« AnteriorContinuar »
to provide plate and furniture, yet hesitate with Ordered, That a committee be appointed to respect to the clerks and secretary, Were not the prepare and bring in a bill or bills to provide latter as necessary as the former? If so, they ought for the Government of the Western Territory. to be equally provided for.
And a committee was appointed, consisting of The question on Mr. LAWRENCE's motion was Mr. FitZSIMONS, Mr. Sedgwick, and Mr. BROWN. now taken, and decided in the affirmative.
Ordered, That a committee be appointed to Mr. Page now moved to strike out twenty thou- prepare and bring in a bill or bills to provide for sand dollars, and insert thirty thousand.
the settlement of accounts between the United Mr. Smith inquired whether it was the inten- States and individual States, agreeably to the ordition of the House to saddle the President with nance of the late Congress. the expense incurred, in consequence of their reso- And a committee was appointed of Mr. Baldlution of the 15th April. He understood that win, Mr. Sturgis, and Mr. Smith, (of South near ten thousand dollars had been laid out in pur- | Carolina.) chasing furniture, and putting the house in order An engrossed bill to regulate the collection of for his reception; it might be disagreeable to the duties imposed on goods, wares, and merchandises President to take it. Perhaps he would be a con- imported into the United States, was read the siderable loser by such a bargain, and many of third time, and the blanks therein filled up. the things might be of a nature he disliked. He Resolved, That the said bill do pass, and that thought the House had been inconsistent with the title be“ An act to regulate the collection of itself in ordering these things for the President, the duties imposed by law on the tonnage of ships and then refusing to let them be applied to his use. or vessels, and on goods, wares, and merchandises
Mr. Sherman thought the House need not be imported into the United States." embarrassed on this point. The expense is to be Ordered, That the Clerk of this House do carry paid by the United States, and the furniture will the said bill to the Senate, and desire their conbe their property, to do what they please with. currence. Neither did he think the House inconsistent, be- And then the House. adjourned. cause it was the object of the Legislature, by their former vote, to provide only for the temporary accommodation of the President.
WEDNESDAY, July 15. Mr. Benson said, the business had been properly conducted. It was not in contemplation to
NEW JERSEY ELECTIONS. throw the furniture or any other expense upon The House proceeded to consider the report the President. He presumed the property be made yesterday by the Committee of Elections longed to the United States, but they would sell on the petition of a number of the citizens of to the President such part as he chose to pur- New Jersey, complaining of the illegality of the chase. As to the House, the President was not election of the members holding seats in this confined to it; he might give it up when he House, as elected within that State. pleased, and take another if he thought proper. This report stated that certain allegations in
The question on striking out twenty thousand the petition required the testimony of some witand inserting thirty thousand was divided, and nesses, which the committee did not think themthe first part was agreed to, but the latter rejected. selves authorized to collect: they, therefore, re
It was now moved to strike out the words quested the direction of the House in the manner secretary and clerks.
of proceeding with respect to such testimony; Mr. Madison thought the Executive Magistrate also with respect to the request of the petitioners ought not to have the power of creating officers; in favor of the sitting members, that they might yet if he appointed his secretary and clerks, and be heard by counsel. ihey were recognised, either with respect to Mr. Boudinot observed, that he could answer salary or official acts, they became officers of the for himself, and he believed for the other Jersey Government.
members, that the suffrages of their constituents Mr. Benson did not think it necessary to recog- had not been solicited by them, nor had they been nise any such officers; they were to be esteemed anywise concerned in any of the transactions at the mere instruments of the President, and not as the election complained of. In consequence of sharing in the Administration.
the commissions received from the Governor and The motion was put, and carried in the affirma- Council of New Jersey, who had declared the tive, and then the House adjourned.
election legal, he and his colleagues appeared in
the House; the Governor's conduct had been cenTUESDAY, July 14.
sured on the occasion; however, their proceed
ings have been published and laid before the NEW JERSEY ELECTIONS.
House, and the petitioners have agreed that they Mr. Ames, from the Commitiee of Elections, shall be admitted as evidence in this case. He to whom was referred the petition of a number thought it unnecessary that the petitioners in favor of the citizens of New Jersey, complaining of the of the election should be heard by counsel. He ineligibility of the election of the members hold- said the sentiments of the other sitting members ing seats in this House, as elected within that coincided with his. They gave up every advanState, made a report, which was read, and ordered tage that might arise from this, rather than occato lie on the table.
sion the great delay that must attend it.
New Jersey Election.
[H. OF R.
The committee, said he, have applied to the this nature. He thought the House had better House for a power to send a commission into consider whether the facts alluded to by the comNew Jersey, to take testimony, in contradiction of mittee were material or not; if they were not mawhat has been certified by the Executive Magis- terial, the House would not adopt the resolutions trate; now I submit to the House, whether this proposed by Mr. Ames ; but if they were, then certificate, admitted to be true on all hands, is not those resolutions will come properly before them. the best evidence the nature of this case requires, Mr. Vining opposed Mr. Ames's proposition and whether it will be necessary to send through for empowering the judges of New Jersey to take that State a commission to examine every person, this evidence. He was in favor of receiving this who chooses to offer evidence on the subject. i testimony viva voce before the House; the vicinithink such a measure will produce great evils, as ty of that State would render this mode not ina precedent, and many others in its operation ; in convenient; and if it should be found necessary the first place, such evidence will be taken ex to form commissions for this purpose in distant parte, because it will be next to impossible for the States, provision might be made accordingly. opposite party to attend, in order to cross-examine Mr. LAWRENCE remarked, that it had been questhe witnesses. It will put the petitioners to great tioned how far the House had a right to interfere expense and inconvenience, and, after all, the un- in the election of particular States, but that Concertainty will be as great as it is at this moment. gress has received a discretionary power from the
But the precedent, I conceive, will be extreme- Constitution to regulate the time, manner, and ly dangerous. If a contested election should take place, of holding elections; and it is stated in anoplace in New Hampshire or Georgia, we shall be ther clause, that the election and qualification of obliged to send a commission into those States, its own members shall be judged by the House; for the purpose of obtaining testimony, which, af- by this means, all transactions relative to such ter all, can never be so satisfactory as viva voce elections are included; consequently they may evidence; and more time may be spent in execu- determine in what manner the investigation of ting this commission, where the judges have to such a subject shall be prosecuted. If any doubts travel from district to district, through a State of arise on that point, the sense of the House must 5 or 600 hundred miles extent, and examine every be taken thereon. judge, inspector, and elector, than the represen- Mr. Benson proposed a day to be assigned on tation is chosen to sit.
which the parties should have a hearing before We thought it proper to lay these reasons be- the House on the question, either by themselves fore the House, and there leave the matter to their or by counsel, whether, by the Constitution, an decision, to which we shall submit with all cheer- inquiry can take place before the House relative fulness. We came here with an ardent desire to to the facts alleged. carry the Constitution into effect: actuated by Mr. White objected to counsel being introthis motive, we mention to the House the great duced in the present instance; he judged the attention which ought to be paid to secure the House as competent to decide this business as they freedom of election, upon which alone the whole had already been to determine many other Confabric depends. It is not that we dread the fullest stitutional questions. investigation, that we submit these sentiments; Mr. Jackson was of opinion, that no such quesit is our anxiety to have the question of our elec- tion could be admitted with propriety: One tion speedily determined, and not delayed by what election has been determined without the aid of we conceive a useless measure.
counsel or ex parte evidence, and he saw no reaThe question before the House appears to be, son in the present case why a different mode whether it is necessary to obtain a few additional should be substituted. The authority of this witnesses, at great uncertainty and expense; or House is not to be called in question by an indiwhether ihe evidence already before them, and vidual; there cannot be a doubt of its jurisdiction what may further be advanced by the petitioners, in the case. One gentleman has been tried by the viva voce, is not sufficient to decide upon. House upon the evidence that was brought before
Mr. Ames brought forward several resolutions, us: it will not be pretended that the delicacy and which he thought would bring the question al- feelings of that gentleman could be less than those luded to by the honorable gentlemen from Jersey of the gentlemen concerned in the present ques(Mr. BoudinoT) fairly before them; the first tion; it would be inconsistent and unjust to subprescribed the mode of iaking depositions by com-ject one member to a particular mode of trial, mission.
and then deliberate whether that same modeshall This being read, together with the papers con- be adopted with respect to another. taining the charges, &c. and the certificate of the Mr. SENEY said, he did not doubt the jurisdicGovernor;
tion of the House, but as some objections had Mr. Benson observed that the House had re- been made by the petitioners, and they had prayferred this business to the Committee of Elec-ed to have the point settled, he thought they tions, to report facts arising from the proofs; that ought to be indulged; that every citizen had a it appeared to the committee, that certain facts right to be heard in his own defence, where he respecting the manner in which the election was considered his right concerned. conducted, might be material, but the testimony It was then moved that the report of the comcould not be procured by them, without the aid of mittee should lie on the table, in order to take up the House; they had therefore made a report of the proposition of Mr. Benson.
H. of R.]
Mr. Ames objected to this proposition, as the House was called in question, it would be proper greatest inconveniences might arise from it; it to hear counsel on that point, because it must be would discourage a number of people from ap- indelicate to determine a question respecting their plying for justice, especially those who lived re- own jurisdiction, without hearing what could be mote from the seat of Government, provided they advanced against it. were obliged to attend in person, and give their Mr. Page was in favor of recommitting the testimony. The eligibility of taking depositions report, and letting the committee proceed upon in many instances, particularly the present, in the duty to which they were originally appointed. preference to the delays, uncertainty, and enorm- He said, if the jurisdiction of the House was ous expenses that would inevitably attend the mode questioned, the parties had an indubitable right proposed by the motion, was clear to his mind. to be heard by counsel, and he hoped no gentle
After some desultory conversation, Mr. Benson man would refuse the people of the United withdrew his proposition.
States a privilege of this important nature, which Mr. LEE proposed, that the report should be re- had been always enjoyed by the subjects of Great committed, and the committee authorized to send Britain. for evidence, papers, and records, and report a Mr. Stone thought the authority of the House special state of facts. He said that it was the to determine any question respecting the election custom of the British House of Commons, upon of any of its members, was so clearly expressed similar occasions, to leave the whole business to a and understood, from the fifth section of the committee; and observed, that the example of so first article of the Constitution, that no doubt old and so experienced a Legislative body could could be entertained by the petitioners, or any be followed with safety and propriety.
one else; consequently, it would be a waste of This motion was withdrawn, after some desul- time to spend any hearing of counsel on that tory conversation had taken place upon it. point. He had no objection to admitting a limit.
The question on the report of the committee ed number on the merits of the main question, if then recurred, on the question whether the judges required. of the Supreme Court in New Jersey should be Mr. BOUDINOT informed the House that the authorized to take depositions on the subject of petitioners meant to withdraw their request to be facts alleged by the parties; when
heard by counsel. Mr. Seney moved that Wednesday next be as- Whereupon Mr. SENEY withdrew his motion signed for the parties to appear and be heard for making it the order of the day. by their counsel before the House, of which The question again recurred' for inserting a notice should be given; and that the committee commission to go into Jersey to take evidence; be discharged.
but, it growing late, the House adjourned. Mr. LIVERMORE observed, that the House was much embarrassed; but, sir, I saw it from the first appointment of the committee. I object to
THURSDAY, July 16. counsel being introduced into this House to dis
A petition of John Christopher Stoebel, of the cuss a previous question. This House is the city of Philadelphia, was presented to the House judge of its own elections. We have appointed and read, praying that an exclusive privilege may à committee to examine, but have not vested them be granted him for a term of years, to construct with power to determine. They have not so and navigate boats with wheels, upon the prinmuch as a power to hear. If we have pursued a ciples of a model which he has invented, to faciliwrong step, why should we proceed any further ? tate the passage of boats up and down streams Let the committee be discharged, and a day ap- and rapids, without the use of oars. pointed to hear the parties. It is my determina
Ordered, That the said petition do lie on the tion to hear, before I judge. The committee table. should be discharged, if they cannot proceed fur- Mr. Baldwin, from the committee appointed, ther without our aid. The subject now before presented, according to order, a bill for settling the House is material, and of the greatest impor- the accounts between the United States and inditance; and although we have been heretofore vidual States; which was received and read the wrong, we may now set ourselves right.
first time. I have no objection that counsel should be heard upon the merits of the principal question.ed, presented, according to order, a bill to provide
Mr. Fitzsimons, from the committee appointThough after an investigation of facts, we have for the government of the Territory northwest of determined in one instance, and why we cannot the river Ohio; which was received and read the do the same now I cannot conceive.
first time. Each House is to judge of the elections, returns, and qualifications of its own members.
LIGHT HOUSES, &c. What means the word judge? Why it corres- The House, according to the order of the day, ponds with the ancient maxim, to hear and deter- resolved itself into a Committee of the whole mine. Now how can the House determine with- House, on the bill for the establishment and out hearing? If the House is to judge, we must support of light-houses, beacons, and buoys, and bring all the evidence before us, although the for authorizing the several States to provide and committee may have heard it twenty times over. regulate pilots.
Mr. Madison thought, if the jurisdiction of the Mr. Boudinot took the chair of the committee,
Compensation to the President, &c.
[H. of R.
and after some time spent therein, the committee agreed to, the expense of the Executive would be rose and reported progress.
less to the people than that of any Government
in the world. If it is considered that the unavoidCOMPENSATION OF THE PRESIDENT, &c. able expense will be great, and that the assistance
The House resumed the consideration of the of two or more secretaries will be necessary for report of the committee on the compensation to the President to discharge his high and important the President, Vice President, and members of trust, and that it cannot be expected that persons Congress.
in such a station should be in straitened or depenThe blank occasioned by striking out on Mon- dent circumstances, this sum will not be found to day last, was now proposed to be filled.
exceed the absolute expense, with a moderate Mr. LIVERMORE moved to fill it with 18,000 compensation for the services of the President. dollars.
It is also a maxim of sound policy, that Executive Mr. Burke said there were some members of officers should be independent. the committee in favor of 15,000 dollars; others, Mr. White.—Sir, I do not say that 25,000 indeed, were.for a much larger sum-he believed dollars will or will not be sufficient; but in order they went so far as 70,000 dollars; that 20,000 to determine the necessary sum, I should wish to dollars was an accommodation, and as such he know the style in which the President is expected had agreed to it; but he was of opinion that to live. If a style of magnificence and splendor 15,000 dollars was sufficient; that 20,000 had is to be adopted, this sum is too small; and if been once agreed to, but the expenses were added economy is pursued, it may be too much. Until at a subsequent meeting of the committee; now, this is known, it will be extremely difficult to as the House had concurred in striking out 20,000 decide upon a proper sum; and when I give my dollars, and a proposition had come forward more vote, I wish to do it on such information as will correspondent to his judgment, he should give it satisfy my mind with respect to its propriety, and support.
show my constituents the reasonableness of the Mr. Fitzsimons presumed it was not a question measure. Will he live in a more expensive style ? before the House what the report of the commit- than the former Presidents of Congress, or will he
tee had been, nor were the sentiments any gentle- live nearly in the same? If so, what was that man had there delivered to operate against the expense, or what will be the probable increase? sense expressed by the committee in their report; How was that money applied, and what will if any thing done in committee was to influence now be necessary? if these questions can be the decision of the House, it must be the report, answered, gentlemen may decide with more prewhich spoke the sense of the majority. He fur- cision than they can while the subject is left ther presumed, that when the 20,000 dollars were afloat. struck out, after all the expense had been erased, Mr. Baldwin said it was impossible to get the it was in the contemplation of the honorable information the gentleman required; the commitmover to increase the sum so as •to include both tee had made all the examination in their power articles. It was with this view he voted in favor with respect to the actual expense of supporting of striking out the 20,000 dollars.
the office. They found former Presidents of ConMr. Tucker said it might happen, that the gress, whose office, by the by, was less important, expenses a President would incur at the first and whose assistants were less numerous, exentering on the office would be so great as to pended 7,000. 8,000, and so on to 13,000 dollars injure his private fortune, and distress his family. annually. From this, some gentlemen were led
A quarter's salary might be insufficient to defray to believe 17,000 dollars might be sufficient in this the expense; yet if the President continued but instance. But we were, said he, left without any three months in office, this sum would be all he thing satisfactory on this subject; and when the was entitled to. He thought it just and requisite question was pressed on the committee, they to provide against accidents of this kind, if it varied from 15,000 to 25,000 dollars; we were could be done consistently with the Constitution. therefore obliged to average the sum. With this object in view, he would propose that We were satisfied that it must be left to experithe President's compensation should be 25,000 ment to determine what the allowance ought to dollars for the first year, and 16,000 dollars for be; and we were certain that the gentleman who every other year; that 10,000 dollars should be had to make the first experiment would do it in paid him in advance, on his coming to the chair, such a manner as to give satisfaction to every and the remainder in quarterly payments. Its body. He knows the way to blend dignity and amount, he said, would be nearly what was pro- economy; and I would rather, on this account, posed by the gentleman from New Hampshire
, make the allowance too much than too little. Í (Mr. LIVERMORE;) and if the House was disposed would, therefore, prefer making the experiment to fix on that sum as a proper compensation, they at 25,000 dollars; a sum that, in the President's might, without any material change, admit his hands, will give umbrage to no one. proposition; but if they meant to grant either a Mr. Boudinot made some further observations greater or less sum, he hoped they would accommo- respecting the examination made by the comdate it to his principle.
mittee, from which it appeared that the expenses Mr. STONE said that a sum of 25,000 dollars of the President of the United States would exwould be as small a sum as would answer the ceed the expenses of the late President of Conpurpose; and provided that amount should be gress in a variety of cases. Two secretaries
H. OF R.]
(July, 1789. would be wanting; they must be men of abilities for this reason, he moved to fill the blank with that and information ; but the committee conceived sum. extra provision would be made for them by the The question on 30,000 dollars was put, and reHouse. If the whole was to be comprehended injected. one grant to the President, he would rather in- Mr. Page then moved 25,000 dollars, which was crease the sum reported by the committee, than carried ; affirmative 30, negative 17. diminish it. Originally he was in favor of allow- The House then proceeded to the second part ing 16,000; but then he thought the expense of of the report, viz: “That there be paid in like secretaries, carriages, furniture, &c. was to be an quarterly payments to the Vice President of the additional allowance. Since the House had de- United States, 5,000 dollars per annum." termined otherwise, he favored an addition to the Mr. Waité.—I do not like the principle on 20,000 dollars.
which this provision is made for the Vice PresiMr. Jackson was disposed to move 30,000 dol- dent; there is nothing, I believe, in the Constitulars; but he was willing to accommodate, and tion which gives him a right to an annual sum; agree to 25,000 dollars.
it fixes no duty upon him as Vice President, reMr. Vining observed, that the committee had quiring a constant attendance. He may be called no documents whereby they could form a judg- upon to act as President, and then I would give ment; they had no light to guide them. They him the salary of the President; at other times, could not foresee what ambassadors and foreign he is to preside as President of the Senate, then I ministers might be sent to this country, nor the would pay him for his services in that character. expenses the President must necessarily incur on this principle, I shall move to strike out the upon that account, to support the honor and dig- clause; if that is agreed to, I propose to offer one, nity of the United States. He further remarked, allowing him the pay of President, when he acts that there are cases in which generosity is the as President; and a daily pay during the time he best economy, and no loss is ever sustained by a acts as President of the Senate. decent support of the Magistrate. A certain ap- Mr. Page would second the motion for striking pearance of parade and external dignity is neces- out five thousand dollars, but with a different sary to be supported. Did I, said he, represent a view from what had been intended by his worthy larger State, I would speak with more confidence colleague. He wished it struck out, in order to on the subject. We are haunted by the ghost of introduce a larger suin. His idea was, that a propoverty; we are stunned with the clamor of com- per proportion was not observed between the salaplaint throughout the States. But under the ry of the First and Second Magistrates. As to auspices of an energetic Government, our funds the utility of the office, he had nothing to say, will be established and augmented, and, I make no He had no hand in forming the Constitution; if doubt, will be found sufficient to answer all the he had, perhaps he should never have thought of purposes of the Union. But our calculations such an officer; but as we have got him, we must ought not to be confined to the present moment maintain him; and those gentlemen who talk alone. If it should be contended by any gentle- of respectability being attached to high offices, man, that we have it not in our power to support must admit, in a comparative view, that he is not the Government in a proper style, then there is an supported with dignity, provided a situation de end of the business. We should remember that rives its dignity from the money given him by the present time is the season for organizing the way of salary ; for his part, he thought money, Government. A patient and mature deliberation abstractedly considered, could not bestow dignity. is requisite to investigate it, and by that means Real dignity of character proceeds from a much the amount of the civil list will be increased; in nobler source; but he apprehended the people of future the sessions will be short, and the load of the United States, whose representative the Vice expense greatly diminished. He was opposed to President was, would be displeased to see so great any reduction of the sum, as he had always a distinction made between the President and thought it too small, and would rather propose to him. fill the blank with 30,000 dollars.
Mr. SEDGWICK said, the arguments of the honMr. Page mentioned that 30,000 dollars had orable gentleman from Virginia, (Mr. White) been proposed; though he thought the sum ade- did not strike him with any force, nor did he see quate, it was not sufficient to support pomp and the impropriety spoken of. One reason why the parade. Those, he said, were entirely out of the pay of the members of the Senate and House is question. He had made a calculation upon the per diem is, because they contemplate their being probable necessaty expenses, and found, that ex- together but a very inconsiderable part of their clusive of that dignity and pageantry talked of, time; but I suppose, said he, that every gentleman this sum would suffice. If he had contemplated who has considered the subject, has determined in the splendor and pageantry alluded to, he should his own mind that the Vice President ought to renot have thought of 30,000 dollars, nor 40,000 dol- main constantly at the seat of Government; he must lars, for he believed 100,000 dollars insufficient. always be ready to take the reins of Government But if the committee, upon investigation, were when they shall fall out of the hands of the Presiconvinced that 20,000 dollars would be a compen- dent; hence it will be necessary that he should, sation for his services, exclusive of allowance for this cause, if not for any other, preclude himfor his expenses, when the whole was taken to- self from every object of employment, and devote gether, it must at least amount to 30,000 dollars; his whole time to prepare himself for the great