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June, 1789.)
Tonnage Bill.

[H. OF R. This able man, after considerably improving the

SATURDAY, June 27. national revenue, was displaced; but such was The engrossed bill for establishing the Departthe importance of the officer, that he has been ment of War was read the third time, passed, and restored again.

sent to the Senate for its concurrence. The honorable gentleman, said he, from South Carolina, (Mr. Tucker,) has asked why we did

REVENUE BILL. not make a similar provision in the case of the Mr. Boudinot, from the managers on the part Departments of Foreign Affairs, and of War, to of this House in the conference with the Senate, assist the President. If he had consulted the Con- on the subject of the amendments to the Impost stitution, he would have found it unnecessary, bill, reported that the conference had agreed to because it is there made the duty of the heads of department to answer the inquiries of the Presi- pass the bill as amended by the Senate, with

some additional amendments, viz: the duty on dent in writing. It is the proper business of this distilled spirits of Jamaica proof, to be reduced House to originate revenue laws; but as we from fifteen cents to ten cents per gallon. The want information to act upon, we must procure duty on all other spirits to be reduced from twelve it where it is to be had, consequently we must to eight cents per gallon. The duty on beer, ale, get it out of this officer, and the best way of porter, or cider, imported in casks, from eight to doing so, must be by making it his duty to bring five cents per gallon. The duty on beer imported it forward.

in bottles, from twenty-five to twenty cents per I do not contend for a word; if the spirit of the gallon. The duty on coal from three to two cents clause is retained, I am satisfied.


bushel. Mr. Baldwin.-I do not see what we are guarding against by striking out the words, unless

TONNAGE BILL. gentlemen mean to go so far as to introduce a Mr. Boudinot reported further with respect to prohibitory clause, and declare that the Secretary the Tonnage bill, and the House agreed to the of the Treasury shall be restrained from digest- Senate's amendment in the third section, whereing or preparing plans for the improvement of the by foreign vessels are allowed to carry goods

If there is any evil in having him coastwise, upon paying fifty cents per ton at each attend to this branch of the business, I cannot see entry. how to avoid it. Suppose the officer is a bad man, And in the first section, whereby all ships built and there are others like him in this House, (for within the United States, and afterwards sold to this must be what the gentlemen are afraid of;) and foreigners, pay twenty cents per ton at each entry suppose he has prepared a scheme for peculation, less than if such vessel had been built in a foreign which he hopes to get adopted by making dupes country. of the honest part; how are you to hinder it from The House then took up the amendment probeing brought forward? Cannot his friends intro- posing to strike out the clause discriminating beduce it as their own, by making and seconding a iween the tonnage of vessels belonging to nations motion for that purpose? Will you restrain him in treaty, and those not in treaty. from having access to the members out of doors ?

On this clause it was observed by Mr. MadiAnd cannot he infuse his dangerous and specious son, that nothing had been urged at the conferarguments and information into them as well in ence, by the managers on the part of the Senate, the closet as by a public and official communica- in favor of this amendment, but what had been tion? But, Mr. Chairman, can this House, or if repeated over and over again, by the opponents to it can, will it, prevent any of their constituents the clause in its original form, in this House. But from bringing hefore them plans for the relief of it was not contended by the Senate, that the pringrievances or oppressions ? Every individual of ciple was improper; so far from it, they thought the community can bring business before us by some measure of a similar tendency to be necespetition, memorial, or remonstrance, provided it sary, and were inclined to take the subject up, be done in a decent manner. How then do you but on a different scale, and to extend it further propose to restrain the Secretary of the Treasury ? than the House had hitherto contemplated. He

I think the clause is very well as it stands, and had, however, some doubts whether it would not shall therefore be against the amendment.

be more prudent to adopt the moderate style of Mr. Page's motion for striking out the clause the bill, than apply to rasher expedients; if the being put and negatived,

end could be attained, without departing from the The question on Mr. Fitzsimons's motion to principles of moderation, it would redound to the amend the bill, by striking out the word “report,” honor of the Government; but, at all events, it and inserting prepare, was taken and carried by a

was prudent to begin with measures of this temgreat majority.

per; if they were found ineffectual, it might then After which the House adjourned.

be time enough to attempt more coercive regula

tions. For these reasons he was in favor of the FRIDAY, June 26.

bill as it stood, without the Senate's amendment.

There was another circumstance that had conA number of members attending the interest- siderable weight on his mind; it was universally ing conference which to-day took place with the admitted, thai something ought to be done this Senate on the impost and tonnage bills, no busi- session, both for the dignity of the United States, Dess was done in this House.

and to answer the high expectation of the people;

H. OF R.]

Tonnage Bill.

[JUNE, 1789.

but if the proposed discrimination be relinquished, America should meet commercial restrictions there is little probability of any other plan being with commercial restrictions; but there might be adopted, inasmuch as the time of both Houses will some disagreement about the best way to effect be fully occupied in organizing the Government, this point. He did not think it the voice of the and cannot, without some inconvenience, be people that Congress should lay the commerce of diverted to any other object. Yet, if it should so a nation under disadvantages, merely because we happen, that the plan proposed by the Senate can had no treaty with them. It could not appear a be gone through, the law may contain a clause solid reason in the minds of gentlemen, if they for repealing this part of the Tonnage bill, and no considered the subject carefully; therefore it was inconvenience will arise.

not the proper principle for the Government to Mr. LAWRENCE presumed, is the question was act upon. He would mention one that appeared not carried for striking out the discriminating to him more equitable, namely, lay a heavy duty clause, the bill would be lost; and as it was å upon all goods coming from any port or territory matter of great consequence in the scale of reve- to which the vessels of the United States are denue, he wished to show the part he took, and nied access; this would strike directly at objects would call for the yeas and nays, if he was sup- which the honorable gentleman had in view, withported.

out glancing upon other ports to which we are Mr. Vining declared, with much decision, that allowed access. he would rather the bill should be lost than passed Mr. LIVERMORE approved the bill as it went up without a discriminating clause. He had listened originally; but since there was great danger of to the arguments used at the conference yester-losing it by persisting in the discrimination, he day with the greatest attention, and a mind open would accede to the Senate's amendment, hoping to conviction, and had discovered that the good that something more effectual might be fallen of the country required the absolute adoption of upon; in the mean time he consoled himself with the principle. He was by no means actuated by the advantage the amendment procured to the resentment to Britain for her former usage; she revenue, for it was intended by the House to had pursued what she took to be her interest; and charge our allies but thirty cents per ton, whereas we, as an independent nation, have a right to do the Senate have set them all equal at fifty cents the same.

He hoped a majority of this House per ton. would join with the voice of their constituents, Mr. Moore favored the principle of discriminaand contend for discrimination to the last. tion, but feared if it were laid on tonnage it would

Mr. Jackson had also attended the conference, operate unequally, those States paying most who and with a disposition similar to that declared by employed the greatest quantity of foreign shipthe honorable gentleman from Delaware, (Mr. ping. VINING,) but his convictions were directly the re- Mr. Goodhue proposed to let the tonnage bill

The proposed discrimination would irri- lie on the table, in order to give the Senate an tate the nation against whom it is aimed, without opportunity of originating a bill on the subject of being of any service to us. He thought the idea discrimination, which the Committee of Confera mistaken one, though several States had adopted ence had informed them was in contemplation. it. The State he represented, among the rest, If the House consented to this, they might have pursued this plan of increasing the shipping; but their choice of the two schemes, and prefer the he was bold to say that not a single French vessel most eligible. had been induced to come to Georgia, in conse- Mr. Madison agreed to this expedient, though quence of the favor shown them by the discrimi- he doubted if any thing better could be procured. nation; but the planter had paid the additional He should regret the loss of the bill, but he would impost on all the British shipping they employed. be extremely sorry to give up the point. The He apprehended the same consequences would House had shown a spirit of accommodation by result from this clause, and therefore joined with giving up the discrimination in the impost bill on the Senate in striking it out.

brandy and spirits; and he believed it was on the Mr. Fitzsimons did not mean to go into any principle of adhering more firmly to it in the bill argument on this subject, but he thought it neces- now before them; he hoped, therefore, if the quessary for the United States to meet the regulations tion was taken, that they would decide the point of Britain with other regulations; for that reason as they had hitherto done. he wished the bill to pass as it went from the The question was put, by consent, on Mr. GoodHouse; but if the Senate, or any other member Hue's proposition for letting the bill lie on the of this House, thought proper to come forward table; which being rejected with a more effectual plan, he would give it his The motion for agreeing with the Senate being support, and then repeal this part of the present about to be taken, Mr. LAWRENCE withdrew his bill. Yet he should be extremely sorry to lose call for the yeas and nays; whereupon it was de the bill, as it was essential to the mercantile in- cided in the usual manner; and there were twenterest in the United States; for without the bill ty-five in favor of the motion, and twenty-six English ships would pay no more duty than against it. So the question was lost.

Adjourned. Mr. SHERMAN was well convinced there was a large and decided majority in both Houses, and

Monday, June 29. that it was the universal voice of the Union that A petition from William Finnie, deputy quar


our own.

JUNE, 1789.)

Treasury Department.

[H. of R.

post bill.

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termaster general in the Southern Department the claims and accounts subsisting between the during the late war, was read, praying a reim- United States and particular citizens: this parbursement of moneys expended by him in the takes strongly of the judicial character, and there public service.-Ordered to lie on the table. may be strong reasons why an officer of this kind

Mr. Goodhue, from the committee to whom should not hold his office at the pleasure of the the collection bill was committed, reported, that Executive branch of the Government. I am inthe committee had prepared an entire new bill as clined to think that we ought to consider him an amendment and substitute to the former one, something in the light of an arbitrator between which was read, and ordered to be committed to the public and individuals, and that he ought to a Committee of the Whole.

hold his office by such a tenure as will make him A message from the Senate informed the House responsible to the public generally; then again it that they agree to the amendments proposed by may be thought, on the other side, that some the House to the Senate's amendments to the Im- persons ought to be authorized on behalf of the

individual, with the usual liberty of referring to a Mr. Scort moved to take up the report of the third person, in case of disagreement, which may committee appointed to consider and report the throw some embarrassment in the way of the first state of the unappropriated lands in the Western idea. Territory, observing to the House that the Trea- Whatever, Mr. Chairman, may be my opinion sury bill embraced this matter, and he wished with respect to the tenure by which an Executive them to have the whole subject fairly before officer may hold his office according to the meanthem, so as to connect it in a satisfactory manner. ing of the Constitution, I am very well satisfied,

Mr. Benson wished the business of the West- that a modification by the Legislature may take ern Territory to lie over till the Treasury bill was place in such as partake of the judicial qualities, gone through.

and that the legislative power is sufficient to esMr. Sedgwick reminded gentlemen, that their tablish this office on such a footing as to answer attention had been called to the Treasury business the purposes for which it is prescribed. last, and it would be best to finish it before they With this view he would move a proposition, went upon fresh matter.

to be inserted in the bill; it was that the Comp

troller should hold his office during TREASURY DEPARTMENT.

years, unless sooner removed by the President: Mr. Scott's motion being negatived, the House lature, by reason of the power of impeachment ;

Mr. Scott's motion being negatived, the House he will always be dependent upon the Legiswent into a Committee of the Whole, Mr. Trum- but he might be made still more so, when the BULL in the Chair, on the Treasury bill. On motion of Mr. Vining, the following words the person re-appointable at the expiration of the

House took up the Salary bill. He would have were struck out, being part of the powers assigned to the Secretary of the Treasury, " to conduct the term, unless he was disqualified by a conviction

on an impeachment before the Senate; by this sale of the lands belonging to the United States, in such a manner as he shall be by law directed;" the President, because he can be removed by him;

means the Comptroller would be dependent upon and afterwards these were inserted,“ to execute he will be dependent upon the Senate, because such services respecting the sale of the lands of the they must consent to his election for every term United States, as may by law be required of of years; and he will be dependent upon this him." Mr. Burke gave notice that he meant to bring the power we shall reserve over his salary;

House, through the means of impeachment, and in a clause to be added to the bill to prevent any by which means we shall effectually secure the of the persons appointed to execute the offices dependence of this officer upon the Government. created by this bill from being directly or indi. But making him thus thoroughly dependent, rectly concerned in commerce, or in speculating would make it necessary to secure his imparin the public funds, under a high penalty, and tiality, with respect to the individual. This might being deemed guilty of a high crime or misde- be effected by giving any person, who conceived meanor.

himself aggrieved, a right to petition the Supreme Mr. Madison observed, that the committee had Court for redress, and they should be empowgone through the bill without making any provi- ered to do right therein ; this will enable the insion respecting the tenure by which the Comp-dividual to carry his claim before an independent troller is to hold his office. He thought it was a tribunal. point worthy of consideration, and would, there- A provision of this kind exists in two of the fore, submit a few observations upon it.

United States at this time, and is found to answer It will be necessary, said he, to consider the na

a very good purpose. He mentioned this, that ture of this office, to enable us to come to a right gentlemen might not think it altogether novel. decision on the subject; in analyzing its pro- The committee, he hoped, would take a little time perties, we shall easily discover they are not to examine the idea. purely of an Executive nature. It seems to me Mr. Stone thought it necessary to have time that they partake of a Judiciary quality as well as allowed the committee for considering the propo, Executive; perhaps the latter obtains in the sition ; it was perfectly novel to him, and he dared greatest degree. The principal duty seems to

say the same of many other members; but, at be deciding upon the lawfulness and justice of the first view, he thought he saw several objec


H. of R.]
Treasury Department.

[JUNE, 1789 tions to it. As the Comptroller was an inferior eration some doubts which had arisen in his mind officer, his appointment might be vested in the since the subject was introduced. President by the Legislature; but, according to Mr. Benson did not like the object of the the determination which had already taken place, motion, because it was, in some measure, setting it did not necessarily follow that he should afloat the question which had already been carried have the power of dismissal; and before it was He wished there might be some certainty in given, its propriety ought to be apparent. He did knowing what was the tenure of offices; be not know whether the office should be held during thought they were well fixed now, if nothing good behaviour, as the gentleman proposed; for more was done with the question. The judges if it was intended to be held during a term of hold theirs during good behaviour, as established years, and then the officer to be reappointed, if by the Constitution; all others, during pleasure. he had not been convicted on impeachment, it He was afraid that the present motion would lead would be tantamount to holding it during all the to a different construction from the one lately time he behaved well. But he thought all officers, adopted; by devices of this kind, he apprehended except the judges, should hold their offices during the Legislature might overthrow the Executive pleasure. He also thought it unnecessary to con- power; he would therefore vote against it, if it ! sider the Comptroller as a judge, and give, by an were not withdrawn. express clause in the bill, a right to the complain- Mr. Madison did not wish a decision on the ant to appeal from his decision. He considered subject, further than gentlemen were prepared. this as the right of every man, upon the princi- When I was up before, said he, I endeavored ples of common law, therefore securing it by the to show that the nature of this office differed from statute would be a work of supererogation. the others upon which the House had decided;

Mr. Smith, of South Carolina, approved the and, consequently, that a modification might take idea of having the Comptroller appointed for a place, without interfering with the former distinclimited time, but thought during that time he tion; so that it cannot be said we depart from the ought to be independent of the Executive, in order spirit of the Constitution. that he might not be influenced by that branch of Several arguments were adduced to show the the Govornment in his decisions.

Executive Magistrate had Constitutionally a Mr. Sedgwick did not rise to oppose the mea- right to remove subordinate officers at pleasure

. sure, but to suggest some doubts of its effects. The Among others it was urged, with some force, first was, as mentioned by the gentleman from that these officers were merely to assist him in Maryland, (Mr. Stone,) that the officer would the performance of duties, which, from the nature hold his office by the firm tenure of good beha- of man, he could not execute without them, viour, inasmuch as he was to be reappointed at although he had an unquestionable right to do them the expiration of the first term, and so on.

if he were able; but I question very much wheMr. Madison begged the gentlemen would ex

ther he can or ought to have any interference in cuse him for this interruption, but he suspected he the settling and adjusting the legal claims of indiwas misapprehended; he said the officer should be examination and decision in such cases partake

viduals against the United States. The necessary reappointable at the expiration of the term-not too much of the Judicial capacity to be blended reappointed.

with the Executive. I do not say the office is Mr. SEDGWICK acknowledged he had misunder- either Executive or Judicial; I think it rather dis. stood the gentleman; but, as he had now explain-tinct from both, though it partakes of each, and ed himself, he did not see that the proposition therefore some modification, accommodated to came up to the intention he had expressed: so far those circumstances, ought to take place. I would, from making him independent, as a judge ought therefore, make the officer responsible to every part to be, it subjected him to more subordination than of the Government. any other officer.

Surely the Legislature have the right to limit He also conceived that a majority of the House the salary of any officer; if they have this, and had decided that all officers concerned in Execu- the power of establishing offices at discretion, it tive business should depend upon the will of the can never be said that, by limiting the tenure of President for their continuance in office; and with an office, we devise schemes for the overthrow of good reason, for they were the eyes and arms of the Executive department. the principal Magistrate, the instruments of exe- If gentlemen will consult the true spirit and cution. Now the office of Comptroller seemed to scope of the Constitution, they will perhaps find bear a strong affinity to this branch of the Govern- my propositions not so obnoxious as some seem ment. He is to provide for the regular and punc- to think. I did not bring it forward for immeditual payment of all moneys which may be col- ate decision ; I am very willing to let it lie over lected, and to direct prosecutions for delinquen- for further consideration. cies; he is to preserve the public accounts, to

The committee rose and reported progress, after countersign warrants, and to report to the Secre- which the House adjourned. tary. These are important Executive duties, and the man who has to perform them ought, he

TUESDAY, June 30. thought, to be dependent upon the President. He did not mean, by what he said, to give a

TREASURY DEPARTMENT. decided opinion, but merely to suggest for consid- The House again went into a Committee of the

JULY, 1789.]

Tonnage Bill.

(H. OF R.

Whole on the bill establishing the Treasury De- not the subject be taken up in another, or might partment, Mr. TRUMBULL in the Chair.

not the bill lie over for two or three weeks, in Mr. Madison withdrew the proposition which order to compare it with the discrimination inhe yesterday laid upon the table ; and Mr. Burke tended by the Senate? But if the decision now introduced his additional clause, which, after took place, he hoped it would be as heretofore, some alteration and addition proposed by Mr. Otherwise it might be considered that the House Fitzsimons and others, was made part of the bill. was under the government of the Senate, and

The committee then rose, and reported the bill, adopted their opinions without arguments being with the proposed amendments, which were or- offered to convince their judgments. He would dered to lie on the table.

not add a syllable on the propriety of the measure, because it was well understood.

Mr. Spdgwick said, he was informed there WEDNESDAY, July 1.

was a very considerable majority in the Senate TREASURY DEPARTMENT.

in favor of the amendment, and reminded the The House took up the report of the Commit- House there was but a majority of one on this tee of the Whole on the bill establishing the foor when the bill was last before them. If, said Treasury Department; when the several proposed he, we set out with a determination that a bill amendments were agreed to, and the bill was shall be lost, unless the whole body of the Senate ordered to be engrossed for a third reading.

will submit to a majority of one in this House,

the whole Legislative business must cease; beTONNAGE BILL.

cause it is hardly possible that an independent A message was received from the Senate, in- body will submit in this manner. forming the House that they had concurred with The point in dispute is not, as has been intimathe House in an amendment, (by which the ted, the most important in the bill, which contains wording of the bill was somewhat altered,) but a discrimination in favor of our own navigation that they adhered to their amendment for striking against all foreigners whomsoever; the other obout the discrimination in favor of the shipping of ject is, a discrimination between foreign nations. our allies, and against others.

In the first and primary object, the Senate agree The House proceeded to the consideration of with the House: in the second, they only differ the said message.

in the mode. If we would defend ourselves, Mr. Sherman observed, that the House had the and be really independent of foreign nations, we ultimatum of the Senate; therefore all that re- ought to make the first species of discrimination; mained was for the House to decide.

but it does not follow that we ought to sacrifice Mr. Page owned this to be a necessary bill, but this advantage because we cannot attain the necessary as it was, he would sooner lose it than other. Nor can acting on the principles of conrenounce the doctrine contained in the contested ciliation be beneath the dignity of this House. clause.

There is a particular virtue in moderation ; it Mr. Fitzsimons saw, if the House persisted often gains where it seems to lose. We may any further, that the bill would be lost from a relinquish the discrimination in this bill

, and knowledge of this fact, he was induced to adopt bring forward another, in which we can contend the Senate's amendment; but he left them to for it without prejudice to any other concern. answer for the consequences to their constituents The question was now reduced to this: whether and to the world. If gentlemen would take a we should prefer a small advantage to a great retrospective view, they would see that the House one? Whether the whole revenue arising from had done all that was incumbent upon them to the foreign navigation should be given up for the carry a measure through, which they conceived sake of exercising a fanciful predilection and preto be essential to the national interest; they had ference for one foreign nation over another? insisted upon their determination; they had ad- Mr. STONE.—The Constitution supposes that hered to their opinion; and now they were re- the two branches of the Legislature may disaduced to the alternative of losing the bill, or gree, because it gives both Houses the power of foregoing their sentiments. In this dilemma, he proposing or concurring with amendments. If thought it best to accede to the proposition of the they have not this power, whenever the two Senate, because the provision which this bill con- Houses disagree, the business would be at an end. tained was all that the mercantile interest got for the same consequence would result from the the sacrifices they had made in the Impost bill. doctrine advanced by the honorable gentleman They certainly expected some advantages from from Delaware, (Mr. Vining.) If it was honoranother part of the system, when they assented to able to adhere, neither House ought to retract its pay all the duties in advance by way of impost. opinion ; but while the gentleman made this an

Mr. Vining hoped, as the gentlemen had stood argument in favor of our determination, what is firm in three trials upon this point against the to become of the honor and dignity of the Senate? Senate, they would persevere to the end. He Certainly he intends to compel them to make a said it would be committing the digoity of the sacrifice of it to what he thinks the public good. House to recede from an opinion they had so often If this opinion is well founded, it must happen in solemnly declared, without any new argument every case of disappointment, where a law is being offered against them. But was it true that passed by an accommodation, that one or both nothing could be done if the bill was lost ? Could I branches are dishonored.

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