposition.
On motion of Mr. BUCHAN AN, the bill was amended by requiring Colonel Arbuckle to pay $1 25 per acre to the United States for the lands in question, on his acceptance of the bill: Ayes 16, noes 11.
A lootion to lay the bill on the table was negotived, by yeas, 16, nays 17. And having been further amended, it
lost - * : - . . on the question of its engrossment, by yeas 16,
[Fen. 28, 1837.
After the consideration of several other bills, The Senate adjourned.
TU Esm AY, FEBRUAny 28. 1NAUGURATION OF PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
The PRESIDENT pro. tem. presented a letter srom the President elect of the United States, informing the Senate that he would be ready to take the usual oath of office on Saturday, March 4, at 12 o'clock, noon, at such place and in such manner as the Senate might designate.
Mr. GRUNDY offered a resolution for the appoint. ment of a committee of arrangements, to make the re. quisite preparations for administering the oath to the President elect of the United States.
Mr. CLAY said he would like to inquire whether precedents had been examined on this subject. He was aware that the Senate had always had a peculiar agency
in this business; but he was not aware why the Senate
should act upon it any more than the House, or why it was not a joint concern. He remembered that, on the first election of Mr. Monroe, the committee of the Sen. ate applied to him, as Speaker of the House, for the use of the chamber of the House; and he had told them that he would put the chamber in order for the use of the Senate, but the control of it he did not feel authorized to surrender. They wished also to bring in the fine red chairs of the Senate, but he told them it could not be done; the plain democratic chairs of the House were more becoming. The consequence was, that Mr. Monroe, instead of taking the oath within doors, took it outside, in the open air, in front of the Capitol. Mr. C. mentioned this for the purpose of making the inquiry, what was the practice, and on what it was founded, and why the Senate had the exclusive care of administering the oath,
Mr. GIRUNDY said the committee had found no authority but several precedents, which were in strict accordance with the proposition now proposed to be made: He did not recollect any instance in which the House had participated in it; and, in fact, the House, as such, had no existence, their term having expired on the preceding day. The committee had examined three cases of more modern date, and had sound nothing in opposition to the practice proposed. If the committee could not get into the House, they could go out of doors.
The resolution was adopted, and the Chair was authorized to appoint the above-named committee of three members.
THE DISTRIBUTION QUESTION.
The Senate, proceeded to the consideration of the fortification bill; and the question being on the amendment reported by the Committee on Finance, viz: to strike out the second section of the bill, which contains the provision for the distribution among the States of
any surplus which may remain in the Treasury on the 1st
of January, 1838– Mr. CAI.HOUN regretted that the committce had not made a written report on so important a recommendat 10n. Mr. WRIGHT explained that the second section of the bill being neither more nor less than the bill formerly introduced by the Senator from south Carolina himself, the case was fully understood by all the Senate, and needed no consumption of time to oxplain it. As to a written report, there had been no time to prepare one, even had the committee deemed it necessary. Mr. CALHOUN reminded the Šenate of the triumphunt majority by which the deposite bill had been adopted at the last session; and as there had occurred nothing Fen. 28, 1837.]
since then to change the principle of the measure in any respect, he was content to rest the present question on the principles then so unanswerably established, and the discussion by which they had been defended at the last session. Mr. WRIGHT said that the principles which had gov. erned his course last year did remain unchanged, and should govern it now. As to others, he presumed their votes last session had been governed mainly by the sact that a large surplus was actually in existence, and must be disposed of in some way. Such was not now the fact; and if any gentlemen should change their course, it was for them and not for Mr. W. to give the reasons for such change. Mr. CLAY inquired whether it was the intention of the chairman of the Finance Committee and those with whom he acted, that if a surplus arose it was to be left in the hands of the deposite banks, where it drew an interest of two per cent., while in the hands of the States it would yield six. He was anxious to know what was to be the policy of the administration in regard to this matter. [Mr. Waight interposed, to say that its policy would be to have no surplus.] Then (replied Mr. C.) take the land bill, like an honest man, and there is a perfect remedy for the difficulty. Mr. C. then adverted to the remarks made by Mr. Rives, in the discussion of the expunging resolution, as to the democratic character of the Senate, and appealed to the body now to show whether it would justify this character by opposing a measure coming to it from the confesesdly democratic branch of the Government. He called upon all who had voted for the distribution bill of the last session to rally round their own principles, and oppose the striking out. But, by way of compromise, he proposed the adoption of the land bill, &c. He concluded by demanding the yeas and nays. Mr. BUCHANAN said he was one of those who intended to vote against the amendment to the fortification bill which had been adopted in the House, directing that the surplus revenue exceeding five millions of dollars which might remain in the Treasury on the first day of January next, should be deposited with the States, under the provisions of the deposite act which had passed at the last session of Congress. As he had advocated the passage of that act, it became necessary that he should make a few observations explanatory of the course which he purposed to pursue on the present occasion. Mr. B. stated that there was but little analogy between these two measures, unless it might be that they were both called deposite bills. This was the chief point of resemblance. The principles upon which the present proposition was now advocated were entirely different from those which had been assumed by the friends of the deposite bill of the last session. And here he must be permitted to express his regret that the Senator from Kentucky [Mr. CLAx] seemed to have abandoned his bill to distribute the proceeds of the public lands among the States. For his own part, he infinitely preferred that measure to the one now before the Senate. What were the principles (said Mr. B.) upon which the deposite bill of the last session rested? There was then a vast sum of public money, beyond the wants of the Government, in the deposite banks, whilst an abso. lute certainty existed that at the end of the year this sur. plus would be greatly increased. At that time, these banks were not bound to pay any interest on their depos. ites. These accumulations of public money were loaned out by them to individuals, whilst all the profits arising from such loans went into the pockets of their stock. holders. A wild spirit of speculation was thus fostered, which threatened to destroy the regular business of the country, and to convert our public domain into paper
money. The enormous evils of this system were palpable. The banks were then inflicting deep injuries upon the country, by the manner in which they used this money; and it was every day becoming more and more uncertain whether they would be able to meet the demands of the Government, when called upon for this purpose. Under these peculiar circumstances, what was to be done? We were compelled to choose between two great evils. We must either have suffered the money to remain in the banks, and subjected the country to the consequences; or it became our duty to deposite it with the States, and give them the advantage of using it until it should be required by the wants of the Government. No other practical alternative could be presented. For my own part, I felt no hesitation in making my choice. At that time it seemed to have been admitted by every Senator, that, as a general system, it would be extremely dangerous to the country annually to distribute the surplus in the Treasury among the States. No voice was raised in favor of such a principle. It was universally condemned. As a plan of general policy, a worse one can never be devised. If pursued, it must, in a very few years, destroy the character of this Government. Let it once be established, and all men can see the inevitable consequences. Every Senator and every Representative will then come to Congress with strong feelings directly hostile to the best interests of the Federal Government. Instead of having our eyes exclusively fixed upon those great national objects intrusted to our care by the constitution, we would be more or less than men if we could banish from our minds the consideration that the full amount of every appropriation for such purposes would be so much deducted from the surplus to which our respective States would be entitled at the close of the year. The question will then be not merely what appropriations are necessary to
promote the general interest of the country, but blend
ed with this question will be another--how much can be withheld from those purposes, and to what extent can the dividend of our own States be thus increased? For example: a proposed fortification will cost half a million; in voting for or against it, the consideration will necessarily obtrude itself, would it not be better, would it not be productive of more good, to distribute this sum among our own States? In peace, it is our duty to prepare for war. With this view, a proposition is made to increase our navy. This may be necessary to protect our commerce, and to present such an array of our power to foreign nations, that they will not dare to injure our citizens, or to insult our flag upon the ocean. In voting upon such a proposition, how easily may, we delude ourselves with the idea that there is no danger, and that the country will derive more real benefit from expending the necessary amount upon railroads and canals in the respective States. Every dollar which can be withdrawn from the General Government is a dollar given to the States. Establish this policy, and you set up a principle, to use a Senatorial word, antagonistical to the constitutional and efficient exercise of the powers of the Federal Government. You will thus paralyze the energies of this Government, and reduce it to almost the same feeble condition in which it was placed under the old articles of confederation. Can the Senator from South Carolina [Mr. CALhous] deny, has he denied, that this would be the effect of such a system? Under its operation, will it not always be a question how much will this or will that appropriation for national purposes deduct from State dividends? You thus present to the very agents selected to administer the Federal Government the strongest temptations to violate their duty. The deposite bill of the last session was advocated upon the principle that it was to be a single operation, and
to be justified alone upon the extreme necessity which then existed. What is now the state of the case? This amendment has been ingrafted by the House upon an ordinary appropriation bill. such bills, they ought to be, and generally are, confined to grants of money for the execution of existing laws, and for carrying into effect the settled policy of the country. To unite this deposite section, in the same bill, with the appropriations necessary to complete our system of fortifications, is to declare to the world that it has become a part of our settled policy. Does any necessity now exist for the adoption of such a measure? Are we now placed in the same situation in which we were at the last session of Congress? Will there be any surplus in the Treasury on the 1st of January next, beyond five millions? Has this fact been ascertained? Shadows, clouds, and darkness, rest upon the question. Whether there will be or not is uncertain, contingent, dependent upon the action of Congress, and upon the speculations in the public lands. My own impression is, that, if there should be a surplus, it will be comparatively small; unless this very proposition for its deposite with the States should be the means of creating it, by defeating the passage of important bills for the defence and benefit of the country. What necessity now exists for the adoption of this measure? If there shall be a surplus when Congress meet on the 1st of December next, it will then be time enough to provide for its disposition. One great objection to this measure is, that it will make the extreme medicine of the constitution its daily bread. It has already become so familiar to us that Senators are now willing to insert it in an ordinary appropriation bill, and thus make it the settled policy of the country. It should be the exception, not the rule. Above all, it is a remedy to which we ought never to resort until we know that a surplus exists, or are absolutely certain that it will exist. Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof. I shall not now speak of the unhappy influence which this system of distribution would exert upon the State Governments themselves; because I have not risen to make a general speech, but merely to place my own conduct, in relation to this subject, in its true light. And now, sir, permit me again to express my sorrow that the Senator from Kentucky [Mr. CLAy] had not been willing to postpone this question, and to wait until the next session. 'I hen his land bill might be presented to Congress under brighter auspices than it has ever been heretofore. If a choice is to be made between that bill and a system of distributing surpluses, it will not be difficult for me to decide. There is, in my judgment, no comparison between the two. If you grant the proceeds of the public lands to the States as their right, this is one source of revenue which you withdraw from the control of Congress. Our system of policy would thus be rendered fixed and stable. We could then accommodate our duties on imports to the necessary expenses of the Government, and our tariff would not be subject to those perpetual changes which must ever exist whilst we derive a portion of our revenue from such a fluctuating source as that of the public lands.
From the very nature of
The States would receive this money, not as a matter of
bounty, but of light. They would, therefore, not feel dependent for it upon the General Government. Nearly all the evils attendant upon a distribution of the sur. pluses would thus forever be avoided; and congress would then be compelled to raise the revenue necessary to defray the expenses of the Government from the customs and from other taxes. This would introduce a wholesome spirit of economy into our councils, without making it the interest of the Senators and Iłepresenta. tive...in ongress to array them...iv.; against appro#: o: o: * * *ational charactor, i should - "*"J"iced, had the senator foom Kentucky
adhered to his land bill and opposed this amendment, which, if it should prevail, must destroy that measure. For my own part, I shall vote to strike this amendment from the bill, without the slightest apprehension of subjecting myself to the charge of inconsistency. Mr. RIVES explained, in reply to Mr. Clar, that his remarks, as to the aristocratic character of the Senate, had no reference to the individual character of its members, but to the constitution of the entire body, in its collective capacity, as farthest removed from an expres: sion of the popular will. As to the appeal of the Senator to the majority of the Senate to exhibit a deference to the will of the people, as expressed by a vote of the other House, it would have had more weight had it been seconded by the example of the Senator himself. Mr. R, then alluded to the stern rejection of the three million appropriation for fortifications, which had been proposed by the House of Representatives on a former memorable occasion. The Senate was now committed belore the world to a system of policy which was opposed to the accumulation of surplus revenue; and there was not the slightest inconsistency if, in adherence to that policy, it rejected a measure which was founded on a policy directly the re; verse of this. Mr. R. adverted, as Mr. Buchanas had done, to the different circumstances in which the Sen: ate had been placed at the last session, as a sufficient reason why he had advocated a similar measure, at that time, to that which he should now oppose. Mr. PRESTON was understood to say that the Sen. ate had been regarded and represented as an aristocratic body while it was opposed to the administration, but ceased to be so when it changed to the opposite side in politics. He regretted that it was so officially termed at the time, and hoped hereafter that it would not be so referred to at all. The observations (he said) of the senator from Vir. ginia [Mr. Rives] were sound and judicious, so far ss they related to facts; but Mr. P. had come to a different conclusion from tilat which Mr. R. had drawn from the premises. In the case of very large sppropriations, from an abundance of money, the question readily oc' curred whether it might not be saved for their consuluents; thus avoiding a wasteful and inexpedient expend: iture. Could not the money be saved now for their constituents or for the States. The tendency of a sur: plus was to make members of Congress negligent aud prodigal, which could only be corrected by their being stimulated to the very inquiry which the gentleman from Virginia had suggested. Could it be expected that such an inquiry would make them niggardly and parsimonio ous? is he annual expenditure was now $30,000,000 to $40,000,000. Could there be any danger, in this state of things, of too great economy? We were about to be overwhelmed by a surplus, which we might get clear of either by distributing among the States, or by swelling the expenditure so as to absorb it. If one or the other of thes; measures must be perpetual, Mr. P. would prefer habitual distribution to habitual exorbitant expenditure. The former, though an evil, had attached to it a degree of justice. The latter, a continued wasteful and prodigal expenditure, was the worst possible condition of the body politic. But Mr. P. was opposed in both forms to this eternal sweat, and would much rather reduce it at once by the lancet. Mr. P. said be regarded the measure of distribution as having a strong tendency to produce the very event of inquiry to which he had alluded. Pass now the meas: ure of distribution, and it would arouse the States to look, not into the tariff, but into the annual Govern. ment expenditure of $30,000,000; and they would ask, why is ail this squandered? Why is not the amount reduced within reasonable I mits, and the residue given to
us? The result (Mr. P. urged) of this would be that the expenditure would be reduced to some fourteen or sixteen millions. The diseased action of this Government, Mr. P. said, had ever been over-action. Too much power was concentrated here, and the whole system was overloaded. The measure of distribution would arouse the States, and suggest an inquiry into the means of saving the expenditure of the people's money; and there was no danger of its being reduced too low. The powers and wants of the original Government were few and simple; it was for some time kept within the proper sphere of its action, and was all that the people could desire. But Congress had strengthened the Executive by expenditures, which must all go through his hands. Mr. P. desired to relieve the wants of the country; but he was still more desirous that the Government should be reduced to its proper action. Gentlemen differed (said Mr. P.) in regard to the question whether there would or would not be a surplus. But if there should be a surplus, did they intend that it should remain in the banks? If there should be a surplus, all concurred in the expression of the opinion that it ought to be distributed. But suppose there should be none, a law of distribution would not take effect, and could, therefore, be the cause of no evil. It was best (he said) to guard on the side cf danger, on the supposition that there might be a surplus. Gentlemen up to the close of the last session insisted that there would not then be a cent of surplus, and they came upon us with the full cry of wait, wait till there is a surplus. Was it proper to wait till the danger was upon us, or to provide beforehand even for its possible occurrence? If there should be no surplus, there would, in any case, be no danger. They ought to provide for the danger, which could possibly result in no harm if there should be no surplus, notwithstanding gentlemen argued that the law would have a deleterious effect on the minds of the people. If there should be no surplus, there was no possibility of its debauching the people. The only safe mode was to provide for a distribution. But the probability was, that there would be a surplus; and, small or great, it was better to distribute it among the States than leave it in the banks. If there, the bubble of paper circulation, promoted by it, would burst, and it would be in danger; though the loss to the Treasury would be slight, in comparison of the general calamity. Let it be generally understood that when there should be a surplus, the banks were not to have it, but it would go back to the States. Some of thern had turned the back of the hand sor a moment when it was presented; but where was the State that had actually refused to receive it? Some of them were coy in their words; but when a great evil was to be avoided, they thought it better to get clear of it by submitting to the loss. Some States had said they would not touch it. But every one had received it. Congress ought to adopt the measure of distribution till the people should be aroused, and the expenditures and the revenue should be brought down to the economical wants of the Government. Mr. CUTHRERT, having alluded rather indistinctly to the position which Georgia occupied in relation to this subject, said that his spiend from South Carolina had stated very justly that some means ought to be devised to prevent extravagant expenditure. But had he been as zealous in providing the proper means of doing it, as in condemning the Government for raising the expenditures? Or when one administration raises their expenditures, did he propose that another should commit, as a remedy, an immediate robbery on the people, collecting their money for the purpose of distribution? His friend, he thought, had fallen into the extreme of error, propo.
sing to open the way for improper taxation, and only throwing flowers over the mysterious way, which might hide his pit-fill. Was this Government (Mr. C. asked) established to levy taxes; to collect, as trustees, the money that was to be expended by the States? Certainly not. When it collects taxes, is it to do it for the use of the States? Is it prudent and wise to engage the Government in operations not intended by the constitution? On the other hand, is not every operation of this kind to be avoided? Mr. C. would ask the Senators from South Carolina, when first this measure was resorted to, was it not through fear and anxiety? And had it not inverted the regular administration of the Government? Could a single instance be cited in which new and extraordinary measures of this kind had not led to evil? And was there no danger to the Government from this new principle? Could any gentleman, however sanguine in his temper, sail to perceive that this operation would create a disturbance in the machinery of Government? What would be the necessary effect of the measure? The States would get into the Treasury by anticipation, and by imagination it would already be theirs; and not until after the Government was properly sustained would the remainder go to the States, but certain remnants would be left by them for the use of the Government. Representatives from the States would come here to procure the means of excessive internal improvements, and would leave the Government
just so much as would maintain a miserable existence.
But there was also another view of the subject. Such was the pride and perversion of reason in the human mind, so great was the complication of motives that might be brought to bear upon it, that it was impossible to determine, in some cases, even between two opposite results. It might, therefore, be that the States would sink to a pitisul dependence on the Federal Government. And who dared deny that this might take place? Taken either way, it was a great evil in the proper machinery, and eminently disturbing the principle of Government. How great would be the mischief, it was impossible to determine; but even this uncertainty, in one sense, made it the more terrific. Was this measure, then, to be cherished and encouraged? Mr. C. called upon senators who had an influence and name with the American people to maintain those great principles on which their safety and happiness depended. The Senators from South Carolina had acknowledged, not only by their actions but their words, that there was no reason to apprehend a surplus in the coming year: This, then, was a new dread of a surplus, which had arisen suddenly, since Saturday last at six o'clocki (alluding to the origin of the proposition for distribution in the House.) That (Mr. C. said) was the date of this new anxiety. Mr. NILES here made some remarks on the subject, in opposition to distribution, and unfavorable to the Senate, when opposed to the administration. Here a short conversation took place, by Messrs. CLAY, whic, HT, w H. BSTER, and BENTON, on the subject of suspending the action on the bill till to-morrow; which, however, was not formally proposed. Mr. BIRow N remarked that the subject of the debate, which he had no disposition to prolong, had no connexion whatever with the main object of the bill. . This he deemed a sufficient objection to the proposition as now presented, even if there were no objection on prin. ciple. The provision for distribution came intrenched behind the fortification bill; and he deemed this a system of legislation radicaily wrong, in which two great uestions, wholly distinct, were so connected that Senators might be compelled either to take both, or else to lose both together.