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fairs be discharged from the further consideration of so worship and unconstitutional conspiracy, because they much of the President's message as relates to commer-passed an appropriation of three millions for the defence cial restrictions, or to reprisals on the commerce of of the country, at a time when imminent danger of war France.
was urged, as resulting from that very resolution which "3. Resolved, That contingent preparation ought to but the night before passed by a unanimous vote? Be. be made to meet any emergency growing out of our re cause, forsooth, that appropriation had not been called lations with France.
for by the Executive, and yet because it was approved “ Mr. John Quincy Adams, on the 27th February, by the Executive." ultimo, proposed to amend said resolutions, by stri. Does my colleague mean to say that any body in the king out all thereof after the word Resolved, in the first House of Representatives ever pretended that his harmresolution, and inserting the following:
less, peaceful resolution was the foundation of a war ap“1. Resolved, That the rights of the citizens of the propriation? Does he pretend, after all that passed, that United States to indemnity from the Government of any body ever said or thought that “imminent danger of France, stipulated by the treaty concluded at Paris on war” resulted from his peaceful resolution? Had that the 4th of July, 1831, ought, in no event, to be sacri- been the fact, and had it been so understood, would he, or ficed, abandoned, or impaired, by any consent or ac any man, pretend that a unanimous vote could have been quiescence of the Government of the United States. obtained?' Mr. Speaker, precisely the reverse was the
"2. Resolved, That if it be, in the opinion of the fact in relation to myself. I believe it was so as to a maPresident of the United States, compatible with the jority, if not all of that House, excepting my colleague: honor and interest of the United States, during the in- I am quite sure it was so in reference to those with whom terval until the next session of Congress, to resume the my colleague acted, called the peace party, the party negotiations between the United States and France, he opposed to executive recommendation, as to the dispute be requested so to do.
with France. We resolved that the treaty with France “3. Resolved, That no legislative measure of a hos- of 4th of July should be maintained, and its execution in. tile character or tendency towards the French nation is sisted upon. How? By war, or war measures? No. By necessary or expedient at this time.”
negotiation. By explanation. By giving France an op. The resolution of my colleague was modified; the portunity to see and feel that her honor is pledged to words "at all hazards" were stricken out, to make it en- fulfil the treaty, and that we will continue to urge and tirely pacific, and leave not the semblance of a threat, insist upon its fulbilment. to hazard nothing; and, so amended, it passed unani It will be long remembered that my colleague (Mr. AD. mously. I give the words of my colleague :
AMS] made a speech in the House of Representatives, I “ This sentence, from wbich, with the general assent think on the 7th February, in reference to our difficulties of the House, the words at all hazards' had been with with France, and a few days before the "war resolutions": drawn, was finally approved by me; and every member
y me; and every member I have been speaking of had been presented. That present, two hundred and seventeen in number, answer- speech was considered an unjustifiable attack upon the ed, at the call of his name, ay.
Senate for their pacific course in relation to France, and * The resolution was in these words :
was called a war speech. I was among those friends who “ Resolved, That, in the opinion of this House, the believed, from various circumstances, that my colleague's treaty with France of the 4th of July, 1831, should be views had been in some measure misunderstood; and I maintained, and its execution insisted on."
so represented it here and elsewhere. I found difficulty As the gentleman from New York (Mr. CAMBNELENG] in understanding the phrase used in his speech, "dodging has stated some conversation about this resolution, as a the question,” as applied to the Senate, in a good sense; substitute for the resolutions of the committee, I trust I but I had the bighest authority for so understanding it. may be permitted to say a word in relation to myself. I In about one week afterwards, my colleague made a took no part in the debate; but if my life had been at speech in this House, called "a peace speech," in which stake, I could hardly have felt more interest. The war he approved the course the Senate had pursued in relaresolutions were combated with argument and spirit. tion to France, and said he would "dodge the question It was on that occasion that my colleague was said to himself.” His pacific resolutions were in accordance bave made his peace speech, when he declared he with his peace speech. Are we now to be told that would have dodged the war question himself, and he ap.
dodged the war question himself, and he ap: “imminent danger of war was urged as resulting from proved the course of the Senate. I was delighted with the resolution we adopted, and that the adoption of that it. It was peace, and not war. But the conflict was resolution was good and sufficient cause for the three severe, and the House very nearly equally divided, and million appropriation?” I heard no such argument then. I feared war resolutions, by possibility, might pass; I My colleague's various speeches and resolutions in relawent across the chamber to see the chairman of the tion to our dispute with France seem so contradictory, Committee on Foreign Affairs, [Mr. CAMBRELENG;] Ithat I leave to his own genius and learning the labor of proposed to him to take the resolution of Mr. ADAMS showing his consistency. I affirm, if the resolution conas amended, which we afterwards adopted. I observed, templated war, or preparation for war, it was to the you may entirely fail. He asked if my side, or party, House of Representatives war in disguise. would vote for it. I replied I could answer but for one; And, again, my colleague says, referring to said third I would vote for it. This resolution was adopted unan- resolution: “The resolution was laid on the table at the imously. But, judge what must be my astonishment, motion of the chairman of the committee who had re. when I hear my colleague (Mr. ADAMS] say:
ported it, and who then, in my hearing, and in the hear. “He hoped he had shown that the section making the ing of all in the House who chose to hear bim, gave notice appropriation of three millions was introduced from ab- that he should, in its stead, move an additional approprisolute necessity, on the last day of the session, because ation in the fortification bill then before the House. Whe. it was in consequence of the unanimous vote of the day ther he named the sum of three millions as that which he preceding. Was he now to be told that this and the should propose, or not, I do not recollect. He had other House must not appropriate money unless by rec openly spoken in the House before, as contemplating a ommendation from the Executive? Why, sir, the Ex- larger sum. Considering the contingent and possible ecutive has told us now that that appropriation was per- danger against which it was to provide, I thought the fectly in accordance with his wishes." He again repeated, sum certainly not too large." why was it that the House must be charged with man. I . I believe it because my colleague says so, and because
the gentleman from New York declared it in his speech bers, as reduced the remainder to less than a quorum, a few minutes ago. What was the mighty import of such that they had no right to vote on any thing in the House. a declaration, made by a disappointed chairman, defeated After that took place, the committee of conference rein his projects, and by the efficient aid of my colleague, turned to the House, but no report was made; and what too? He and his friends were defeated and disappointed. was the reason? Because there was no House. The Peace prevailed over war. But the gentleman from roll was called, and no quorum was to be found. New York threatened, as he retreated, to ask for addi. "He said that he did not consider that the constitutional appropriations, &c.; and this happened on the tional term of two years, assigned to the members of the evening of the 2d of March, and that was notice of the House of Representatives, and the term of four years, three millions. I purposely, on this occasion, avoid going during which the President holds his office, commence into a consideration of the value and importance of prep. or expire at midnight. The services of two and of four aration for defence in time of peace. It does not apper- years commenced running from the time when the memtain to this debate; but those who are now accused of bers of the first Congress assembled to commence the neglect have steadily pursued that policy to a reasonable opérations of this Government under the constitution of extent, and by so doing have subjected themselves to the the United States, which was on the 4th of March, 1789, reproaches of their present accusers.
at noon. The two years from that time expired, not on But my colleague quotes the third resolution of the the 3d of March, 1791, at midnight, but on the 4th of Committee on Foreign Affairs, as follows: "Resolved, March, at noon. The expiration of a year is not from That contingent preparation ought to be made to meet noon to midnight, but from noon to noon. It is so, as. any emergency growing out of our relations with France;" tronomically, by the law of nature. The time at which and he says: "This was the resolution intended to sus. a day sball commence and terminate is a matter altotain at once the spirit of the President's recommenda-gether arbitrary and conventional. Some nations have, tions, and the sincerity of the resolution just adopted by in their civil computation, commenced the day at sunrise, the House." I perfectly concur with him that the above and some at sunset--some at midnight, and some at noon. resolution was intended to sustain the recommendations | Astronomers and navigators always reckon the day from of the Committee on Foreign Affairs; but, be it remem noon to noon; and why should not the constitutional bered, those resolutions were virtually rejected, and my computation of time follow the same law, which is the colleague's peace resolution substituted. 'I deny that the law of nature! The principle, once established, could three million appropriation ever was intended to sustain be attended with no sort of inconvenience; whereas the the sincerity of the resolution adopted. Never-never. computation from noon to midnight must be subjected · I again refer to the resolutions I have read-Foreign once every two years to a solution of continuity for twelve Affairs, and my colleague's substitute:
hours by the non-existence of a House of Representatives, Third resolution of Foreign Affairs.
and once in every four years to an interregnum or va“Resolved, that contingent preparation ought to be
cancy in the office of President of the United States. made to meet any emergency growing out of our rela
Emergencies might easily be foreseen, perhaps even tions with France."
precontrived, in which either of those events would be
attended with very great public inconvenience. Mo. Mr. Adams's substitute for the third resolution.
narchical Governments are always guarded with the ut“Resolved, That no legislative measure of a hostile most possible care against every solution of continuity: character or tendency towards the French nation is ne. their kings never die. It would be a radical defect in cessary or expedient at this time.”
every republican Government not to be invested with . According to my recollection, the speeches were more the same official immortality--the office always filled, at variance, if possible, than the resolutions themselves. however frequently the individual incumbent may be
Let us for a moment examine the defence of those who changed. It was therefore my opinion that the House professed to have constitutional scruples as to the time might have sat transacting business till noon of the 4th of the termination of Congress; and here I read my col- of March; and, accordingly, my name will be found and league's argument, as follows, viz:
| recorded on every taking of the yeas and nays until the "He was not one of those who believed that the ses adjournment, after it was announced that the Senate bad sion ended at midnight. In his opinion, the two years' adjourned. duration of Congress was from the time of day at which is Mr. A. said that was his opinion then, and he had then the House commenced its session---say the hour of noon expressed it to the House; but it was not the opinion of on the 4th of March. He believed that to be the true a large number of members of the House. The members construction of the constitutional term of two years; but were in the House, ready to vote, but in their opinion the it was a constitutional question, and it was not for him to time had passed. Now, whatever was doing at that time judge of the motives of men who conscientiously believed in the House might have been known to every member that the period of their political existence had expired. of the Senate, if they had seen fit to make the inquiry. When the Cumberland road bill passed, the question was It was perfectly known that after that time no quorum taken by yeas and nays, and the vote was ninety-four to of the House could be found. No vote was taken. The eighty, making one hundred and seventy-four votes. House was de facto dead." Here was a quorum voting, which showed that the House, I will only add, that the usage and construction as to at 12 o'clock, was doing business; but in ten minutes af- the time of the expiration of office, I believe, have been ter that, no quorum could be found-not in consequence uniform; that it has happened very frequently, I know, of there not being members present, but in consequence that Congress have been in session hours after 12 o'clock, of their conscientious scruples. He recollected the in- the 3d of March, and at the expiration of their respecstance of a gentleman from Georgia, (Mr. GILMER,) a tive terms of office; and so of all our Presidents. Geneman as conscientious and as intelligent as any member ral Washington, as I have been informed, and believe, of that or the present House, who, upon being called, at the expiration of his first term of four years, arose, refused to answer, and gave as his reason that he was no after he had been in bed, at 2 o'clock in the morning of longer a representative of the people, and, immediately the 4th of March, and signed many bills, which, in con. after the vote was taken, went out of the House at that sequence of his signing, became laws, affecting life and door, and never returned. It was not therefore the want property. Have we not all heard of the midnight judges, of a sufficient number of members present, but from the &c. of the elder Adams? Mr. Jefferson did the same. conscientious conviction of so large a number of the mem- / Mr. Madison, Mr. Monroe, and my colleague himself,
unless I greatly misremember, imitated the example of opinion, hereafter to trust it with other Presidents. It all his predecessors. Who ever seriously called it in is a dangerous and unsafe precedent, and ought not to question until the 3d of March, 1835, when the appro. pass. priation for fortifications was before us, and the three I had been educated to believe that the President of millions could not pass the Senate!
the United States had not too much power. I had Yet, after presenting the above unanswerable argument heard much said of the dangerous tendency of presidenin defence of himself, as well as others, my colleague is tial power, and of the increase of that power. But I at no loss to find a perfect apology for those who viola never witnessed so much evidence of the truth of that ted the constitution and their duty, and defeated the bill. democratic apprehension as on the night of the 3d of My colleague says, after the return of the committee of March, 1835. I declare most solemnly, that, in my conference, “ there was no House-not for the want of opinion, (and I saw those who were counted and who numbers;" the roll was called, and no quorum. Why? were not, there was a quorum until we adjourned. I Because a number refused to answer. He states "a believe I had the honor to make some of the last relarge number were ready to vote, but the time had marks upon a motion to call the House. I then stated passed; and it might have been known to every member that there was a quorum present, and it was well known of the Senate, if they had seen fit to make the inquiry." to all; that when gentlemen chose to be counted, they Again: "the House was de facto dead.” But my col. were present; and when they chose not to be counted, league has himself shown, conclusively, it was not dead they retreated or refused to vote; that the most impor. de jure. It was rightfully and constitutionally alive, and tant business of the session yet remained undone, &c. the Senate were bound so to consider it, and govern Much has been said by my colleague and others in themselves accordingly. They did so act; and their no-regard to a vote of the Senate to adhere against the tice and attention to the House, after they chose to con- amendment proposing the three millions. It is said that sider themselves dead, though present and noisy, seems that vote of adherence was contrary to all parliamentary to have incurred the peculiar displeasure of my colleague usage, and was the cause of all the evils we experienced and the gentleman from New York (Mr. CAMBRELENG) I on the 3d of March, and the loss of the bill itself. The who has just resumed his seat.
gentleman who has just sat down (Mr. CAMBRELENG] But Mr. Gilmer, of Georgia, refused to vote, on ac- bas made the same complaint. count of conscientious scruples. His case, I believe, has As gentlemen speak with confidence, I will refer them been named by every speaker on this subject. I knew
| to a case in point, and precisely the reverse of what they Mr. Gilmer, in this House, for a number of years. I be- suppose the parliamentary usage; and I trust the author. lieve he is a pure, honest, and honorable man. He enity will not be questioned by my colleague, or the gentertained, we thought, many singular opinions of the tleman from New York. The case I refer to is found in constitution, and he widely differed from us in its con- the journal of the Senate, 19th Congress, 1st session, struction. Mr. Gilmer bad scruples; and what did he do? pages 306 and 307. Here Mr. REED read the case. Arose, declined acting, and left the House, and has (Mr. Adams called aloud to know the book and page.] never since returned. The very praise and commenda- The House of Representatives and Senate disagreed as tion bestowed on Mr. Gilmer is censure to those who to a judiciary bill, and “ Mr. Van Buren, chairman of entertained the same doubts, and yet remained here to the Judiciary Committee, drew up a report, which convote, or not to vote, as circumstances made the consti- cludes with resolving not to insist, but adhere, and but tution more or less dear in their estimation. But Mr. twelve dissented; and the report states, it is expressly Gilmer is the standing witness of honest scruples. “Ex- within the rules, and best to prevent the unprofitable ceplio probat regulam.” Where were the other Mr. Gil. formality of a conference at this advanced period of the mers, or those who trod in his steps! The gentleman session." Mark, sir, this happened fourteen days befrom New York (Mr. CAMBRELEXG] was so pressed with fore the close of the session. In the case of the fortificonscientious scruples that he refused to report and act cation bill, the Senate had determined not to agree to upon the fortification bill; but his conscience was less the three millions section, and a few hours only must scrupulous as to other matters, and he staid to vote and close the session. act, and did vote and act, upon other subjects before the Mr. Cambreleng then moved that the House insist on House, long after he refused to act upon the fortification said amendment; which motion was agreed to. The bill. Let him reconcile such inconsistency.
Senate then voted to adhere as to the three millions. A The House was reduced, in a short time, by scruples, motion was again made in the House of Representatives from 174 to 111, and this appears on the yeas and nays; torecede, and give up the three millions. We voted nearly and, by looking at the names on the yeas and nays at the | as before; my colleague, (Mr. ADAMS, ] and other coltwo different periods, those "poisy dead men" my colleagues, and myself, voting to recede: Ayes 88, noes 107. league speaks of may be known as absentees, though A conference with the Senate was then proposed and present.
passed, and conferees appointed. The conferees of the I most solemnly aver to my constituents and country House and Senate agreed upon a compromise. The that I was in favor of the fortification bill; that I thought bill was to pass with all admendments, and, instead of the original bill insufficient, and tried to increase it; that $3,000,000 in gross, it was agreed to add $800,000, and I voted against the three million amendment with pain, make it specific, viz: $300,000 for arming the fortificabecause I wished a liberal specific appropriation; but I tions, and $500,000 for repairs and equipment of ships believed the three million section a violation of the spirit of war. And my colleague finds fault even with this of our free Government, and of dangerous tendency. I compromise, and says: “ The appropriation was made well remember a conversation on that night with a wor. positive, instead of being contingent upon a necessity thy member, not now here. He asked me why I did not not certain to come; and it was confined to two objects vote for the three millions? I replied, that three millions of permanent ordinary appropriation, still leaving the was a great sum; the use to be made of it was not speci- possible contingent danger unprovided for.” I confess fied, &c. He answered, General Jackson will not spend i am wholly at a loss to know what my colleague did a dollar of it, &c. I then rejoined, if that be so, it ought desire. I can see one thing very distinctly--that he not to be voted; you have confidence in the President, does not desire to agree with the Senate. which I have not; but if three millions may be so voted The appropriation bill, as agreed upon by the comwithout specification, twenty millions may be so voted; mittee of conference, inight have passed before or after or words to that effect. It may not be safe, even in your I the hour of 12 o'clock. I have no doubt the conferees
returned before half past 11. I have every reason to in all, one million six hundred and sixty-nine thousand believe it. It might have passed after 12 o'clock, but dollars; a respectable sum; very respectable, compared for the improper interposition of a few members of this with $439,000; and one would think, of all others, a House, the friends of the Executive.
majority of the House of Representatives ought not to The bill was then returned to the House, and “a mo- complain. tion was made by Mr. Gholson that the House recede | Mr. Speaker, I perceived, before the hour of twelve from its amendment, proposing to insert an additional o'clock on the 3d of March, a determination not to pass section, as the second section of the bill, containing an the bill. The report of the conference was held back. appropriation of $3,000,000.” On this question there The bill was delayed. The chairman would not report, were yeas 87, nays 110. All my colleagues, including but voted, and spoke, and acted upon other business. Mr. A., voted to recede and strike out the $3,000,000, Mr. Lewis at last reported the bill, and then constituupon the success of which one might suppose some men tional scruples were interposed as to the hour and minthought the salvation of the country depended.
ute, and gentlemen would not answer when called. I The report of the committee of conference was delay- / believe the bill (the motives that influenced gentlemen ed by the chairman. After much delay, (the precise I leave to themselves) was defeated intentionally by those period I cannot state,) Mr. Lewis, another member of who were known and called administration men. the committee, inade the report; but objections were Why did they, under various pretences, detain and made that there was no quorum, and therefore it could defeat the whole bill? No change bad taken place in not be adopted. The business was intentionally delay- our relations with France. There was no cause for ed, and the little time we had, wasted. Tellers were change in appropriation, unless the secret will of the appointed; Mr. Cambreleng and Mr. Lewis, on count Executive produced that change. The House of Reping, found there was not a quorum; not that a quorum | resentatives acted a most singular and inconsistent part. was not present, but a sufficient number took care to They could not be induced to add a dollar to their bill be out of the way to defeat a quorum. And my cold appropriating $439,000, until March 3d in the evening, league says we had not the power of Joshua of old, and then they insisted upon adding three millions, and who commanded the sun and moon to stand still. We it must be that or nothing. My colleagues and myself wanted no such power, but the power to move in the voted for all amendments and all increase, except the discharge of duty.
three millions, and would gladly have added the I have overlooked one fact of some importance; it is $800,000. But it must be three millions in addition, or this: “ Mr. Jarvis moved the following resolution, viz: the whole bill must be destroyed. It was destroyed. I • Resolved, That the hour having arrived when the term could not vote for three millions. It was large in for which this House was elected has expired, we do amount, indefinite in its object--for military and naval now adjourn.' The said resolution was read, when the service, generally, under the direction of the President. Speaker decided that it was not in order to offer it at The President's message was a war message. He had this time, unless by unanimous consent, or a suspension frequently, as far as I know, with every body, spoken of the rules; but suggested that the object aimed to be of bis desire for reprisal and war; and he knows how to attained by the resolution could be accomplished by a accomplish his purposes better than any other man. I motion that the House do adjourn. Mr. Jones, of feared the consequences of putting the money in his Georgia, then, for the purpose of trying the question, hand. and ascertaining whether the House thinks itself autho I deeply lamented the failure of the fortification bill. rized to continue in session, and to transact business after Though I bave long been a member of the House of 12 o'clock at night on the 3d day of March, moved that Representatives, I never witnessed there such strange the House do adjourn. And the question being put, proceedings as on the 3d of March, in regard to the forit was decided in the negative." This negative is a tification bill. If the President believed the public good negative pregnant, affirming that we did think ourselves actually required an appropriation of three millions, authorized to do business after 12 o'clock; thereby set- which he informs us in his message “ was inserted in ting the seal of our deliberate vote to our own condem- accordance with the views of the Executive," he ought nation. But remember, the memorable report of the to have so informed us-not privately, to a few, but pub. committee of conference had not then been made, though licly--and to have presented the reasons for his views, is should have been done, and there was a press of busi-that we might judge and act as responsible, free, and ness that many members were desirous of transacting independent representatives of a free people. But three The main pressure of constitutional scruples was upon the millions was “inserted in accordance with the views of fortification bill, without the three million amendment. the Executive;" a less sum was not in accordance with
Mr. Speaker, the fortification bill was reported to the his views. And when a less sum was agreed upon by House of Representatives January 2d, and passed the the committee of conference, and the cbairman (Mr. House January 21st, fifty-two days from the commence CAMBRELENG] had returned to this House to make rement of the session. We took fifty-two days out of the port of the result, (as he has just informed us in his ninety-three to prepare the bill. it was then sent to the speech, he met in this House Mr. Forsyth, Secretary of Senale, and returned February 24th, after thirty-four state, who inquired whether the committee of conferdays, and seven days before the close of the session. ence had agreed; and when informed that a comproOur bill, as it passed the House of Repre
mise had taken place, and that $800,000 bad been sentatives, contained appropriations for forti
agreed upon instead of the three millions, Mr. Forsyth fications, . - - - . $439,000 | pronounced it a pitiful sum. It will be understood that
Senate's amendments, as finally agreed, • 430,000 the President and his cabinet sit in a room appropriated Had we agreed to those amendments with
for the purpose in the Capitol, during the last night of out adding a section of three millions, it
the session, to facilitate the business. The Secretary of would have passed without dispute.
State sits at the right hand of the President, as an adviBy the conference, it was further agreed
ser. He had just left the room, and might well be preto add $300,000 for arming the fortifications,
sumed to know and express the will of the Executive. and $500,000 for repairs and equipment of
It was not in accordance with the will of the Executive; ships of war, making
800,000 and that was well understood by the chairman, by the
remarks of the Secretary of State, if he heard nothing
$1,669,000 | more; and he, and others who acted with him, seemed VOL. XII.-150
most suddenly to lose all interest in the bill. It was de- The CHAIR. Certainly. termined that the bill, as finally agreed upon by the Mr. HAWES said he had always given his vote against committee of conference, should not pass the flouse; | every proposition granting the use of this hall, which that, as the Senate had refused to agree to the "three was built with the people's money, and for the exclumillion amendment” proposed by the House, the loss of sive use of their Representatives, for the purpose of boldthe whole bill, including ordinary appropriations for ing meetings of certain societies. He should continue to fortifications, should be charged to that body. This oppose these indirect inroads upon the public Treasury. decision came with a weight and energy not to be with- He understood the object of the members of these stood. The House would not pass a bill, the provisions of societies, in asking permission to hold their meetings in which the President's first Secretary had just pronounced this hall. It was to save their own pockets. There pitiful. Then came the last scene--delay, constitutional was another building in this city, which was peculiarly scruples, refusal to vote, threats against the Senate, &c. suited for such meetings; but, by procuring permission &c.; and so perished the fortification bill in the House to use this ball, two or three hundred dollars were of Representatives.
taken from the public Treasury on every evening of such As soon as this debate shall have been closed, (I hope meeting, to pay for candles, wood, &c., which ought to and trust others who were present will not fail to express come out of the puckets of the members of these their opinions,) I am desirous of attending to the appro societies. If it was an object of those gentlemen to save priation bills and other important business before the this expense, it was also his right and duty to object that House. I trust some good may result from the evil of it should be paid out of the public Treasury. It was which there is so loud Complaint: that we may not here- perhaps a small matter; but if the House yielded to these after neglect the important business under our charge to applications for the use of the hall, they might expect, the last few disputed hours of the session, when there after a while, an application from a dancing society. may be neither time nor means to perform such duties He was opposed to granting this privilege to temperance, with fidelity and sound discretion; when it may be in the colonization, abolition, or historical societies. He conpower of a few, even a single individual, to defeat the sidered them all upon a par. He concluded by calling most important measure.
for the yeas and nays on the adoption of the resolution; I have always considered the fortification bill, with the which were not ordered. three million amendment proposed, as a subject of vast The resolution was then agreed to. importance, as involving more or less the question of
LAST YEAR'S FORTIFICATION BILL. peace or war--a question of vital importance to those whom I have the honor to represent. . Since the Presi
The House resumed the consideration of the following dent, in his annual message to Congress, has seen fit to
resolution, heretofore offered by Mr. J. Q. ADAMS: complain of the loss of that bill; since the administration
Resolved, That so much of the message of the Presipresses and administration men reiterate the complaint;
| dent of the United States to Congress at the commence. since my colleague has seen fit to bring the subject be
hip hement of the present session as relates to the failure, at fore this House by a resolution and speech, I have felt
the last session of Congress, of the bill containing the bound to vindicate my own conduct, and the conduct of or
conduct of ordinary appropriations for fortifications, be referred to those with whom I had the honor to agree and act, and a
d a select committee, with instructions to inquire into, present the case to this House and the people, and es- |
and report to the House, the causes and circumstances pecially to my constituents, to whom, without distinction
inion of the failure of the bill." of party, I am under obligations I shall never be able to
The question still being on the motion of Mr. WILcancel. I feel and acknowledge the weight of those ob
LIAMS, of North Carolina, to amend the resolution by ligations, and I trust, when my conduct shall be under
adding thereto the words “ with power to send for perstood, their justice and candor will acquit me of negli.
sons and papers"-gence or want of fidelity in the discharge of my duty.
· Mr. HARDIN rose and addressed the Chair as fol. When Mr. REED had concluded his remarks,
lows: Mr. HARDIN took the floor, and moved an adjourn Mr. Speaker, it was either my good or ill fortune ment.
(for, at this time, I know not in which point of view to The House then adjourned.
consider it) to obtain the floor last evening. To have
consulted my own feelings and wishes on the subject, I THURSDAY, JANUARY 28.
ought instantly to bave proceeded with what I had to
say; it was late, and, to accommodate some gentlemen GRANT OF THE HALL.
around me, I moved for the House to adjourn; which Mr. McKENNAN asked the consent of the House to motion was agreed to. Gentlemen in more remote present a resolution, granting the use of the hall of parts of the hall voted for it, as a favor accorded to me. Representatives to the Historical Society, on Saturday I owe, and now tender to them, my most profound acevening next, for the purpose of holding a meeting of knowledgments for their kindness manifested on that said society. Mr. McK. said it was understood that occasion. the Secretary of War would deliver an address on the Sir, the time, manner of presenting, and the subjectoccasion.
matter of the resolution now under consideration, seem Objection being made, Mr. McKENNAN moved to to be a phenomenon in legislation. To review our pro. suspend the rule; which was agreed to-114 to 42. . ceedings for some days past is neither pleasant nor in
Mr. McKENNAN then submitted the resolution indi structive: tbey contain nothing to feed our pride, flatter cated in his motion.
our vanity, or redound to the honor of this House; The SPEAKER said he had received a communica there is something in them so strange, so unaccountable tion from a member of the Historical Society, making a to an ordinary observer, nevertheless so much in charrequest similar to the proposition before the House, acter with some of the leading members of the adminiswhich, if permitted, he would present at that time. tration party in this House, that I hope to be indulged It was objected to.
until I recapitulate them. The question being on the adoption of the resolution, The appropriation bills bave been reported to this Mr. HAWES rose in opposition to it.
House, and, put them all together, amount to something Mr. BOND inquired wbether it was in order to discuss like ten millions more than for the same objects was apthe resolution.
propriated last year, and near that amount inore than an