網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

Dec. 20, 1836.]

Reduction of Duties— Treasury Circular.

(SENATE.

to the course which the Treasury has pursued. By the On motion of Mr. EWING, the subject was then laid provisions of the deposite law, the deposite banks pay in on the table. terest on sums deposited beyond a certain amount. If

TREASURY CIRCULAR. they receive money, therefore, beyond such amount, they are naturally templed to put it out on loans, how The Senate proceeded to the further consideration of ever little real occasion there may be for such loans; for the joint resolution introduced by Mr. Ewing, of Ohio, otherwise the deposite would be a heavy charge to rescinding the Treasury order of July 11, 1836, and prothem.

hibiting the Secretary of the Treasury from delegating An answer to these resolutions will give us light on the power to designate the kind of funds to be received this part of the case. It will probably be in the power in payment for the public lands. of the Secretary to answer the first resolution without Mr. CRITTENDEN, who had the floor, having movany delay. I hope we can have the answer to that so ed the adjournment yesterday, yielded it to soon as to be before us before the conclusion of this de Mr. BENTON, who read several extracis, to which he bate. Nor do I suppose that any great time will be ne.

had referred in his speech of yesterday. Having con. cessary to prepare an answer to the second resolution. cluded, he restored the floor to

Mr. WRIGHT inquired of the mover whether the res Mr. CRITTENDEN. The opening of Mr. C's speech olution was intended to ask for any more than the last was in so low a tone as to be totally inaudible to our restatement rendered at the Treasury.

porter. As soon as he was distinctly heard, he was obMr. WEBSTER replied that he had no wish that the serving that the Senate had been complained of by the inquiry should go back and call for a voluminous amount Senator from Missouri, not only for having been tardy in of documents; all he wished was the last statement re its appropriations of money for the public service, at its crived.

last session, but for not having appropriated enough. Mr. WRIGHT made no objection; and the resolution The Senate had voted appropriations to the amount of was thereupon agreed lo.

thirty-eight millions, but this was complained of as scan

ly measure, and the Chamber had been gravely rebuked REDUCTION OF DUTIES.

for not having done much more. Now, Mr. C. was very Mr. NILES observed that, on a former sitting, the Sen. ready to take his share, and the share of any other gen. ator from South Carolina (Mr. Calhoun) had taken the tleman who was tired of it, in the reproofs of the honorground that the whole subject of revenue belonged to able Senator for an open opposition to a portion of this the Committee on Finance; but if that doctrine was a appropriation, and he should have considered himself for.. sound one, the Committee on Manufactures would be tunate had be and his friends been so far successful as to left almost without any appropriate duty. He appre- have defeated them. So far from regretting or being hender, however, that the honorable Senator was mis. ashamed of the opposition he had made to this lavish extaken in the principle he had laid down. The compro. penditure of money, he took it to himself as a merit; so mise act recognised the principle that a reduction was to that, if the design of the bonorable Senator, in his exhortbe made on the tariff of duties: the principle existed in ation and reproof, had been to excile repentance, the the statutes of the country. Whatever committee it homily had entirely failed. might be who should undertake the very difficult and But the more immediate subject before the Senate delicate duty of devising the mode and measure of a re. was the Treasury order, which it was proposed by his duction of the revenue, would find that the chief difficul friend from Ohio to rescind, and to this he should enty in the way was not of a financial character, but had to deavor to confine himself. The subject had been de. do with the matter of protection, not of revenue. If the bated by the Senator from Missouri with all that zeal and subject of reduction affected very exclusively the great ability which usually characterized the efforts of that geninterests of the country, ought it not to be sent to the

lleman. Nor had Mr. C. any difficulty in readily excuCommittee on Manufactures? In order to test the sense sing even a more than ordinary measure of zeal in that of the Senate, he would make the motion that so much of Senator on this occasion; for he thought, from a variety the President's message as related to the reduction and of facis, pregnant with circumstantial evidence, that he repeal of duties be referred to the Committee on Manu- could very clearly see the true and genuine paternity of factures.

the order in question. He could not but believe that its Mr. CALHOUN observed that the question was not descent from the honorable Senator might be as correctly open to a motion; the reference had been made. If the traced as could be done in any other case of genealogy. gentleman wished to move a reconsideration, he could On the 22d of April last, the honorable Senator had not do so unless he had voted in the affirmative.

submitted a resolution that from and after the day Mr. NILES had supposed it in order to refer the same of — nothing but gold and silver should be receive syhject to two different committees, who might view it ed in payment for the public lands; and that the approunder different aspects. However, to avoid difficulty, priate committee should report a bill to that effect. The he would confine his motion to so much of the message as

subject was resumed on the following day, and by a vole related to the repeal of duties only.

of the Senate was laid upon the table. In that inglori. Mr. CALHOUN said that this was included in his mo. ous repose it bad remained by general consent. It was tion as much as the other. Whatever went to reduce permitted to sleep in silence, which amounted to the most the revenue he meant to refer to the Committee on Fi. unequivocal condemnation of the measure. This body nance, as appropriately belonging to that committee. then did condemn, as far as it could in such a mode, the And he must be permitted to say that no committee in very thing contained in this Treasury order; the author that body could represent more fully all the great inter of the resolution being among the few, the very few, adests concerned in such a subject. The chairman was vocates who voted in its favor. But no sooner had Con. connected extensively with one branch of Manufactures; gress adjourned, than, on the 11th of July, the very the Senator from New York with another; and the Sen measure, in regard to which the Senate had expressed ator from Louisiana represented the great sugar interest its most decided opinion in the negative, was wrought of the South; while he from Missouri represented that up into the form of a Treasury priler, surrounded, in; of lead. As to the difficulty of the task, none could be deed, and embellished with sundry arguments directed more sensible of it than himself; none had felt it more against land speculators, and in favor of occupants or deeply. The reduction, thus far, had been effected on. squatters. The very proposition which was rejected by ly by exertions such as he should be sorry to repeat. Congress in April was enforced as a Treasury order in

SEYATE.)

Treasury Circular.

(Dec. 20, 1836.

July. Who could have any difficulty in tracing the ori. did possess the right, and considered it good policy to g'n of the order to the rejected resolution! No sooner make a discrimination in favor of settlers, by yielding had the Senate condemned and rejected it, than it was them a priority in the purchase of the tracts they had instantly taken up in an executive department, and made cultivated, how far would this go in advancing the gen. to possess as complete effect as if ihe same thing had tleman's conclusion? Because Congress had power to been done by the very law which the Senate refused to do this, did it follow that the Executive had power to enact. Mr. C. would not, on this occasion, allude to do it? Who ever heard of the Executive setting up a another exertion of executive authority, the circumstano claim of authority to fix the price of the public lands, or, ces of which very strikingly resembled the present case; what was equivalent, to determine in u hat species of when Congress, just before its adjournment, bud decla- currency the land should be paid for? In what sense red the public money to be safe in the keeping of the could this be regarded as an executive power! It was Bank of the United States, but had no sooner adjourned his place to execute the laws, but it belonged to Conthan that very money was seized upon by the executive gress to judge what the laws should be. authority, and transferred to the deposite banks. In Mr. C. said it had been argued that the laws authoriboth cases the execitive authority had been made to zed the receivers at the land offices to receive nothing supply the place of the legislative. The eloquent Sen. but gold and silver, and that this order only carried the ator from Missouri had, in one clause of his speech, in law into effect. Such an argument did, indeed, admit vok+d the genius of the constitution. Now, supposing the authority of the law; but how did it bear upon the that genius would come at the gentleman's bidding, order? If the law required payment in gold and silver would it pronounce a proceeding like this to be in con for the public land, how could it be dispensed with, as formity with that instrument! Were not the members it was, by the order, in regard to citizens residing withof that and of the other House competent to decide on in the Siales wherein the land lay? There was no disquestions of the currency ?-questions which deeply af. pensing power confided to the Executive to set aside fected all their constituents, far and wide. Did it not ihe law, and no discretionary authority to make a differbelong to Congress to settle such questions? And did ence beiween citizens equal before the law. The pubnot the duty of the Executive consist in carrying into ef. lic lands were common property, which all had a right fect that which Congress in its wisdom might ordain? to buy on the equal terms prescribed by law, and the But here that which Congress disapproved and refused Secretary of the Treasury had no more right to assign to enact is immediately carried into effect by the Execu- different moles of payment to different classes of citi. live, without any other legislative authority or sanction zeng, than he had to give more lands to one, and less to than the profound opinions of the Senator from Missouri. another, for the same money. In this view the order was Mr. C. objected not only to the measure itself, but 10 altogeiher illegal. the time and manner of its enforcement. Even were But again: On what principle of justice was one class the thing itself not in violation of law and the constitu. of debtors required to pay their debts in gold and silver, tion, still the time and the manner in which it was done and another class in what was deemed by the Governwere derogatory to ihe dignity, judgment, and authority ment less valuable? With accuracy enough for the purof Congress. What was the time which had intervened poses of the present argument, the revenue may be stabetween the rejection of the resolution and the enact. ied at forty millions of dollars; one half paid in the West, ment of the order? It was the brief space between the for the purchase of public lands; the other half in the close of April and the 11th of July. What great change East, for duties and imposts. What right had the Exechad occurred within that time to justify such a measure? utive to declare that the Western half should be exacted Mr. C. would, therefore, be in favor of rescinding the in gold and silver, but that the Eastern half might be order, were it on no other ground than that of vindica- paid in bank, paper! The arbitrary inequality and inting the Senate from the disrespect that seemed to him to justice of such a regulation would be clear to every unhave been offered to it by that proceeding.

derstanding. Mr. C. could not be content under a disBut there were other more decided objections to a crimination so invidious and offensive. What must be measure of this character, two of which he would dis- the effect upon the West of continuing such an order in tinctly specify. The first was, that it made an unlawful force? The money was collected by the land offices, discrimination between different classes of American cit. and thence poured into the banks, but it was not expendizens; and, secondly, it made an equally unjust discrim. ed in the West. The great objects of public expendi. ination between debtors for the public lands and all oth. ture, as every one knew, were on the Atlantic seaboard. er debtors to the Government. First, it made a person. It was there that the colossal palaces, under the name of al distinction between citizens of the United States; gold custom-houses, were to be found. It was there that for. and silver was demanded of all purchasers of the public lifications reared their formidable front, and bristled domain, unless they were actual settlers of the land they from point to point along the whole coast. It was there wished to purchase, or bona fide residents of the State that all the great expenditures for the navy were to be within which the lands lay. Here was a personal dis- made. If the money derived from the sale of the pub. tinction, grounded merely on place of residence. A lic lands were to be applied to the ordinary expenditures particular species of currency was exacted from the one of the Government, then this mass of specie which was class, while another less valued species was accepted collected in the West was to be transported from year to from the other class. Could this be done! Was it year to the Atlantic States; and it could not be otherwise. consistent with equity? With equal rights of American The millions derived from the sale of the public lands citizens? The public domain was the common property could not be expended in the West, and therefore there of the whole people; and how did the resident of Illinois, would be a perpetual drain of specie out of the Western or Onio, or of Indiana, become possessed of higher into the Eastern States. The people of the West could rights in the purchase of it than you or I? Why was lie not be insensible to these results, or otherwise than justentitled to easement in the manner of making his pay. ly indignant at a measure marked with invidious distincmnents! Where was the law or the constitution giving tions, which permitted their Eastern brethren to pay him such a right? Where could it be found? Nowhere. their debts to Government in the ordinary medium of

But it had been said that the discrimination was the business, but compelled them to pay in gold and silver. game which had been made by various acts of Congress When the knowledge of this order first reached the in favor of actual settlers; and Mr. C. would not contest place of Mr. C's residence, the objections which he had ibal faci. Bil suppose it to be conceded that Congress 1 stated bad suggested themselves to bis mind on the first

Dec. 20, 1856.)

Treasury Circular.

(SENATE.

perusal, but he bad at that time no apprehension that The Senator from Missouri had exhibited a table, the the effects to be produced on the currency and business results of which he had pressed with a very triumphant of the country were likely to be so extensive. If, as it air. Was it extraordinary that the deposite banks should appeared, the object of the order was the accumulation be strengthened? The effect of the order went directly of specie in the banks, he doubted not that there would to sustain them. But it was at the expense of all the be a thousand ways devised to evade and defeat it. He other banks of the country. Under this order all the thought that the same thousand dollars, by being made specie was collected and carried into their vaults, an to travel backward and forward between the bank operation which went to disturb and embarrass the gen. and the land office, might be made to purchase land eral circulation of the country, and to produce that peenough to satisfy the desires of any number of buyers. cuniary difficulty which was felt in all quarters of the Mr. C. spoke on this subject from information and con Union. Mr. C. did not profess to be competent to judge jecture, having had no personal experience. He had bow far the whole of this distress was attributable io the never attended a land sale in his life, and knew nothing operation of the Treasury order, but of this at least he of the arts employed; but it was reasonable to suppose was very sure, through a great part of the Western that men who were much engaged in business of this country it was universally attributed to that cause. The kind would become expert in availing themselves of Senator from Missouri supposed that the order had proevery advantage in conducting it. But he has also duced no parl of this pressure. If not, he would ask thought that, on this side of the mountains, it would be what it had produced? Had it increased the specie in easier to evade the order than on the other; for there the country? Had it increased the specie in actual Was & proviso which admitted a cert ficale of deposite in and general circulation? If it had done no evil, what the Treasury to be received in the place of cash. This, gooi bad it done? This, he believed, was as yet undis. he supposed, would obviate the transportation of specie covered. So far as it had operated at all, it had been to the West, and would require it only to be carried to to derange the stale of the currency, and to give it a di. Washington, in which there would be no great difficulty; rection inverse to the course of business. The honora. but he had since understood that a mode had been de ble Senator, however, could not see how moving money vised still more convenient: the intended purchasers across a street could operate to affect the currency; and would obtain drafts on the Bank of the Metropolis. seemed to suppose that moving money from west to They would present these drafts at the counter, and the east, or from east to west, would have as little effect. question was asked, do you want hard money? Yes, I Money, however, if left to itself, would always move want to buy land. The matter was easily managed. A according to the ordinary course of business transactions. certain amount of silver was put into a little keg, and This course miglit indeed be disturbed for a time, but it this was put into a wheel-barrow and carried across the would be like forcing the needle away from the pole; street to the Treasury, where the requisite certificate you might turn it round and round as often as you was granted of so much money deposited in the Treasu- pleased, but, left to itself, it would still settle at the ry. The keg was then wheeled back to the bank, and norih. Our great commercial cities were the natural this had been repeated until it became a matter of open repositories where money centred and settled. There ridicule among the subalterns of the Treasury. This lit. it was wanted, and it was more valuable if left there tle barrel had been rolled backward and forward from than if carried into the interior. Any intelligent busithe bank to the Treasury and from the Treasury to the ness man in the West would rather have money paid bim bank, a distance of not more than fifty yards, until, ac for a debt in New York than at his own door. It was cording to a calculation which had been made, it had worth more to him. If, then, specie was forced, by travelled about 1,100 miles; and this was the boasted Treasury tactics, to take a direction contrary to the naimetallic circulation. This process did but exemplify, to a ural course of business, and to move from east to west, considerable extent, the operation of this Treasury order the operation would be beneficial to none, injurious to over the whole country. But, allowing for all these all. It was not in the power of Government to keep it evasions, this order undoubtedly has and must continue in a false direction or position. Specie was in exile to occasion large sums of gold and silver to be tempora- whenever it was forced out of that place where business rily withdrawn from general circulation, and paid into called for it. Such an operation did no real good. It the land offices. From these offices it is transferred to was a forced movemen', and was soon overcome by the the deposite banks--is there subjected to the ordinary natural course of things.

banking uses and purposes, and serves to strengthen and Mr. C. was well aware that men might be deluded · fatten these corporations, to the prejudice of the gener and mystified on this subject, and that, while the delu

al circulation, and of those banks from which that gold sion lasted, this Treasury order might be held up before and silver has been withdrawn. To compensate for the eyes of men as a splendid arrangement in finance; these evils, and this derangement of the currency, what but it was only like the natural rainbow, which owed its adequate good has been or can be produced by this very existence to the mist in which it bad its being. The order? I cannot perceive it--it appears visionary to me moment the atmosphere was clear, its bright colors van. to suppo e that it will add a single dollar to the amount ished from the view. So it would be with this matter. of the specie of the United States.

The specie of the country must resume its natural But, sir, the direct operation of this order has not, course. Man might as well escape from the physical probably, been more injurious, or perhaps so much so, necessities of their nature, as from the laws whichi gov. as its indirect consequences in producing distrust and erned the movements of finance: and the man who proalarm. When the Treasury raises its mighty arm, the fessed to reverse or dispense with the one was no greater banks are shaken far and wide. The sudden call for quack than he who made the same professions with re. gold and silver, made by this order, aided by some other gard to the other. causes, rendered the banks, to some extent, uneasy, and But it was said to be the distribution bill which had created apprehensions in the minds of the holders of done all the mischief; and Mr. C. was ready to admit their notes. The consequence was that these holders that the manner in which the Government had attempted pressed the banks for paym.ent; the banks pressed their to carry that law into effect might in part have furnished debtors, and withheld their customary accommodations; the basis for such a supposition. He had no doubt that and thus, sir, derangement and pressure were more se. the pecuniary evils of the country had been aggravated verely and widely extended. Such, I know, has been by the manner in which this bad been done. On this the case in Kentucky to a considerable extent.

subject, however, he confessed himself to be but a

SENATE.]

Treasury Circular.

(Dec. 20, 1836.

learner. He had no doubt that the Government might seems to think that all are not opposed to it; and he has so have distributed the money as to avoid all injurious traced down, from the days of Hamilton, the existence consequences, and might have so managed the opera of a great and formidable party which hates gold and tion that the transmission of these funds, instead of oc silver; and if I correctly understand how I must take casioning injury or inconvenience, might rather have my place in this division of parties, I must be one of increased the prosperity of the coundry, by falling in with those who hate gold and silver. Now, permit me to as the natural and legitimate course of business. But this sure the honorable Senator that I pariake at least so had been passed by, and he Government had proceeded, much of mortal mould as that gold and silver coin are like a porier or drayman, to carry the public money not among the objects of my ant pathy. Tbese “rascal from one quarter of the country to the other. Thus, counters' do not indeed engross my affections, but they millions of specie had been carried from New York to are very far from being odious to me. No very serious Kunlucky; but the people of Kentucky would have defence or reply, however, would seem to be necessary preferred that it should have remained in New York, to the strange and exaggerated accusation of hating gold for there they might have disposed of it at a premium of and silver. If, as I suppose, the honorable gentleman one or two per cent. This would have fallen in with intended to apply that accusation to his political oppothe course of business, and have been beneficial to the nenls here, I would suggest to him that he would probcountry. But, as it was, the effect was the reverse. ably do them no disservice if he would please to make

But, sir, according to the honorable Senator from Mis- good his charge by convincing the public that they have souri, all the evil which was not the effect of the distri no love for these precious metals. It would certainly bution law was the effect of a panic, "a little starveling place them in striking contrast with the party of the panic, no bigger than a church mouse;" a panic which honorable Senator; and what he imputes as a crime was now over; which, contemptible as it was, had en. might possibly be regarded as a recommendation. The joyed the distinguished honor of dying by the hand of love of gold and silver has so much prevailed as the vice that Senator, and meeting its end, like Cæsar, in the of political parties, and been the cause of so much abuse Capitol. And was this all ihe comfort which the gentle and corrupiion in Governments, that probably the peo. man had to give under the pressures and distresses of ple of the United States mighi be tempted to make the the commercial interest? Mr. C. did not presume to experiment of administering their Government by a new set himself up as a competent judge of mercantile affairs. set of agents or rulers taken from this newly discovered There were other genilemen on that floor who far bet. sect of money-bating politicians-ihe first party of that ter understood the interest of that meritorious class of description, I think, which has yet appeared in the our fellow.citizens, and who would speak on the subject world. But, sir, however this may eventuate, 1 ought in due time. But if there was any truth in the repre, perhaps to admit, whatever be its merit or demerit, that sentations universally given, there was an extreme pres the party of the honorable Senator do love gold and silsure now felt in all our great cities, from Boston to New ver better than their opponents. That party has been Orleans, the effect of which was rapidly spreading long blessed with opportunities of manisesting this at. through the interior. What was the cause of this embar- tachment, and it has not neglected them. Its long and rassment? The gentleman said it was this little panic. strict monopoly of the public Treasury, with all its shiWell, but what was the cause of the panic? Who made ning heaps, and the manner in which it has used that il? What caused it? Was it not the Treasury order? | monopoly, sufficiently attest its affection for the precious The Senator loved the order well, but not the panic; metals. Indulgence, too, may have increased this passion; and all the remedy he could propose was to tell for it is exactly one of those cases where “increase of the sufferer it is but a panic, a contemptible little appetite doth grow by that it feeds on.” panic, a petty starveling panic; the country is sound, On the other band, sir, the opponents of this party the country is safe. Sir, of what invaluable use has have been so long excluded from all these opportunities been that little word? It has furnished its full con. and indulgences, that they are supposed, it seems to tribution to the beauty and the force of many a ponder have lost the natural taste, and, as if in mockery, are deous and patriotic argument of the Senator from Missouri. nounced as “baters of gold and silver." I know of no It has given point to many a sentence; it has helped to better grounds on which the honorable Senator can rest round off many a sonorous period. He has wielded it his accusation, nor does any reply occur to me better like some well-tried and favorite weapon, and has dis-suited to its ludicrous gravity, played great skill in its use. It seems there have been But now, sir, seeing that the honorable Senator is of ihree great panics, which the gentleman has noted like that party which loves so well the constitutional currenso many eras of the plague. Whatever may be the na. cy, let me ask him what his love will prompi him to do? tional misfortune, and how loudly soever it may call for This Treasury order, it seems, is not the ultimate scope a remedy, when legislative wisdom can furnish none and aim of his attempts. What is it he would wish for? other, it is a sufficient remedy to cry panic! panic! Sir, Is it to destroy all banks? Is it to annihilate the entire it is a senatorial specific, a ready panacea for all the paper system, and give us in place of it showers of gold evils of the body politic. Yes, sir, this is all. Your and showers of silver? Why, sir, if the fiat of that genstatesmanship goes no farther. Tell the people it is a tleman could annihilate at a blow all the bank notes in panic, and let them understand that all the enemies of the country, does he really believe that the business of Goneral Jackson's administration have united by common this community could be carried on without them? Sir, consent to get it up and keep it up. A legislator will lo attempt to transact the affairs of the American com. thus feel that he has fully discharged his duty to the munity by a medium of gold and silver coin, would be country and to his constituents when he has duly vo. little better than going back to the old Spartan expedi. ciferated panic! panic! Two per cent. a month is given ent of bars of iron. for money, and it is all panic, panic.

But from what does the Senator infer that the party A justification for this illegal Treasury order is further to which he is opposed bate, or at least are opposed to, altempled by telling us that there are in the country one gold and silver? Is the party which advocated the thousand banks, and thai it is the design of this resolu- Bank of the United States the party which is in love tion to fasten on the country an odious paper system, with the paper system? That is his argument. But and to pay for the public domain in the rotten and what was one of the chief grounds on which they advo. worthless notes of one thousand banks. To this the cale) that bank? Was it not that is influence went to honorable Senator is opposed. So are we all. But he maintain a solid currency, convertible into gold and

Dec. 20, 1836 ]

Treasury Circular.

(SENATE.

[ocr errors][merged small]

silver! Was it not that, by means of its central situation I have against you, sir. Would you consider it an imand extensive control, it would check excesses of local peachment on your integrity for a gentleman to differ banks! So far from being opposed to gold and silver, from you as to the policy of a political measure! Surely it was the object of that party to keep up a circulation not. Why, then, should the Senator suppose that a mo. both of hard money and good paper, and secure to the tion to rescind this Treasury order must be intended to country the advantages of both. And now, can we ad. dishonor General Jackson? Sir, I object wholly to this vance an argument in this House on the subject of the introduction of presidential influence into debate on this currency, without coming under some reproach about foor. Is it becoming in us to say one to another, you the Bank of the United States? You have put down must do this or that, lest the President should feel himthat institution, which actually accomplished all that this self degraded? Is this a fit weapon to be wielded in this order professes to aim at, and now just what we predict House? The Senator from Missouri, from the intimacy ed is daily coming to pass. State banks are springing he is supposed to enjoy with the President, may be conup like mushrooms in all parts of the country, and that sidered as speaking with authority on such a subject. under the patronage of the Government, and according But may I, who am in some degree excluded from the to its earnest wishes. And these constitute a part of the presidential smiles, attempt to carry a measure through thousand banks which figure so largely in the speech of the Senate by threatening the presidential frown? May the bonorable Senator. Is not this the very effect which every little whipster wield this weapon over our heads? we told you would follow the destruction of the Bank of what is to be the influence of such threats? What is the United States? If you are flooded with banks, and to be the end of such a system? What must its end be the paper of some of them is of doubtful credit, is it the but to resolve all legislation into the will and wish of the fault of those who did their best to preserve that which Executive! The scope of such an argument would would have kept down these spurious issues? What leave this Senate little more than a lame registry of can be more unjust than to charge us with loving this presidential edicts. The Government may retain the state of things? But is it not even ludicrous to contrast shadowy forms of republican freedom, but it will become what has actually happened with the predictions of the in fact å stern, substantial monarchy. The phrase " departy opposed to us, and to which the Senator belongs? grade the President” is to be used as so many cabalistic They told us that the State banks would give us a better words: the moment they are uttered the Senate is to be currency. The executive messages, year after year, silenced. The President thinks a certain measure riglit, gave us the most solemn assurances that the State banks therefore we must think it right. I read that Pbilip of would fully supply the place of the Bank of the United Macedon had but one eye, and he covered the place of States; that no disiress would be the result, but that we the other with a patch. His influence in Greece, which should have a better currency.

Behold the consumma bad long been increasing, at length reached that point tion of these prophecies. Do not the prophets stand in that to court bis favor the Grecian Senators appeared in a position perfectly ludicrous? Are the notes of these their pluces with a patch over the left eye. (A laugh.] thousand banks a better currency than the notes of the So I suppose it is to be with us. If the President on Bank of the United States? If ihey are, then why not any occasion happens to do wrony, we are not to think receive them for the public lands? Did any man doubt or to speak on the subject, and must prefer to do injus. the solvency of the Bank of the United Stales, or the tice to ourselves, rather than run the risk of degrading goodness of its notes? You destroyed that bank. Your the President. better currency is come in the place of it; we bring it I suppose I am to understand the Senator from Misto your own doors, and you spurn it. We offer it to souri, when he speaks of the “constitutional currency," you, and you reply, “What! convert the public lands

to mear. a currency of gold and silver. But the constitution into reams of spoiled and speckled paper, called money?” says nothing on the matter, save that the States shall pass Thus scorned, thus hooted at, is thal very currency no law making any thing but gold and silver a legal ien. which you told us was to be better than the notes of the der. That is all it contains on the subject. But I will here United States Bank; and because we prophesied such a Tell that gentleman that I do to a great extent, agree currency, and labored to prevent its coming upon the with him in the picture he has drawn of a degraded country, we are now to be called haters of gold and paper currency, and I will very gladly contribute my silver!

mite to correct so great an evil. But I fear it is beyond We too, sir, are opposed to converting the public our reach. The banks of which he complains hold their lands into worthless bank notes. But we supposed that, existence under State authority, and all our arguments dubious as the credit of many of these banks is justly amount to nothing more than mere idle speculation. considered, some of them are good, and that the notes You have no bank. You rejected that you had, of these should be received from the people, without and refused to make another. Is this Treasury order running into the sudden and inconvenieni extreme of the mode in which you would correct the evils of exrejecting every thing but gold and silver; a measure the cessive banking? Would you disorder and derange the more barsh in its operation and character, because of whole currency of the country, in order that the banks its being the unexpected act of an administration tbal, may explode?' For all the evils of the existing system up to that very instant, had encouraged the circulation thar gentleman and his party are fully chargeable. They of these bank notes, by proclaiming it to be a “better put down that institution which would have prevented currency" than that which had been furnished by the ihe whole. They did it with the consequences plainly Bank of the United States.

before their eyes-clearly shown, and distinctly fore. But the Senator tells us that the object of this resolu. told. Thry persevered, and those consequences have tion is twofold. Its prime object is to disgrace General

From that act have grown up all these Jackson, and the seconil, which is little inferior in im- evils—evils which the Senator paints in glowing colors, portance, is to overtbrow the national curiency. These but evils from all which I look forward in trembling hope are the two revolutionary consequences which ihe Sen. to an ultimate deliverance. I entertain as great an apator supposes to be aimed at liy my friend from Ohio. prehension of the danger of these thousand banks as lie For myself, I can with great truth say that I am actu: dves; but it is a danger which the Treasury order will ated in this matter only by my view of the good or bad not remove. I am opposed to that measure, because it policy of the Treasury order, disconnected entirely from is not a competent remedy. Instead of mirigating, it all personal feeling loward General Jackson. I have no aggravates the evil; and I therefore hope the resolution more personal seeling against bim on this subject than before us will receive the sanction of ibis body.

now come.

[ocr errors]
« 上一頁繼續 »