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General Appropriation Bill.
May 5, 1836.
He regretted exceedingly, and knew not why it was, some of these books, till his attention was called to the that the gentleman from Mississippi bad assumed this subject; but since then, he had strongly resisted all such an-tag.o-nis-ti-cal (he believed that was the fashionable appropriations. We presumed, as the books had been phrase) position towards him. He was willing, at all printed and paid for, that they must be distributed; but times, and on all occasions, to acknowledge his own in- he was opposed to that part of the distribution which feriority to that gentleman. The triumph was his. Let referred to their worthy selves, and he would therefore him be at ease, then; and when he quoted other avowals, move to strike out that part of the amendment which quote this also.
I gives one copy to each member of Congress. Mr. WALKER replied that he had only a single re Mr. WEBSTER said the distribution would be made mark to made, and that merely in reference to the con- in the usual way. The question involved in the amendcluding observations of the gentleman. He was not the ment was merely whether they should be distributed, as first to commence this warfare. The Senator from Ken- they were already ordered and paid for, or whether tucky, in a speech of great eloquence and ability, had they should remain in the lumber-room. He hoped the opposed a measure of his. As to mental powers, he amendment would not prevail. readily, not in a spirit of irony, but with the most per- Mr BENTON replied that they did well to approprifect sincerity, admitted that Senator's infinite superiority ate money for the transportation of these books, for
whoever they were to be sent to would, cheap as transMr. CLAY said that perhaps it would be better at portation now was, hardly be willing to pay for getting once to enter into a treaty of peace and amity with the such useless lumber. He had, therefore, no objection gentleman. He would give him a carte blanche; support to pay for sending them away; but he was opposed to any measure of his, unless it should happen to be in be- giving them to members of Congress. He would rather half of the squatters--he could not stand that.
give them away to anybody That would take them. The resolution was then agreed to.
They might be useful to the grocers, if the leaves had
not been cut; but as it was, they were hardly worth havGENERAL APPROPRIATION BILL.
ing to wrap a herring up in. Such bad been the enorOn motion of Mr. WEBSTER, the Senate proceeded mity of the abuse in printing worthless documents, that to consider the bill making appropriations for the civil | he had been told by the servants of the boarding-houses and diplomatic expenses of Government for the year that the mass printed during the panic session had glut. 1836.
ted the market, and that their perquisites had fallen to The amendment making an appropriation of $2,500 about two cents per pound. The gentleman near him to enable the Secretary to distribute, as ordered by a re smiled at what he said; but he would tell him that if he solution of the Senate, a compilation of documents rela would take his little children to a shoe store and buy a tive to land titles, being under consideration
pair of shoes, he would find that they would be wrapped Mr. BENTON moved to strike out the provision for up in public documents. Buy whatever he would in giving one set to each Senator. He thought it had been any of the stores of this city, he would find his purchases considered as settled, for two sessions past, that they were wrapped up in papers that had been printed by order of done with giving themselves books at the public ex- Congress. Indeed, such bad been the profusion with pense. It had been stated in the other House by Mr. which these public documents had been printed, that Johnson, of Tennessee, that it would take about one they had greatly depreciated even as wrapping-paper ; thousand dollars to each member, to put him on the there was no doubt of there being a surplus there. If same footing, with respect to books, as the old members. no other disposition could be made of these documents, He was aware that it was an exceedingly ungracious they might put them to the same use that the Ottoman task to oppose giving the same books to the new mem- conqueror did the books of the Alexandria library-disbers that had been given to the old; but the thing had tribute them among the public booths, to be used as fuel. been commenced two years ago, by his friend from Geor- There were public booths in this city, where these docugia, (Mr. King,] who deserved the thanks of the country ments might be found useful in the same way. Mr. B. for calling their attention to one of the grossest abuses. was opposed, out and out, to giving these documents to This was one of the greatest impositions that had ever the members of Congress, and be therefore asked the come to his notice, with the exception, perhaps, of one yeas and nays on his motion. enormous and flagrant abuse--a work that was to go on for Mr. HILL said the number of volumes was five, and years, to an unknown extent, and !hen to be distributed to they were not worth, for anybody's use, the trouble of those who were members of the 22d Congress. He did carrying them home. There were, at a former session, not know whether it was proposed to give copies to the 850 additional copies ordered out of the contingent fund, legal representatives of such of the members as have by a simple resolution offered by Mr. Poindexter, and died; but it was certain that they would, under the pro- the cost of which amounted to $57,000. They were vision of the resolutions, have a right to them. They made up of mere notes taken in relation to the public might go to the assignees of these members; and it had lands, and he believed were not even of any value to the been stated by the Senator from Georgia, [Mr. KING, 1 Territories; and if this was not extravagance, he did not that a member of Congress had sold to a bookseller in know what was. this place, for ten dollars, his share of that which was to Mr. BENTON here read extracts from one of the cost the United States hundreds of thousands of dollars. | volumes, taken at random, he said, from the pile, and
Mr. B. here spoke of the uselessness of the work opened in the middle, which were a fair sample of the proposed to be distributed, and the shameful waste whole publication. There never was, he said, a grosiof public money in printing such a mass of worthless er imposition practised than was done in the publication matter. The principal part of the publication related of this work. Here was a sample of the five volumes, to the preliminary proceedings in investigating the titles and the whole related to land titles thirty years ago, to lands, which were not worthy of preservation, as eve. which were all merged in the patents, the only titles now ry thing relating to land titles was merged in the pat necessary to be looked at. ents which bad since issued. There were, Mr. B. said, Mr. EWING of Ohio had not examined these docuin an office in this city, about five hundred volumes of ments to ascertain their value, but he had found some of documents, which he apprehended cost the Government a similar kind very useful and valuable as books of refer. far beyond $1,000, and he should consider them a dearence to members, on the subject of public lands. bargain at $100. He had, it was true, voted at first for Mr. WEBSTER observed, that this was a subject of
Mar 5, 1836.]
General Appropriation Bill.
which he professed to have no knowledge. Whether other House,) the Secretary of the Senate had com. these books were useful or not, could better be judged of plained that they encumbered his room. The books by gentlemen coming from the States where the public were already purchased, and the lumber was on their lands were. All he rose to say was, that he thought it hands; and the only question now was, whether they unnecessary to delay the appropriation bill in questions should distribute it." of this kind, and that the best way would be to reject the Mr. Bentor's motion was then adopted; and the amendment at once.
question recurring on the amendment of the committee Mr. WALKER did not concur with the Senator from Mr. KING of Georgia observed, that he had already Missouri in his opinion as to the value of these books. said so much in relation to the printing of books, that he As books of reference, he had found them very useful did not think it necessary to say any thing now, further while on the Select Com:nittee; and although there than that he agreed with his friend from Missouri as to might be a great deal in them that was not worth print. the utter worthlessness of these books. If useful at all, ing, yet he did not think that he could have got on with they could only be so to the Committee on Private Land out them. As regarded their distribution, he thought, Claims; and it had been well observed, that they might with his friend from Missouri, that they ought not to be obtain all the information that was in these documents given to Senators individually, though it would be pro- and in other publications that had been made by order of per to give them to them in their official characters, to the Senate, in a much more compendious form. He did be retained while they were in the Senate, and to be not want any of them to be on his table; and he would handed over to their successors on leaving it.
give them away to anybody that would take them. * Mr. KING of Alabama thought, at the time the resor Mr. KNIGHT moved to amend the amendment by lution was adopted, that they would be paying for a providing for the sending of one copy of the publication useless work. Some of the matter contained in the pub. to the Historical Society of Rhode Island, and one copy lication might be useful, but a great deal of it certainly to a college in that State. Mr. K. said it seemed that was not so. A great deal of it had been printed before these books were of no value to anybody, and yet they in another work, as the Senator from Missouri had well were extremely loath to part with them. He thought observed, and they had therefore to pay double for the they would increase in value as they increased in age. same matter. But the time had gone by, when it would Mr. BUCHANAN did not care much about the distribe profitable to discuss this question--they had got the bution of these books; but as it appeared that there were work; and the question was, what were they to do with books to be given away, he would only say that he left it! As regarded the distribution, he was opposed on the House of Representatives in 1831, and came into the principle to the giving books to Senators. If the work Senate in 1834; consequently, he found himself entitled was at all useful, let all the copies, said Mr. K., be to no books. He thought that when books were to be thrown into the library of Congress.
distributed, he and the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Mr. BENTON referred the Senator from Mississippi | CUTABERT) ought to have a share. to two publications--one being a compilation of docu. Mr. BENTON observed that this showed what a vile ments relative to the public lands, by Matthew St. Clair thing it was. Here were members sitting on that floor Clarke, and the other a work now going on by Gales & who were entitled to no books, wbile those who had Seaton, in which the Senator would find all the infor- been out of Congress for four years could get them; and mation he wanted in a more compendious form, without if they had died in the interim, the books must go to being cumbered with the mass of obsolete and useless their heirs. matter that loaded this publication. He wished the gen. | Mr. KNIGHT's amendment was rejected. tleman to be informed that the type set up on this work On motion of Mr. WEBSTER, the bill was further was taken in the form already set up from another office; amended by the insertion of an appropriation of three so that the Senate was paying for the same work twice. hundred dollars for completing the medals heretofore Let the gentleman refer to the collections relating to the voted to General Ripley. public lands now going on by Gales & Seaton, and he Mr. PRESTON moved to amend the bill by adding would find all the information he wanted in a more com an appropriation of 20,000 dollars for the erection of a pendious form.
court-house for the courts of the United States in Mr. WEBSTER wished the Senate to negative the Charleston, South Carolina. whole amendment. He did not wish to be involved in Mr. BLACK moved to amend the amendment by adda debate on the printing and distribution of documents, ing an appropriation of 20,000 dollars for the erection to the delay of the most important appropriation bill. of a court-house for the courts of the United States at
Mr. LINN could not entirely concur with his col. Jackson, Mississippi. league as to the value of these documents. Although Mr. BUCHANAN moved further to amend the amend. much useless matter might have been printed, yet he ment by adding an appropriation for the erection of a thought they contained a great deal of useful information. court-house for the courts of the United States at Phila
Mr. BLACK said the only way in which these books delphia. were valuable, was, to Committees on Private Land After some remarks from Messrs. PRESTON, BLACK, Claims; when claims were presented, by turning to these BUCHANAN, WEBSTER, and MANGUM, books, the proceedings bad in relation to them could be | Mr. PRESTON withdrew his motion, and the mo. found, and attempts at imposition could be detected. tions of Messrs. Black and BUCHANAN consequently
Mr. WRIGHT said, after the expression given by the fell with it. Senate, he would vote for the bill as amended by the Mr. MANGUM moved to amend the bill by striking Senator from Missouri. He would, however, state a fact out the appropriation of 340,000 dollars for the continwithin his knowledge, which was, that three of these | gent expenses of the courts of the United States, which, volumes were mere transcripts, word for word, and he said, was extravagant and unnecessary, and insert letter for letter, of three other volumes; and he remem 140,000 dollars. bered very well, when the resolution authorizing their After some opposition from Mr. WEBSTER, this publication was offered, (which he supposed, at the time, amendment was rejected. was for some temporary publication, and never dreamed On motion of Mr. EWING of Ohio, the bill was that the whole expense would amount to $500; and amended by inserting an appropriation for the survey of never knew of the enormous expense incurred until his lands lately acquired from the Indians in the Wisconsin attention was drawn to it by an estimate made in the Territory.
General Appropriation Bill.
(MAY 5, 1836.
The amendments of the committee were then concur- [Mr. BENTON said he had based his charges upon red in, and the bill was reported to the Senate; when what a member had said in his place on the floor of
Mr. KING of Georgia moved to amend it by striking Congress. ] out the appropriation of $20,000 for the documentary The Senator, then, (said Mr. S.,) rests his charges history of the revolution now in progress by Matthew upon the allegation of what a member of the other St. Clair Clarke and Peter Force.
House had said in his place, although the House of Rep. Mr. BENTON hoped that the motion to strike out this resentatives had passed the bill in the face of the stateappropriation would prevail. He was rejoiced to see ment of that member. He would be unwilling, for his the Senator from Georgia persisting in the good work, part, to proceed in any case on such evidence alone. He and he would enlist with him for the war. They had would first ask for the evidence, before he could do wbat already paid $20,000 for this work, without seeing a he was here asked to do. Did it, he asked, dissolve page of it; and that, he thought, was enough to break them from the contract, because the work was worthup this improper contract. He thought that this work less! The inquiry whether the work was worth the was stopped two years ago; but now it seemed that more continuation of its publication, would be proper enough. money was asked for it. His attention bad been called But when the Secretary of State made the contract, it to some remarks made in relation to this work the other was in the power of Congress either to confirm or reject; day in the House of Representatives, which he would but they confirmed it. He gave no opinion of the value of now read for the benefit of the Senate.
the work at present. He spoke of the importance of preHere Mr. B. read some remarks made by Mr. serving the records of the early history of our country, and Johnson of Tennessee.]
to which he cared nothing about the expense. He was not That gentleman stated in his place that there was a willing that the Senate, at a single jump, should violate the bill brought in to print this work at $8 per volume, and rights of parties; but, with the Senator from Massachu. that it was rejected by the House on account of the setts, (Mr. WEBSTER,] he was willing that a committee price; yet, at the succeeding session, another bill was should be appointed to inquire into the matter. brought in, which was hurried through almost without [At the close of Mr. SOUTHARD's remarks, a samnotice, at the heels of the session, giving $13 50 for this ple of the work under discussion was handed to several same work. The gentleman further informed him, that, of the Senators. ] on searching among the files of the House for this Mr. HILL said he did not wish to consume the time manuscript bill that had been thus rejected, they found of the Senate, to throw any obstacle in the way of the the bills immediately before and after it; but that bill passage of the appropriation bill; but to prevent could not now be found. All this showed that the con an improvident contract being fastened upon the tract had been obtained in an improper manner.
nation, it was indispensable that the item of twenty I am to receive (said Mr. B.) $262 worth of this work; thousand dollars towards the publication of the work while the gentleman from New Jersey, (Mr. WALL] | of Messrs. Clarke & Force should be stricken out; if who sits on my right, is to receive nothing. At least that item was retained, we would hereafter have no one-half of those who were now members of Congress hope that an immense expenditure would be avoided. would get no copies, while those who were mem The Senator from Missouri had said that the original bers of the 22d Congress would get them; or, if they bill which authorized this expenditure had passed withshould not now be delivered, they would be given to out the attention of anybody. The Senator was under their executors. Two years ago, (said Mr. B.,) we a mistake; and he (Mr. H.) would refer to the Senate struck out this thing, and the next morning it was rein- Journal of 1833, to prove the fact. On the 27th of Feb. stated. This session it was struck out in the House of ruary, three days before the close of the session, three Representatives, and the next morning it was in like propositions of immense jobs of printing were brought manner reinstated. Night work, sir, night work, (said up at the same time. Each of these propositions, Mr. B.;) what was done in the morning was undone at as were many others of a like tenor, was reported night.
and recommended by the Library Committee, who had The extent to which this work was carried was a great always been exclusively of one political party. Reports abuse. The contract was got through for a work pro. from that committee had usually been made in whispers, fessing to be a documentary history of the revolution, in so low a tone of voice, that it had been impossible and they had got matter as far back as the settlement for him (Mr. Hill] to hear them when they were made; of the pilgrims; while they had to pay double as much but all three of these propositions for printing had atas the work could be printed for anywhere else. He tracted his attention when they came up for a third readhoped the appropriation would be struck out. Every ing. The first proposition was for a continuation of thing that these gentlemen had been compiling would Gales & Seaton's compilation of State Papers, extending be found in the library of Congress or in the library of that work eight volumes, and involving an expense to the the Department of State; so that the compilers bad not Treasury of $63,000. Mr. Foot, the late Senator from been put to much trouble in making their collections.Connecticut, was then in the chair; and I called for the He was for putting a stop at once to the work; and if ayes and noes to be taken on the question. The attenthe compilers could show that they were damnified, he tion of so few was called to the subject, and the question would readily agree to pay them, and pay them liberally. was so hurried by the Chair, that one-fifth of the Senate
Mr.SOUTHARD said, that when a contract had been failed to respond to the call I then made. Then, almost made, and the work commenced under it, it then would in the same breath, came up for consideration the bill be a violation of the principles of justice in refusing to to provide for the publication of a stereotype edition go on with it. This was an appropriation bill for items of ihe laws of the United States by Duff Green. Alallowed by law, and, while the contract stood, it did not though his proposition was nearly double the price at seem to him to be honest to withhold payment. If there which the same work bad been offered by several other was any thing wrong in the matter, the proper way printers, it was passed by a vote of twenty-five to seven. would be to let a resolution of inquiry be offered, and a On this proposition, which involved an expenditure of committee of investigation appointed. But when a con. at least $125,000, I was able to obtain the ayes and noes, tract was made for a work to be published, they could and six other Senators voted with me against the bill. not refuse an appropriation to complete it. The Sena. | Then succeeded immediately the bill making provision tor from Missouri had made charges upon mere alle for the publication of the documentary history of the gations.
revolution by Messrs. Clarke & Force; and on the ques
Mar 5, 1836.)
General Appropriation Bill.
tion of its passage, my call for the ayes and noes was Years.
House, not sustained by one-fifth of the Senators present: the occupant of the chair hurrying the decision, and evin
$10,385 73 $25,623 81 cing little disposition to gratify my wish to ascertain
34,939 67 who was in favor and who against this extravagant ex
31,120 82 penditure for public printing. This third resolution,
18,391 52 67,776 89 at the minimum calculation, involved an expenditure
31,329 63 of about $500,000—it may amount to two or four mil.
89, 290 64 lions; nay, there is no limit to it. The publication
85,342 22 may include every thing connected with the time of By this statement, it will be seen that the expense of the revolution.
printing for the Senate has been multiplied twenty It is worthy of remark, continued Mr. H., that all times, and that of the House ten times! The Senator these extravagant projects for printing have been in fa from Kentucky (Mr. CLAY] had reproached the adminvor of one side of the question exclusively. The three
istration for its «utter and reckless extravagance," and propositions to which i have adverted embraced each
taunted it with its failure in making “retrenchment branch of the opposition. Gales & Seaton were to have
and reform." The extravagant expenditures by the a fat job, and Duff Green's friends insisted that he
Senate and House, of millions for public printing, could should have one also. When the proposition came to
not be charged on the administration, or its friends; the be considered in the House of Representatives on the
Executive certainly is not responsible for them. From last night of the session, Gales & Seaton's and Clarke
the Secretary's report, I have gathered the facts that & Force's bills passed--both belonging to and inclu
Gales & Seaton, during sixteen years, from 1820 to ding one branch of the opposition. Duff Green's prop-|
1835, have received from the Treasury $651,723 84, osition to stereotype the laws and treaties failed; they or an average of more than $40,000 a year; Duff disappointing the other branch of the opposition. But Green, for nine years, from 1827 to 1835, $443, 144 78, this disappointment was made up at the beginning of or nearly $50,000 per annum; and Francis P. Blair, for the next session, (1834,) by a resolution of a late Sena. five years, from 1831 to 1835, has received $19,479 54, tor from Mississippi, (Mr. Poindexter,) authorizing the | or about $3,900 per annum.
or about $3,900 pe
These persons are edit. publication of land documents, which also passed with ors of the three daily political papers which have been out attracting sufficient attention of the Senators to call / published at the seat of Government. for a division of the question-probably when not half! The first two are inveterate opponents; the latter is a dozen Senators heard the resolution read. The exe.
friendly to the administration. These expenditures cution of this measure has involved an expenditure of
show in what channel the patronage of the public press $57,327 to be paid from the contingent fund of the
has been directed under the present administration. Senate; and the result is, the publication of five folio
Before it was drawn into this temptation, the National volumes, sixteen hundred copies each--or eight thous
Intelligencer was the faithful organ of the public voice; and volumes in the whole--a lumber, which has been
all who could remember as far back as the year 1812, proved to be of no use to every nine hundred and nine
could remember what the Intelligencer was. What ty-nine in a thousand of the people of the United
is that paper-whose organ is it now? The other opStates--a publication so useless, as really not to be worth / position paper, the Telegraph, had pretended friend. the price of transport for members carrying it home,
ship for the administration until it had procured the and which now encumbers the rooms of tñe Capitol. I printing; but it had instinctively turned to the party Three of these folios were but a reprint of the very doc. which always paid best. Here is a million of dollars uments published by Gales & Seaton; and they were
paid to two printers, (a large portion of it since the twice printed, in the same year, at the public expense.
present administration came into power,) whose news. The price of the proposed publication is said to be
papers have been constantly employed to batter down $13 62 per volume--about twice as much as the price
the administration. of Congress printing; and this Congress printing is
How happens it (said Mr. H.) that all resolutions for much higher than the prices of printing in all our prin
extra jobs of printing have been on one side of the pocipal towns. This matter of printing is alleged to be a
litical question? Is it because the Committee on ile small affair, not worthy of the attention of Senators.
Library have had no political predilections! That com. Although it is a subject of little interest here, it may be
mittee, I repeat, has for several years been exclusively interesting elsewhere, to look into the expenditures for
of one political party; and the administration has not had public printing at this point. From a report of the
so much as one poor representative in this body upon it. Secretary of the Senate, made at the commencement of
| This Clarke & Force's is not less a political business the present session, I have taken the footings of the
than the other contracts. The persons employed in it several years of the public printing, which I will pre.
are of one side; if it is carried through the Senate at sent:
this time, it will be carried as an opposition measure.
The Senator from New Jersey [Mr. SOUTARD] says it Printing of the Senate and House from 1817 to 1835. will not be honest now to refuse to carry into effect this Years. Senate.
contract. There surely can be no injustice, no dishon
esty, in stopping this wasteful expenditure, if Congress 1817,
$4,837 69 $8,561 99 shall indemnify Clarke & Force for the expenditures 1818, 6,107 72
15,218 88 they have already made. Twenty thousand dollars have 1819, 5,726 79
10,492 00 already been advanced to them; more will be paid, if 1820 11,960 59
13,042 34 more has been expended. There can be no hesitation 11,871 64
17,883 94 | in saying that Congress had been deceived and cheated 1822, 12,778 47
18,935 63 into this measure, whether the publishers bad or had not 1823, 6,349 46
22,182 21 intended it. Mr. Livingston, the late Secretary of State, 1824, 10,380 00
34,350 00 to whom the business of contracting had been referred, 1825, 10,533 09
19,953 29 had been imposed on: he knew nothing of the nature of 1826, 14,928 04
50,462 07 the contract himself; and it is now said the person who 1827,
13,055 89 52,027 52 happened to be the agent to make a bargain with Clarke 1828,
21,863 97 36,531 10 1 & Force was a person in direct interest with them.
General Appropriation Bill.
[MAY 5, 1836.
Hence may we account for the raising of the price from vote; for when such was the case, there were always eight dollars per volume, as first proposed by the pub. enough ready to order them. At all events, the resolulishers themselves, to thirteen dollars sixty-two cents, tion passed at the close of the session, authorizing the as prescribed in the contract. It is very evident we bave publication of a documentary history of the revolution; been imposed on in some way. It now seems, as a and the contract was to be made by the highest officer matter of grace, that these contractors are willing to under this administration, (Mr. Livingston.) Now, if limit the expenditure to somewhere about half a million there was nothing else than this improvident and extravof dollars. There is yet no limit to this matter; if it agant contract, that would, of itself, be enough to show proceeds, the present generation may not see the end to that Mr. Livingston was utterly unqualified for the situait. I have never consented to this contract, and never tion he held. The contract was not only to pay double will consent to it. The work, when it is printed, is to for the printing, but was for the printing of an indefinite be distributed among the members of Congress of 1833, number of volumes; so that the contractors might draw who voted for the bill, and to members who have not millions from the Treasury. If this was a party measure, been in Congress for two years. There surely is great (said Mr. M.,) put the saddle on the right horse. As impropriety in this part of the law. It cannot be said to this contract, he would be glad to get rid of it in any that injustice is done to these publishers if Congress re- form. He would be willing to raise a committee to remunerates them for their expenses until this time, and scind it; but he would say that he would take it upon the work shall henceforth cease and be discontinued. himself to abrogate it at once. He was ready, however,
Mr. BENTON said, as he understood it, the House to do the parties full justice, and would pay them liberdid believe what Mr. Johnson said; for they struck out ally; nay, he would even pay them more than they were the appropriation by a large majority; and that appro- entitled to. Taunts about this contract were wholly priation was reinstated next morning, after operating on useless. For his part, he believed that no party was ihe members the over night. He would now offer a censurable for it. Mr. Livingston managed it, as he had resolution, which he hoped would be received by gen done other matters, with great improvidence, though eral consent, to appoint a committee to examine into the he meant not to impugn that gentleman's integrity. As progress of this work, and to report to the Senate what to the distribution to members, he had always opposed ought to be paid to the compilers for wbat they had it. There was a degree of indelicacy ir: voting books to done.
themselves, which he could not approve of. Mr. KING of Georgia said that the resolution was Mr. KING of Alabama regretted very much the course unnecessary, as nothing could be due on the work. It which this discussion had taken. He did not believe was impossible that the sum $20,000, appropriated last that this was ever considered a party measure. He beyear, had been expended in collecting materials for this lieved that they were divided two years ago, not on work; so tha', in fact, nothing could be due on the con- account of doubts of the improvidence of the contract, tract. His proposition was to strike out the appropria- but because they differed as to the mode of getting rid tion of $20,000.
of it. Mr. WEBSTER observed that it would be unjust to The simple question then before them was, whether suppose that these contractors would print any thing not they were to go on making appropriations without sceauthorized by Congress. It was well known that they ing where they were to stop. If they could see the end had offered to submit the selection of the matter to be of it, or if they could know what they were paying for, printed to an agent appointed by Congress; and it was they might with more reason be called on to make the also well known that they had agreed to an important appropriation. It was not necessary that they should modification of the contract. The contract might be now appropriate it; they had already appropriated broken up; but the question was not now whether they $20,000, and there was no reason why they should apshould pay the money or not. The contract had been propriate more, without knowing whether a sufficient made-- whether improvidently or not, it was not now for amount of work had been done to justify it. They had him to say; and they were as much bound to make the no evidence before them of what had been done, other appropriation, as to appropriate money for the pay of tban a single sheet of the work. He thought that the salaried officers. He hoped that the progress of the proper course would be to strike out the appropriation bill would not be interrupted by the consideration of the now, and appoint a committee to eximine what had resolution offered by the Senator from Missouri, (Mr. been done, and to report to the Senate the best way of Bentox.]
stopping the work, and the amount that ought to be In regard to the contract, the parties bad a right to paid to the contractors. If they made the appropriation their pay under an act of Congress; and this was only! now, it would be at once sanctioning the continuance of appropriating the amount to be paid. He boped no new the work; they would be called on to make the same principle would therefore be involved in this bill; and appropriation ihe next year, and there was no knowing he would demand the yeas and nays, to ascertain whether where they would stop. the Senate would sanction such new principle.
Mr. BENTON merely wished to say, in justice to the [As the resolution of Mr. Benton could only be re. Senator from North Carolina, (Mr. MANGOM,] that that ceived by unanimous consent, the objection by Mr. gentleman was the first that ever called his attention to WEBSTER prevented its being received.)
these abuses; and it appears from the Journal, Mr. B. Mr. MANGUM, in reply to Mr. Hill, observed that said, that he has voted with us in regard to these matters the contract for this publication had been placed on ever since. party grounds; and this extravagant and improvident 1 Mr. PRESTON wished the matter to be regulated to contract had been charged against the opponents of the the satisfaction of the parties. They were not bound to administration. Now, was this just? Who was the first proceed unless the other party bad proceeded. He to make objections to this measure. He himself was the wished to know of the chairman whethier any considerafirst that called the attention of the Senate to it two ble progress had been made in the work. years ago; and he expressed the same opinion then that Mr. CALHOUN hoped the Senate would agree to he held now that the contract would lead to an extray. | strike out the section, and allow the publishers liberal agant and useless expenditure of money. It was said by compensation for what they had done, and stop its further the Senator from New Hampshire, that the yeas and progress. They had made a most improvident contract. nays were not taken on the adoption of this measure; And, besides, be had strong constitutional doubts as to and this circumstance showed that it was not a pa:ty the power of Congress to contract for such a work; and