Imagens das páginas

MARCH 3, 1829.)

Panama Documents.


tion on a subject highly important, and involving much to the object sought to attained by the publication of detail. Having an acknowledged right to information on these documents. The question naturally presents itself, that occasion, I asked it from the honorable Senator, but why should the President send such a message at this did not receive it. Another member of the committee time? Why has the Panama mission been dug up from rose to give it; but, on the motion of the Senator from the grave in which it has quietly reposed for two years Maryland, the reading of the papers was dispensed with. past, and be now thrown into this House, to disturb our I did not admire that course then, and I shall not imitate deliberations, by reviving feelings and recollections which it now. Mr. B. said, he should vote in favor of taking have passed away? Why revive a subject which has been up the motion, and should then oppose it on the grounds he forgotten by the people, and in relation to which nothing had before mentioned.

new remains to be done, either by the Executive or the The motion to print was then taken up by the following Legislature? The Congress of Panama, though sought vote :

for with all due diligence by the minister of the Executive, YEAS-Messrs. Barton, Berrien, Bouligny, Burnet, was never found. The return of non est inventus has Chambers, Chandler, Chase, Dickerson, Eaton, Foot, been endorsed upon the records of the country. The exHayne, Hendricks, Holmes, Iredell, Johnson, of Ken- penses have been all paid, the accounts closed, and the tucky, Kane, King, Knight, McKinley, Marks, Noble, whole affair consigned to “the tomb of the Capulets." Ridgely, Robbins, Rowan, Ruggles, Sanford, Seymour, Under these circumstances, no gentleman will deny that Smith, of Maryland, Smith, of S. C., Tazewell, Tyler, we are at least entitled to know why it is, that the subject White, Willey, Williams, Woodbury--35.

has now been brought before us? This is a question to NAYS—Messrs. Barnard, Benton, Branch, Dudley which we have a right to a direct and explicit answer. Prince-5.

The Senator from Maine (Mr. HOLMES) has attempted to Mr. HAYNE rose in reply to Mr. CHAMBERS and Mr. give us that answer ; and what is it? Why, that the HOLMES, and said that, if the President desired to give to President, in sending us this message, is fulfilling a high the world his instructions to the ministers to the Congress constitutional obligation, which he is not at liberty to disof Panama, on his own responsibility, he, as a member of regard. The honorable gentleman tells us that the third the Senate, could have no objection to his doing so, be section of the second article of the constitution expressly the President influenced by what motives he may. But, declares that the President “ shall," (not may) “from time when the attempt was made to convert this House into to time give to Congress information of the state of the the mere instrument for the accomplishment of such a Union, and recommend to their consideration such meapurpose, he felt disposed to pause and inquire into the ob sures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” Here, ject intended to be accomplished by the proceeding. 'If exclaims the gentleman triumphantly, the President is comthe President desired to shift the responsibility of laying manded to give us this information-he has no discretion before the world documents which, by the practice of all whatever ; and the true object of the message is merely to governments, are usuaily locked up in the archives of the comply with the high constitutional obligation thus imcountry, it was at least necessary that the Senate should posed upon him. But, will that gentleman be so kind as know precisely the character of the papers which they to inform us, how it has happened (if the President is unwere called upon to print, in order that they might judge der a constitutional obligation to send us these documents) how far it was proper for them to assume the responsibility that he has for so long a period neglected to perform his thus attempted to be thrown upon them. The usual and duty ? If the President is bound to send us these papers proper mode of proceeding was, to do, what had been now, was he not equally bound to do so two years ago ? done in this case--to refer the message and documents to With the command contained in the clause of the conthe Committee on Foreign Relations for examination; and stitution quoted by the gentleman, staring him in the if, after they shall have been examined, it should appear face, how could the President have dared so long to nethat they contain nothing which can coinpromit the cha- glect an important duty, which, according to the views of racter, or affect the future policy of this country, he, for the Senator, he was under the obligation even of an oath one, would have no objection to print, and circulate them to perform? as widely as the President or his friends could desire. Sir, it is impossible that the President can escape from Those Senators who had opposed the Panama mission the dilemma in which the Senator from Maine has thus from the beginning, could have no possible objection to placed him. But the Senator has misconstrued the constithe publication of every thing calculated to afford cor- tution. In omitting to make this communication sooner, rect information concerning that wild and visionary pro- the President has neglected no duty, and in making it ject. But, at the same time, it is due (said Mr. H.] 10 now, he has performed an act altogether gratuitous. The ourselves and to the country, that we should clearly under- information which the President is commanded by the stand the true character of these documents, before we constitution to give to Congress is that which shall contake upon ourselves the task of ushering them before the the state of the Union.” He is to give information world on our responsibility. The President might have as to the condition of the country, and to recommend caused them to be printed and circulated without sending measures proper to be adopted by the Legislature. The them here ; but, as he is determined to send them out message betore us relates neither to one nor the other of under the authority of the Senate, it is proper that we these subjects, and it necessarily follows that, in sending should resort to the usual means for obtaining authentic it to us, the President must have some other object in information as to the true character of the documents, in view, than to fulfil the obligations imposed by the third order to determine the course proper to be pursued in re section of the second article of the constitution. . I relation to them.

peat the inquiry, therefore, what is that object? The Having referred the message, therefore, to the Com- Senator from Massachusetts, in the remarks on the resomittee on Foreign Relations, to whom the subject appro- lution submitted by him on the same subject two days ago, priately belonged, it would be entirely out of the usual gave the true answer to this inquiry. These documents course, and as it appears to me, highly improper to order are intended to vindicate the course of Mr. Adams and them to be printed, or to adopt any other measure in his friends in relation to the Panama mission. They are relation to them, until we should have the result of the intended to show that the fears, “ felt or feigned," in reexamination to which they would be subjected by that spect to that measure, were unfounded. They are inCommittee.

tended to revive the question on which great parties in But, there is another view of this subject, which I con the country have been divided, and to convince the peofess has excited in my mind no inconsiderable distrust as ple that the minority was right and the majority wrong.

cern "


Panama Documents.

[MARCH 3, 1829.

Now, sir, if the President and his friends can accomplish intention to sanction any such proceeding. If, sir, the this, even at the expense of reviving those party feelings object of the President be, as has been avowed, to give which were so strongly excited in relation to the Panama to the American people full and correct information as to mission, they are certainly at liberty to do so. But, if the true character of the Panama mission, that object they propose to do it with our assistance, we must at least has already been fully accomplished. require that the means, to which we are called upon to The three sets of documents communicated to the Sengive our sanction, must be wholly unexceptionable. If ate and House of Representatives have all been published, we are to relinquish the victory and fight the battle over accompanied by the explanatory messages of the Presiagain, we must at least stipulate for the use only of law. dent, and the arguments of all those who took the differful weapons. The object is to prove that the Panama ent sides of the question. The public mind has been mission, as projected by Mr. Adams at the commencement made up with all the lights that the facts of the case and of his administration, and which we then denounced as the most elaborate arguments could afford. The instrucdangerous to the peace and safety of this country, was a tions, if intended to bear at all on the question of the wise and prudent measure. And how is it proposed to true character of the mission, as originally projected, can prove this? By the message and documents submitted to have none but a delusive effect, and therefore, the Prethe Senate at the time when we were called upon to give sident has no claim that we should lend our aid to their our advice and consent to the mission ? No, sir, but by publication. I think it prgper, however, to add, that, the instructions subsequently given to his ministers by the if it shall appear on examination, that these documents President, after he had probably been driven, by the dis- contain nothing which the interests of the country recussions here, and the force of public opinion, to aban- quire to be kept secret, I shall have no objection to their don his original plan entirely. In other words, it is pro- publication. The most that I should, in that event, reposed to show the true objects.of ihe mission, at its quire, would be, that these papers should be printed in inception, not from the express declarations of the Execu- connection with the others, so as to present, in one view, tive, made to us at that time, but from the secret instruc- the original plan of the Panama mission, and the modifitions prepared at a subsequent period, neither submitted cations it has subsequently undergone. Such a publicato us nor to the world, and doubtless so modified as to re- tion, in bringing the whole case before the public, would move most of the objections urged here against the enable them to award the meed of praise or of censure measure. We are to be brought up for trial before the pub- to those who have taken part in this great controversy. lic under an ex post facto law, prepared expressly for the But, until we shall have the report of the Committee of case, and this when all the circumstances are almost for- Foreign Relations npon these papers, we ought not to gotten.

take another step in the business. This proceeding on the The instructions to the ministers at the Congress of part of the President, in throwing these papers into the Panama not only can afford no standard by which to Senate, at the very close of his political life, appears to determine the true character of the mission originally, me so extraordinary, that I do not feel disposed to act but must necessarily mislead all who look to them for in- without the utmost caution and deliberation ; and, under formation on that subject. When the President first sub- all the circumstances of the case, I must acknowledge mitted the project of that mission to the Senate, it was that I do not feel the force of the appeals made on this ocexpressly stated that one of its objects was to instruct casion to our justice and liberality. the people of South America in the principles of religious Mr. CHAMBERS said he was unable to discover the freedom; another object, very distinctly indicated, was force of the objection urged by the Senator from South the formation, this side of the Atlantic, of “an alliance of Carolina. A pervading error ran through his whole argufree States," as a counterpoise to "the Holy Alliance” ment. The Senator assumes the contents of the papers of Europe ; and another was, the redemption of Mr. to be such as to render their publication improper. The Monroe's celebrated pledge on that subject. A new code obvious answer to this was, that the constitution had made of national law was to be introduced, and, in short, mat the President the judge of that matter; it gave to him ters deeply involving the neutral relations and future the power to divulge to Congress, and to the public, what, policy of this country were to be discussed and settled. on his responsibility, he might think it safe and proper to But, sir, when the impolicy and danger of such a mis- communicate. It did not give to the Senate an appellate sion had been demonstrated by those with whom I had power over his judgment. The Senate was no more the the honor to act on that memorable occasion, the Presi constitutional guardian of the President than of the dent changed his ground entirely. Instead of introducing House of Representatives. But this doctrine, practically the principles of religious freedom, “the right of burial carried out, would make it the guardian of both. When was merely to be secured to American citizens, and, in the President sends a message to the House, we are first short, the whole character of the mission was so com to examine whether it is discreet in him to send it; and pletely changed, that, in its new dress, it could hardly this kindly office being performed to him, we are then be recognized by friends or foes. Three different meta to ascertain whether it is discreet to allow the House to morphoses did the Panama mission undergo, before it receive his message. Sir, if such powers be assumed was suffered to appear before the public; dangerous, as by the Senate, who is to assign limit to them? What beit assuredly was, in its original design, it was finally reduc comes of the co-ordinate branches of your Government ? ed to a mere empty pageant before it received the sanc What becomes of the constitution? The Senate will be tion of Congress, and no one has ever doubted, that the your Government, and all other departments its depeninstructions subsequently given must have been made to dents. conform with the new character it had assumed These These documents do not belong to you alone. They documents, it is naturally to be presumed, afford very are equally the property of the other House ; and they sufficient evidence that the President, in preparing in are now made public; and, therefore, their contents are structions for his plenipotentiaries, was not unmindful of the property of the public. Has not any inember, at those he had himself received from the Representatives this instant, the right to go to your file, transcribe any of the people in this and the other branch of the Na part, or the whole of their contents, and publish them in tional Legislature. It is hardly indeed to be supposed, the newspaper, without violating any rule of the Senate, that the American plenipotentiaries were authorized to any rule of law, or any rule of propriety ? Certainly he enter into any arrangements that could compromit our has. It was altogether unimportant what were the conneutrality after the House of Representatives had, by an tents of the papers. They were already public, and on express resolution, positively declared it was not their the responsibility of the President. The instrumentality

MARCH 3, 1829.]

Panama Documents.



of the Senate was not asked or required, and it was only quence of arguments is opposition to the measure on the exercise of some power by the Senate which could | this floor. Unless the Senator from South Carolina posnow withhold their contents from the House of Repre- sessed information which had not been confided to him, sentatives and the nation. He denied the existence of he must be perinitted to express his total dissent to that such a power in the Senate. Whence did they derive it? opinion. It was certainly not the usual practice in poliOr why should they possess it? The Senate is not re tics, nor in war, to adopt the advice of opponents; and sponsible, if the President has acted indiscreetly, as the he could not but smile, when it was intimated that the argument assumes, although the Senator admits he does present Chief Magistrate had abandoned his own connot know the contents of the papers, and, of course, can certed views, and the advice of his friends, to adopt the not know that their publication will do mischief.

suggestions of his political adversaries in this body. But Unless the Senate be prepared to assume the func- allow all this to be so. Whence do gentlemen derive tions and responsibility which the constitution has vested the evidence of mutation in the Executive will? They in the Executive, and, indeed, those which belong to the do not profess to have other knowledge than that the House of Representatives also, it cannot arrest what is documents furnish. They insist that the “tone was lowsent by the one to the other in the course of official duty. ered," between the period of the message to the Senate It is not only a direct violation of the right of the Execu- and the one subsequently made to the House, and have no tive to send, and of the House to receive, those papers, but doubt " the tone is still lower” in these instructions. If it is a palpable infraction of the right of the people to this be so, let it avail to the advantage of the gentlemen know what occurs in the progress of Congressional pro- and their friends. Let the nation have the papers, and ceedings. Was it ever heard of before, that, in relation see this fact, and form a corresponding judgment. We to facts disclosed with all the forms of a public proceeding do not ask shelter under the kind feelings of the gentlein an open session of Congress, either this or any other man to protect us against the consequent censure.

No, branch of the Government had interposed to lay its hands we are willing to bear, as we ought to bear, the whole on the materials by which those facts were to be acquired, weight of our errors on our own shoulders. Certainly we and shut them up in a committee room ? and, this too, for do not expect this weight to be diminished by a report from the avowed purpose of concealing their existence ?

the Committee. How, he asked, does this course compare with that If gentlemen can see in these papers the continued muof the Senate when the Panama mission was advised ? | tation of purpose which is a concession of original error, The majority of that day did not hesitate to give to the why not allow the public to examine them and deduce people all the facts before them. No one resisted it. for themselves the same results ? Will gentlemen assert The mission had been determined on, and whether the that the people are ignorant, and unfit to know and undocuments were published or no, the ministers would derstand? Why, they are our constitutional judges, and be sent out. But the question had excited public in- they will retain us in their service or dismiss us, accordterest, and the nation had a just claim to all the infor- ing to their estimate of our political fidelity and correctmation which would enable them to judge whether the And we cannot question their capacity to underpolicy was wise. Did we meet the demand to publish, stand. Being on trial before them, we call for the eviby asking if gentlemen intended to perpetuate acrimo- dence—the evidence of facts, not of the opinions of a nious feeings? By adverting to the danger of exposing Committee, who, however intelligent, (and their distinour notions of the course of policy to be pursued to guished talents and intelligence is conceded) have no more these nations? By suggesting the necessity of employ- claims to prejudge the case than any other three or four ing the agency of a committee to send out an "antidote men in society, nor indeed so much, because, having been with the bane ?” As if we feared to trust the honesty or long since committed by opinions avowed to the world, the intelligence of the American public. No, sir, all the they have ceased to be impartial. documents we had were published, and thousands of co Gentlemen on the other side have made allusions to pies dispersed over the whole surface of this Union; and the Panama mission in terms to cultivate their own opinall the labored arguments of our opponents accompanied ions in regard to it. Non est inventus" is returnedthem. Now we ask the same justice, and our case is a “it is dead." “ Protestant missionaries," "counter Holy much stronger one. What we have published is a part Alliance," and such like phrases, have been used. To only, and we ask to publish the remaining part, which is what end are these hard names applied ? This is nei. necessary to a right understanding of the whole. What ther the time, place, nor occasion, for a discussion of the is published was the ground work against which was merits of that measure. This discussion has been had, levelled all the predictions of excited apprehension. Now and we are content to abide the issue when presented we ask you not to conceal from the public eye the finished to the sober judgment of the people upon the facts. and completed superstructure.

What was speculation then is history now, and time, The people have not only a right to know, but a deep which discloses all things, has furnished, in these docuinterest to know. They are the sovereign power of the ments, a test by which to ascertain if the dangers then dation, and we their servants. To their judgment of so feelingly predicted ever had existence. But gentleour political conduct we are amenable; and it is our men seem to shrink from this test, and to observe the duty to enlighten that judgment by giving them facts. prudent caution of taking off its influence by applying They are competent, when the whole case is before them, io it ugly names and harsh epithets. Sir, this will not to take a correct view ; and it is an insult to their intel- prevent an intelligent community from a sober investigaligence to withhold the facts from them, until you can is- tion of the truth, even through the mist of prejudice now sue your glossary, your commentary, from a Committee, to thrown around it. tell them how to estimate the facts. Your Committee can The idea suggested on a former occasion, and then but givé opinions, and thus prejudge the case by the weight repelled, is again introduced, that these papers are to of their authority. Are gentlemen afraid the decision will be published to prop a falling administration. The Sebe against them on the naked fact, and can they not con nator from Georgia (Mr. BERRIEN) has kindly admonfide in public opinion unless it be directed by a commenta ished us of the delicacy of our situation, of the inferry from a Committee ? Sir, this sort of doctrine does not ences it will occasion, of the maxim post hoc ergo propter seem to be of the genuine republican stamp, which is so hoc. Sir, said Mr. C., when I make an assertion on this much the prevailing fashion of the times.

floor in relation to facts necessarily within my personal Mr. C. yielded no credit to the notion that the tenor knowledge, I call no collateral testimony to verify it. I and spirit of the instructions were modified in conse would disdain to go in search of collateral evidence; a


Adjournment. —Executive Proceedings.

(Jan. 26, 1829.

conscious integrity tells me none is required. On a Mr. Adams. Gentlemen ask, what is the object of the former debate, I have said, and I now repeat, that I ne President in publishing the documents ? The question can ver exchanged a word of conversation with the Presi- be answered in the President's own words. He has stated dent on the subject of publishing these instructions, nor his object in his message. Mr. F. called for the reading did I know if he wished their publication, and I now add, of the message. that, until his message was delivered here this morning, I The message having been readwas uninformed of his purpose to send it. I do not un Mr. BENTON rose, he said, to make a single remark. derstand the gentleman from Georgia to question the accu The message and documents had been referred to the racy of that statement, or I should hold myself compelled appropriate Committee, from which we should have a reto repel it indignantly.

port concerning them ; but if, in the mean time, the Presi[Mr. BERRIEN said, the gentleman was perfectly right. dent should be eager to publish them, he can do it by He had too much respect for himself, and for every mem- virtue of the same authority by which he published the ber of the Senate, to call in question the veracity of any secret instructions given to Mr. Cook, the agent of the statement made on that floor.)

United States in Cuba. Mr. CHAMBERS resumed. The motion was to print The question being taken, the motion to print the mes. the papers without commentary ; the people were not so sage and documents was lost, by the following vote : ignorant as to require a guide in this matt ; and if an

YEAS—Messrs. Barton, Bouligny, Burnet, Chambers, instructor was necessary, he could not think it altogether Chase, Foot, Hendricks, Holmes, Johnston, of Louisiana, fit to employ on this duty a Committee prejudiced by a Knight, Marks, Noble, Robbins, Sanford, Seymour, Silslong course of avowed hostility to the measure, and in- bee, Webster, Willey—18. flamed by reports, speeches, and declamation, to present it NAYS_Messrs. Barnard, Benton, Berrien, Branch, in its worst form.

Chandler, Dickerson, Dudley, Eaton, Hayne, Iredell, Before he concluded, he must ask indulgence to reply Johnson, of Kentucky, Kane, King, McKinley, Prince, to one singular proposition asserted by the Senator from Ridgely, Rowan, Smith, of Maryland, Smith, of South Georgia, (Mr. BERRIEN,) and repeated by the Senator Carolina, Tazewell, Tyler, White, Williams, Woodbury,– from South Carolina, (Mr. Hayne.) It is, that a refusal

24. to print is not to arrest the papers, nor evincive of a dis

Mr. TAZEWELL asked whether a motion to transfer position to keep them from the House of Representatives the message and documents from the Legislative to the and the nation. What are the facts ? An important paper Executive Journal would be in order. is sent to the two Houses of Congress but a few hours be

The VICE PRESIDENT said, he presumed it would fore their adjournment. Instead of sending the original be in order. There were no instances of transfers from to the House, after making us acquainted with its contents, the Legislative to the Executive Journal ; but transfers the course is to refuse to let the paper be read, to send from the Executive to the Legislative Journal were not the original to a Committee for the avowed purpose of unfrequent. The motion was made, and carried in the afexamining whether they think it proper to be made pub- firmative, by a vote of 25 to 16. lic, and 10 refuse the usual motion to print, upon the ground that dangerous disclosures may be made thereby.

ADJOURNMENT. And with all these facts before us, and knowing as we do that the House will adjourn in two or three hours, and from the House of Representatives, stating that they had

During the above discussion, a message was received perhaps sooner, we are told it is not intended to arrest passed a resolution for the appointment of a Joint Committhese papers, and prohibit their seeing them. Why, sir, tee to wait on the President of the United States, and inthis appears to be adding mockery to positive injury ; to forni him that unless he had any further business to comtake from the House its property, in the first place, and to laugh in its face, in the second. We all know it is municate, the two Houses were ready to adjourn, and physically impossible for the Committee to examine and asking the concurrence of the Senate.

The Senate concurred, and appointed a committee on report upon this message before the present House of its part ; and Mr. SMITH, of Maryland, from the ComRepresentatives, to whom it is as much addressed as to us, mittee, reported that they had discharged the duty intrustshall have adjourned—and adjourned never to meet again. ed to them, and that the President informed them he had Its constitutional term will expire, and another House nothing further to communicate ; that he presented his will not meet till the largest part of a year has passed by best respects to both Houses of Congress, and wished them and that not the House to which the paper is addressed.

a safe return to their families and homes. In every view of the subject then, it was proper the Senate

Another message was received from the House, stating should not interpose to withhold them—that they should that they had completed the legislative business before go, and go now, to the House of Representatives and tc them, and were ready to adjourn. the nation. Mr. FOOT said that some of the remarks of the gentle Senate meet to-morrow at 11 o'clock A. M.

On motion of Mr. SMITH, of Md. it was ordered that the man from South Carolina probably referred to the message of Mr. Monroe, rather than to any communications of The VICE PRESIDENT then adjourned the Senate.



No report was made by that Committee until the 26th The injunction of secrecy having been removed, we day of January following, when the Journal of the Senate are enabled to give the proceedings which took place in records the following proceedings: the Senale upon the nomination of Mr. CRITTENDEN, by Mr. Adams, (the late President) to be an Associate Justice

MONDAY, JANUARY 26, 1829, of the Supreme Court of the United States.

The nomination was sent to the Senate by message Mr. BERRIEN, from the Committee on the Judiciary, from the President, on the 18th of December, 1828, and to whom was referred the nomination of John J. Crittenden, was on that day referred to the Committee on the Judi-contained in the message of the 18th December, reported ciary.

the following resolutions, which were read.

FEB. 12, 2, 1829.]

Executive Proceedings.


* Resolved, That it is not expedient to act upon the no BERS occupied the Senate on the 2d, 3d, 4th, 5th, 9th, mination of John J. Crittenden, as a Justice of the Su- and 12th days of February. preme Court of the United States, during the present On the 12th the question was finally disposed of, as session of Congress.

will be seen by the following extract from the Journal: Resolred, That it is not expedient to act upon the nomination of John C. Crittenden, as a Justice of the Supreme

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 1829. Court of the United States, until the Senate shall have The Senate resumed the consideration of the resolufinally acted on the report of the Judicial Committee, tions reported by the Committee on the Judiciary, relative relative to the amendment of the Judicial system of the to the nomination of John J. Crittenden, together with the United States."

amendment proposed thereto. On Thursday, the 29th of January, the Senate took up A division of the question having been called for, it these resolutions for consideration ; when

was taken on striking out the first resolution, and deterMr. CHAMBERS moved to strike out all of the first mined in the negative-yeas 17, nays 24. resolution, after Resolved," and to insert the follow

The yeas and nays being desired by one-fifth of the Seing:

nators present, those who voted in the affirmative, ar“ As the sense of the Senate, that the Constitution Messrs. Bell, Bouligny, Burnet, Chambers, Chase, of the United States, by directing that the President Foot, Holmes, Johnston, of Louisiana, Knight, Narks, shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed, and Noble, Robbins, Ruggles, Seymour, Silsbee, Webster, by vesting in him the authority to nominate, and, by and Willey. with the consent of the Senate, to appoint, all officers

Those who voted in the negative, arecreated by act of Congress, for whose appointment pro

Messrs. Barnard, Benton, Berrien, Chandler, Dickervision is not otherwise made, and the authority during son, Dudley, Eaton, Hayne, Iredell, Johnson, of Katucky, the recess, to appoint all such officers, to hold their com- Kane, McKinley, McLane, Prince, Ridgely, Rowo, Sanmissions until the end of the next session, intended to ford, Smith, of South Carolina, Tazewell, Thomas White, guard against the evils arising from vacancies in office: Williams, Woodbury. That such offices, having been created by act of Con On the question to agree to the first resolution pported, gress, must be deemed necessary for the public interest: it was determined in the affirmative-yeas 23, nars 17. That the power of the President to nominate and appoint,

On motion of Mr. CHAMBERS, the yeas ad nays was intended to be exercised by him during the whole being desired by one-fifth of the Senators preset, those period for which he should be elected, for all such vacan

who voted in the affirmative, arecies as should occur during that period ; and that a neglect Messrs. Barnard, Berrien, Benton, Branch, Chandler, to exercise the power would be an omission of duty, on Dickerson, Dudley, Eaton, Hayne, Iredell, Kane McKinthe part of the President: That the duty of the Senate to ley, McLane, Prince, Ridgely, Rowan, Sanfort, Smith, contirm or reject the nomination of the President, is as

of South Carolina, Tazewell, Thomas, White, Williams, imperative as his duty to nominate: That the practice of Woodbury. the Executive, and of the Senate, heretofore, has accorded

Those who voted in the negative, arewith the views above expressed, and that it is not now

Messrs. Bell, Bouligny, Burnet, Chambes, Chase, expedient or proper to alter the settled practice : And Foot, Holmes, Johnston, of Louisiana, Knight, Marks, that, therefore, the Senate will, at the present session, Noble, Robbins, Ruggles, Seymour, Silsbei, Webster, act upon, and reject or confirm, all nominations which Willey. have been, or niay be, received from the President, for

So it was ottices established by acts of Congress, and which have

Resolved, That it is not expedient to act upon the nobecome vacant by the death, resignation, or removal, of mination of John J. Crittenden, as a Jusnce of the Suthe late incumbents, or by the expiration of the term for preme Court of the United States, during the present seswhich they were appointed, or which shall so become va sion of Congress. cant, on or before the third day of March next.”

On motion of Mr. BERRIEN, the second resolution

was ordered to lie on the table. On Friday, the 30th of January, the subject having been resumed, Mr. BELL moved to amend the amendment, by strik

FEBRUARY 2, 1829. ing out all after the words “ United States," and in lieu The two resolutions above stated to have been reported thereof inserting, “has directed that the President shall | by Mr. BERRIEN being under consideration, together take care that the laws be faithfully executed, and that with the amendment proposed by Mr. CHAMBERS, he shall nominate, and, by and with the advice and con Mr. C. addressed the Senate to the following effect: sent of the Senate, shall appoint, all officers created by The question now before the Senate presents to my an act of Congress, for whose appointment provision is mind the most alarming prospect which has ever been not otherwise made ; and that the constitution requires exhibited by any one of the departments of this Governthat the President shall exercise this power during the ment. In any view which I have been able to give the term for which he should be elected, for all such vacan- subject, it resolves itself into the question, whether cies as should occur during that term; and that a neglect this body can control the constitutional powers and duto exercise the power would be an omission of duty on ties of the other branches of the Government, and dethe part of the President: That the duty of the Senate feat the avowed objects of its laws. When the sugto confirm or reject the nomination of the President, is as gestion was first made some days past, by the Chairman imperative as his duty to nominate ; that such has hereto- of one of the Committees to whom nominations had fore been the settled practice of the Government; and been referred, that a distinction was made by the Comthat it is not now expedient or proper to alter it.”

mittee, growing out of the particular period at which The question being put, this amendment was rejected; the office became vacant, my first impression was, that and it then recurred on the amendment moved by Mr. it might be a contest between rival claimants to the CHAMBERS.

power of nomination, and a matter more to be deterMr. BERRIEN called for a division of the question. mined by a spirit of courtesy, to usage and precedent,

On motion of Mr. WEBSTER, it was agreed, that, and a fair, generous, and magnanimous deportment on when the question be taken, it be by yeas and nays. the part of a successful political party, than by referThe debate on the amendment moved by Mr. CHAM- ence to the principles of constitutional law, or the in

VOL. V.-11

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