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sessions of Congress had averaged one hundred and sixty- with this resolution, let it become the law of the land that seven days; and all experience proved that one hundred the first session of each Congress shall be limited to four

and seventy days per session, were necessary. It should be considered that the business of Congress was continually increasing, on account of the great national questions arising before them—the pension system, the internal improvement system, &c. Mr. S. said, he did not believe it was the wish of the people that their representatives should legislate for them without pay after they have been in session one hundred and twenty days, should they find it necessary to remain longer. He also contended that, should this proposition be adopted, the members in ordinary circumstances, who represented the true interests of the people, would be compelled, in justice to their own interest, to go home as soon as their pay was reduced; and there would consequently be none but the aristocracy left to do the business of legislation. He held it bad policy to render the representatives of the people at all dependent by a curtailment of their pay. It drove them to seek relief in Executive patronage; and he could refer to hundreds who had gone into postoffices, Indian agencies, &c.; and he deemed this an evidence that they were insufficiently provided for. Mr. S. said, if the pay of other officers of Government were reduced in the same ratio, he would consent to reduce the pay of members to six dollars a day; but not otherwise. r. S. then went into an examination of the business which has been done this session, in comparison with that transacted during former sessions. He concluded by remarking that he believed the only remedy for the evil complained of, was to be found in short speeches and long days' sessions; and he moved an amendment to the amendment, providing that, during the remainder of the session, a motion to adjourn should not be in order until half past four o'clock. This proposition, involving an amendment of the rules of the House, and consequently requiring to be laid one day on the table, was decided by the Speaker not to be in order. Mr. SPEIGHT said, he had hoped that, when this subject was first brought forward by the gentlemen from South Carolina, [Mr. McDuffie) it would have met with little or no objection. He thought the evil complained of was one obviously plain to the view of any person; and, he would venture to say, if gentleman in this House were disposed to shut them up, and refuse to apply the remedy, the people of the country would not long submit to the impositions that were practised on them. Mr. S. said, he had scarcely heard a single gentleman open his mouth in this debate, who had not conceded the point that much time was unnecessarily consumed here in legislation. Yet, when a remedy is proposed, there is such an apparent sensitiveness manifested, as almost to preclude the possibility of even acting on the subject, much more of effecting any thing like a remedy. Sir, the further this debate has progressed, the more I have been convinced there is not the least shadow of hope of effecting any thing like retrenchment in this House. We hear it reasoned from all sides, that the effect of this resolution will be to cast an imputation on our own conduct. That it is implicitly saying, we do not render an equivalent for the time we consume here in legislation. Sir, I care not what the imputation might be, I am convinced something ought to be done to stop the progress of an evil which, in its tendency, threatens evils of no ordinary magnitude. He would repeat again, that he cared not what might be the effect it might have on public opinion; he asserted much unnecessary time was consumed here. Our sessions are too long; and, sir, without intending to cast imputation on the character of any gentleman, my own opinion is, if our wages were curtailed, it would shorten the sessions. Sir, do you confine Congress within its legitimate sphere, and three months in each year is more than sufficient for the legislation of this country. Pass a law commensurate

months, and beyond which the pay of members shall not exceed two dollars per day; and, sir, my impression is, there would not be many days consumed after the four months expired. Considerable pains [said Mr. S.] have been taken by the gentlemen opposed to this resolution, to show that the present session will not exceed those heretofore, on account of time and expense. We have been told that every long session has lasted five months; and, as a matter of course, this must do so too. This, sir, is the very reason why I am for the new order of things. Sir, “old things are to be done away, and all things are to become new.” These are the hallowed days of “retrenchment and reform;" and, for the very reason which gentlemen oppose the resolution, he would support it. The people expect at our hands a correction of all those abuses which have crept into the Government; and he eould assure the House that there was none which they were more disposed to work at, than the one now complained of Sir, if this abuse of trust—this profligate waste of public money, has existed coeval with the formation of this Government, it is high time the evil was arrested; “now is the accepted time, and day of salvation.” It is high time, indeed, that the laborer should be made to render an equivalent for his hire. He did not mean to impugn the members of Congress who had preceded him, but he would say, if he were to judge of the J. by the present, abuses had existed. We sir, commenced our session on the 7th day of December; almost four months have elapsed and what have we done If there is a bill which has been passed of a public nature, save a few appropriations, they have escaped my memory. . And, sir, how many private ones have we passed ? Some forty or fifty; and here, sir, is our indefatigable exertion which gentlemen boast of Sir, I will state one fact which, in my opinion, carries condemnation with it. During the first month, and until after the Christmas holidays, we met at twelve, and adjourned between two and three o'clock, and, every week, adjourn over from Thursday till Monday. Two months, sir, of the first of this session were spent without doing anything but undergoing the mere formalities of meeting and adjourning. These are some of the evils which the gentleman from South Carolina proposes to remedy. And yet we are gravely told by gentlemen, that to pass this resolution would imply censure on our own conduct. Sir, for one, I am willing to risk it. If public servants fail to do their master's will, they deserve punishment. He wondered that gentlemen, in the scope of their extraordinary imaginations, had not thought of another censure, the fatal and pernicious consequences of which, in his opinion, were as much to be dreaded as the one before mentioned. It is this, there is an old adage, which said, “touch a galled horse, and he will flinch." Now, sir, [said he] what will be the imaginations of our constituents, when they come to hear that there is so much sensitiveness exercised about reducing the pay of members? Why, sir, they will suppose, that, indeed, with us, the public good is a matter but of secondary consideration; and the opinion will at least be as rational to suppose that we came here for pecuniary considerations, as that the adoption of this resolution implies a censure on our conduct. Sir, it is true as gospel, that none under heaven are so apt to feel the lash of censure as those who are guilty. Sir, far be it from me to impute dishonorable motives to any member of this House, I am only speaking of the effect the course of gentlemen will have on public opinion. Sir, I am truly sorry that gentlemen have thought proper to oppose this resolution with such violence. The opinions of Mr. Jefferson have been quoted by the gentleman from Virginia, [Mr. SMYTH.] It is said tha the recommended long sessions and short speeches. Mr. S. said he thought the gentleman from Virginia was amongst the last who should complain

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of long speeches. When the Register of Debates for this session shall be published, the gentleman will not be be: hind in size or number. The fact was, this session, it had been long speeches and short session, and so it would continue to be, unless something was done to check the evil; for if we are to judge from the former conduct evinced in the debates, this is to be a speaking session. On account of some strange fatality or other, we are doomed to do nothing this session. Sir, my honest opinion is, that unless some such measure as the one proposed by the resolution or amendment is adopted, we shall always labor under the difficulty we do now. Gentlemen had railed out against the original resolution, because it would deprive them of a month to stay here. Why, sir, if the amendment of the gentleman from Massachusetts, [Mr. EveRETr] should be adopted, in the two years we should stay as long as we do now. The amendment proposes to limit the long session to four months, and that the short session shall commence the 1st of November; thus allowing, in the two years, eight months for legislation—onethird of our time; and I have no hesitation in saying that that is two months more than we should, in justice to the country, appropriate. Sir, my own opinion is, that three months is long enough for each session, and will afford ample time for the legislation of this country. Considerable had been said during this debate about the compensation of members. Sir, I am of the same opinion now that I was when this subject was before the House in the fore part of the session. Six dollars per day is enough for any man to receive for his services. But he had not understood that this was the object of the gentleman from South Carolina, but to shorten the session; and, if we staid longer than the time presented in the resolution, to reduce it to two dollars per day. . Now, sir, suppose the long session to last six months; why, by the alteration proposed, each member would receive six dollars per day on an average, which, in his opinion, would be sufficient to compensate any man for his services. He continued, he was sorry to hear one objection which was raised to the passage of the resolution. . It was this, that its effect would strike at the root of the great plans of internal improvement and the protection of home industry. In conclusion, he would answer that by saying, that recent demonstrations of sentiment in this House had evinced that whatever was left undone, the tariff and appropriations would be attended to—any proposition which takes money out of the treasury will be attended to. Mr. STORRS, of New York, understood the object of the resolution to be the correction of a moral evil, the existence of which was evident. He thought it would be a reflection on the House to contend that it could not transact all the essential business which came before it in four months. The number of bills which were passed at the long sessions, he believed, did not exceed those passed at the short sessions. He referred to the haste with which bills were urged through on the last ten or twelve days of the session. Of this system of legislation he contended there was no necessity, as bills could as well be passed expeditiously in the middle of the session as at its close. He warned new members that they would witness the same scene that old ones had become accustomed to. He believed that the first month of the session, on account of the holidays, was rendered nearly or quite useless; and if the session was to be shortened, it should be by meeting on the first Monday in January, instead of the first Monday in December. The rules of the Hotise did not properly regulate its proceedings. They continued to make the bills the order of the day for to morrow, while that to-morrow never came. The resolution which they were now discussing, for instance, still occupied the hour devoted to resolutions, to the exclusion of all other business. The judiciary bill had been thrown aside for so long a period, that he really had forgotten what question was in

order on its discussion. This, too, [said Mr. _S.] is the day on which the gentleman from Tennessee [Mr. Bell.] was to have introduced his bill upon the subject of our Indian relations. Mr. S. concluded by expressnig his conviction that, if gentlemen would come to the resolution to cut short these interminable debates, lop off the first month of the session, assemble on the first Monday in January, and look forward to the first of May as the desirable period to return to their domestic affairs, the public business would be more faithfully performed, and the deprecated evil corrected. Mr. CAMBRELENG said, he agreed with his colleague [Mr. Stoans] that the proper mode of shortening the ses: sion was to take from the first part of it; but he could not join in the charge which had so frequently been made against this House, particularly of a want of energy and industry. He ...}. any member, no matter, how long he might have held a seat on that floor, to point to any former session when twenty and thirty bills had been passed in a day in the middle of a session, as was the case on Friday and Saturday last. It seemed to be the parti; cular desire of some members most unjustifiably to find fault with this Congress in distinction of all others. While he was up, he would ask the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. EveRETT) to modify his amendment so as to fix the termination of the first session, hereafter, at the 15th of April; which was accepted. Mr. EVERETT accepted the modification. The previous question was then demanded and the House ordered the main question to be put. The main question, being on the passage of the resolution, was then put, and decided in the negative as follows: YEAS.–Messrs. Alston, Angel, Bailey, P. P. Barbour, Barnwell, Baylor, James Blair, John Blair, Boon, Brown, Cahoon, Campbell, Chilton, Claiborne, Clay, Conner, Crawford, Daniel, Desha, Doddridge, Drayton, Dudley, Dwight, Earll, Ellsworth, Foster, Gilmore, Gordon, Hall, Halsey, Hammons, Harvey, Haynes, Hubbard, R. M. Johnson, P. King, Lamar, Lewis, Loyall, Lumpkin, Lyon, Magee, Martin, McCoy, McDuffie, Mitchell, N *i. Powers, Richardson, Roane, Shepard, Speight, Standifer, Thom son, of Georgia, Tracy, Trezvant, Tucker, Verplanck, Weeks, White, of New York, Wickliffe.—61. NAYS.–Messrs. Anderson, Arnold, Barber, J. S. Barbour, Barringer, Bates, Beekman, Bell, Bockee, Borst, Bouldin, Brodhead, Buchanan, Burges, Butman, Cambreleng, Chandler, Clark, Coke, Coleman, Condict, Cooper, Coulter, Cowles, Craig, of Virginia, Crane, Crockett, Creighton, Crocheron, Crowninshield, Davenport, Davis, of Massachusetts, Deberry, Denny, De Witt, Dickinson, Duncan, Evans, of Maine, #. of Vermont, Findlay, Finch, Ford, Forward, Fry, Gaither, Goodenow, Gorham, Green, Grennell, jī. Hinds, Hodges, Howard, Hughes, Hunt, Huntington, Ingersoll, T. Irwin, W. W. Irwin, Isacks, Johns, Johnson, of Tennessee, Kendall, Kincaid, King, of New York, Lea, Lecompte, Leiper, Lent, Letcher, Mallary, Martindale, Thomas Maxwell, Lewis Maxwell, McCreery, McIntire, Monell, Muhlenberg, Norton, Overton, , Pearce, Pettis, Pierson, Polk, Potter, Ramsay, Randolph, Reed, Rencher, Rose, Russel, Scott, She perd, Shields, Semmes, Sill, S. A. Smith, A. Smyth, Spencer, of New York, Sprigg, Stanbery, Sterigere, Stephens, Storrs, of New York, Storrs, of Connecticut, Strong, Sutherland, Swift, Taliaferro, Taylor, Test, Thomson, of Ohio, Vance, Varnum, Vinton, Washington, Wayne, Whittlesey. White, of Louisiana, Wilson, Yancey, Young—122. TOPOGRAPHICAL SURVEYS.

The bill making appropriations for certain surveys, &c., was then taken up for a third reading.

Mr. WICKLIFFE moved to amend the bill in the clause appropriating money for surveys, by adding a proviso,

Topographical Surveys. *

Manch 31, 1830.]

that the sum appropriated should be expended on works
heretofore directed, or which may be directed, by either
House of Congress.
Mr. CLAY expressed a hope that the limitation would not
be adopted, and asked for the yeas and nays on the question.
At the suggestion of Mr. McDUFFIE, Mr. CLAY with-
drew his call for the yeas and nays, which was immedi-
ately renewed by Mr. WICKLIFFE.
The yeas and navs were then ordered.
Mr. ELLSWORTH expressed his hope that the amend-
ment would not be adopted. He reminded the House that
it had been customary to pass an appropriation of this kind
annually; and he desired that it o applied on the usual
principle—that the same discretion which had been hither-
to given to the proper department in the disbursement of
this money, ...} still be given to them. He argued
against the proposed change as inexpedient, unjust, and
Mr. McDUFFIE repeated the objections he had urged
against this limitation at the last session, when a similar
proposition was negatived by a vote of four to one. If
this limitation should be adopted, every member will have
his own peculiar project carried through, or no proposi-
tions will pass. Complaint had been made that the works
begun were not national, yet it was proposed to compel
the Government to complete them instead of taking up
others which might be national. It was therefore an un-
reasonable proposition, and he hoped it would not be
adopted. -
Mr. WICKLIFFE defended his amendment, on the
ground generally of the abuse which the present mode led
to, the unimportant nature of the works which it enabled
members to be procured to be undertaken, &c.
Mr. MARTIN stated, that, although opposed to the sys-
tem, he was still more opposed to the amendment, in its
present form. If the system was to be continued, he was
for leaving its exercise where it was now, to the Execu.
tive, and to keep this House as clear as possible of the
contention and the agitation which it was calculated to
roduce here. He then moved to amend the amendment,
y striking out " or such as may hereafter be directed by
either House of Cungress.”
Mr. ELLSWORTH thought this proposition was ex-
ceptionable. It seemed to contemplate that whenever a
proposition for any appropriation for any particular work
is made, the subject is to undergo a discussion in this
House; and members are to be called on to decide, with
the superficial knowledge they must be supposed to pos-
sess, on the preference of making a survey for a route
here, over that for a route there. He hoped, therefore,
that the amendment would not prevail.
Mr. TREZVANT made some remarks against the com-
mitment of a discretion to the departments as to the direc-
tion of any surveys. He wished to confine the appropria-
tion to such surveys as have been commenced, and that
the House should afterwards decide on the propriety of
new ones. He argued at some length in explanation of his
views, and hoped the amendment of the gentleman from
South Carolina would not be adopted.
Mr. TEST here called for the previous question, but
the call was not seconded.
Mr. MARTIN explained his own views, so as to remove
A miseonception which he thought seemed to prevail as to
his course.
Mr. HALL o posed the whole system, the amendment,
as well as the o itself. If he took the amendment of
Mr. Maarin, the remainder of Mr. Wickliffs's amend.
ment would contain enough to involve all his principles.
He could vote for none of the questions proposed.
Mr. MERCER suggested that many surveys had been
ordered by Congress, which have not yet been commenced;
and the effect of the amendment would be to relieve the
Boecutive of all ibility whatever. * ,
Vol. VI-91.

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Mr. TREZVANT said a few words in explanation. Mr. TUCKER moved to strike out the enacting words, and called for the yeas and nays, which were ordered. At the suggestion of Mr. McDUFFIE, Mr. TUCKER withdrew his motion to amend. The amendment moved by Mr. MARTIN to the amendment was then negatived. Mr. P. P. BARBOUR suggested a modification of the amendment so as to strike out the words “either House of" so as to read—shall be directed by Congress. Mr. WICKLIFFE declined to accept the modification. Mr. P. P. BARBOUR then moved his proposition as an amendment. Mr. DRAYTON stated that his opinion had always been that the act of 1824, authorizing this expenditure for surveys, was unconstitutional. He consequently was opposed to all appropriations for these objects; but he was in favor of the amendment for reasons he stated—the chief of which was, that it would tend to prevent abuses in the execution of the act, and contending that works beginning and ending in the same State could not be deemed national, but many such under the present system had been undertaken. Mr. P. P. BARBOUR enforced the propriety of the amendment he had offered. The vote of this House is the vote of the representatives of the people, while that of the Senate is the vote of the representatives of the States; and he wished to unite both. He declared himself utterly opposed to the whole system, and every scheme, survey, and appropriation under it. r. MERCER advocated the power of the Government to make these surveys, and the practice which had F. vailed under that power, denying . that it had led to any abuses, although the allegation was so often repeated, and arguing that a work commencing and ending in a State might be, and often was, strictly national; many cases of which he cited : amongst others, he maintained that if a line of canals from Maine to Georgia was a national work, any part of that line, however small, is national. The whole work cannot be completed at once; it must be constructed in detail, and in parts. The Buffalo and New Orleans road he considered as national, whether it was cut up in decimal parts, or viewed as a whole. He said he had carefully investigated the practice of the deartment, and he believed it to be free from abuse. Even in a case which he had four years ago considered the most doubtful, he had subsequently satisfied himself that there was no ground for doubt. To objections on the score of local interests being too influential, he replied that in time of war it was as important a power which regulated the direction of an army, as that which gives the direction of a road. The western part of the State of New York had entirely sprung up under the fostering influence of the late war, as millions had been expended there in consequence of the march of troops there. Yet no one contended that, in that case, the Government should be controlled, lest the local interests of one section should be preferred to those of another. Mr. AMBROSE SPENCER stated that the question as to the power of the Government to make these surveys was settled by the act of 1824, and that it was useless now to make it a subject of discussion. . He was opposed to imposing upon the present, administration a limitation which had not been imposed on their predecessors. He declared himself adverse to the amendment to the amendment, as well as to the amendment. He expressed his concurrence in the views which had fallen from the last speaker, and controverted the idea that works confined entirely to particular States were necessarily not national, cases of which he cited. Mr. IRWIN, of Pennsylvania, expressed his hope that both the amendment of the gentleman from Kentucky, and that of the gentleman from Virginia, would be rejected.

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Mr. MALLARY contended that it was due to the President, who is at the head of the military force, to give to him an entire command over those works which are connected with the military defence of the country. He could, in the exercise of that power, lead to more full and more satisfactory results than we can ever be brought to by listening to the contending claims of conflicting interests in the House. There was no reason for imposing this limitation on the present Executive. Mr. BARRINGER said, the adoption of the amendment could only lead to a multiplication of surveys; and he arued briefly to show the inexpediency of the amendments. eeming it useless, however, to consume more time in debate, he demanded the previous question—yeas, 66. The number was insufficient. Mr. TUCKER asked for the yeas and nays on the amendment of Mr. BARBOUR, but they were refused. The amendment to the amendment was then negatived: yeas, 72-nays, 96. The question was then taken on the amendment of Mr. WICKLIFFE, and decided in the negative: yeas, 75– nays, 111. So the amendment was reiected. Mr. WILLIAMS asked for the yeas and nays on the third reading of the bill, which were ordered, and were as follows: yeas, 121—nays, 64.


The House then went into Committee of the Whole, Mr. WICKLIFFE in the chair, on the bill making appropriations for expenditures in the Engineer, Ordnance, and Quartermaster's Departments.

Mr. DRAYTON moved to insert an appropriation of forty-seven thousand dollars, for the completion of the military road in the State of Maine; which motion was explained by Mr. D., and was agreed to.

On motion of Mr. DRAYTON, also, (made as well as the preceding by direction of the Military Committee,) an appropriation of ten thousand two hundred dollars was inserted, for the erection of barracks at Fortress Monroe.

Mr. VERPLANCK moved to strike out the appropriation of twenty thousand two hundred dollars, for the purchase of five and a half acres of land, adjoining the armory at Springfield, in Massachusetts, deeming the price extravagant.

The motion was opposed by Mr. DRAYTON and Mr. BATES, the latter of whom stated facts to show that the price was moderate, considering the general prices and value of land in that village; and the motion was negatived.

Mr. MARTIN made an ineffectual motion to strike out the appropriation of sixteen thousand dollars for a fireproof armory at Springfield.

A motion was made by Mr. McDUFFIE to strike out an appropriation of five thousand dollars for an acre of land adjoining the armory at Harper's ferry, deeming, the price an imposition, which he, for one, would not submit to. That he would rather, if the land was indispensable, resort to the power of the Government to have the land valued and condemned, but he would do without it sooner than submit to such an imposition.

Mr. DRAYTON explained, that the land had on it various wooden buildings, which rented for above three hundred dollars a year, were occupied as grog-shops, and were resorted to by negroes by day o night. These were the reasons, which induced a majority of the Committee on Military Affairs to withdraw their original objection to the appropriation.

Mr. §§ ER also opposed the motion, and stated, in addition, the value of property at Harper's ferry, from its peculiar situation, to show that the price was not extravagant.

he amendment was agreed to—yeas, 100.

, Mr. DRAYTON then moved to insert a clause, making an appropriation of twelve hundred and fifty dollars for

the purchase of one-quarter of an acre of the land. The motion was negatived. There was a discussion also on a motion by Mr. McCOY to strike out the appropriation for arming fortifications, which adds one hundred and fifty thousand dollars per annum to the usual sum of one hundred thousand dollars which is annually appropriated for that purpose. Mr. DRAYTON explained the necessity for this appropriation. Mr. MERCER also made some observations on the necessity for the adoption of the original item in the bill. He argued to show the necessity of ...; the preparations for arming the fortifications now rapidly approaching to completion. It would be better to blow them up than leave i. unarmed to the possibility of their being seized by an enemy, armed, and turned against us. Mr. BUCHANAN opposed the original motion, and supported the amendment, on the ground that it was an unusual mode of legislation to introduce a new and important appropriation into a bill embracing appropriations only for carrying into effect the settled policy and authorized objects of the Government; and that this rapid arming of our fortifications must render necessary an increase of our standing army. After an explanation from Mr. DRAYTON, the amendment was agreed to: yeas, 58—nays, 56. Mr. DRAYTON then moved to insert an appropriation of one hundred thousand dollars. This motion was opposed by Mr. McCOY and Mr. BUCHANAN, and was supported by Mr. DRAYTON and Mr. MERCER, and was finally negatived: yeas, 63—nays, 67. Mr. DRAYTON thep moved to fill the blank with sixty thousand dollars; which motion was also negatived. Mr. CROCKETT moved to strike out the item of appropriation for erecting workshops at West Point, two thousand five hundred dollars, which was rejected—yeas, 51. Mr. SEVIER moved to amend the bill !. adding an appropriation for a military road from Arkansas to Missouri; which motion was negatived. Mr. McDUFFIE moved an amendment, appropriating six hundred dollars for a lithographic press, &c., for the use of the topographical bureau in the #. Department; which was likewise negatived. The committee then rose, and reported the bill and amendments. "

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having no government but Congress, had not, so far, at this session, occupied one moment of the time of the House, the committee did not thinkit unreasonable that two days in each

month should be devoted to the concerns of the District.

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If the House should adjourn at the time now proposed, it would, under such a rule, have given but three days of its time to these important concerns. Three days, it was believed, would be sufficient, in this session, if properly used, for the transaction of all its important concerns. Unless some portion of the time of the House was thus set apart, it was doubtful whether a single measure, out of the important ones proposed, would be acted upon at all during the session. He concluded by expressing the hope that, under these views of the subject, the House would consent to the proposition. Mr. PETTIS said, he was as well disposed towards the F. of this District as any member in the House, but e was opposed to this partial legislation. One-twelfth part of the time of the House was asked, at this pressing part of the session, and to the exclusion of all other business, to act on bills introduced by the committee for the benefit of the District of Columbia alone. This Mr. P. eould not consent to. He was [he said] somewhat peculiarly situated. For several years there had been no legislation here for Missouri at all; the business of that State had been overlocked, and he had hoped to get something done this session; but the manner in which the business of the House was performed weakened his hopes, and, if the proposition to give a twelfth of its time to District concerns prevailed, the chance would be still more diminished. e go on, [said Mr. P.] day after day, ploughing with the buffalo, to the neglect of all other business; and if the bills introduced by the gentleman [Mr. Powers] were to have the preference he required, each of which would take much time, little else would be done. He moved to lay the resolution on the table, but withdrew his motion at the request of Mr. INGERSOLL, who said he was formerly a member of the District Committee, and, when the affairs of that District were before the House, he could not keep his seat without attempting to show its condition and the necessity of some legislation for it. . This spot [he said] over which Congress possessed exclusive legislation, had had no legislation for twenty-five years There was no spot within the whole Union, within which legislation was so necessary as these ten miles square. The penal laws remained the same as they were thirty years ago, and the report which had just been read at the clerk's table, showed that, like the laws of Draco, they were written in blood. So crying was this neglect, and so great the necessity of reform, that four years ago, Congress ordered the erection of a penitentiary, which had been completed at a cost of one hundred thousand dollars, but as yet it was useless—no law had been passed to give it effect. The Committee on the District had labored diligently to remedy this and the other evils under which the people labored, and they deserved the thanks of Congress and of the country, for their assiduity. At the last session, he, as a member of that committee, had labored with his colleagues in maturing a system for ameliorating the penal laws here, but, though a bill was reported, they were never able to get it up. Mr. I. dwelt ou the anomalous, and cruel nature of the laws, which prevail in the District— remaining destitute of those improvements which have been made in those of the States around, because there has been no legislation for the District. They are just as they were thirty years ago at the time of the cession. One fact he cited as an instance: Kidnapping is not an offence in the District; stealing a slave is, under the old law; but stealing a free man is not punishable. He also referred to the evils of the slave trade as carried on through the district. A bill was once reported to abate this evil, but Congress could never be got to take it up. He hoped the time asked for the affairs of the District would be granted, and this mass of corruption be swept off. Mr. PETTIS then renewed his motion to lay the resolution on the table.

Mr. INGERSOLL demanded the yeas and nays. They were taken accordingly, and were, yeas, 47—nays, 120.

Here the hour elapsed, and Mr. MALLARY moved to suspend the rule, but the House refused.

The House then went into Committee of the Whole, Mr. HAYNEs in the chair, and took up the bill for the construction of the


Mr. COKE, of Virginia, delivered his views in opposition to the bill.

Mr. IRWIN, of Pennsylvania, said, that the remarks which had been made by several gentlemen who had taken part in the debate, had induced him to depart from a resolution he had formed, of merely giving a silent vote in favor of the bill. But [said Mr. I.] as I am not willin that any portion of the people of my native State shall remain under the imputation of being influenced solely by local considerations, regardless of principle and the true interests of the country, in the support which they or their representatives give to the bill, I will ask the indulgence of the committee while I submit some of the views which have been impressed on my mind in relation to it. The constitutional question, which has been so frequently discussed in this House on former occasions, it is not my intention to notice. I consider it deliberately established by successive acts of legislation for a series of years, and by public opinion, by which I do not wish to be understood to mean the opinion of a single congressional distriet, nor of a State, but that great and abiding opinkon of a majority of the people of most of the States of the Union, repeatedly expressed after long deliberation, resulting in a settled conviction that the constitution has given to Congress full and complete control over the subject, limited only by their discretion, in legislating for the public welfare. Here it should be suffered to rest, for the mind of man cannot give it any additional light, ‘It has been said, sir, that, at a former session of Congress, it was only designed to make a national road from this city to New Orleans, but that the friends of the measure, despairing of being able to pass the bill in that shape, determined to enlist other interests, and that the sectional feelings of the people of the interior of Pennsylvania could be brought into action, by extending the road through that State to Buffalo. It was not left merely to inference, but it was broadly asserted that the approbation of the people of Pennsylvania to the measure could be obtained in no other way, and that the national interests would be the least part of their concern. The assertion is unfounded; I trust I may be excused for saying that no part of this Union is less affected by sectional considerations, more patriotic, or more truly devoted to the welfare of their country, than are the people of Pennsylvania. They were among the first to maintain the true doctrine of our republican institutions; they cherish them as the means of individual happiness and national prosperity, and they will struggle long before they will suffer them to be impaired by refined and narrow constructions. The power to make roads and canals for national purposes, they have asserted to belong to this Government in their assemblies to discuss the question, by legislative enactments, and by the votes of their representatives on this floor. For no selfish pur. pose, sir, but because they believed, and still believe, that the prosperity of the country, if not its very existence, depends upon the exercise of this power. That State has never asked from Congress anything for works of internal improvement, although she was the first to embark extensively in them; she relied on her own resources, and has expended more money on roads, bridges, and canals, than any other State in this Union. When it is recollected that she has been second only to another State in her contributions to the national revenue; and she has asked for nothing, and got nothing, for works of a

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