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[JUNE 17, 1836.
to be to some extent necessary, and even
with strong claims; of many of them he could say with indispensable to the public interests, equal
claims which seemed to him almost, if not altogethto
- 17,500,000 er, irresistible. He would then ask gentlemen who Take from this amount the above balance in
disputed his conclusions to point out the important bills the Treasury, after deducting the out.
he had enumerated, which would not and ought not to standing appropriations, to wit, . . 4,379,772 pass. He had given particular reference to the meas.
utes, and he hoped they would put their finger upon And there will remain, to be charged upon
those which they would oppose. the moneys to be received into the Treas.
Mr. CALHOUN said the Senator had made use of the ury after the 6th day of June instant, the
best of all possible arguments for preserving the surplus. sum of . - - $13, 120,228 No Senator had estimated the whole surplus at the end
of the year, including the $7,000,000 in the United There was another class of appropriations of a public States Bank, and exclusive of the year's expenditures, character, which he thought ought to pass, and he hoped at less than $66,000,000. The Senator from New York might pass before the adjournment of Congress. One of bad earnestly endeavored to prove that the expenditures these measures was the filling up of the ranks of the ar- of this year of this administration would amount to this my, and which, if successful, he supposed would incur an $66,000,000. Mr. C. made a solemn appeal to Seniannual expenditure of at least - - $1,000,000 tors, whether they were prepared to rise so soon from Several bills were before Congress for the
an annual Government expenditure of $12,000,000, erection of new custom-houses, some of
then deemed prodigal, to the enormous sum of $66,000,which, and especially one at New Or
000, and that in a time of profound peace. There leans, and at one or two other points, he
could possibly be no stronger argument in favor of hoped would pass, and they would appro
taking care of the surplus. Mr. C. made a comparison priate about - - - . 300,000 between the State stock and State deposite projects, Bills were before Congress, and surely ought
and drew the obvious deductions in favor of the latter, to pass, for rebuilding the Treasury build
expressing his satisfaction at the great unanimity of the ings, and there was asked for that object,
Senate on the subject, and his belief that but for for the present year, - .
250,000 the opposition from the Senator from New York the votc A bill was also now before the Senate recom
would have been unanimous. mending the erection of a fire-proof build
Mr. WALKER followed Mr. CALHOUN. ing for the Patent Office, and proposing to
Mr. BUCHANAN said he had risen for the purpose appropriate for that object something more
of stating, as briefly as he could, some of the reasons than
100,000 which had induced him to vote for the engrossment of Several bills were before the two Houses of
this bill, and which should govern his vote upon its Congress, to provide for the erection of
final passage. He wished to place them distinctly benew marine hospitals, and he supposed
fore bis constituents, so that they might decide upon the some of them would meet our favorable ac
propriety of his conduct. He should have given a silent tion. He had estimated that the appro
vote upon the question; but the unexpected debate which priations for these objects would be
had arisen to-day upon the final passage of the bill Bills were before Congress to remit the du
rendered some explanation, upon his part, necessary. ties upon goods destroyed by fire in the
What, sir, said Mr. B., is the true nature of this quesoriginal packages, many of which he
tion, in the form in which it now presents itself to the thought ought to pass, and would appro.
Senate? To state it correctly is at once to answer all priate, if they did pass, at the least," - 1,100,000 the arguments which have been urged against the bill. A bill is now before Congress proposing to
If we were to infer wliat the question was from the advance the unpaid indemnities under the
remarks of my friend from Mississippi, (Mr. WALKER,] treaties with France and Naples. This
we might be induced to believe that this bill proposes a bill would be eminently calculated, to its
donation, not only of the present, but of every future extent, to relieve the present mercantile
surplus in the Treasury, to the several States: to use his pressure, and ought to pass. It would ap
own language, that we are now about dividing the spoils propriate about -
- 4,000,000 among the people. Can any thing be more remote A bill has passed the Senate, and been sent
from a correct statement of the case? This bill pro. to the House, to purchase the remaining
vides merely for a deposite of the public money with stock held by private stockholders in the
the States; not for a donation of it to them. In its terms Louisville and Portland Canal Company,
and in its spirit, it proposes nothing more than to make and appropriating for that object - 750,000 the State treasuries the depositories of a portion of the
public money, instead of the deposite banks. If the Here, then, is a further amount, unprovided
States should derive incidental advantages from the tise for, except by future receipts into the
of this money, without interest, the deposite banks have Treasury, of . .
- 7,550,000 heretofore used it, and, under the provisions of this bill, Add to this the balance unprovided for ex
will continue to use it, upon the very same terms, to the cept by future receipts into the Treasury,
extent of one fourth of their capitals. Surely no Senator as shown by the result of the last prece
upon this floor can complain of the benefits which may ding calculation, -
-13, 120,228 be conferred upon the States by the adoption of this
measure. And we have an amount of existing and
In discussing this subject I shall imitate the example probable appropriations, beyond any means
of my friend from New York, [Mr. WRIGHT,) and prenow in the Treasury, equal to - -$20,670,228 sent to the Senate a concise history of the progress of
that portion of the bill which relates to the deposite of Mr. W. said he did not say that these appropriations the public money with the States. Its features have would all be made. He did not believe they would all been very much changed, and, in my opinion, it has be made; but he had intended to select, with care and been greatly improved, since the Senator from South caution, such only as were presented to Congress 1 Carolina (Mr. CALHOUN) presented bis original proposiJune 17, 1836. ]
tion. That gentleman had proposed to deposite the Secretary of the Treasury certificates of deposite for such annual accruing surplus in the Treasury, until the year amounts, and in such form as he may prescribe, payable 1842, with the several States, without making any pro.to the United States or their assigns; and, without any vision that they should issue certificates for these de direction from Congress, he is authorized to sell and posites, to be placed in the hands of the Secretary of assign these certificates, ratably, in proportion to the the Treasury. Before this money or any portion of it sums received, and thus convert them into money when could be recalled, bis amendment required that a special ever it shall become necessary for the payment of any of act of Congress should be passed for that purpose; and the appropriations made by Congress. These certificates, that six months notice must be given to the States prior which, after their assignment, will bear an interest of to the payment of any instalment. This would have five per cent. per annum, are to all intents and purposes been, in effect, a system to distribute the surplus revenue so much money in the Treasury. They are as good; in the Treasury among the States for a period of six nay, they are far better, because they are much more years. I need not again state my objections to this prop. | secure, than the best bank notes in the country. Within osition, having urged them at some length upon a the period of a single day, they will always command former occasion, before the appointment of the select gold and silver, if that be required, in any of our large committee. It is sufficient now to say, that to my own commercial cities. Do not assignable certificates of demind they were conclusive.
posite in solvent banks circulate from hand to hand as Next came the proposition of the Senator from Mas- money throughout the commercial world? And when sachusetts, (Mr. WEBSTER. In one important particular the faith of the sovereign States of this Union is solemnly it had removed the objections to which that of the Sena- pledged upon their very face for the redemption of or from South Carolina was exposed. It proposed but these certificates, are we still to be told that this is a a single operation, and was confined to the money which mere donation of the public money to these States? Unmight be in the Treasury at the end of the present year. der this bill Congress may still proceed to make approUnder it, however, the States were not required to priations precisely as they would have done had it never issue certificates of deposite, nor could the money de passed, with a perfect assurance that they will be satisposited with them be applied by the Secretary of the fied as promptly and as certainly as though the whole Treasury to the payment of our current appropriations, surplus should remain where it now is, with the deposite without a previous act of Congress for that purpose. In banks. these particulars it was essentially the same with the How any constitutional objection can arise to this dis. proposition of the Senator from South Carolina. Those position of the public money, I am utterly at a loss to features were still wanting which could alone fairly give conceive. In order to maintain such an objection, gento the transaction the character of a deposite. The tlemen must establish the position that Congress do not sums thus deposited could not have been used as ready possess the power of depositing the public money where money, always at hand, whenever they might be required they think proper. This would, indeed, be a Hercuby the wants of the Treasury. Without some provision lean task. to remove this objection, I could not have voted even There is one view of this subject wbich ought not to for the proposition of the Senator from Massachusetts, escape attention. It is always embarrassing, and may although in one respect it received my cordial approba become dangerous, to establish the relation of debtor tion. The overflowing condition of the Treasury presents and creditor, for large amounts, between the an extraordinary spectacle, not only in our own history, the United States. The present bill avoids this difficulty. but in that of all other countries. The present bill is the The moment it becomes necessary to lise these certifimedicine, and ought not to be converted into the daily cates of deposite, that moment they pass by assignment bread, of the constitution. It ought to be confined, as into the hands of individuals, who thus become the the amendment of the Senator from Massachusetts had creditors of the several States, instead of the General proposed, to the existing evil, and ought not to extend Government. Such individuals will hold these certifi. to future years. It was one of those cases in which cates as they would hold any other certificates of a simifuturity ought to be left to provide for itself.
lar character issued by the States, and the General In this state of the question the whole subject was re-Government will cease any longer to have any connexion ferred to the select committee. They had advanced with those States in the character of a creditor, one step further towards making the bill purely one of I admit, (sa d Mr. B.,) some danger exists that this deposite. After deciding against the system of continu- bill, restricted as it is to the money which will be in the ing to deposite the surplus with the States until the year Treasury at the end of the present year, may be drawn 1842, and in favor of restricting it to the money in the into precedent for the purpose of sanctioning annual deTreasury at the conclusion of the present year, they re-posites, and, afterwards, annual distributions of the ported to the Senate a provision requiring the States surplus revenue. Such a system would be hostile to the which might receive the money to issue certificates of correct and efficient administration of this Government, deposite, to be placed in the hands of the Secretary of the It would naturally create some bias in our mind against Treasury. A previous act of Congress, however, still re-appropriations for the benefit of the Union, in order that muned necessary before these certificates could be used the dividends of our own Slate might thereby be in
As a member of the select committee, I endeavored to creased. This danger, however, is but future and conobviate this objection. Before that committee I made tingent. It is an evil within our own control. We may, an unsuccessful motion of a character similar to that I hope, safely trust ourselves; still I consider the bill, which has been since adopted by the Senate, on the mo- amended as it bas been, but a choice of evils. It is far tion of my friend from New York, [Mr. TALLMADGE.] from being the mode of disposing of the surplus which A necessity no longer exists for a special act of Congress, I should have selected. But let that pass before these certificates of deposite can be used by the | What are the evils, on the other hand, which we shall Secretary of the Treasury for the purpose of discharging avoid by the adoption of this measure? If they are the appropriations made by Congress.
greater and much more alarming than the dangers which What, then, (said Mr. B.,) is the true nature of the we should encounter from its passage, it is the part of measure now before the Senate? It is a deposite with wisdom to pass the bill. It is perfectly clear either that we the States in form, and a deposite in effect. It is no must adopt this measure, or leave all the public money distribution-no gift of the public money. The bill re. l in the deposite banks. There is no other alternative. quires the States receiving the money to deliver to the | The one thing or the other must be done.
(June 17, 1836.
There are, at present, thirty-six of these deposite keep all the public money in these banks for the pur. banks; and the aggregate amount of public money in pose of acquiring political influence. A deposite of this their possession, at the date of the last returns, was be- money with the States will at once put an end to these tween thirty-three and thirty-four millions of dollars. unfounded suspicions. This sum has since been daily increasing with the daily I might speak of the wild and extravagant speculations, Aow of money into the Treasury. I am free to say that, especially in public lands and in stocks, which have been in my opinion, the public money is safe in their posses | greatly encouraged and promoted by the immense sums sion; yet the fact neither can be disguised, nor ought to of public money on deposite in the banks, and of the inbe disguised, that the Senate has felt itself under the juries which have thus been inflicted upon the country. necessity, but against my vote, of striking out every But I forbear at present from doing more than barely to provision from the bill which required them to keep any suggest this argument in favor of the passage of the bill. fixed proportion of specie in their vaults. We could It must strike every mind. have established no reasonable standard upon this sub-1 But it has been urged, as a serious objection to this ject which would not have deprived a number of these measure, that the money never will be required from banks of the public deposites. Hence the amount of the States for the use of this Government. Does it not specie to be kept in each of them is now left altogether occur to gentlemen that upon the very same principle, to the discretion of the Secretary of the Treasury. How- if this bill should not become a law, it will never be reever safe the public money may be in these banks, it quired from the deposite banks? And if, from the rewill be equally secure, to say the least, in the treasuries dundance of our revenue, we must have a perpetual of the several States. In the opinion of the people it deposite, is it not more just and more politic, in every will be more secure there; and this, of itself, is a matter point of view, that this deposite should be made where of great importance in deciding the present question. it will benefit the people of all the States, ihan where its
These deposite banks are located chiefly upon our advantages will be confined to the stockholders of certain commercial and upon our western frontiers. This arises selected banks? from the circumstance, that the receipts into the Treas. It is not certain, however, that a portion of these deury are derived from two grand sources--the customs
rces--the customs posites may not be demanded from the States before the and the sales of public lands. Vast sums of public close of the next year. I have been astonished at the money are thus accumulated in the banks of our com- statement made by my friend from New York, (Mr. mercial cities. Who are chiefly benefited by this accu- WRIGHT, ) of the sums already appropriated, and which mulation? Why, sir, the stockholders in these banks will yet probably be appropriated during the present and their customers. It is a notorious fact that the banks session of Congress. If this statement be correct, it is discount largely upon these deposites. It is both their highly probable that the unexpended balance of these duty and their interest to pursue this course. Their appropriations, at the end of the present year, may profits, and the dividends to their stockholders, are thus equal, if it does not exceed, the highest estimate of the greatly increased. But what benefits do my constitu Senator from Ohio, [Mr. Ewing,] and amount to eighents in the interior of Pennsylvania derive from the use teen millions of dollars. In that event, this sum will be thus made of their own money? None, none whatever. a charge upon the current revenue for the year 1837, Change these depositories to the extent proposed by in addition to the current expenses of that year. It is, this bill, and what will then be the consequences? The therefore, far from being certain that a portion of the diffusion of numerous benefits and blessings among the deposites made with the States may not be required by people of the several States. This money, now used by the Treasury before the first day of January, 1838. This the banks for the benefit of their stockholders, will be will depend upon the amount of the sales of the public applied by the State Legislatures to promote education lands during the year 1837. Should any cause arise and internal improvements. It will shed a benign influ greatly to reduce this source of income, the money then ence over the face of society, and will confer blessings in the Treasury will not be sufficient to pay the current upon the whole people. Its benefits will no longer be expenses of the Government during that year. confined to the corporators in these selected institutions, in any thing I may have said, I did not intend to cast but will be as extended as the limits of the republic. the slightest reflection upon the conduct of the deposite Besides, this money will always be ready for the use of banks towards the Government. Far from it. The exthe Government, whenever the necessities of the country periment, as it is called, has not failed. These banks may require it. The mass of the people are now deeply have made all the necessary transfers of public money, impressed with a conviction of these truths. They are and have conducted the business of the Treasury as well jealous of the deposite banks. They believe that undue as it has ever been conducted by the Bank of the United advantages are conferred upon these institutions by the States. For this they deserve the thanks of the counaction of the Government. The public mind is excited try. I wish to make them a fair and liberal compensaupon the subject; and the only practicable, I shall not tion for their services. I strongly advocated the prosay the best, mode of calming and tranquillizing it, will
e of calming and tranquillizing it, will vision which now constitutes a part of the bill, that the be the passage of the present bill.
sum of five millions of dollars should be deducted from On this branch of the question I shall make another the amount in the 'Treasury on the 1st day of January remark. If I were capable of acting merely as a party next, and that only what remained should be deposited man upon such a subject, which I trust I am not, I should with the States. These five millions will, of course, say to my political friends, adopt this measure. It has been continue in the deposite banks. Besides, the amount repeated over and over again, that the present administra- | to be deposited with the States will be drawn from the tion desire to retain this money in the deposite banks in present depositories in equal quarterly instalments; and order to use it for political effect. This charge, it is thus they will experience no sodden shock in their bu. true, is perfectly ridiculous. It is well known that all / siness. They will have ample time to make all necessaor nearly all these banks are governed and controlled by ry preparations to meet these payments. our political enemieg. So far as I have ever been in Before I conclude, I shall advert to another argument formed, a large majority of their stockbulders and di- of my friend from New York, (Mr. WRIGUT.] That rectors are opposed to the present administration. I gentleman objects to this bill, because the money to be have heard of but one of these banks which is an excep-deposited with the States is not in proportion to the fedtion, though there may be more. Still the clamor con- eral population of each, according to the last census, tinues, and still the charge is made that we desire to but in proportion to the compound ratio of the number
June 17, 1836.]
of their Senators and Representatives in Congress. He from depletion then. The ghost of the panic was driasks, why should we adopt a different rule from that of ven from this chamber in May, 1834, by the report of direct taxation, in our distribution of these deposites? Mr. Taney, showing that all the sources of the national The answer is very easy. This money was not revenue were in their usual rich and bountiful condition, raised by direct taxation. If it had been, it should, and that there was no danger of bankruptcy. 'The undoubtedly, be returned to the States in the same pro. speech and statement, so brief and perspicuous, just portions it had been received from them. The two delivered by the Senator from New York, (Mr. WRIGHT,] grand sources from which we have derived this money, will perform the same office upon the distribution spirit, are the duties upon imports, and the sales of the public by showing that the appropriations of the session will lands.
require nearly as much money as the public Treasury If we could accurately ascertain the federal popula. will be found to contain. The present exaggerations tion of the different states at this moment, it would about the surplus will have their day, as the panic present the just standard of apportionment. But that about an empty Treasury had its day; and time, which is impossible. The Senator from Kentucky, [Mr. CLAY,] corrects all things, will show the enormity of these erupon the discussion of the land bill, had proved, con- rors which excite the public mind, and stimulate the clusively, that the new States in the West have increase public appetite, for a division of forty, fifty, and sixty ed in population with such rapidity, since the census of millions of surplus treasure. 1830, when compared with the other States, that it 1 I have several objections, said Mr. B., to this measure; would be manifestly unjust to apply that standard to and the first is, that two distinct subjects are conjoined them. Hence his bill provided that they should each in the same bill. One part of the bill is to regulate receive ten per cent. of the nett proceeds of the sales the keeping of the public money in the local banks; the of the publie lands within their limits, before any dis- other part, under the disguise of a deposite, is to make tribution should be made of the remainder. It ought a distribution of the public money among the several not to be forgotten in this argument that a very large States. The law of Parliament (and that law is founded proportion of the surplus in the Treasury bas proceed- in equity and wisdom) forbids the junction of different ed from the sales of public lands within these very subjects in the same bill; it requires them to be disjoinStates. The truth is that, whether you adopt the cened, and each subject put into a bill by itself, whenever sus of 1830, or the number of Senators and Representa- the diversity and incongruity is detected. The incontives in Congress, as a standard of apportionment, you gruity in this bill is easily detected, and was early obcannot do exact justice. You must either be unjust to jected to. It was objected to on the second reading, a the new States in the West, or you must deposite a lit- vote taken, and a decision hal, according to wliat was tle more with Delaware, Rhode Island, and some of the right and proper. That vote was in favor of disjunction. smaller old States, than they are entitled to receive. It The two subjects were disjoined, and a committee was is a choice of difficulties arising from ihe necessity of directed to put them into separate bills. This was in adopting a general rule on the subject. I do not be the afternoon, too late for the accomplishment of the lieve, therefore, that the mode of apportionment pro order that evening; a night intervened; new lights broke posed by the bill presents a sufficient objection against upon the minds of Senators; the vote of disjunction was its passage. This view of the case is rendered more im reversed; and the divorced subjects were solemnly reupressive by the consideration that the bill proposes a nited. What was done by a majority of three in the mere deposite with the States, and not a donation to evening, was reversed by a majority of one in the them; and it cannot make any material difference morning whether one State shall receive a few thousand dollars That these subjects are of different natures, admit of too much or too little upon deposite.
different decisions, and may be acted upon at different Mr. WEBSTER expressed his regret at the provi times, is perfectly clear from a view of their provisions. sion introduced into the bill for apportioning the State One is a general and permanent law-the other a special deposites to the presidential electors, as likely to pro and temporary arrangement. One reqnires immediate duce opposition to the bill. He renounced entirely the action--the other ought not to be acted upon antil all principle of taxing for distribution, and represented the the appropriations are made. One is to take effect in. case of the present surplus as a now unavoidable emer stanter-the other not till next year. One is what it gency. He said the bill would be inoperative if there professes to be, a regulation of the deposites--the other should be no surplus, and could, in that case, do neither is what it does not profess to be, a distribution of the harm nor good; though, if there could be occasion for revenue. Either may pass, and have a perfect operaMr. WRIGHT's State stock project, there was the same tion, without the aid of the other. Either may be reoccasion for this bill. He made an estimate, in detail, jected, and no detriment ensue to the other. One may of the expenditures of the year, which went to show be postponed to the next session without inconvenience that Mr. Wright's estimate had been at least doubly to any interest, and with positive advantage to the action too large. He expressed his congratulations to the of Congress upon it-the other cannot be postponed country at the success which had attended this measure without offence to the public mind, injury to the public in the Senate, and his belief that it would substantially service, and dereliction of our legislative duty. Against relieve the pressure upon the community.
the conjunction of subjects so dissimilar conscience reMr. BENTON rose and said that, about this time two volts, correct feeling rebels, and parliamentary law has years ago, the Senate was engaged in proclaiming the planted its cannon. It is in vain to call it a deposite danger of a bankrupt Treasury, and in proving to the peo- with the States. The abuse, perversion, misapplication, ple that utter ruin must ensue from the removal of the de- and violation of language, in calling that which is a disposites from the Bank of the United States. The same tribution to the States a deposite with the States, can Senate, nothing abated in confidence from the failure neither alter the thing nor conceal its design; and the of former predictions, is now engaged in celebrating the attempt to coerce support, deter opposition, or involve prosperity of the country, and proclaiming a surplus of in odium, by joining a measure of questionable propriety forty, and fifty, and sixty millions of dollars in that same with one of acknowledged expediency, might be lost Treasury, which so short a time since they thought was upon some, if not on all. going to be bankrupt. Both occupations are equally I have some objections to the deposi'e bill proper, as unfortunate. Our Treasury is in no more danger of it now stands; but they are objections of detail, and such bursting from distension now, than it was of collapsing l as would admit of remedy, and might have been easily SENATE.]
[JUNE 17, 1836,
obviated, had it not been for the impatience of the To this I object; because, without reference to the majority to pass the bill as it is. One of these ob- opinions of any Secretary, I hold it to be a case in which jections is to the clause which confers authority on the inflexible rule of law, and not the variable dictate of the Secretary of the Treasury to establish branches of individual discretion, should prevail. It concerns the the State banks, under the name of agencies, in the currency of the country, and law should govern the States which have no banks; that is to say, in the State currency. It is a case in which discretion is subordinate of Missouri, it being well known to every body that to systems, as well as to personal temperament. A hard. Missouri is the only State in the Union which finds it- money Secretary would require a heavy proportion of self in the category which the conferring of the author. specie; a paper-system Secretary would be content with ity implies. To the investiture of this authority in any a very light proportion. Besides, some of the deposite officer, or the exercise of such authority by any Con- banks need regulation upon this point at present. Some gress, I wholly object; and that for nuinerous and cogent of them are far in arrear of what would be deemed a reasons. Congress has no authority to establish banks safe proportion of specie, and threatening the Treasury within the States; much less to intrude upon a State the with another edition of "unavailable funds." As a whole, branch of a bank from another State. It is an interfe they are far bebind the point of specie responsibility at rence with the domestic policy of a Stale to do so, and which the Bank of the United States stood at the time compelling her to have a bank against her will. It is a of the removal of the deposites, though some are up to deprivation to the State of one of ber sovereign powers; that mark, or above it; but, as a whole, (and it is in that for, by virtue of her right to regulate her internal af- point of view that the public is concerned,) they are far fairs, she can exclude all moneyed and banking agencies behind it. On the first day of October, 1833, when the from her borders, by her own legislation, as many States deposites were removed, the immediate liabilities of the have done; but in this case her legislation would not be United States Bank, in public and private deposites, and sovereign, like that of other States upon the same point, in its circulation, were $37,105,465, and the specie on but would be subordinate to the decision of the federal hand was $10,663,441; being at the rate of more than Judiciary; for, the agency being established under a law one to four. of Congress, it would bring the action of the State law, At the close of the last month, which is the date of and the decision of the State courts, under the control the latest returns of the deposite banks, their immediate ling sceptre of the federal judges. It is an apparent liabilities in the same items-public and private depossurrender of the constitutional objection to a Bank of ites, and circulation-was $84,401,880, and the gold the United States; for if it is admitted that State banks and silver on hand was $10,202,245; being at the rale are indispensably necessary to the Federal Government, of less than one to eight. This, certainly, is a progress then it follows that the Federal Government may pro. in the wrong direction for us, who have undertaken to vide for its own necessities, without being dependant on strengthen the gold and silver foundations of the curthe States. The Secretary is not limited in the choice rency. It is travelling on the wrong end of the road, of the banks whose agencies he may establish in Mis and that rather fast. The rejection from the bill of the souri; and some Secretary, not the present one, might clause which was intended to hold the deposite banks up refresh whigism in the State by sending us a limb from to the possession of a certain fixed proportion of specie, the Pennsylvania United States Bank, or a scion from looks like an abandonment of our hard-money professome one of the litter, founded on paper and property, sions, and a relapsing tendency into the wide and bottom. now in the process of renewed incorporation in this opu- less ocean of paper. It is certainly a great decline lent and bank-bearing District,
from the doctrines of President Jackson's message of The consent of the State is not required to the adinis. | December last--those doctrines which were then hailed sion of this agency, although at the very last session of with approbation by an immense majority of the Ameriher Legislature, as at preceding se-sions, she refused to can people, and received as landmarks in the whsledemo. charter a bank for herself. Finally, this provision goes cratic camp, and in which the President expressly treal. to legalize the establishment of an agency of an Ohio ed the regulation of the deposites as the regulation of bank in the town of St. Louis, now in operation there the currency, and looked to the increased circulation of as a bank of discount and deposite and of circulation; gold and silver, and the suppression of all bank notes when the utmost argument in favor of the federal ne under twenty dollars,'as two of the great results which cessities would not extend beyond a bank of deposite were to flow from the connexion of the federal Treas. only. That agency was established in St. Louis without ury with the local banks, and the consequent influence my knowledge or consent, and without the consent of of the Government over the currency. Hear his words: the State Legislature. The right of the Legislature to “Connected with the condition of the finances, and expel it would be complete if this law was not passed: the flourishing state of the country in all its branches of if it passes, then the statute of the State will be liable to industry, it is pleasing to witness the advantages which the same revision and reversal which took place on the have already been derived from the recent laws regulaVirginia statute in the case of Cohen and ibe lottery tick-ting the value of the gold coinage. These advantages ets. Having mentioned the agency at St. Louis, 1 deem it will be more apparent in the course of the next year right to add that the officers who have charge of it have when the branch mints authorized to be established in shown every disposition to deserve the good will of the North Carolina, Georgia, and Louisiana, shall have gone inhabitants, and to promote the policy of the Govern- into operation. Aided, as it is hoped they will be, by ment in the diffusion of gold.
further reforms in the banking systems of the States, and The other part of the deposite bill proper to which | by judicious regulations on the part of Congress, in I object, is the want of a clause requiring the deposite relation to the custody of the public moneys, it may be banks to keep on hand a certain amount of specie, bear confidently anticipated that the use of gold and silver as ing some reasonable, average, fixed proportion to their a circulating medium will become general in the ordiimmediate liabilities. The bill was drawn with such a | nary transactions connected with the labor of the country. clause; but it was the will of the majority to strike it out, The great desideratum in modern times is an efficient and to substitute the discretion of the Secretary of the check upon the power of banks, preventing that excesTreasury for the time being for the proposed legal sive issue of paper whence arise those fluctuations in the enactment. The proportion of specie on hand, in the standard of value which render uncertain the rewards of several deposite banks, is now to be whatever may be labor." * * * * "It has been seen that, without satisfactory to the officer at the head of the Treasury. I the agency of a great moneyed monoply, the revenue