« AnteriorContinuar »
Georgia and the United States.
[Jan. 7 to 12, 1829.
bacco. An abolition of duties on silks and wines will
MONDAY, JAN. 12, 1829. increase our purchases of those articles, and her purchases
GEORGIA AND THE UNITED STATES. of our cotton and tobacco, and require a great increase of ships for their transportation. The same of the West The CHAIR communicated a letter from the Governor India trade. We have a great trade with these islands, of the State of Georgia, transmitting the following Prothe chief articles on our part beef, pork, flour, corn, corn test of the Legislature of that State: meal, whiskey, bacon, and lumber ; and hers, coffee and specie, of which they sent us last year fifty millions of
“ STATE OF GEORGIA. pounds of the former, and two millions two hundred thou
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, sand dollars of the latter. Our duty on coffee is five cents a
Milledgeville, December 30th. pound, more than half of the first cost of the article. Abolish it, and we shall take double the quantity of coffee, and
SIR: The enclosed protest is transmitted to you, to be greatly increase our exports of provisions and imports of laid before the Senate of the United States. specie.
I am, sir, your obedient servant, Mr. B. had now finished his exposition of the reasons
JOHN FORSYTH. and policy of his resolutions. He had spoken to them
Hon. John C CALHOUN, all at once, but they could be discussed separately on the
Vice President of the U. States." motion of any Senator ; the vote, of course, would be on each separate resolution. Mr. SMITH, of Md. moved the reference of the first From a painful conviction that a manifestation of the public senti
ment, in the most imposing and impressive form, is called for by the resolution to the Committee of Finance. He said, that present agitated state of the Southern section of the Union, the Genethe subject was one that required much consideration ; al Assembly of the State of Georvia have deemed it their duty to
adopt the novel expedient of addressing, in the name of the State, the that he had applied some of his leisure hours to satisfy Senate of the Congress of the United States. himself on the subject ; that he had not yet perfected the act of the last session of Congress, entitled "An act in alteration his inquiries. So far as he had gone had convinced him of the several acts imposing duties on imports,' as deceptive in its that the Senator (Mr. BENTON) was mistaken. If refer title, fraudulent in its pretexts, oppressive in its exactions, partial
and unjust in its operations, unconstitutional in its well known objects, red to the Committee, the subject would be fully inves ruinous to commerce and agriculture-to secure a hateful monopoly to
a combination of importunate manufacturers. tigated, and he believed it would be shown, that there
Demanding the repeal of an act which has already disturbed the would be of debt, (redeemable at the pleasure of the Union and endangered the public tranquillity, weakened the confi
dence of whole States in the Federal Government, and diminished the Government) sufficient, with the interest annually paya- affection of large musses of the people to the Union itselt,
and the abanble, to absorb the whole of the ten millions of dollars donment of the ilegrading system which considers the peoplo as incapa
ble of wisely directing their own enterprise : which sets up the servants which the Commissioners of the Sinking Fund were au
of the people in Congress as the exclusive judges of what pursuits are thorized by law to apply annually to the payment of the most advantageous and suitable for those by whom they were elect
ed, the State of Georgia expects that, in perpetual testimony thereof, principal and interest of the public debt. He had, he the deliberate and solemn expression of her opinion will be carefully said, completed his inquiry for the years 1829 and 1830, preserved among the archives of the Senate ; and in justification of her
character to the present generation, and to posterity, if, unfortunately, and could state that there were of six and five per cent , Congress, disregarding the protest, and continuing to pervert powers redeemable during those years, a sum which, with the granted for clearly defined and well understood purposes, to effectuinterest accruing for those years, would amount to $22, lion was framel, to be entrusted to the controlling guardianship of the 878,639 ; the payment to be made for those two years, Clearacter, for the protection of the people of the State, and the vindicaagreeably to law, was twenty millions, which would leave tion of the Constitution of the United States.
IRBY HUDSON, a surplus, payable in 1831, of $2,878,639. He trusted,
Speaker of the House of Representatives. he said, that he had satisfied the Senate, that, during the
President of the Senate. years 1829 and 1830 there were of stocks redeemable,
JOHN FORSYTH, Governor." and of interest payable, an amount amply sufficient to satisfy the Commissioners of the Sinking Fund for those two Mr. BERRIEN said, that the annunciation made from years. He added, that he was not yet prepared to give the Chair, imposed a duty on his colleague and himself, a statement respecting the years 1831 and 1832, but if which, with his assent, he would perform, by giving a the resolution should be committed, he hoped, and be- direction, with the sanction of the Senate, to the doculieved, that he would be able to show that, without any au ment, which had been just announced. I am not willing, thority to purchase, the whole or nearly the whole of the sir, [said Mr. B.] to see an act so grave and interesting 6, 5, and 41 per cent. debis, (Bank debt excepted) might in its character, pass away with those mere every day be paid off in 1832.
events which are forgotten almost in the instant of their Mr. S. concluded by offering the following as an amend occurrence. In order, therefore, that it may be distinctment to the first clause of the resolution:
ly presented to the notice of the Senate, before I submit Strike out the first clause, and insert
the motion which it calls for, I will state its purport, and “Resolved, That the Committee on Finance be instruct avail myself of the occasion to make a very brief remark. ed to inquire into the expediency of authorizing the Com That document, sir, of which an official copy has been missioners of the Sinking Fund to purchase, at its current transmitted to my colleague and myself, is the protest of market price, the public debt, whenever, in their opin the State of Georgia, made through her constitutional orion, such purchases can be made beneficially for the gans, to this assembly of the Representatives of States, interests of the United States, and consistently with ex. against the “act in alteration of the several acts laying isting engagements."
duties on imports,” passed at the late session of the ConAfier a few words from Mr. BENTON, by way of re gress of the United States.
In her sovereign character, as joinder, the resolutions were ordered to lie on the table. one of the original members of this Confederacy, by whom
this Government was called into existence, that State pro
tests against this act, on the several grounds which are WEDNESDAY, JAN. 7, 1829.
specifically set forth, in that instrument, which is attested There was no business transacted this day giving rise by the signatures of her Legislative and Executive functo debate.
tionaries, and authenticated under her public seal.
It is now delivered to this Department of the Federal THURSDAY, Jan. 8, 1829.
Government, to be deposited in its archives in perpetuam There was little business transacted this day-nothing rei memoriam, to serve whenever the occasion may reto occasion debate. Adjourned to Monday.
quire it, as an authentic testimony of the solemn dissent of
JAN. 12, 1829.)
Sinking Fund, &c.
one of the Sovereign States of this Union from the act at nought, they will still look with confidence to the therein protested against, as an infraction of the constitu- returning justice of this Government. tional compact by which she is united to the other mem I fulfil my duty, sir, on this occasion, with a cherished bers of this Confederacy.
reliance on that justice ; with a deep and abiding convicIt is difficult, sir, to repress—it is, perhaps, still more tion of the patriotism and forbearance of that people by difficult appropriately to express the feelings which be- whom it is demanded ; with an humble but unwavering long to such an occasion as the present. I have been trust in the mercy of Heaven. educated in sentiments of reverence for our Federal
On motion, by Mr. BERRIEN, the letter and protest L'nion, and, through life, I have habitually cherished these
were then ordered to be printed, for the use of the Senate. Sentiments. As an individual citizen, therefore, it is painful to recur to that disastrous policy which has imposed on
THE SINKING FUND, &c. the State in which I live the stern necessity of assuming The Senate then took up for consideration the resoluthis relation to the Government of this Confederacy. tions heretofore offered by Mr. BENTON, relative to the
As one of the Representatives on this floor of that Sinking Fund, the Public Debt, the Bank of the United State, whose citizens have always been forward to mani- States, &c.—the question being on the amendment herefest a profound and devoted attachment to this Union-tofore submitted by Mr. SMITH, of Maryland. of a patriotic and gallant people, who would freely yieid Mr. S. withdrew his amendment, and moved to refer their treasure and unsparingly shed their blood in its de- the whole subject to the Committee on Finance. fence; the occasion is one of deep and unmingled hu Mr. SANFORD said, he was satisfied that it was exmiliation, which demands the deposite, in the registry of pedient to adopt the first of the resolutions of the gentlethe Senate, of this record of their wrongs. There may be man from Missouri. We have now (said he] about fifty those, sir, who will look to this act with indifference, millions of debt, and the whole of it, excepting the three perhaps with levity ; who will consider it as the result of per cent. debt, may be discharged in three or four years. momentary excitement; and see, or think they see in it, What is to be done with the three per cents, amounting to merely the effusion of impassioned, but evanescent feeling. more than thirteen millions of dollars? Is this part of the I implore those gentlemen not to deceive themselves on a debt to be perpetual? His own opinion was, that this, subject in relation to which error may be alike dangerous like every other portion of the debt, should be extinto us all.
guished, as soon and as fast as possible. How is the three Forty years of successful experiment have proved the per cent debt, then, to be extinguished ? Certainly, in efficiency of this Government to sustain us in an honorable no other way than by payment or purchase. We must intercourse with the other nations of the world. Exter- either pay the full nominal amount, or we must purchase nally, in peace and in war, amid the fluctuations of com this debt from its holders. The highest market price to merce and the strife of arms, it has protected our inter- which this debt has risen is eighty-five per cent. : ests and defended our rights. One trial, one feartul trial, the fluctuations of the market, for a long time past, yet remains to be made. It is one, under the apprehen- having been between eighty and eighty-five per cent. ; and sion of which the bravest may tremble-which the wise the medium rate of the market being, perhaps, about and the good will anxiously endeavour to avoid. It is eighty-three per cent By the restriction now in force, that experiment which shall test the competency of this under the law of 1817, the Commissioners of the Sinking Government to preserve our internal peace, whenever a Fund are not permitted to purchase this debt, when its question vitally affecting the bond which unites us as one market price exceeds sixty-five per cent. None has been people, shall come to be solemnly agitated between the purchased; and none will ever be purchased, while this sovereign members of this Confederacy. In proportion to restriction continues. To provide for the payment of this ils dangers should be our solicitude to avoid it, by abstain- debt, or to declare our purpose to pay it, would elevate ing on the one hand from acts of doubtful legislation, the debt to par; but to give an authority to purchase as well as by the manner of resistance on the other, to would not much advance the market price of this debt. those which are deemed unconstitutional. Between the Such an authority ought to be, and would be, exercised independent members of this Confederacy, sir, there can very cautiously and slowly. This debt is widely diffused, be no common arbiter. They are necessarily remitted to and much of it is held in Europe. So long as it is an antheir own sovereign will, deliberately expressed, in the ex- nuity of indefinite duration, its value is governed by the ercise of those reserved rights of sovereignty, the delega- market rate of interest, and it cannot rise much above its tion of which would have been an act of political suicide. present market rate ; since, at a higher rate, it would afThe designation of such an arbiter, sir, was, by the force ford an interest lower than the lowest market rate of of invincible necessity, casus omissus among the provi. interest in the world. So long, therefore, as the final dissions of a constitution conferring limited powers, the in-charge of the capital of this annuity is indefinitely distant, terpretation of which was to be confided to the subordi- the capital itself will probably never rise to ninety per nate agents, created by those who were entrusted to ad cent. in the market. As it is clearly our interest to buy minister it.
this debt rather than to pay it; as the greater part of this I earnestly hope, that the wise and conciliatory spirit debt is held by persons who have no desire to sell it; as of this Government, and of those of the several States, the portions offered in the market, from time to time, are will postpone, to a period far distant, the day which small; and, as it would be inexpedient to raise the marwill summon
so fearful a trial. If we are in- ket, by offering higher prices than the current rates ; it is deed doomed to encounter it, I as earnestly hope that it necessary, if we intend to purchase, to begin and to promay be entered upon in the spirit of peace, and with ceed with all the caution of discreet buyers. There can cherished recollections of former amity. But the occa be no doubt that an authority in the Commissioners of the sion which shall impel the sovereign people of even one Sinking Fund to purchase at market rates would be juof the members of this Confederacy to resolve, that they diciously exercised by them. If this operation shall be are not bound by its acts, is one to which no patriot commenced, until all the other portions of the public debt can look with levity, nor yet with indifference. What shall be paid, our situation may, and probably will, be ever men and freemen may do to avert it, the people that, with means in the Treasury fully equal to the disof Georgia will do. Deeply as they feel the wrongs charge of this debt of thirteen millions, we shall be which they suffer, they will yet bear and forbear. obliged either to postpone its payment, or to pay it at par, Though their complaints have been hitherto disregard- or to purchase it upon terms far less advantageous to the ed, and their remonstrances have been heretofore set public than may be made by gradual and progressive pur
Sinking Fund, &c.
JAN. 12, 1829.
chases. There can be no doubt, that, by a judicious would not avail in this country: for the price of our course of purchases of this debt, a very large sum may stock will certainly be increased with the increased debe saved to the public.
mand for it, should a law be passed as proposed ; and, if Mr. BENTON called for a division of the question, the price for the three per cents. should be fixed at 85, it so that the Senate might decide separately on each clause would immediately rise above it; and, the moment we of the resolution ; which was agreed to.
resolve to purchase up the debt, or to redeem it as soon Mr. B. then stated, that he was opposed to sending his as proposed, it would rise to its nominal value, and we resolutions to the Finance Committee, as mere resolutions should have to pay dollar for dollar. Thus, no benefit of inquiry. He had sent them to that committee, in that would arise to the United States, but much to the holders form, at the last session, and had them returned, like a of the stock. The Sinking Fund, he contended, was bill of indictment ignored by the grand jury. He did merely a resolution to pay ten millions a year of the pubnot think it worth while to send them, through the same lic debt; it was never contemplated to buy up stock to process, a second time. He was for discussing them here, any great extent, nor was it ever expected that it would as he had a right to do, under the rules of the Senate, have that effect. The Sinking Fund had answered all the which it was proper to do on many occasions, and doubly purposes expected from it, one of which was to keep up proper on this occasion, when the question which grew the price of United States' stock, and had fully accomout of his resolutions was one of principle, not of de- plished the object of its creation. The three per cent. tail, and when the committee had once shown themselves stock may be continued for years, under an arrangeto be unfavorable. He was glad to see the Senator from ment, and not felt as a burthen by the community; and, New York (Mr. SANFORD) on his side. He had not ex- if gentlemen entertained the opinion, that the debt might, pected to argue these questions, but only to turn the at with safety, be reduced more rapidly than at present, a tention of others to them, who were more conversant power could be given to the Secretary of the Treasury than himself with subjects of finance. His walk lay in a to purchase as occasions offered, which would answer different field-among the public lands, the military and every reasonable purpose. He would leave the matter to the Indian affairs. As for the finances, the public the Committee on Finance, so far as an inquiry into the debt, the sinking fund, the abolition of duties, and the expediency of the measure was concerned ; but he could balances in the hands of the Bank, they were all subjects not, as at present impressed, vote for the passage of out of his range, and, in moving certain resolutions about the proposed law; at least, so far as he was concerned, them, at the last session, he thought he had nothing to do he thought the inquiry by the Committee should precede but to put the ball in motion But quite the contrary he the passage of the law. had found to be the fact. The ball soon stopped, or After a remark or two from Mr. SANFORD, in further rather rolled back upon him; and, as he was not the man explanation of his views of the subject, to give up when he thought himself right, he had now Mr. SMITH, of Maryland, said, ihat, having made the done what he pledged himself to do, at ihe last session, motion, it was incumbent on him to say a few words on he had started the ball again, and meant to keep it a go- | the subject. He then took an extended view of the ing. He was rejoiced to see the Senator from New York funding system, from its commencement. He said, that (Mr. SANFORD) taking part with him even on one branch the old six per cents. had been considered irredeemable, of his resolutions.
except by the payment of eight per cent. per annum, on Mr DICKERSON said, he did not rise to oppose the every certificate for one hundred dollars; that, in the reference of the subject to the Committee on Finance ; year 1802, Congress passed an act, appropriating the yet he was not willing to adopt the resolution, and give sum of $7,300,000, to be paid annually to the Commisthe discretionary power to the Commissioners of the sioners of the Sinking Fund, to be applied by them 10 Sinking Fund which was proposed. It certainly was de the payment of the principal and interest of the public sirable to extinguish the public debt, as soon as a due re- debt; and, on the purchase of Louisiana, an addition gard to the general interest would permit. It will be high- was made to that fund of $700,000, making the whole ly gratifying to proclaim to the world that we are out of fund eight millions—that the system operated well. It debt. To purchase up the debt would be to incur a heavy enabled the Treasury to pay off with the surplus funds loss; we cannot gratify ourselves in this particular, with the debt due to Holland; but that debt being paid off, a out paying too dearly for the gratification. The gentle- large surplus would have remained in the 'Treasury, inman from New York (Mr. SANFORD) had stated truly applicable to any object, until the eight per cents., conthat the creditors in Europe owned a very considerable tracted in Mr. Adams's administration, should become payportion of the stock of the United States, and had re-able, which was, he believed, in 1809. To obviate that marked that the three per cent. stock might be pur- difficulty, a proposal was made, in 1806, he believed, to chased at $3 or 85 per cent. But the fact was, that, if the holders of the six per cent. debt, and acquiesced in by we purchased at 85, we should lose two millions, and, if them, that, in lieu the stock held by them, payable, at its nominal valae, four millions of dollars. The Com as already stated, by eight dollars annually on the 100 missioners of the Sinking Fund are now authorized to dollars, they should receive a new stock for the balances purchase this stock at $65 for the hundred, which is con- due to them, bearing an interest of six per cent., and residered its par value; the whole, at that rate, would deemable at pleasure. That arrangement enabled the amount to something more than eight and a half millions Commissioners of the Sinking Fund to apply, annually, of dollars; if we purchase it at $85 the hundred, the the whole of the eight millions, and the old six per present market price, it will cost us more than eleven cents. have been paid off many years (he believed nine) millions of dollars; and, of course, we should incur a loss sooner than could have been done under the previous of more than two and a half millions; and, if we redeem system. it at its nominal value, we shall incur a loss of more than The late war involved the United States in a large four and a half millions; and this to be taken from our debt, he believed, exceeding one hundred and twenty Treasury, and a considerable part of it put into the pock- millions of dollars ; and a new law passed, on the 3d of ets of stockjobbers in Europe. What would be the con March, 1817, which appropriated ten millions of dollars, sequence of going into the market, and purchasing the annually, to be applied to the payment of the interest public debt, as proposed ? Why, our stock in Europe, and principal of the debt. The system has operated as as well as at home, would immediately take a rise, and its well as its most sanguine friends could have contemvalue would be considerably increased. The argument plated. It is due to Mr. LOWNDES, then Chairman of the of the gentleman from Missouri, relative to British stocks, Committee of Ways and Means. It has nearly paid off
JAN. 12, 1829.]
Sinking Fund, foc.
the whole of the debt, and will, without any extraneous aid, redeemable and interest payable, during the years 1829, discharge nearly the whole (the three per cents, and bank 1830, and 1831, to absorb the thirty millions applicable, debt excepted) in the year 1832.
during those years, to the payment of the debt, and that But, said Mr. S. we are told that we cannot pay the there would be no unemployed money in the Treasury or debt, except by purchase. Why? Because the Senator Bank during those years. (Mr. BENTON) assures us, “ that there was no way to pre The balance unpaid, in 1831, said Mr. S., of $5,353,vent an accumulation of near twenty millions of dollars in 824, would be paid, in 1832, which, with the stock rethe Treasury, in the years 1832 and 1833, to lie there idle, deemable in that year, and the interest to be paid, would (or rather in the bank) or, what was worse, to be directed together make the sum of $8,896,779; being about a milto some subordinate object, while public debt to that amount lion less than the ten millions in the hands of the Comwas unpaid, and drawing interest."
missioners; which million would, he conceived, be relinIf, said Mr. S. the Senator be correct in his assertion, quished by the Bank from the stock it held in the loan, then it is indispensably necessary that the Senate should due on the 31st December, 1834, for reasons similar to adopt some measure to prevent so great an evil. If, those he had already given; indeed, he said, he felt cerhowever, he should have been mistaken in his calcula- tain that they would accommodate the Treasury, without, tions, and, if it can be shown that there will be of debt hesitation. redeemable nearly sufficient to absorb the ten millions at Mr. S. proceeded, and said, that he trusted that he had the disposition of the Commissioners of the Sinking Fund, satisfied the Senate, that, instead of twenty millions lay-. and the small deficiency can be supplied, without the ne- ing in the Treasury unapplied, whilst a debt was unpaid, cessity of having recourse to purchase; and, if it can be bearing interest, that there would not be one dollar. It shown thai nearly the whole, perhaps the whole, of the was, however, proper for him to state, that there would debt will be paid off before the year 1833, then the au still remain a small debt of about two millions, redeemathority to purchase the 41, 5, and 6 per cents. will be ble in 1833, and another, of a little more, in 1834; but wholly unnecessary. Mr. S. said, that he hoped to satisfy that they were not of importance, and would be paid the Senate on all those points. It had been, he said, the without being felt ; that it was possible the whole of those practice of his long life to have recourse to figures, on all debts might, by management, and an increase of revenue, similar subjects : not, he said, to figures of speech or rhe- be paid in 1832. If not, it ought not to deter us from toric, but to arithmetical figures. He could rely on them repealing the duties on articles which now give a revenue for truth, and would proceed to state the ground on which of eight, perhaps ten millions ; but, on that subject we he relied with confidence.
could act more advisedly at the next session, when we The debt, he said, amounted, on the first of January, to should better know the effect of the last tariff. For $58,362,125 ; deduct therefrom the bank debt and the 3 himself, he was decidedly of opinion that duties to that per cent, amounting together to $20,296,249, and there amount ought to be repealed, and, in the recess, he would will remain a debt of 6, 5, and 41 per cents of $38,065,886, prepare a bill with a view to that object, which he thought which, he expected, might nearly be discharged in the year he could submit early in the session. But he was unwil1832, perhaps entirely.
ling to touch the subject during the present session, for Mr. S. proceeded and said, that there will be redeema- it was one that required time and great consideration. ble, in 1829 and 1830, an amount of six and five per Mr. President, said Mr. S., the view I have presented cents. redeemable at pleasure, which, with the interest is predicated on the present state of our affairs, and the on the whole debt, will make together the sum of existing laws; he could not, and would not, pretend to $22,553,179, being $2,553,179 more than the twenty estimate whether the revenue will be greater or less than millions applicable by the Commissioners to the payment it has been heretofore. It may be euch as will enable the of the debt and interest for those two years. That unpaid Commissioners to pay more than the ten millions per anbalance, Mr. S. said, would be paid in 1831, which, toge- num. The Secretary says that it will exceed the estither with stock, redeemable in that year, bearing an mates for the expense of the current year in the sum of a milinterest of 4 and 5 per cent., would, with the interest lion and a half of dollars, but we may make extraordinary payable in that year, afford an amount, redeemable and appropriations to that amount during the present session; payable, of $15,353,824; in that year, the Commissioners we seldom have made less. The Secretary goes farther, would, of course, pay the ten millions, and there would and thinks it probable that the revenue which will be rethen remain a balance, to be paid in 1832, of $5,353,824.ceived in 1829, will exceed his estimate, and he, Mr. S. Here, Mr, S. stated separately the amount of the several fully agreed with him ; yet we may both be mistaken. If stocks that became redeemable, during the year 1831, we are right, then the Commissioners may pay this year and the amount of interest payable ; he also said, that it more than the 10,000,000. The Secretary has afforded was proper for him to inform the Senate that $10,999,000 us no data for 1830, and he has acted prudently: for no of those stocks were not redeemable until the 31st of human foresight can tell. We may speculate upon it, December of that year, of course, that there would only but there can be no dependence upon our speculations. be a little more than $2,600,000 that the debtor could be It is, however, reasonable to suppose that the importacompelled to receive, on the 1st of July, the time at which tions in autumn, especially of woollens, will fall very far the semi-annual payment is generally made ; but, as more short of those of 1828, of course that the receipts in 1830, than six millions of that stock was held by the Bank of when the bonds become due, will perhaps be less than the United States, he could not doubt that the Board of those were of 1827. The importations of 1830 may inDirectors would readily consent to relinquish so much as crease, and those of 1831 may be as great as ever they would be necessary to complete the usual payment of five have been: for I am not one of those who believe that the millions, in July. He did not doubt, he said, for he be- tariff will exclude importations. The articles will be relieved they were well disposed to do any thing in their quired for the consumption, and they will come as usual, power to accommodate the Government. It was greatly openly, and pay the duties, unless, indeed, the demand their interest to be on the best terms with the Treasury. shall be supplied by smugglers, which is to be feared. The inconvenience would be trifling ; besides, they would The temptation given by the late tariff is so great, it may know, that, unless they did accommodate, the Commissioners become a business; and men will probably be found, who would be compelled to redeem a part of the seven millions will, for one quarter of the duties, insure the safe deliveBank debi.
ry of the articles wanted. Mr, S. then said, that he hoped that he had satisfied Mr. S. (addressing the Chair) said, that he hoped he the Senate that there were more than sufficient of stock had shown that there was ample employment for all our
Sinking Fund, f.c.
[Jan. 12, 1829
means, until the 31st December, 1832, before which pe The 6 per cents. were,
16,279,822 riod he flattered himself that our revenue would be in
The 41 stock, due in 1829-30, 1,539,822 creased by a repeal of certain duties; their repeal, he said, would lessen the expenditure in every family, and Payable in 1829,
17,819,644 thus enable the manufacturer, mechanic, and all descrip The interest of which, paying five miltions of persons, to work for less prices. If the laborer lions half yearly, will be about 800,can live for one-third less, he ean afford to work for just 000 dollars each year,
1,600,000 so much less. The three per cents, he said, required some attention ; the gentleman from New York, had con
In round numbers say,
$19,419,644 sidered the subject properly: for he admitted that a law directing their purchase would probably raise the price Besides the accruing interest on the balance of the debt from 85 to 90 per cent. and at that price a purchase was of upwards of thirty-three millions, amounting to a million desirable. From which the Senator from New Jersey and a half annually, which will make the sum of twenty-two dissented How it could enter into the imagination of millions payable in 1829 and 1830; which is as much as the Senator from Missouri that a large purchaser, open can be safely estimated for these two years. ly coming into the market, would lower the price, he It was probable there might be a surplus in the Treasury, could not conceive ; the idea had, however, the merit of at the end of 1830, which may vary from one to two milnovelty. But, said Mr. S. where is the money to come lions, but of that, at the present, we could form no satisfacfrom ? He had shown that the whole of the means of the tory opinion, so as to become the basis of any financial arTreasury would be employed until the 1st of January, rangement. We cannot anticipate the revolutions in com1833, in paying off the 41, 5 and 6 per cents, and the inte merce, the effect of the tariff on the revenue in that year; rest thereof. Certainly the Senator from New York nor can we calculate what sums may in those two years bé could not believe that the Commissioners would decline applied by Congress to internal improvements, and other paying off those stocks, bearing such interest, for the pur- extraordinary objects. pose of purchasing the three per cents. at 85 or 90 per cent. In the year 1831, there will be no stocks redeemable, equal to an interest of 5 1-10 per cent. if bought at 85; and and consequently, we may calculate on ten or twelve at 5 4-10 per cent. if bought at 90 per cent.; and why be so millions of dollars in that year, for which Congress must desirous of paying off a debt at so great a loss? The provide before that time arrives. But, he said, it apwhole interest on the debt amounts to about $10,000 per peared to him too soon now to provide for the purchase annum, which can be paid out of $140,000 per annum, of stocks, which could not be effected under two years. gained by our seventy thousand shares of Bank Stock. While one gentleman proposes to purchase our stocks At any rate, if you would purchase, you have not the in the market, another suggests the expediency of dividmeans at present, without diverting them from more pro- ing this sum among the several States; another claims a fitable objects.
portion of it for great national improvements; another On the whole, Mr. S. was against making any altera- thinks that will be a proper time to commence a reductions in the funding system. It had operated well, and he tion of the duties. The public mind is not yet sufficientwas disposed to let well enough alone. He had intended to ly formed and expressed on these propositions. We rehave discussed all the other resolutions, and particularly quire facts, and time for deliberation. The next will be that on the Bank, but considered himself not at liberty a long session, and we shall then have the benefit of a full to discuss any except the first, now under consideration. discussion ; and the session after 1830-31, will be in good Should an opportunity occur, he thought he could show, time to decide what ought to be done with the revenue of that the taxing of the Bank for the use of the public de- | 1831. posites would be an infraction of the charter, and highly The gentleman from Missouri proposes now to pass a injudicious and injurious to the Government. He trusted law to authorize, at that time, the purchase of the stock. that the resolution would be referred.
This may become the most judicious application of the Mr. JOHNSTON, of Louisiana, said that, having, on a money, but it is premature, and unnecessary now to give former occasion, expressed his opinion upon the proposi- the authority. When we go into the market, we may tion to repeal the 4th section of the Sinking Fund Act, not be able to buy our stock at its par value ; indeed, we and the Committee on Finance having, at the last session, know we must pay more ; and the very fact of going into made a full and satisfactory report on that point, which the market to purchase so large a sum, will raise the price. had, no doubt, been carefully read by the Senate, he It will be advisable, at the next session, to ascertain what should pass over that resolution.
can be done in the market, with the fund holders, to legis[Here Mr. J. was informed that the subjects had been late advisedly-upon that information my opinion will divided.]
be formed. Mr. J. said the gentleman has suggested the Mr. JOHNSTON said he would then reply to the first ropriety of
rchasing the thirteen millions of three per resolution, which proposes to authorize the purchase of cents. The propriety of that must depend on the price at the public debt in the market. He said he thought it which they could be bought. If they must be purchased at premature to pass a law at this session, which must be in- par, that is, 100 for 100, then we dispose of our money operative for two years to come, and which would, in for three per cent. which we are not prepared to do for effect, supersede all other modes of employing the pub- the present. The three per cents. are now selling at 85 lic money, whatever might be the future opinion of Con on the 100, that is, equal to an investment at $353 gress.
per cent, which is less than the market rate of interest. Mr. J. remarked that we should have ample employment This arises chiefly from the fact, that this stock will, befor our funds during 1829 and 1830. He said there was fore many years, be paid off at 100, when the holders will redeemable, during the present year, 16,279,822 dollars realize 15 dollars on each share, which will bring the of stock, bearing six per cent. and there was a stock of stock to 4 or 4 per cent. equal to the value of money in 1,539,336 dollars, of four and a half per cent. payable the market. The price of this stock is now estimated at half this year and half the next; which, with the accruing 100 for 100, in making a calculation of its value. This interest, will make a sum nearly equal to the Sinking stock could not be purchased at 85, because the holders now Fund of ten millions for two years. This stock bears a see it will ere long be redeemed, and, when redeemed, must high rate of interest, and above the market rate of money, be taken at 100. and which it is the interest of the Treasury to pay as soon The gentleman not only misconceives the nature of this as possible. He said
stock and the price of it, and the effect of going into the