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

to distance, per session. He thinks the act of Congress, Mr. ANTHONY moved to amend the instructions so passed at a time when the Government mail stage route as to require the committee to regulate and equalise the was the only route known or used, makes it obligatory pay of the members. on his conscience to charge the river route, whether he | Mr. HARPER supported the amendment of his coltravels it or not. Yes, sir, this shows how an honest, I league. well-meaning man, aiming to reach the spirit of the law, Mr. PATTON said it had happened every year since may differ with other gentlemen in the same situation. Sir, he had been a member of the House, that while the ap. when the act of Congress regulating the mileage of mem propriation bills were under consideration, an attempt bers of Congress was passed, steamboats were not in use. had been made to reduce the pay on mileage of memThe direct mail stage route was the only one in existence. bers of Congress, and he had never known one of these But the improvements of the age present a more speedy attempts to succeed. He considered that members had and much cheaper mode of travelling. We can make acquired a right to be paid under an existing law. If an our election; if we take the river route, which is the in- abuse existed under the law, Congress should alter the vention of a subsequent day to that in which the law of law. But the Committee of Ways and Means had Congress was passed, we have the right to do so. It is nothing to do with the subject; it was their duty to recheaper, more speedy, and in every way more comfort. port the sum which they may suppose to be wanted for able. But there is the same old direct mail route, which different services. He suggested that no law was the usual route at the time the act of Congress was made applicable to the mileage of the present session, passed. If we choose to take it, very well; if not, it is because that had been drawn, and was snug in gentleour own lookout, and should not increase our charge| men's pockets. upon the Treasury. But, sir, the Tennessee Senator, After some further remarks from Messrs. DUNLAP, to whom I have alluded, considers bimself bound to HANNEGAN, ANTHONY, and PEARCE of Rhode charge the long route, even if he travels the short one. Island, Yes, sir, he may take his seat in the same stage at the Without taking any question, seat of Government with his colleague, travel every inch On motion of Mr. GRENNELL, the House adjourned. of the ground together, but when they charge for each mile that they have passed over, he is bound in conscience (for if he were not, he would not do it; it is a

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 3. mere difference of opinion) to charge for all the mean

EXECUTIVE PATRONAGE. ders of the Ohio river, notwithstanding he has never

The bill from the Senate, “to repeal the first and touched its waters. This is a case in point to show that second sections of the act limiting the term of certain it is not safe to trust an unlimited discretion to the purest | offices to four years, and for other purposes," having and the best. I hope the committee will be further in- | been read twice by its title-structed to report the amount which each member of Mr. MANN moved that the bill be referred to the Congress has received, for a sufficient number of years Committee on the Judiciary. to show the abuses to which this discretion has been sub. Mr. BELL said that no subject of greater importance ject in past time.

than this would come before the House at the present Mr. GIDEON LEE opposed the recommitment of the session. None of the standing committees were peculiarbill, and urged its speedy passage, as a measure of justice ly appropriate for the consideration of the subject, and to those to whom the money was due. The members of he did not see that the Judiciary Committee was more Congress were drawing their own pay, but no one else | appropriate than any other. It was a most singular fact, for whom payment was provided in the bill.

that this branch of Congress, by its rules, and the operaMr. UNDERWOOD suggested that there would be notion given to them by the decision of the Chair, sustain. necessity for delaying the bill in case his motion was ed by the votes of the House, had become so restricted agreed to, as the committee could retain the subject of and tied down in its action, that it could not take up for mileage for a separate bill, and send back the remaining consideration and discussion any great fundamental prinportion of the bill.

ciples of the Government; no opportunity is ever afforded Mr. MANN made a few remarks in favor of recommit | to bring forward propositions upon any important subject, ment. He had found, from experience, that the only in a distinct and separate form. This was entirely a way to secure any promised reform of this kind was by new day in the history of the country. He was com. holding on upon the money.

paratively a young member, but there were members Mr. ANTHONY said that, when the present rule was who had been here for fifteen or twenty years and more, adopted, it was contemplated that members could travel and to them he appealed to say whether the House was but twenty miles a day. And the fact was, that many ever before so bound down by rules as to prevent gengentlemen travelling from the far West were paid at tlemen from bringing forward, in the form of resolution, the rate of two hundred miles a day, receiving not eight any important subject for discussion. But nothing could dollars a day, but eighty dollars a day for travel. The now be brought forward, because the House had blockpay of members coming from the far West was thus made ed up the way, perhaps, for the whole session, by the double the amount received by members coming from adoption of the resolution reported from the Committee on Pennsylvania. The present rule was not at all adapted Foreign Relations. The subject of executive patronage to the modern improvements in the mode of travelling. could not be brought forward, although it was connected

Mr. MERCER said he would vote for the motion, but with the best and most vital interests of the country, and not for the reasons given by the gentleman from Penn- with principles without which we should have neither sylvania. Those who came from a great distance found constitution nor country of which an American could their pay a poor compensation for the inconvenience of feel proud. With a view to ascertain whether there leaving their homes. But he was willing that a uniform was a disposition on the part of the House to permit an rule for estimating the mileage should be adopted. investigation of this subject, he would move that the

Mr. CAMBRELENG rose to beg the House, and the bill be referred to a select committee. Even if the magentleman from Kentucky, to modify his motion, so as jority of the committee appointed should be opposed to to refer his inquiry, not to the Committee of Ways and the principles of the bill, ibere would yet be an oppor. Means, but to a select committee. The subject, as it tunity afforded to the minority of the committee to exrelated to accounts, did not belong to that committee; I press their views on the subject of the bill. He did not and, moreover, that committee was pressed with other I know that he would support the bill in its present share business.

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

or not, but he wished the subject of executive patron- from Massachusetts, that tbis was a bill to change the conage, generally, brought before the House. He movedstitution. It originated in the Senate, and many gentlemen the reference of the bill to a select committee

would doubtless deem it uncharitable to that body to Mr. J. Q. ADAMS hoped, he said, that the motion of say that they would, by means of a mere law, change the gentleman from Tennessee would prevail; and lie the constitution. If it was not a proposition to change assured the House that nothing but the consideration the constitution, it was only a proposition to change an that he had consumed much of the time of the House existing law, and therefore belonged most appropriatehad prevented him from making the same proposition. ly to the Judiciary Committee. The mere importance We never had, and never would have, before us a more of the subject, upon which the gentleman from Tennesimportant subject. One of the newspapers, when the see had dwelt with so much force, was certainly no reabill was introduced into the Senate, remarked that it son for referring this bill to a select committee. The was a bill to amend the constitution of the United States. / Judiciary Committee was surely one of the most imporHe considered it a bill not to amend, but to alter, the tant committees recognised by the rules of this House. constitution; and he trusted that discussion would be It required great ability and learning, and its members had upon it to a great extent, and that the decision were always selected, be supposed, in reference to their upon it would be made with great deliberation. What requisite talents and qualifications. He did not believe ever might be the impressions of gentlemen in regard to that select committees engrossed all the wisdom and the policy of the bill, he hoped that, after its impor- capacity of the House, but was rather disposed to think tance bad been so forcibly represented by the gentle that a body of gentlemen, who were permanent, and man from Tennessee, it would be referred to a select chosen for the investigation of great and interesting subcommittee.

jects, would be apt to be quite as select for their wis. Mr. HAMER remarked that a great deal had been dom, in reference to the subjects that came within their said in regard to the appropriate committee of the House province, as another body, wbich we dignified with the for the investigation of the subject. If any gentleman appellation of a "select committee." The gentleman would take the trouble to refer to the rules of the House, from Tennessee had not ventured to say that the subject. he would find that the bill ought to go to the standing matter of the bill did not most naturally belong to the Committee on the Judiciary. [Mr. H. here read the Judiciary Committee; but it was an important subrule.] Did not the rule, he asked, propose to changeject, and ipso facto, in the opinion of that honorable genlaws long in existence? Where, then, should the sub-ileman, it ought to be referred to a select committee, ject be considered, if not in the Committee on the Judici This was to his (Mr. V's) mind a very unsatisfactory ary? If gentlemen were extremely desirous of getting reason for a special reference. It was, he believed, a up a report of a partisan or political character on this very important law, and one which proposed to secure subject, their purpose could be answered in another to the incumbents of office a freehold title in offices. way. All they wished to say in a report could as well! Mr. V. said the honorable gentleman from Tennesbe said in a speech, and for making speeches opportu. see Mr. BELL) had given the House another lecture nities occurred daily. He did not very well understand about the mischiefs resulting from our rules, or from the frequent lectures upon rules which the House re. the administration of them. He did not understand the ceived of late, nor did he see how the gentleman could honorable gentleman to impute any blame to the presi assert that no opportunity was afforded in the House for ding officer of the House, but the grievance of which the discussion of great principles. This was very extra he most complained was, that the discussion of no one ordinary. What had we done here but discuss great important subject was finished, before another was ob. principles? After a session of eight or nine weeks, we truded upon our consideration. This was no new mishad passed three acts, and two of those of a private na-chief. He (Mr. V.) had felt the annoying influence of ture. During the whole time we had been constantly it under former auspices, and very shortly after he beengaged in discussing matters and things in general. came a member of this House. T'wo years ago he unTwo or three general resolutions, admitting of a wide dertook to make a speech upon an important subject, range of discussion, were pending now, and upon them and proceeded with his argument for about half an hour; two or three unfinished speeches were lying over. Day when he gave way to a motion to adjourn. Next mornafter day gentlemen were waiting to obtain the floor ing be resumed his seat, with notes in band, to continue for the purpose of concluding these speeches; a blaze his argument, and, much to his annoyance, the subject of light, pouring from this hall, illumined the whole was not again announced from the Chair till after the ex

country; and if the session, as was predicted, lasted till piration of some weeks! And most of the gentlemen · July, there would be scarcely a single constitutional here would bear witness to the agony wbich resulted

question wbich was ever agitated in this country, that from being laden for whole weeks with a half-delivered the readers of debates would not be fully enlightened speech. His past experience, therefore, enabled bim • upon. If the rules were wrong, let us (said he) change to bear witness that the confusion in which the business

them. But, as long as they were in existence, tbey of the House was involved, by means of our rules, was ought to be observed. According to these rules, the not unprecedented, and therefore it was not a fit subject bill ought to be referred to the Committee on the Judi- of rebuke to the majority of this House. He did not ciary.

know that the honorable gentleman intended to rebuke Mr. VANDERPOEL said that he had heard no good the majority, but be at least took good care to remind reason for a reference of this bill to a select committee. them very often of the evils of their rules. The honorable member from Massachusetts (Mr. AD The honorable gentleman from Tennessee seemed to AMS] had observed that this was a bill to change the con think that it was vitally important to the people that stitution, and iberefore he would vote to refer it to a se this and other subjects of importance, to which he had lect committee. Another honorable gentleman [Mr. | adverted, should be bere discussed. He (Mr. V.) had BELL] bad observed that it was a very important bill; it not, for some time past, so far as the enlightening of the was one in which the people took great interest, and people was concerned, been in the habit of attaching therefore it ought to go to a select committee, that al quite as much importance to speeches made here, and report might be speedily made, and gentlemen might in the other end of the Capitol, as was ascribed to them have an opportunity of discussing this subject. Mr. V. | by many other gentlemen. He did not believe that this said he hardly thought that the gentleman from Tennes was the fountain-the source of all light for the people. see would hazard the assertion made by the gentleman | No; he believed that the people of this country had wise

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

dom enough to understand their political rights and in-san or political subject? We had passed through a terests, and independence enough to assert and vindi- great revolution, indeed, if the friends of this adminiscate them; and if gentlemen here would more frequent-tration had become champions of executive power and ly yield to, or profit by, the lessons which the people patronage. Times had changed, and men had changed taught them, they would be more apt to perpetuate the with them. The importance of the subject was not the confidence, and subserve the interest, of the people. only reason which he had urged in favor of the refer. But, if gentlemen wanted to make speeches to enlightence of the bill to a select committee. On parliaen the people, they could as well perform that duty mentary principles, a committee ought to be allowed after the report of a standing committee as after the re for the bill which was composed of members favorable port of a select committee. They might make their to its object, but, according to the parliamentary law of two hours' speech, print it in the Globe or “Sun," and the Congress of the United States, the lamb is always thus illuminate the benighted people. The argument committed to the wolf. His object in desiring a select of the honorable gentleman [Mr. BELL) in favor of a se- committee was to bring the subject before a committee lect committee, because of the facility that might be af- which would direct its attention exclusively to the subforded to make speeches, was as unsound as the argu-ject, and make an early report upon it. That was the ment that it ought to be referred to a select committee only way in which the subject could be brought before on account of its importance.

the House for discussion. He did not know that even a Mr. BELL said that it was because speeches of this minority of the committee appointed would be in favor nature were not thought calculated, by the gentleman of the bill, and present a report of their views on the and his friends, to enlighten the people, that he com- subject. He believed that the best mode of enlightenplained of the operation of the rules, which restricted ing the people on public topics was by discussion bere-the discussions to such subjects as those who control the by open, free, manly, discussion on this floor. When business of the House thought proper for discussion. A gentlemen meet here face to face in debate, error will member could not present his views on this subject | be exposed, and fallacy detected. It was far preferable without being called to order, and arrested in his re- to the light wbich issues from editorial columns of a marks by a majority of the House. All discussions party press, which presents only one side of a question. were shut out unless they were approved by a majority Here both sides are heard. He should continue bis lecof the House, and such as were calculated to enlighten tures on the rules of this House, but always in a spirit the people upon one side of the question only. Peti- of courtesy to the House, and, in defiance of the taunts tions, for the last three mornings, had cut off one of of gentlemen, should point out the practical purposes those resolutions upon which the gentleman said we which they were made to serve. Sir, free discussion could have the opportunity of general discussion. This exists no longer on this floor. How happened it that was the result of a new construction of the rules of the the Senate bad become the popular branch of the NaHouse. The gentleman from Ohio, he said, was hardly tional Legislature? It was because every Senator had candid in saying that an opportunity was afforded for an opportunity to speak on any great subject which he discussion by these resolutions. The gentleman had might choose to introduce in that body. He should certainly the sagacity to perceive that his friends had continue, from day to day, to complain of the rules of burned their fingers when they agreed to consider the this House, and of the operation given to them, so long resolution of the gentleman from Massachusetts, [Mr. as they tended to defeat the object and end of the popADAMS.! Instead of affording an opportunity for the ular branch of the National Legislature. He regarded discussion of that resolution, great pains had been taken the subject of executive patronage a great one, and one by the gentleman's friends to cut it off. When the which ought to be fully and freely discussed in this gentleman from Virginia (Mr. MASON] brought forward House, and his object was to bring it before the House his resolution to bind the House to the consideration of in such a shape that it could be discussed untrammelled the appropriation bills from the precise hour of one by rules. He did not know that he approved of this bill o'clock each day, he saw plainly that it was intended to as it stood; he had no party feeling in regard to it; but seal the lips of all those who wished to take part in the he invoked discussion upon the subject as one of the discussion of that subject. The abolition resolutions | greatest importance to the welfare of this country, had slept so lone that ihose who took most interest in Mr. MANN explained that he had made the motion to them had forgotten them. The same was the case with refer the bill to the Committee on the Judiciary, because the resolution on the Military Academy. He was sorry he believed that to be the proper course, and he saw no to allude to any political interests in this House, but he reason to deviate from that course, unless there was must remark that neither of these resolutions appeared some great principle that could be brought to bear to be favorite subjects with the majority of the House. against the propriety of doing so. He agreed that the The gentleman could not be sincere in saying that an | subject was one of the highest importance, and one tbat opportunity was afforded by these resolutions to enlight required the most deliberate examination. But it was en the people by discussions on general subjects. The not a new proposition, for it was as early as the first gentleman intimates (said Mr. B.) that I want an oppor. Congress. Mr. M. had heard no reason why the usual tunity to make a party report. That gentleman has course should be departed from. The gentleman from known me, as a member of this House, for some time,

of this House for some time. | Tennessee had manifested å very commendable zeal in and he never knew an instance in which I acted as a regard to the business of the House, and told them that partisan on this floor. I defy him to point to a single times had changed, strangely changed. Mr. M. would act of mine which can justify the imputation.

ask, was it not rather a change of the gentleman than a (Mr. Hamer explained. The gentleman having al- change of the times? With regard to the complaints luded to majorities and minorities, he had only intended made about the rules of the House, he could not perceive to indicate a mode in which the minority could present its application to the present question of referring this their views.]

bill to a standing committee. Mr. M. had, as the prin Mr. Bell was obliged to the gentleman, he said, for cipal organ of the committee of the House on the subbis explanation, but it appeared strange to him that it ject of the rules, made a report thereon, and h was taken for granted that no speech could be made posed to call it up; but he had as yet been unab here but with immediate relation to the prospects of so. If he waited till it became the regular d e men for office. Was it supposed, in 1826, that ihe sub. | feared the report would not be considered a g e ¡ect of Government patronage was exclusively a parti-present session; and, for the purpose of endea l ing

ad pro

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

discharge his duty, he would ask the House to take it up to take it up in the House. The House will not take it every day, from that day benceforward, until a decided up till it is ready; and there are other matters of greater manifestation of the House rejected his motion. Mr. M. importance before the House than whether John Doe or complained of the disingenuous imputation cast upon the Richard Roe shall hold office in the country. majority by the gentleman from Tennessee, of wishing Mr. PHILLIPS acquiesced in much that had been to evade the question.

said by the honorable gentleman from Pennsylvania, Mr. BELL remarked that principles never changed, [Mr. SUTHERLAND,) and, if he was persuaded that the though men did. Principles were of all times, and no subject was a proper one for judicial counsel, would conchange of circumstances altered them. If those who sup cur with him in its reference. But this bill contemplated ported the principles of 1826 now opposed them, it was a great variety of officers. Suppose the bill related to a proof that men had changed. When he should have officers of the customs alone, would it not be referred to an opportunity to enter upon the discussion of this sub. the Committee on Commerce! But, as the bill was geneject, he would endeavor to show who had changed. | ral in its character, embracing all the officers of the Gov.

Mr. MANN replied that it was true that principles did ernment, there was no particular propriety in referring not change, but men changed their principles.

it to any standing committee. If it was a question of Mr. MERCER inquired in what length of time the which lawyers only could judge, then it would be Committee on the Judiciary would probably be able to proper to refer it to the Judiciary Committee; but as it report on the subject, if the bill should be committed to was a bill relating to all officers, it became a case which them.

required a select committee. It ought to be an able Mr. THOMAS felt great difficulty, he said, in saying committee, having the advantage of the best talent in the whether the bill ought to be referred to the Committee House. If it be a practical question, give it the bene. on the Judiciary or not. In reply to the gentleman's fit of a practical man; and so far as it may be a legal question, he would remark that the Committee on the

ark that the Committee on the question, let it have the advantage of legal acquirement, Judiciary was closely engaged upon several very labori. He was not satisfied that it was a party question, and he ous subjects—he Ohio and Michigan boundary question; I expected to see parties divided upon it. He himself acthe judicial circuit court system of the southwestern | knowledged no party obligations on the question. States, and other bills. He supposed, however, that the Mr. HAMER did not wish to prevent the gentleman House would not be able to take up the subject of this from Tennessee from discussing any question, and hoped bill for at least ninety days, and by that time, or before, his course had not been such as to prevent him or any he presumed that the committee would be prepared to other gentleman from discussing the question. He make their report. Speaking for himself, he had very would ask if it was kind in him to talk of majorities little ambition to take charge of the subject.

and minorities, and executive patronage, and, when Mr. INGERSOLL made some remarks on the consti other gentlemen make similar remarks, to complain of tution of the Committee on the Judiciary, with a view to

on the Judiciary, with a view to it? If gentlemen would complain that they were not al. show that the bill in question did not come within the lowed to speak, had they a right to complain if they scope of their duties.

were replied to? It was not to be supposed by the gen. Mr. SUTHERLAND contended that, inasmuch as the tleman, or by him, that the House had no political feel. bill involved legal and constitutional questions, the Judi ing. if he suspected that the majority were guided by ciary was the committee to which it ought to be re- partisan principles, was it not natural that those of the ferred. He referred to the rule relative to the refer- majority should suspect the minority of the same! It ence of subjects to committees. There would, he said, all amounts to a declaration by each that he is following always be differences of opinion, as long as we were al out the measures which he supposes to be the best for nation, and it was proper that it should be so. What the country. He was against referring this bill to & was the advantage proposed to be gained by referring select committee. He apprehended that the gentleman the subject to a select committee? Why, that a select from Tennessee was mistaken in supposing that it was committee would sooner be able to make a report. And the custom of the British Parliament to refer all propofrom whom were the select committee to be chosen? | sitions to committees which are in favor of them. The The first would be the gentleman himself, and he was rule might be on their books, but it was not put in practhe chairman of a standing committee. The chairman tice. of the Judiciary Committee would be the next, for this Mr. McKIM moved the previous question, and the large subject required all the legal intellect of the coun tellers were engaged in ascertaining whether there was try; then it would be requisite to take all the legal light a second; when that the House could afford, and the making of this com The CHAIR informed the House that the main quesmittee would be the breaking up of several of the other tion would be on the third reading of the bill, and not committees. He was against it. The Judiciary Commit-on the motion to commit to the Committee on the Jutee would make its report; tbe subject would be dis diciary. cussed in the House and through the newspapers; the Mr. McKIM then withdrew the motion for the precountry would have the whole of it before them. But vious question. if it were referred to a select committee, part of this After some remarks from Messrs. MERCER and committee must necessarily be selected from each side, THOMAS, and the result would be two reports. He was in favor 1 Mr. BELL declared that he was not instigated by any of discussing it in the House, to see if it were in the party views, and that it was of importance that mempower of the House to alter the constitution, if such al bers should not broach the subject of executive patronteration were wanted. If it was a great constitutional age as a party question. The interest of the country question, to whom should it be sent? To a select com required that the House should consider the subject, mittee? No; let it be sent to the Judiciary Committee, uninfluenced by party feelings. The gentleman from who had been selected on account of their legal know). Ohio denied that it was the practice of the British edge, and let them examine whether it infringes upon Parliament to refer subjects to committees which the constitution. When it came back, let the result be were willing to report. He said that the rule appeared laid fairly before the people, and let them decide. If on their books, but was not adopted in practice. Well, (said Mr. s.) we cannot sustain it by reason, we ought then, (said Mr. B.,) still they go before us, for they &c. not to attempt to carry it by power. Nothing can be knowledge the right. gained by a select committee, unless it could compel us'. Mr. ROBERTSON had risen, he said, solely for the

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

purpose to state a fact which would induce him to vote gentleman from Maryland had said that the committee against the reference of the bill to the Judiciary Com could make a report in ninety days, he should have said mittee. It had already been stated that several impor that he had not taken time enough, even if the committant subjects were now before that committee, including | tee was unencumbered with other business. the Ohio and Michigan controversy, and the southwest Mr. PEYTON, of Tennessee, expressed the hope that ern circuit bill. The chairman would also bear him out the bill would not be referred to the Committee on the in stating that, after a discussion before the committee, Judiciary. That committee, (said Mr. P.,) to which he the meeting was adjourned for one week, and they had the honor to belong, is at this time burdened with would then meet for the purpose of acting on a large more important business than any other committee, per. mass of unfinished business, which had accumulated upon haps, of this House--more than it can dispose of in any them during the session. Under these circumstances, reasonable time. We have the important and exciting he felt justified in saying that the committee could not question of the Ohio and Michigan boundaryma question give early attention to the subject. As a member of which has been argued before us at great length, and that committee, he had no desire to shrink from the with distinguished ability, by the gentlemen representing performance of any duty, but the committee had already those who feel so deep and lively an interest in the quesas much business as they could attend to for some time tion. Sir, up to our last meeting, we had not even beto come.

gan to form an opinion upon this solitary question, beMr. PEARCE, of Rhode Island, said that, from the cause we had not fully heard the argument. There are title of the bill, he could not tell what the Senate had other subjects of perhaps equal importance before that in view; but it was a bill which had passed in that committee, untouched, unacted upon-the constitution branch of the Legislature last year, and bad failed in of Michigan, and the bill to revise the Judiciary. The this. The bill (said Mr. P.) required us to retrace our whole time of the committee has been consumed on the steps, and alter rules which were coeval with the form- first of these important subjects, to the exclusion of ation of the constitution. It interfered with the rights all other matters. Business of a less important character of the Executive, and altered the form of the Govern- has been accumulating upon the table of that committee. ment.

At our last meeting a large distribution of such cases was [The SPEAKER said that it was not in order to discuss made. Sir, I have not the most distant hope, if the bill the merits of the bill on a question as to its reference. 1 be referred to that committee-potwithstanding the in

Mr. P. said it was his object to show that he considdustry, talents, and information, which I know my colered it to be a bill wbich involved constitutional ques. leagues to possess, and have devoted, and will continue tions. As he understood the rules, if there was one to devote, to all business intrusted to them-that a report committee more proper than another to which to refer can be expected during this session of Congress. It will the consideration of the present subject, it was the be impossible. If the House wishes action upon this imCommittee on the Judiciary, whose province it was to portant bill, then let it not be referred to that committee. consider and to report on propositions of this nature. But if the object of gentlemen be to give it a quietus, The President of the United States was required to and send it to sleep-if not so long as Rip Van Winkle execute the laws of the United States. He could not do slept, yet for a time, for a purpose, during this session it in person, but must do it by and with the assistance of Congress--they cannot do better than send it to the of others; and when he sends a notice of an appoint Judiciary Committee. ment to the Senate, this bill required him to say why he With regard to the principles of this bill, sir, I would selected A, B, or C.

remark, that they were once popular with the party to [The SPEAKER reminded the gentleman that he was which I belong, if that party has yet an existence! It is going into the main question.]

| fast merging into the party! The gentleman from MagMr. P. continued his remarks in favor of the refer.sachusetts (Mr. J. Q. ADAMS] doubtless well recollects ence of the bill to the Committee on the Judiciary. what were these principles in 1826, and wbat were the

Mr. J.Q. ADAMS said that, as the yeas and nays had feelings of our party at that day. He, sir, is consistent, been called, and he should vote against referring the perfectly consistent. He was then, as now, opposed to subject to the Committee on the Judiciary, he wished the principles of this bill. But the gentleman from to assign his reason for so doing. It was not from any Massachusetts has given his friends I mean, sir, his new want of confidence in that committee, but because he friends, for that gentleman is now decidedly the leader was of opinion that the subject matter of the bill ought of the party in this House-he has given his new friends to be referred to a select committee. This proposition, a dreadful thrust. He has told them that this bill prounder the form of a bill, was, in fact, a proposition for poses an amendment, no, not an amendment, but an alaltering the constitution, as it was first formed, in what teration of the constitution of the United States-a curhe considered one of its most vital parts. The constitu. tailing the Executive of his constitutional and necessary tion placed the executive power in the President of the powers. Yes, sir, and they submit in silence, are dumb United States-

under the rebuke. Whose measure is this? Who is the [The SPEAKER called Mr. A. to order. He was dis father of this bill? A distinguished Senator from Mis. cussing the merits of the bill, which was not the subject souri (Mr. BENTON) reported it. Another distinguished before the House.]

Senator from Tennessee (Judge WHITE) was on the comMr. ADAMS continued. One ground on which he ob. mittee, and concurred with him. But there was another disjected to referring this bill to the Committee on the Ju. tinguished Senator at that time, now one amongst, though diciary, and preferred a select committee, was, that the not one of the Senators, but fills a still higher station, and bill involved a question relative to the constitution; and is aiming at one still a little bigher, [Mr. Van Buren.] questions of this nature were subjects for a special com- This gentleman was on the committee, and sanctioned mittee, and not for a standing committee. On that ground and sustained this very bill in 1826. This was the pophe sbould vote for its reference to a select committee. ular measure of the party in 1826, ushered to the world The subject required profound knowledge, not only of under such auspices. I call upon gentlemen, if they the constitution of the United States, but also of the his. have principle, and go for principle, to show it; I call tory of the country, and of the practice since the consti- upon them, if they have any pride of consistency, to say tution was formed; and a report ought to be made to the nothing about principle, to come forward and meet the House, exhibiting all these particulars. Such a report gentleman, (Mr. ADAMS,) although he is the her could not be made out in sixty or ninety days; and if the leader of the party in this House. Your pride you

Sad and

« AnteriorContinuar »