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He took it for granted that, if the bill was passed, it would be the duty of the Postmaster General to put the new routes into operation, and gentlemen had said that they amounted to a hundred and fifty or two hundred. Now, said Mr. S., I do not think it quite fair towards that department, in the present condition of its finances, to impose this new burden upon its resources. It has been said, in the course of this debate, that no new post routes have been put into operation since 1828. Yet, on looking at the report of the Postmaster General, at the present session, the debt of the department appears to be increasing. It is stated in the report, that the expenditure of 1827–8 was $1,623,893; of 1828–9, $1,782, 132 57; of 1s29–30, $1,932,707 06; so that the expenditure of the last year exceeds that of 1828–9 by the sum of more than one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, and about three hundred thousand dollars more than in 1827–8. He did not mean to find fault with it. Though there may have been no new routes to cause this increase, it may perhaps be accounted for by the increased facilities af. forded on the old routes, or the calls on the department for old claims or allowances, or in many other ways. It would not be right to disapprove of it without accurate and full information as to the causes of it, as it might, perhaps, be fully and satisfactorily explained. He did not mean to give any opinion about it, and had only alluded to it to show that, even under this increased expenditure, the report further showed that the excess of expenditure over the receipts had pretty regularly increased too since 1827. This excess is stated in the same report to have been, in 1827–8, $25,015 85; 1828–9, $74,714 15; 1829–30, $82,124 86. The postages have increased from the years 1827–8, to the last year, more than two hundred and twenty thousand dollars. Now, it cannot be sound policy to burden that department with the new expenditure to be created by this bill, before the old debt is paid off, or lessened; or at least put on the decrease, instead of increasing yearly. It is very true, as the Postmaster General very justly observes, that the yearly ratio of increase of this excess for the last two years does not keep pace with the yearly increase of receipts. But the amount of excess is, in fact, increasing yearly; and it is that circumstance to which he, Mr. S., wished to call the attention of the House. The amendment of the gentleman from Kentucky will prevent this excess from increasing any more, at least through the legislation of Congress. He thought it would be time enough to think of putting more burdens upon the post office fund, when this excess of expenditure began to diminish. The old routes would undoubtedly be able to maintain themselves in two or three years more, if the future increase of postages shall equal the increase of the last two years. In the mean time, he thought it unwise to throw new obstacles in the way of the present increasing prosperity of the department. He should vote for the amendment of the gentleman from Kentucky, because he thought it would have a tendency to relieve the department from the very unpleasant necessity of overloading its resources. He considered it his duty, as a member of the House, to contribute his aid to this desirable result. It was not as a friend of the Postmaster General, which some gentlemen, during the course of the debate, had avowed themselves on this floor to be. He had no particular friendship for that officer, nor any enmity towards him. Indeed, he knew of no friends in legislation. It was not strictly a parliamentary word. The public interest requires that Congress should not, in the present condition of the department, do any thing to embarrass the Postmaster General in his laudable efforts to keep the expenditure of his office within its income; and Mr. S. said that it was only because the public interest did require it, that he should support the amendment. The policy of Congress had been to make that department support itself, and it was
right that those who reaped its advantages should be at the expense of maintaining it. Rather than add to its expedition in its condition, he would be willing to vote a gross sum at once from the treasury, to pay off the eighty thousand dollars excess of the last year, put the department fairly afloat, and let the Postmaster General begin the next year with a new account. Mr. MAGEE said he did not rise for the purpose of taking a part in this debate, but merely to correct the great mistakes which secmed to prevail in some parts of the House, as to an enormous increase in the expenses of the Post Office Department. The bill of 1827, for establishing additional routes, did not take effect until 1829. The routes then ordered did not go into operation until January, 1829; and the first payment did not come on until May of that year. The sum of one hundred and twenty-nine thousand dollars, therefore, expended, was to be deducted from the formidable amount stated by his colleague. Mr. M. said he had mentioned these facts for the information of his colleague, who professed such entire ignorance as to the cause of the “enormous increase,” as well as that of the House. Mr. JOHNSON said that, with a view to relieve gentlemen from the great fears they professed, lest the nation should think there had been a gross expenditure in the Post Office Department, he had intended to advert to the facts just stated by the gentleman from New York. He could also inform the gentleman, that since the adoption of the federal constitution, and even before that constitution had any existence, the Postmaster General had possessed absolute power to increase, at his own discretion, the frequency of the mails, from one day in a week to six—ay, and to seven, too, if he thought it most expedient. He could also, at pleasure, increase the speed of the mails; nor were the public journals silent as to the increase which had actually taken place, both in their frequency and speed. The Postinaster could multiply their passage from three to six times every week of the year, and even to seven times, thank God, when it was necessary. Yet his friend over the way, without explaining any of the facts which he had stated from the documents, expresses his utter ignorance as to the causes which have led to the result he refers to; a gentleman, too, of his distinction, who, I thought, added Mr. J., knows almost every thing. For himself, Mr. J. said he could see no necessity whatever for involving this thing in party considerations. He never had, and with God's help he never would imply censure by his language on that floor, where he was unwilling directly to express it. His friend, too, from Ohio, [Mr. Whittles Ex,] had thought it ne. cessary to allude to some imputation made under the present administration, to prodigality under the past. He . could not for his life see the necessity of alluding to this, even had the fact been so; but it was not so. He had never seen a word from the present head of the Post Office Department reflecting, in the slightest degree, on the worthy and meritorious gentleman who had been his predecessor, and he should be glad—no, he recalled the word, he should not be glad, for the matter did not pertain to the subject before the House—if his friend from Ohio would point out the spot, and would give the House the chapter and verse where any such imputation was expressed. For himself, he esteemed and honored the late Postmaster General, as he esteemed and honored the present officer. He knew, indeed, that some such thing as that alluded to by the gentleman from Ohio, had been afloat in the public journals; he regretted that they were so abusive on both sides. He wished it were otherwise; yet, no matter how abusive it might be, the public press was the great palladium of our liberties; the present Postmaster, he was perfectly sure, had never intended to cast the least imputation on his predecessor—not had he
done so--he had indeed stated that new arrangements
had been made in administering the affairs of the department. It had been divided into different bureaus, and some reforms had been introduced in its expenditures, but the statement of this implied no censure on the gentleman who had gone before him. Mr. J. said he should not reflect upon his friend from New York, who had professed so much ignorance as to the details of the Post Office Department. He hoped the gentleman had been sincere in all that he advanced; as to himself, he was but a plebeian in rank, and a plebeian in language. He felt that he had been unfortunate on the present occasion. His language certainly had not been well understood, for a third friend [Mr. Hoff MAN] had seemed to conceive that he had uttered a sort of bravado, intimating that he cared nothing to what extent he scattered the public money. Such a sentiment was far from his mind. What he had said was, that when such a valuable accommodation was to be secured to the people, he would not stand to inquire whether it would cost eighty thousand or two hundred thousand dollars. The good obtained far overbalanced the money it might cost. He hoped, after these explanations, that it would not be necessary for him again to rise during the present debate. Mr. DANIEL was in favor of the amendment. He should not be prevented from voting for it by the consideration, which appeared to have weight with some gentlemen, that it would impose too great responsibility on the Postmaster General. That officer, he had no doubt, was willing to take and bear all kinds of responsibility. He has the power now to discontinue any post road if it is not beneficial to the community. He has the power also of increasing mail accommodation upon every route; and there will not be more discretion reposed in him by this amendment than there is by the general laws on the subject of the Post Office Department—not a particle more. What is intended by the amendment? There are some routes among the number contained in the bill, which would defray their own expense, and ought to be put in operation: there were others, probably, which ought not. If the gentleman from Ohio had looked at all parts of the Postmaster General's report with the same vigilance as he had at one part, he would have discovered what had become of the $230,000 in hand when the present Postmaster General came into office. The new contracts under the act of 1827 had disposed of nearly the whole of it. And what more did the gentleman overlook in the report? Why, that since that officer had taken charge of the department, the postage has been increased to the amount of $140,000, and increased facilities of mail transportation to a large amount have been extended to the people: and the department was not yet insolvent, as the gentleman was very ready to insinuate; for there still remained in hand a hundred and forty odd thousand dollars, after providing for the deficit of $82,000; but it was indispensable to the proper conduct of the department, that it should at all times have a surplus of funds. The gentleman from New York, whose candor Mr. D. said he at all times admitted, and particularly on the present occasion, had gone on and said that every man should vote or speak in this House without any regard to his personal predilections, and should always labor to lay before his constituents the truth in regard to every department of the Government. Any attempt to eveninsinuate that any member of this House would ever attempt to deceive his constituents by a garbled statement of the contents of public documents, would be a gross disrespect to this body. So that when any member of this House tells a part of the truth, and not the whole of it, I always suppose that it is a mistake: for no member could be suspected of taking a scrap of a document here and a scrap there, and putting them together, for the purpose of deceiving his constituents, I will not believe it: if I were disposed to believe it, I would not—at least, I would not say so here. Now, sir,
as the gentleman desires information on this subject, I will endeavor to inform him what has become of the $309,000 which he speaks of. I find in the report of the Postmaster General, which accompanied the President’s late message, the following: “In the several States, improvements in mail facilities have been loudly called for; and in many instances the growing population and extending settlements of the country have absolutely required them. In making such improvements, care has been taken so to extend them as to give the greatest possible accommodation at the least expense, and in such a manner as would be most likely to increase the revenue. It is in part owing to these improvements that the amount of revenue is so much augmented. though they have, at the same time, considerably increased the expenditures of the department. Between the 1st of July, 1829, and the 1st of July, 1830, the transportation of the mail was increased in stages equal to - - - - 745,767 miles a year On horseback and in sulkies - 67,104 do.
Making an annual increase of transportation, equal to - - - 812,871 miles a year beyond the amount of any former period.”
From this the House would at once see the reason of the increased expenditure of that department. But, while on this subject, he would make one or two observations. In the course of last summer it was said in many places that the Post Office Department was insolvent, and that it had been made so by the present incumbent, and that he had asked an appropriation of money from the treasury to sustain the department. It was published in many of the papers, and believed by a great portion of the people that this was the fact. This statement caused great dissatisfaction; and if the fact had been as stated, there would have been a general disapproval of that department. But it was not true. The Postmaster General did not ask for an appropriation, but the Committee on the Post Office and Post IRoads called upon him to know how much it would take to put in operation a certain number of new routes, and he answered that it would take $86,000. No sooner was this done, than a clamor was spread abroad that the department was insolvent. Sir, if this bill passes without the proposed amendincint, and is put into operation—and it will assuredly be the duty of the department to put it in operation--it will require an additional expenditure of a sum of $80,000 at the least, and perhaps'much more; for, since the last session, when the probable expense of carrying it into effect had been reported, every member who wanted a new post route had gone and stuck it into the bill, which, instead of one hundred and fifty new routes, now contained three hundred. One route had been put into the bill, on which, he was told, in all probability there would not one letter pass in two weeks. No doubt, that, in reference to that route, the committee had been differently informed, or they would not have admitted it into the bill. Looking over the bill, he found also in one case two routes over one road—that is, from the same point to the same point: one of these, however, he believed, had been struck out. The establishment of these unnecessary routes may serve to give post offices to individuals who want the power to frank letters; and some man on each of these routes, who has a spare horse and a little boy to ride it, may find employment for both: but, sir, it does seem to me, that the Postmaster General would understand the routes infinitely better than the Post Office committee can possibly understand them. He is better acquainted with the existing routes, and with the bearing of new routes in relation to them, so as to prevent the routes from running into one another, &c. Members of this House may understand very well the roads within their respective districts; but whether the conversion of them into post roads would
be generally beneficial, they are not so good or disinterested judges. One member's constituents comes to him, and tells him, “I want a mail route by my house.” He is an old friend, and has supported the member at all times, through evil and through good report, and the member cannot refuse it to him. But, if the discretion was left to the Postmaster General, as proposed by the amendment, those routes which were likely to be of general use, would be put in operation, while others of a different description would not. Mr. D. said he trusted, therefore, the amendment would be adopted. Pass this bill, said he, and what will be the result? Why, although the appropriation has been struck out of this bill, you involve the department in an increased annual expense of a hundred and fifty or two hundred thousand dollars. The Postmaster General will be compelled to require an appropriation from the treasury to carry on his department. That is not calculated upon by the people. They will not approve it. They are willing that the income of the establishment shall be expended for its support, but they are not willing that the treasury shall be called upon to furnish the means of extending it. And, sir, we ought to pause, and stop until the funds of the department shall be in a state to allow us to go on adding to its expenditure, by establishing hundreds of new routes at a time.
[After Mr. D. closed his remarks, the House adjourned without taking the question, either on the bill or the amendment.]
Mox DAY, DEcEM BER 20. The House assembled at twelve o'clock. JUDGE PECK.
Mr. HOFFMAN begged permission to trespass for a moment upon the time of the House. It would be recollected that to-day was fixed upon for proceeding in the trial of Judge Peck, in the case of that individual's impeachment before the Senate of the United States. It was, in his opinion, advisable that the House should attend, even if only in the first instance to prosecute the case before the Senate; and, with this view, he submitted the following resolution: Reso/red, That this House will, from time to time, resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole to attend in the chamber of the Senate on the trial of the impeachment against James H. Peck, a judge of the United States' district court for the district of Missouri. Mr. HOFFMAN said, in support of his resolution, that it was not dictated by any spirit of idle curiosity to witness the proceedings in the Senate chamber on so solemn and interesting an occasion, but from an anxiety to ascertain the principles upon which such an important matter was to be conducted, in order that the presence of the House, before the highest tribunal in the Union, might give effect to a case which would be a subject of discussion throughout the country, and which would form part of our public history. The trial of an impeachment was a proceeding of a grave nature; it was never instituted but for the purpose of punishing those offences which the ordinary laws could not reach; and as such, it was, perhaps, better that it should be attended with all the solemnity possible; besides, such would be the interest manifested to witness its progress, that it was doubtful to him whether they should be able to obtain a quorum in that House during the time that the proceedings upon it were carrying on in the Senate. Mr. DWIGHT said he concurred with the gentleman from New York [Mr. HoFPMAN] in the propriety of the House attending during the trial; but this resolution seemed to imply the necessity of its continual attendance. He was desirious the House should meet at eleven o'clock, in order to give the House one hour for their own business. . After some remarks from Messrs. WICKLIFFE and
BUCHANAN, who stated that the Senate were waiting for the appearance of the managers, and the proposition of an amendment to the resolution by Mr. Dwight, which were subsequently negatived, Mr. POLK moved to amend the resolution, by inserting “this day,” instead of “from time to time;” and this was accepted by the mover as a modification, as this would give the House an opportunity of discussing the question of its continual attendance, to-morrow. Mr. PETTIS objected to the attendance of the House in the Senate chamber, which he conceived to be entirely unnecessary. There were two or three hundred bills already on their table, which it would, he thought, be better to dispose of, with the utmost promptitude. As to not having a quorum present for the despatch of the public business, should such be the case, it would be easy to try the effect of a call of the House. Upon the question of the adoption of the resolution, he should call for the yeas and nays. Mr. DODDRIDGE moved to lay the resolution upon the table. Negatived. The resolution of Mr. Hoff MAN was then carried; and, On motion of Mr. WICKLIFFE, the House resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole, Mr. DRAY to N in the chair, and repaired in procession, accompanied by their officers, to the Senate chamber, where, having been seated, the impeachment was proceeded in. The Representatives, after some time, having returned to their own hall, in like order, and Mr. DRAYTON having reported, on motion of Mr. WHITTLESEY, it was resolved, that when the House adjourned, it should adjourn till eleven o'clock tomorrow.
The House then adjourned. *
TUEs DAY, DEcEMBER. 21. SILK MANUFACTURE.
Mr. SPENCER, from the Committee on Agriculture, to which was referred the letter of P. S. Duponceau, presenting to the House a flag of American silk and manufacture, made the following report: “The Committee on Agriculture, to which was referred the letter of Peter S. Duponceau, to the Speaker of the House, announcing his presentation to the House of a silken flag, bearing the colors of the United States, made of American silk, reeled from cocoons, and prepared and woven by John D'Homergue, silk manufacturer, the entire process in the manufacture of the same having been performed in the city of Philadelphia, report: “That they consider this specimen of American industry, applied for the first time to the production of a fabric in such general use in the United States, in the purchase of which, in foreign countries, several millions of dollars are annually drawn from this country, as highly auspicious to the agriculture and arts of the United States; and that Mr. Duponceau, for his patriotic exertions in promoting the culture of silk, and in his efforts to excite the attention of the people of the United States to that important branch of industry, deserves the commendation of his country. The committee have received a communication from Mr. Duponceau, detailing various important facts and remarks in reference to the bill entitled “An act for promoting the growth and manufacture of silk,” which they have appended to this report for the information of the House; and the committee report a resolution, and recommend its adoption by the House. “Resolved, That the flag, bearing the colors of the United States, presented to this House by Peter S. Duponceau, of Philadelphia, made of American silk, and prepared and woven by John D'Homergue, silk manufacturer in the city of Philadelphia, be accepted by this House, and that it be displayed, under the direction of
Mr. STORRS, of New York, rose to ask, for his own information, whether it was expected that the managers, in the absence of the House, were to conduct the trial of the impeachment against Judge Peck. The hour for the trial had now arrived, and it was necessary for the House to take some order on the subject. Mr. HOFF MAN hoped that the same course would be pursued by the House to-day, as was taken by it yesterday; and he accordingly submitted, for the consideration of the House, the same resolution that was yesterday adopted by the House. The resolution was then read, and agreed to. On motion of Mr. STRONG, the House agreed to meet to-morrow at eleven o’clock. On motion of Mr. HOFFMAN, the House then resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole, Mr. CAMH RELENG in the chair; and, On motion of Mr. TAYLOR, the House, as a committee, proceeded to the Senate chamber, further to attend the trial of the impeachment against Judge Peck; and, after about two hours and a half spent therein, the committee returned to the hall, and the Speaker resumed the chair. Mr. CAMBRELENG, from the said Committee of the Whole, reported that the committee had, according to order, again attended the trial of the said impeachment in the Senate, and that the court had adjourned till to-morrow at twelve o’clock. ~ And thereupon the House adjourned.
WEDN Es DAY, DEcEMI; ER 22.
OF PRESIDENT AND VICE PRES1IDENT. Mr. McDUFFIE, from the select committee on so much of the President's message as relates to an amendment of the constitution respecting the election of President and Vice President of the United States, reported, in part, the following joint resolution; which was read, and laid on the table: Resolved, &c., That the following amendment of the constitution of the United States be proposed to the several States, to be valid, to all intents and purposes, as part of said constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three-fourths of the said States, viz. No person shall be hereafter eligible to the office of President of the United States, who shall have been previously elected to the said office, and who shall have accepted the same, or exercised the powers thereof.
Mr. DWIGHT submitted a resolution, in substance, requiring the House to meet each day at eleven o'clock during the trial of the impeachment of Judge Peck; and that at twelve o'clock it would resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole, and proceed to the Senate for the purpose of attending the trial.
Mir. WHITE, of New York, called for the yeas and nays on the adoption of the resolution, and they were ordered by the House.
Election of President and Vice President.—The Impeachment.
[Dec. 22, 1830,
Mr. PETTIS opposed the resolution. He said that a resolution was offered at the last session of the House to attend on the trial, but the House only attended one day. When the gentleman from New York [Mr. Hoff MAN] offered his resolution on Monday, there was no time for discussion. Yesterday, the House pursued the same course as on Monday. He hoped the resolution would be rejected, if for no other reason than that the proceeding was wholly unnecessary. If the House had no business before them, gentlemen might indulge their curiosity in attending the trial in the Senate. For himself, he had no such curiosity. There was a great number of bills on the docket, which required the action of the House; it was a short session; and, if the House attended every day in the Senate during the trial, there would be little or nothing else done. He thought the interest of the people of the United States generally should be taken into consideration; the House had appointed able managers to conduct the impeachment; and these managers had declared that it was not necessary for the House to attend. Why should we go? asked Mr. P. Why neglect the public business to gratify our own curiosity? Mr. P. concluded by expressing the hope that the House would not be compelled to go to the Senate in a body. Mr. DW1GHT said that the gentleman who had just taken his seat, had remarked that, in attending the trial of the impeachment, gentlemen wished to indulge their own curiosity. Let me ask, said Mr. D., if the Representatives of the nation have not a higher motive for doing so? Were not the House bound to attend in the fulfilment of their constitutional functions? Mr. D. apprehended that the public business might be attended to, and yet the House be able to attend on the trial. After a few words from Mr. PETTIS, Mr. CLAY moved to amend the resolution of Mr. Dwight, by inserting the words “until otherwise ordered;” so that the House should at any time have the power to rescind the resolution. Mr. DWIGHT accepted the amendment as a modification of his resolution. Mr. DODDRIDGE preferred the resolution originally offered by Mr. HoFFMAN on Monday last, and moved its consideration as a substitute for that this day offered by Mr. 1) wight. After some remarks by Messrs. DODDRIDGE, HOFFMAN, and STRONG, the amendment was rejected. Mr. DRAYTON then moved an amendment; which he supported in a few words: when Mr. HAYNES, believing that the opinion of the members was made up on the subject, called for the previous question. The call was sustained by the House—yeas 90. The previous question was then put, in the following words, viz. Shall the main question be now put? and decided in the affirmative. The main question being then put, viz. on the adoption of the resolution offered by Mr. Dwight, it was decided in the negative—yeas 84, nays 87. So the House decided to leave to the managers the conducting of the impeachment against Judge Peck. The bill to establish certain post roads, and to discontinue others, coming up as the order of the day, it was, on motion of Mr. DANIEL, in consequence of the necessary absence of Mr. Wick LIFFE, who offered a proviso to it on Friday last, ordered to lie on the table. The House then went into Committee of the Whole, Mr. MAGEE in the chair, and took up the bill for the relief of Bernard Kelly, of Georgia. The report of the committee and the evidence in the case were read. The bill was supported by Mr. THOMPSON and Mr. FOSTER, of Georgia, and Mr. JOHNSON, of Ky., and opposed by Mr. WHITTLESEY and Mr. STERIGE RE; the ho of whom moved to strike out the enacting clause of the bill.
The motion was negatived; whereupon, the committee rose, and reported the bill to the House without amendinent.
The bill was then ordered to be engrossed for a third reading, by yeas and nays—yeas 71, nays 49.
The House then adjourned.
Tii U as DAY, Deck M BER 23. NAVY YAIRDS.
The following resolution, yesterday submitted by Mr. Pean cr. was taken up for consideration: “Resolved, That the Secretary of the Navy be directed to report to this House the annual sum necessary to maintain a navy yard for building and equipping of ships with despatch, under the present navy regulations, with the probable annual amount of deterioration efouildings, and interest of the money disbursed in the erection of buildings necessary for a navy yard.” Mr. HOFFMAN (chairman of the Naval Committee) said he should like to hear some reasons offered for the adoption of the resolution. Mr. PEARCE replied that he would gratify the gentleman. He assured him that he had not acted unadvisedly in submitting the motion; for he had taken the pains to consult with the Secretary of the Navy, and it was offered with his approbation. The subject had been brought before Congress at the last session; the number of navy yards was then stated to be too great: and it was manifest that if there were more navy yards than was necessary for the public interest, that the expense to the nation of supporting them was greater than it need be. He believed that the expense of maintaining the several yards amounted to $300,000 annually. The object of the resolution was to obtain such information as would enable the House to act understandingly when the matter should be brought before it. Mr. HOFFMAN stated that, by a resolution of the House, the Committee on Naval Affairs already had the subject before them; and he hoped the gentleman from Rhode Island would consent that the resolution should lie on the table until he, Mr. H., could confer with the committee. He thought it probable he should be able to do so to-morrow. Mr. PEARCE remarked that he had no great objection to the resolution lying on the table for a day or two; but the House would recollect that this would be a short session, and that the information was wanted for the action of the House. Certainly no disrespect was intended towards the Committee on Naval Affairs; and he trusted that the gentleman would agree to the reference at this time. Mr. HOFFMAN said that the information now sought could be obtained through the Committee on Naval Af. fairs. He thought the adoption of the resolution wholly unnecessary, and would conclude by moving that it lie on the table. The motion was agreed to.
Mr. HAYNES submitted the following resolution: Resolved, That, during the trial of the impeachment now pending before the Senate, this House will meet daily at the hour of eleven o’clock in the forenoon; and that, from day to day, it will resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole, and attend said trial during the continuance thereof, and until the conclusion of the same. In support of this motion, Mr. HAYNES said, whatever difference of opinion there might have been on this subject before, the proceedings of yesterday Inust convince every gentleman of the expediency of the course now proposed. Whilst the House yesterday found itself without a quorum, he saw that among the absentees were gentlemen who had voted against the
proposition for attending the court of impeachment. He meant not to charge any members with impropriety on this account, but mentioned the fact to show the expediency and propriety of passing this resolution. It appeared to him, indeed, to be a singular proceeding, on the part of this House, that when the only precedent in existence was in favor of the course proposed in the resolution now under consideration, the House should have refused to adopt it. Could it be pretended that there was any differcnce in the magnitude of the present case and the former case of impeachment, which justified different forms of proceeding in the two cases? He presumed not. The same personal liberty, and the same inalienable rights, guarantied by the constitution of our country, were involved in this case as in that of the impeachment of Judge Chase. Without going unnecessarily into the merits of the case, or consuming one moment of the time of the House, Mr. II. hoped that his motion would prevail. Mr. TUCKER opposed the resolution. He considered it to be the duty of gentlemen to continue in the House, and attend to the public business of the nation; and, if any member chose to attend the trial, let him account to his constituents for his neglect of duty. He should be very sorry if the resolution was agreed to; and he called for the yeas and nays on its adoption. Mr. HAYN ES said he would ask the gentleman from South Carolina how members of this House were to account for it to their constituents, if, in consequence of the absence of so many members from the House during the trial, some legislation should be defeated which ought to succeed, and some succeed which ought to fail. In looking at this matter, Mr. H. said he viewed it as a practical question. Every one must know what an interest would be excited and felt in this trial at almost every moment of it, and that it would be impracticable for this House to transact business whilst that court was in session. Mr. TUCKER repeated the question put to him by Mr. Hay N Es, and replied, that he should hold himself guiltless if such should be the case. If blame should attach, it would
be to those who had not discharged their duties, by re.
maining in the House. If any important measure should be adopted, affecting the interests of the constituents of members during their absence from the sittings of the House, let those members account for it as they best could. He should attend to what he conceived to be his duty.
Mr. PETTIS, of Missouri, rose to ask the favor of the House to allow this question to be taken by yeas and nays. Whilst up, he said, he would make one remark. The gentleman from Georgia complained that a quorum could not be kept yesterday. But, said Mr. P., when it was doubted whether there was a quorum, it was found, on the Speaker's count, that there was a quorum. Experience sufficiently proved that a quorum could not be got to attend the court; for, on the last attendance of the House, the honorable Speaker and the chairman of the Committee of the Whole, when they returned from the court to the House, returned almost alone, two or three members only returning with them. The root of all difficulty in this matter was, in fact, the indisposition of members to do the business of the House.
The House refused to sustain the call for the yeas and nays; and the question being taken on the adoption of the resolution of Mir. HAYN Es, it was decided in the affirmative—yeas 96, nays 60.
So the House determined to attend the trial of the inpeachment of Judge Peck.
PAY OF MEMBERS.
Mr. YANCEY submitted the following resolution:
Itesolved, That the Committee on Public Expenditures be instructed to inquire into the expediency of reducing the pay and in leage of the members of Congress to six dollars for every day's service, and six dollars for every