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stated, half of the existing institutions, leaving an open space for its own operation"; and during this state of things, the currency would be comparatively sound, and safe from the hazard of revulsion. But a new crop of banks would spring up in the course of ten or fifteen years, which would again encumber and crowd each other, and cause another struggle for existence, just as was the case before the expiration of the charter of the late bank, to be followed by similar, but more disastrous consequences.

He would say to those with whom he had been acting on this occasion, you have a good cause, and all that is wanting is firmness and fidelity to it. Be careful to avoid every act which will leave the people doubtful as to your sincerity. Nothing will prove so fatal to the cause. What has been done already has caused great mischief in unsettling the public mind. Nothing was so fatal to a good cause as art and management. He had some experience in political affairs, and had never yet known a good cause, honestly and manfully maintained, fail to succeed.


On the Amendment to Mr. Webster's Bill in regard to

the Public Deposits, made in the Senate, June 28th, 1838.

MR. CALHOUN said : I shall vote against the amendment of the Senator from Pennsylvania (Mr. Buchanan) in the first instance; and, if that should fail, vote against the bill itself. I am opposed to both, and prefer things as they are, to either ;-but, if one or the other must prevail, I would rather see the bill succeed than the amendment. I prefer the bill, among other reasons, because it comes from the proper quarter--- from the responsible party. We who are in favor of the Constitutional Treasury (for that is the proper name) have done all we could to effect our object; all has been defeated for the present. We have already made all the concessions consistent with the great and constitutional ground of separating Government and banks, which we have pledged ourselves to maintain. In order to effect this most important object, and to avoid the possibility of a pressure in carrying it through, we proposed to effect the separation gradually and slowly, through the long period of seven years. But notwithstanding this liberal concession, we have been defeated on a vote, going directly to the merits of the question, by a small majority. Our defeat has shifted the responsibility. It is admitted on all sides that something ought to be done, and that the revenue ought not to be left under the mere discretion of the Executive. We, who are for the separation, have met the responsibility fairly and fully, by proposing what we believed to be the proper remedy, and have failed ; and it now belongs to those who have defeated us to propose theirs, or to stand responsible for the continuance of the present state of things, to which all sides are opposed. Our Government, it must be remembered, is very different from that of Great Britain. There the responsibility is wholly on the ministry, which is forced to retire on a defeat or to dissolve Parliament, and make a direct appeal to the people ; but according to the principles of our Government, all are responsible ; with this difference only, that the Executive, who is charged to administer the Government, is bound to recommend, in the first instance, the measure he deems proper, which, if it fails, throws the responsibility to find a substitute on those who have defeated his recommendation. In this case, I am for leaving the responsibility where reason, and the forms of our Government, place it. The Senator from Massachusetts, feeling this responsibility, has brought forward this bill ; and although I cannot, in conformity with my principles, give it any support, yet with these views of the two measures, other considerations being equal, I should prefer that the bill should be adopted rather than the amendment.

There is another view of the subject which raises strong objections in my mind to the amendment. Coming from the quarter it does, it is calculated to distract and confound the friends of the Constitutional Treasury, though I feel confident it was not so intended. I do but justice to the mover in saying, his declarations and votes, when not instructed, have been uniform and steady in favor of this great measure of reform ; but it is not the less certain, that the measure he proposes must have an unhappy effect. It cannot be disguised, that the real issue is between the Constitutional Treasury—that is, that the Government should collect and keep, by its own officers, the revenues in the currency of the constitution, free from all connections with private corporations—and a National Bank. This is the real issue that divides the people and their representatives.

There are, indeed, a few respectable individuals who are in favor of the pet bank system, and still fewer in favor of special deposits; but they are too few to make a party, or to be taken into the estimate. It is desirable on all sides that the real issue should be seen, and that the people should prepare to meet it. It is indeed a great issue, involving a great revolution in our social condition, and the fate of our free institutions. The proposition of a special deposit system, coming as it does from a friendly and prominent quarter, cannot but tend to confound the friends of the Constitutional Treasury at this critical moment, and excite distrust and suspicion. It illy accords with the lofty position that we have sustained, I will say with such triumphant and unanswerable arguments, and which have done so much to brace and prepare the public mind to meet this mighty contest ; and in this case I cannot but regret the move as very

VOL. III.-23

unfortunate. If there was a move that required inflexible firmness, and when the least giving way was hazardous, it was this. Our cause is good. We have truth, reason, justice, and the constitution on our side ; and these, if the cause be firmly and manfully maintained, must in the end prevail. I have never yet seen a good cause, supported as it ought to be, fail of success. In this case I always dreaded the onset. I saw the power of the opposite side sustained by the almost undivided banking interest of the country, and knew how imperfectly the question at issue was understood by the country at large ; while, at the same time, I clearly perceived that such was the solidity and strength of our cause at bottom, that if we could resist the first onset without being utterly overwhelmed, victory in the end, if we stood fast, was inevitable. Well, we have met the first shock; and though defeated, so far from overthrown, a few more votes would have carried the cause triumphantly through both Houses. We have now only to stand fast till the people shall come to the rescue of the constitution and our free institutions, and come they will, with an overwhelming rush, when they come to understand the true character of the issue, if we, whom they have appointed to stand sentinels, do not desert or betray our trust. Thus regarding the character of the struggle, I would have a strong repugnance to vote for the amendment, coming from the quarter it does, even if I thought much more favorably of it than I do.

But, independent of these considerations, I cannot give it my support. I consider it of itself much more objectionable than the bill. The adoption of either would restore the pet bank system ; but the latter, in a much more objectionable form, as will be manifest on a comparison of their respective provisions. They both propose to make the banks the depositaries of the public money, and to collect the reyenue in bank-notes. The essential difference between them, and the only essential difference, as I shall show, is, that the amendment proposes to repeal entirely the Deposit Act of 1836, as far as it relates to the banks, and the bill to retain it, with some, but not very important modifications, which it is not necessary to enumerate. The difference, then, is this : if the amendment prevails, we shall have the pet bank system, without any legal' restrictions or limitations, as it stood prior to the passage of the Deposit Act of 1836; and if the bill prevails, we shall have it with all the restrictions and limitations which that act provides, except, as I have stated, a few not important modifications. The repeal of the act would give the Executive the right to select what banks he pleased, and as many as he pleased, to keep the public money; to dismiss them at his pleasure ; to establish what regulations he chose ; and to bestow or withhold favors at pleasure; in a word, would place the whole under his unlimited will and discretion. Such would be the case, if the amendment should prevail. On the other hand, if the bill should, the selection, the dismissal, the regulation, the duties to be performed, and the compensation to be paid for the use of the public funds, would all be under the control of law, instead of being left to Executive discretion. I am, said Mr. C., opposed to discretionary power : and when forced to decide between a system of deposit regulated by law, and one left to discretion, must prefer the former, though decidedly opposed to both; and must, therefore, vote in the first instance against the amendment, and, should that fail, against the bill itself.

[After some remarks from Mr. Buchanan, and from Mr. Clay in opposition to the amendment, Mr. Calhoun said :-)

I rise to notice some remarks of the Senator from Kentucky (Mr. Clay), intended to represent me as a partisan of the administration. I have no fear that they would have the least possible effect within the limits of these walls, where

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