Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

dragging around the walls of Troy his prostrate and life- | blindfold. By one party the Senate, by another the less foe..

House of Representatives, has been charged with the Yes, sir, there was great indignation, great eloquence, loss of that bill. Now, sir, the main fact wbich I rise and great horror, displayed at the conspiracy and man. to establish is, that neither the Senate nor the House of worship of this House, with the Executive of the United Representatives is justly chargeable with its failure. States, for passing a bill appropriating tbree millions of I say, sir, let all crimination and recrimination bemoney for the defence of the country, and that was the tween the Senate and House of Representatives, both source of this triumphant message. Now, sir, techni- innocent, forever cease, for I can prove by this journal cally speaking, probably the bill containing these appro. (holding up the journal of the last House) alone, and priations did fail in this House; but if it failed at all, it by other indubitable testimony besides, that neither the failed before the appointment of the committee of con- Senate nor the House was responsible or censurable for ference; it failed in consequence of the vote rejecting the failure of that bill. The Senate did its duty, the that particular item of appropriation; it failed because it | House did its duty, and both were not only willing but pleased the Senate, in their wisdom and patriotism, to anxious for its passage. No blame for its failure is fairly stake the whole fortifications of the country upon the attributable to either. Called upon to say upon whom rejection of that single item. In the interval between the blame should fall, I say, as Nathan said unto David, that day and this, we have all had time to suffer our feel “ Thou art the man!" (pointing directly to Mr. CAMings to cool. I have submitted in silence to that opera BNELENG.] tion on the part of the Senate, the manner in which it Sir, let not the gentleman from New York, (Mr. Cam. was conducied, and the temper which was manifested BRELENG) take this as personally unfriendly or unkind. not only to the President of the United States, but to That gentleman has always been courteous and kind to this House. I say I have submitted to it in silence; and me, and I desire ever to be courteous, kind, and reif it had not been revived, if the charges against the spectful to him. But truth and duty impose a task House had not been renewed, with redoubled vigor, upon me on this occasion, which I must perform, re. and with the transcendent abilities which belong to those gardless of all personal considerations. This subject is who led the Senate to this course of operation, I would introduced by himself, the question is up, it is fair to have remained silent, I would have sacrificed every discuss it, he is bere present to defend himself, "eye to thing to peace and harmony. But now, sir, under these eye, and face to face:” this House is the place for the charges, repeated, revived, and enforced with all the trial, before the eyes of the whole nation, and the argument that nine or ten months of meditation could truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so supply to minds of the highest order-when such charges help us God! should go forth to the people from this go out to the people of this nation, accusing the House Capitol! of Representatives of conspiracy with the Executive I here charge him as being wholly, or in part, with against their rights and interests, and of unconstitution others of bis party, responsible for the failure of the ality in their proceedings upon this bill, I could no longer fortification bill at the last session of the last Congress. sit in silence. I have therefore moved this resolution, And, sir, the gentleman from North Carolina, (Mr. Br. so that this House may not put trust in what I have said NUM,) who spoke a few days ago on the increase of to them, but that they may appoint a committee to in. navy appropriations, need not bave been so particular quire into, and with instructions to report to this House, to throw a stumbling-block in the way of freedom of what were the true causes and circumstances of the speech and of inquiry on this subject, by repeating em. failure of that bill.

phatically so often that it was not true" that the After Mr. Adams bad concluded his speech,

House of Representatives was responsible for the failure Mr. WISE addressed the House to the following ef. of that bill. . No man who knows the truth of the case fect:

will presume or pretend to charge the House of RepreMr. Speaker, I did not expect this discussion to arisesentatives with that failure. Whether the House of to-day. I was in preparation for it on another occasion, Representatives was guilty or not guilty, is not the true and if my facts, and inferences from them, be not pre issue. No one will join that issue with the gentleman, sented so well arranged as they might be, and as is desi.) and no one who knows the truth of the case will accuse rable they should be, I hope I shall be excused on the the Senate. score of being thus called up unexpectedly. The whole I here make the charge, as I believe it, from the matter shall be right in print.

journal, my own evidence, and that of others, to be Sir, this has become a very important subject, and true; and I appeal to the facts to sustain it. To the should be so considered. The question, “Who is re- facts, then, to the facts! sponsible for the failure of the fortification bill of the On the night of Tuesday, the 31 of March, 1835, the last session?” is now made to supersede almost every three millions amendment to bill No. 600, "An act other question, no matter how deeply, pressingly, and making appropriations for certain fortifications of the immediately, it may involve the most important public United States, heretofore commenced, for the year interests for the future. I readily confess that we 1835," was reported by the Committee of the whole should be providing for the future, rather than be House on the state of the Union. That amendment squabbling about the past. But so it is, "the party" reads as follows: has seen fit to make ibis a test question of political " And be it further enacted, That the sum of three merit; it has been discussed in all the public prints, millions of dollars be, and the same is hereby, approparticularly in that which is the organ of the adminis. priated, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise tration; is made the most prominent subject of discus. appropriated, to be expended, in whole or in part, sion in Congress; the most woful misrepresentations under the direction of the President of the United concerning it bave obtained currency and credence; the States, for the military and naval service, including for. innocent are made to bear the sins of the guilty; truth tifications and ordnance, and increase of the navy, proand justice both have been violated; a presidential can | vided such expenditures shall be rendered necessary vass is made, in part, to depend upon this question; the for the defence of the country prior to the next meet. public mind is anxiously inquiring about it, and I am ing of Congress." determined that the whole truth shall be told, and that on the question that the House do concur with the all the light which I can shed upon it shall be given to committee in this amendment, the vote stood: Yeas the world. The discussion thus far has been perfectly 1 109, nays 77. Number of votes, 186.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

· I beg of the House to mark the number of votes friends of truth and justice, if all be told. But to progiven, as I proceed.

ceed. On the bill to establish branches of the mint, the next The Senate was notified of the request for a con: vote, upon a call of ayes and noes, was, yeas 115, nays |ference. 60. Number of votes, 175.

The House then proceeded to the consideration of the A message was afterwards received from the Senate, bill to render permanent the present mode of supplying informing the House that they disagreed to the three the army, &c., which took up considerable time. Mr. millions amendment. A motion was then made by Mr. Briggs, from the joint Committee on Enrolled Bills, reGholson that the House do recede from its amendment ported the examination of two enrolled bills, and Mr. The previous question was then called, and on the main Dickerson reported that forty-four bills had been prequestion, “Will the House recede from the said amend. sented to the President, the titles of wbich were named. ment?”. the vote stood: Yeas 87, nays 110. Number of Mr. Ashley, of Missouri, during this time, also made votes, 197.

several motions, which occupied considerable time, to The House then insisted on its amendment, and sent take up a harbor bill, which does not appear on the a message to inform the Senate. The Senate then journal. And at this and every point of time, the House returned a message that the Senate "adhere to their was delayed by continual efforts to take up particular disagreement to the amendment of” the House.

subjects not in order A motion was then made by Mr. Cambreleng that the The House then proceeded to the consideration of the House do adhere to their said amendment.

Cumberland road bill. Previous to the vote on this bill, [Here the SPEAKER interrupted Mr. Wise, by saying the conferees on the three millions amendment had reit was not in order to call members by name on the floor. | turned into the House. Mr. Wise replied that he was reading from the journal (Mr. CAMBRELENG bere said, no, no; he had remained of the last Congress.]

in the House, after being appointed on the committee of Upon a motion then to recede, the previous question conference, until the vote on the Cumberland road bill, was demanded, and upon the question, “ Will the House and voted on that bill; that the committee did not rerecede?” the yote stood: Yeas 88, nays 107. Number turn to the House until about the time of the vote on the of votes, 195.

Moore and Letcher resolutions, which was some time A motion was then made by Mr. Hubbard that the after 12 o'clock.] House do ask a conference; which motion was carried; Mr. WISE proceeded. Sir, the gentleman must be misand Mr. Cambreleng, Mr. Lewis, and Mr. Hubbard, taken, or he was guilty of a neglect of duty in delaying were appointed managers to conduct the said conference so long to attend the committee of conference. From on the part of the House.

the time of the appointment of the conferees until the Here, sir, permit me to remark, that the honorable vote on the Cumberland road bill, more than an hour Dixon H. Lewis, of Alabama, has not yet arrived, from elapsel; and if the gentleman was so conscientious about indisposition, and he is not here to testify. I wish, for the time of night he legislated, he should have hastened the sake of a full development, he was in his place. But, to do his duty on the committee of conference, lest the sir, Mr. Cambreleng is now in this House, and Mr. House should expire before this precious bill could in Hubbard is now in the Senate.

conscience be saved. As he did not though, but delay(Here the SPEAKER again interposed, and said the ed until the hour had come, le should, on that ground, gentleman was out of order in calling gentlemen by their if on no other, be held responsible. But, sir, my recol. names.1

lection is, that the committee of conference returned Mr. WISE again replied that he was reading from the into the House before the vote on the Cumberland road journal of the last Congress.

bill; and just before or at the time of that vote, the first [The SPEAKER said the gentlemen named are of this notice that I heard was given of the hour. The vote on House.

the Cumberland road bill was taken up after 12 o'clock Mr. Wise proceeded. Well, sir, Mr. Lewis, of the at night, I know, from two circumstances. Mr. Gilmer, last Congress, is not here; Mr. Cambreleng, of the last of Georgia, than who no man is more honest, and no Congress, is now of this House; and Mr. Hubbard, of the man more unaffectedly scrupulous on points of conlast Congress, is now of the Senate; and Mr. Cambrel science, when his name was called, rose, pulled out his eng, of the last Congress, can here tell the whole truth; watch, and audibly announced to the House that he and Mr. Hubbard, of the last Congress, can tell the could no longer sit in his place and vote, for the reason whole truth in bis place, if the gentlemen will come out that the hour of twelve had arrived. He immediately fully, as they should. Each House of this Congress is left the House. He practised bonafide what he professsupplied from the committee of conference of the last ed. He gave me the first notice of the time, and of the session with a witness of all the facts, who can, if he question whether, in fact, we were defunct. He did will, disclose the real truth of this whole transaction. not depend upon that false clock face, (pointing to the Will they tell what they know? Will they satisfy the clock above the Speaker's chair,) the hands of which public mind? Will they disclose all, and conceal nothing? were made that night to point backwards. It was the I pray them to speak out, and hold nothing back, for first time in my life I ever saw old Time flying backwards; the sake of truth and justice! Sir, I could not sit in my the old might soon bave returned to their youth again. I seat calmly and coolly, and suffer the torture of this wish that clock was all that is false which is fair about this controversy, much less rise and speak, knowing the Capitol! He relied on his own watch, which was regulawhole truth, without disclosing it fully. I could not ted by his conscience. Thus reminded of the hour, and permit innocence in my sight to grope about blindly for struck by the conduct of Mr. Gilmer, upon whose watch its defence, though guilt should fall on my own head by and whose conscience I could rely, I was on the point of disclosing the truth. I could not see violence done to making opposition to the bill before the House, for rea. truth and justice, whilst I was present ready with the son of the hour, as well as of constitutional objections, means of vindicating both. Let the witnesses, the best when I was prevented by my friend from Pennsylvania, witnesses the case admits of, come forward and testify (Mr. McKennan,) who held me down, in a playful way, fully as to all the facts, known or unknown! Will they in my seat, which circumstance he may recollect. Thus do it?

I am certain, that when the vote on the Cumberland (Mr. CAMBRELENG said he would tell all.] I am glad road bill was taken, the hour had come and was past! to hear it, and I shall congratulate the country and the I voted on that bill on account of my constitutional ob.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

-

jections to it, and declined several votes afterwards, [The SPEAKER said the gentleman has the right to
until my colleague (Mr. MERCER) and otbers convinced read from the journal. I thought he was naming gen-
me there was no foundation for the objection to voting tlemen in this House.)
after 12 o'clock. On the question, “Shall the bill pass ?Mr. Wise replied, I have told you, Mr. Speaker, re-
the vote stood: Yeas 94, nays 80. Number of votes 174. peatedly, that I was reading from the journal, and I

This, sir--this was the last bonafide vote of the last claim the right to read plainly out the name of_Church-
House of Representatives. Here it died, strangled by ill c. Cam-brel-eng.
fraud and foul play!

[Cries of " go on! go on!") I beg of the House to stop here a moment with me, | As soon as Churchill C. Cambreleng gave this vote, whilst I collect together and group the facts which I and all the votes were told, after twelve o'clock at wish borne along in our remembrance, when approach night, Churchill c. Cambreleng, the chairman of the ing other facts which follow.

committee of conference, might as well have done his The House will please to remember that the commit duty and made his report to the House. But this is not tee of conference was appointed long before the vote all. Two enrolled bills were next reported, one of on the Cumberland road bill, and time enough for them which the Speaker signed after twelve o'clock at night, to have reported before the hour expired.

confessedly. Remember that the committee of conference returned Mr. Jarvis, of Maine, then moved the following resojust before or at the time of the vote on the Cumberland lution: road bill, or just before or at the time of the vote on Resolved, That, the hour having arrived when the the Moore and Letcher resolutions. I care not which term for which this House was elected has expired, we

That, from the offering of the tbree millions amend. do now adjourn." ment until the Cumberland road bill, inclusive, the Sir, note that here is a resolution offered to the yeas and nays were called five times, showing, at the House, giving additional notice to that of Mr. Gilmer, different times, 186, 175, 197, 195, and, immediately that the hour had come. Note by whom this resolupreceding the Moore and Letcher resolutions, 174 mem- tion was offered: by a gentleman who afterwards voted. bers present and voting.

[The Chair again interposed for calling proper Mark, now, the names of those who voted on the Cum-names.] berland road bill knowingly and wittingly, with proc. Mr. WISE. I read from the journal. I call the atlamation of notice, after twelve O-clock at night. tention of the House to the fact that here is a resolution Among the yeas in favor of that bill we find the name to adjourn, for the reason of the time of night--that the of Samuel Beardsley, a gentleman who, in a breath af-hour had come-that we were dead. Mr. Jones, of terwards, excused himself from voting, for the reason | Georgia, also, immediately moved to adjourn, for the

that the term for which the members of the twenty-third purpose of trying whether the House thought it could Congress had been elected had expired.” Such is the sit after twelve o'clock. Here is double notice to all vote, and such the reason for not voting, as the journal who had conscientious scruples. It was negatived. shows beyond dispute.

When was the want of a quorum to do this? (Here Mr. BEARDSLEY said that, by his watch, it was A motion was then made to suspend the rules to take not so late as twelve o'clock when the vote on the Cum up the Moore and Letcher resolutions. It passed in berland road bill was taken. He recollected that there the affirmative. Where was the want of a quorum to was a diversity of opinion about the hour.]

prevent doing this? After debate, the previous question Well, sir, the gentleman has served in more than one was moved and demanded. On the question, " Will Congress: did he ever know any diversity of opinion, the House agree to the resolution as herein recited?” any question about the hour, before the last night of the the vote stood: Yeas 111, nays 2. Number of votes, last session?

113. (Mr. BEARDSLEY said he could not submit thus to be! No quorum! but among the yeas I find the names of catechised. )

John Quincy Adams and Churchill c. Cambreleng! I know, sir, from childhood up, that catechisms are Yes, sir, both voting long after all had been thrice notiunpleasant; but when truth is suffering violence we fied that the hour had come! Where were their con. must all submit patiently to be questioned, and the na- sciences? tion must know all the facts, and the whole intent in [The CHAIR here said it was not in order to indulge this case. But perhaps by that genileman's watch it in personalities, or to refer to motives.) was not then twelve o'clock, though it was soon after. Mr. WISE. Why, sir, the gentleman before me (Mr. wards. I know it was twelve o'clock and past, for I | C.) is continually assuring me that he does not object to remember well the fact tbat Mr. Gilmer, whose con- be named, and why should the Speaker? No member science did keep a strict watch over his timepiece, calls to order, and I hope I shall be permitted to proannounced it to the House and departed from his post, ceed. The gentleman from Massachusetts has said that which he never did unless compelled by sickness or a gentlemen refused to vote after twelve o'clock, for reasense of duty; and I know that I was held in my seat son of "conscientious scruples." I put the question, by the strong arm of a strong friend of the Cumberland then, in more charitable phrase: where were their road bill. The name of that gentleman is not the only "scruples?" Not only had Mr. Gilmer retired, anname which I wish the House to remember among the nouncing beforehand his reason, but two resolutions had votes on this bill after twelve o'clock at night. Among been expressly offered to adjourn, assigning the reason the nays, sir, we find the name of Churchill c. Cam that the hour had expired--notice given verbally and in breleng.

writing before this vote was taken. Where were the [Here the SPEAKER again interrupted Mr. WISE for scruples of the gentleman then, who after this gave as calling members by name.]

one reason for not reporting from the committee of conMr. Wise again said, i claim the right to read the | ference, that the hour had come? journal of the last session of Congress. Names, dates, But, sir, the most important fact at this point of time persons, facts, are what are wanted. I cannot get along to be noted is, that at one moment you see one hundred unless I am permitted to call things by their right names. and ninety-seven, at another one hundred and ninety. It is impossible for me to get along with any thing like five; immediately preceding this moment one hundred a connected relation of facts, if I am thus to be inter and seventy-four members present and voting; and of a rupted.

sudden, in the twinkling of an eye, as if by magic word,

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

there is no quorum! Sir, at the sound of the whistle, sit? If the House no longer existed in law, and posthe Roderick Dhu-men disappeared! Where did they sessed no legislative funcions or power, after the hour of go--why--for what?

twelve, what object was there in voting to continue Two enrolled bills were next reported as having been its session? Will the gentleman from New York (Mr. presented to the President for his signature; and a mes. CAMBRELENG] say that he changed his opinion; that his sage was next received from the President, notifying the “scruples" were begotten between this point of time House--the House, of course, then in being, after, long and the moment he refused to report the proceedings after, 12 o'clock--that he had approved and signed of the committee, for the reason that the hour of twelve more than seventy enrolled bills. The President, this o'clock had expired? proves, was in the Speaker's room after 12 o'clock at | But, sir, I must proceed; I am determined to travel night, signing bills. It is notorious he was in that room over the whole journal, and point out every fact, even signing bills, after that time of night, after Mr. Gilmer to the crossing of the t's and the dotting of the i's. After retired, and after the resolution of Mr. Jarvis to adjourn. Mr. Jarvis's last resolution failed, for want of a quorum,

[The Chair again interrupted Mr. Wise for mention- | Mr. William Cost Johnson, of Maryland, from the select ing names.)

committee on establishing a national foundry, made a reMr. WISE asked, what names?

port, which was read, and the resolution therein recomThe CHAIR. The name of Mr. Jarvis.

mended was agreed to by the House! How could this Mr. WISE. I am reading from the journal.

report be made, and this resolution be agreed to by the The CHAIR. I did not so understand the gentleman. House, if there was no quorum and no House? If a Mr. WISE. Wby, sir, those names which I am read- quorum and if a House to receive and agree to a report ing from the journal died, according to conscience, on and resolution of a select committee, why was there not the 3d of March last!

a quorum and a House to receive and agree to the Mr. MERCER said his colleague [Mr. WISE) must of report of the committee of conference?, Why did its necessity refer to the names of members of the last Con- chairman, Churchill C. Cambreleng, not then make its gress.

report? He was voting against adjournment, though he Mr. WISE. I claim the right to do so, and protest knew, all knew, the hour had come; and, so far from against this interruption of the Speaker!

being a dead body, the House was a living, legislating, The CHAIR disclaimed any intention to interrupt the acting, moving body! the gentleman from Virginia.

The Speaker then laid before the House no less than Mr. WISE. I hope I may proceed, then, without in- nine communications from the executive Departments, terruption. A motion was received from the Senate as among which was the letter of the Postmaster General, to enrolled bills, signed by the President. How could which was read; and Mr. White, of Florida, laid upon we receive this messsge if we were dead? A motion was the table an act of the Legislature of that Territory. "In again made by Mr. Jarvis to adjourn. Here it was that a word, sir, every species of legislative action was perSamuel Beardsley, of New York, being called, declined formed. We were invested with all the functions, atto answer, on the ground that the session had expired! tributes, powers, and paraphernalia of a House of RepHe was called and came not, at this time, because the resentatives. We were not dead, but living legislators, hour had come! Had not the hour come on the Cumber- with the substance as well as the semblance of an organland road bill? Was not notice given to all by Mr. Gilmer ized body--the Speaker sitting in that chair, the mem. that the hour had then come? Mr. Beardsley's name bers here in their seats, long after it was notorious that was passed over, and be did not answer again that night. the hour of twelve o'clock was past and gone forever. There were many others who did not come again that Thus formed, thus acting, living, moving, and having night, who were here, but had a call from behind the our being, we received a message from the Senate to curtain--who shrunk from their posts, and skulked notify the House that the Senate was waiting for us to behind that chair, behind those pillars, appeared and act upon the fortification bill: disappeared at the sound of the whistle, and who should « À message from the Senate, by Mr. Lowrie, their bave shrunk into nonentity!

Secretary: The question was taken on adjournment moved, then, " Mr. Speaker, I am directed to bring to this House notoriously after twelve o'clock, by Mr. Jarvis, who had a resolution passed by the Senate, and which is as folalready said, by his resolution, we were dead. The lows: vote stood: Yeas 15, nays 103. Number of votes, 118. “ Resolved, That a message be sent to the honorable

Here, sir, only three members were wanting to make the House of Representatives, respectfully to remind the a quorum; and I know, I will make oath to the fact, House of the report of the committee of conference ap. that there were more than three members in the House pointed on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses on who did not vote. Mr. Beardsley was present, Mr. the amendment of the House to the amendment of the Mann, of New York, was present, and I was present Senate to the bill respecting the fortifications of the myself, and neither of us voted. I will account, sir, for United States.” not voting myself. I wish every gentleman would do so, Sir, what did this message mean or say, which could and had done as I did afterwards--answered when called. have been offensive? It is expressly respectful in its But who did yote? Mr. Jarvis voted in the affirmative, language and in its object. The Senate was waiting for and Churchill C, Cambreleng voted in the negative, the action of the House on this bill, wbich alone delayed voted against adjournment, after he knew the bour had the termination of the session, and which remained uncome! After every kind of notice which he could have acted upon by the House, whilst it was acting upon a had of the expiration of the hour, he voted against ad great variety of other business of much less importance. journment; virtually declaring, necessarily voting that To my mind, the Senate, by this message, so much the House might sit, was competent to legislate, and abused in the interpretation of it, said to the House, “re. ought to continue in session. Now, sir, gentleman may spectfully," " we do not wish this bill to fail, and we reexcuse themselves, those who pretend to have had spectfully ask that you will act upon it, and save the in“conscientious scruples," for voting in the affirmative, terests of the country involved in its passage." This for that may have expressed their scruples about con message was received; it was not sent back with an insult tinuing to sit; but I am utterly at a loss to see what can to the Senate, as the gentleman from Massachusetts Mr. justify those who had “conscientious scruples" in voting ADAMS] would have dashed it on their floor; and what against adjournment. Why vote to sit if they could not then transpired! The journal states:

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

" Mr. Cambreleng, the chairman of the conferees on it be believed that the gentleman did actually vote upon the part of the House, then rose and stated that he de- a call of the yeas and nays even after he gave this reaclined to make report of the proceedings of the commit son, that the term of the House had expired! Sir, I can. tee of conference aforesaid;" and, sir, mark the reasons, not understand the consistency of this conduct with these and compare them with the facts already detailed: “On excuses for failing to do an act of duty. Can the genthe ground that, from the vote on the resolution granting tleman explain this? compensation to Robert P. Letcher, which vote was de- (Mr. CAMBRELENG. Yes, I will.] cided at the time the committee returned into the House Mr. WISE. You will attempt it, but you cannot ex. from the conference, it was ascertained that a quorum plain it. Yes, sir, after this excuse was offered, a motion was not present; and, further, that he declined to make was made to adjourn, and on the call of yeas and nays the said report, on the ground that the constitutional Mr. Cambreleng was found still voting. And, sir, among term for which the House had been chosen bad expired.” | the list of nays on this last vote, at the fag end of the

Up to this moment the House had been bourly waiting night's labors, is found the name of John Quincy Adams. for the report of the committee of conference, and not [Mr. ADAMS here explained.] until this moment had the least intimation been given Mr. Wise was proceeding to reply; when that the chairman of the committee would decline to [Mr. MERCER said his colleague had totally misappre. make the report! He gave two reasons: First, "it was hended the gentleman from Massachusetts, and repeated ascertained no quorum was present." How was this in substance Mr. Adams's explanation.) ascertained? Why was not a quorum present? That is Mr. WISE. Then I have misunderstood the gentle. what I wish the gentleman to answer me! Up to a given man. I thought he had been arguing all the time that point of time-up to the vote on the Moore and Letcher the House was a dead Hector at twelve o'clock that resolutions; and, if that was the time when the commit- night. The distance of the gentleman's seat prevents tee of conference returned, up to the very moment when my hearing him distinctly. I am happy to be corrected, that committee did return, there were one hundred and for the gentleman's opinion is one I regard highly on seventy-four members present and voting-fifty-three such questions. more than a quorum. What became of this number of But, sir, there is that other name, which must not be votes? Why, sir, at the sound of the whistle, at the forgotten, by the side of the towering name of the gen. wink of the leaders, the "faithful vanished! the "trained tleman from Massachusetts; that name reads, Churchill bands” were “down! down!" in ambuscade, at the stamp c. Cambreleng, who continued to vote after he excused of the foot! It was not because they were not here, but himself from reporting, because in his conscience he was because, being here, they would not vote--were ordered dead! not to vote, that there was no quorum. I put it to the To go back a little. Mr. Cambreleng, with such ex. gentleman if he did not know, and does not know now, cuses, and such of his own conduct to rebut them, dethat there was more than a quorum present? How many clined to make the report of the conferees, and Mr. were present refusing to vote, when but three were Lewis had to make the report, long, long after the conwanting to be added to the vote of one hundred and ferees had returned to the House. eighteen? Were there not more than twenty present [Here Mr. CAMBRELENG said the report was not made who voted, or refused to vote, as circumstances directed by Mr. Lewis. them, or as the leaders pleased? Who were they who Mr. Wisk. He did make it! Here it is upon the would not vote! Read the journal for yourself-he who record, (holding up the journal:) this journal says so. runs may read. Look at the names of "the party!" It “Mr. Lewis, from the conferees, then made a report, was not the House, or a majority, which was to blame. | as follows: A majority of the House was ready, and willing, and “That the conferees had agreed to recommend to anxious, to pass the bill; but a very small minority could the respective Houses, that the House of Representa. reduce us below the number of a quorum. A majority tives recede from its amendment, containing an approof the House maintained their posts and did their duty priation of three millions of dollars, to be expended, in that night. Some, it is true, left from anxiety to get whole or in part, under the direction of the President, bome, some were sleepy, some were- I beg pardon, I for the military and naval service, including fortificawas about to say some were drunk; but, drunk or sober, tions and ordnance, and increase of the navy; and that, they were ready to vote and pass the bill; but the chair in lieu thereof, the bill be amended by inserting therein man of the committee of conference [Mr. CAMBRELENG] | the following, viz: would not make his report, because there was no quorum! “ As an additional appropriation, the sum of $300,000 Now, how did he know there was no quorum without a shall be appropriated for arming the fortifications of the call of the House!

United States, over and above the sums provided in this (Mr. CAMBRELENG. I knew it. )

act; and that the sum of $500,000 sball be, and hereby Mr. WISE. Yes! I know you knew there would be is, appropriated for the repairs and equipment of the no quorum without a call; no man knew it so well as you vessels of war of the United States, in addition to predid! But how did you know it? Did you not know where vious appropriations; the said sums to be paid out of those were who were ordered to be “deficit" on the any money in the Treasury not otherwise approprioccasion of a call? So much for the want of a quorum! ated."

The second reason of the gentleman was, “that the On the question to adopt this report, it was objected constitutional term for which the House bad been chosen there was no quorum; and tellers having been named, bad expired!” Now sir, please compare this reason they reported that no quorum was present. with the gentleman's own votes. Thrice, previous to Mr. Lewis did make the report, whether it was re

his excuse, the gentleman himself had voted on a call ceived on not, and it was entered on the journals. I of the yeas and nays--he voted on every call from the was sitting by him when he made the report. He took Cumberland road bill up to this paltry excuse, repeatedly it from Mr. Cambreleng, who was called on to make it, after twelve o'clock at night! He voted against the and handed it to the messenger of the Clerk, who Cumberland road bill, then in favor of a resolution to has put it upon record. He made the report, though pay money out of the House fund to Robert P. Letcher, the hour bad come!, And, sir, I could not but oband actually against an adjournment, alter the hour of serve his astonishment when Mr. Cambreleng refused twelve o'clock, before he gave in this excuse for not re- to make the report. No quorum! Do we ever count porting from the committee of conference; and, sir, will l the House when we receive the report of a committee?

« AnteriorContinuar »