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that in consequence of this equal division, it was decid-' HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.-SAME DAY. ed in the affirmative; but, I might say it was decided in Mr. TAYLOR, of New York, offered the following the negative. The Senate said Mr. N. is now full: 1 resolution: one member of the committee who reported the bill is “Resolved, that the Committee on the Judiciary be innow present. The gentlemen may now see the import- structed to examine and report to this House whether ance of the bill, and may not be willing to vote for it as any, and, if any, what, further legislative provision is neit now stands. I should prefer that it be recommitted cessary for the impartial administration of justice in the with instructions, or that it should be recommitted to territorial governments of the United States." the same committee generally. I have drawn up a pro- ! In offering this resolution, Mr. T. said, it had become position which, in substance, amounts to this : that the his duty to call the attention of the House to this subject, bill be recommitted to the committee with instructions in consequence of certain communications he had reto amend the bill by striking out the words, “and shall ceived from one of the Terricories, requiring, in his further make oath or affirmation that he or they have judgment, the attention of Congress. In most of the reason to believe, that the 'said defendant or defendants territories inferior courts of law have been established intend to remove from the state or territory, or intend to by their local legislatures. The judges of these courts leave the United States.” If this should be objected to, are appointed for a limited period, unl-88 sooner removed he would move, without any instructions at all, that it be by the Executive authority. In the absence of the Goreferred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
vernor, the Secretary of the Territory exercises all the Mr. JOHNSON, of Ky, said that the Senate must be powers and prerogatives of that officer Generally, he impatient at the tedious process of the investigation of is a member of the bar and a practitioner in the territothis subject. The merits of the question had been ex. rial courts. The Governors are frequently absent from posed in two or three previous sessions. With respect their territories many months in succession. In such to the details of the bill, no committee had ever bestow- case, it has happened, and, unless prohibited by law, ed more attention on any subject, than had been bestow- may again happen, that one of the Attorneys on record, ed on this, by the select committee to whom it was re- in a cause depending in court, appoints the judges to ferred. The honorable gentleman from Indiana, (Mr. try the cause, bolds over them the power of removal at Noble,) wished to recommit the bill, and strike out a pleasure, and exerts a controling influence in fixing their part which vitally affected its principle. If the majority compensations. The danger of this power, so unfriendwere against the adoption of the measure, then let it be ly to the impartial administration of justice, becomes rejected. If the gentleman could point out any thing more apparent when we consider the influence the act. objectionable in the phraseology, which needed amend. ing Governor is capable of exerting over the jurors. ment, he saw no objection to it. It was needless to enter Those, being freeholders, generally compose the class into the history of this measure. It had been three years of citizens which furnish most of the candidates for the before the Senate, and five before the House of Repre-offices of Sheriff, Justice, Coroner, and for office in the sentatives, in relation to its principles and details. When Militia. In addition, then, to his influence with the it was before the Senate on a former occasion, the part court, arising from the facts above mentioned, it has ofto which the honorable gentleman objected, was attempt ten bappened that a portion of the jurors impannelled ed to be struck out. The friends of the measure, said and sworn to try the cause, have stood in relation to one Mr. J. have stated, that the principles of the bill are in. of the Attorneys in the attitude of humble suppliants for volved in that section. I should be better pleased that office. the bill should be finally thrown out, than its principles. These statements, said Mr. T., are not made in refershould be destroyed in this indirect manner. Nothing ence to any particular case of injustice which may have will be gained by procrastinating the measure; and I arisen, but the facts upon which they are founded are hope the recommitment will not take place, either with derived from very respectable authority, and are entitled or without instructions. As it would then stand, those to consideration. who contend for the principles of the bill would vote The remoteness of the territories from the seat of the against it; for thuse principles would be utterly destroy. General Government, the imperfect responsibility of ed. He was very sorry, after the opportunities that had officers there to the people, the difficulty of detecting been so repeatedly afforded for the commitment and re- and punishing abuses which may exist, unite in demand. commitment of the bill, and the conceding disposition ing of Congress the removal, so far as may be practicable, he had evinced, that it should still be objected io. He of all temptation to injustice or oppression. 'The partihoped that the final decision would take place, but not cular danger to which he had alluded, Mr. T. said, might by procrastinating it in this way. He had nothing more be remedied by a law prohibiting the person exercising at stake than any other member, but wished finally to the office of Governor from practising as Attorney, Coundispose of it.
sellor, or Solicitor, in the Courts of the Territory over Mr. NOBLE replied, that he had no wish to procras- which he may preside. tinate the decision. In its present shape he was entire. This prohibition, it was believed, would furnish ly opposed to the bill. He had seen enough in the ground for no such complaint on the part of the officer Western Country of stop laws, occupying claimant laws, whom it might affect. The Secretary of a Territory en&c. to satisfy him that it was necessary to have some joys a salary from the United States of $1000 a year. Court in which the suitor should not be shackled. By Our District Judges, with salaries, many of which are this bill, said Mr. N., it is required that a man should not greater, and for considerations certainly not more take an oath, first, as to the amount of the debt, and af- important to the public, have been prohibited engaging, terwards take another that the party is about to leave | before other and independent judges, in the practice of the state or the United States. Now, he might consci- law. At any rate, said Mr. T., the subject is worthy entiously take an oath as to the existence of the debt the attention of the appropriate committee. and its amount; but I ask if a man in one state was to The resolution was agreed to. bring an action against one in another state, could he The following message was received from the Presi. easily swear that his debtor was about to leave the limits dent of the United States, by Mr. EVERETT: of the state? Barriers are thrown in the way to prevent To the House of Representatives: an honest creditor collecting an honest debt. We mov- I should hasten to communicate to you the documents ed to commit the bill without any instructions.
called for by a resolution of the House of RepresentaThe question was then taken on the commitment of tives, of the 4th instant, relating to the conduct of the the bill, and carried --Ayes 23-Noes 21.
officers of the Navy of the United States, on the Pacific
Ocean, and of the public agents in South America, if ritime jurisdiction :" terms, the precise import of which such a communication might now be made, consistently there is much difficulty in settling. The question arises, with the public interest, or with justice to the parties how far does this admiralty jurisdiction extend? The concerned. In consequence of several charges, which difficulty of marking this line with precision, none knew have been alleged against Com. Stewart, touching his better than the gentleman from Massachusetts himself, conduct, while commanding the squadron of the United who took a very distinguished part in a celebrated case States, on that sea, it bas been deemed proper to sus. lately argued before the Supreme Court of the United pend him from duty, and to subject him to trial ou those States, and which turned mainly on that question. In charges. It appearing, also, that some of those charges another case, where the same question came up, Judge have been communicated to the Department by Mr. | Story devoted seventy-five pages to the discuss Prevost, political ageni, at this time, of the United States | It is the opinion of some, and this distinguished jurist is at Peru, and, heretofore, at Buenos Ayres and Chili, and one of the number, that maritime jurisdiction extends apparently with his sanction, and that charges have like over “the high seas,” and over the sea as it extends into wise been made against him, by citizens of the United bays, harbors, rivers, and creeks, and as far as it ebbs States engaged in commerce in that quarter, it has been and flows. Others say that the common law jurisdicthought equally just and proper that he should attend tion extends only to the enclosed parts of the sea. If here, as well to furnish the evidence in his possession, the first of these opinions is the correct one, then, acapplicable to the charges exhibited against Commodore cording to the provisions of the present bill, the jurisdicStewart, as to answer such as have been exhibited tion of the federal courts will spread over all the bays, against himself. In this stage, the publication of these harbors, and rivers, of the Union, as far as the tide flows. documents might tend to excite prejudices which might Mr. B. observed that he should not himself undertake to operate to the injury of both. It is important that the define the precise extent of this so often discussed jurispublic servants, in every station, should perform their diction ; but, as the point had been a matter of controduties with fidelity, according to the injunctions of the versy long before the date of our constitution, it might law, and the order of the Executive in the fulfilment be argued, with some plausibility, that the clause in the thereof. It is peculiarly so that this should be done by constitution which speaks of piracies and felonies “on the commanders of our squadrons, especially on dis. the high seas," had been intended to settle the question. tant seas, and by political agents, who represent the It was a controversy which had called forth a vast amount United States with foreign powers, and for reasons that of talent and intelligence; but without pretending to are obvious in both instances. It is due to their right, settle it, he conceived that every necessary purpose and to the character of the Government, that they be would be subserved if the bill shall make provision for not censured without just cause, whicl: cannot be ascer the punishment of crimes committed without and betained until, on a view of the charges, they are beard yond the jurisdiction of the several states. Now, it was in their defence, and after a thorough and impartial in the received doctrine, that every state has jurisdiction as vestigation of their conduct. Under these circumstan. far as its own territorial limits extend ; and these limits ces, it is thought that a communication, at this time, clearly include all the bays, waters, creeks, &c. which of these documents, would not comport with the pub-are within the state. The gentleman must well recol. lic joterest, nor with what is due to the parties con lect the case where this was settled before the Supreme cerned.
Court, in relation to the state of Massachusetts. His
JAMES MONROE. wish was to avoid all colliding jurisdictions ; and, thereWashington, January 10, 1825.
fore, it was, that he wished the bill modified in the man
ner he had stated. And he now suggested, with that The message was read, and ordered to lie on the
view, that the bill should be made to read as applying table.
to offences committed “on the bigh seas, and beyond PENAL LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES.
the territorial jurisdiction of any of the states;" or any The House then, on motion of Mr. WEBSTER, went other phraseology which would attain the same object. into committee of the whole, Mr. CONDICT in the He believed the language in the former law was "out chair, on the bill further to provide for the punishment of the jurisdiction of any particular state.” He trusted of crimes against the United States.
that the honorable member frum Massachusetts would Mr. P. P. BARBOUR rose fur the purpose of sugges! - not object to such a modification, ing to the honorable chairman of the Committee on the Mr. WEBSTER rose in reply: he said that the memJudiciary, the propriety of a modification of the bill now ber from Virginia had stated with great fairness the dif. before the committee-a modification which had re-ficulty which attended this subject; and if he apprehendspect to the principle of the bill, and which, if adopted, cd, vith that hunorable member, that any disagreeable would run through several of its parts. He highly ap- collision could take place between the federal and state proved of much that the bill contained, and thought that authorities, from the passage of the bill as it stands, he many of the offences it contemplated were worthy of might be perbaps induced to modify it as proposed. He punishment; but the object he wished to attain, in the was well aware that the leading law heretofore existmodification he now suggested, was, that the federal ing on this subject, provided for the punishment of courts should have cognizance of all cases where punish. crimes committed “on the high seas, or in any bay, ment was necessary, and where the state courts have harbor, basın, creek, or river, out of the jurisdiction of no jurisdiction, but that, where the state courts have any particular state ;” but he had expressly stated, when jurisdiction, there none should be given to the United he introduced the present bill, that its object was to States. He was fully aware that the subject was one at. carry that act farther, and he would now assign some tended with much and great difficulty. If we looked at of the reasons which led him to desire it. The power the legislative department of the Government, we find to punish was one for which no government now a days that the constitution gives it power to define and punish was much disposed to contend; and the offences compiracies and felonies, committed on the high seas, and mitted within the federal jurisdiction were, in most ca. offences against the laws of nations: if we look to the ses, directed against the United States, or against those judicial department, we find the constitution giving it interests which the Government was especially bound jurisdiction over all cases of admiralty and maritime to protect. The jurisdiction of the United States was jurisdiction, Confining our attention only to the legisla- found chiefly where commerce existed, and commerce tive power of the Governmení, it would seem to be at was an interest which the United States were peculiarly once limited to the high seas;" but, if we go on to the bound to protect-it is an interest regulated by the judicial, we find it under the words "admiralty and ma- United States its revenue is given to the United States;
and the bill proposes to give the federal courts jurisdic- were petitioning the mother country for a hundred years, tion over crimes only where they now have jurisdiction (which seems to show that the real grievance was not the over commerce. The crimes most mischievous were trial of those causes without a jury, but by a judge ap. crimes against the property of the Government. Now pointed abroad and without our consent.) Mr. W. said the question was, whether the General Government that, notwithstanding the objection urged against the shall devolve the whole burden (for it was a burden bill, it would be found that the law now existing has and not a privilege) of punishing criines against itself, provided for the jarisdiction the bill, proposes-that is, on the state governments, because committed within for the punishment of crimes committed within the matheir bounds. In taking this task into their own hands, ritime jurisdiction of the United States, and at the same the Government will only be acting on the principle time within the jurisdiction of the States. The act of which has governed it from its originoffences against 1790, if it had stopped at the words “bigb seas," would, those rights which are peculiarly committed to its pro- indeed, have excluded such a jurisdiction as that now tection it has always punished in jts own courts, such proposed-but it does not stop there : it says, also, as counterfeiting the national coin, forging the national * and in all bays, harbors, creeks," &c. Many things securities,&c. There was nothing to prevent the state go- are directed to be punished in the act of 1790, on the vernment from punishing these offences as well as others high seas, which are neither piracies nor felonies, alwithin their limits; yet the federal government has never though the Constitution, speaking of the judicial power, left it to them. The great objection against leaving the restricts it to piracies and felonies which would infer task of punishing to the state governments is the burden that the Constitution was then held to grant larger of expense: no state government, so far as his knowledge power by the other clause. Several other laws, besides extended, was ever very anxious to take this burden that of 1790, give express authority for the extent of none were very ambitious of extending their jurisdic- jurisdiction in this bill. Mr. W. here adverted to the tion in this respec:. He would now state, so far as his act of May, 1820, in which it is decided that admiunderstanding of it went, how the power of punishing ralty jurisdiction extends as far as the tide ebbs and these crimes came to the General Government. In de- flows. Mr. W. concluded his remarks, (of which fining the power of Congress, the Constitution says, it our Reporter professes to have given but an imperfect shall extend to the defining and punishing of piracies outline, in which he does not expect to have attainand felonies upon the high seas and offences against the ed the complete accuracy desirable in a view of legal law of nations. Whether the Constitution uses the term discussions,) by remarking that, if he perceived any dan“high seas," in its strictly technical sense, or in a sense ger of the collision which some gentlemen seemed to apmore enlarged, is not material. The Constitution prehend, he should be the last to urge any bill that throughout, in distributing legislative power, has refer- would produce it. We might, indeed, get along without ence to its judicial exercise, and so, in distributing judi- the measure now proposed--we might continue to limp cial power, has respect to the legislative. Congress and halt as we have hitherto limped and halted-many may provide by law, for the punishment; but it cannot murders would go unpunished, and much United States' punish. Now it says that the judicial power shall ex- property would be left without any protection from the tend to all cases of maritime jurisdiction ; and it has United States. If we went into any harbor of the country, lately been argued that, as soon as a judicial system is we should see less of the state authority than was proorganized, it had maritime jurisdiction at once, by the posed to be left untouched by this bill. The commerce Constitution, without any law to that effect-but I do there is all regulated by United States' laws-the masnot agree to this doctrine--and I am very sure that such ters, the mariners, the pilots, are all under regulations has not been the practice of our Government from its of the United States—and he thought that the crimes origin in 1789 till now. The Constitution defines what committed there would also be most properly punished shall be the objects of judicial power, and it establishes by the United States, if its jurisdiction may lawfully be only a Supreme Court-but in the subordinate Courts extended to them. the jurisdiction they shall exercise must be defined by Mr. BARBOUR observed, that the difficulty he had Congress ; the defining of it is essential to the creation first stated, still remained, which was, the local extent of of those Courts. The Judicial power is indeed granted maritime jurisdiction. He knew that there was a disby the Constitution, but it is not, and cannot be exercised tinction between the civil and criminal jurisdiction till Congress establishes the Courts by which it is to be in this respect. In the former, the question of locality so exercised. And I hold there is still a residuuin of did not come up for inquiry ; bot in the latter, it was judicial power, which has been granted by the Consti material. The question of its limits bad called forth tution, and is not yet exercised, viz: for the punishment illustrious talents, but was still undetermined. Where of crimes committed within the admiralty jurisdiction of is it to be limited ? To the high seas? If not, to " the the United States' Courts, and yet not without the juris- sea ?” If so, is it the “open sea,” or is it also in har. diction of the particular states. So' the Constitution bors, and does it ascend rivers with “ the ebbing and says that the Federal Courts shall have jurisdiction of flowing of the tide ?” This, said Mr. B. is the difficulty. all civil cases between citizens of different states, and I wish to avoid it by limiting the bill to places without yet the law restricts this jurisdiction in many respects, the state jurisdictions. He did not think it was a fair as to the amount sued for, &c. There is a mass of pow. presumption that the State Governments would neglect er entrusted to Congress; but Congress has not granted their duty. The proper and natural presumption was, it all to specific courts, and therefore the Courts do not that they would do it on the water as much as on the exercise it. The Constitution gives to Congress Legis. land, He would, however, make, at present, no dislative power in all cases of admiralty jurisdiction, from tinct motion. Indeed, no one motion would accomwhence has occurred one of the most extraordinary of plish his object. He would only present to the honoraall circumstances that causes of revenue have become ble chairman of the Judiciary Committee the suggescases of admiralty jurisdiction. The cause of this seems tion, which, if adopted, would require a number of disto be, that, under the colonies, these causes were tinct amendments to the bill. tried by a Judge of the Crown; in England they are not Mr. WEBSTER observed that it would be best in the held to be cases of admiralty jurisdiction; but are tried meanwhile to proceed with the details of the bill. by Juries in the Court of Exchequer. The act of 1790 The remaining sections were accordingly read in suc. gives to the District Court of the United States original cession. Mr. WEBSTER explained the particular obcognizance of all cases of admiralty jurisdiction, includ-jects of several of them, and suggested several slight ing cases of seizure ; hence that very state of things amendments, which were adopted when the commit. has happened, against which, when we were colonies, we'tee rose, and reported the bill as amended.
Mr. VANCE, of Ohio, (by leave obtained,) offered the After the first reading of the bill, Mr. FORSYTH following, (wbich was adopted on the tollowing day.) rose, and made a statement exculpating the Committee
Resolved, that the Secretary of the Treasury be re- of Foreign Relations from any charge of neglect or dequested to furnish this House with a statement showing lay on this subject. The moment the coministee met, what portion of the money paid in virtue of the act of he said, application was made at the Department of 9th of April, 1816, and the subsequent acts amendatory State for the papers in relation to it, but none had yet thereof, and wbat moneys have been paid under the 9th | been received. section of the act of April 1816, and of that portion, Reciprocal explanations were further made by Messrs. what part was paid to the claimants ou the Niagara fron. CROWNINSHIELD and FULLER, the substance of tier, and also designating on what claims the residue of which went to remove any idea of the Committees on the said money has been paid.
Naval Affairs and of Foreign Relations, entertaining the
least intention to interfere with each other's duties, or IN SENATE_THURSDAY, JANUARY 11, 1825.
cast any imputation upon each other. The Senate resumed, as in committee of the whole, | ACO
ACCOUNTS OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE U. S. the bill for allowing a drawback on the exportation of Mr. INGHAM moved to refer the Message of the Precordage manufactured from foreign hemp in the United sident of the United States, received on Thursday last, States.
to a Select Committee Mr. RUGGLES explained the object of the bill, which Mr. BARTLETT said, that, among the considerawas simply to allow persons to import raw hemp into tivos which are stated, in the Message, to have induced the United States to manufacture it into cordage, and in the President of the United States to call the attention exporting it again to receive a drawback. There wis a of Congress to this subject, one was, that the proposed considerable demand for cordage in South America, but investigation would operate as a salutary precedent for this country was unable at present to compete with the future. Now, Mr. B. said, the Message referred to Great Britain, where no more duty was paid on the ex- matters of different kinds : a part of it referred to the portation of the manufactured article than was paid on private claims of the President upon the Government, the raw material. If this bill were passed, it would be and a part of it to his oflicial transactions. The Mesa great encouragement to many persons who were rea- sage asks that the accounts of the President shall be dy to enter into the business of rope making, and would treated and investigated in the same manner as the likewise encourage the growth of Flax in this country, claims or accounts of any other individual. To comply by creating an increased demand for the article; and with the invitation of the Message, in this respect, and the bill effectually guarded against any fraud on the re- to give full effect to the precedent to be established in venue.
this case, Mr. B. moved to refer so much of the MesMr. D'WOLF observed, that, in the formation of sage as refers to the private claims or accounts of the this Government, care had been taken to prevent Con- President, to the Committee of Claims, and if this mogress laying any tax on exports; it was certainly clear tion succeeded, would move to refer so much of it as that this bill ought to pass, for the obvious reason that relates to the disbursements, by the President, of Pubthe present law, exacting a duty on the raw material, lic Moneys, to such other standing committee of the operated as a direct tax on the exportation of the ar House, as might properly have cognizance of the matticles made from it. This branch of industry began ter. The reason for this course was, that the Committee with the settlement of this country; and the people who of Claims, besides being a diligent comimittee, versed in were engaged in it were masters of their business, and such matters, had also established rules of decision in rewere able to compete with any nation, if they could go gard to the principles of claims, &c. which it could readily into the market on an equality with them. If this mea: apply in this case. Such a disposition of the Message, also, sure were adopted, many of the gross manufactured ar would obviate the imputation which, whether justly or un. ticles of the United States could compete with those of justly, often attends the reports of select committees, of other countries in the South American market; but he partiality in their reports, &c, by reason of which a rehe had selected the article hemp, because he thonght it port from a select committee on this subject would be would strike both Houses of Congress more forcibly inuch less effective, in regard to future legislation, than than any other he could name. This country would re- if it had been made by a standing committee. He hoped, ceive very little benefit from the South American mar. therefore, the same course would be taken in the preket being thrown open, if it had to buy every thing of sent case as though it were the case of an individual. them and sell nothing; it was the interchange of the Mr. INGHAM assigned some reasons why he had proproducts of national industry that rendered commerce posed to refer the President's Message to a Select Comvaluable, and it was this that every nation was looking mittee. Since the Message had been laid on the table, to. In this business of making cordage, a large capital he had abstained from renewing the motion for referis already invested--the manufacturers wish to carry this ence; and he had not learned, in the interval, from any produce to a foreign market, and will do so if you will gentleman, that any other disposition of the Message remove the shackles that restrain them. The Constitu. than that was desired. The Message, Mr. I said, was of tion intended that every branch of industry should be a compound character : it involved considerations of a brought to market on fair, grounds and free from em very delicate nature, which had been the principal in. barrassment.--and what was asked in this bill was no ducements to the President to transmit it to Congress, more than justice.
With regard to whatever accounts the investigation of After some verbal amendments, which were discussed the subject might involve, it would be extremely diffiby Messrs. LLOYD, of Mass. D'WOLF, HOLMES, ofcult to separate them. Hence he had moved the referMaine, and SMITH, the bill was, on motion of Mr. ence to a select committee. If, however, it should apDICKERSON, postponed, and made the order of the pear to that committee, on examination, that the accounts day for to-morrow.
furnished a proper subject of investigation for the Com
mittee of Claims, if of a private nature, or for the ComHOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES-SAME DAY. mittee of Foreign Relations, if for services abroad, they Mr. CROWNINSHIELD, from the Committee on Na- could so report, &c. Mr. I. said he had himself no per val Affairs, reported a bill, “providing additional means so
al means sonal knowledge on this subject, nor any special anxiefor the suppression of piracy," which was twice read / ty. Ile thought it proper, bowever, that the Message and committed to a Committee of the Whole on the state should be respectfully disposed of. of the Union.
Mr. BRENT, of Lou. suggested, as a reason why the
Message should not go to the Committee of Claims, that not be sent to the Committee of Claims- which was alit would be out of the power of that committee, from ready sufficiently bürthened with business. It was not the pressure of business already before it, to act upon in the contemplation of the President, it was evident, the Message during the present session, and it was the that any thing definitive should be done the present very object of the President, as therein expressed, that session in relation to the subject of his message. The whatever investigation took place should take place investigation of it would obviously be a business of conduring the present session, that his situation might ena. siderable labor, as it appeared that private as well as ble him to facilitate the inquiry.
public accounts were to be investigated, and these runMr. MERCER, of Va. said, tbat there was no member ning back for many years. The Committee of Claims of the House who felt greater confidence in the Com. was, of all other standing committees of this House, mittee of Claims than he did, or entertained a higher least able to undertake an investigation of this nature opinion of the unwearied assiduity, talents, and integrity, and extent and he concurred with the gentleman from of the chairman of the committee, whom he might em Delaware, (Mr McLane,) in a wish that the Message phatically denominate his friend, and for whom he had might lie on the table till the House were better adever cherished sentimerts of the highest respect-yet vised what to do with it. he must object to giving the present document that Mr. BARTLETT again rose, to express a hope that direction--for, in the first place, it was not certain that he had not been misunderstood in the remarks he bad any thing was due to the President. For aught that made when first up. As his motion had been to refer appeared, the result of the inquiry might shew that the so much only of the message as relates to the private President was, on the contrary, indebted to the Govern and personal claims of Mr MONROE, to the Committee of ment. If a select committee is appointed, it will be claims, if it should appear that there were no claims of their duty to report what is the true state of the fact. this kind referred to by the Message, then his motion This is all that the message asks for. The President would have no effect; but if there were any such claims, asks for no bill-he expressly says that he will sign no then it would go to refer them to a committee, the bill in his own favor-and he presumes that none, in- special object of which was claims of such a description. tended to bring him in debt to the nation, will be pre. He wished to say one word in reply to the gentleman sented to him for his signature, (though he did not doubt from Louisiana, (Mr. BRENT,) who objected to sending for a moment, that, should such a bill be presented to it to the Committee of Claims, because that committee him from this House, he would sign it without hesita- bad already so much business that it could not attend tion.) should the select committee discover that part to this during the present session. Mr. B. said, he of the expenses, to which the message alludes, had would only observe, that, if this were a valid objection, been incurred by the President while in his diplomatic it was equally valid against sending any other claim character, that part of the accounts might afterwards go whatever to that committee from now to the end of the to the Committee on Foreign Affairs. If the supposed session. But, for bimself, such was his confidence in claim was found to touch the Executive expenditures, the diligence as well as tbe ability and fidelity of that there was a standing committee to which that part of it committee, that with him this objection had little weight. might go. But he thought that a select committee was He denied having any other object than to aid the views most proper, because they would devote their attention expressed by the President in setting a precedent which exclusively to the object, and would be enabled to re-might be the most proper and most salutary. He atport a statement of facts during the present session, and tached no suspicion whatever to any select committee while the President was still in Washington. It would of this House to which the subject might be referred certainly not be treating that venerable person with the but he thought it was most fit in itself that an individual respect to which his years and long services entitled him, personal claim, though that of a citizen in the highest to drag him from his retirement, after he sball have left office of the State, should go where other claims went of his bigh station, and compel him to come to Washington the same kind. to attend to a settlement of accounts; and, besides, it Mr. LIVERMORE, of N. H. objected to any division might then be viewed by him as indelicate to apply for al of the subjects of the Message as inconvenient. There lowances after his time of service shall have expired. It was a strong precedent for the appointment of a select could not be doubted that the claims of the President committee, to examine the accounts of the President, were, in his own view of them, founded in justice, and in the case of the accounts of the Vice President, which the investigation he had asked for was honorable to him, were thus examined. I was indeed true, that his acand ought not to be refused.
counts bad first been presented at the Treasury; but they Mr. McLANE, of Delaware, then rose, and observed, had ultimately been submitted to a select committee of that it did not appear to him to be very material to what this House. He admitted the general principle, that committee the document was referred, if the House de- all who ask justice at our hands, should stand alike termine to consider the subject now at all. But, before but it does not therefore follow, that the same rule of he voted, he should like to have some information as to business should be applied to all cases. It was also true, the nature of the difficulties to which the message that there were standing committees of the House, to seems to allude. He was perfectly ready to aid in any which all business of a particular kind was ordinarily investigation which was requested, so far as his situation referred; and yet it was a frequent practice to send in the House might give him any facilities in so doing; business of the same kind to a select committee. He but, as a private member, he wished to know what is hoped a select committee would be appointed, and that the nature of the accounts alluded to. Are they ac- the whole matter would be entrusted to them for inves. counts which have been settled? If they are not settled, tigation. why, then there is the most imperious obligation that “Mr. HAMILTON, of S. C., said, that he thought that they should be settled as soon as possible ; but, if they it was not an unimportant portion of the inquiry before have been settled, and there is no balance against the the House, in reference to the direction which it was President, he did not clearly perceive what was the proper to give the message of the President, to asserobject he had in view. He hoped the gentleman from lain what had been its usual practice, in similar cases; Pennsylvania, (Mr. INGHAM,) would consent to let the and, whilst he cordially subscribed to the republican paper lie upon the table for the present, until some far doctrine of the gentlenian from New flampshire, that ther information could be obtained to guide the House the chief magistrate of this nation was entitled to no as to the proper course to be taken. For one, he pro. higher privileges of justice than the humblest man in fessed himself to be in utter ignorance on the subject. our country, he would undertake to say, that, in the
Mr. MgCOY, of Virginia, hoped the message would present instance, it was merely attempted to give to this