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FEB. 28, 1829.]
Instructions to Panama Ministers,
could be possibly a proper question on such an occasion, through his instructions, was to be refused. Did gentle, if the President wished the instructions published ? To men so much fear confutation from these instructions
3 which, also, he was willing to answer, that he knew no Were they so apprehensive that, wheresoever these inthing of the President's wishes on the subject. He had structions should see the light, the whole fabric of their called for these instructions on the ground that this was a opposition to the mission would vanish? Did they feel safer proper time to make them public. The occasion had to combat in the dark, than in the light? They had seen passed by. The mission had become a part of the poli- no harm in making their own views of this mission public. tical history of the country. It had been a question which How is it that they now see so much harm in making had much divided the opinions of public men. Was any equally public the views of others ? thing more just or proper, than that now the country For his own part, he felt confident that this parade of should have a full view of the whole subject? To what opposition would not answer its end. The people will end does the member from Virginia declare, with such naturally desire to see the instructions given to our minemphasis, and enforce, with so much repetition, that isters. It will be esteemed but just to publish them, now there are majorities and minorities on this floor? Does that the occasion is past, and the mission itself has behe wish rather to rally a party, than to take the sober come matter of history. After all that had been said judgment of the Senate on this question? Does he mean, of majorities and minorities, he trusted that the Senate when other arguments fail, to accomplish his end by would feel it due to its own character, to its own sense of talking of parties, and of the propriety of majorities re- justice and propriety, and to the country, 10 accede to sisting motions made by those in the minority ? Was it the resolution ; since, sooner or later, the country would the member's object to preserve strong lines of distinc require the publication of what is now requested. tion between majorities and minorities? Certainly it Mr. BENTON would vote differently on this occawas the ordinary effect of such a tone of argument as had sion from what he would if the present administration were now been resorted to, to preserve such lines; and if what to continue in power. If they were to continue, he would was both just in itself, and according to uniform practice, struggle to the ultermost to have all the instructions comwas to be resisted by the arguments of majorities and mi-municated confidentially to :he Senate: those who had opnorities, distinctions of that kind were likely to pre- posed the mission to Panama might also have an opportuvail, unless, indeed, individuals should, ere long, under- nity of endeavoring to get all they conceived material betake the task of thinking and acting for themselves-an fore the public. But this administration was not to conevent, he hoped, not yet to be despaired of.
tinue. It went out of power in three days, and could gain He had already said, his original object had been to re- nothing by making an imperfect communication; for the quest the President to send all the instructions, or so new administration would immediately have it in its powmuch thereof as he thought might, with propriety, be er to show any thing that might be left behind. If it made public. This being opposed, because it left the should turn out to be the fact, that the President had matter in the President's discretion, he had altered his dropped or modified, when he came to give his instrucmotion so as to ask for the whole, and to request it to be tions, any of the objects originally communicated to the sent confidentially. This was the present shape of the Senator, it would be a high compliment to the nineteen question. If the instructions come here, they will be Senators who opposed the mission, and, for that reason, under our control. We shall be able to judge what may were so often denounced for a factious and unprincipled safely be published. Are gentlemen afraid of this course ? | opposition. To authorize the publication (if the authority Dare they not trust the Senate ? Dare they not trust was necessary) seemed to be an act of courtesy, perhaps themselves ? If the Senate should refuse to publish any of justice, to a retiring administration ; if a partial publipart, still the motion will have been proper, because it cation was made. it would be corrected in a few days, and was proper that the Senate itself should see the instruc no advantage would be gained on one side, or injury done tions. It had been asked, why does not the President to the other, where the correction would be so prompt. himself publish them? He did not know that the Presi Mr. TAZEWELL again rose. I have been supposed, dent wished them published. Whether he did or not [said he] by the Senator from Massachusetts, to have resisted was wholly immaterial. This motion was not made for an application made here, in a way unbecoming and inthe President, but for the country. It was to enable the decorous. It is probable that I do not see this in the people to see the real character of a mission, about which same light in which it is viewed by the Senator from Mas80 much had been said. And it was somewhat singular, sachusetts. I have not been taught decorum in the same he thought, that gentlemen should refuse all opportunity school with him ; and, probably, I shall never go there to to make the President's instructions public, who had ta- learn jt. ken care to make their own speeches (delivered in closed The Senator from Massachusetts had exhibited his prodoors) against the mission, public. The member from position in two or three different lights, and supported it Virginia himself, had favored not only the Senate, but the in two or three different ways. He yesterday laid before country, with his objections to the mission. After long us a resolution. To-day, being called upon for some readebate in the Senate, the injunction of secrecy had been son for its adoption, he stated that its object was to enable removed, and the debate published. These speeches the President to vindicate his administration from the had long been before the country, and was it not fair charges brought against it, on the score of this mission. now to have a sight of the conduct of the Executive it. Yet now he does not know that the President even wishes self? Gentlemen said the Executive was instructed by the publication to be made. His proposition is varied, and their discussion; and that the instructions will not show so shall be my answer. He wishes the information now the original objects of the mission. But how could this for the gratification of his own curiosity. If the Senator be known till the instructions were seen? All that was contemplates any public action on the information, I matter of argument. Gentlemen seem to wish the pub- would go with him in calling for it; but I would not lic judgment to be formed, with their own views made call for it, merely for the purpose of gratifying priknown, while those of the Executive should be kept se vate curiosity. That can be satisfied in a readier way.
The people were to form an opinion of the Presi- If I am guilty of indecorum in having used the words dent's objects and intentions, not from the instructions “minority and majority,” how shall the Senator from given by himself to the ministers, but from the conjec- Massachusetts be acquitted, for attributing the oppotures, the surmises, the imputations, of his opponents ! sition to the Panania mission to fears “either felt or feignAll these last were to be spread abroad, while so plain an ed ?" It is certain, that those who felt these fears did not act of justice as to let the President speak for himself, ) feign them, and that those who feigned them did not feel
Instructions to Panama Ministers.
[FEB. 28, 1829.
them. If the Senator will use words like these, he must sary result. By the then majority of the Senate, the exnot wonder that we use the words “majority and mi- istence of the alleged danger was denied ; they saw nonority.” He was rather inclined to think that the Senator thing to excite alarm, in the objects of the proposed asbelonged to the majority of that day when the Panama semblage of ministers, under the limited agency which project was proposed.
the Executive had avowed it to be its policy to have in its The Senator from Massachusetts had now varied his operations, and they denied that the objects of the Exemotion, calling for all the papers confidentially, and asks cutive, or the effects of the mission, would be detrimental us whether we can distrust the Senate. He distrusted to the true interests of the nation. After the discussion every body when applications departing from precedence ended here, the injunction of secrecy was removed ; and were made. He saw no motive for the application long and labored arguments of the adversaries of the now. Why was this time selected? Why could not the measure were published to the American public, containSenator have waited for two or three days? You call on ing the assertions of gentlemen on one side, and all the án Executive, who has not sixty hours to live, for docu- arguments by which those assertions could be sustained. ments in relation to very important subjects. He had as The question then became matter of general interest much confidence in the Senate as in any other body of through the nation, and divided public opinion. Whether men. It was impossible to conceive the true character of the advocates of the measure were right, in asserting the the mission as first proposed. It was contemplated to hold policy of the Executive to be wise, and its objects benefia congress for the purpose of settling American law, in cial, it must be obvious, depends on what were the objects contra distinction to public law. This was a substantial and views of the Executive, and these can but be explaindistinction. It was not an abstract principle, nor is it ated by knowing the precise instructions committed to our all times convenient for our ambassadors to carry their in- ministers. Without them the American people can never structions on their foreheads. Bad as our policy had been, decide, with intelligence or accuracy, upon the very issue in some negotiations, we had not made every body ac- between us; because, from them alone can be distinctly quainted with the instructions given to our ministers. A known the true character and purposes of our connection code of law was to be settled by the Northern and Sou- with the proposed Congress of Ministers. When these thern States of America. It was not fit that the instructions come to be fully and accurately disclosed, we affirm that relative to pending or finished negotiations on that sub- they will demonstrate the correctness of our proceedings ; ject should be published. This was an answer to the ques- and, as they are necessary to a right judgment on the tion, what harm there was in the call. There was much subject, and their production can prejudice no existing harm in showing to the world what was or is the policy interest or relation of the country, we say we have a right of the United States, in relation to South America. He 10 demand this proof of the judicious policy we recomwould be happy to converse with the Senator from Mas- mended. Every public man has, and ought to have, a sachusetts, in private, on these subjects, to satisfy his proud and anxious wish to stand fair and straight in the curiosity on this or any other subject, so far as it might estimation of the public; and duty and justice to ourselves be in his power, and to have his opinion on the question afford motive sufficient to warrant our demand for this of public law involved in these subjects. But he was un proof, without reference to the purpose suggested by Sewilling that the curiosity of the Senator should be gratified nators on the other side, that this is to justify the Execuin the manner proposed.
tive, and that the Executive has the power to publish what Mr. SMITH, of Maryland, said the discussion would it pleases on the subject, and does not require a resolube interminable. There was much business to be trans tion of this body. If the Executive thinks proper to pubacted, and this resolution might as well be taken up next lish, for its own purposes, be it so ; but we have to take week, when we should have nothing to do, as now. He care of ourselves; we want the nation to determine bemoved to lay the resolution on the table, and gave notice tween us and those who differ with us, and we want the that he should not withdraw his motion.
facts disclosed on which that judgment must be formed. The yeas and nays, on the motion, being ordered, at the Let the facts, and all the facts, go to the world, and we request of Mr. CHAMBERS,
are willing to abide the result. In asking this, do we pro... The question was taken to lay the resolution on the ta- pose to rekindle old controversies, and awaken party anible, and decided in the negative, as follows:
mosities that are slumbering? No such thing. The PaYEAS-Messrs. Barnard, Berrien, Bouligny, Chan- nama Congress, and all its operations, are at an end; the dler, Dickerson, Dudley, Eaton, Hayne, Iredell, Johnson, Senator from Virginia says the whole thing is dead. Our of Kentucky, Kane, King, McKinley, Prince, Rowan connection with it is matter of political history, and there Smith, of Maryland, Smith, of South Carolina, Tazewell, is no longer a division of sentiment upon any subject now Tyler, White, Williams, Woodbury.-22.
in progress which has relation to it. But the political NAYS-Messrs. Barton, Bell, Benton, Branch, Burnet, history of the country ought to be impartiais ; it ought not Chambers, Chase, Foot, Hendricks, Holmes, Johnston, of to be composed from ex-parte materials; and the agents Louisiana, Knight, Marks, Noble, Ridgely, Robbins, Rug- in the transactions it records have a plain interest in havgles, Sanford, Seymour, Silsbee, Thomas, Webster, ing it founded on fact, and on the whole fact. We are Willey.-23.
told there may be danger in these disclosures ; they may Mr. CHAMBERS said, thai, having been one of those develope the views of this Government, to too great an exwho had participated in sanctioning the mission, he might tent, to the observation of foreign Powers. Sir, there can be allowed, according to the terms of the Senator from be no possible danger in pursuing the course proposed by Virginia, to claim the notice of the Senate to this resolu- this resolution. Whether mischief would arise from a pubtion. The Senator had said that a disclosure of the in- lication of the documents called for by the resolution, is a structions might be proper to vindicate the course of those matter about which we certainly cannot form an accurate who had been engaged in the adoption of the measure, opinion, until we know what they contain. He had never but not to gratify individual curiosity. He claimed, under read a line of the instructions, and did not profess to this concession, the aid of those instructions to prove the know what they were, more than any other Senator on the correctness of the measures of those with whom he then floor.
He certainly could not, therefore, assume upon acted. When the Panama mission was advised by the himself to say their publication would be injurious, and he Executive, it became the subject of long and animated could not conjecture why they should be so. But the rediscussion in this body. By those who opposed it, now solution has suggested the means the most appropriate to called "the 19" by the Senator from Missouri (Mr. Ben- guard against such difficulties. It proposes to have them TON), many and great evils were predicted, as its neces sent to this body, that the members of the Senate, the
FEB. 28, 1829.
Instructions to Panama Ministers.
constitutional counsellors of the President, charged em and I desire to state for myself the reasons which will inphatically with the co-ordinate direction and control of the Auence my conduct. I do not mean to question, in the foreign relations of the Government, who have not the smallest degree, the force or conclusiveness of the arguprivilege but the obligation to become acquainted with its ments which have been urged by those with whom I act diplomatic concerns, may determine how far it will be safe on this occasion, when I say that my refusal to acquiesce to give them publicity, and what portion of them must in the proposal of the Senator from Massachusetts, will restill remain in the secret archives of the American Govern- sult from considerations which have not yet been distinctment. What more can gentlemen ask? They have told | ly stated to the Senate. To sustain that refusal, I do not us, more than once, we are in the minority; they know feel that it is necessary for me to discuss the propriety of and feel their strength, and surely they are not unwilling calling upon the President, at the moment when he is reto trust themselves. We ask for justice ; and we submit tiring from office, to furnish the evidence on which the it to themselves to mete to us a proper measure of it, and American people are to decide upon his own political can they fear they will mete it too largely? But we are conduct ; to express an apprehension that, in answering told, and have it repeated to us, that the present Executive that call, any portion of the evidence which is contained is in the very act of retiring from office, and that this ap- in the Department of State would be withheld; or to sugplication ought to be deferred until a new administration gest, what it rather behooves the friends of the present is installed. This, to me, is a singularly strange notion. Executive to consider, how much more fit it would be to A system of policy recommended and adopted by this ad- demand that evidence from his successor. With the most ministration is the subject on which opinion is divided; entire respect for those who act with me on this occasion, whether it merits approbation or censure will much de- and without the slightest disposition to conceal from them pend on the peculiar views, motives, and objects, which with whom it is my fortune to differ, the reasons which influenced this administration to propose it. We ask to influence my conduct, I will state, frankly and briefly, the have these very individuals disclose their motives and ob- grounds on which I rest my objections to this measure. jects, and to furnish all the data from which we can col Sir, I do not see, either in the terms of this resolulect them, and we are answered that we must wait till they tion, in the avowed motives for its introduction, or in the have left office, and then apply ourselves to their succes- history of the transaction to which it refers, any sufficient sors, who were strangers to the whole matter. The mere reason for giving the sanction of my vote to the merely statement of this position sufficiently shows it to be unrea- gratuitous act which the Senate is called upon to personable, and that it cannot justity the “majority," of which form. gentlemen remind us, in refusing us the demand for infor What is it which this resolution proposes to call from mation, where alone it ought to be sought.
the recesses of the Department of State-to spread beBut another, and, if possible, a yet more strange idea fore the American people—and to expose to the view of has been suggested and repeated, by the honorable Sena- the other nations of the world? The instructions of the tor from Virginia, that, because in a few days, “in sixty President of the United States to the ministers who were hours,” to use the Senator's language, the term of the pre- to have represented us in the Congress of Panama, if they sent Executive will expire, therefore there is no responsi- could have found it; to revive the discussion of a transbility with the present incumbents on which we can rely action, which was a political experiment in its origin-a for a full and fair disclosure of all the documents. Why, political abortion in its result; which agitated the public sir, is it possible that the doctrine is publicly and delibe- mind in its progress; and of which the consummation rately avowed on this floor, that for the last sixty hours of may be sought in the decisive judgment pronounced by his ierm, a President of the United States has not the the American people on the project and its projectors. same responsibility, both to the law and to public opinion, And what, sir, are the motives urged, by the Senator which existed during the first or any other sixty hours of from Massachusetts, to induce us to sustain this call ? his term ?
For a moment let us consider them. Gentlemen are (Mr. TAZEWELL explained. He had not argued that shocked by the terms majority and minority in the con. the President would not answer the call truly; but that he nection in which they are used by the Senator from Virwas not responsible for the injurious effects produced by ginia. They deprecate the array of parties on this the disclosures on our foreign concerns. ]
Hoor. And yet, in the very act of presenting this resoluMT. CHAMBERS resumed. The Senator leaves his tion, and even still more distinctly, in the motives which position precisely as it was. His explanation asserts the are avowed to sustain it, they themselves have traced, same principle in different language. It says, “ the Pre- with a precision not to be mistaken, those very party sident is not to feel the effect and weight of what is to oc- lines which they shudder to contemplate. cur.” I say he does bear this weight. The weight con They tell us that, in the progress of this measure, cersists in the load of infamy which would attach to any offi- tain apprehensions were “felt or feigned” that the incer who could so far forget himself as to furnish, in answer structions which would be given by the President to to a call like this, garbled and mutilated papers ; the our ministers who were to go in quest of the Congress of weight is in the odium which would pursue such a man Panama, would be injurious to the public interests. They into retirement and during life ; and it is precisely this wish to have these instructions made public, for the purwhich constitutes the real responsibility of all your officers. pose of determining whether these apprehensions were But here again, the fears of the Senator ought to be re- realized by the event; it may be to enable them to armoved, by the consideration, that, if any thing in refer- raign their sincerity ; to discuss, with the advantage of the ence to this matter be left undone by the present Execu- evidence which the President shall furnish, the question tive, his "sixty hours' will bring into power a new Exe- whether, in point of fact, they were " telt or feigned.” cutive, with dispositions to detect such attempt, and to We ask, what beneficial purpose is to be effected by this correct its influence, and to do all the justice to the “ma- inquiry? The transacuon to which it refers has gone jority," which, it is to be hoped, that majority will not, by. Happily for us, the mission was merely abortive; by an exercise of its numerical force, deny to the “mi- and, in the course of events, and by common consent, this nority.”
experiment in diplomacy has been consigned to the obMr. BERRIEN said: I had not the slightest intention livion which it merited. It is connected with no measure to participate in this debate. I have, however, been re on which we are called to act. The question whether quired to record my vote in favor of the motion to lay this these fears were felt, or feigned, or fancied, cannot inresolution on the table. On the question of its adoption, fluence our conduct in the discharge of any duty which I will again register that vote against the resolution itself, now devolves upon us. To what purpose, then, shall
Revolutionary Officers, fc.
(MARCH 2, 1829.
we revive this discussion ? It was one of the evils of this but he should waive reply, as he was unwilling that the ill-fated measure, that it served in its day to agitate the subject should consume any more time. He disclaimed public mind—to distract the councils of the nation. Is it any personal application of the phrase which he had used desirable for gentlemen again to light up the torch of dis- in his remarks. Nor had he said that any fears were cord? Do they seek, by means of this resolution, to fur- feigned in the Senate upon the question. He said, " in nish themselves with a weapon of attack? Be it so, sir : Congress and out of it.” for myself, I do not invite the controversy, and I will not Mr. McKINLEY said, the proposition seemed to him shrink from it. They will find that weapon as power to be perfectly fair. But he was not here when the subject less, for the purpose of assault, as it was feeble for that of was discussed by the Senate, and could not, therefore, be defence. But why are we called to their assistance ? aware of the difficulty said to exist in the consideration of Does any man venture to question the sincerity of the ap- the proposition with open doors. It seemed to him prehensions which were expressed on this floor? No sir. that the proposition had better be made in secret session, What then? Does he require us to furnish him with the and he would move that the resolution be laid on the means by which that sincerity is to be arraigned, irre- table. sponsibly arraigned, before the tribunal of the public ? The yeas and nays having been ordered, at the call of Such a call imposes upon me no duty as a Senator, Mr. CHAMBERS, and, addressed to me as an individual, it is indignantly The question was taken on the motion to lay the resorepelled.
lution on the table, and decided in the affirmative as Do gentlemen desire to prove the correctness of their follows: own course, and that of the projectors of this measure, YEAS.—Messrs. Barnard, Benton, Berrien, Chandler, by exposing these instructions to the public view? What Dickerson, Dudley, Eaton, Hayne, Iredell, Johnson, of then? Is the action of the Senale necessary to the accom- Ky., Kane, King, McKinley, Prince, Ridgely, Rowan, plishment of their object? Shall we perform a merely Smith, of Md., Smith of S. C., Tazewell, Tyler, White, gratuitous act to enable them to attain it? What is there, Williams, Woodbury.-23. in the history of this transaction, which invites us to as NAYS.- Messrs. Barton, Bell, Bouligny, Branch, Bursume the responsibility which belongs to those who pro- net, Chambers, Chase, Foot, Hendricks, Holmes, Johnpose to themselves benefit from this measure? If the pub- ston, of Louisiana, Knight, Marks, Noble, Robbins, Ruglication of these instructions be necessary, and would be gles, Sanford, Seymour, Silsbee, Thomas, Webster, Wilavailable to the justification of the Executive Government, ley.--22. what hinders them from assuming the responsibility which will attach to their publication? Does any one deny their
MONDAY, MARCH 2, 1829. power to do so? Will any one assert that they will not find, in their own brief administration of the Government, a pre
OFFICERS OF THE REVOLUTION, &c. cedent for the act ? Why, then, appeal to us? The De Mr. FOOT called up the bill “providing for the relief of partment of State is yet under their control—let them sundry Revolutionary and other officers and soldiers," and avail themselves of their power, and take the responsibility for other purposes. which belongs to its exercise.
Mr. FOOT said, the remarks of the gentleman from The opponents of this measure are to be arraigned, South Carolina, on a former day, had made it necessary its projectors are to be vindicated, by a reference to these for some explanation from the Chairman of the Commitinstructions. Recur, for a moment, to its his history-to tee. That gentleman had said, individuals were placed the Panama project, as it was originally and confidentially upon the list by name, and that it was unusual. He had presented to the Senate ; and to that other scheme, which examined the records of Congress, and found that such was subsequently and publicly communicated to Congress. had always been the case, that it was the usual course, Who could fail to note their dissimilarity? The subdued and that hundreds had been admitted in this manner. If and moderated tone of the latter ; its nice adaptation to this was not a sufficient excuse for the course pursued by the removal, as far as it was practicable, of those very ap- this Committee, it would be found in the fact, that the bill, prehensions, which were “felt or feigned," and expressed under precisely the same circumstances, had passed the on this floor? Does any man doubt that the instructions, House of Representatives, and had been sent here. The prepared with like advantage, are framed with equal skill? gentleman from South Carolina had said there should be a And is the sincerity of the apprehensions expressed in re- detailed report in each individual case. He conceived it lation to the original project to be tested by the standard 10 be unnecessary ; if the gentleman wished to have inwhich was subsequently graduated to meet the occasion ? formation in relation to any particular case, they would For myself, I protest against such proof. Gentlemen give it. The papers were voluminous, and the only manhave it in their power to invoke it. The President, ner in which the committee could get through the business, on his own high responsibility, may present it to the was to divide the papers among them, and for each mempublic. I protest against it here as delusive, and I ber of the committee to report to the whole, from which will renew and enforce that protest, if the occasion they had decided upon the bill. shall require it; but I will not aid in the revival of Mr. CHANDLER said, he wished for information in this unprofitable controversy, nor sanction, by my vote, relation to every name, before he could vote for the whole the presentment of a mere illusion to the American bill. people.
Mr. FOOT replied, that even a synopsis of the eviMr. CHANDLER said the case alluded to, of a call dence in each particular case would require a week. The for papers relative to pending negotiations made by him, committee had done their duty in the best manner possiwas a case widely different from this. In that case there ble ; it was a laborious committee, and if the gentlemen, was no objection made; in this, it was objected that in either from South Carolina or from Maine, wished a situajurious consequences would flow from the proposed publi- tion upon the committee, he presumed there was not a cation; and that the Senate should not take the responsi- member who would not resign to give them an opportunity. bility of the call upon themselves. As to himselt, he was Mr. CHANDLER rejoined, that he could not vote for going out with Mr. Adams, and had no responsibility, for this bill without some farther information. If the other the effect of the publication, to meet. But he was opposed members of the Senate were willing to vote, he was wilto the call, as coming, at this time, from the Senate. ling to go with them according to his knowledge.
Mr. WEBSTER said, he would be very glad to reply Mr. HAYNE said, his previous objection was not preto some of the remarks which had fallen from gentlemen, cisely as stated by the gentleman from Connecticut, that
MARCH 2, 1829.)
Revolutionary Officers, f-c.
they were merely inserted by name. His objection was, Mr. BENTON then explained the case he had offered. that they were called upon to vote a pension to all these Mr. CHANDLER said he should vote for the amendindividuals by name, without knowledge, without classifi ment ; but, unless some further information was given, he cation, without report, without any principle laid down, should vote against it in the whole bill, or any other rule, by which the Senate could vote under Mr. BERRIEN said he was in the same situation as the standingly. If the reasons dił not appear upon the face gentleman from Maine. He was in favor of this amendof the bill, and there was no report in the case, two ment, but he could not vote for the bill. If he could have things followed, either they must vote in the dark, or the same information about each case in the whole bill, he vote for these men by the name, because they are named was ready to vote for that. there. You must act upon faith. You must vote for Mr. NOBLE explained, that, although he was Chairthese men because the committee say it is right, and man of the Committee, he had not met with them during because the committee are satisfied that it is proper. Now the session, because letters from the other House had this is a transfer of all your legislative power, it is a trans been addressed to his constituents, telling them, that, if fer of your judgment, to a committee: I cannot consent to he would press their claims in the Senate, they could be this: I cannot consent to vote for a pension bill, unless I placed on the pension list-merely for the purpose of insee the principles upon which I am to vote. If it rests juring him. He then went into an examination of the bill, upon this footing, that I am to act without information, I in comparison with other pension laws, detailing the mancannot consent, for one, to vote for this bill.
ner in which people abused the confidence of the GoMr. MARKS said he could assure gentlemen of the Se vernment, for the purpose of getting upon the pension list. nate, that if they could examine all the testimony, there He concluded by moving to lay the bill upon the table ; was not a single name upon the bill for which they would which motion was again rejected, as follows:
If the gentlemen called for information in each YEAS—Messrs. Berrien, Branch, Chandler, Eaton, particular case, they would not get through this single Hayne, Iredell, Johnston, of Louisiana, McKinley, Nobill for a week to come. As to there being a new prin-ble, Ridgely, Rowan, Smith, of Maryland, Smith, of South ciple in the present bill, he presumed that argument Carolina, Tazewell, Tyler, White, Williams.--17. would not hold good, because the principle and rule now NAYS-Messrs. Barnard, Barton, Bell, Benton, Bouadopted by the War Department was different from the ligny, Burnet, Chambers, Chase, Dickerson, Dudley, one formerly acted upon.
Foot, Hendricks, Holmes, Johnson, of Kentucky, Kane, Mr. SMITH, of South Carolina, said he had as much Knight, Marks, Prince, Robbins, Ruggles, Sanford, Seyconfidence in this committee as in any committee of the mour, Silsbee, Webster, Willey, Woodbury.-26. Senate ; but it was a new doctrine that the Senate was to Mr. BENTON'S amendment was then agreed to. legislate upon the report of a committee. The gentle Mr. PRICE then offered the name of Major John Cunman from Pennsylvania had said, that if all the informa- ningham ; which was inserted. tion was called for, they would not get through it for a Mr. TÁZEWELL offered the name of George Blackweek. The gentleman might as well say a bill was en more ; which was agreed to. titled to its first reading because a committee had report Mr. HAYNE said he had a case, which, as lawyers ed in favor of it. They merely took the opinion of the said, ran on all fours with that of the gentleman from committee that it was right, and placed one hundred and Virginia. He had received the memorial of James Johnsixty names on the pension roll. The principle hereto- son, and sent it to the Committee, but it was too late to fore laid down, had been under a law that no man shonld be acted upon. be admitted without going through certain prescribed Mr. MARKS said he could not vote for any names offorms, and taking certain oaths. Now it was said that it fered in this manner. If cases had been presented to was inconvenient for old men to go to the Judge to take the committee, and the names were not included in the the oaths. It was provided in the old law, that where bill, it was because the committee were averse to it. pensioners were unable to go to the Judge, the Judge Mr. HAYNE insisted upon the admission of this name should go to the pensioner ; and therefore it was only said | as an act of common justice. The Senate had just adthat A had taken the oath, but that it was inconvenient mitted a name from Virginia, and upon the same princifor B to do it, and therefore the law should be altered. ple, the same rule, he claimed this benefit for James He was never disposed to receive the report of a commit- Johnson. tee, except as the honest opinion of that committee. The Mr. MARKS called for some evidence of the poverty bill came here under suspicious circumstances, It came and claim of this man. from the House. It had been here two or three sessions Mr. HAYNE said he should reply by calling upon the before, or a similar bill, and, after mature deliberation, gentleman from Pennsylvania for the evidence of the pohad been negatived. Now it was resuscitated. It might verty of the first name on the bill. be altered—it might be amended--but still it was the Mr. CHANDLER called for some information in relaskeleton of a bill which had been negatived. If gentle- tion to the name of John Polerezsky, the first name on men would have a law upon the subject let them lay the bill. down some principle upon which to act, and every one The question was called for by several members. entitled to it will receive relief.
Mr. BERRIEN then took the floor. He said, informaMr. BENTON then offered as an amendment to the tion in relation to a particular case had been asked for bill the name of Mountjoy Bailey, to be inserted.
by the gentleman from South Carolina ; this call had been Mr. McKINLEY then moved to lay the bill upon the met by calls for the question ! Information was asked for in table, which was negatived. The yeas and nays being call- the usual manner; the Senate had a right to it, and were ed for by Mr. MARKS, were as follows:
bound to call for it, and, for himself, he was determined YEAS-Messrs. Berrien, Branch, Chandler, Eaton, to have it. The Senate could not be called upon to vote Hayne, Iredell, McKinley, Noble, Ridgely, Rowan, Smith, upon any bill, without all the information they desired. of Maryland, Smith, of South Carolina, Tazewell, Tyler, He called for that information. He called for the readWhite, Williams.-16.
ing of the report and the documents in the first case on NAYS_Messrs. Barnard, Barton, Bell, Benton, Bur- the bill, so that, if the committee would not give the innet, Chambers, Chase, Dickerson, Dudley, Foot, Hen- formation, they could get it for themselves. dricks, Holmes, Johnson, of Kentucky, Johnston, of Lou Mr. CHASE said, the Senate had been informed of isiana, Kane, Knight, Marks, Prince, Robbins, Ruggles, the principles laid down, and of the course pursued by Sanford, Seymour, Silsbee, Thomas, Webster, Willey, I the committee. They had been informed that names Woodbury.-27.