The Congressional Globe, Volume 13, Part 1: Twenty-Eighth Congress, First Session Page: 19
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not be adopted without some modification. He
recollected that, he had been upon the Committee on
Printing, when the reduction was made of fifteen
per cent.; and his own individual opinion at the
time was, that the reduction was too great. He
voted to reduce the price six per cent.; but he was
overruled by the committee; and the resolution for a
reduction of fifteen per cent, was reported. If there
was public printing to be executed to the same ex-
tent there was then, it might, perhaps, be but a just
and fair reduction; but it had lately been the
practice for Congress to order less printing by
about one-half than they did then. If the reso-
lution of the gentleman from North Carolina should
be adopted, and the House should pursue tiie same
economical course which they had lately none, it
would be out of the power of any public printer
whatever to execute with fidelity and despatch the
public printing, and save himself from loss. He
had conversed with some of the printers of the Dis-
trict, and he was informed that it would be impos-
sible for them to do justice to the business, and save
themselves from loss, upon those terms, unless the
amount of printing should be increased. He mere-
ly threw out these suggestions for the consideration
of the House; and if the gentleman from North
Carolina would consent that the reduction should
not be more than ten per cent., at most, he would
heartily concur with him; for he would be found to
go as far as he who went farthest in any particular
of economy which would not deprive labor of its
Mr. CAMPBELL asked for the reading of the
resolution; and (it having been read by the Clerk)
suggested that a specific time should be fixed for
the continuance of the contract with the printer.
This, he thought, would obviate the objection of
the gentleman from Arkansas; and he (Mr. B.)
would then cheerfully vote for the resolution.
Without such modification, lie thought it would be
exceedingly unjust towards the printer.
Mr. GILMER said it was not his desire to perpe-
trate an injustice in any way. AH that he desired
was, to have a fair understanding, both on the part
of the House, and also on the part of whoever
might be elected printer, that there might be no dis-
appointment, no injustice, and 110 necessity for fur-
ther legislation upon the subject. The gentleman
from South Carolina had suggested that, by fixing the
period of duration, injustice would be obviated. But
suppose they were to fix upon the end of the session,
or any day within the compass of the present ses-
sion; and suppose, when that day arrived, Congress
had not passed a measure for separating the public
printing from the political press: then what would
happen? There would be no printer to the House,
and they would have to proceed again to the elec-
tion of a printer. He thought, therefore, it would
be better to have the time indefinite. He was con-
vinced the House would not permit the printer, who-
ever he might be, to suffer loss in consequence of
any expenditures in the public service.
Mr. PARMENTER was understood to say he
had served three consecutive congressional terms,
and during that time he did not think the House
had been well served in regard to the printing. He
thought at least the printer, whoever he might be,
should not have it in his power to use the argument
that he did not know how long he would continue
to hold the office, as a pretext for doing the work
Mr. DICKEY offered an amendment, proposing
that the printing be given out by contract, to the
lowest bidder, to be executed under the direction of
Mr. D. said he had no great objection to the
printing of the House being done by the political
press; but he did desire that the printing should be
done at the least possible expense to the Govern-
ment. He presumed it was the desire of the House,
as well as of the gentleman from Virginia himself, that
the public expenditure should be economized; and,
as this proposition would probably accomplish his
object, he hoped the gentleman would receive it as
a modification of his amendment.
The CHAIR remarked that it would not be in
order to move this amendment until the other one
was disposed of.
The question was then taken upon Mr. Gilmer's
amendment; and resulted—yeas 59, nays 124, as fol-.
YEAS.—Messrs Ashe, Barringer, Beardsley. Aaron V.
Brown, Jeremiah Brown, Augustus A. Chapman, Chap-
pell, Chilton, Clingman, Collamer, Garrett Davis, Deberry,
Delict, Florence, Foot, French, Gilmer, Grider, Hardin,
Harper, Hopkins, Washington Hunt, Joseph R. Ingersoll,
Irvjn, Perley B. Johnson, Daniel P, King. Leonara Mcll*
vame, Marsh, Edward J. Morris, Nes, Newton Peyton
Ramsey, Rayner, Almon H. Bfad, Sample, Schenck Sen-
ter, Simpson, Thomasson, Tilden, Vance, Vinton Wheat-
on. White, Wilkins, Wise, Woodward, William Wright
and Joseph A. Wright-—59. '
NAYS.—Messrs. Adams, Arlington. Atkinson, Barnard
Benton, Bidlack, James A. Black, Blackwell, Bossier
Bower, Bowlin, Boyd, Jacob Brinkerhofl", Brodhead Wm
J. Brown, Buffington, Burke, Caldwell. Campbell, Car?",
Carroll, Catlin, Clinton. Cobb, Cranston, Cullom, Dana Dar-
i?1, R; D" Uavis' Jotm w- Davis, Dean, Dickey, Dillingham,
Douglass, Dromgoole, Duncan, Dunlap, Ellis, Elmer, Farlee
Ficklin, Frick, Grinnell, Hale, Hamlin, Haralson, Hajs
Henley, Herrick, Hoge, Houston, Hubbell, Hughes Hun-
gerford, James B. Hunt, Charles J. Ingersoll, Jameson,
Jenks, Cave Johnson, George W. Jones, Kemiedv. La-
branche, Lucas, Lumpkin, McCauslen, Maclay, McClel-
land, McClernand, McConnell, McKay, Mathews, Moore,
Joseph Morris, Moseley, Murphy, Norris, Owen Parment-
er, Patterson, Payne, Pettit, Emery D. Potter, Pratt Purdy
Rathbun, Charles M. Read, David's, lleid. Reding Rolie'
Ritter, Rogers, Russell, St. John, Saunders, Severance,
Thomas II. Seymour, David L Seymour, Simons, Slldell,
John T. Smith, Thomas Smith, Robert Smith, Steenrod,
Stetson. John Stewart, Stiles, Stone, Sykes, Tavlor, Thomp-
son, Tibbatts, Tyler, Weller, Wcntworth, Williams, Win-
throp, and Yost—124.
So the amendment was not concurred in.
Mr. DICKEY here renewed his amendment.
Mr. CAMPBELL observed that he had an
amendment to offer, to perfect the original resolution,
which, he believed, according to parliamentary rules,
would take precedence of an amendment that pro-
posed to strike out any part of it.
The SPEAKER was of opinion that the amend-
ment of the gentleman from Pennsylvania was first
Mr. DICKEY observed that he would not detain
the House by making any remarks on his amend-
ment, farther than to say that he was not anxious
to exclude political presses from the congressional
printing; but he was anxious that other printers
should be brought into competition with them, and
that those persons who would do the work at the
lowest prices should be employed.
Mr. CAVE JOHNSON desired, before the vote
was taken, to make an explanation in relation to
this proposition, which had been made to every
Congress for the last ten years. If the House
should determine to let its printing out to the lowest
bidder, many persons would bid for it who were
not able to carry it on; and the effect would be, that
the business of the House would be delayed, while
waiting for its printing; and thus a loss incurred ten
times as much as they would save by the reduction
that would be made. For instance: in such an
event, there were printers m the city who, for the
sake of getting the work, would bid 15 or 20 per
cent, lower than anybody else; and not being pre-
pared to carry it on, the House would have to" wait
till they were prepared; and this would inevitably
be the case, unless they elected some man able to
carry it on.
Mr. DICKEY said that he could avoid that diffi-
culty by amending his amendment—by adding a
proviso, requiring him to carry on the work. (Mr.
D. having made this modification to his amendment,
went on to say:) His object was to bring the polit-
ical presses of the country, though not all of the
same school of politics, into competition with each
other; and by this means get the public printing
done at the lowest prices. There were establish-
ments m the city able and ready to do the printing
of the House, and would, no 5oubt, do it at the
shortest notice. His -proposition might be voted
down; and, if so, he wished the vote to go to the coun-
try; and he would follow it up with another attempt
to get the prices reduced to the lowest rates that had
been mentioned. He was not content with thei re-
duction of la per cent., proposed by the gentleman
from North Carolina, [Mr. McKav;] and" sal! less
with the proposition of the gentleman from Indiana,
[Mr. Dams,) to make a reduction of only 10 per
cent. He was for a reduction of from 20 to 25 per
cent. He had been told that, in 1840, the Harpers
of New York offered to do it at -U) per cent, below
the prices of 1819.
Mr. CAVE JOHNSON would ask the gentle-
man how much the Senate had reduced the prices
of printing below the prices of 1840. They had
just elected their printer, he believed.
Mr. DICKEY observed, in answer to the gentle-
man from Tennessee, that they had nothing to do
with the Senate or their printer. He was aware
that, at the commencement of the last Congress, the
* printers of the House were elected under a resolu-
tion reducing then- compensation twenty per cent,
below the prices of the resolution of 1819; and he
had understood that, at the close ®f the last session,
an appropriation was made to give them the amount
of the reduction. He was not perfectly informed
of the reasons which governed the majority in
making this appropriation; but he believed it was
in consequence of their having to print some
voluminous documents ordered by the House, on
which they incurred a loss.
Mr. BEARDSLEY inquired what compensation
was given to the printers of the last Congress, and
whether they were not elected under a resolution to
do the printing for twenty per cent, less than the
prices fixed by the resolution of 1819.
Mr. CAVE JOHNSON" said he could inform the
gentleman, that Gales & Seaton, the printers of the
last Congress, were paid the prices fixed by the
resolution of 1819, though they were elected to do
the printing at twenty per cent. less. He would
further say, that he was informed by Blair & Rives
that, if this Congress would only order half as
much printing as the last, they would do the work
at twenty per cent, below the prices of 1819, and
not ask for any additional compensation.
Mr. C. J. INGERSOLL called for the reading of
the amendment, and it was read accordingly.
Mr. WISE, after a few remarks not heard, re-
marked that, at the, last Congress, the whole sub-
ject was referred to a select committee, raised on his
motion; and by that committee it was fully exam-
ined and discussed. This committee was unani-
mously of the opinion, without distinction of party,
that Congress ought to have a printing press of its
own, and appoint a salaried officer to conduct it.
They were unanimously of opinion that the public
work could be done at a reduction of at least 33| per
cent.; and were further of opinion, that the good
to be effected by this plan would be worth four
times more than the cost of printing. Then, as to
the various plans offered, provided Government
should not have a press of its own, they consider-
ed that of letting out the printing by contract to be
the worst of all. In the first place, they would be
apt to have an incompetent printer; and, in the sec-
ond place, the principle of indemnity would be in-
voked. The majority would induce some person
to bid so low that he could not live by it; and, in
the end, they would give him an indemnity for his
Mr. W., in conclusion, said that he had long
since determined that, no matter what party might !
be in power, or who might be the candidates, never
to vote for the election of a printer, so long as the
printing was connected with the political press.
The question was then taken on Mr. Dicker's .
amendment, and resulted in yeas 64, nays 110, as
YEAS—Messrs. Adams, Ashe, Barringer, Barnard, Milton
Brown. Bufiington. Carroll, Chappeil, Chilton, Clingman,
Collamer, Cranston, Cullom, Garrett Davis, Deberry, Dellet,
Dickey, Dickinson, Florence, Foot, Frick, Giddings, Willi#
Green, Grinnell, Grider, Hardin, Harper, Hudson, Wash-
ington Hunt, James B. Hunt, Joseph R. Ingersoll, Irvin,
Jenks, Perley B. Johnson, Andrew Johnson, Daniel P. King,
McClellan, Mcllvaine, Marsh, Edward J. Morris, Moseley,
Nes, Newton, Peyton, Ramsey, Rayner, Charles M. |Read,
Rogers, Russell, Sample, Schenck, Senter, Albert Smith,
Andrew Stewart, Thomasson, Tilden, Tyler, Vanmeter,
Wheaton, White, Winthrop, William Wright," Joseph A.
NAYS—Messrs. Anderson, Arrington, Atkinson, Beards-
ley, Benton, Bidlack, James A. Black, Blackwell, Bossier,
Jas. B. Bowlin, Jacob Brinkerhofl", Brodhead, Aaron V.
Brown, William J. Brown, Jeremiah Brown, Burke, Cald*
well, Campbell, Carv, Catlin, Augustus A. Chapman, Clin-
ton, Cobb, Cross, Amasa Dana, Richard D. Davis, John W.
Davis, Dean, Dillingham Douglass, Dromgoole. Dunlap, El-
lis, Elmer, Isaac G." Farlee, French, Gilmer, Byram Green,
Hale, Hugh A. Haralson, Hays, Herrick, Hopkins, Houston,
Ilubard. Hubbell, Hughes, Hungerford, Charles J. Ingersoll,
Jameson, Cave Johnson, George W. Jones, Preston Kmg,
Kn-kpitrick, Labranche, Lucas, Lumpkin. Maclay, McCler-
nand McConnell, McDowell, McKay, Mathews, Moore, Jo-
seph "Morris, Murphy, Norris. Owen. Parmenter, Payne,
Pettit E. D. Potter, Pratt Purdy, Rathbun, D. S. Reid, Red-
in«- Relfe, Ritter, Robinson, St. John, Saunders, Thomas II.
Sevinour David L. Seymour, Simons, Slidell JohnT Smith,
Robert Smith, Steenrod, Stetson, John Stewart, Stiles, Stone,
Strong. Svkes, Taylor, Thompson, Tibbatts, Welter, Went-
worth, Williams, Wise, Woodward, and Yost—HO.
Mr. CAMPBELL now offered to amend the ori-
ginal resolution, by striking out "26th Congress,"
and inserting "27th Congress," so as to reduce the
compensation of printer to 20 per cent, below the
prices of 1819. ,
Mr. C. said that the Democratic party possessed
the disposition for an economical administration of
the public money, and they had now an opportunity
of carrying out their principles. Would they not
go as far as the Whig Congress of 1840? He was
aware that the printers elected at that Congress, tmdey
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United States. Congress. The Congressional Globe, Volume 13, Part 1: Twenty-Eighth Congress, First Session, book, 1844; Washington D.C.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2367/m1/43/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.