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to do so, press them to a literal compliance with their contracts, without involving our whole people, more or less, in the fearful consequences of the bankruptcy that would probably ensue. We give you, however, an acknowledgment of your claims against us, which will be every where nearly as good, in some parts of the country probably better, than the precious metals—which, at all events, is at a premium, in reference to what you would not hesitate to receive from a private debtor; and we put it to your patriotism and your sense of justice, to decide whether we have not, to all substantial purposes, complied with our engagements.” Sir, depend upon it, such an appeal to the good sense and the generosity of our fellow-citizens will not be made in vain. The right of the Government, therefore, in every aspect of the case, being, as I conceive, fully established, the only remaining question is, in what form will these notes be most beneficial to the public Whether it is better to issue them bearing an interest of not more than 6 per cent., or bearing either no interest at all, or a very small one, to be ascertained by the House? And this brings me to the differences between me and the chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, or, to express it more accurately, perhaps, between the Senate and the committee of this House. Sir, l admit that these notes, at a higher rate of interest than I approve, would serve an excellent purpose as remittances to Europe; but exchanges, as we have seen, are already fallen nearly 50 per cent. within a very few days, and there is every reason to believe that as soon as the coming crop shall be brought to market, they will be down at par. But the prospect of an improvement in our domestic exchanges is unfortunately not so good. An immense debt is due from the West and the Southwest to the great commercial capitals on the Atlantic, to the payment of which, notes bearing a high rate of interest will contribute no aid whatever. They will, you may rely upon it, sir, be instantly bought up by capitalists for investment. They will disappear entirely, as gold and silver have disappeared. In consequence of the shock given to all credit by the late revulsion, there are immense deposites in all your banks waiting for some safe opportunity to lay them out on any reasonable terms. The answers made to the circular of the"Secretary of the Treasury have no weight at all with me, not only because, as I said just now, a very material change has occurred in the price of bullion since that date, but for several other reasons which need not be dwelt upon here. These notes are not intended to go into the market at all. My idea of the proper use to be made of them is, that they shall be passed away, as I have said, to the functionaries and creditors of the Government. I repeat, that I have no doubt that they will be readily accepted by them, and that the extravagant rates of exchange between the different parts of the country will keep them up at a considerable premium in respect of the best bank paper, and nearly, if not quite, at a par with gold and silver. Mr. PATTON said he desired to say a few words in reply to the gentleman from New York, [Mr. CAM an elExa.] That gentleman had taken occasion, in answering the remarks which he (Mr. Parro N) made on yesterday, to express himself in a manner, to say the least, rude and uncourteous. He said, as I understand, that he had supposed I had more sagacity than not to perceive the design and effect of the amendment proposed by the gentleman from Kentucky. I am a man, Mr. Speaker, of very humble pretensions in point of sagacity, and surely will not undertake to rival the claims, in that regard, of so profound and sagacious a statesman and financier as the chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means: that is a comparison which it would be more becoming in him, as well as myself, to leave to the judgment of the House and others. I think, by this time, said Mr. P., that the chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means has discovered that not
only myself, but many other members—whom I will not do the injustice even of comparing with him in point of wisdom and sagacity—have been unable to see the evil tendencies of the proposed amendment. Although they have had the benefit of the illumination shed upon the subject by the sagacious chairman, they regard the objections made by him as unsound and frivolous as I do; objections which, whatever estimate I may have put upon the wisdom of the gentleman from New York, prove that he does not possess one whit more sagacity than I supposed him to have. What is it that the chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means tells us is the character and effect, and even, as he intimates, the object of this amendment " Why, that it will give the United States Bank of Pennsylvania a benefit of at least one hundred thousand dollars. How does he make out this What plausible or even colorable proof of this assertion has he adduced These bonds which he assumes that the Bank of the United States, and that bank alone, can or will purchase, are bonds bearing an interest of six per cent, payable in one, two, and three years. The Bank of the United States, as is notorious, so far from being desirous or interested in taking in such bonds, has been recently issuing new bonds, for the purpose of raising funds in England, in order to strengthen herself, and enabling her the better to live through the present calamitous condition of our commercial and moneyed affairs. But sgain : the amendment limits the sale of the bonds at par, with liberty to the Secretary to get as much more than par' as he can. Are we to be told that these bonds will not sell at part [Mr. CAMH RELENG here said that he said no such thing.] Mr. Patton resumed. I did not say he said so. I put the question—are these bonds worth par or not ? If not, then they will not be sold, for the amendment prohibits it; and the gentleman from Kentucky proposes to provide for that contingency, by authorizing the Secretary to raise six millions of dollars by direct loan. If they are worth par, or more than par, by what authority of fact or reason can it be assumed that nobody will purchase but the Pennsylvania Bank of the United States ? Why, we have been constantly told during the last spring and summer, from a source of high authority with some gentlemen, (though of very little weight with me,) that this institution was upon the eve of bankruptcy; that the declaration of Mr. Biddle that his bank could have continued to pay specie was an empty and unfounded boast. We know that this bank has been engaged in large mercantile and financial operations, which have probably employed all her disposable means. Still, I think it may be possible that she might purchase these bonds; but it is manifest that she cannot do so unless at their full value. What possible injury can be done to the Government by getting its debt fully paid in advance 1 The amendment throws the bonds into market; it invites the competition of all capitalists here and in England, and thereby insures a sale upon the best possible terms. And I am warranted, upon the opinion of an eminent merchant, who is one of the most intelligent members of this House, [Mr. Phillips, in expressing the opinion that they will sell readily and at a premium. It is a matter of indifference to me who purchases them, even although it be the Bank of the United States of Pennsylvania. If she will give more for them than any other institution or individual, I have not the slightest objection; indeed, it is with me rather a recommendation; for then the separation and divorce of the Government frem that bank would be final and complete. I am not to be deterred from advocating a measure by which the demands of the Treasury may be met out of our own funds without loan or taxation, by having the ghost of the United States Bank paraded before my eyes. It seems to be perpetually flitting before the apprehensions of some gentlemen, disturbing their composure, and disordering their minds. It is an “unreal mock
ery,” I fear it not. I have borne my part in the war that has been waged against the Bank of the United States during the last four or five years. It is dead and buried, and we performed its funeral obsequies in solemn form only a day or two ago. This amendment proposes to sever the last link of connexion with this deceased institution. But the gentleman from New York asks, are we going to place the Government in the degrading attitude of an endorser of the Bank of the United States ? And why shall we not endorse our own bonds on which we want to raise money ! What degradation is there in this Does not every man who sells a bond endorse it ! Who has ever been degraded by it ! The whole effect of the endorsement or assignment is, that if the bank does not discharge its obligation when due, the Government will indemnify the purchasers. How will that continue the connexion with the bank more than now exists The whole amount of it is, that if the bonds are sold, the Government insures them to the purchaser. If we hold them, we stand our own insurer. If the bank fails to pay them, the Government loses the amount in one case as well as the other. There is no new liability incurred, and in the worst event that can happen, the failure of the bank before the bonds became due— of which I have not the least apprehension—the Government will have had the use of the amount of the bonds to meet her pressing engagements, and in the end will only have to provide funds to reimburse the purchaser, precisely in the same way as you must provide funds to take up your Treasury notes, if you issue them. But, if the gentleman from New York is right in assuming that the Bank of the United States will purchase the bonds, then what becomes of his objection to the Government being the endorser? If the bank purchases, or rather anticipates the payment of its bonds, there is an end of all liability on the part of the Government—there is no endorsement. I expressed my surprise that the gentleman from New York, who had heretofore acted so conspicuous a part in urging a disconnexion between the United States Bank and the Government, who had heretofore been so ready to sell the stock of the Government in that bank, did not at once and eagerly avail himself of the present opportunity. I referred to his recommendation as chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations two or three years ago, that the stock should be sold to meet contingent expenses, in the event of difficulties with France. I understand his answer to this to be that the proposition was not to sell the stock, but to use funds of the Government then due from the bank. Why, sir, I read, and will read again, from the report made by Mr. CAMBRELENG, on the 27th of February, 1835, from the Committee on Foreign Relations, in connexion with our difficulties with France: “It is a gratifying circumstance that our means are adequate to meet any exigency without recourse to loans or taxes. The bill now before the House, authorizing the sale of our stock in the Bank of the United States, would, if adopted, afford all the revenue necessary. The committee is of opinion that the whole or a part of the fund to be derived from that source should be appropriated for the purpose of arming our fortifications,” &c. The bill referred to in this extract, for selling the stock, had been reported in pursuance of the recommendation of President Jackson. And, as an additional support to the measure now recommended, I will read a passage from the message of General Jackson, of the session of 1834 and 1835. After speaking of the danger and impropriety of continuing any connexion between the Government and the bank, the President proceeds: “I feel it to be my duty to recommend to you that a law be passed authorizing the sale of the public stock;” and “that all laws connecting the Government or its officers with the bank, directly or indirectly, be repealed; and that
the institution be left hereafter to its own resources and means.” The bill, which was the answer to this recommendation, was favored with the approbation of the gentleman from New York. Now, sir, is it wonderful that I should be suprised that any opponent of the Bank of the United States, or any friend of the administration, pledged to walk in the footsteps of . General Jackson, should oppose the present proposition to sell the stock in the Bank of the United States, and thereby meet “the exigencies of the Government, without recourse to loans or taxes 3" The means recommended by the late President for disconnecting the Government with the bank; the means recommended by the chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations [Mr. CAM an EleNG) for supplying the demands of the Government without resorting to loans or taxes, are now resisted by the chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, [Mr. CAM an ELENG, although the exigencies of the Government can be no otherwise met but by adopting it, or resorting to loans and taxes. I repeat that I am surprised that any real opponent of the Bank of the United States should oppose this amendment. If the proposition had come from the chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, how many of those who opposed the Bank of the United States would have resisted it! I venture to say, very few, if one. Why should we not avail ourselves of our own resources, sell our own stocks, rather than create a new national debt; now when the shouts of gratulation for the extinguishment of the old debt are still ringing in our ears 1 So much for that subject. I wish now to make some reply to the remarks of the gentleman from Maryland, [Mr. Thomas,) upon the other branch of the amendment. It proposes to legalize the practice heretofore pursued by the Treasury, of issuing Treasury drafts upon the deposite banks, and to require and compel him to receive these drafts in payment of Government dues, when not paid by the banks in funds acceptable to the holder. This practice has been pursued since the suspension of specie payments without any disficulty so far as the Treasury is concerned, and to the entire satisfaction of the public creditorIt makes available those funds of the Treasury which are now pronounced to be unavailable. These drafts are now only one or one and a half per cent. below specie. Under this course the deposite banks have paid about fifteen millions of their debt to the Government, and if it be continued, I have great hopes that all the deposite banks will discharge the balances due from them, satisfactorily to the public creditors, and without embarrassment or inconvenience to themselves. Can any gentleman reasonably hope that Treasury notes will have a better credit than Treasury drafts : These Treasury drafts will answer, as they have done as a medium of circulation, as a means of supplying domestic exchange. Treasury notes, especially if they bear interest, will not circulate as currency ; they will be taken up for investment, and go into the hands of moneyed capitalists, and “rag barons,” as it is the fashion of one class of politicians to characterize men of wealth and moneyed institutions. The gentleman from Maryland says that there have been decisive indications given by this House that the issuing of Treasury drafts, as has been heretofore done, should be discontinued, and expresses his astonishment that the proposition made by me, and accepted by the gentleman from Kentucky, should have been made, after these decisive indications. When, where, and how, have such indications been given by this House 1 No such evidence has been given, no such views have been developed, as the opinion of this House. It is true, that we have had sent down to us from the Senate a bill which proposes to indulge the deposite banks, to give them indulgence to pay their debts to the GovernOct. 6, 1837.]
ment in three instalments, at 4, 6, and 9 months, and then to turn them over, if they do not pay, to the tender mercies of the Secretary of the Treasury, with all his gold and silver notions. The proposition now before you holds out to the banks an indulgence indefinite and unlimited, at the same time that it affords relief to the Government and the people, by authorizing an issue of drafts drawn upon these funds in the banks, making them available to the Government, without distressing the banks. I make an appeal to the gentlemen representing the West and Southwest, whose banks owe the largest sums, and which I am told by a member from that region cannot probably resume specie payments in less than eighteen months or two years, and ask them how they can reconcile it to themselves to refuse this amendment 1 The measure I propose will give these banks an indefinite indulgence, and at the same time make their balances available to the Government without the cost of a dollar, and in a way entirely free from all constitutional difficulty, while the measures recommended by the Executive have a direct tendency (I speak of all the measures, including the sub-Treasury scheme) to increase the demand for specie—to make difficulties in the way of resuming specie payments. I ask the gentlemen from the West and Southwest, if they are ready to agree that their banks shall be treated as bankrupts, and to have them pounced on by the district attorneys of the United States under the pending law The necessary effect of this would be, that those banks must sue their debtors, those indebted to the banks must sue their debtors, and thus all the people in those regions must be involved in One common ruin. It is my decided opinion that the means of meeting the exigencies of the country, proposed by the amendment, are preferable to the issue of Treasury notes, with or without interest. I am not able to see how Treasury notes, without interest, issued only upon the faith of the Government, intended as a circulating medium, can be distinguished from bills of credit—strictly a Government paper money. As at present advised, I cannot vote for such a bill, because I can see no constitutional authority in this Government to issue bills of credit. In conclusion, I beg leave to say, that I think the amendment of the gentleman, modified as it has been, on my motion, having the effect of supplying the requisite means of meeting the demands of the Treasury, without taxes or loans, ought to receive the favorable consideration of the House. Still, however, if the House reject this amendment, and no more acceptable and less questionable means of raising money can be suggested, I will vote for a loan of money, and the issue of certificates of loan in the form of Treasury notes bearing interest. In that form, I consider them substantially a loan, and therefore constitutional ; though I would prefer a direct loan. Mr. CUSHING followed, in reply to Mr. LegARE. He quoted Judges Story, Marshall, and other authorities, to show that Treasury notes were bills of credit. Mr. FOSTER replied, arguing that Treasury notes, to become bills of credit, must be issued as a circulating medium. He denied that a high or low rate of interest altered the case. He argued at length against the amendInent. Mr. MENEFEE addressed the House at large, in an eloquent and earnest speech, against the bill. Mr. CUSHMAN terminated the discussion by calling for the previous question. The CHAIR stated that, if it should prevail, the main question would be on the House bill as at first reported from the Committee of Ways and Means. [Cutting off, of course, Mr. CAMBRELENG's amendment, which engrafted the Senate's bill on the enacting clause of the House bill.]
On the question of sustaining the call for the previous question there was a tie, the ayes being 88, and the noes 88. The Chain voting in the negative, it was not sustained. Mr. CAMBRELENG now pressed for action on the bill, and referred to pledges given by gentlemen of the opposition that a vote should be had this night. Mr. WISE replied, admitting that he had given such a pledge but for himself only. He did not undertake to command the House, or speak for it as at his bidding. Mr. W. C. JOHNSON obtained the floor, and addressed the House in a speech of great animation till late in the evening. Mr. PHILLIPS read to the House, from a document recently received, and not yet generally distributed, in reply to a call for the correspondence of the Treasury with various individuals, touching the terms of their reception of Treasury notes for specie; and in which many commercial capitalists declined altogether having any thing to do with such a transaction. The question was at length obtained on the amendment moved by Mr. UN DEnwoon, and decided as follows: YEAs—Messrs. Adams, Alexander, H. Allen, John W. Allen, Aycrigg, Bell, Biddle, Bond, Bouldin, Briggs, W. B. Calhoun, J. Calhoon, W. B. Campbell, J. Campbell, W. B. Carter, Chambers, Cheatham, Childs, Clowney, Corwin, Cranston, Crockett, Curtis, Cushing, Darlington, Dawson, Davies, Dennis, Dunn, Elmore, Everett, Ewing, R. Fletcher, Fillmore, R. Garland, Goode, J. Graham, W. Graham, Graves, Grennell, Griffin, Halsted, Harlan, Harper, Hastings, Hawes, Henry, Herod, Hoffman, Hopkins, R. M. T. Hunter, Jenifer, H. Johnson, W. C. Johnson, Lawler, Lincoln, A. W. Loomis, Mallory, Marvin, S. Mason, Maury, Maxwell, McKennan, Menefee, Mercer, Milligan, C. Morris, Naylor, Noyes, Ogle, Patterson, Patton, Peck, Phillips, Pope, Potts, Rariden, Reed, Rencher, Ridgway, Robertson, Rumsey, Russell, Sawyer, A. H. Shepperd, C. Shepard, Sibley, Slade, Southgate, Stanly, Stratton, Taliaferro, Thompson, Tillinghast, Underwood, A. S. White, J. White, E. Whittlesey, L. Williams, S. Williams, J. L. Williams, C. H. Williams, Wise, and Yorke—104. NAys—Messrs. Anderson, Andrews, Atherton, Beatty, Beirne, Bicknell, Birdsall, Boon, Brodhead, Bronson, Bruyn, Buchanan, Cambreleng, T. J. Carter, Casey, Chaney, Chapman, Cilley, Claiborne, Clark, Cleveland, Coles, Conner, Crary, Cushman, Davee, DeGraff, Dromgoole, Duncan, Edwards, Farrington, Fairfield, Foster, Fry, Gallup, Gholson, Glascock, Grantland, Grant, Gray, Haley, Hammond, Harrison, Hawkins, Haynes, Holsey, Holt, Howard, Hubley, Ingham, T. B. Jackson, J. Jackson, N. Jones, J. W. Jones, Kemble, Kilgore, Klingensmith, Legare, Leadbetter, Lewis, Logan, A. Loomis, Lyon, J.M. Mason, Martin, McKay, R. McClellan, A. McClellan, McClure, McKim, Miller, Montgomery, Morgan, S. W. Morris, Muhlenberg, Murray, Noble, Owens, Palmer, Parker, Parmenter, Paynter, Pennybacker, Petrikin, Phelps, Plumer, Potter, Pratt, Prentiss, Reily, Rhett, Richardson, Rives, Sheffer, Sheplor, Snyder, Spencer, Stewart, Taylor, Thomas, Titus, Toucey, Towns, Turney, Vanderveer, Wagener, Webster, Weeks, T. T. Whittlesey, J. W. Williams, Worthington, and Yell—112. So the amendment moved by Mr. UNDEnwoon was negatived. Mr. RHETT then moved an amendment, the effect of which would be, if agreed to, to make the bills payable “upon presentation,” after the expiration of one year from date, and to divest them of the character of interest-bearing notes. The House then, on motion of Mr. WILLIAMS,
of N. C., at about half past nine, adjourned.
SATURDAY, Octobem 7.
As soon as the journal was read, Mr. J. Q. ADAMS rose and asked leave to make an explanation; and, by general consent, was allowed to do so. It would be recollected (he said) that he had, on the preceding day, referred to the fate of propositions made at former sessions, to investigate alleged abuses in our Indian affairs, out of which the Creek and Seminole wars had grown. With respect to one of these propositions, by the gentleman from Alabama, he had stated that, after that gentleman had moved to refer the inquiry to a select committee, a motion was made to refer it to the President of the United States, which motion prevailed: and he had them inquired whether any report or message, in consequence of that reference, had been sent by the President of the United States to this House. The question (Mr. A. said) he had asked, because he was ignorant whether such a report or message had been sent or not. He did not assert that such a report had not been made, but he had asked for information. To this inquiry he had received no answer; from which he inferred that no communication had been made to the House by the President upon the subject. Afterward, however, he had been informed that a message had been sent to the House on the subject just before the close of the last session of Congress, and had been laid on the table and ordered to be printed. Not having been printed before the close of the session, it had not come to his knowledge. It was printed afterwards, and constituted No. 154 of the Executive Documents. Since the adjournment last evening, he had seen it, and had read as much of it as it was possible for him to read between ten o'clock last night and the meeting of the House this morning; and, he must say, that a more heart-sickening document he had never read. It goes (said he) to prove to demonstration, if demonstration be required, the necessity of a full investigation into these abuses, by the order of Congress. There were disclosures enough, even in this document, to make the blood tingle in the veins of every man who read it. Mr. A. said he had thought proper to make this explanation, because he was not willing that an impression should go abroad, from his statement, that the Executive had not done its duty in reference to the vote of this House upon the subject. The Executive had acted upon the subject, it appeared, promptly ; had appointed two citizens, Mr. Crawford and Mr. Balch, commissioners for the purpose, and authorized them to make the required investigations. These commissioners, acting under instructions from the Executive, had collected a vast deal of information, contained in their report, which was, however, only a report in part, much remaining yet to be disclosed. As far as he could judge, the trust reposed by the resolution of this House had been faithfully performed, as well by the Executive as by the individuals who acted as commissioners by his appointment. In justice to himself, as well as to the Executive of the United States, Mr. A. said he made this explanation.
The House then proceeded to the unfinished business of the morning hour, which was the consideration of the sollowing resolution, submitted by Mr. Wisk on the 19th instant :
“Resolved, That a select committee be appointed by ballot to inquire into the cause of the Florida war, and into the causes of the delays and failures, and the expenditures which have attended the prosecution of that war, and into the manner of its conduct, and the facts of its history generally ; that the said committee have power to send for persons and papers, and that it have power to sit in the recess, and that it make report to the next session of Congress.”
Mr. GLASCOCK had moved to amend the foregoing resolution by striking out all after the word “resolved,” and inserting the following: “That a select committee be appointed to inquire into the cause of the Florida war, and the causes of the extraordinary delays and failures, and the expenditures which have attended the prosecution of the same, and all the facts connected with its history generally ; and that said committee have power to send for persons and papers, except such persons as may be engaged at the time in the Florida war.” The question immediately pending was the motion of Mr. How And to strike out the words “that a select committee be appointed,” and insert “that the Committee on Military Affairs be instructed.” Mr. McKAY had not intended taking any part in this debate, and would not now have done so, had it not been for the remarks of the gentleman from Massachusetts, [Mr. ADAMs, j on yesterday, in relation to the composition of the Committee on Military Affairs. The gentleman from Maryland, [Mr. How Ann, J who had made the proposition to refer this subject to the Committee on Military Affairs, would do him the justice to say that the amendment was moved without any consultation with him, and he presumed without any consultation with any member of the Military Committee. The gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. ADAMs) had objected to sending the inquiry to the Committee on Military Affairs, because eight of its members were friends of power, as he chose to designate them. By this, however, he understood the gentleman as meaning nothing offensive, but merely that eight of its members were in favor of the administration, and but one opposed it. Now he (Mr. McK.) believed it was well understood that this committee has had no connexion with the politics of the country, as all that ever was required of it was, to look to the military affairs of the country, and all subjects connected therewith. He had taken the trouble to look into this matter, and see how this committee had been made up for some years back, and would call the attention of the House to the fact. Four years ago the Military Committee was organized precisely as it is now. When the distinguished gentleman from Virginia, who is now our Minister to England, occupied the Chair, this committee was made up in the same way, and it was precisely the same while the gentleman from Tennessee [Mr. Bell] was presiding officer of the House. This committee still stood, with reference to the administration, eight to one. During the second session of the twenty-third Congress, Mr. Vance, who is the present Governor of Ohio, was the only member on that committee opposed to the administration; and during the twenty-fourth Congress, Mr. Bunch, of Tennessee, if he might be considered an opponent of the administration, was the only member on that committee in the opposition. This he thought was a sufficient answer to the objections of the gentleman from Massachusetts on this point. Well, how was it with regard to other committees of this House? He took it, if gentlemen would take the trouble to examine, that they would find many of the committees with majorities opposed to the administration. The committee of which the gentleman from Massachusetts is chairman, (the Committee on Manufactures,) has a majority of its members opposed to the administration. It was the same case with the Committee of Claimr. It was the same with all the principal committees on the expenditures of the Executive Departments. The committees on the expenditures of the War Department, the Navy Department, and the Post Office Department, had all majorities opposed to the administration. With regard to the Committee on Military Affairs being composed of eight friends of the administration, and one member of the opposition, he presumed it was altogether accidental. He observed it was in accordance Oct. 7, 1837.]
with the previous practice of the House, as it was precisely in the same situation in which it had been in for the last four years, and he had never before heard any complaint in relation to it. But the gentleman from Massachusetts had urged another objection against this committee, and that objection was, that there were eight of its members taken from the Southern States, and only one left to take charge of the peculiar interests of the Northern States. Now, if the gentleman would look into the organization of the other committees, he would find the same objections to lie against them. How is it with the Committee of Ways and Means? Out of the nine members of that committee, there was only one member, the gentleman from Ohio, [Mr. HAMER, 1 to take care of the interests of the whole valley of the Mississippi and Ohio. How is it with regard to the committee of which the gentleman from Massachusetts himself is chairman, the Committee on Manufactures—a committee whose measures affect all branches of industry in the country Seven of its members live in the Northern States, and four of that seven in the New England States, while the whole of the Southern States had but one person on it to represent their interests. How is it with regard to the Committee on Naval Affairs and the Committee on Commerce " The Western States have not a single menber on the Committee on Naval Affairs or the Committee on Commerce to represent their interests. But, could not the gentleman from Massachusetts see the fallacy of these objections? There were only nine members on each committee, and there were twenty-six States in the Union; so that it was a natural consequence that at least seventeen States must be unrepresented on each committee. There was, therefore, nothing in the objection. He would next call the attention of the gentleman to the Committee on Roads and Canals—a committee so intimately connected with the great question of internal improvements. That committee stands seven to two, and only one of its number to take care of the interests of the ten States in the South and Southwest. That committee, too, stands, in regard to the administration, in precisely the same situation as the Committee on Military Affairs. The gentleman from Massachusetts, on yesterday, said that, during the last long session of Congress, a resolution was adopted calling on the late President of the United States to lay before Congress a statement in relation to the late Creek war, and that no answer was returned by the President. On this morning, however, the gentleman had corrected this statement, but had again fallen into an error. The gentleman had said that the resolution was answered by the President within a day or two of the end of the ses. sion. Now, if the gentleman would consult the journal, he will find that this communication was sent in on the 14th day of February; that it was only a report in part; and that the commissioners appointed by the President to make the necessary examinations were engaged in the further prosecution of the inquiry; and Mr. McK. understood that they were now in this city preparing a report, to be laid besore Congress at its next regular session. The resolution offered by the gentleman from Virginia [Mr. Wise] proposes an inquiry into the causes of delay and expenditure in the prosecution of the Florida war. Now, that gentleman will recollect that, during a former Congress, he submitted a resolution calling for information from the departments relative to this identical subject. On the 22d of May, it would be found, by referring to the journals, that a resolution was adopted, on motion of the gentleman from Virginia, [Mr. Wise,] calling on the President to communicate to the House all measures taken to suppress Indian hostilities in Florida, and also to communicate the causes of such hostilities. It would also be found that on the 26th the President sent a report from
the Secretary of War on the subject; on the 27th, an additional report; and on the 3d of June, a supplemental report on the same subject; therefore, there were three reports made in answer to this resolution, giving all the information in relation to the causes of the war and the means taken to suppress Indian hostilities. Mr. WISE said he knew that this report did not contain all the information in possession of the Department. He would not say by what authority he knew this ; but the late Secretary of War himself knew by what authority he (Mr. Wisk) knew that he did not communicate to this House all the information in his possession. Mr. McKAY resumed. That did not affect what he was going to say. The gentleman says all the information was not communicated. That was extraordinary. He did not pretend to say that the gentleman had not good grounds for making the assertion; but let us look to the terms of the resolution. They were, that the President be requested to communicate all the measures taken for the suppression of Indian hostilities, and all the information relative to the causes of those hostilities. Now, if what was stated by the gentleman from Virginia was true, it would form a grave matter of inquiry for the House to take notice of, and it would be called upon to institute some inquiry into the conduct of the late Secretary of War in consequence of this dereliction of duty. But, would the House suppose that the Secretary was so very regardless of his official duty as not to comply with the order of the House, requiring him to communicate all the information in regard to the causes of this war ! Mr. WISE said he would now state by what authority he spoke. Sir, (said Mr. W.,) the Secretary of War, unless his messenger told a falsehood, did, before he answered that very call, send a gentleman to me with certain papers marked confidential. They were submitted to me, and I know it upon this information. I read them, and the question was put to me, “Do you want these papers?” My reply was, that I wanted all relating to the subject. Mr. McKAY rose to resume ; when, On motion of Mr. CAMBRELENG, the House proceeded to the orders of the day.
TREASURY NOTE BILL.
The House then resumed the consideration of the “bill to authorize the issuing of Treasury notes,” being the substitute reported from the Committee of the Whole. The question being on an amendment to the amendment proposed by Mr. Rhett— Mr. RHETT modified his amendment so as to declare that the faith of the United States was pledged for the payment of the notes, on presentation, at six months after their dates, respectively. Mr. BELL rose and said: It had been his wish to submit his views upon this important subject while the bill was in committee, but he had been prevented by indisposition ; he did now intend to extend his remarks as far as he had designed to do, if time had permitted. The objections to this measure, (said Mr. B.,) are in my mind great and insuperable. It may possibly be that I am misled by suspicions, and that I may mistake the object of the bill, and do gross injustice to the intentions of the administration in pressing it upon Congress, but I must say, in my own vindication, that if I should be mistaken, my suspicions are honestly and sincerely cntertained. In ordinary times, and under ordinary circumstances, I could always find some clew to the real object of a measure; now no light comes from any quarter to direct my course. I might, and I did expect some light to spring up from the discussion of this question, but neither from the spirit nor matter of the past discussion can I gather any thing satisfactory. If I look to the votes of honorable members I am still left in the dark. It is well known that there is a re