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(MAI 27, 1836.
service may require, on which it imposes like regulations to overrule the act of the Secretary, where his power and conditions, and places in like manner under the pro- may be improperly exercised, but the act of Congress tection of law. In all this the amendment pursues a very itself, intended to control such exercise of power, may different course. It begins with authorizing the Secre- be overruled by the veto of the President, at whose will tary to select the banks of deposite, and limits the regu. the Secretary holds his place; so as to leave the control lations and conditions it imposes on such banks; leaving, of the banks virtually under the control of the execuby an express provision, the present banks wholly under tive department of the Government. To obviate this, the control of the Treasury or the executive department, the bill vests the Secretary with the power simply of as they now are, without prescribing any time for the withdrawing the deposites and suspending the use of selection of other banks of deposite, or making it the the bank as a place of deposite, and provides that, if duty of the Secretary so to do. The consequence is ob Congress shall not confirm the removal, the deposite vious. The Secretary may continue the present banks shall be returned to the bank after the termination of as long as he pleases, and so long as he may choose to the next session of Congress. continue them, the provisions of the amendment, so far The next point of difference is of far less importance, as relates to the deposites, will be a dead letter; and the and is only mentioned as tending to illustrate the differ. banks, of course, instead of being under the control of ent character of the bill and the amendment. The forthe law, will be contrary, as I have said, to the professed mer provides that the banks of deposite shall perform object both of the bill and amendment--subject exclu- | the duties of commissioners of loans, without compensasively to his will.
tion, in like manner as was the duty of the late Bank of The Senator has attempted to explain this difference, the United States and its branches, under its charter. but I must say very unsatisfactorily. He said that the | Among these duties is that of paying the pensioners--a bill prohibited the selection of other banks; and, as he very heavy branch of disbursement, and attended with deemed others to be necessary at certain important considerable expense, and which will be saved to the points, in consequence of the present enormous surplus, Government under the bill, but will be lost if the he inserted the provision autborizing the selection of amendment should prevail. other banks. The Senator has not stated the provisions Another difference remains to be pointed out, relating of the bill accurately; so far from not authorizing, it ex- to the security of the deposites. With so large an pressly authorizes, the selection of other banks where there amount of public money in their vaults, it is important are now none; but I presume he intended to limit his that the banks should always be provided with ample remarks to places where there are no existing banks of means to meet their engagements. With this view, the deposite. Thus limited, the fact is as he states; but it bill provides that the specie in the vaults of the several by no means explains the extraordinary omission (for banks, and the aggregate of the balance in their favor such I must consider it) of not extending the regulations with other specie-paying banks, shall be equal to one to the existing banks, as well as to those hereafter to be fifth of the entire amount of their notes and bills in cirselected. If the public service requires additional banks culation, and their public and private deposites--a sum, at New York and other important points, in consequence as is believed, sufficient to keep them in a sound and of the vast sums deposited there, (as I readily agree it solvent condition. The amendment, on the contrary, does,) if no disposition is to be made of the surplus, it is provides that the banks shall keep in their own vaults, certainly a very good reason for enlarging the provisions or the vaults of other banks, specie equal to one fourth of the bill, by authorizing the Secretary to select other of its notes and bills in circulation, and the balance of banks at those points; but it is impossible for me to com- its accounts with other banks payable on demand. prehend how it proves that the regulations which the I regret that the Senator has thought proper to amendment proposes to impose should be exclusively change the phraseology, and to use terms less clear and limited to such newly selected banks. Nor do I see why I explicit than those in the bill. I am not certain that I the Senator has not observed the same rule in this case, comprehend the exact meaning of the provision in the as that which he adopted in reference to the compensa amnendment. What is meant by specie in the vaults of tion the banks ought to pay for the use of the public other banks? In a general sense, all deposites are conmoney. He omitted to provide for any compensation, sidered as specie; but I cannot suppose that to be the on the ground that his amendment proposed to dispose meaning in this instance, as it would render the proviof all the surplus money, leaving in the possession of the sion in a great measure inoperative. I presume the banks a sum barely sufficient to meet the current ex- amendment means special deposites in gold and silver in penditure, for the use of wbich he did not consider it right other banks, placed there for safe keeping, or to be to charge a compensation. On the same principle, it drawn on, and not to be used by the bank in which it is was unnecessary to provide for the selection of additional deposited. Taking that to be the meaning, what is banks where there are now banks of deposite, as they there to prevent the same sum from being twice countwould be ample if the surplus was disposed of. In this ed in estimating the means of the several banks of deI understood the Senator himself to concur.
posite? Take two of them, one having $100,000 in But it is not only in the important point of extending specie in its vaults, and the other the same amount in the regulations to the existing banks of deposite, that the vaults of the other bank, which, in addition, has bethe bill and the amendment differ. There is a striking sides another $100,000 of its own: what is there to predifference between them in reference to the authority vent the latter from returning, under the amendment, of Congress over the banks of deposite embraced both $200,000 of specie in its vaults, while the former would in the bill and the amendment. The latter, following return $100,000 in its own vaults, and another in the the provision in the charter of the late Bank of the Uni- vaults of the other bank, making, in the aggregate, beted States, authorizes the Secretary to withdraw the tween them, $400,000, when, in reality, the amount in public deposites, and to discontinue the use of any one of both would be but $300,000? the banks, whenever, in his opinion, such bank shall But this is not the only difference between the bill have violated the conditions on which it has been em- and the amendment, in this particular, deserving of poployed, or the public funds are not safe in its vaults, tice. The object of the provision is to compel the with the simple restriction, that he shall report the fact banks of deposite to bave, at all times, ample means to to Congress. We know from experience how slight is meet their liabilities, so that the Government should the check which this restriction imposes. It not only have sufficient assurance that the public moneys in their requires the concurrence of both Houses of Congress / vaults would be forthcoming when demanded. With this
May 27, 1836.]
view, the bill provides that the available means of the add the amount of stock in the United States Bank, bank shall never be less than one fifth of its aggregate which at the market price is worth at least $7,000,000, liabilities, including bills, notes, and deposites, public and we have $66,000,000, which I consider as the least and private; while the amendment entirely omits the amount at which the probable available means of the private deposites, and includes only the balance of its year can be fairly estimated. It will probably very condeposites with other banks. This omission is the more siderably exceed this amount. The range may be put remarkable, inasmuch as the greater portion of the lia down at between $66,000,000 and $73,000,000, which bilities of the deposite banks must, with the present may be considered as the two extremes, between which large surplus, result from their deposites, as every one the means of the year may vibrate. But in order to be who is familiar with banking operations will readily per- safe, I have assumed the least of the two. ceive.
The first question which I propose to consider is, I have now presented to the Senate the several points shall this sum be expended by the Government in the of difference which I deem material between the bill course of the year? A sum nearly equal to the entire and the amendment, with such remarks as to enable debt of the war of the Revolution, by which the liberty them to form their own opinion, in reference to the dif. and independence of these States were established; more ference, so that they may decide how far the assertion than five times greater than the expenditure of the Govis true, with which I set out, that, wherever they differ, ernment at the commencement of the present administhe amendment favors the banks against the interests of tration, deducting the payments on account of the public the public, and the Executive against the banks.
debt, and more than four times greater than the average The Senator, acting on the supposition that there | annual expenditure of the present administration, making would be a permanent surplus, beyond the expenditure the same deduction, extravagant as its expenditure has of the Government, which neither justice nor regard to seen. The very magnitude of the sum decides the the public interest would permit to remain in the banks, question against expenditure. It may be wasted, thrown has extended the provisions of his amendment, with away, but it cannot be expended. There are not great propriety, so as to comprehend a plan to withdraw objects on which to expend it; for proof of which I apthe surplus from the banks. His plan is to vest the com- peal to the appropriations already made and contemplamissioners of the sinking fund with authority to estimate, ted. We have passed the navy appropriations, which, at the beginning of every quarter, the probable receipts as liberal as they are admitted to be on all sides, are and expenditures of the quarter; and if, in their opin raised only about $2,000,000, compared with the approion, the receipts, with the money in the Treasury, priations of the last year. The appropriations for should exceed the estimated expenditure by a certain fortifications, supposing the bills now pending should sum, say $5,000,000, the excess should be vested in pass, will amount to about $3,500,000, and would State stocks; and if it should fall short of that sum, a exceed the ordinary appropriations, assuming them at sufficient amount of the stocks should be sold to make $1,000,000, which I hold to be ample, by $2,500,000. up the deficit. We have thus presented for considera- | Add a million for ordnance, seven or eight for Indian tion the important subject of the surplus revenue, and treaties, and four for Indian wars, and supposing the with it the question so anxiously and universally asked, companies of the regular army to be filled as recomWhat shall be done with the surplus! Sball it be ex mended by the War Department, the aggregate amount, pended by the Government, or remain where it is, or including the ordinary expenditures, would be between be disposed of as proposed by the Senator? Or, if not, thirty and thirty-five millions, and would leave a balance what other disposition shall be made of it? Questions, of at least $30,000,000 in the Treasury at the end of the the investigation of which necessarily embraces the en year. tire circle of our policy, and on the decision of which But suppose objects could be devised on which to exthe future destiny of the country may depend.
pend the whole of the available means of the year, it Bat before we enter on the discussion of this import. would still be impossible to make the expenditure, withant question, it will be proper to ascertain what will be out immense waste and confusion. To expend so large the probable available means of the year, in order that an amount regularly and methodically, would require a some conception may be formed of the probable sur vast increase of able and experienced disbursing officers, plus wbich may remain, by comparing it with the ap- and a great enlargement of the organization of the Govpropriations that may be authorized.
ernment in all the branches connected with disburseAccording to the late report of the Secretary of the ments. To effect such an enlargement, and to give a Treasury, there was deposited in the several banks little suitable organization, placed under the control of skilful upwards of $33,000,000 at the termination of the first and efficient officers, must necessarily be a work of time; quarter of the year, not including the sum of about but, without it, so sudden and great an increase of ex$3,000,000 deposited by the disbursing agents of the penditure would necessarily be followed by inextricable Government. The same report stated the receipts of confusion and heavy losses. . the quarter at about $11,000,000, of which lands and! But suppose this difficulty overcome, and suitable customs yielded nearly an equal amount. Assuming for objects could be devised, would it be advisable to make the three remaining quarters an equal amount, it would the expenditure? Would it be wise to draw so vast an give for the entire receipts of the year $44,000,000. 1 amount of productive labor, to be employed in unproagree with the Senator, that this sum is too large. The ductive objects, in building fortifications, dead walls, customs will probably average an amount throughout and in lining the interior frontier with a large military the year corresponding with the receipts of the first force, neither of which would add a cent to the producquarter; but there probably will be a considerable fall-tive power of the country? ing off in the receipts from the public lands. Assuming The ordinary expenditure of the Government, under $7,000,000 as the probable amount, which I presume the present administration, may be estimated say at will be ample, the receipts of the year, subtracting that $18,000,000.--a sum exceeding, by five or six millions, sum from $44,000,000, will be $37,000,000; and sub- what, in my opinion, is sufficient for a just and efficient tracting from that $11,000,000, the receipts of the first administration of the Government. Taking eighteen quarter would leave $26,000,000 as the probable re- from sixty-six, would leave forty-eight millions as the ceipts of the last three quarters. Add to this sum surplus, if the affairs of the Government had been so $33,000,000, the amount in the Treasury on the last day | administered as to avoid the heavy expenditures of the of the first quarter, and it gives $59,000,000. To this 1 year, which, I firmly believe, with early and prudent
(Mar 27, 1836.
counsel, might have been effected. The expenditure the exception of a few individuals, all seem to regard of this sum, estimating labor at $20 a month, would re- the scheme either as impracticable or unsafe; but there quire 200,000 operatives, equal to one third of the whole are others who, while they condemn the attempt of dis. number of laborers employed in producing the great sta posing of the surplus by immediate expenditures, be. ple of our country, which is spreading wealth and pros-lieve it can be safely and expediently expended, in a perity over the land, and controlling, in a great measure, period of four or five years, on what they choose to call the commerce and manufactures of the world. But the defences of the country. take what will be the actual surplus, and estimate that In order to determine how far this opinion is correct, at half the sum which, with prudence and economy, it it will be necessary first to ascertain what will be the might have been, and it would require the subtraction available means of the next four or five years; by comof 100,000 operatives from their present useful employ- paring which with what ought to be the expenditure, ment, to be employed in the unproductive service of the we may determine whether the plan would, or would Government. Would it, I again repeat, be wise to not, bé expedient. In making the calculation, I will draw off this immense mass of productive Jabor, in or take the term of five years, including the present, der to employ it in building fortifications, and swelling and which of course will comprehend 1840; after the the military establishment of the country? Would it termination of which, the duties above twenty per cent. add to the strength of the Union, or give increased secu-are to go off, by the provisions of the compromise act, rity to its liberty, or accelerate its prosperity?the great in eighteen months, when the revenue is to be reduced objects for which the Government was constituted.” to the economical and just wants of the Government..
To ascertain how the strength of any country may be the available means of the present year, as I have albest developed, its peculiar state and condition must be ready shown, will equal at least $66,000,000. That of taken into consideration. Looking to ours with this the next succeeding four years (including 1840) may be view, who can doubt that, next to our free institutions, assumed to be twenty-one millions annually. The reathe main source of our growing greatness and power is son for this assumption may be seen in the report of the to be found in our great and astonishing increase of select committee at the last session, which I have renumbers, wealth, and facility of intercourse? If we de viewed, and in the correctness of which I feel increased sire to see our country powerful, we ought to avoid confidence. The amount may fall short of, but will cerany measure opposed to their development, and, in par- tainly not exceed, the estimate in the report, unless ticular, ought to make the smallest possible draught, con- some unforeseen event should occur. Assuming, then, sistent with our peace and security, on the productive pow. $21,000,000 as the average receipts of the next four ers of the country. Let these have the freest possible years, it will give an aggregate of $84,000,000, which, play. Leave the resources of individuals under their added to the available means of this year, will give own direction to be employed in advancing theirs and $150,000,000 as the sum that will be at the disposal of their country's wealth and prosperity, with the extrac- the Government for the period assumed. Divide this tion of the least amount required for the expenditure of sum by five, the number of years, and it will give the Government; and draw off not a single laborer from $30,000,000 as the average annual available means of the their present productive pursuits to the unproductive period. employment of the Government, excepting such as the The next question for consideration is, will it be expublic service may render indispensable. Who can pedient to raise the disbursement during the period to doubt that such a policy would add infinitely more to an average expenditure of $30,000,000 annually? The the power and strength of the country than the extray first and strong objection to the scheme is, that it would agant scheme of spending millions on fortifications and | leave in the deposite banks a heavy surplus during the the increase of the military establishment?
greater part of the time, beginning with a surplus of Let us next examine how the liberty of the country upwards of thirty millions at the commencement of next may be affected by the scheme of disposing of the sur year, and decreasing at the rate of eight or nine millions plus by disbursements. And here I would ask, is the a year, till the termination of the period. But, passing liberty of the country at present in a secure and stable this objection by, I meet the question directly. It would condition; and if not, by what is it endangered? And will be highly inexpedient and dangerous to attempt to keep an increase of disbursements augment or diminish the up the disbursements at sa high a rate. I ask, on what danger?
sball this money be expended? Shall it be expended by an Whatever may be the diversity of opinion on other increase of the military establishment? by an enlargement points, there is not an intelligent individual of any par. ofthe appropriations for fortifications, ordnance, and the ty, who regards his reputation, that will venture to de- navy, far beyond what is proposed for the present year? ny that the liberty of the country is at this time more Have those who advocate the scheme reflected to what insecure and unstable than it eyer has been. We all extent this enlargement must be carried, to absorb so know that there is in every portion of the Union, and great a sum? Even this year, with the extraordinary with every party, a deep feeling that our political insti. expenditure upon Indian treaties and Indian wars, and tutions are undergoing a great and hazardous change. with profuse expenditure in every other branch of serNor is the feeling much less strong, that the vast increase vice, the aggregate amount of appropriations will not of the patronage and influence of the Government is greatly exceed $30,000,000, and that of disbursements the cause of the great and fearful change which is so will not probably equal that sum. To what extent, extensively affecting the character of our people and then, must the appropriations for the army, the navy, the institutions. The effect of increasing the expendi- fortifications, and the like, be carried, in order to tures at this time, so as to absorb the surplus, would absorb that sum, especially with a declining expendibe to double the number of those who live, or expect ture in several branches of the service, particularly in to live, by the Government, and in the same degree the pensions, which, during the period, will fall off more augment its patronage and influence, and accelerate than a million of dollars? But, in order to take a full that downward course which, if not arrested, must view of the folly and danger of the scheme, it will be speedily terminate in the overthrow of our free insti- necessary to extend our view beyond 1842, in order to tutions.
form some opinion of what will be the income of the These views I hold to be decisive against the wild Government when the tariff shall be so reduced, under attempt to absorb the immense means of the Govern- | the compromise act, that no duty shall exceed twenty ment by the expenditures of the year. In fact, with per cent. ad valorem. I know that any estimate madé MAY 27, 1836.]
at this time cannot be considered much more than con- the value of the imposts, when on the eve of discharge jectural; but still it would be imprudent to adopt a sys- / ing the debt, and when, of course, there would be no tem of expenditure now, without taking into considera- objects on which the immense income from such extion the probable state of the revenue a few years hence. | travagant duties could be justly and constitutionally ex
After bestowing due reflection on the subject, I am pended. It is amazing that there was such blindness of the impression that the income from the imposts after then as not to see what has since followed--the sudden the period in question will not exceed $10,000,000. It discharge of the debt and an overflowing Treasury, will probably fall below, rather than rise above, that without the means of absorbing the surplus; the violent sum. I assume as the basis of this estimate, that our conflict resulting from such a state of things; and the vast consumption of foreign articles will not then exceed increase of the power and patronage of the Government, $150,000,000. We all know that the capacity of the with all its corrupting consequences. We are now about, country to consume depends upon the value of its domes I fear, to commit an error of a different character: to tic exports, and the profits of its commerce and naviga- | raise the expenditure far beyond all example in time of tion. Of its domestic exports it would not be safe to l peace, and with a decreasing revenue, which must, with assume any considerable increase in any article except equal certainty, bring on another conflict not much less cotton. To what extent the production and consump. | dangerous, in which the struggle will not be to find obtion of this great staple, which puts in motion so vast an Ijects to absorb an overflowing Treasury, but to devise amount of the industry and commerce of the world, may means to continue an expenditure far beyond the just be increased between now and 1842, is difficult to con- and legitimate wants of the country. It is easy to forejecture; but I deem it unsafe to suppose that it can be see that, if we are thus blindly to go on in the manageso increased as to extend the capacity of the country to ment of our affairs, without regard to the future, the consume beyond the limits I have assigned. Assuming, frequent and violent concussions which must follow from then, the amount which I have, and dividing the imports such folly cannot but end in a catastrophe that will ininto free and dutiable articles, the latter, according to / gulf our political institutions. the existing proportion between the two descriptions, With such decided objections to the dangerous and would amount in value to something less than $70,000,000. 1 extravagant scheme of absorbing the surplus by disAccording to the compromise act, no dutý, after the bursements, I proceed to the next question, Shall the period in question, can exceed twenty per cent., and public money remain where it now is? Shall the presthe rates would range from that down to five or six per ent extraordinary state of things, without example cent. Taking fifteen per cent. as the average, which or parallel, continue, of a Government calling itself would be probably full bigh, and allowing for the ex free, extracting from the people millions beyond what penses of collection, the nett income would be something it can expend, and placing that vast sum in the custody less than $10,000,000.
of a few monopolizing corporations selected at the sole The income from public lands is still more conjectural will of the Executive, and continued during his pleasthan that from customs. There are so many and such | ure, to be used as their own from the time it is collected various causes in operation affecting this source of the till it is disbursed? To this question there must burst public income, that it is exceedingly difficult to form from the lips of every man who loves his country and even a conjectural estimate as to its amount beyond the its institutions, and who is the enemy of monopoly, incurrent year. But, in the midst of this uncertainty, one l justice, and oppression, an indignant no. And here let me fact may be safely assumed, that the purchases during express the pleasure I feel, that the Senator from New the last year, and thus far this, greatly exceed the steady York, in moving his amendment, however objectionable progressive demand for public lands, from increased his scheme, bas placed himself in opposition to the continpopulation, and the consequent emigration to the new uance of the present unheard-of and dangerous state of States and Territories. Much of the purchases have things; and I add, as a simple act of justice, that the tone been unquestionably made upon speculation, with a view and temper of his remarks in support of his amendment to resales, and must, of course, come into market here were characterized by a courtesy and liberality wbich I, after in competition with the lands of the Government, on my part, shall endeavor to imitate. But I fear, notand to that extent must reduce the income from their withstanding this favorable indication in so influential a sales. Estimating even the demand for public lands quarter, the very magnitude of the evil (too great to be from what it was previous to the recent large sales, and concealed) will but serve to perpetuate it.
concealed) will but se
So great taking into estimate the increased population and wealth , and various are the interests enlisted in its favor, that I of the country, I do not consider it safe to assume more greatly fear that all the efforts of the wise and patriotic than $5,000,000 annually from this branch of the rev.) to arrest it will prove unavailing. At the head of these enue, which, added to the customs, would give for the stand the depository banks themselves, with their nuannual receipts between fourteen and fifteen millions of merous stockholders and officers; with their $40,000,000 dollars after 1842.
of capital, and an equal amount of public deposites, asI now ask whether it would be prudent to raise the sociated into one great combination extending over the public expenditures to the sum of $30,000,000 annually, whole Union, under the influence and control of the Treasduring the intermediate period, with the prospect that ury Department. The whole weight of this mighty comthey must be suddenly reduced to half of ihat amount? bination, so deeply interested in the continuance of the Who does not see the fierce conflict which must follow | present state of things, is opposed to any change. To between those who may be interested in keeping up the this powerful combination must be added the numer
tures, and those who have an equal interest | ous and influential body who are dependant on banks against an increase of the duties as the means of keep to meet their engagements, and who, whatever may be ing them up? I appeal to the Senators from the South, 1 their political opinions, must be alarmed at any change whose constituents have so deep an interest in low du which may limit their discounts and accommodation. ties, to resist a course so impolitic, unwise, and extrav Then come the stock-jobbers, a growing and formidable agant, and which, if adopted, might again renew the class, who live by raising and depressing stocks, and who tariff, so recently thrown off by such hazardous and I behold in the present state of things the most favorable strenuous efforts, with all its oppression and disaster. opportunity of carrying on their dangerous and corrupt. Let us remember what occurred in the fatal session of ing pursuits. With the control which the Secretary of 1828. With a folly unparalleled, Congress then raised the Treasury has over the banks of deposite, through the duties to a rate so enormous as to average one half transfer warrants, with the power of withdrawing the SENATE.)
(MAY 27, 1836.
deposites at pleasure, he may, whenever he chooses, The Senator should also have informed us, not only as raise and depress the stock of any bank; and, if disposed to the amount of the stock, but how it is distributed to use this tremendous power for corrupt purposes, among the States, in order to enable us to determine may make the fortunes of the initiated, and overwhelm whether bis scheme would operate equally between in sudden ruin those not in the secret. To the stock - them. In the absence of correct information on both of jobbers must be added speculators of every hue and these points, we are compelled to use such as we may form; and, in particular, the speculators in public lands, | possess, however defective and uncertain, in order to who, by the use of the public funds, are rapidly divest make up our mind on his amendment. ing the people of the noble patrimony left by our an We all know, then, that while several of the States cestors in the public domain, by giving in exchange bave no stocks, and many a very inconsiderable amount, what may in the end prove to be broken credit and three of the large States (Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New worthless rags. To these we must add the artful and York) have a very large amount, not less in the aggre. crafty politicians who wield this mighty combination of gate, if I am correctly informed, than thirty-five or forty interests for political purposes. I am anxious to avoid millions. What amount is held by the rest of the States mingling party politics in this discussion; and that I may is uncertain; but I suppose that it may be safely assumed not even seem to do so, I shall not attempt to exbibit, that, taking the whole, it is less than that held by those in all its details, the fearful, and, I was about to add, States. With these facts, it cannot be doubted that the the overwhelming power which the present state of application of the surplus, as proposed to be applied by things places in the hands of those who have control of the Senator, would be exceedingly unequal among the the Government, and which, if it be not wielded to States, and that the advantage of the application would overthrow our institutions and destroy all responsibility, mainly accrue to these three States. To meet these obmust be attributed to their want of inclination, and not jections, the Senator, while he does not deny that the to their want of means.
application of the surplus will greatly raise the price of Such is the power and influence interested to con stocks, insists that the states issuing them will not derive tinue the public money where it is now deposited. To any benefit from the advance, and consequently have no these there are opposed the honest, virtuous, and pa- interest in the question of the application of the surplus triotic, of every party, who behold in the continuance of to their purchase. the present state of things almost certain convulsion and If by States he means the Government of the States, overthrow of our liberty. There would be found on the view of the Senator may be correct. They may, as the same side the great mass of the industrious and la he says, have but little interest in the market value of boring portion of the community, whose hard earnings their stocks, as they must be redeemed by the same are extracted from them without their knowledge, were amount, whether that be high or low. But if we take it not that what is improperly taken from them is suc- a more enlarged view, and comprehend the people of cessfully used as the means of deceiving and controlling the State, as well as the Government, the argument enthem. If such were not the case-if those who work tirely fails. The Senator will not deny that the holders could see how those who profit are enriched at their have a deep interest in the application of so large a sum expense-the present state of things would not be en as the present surplus in the purchase of their stocks. dured for a moment; but, as it is, I fear that from mis He will not deny that such application must greatly conception, and consequent want of union and co-opera- advance the price; and, of course, in determining whetion, things may continue as they are, till it will be too ther the States having stocks will be benefited by apply. late to apply a remedy. I trust, however, that such willing the surplus as he proposes, we must first ascertain not be the fact; that the people will be roused from | who are the holders. Where do they reside? Are they their false security, and that Congress will refuse to ad- / foreigners residing abroad? If so, would it be wise to journ till an efficient remedy is applied. In this hope I apply the public money so as to advance the interests of recur to the inquiry, what shalt that remedy be? Shall foreigners, to whom the States are under no obligation, we adopt the measure recommended by the Senator but honestly to pay them the debts which they have from New York, which, as has been stated, proposes to contracted? But if not held by foreigners, are they held authorize the commissioners of the sinking fund to as-by citizens of such States? If such be the fact, will the certain the probable income of each quarter, and, if Senator deny that those States will be deeply interested there should be a probable excess above $5,000,000, to in the application of the surplus as proposed in his vest the surplus in the purchase of State stocks; but, if amendment, when the effects of such application must there should be a deficiency, to sell so much of the be, as is conceded on all sides, greatly to enhance the stock previously purchased as would make up the differ price of the stocks, and consequently to increase the ence.
wealth of their citizens? Let us suppose that, instead I regret that the Senator has not furnished a statement of purchasing the stocks of the States in which his conof facts sufficiently full to enable us to form an opinionstituents are interested, the Senator's amendment had of what will be the practical operation of his scheme. proposed to apply the present enormous surplus to the He has omitted, for instance, to state what is the aggre- purchase of cotton or slaves, in which the constituents gate amount of stocks issued by the several States of the southern Senators are interested: would any one fact indispensable in order to ascertain how the price of doubt that the cotton-growing or slave-holding States the stocks would be affected by the application of the would have a deep interest in the question? It will not surplus to their purchase. All who are in the least fa- be denied that, if so applied, their price would be greatmiliar with subjects of this kind, must know that the ly advanced, and the wealth of their citizens proportion. price of stock rises proportionably with the amount of ably increased. Precisely the same effect would result the sum applied to their purchase. I have already shown from the application to the purchase of stocks, with like that the probable surplus at the end of this year, not benefits to the citizens of the States which have issued withstanding the extravagance of the appropriations, large amounts of stock. The principle is the same in will be between thirty and thirty-five millions; and be- both cases. fore we can decide understandingly whether this great! But there is another view of the subject which desum can with propriety be applied as the Senator pro. mands most serious consideration. Assuming, what will poses, we should know whether the amount of State not be questioned, that the application of the surplus, as stocks be sufficient to absorb it, without raising their proposed by the amendment, will be very unequal among price extravagantly high.
I the States, some having little or none, and others a large