Imagens das páginas


Cumberland Road.-Printing for Congress.Judiciary System, fc.

[Dec 4 to 16, 1828.

he might say two millions of dollars upon this road, and

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 10, 1828. then to leave it in its present condition.

No business of importance was transacted this day. While he was up, he would take the liberty to inquire into a new order of the Senate. It had been the practice, for many years, for members of the Senate to introduce

THURSDAY, Dec, 11, 1828. their friends upon the floor of the Senate chamber. He The Senate was chiefly occupied in business of a prehad been called out this morning to see a gentleman from liminary nature. Adjourned to Monday. his own State, and when about to lead him into the chamber, he had been stopped by the officer, who said he had the President's written order to admit no person but the

MONDAY, Dec. 15, 1828. members. He did not dispute the authority of the Presi

PRINTING FOR CONGRESS. dent, but as he had been deeply mortified, he thought it

Mr. EATON asked and obtained leave to introduce the proper to ask for an explanation. The President (Mr. 'SMITH of Maryland) called for tion of 3d of March, 1819 ; which was read the first time,

following joint resolution, amendatory of the joini resoluthe reading of the 47th rule of the Senate, which gives and ordered to a second reading: certain powers, in relation to the admission of persons into

Resolved, f.c. That, within days before the adthe chamber, to the President of the Senate.

Mr. SMITH said, that he had been requested, by several journment of every Congress, each House shall proceed of the members, to issue the order in question ; that he succeeding Congress; and the person having a majority of

to vote for a printer to execute its work for and during the had doubted the right, but, although being satisfied in that all the votes given, shall be considered duly elected : respect, he had still declined interfering, preferring that and that so much of the resolution, approved the 3d of it should be postponed until the arrival of the Vice-Pre- March, 1819, entitled “A resolution directing the manner sident (Mr. CALHOUN). The members replied to this in which the printing of Congress shall be executed, fixing objection, that it was a necessary order ; and that the sooner

the prices thereof, and providing for the appointment of it was made the better; that the new gallery had been constructed for the use of members, and to that place they and the same is hereby, rescinded.”

a printer or printers," as is altered by this resolution, be, could take their friends, instead, as formerly, of introducing them upon the floor. He had therefore given the order ; , well declare his object in doing so at this time as at any

In offering this resolution, Mr. E. said that he might as but he was perfectly willing, if it was agreeable to the Se- other. It would be recollected that, at the last Congress, nate, to countermand it.

a gentleman from Delaware (Mr. Clayton) had submitted Mr. JOHNSON replied that he wished to give no trouble to the Senate. He had been greatly mortified at the printer, by requiring a majority of votes to elect, instead of

a resolution to change the mode of electing a public refusal to admit his friend, or rather his friend's friend, a gentleman from his own State. He might be wrong, but it was at that time maintained, that, as it was a joint reso

a plurality, as prescribed in ihe joint resolution of 1819. he differed in opinion with the members who had request- lution of the two Houses which prescribed that a plurality ed the order. "He had derived great advantages from of votes, should elect, the Senate was incompetent, of ithaving his friends upon the floor, where he could converse self, to change the mode. The amendment now submitted with them without leaving the chamber ; the chamber had by him, Mr. E. observed, was intended to do that directly, been frequently crowded to hear the eloquent gentlemen and by law, which had been attempted to be done by the around him upon great and important questions. It gave

vote of one House of Congress only. solemnity to the body to have them so surrounded. There had never been any complaint about the conversation

TUESDAY, Dec. 16, 1828. in the room. If it was put to him to say, he should

THE JUDICIARY SYSTEM, &c. vote against the change ; but, as it was, he should say no more about it.

The following resolution, yesterday submitted by Mr. WHITE, was taken up for consideration :

Resolved, That the Committee on the Judiciary be inTHURSDAY, DECEMBER 4, 1828.

structed to inquire into the propriety and necessity of so This day's sitting was principally taken up in debating amending the Judicial System of the United States as to whether the Standing Committees should be appointed this place all the States in a similar situation ; and furnish to day or on Monday next. A resolution for appointing them the citizens of each an equal opportunity of having a due on Monday finally prevailed.

administration of justice.'

Mr. WHITE observed, that, in submitting this resoluFRIDAY, DECEMBER 5, 1828.

tion for the consideration of the Senate, he had merely CUMBERLAND ROAD.

performed a duty imposed upon him by the Legislature of Agreeably to notice given on Wednesday, Mr. JOHN- his own State. They had instructed him to keep the atSON, of Kentucky, asked and obtained leave to bring in a

tention of Congress directed to the subject, until not only bill for the preservation and repair of the Cumberland road ; footing. In his State there were two classes of United

Tennessee, but all the States, were placed upon the same which was read a first time. Adjourned to Monday.

States' Courts—the District and the Circuit Courts. He MONDAY, DEC. 8, 1828.

then went into a statement of the duties of the Courts in

the several States, and said that, in Tennessee, they had The Senate, agreeably to the orders of the day, pro- nominally the assistance of the Judge of the Supreme ceeded to the election of their Standing Committees, and Court, but so much other business was there to be transsucceeded in electing five of them.

acted, that the Associate Judge of the Supreme Court

could but seldom attend, and the assistance was but nomiTUESDAY, Dec. 9, 1828.

nal; it was not in the power of the Judge to attend to his The Senate concluded the balloting for the remainder other duties, and regularly attend the Courts where he of their Standing Committees.

[Mr. White] lived. The object of this resolution was to The President communicated the annual Report of the obtain for the subject the attention of the committee, to Secretary of the Treasury on the state of the Finances; the end that they might propose some course by which, which was read, and 1500 extra copies ordered to be printed what was considered sufficient and proper for one State, for the use of the Senate. (See Appendix.]

should be conceded to all the twenty-four States. Three

Dec. 16, 1828.]

Pension Bills.-Congress Printing.




plans had been talked of for the purpose of obviating the shall be opened by the presiding officer, and in the predifficulties under which some of the States now labored. sence of the Senate, and those made to the Clerk of the Some had thought that the best course would be to in- House shall be opened by the presiding officer, and in the crease the number of the Judges of the Supreme Court, presence of the House ; and the election of printers shall so that they might be enabled to transact their business be made at such time thereafter as each House may think here, and have sufficient time to travel upon the Circuit. proper.” Others had thought it advisable to have the Circuits with Mr KNIGHT said, the only object of this amendment out the interference of the Supreme Court Judges, and was economy; as it was his impression that much more was had therefore proposed to lessen the number of those paid for the printing than was necessary. They did not, Judges, lo take from them their circuit duties, and let the by the adoption of this amendment, bind themselves to District Courts discharge all those duties. Others had elect the person sending in the lowest proposals. He supthought that it would be an improvement to have the Su- posed it might be done for a much less sum than it was at preme Court located at one place, and if it was unsafe to present; and when they had before them the several prohave District Judges alone, to appoint Circuit Judges for positions, they could elect whomsoever they pleased. It their assistance. His object was to have the subject con would also produce competition, the result of which would sidered by the intelligent Judiciary Committee ; to leave it be a reduction in the prices. He was confident that at entirely to themı; and for them to propose one of these least i wenty-five per cent. more was paid than it could be courses if they believed it to be correct, or, if not, some done for, and equally well done. The same course, of adother.

vertising for the lowest proposals, was pursued by all the His impression was, that, if the Circuit duties were taken Departments, and as he believed that it would save a conaltogether from the Judges of the Supreme Court, leaving siderable sum, he hoped the course he proposed would that only an appellate Court, that the present number of be pursued by Congress. Judges was larger than was necessary. There were now Mr. EATON hoped that the amendment would not be seven of them. Since the last session of Congress their adopted. When he was first in Congress, the system proponumber had been decreased by the death of one of the sed by the gentleman from Rhode Island was the regular Judges. If ihe number of Judges was ever to be lessened, system pursued; but all who remembered the time he it should be done at a time like the present, when ihere was spoke of, and remembered the manner in which the work not only no incumbent, but there had been no nomination was done at that time, would oppose a return to the sysmade for an appointment to fill the vacancy. No man, The work was miserably done, and the Secretary therefore, would be unfairly treated by being turned out of of the Senate was frequently obliged to apply to other than his office, and no man's feelings were interested in favor the regular printer to the body, to have the work done in of any applicant.

The Senate ought not to ask any printer to do He hoped the resolution would be adopted, believing their work for less than it was worth. If too much was the present as favorable a time as could present itself to paid for it, let the sum be reduced ; and if too little, let it have a consideration of the whole subject. The commit- be increased; but he was opposed to the plan of setting it tee would have it in their power to recommend any plan up to the lowest bidder. He wished to have the journals they should think proper, either one of those he had men and documents go down to posterity printed in a proper tioned, or any other; and with this short explanation of manner. The Senate, perceiving the difficulties under the objects of the resolution, he left it.

which they labored, had, a few years since, referred the The resolution was then agreed to.

subject to Mr. Wilson, a member from New Jersey, who Agreeably to notice yesterday given, Mr. NOBLE asked had been all his life a printer. He graduated the prices, and obtained leave to introduce bills-granting pensions to and they had been the established prices ever since that sundry Revolutionary and other officers and soldiers, and time. The price of labor had not diminished in the country for other purposes; and for the relief of sundry officers, since that time; the price of paper and materials had not soldiers, and widows; which were read the first tiine. diminished; and he did not know that the work could be

Mr. NOBLE, in introducing the first of these bills, made afforded any cheaper. Still he had no objection to an ina few remarks to show that no blame was imputable to the vestigation of the subject, and to having the price lowered Chairman of the committee for their not passing through if too much was now paid. Many men would be induced both Houses at the last session. The bills came to the to do it for a very reduced price, and at no profit, for the Senate too late to allow a proper examination of the papers sake of doing it; but he was in favor of having it done well. connected with the respective cases; and he would tell the His proposition was a very simple one, merely having for Senate now, that, in case these petitions, memorials, and its object the change in the mode of electing, so that a bills, were not acted upon, he would not be held responsi- majority, instead of a plurality, should be necessary to the ble for the delay. He said so now.

choice. This was a common course in elections, and in

many States even the members of Congress were elected CONGRESS PRINTING.

by majorities. This same proposition had been made two The joint resolution yesterday introduced by Mr. EA- years ago, at which time the Senate were in favor of it. TON was taken up, read a second time, and considered. The object of it was, that no person could get the place

Mr. EATON moved to fill the blank with the word who was not the choice of the Senate. The result of the thirty, which was carried.

amendment would be, that five, six, or a dozen men, would Mr. KNIGHT then submitted the following as an ad come there with their propositions; the Senate would be ditional section :

bothered with them ; it was putting the printing of the And it is further resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate up to the lowest bidder, and an individual not the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives, at choice of the Senate, had an opportunity of being elected. every session of Congress (including the present), when Mr. KNIGHT thought the gentleman from Tennessee soch printers are to be chosen, shall severally give notice, misconceived the object of his amendment. He only in three of the public papers, printed in the City of Wash- asked for that information which was necessary to aid ingion, six weeks in succession, for sealed proposals to be him in the choice, and which those who had not been made to either of them of the terms for which the public in the Senate so long as the gentlemen from Tennessee printing will be performed for each House, for the suc were in want of. The same course had been adopted ceeding Congress; and that such proposals shall be and in the several Departments. No alteration was made in remain unopened, until the last Monday in February follow- the original resolution, and it was merely an addition, ing, when those made to the Secretary of the Senate which did not interfere with it.


Congress Printing.

[Dec. 17, 1828.

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Mr. EATON could see no object in applying to print to change the mode of election from a plurality to that of ers for their terms, unless the Senate were to be governed a majority. by those terms after they were received. He therefore Mr. KNIGHT said that, when he proposed his amendmoved that the whole should be laid upon the table, and ment to the resolution, the object of it appeared so palthe amendment be printed; which motion prevailed. pable upon the face of it, that he did not suppose it

would meet with any opposition at all. The amendment WEDNESDAY, Dec. 17, 1828.

he proposed was in accordance with the practice of Go

vernment for many years. The Departments all did the The Senate, on motion of Mr. EATON, proceeded same thing. 'The Navy Department always advertised for to the consideration of the joint resolution providing the the lowest proposals to furnish them with provisions; the mode for the election of a public printer ; the question War Department always advertised in this manner, being on the amendment offered by Mr. KNIGHT. through the Commissary, for clothing for the army, &c.;

Mr. EATON rose and said he had a few remarks the Post Office Deparıment for the lowest proposals to to make upon this subject. It was a rule of the Sen- carry the mails; the Treasury Department always advertisate that, when a bill or resolution had passed to its ed for its loans, and other objects applicable to that Desecond reading, either to consider it in a Committee of pariment. They do not, however, always give the conthe Whole, or refer it to a Committee. In this case he tract to the lowest bidder. His amendment merely propreferred the former course. If it were any thing in posed to advertise for the lowest proposals ; but would not volving an important principle he should think it proper bind the Senate to select the person who bid the lowest. to have it considered by a Committee; but this was not a They could, after receiving the necessary information, case of that sort; it was merely a proposition to amend take all things into consideration; and, if the lowest was the joint resolution of the two Houses upon this subject, able to carry his contract into execution, it was for the by changing the mode of election, and making a majority general good that he should be elected. The resolution of the whole votes necessary to the election, instead of a was more for information, than for the purpose of forming plurality-to know whether a majority or a mere plurality a contract. The information he wanted was, whether they should rule there, and govern them in their elections. were now paying too much ; it was his impression that they The resolution of 1819 says, the choice shall be by the were ; if his amendment was adopted it would tend to prohighest number of votes given. Now five or six persons mote competition. It was proper to give the printer a might apply for the situation, and by dividing the votes, fair compensation for his services; and when the informaone might be elected by only thirteen or fourteen votes ; tion for which he asked was obtained, they would be able and thus a person be foisted upon us who was to vote understandingly upon that point. At a former sesour choice. This mode of advertising for proposals, as sion, the Senate had pursued this course, in directing the proposed by the gentleman from Rhode Island, was put- War Department to advertise for proposals for furnishing ting it up to the lowest bidder; for he could make nothing a certain number of copies of the military tactics ; the else of it, although the gentlemen had endeavored to ex- Department did so, proposals were received, the Senate plain a difference. Why should we call upon them if we do acied upon them, and there was no complaint that the not mean to be compromitted in our choice by the propo- work was not well done. That was the system he now sals sent in? If the gentleman thinks the schedule of proposed to adopt. If this course was now pursued, a prices adopted in 1819 is unfair, and that we are paying number of proposals probably would be before the Senate, too much, let the matter be referred to a Committee, who and some judgment could be formed. It was a fact, that shall receive proposals, and fix the proper prices; but that every body was acquainted with, that the price of printthe prices were too high, no man there was competent to ing was now lower than formerly. Type was made in vasay—he believed that they were not. When he came rious parts of the country, paper was cheaper, and steam into the Senate, in the year 1819, a person was printer to had been applied to the purpose of printing. Taking all that body, who was selected on account of the lowness of these things into consideration, he had arrived at the conhis proposals, and it was frequently the case, that the clusion that the Senate was paying too much for its printSecretary was ordered to get the printing done by private ing. At the last session we had paid $22,000 to our print

He was not prepared to go back to such a state er. This was a very considerable item in the expenditure; of things. The printing was now done well, and done in the House it was more considerable. His opinion was, upon the schedule of prices fixed by a member who was that the printing might be done, and well done, for a less himself a printer; he took that fact as prima facie evidence amount than we now paid. The adoption of the amendthat they were not paying too much for their printing. ment would give them information : they would have al} It was fixed, for the common documents, at one dollar a the facts before them, and the Senate could make choice page, and at that price the six hundred copies were printed. of whomsoever they pleased. He had done no more than A close, miserly way of paying for the printing was not the his duty in bringing it before the Senate for their consitrue economy. Pay well for the work—that was economy. deration. In regard to the manner in which the work had Some of the documents, printed upon the old system, at formerly been executed, previous to 1819, and of which the lowest price, were upon so poor paper that they almost the gentleman from Tennessee complained, they had alfell to pieces upon being turned over.

It was the worst ways stipulated for the manner and form in which the work kind of economy, that which was called cheapness. He should be done, and it was always in their power to take could not conceive the propriety of changing the present another, if the printer did not do his work to their satisfacsystem, or the object to be attained by the addition of the tion. proposed amendment. It was said that it was the plan Mr. JOHNSON, of Kentucky, said, it was not his purpursued by the War Department, and the Commissariat pose to start objections to the amendment of the gentleDepartment, both of which advertised for proposals to man from Rhode Island. The gentleman said it was not furnish clothing and other necessaries at the lowest prices. his object to bind the Senate to choose the person who It was proper that they should; an immense saving might should send in the lowest proposals, and yet he made a probe made by it: but the Senate could save nothing by the position to that effect, connected with the mode of electing adoption of a similar course, as they did not know what the printer. He wished it had been made an isolated prowas a fair price to pay, and might be disappointed in the position, and submitted for the consideration of a commitwork. He would ask the gentleman from Rhode Island iee, that they might send for persons and papers, and exnot to press this amendment to his resolution, when it had amine the subject, and if too much had been paid, reduce no bearing upon the resolution-the object of which was the prices. Such a proposition would have received the


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Dec. 17, 1828.)

Congress Printing.


sanction of every member of the Senate. He wished that it Rhode Island had made a proposition simply to ascertain had come before them, noi in connexion with any thing else. whether too much was paid for the printing, he should If you go on the principle of economy in the selection, have voted for it: for he agreed with the gentleman that make that the principle; but if you choose the printer, the printing had heretofore cost too much ; but that it cost having high confidence in his integrity and character, then too much now, he was not prepared to say. When he set before him the terms on which you propose to have said that the printing heretofore cost too much, he did it your work executed. The gentleman said, that he would from the knowledge that it was as well done now for a not bind the Senate to elect the person making the lowest less price, than was formerly paid. It seemed to him bid. The Departments never deviate from the principle that the information the gentleman asked for would be of taking the lowest bid, if the person making that lowest given to the Senate just at the moment when they were bid is a responsible person, and able to carry his contract called upon to act upon the subject, and would have into execution. He did not rise so much to oppose the an undue influence upon the minds of the Senators in amendment, as to say that, so long as he was a member of the choice. The gentleman from Rhode Island prothe Senate-so long as he was in public life--now, and to posed for bids, after the manner of the Departments. all time-he would put his veto upon this -- he would say, The reason they advertise for proposals is, because it is were it not for the respect he bore the gentleman from not in their power to know what are fair prices for the Rhode Island, and did he not fear that gentleman would articles they wish to obtain. The Senate, on the conattach the remark to the amendment now under considera- trary, could ascertain the prices at which the printing tion, which application he did not intend—he would say, should be done. He should be unwilling to trust the this contemptible and scandalous system of offering the printing to any person who would do it for less than he public printing to the man who would make the lowest could afford to do it for; the printer must be able to do bid. Men would bid, for the sake of having the work, the work in the manner and form required. who could not possibly do the work. If the Postmaster He would state a case, which proved that the printing General advertised for proposals for carrying the mail, was now done cheaper than formerly. "Tother morning, and if the Commissary General advertised for proposals to in a committee room,

he had occasion to examine two furnish beef, it was because they did not, and could not, documents, in which were several pages of rule work ; know the fair price of those articles. But the Senate he found that they were done upon a new plan, in which could know, and did know; the prices were fixed; they as much was contained upon a single page, for which could elect their printer to do the work at those prices, they paid three dollars and fifty cents, as formerly cost and were in want of no contract. There ought to be no them seventeen dollars. In the documents accompanycontracts made in the country, for doing the public busi- ing the President's message, there was as much on a page ness; it had introduced more fraud and low cunning than for which they paid four or four and a half dollars, as any thing else in the world. The printing had been fixed they had been in the habit of paying eleven dollars for ; at a fair price, and he would not introduce the principle so that he concurred with the gentleman from Rhode that the lowest bidder should be entitled to the place. Island, that they had heretofore paid too much. Whether He would not introduce the principle that the lowest bid- they did now or not, he could not say ; but in his judgder should be made a member of Congress; that the lowest ment, it was as cheap as it could be done by contract. In bid should elect the Secretary, Doorkeeper, &c., &c. providing a printer, they should never choose a person who These things were not exactly so, but it was the same would do it for less than he could afford to do it for. principle; and he would not establish the principle that Mr. KNIGHT observed that he should not have said Judges of the Supreme Court and members of the House another word on the subject, had it not been for the term of Representatives should take their places because they contemptible," applied to his amendment by the Senator were willing to work cheaper than any body else. Tell from Kentucky [Mr. Johnson.] me the difference in principle- Where is the difference The CHAIR said he had not understood the gentleman between electing a member of Congress, and electing a from Kentucky as applying his remark to the amendment printer to Congress? If you give too much for the print of the Senator from Rhode Island. ing, and if you give your public officers too much for Mr. KNIGHT said he had certainly so understood the their services, curtail the one, and lessen the salary of gentleman, but was happy to learn that he had misunderthe other, but do not establish this contemptible princi- stood him. ple of doing every thing by contract, and with the lowest Mr. JOHNSON, of Kentucky, considered it due to himbidder. The Senate could fix the salaries for their ofti- self to say, that his former expression was, that “but cers; they could fix the price for their printing; there for the respect he bore for the gentleman from Rhode was no necessity for a contract; and he would say, that Island, and fearing that he would apply the remark to he felt an instinctive abhorrence at doing every thing by the present proposition, he should have said the system contract. He should vote against any proposition of of advertising for a bidder was contemptible.” He had the kind, at any time, and he was sorry that this was in- used the same remark again, as applied to the system out troduced to clog and embarrass the passage of a simple of the House. If he could have so little respect for the proposition to amend the rule, in a point which he con- Senate, whatever he might think, he could not have so sidered important.

litile respect for others, and had too much respect for himMr. CHANDLER thought it proper, if they were pay- self, to make use of such expressions. ing any men too high for their services, to curtail the ex The CHAIR again said, that, had he understood the penses; but what had that to do with this subject? He gentleman from Kentucky as applying his remarks to the did not say they were not paying too much. If the gen- amendment of the Senator from Rhode Island, he should tleman from Rhode Island had offered a resolution to certainly have called him to order. raise a Committee to inquire into the subject, he should Mr. JOHNSTON, of Louisiana, said, that he went have voted for its passage. If he would do it now, he upon the principle that a majority of votes should always (Mr. C.] would vote for it. But this was merely relating govern in cases of election. He was of opinion that all to another subject, a transaction by itself, and they would such appointments as the one which was now the subject act upon it by itself. If the amendment was adopted, they of discussion should be made by a majority. He was opcould not act upon the whole together, but would be posed to the amendment, because he conceived that the obliged to divide the question.

mode proposed was the very worst mode that could be Mr. KANE said he should trouble the Senate with adopted. Previous to 1819 the practice had been to put but a few words upon the subject. If the gentleman from out the printing to the lowest bidder, as is contemplated

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Congress Printing

(Dec. 17, 1828.

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by the amendment of the gentleman from Rhode Island, Mr. BENTON said there was such a thing as too much
and the effect of it was to have the printing done with the legislation. It was idle for the farmer to plant and re-
poorest materials, and on the worst possible plan. In- plant, without giving time for a crop. But fifteen or six-
deed, he had been informed that a bill of a highly impor- teen days of the session had transpired, and they were se-
tant nature had been put off for a whole year, in conse- riously at work on this subject of printing. Last spring-
quence of the neglect of a printer who performed the no, (said Mr. B.) last summer—we had adopted a very
work under a contract. The minority would not act salutary regulation, by joint resolution, and, without waiting
without further information, and the majority were afraid for the effect of that resolution, we were at work on the
to act without the requisite information. The effect of matter again. He would call the attention of the Senate
competition was to attract here a number of persons, all to the resolution of the 24th May last, and which would be
anxious to get hold of the public money, who, ignorant found at page 153 of the Laws. Those who have been any
of calculations, and not aware of the expenses to be en time in Congress will perceive that the resolution to which
countered, were willing to take the work at prices ruin- he had referred, will cause a reduction in the price of
ous to themselves, and disadvantageous to the Government.printing, of one-half, and in some instances three-fourths.
The expenses of the Congressional printer are necessarily The ordinary method of printing had been, frequently, to
very great; a large amount of capital is expended by make four pages where only one was found to be neces-
him for materials and machinery; and the vast number of sary. Here was a saving of three-fourths of the expense-
persons employed by him subjects him to heavy and con this the effect of dispensing with title-pages. In most
tinued expenses. How, then, was it to be expected that cases it would be found that one-half the expense would
a person could be prepared, immediately on the accept- be saved. This was a great deduction from the profits of
ance of his bid, with the materials and competent work- the printer. Again, the resolution provided that the yeas
men, to execute the printing in a proper manner, with the and nays should be printed as ordinary matter, and not be
reduced prices which competition would exact? He well set in columns, as had heretofore been done. Here was
recollected that, under the contract system, the printing another saving, but not so great. The resolution also pro-
was executed in the most slovenly manner, and that the vided that Executive documents, reports, &c., should be
difficulties experienced by it forced an investigation of the bound together-here was an improvement, but no saving.
subject. Three modes of obviating those difficulties were Mr. B. ihen referred to the statement which had been
proposed : to continue the contract system with some made by Mr. Kane, of the great economy of printing, at
modification ; for each House to execute its own printing, the present session. This fact, he said, was not contined to
by the establishment of an office entirely under the con the single act of printing, but affected the binding also.
trol of the Government; and lastly, by electing a printer Where there was tabular work, exceeding the size of a
and fixing the prices of the work. The first having been page, it necessarily had to be folded, and greatly swelled
found so objectionable, was abandoned ; the second, Con- the size of the volume ; and, when much used, it looked
gress was not disposed to adopt, because it was deemed like a rolled heap of straw. He did not know whether
but an experiment, the effects of which would be extremely the prices nt present allowed were too high or too low,
doubtful; the third proposition of electing a printer, and but he knew that the resolution to which he referred had
fixing the prices, was determined on by the resolution of the effect of lessening the cost of the printing, and, conse-
1819, and experience had fully demonstrated, that that quently, the profits of the printer.
was the most preferable method of executing the printing Let us wait a little longer, (said Mr. B.,) and ascertain
of Congress. He was not prepared to say whether the the practical effect of the resolution. The Secretary and
prices were too high or too low. He was perfectly wil. Clerk had wisely discharged their duties as prescribed by
ling to refer that subject to a Committee, to inquire and it, and the whole matter was under their control now.
report upon ; and, indeed, the suggestion of the gentle- | There was no necessity for the interference of the Senate.
man from Illinois had satisfied him that an inquiry was As to the amendment of the Senator from Rhode Island,
necessary If, said he, the language of the resolution was it provides that the proposals shall not be opened until the
so vague as to enable one printer to put a construction Senate were to act upon them. What would be the ef-
upon it by which seventeen dollars was charged for a fect of this? Why, to swell the profits of the printer: for
piece of work which another charges but three dollars for, when carried into effect, it would be found that the work
it is time that it should be amended. The subject had had been done in a manner different from what the pro-
been before the Retrenchment Committee of the other posals specified. The paper would be of an inferior
House, at the last session, and it was found by them, that quality, and the work done with the sole view to profit.
by a construction put upon the language of the resolution, How different was the case where Congress itself deter-
more had been charged for some of the work than was mined the prices, and the printer went to work with a
necessary. The difficulty, however, with him, (Mr. J proper understanding of the matter. The gentleman from
said,] was not as to the prices given ; but the great evil Rhode Island had spoken of the amount paid for printing
consisted in the vast number of useless documents which at the last session of Congress. But ihe amount named by
were annually printed We are inundated with useless him did not form a part of the current expenses of the
documents ; the volumes were swelled to an exorbitant session. The Executive Journal, Jefferson's Manual, the
extent, and seventeen or eighteen volumes were annually Treasury Reports, &c , had been ordered to be printed, and
bound. How many of these were actually necessary, he it was not right to throw out the idea to the public that
left it for the Senate to decide ; most of them were cer the Senate had been more extravagant in their expenses at
tainly entirely unnecessary. The Retrenchment Com- the last session than formerly. With regard to this plan
mittee had recommended that a Standing Committee should of putting out the printing to the lowest bidder, he had
be constituted by each House, who should decide on the another remark to make. The printing of Congress was
quantity of printing necessary to be done. This, (said frequently of a confidential nature. We are obliged to in-
Mr. J.] will be the true economy. Mr. J. did not see the trust our printer with many matters requiring secrecy,
utility of the last part of the resolution, which went to and he his journeymen. It was necessary, then, that we
repeal part of the resolution of 1819, but he entirely con should elect a man of character, on whom we can rely for
curred with the gentleman from Tennessee, that a major- the discreet performance of his duties. Many of these con-
ity of votes should determine the choice of a printer. As fidential matters related to foreign nations, and the agents
to the contract system, it might do for the several De- of foreign Governments would freely give, in many
partments, but it was neither proper nor expedient cases, more than the whole amount paid for the public

printing, to be put in possession of these matters. The ob

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