The Congressional Globe, Volume 14: Twenty-Eighth Congress, Second Session Page: 44
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points from which the publk funds are withdrawn,
and, make money plenty and easily obtained at the
points to which they were removed; and in this way
th,e trade at one place may be depressed, and at an-
other deceive an undue and factitious stimulus. This
uncertainly the exercise of a high power on the part
of Vpur executive officers.
Tfcfe time was, Mr. President, and that not remote,
when this unlimited and unregulated discretion in
regard to the finances was regarded as not
only unsafe in respect to , the public funds, but
as a direct and dangerous invasion of the great
principles of public liberty. It was solemnly
declared within these walls, that such executive
discretion over the public revenues was a union of
the purse and the sword, which was denounced as
the very essence of tyranny and arbitrary govern-
ment. Whatever truth there may have been in
these extreme opinions, all will probably admit that
there is a propriety, if not urgent necessity, for some
legal regulations to restrain and direct the executive
officers in the management of the finances. They
have not, certainly, always been left in this loose
condition. We have had laws for their regulation;
laws which many believed founded in wisdom, and
well calculated to throw around your public funds
every necessary safeguard. These laws have been
repealed, without substituting others in their place.
It was not his purpose to arraign the motives or
policy of those who had participated in the act to
which he referred. They may have had good iea-
sons for repealing the laws on this subject, and
again throwing the treasury upon the unrestrained
discretion, of the secretary, notwithstanding, at a
former period, they deemed this state of things so
unsafe and alarming. Sometimes it is said that cir-
cumstances alter cases; and what may be wrong at
one time., may be right at another. But I think it
right at least to call the attention of the Senate to the
existing state of. things. Your treasury is now
without legal regulation, and has been for nearly
four years. It was not the occasion to inquire into
the causes which had produced or continued this
state of things; much less to decide the question
who was responsible for the neglect of Congress for
so long a period to legislate on this important sub-
ject. It was sufficient for his present purpose to re-
fer_to the fact that they had not done it; but in the
absence of laws to regulate and control your finan-
cial concerns, it became the more imperious duty of
Congress to ascertain fully how your finances have
been conducted; how the executive discretion has
been exercised, as well as to make itself acquainted
with the present condition of the public funds.
When we nave this information, we can better de-
cide what further legislation is required at our hands,
either for the safety of the public deposites, or the
general management of the financial concerns of the
Mr. EVANS said that there was no good reason
that he was aware of, why this resolution should
not pass. He did not oppose it; nor did he intend
the other day to be understood as throwing any ob-
stacle in the way of its passage, by suggesting that
it should not be acted upon until the report of the
Secretary of the Treasury came in, believing at the
time that some of the inquiries could be answered by
that communication. He still thought that 3ome
portions of the resolution could be answered by the
secretary's report. That, however, was of no mo-
ment, and he was quite willing it should pass. He
was not able to hear all the remarks of the honora-
ble senator, [Mr. Niles;] but, as well as he under-
stood him, he thought he was complaining of the
existing state of things—that the public money was
left very much to executive discretion, and that it
was a state of things very much complained of some
years ago. One side complained that it was left to
the sole discretion of the Secretary of the Treasury,
and another that it was left to the sole discretion of
the President. He (Mr. E.) was glad to say that
we had had the good fortune not to lose any of it;
bo Jar as he had ascertained, not a dollar had been
lost. He thought that the senator from Connecticut
was,mistaken as to the points at issue at the time
referred to. As well as he (Mr. E.) recollected, the
cojtsiplaint was not that the public funds were left at
the discretion of the Secretary of the Treasury; but
that, they were taken from the Secretary of the
Treasury'and left at the discretion of the President.
But let all that pass. As to the numerous deposites
mfentiartfed. by the honorable senator, this he
krjeW, that, the, matter ought to be looked into,
an'd 'ne intended, ae 'far-as he could, to examine
into it. In this examination, he had a strong
impression, it would turn out that the law
of the last session was misunderstood by the
Secretary of the Treasury. It would be in the
recollection of the senator from New Hampshire,
[Mr. Woopbury,] that the principle incorporated
by the Finance Committee in that bill was, that no
change should be made in the depositories of the
public funds. His (Mr. E.'s) understanding was,
that the then depositories should be continued the
depositories of the treasury, but not augmented.
The Secretary of the Treasury, indeed, tells us that
he has not changed any of them, but that he has in-
creased the number. That was the very thing the
committee wished to prevent.
The secretary's reasons for this he (Mr. E.) could
say nothing about; but he could say it was the de-
sign of Congress that the then depositories should
be continued, and not increased, till something else
was determined upon. He, however, made no ob-
jection to the resolution.
The resolution was then adopted.
The engrossed bill entitled "An act to afford re-
lief to certain contractors with the government;'-'
The bill concerning furloughs in the naval service;
were read the third time, and passed.
The Senate bill for the relief of the heirs of Rob-
ert Fulton coming up as the postponed business of
yesterday, and the question being on its passage,
the yeas and nays were taken, and resulted—yeas
26, nays 14, as follows:
YEAS—Messrs. Archer, Ashley, Bagby, Barrow, Bates,
Bayard, Berrien, Choate, Evans, Foster of Tennessee, Hu-
ger, Huntington, Johnson. Mangum, Merrick, Miller. More-
head, Pearce, Phelps, Porter, Rives, Sturgeon, Upham,
Walker, White, and Woodbury.—2t>.
NAYS—Messrs. Allen, Atherton, Benton, Breese, Clay-
ton, Colquitt, Dickinson, Fairlield, Foster of New York,
Hannegan, Haywood, Niles, Semple, and Tappan.—14.
Mr. HUNTINGTON gave notice that to-mor-
row, or at the earliest opportunity, he would ask
leave to introduce two bills: one in relation to offi-
cers in the marine service, and the other in relation
to engineers in the revenue service.
The Senate bill to settle the title of Pea Patch
island, in the river Delaware, was next taken up as
in committee of the whole; and no amendment be-
ing offered, it was reported back to the Senate, and
ordered to be engrossed, and read a third time.1
On motion of Mr. EVANS, the Senate went into
executive session, and soon after adjourned.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
Wednesday, December 18, 1844.
- SINGLE PRESIDENTIAL TERM.
Mr. W. HUNT asked leave to give notice of his
intention to-morrow, or some subsequent day, to
move for leave to introduce a joint resolution to
amend the constitution of the United States so as to
render the President of the United States ineligible
for a re-election.
No objection being made, the notice was received
and entered'on the journal.
Mr. REDING, on leave, introduced resolutions
of the legislature of New Hampshire, proposing a
reduction of the rates of postage, and a regulation
of the franking privilege; which, on Mr. R.'s mo-
tion, were referred to the Committee on the Post
Office and Post Roads, and ordered to be printed.
THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.
Mr. DROMGOOLE asked and obtained leave to
give notice of his intention to move for leave to in-
troduce a joint resolution proposing an amendment
of the constitution of the United States in relation
to the election of President thereof.
ANNEXATION OF TEXAS.
Mr. WELLER asked leave to give notice of his
intention to-morrow, or some subsequent day, to
move for leave to introduce joint resolutions for the
annexation of Texas to the United States.
The SPEAKER said the notice could only be en-
tertained by the general consent of the House.
No objection being made, the notice was received
and entered on the journal.
Mr. JOHN W. DAVIS moved to suspend the
rules for the purpose of going into Committee of the
Whole on the state of the Union, to proceed with
the consideration of the bill to reduce and graduate
the prices of the public lands, &e.
The SPEAKER remarked that the subject before
the House at the adjournment yesterday, had been
brought under consideration by the universal con-
sent of the House, and he regarded it as equivalent
to a suspension of the rules. It therefore had prece-
dence over other business.
Mr. DAVIS, acquiescing in the decision* said he
would waive his motion for the present, intending
to renew it when the subject before the House
should have been disposed of.
The House then resumed the consideration of the
bill "to provide for the remission of duties on rail-
road iron in certain cases."
Mr. FOSTER, after fad verting to the unexpected
and hasty manner in which the bill had been brought
forward, and remarking that Pennsylvania had been
accustomed to consider the, "tariff question ,as
one to be treated on general priciples, proceed-
ed to express his regret that his colleague
[Mr. E. J. Morris] had. alluded to the recent can-
vass in Pennsylvania as he had done. As a mem-
ber of this House from Pennsylvania, as a native of
Pennsylvania, he felt proud of that great State; and
he would not allow himself, here or elsewhere, as his
colleague had done, to charge the people of Pennsyl-
vania with acting under false or fraudulent motives
on the subject of the tariff. If the whig party had
carried the State, Mr. F. esteemed that party so
highly, that, before the national legislature, be
would not have been found making such a charges
He knew the manner in which the canvass had
been conducted; and when the gentleman came to
speak of it as it had been carried on in his (Mr.
F's.) county, and to declare that the people had.act-
ed under such influences, he had mistaken them
altogether: they had acted under no delusion-
The tariff question was the one which, in
the late canvass in Pennsylvania, had deeply
agitated the public mind. They had been
told by their whig friends there, and generally
throughout the country, that, by the election of Mr.
Polk the iron and coal interests of Pennsylvania
were to be trodden down; but he had declared to
them that the profession that the whig party were
the only friends to the protection of the iron inter-
est of Pennsylvania was hollow and unsound; that
at the last session of Congress, in the Senate of the
United States, the first blow at the iron interest had
sprung from a member of the whig party from
Maine; and although a distinguished senator from
Georgia had made a pilgrimage to Pennsylvania to
tell the people of that State that protection to that
great interest could only be looked for from the
whig party, yet when they turned to the'journal of
the Seriate, they found the vote of that senator re-
corded against the tariff of 1842, and his vote re
corded in favor of the bill of the gentleman from
Maine to reduce the duty on railroad iron. Had he
been mistaken when he had told the people of his
State that for a fair, equitable, honorable adjustment
of the tariff system, they must not rely on the whig
party alone? What did we see now? The first
movement at the present session of Congress at-
tacking the great interests of Pennsylvania, did
it come from the democracy of the North, the
South, the East, or the West? No; but from
a prominent whig member of this House. Now
when his colleague undertook to say that 170,000
of the people of Pennsylvania had been deluded,
he told him that he did not know that people. If
the gentleman confined his remarks to the people
of his own district, it was very probable that he
might have some personal reasons therefor. But
the people of Pennsylvania had had all the lights
of the the people of the whole Union; a four-horse
wagon would not hold all the documents thrown
into that one district by whrg writers and orators.
But he was sorry, as he had observed, that his
colleague had dragged before this assembly any
question of this kind; and he knew that neither the
gentlemen nor any other man who might have at-
tempted it at the last election, had been successful
in misleading the people upon the question of the
tariff, or any other. The question of protection of
the iron interest was one deeply felt by Pennsyl-
vania. It might not perhaps be known to this
House, that, in Pennsylvania alone, there was one
establishment in the western part of the State where
they could manufacture railroad iron to the amount
ofbetween 80 to 100 tons per week. Mr. F. also
referred to one or two other establishments which
were manufacturing to a like extent.
They had been told by the gentleman from South
Carolina [Mr. Holmes] that Pennsylvania at one
time introduced large quantities of imported railroad
iron. For ten years prior to 1841, railroad iron had
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United States. Congress. The Congressional Globe, Volume 14: Twenty-Eighth Congress, Second Session, legislative document, 1845; Washington D.C.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2366/m1/60/: accessed August 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.