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on their patience. The question was on the engrossment of the bill ; and as he could not possibly vote for it in the shape it had assumed, he was constrained to assign his reasons, but he would do it in the fewest words possible. He said he was most anxious to vote for the measure. He had taken the deepest interest in it, and felt most solicitous for its success; and if he thought that the bill, as amended, advanced the great cause for which he had been so earnestly contending, one inch, he would give it his vote. But such was not his impression. On the contrary, he believed that it was an entire surrender of the cause. He would go further-it was a retrograde movement, and would leave the cause in worse condition than it was. So far from a divorce from the banks and a return to the constitutional currency, the bill, as it stood, would virtually restore the deposit bank system again, with some features more objectionable than it formerly possessed ; which he would now proceed to show.

On the motion of the Senator from Georgia (Mr. Cuthbert), the twenty-third section, which provides for the collection of the dues of the Government in specie, was struck out, with the aid of a few on this side, and the entire opposition to the divorce on the other. That section provided for the repeal of the Joint Resolution of 1816, which authorizes the receipt of bank-notes as cash in the dues of the public. The effects of this will be, should the bill pass in its present shape, that the Government will collect its revenue and make its disbursements exclusively in bank-notes, as it did before the suspension took place in May last. Things will stand precisely as they did then, with but a single exception, that the public deposits will be made with the officers of Government instead of the banks, under the provision of the Deposit Act of 1836. Thus far is certain.

Thus far is certain. All agree that such is the fact; and such the effect of the passage of this bill as it stands. Now he intended to show conclusively that the difference between depositing the public money with the public officers, or with the banks themselves, was merely nominal, as far as the operation and profits of the banks were concerned ; that they would not make one cent less profit, or issue a single dollar less, if the deposits be kept by the officers of Government instead of themselves; and, of course, that the system would be equally subject to expansions and contractions, and equally exposed to catastrophes, like the present, in the one, as 'the other mode of keeping. He spoke of bank profits and bank issues generally, as derived from the deposit of public money,--the aggregate profits and issues of all banks, without reference to the distribution of those profits under the one or the other mode of keeping the public money. He would show, in a word, that the bill would no more divorce the Government from the banks, in relation to the deposits, than it would as it now stood, as to receiving their notes, and giving them credit and circulation as cash, in its dues and disbursements; and that it would unite them as effectually in respect to both, as they were before the suspension in May. Although the assertion might excite some surprise at first, it would be very easy to make plain every word he had said.

The profit which the banks derive from the public deposits, when their own notes were collected and deposited, as would be the case if the bill passed in its present form, arises from the withdrawing of their notes from circulation. While their notes are in deposit, they are as completely withdrawn from circulation, for the time, as if burnt or destroyed ; and the withdrawal makes a vacuum to that extent in the circulation, which has to be filled up by new discounts, and, of course, increased business and profits; and this was equally true, whether the notes withdrawn were deposited in certain banks, as under the Deposit Act of 1836, or in the hands of receivers-general, and other executive officers, as proposed by this bill.

The profit depended, in no degree, on the fact where their notes were deposited ; but on the amount with

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drawn, and the length of time they were kept out of circulation. The larger the amount withdrawn, and the longer kept out, the greater the business and profits of the banks. Nor can the issues exceed the sum necessary to fill up the vacuum occasioned by the deposits, whether they be made with the banks themselves, or the officers of the Government. When the vacuum occasioned by the withdrawal is filled, whatever exceeds that must return on the banks, without regard to the place of deposit, and check further issues. It follows clearly from all this, that the deposit of the public funds, if collected in bank-notes (as proposed by the bill as it now unfortunately stands amended) in the custody of the public officers, would not in the least affect the discounts and the business of the banks. They would be as great as if deposited with the banks, and would keep the circulation of bank-notes as much expanded, and subject to as many fluctuations and shocks. These propositions he held to be incontrovertible. He would be glad to hear any member rise in his place and attempt to answer them.

Nor would the treasury be a particle more independent of the banks than under the deposit system, before the suspension of specie payments. The revenue, as he had said, would be collected under this bill, should it pass, as it was then, exclusively in bank-notes—which, on another suspension, would be just as worthless in the hands of the officers in whose custody they might be deposited, as they would be in the banks themselves ; and which, of course, would again compel the Government, in such an event, to pay its debts in worthless rags, to its own great discredit and the loss of its creditors, or not pay them at all. Nor would it be possible, any more than in the present instance, to collect its debts in the legal currency of the country. Gold and silver would as certainly disappear as completely from circulation, under the operation of this bill, as it did under the system of bank deposit that existed at the time of the late suspension.

But if it will have no effect in rendering the treasury more independent of the banks, nor in limiting banking operations or profits, as it certainly will not—where, he asked, will it differ from the late deposit system under the act of 1836, which this bill is intended to supersede ? There is, and can be, but one point of difference, viz., in the distribution of the profits from the deposits; and even that difference, he would show, is more apparent than real. Where the revenue is deposited with certain banks, selected by the Secretary of the Treasury, as under the act of 1836, the profits of the deposits accrue almost exclusively to them. They discount on them, and issue the notes of other banks, which they hold in deposit, or draw specie from them, and thus increase their business and profit, without incurring any additional liability ; but where the deposits are made with the executive officers, the profits would accrue, apparently, to the banks generally. He said apparently, for it would depend wholly on the officers holding the deposits. They can, at pleasure, give the profit to what banks they please, by holding back the notes of one bank, and disbursing the notes of another, and thus keeping the notes of one out of circulation, and throwing the other into circulation through disbursements, to return on the banks issuing them. The effects of this would be to give one all the profit that it could derive from being a deposit bank, and strip the others almost entirely of the advantage of having their notes received in the dues of the Government. Take, for instance, two banks, in a place where the average public deposits were a million of dollars ; is it not clear, if the executive officer would make it a rule to disburse the notes of one bank, and hold back those of the other, it would operate, in fact, as a standing loan to that amount in the favored bank ?

The result is, that in either case the distribution of the profit resulting from the public deposits would depend on the Executive Department, whether made with the execu

tive officers, or in deposit banks under the act of 1836. The Executive in one case would have the selection of the banks, and in the other the control over the subordinate officers of his department; with this difference, that when the bank was selected, it would, under the act of 1836, be under the control and protection of law, but the officers would be completely under the control of the head of the department at all times. This is the sum total of the difference. If you pass this bill, you have the one ; and if you defeat it, you have the other.

Thus regarding it, and being opposed, on constitutional grounds, to receive any thing but the legal currency of the country, or Government securities, in the public dues, and to the increase of Executive patronage, he could not possibly vote for the bill as amended. He was decidedly opposed to all discretionary powers, especially in the Executive branch of the Government, and this bill would give greater than any that has ever passed. It would not only give the power to which he had already alluded of favoring what bank it pleased, but the controlling power of demanding specie,at pleasure of the Executive, of any bank it might desire to oppress, and abstaining from demanding of those it intended to favor. Powers such as these he regarded as incompatible with our free system of government, and he, for one, could not consent to confer them.

But he had other and insuperable objections. In giving the bill originally his support, he was governed by a deep conviction that the total separation of the Government and banks was indispensable. He firmly believed that we had reached a point where the separation was absolutely necessary to save both Government and banks. He was under a strong impression that the banking system had reached a point of decrepitude—that great and important changes were necessary to save it and prevent convulsions-and that the first step was a perpetual separation between them and

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