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Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That all lands of the United States within the limits of the State of Tennessee, with the exceptions enumerated in the first section of this act, shall be, and the same are hereby, ceded to said State.
Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That the sixty-five per cent. of the proceeds of the said sales hereby secured to be paid to the United States, shall be set apart and exclusively applied to the gradual increase of the navy, and the erection of such fortifications for the general defence of the country, as Congress may by law hereafter order and direct.
On the Bill reported by the Committee on Finance
to repeal the Independent Treasury Bill; delivered in the Senate, June 9th, 1841.
[Tue Bill having been read a third time, the question came up“Shall it pass ? ” Mr. Woodbury addressed the Senate at considerable length, in opposition to the Bill; and at the conclusion of his remarks, Mr. Calhoun rose and said :-)
He wished, before the vote should be taken, to offer a few words on the proposed measure.
One fact was established, during the discussion, and that an important one,—that there was a large majority in the Senate who were utterly averse to leaving the treasury under an unregulated State bank system. He need not refer to the individual gentlemen who had expressed this opinion. The fact was unquestionable. Now, he asserted, these gentlemen had done by their vote, on yesterday, just what they said they would not do. In the first place, they had voted for his (Mr. C.'s) amendment to the amendment of the Senator from Kentucky (Mr. Clay), which that Senator acknowledged would remove the disabilities arising under the Deposit Act of 1836, and without which it would be utterly impracticable to carry
that law into execution. In this they did right. The object of Mr. C.'s amendment was, to make the law practicable ;—but gentlemen, after voting in its favor as an amendment to that moved by the Senator from Kentucky, had voted down the amendment as amended, and left the act of 1836 in a condition acknowledged by themselves to be impracticable. How would this operate? The Government would be compelled to go back to the alternative of either keeping its own money by its own Treasurer,—that is, to re-establish the Independent Treasury (the very act they are about to repeal); or of using the State banks as depositories, in express violation of law.
There was another result :-it would be compelled, unless it violated the law, to collect its duties wholly in gold and silver ; which would, in fact and practice, carry out the · Independent Treasury system more rigidly than had ever yet been done, contrary to what gentlemen declared to be their object. The Secretary must either do this, or act in express violation of law. He would be compelled to act more rigidly than under the law proposed to be repealed. He must do so, if he means to act conscientiously. This result is inevitable. And yet gentlemen say, they abhor leaving the country under a state of things unregulated by law. Mr. C. called upon them to answer him—or, by their silence, to admit the truth of what he said.
The whole of this proceeding was most extraordinary. Gentlemen said that the voice of the American people demanded the course they were pursuing. Now, Mr. C. would admit, for the sake of argument, that the voice of the majority was against the Independent Treasury—though he held it very
doubtful—but there could be no doubt that their voice had been uttered in an infinitely louder tone against leaving the public money in a condition unprotected by law. Under the pretence, then, of carrying out the public will,
they were about to do an act which was infinitely more in opposition to the will of the country than any other.
We had been told that this was to be a reform administration. Now, he held that no act which violated the law and the constitution was worthy of the name of reform and yet the only two acts of this Reform Party were,—to leave the printing of the Senate unregulated by law, and to place the treasury in a condition still worse ;—that is, in one, in which it could only be regulated at all by violating law. No: there was another—who was the printer to the Senate ? Did any gentleman know? What were the prices paid for the printing ? Could any gentleman tell ? Who fixed these prices? Did any one know ? Could any gentleman reply? All this was also left to the discretion of the Secretary ;-and this, too, by rescinding an existing contract with the former printer, which regulated by law all that appertained to the printing of the Senate. These facts would shortly go to the American people. This, gentlemen knew, and yet remained silent.
But we are told that this state of things was to be temporary only. Was this so certain ? Were gentlemen so perfectly united among themselves, as to what substitute was to be provided for it ? Did not many among them start aside, and, on constitutional grounds, oppose the establishment of a Bank of the United States? If this had defeated the bank, what plan would they next have proposed ? Could there be found an intermediate ground between a bank the Independent Treasury—and the State bank system? There might possibly be,—but what and where was it ? He was no enemy to the banking system ; but he acknowledged he had no faith in banks of circulation and issue. He had long ago said that the banks must fall by their own hands. Did gentlemen think they acted as friends to the banks, by rer ng the Independent Treasury ? According to his belief—whether they create a Bank of the United States or
not,-it was indispensable that the Government should collect its dues in gold and silver, and its own credit. Without this, the Bank of the United States itself must run down, if one should be established. There must be expansions, under a bank circulation, great and sudden. Nothing could prevent it--and the bank would, sooner or later, be swept by the board ;-unless some provision be adopted which should be quite as strong as the Independent Treasury law. All general bank expansions had commenced in England ; and when their banks or ours must explode, the calamity must fall on ours,—as constituting the weaker part of the boiler. The strongest possible provision against such a disaster would be, to collect the dues of the Government in specie. But he saw plainly that gentlemen would have their way ;-yet time would show who was right. An experience of less than ten years would satisfy them of their profound error.
On the Case of McLeod, delivered in the Senate, Fri
day, June 11th, 1841.
[In Senate, Friday, June 11, 1841.—The business before the Senate being the motion of Mr. Rives to refer so much of the President's Message as relates to our foreign affairs to the Committee on Foreign Affairs-]
MR. CALHOUN said : I rise with the intention of stating very briefly the conclusion to which my reflections have brought me on the question before us.
Permit me, at the outset, to premise that I heartily approve of the principle so often repeated in this discussion, that our true policy, in connection with our foreign relations, is neither to do nor to suffer wrong, not only because the
principle is right of itself, but because it is in its application to us, wise and politic, as well as right. Peace is pre-eminently our policy. Our road to greatness lies, not over the ruins of others, but in the quiet and peaceful development of our immeasurably great internal resources—in subduing our vast forests, perfecting the means of internal intercourse throughout our widely extended country, and in drawing forth its unbounded agricultural, manufacturing, mineral, and commercial resources. In this ample field, all the industry, ingenuity, enterprise, and energy of our people may find full employment for centuries to come; and, through its successful cultivation, we may hope to rise, not only to a state of prosperity, but to that of greatness and influence over the destiny of the human race, higher than has ever been attained by arms by the most renowned nations of ancient or modern times. War, so far from accelerating, can but retard our march to greatness. It is, then, not only our duty, but our policy, to avoid it, as long as it can be avoided, with honor and a just regard to our rights; and, as one of the most certain means of avoiding war, we ought to observe strict justice in our intercourse with others. But this is not of itself sufficient. We must exact justice as well as render justice, and be prepared to do so ; for where is there an example to be found of either an individual or nation, that has preserved peace by yielding to unjust demands ?
It is in the spirit of these remarks that I have investigated the subject before us, without the slightest party feelings, but with an anxious desire not to embarrass existing negotiations between the two governments, or influence in any degree pending judicial proceedings. My sole object is to ascertain whether the principle already stated, and which all acknowledge to be fundamental in our foreign policy, has in fact been respected in the present case. I regret to state that the result of my investigation is a conviction that it has not. I have been forced to the conclusion that the Secretary of