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May 27, 1836.]
rity any trust, pecuniary or political; but he had desig- for the coming quarter; and from that estimate to de. nated the commissioners of the sinking Tund for the rea- termine the average of moneys to be found in the Treasson that our fathers had designated those high officers, ury for the quarter, and to invest all above the amount whoever the individuals might chance to be, to dis- which was to fill the blank in question, in the manner charge much more important duties in reference to the pointed out in the provisions. The antagonist proposigreat and vital interests of the Treasury-the payment tions of the Senator provided for annual distributions, of the national debt, and not from any personal or po. | leaving in the Treasury, regardless of future receipts, a litical attachment to the gentlemen who now filled the specified amount to meet outstanding appropriations. places. If objection was to be seriously made on ac The rule of calculation was, therefore, entirely differcount of this feature of the propositions, and any Sena- ent, and the blank in each should be filled with refertor would name other public officers, whose duties ence to that rule. In the former case, the calculation would permit the requisite attention to the trust, and was to be made at the commencement of the quarter, who could be less exceptionably charged with it, he and the receipts as well as the expenditures of the quarwould most cheerfully consent to the change. He was ter were to be brought into the estimate; while, in the sure he did not mistake the feelings of any one of the latter case, a gross sum was to be left in the Treasury, officers he bad named, when he said he could not render at the commencement of each year, which, together to them a more acceptable service than by discharging with the receipts of the year not estimated, was to conthem from the unpleasant responsibilities which a faith-stitute its means for the coming year. In the one case, ful execution of the proposed trust might impose. He the blank should be filled by a sum which would meet had been upable, however, after the most mature re- the entire payments of the quarter; while, in the other, flection upon the subject, to change the selection of it should be such a sum as, when added to the whole trustees, and must, therefore, wait to hear the sugges- receipts of the future year, would meet the whole paytions of those who found objection in this part of his ments of that year. It was, therefore, most apparent propositions. He bad heard the objections with patience, that, in acting upon the different principles proposed, and he would endeavor to receive and consider any | this sum should be left blank, and that the blank should amendments with impartiality and candor.
be filled with reference to the proposition adopted. It Mr. W. said when he had originally offered the sec-was equally apparent to his mind, (Mr. W. said,) that tions of the bill upon which he was now remarking, the sum to be inserted in either case must depend mainly seven millions of dollars was named as the sum to be upon the appropriations made, and to be made, by Conleft in the Treasury to meet the disbursements of each gress, during its present session. The quarterly payments quarter. Before he commenced his present observa. must surely depend upon that legislation; and the question tions, he had modified the proposition by striking out the whether the receipts of the next year will be equal to the word "seven," and thus leaving the sum blank. He expenditures of that year, must also depend, in a great dehad done this, because he wished the vote might indi.gree, upon the amount of outstanding appropriations at the cate the sense of the Senate upon the principle con- close of this year. The appropriation bills for the pretained in the section, without involving objections of sent year are very late. Few of them have yet passed detail, which, it was most manifest, the fixing of this and become laws, although the one-half of the year sum would involve. The counter-proposition already has nearly expired. If, then, they be greater than usual, offered by the Senator from South Carolina, (Mr. CALthere is the more reason to expect that the amount of HOUN, ) with a much less sum (three millions) inserted, outstanding appropriations, at the close of the year, will afforded conclusive evidence of a wide difference of be unusually large. This amount, whatever it may be, opinion upon this point, and proved satisfactorily to his is to be added to the current calls upon the Treasury of mind that the question between the two propositions the next year; and, therefore, in fixing upon a sum to ought to be presented to the Senate without reference be left in the Treasury on the first day of the year, the to this amount; that the principle of each might be amount of outstanding appropriations should be espedisembarrassed from this mere difference of opinion as cially regarded. to the amount to be left in the Treasury, whether the In this view of the subject (Mr. W. said) he had no one proposition or the other should be adopted. He hesitation in saying that the blank in the propositions of thanked the honorable Senator for his agreement with the Senator from South Carolina (Mr. Calhoun) could him in this opinion, and for having modified his propo- only be filled safely by a deduction of the outstanding sitions in conformity with it, by leaving the sum blank appropriations, separate from the sum which it might be in them also. Indeed, Mr. W. said, the fixing of this necessary to retain in the Treasury at the commencesum, in any event, ought to be the act of the Senate, (ment of each year, to render it safe against all current and not of any member of the Senate who might choose calls. In reference to the propositions he had submit. to submit propositions as to the disposition of any sur-ted, entirely different considerations might govern our plus revenue which might be found in the Treasury. legislation. In the first place, an estimate was to be This position would be sound, under any circumstances; made of the receipts and expenditures of each quarter, and was more especially so at this time, when appropria and the sum to be invested was to be regulated by that tions to a greater extent than usual were not only pro. estimate, by deducting from the moneys in the Treasury, posed to be made, but conceded on all hands to be and the estimated receipts for the quarter, the estimated proper, and when, therefore, the amount to be retained 1 payments for the same quarter. That estimate, howevfor the uses of each quarter would be, to an unusual er, might be erroneous upon the one side or the other; extent, dependant upon the appropriations actually but the consequence of error, in either case, could not made.
be materially injurious to the public interests. If the There was, however, (Mr. W. said,) a manifest differ estimate should be too favorable to the Treasury, the ence as to the sum which ought to supply the blank in only consequence would be, that the amount of the the section he bad offered from that which had been of error would remain in the Treasury uninvested due ered by the Senator from South Carolina, (Mr. Calhoun,] ring the quarter. If, on the other hand, the estimate because the rule of action of the two propositions upon should be too short, and leave the Treasury without the funds in the Treasury was wholly different. That means, the propositions not only authorize, but direct, offered by bim directed the commissioners of the sink the commissioners of the sinking fund immediately ing fund, at the commencement of each quarter of the to sell so much of the stocks in which the investments year, to estimate not only the payments, but the receipts I have been made as may be necessary to supply the SENATE.]
MAY 27, 1836.
Treasury with means equal to its wants. At no time, cipal when Congress shall, by law, call for the payunder these propositions, are the means placed beyond ment. Does any one believe that the national Treasthe reach and control of the fiscal affairs of this Gov.ury will ever receive back one dollar of the money ernment, or in a situation in which they cannot be com distributed upon these terms? What is the course? manded by the action of the officers and agents of this The immediate relation of debtor and creditor is estabGovernment, to supply the wants of the national Treas lished between each of the States and the Federal ury. The filling of the blank, therefore, in this section, Government, and the power to demand payment is is much less important than in that offered by the Sena left with the representatives of the States, and of the tor from South Carolina, (Mr. Calhoux.] In this case, people of the States, in the two Houses of Congress; the propositions, of themselves, provide a correction for | while the response to that demand rests with the States any error which may arise. In the other case, the money themselves, acting through their respective Legislatures, is placed in the keeping of the States; is put beyond the or otherwise, as they shall choose. The Treasury is in reach of this Government or its officers, upon the mere want. Will the States, through their agents here, make security of a legislative pledge for the repayment of the a demand upon themselves to supply that want? Never, principal, without interest; and cannot be reclaimed, Mr. President. They may, through that channel, call whatever may be the wants of the national Treasury, for increased distributions, but never for the repayment but upon the voluntary, separate, and independent ac. of moneys wbich have been distributed and expended. tion of the Legislatures of all those States which shall re It must not be alleged, Mr. W. said, that, in making ceive their respective dividends. Hence, the far great these remarks, he expressed distrust of the patriotism or er importance that the Senate should direct in this mat. faith of the States. No man entertained more confidence ter; and that these blanks, and especially that in the in both than himself; but the government of the States proposition of the Senator, should be filled with great was the government of the people of the States, and the caution, and with particular reference not only to the people of the States composed the vast, sagacious, enteroutstanding appropriations, but to such future appropri prising business community, which all here in common ations as any measures of national policy now to be adopt. represent, and of whose interests they, as an aggregate ed may require. He had felt it to be his duty (Mr. W. number, are quite as perfect judges as their representa said) to throw out these suggestions; and he would con tives anywhere. He should never express a doubt of tent himself with their expression, until some specific their faith or patriotism; nor did he doubt that they motion to fill the blank in the one or the other propo-would, at all times, and for Ml proper purposes, keep sition should bring the question more directly before the the national Treasury fully and richly supplied. If, howSenate.
ever, want should come upon that Treasury, the manMr. W. said he bad two insuperable objections to ner of answering that want would be before the people, prefer against the propositions offered by the Senator and subject to their interests and their will. If an infrom South Carolina, (Mr. CALioun,] for a disposition crease of the duties upon imports, an increase of indirect of the surplus revenue. The first was, that he consider taxation, shall be more acceptable to the majority than ed them, in substance and in effect, propositions to make a call upon the States for the money now proposed to be a general distribution to the States of all the revenues in intrusted to them, that mode of supplying the Treasury the national Treasury, from whatever source derived, will, of course, be adopted. Which-he would ask every and, in that sense, to embrace the adoption of a principle Senator to answer to himself in candor and sinceritywhich he considered more dangerous to our civil institu. which would be the most probable resort? In case of a tions, State and national, than any other which could be call upon the States, all would be equally interested, presented for the sanction of Congress. The taxing and all would be likely to resist. Such a call, if the powers of this Government were to be used to accumu rule of distribution should be a proper and constitutional late money for distribution to the sovereign and inde rule, would be, in effect, precisely equivalent to laying pendent States of the confederacy. Those States were a direct tax to the amount, and the interests of no State to be taught to look to this Government for the means or section of the country could, in any event, be promoto supply their wants; for the money to sustain their in. ted by it; but in an increase of the duties upon foreign stitutions; for the funds to meet their legislative appro- importations, and the consequent increase of the revenue priations. Can relations of this sort be established, and from customs, a large majority of the people of the ihe independence of the States be preserved? Can the whole Union, as experience has shown, may easily be Government of a State feel or exercise an indepen- made to believe, if the fact be not so, that their interests dence of the power which feeds and sustains it by direct will be directly and essentially promoted. Who, then, and gratuitous contributions from its Treasury? What can doubt that this mode, instead of a call upon the step can be so eminently calculated as this, to produce States for the money parcelled out to them, will be the speedy and perfect consolidation?
mode of supplying any future wants of the Treasury, so Mr. w. said he knew he should be answered that it | long as a resort to this indirect taxation can reach that was not proposed to give, but to loan, this money to the object? If a calamitous and expensive war shall come States; to take their bonds or securities for its repay. | upon the nation, and our commerce shall be so far interment, upon the call of Congress. It would be further rupted or destroyed as to render any rates of duty upon said that the omission to cbarge interest was a matter of imports an inadequate supply to the Treasury, then, inentire discretion with Congress, and of justice to the | deed, (Mr. W. said,) this money might be called for; States, inasmuch as the money had been collected from because then no other resort but to such a call, or to a the people of the States; and, if not wanted for the direct tax, would remain to Congress. Still an imporuses of this Government, ought to be submitted to the tant and most delicate question would, even then, be States for their use, without charge. These were likely to govern the action of the national Legislature. specious answers, to which the form of the propositions Each State would calculate the relative effect upon itself gave countenance; but what would be their practical of a call for the money, or a direct tax to raise the same effect? The money was to co to the States upon a rule amount. The interests of the States whose population of distribution prescribed, and claimed to be equal shall have relatively diminished between the time of the and just; it was to go to them for any uses they may receipt of the money and the time when a call shall be choose to make of it, and without interest. In return proposed, will dictate to it, and to its representatives for the money, the several State Legislatures are to here, to favor a direct tax in preference to a call; bepass laws declaring that the State will repay the prin- cause its proportion of the tax will be less than was its
May 27, 1836.]
proportion of the money, distributed when its relative representation in the House of Representatives alone; position among the States was higher. On the contrary, and the representation in the Senate, which has no relaihe relatively increasing States, those whose population tion to the population or tax-paying liabilities of the shall bear a higher proportion to the whole when the call States, should not be included. comes than when the distribution took place, will favor Another argument against the adoption of this rule of a call instead of a tax, because the proportion of money distribution, of the strongest character, was to be found falling to their share will have been less than their pro in the certainty it would create that the money would portion of the tax when they shall have become rela never be called for, even to avoid direct taxation. By tively more populous. The preponderance of these in this rule, all the small States would obtain a large amount terests wiil, of course, determine the action of Congress of the money to be distributed, beyond the proportion when the crisis shall have arrived.
to which their federal numbers would entitle them. If this view of the subject be sound and practical, will Sixteen of the twenty-four States would gain, and eight any one contend that the disposition of the surplus, ac only would lose. Present, then, in this body, where cording to these propositions, is, in effect, any thing less the States are represented equally, the alternative of a than a general and unrestricted distribution of it to the direct tax, or a call upon the States for this money, and States? The repayment is submitted to their action, and which do you think, Mr. President, would be adopted? is subject to their pleasure; and all the constitutional Would the sixteen States prevail, or the eight? and if means for a supply of money to the Treasury, separate the sixteen, which alternative would they choose? That, from a call for this money, will be constantly as open to of course, wbich the interests of the States represented them and to their representatives here, as they now are, here, and holding the majority, should dictate. Wbat and will remain, if this distribution be not made. Is, would be that interest? In the distribution of the money then, the position sound, that Congress will never make to be repaid, they will have received a proportion much the call until a necessity either of levying a direct tax, greater than their proportion of federal population, or of making it, shall exist? And if it be, is the position because the rule of distribution included their represenof the general Government made, in any respect, better, tation in the Senate. If, then, they consent to the call by having required the promise of payment as a condi.
for repayment, they must return the money received. tion precedent to dividing out the moneys of the Treas
On the contrary, if these States adopt a direct tax, they ury to the States? Mr. W. said he could not see that it have only to raise a sum equal to their exact proporwas, while he could see the most fearful evils which tions in the scale of federal numbers, and therefore will might arise from this debtor and creditor relation be
be direct gainers by preferring the tax and rejecting a tween the States and this Government. He could fore call for the money. see incalculable evils which might grow out of the con
Mr. W. said he must, in justice to himself, state that Aicting and contrary interests of the different States, the fact, that the rule proposed to be adopted would whenever it should be proposed by the federal Govern- work the greatest injustice to his own State, had very ment to make the call for this money, and thus attempt little influence with him in urging this objection. If a to render the promises to pay operative. He was com distribution was to be made, and New York was to be a pelled further to apprebend, in consequence of these recipient, it was his duty to contend for her rights; but propositions, should they be adopted, an early agitation in debt as she was, if all ber citizens entertained his of the tariff controversy, and the revival of local ques- feelings and opinions upon this subject, they would look, tions which have so recently tried the strength of this as they most safely might, to her wealth, to her enterUnion more severely than it had ever before been tried, I prise, to her immense advantages and resources, to pay and given to our institutions a shock which every patriother debts and carry her on to her high destiny, and would would long remember, and labor, to the utmost of his not prostrate her before the national Treasury, for the power, to avoid in future.
miserable boon of a few hundred thousand dollars. Were His second objection, Mr. W. said, was against the he permitted to advise, his State would never accept the rule of distribution adopted. It was directed to be made ) money proposed to be intrusted to her upon the terms according to the representation of each State in the prescribed.' Senate and House of Representatives. He must sup- Another objection (Mr. W. said) remained to be anpose, if Congress possess the power, under the constitu- swered, which had been very generally urged against tion, to divide out the moneys in the public Treasury to the propositions he bad offered upon this subject. It the States, or to the people of the States, that the rule / was, that an investment of the surplus in the manner he of distribution must follow that which governs the col- | bad proposed would be unequal, as between the differlection of the same money. That rule is the rule of ent States; and that those States which had no debt, representation and taxation; is the rule of federal num- which had issued no stock, or securities of any descripbers; is the rate of representation, as nearly as may be, tion, would obtain no part of the moneys to be invested. by which the States are represented in the House of A perfect and conclusive answer to this objection might Representatives. It has never before been proposed to be, that it was at the option of the States to issue stocks include the Senate in any calculation of equality between or not; and therefore it was at their option to participate the States. The constitution bas in no instance included l or not in these investments, as any Slate which would it; and he must think that its inclusion here was against issue stocks, and offer them in the market upon the most the spirit and against the express provisions of that in favorable terms, would, of course, be most likely to obstrument. How had this money been accumulated? tain investments. This, however, was not the answer By taxation, direct or indirect. From whom had it been upon which he chose to rest bis defence to the objec. collected? From the people of the States. The con tion. The objection had arisen from the fact that genstitution prescribed the rule by which, and by which tlemen had yielded all their reflections to the various only, Congress might tax them; and that was in propor. plans for an equal distribution of these moneys to the tion to their federal numbers. If the money is not States; and they had connected, in their minds, the wanted for the uses of the federal Government, to propositions he had made, with reflections of this charwhom does it belong? and to whom should it be return acter. There was no connexion between the two subed? Most certainly to the people from whom it has been jects, and he hoped to be able to convince every Senacollected, and in the same proportions which governed tor that the objection was wholly inapplicable, in pracits collection from them. It should be distributed, then, tice, to the plan of investment he had suggested. There upon the federal numbers of the States, or upon their was nothing in the nature of a distribution among the SENATE.]
Resignation of Mr. Ilill-Public Deposites.
(May 28, 1836.
States connected with the plan. No transaction with to make, and he would resume bis seat. He wished to the States, of any sort, was proposed. The adoption of inquire of those gentlemen who had voted for the land the propositions could not benefit or injure any State, or bill, and who now proposed to support the propositions give any one State any possible advantage over any other offered by the Senator from South Carolina (Mr. CAL State. The investments were to be made by a purchase HOUN) to distribute the surplus revenue among the of the stocks in the market, at the market value; and be States, whether the two measures would, or would not, fore they could come there, they must have been sold by conflict with each other? whether they were, or were the State issuing them. That State, therefore, must not, intended as antagonist measures?' That bill prohave received its money, and could have no interest vides for the distribution of the proceeds of the sales of whatever in the sale to the United States, and the pur- the public lands on specified days, and extends through chase by them. It must have taken upon itself the obli- the year 1837. These propositions make the same disgation to pay the interest upon the stock at a given time position of all the revenues in the Treasury, over a given and place, and to redeem the principal at a specified sum to be named, upon specified days, without regard day. No change could be made in these obligations by to the sources from which the moneys may have been a transfer of the stocks to the United States, any more derived, and extends its action through the year 1841. than by a similar transfer to any private individual; and if he was not mistaken, the distributions under the two whatever premium the Government may pay does not bills were to take place, in some instances at least, on go to the benefit of the State issuing the stock, but to the same day. What he wished gentlemen to inform The bolder, of whom the purchase is made. So, also, if him was, which bill would take the money; for he supthe Government sell the stock of any State which it may posed either would take all which could be called sur. have purcbased, the State, or its interests, are in no way plus. The rule of distribution was very different in the affected by the sale: its obligations and responsibilities two cases, and he would be glad to learn whether it are unchanged. Mr. W. said, the better to illustrate was intended, by this measure, to repeal in effect the bis meaning, the Senate must permit him to take a sim- land bill. His inquiries were particularly directed to ple business example. I give my note to you, Mr. the author of this scheme for distribution, and he should President, for the sum of $100, payable at the expira- await his answer. tion of twenty years from its date, with interest at the When Mr. W. had concluded-rate of five per cent. per annum; the interest to be paid Mr. LEIGH called the attention of the Senate to a annually at a specified place, and the principal to be provision of the substitute, by which the Secretary of paid at the same place when it falls due; and I make the the Treasury, though he cannot change the places of note negotiable. Can it, by any possibility, interest me deposite during the session of Congress without its conwhether you hold that note, or sell it; or whether it be sent; yet, during the recess of Congress, absolute power negotiated but once in the whole twenty years, or every of such change is given bim beyond the remedy of Conweek in the term; whether it be held by individuals or gress, the Secretary being only required to make a bodies politic; by a pauper or by the United States? Mr. | fruitless report of his reasons for the change. W. said he was unable to comprehend how his interests Mr. WRIGHT acknowledged this to be a feature of could be affected in the supposed case, and he was his substitute for the bill. equally unable to discover how the interests of the On motion of Mr. CALHOUN, States were to be affected, either beneficially or injuri The Senate then adjourned. ously, by permitting the United States to purchase their slocks in the market, as a mere investment of money in
SATURDAY, MAI 28. the Treasury. He was sure gentlemen must see that the objection was groundless, and had proceeded from
RESIGNATION OF Mr. HILL. the mistaken idea that the States, whose stocks should The CHAIR communicated the following letter of be purchased, were to be materially benefited, and that, resignation from the Hon. Isaac HILL; which was read: therefore, there ought to be some provision to make the
WASHINGTON, May 28, 1836. purchases equal among the States; whereas, neither the
Sir: Having been elected by the citizens of New purchase nor sale could affect, in any way, the interests
Hampshire to the office of Chief Magistrate of that State, of the State issuing the stocks.
without waiting a formal official communication of the So far from desiring this equality, (Mr. W. said,) the
canvass; and it being expedient that I should enter on very certain inequality was, to his mind, one of the
the discharge of the duties of the new office during the highest merits of the propositions. It was not likely
ensuing week, I communicate to you, and through you that the United States would hold the stocks of a large
to the Senate, information that on Monday next I shall number of States at the same time, and those would be
resign my seat in the Senate. held in very unequal quantities. This fact would cause
With the best wishes of happiness to yourself, and to the representatives of the States against which no secu
the Senators with whom I have been associated, rities were held, to attend vigilantly to the collection or
I am, with great respect, disposition of those held against other States, and, in an
Your obedient servant, equal degree, would induce the representatives from
ISAAC HILL. those States against which small amounts were held, to
Hon. MARTIN VAN BUNEN, see that those against which the amounts were large were made punctually to meet their payments. One of
Vice President of the United States. his most important objections to any plan of distribution,
PUBLIC DEPOSITES. with a view to repayment, was predicated upon the fact The Senate then proceeded to the consideration of that all would be equally interested against a repayment; the bill to regulate the deposites of the public money. that there would be none to exercise vigilance, because all After some words from Mr. WRIGHT, in explanation, would resist collection; that repayment would never be Mr. CALHOUN said: This bill, which the Senator made, because there wculd be no one to demand it. In- from New York proposes to strike out, in order to subvestments in the manner he proposed would be free stitute his amendment, is no stranger to this body. It from these objections, and would stimulate the majority was reported at the last session by the select committee to watchfulness and care that collections were promptly on Executive patronage, and passed the Senate, after made.
a full and deliberate investigation, by a mixed vote of Mr. W. said he had but one single further suggestion all parties, of twenty to twelve. As strong as is this
May 27, 1836.]
presumptive evidence in its favor, I would, notwith-compensation the banks ought to make to the public for standing, readily surrender the bill, and adopt the the use of its funds; but, let the disposition be what it amendment of the Senator from New York, if I did not may, the omission in the amendment of any compensasincerely believe that it was liable to strong and decisive tion whatever is, in my opinion, wholly indefensible. objections. I seek no lead on this important subject; The next point of difference relates to transfer warmy sole aim is to aid in applying a remedy to what I rants. The bill prohibits the use of transfer warrants, honestly believe to be a deep and dangerous disease of except with a view to disbursement; while the amendthe body politic; and I stand prepared to co-operate ment leaves them without regulation, under the sole with any one, be he of what party he may, who may control of the Treasury Departinent. To understand propose a remedy, provided it shall promise to be safe the importance of this difference, it must be borne in and efficient. I, in particular, am desirous of co-operat- mind that the transfer warrants are the lever by which ing with the Senator from New York, not only because I the whole banking operations of the country may be con. desire the aid of his distinguished talents, but, still more, trolled, through the deposites. By them, the public moof his decisive influence with the powerful party of ney may be transferred from one bank to another, or which he is so distinguished a member, and which now, from one State or section of the country to another State for good or evil, holds the destiny of the country in its or section; and thus one bank may be elevated, and anohands. It was in this spirit that I examined the amend-ther depressed; and a redundant currency created in one ment proposed by the Senator; and, I regret to say, State or section, and a deficient in another; and, through after a full investigation, I cannot acquiesce in it, as I such redundancy or deficiency, all the moneyed engagefeel a deep conviction that it will be neither safe norments and business transactions of the whole community efficient. So far from being substantially the same as may be made dependant on the will of one man. With the bill, as stated by the Senator, I cannot but regard it the present enormous surplus, it is difficult to assign as essentially different, both as to objects and means. limits to the extent of this power. The Secretary, or The objects of the bill are, first, to secure the public the irresponsible agent unknown to the laws, who, rumor interest, as far as it is connected with the deposites; says, has the direction of this immense power, (we are and, next, to protect the banks in which they are made not permitted to have certain information,) may raise and against the influence and control of the Executive depress stocks and property of all descriptions, at his branch of this Government, with the view both to theirs pleasure, by withdrawing from one place and transferand the public interest. Compared with the bill, in re- ring to another, to the unlimited gain of those who are spect to both, the proposed amendment will be found in the secret, and certain ruin of those who are not. to favor the banks against the people, and the Executive Such a field of speculation has never before been opened against the banks. I do not desire the Senate to form in any country; a field so great, that the Rothschilds their opinion on my authority. I wish them to examine themselves might be tempted to enter it, with their imfor themselves; and, in order to aid them in the exami mense funds. Nor is the control which it would give over nation, I shall now proceed to state, and briefly illustrate, the politics of the country much less unlimited. To the the several points of difference between the bill and the same extent that it may be used to affect the interests proposed amendment, taking them in the order in wbich and the fortunes of individuals, to the like extent it may they stand in the bill.
be employed as an instrument of political influence and The first section of the bill provides that the banks control. I do not intend to assert that it has or will be shall pay at the rate of two per cent. per annum on the so employed: it is not essential at present to inquire how deposites for the use of the public money. This pro- it has or will be used. It is sufficient for my purpose to vision is entirely omitted in the amendment, which pro- show, as I trust I have satisfactorily, that it may be so poses to give to the banks the use of the money without employed. To guard against the abuse of so dangerous interest. That the banks ought to pay something for a power, the provision was inserted in the bill’to prothe use of the public money, all must agree, whatever hibit the use of transfer warrants, except, as stated, for diversity of opinion there may be as to the amount. Ac the purpose of disbursement; the omission of which procording to the last return of the Treasury Department, vision in the amendment is a fatal objection to it, of itself, there was, on the 1st of this month, $45,000,000 of pubs were there no other. But it is far from standing alone: lic money in the thirty-six depository banks, which they the next point of difference will be found to be not less are at liberty to use as their own, for discount or busi striking and fatal. ness, till drawn out for disbursements; an event that may The professed object of both the bill and the amendnot happen for years. In a word, this vast amount is soment is to place the safe keeping of the public moneys much additional banking capital, giving the same, or under the regulation and control of law, instead of being nearly the same, profit to those institutions as their per-| left, as it now is, at the discretion of the Executive. manent chartered capital, without rendering any other However strange it may seem, the fact is nevertheless service to the public than paying away from time to so, that the amendment entirely fails to effect the object time the portion that might be required for the service | which it is its professed object to accomplish. In order of the Government. Assuming that the banks realize a that it may be distinctly seen that what I state is the case, profit of six per cent. on these deposites, (it cannot be | it will be necessary to view the provisions of the bill and estimated at less,) it would give, on the present amount, the amendment in reference to the deposite separately, nearly three millions of dollars per annum, and, on the as they relate to the banks in which the public funds are probable average public deposites of the year, upwards now deposited, and those which may hereafter be select. of two millions of dollars; which enormous profit is de. ed to receive them. rived from the public by comparatively few individuals, The bill commences with the former, which it adopts without any return or charge, except the inconsiderable as banks of deposite, and prescribes the regulations and service of paying out the drafts of the Treasury when conditions on the observance of which they shall continue presented. But it is due to the Senator to acknowledge such; while, at the same time, it places them beyond the that his amendment is predicated on the supposition that control and influence of the executive departinent, by some disposition must be made of the surplus revenue, I placing them under the protection of law so long as they which would leave in the banks a sum not greater than continue faithfully to perform their duty as fiscal agents would be requisite to meet the current expenditure--a of the Government. It next authorizes the Secretary of supposition which necessarily must affect, very material the Treasury to select, under certain circumstances, adly affect, the decision of the question of the amount of ditional banks of deposite, as the exigency of the public