The Congressional Globe, Volume 13, Part 1: Twenty-Eighth Congress, First Session Page: 71
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Svkes, Taylor, Tlu>masson, Thompson, Tibbatts, Weller,
Wentworth, Wheaton, "Williams, Wilkins, and Joseph A.
Wright—105. , , „ ^ .
" N 4YS—Messrs. Adams, Barnard, Beardsley, Bufhngton,
Catlin, Cranston, Garrett Davis, Richard D Davis, Dickey,
Ellis, Florence, Foot, Frick, Giddings, Willis Green, Grm-
Sfell, Hardin, Harper, Hudson, Washington Hunt, Charles
3 I;ffiei-s61i, JB&tspli R. Ingersoll, Irvin, Jeuks, Perley B.
Johnson, Daniel Is. Kiiig, LMi&fd, McClelland, Moseley,
EUsha R. Potter, Charles M. Read, Rogers, Sample, Sever-
ance, Tildes, Tyler, Vance, Vaameter, Vinton, and Win-
the decision of the Chair Was sustained.
Ml'. ADAMS presented various other petitions;
which were referred.
Petitions were presented by Messrs. BURKE;
HALE REDING, HAMLIN, FOSTER, and
Reports of committees were called for; when, the
Speaker having called through the list as far as the
Committee on Naval Affairs—
TRANSFER OF NAVAL APROPRIATIONS.
Mr. PARMENTER, from the Committee on
Naval Affairs, reported a bill 18 Authorise the Presi-
dent of the United States to dirfect transfers tif ap-
propriations for the naval service under eertaui
circumstances. This bill having been read twice,
Mr. PARMENTER explained the objects of the
bill, and expressed the hope that it would then be
put on its passage. The object was to enable the
Secretary to trfeiSfei- the balances of appropriations
from objects where they were not w$nt*?d to works
which had been commenced and which had bfcen
suspended in consequence of the exhaustion of the
appropriations. By this means, the Secretary would
be enabled to carry on some works of importance,
and to give employment to a number of mechanics
who were necessarily discharged during the recess.
Mr. BARNARD observed that, from the informa-
tion he had received, he feared that the gentleman
would not be able to effect the object he had in
view by the passage -of the bill before them. He
understood that, even if there should be a transfer
of appropriations allowed, there were outstanding
accounts against the department sufficient in
amount to absorb all these balances; so that the
object of the Secretary, to set these men to work,
could not be accomplished without new appropria-
Mr. PARMENTER replied, that the gentleman
was under a mistake; that the report of the Secre-
tary of the Navy would show that the aggregate of
the appropriations was sufficient for the service; and
that all that was wanted to carry on the works of
the fiscal year, was to enable hiiM|^ transfer appro-
priations from objects where the^psre not wanted,
to others where there was a pressing necessity for
them, and to meet such emergencies of the service
as could not have been foreseen.
Mr. C. J. INGERSOLL asked if it would not be
better to pass this bill over to to-morrow. He con-
sidered the subject too important to be passed
through without more mature reflection.
Mr. C. JOHNSON said he was about to submit
a motion that would put a stop to this proceeding.
He was not willing that a matter of thisimportance
should be passed through without full discussion in
Committee of the Whole House; and he therefore
moved to refer it to that committee. He made this
motion for the reason that the House had no con-
trol over the expenditures of the navy, without ad-
hering to the practice of specific appropriations; for
there was no limit of a peace establishment for the
navy; and the Secretary could make the expendi-
tures for particular objects what he pleased, if al-
lowed to transfer the appropriations in this way.
For example: at the last session, they appropriated
one million of dollars for certain objects, on which
the Secretary had gone on to employ hands^ enough
to exhaust two millions—thus setting his discretion
above that of the Congress of the United States. It
was in this way that he furnished an argument for
additional expenditures to keep these men in em-
ploy, and threw the odium of refusing to continue
them on Congress. He hoped, therefore, that this
subject would be taken up and fully discussed in
Committee of the Whole. It was a matter that
oufht not to be left to the discretion of any Secre-
tary, but ought to be controlled by specific appro-
priations. He moved to refer the bill to the Com-
mittee of the Whole on the state of the Union.
Mr. PARMENTER here read an extract from
the report of the Secretary of the Navy, more fully
to show the objects of the bill, and the necessity of
the transfers. He objected to the reference to the
Cgiriroittfce of (foe Wiiole, because two months at
least would elapse before it could be acted on; and
the necessities of the service were immediate and
Mr. CAVE JOHNSON said that,- by making
these transfers, the House would lose all cc)ntM of
the expenditures of the navy, and enable the Secrc
tary of the Navy to put the country to an expense
for certain objects that the House never contem-
Mr, LEVY observed that it was not his habit to
intrude any remarks of his on the House, except
when the business of the Territory-he represented
was under consideration; but he could not refrain at
the present moment from stating a fact which would
clearly shofr the propriety of referring this subject
to the Committee of the Whole, as proposed by the
gentleman from Tennessee, [Mr. Cave Johnson.]
Out of $800,000 or $900,000 which had been appro-
priated for the repairs of the navy yard at Pens'acola, ■
(the only naval station south of Virginia,) there
were at least $350,000 unaccounted for by the Navy
Department; and why was it not accounted for ?
Because the Secretary, instead of applying this sum
to the Pensacola yard, (for which it was appro-
priated,) had taken it upon himself to expend it on
other yards. The simple mention of this fact was
enough, he thought, to show the House the necessi-
ty of adopting the motion of the gentleman from
Mr. HALE hoped that this bill would take the
direction proposed for it by the gentleman from
Tfinnessee, [Mr. C. Johnson.] If there was one
department of the Government that required a most
searching investigation, it was that of the navy; and
he hoped that no appropriation Would be made for
it, nor any transfer appropriations be made, as
proposed by this bill, until that investigation
had. The appropriations for the naval service had
swelled out from four millions (what they were in
General Jackson's time) up to eight or nine millions.
Nine millions, he believed, was what was asked for
by the present Secretary; and this, too, in time of
profound peace. It was time to put an end to these
enormous appropriations, which amounted to more
than were made in any year of the last war, when
the navy was winning laurels from the most power-
ful nation on the earth. It would be well for
gentlemen, who had other important interests
in their care, to look at the vast amount of
appropriations for the navy, and see if they
could not cut them down so as to leave more
for those objects. For his part, he would vote libe-
rally for many important objects, and on which
there would be something to show for the money
expended, rather than see it squandered on the na-
vy, and leaving no more of a trace behind than our
ships leave behind them on the ocean. He trusted
that this bill would not be touched for the present;
and that the naval appropriations would be delayed
until an investigation could be had. He had no
doubt that a proper investigation would result in
showing that the naval appropriations could advan-
tageously be cut down at least four or five millions.
Mr. PARMENTER agreed with the gentleman
from New Hampshire, that, to a considerable extent,
the appropriations called for by the Secretary of
the Navy were too high; but that had nothing to do
with the question before the House. This bill was
to provide for pressing emergencies; and unless it
passed speedily, the public service would suffer. It
necessary, he would be willing to modify it in any
way to suit gentlemen, though the bill was presented
in the usual form of bills of the kind, ^ and it was
necessary in this branch of the public service to
vest some discretion in the Executive; but he must
object to the reference to the Committee of the Whole,
as that proceeding would cause a delay of at least
two months. As to the investigations recommended
by the gentleman from New Hampshire, he had no
objection to them, and he would be willing to go for
any reduction in the naval service that might be
shown to be necessary and expedient; but in the
mean time these necessary expenditures must be
provided for. .
Mr. CAVE JOHNSON asked ll the Committee
on Naval Affairs had inquired into the expenditures
of the last summer? He understood that in the lat-
ter part of it the department had expended nearly
two millions of dollars, and, by this means, brought
about the very state of things they were now seek-
ing to remedy.
Mr. BEARDSLEY was not sufficiently familiar
with the acts of Congress on this subject, and the
bill before the House, to enable him to speak of that
part of the bill which w the subject of discussion,
with precision; but he understood the main scope of
it was to appropriate cert&in portions of the public;
money to meet certain unforeseen contingencies of
the service that were now pressing and urgent; or,
in other words, to take money that was not wanted
for the objects for which it had been appropriated,
iitk apply it to other objects where it was wanted.
Now, H seemed to him, that the remarks of gen-
tlemen with fegard to the enormous expenditures of
the Navy Department did not bear on the ease be-
fore the House. There Might have been two mil-
lions instead of one expended kt two months; the
naval appropriations might elJSMnously have in-
creased for the last ten years, arid the Secretary
might have estimated for more money than ought to
be expended on this branch of the service; but was
that a good reason for resisting this bill, which was;
to provide for objects of immediate and pressing ne-
cessity? When they were about appropriating mo-
ney for the naval service, it would be time to inquire
into the propriety of giving the nine millions the
Secretary asked for. It might be that the Secretary,
in his expenditure^, had gone farther than he was
allowed by law to gee, but all this had nothing-
to do with the question before the House, and
they had the means of reaching him at the prop-
er time, if such should be found to be the fact. lie
hoped, therefore, that the motion of the gentleman
from Tennessee would not prevail, and that this bill
Would not be referred to the Committee of the
Whole, to be thereby delayed some two months.
He hoped that it would .be laid on the table, and
printed, so that the members might examine it; and
if it should be found that there were necessary and
proper expenditures which ought to be provided
for, that they would take the bill Up and pass it.
Mr. BLACK observed, that he should vote for
the proposition of the gentleman from Tennessee;
but, at the same time, he must remark that he re-
gretted to witness a tone of feeling in regard to the
navy which he could not but consider as hostile.
He was led to this conclusion from hearing the re-
marks of the gentleman from New Hampshire; and
though he would heartily agree with that gentleman
on reducing the expenditures of the navy, he must
express the high regard he felt for that arm of our
national defence. It was that arm of our defence
which was most important to the South, and to the
whole Atlantic seaboard, and it was the one tha£
would be first called to meet the enemy in the event,
of a war. AVhile lie was willing to .vote to cut
down the appropriations, he was still ready to vote
enough to keep the navy up to its present rate.
The SPEAKER then put the question on the
reference to the Committee of the Whols on the
state of the Union; which was agreed to.
Mr. ROGERS moved that the House adjourn;
which was not agreed to.
Mr. C. J. INGERSOLL renewed his motion that,
the House resolve itself into a Committee of the
Whole, with the view of calling up the bill to re-
fund General Jackson's fine.
The SPEAKER informed the gentleman from
Pennsylvania, that all the committees had not been
called for reports, and therefore his motion was not
in order. .
Mr. WELLER, from the Committee of Ways
and Means, made an adverse report on a petition
The SPEAKER announced that resolutions were
now in order, which would be called for by States.
Mr. C. J. INGERSOLL moved the postpone-
ment of that order of business, that the House might
go into Committee of the Whole; which motion
W The^SPEAKER called for resolutions from the
State of Maine. .
Mr. HAMLIN offered the following:
Rallied, That the Secretary of War he requested to com-
municate to this House the names of persons who « ere en-
titledto bounty lands in the last war,who have not obtained
their warrants Also the names of su«h peisonsas liave
obtained their warrants, but have neglected to take out
their patents; togetliei with the place of abode and place ot
enlistment of such persons.
The SPEAKER decided that this resolution must
lie ovei for one day, under the rule.
Mr HALE, when Neiv Hampshire was called,
offered the following:
Rf solved That the Secretary of the Navy be instructed to
report to this House when the home squadron vras first es-
tabMshed bylaw; what have been the annual expenditures
for it'and how much of the estimated expense of the nex,
year is intended for that purpose.
This resolution was understood to lie over.
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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/m1/95/: accessed May 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.