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thepublic lands, and which, at best, can be pressed on grounds only interesting to those States, that they will lose, not only a favorite measure, but cause the passage of the most obnoxious to them of all measures, that of distribution ? I ask them, Can they hope to oppose successfully a measure so seductive to so many members of the Union, by a measure so partial in its operation, and which, so far from appealing to the reason or sympathy, of two-thirds of the States, secures but a reluctant vote from any of them ; more from party feelings and associations than any conviction of its justice or expedi

Let me tell my friends, that if the struggle is to continue between this bill and the scheme for distribution, it is, on their part, a desperate one.

Defeat is certain ; and there is no way to avoid it (if it be not already too late) but to enlarge the issue—to raise it above mere local or pecuniary considerations to the broad and elevated ground of a final settlement of this deep and agitating question, on just and satisfactory principles, and thereby arrest the countless evils rushing through that channel on the country. It is only thus that an antagonist of sufficient strength can be reared up against the dangerous and corrupting scheme of distribution. A measure seductive to many of the States, unfortunately overwhelmed by debt, could only be successfully opposed by one which would make a powerful appeal to truth, justice, and patriotism. As strong as may be the appeal to the necessity of the embarrassed States, a still stronger may be made to the higher and more commanding considerations of duty and patriotism. Such an issue, I believe, the measure I propose would tender to the country. I solemnly believe it to be founded on truth, and sustained by justice and high considerations of policy ; and all it needs to ensure it success, if I mistake not, is the earnest and determined support of the States which not only have the deepest stake, but whose independence and equality, honor and pride, as members of this proud republic of States, are involved.

Having now presented my views of the amendment I intend to offer, with a motion to strike out the amendment of the Senator from Kentucky and insert mine, I shall conclude with a few remarks in reference to the leading feature of his amendment, the distribution of the proceeds of the public lands among the States.

It is not my intention to enter on the discussion of a measure which I cannot but regard as palpably unconstitu· tional, as well as dangerous and corrupting in its tendency. I do not deem it necessary, as I expressed my opinion fully on the subject at the last session. I intend, at this time, to make a few remarks, in order to show that, viewed under every possible aspect, it must be regarded as either foolish, idle, or unjust.

It is admitted, on all sides, that the treasury is embarrassed, and that no part of the revenue can be withdrawn without making a corresponding deficit, which must be supplied by taxes on the people in one form or another, and that the withdrawal of the revenue from the land would cause a deficit, so to be supplied, of not less, probably, than $5,000,000 annually. The whole process, then, would consist in -giving to the people of the several States their proportional share of the five millions of the revenue from the lands, to be collected back from the people of the United States, in the shape of a tax on imports, or some other subject, to the same amount. Now, Sir, I ask, Is it not clear, if a State should receive by its distributive share a less sum than the people of that State would have to pay in taxes to supply the deficit, that it would be, on their part, foolish to support the distribution ? So, again, if they should receive the same amount they paid instead of a less, would it not be idle ? And if more, would it not be unjust ? Can any one deny

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these conclusions? How, then, can a scheme, which implies the one or the other of these alternatives (laying aside all other weighty objections), have any chance to be adopted ? But two answers can be given. The one, that the States which would receive more from the distribution than their people would have to pay to make up the deficit, can outvote the others, and are prepared to act on the principle of the strong plundering the weak ; and the other, that a majority of the States want the money to pay their debts or to spend in favorite schemes, and prefer shifting the

responsibility of taxing to the General Government to assuming it themselves, without regarding whether their people would contribute more or less than they may receive. They are afraid to lay taxes, lest the people should see the sums extracted from their pockets, and turn them out; and, to avoid this, would transfer the task to the General Government, because they can take from the people, through the tax on imports, without being detected as to the amount.

I take the opportunity, before I sit down, to tender my thanks for the honorable and high-minded suggestion of the Senator from Missouri (Mr. Linn), considering the interior quarter of the Union from which he comes, to set apart the proceeds of the lands as a permanent fund for the navy.

[Mr. Linn, in an audible voice : “ The navy and the defences of the country."]

I would rejoice to see such a disposition of it, and do hope that he will move an amendment to that effect. I would gladly receive it as a modification of my amendment, and would regard it as a great improvement. The navy, Sir, is the right arm of our defence, and is equally important to every section—the North and South, the East and West, inland and seaboard. When I look at the condition of our country, and the world, I feel that too earnest and too early attention cannot be bestowed on the arm of defence on

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