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H. of R.] Buffalo and New Orleans Road. - - |Arul 13, 1830,
almost every possible means of expending for the purpose twenty-four millions—making twice as many dollars as of continuing to raise it. One of these means is a general people. The population of East Tennessee is about two system of internal improvements, not for the proper pur-hundred thousand, and two dollars a head amounts to poses of the Government itself, but for distributing the the four hundred thousand before stated. About half the money that more may be raised. Various contrivances whole revenue from commerce goes every year towards are resorted to for scattering some of it among the peo-paying the national debt; and, if that were paid, the one ple, in order to flatter and tempt them to sanction this dollar a head, or too hundred thousand dollars every insidious and ruinous policy. As long as the national year, might be returned to East Tennessee as its propor debt shall be unpaid, a powerful argument will exist fortion of the surplus, if the duties, and revenue should no continuing to raise a large revenue; and, therefore, it is be diminished, deducting from that amount the expenso the business of the politicians of whom I speak, to delay of collecting and refunding. Or, if the revenue should the final payment of that debt as much as possible. Al- be diminished to the ordinary expenses of the Govern. though every dollar which is not necessary for the ordina- ment, the surplus two hundred thousand dollars might to ry expenses of the Government, might be applied to that main in the pockets of the people, without any deduction debt, so as to have it paid off in a short time, yet the ut-|for collecting and refunding. In this way it appears that most ingenuity and invention seem to be resorted to for the surplus revenue for between eighteen months ol draining the treasury, to postpone the payment of the na-|two years would be equal to the utmost amount that the tional debt, and for committing the Government, in the road could ever bring into East Tennessee; and, as the to mean time, in various projects of enormous expenditure, so |tional debt might be paid, but for this system, about asso
as to create a necessity for continuing high duties. Co- as the making of this road would commence, the people"
operating with these politicians, on the one hand, there are | East Tennessee might have as much money in two years some who look more to the effects of raising than of dis-after paying the debt, as they would get in four, by mean bursing the revenue, while, on the other hand, there are of this road; and, in the one case, by reducing the # some who look more to the disbursing than to the raising venue, they would have kept their own money; while." of it; but the joint operation is a grand system of ins and the other, they would have to work for it. outs, ealculated to increase the powers of this Government! Will any gentleman from that quarter say that wo from year to year, to an unlimited extent, while its con- not pay our average share of the common revenues trolling influence will be felt in all our concerns, until dis- apprehend that any one would hesitate to give such an o' traction and disunion may follow from the gross inequality|nion, looking to the condition of the southern and * of its exactions and favors. western States, as compared with others; and it might.” Although it is apparent, from what I have heretofore a pity thus to spoil our own arguments in favor of getting shown, that the payment of the national debt would be a full share of what is going. It is impossible to * very little retarded by making this road alone, yet the tain the precise proportion paid by any part of the Unio danger is, that so many other projects might be adopted as |nor is it my purpose now to attempt a general develo to delay the payment until this road would come in for its ment of the various operations of our revenue and Po full share in the work of procrastination. In this connexion, tecting systems united. It is enough for my purpose to
too, it is worthy of remark, that, while other parts of the say, what candor ought always to admit, that the burden
Union, in various projects now before Congress, are ready falls and remains on three classes of our general commu.
to receive and use whatever they can get to the amount inity: First. The producers of the articles sent to so
of millions, as fast as laws can be passed to give it to markets, including not only those who are immediately them, the people on this road would have just begun to re-lengaged in raising those articles, but also such as sumo ceive something two or three years hence. What would them with food and other necessary supplies. Seto then be their condition, if this Government were to go on The carriers. Third. The consumers of the goods bro from this time in a system of internal improvements, and |back in return for our produce. We all know that the other liberal expenditures? Could they expect, although southern country produces about two-thirds of all,"
thus postponed, that any other improvements would be articles taken from the United States to foreign maso put into operation near to this road during its progress in and the cotton planters alone more than half of the Who": making No, sir. Its importance has been so magnified Thus we see, at once, how East Tennessee, of which I by its over-zealous friends, that they could look for have been speaking, sustains, both directly and indirectly, nothing, or but very little more, in a long time. But the as a producer, far more than its proportional share of the
Government, in the mean while, would be involved in pro-|common burden. But the disproportion does not *
jects enough to exhaust all the surplus revenue for many here, and reaches beyond what we pay into the treasuo . to come, and the people near to this road, would also, on account of the distance and difficulty of transport. ave it, and nothing else, probably, as their only consola-|ation between us and our seaboard markets. Some o tion for millions on millions, paid and to be paid by them, the improvements contemplated would diminish this evil, in support of the darling system which I have already de. but it must always continue comparatively great. " scribed. duties on the goods originally paid by the importing,” I would ask some of my colleagues, especially, to pansel chant grow with every change of owners, and with * and reflect on this system; to calculate its supposed ad- progress of distance and of time, until the consumer makes vantages and real burdens. General principles are some- his payment. This is substantially true, too, whether the times best understood by particular J. and I will, consumer indemnifies for actual duties paid on foreign ". therefore, apply a few remarks to that section of country|ticles, or is compelled to give a higher price, on no in which I live. How much will this whole road give to of such duties, for articles made in our own country, ** East Tennessee? Not more than between three and four the case in the indispensable item of salt. Whatever.” hundred thousand dollars; and that would not all get there be the condition of others, it is absolutely certain that in less than six years. On the other hand, how much does |people of East Tennessee bear these burdens: Firs. In that same East Tennessee pay every year into the treasury the higher prices which they have to pay for what they of the United States? If we pay at an average rate with buy and consume: their tools, clothing, and food, even on other parts of the Union, our contribution is about four every mouthful, if they can get salt to put in it. A. hundred thousand dollars every year. The calculation is second. In their diminished sales and lower prico so plain and easy, that no man can misunderstand it. The what they may sell to those who are less able to bo for whole number of people in the United States, is about|similar reasons. twelve millions, and the revenue from commerce is about I hope to be pardoned for adducing these *
APRIL 13, 1830.]
Place ideas; for, after all, they contain truths which ought not to be forgotten; and on the neglect or correct application of which depend some of the most important results. The section of country in which I live, as well as other parts of the Union, has been for years laboring under the consuming influence of the policy alluded to, and without even the semblance of any correlative advantage, until its pecuniary resources are almost exhausted, and its spirit of industry and enterprise, beyond absolute neces. sity, is almost extinguished. It is withered, like the leaves in autumn, by the frost of this chilling policy. The sunooth, plump figure of health and plenty is wasting away to the mere skeleton of what it once was. How long will we continue to attribute our disease to something else than the true cause, and consequently fail to apply the proper remedy ? Shall we look to favors from this Government, to compensate for the evils : What will all the promised or expected disbursements amount to in that quarter, compared with our burdens? Who is so stupid as to suppose that East Tennessee could get even two hundred thousand dollars a year expended in it, although an absolute gift of that sum would be far, very far, from equal to its share of the burden in sustaining this intolerable policy But even an equal distribution of the treasury would not indemnify that country, which would continue to suffer more than an equal share of the injury. It is only necessary to understand the facts, in order to know, with perfect certainty, what ought to be our policy. Instead of continuing beyond the ordinary necessities of the Government, to raise money in order to scatter it again over the country, we ought to let it remain in the pockets of the people, and save them all the expense, and trouble, and difficulty of collecting and returning that which, as a general rule, had better have remained where it started. Nor should the old adage be forgotten, that “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush." The money might never return; much of it would be sure to stiek by the way; and those who have, or can get any, had better keep it, than send it here under the hope of getting it back again at some future day. In the hands of individuals, it will generally be used to best advantage; but, if either the General or State Governments should have any extraordinary or special object to accomplish, * will be always at command, when every man could rub together a few dollars in his pocket. Nearly every improvement, however, of public importance, and which would be worth the cost of making it, might be accomplished by individual enterprise and corporate companies. The wealthy would vest a portion of their capital ib public works, and thus distribute their treasures among the poorer classes, when the Government had ceased to give direction to that capital, and, at the same time, freed the poor as well as the rich from unnecessary taxation. Towards attaining these ends, the first great step is to pay the national debt as soon as possible. If that were done, every citizen would at once inquire, why the revenue might not be reduced one-half, and let the people keep in their own hands the amount which goes every year to that debt. To get the nation properly to this inquiry, is a matter of the very first importance; and therefore, every dollar that can § spared, ought to be applied to the debt, and every unnecessary expenditure avoided. The work of reduction might then be completed, as it should be; but it cught to progress from the present time. It is not my purpose now to say on what articles, or how low the duties ought to be reduced, but to indicate a principle to be extended as far as the various interests of the country will allow—as far as propriety will justify. It is astonishing to hear gentlemen talking of our distributing money, as if we had the faculty of speaking it into existence, or obtaining it from some foreign country. If this Government really got its money any where else than
from our own people, it might be a blessing to them, o Ig t
even to squander it in a general system of internal im provements. But it is the kindness of cruelty itself to wrest it from their hands, where, it is worth. for example, six per cent, in order to spend it in projects, which can never yield to the Government and the community any advantages equal to three, or two, or even one per cent. I ask, emphatically, if the people would submit to it—if they ... allow this Government to carry on a general system of internal improvements, if the money had to be raised from them by direct taxation? No, in that case there would not be on that floor even one advocate for the system. My honorable colleague [Mr. BLAIR) told us frankly and plainly that he would be far, very far, from thus taxing his o for any such purpose; and yet, direct taxation to the same amount with unrestricted commerce, would be preferable for all that portion of the Union, to the present mode of raising our revenue. If none would be found favorable to the system with direct taxes, are we, nevertheless, to be told, that these same people ought to be taxed to the same amount, and for the very same purpose, but in a different mode, which is more oppressive in some respects, notwithstanding the delusion by which it flatters us to the contrary Do gentlemen intend to deceive their constituents? Or do they think the people incapable of examining this thing to the bottom ... If they are, sir, it is vain to hope for preserving their liberties, as secured by our present forms of Government. We all see how fashionable it is becoming to look on State Governments with jealousy, if not contempt, while this Government is regarded as the exhaustless source of favors. The former raise their revenue by direct, the latter by indirect taxation. If the people will not understand and feel that indirect taxes are a burden, what is to restrain us from raising them to an indefinite extent, if for no other purpose than to squander them among those who regard themselves only as receivers, and not as payers ? And what could then prevent this Government from extending its powers without limitation, and to the utter extinction of all State authorities 7 After what I have seen—what every citizen ought to know —tell me not of constitutional barriers—of cobwebs—as opposed to such an influence. Every day's experience confirms the awful truth, that our liberties depend on a correct understanding by the people of the principles of taxation by our respective Governments. And, if our political system shall ever fail, its ruin will be traced to this differ. ence between direct and indirect taxation. We are warned by every thing dear to man, against being deceived ourselves, or attempting to deceive others. We ought to rely on the intelligence of our constituents, and not practice on their supposed ignorance. They have placed honorable reliance on us, not merely to serve them faithfully here, but, also, to profit by our situation in obtaining information for them. While we respect their opinions, let us perform our twofold duty with becoming firmness and candor. Whatever may be our votes on the particular subject, before us, let us tell our people the undeniable truth, that the contemplated system of internal improvements cannot be supported, except with their own money drawn from them in some way. Then, after they shall have reflected on it maturely, they will respond to us in the significant phrase of the sagacious Franklin, “it would, indeed, be paying too dear for the whistle.” Mr. NORTON o: that, representing as he did the district in which this great national road was contemplated to be commenced, and knowing that his constituents felt a deep interest in the passage of the law authorising the construction of it, he was not at liberty to follow his own inclination by giving a silent though an affirmative vote. The honorable gentleman from Pennsylvania, [said Mr. N.] who reported this bill, having gone at length into the constitutional question—a question that never sails to arise whenever any project of internal improvement is pre
sented to this House; and having, in my opinion, shown, most conclusively, that no one provision of that constitution will be violated by the passage of this act, it would be obtrusive in me to say one word upon that subject; and that gentleman, as well as many others, having also clearly pointed out the advantages that would accrue to almost every section of this Union, both in a mercantile and commercial point of view, it would be trespassing upon the indulgence of this committee to compel them to listen to further argument upon that division of the subject. But there is . branch of this imposing project that I must not pass over in silence; indeed, if I were to do so, I should be greatly wanting in courtesy to the honorable gentleman from Virginia, who opened the debate in opposition to this bill. I mean, that division of the argument which particularly relates to the military operations of this Government. The honorable chairman of the Committee on Internal op. in opening this debate, portrayed, in strong and persuasive language, not only the facilities that would be afforded for defence, but also the duty that this and every other Government owes to its citizens, or to its subjects, to render them efficient protection whenever dangers arise from abroad. The answer to this, by the gentleman from Virginia, was, that heavy ordnance, and other munitions of war, would never be transported by land, while there was a safe, cheap, and expeditious communication by water; and that, by the enterprise of the citizens of the great and powerful State of New York, the General Government had been furnished with such a communication, from the seat of Government to the northwestern frontier. And now I do assure this committee, that no part of the gentleman's argument, however eloquent and imposing, created in my mind the least alarm, except the one now under consideration; and I confess that there was a plausibility displayed by the contrast drawn between water and land carriages, that could not fail to catch the ear of every careless observer; and at this late hour in the de. bate, I should not have claimed the attention of the committee, had I not felt a full confidence that I should be able, in a very few words, to show the total fallacy of all the gentleman's reasoning upon that subject. And here let me assure the gentleman that I intend no disrespect to him, when I say that he seemed to have forgotten the latitude of the New York canal, and that it was actually blocked with ice almost one-half the year; and that, too, in the season when we should be most likely to be invaded from the North. Sad experience has taught us this lesson. Climate will have its influence upon the minds of gentle. men. And here the gentleman will excuse me for sug. gesting another difficulty, which, also, escaped his critical observation. It is well known to almost every gentleman in this House, that the Hudson and Erie canal, more than one half of its distance, runs parallel with the Canada line, and in many places contiguous to it; and I do not hesitate to say, that, in one hour, with a spade or a hoe, I could make such breaches in its embankments, as could not be repaired in a whole campaign; and this may be done either by soldiers from the enemy's camp, or by traitors in our own. There is one important fact to which I beg leave to call the attention of the committee, before I quit this branch of the subject. It is this: If we should be again involved in a war with Great Britain, and should determine to invade the Canadas, our preparations must be made in the winter season, when not only the canal, but all the water. courses in my section of the country are closed by ice. It is during this season that our troops must be enlisted, drilled, and marched to the frontier; that our provisions, camp equipage, military and hospital stores, ordnance, and am. munition must be collected, and placed in deposit, at or near the place of embarkation, And there is another fact,
which I request the committee to bear in mind. In that northern region we generally have good sleighing three or four months in the year; and, when that is the ease, all your supplies for an army, with the exception, perhaps, of very heavy ordnance, can be transported, upon a good road, cheaper, and more rapidly than they can upon the canal, where it is navigable. And, again, says the gentle. man from Georgia, suppose there should be an invasion of the western part of the State of New York, they would need no aid from us at the South, or from the seat of Government. They have the means at hand of repelling it, vested in the patriotism of a dense and hard popu: lation. All this it suits my pride to admit, so far as it relates to defence. But suppose it should be determined in a grave council of war, here at Washington, that Canada must be invaded, and orders given to the general officer who happens to be in command on that frontier at that time, to call to his aid all the hardy sons of the North for the purpose of making the conquest, first of Upper, and then of Lower Canada; and suppose that this whole population does, in fact, obey this call, as they would be very likely to do, and all rally round the national standard at Lewiston, or at Buffalo, as the case may be. What then? Why, they would be first paraded, and then, according to custom, they would be formed into a hollow square; and, after having listened to an appropriate address from the commanding general, they would be marched to the banks of the river Niagara, and there they would be called upon to survey the proud conquest before them. But, while contemplating lo. mighty conquest, and their fancied lau. rels, with the banner in one hand and the constitution in the other, they are saluted from the other shore with the sound of the bugle and a shower of Congreve rockets, which unexpected and unwelcome salutation throws the eamp into some confusion, and finally results in a conference between citizens and soldiers; at which conference they gravely determine that they are not bound by any law, nor called upon by any duty, to cross the line—that the constitution of the United States does not require the militia or volunteer citizens of the State of New York to seek foreign conquest—and that they have the same good right to avail themselves of the benign provisions of that constitution, and particularly when life is at stake, as the people of the middle or even the southern States have, when a turnpike road or canal is projected. Now, for the sake of argument, we will suppose that this road is not essentially necessary to transport troops or munitions of war from the seat of Government to the southern or eastern frontiers. But may we not suppose a case, where it would be of vital importance to make rapid movements from the frontiers to the seat of Government? Is it not possible that even this proud city of Washington may want aid? The time has been, when a few thousands of these patriotic sons of the western part of the State of New York would have received a most hearty welcome in this hospitable eity. Yes, I repeat, the time has been, when a portion of the hardy yeomanry of the North, and of the West, would have been hailed here as deliverers in warding the bayonets of the invading foe from the hearts of your citizens, extinguishing the torches of foreign invaders, and saving your country from the deep humiliation of surrendering its capitol to the pillage of the common enemy. Much has been said about the expense of making this road, and many predictions have been indulged in, and many calculations made, varying from two and a half to fifty millions. The calculation of the committee is two and a half millions; and I have more confidence in that calculation than any other that I have heard. If that is correct, it falls greatly short of the value of the public buildings in this city, which I understood have cost more than five millions. But I do not mention the expenditures in this city in the spirit of retrenchment, but for the purpose of show
ing the vast importance of making early preparation to defend the public property, in case this city should be again assailed. If we differ in opinion about the propriety of making this road, we must agree in this, that we all have a deep stake even in this single monument of national grandeur; and that we have a much deeper one in guarding the national character against the effects of another farce at Bladensburg. I now owe it to the committee and to my own character, to say, that, in the description I have given of an army constituted of the volunteer citizens and of the militia of our country, I have intended nothing in the spirit of ridicule. I have taken the last war as my text, and the commentary is a literal history of what has happened. And it is what will always happen, when you rely upon such a soldiery, either for attack or defence; and the officer whose misfortune it is to be in command, whatever may be his merit, as a man or as a soldier, is certain to meet with discomfiture and disgrace. Mr. MUHLENBERG, of Pennsylvania, rose to claim the indulgence of the committee for a few moments only, as he did not wish to enter into a lengthy discussion of a subject which had already been more than sufficiently discussed. He presumed every member of the committee, who had given it any attention whatever, must, by that time, have made up his mind upon the question; and he could not flutter himself that anything he might say, for or against the measure, would change a single vote. He rose merely to express a regret at the vote he found himself obliged to give if he wished to satisfy his own conscience, and promote, in his view of things, the best interests of the whole people of the Union, as he considered himself a representative for the whole, and not for a part
Ši, [said Mr. M.] I must, when called upon, record my vote against the bill on your table. I regret this circumstance, because I shall thereby vote against a measure which my much esteemed friend and colleague, [Mr. HEMPHILL] the honorable chairman of the Committee on Internal Improvements, seems to have much at heart. He, no doubt, sincerely believes that it is a measure which will tend to the general welfare, and promote the good, not only of his native State, but of the Union at large; that it will further the interests of commerce, of agriculture, of manufactures, add to the comforts of the people in peace, and their security in time of war, as well on the southern as on the northern and northwestern frontier. A more amiable man, a more patriotic and disinterested legislator, may not be found on this floor. He may possibly be correct in his views, and I in error. It is, however, human nature to differ; but every honest man must be guided by his own convictions of right and wrong, of the expediency or inexpediency of any measure upon which he is called in duty to decide.
I regret [said Mr. M.] the vote I must give, because it is in opposition to the opinion of many, perhaps in opposition to the opinion of a large majority of my colleagues, who have more experience in legislative matters than myself, and for whose opinion, collectively and individually, I have the highest regard. -
I regret it, because it is apparently against the immediate interest of a considerable portion of my native State, which I have the honor to represent, in part, on this floor, so far at least as the expenditure of a considerable sum out of the common fund, within the boundaries of that State, may be considered a benefit.
But [said Mr. M.] o compels me to overcome these regrets. What I owe to the people and their welfare, calls upon me to lay aside all personal feelings, and vote against the bill under discussion; not, indeed, because I think a mea. sure of this kind unconstitutional. on that head. If that were the only point in dispute, I could have no hesitation and no regrets in giving a vote, on the
No, I have no scruples
question. It would afford me pleasure. I consider it a point long since settled—a point which, at this day, should not be called in question. If Congress have not the right to authorize internal improvements, for the o: of regulating commerce and promoting the general welfare, to render the transportation of the mail more easy and rapid, to contribute to the comforts and happiness of the people in time of peace, and their security in time of war, it has no rights whatever; it might as well not exist—it might as well be expelled from this hall, I vote against the bill, not on constitutional principles therefore, but because I think its passage unnecessary and inexpedient, at this time at least, The passage of the bill, I contend, is unnecessary. It is not necessary, as some, gentlemen who have preceded have asserted, to establish a constitutional principle, the right of the General Government to make internal im. Fo No, this question, as I have already said, as, in my humble opinion, been long since settled. Whatever this Congress may do, it will neither tend to settle or unsettle it. The express words of the constitution itself; the opinions of our ablest men on the bench; the opinions of all our Presidents, from him who was deservedly first in the hearts of the people, from Washington down to the present illustrious Chief; the opinion of the lamented Clinton, undoubtedly a statesman of the very first order; the opinions of a large majority of our State Legislatures—all have established it beyond a question, except with a few, who, although no doubt sincere in their opinions, and on that account ought to be respected, are yet too much in the habit of splitting hairs, both on the north and south side, to have much reliance placed on their judgment. Neither [said Mr. M.] does the passage of the bill appear to me necessary, as is further contended by some gentlemen who have been in advance of me, to promote the interests of commerce and agriculture, the transportation of the mail, the comfort of the people in peace, their security in time of war. No, I am far from admitting this. From this place to Buf. falo, we have already more than one road, and probably as direct as any can be made. None certainly can be made better for less than three times the sum fixed as an average for the mile in the bill now before us. Indeed, we have, by taking a circuit of a few miles, an excellent turnpike for at least one-half the distance. We want, at present, in our section of the Union, no more roads for the accommodation of trade, or the transportation of the mail, or even for the comfort and convenience of the travellers; and as for the conveyance of troops and munitions of war, it is futile to speak about it. I have, to use the words of the venerable gentleman from Rhode Island, who sits on my left, [Mr. BURGEs] “been utterly astonished and confounded” at the assertions of some gentlemen in this respect. How long could a mud road, costing only fifteen hundred dollars a mile, be used for such a purpose, in the spring and fall, if Government chose to use it, which I strongly suspect will never be the case ? The situation of the South and West, I will admit, may be different. They may be more in want of roads than the northern section of the Union. I do not pretend to o: a positive opinion. But grant to the States, south and west of this, through which the road is proposed to be run, the sum to be expended under the if and the road will be infinitely better made, at much less cost, and in one-half the time. Indeed, admitting the road to be made, I know not what you are to transport upon it, either in peace or in war. Not only the cutting of innumerable roads, the opening of canals, the improvement of our rivers in every direction, the use of all-powerful steam, has, within a few years past, since the conclusion of the late war, upon which gentlemen have harped so much to show the necessity of this road, entirely changed the whole situation of our country as regards internal communications. Produce will no longer be conveyed by land for any distance. It will every where seek
the watercourses, and they are everywhere near at hand. Troops and munitions of war, if they should hereafter be required at extreme points, will be moved upon these three times the distance in one-half the time that would be required upon land, where, with the best of roads, railroads excepted, the practical result of these, carried to a distance, has not yet been fully ascertained. It would appear, then, [said Mr. M.] that the passage of the bill under consideration is unnecessary. And not only that; it appears to me extremely inexpedient at this time. Our first object (it strikes me at least in this light) should be to pay off the national debt, then to reduce—I will not say entirely take off—to reduce the duties on all articles which we can neither manufacture nor grow, or which no longer require protection, that the burdens of our people may be lightened, if not entirely taken away. And bur: dened they must be, in some instances, when our annual exports amount to little more than fifty millions of dollars, and the duties on the return cargoes to twenty-four millions. The district I have the honor to represent must pay an enormous tax upon the single article of salt—a tax amounting to not much less than thirty thousand dollars per annum. , Can the agricultural interest—the interest which should be most cherished in our country—flourish under such circumstances? If we enter into the measure under discussion now, if we continue appropriating such enormous sums as we have heretofore done, both the one and the other, I mean the payment of the public debt and the reduction of unnecessary duties, will be materially retarded, perhaps never o: This road will cost, not as is estimated in the bill, two and a half millions, it will cost fifteen or twenty millions before we are done with it. Are the people of this country forever to be taxed heavily for their tea, their coffee, their sugar, their salt, their spices, and other articles which have become necessa; ries of life, that the sums thus taken from the sweat of their brow may be squandered upon the useless and worse than useless projects of wild theorists? I hope not. , Let us be just before we are generous. Let us pay our debts. Let us reduce our duties where they are not necessary to aid and protect internal industry. This internal industry must be supported at all costs and at all hazards; upon it ultimately depends the salvation and permauent welfare of the country. Then let us divide, honestly and equally, our surplus revenue. Let this be used for the pur. poses of internal improvements by the States, and with one dollar we shall effect more, than in the mode now contemplated with three or four. , We shall, by this course, at the same time, allay sectional jealousies. We shall promote concord and harmony in our great family, between our brethren of the North and the South, of the East and the West. We shall promote the interests of agriculture, undoubtedly the first of our country, the interests of commerce, of manufactures, the welfare of all our people in peace, and their security in war. I will not [said Mr. M.] tax the indulgence of the committee any longer, and am grateful for the kind attention I have received. I repeat, it is with regret I shall vote against the bill under consideration, but vote against it I must, or vote against the convictions of my own mind, and what I deem the best interests of the country. The question being then loudly called for from various parts .# the House, it was put, being on the motion to strike out the enacting clause of the bill, (to destroy it.) and negatived: yeas, 75–nays, 77. The blank for the per diem allowance to the commissioners was filled with four dollars. The committee then took up, successively, the amendments offered by Mr. A. H. SHEPPERD, Mr. QARSON, and Mr. BARRINGER, to change the proposed route of the road, the last named gentleman being for the eastern, or metropolitan route—all of which were rejected by large majorities.
An amendment offered by Mr. McCOY, to give discretionary power to vary the route through Virginia, was also negatived—as was also Mr. RICHARDSON'S amendment to provide for a road from the lakes to Boston.
The committee then rose, and reported the bill to the House.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 14, 1830. THE ARMY.
The House next resumed the consideration of the resolution introduced by the Military Committee, calling on the Secretary of War for a plan to reduce the number of officers in the army, without injury to the public service.
Mr. WANCE said, he thought if the House reflected on the principles on which the army was organized at its last reduction, it would come to the conclusion that that organization should not be disturbed. He then explained the principles on which it was then established—its necessary expansion over the country, and the necessity for the present proportion of officers. It had been said by the gentleman from Tennessee, [Mr. DEshA] and from Kentucky, [Mr. WickLIFFE] that the present ratio of officers and men was as one to seven and a half. He did not know where these gentlemen procured their information, or from what data they reckoned. He had, himself, taken much pains to satisfy himself on this subject, and the result of his examination was, that there were now employed in the service only one commissioned officer to each eighteen and about a third of the men. He then gave a history of the service of officers, compiled from the last Army Register, stating the number employed in the several departments of the army, making a total of six hundred and twelve. From these he deducted seventy belonging to the Pay and Purchasing Department, leaving only five hundred and forty-two. He next deducted forty for those employed in the Engineer Department, leaving but five hundred and two officers in actual command. He went on to show the various duties assigned to some of these by the nature of their offices, as belonging to the Ordnance, Engineer, and Subsistence Departments, stationed at the Military Academy, on the recruiting service, &c., making one hundred and ninety-nine; and, when deducted from the aggregate, leaving only three hundred and three officers to be stationed at the several posts. He would ask what officers the gentleman would dispense with in the contemplated reduction? Would they take them from the Quartermaster's Department? It is but a few days since a bill was passed to increase the number in that branch; and it is now complained by the Quartermaster General that there are not now enough to perform its duties. Would they dispense with the services of those engaged in the Ordnanee Department? By examination, it would be found that they had in their care more than twelve millions of dollars worth of property, and had charge of the disbursement of one million per annum; and he asked if these men were to be discharged, and inexperieuced persons appointed to do the duties with which they had become familiar. He believed they would pause before they took such a step. Should they then be taken from the Engineer Department? Why, [said Mr. V.] we have lately increased their numbers by the addition of thirty officers; and if you proceed with the system of erecting fortifications, a much greater number will have to be added to the corps. He presumed the choice of the gentleman from Kentucky [Mr. Wicklirre] would be, if any officers were to be dispensed with, to take them from the corps of topographical engineers, as he believed he had opposed all surveys that had been directed; but he doubted whether the people would consent to this; and the House had already taken measures for the increase of that corps. Mr. W. proceeded at some length to show the extent of essential fortifications now in progress, and said he had intended to say more, but indisposition