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ments of the Senate to the bill “for the more convenient taking of affidavits and bail in civil causes depending in the Courts of the United States;” which were concurred in by the House.
Mr. TALLMADGE, from the committee to whom was referred the report of the Postmaster General respecting the repairs of the public building, called “Blodget's Hotel,” reported a bill supplementary to an act providing for the accommodation of the General Post Office, the Patent Office, and for other purposes; which was twice read, and committed.
DRAWBACK OF DUTIES.
Mr. Newton, from the Committee of Commerce and Manufactures, made an unfavorable report on the petition of George R. Rapelye, and others, of the city of New York; which was concurred in by the House. The report is as follows:
The petitioners state, that their respective firms purchased of the firm of Ingraham, Phoenix, and Nixsen, goods, entitled, on exportation, to the drawback of duties, and which the petitioners purchased and exported under the persuasion that the debentures which issued from the custom-house would be duly paid.
In this calculation they have been disappointed, as the firm of Ingraham, Phoenix, and Nixsen, which imported the goods, and entered the same for exportation, has since failed, without paying the duties, amounting to about ninety-six thousand dollars, to the United States. The petitioners solicit Congress to pass an act directing the collector of the customs for the port of New York to pay the debentures which they hold, notwithstanding the duties have not been paid by the firm of Ingraham, Phoenix, and Nixsen, the importers of the goods. *
If Congress refuse to accede to this solicitation of the petitioners, they then pray that an act may pass to
authorize them to institute a suit against the collector.
for the port of New York, for the amount of the debentures, inasmuch as the non-payment of the duties by the firm of Ingraham, Phoenix, and Nixsen, is fairly chargeable to the negligence of the collector, in not taking responsible sureties to the duty bonds. .
The committee can see no ground on which the first proposition can be supported; the law, in letter and spirit, is opposed to it. The law says: “In no case of an exportation of goods shall a drawback be paid, until the duties, on the importation thereof, shall have been first received,” No duties, on the goods imported by the firm of Ingraham, Phoenix, and Nixsen, have as yet been paid, or are likely, as the committee understand, to be paid; the petitioners, therefore, are not entitled to receive the amount of their respective debentures. The law, as it stands, clearly evinces the soundness of the principles, on which it is founded; no case could have occurred more apposite to prove the necessity of such a provision for the security of the Treasury. - o
The drawback of duties is allowed on two grounds: first, the exportation of goods within twelve months, calculating from the time of entry; and, secondly, on the payment of duties to the United States, before, or after, such exportation.
The goods may be exported, but, if the duties, on
their importation, are not paid, there can be no legal right to demand the payment of the debentures. The
wise framers of the law never intended that a system, which they constructed for the encouragement of commerce and enterprise, should operate in such a way as to drain the Treasury. To sustain the present application, would, undoubtedly, produce this effect. The second proposition cannot, in any view in which it can be presented to the mind, be considered as tenable. The collector is responsible for the omission of such duties as the law prescribes: in this case, if he has omitted to rm a duty assigned to him, the United States are alone the loser—the petitioners only fortuitously so—an accident against which speculations cannot be secured. The remedy of the petitioners is against the sellers of the merchandise. If the petitioners fail in obtaining redress against the firm of Ingraham, Phoenix, and Nixsen, in the responsibility of which they confided, their case is remediless. The committee cannot transcend the limits of the Constitution, or the sound and correct principles of jurisprudence, in recommending the passage of a law which shall be endued with a retroactive operation. They, therefore, submit the following resolution to the House: Resolved, That the petitioners have leave to withdraw their petition. - UNITED STATES BANK NOTEs. On motion of Mr. Bacon, the House went into a Committee of the Whole, on the bill to repeal the tenth section of the act establishing the Bank of the United States. . Mr. Bacon said, that the Committee of Ways and Means had thought it necessary to bring forward this bill, in consequence of a decision which
had been made in the Circuit-Court of Virginia,
that the notes issued by the Bank of the United States are still a tender in payments to the collectors and other officers of the United States. The committee do not know on what ground this opinion was given; they had conceived that as the limitation of the law had expired, no part of it could still have force. But, as this opinion has been given by the Chief Justice of the United States, it produces great inconvenience to the officers of the United States, as the notes of the several branches, say Charleston, Savannah, New Orleans, &c., will be paid only at the branches from which they issue. ... Some irregular, debate took place on the propriety of passing the bill at all. It was contended that the whole law having expired, it was altogether unnecessary, not to say improper, to pass a bill to repeal a section of that law. It was reW. by the Chairman of the Committee of ays and Means, and others, that as the passing of the bill would prevent any further trouble to the public officers, and it could have no influence on anything which had heretofore taken place, its passage was desirable. The Committee rose, and the House ordered the bill to a third reading.
SALARIES OF OFFICERs. On motion of Mr. Bacon, the House went into a Committee of the whole on the bill to continue in force for a limited-time the salaries of certain officers of Government therein mentioned. Mr. Bacon stated, that this bill was intended to continue in force a law passed in 1799, for in
creasing the salaries of the Heads of Departments, and other officers of the Government, which had been continued from time to time ever since. Mr. B. stated what the several salaries were before this law passed, and what they had been since, and left it for the Committee to decide on the propriety of passing the bill. Mr. StAN Ford disliked the phraseology of the limitation “clause to this bill, which was “for three years and to the end of the next session of Congress thereafter.” He said the bill might as well be made for four at once. He made two unsuccessful attempts to amend the bill in this respect. - - * Mr. S. then moved to amend the bill, by adding to the salary of the Postmaster General (over and above the argument included in the bill) five hundred dollars per annum; and to the first Assistant Postmaster General, three hundred dollars. - * * A division of the motion was called for, and
the addition to the Postmaster General was car
ried, 58 to 24. But the question being put on adding three hundred dollars to the salary of the first Assistant Postmaster General, it was opposed by Mr. Bassett and Mr. Lacock, and supported by Mr.TAllMADGE. On motion of Mr. KEY, who thought it would be well to take a longer time to consider the subject, the Committee rose and obtained leave to sit again. * * * * *
- Thursday, February 13. On motion of Mr. SEAver, the select committee were discharged from the consideration of the petition of Silas Stone, and it was referred to the select committee appointed on the bill from the Senate “to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing, for a limited time, to the inventors, the exclusive right to their respective discoveries.” Mr. McKim presented a document in support of the petition of James H. McCulloch; which was referred to the Committee of the Whole on the report of the Committee of Ways and Means on the several netitions of the Collectors of Philadel‘phia, N.H. Plymouth, and Baltimore. A message from the Senate informed the House that the Senate have passed the bill “making apropriations for the support of an additional military force,” with an amendment; in which they desire the concurrence of this House. - On motion of Mr. WRight, a committee was appointed to inquire into the expediency of rendering the Representatives Chamber more convenient to the despatch of public business, and of finishing the same. On motion of Mr. Poindexter, the House took up for consideration the resolution, some time ago submitted by him, to instruct the Committee of Ways and Means to inquire into the propriety of rohibiting by law the corporation of New Oreans from exacting a tax or duty on vessels, boats, or other craft, descending the Mississippi, laden with produce, and touching at that place, &c.
This proposition was objected to by Mr. TRoup, principally because it appeared to him to be a subject for judicial investigation, and because the Territory of Orleans was not represented on this floor. It was supported by Messrs. PoindextER and McKee, because the tax in question was a grievous one on the people of the Western country, and said to be unconstitutional, as being a tax on exports; which was a sufficient ground for inquiry into the subject. If the Territory should send a delegate to the present Congress, he would arrive in time for the final decision on the report of the committee proposed to be constituted, &c.
The resolution was agreed to by a considerable majority, and a committee of five accordingly appointed. - .
ARMING THE MILITIA.
. The House resolved inself into a Committee of the Whole, on the bill providing for arming the whole body of the militia of the United States. Mr. Williams explained the objects of the bill, and how the committee who reported it had endeavored to divest this plan of the features which were objected to when it was incorporated in the classification bill. Mr. Roberts, after expressing his desire to vote for the bill, if it could be amended so as to secure its avowed object in the State which he represented, as well as in other States, which had already made provision for arming their militia, moved to amend the section for distributing the arms, by adding thereto the words “or in such manner, as the Legislatures of the respective States or Territories may by law direct.” This motion was negatived, 43 to 40. , Mr. Roberts then moved to strike out the first section of the bill, with a view to destroy it; as he thought, in its present form, the carrying it into effect would be attended with great inconvenience. He particularly objected to the fines and penalties inflicted by the bill. The motion was negatived, there being only twenty-six members in favor of it. The Committee rose, and reported the bill to the House. The House took it up; when Mr. Roberts renewed his motion, to add the following words to the section which directs the distribution of the arms; “as the Legislatures of the several States may by law direct.” Mr. TALLMADGE hoped that this amendment would be agreed to, in order to accommodate gentlemen whose States would prefer a different mode of distribution from that prescribed in the bill. He thought the main object was to get the arms; their distribution might be very well left with the several State governments. He should be sorry if the bill should be lost, by gentlemen's pertinaciously adhering to their own particular mode of distribution. Mr. RANDolph was sorry that any difference of opinion should exist as to the mode of distributing these arms, and when gentlemen, in whose intelligence and integrity, he had the utmost reliance, assured him that the mode of distributin the arms, proposed in the bill, would not be wo
imprisonments imposed, and some debate uponan.
amendment which he proposed, but afterwards withdrew, the bill was amended at the instance of Mr. Milno R, by adding to it the following proviso: “Provided. That no imprisonment directed ‘by this act, shall, in any instance, endure for a ' longer term than three months.”
The question was then put, “Shall the bill be ordered to be engrossed for a third reading 7” when Mr. MAcon wished the decision of that question might be postponed till to-morrow ; for, friendly as he was, and always had been, to the arming of the militia, an amendment had taken place which he disliked so much that he wished time to consider whether he ought now to vote for the bill.
And on motion, the House adjourned until tomorrow. * =
-* * FRIDAY, February 14. Mr. Gholson, from the committee, made a report on the petition of Lieutenant Simeon Knight, which was read; when Mr. Gholson presented a bill for the relief of Lieutenant Simeon Knight, which was read twice and committed to a Committee of the Whole on Monday next. Mr. MoRRow, from the Committee on the Public Lands, made a report on the petition of Thomas Orr; which was read, and the resolution therein contained concurred, in by the House, as follows: * * Resolved, That Thomas Orr, the assignee of Martin Andrews, be confirmed in the purchase of the sputheast quarter of section number eleven, township number seven, and range second, in the Steubenville District, which purchase was made on the fourth day of May, 1811, at the rate of four dollars per acre. The Committee on the Public Lands were instructed to bring in a bill, pursuant to the said resolution. - * Mr. BURwell moved that the petition of Peter Landais, presented some time ago, and at that time refused a reference to a select committee, be now referred to the Committee of Claims. This was objected to by Mr. Gholson, the chairman of that committee, who said this petition had been frequently before that committee, and re. made upon it. If it were referred at all, he oped it would therefore go to a select committee. The motion to refer the petition to the Committee of Claims was negatived. A motion was then made to refer it to a select committee, and carried. . CLAIM OF THOMAS WILSON.
Mr. Gholson, from the Committee of Claims, made a report on the petition of Thomas Wilson; which was read; when, Mr. Gholson presented a bill for the relief of Thomas Wilson; which was read twice and committed to a Committee of the Whole on Monday next.'. The report is as follows: That the petitioner claims an additional allowance for rations furnished to the troops of the United States in Louisiana, pursuant to a contract with the Department of War, dated the 3d of August, 1803. When the demand of the petitioner for extra allowance was presented at the War Department, it appears his accounts had been transferred to the accounting officers of the Treasury; and the Secretary of War observes that, “having duly considered the claim before mentioned, with all the circumstances accompanying the same,” he conceives he is “not authorized to make any further allowance;” but he recommended to the Comptroller a
suspension of legal proceedings against Mr. Wilson,
until he could make application to Congress for relief. Upon the face of the contract there is nothing to support the demand of the petitioner. His claim is founded on two letters from General Dearborn, late Secretary of War, which are exhibited as evidence of an understanding between the Secretary and the petitioner at the time of the contract. In one of these letters, General Dearborn says to Mr. Wilson, “that it was undoubtedly, intended to make you reasonable allowances for any unforeseen and unavoidable expenses that
might become necessary for carrying into effect such parts of your contract as related to new posts that might be established within the limits of your contract in Louisiana.” This letter is dated the 26th of April, 1811. In the other letter General Dearborn informs Mr. Eustis “that each of the posts in Louisiana, including New Orleans, might be considered as new posts.” Thus the petitioner claims extra compensation for the supplies furnished by him at all the military posts in Louisiana, upon the allegation that, in furnishing them, he encountered “unforeseen and unavoidable expenses.” To sustain this allegation, the petitioner has adduced a variety of documents which satisfy the committee, that, in executing his contract, he was subjected to inconveniences, and must have incurred expenses not foreseen at the date of the contract. Supplies, in advance, for a much longer period than that mentioned in the contract were required, and, as the petitioner asserts, without the stipulated notice. The petitioner, it appears, was consequently compelled to procure the supplies at high prices in the neighborhood of the places where they were wanted, whilst, in a regular course of supply, he would have had time to have got provisions from the Western country, where they were cheap. The sudden augmentations and diminutions of the detachments for Orleans Territory, are, moreover, affirmed by the petitioner to have been causes of embarrassment and unforeseen expense. Your committee, after a full examination of the subject, are of opinion that the petitioner is entitled to some additional compensation, to be adjusted by the accounting officers of the Department of War, upon such evidence as may be produced by the petitioner. They, therefore, ask leave to report a bill for his relief.
ARMING THE MILITIA.
The House resumed the consideration of the bill for arming the militia; when, on motion of Mr. Milnor, an amendment was made to that section of the bill which inflicts a penalty on the representative of any deceased militiaman improperly witthholding his arms.
Mr. M. CLAY stated that he yesterday voted in favor of an amendment to the bill, leaving it with the respective States or Territories to distribute the arms provided by this bill, in such manner as they may direct. He now wished to have that vote reconsidered, and moved to that effect.—The yeas and nays were called upon the question.
Mr. LAcock observed, that as this was an im
portant question, upon which, perhaps, the fate of the bill depended, he could wish to have it decided in a fuller House; there being barely a quorum of members present. He, therefore, moved that the House adjourn.—Carried.
bring into the United States certain'slaves therein named ; which was read twice and committed to'a Committee on the Whole to-morrow.
INCREASE OF REVENUE.
Mr. Bacon, from the Committee of Ways and Means, made a report in relation to the revenue necessary for the present and two succeeding years, accompanied with a plan for raising the same; which was read, and committed to a Committee of the Whole on Monday next. The report is as follows: The Committee of Ways and Means having taken into consideration the subject of the revenue and expenditure of the United States for the present and two succeeding years, in particular reference to a state of contemplated war during a greater portion of that period, ask leave to report— That the ordinary expenses during the present year, grounded on the estimates already laid before Congress, are estimated as follows, viz: Expenses of a civil nature both foreign and domestic - " - - Army—exclusive of the additional military force authorized by the act of the present session, and including $32,800 for the service of the militia in the years 1809, 1810, and 1811 - Naval Department, including the Marine Corps - - - - a -Arsenals, arms, ordnance, repairs of fortifications, &c., including $200,000 permanent appropriations for the purchase and manufacture of arms Indian Department - - - - Interest on the public debt - -
614,000 220,000 2,225,000
stores - - - - - - $1,900,000 Six companies of mounted rangers - . 108,762 Additional military force - - - 5,112,5R0 Repairing vessels out of commission and
purchase of timber for naval purposes 680,000 Erection of additional fortifications - 1,000,000 Calling out certain corps of volunteers 1,000,000
Total extraordinary expenses say - - $11,000,000
The whole of which sum it is necessary, and is ac
Which sum it is also proposed to authorize the Commissioners of the Sinking Fund to borrow, conformable to such bill as may hereafter be reported. That the ordinary expenses of Govern- ". ment for the year 1813, may be estimated as for the present year, at about - - To which must be added the interest then accruing on the loan proposed to be authorized for the service of the present year, estimating the same at six per cent, and amounting to Making the revenue necessary to be provided, for paying the ordinary expenses, and interest on loans for that year (and leaving the extraordinary , expenses of the year also to be provided for by loans), - " " That the receipts into the Treasury from the present sources of revenue during that year, calculating on a state of war during a greater portion of the present year, are estimated (conjecturally) at
Leaving a deficiency to be provided for by additional-revenues to be received during that year, of -
Under this prospective view of the financial situation of the Government, it became in the judgment of the committee their imperious duty, as well in reference to the obligations incumbent upon them from the general trust with which they were clothed, as also in defer
ence to that portion of the Message of the President of
the United States which had been specially referred to their consideration, to enter as early as possible upon a system of ways and means calculated to provide a revenue, “sufficient at least to defray the ordinary expenses of Government, and to pay the interest on the public debt, including that on new loans which may be authorized.” - - Any provision falling short of this requisition, | would, in the opinion of the committee, betray an improvidence in the Government, tending to impair its general character, to sap the foundations of its credit, and to enfeeble its energies in the prosecution of the contest into which it may soon be driven in defence of its unquestionable rights, and for the repulsion of long continued and most aggravated aggressions. Should the ruinous system of relying altogether upon the aid of loans, for defraying not only the extraordinary expenditures of the present and succeeding years, but also a large portion both of the ordinary expenses of the Government, and the interest on the public debt, including that on new loans, be suffered to prevail, and no additional revenues be seasonably provided, it will result, that the loans which it may be necessary to authorize during the year 1813, must amount to at least $17,560,000, and for 1814, to $18,220,000; an operation which by throwing into the narket so large an amount of stock, accompanied with no adequate provision for paying even the interest accruing on such as may be created, but relying, altogether upon the decreasing ability to borrow for the purpose of paying such interest, must have a most unfavorable effect upon the general price of public stocks, and the consequent terms of the loans themselves. It may be added, that a system of that sort would, it is believed, be found to be altogether unprecedented in the financial history of any wise and regular Government, and must, if yielded to, produce, at no distant period, that general state of public discredit which attended the national finances during the war of the Revolution, and which nothing but the peculiar circumstances of the country, and the want of a well organized and efficient Government during the period of that Revolution, could at all justify. To have withheld from the public view a fair exposition of the probable state of the fiscal concerns of the Government, under the very first pressure of active 1 war, or to have deferred submitting to the House such a system as in the opinion of the committee was indispensable to place the revenues of the country upon a basis commensurate with the public exigencies, would, in their judgment, at once have evinced in the eyes of foreign nations an imbecility of action and of design, the effects of which must be too obvious to be mistaken. "And as it regards our own country, would have indicated a policy as feeble and short-sighted as it must have been considered deceptive and disingenuous—as unworthy the rulers of a free and enlightened nation, as in its result it would have been found fatal to its interests, and paralyzing to all its efforts. It is obvious that the whole amount which it is necessary