« AnteriorContinuar »
Jax. 18, 1828.] Imprisonment for Debt.—Judicial Process. [SENATE. SENATE.]
He was not about to travel again through the arguments which he formerly urged against this objection. But he would take occasion to remind gentlemen, that the delays of justice between citizen and citizen was a pro the price which we paid for justice. The Sena. ior rom New Hampshire assumes that the framers of the bill took it for granted that judgments were, in every State, alien on the property, real and personal, of the debtor. The assumption was gratuitous. The laws of the States remained unaffected by the provisions of the bill. The gentleman was alarmed by the vast delegation of power to the District Courts—a power to decide between the claims of citizens of the same State to the property assigned by the debtor. But the bill, he averred, give no such power. It provides only for the distribution of the property assigned, after the claims of that property had been adjusted and decided by the proper tibunals. The laws existing provided for this case. If the cause of action came within the laws of the United States, the action would be brought in the United States' Cours; if not, it would be brought in the State Courts. The bill was said to be an insolvent law ; and he had already admitted that, to a certain extent, it was. The Senator from New Hampshire doubted whether it was competent to the United States to enact an insolvent law. The constitutional power, he thought, could not be looted. Judicial power is granted by the Constitution—and is Congress to be restricted in the method of exercising that power, by such scruples He wished the bill might be charged with the faults that really belonged to it, and not with those for which it was in no way responsible. Insolvency, said Mr. B. is a part of bankruptcy, and if we have a right to regulate the greatet subject, we have a right to regulate the less. The Supreme Court had decided that we had this right. Is this bill, concluded Mr. B., which has such large claims on the Government, and from the moral effect of which so much is hoped, to be sacrificed to a doubt, whether we have a power which was never denied to us before ?
Mr. WOODBURY said, he asked the indulgence of the Senate a few minutes in reply to the remarks of his tologue, concerning the operation of this bill upon New Hampshire. He had not heretofore entered into the debate upon its merits, and certainly, at this late stage, *ld not in that way trespass. Was the passage of the bo an unusual or unwarranted stretch of power in the General Government Had New Hampshire, or any other State, a right to complain that the Legislature, for the confederacy, when the Constitution was silent, should prescribe particular forms of process for its own Courts, and alter them as experience and reflection should dictre’ It must be done from necessity. It had been done ** since the organization of the Government; and dur* the last quarter of a century an act of Congress had too, without complant, which allowed private debtors omitted under process from the Courts of the United States, to be discharged from imprisonment after a sur*dor of their property. New Hampshire had not been *Steved by the exercise of this power, though in subonce operating as an insolvent system : because she had **istance, under a form in some respects milder, a simarsystem of insolvency; or, in other words, a similar olem of abolishing imprisonment for debt. Mr. W. said, the believed the present bill would prostrate the rights *trench deeply on the accustomed privileges of her ople, he would oppose its passage as cheerfully as he * supported it. But, in truth, the great principle of bill is now the great principle in the system of his *State. The difference existed mainly in details : *hough he disliked some of the details of the present **te, that great principle was too laudable and hu** a one to be sacrificed for form. It was a principle **ccordance with the spirit of the age and the genial
influence of Christianity. What is the difference In New Hampshire no debtor can be imprisoned, either on mesne or final process, unless the demand exceed $13.33. That goes still further than the present bill to abolish im. prisonment for debt. In all cases over that sum, debtors can be held to bail on mesne process. So they may by this bill. The only difference is, that an oath and other formalities are required here, and not there. But there, in practice, not one debtor in five hundred is committed to prison on mesne process. How stands the difference on final process In New Hampshire, every debtor can be discharged from prison in fifteen days, on a full and fair surrender of his property. By this bill he can be discharged on such a surrender and notice before final process issues. But there in practice the surrender is usual. ly made before the capias is served ; and then the debtor is not committed ; but whenever he is in fact committed, the detention continues only fifteen days, and has not, for many years, exceeded thirty days, unless the debtor wants further time to adjust his concerns previous to his disclosure. The principle, then, both there and here, is, that the debtor shall not be imprisoned after an honest surrender of his estate ; while there, as well as here, if the disclosure be proved dishonest and fraudulent, the debtor must remain in prison. In both cases, the fair and upright debtor is not to be treated as a felon, while the deceiver and knave are to be kept confined till they disgorge their ill-gotten gains. In this last provision, the present bill is an improvement on our system, as the con. finement is restricted, as it should be, in cases of fraud, to the prison walls, instead of the limits of the jail yard. The other slight differences between the two systems, relate entirely to detail. It is not pretended, by mycol. league or any body else, that either of then is, in form or substance, a bankrupt system. But the system of New Hampshire is, in essence, an insolvent system, as much as this bill; and this is no more unconstitutional in regard to debtors committed under process from the United States' Courts, than that is as to debtors committed under State process. Both Governments have an undoubted right to regulate their own process, and that is the only power exereised by the present bill. The lien of the creditor does not, it is true, exist there as to either personal or real estate, till a seizure or levy; but the operation of this bill neither injures nor benefits the people of New Hampshire in that particular—they are left as before. Indeed, the whole operation of the bill there, if it differ. ed materially from the principle of her present system, would be very limited, as it affects only process from the United States’ Courts, and those are so few, that not five persons in a year, in the whole State, would probably avail themselves of its provisions. The Yeas and Nays being called for by Mr. VAN BU. REN, on the passage of the bill, it passed by the follow. ing vote : YEAS–Messrs. Benton, Berrien, Bouligny, Branch, Chambers, Eaton, Foot, Harrison, Hendricks, Johnson, of Ky. Johnson of Lou. Kane, King, McKinley, McLane, Macon, Marks, Parris, Ridgely, Sanford, Silsbee, Smith of Md. Van Buren, Williams, Woodbury–C5. NAYS–Messrs. Barton, Bateman, Bell, chandler, Chase, Cobb, Dickerson, Ellis, Knight, Noble, Robbins, Ruggles, Seymour, Smith of S. C. White, Willey—16. So the bill passed.
The bill to regulate process in the States admitted into the Union since the year 1789, was read a second time.
Mr. WHTE said, he thought the bill susceptible of im. provement. I move you, sir, (said he) that it be amended by striking out the word “now,” in the ninth line, and inserting in its place, the words “ or may be.” Hy this alteration the Federal process, in each of the States ad
[JAN. 18, 1828.
mitted into the Union since September, 1789, will, as to ever this change is effecting by State legislature, for the
its kind, the matter upon which it is to operate, and the manner of its execution, conform to the process used in the courts of these States respectively, not at the time of the passage of this bill, alone, but in future. As the bill now stands, we adopt for the Courts of the United States the process of these new States ; and the rule of process thus settled, will remain permanent, notwithstanding any changes which may be made in the process of the State tribunals. The consequence will be, that in a short time, in some, if not in all of these States, we will have one rule for Federal process, and another for State process, in the same State. This, in my judgment, ought not to be. Whatever is a safe and convenient process, to bring a defendant into a State court to answer to a demand set up against him by a citizen of the same State, and what ever process may be used in the State Courts to compel sa. tisfaction of the judgment recovered in such cale, will probably be the most safe and convenient process to be used in the Federal courts sitting in the same State. This was my impression at the commencement of the session, and the arguments used on the bill “to abolish imprisonment for Debt,” and especially the argument of the gentleman from South Carolina, not now in his seat, on the motion made by him to recommit that bill, confirmed this impression. I voted against the passage of that bill, not because I am opposed to abolishing Imprisonment for Debt; but because I then believed this was the bill, by virtue of which that object would be attained, as far as justice to the creditor would authorize. Uniformity in the process to be used in the Federal Courts in the new States, is not intended by the bill, as it now stands. If it passes in its present shape, we will have at once nine different rules, disagreeing each, perhaps, with all the others ; but in each the Federal rule and the State rule will be the same in the same State. This will be,
benefit of suitors in the State courts, suitors in the Fede.
ral court, held in that State, ought to have the ber efit of it.
H.rmony between the Federal and State processes, it appears to me, is essential to the happiness of the people, A citizen of one State has a demand against a citizen of another State, for a sum of money, and sues for it in the Federal court, where he recovers a judgment. This debt. or has a demand against one of his neighbors for the same, or for a larger suin, for which he sues, as he must do, in his State court, and recovers a judgment. Suppose the le. gislature of that State to have abolished imprisonment for debt, some time after the passage of the bill now before yo;1, would it not be thought exceeding hard, that the one might be imprisoned by federal process to enforce pay. ment, while the man thus imprisoned could not use the like process to procure a fund sufficient for his release ? Adopt my amendment, and we will continue the harmony with which we commence without any farther legislation by Congress. Reject it, and in a short time we must legislate again, or discord will be produced, and with it heart-burn. ings and discontent.
A majority of us appear desirous to abolish imprison. ment for debt, so far as safety to creditors will permit. Adopt my amendment, and you will, without farther troll. ble, continue this work of abolition to every extent it ought to be carried. The Legislature of cach State must neces. sarily better know than we can, whetlier the character of the citizens, and the kinds of property they own, are such as will enable them, with justice to ci-editors, to blot from
their legal codes the capias ad satisfaciendum. If they de
ny it in the State Court, it will be denied in the Federal Court likewise, and thus Imprisonment for Debt will be abolished in some States, where it can safely be done. In other States, where from the character of the citizens, and the kinds of property they own, the Legislature believe
in my opinion, as it should be, at the commencement; the ca.sa. cannot be discontinued without doing injustice but as soon as any one of these States by its legislation to creditors, there, as it must be continued as to the State, changes its rule of process, without my amendment, we tribunals, so let it be as to the Federal.
will have two rules essentially different, in the same State: ' I do not see that there is any reasonable ground for:p. the one for the State, and the other for the Federal Courts. prehension upon my plan. It can but rarely happen that This, in my opinion, ought never to be. Therefore I have the Legislature of any State will ever make laws on the proposed the alteration. With t, there will always be subject of process to be used in the State Courts, which harmony between the State and Federal process, in the the Congress would not approve of, as a rule for the pro same State; and whether they agree or not, with the pro cess of the Federal Court in the same State. We have, cess used in any other State, is of no importance whatever. in the first place, the integrity of character of the mem. The Legislatures of the respective States will always be bers of those bodies. In the next place, they cannot more competent to decide what is the most suitable process to be used within their limits, than the Congress of are suitors in their Courts; and we all know that much the the United States. I put it to every gentleman to say, largest proportion of debts sued for, of necessity, under whether a man living in Maine would be as competent to our systems must be sued for in the State tribunals. Again: decide what species of execution ought to be used in Ten- if, at any time, an unconstitutional law should inadver.
nessee or in I.ouisiana, as the same man would be, if he
tantly be passed there is the judiciary to check the mis-
disregard the interest of the creditor or the debtor who .
timed the opinions of gentlemen from all the States in the Union, and there were no two that agreed ; which would serve to show the difficulty, if not impossibility of any such plan. Congress could not pass any such law woot interfering in some way. Therefore, the law wasformed so as to take a middle course. It was impossi. Moto give up all the power of the Federal Courts without involving the country in confusion. That power ought to be limited to the utmost; but it ought to exist. This act, fossed, would enjoin upon the United States to conform to the laws of the States, not only as they were, but as they might prove to be. The object of the law of ’89 wisto preserve the rights of persons coming into courtin for that act went. But it could not be expedient to submit that the laws, which each State might pass from timeto time, should govern the Federal Courts. If Congress gave up the law of the United States to the different States, they ought to know what system they agree to, and not, by doing so, subject the jurisprudence of the country to everlasting change and uncertainty. He would suppose a case. A suit might be pending between an individual and the United States, and during the pendency of the cause the State Legislature might pass an act interising with its decision, and calculated to stop proceedings until the next Session of Congress. Such interferences would overturn the rights of the Federal Courts. He was the last person who would give to the Federal Juëtary fights to which it was not entitled. He was, on the contrary, as much corvinced as any man, that more danger to the powers of the States had been exhibited in the “signs of the times,” during the last six years, than ever before. But he would sustain nothing that would goto overturn the legal and legitimate power of the Govotent, which ought to be guarded and preserved. On motion of Mr. HARRISON, it was ordered that, when the Senate adjourn, it adjourn until Monday.
Mox Day, JANu Any 21, 1828. The unfinished business of yesterday was then taken up, and the bill to regulate process in the States admitted into the Union since the year 1789, being before the Sen*, the question recurred on an amendment offered by M. WHITE, to strike out the word “now,” and insert the words “may be.” Mr. WAN BUREN observed that, on Friday the Senaor from Tennessee [Mr. White] happened to be on the floor, explaining his views on this amendment, when he (Mr. V. B.] entered the Senate—and he supposed, from the tenor of that gentleman's observation, that his amend. ment was, in its scope, co-extensive with the argument on the bill to abolish Imprisonment for Debt, to which he *uded. I was, said Mr. v. B. in errors and the motion of the Senator from Tennessee. I now learn, does not at*ot to take away the supervision of the Supreme Court * * United States but to adopt the laws of the several Solen the Circuit Courts, under the supervision, as formerly, of the Supreme court. The amendment would, Perhaps, secure some provisions in favor of those States *hth they could not otherwise attain ; and he had no in*tion to oppose the bill or the amendment, under their Present aspect. Mr. WHITE said that it was so far from his wish or de| *Stopress his bill upon the Senate, that he should not * urge it if the members had scruples as to its expedi* Though he was anxious for the passage of this bill, * A not wish to urge it against the judginent of any *mber, without giving ample opportunity for investi*ing its merits. He thought this measure of great im. *ance to the New States, whose situation was pecuo, and had been desirous of being clearly understood ** it. . But he was so unfortunate as to have been en*# misapprehended in the few remarks he had made * Friday. If any account was ever given of the few ob
servations with which he thought it his duty to trouble the Senate, he hoped he might be represented fairly, and that they might be given to the public in the same manner as they were given to the Senate. He imputed, in saying this, no blame to any one. But such was the situation of the Reporters, under the present arrangement, that he believed it was not possible for them to comprehend the remarks of the members. He had been made, in a report in a newspaper printed in this city, to offer an amendment to regulate process in the States hereafter to be admitted into the Union. lie might have been misunderstood by others, as he had been by the gentleman from New York, [Mr. VAN BUREN) also. It was hardly necessary for him now to explain that the interpretation was an erroneous one. Mr. BERRIEN remarked, that he hoped no gentleman felt desirous of pressing this bill, as it was highly to be wished that its provisions should be fully examined before it passed. It would be improper and impolitic to decide hastily upon a question of importance equal to that of this measure. Its design seemed to be to draw a broad line of distinction between the States admitted into the Union previous to the year 1789, and those admitted since that period. The result would be, that the new States would have the power to regulate process by Legislation, from time to time, subject to the supervision of the Supreme Court of the United States, while the old States would enjoy no such privilege. Why not, if this is a salutary provision, equalise, in this respect, the condition of the different portions of the country In the old States no right existed to regulate process from time to time, by legislation. At first view, without having given the su'3ject much consideration, it appeared to him an unequal and partial measure. He, therefore, wished an opportu. nity might be had to examine the subject farther than he, as yet, had enjoyed an opportunity to do, And to this end he would move to postpone it to some certain day, or to lay it on the table. Mr. WHITE remarked, as nearly as our Reporter could hear, that he had no objection to the motion made by the gentleman from Georgia, and would accede to his propoSition. Mr. JOHNSON, of Ky. said, that he considered it his duty to oppose the bill, unless it provided to correct the usurpations which had been exercised by Circuit and District Judges in Kentucky—in fixing upon the State, exe. cution laws, under the title of rules of Court. He would vote for the bill, if he understood that it provided to regulate the process of the United States' Courts by the laws of the States. He had thought, that, if Congress had con. fidence in the States, and believed that they could be trusted, the Federal Courts might be guided by the laws of the several States. There never did exist, since the creation of the world, a greater system of usurpation than that which had been practised in Kentucky, by the assumption of Judges, to pass execution laws. [He here alluded to the laws of Draco and Solon ; but our reporter could not catch the manner in which they were introduced.] He cared not whether the laws adopted by the Judges were good or not. That was not the question. Whether good or bad, if forced upon the people in a tyrannical or unconstitutional manner, he should always raise his voice —he was going to say he should raise something else; but he would not—against them, in duty to himself and his constituents. Mr. KANE said, that he should regret the postponement of this bill for a single day, and he hoped the gentleman from Georgia would not press a postponement. It was true, if the amendment of the gentleman from Ten. nessee prevailed, it would establish different regulations in the old and the new States. But this did not present an objection to the bill, of a serious nature ; for, that distinction might easily be removed, by a modification of the motion, so as to make the operation of the principle general throughout the whole Union. He felt disposed to concur in the amendment of the gentleman from Tennessee, and would cheerfully offer a motion to modify it, according to his suggestion. He did not believe that the framers of the law of 1789 had taken up the laws of the different States, then forming the Union, and entered into an examination of them, to aid in framing that act. Such a labor was not to have been expected. Had they examined those laws, and decided that they were all good and proper, they would have decided on the most palpable inconsistencies. Was it not more rational to conclude, that the national Legislature of that day had more confidence in the integrity of the States, than was felt by Congress at the present time And if they did feel that confidence in the States, why should not the laws of the States, so far as it would be expedient, be now adopted 2 The present law, he thought, went far enough : it gave the Circuit Courts power to alter and amend the laws of process, passed by the State Legislatures ; and to the Su:
96 SENATE.] Judicial Process.-Lieutenants in the Navy. JAN. 21, 1828.
preme Court of the United States, power to supervise and
overrule them. It appeared to him sound policy that the Federal Courts, as far as they should agree with their rules, should be governed by the laws of the States. Wherever those laws were in hostility to their rules, it was in the power of the Courts to amend and correct them. If the amendment of the gentleman from Tennessee prevailed, he would engage to introduce an amendment to make the application of the principle general to all the States. It was necessary that, in some shape or other, this bill should pass, more especially for the new States, which were, by the operation of adverse circumstances, deprived altoge. ther of Circuit Courts. Mr. VAN BUREN said, that, if possible, this bill ought now to be decided upon. It was a measure which had long occupied Congress, this being the second or third ses. sion in which it had been discussed. The bill passed the Senate in its present form, two years since. The course now proposed was a middle one, and he saw no objection to it. It did not go the length desired by the gentleman from Kentucky [Mr. Johnson.] It did, certainly, as was stated from the gentleman from Georgia, [Mr. Brn are N,) establish two different rules. This objection, however, would be removed, if an amendment could be introduced to make its operation equal in all the States. As to the State which he in part represented, he thought it would be acceptable, and considered as in no way interfering with the established Judiciary. He hoped that it would now be decided, in order to save time, and to satisfy those who were desirous of the passage of the bill. Mr. JOHNSON, of Kentucky, spoke at some length, expressing a belief that it was never the intention of Congress that a member of a Court should have the power to pass process acts, make execution laws, or change the system of process in any of the States. Mr. BERRIEN said that he had not the slightest objection to the progress of the bill. For himself, however, he desired a fuller inquiry into its merits and bearing. The gentleman from Illinois had certainly proposed an import. ant alteration in the amendment, which he had declared himself ready to offer. But, however simple the question might be, still it was a question, and required the greatest deliberation. If they were to do away the inequality of its operation, and give to the old States the same provisions that were extended to the new, a difficulty remained. The power extended by the bill to the Federal, Courts, was entirely illusory. Laws might be enacted to regulate processes, but they night be altered by the Supreme Court, and no limit was placed to this power of alteration. He thought that, if the system was adopted at all, the Supreme Court ought to be invested with a supervising power, with limitations—in the first place, from altering the march of suits, so as to make their progress more rapidly
than the laws of the States allow ; and, secondly, restricting the Judges of that Court from altering the principle of those laws in relation to final process These objects he had in view in moving to postpone the bill, in order to give time for investigation. He concluded by moving to lay the bill upon the table ; but suspended his motion at the desire of Mr. McKINLEY, who rose merely to make a suggestion. He should be glad to delay the consideration of the bill. In the present form he should object to it, but if investigated further, he might agree to its adoption. His present impression was, that the powers proposed to be granted to the Courts could not be conceded without danger. He coincided in opinion with the gentleman from Kentucky, what the question was not, what were the intentions of the framers of the law of '89, but what were its effects He should vote for a postponement. Mr. WHITE observed, that it was true, as has been said by the gentleman from New York, that the operation of the principle would be unequal ; but as a modification had been mentioned, he would say nothing farther on that head. With deference to the desires of the gentlemen from Georgia and Alabama, he wished that the question to postpone might not be taken until that upon his amendment had been decided upon. It would in no way interfere with any delay that might be thought desirable, or with any other amendment that might subsequently be suggested. He thought the whole subject one of great importance ; but he could not perceive how the general question on the bill could interfere with his amendment. Should it be adopted, he should willingly go the whole, and would vote for a modification by which the provision would be extended to the old States, as they were called. The only reason why the amendment offered by him did not extend over the whole ground, was, that he did not consider himself authorized to make any proposition for altering the condition of those States in which the system of jurisprudence had long been established. For that reason he proposed only to cover the nine States admitted into the Union since '89. These were his motives. If the question was taken, he should not oppose laying it on the table. He wished, however, that the question should be taken first on the amendment; which would not debar the gentleman from Kentucky or Alabama, from subsequently inquiring into the expediency of granting the power of supervision to the Supreme Court. If, however, the gentleman from Georgia persisted in laying the bill upon the table, he would acquiesce. The question being then taken on the motion of Mr. BERRIEN, the bill was ordered to lie on the table.
LIEUTENANTS IN THE NAVY. . The special Orders of the Day then occurring in their order, the bill to increase the pay of the Lieutenants of the Navy, who shall have served ten years, was taken upMr. HARRISON moved the postponenent of the bill (being the next in order) for the gradual reduction of the duty on Imported Salt, on account of the absence of a Senator, who took an interest in the proposed measure ; but, before any question was taken on his motion, he withdrew it, at the request of Mr. MACON, who moved that the Senate now proceed to the consideration of Exccutive business; which was concurred in, and, after remaining in secret session for a short time, The motions of Messrs. SMITH of Maryland, and BERRIEN, being under consideration— Mr. HARRISON said, that the more he reflected on the subject, the more he was convinced of the propriety of the amendment. On investigation, it was found that there were eighty six who would be entitled to the advanced pay, in case the bill passed as it was reported, while there were sixty-four who had served seven years, Jax. 21, 1828.1
and thirty-six who had served five years, and who would be excluded from the benefits of the provision for an equal number of years. The operation of the bill would, therefore, in his opinion, be hard and unequal ; as it would be perceived that there were a number of lieutenants who would not be entitled to the increase, and yet who had served nearly as long as those who would have the benefit of this bill. Many junior officers were employed in the same service, and placed on an equal footing with those who were a few years their seniors; and the result would be, that, when they were in ports together, they would not be equal in respect to pay, and the one would be able to enjoy comforts beyond the reach of the other. This would be peculiarly galling to the younger officers, in cases where they should happen to mess together. All such causes of discontent and complaint ought, if possible, to be avoided ; and he felt asured, if the bill should pass, its partiality, in this respect, would be severely felt. There could not possibly be devised a plan more certain to depress the spirits and wound the pride of a spirited officer, than this. Mr. H. said, he had determincol to vote for the bill as it was reported. But he should, upon further reflection, do it with great reluctance, and only under a conviction that nothing better could be obtained : and he gave his friend from Maine fair warning, that, should the proposition to amend the bill not succeed, so as to include all the lieutenants of the Navy, in the proposal for an increase of Pay, he would not cease to urge it with all his efforts, **ould bring forward a proposition to that effect, until the junior officers should be placed upon the same foot"...as those who had served a longer term of years. Mr. WOODBURY said, that he should not have ex*sed himself further upon this subject, had he not **n misunderstood. It was considered by the commit. o, that, after long services in the Navy, at that time of life when the judgment was matured, and the officer liketo have formed connexions which would increase his “Penses, it was merely equitable that he should receive **teased compensation. in the Army, after having *red for such a space, an officer was entitled to a brevet *nk, by the mere force of time. There was no such ad*ment in the Navy, and this additional compensation ould supply, in a measure, its place. It was said that ** were individuals as meritorious among the junior
*hters as among those who had served longer. This might be, and probably was, often the case. But, in the Army, no such principle as this was acknowledged, as an "ficer there received his brevet rank merely on account
*the length of his services. The principle, on the con*Y, was the same in the Navy as in the Army. A mid
sh phan, for instance, was, after having served for a cer*"umber of years, entitled to a warrant as post midship* This was given him by the force of time alone.
"ould not even be examined until a certain time had
o So, in the English Navy, the surgeons were en
*d to a certain increase of pay after a certain time of *ice, and depending on nothing else. The committee, *ever, did not rely entirely on theory, in relation to "subject. They had received a letter from the se. **) of the Navy upon this topic, in which he recom. *"ded that an increase of pay should be given to lieu*s who should have performed ten years of faithful *"ce. This letter was not communicated to the com. *e until after they had reported this bill, with which **corded exactly, and shewed that the views of the De*"lent corroborated fully those taken by the commit. * Since this bill had been before the Senate, a memo* rom the surgeons of the Navy had been received, *ch was now under the consideration of the committee; * he thought it a distinct subject which ought to be "owed to stand on its own merits.
Mr. HAYNE said that the proposition of his friend from Georgia, to recommit the bill, with the design of providing for the surgeons of the Navy, was, he thought, premature. The whole subject of the medical department of the Navy was now before the Committee on Naval Affairs. It was very desirable that measures should be taken to induce men of talents and high character for science to go to sea in that department. The subject of compensation, it was true, would be a matter of grave consideration ; but that did not embrace all the objects which the committee, in forming their plan on this subject, had in view. They had, therefore, reserved that subject to be provided for by a separate bill. As to the present bill, he wished it to pass for the benefit, and in consideration of the merits, of the lieutenants alone. And, while he was up, he would say a few words in relation to it. I agree, said Mr. H. with my friend from Ohio, that the present pay of this valuable class of officers is inadequate to their comforts or their services ; and I do not agree with my friend from Maryland, in the motion which he has made. To the bill as it was reported, I will allow I had some objections. But I think that the increased compen. sation should not extend to all. To the elder officers it was due, in order that they might have the means of liv. ing according to their rank. The committee were of this opinion, sustained by that of the Department. So far he disagreed from his friend from Maryland, that he would not accept that gentleman's proposition, unless he should be convinced that the bill, as reported, could not be obtained. He thought, with the gentleman from New Hampshire, that, throughout the Navy, the pay ought to be arranged according to the time of service. His own opinion was, that the pay ought to be progressive so much after five years' service ; an increase after ten ; and so on. He should be in favor of giving an increase of pay which would always induce the officers to perform their duty with zeal and fidelity. This would be done most effectually by fixing an advance of pay at a certain period, to be the reward of faithful services. He did not doubt that all performed their duties now ; but he would ask, whether it could be supposed that an officer who had served twenty years had no more claim to gratitude and reward from his country, than one who had served only five years It was not doubted that time and service would have ripened their talents. Time also generally changed their condition. Becoming older men, they naturally formed connexions, and probably had wives and families to support. It is true that, for a young officer, the pay is sufficient. I say, therefore, said Mr. H. that a necessity does not exist to increase the pay of all the lieutenants in the service. But, if it is allowed that the present pay is sufficient for the younger grades, I contend that it ought to be increased as a longer term of service fixes their character and increases their usefulness. In the Army, if length of service did not entitle the officer to an increase of pay, it gave him an advanced rank ; and he believed, that, from the increased expense to which they were exposed at home and abroad, the older officers were entitled to further pay. But, if he could not get that, he was willing to take up with the proposition of the gentleman from Maryland.
Mr. CHANDLER did not need the warning voice of the gentleman from Ohio to convince him that the measure would be persevered in. Mr. C. had expressed his belief before, and he now repeated it, that this was only one step towards a general system of high pay. No doubt it would be followed up tintil every officer in the Navy would share in the increase. The brevetted officers of the Army had been referred to. But he believed it would be found that they had no increase of pay in consequence of their brevets, unless they were given a separate command. If it were necessary that the pay of some of the