« AnteriorContinuar »
of merchants and bankers as well as to members of Con- little whether the inquiry was published or withheld. gress, &c. He hoped the House would see the pro. If some members of the committee thought the inquiry priety of this course. There was no question as to the proper, and others reprobated it as improper, they correctness of the course taken on the occasion which might adjust the matter as they pleased. And if, after he referred to by the president of the Bank of the Uni- obtaining the information, they choose to suppress it, ted States. He tendered unreserved communications, he was equally as indifferent as he was to the subject of and they were made in such a shape as was desired by inquiry itself. But if the honorable member meant to the committee. He did not believe that the president have it understood that this paper was exhibited to Mr. had any design, in making them, to impose any misstate- | B. in a secret and clandestine way, or that it was shown ment on the committee. The papers presented were to him only, and not to others, the gentleman was mismerely transcripts from the books of the bank, made by taken. It came to Mr. B. in no such light, and in no the clerks. He did not think any charge could be | such manner. He supposed at the time it was to have made against the officers of the institution, in relation been published entire, though he cared not whether it to the paper alluded to. The committee thought it | was or not; and he never dreamed that this statement unnecessary to lay it before the House or give it any was omitted, until some time afterwards, on looking into publicity, for the reason that it related to private trans- the report, he found it had been left out. What beactions of an unimportant character. As to the amend came of it he knew not, nor ever heard till to-day; or, ment now offered, he would prefer that it should be so if he did, it escaped his memory. He was not able to modified as to leave it discretionary with the committee say from recollection whether the minority report of the to report private transactions or not; but he should vote honorable member from Massachusetts named all the for the proposition in any shape in which it might be members of Congress or not, or whether the individual offered, believing, as he did, that it was improper in he referred to was named in it. any public functionary to deal with banks and receive Mr. ADAMS briefly explained. He had referred to favors from them.
the names of all who had received favors from the bank, Mr. BEARDSLEY said he agreed perfectly with the by having their payments as members made before the honorable gentleman from Massachusetts, in reproba appropriation was made for it. ting every thing like slander, in whatever form it might Mr. BEARDSLEY said he had misapprehended the be presented, and it was because he reprobated slander remark of the gentleman, but was satisfied by the exso much as he did, that he thought the occasion that planation. The honorable gentleman and himself seemoffered that morning warranted him, nay, more, required to entertain the same opinion of the real character of red of him, that he should make the explanation he did. the transaction which he had referred to; they differed The charge, as it appeared on the paper Mr. B. saw, only upon the propriety of speaking of it. Gentlemen was calculated, if he might judge from the face of the might suppose it base and slanderous to speak of it, bepaper, to produce an impression that the individual re cause it pointed to the president and directors of a large ferred to had borrowed the sum of four, five, or six moneyed institution; and such seemed to be the view of thousand dollars, or whatever the amount was, of the the honorable member from Massachusetts. Mr. B. Bank of the United States, immediately before the time thought the transaction not the less reprehensible on the investigation took place, or within some few months that score. If those who conducted the affairs of the of it. He was not indicted as an endorser, but as one bank, as was now ascertained from two or three memdirectly indebted to the bank. Now, knowing that to bers of the committee, did furnish information he knew be utterly untrue, and knowing it on its face calculated to be untrue, he held that he was at all times at perfect to produce a slanderous impression, Mr. B. had thought, liberty to expose it before the world, and should always and still thought, it his duty to expose it. He was, he feel it his duty to do so, be the parties who they might. said, against all slanders, whether they came from the Mr. HOWARD called for the reading of the amend. Bank of the United States, or from any other quarter, ment, and said that his object was to inquire from the and was as ready to denounce them as the gentleman mover whether he intended the period in the latter himself.
clause to be the time when public money was first deThere was one remark of the gentleman to which Mr. posited in any District bank, or the time when the B. would particularly recur. He understood the gen change took place over the country. Ile remembered tleman to say that this was either a base charge in its a document in which it was stated that the public mo. nature, on account of transactions to which Mr. B. had ney had always been deposited in one or more of the pointed, or else that it was base to make the charge. If District banks. If that were the time to which the inthe gentleman desired to be understood in the former sense, Mr. B. agreed with him, and was willing to let tion; but if it were intended to limit the investigation to it be judged by the public. He had not, and should the last two years, he would sooner that the limitation not characterize more strongly than the gentleman him- should be stricken out. It might be that the gentleman self had done. But if the gentleman meant that it was from Pennsylvania intended to show that these loans to base for a man, who was himself slandered, to expose l officers of the Government and the members of Con. the charge, Mr. B. would tell the gentleman that it did gress were useful to the public, and necessary, in conpot comport with what he considered a proper self-re sequence of the great delay in passing the annual appro. spect. He held it right to speak out in such cases, in priation bills, whereby it was sometimes absolutely ne. all places, in public and before the world, fall where it cessary to anticipate salaries. Mr. H. said that he remight. Mr. B. did not say who was guilty. The gen-membered a document in which he, in common with tleman from Maryland had said the information was every other member of the House, was reported as a furnished by the bank, and Mr. B. said the statement debtor to the Bank of the United States, when, in fact, was untrue. Surely it was not base to state the fact! he bad never owed the bank a dollar in his life. This The original fabrication might be base, but the exposure circumstance arose from the bank's charging every of it could not be so held. He would forbear to say member of Congress with his per diem as he drew it any more on the subject. He bad said thus much, bé. from time to time, not deeming itself at liberty, until cause he deemed it due to the occasion and to himself. after the passage of the appropriation bill, to transfer a
With regard to the views entertained by the commit. portion of the public money to the credit of the proper tee of investigation at that time, Mr. B. had no concern officer of the House. If it were intended to draw an inabout it. He was not on the committee, and he cared ference from these loans that those corporations were
useful, the inquiry might as well be pushed further inquire or to suspect what member or what officer of back than the last two years. But it might also happen the Government has bad loans at these institutions, nor that the object of the limitation might be to show that what party in this House or country may be affected by these corporations had recently made these loans, con- the proposed inquiry. I am opposed on principle to trary to their former practice, and, by so doing, inter- searching into, and displaying before the world, the prifered with the money concerns of the Government. It vate transactions of individuals with banks; and so have seemed to be probable that the business of some of uniformly been my votes in this House whenever such these banks might have become more extensive lately, questions have been tried. Especially am I opposed to in consequence of the contraction of the business of the an inquiry which, without light or reason, presupposes Bank of the United States, but it was also probable that improper connexions of members of Congress with the a portion of their business had always been that of fur accused institutions. I can imagine no benefit to result nishing facilities to persons connected with the Govern- from the amendment proposed to the instructions, but ment, from the cause abovementioned; and if the House much evil and injustice. should limit its inquiry to a very moderate date, the in- One word, said Mr. G., as to the duration of this comference would necessarily be, that all this was fresh mission proposed by the gentleman from Maryland. He business, arising from some recent cause, whereas it proposes to extend it through this Congress. I should might be nothing more than a continuation of their cus be better satisfied if he would limit it to the present sestomary proceedings. He did not like to vote for any amendment which would prevent access to this informa. Mr. HOWARD again asked the gentleman from Penntion, and would be obliged to move to strike out the sylvania if he would accept bis amendment as a modifi. latter clause of it.
cation. Mr. GRENNELL, of Massachusetts, rose and said the Mr. McKENNAN could not, he said, accept the amendreasons for this amendment to the instructions had not ment, and the House would therefore pass upon it. He been stated by the mover with sufficient distinctness to bad himself a distinct object in view, which was, to asenable him to comprehend them, and none had occur certain the loans made during a certain period. red to his mind of sufficient weight to command his vote Mr. EVERETT, of Vermont, remarked that the propfor the present proposition. The object of the originalosition of the gentleman from Pennsylvania would, bre resolution, said Mr. G., was perfectly justifiable, name. hoped, be understood as having been offered on his inly, to inquire into the past conduct and present condi- dividual responsibility, and not that of the party with tion of the banks in this District; and for a twofold pure which the gentleman usually acted. He considered the pose: first, to guide the judgment of this House on the proposition as totally wrong in principle, and should question of recharter; and, secondly, to show to this therefore vote against it. Mr. E made some few re. community the causes and the authors of their embar-marks in opposition to the motion, which the reporter rassments or sufferings in the matter of the bank cur- did not hear. rency of this District. Mismanagement and abuse of Mr. HOWARD said that, after what had fallen from powers have been charged against several of the District the gentleman from Vermont, he would, for the present, banks to such extent as to work a forfeiture of their withdraw his motion, to see what form the amendment charters. of the justice of these charges I pretend not might ultimately assume, now to judge. But we have witnessed enough to justi- Mr. THOMAS rose, he said, to say a few words to put fy a rigid investigation of their concerns and conduct; himself right before the House in regard to a subject it is due to this community, and to this Legislature, from which had been alluded to. Before the committee of inwhence these corporations emanated,
vestigation proceeded to act, the question of power was But, sir, is the inquiry proposed by the gentleman mooted by the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. ADAMS.) from Pennsylvania at all germane to this original object? At the very first meeting of the committee at the United It seems to me not. What is it? Why, sir, hardly less States hotel, the gentleman from Massachusetts assumed than an arraignment or trial of members of Congress and the position just stated by him, that it was improper and officers of the Government. It would be to raise inju. incompetent for the committee to investigate any trans. rious suspicions against them, most of whom may have actions between the bank and its debtors, and the genBeen members of a past Congress, and who cannot be tleman was particularly opposed to singling out for pub. here to protect themselves, or explain their transactions lication the transactions between the bank and members * with the banks. Yes, sir, we are to inquire, first, into of Congress. The committee decided against the posi. mismanagement committed by the banks, fraudulent and tion of the gentleman, on the ground that unless they excorrupt, as is alleged; and then, by the same committee, amined every transaction, and became acquainted with at the same time and by the same inquest, to ascertain the nature of the security given for loans, they could not what members of Congress have taken loans; as if they execute their instructions, nor report whether the bank, had been participating in such mismanagement, or in in their opinion, was solvent or not. As to the publica some bad way connected with these institutions. Now, tion of the documents obtained, he (Mr. T.) reserved to sir, if this branch of the instructions pass, who does not himself the exercise of his discretion; and he would not see that some portion of the public may connect the mo- consent now to report private transactions of a nature tives and actions of members and officers of the Govern- unimportant to the public, unless expressly so command. ment with the improper proceedings of the banks thused by the House. He was furthermore opposed to the accused? Who does not see that odium may be cast motion of the gentleman from Pennsylvania, because it upon honorable gentlemen for money transactions as in. was confined to the loans of one bank. There were nocent and fair as any that take place in the dealings of other banks in the District which had at various times men? If you adopt this amendment, the public may been depositories of the Government money, besides the suppose, and with some reason, that your commission is bank referred to in the proposed amendment. Before not only an inquest against doubtful banks, but against he sat down he would modify his resolution by inserting gentlemen as honest and honorable as any in the country. the words at the present session" after the word Con. Sir, I do not know any member of Congress, the pre. gress, which words were omitted in transcribing the res. sent or past, who has been a borrower at the banks of olution, so that the committee might take charge of the the District. If there have been such, I doubt not their memorials in relation to the renewal of charters or creatransactions, and the motives that influenced them, have tion of new banks in the District, which might be offered been fair and upright. And I will not allow myself to during the present session.
Mr. KINNARD here moved to amend the amendment by appearing, but attended to manifest their respect to by adding the following:
the committee; that they did not produce the books And to make the same inquiry, as far as practicable, designated and required, because they are not in the in its application to loans made by the United States Bank custody of either of us, but of the board." They deand branches to members of Congress and officers of clared, further, that "considering that, as corporators, Government, since the veto of the bill to recharter said and as directors, we are parties to the proceeding, we bank; and also to loans made to members of Congress by do not consider ourselves bound to testify, and therefore all the deposite banks.
respectfully decline to do so." Sir, (said Mr. M.,) this Mr. PARKER moved the postponement of the further will be your answer again if you send this committee, consideration of the resolution and amendments till Mon unless it be of that « sacred confidence" kind which day next, to give time for printing the various amend seemed to be subsequently more successful, from the ments.
other end of your Capitol. I select the terms “sacred The motion was negatived.
confidence" from one of the replies made by the organs Mr. PARKER opposed the amendments, and also the or oracles of the bank, to the committee of which I was original proposition, in the form in wbich it was presented. I a member, and in which they declare it to be their duty
Mr. MANN said he was at this time opposed to the "to protect the rights and 'sacred confidence intrusted amendment, and would ask leave briefly to assign his to their keeping." They must here have forgotten the reasons.
provisions of their charter, or have lost their admiration The amendment (said Mr. M.) proposes to instruct for “ the laws.” It will scarcely fail (said Mr. M.) to the committee, as far as may be practicable, to inquire occur to the House that the reasons assigned by those into and report the pecuniary relations of the officers gentlemen for not producing the books according to the of the Government, and the members of this House, exigency of the summons, is one of first impression, and with the Bank of the United States and branches. It proceeds upon the idea of the impersonality of corpora. would, he said, be recollected, by all the gentlemen who tions, or, in the quaint language of Lord Coke, “that were members of the last Congress, that a committee corporations have no souls, albeit they have immortal. was appointed in the spring of 1834, from that body, ity.” The president and directors consult together in and instructed to make similar inquiries, and an investi- the strong castle of their corporate residence, shielded gation of the affairs of the Bank of the United States by the panoply of corporate power, upon the exigencies generally, in pursuance of a power expressly reserved of their corporate situation and its political and golden in its charter. Of that committee, Mr. M. said he had relations, in order, as they say, " that they may be as. the honor of having been a member; and as such had sisted by the judgment of each other as to the course endeavored, in conjunction with his colleagues, to per- they were individually to pursue; and agree that when form the duty enjoined by the House. In that endeavor, they emerge forth from the mysterious oracle which the committee had proceeded to Philadelphia, under the protects and guides their corporate destiny, they will belief that the directors and officers of the bank, pro- appear in the garb of humble citizens, to manifest their fessing their love and favor to “ the constitution and respect, but not to admit any obligation," refusing to laws," would not be among those who would " derogate" bring forth the mysterious records of transactions of from the former, nor contemn and defy the latter. But « sacred confidence" which they are bound to protect, (said Mr.M.) wbat was then the treatment which that com “because they are not in the custody of either of us, mittee, that House, and, through them, the nation, received but of the board;" thus attempting to conceal and mysat the hands of the great moneyed power? Sir, (said Mr. tify their resistance to the lawful exercise of the power M.,) they were defied, contemned, insulted, by those of this House by confounding together the ideas of corwho proclaim the "supremacy of the laws at the gates porate and corporal existence; of corporate and personal of their citadel." If you adopt this amendment, sir, what obligations. Let it be remembered, Mr. Speaker, (said assurance have you that your committee, and this House, Mr. M.,) that the theory by which social compacts under and their constituents, will not again be insulted by this Governments exist is, that each individual surrenders contumacious and illegitimate offspring of your creation to the authority of the laws such portion of bis natural and power? Why, sir, are you not sure that, unless you rights as may be necessary for the orderly welfare of the bend professors, who proclaim by heralds preceding whole, in consideration of the protection afforded to them, not only their love of the constitution and laws, rights not surrendered; as, for example, the rights of but their love of “golden relations to the bank, and life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness; their fealty to its power,” you are certain to be defied thus creating political obligations to submission on the and insulted by resistance, and by reasons similar to | one hand, and conferring political security on the other. those you may find upon your record for that resistance? | The theory of the existence of impersonal and irresponI wish (said Mr. M.) to recur io a few of those reasonssible beings, called corporations, makes them depend on this occasion. That committee were authorized to upon express, defined contract with the sovereign send for persons and papers, under the powers of the power. These corporate existences, with many heads House of Representatives in its constitutional legislative and no soul, with no volition except through the mecapacity, as is now proposed by the resolution under dium of paper, wax, and seal, do not, I admit, owe the consideration. Believing themselves thus authorized, same duties to the State which are devolved upon natand having exhausted in their efforts, to execute the im- ural and visible citizens; yet it is difficult, (said Mr. M.,) portant duty devolved upon them, all the means de- / in applying these distinctions to the transactions under pending upon the provisions of the charter, they were consideration, to perceive how it could be maintained reluctantly and unwillingly driven to this dernier and that the same persons, assembled together, can transmi. last resort. That committee, sir, accordingly summoned grate themselves with such magic facility from one ex. the president of the bank, and their ten directors, to istence to the other; and, between the two, escape the appear before them, and to submit certain books of the censure of the laws in either. Their argument is, that bank to the inspection of the committee. They appeared when they are assembled on one side of the table, they according to the exigency of the subpæna, and submit- have the control of the books and papers of the bank, ted a written document, which had been previously but when silently transferred to the other, their mystic proposed and signed by them, “as the answer of each to union is dissolved, and instead of wearing the “insignia the requirement of the summons.” In that document of the order, they wear the mantle of humble citizens, 'to they declared “that they did not admit any obligation manifest their respect, but not to admit any obligations.'"
Their reasons, sir, (said Mr. M.,) for their refusal to these bank charters is not ordinary business before that give testimony then, will be the same now, if you again committee, and does not occur oftener than once in make the attempt to procure it by the exertion of your twenty years. It is conceded to be requisite that the powers. Those reasons, Mr. Speaker, were surprising affairs of these banks and their management and conduct to the committee, the House, and the country. The ap- of late, more particularly, because they have stopped plication of the principle of magic transformation from payment, should be tboroughly probed and examined. personality to impersonality was again resorted to by The Committee on the District of Columbia, with great considering themselves as corporators, directors, and deference and respect I say it, will probably find more parties to the proceeding,” and therefore not bound to subjects of business for their action than will be convegive testimony. They availed themselves of that wise nient to them. It is, sir, for the interest of the banks maxim in the rules of criminal evidence which declares themselves, if they expect a renewal of their charters at that no man is bound to criminate or dishonor himself; our hands, to submit their affairs to a thorough examinabut Mr. M. said that he had not before then contem- tion. There can be no objection to the proposition of the plated that a public corporation, established professedly gentleman from Pennsylvania to examine the dealings of as a necessary public agent, without personality, or the the public officers, or Representatives on this floor, with corporate capacity to be guilty of criminal offences, and these banks; because, sir, I venture to believe that there amenable to the laws as such, could undertake to shield is no honorable gentleman here who has such relations the mysteries of "its sacred confidence," under a rule of with them as will subject him to suspicion or censure. criminal evidence wbich can only be applicable to those | True, sir, I should prefer to leave the matter of the pubwho have personality, and “have souls." It seemed to lication of those relations to the discretion of the commithave been forgotten then, and probably will not be re-tee, because I would not, said Mr. M., bring the private membered now, that the attempt to shield the bank from transactions of any gentleman before this House unexamination, under the principle stated, that it was a necessarily. But, sir, as it is intimated that there is somepart of the very contract or charter of its existence, that thing rotten in the State of Denmark," let it be found "its proceedings may be examined by a committee of out, promulged, and corrected either House of Congress," and that when its agents and Mr. WARDWELL had hoped that this question would servants, by its corporate command, refuse such exami. have been sooner disposed of, and that an opportunity nation, and to give testimony necessary to unfold those would have been afforded to present petitions, this being proceedings, the very principles of such existence are the last day that the House would sit this week. The violated. If, however, the directors in their refusal then, proposition of the gentleman from Indiana had nothing acted in their individual and natural capacity, and meant to do with the original proposition. Certain banks had to avail themselves, as citizens amenable to the laws, of applied for a renewal of their charters, and an inquiry the protection of this obvious and merciful rule of crimi. into the propriety of acceding to these applications was nal evidence to screen their own actions, in their own entirely proper. The gentleman from Indiana had, agency as directors and officers, from the scrutiny and however, offered an amendment foreign to the subject, examination of the public authorities, proceeding accord. and he trusted it would be withdrawn. ing to the forms of law, to vindicate the justice of that Mr. WILLIAMS, of North Carolina, would not conJaw, then I cannot but admit, Mr. Speaker, their right sent, he said, to commit a discretionary power to the to do so when arraigned before the judicial tribunals of committee, in regard to the proposed inquiry and report. the country, in its fullest legal extent. It is a right se. He hoped the inquiry and report would be made full cured alike to the most humble as well as the most ex. and ample, and then the House would judge of the pro. alted citizen. It should, however, be recollected that priety of making the facts reported public or not. He the duties of a committee of this House are not judicial. did not know what this subject had to do with the Bank They cannot arraign, condemn, nor punish, but simply of the United States. Did that institution seek a renew. inquire and report the result of those inquiries to the al of its charter? On the contrary, we were told that it body from whom they emanate. To conduct those in was quietly winding up its affairs, and its charter would quiries, they are authorized to examine witnesses on oath. expire before this investigation could be completed. In their first step, they are told by the witnesses that Mr. McKENNAN said he was reluctant again to tres. they claim to be parties to the proceeding, as if they pass on the attention of the House, but felt constrained were arraigned by that proceeding before the bar of a to say to the gentleman from Indiana, and to the persons judicial tribunal, and prepared to respond, "guilty or (if any) with whom he had advised or consulted, that he not guilty," and therefore not bound to respond to any had a distinct object in view, which was explicitly other question. Sir, said Mr. M., if you send a com- set forth in the amendment he had offered, and that he mittee to the bank, with the purposes indicated by this would not be driven from his purpose by any parliamenamendment, you will meet with the resistance to your tary management or manoeuvre which they might think authority which has been opposed to your inquiries be proper to adopt. Let the gentleman persist in his fore, and with such reasons for that resistance as were amendment, and let the House, if they think proper, met before, to some of which I have alluded and com | adopt it. Let the examination be as deep and as broad mented upon, as well to show their existence as their fu- and as extended as a majority of the House should think tility and effrontery. It can, in my judgment, said Mr. proper to direct. He had no objections; but inasmuch M., be of no service, therefore, to renew the effort, unless as the gentleman's proposition was totally irrelevant to the House are now prepared to vindicate their authority. the subject matter before the House, he, therefore,
In respect to the main questions now under considera- could not vote for it. The banks, into whose concerns tion, the resolution to commit the petitions from the it was proposed to make an examination, were petitionbanks of this District to a select committee, with the ing for an extension of their charters. The Bank of the instructions proposed by the gentleman from Penn- United States had presented no such application, and sylvania, (Mr. McKennan,) to inquire into their pecuni. he could see no propriety in directing an inquiry into ary relations to the officers of the Government, I am, its affairs or its loans. But if the House think proper to said Mr. M., in favor of both propositions. It is well adopt the amendment, let them do it. He presumed known to the other members of this House that the there was no one who had any thing to fear from any Committee on the affairs of this District, standing in the disclosures which could be made. Already had the place of its local Legislature, is burdened, and sometimes names of many individuals, selected from the list obtained almost overwhelmed, with its business. The renewal of by the committee on a former occasion appointed to in
vestigate its concerns, been laid before the public, as eng, Campbell, George Chambers, John Chambers, Childs, corrupted and bought up by that bank. The fair busi- Claiborne, Clark, Cleveland, Corwin, Crane, Cushing, ness transactions of those individuals had been character-Deberry, Denny, Dromgoole, Evans, French, Philo C. ized as the corrupt means of purchasing their influence. Fuller, James Garland, Rice Garland, Graham, Granger, They had nothing to fear from any further disclosures; Grantland, Graves, Grennell, Griffin, Hammond, Harlan, but whether or not, was not a consideration for him. Albert G. Harrison, Hazeltine, Hiester, Hoar, Howell, He knew, and he took this occasion to say, that he bad Hunt, Janes, John W. Jones, Kinnard, Lane, Laporte, no connexion in any one way, either as stockholder or Lawrence, Lay, Luke Lea, Lincoln, Love, Lucas, Lyon, borrower, either as drawer or endorser, with the Bank | John Y. Mason, Samson Mason, Maury, McCarty, of the United States or any of the banks in the District, McKay, McKennan, McKeon, Morris, Owens, Parker, and therefore had nothing to dread from any facts which James A. Pearce, Pettigrew, Phillips, Pickens, Pinckcould be brought out by the most enlarged scrutiny ney, Potts, Reed, Rencher, Rogers, Russell, William B. which the House might think proper to direct.
Shepard, Augustine H. Shepperd, Sloane, Spangler, To his friend from Vermont, (Mr. EVERETT,) whom Sprague, Standefer, Steele, Storer, Taliaferro, Waddy he was sorry to say, from his position in the House, he | Thompson, Vinton, Washington, Whittlesey, Lewis could not hear, and to the gentleman from New York, Williams, Sherrod Williams, Wise-96. (Mr. Maşx,] and others who still wished him to modify So the House determined that the main question his amendment, he would say that his principal object should be now put. in offering that amendment was to deprive the commit. Mr. TALIAFERRO asked a division of the question, tee of the power of exercising any discretion in the case. so as to obtain a separate decision upon that part of the He had no idea of yesting in any committee of the resolution which refers to the select committee petitions House an arbitrary discretion to select such borrowers which may hereafter be presented in relation to the as they may think proper to present to the House as banks of the District. having a corrupt and improper connexion with any of The CHAIR stated that the division pointed out was those institutions. He wished the committee so instruct. in order. ed as to constrain them to pursue an impartial and un- Mr. J. Q. ADAMS inquired if it was in order to prejudiced course. The resolution offered by the gen. adopt a resolution referring petitions to be herealter tleman from Maryland gives them the power, if they presented to a committee. think proper to exercise it, of laying before the House. The CHAIR decided that it was in order, but that the and the nation the names of A and B, as having a cor- | House could, at any time, reverse the order. rupt connexion with those banks, and of suppressing the Mr. THOMAS, of Maryland, asked the unanimous names of C and D, whose transactions may be as im consent of the House to modify his resolution, so as to proper and censurable. He deprecated the idea of omit that part objected to by the gentleman from Masvesting any such arbitrary power or discretion in the sachusetts. committee, and therefore wished it made their duty to The CHAIR inquired if there was any objection. present a list of the names of all the members of Con. Mr. WISE said, I object, unless we can all have a gress and officers of Government who had received chance to modify. accommodations, in order that a fair view of the case The question was taken first on the commitment, of might be exhibited. He therefore declined making any the subject to a select committee, and decided in the modification of his proposition.
affirmative, without a count. Mr. McKIM moved the previous question.
The question was then taken on the instructions, The motion was seconded by a vote of 87 to 83. omitting the following clause: “to whom shall be refer.
The question then being, “shall the main question red all other memorials which may be presented to the be now put?”
present Congress," and decided in the affirmative, withMr. WILLIAMS, of North Carolina, said, as the effect out a division. of the previous question would be to cut off the amend. The question was then taken on the instructions, ment of the gentleman from Pennsylvania, he would call omitting that portion of them which relates to future for the yeas and nays, and they were ordered.
petitions, and decided in the affirmative, without a diviThe question was determined in the affirmative: Yeas sion. 100, nays 96, as follows:
Mr. AUGUSTINE H. SHEPPERD asked whether Yeas-Messrs. Anthony, Barton, Beale, Bean, Beards the second branch of the resolution, relating to the referley, Bovee, Brown, Bynum, John Calhoon, Carr, Carter, ence of future petitions, did not rescind a rule of the Casey, Chaney, Chapman, Chapin, Coffee, Coles, Con. House; whether, if it was adopted, it would not require nor, Craig, Cushman, Davis, Dickerson, Doubleday, a vote of two thirds to refer to any other committee any Efner, Everett, Fairfield, Farlin, Fowler, William K. petition on the subject. Fuller, Galbraith, Glascock, Haley, Joseph Hall, Hiland The CHAIR stated that it was not required of the Hall, Hamer, Hannegan, Sainuel S. Harrison, Haynes, Chair to decide that question until the case should preHenderson, Holsey, Hopkins, Howard, Hubley, Hun sent itself. tington, Huntsman, Ingham, William Jackson, Jabez The question was then taken on that part of the inJackson, Jarvis, Joseph Johnson, Richard M. Johnson, structions which refers to the committee petitions to be Cave Johnson, Henry Jobpson, Benjamin Jones, Judson, l presented hereafter, and decided in the negative, withKennon, Kilgore, Klingensmith, Lawler, Gideon Lee, out a division Thomas Lee, Leonard, A hijah Mann, Job Mann, Martin, The House then adjourned over to Monday. William Mason, Moses Mason, May, McKim, McLene, Miller, Montgomery, Morgan, Muhlenberg, Page, Parks,
Monday, JANUARY 4. Patterson, Franklin Pierce, Dutee J. Pearce, Phelps, Mr. MANNING, of South Carolina, appeared, was John Reynolds, Joseph Reynolds, Roane, Seymour,
qualified, and took his seat. . Shields, Smith, Taylor, Thomas, John Thomson, Toucey, Towns, Turner, Turrill, Underwood, Vanderpoel, SLAVERY IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. Wagener, Ward, Wardwell, Webster, Weeks--100. Mr. J. Q. ADAMS presented a memorial from sundry
NAYS—Messrs. Adams, Chilton Allan, Heman Allen, inhabitants of the State of Massachusetts, praying the Bailey, Beaumont, Bell, Bockee, Bond, Borden, Bouldin, abolition of slavery and the slave trade in the District of Boyd, Briggs, Buchanan, William B. Calhoun, Cambrel. I Columbia, and remarked that, in conformity with the