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PRIL 9, 1834.]

The General Appropriation Bill.

[H. of R.

ment, it was in giving place, not employment, to too two facts which had come to his knowledge within the last any individuals. The cry had been raised throughout twenty-four hours. He should say nothing on the dee land, that the Government was corrupt; and that there pressed state of the country generally, the embarrassere hosts of officers without employment. There was ments which had been cast upon all commercial pursuits, multiplication of offices, but was there any multiplica- and the total discouragement of all enterprise. These on of the labors to be performed? Could there be any were topics so long dwelt upon, that they were almost nestion that it was their duty to inquire how far it com- exhausted, both in proof and in argument. He would orted with the genius of our Government, and the spirit merely state one fact, which went to show how cautious nd expectations of the people, that that House should they ought to be in needlessly expending the money of o on to increase the number of public officers, with a their constituents. A letter had that morning been rew to any service that was not absolutely indispensable? ceived from the town of Massillon, in Ohio, from an indithe work of the Department had been neglected for vidual whose character, he was told, was highly respectrars past, this was not the time to bring it up. Let able. The letter stated that wheat was then selling at atlemen wait a little. In a very few months they would fifty cents the bushel; and that large quantities of flour d that labor would be cheaper; that clerks might be were in vain seeking a market at two dollars and a half tained at a lower rate; that a little reform might be in-per barrel.

duced by turning out some of the clerks at high sala- But this fact, astounding as it was, was of small consees, and bringing in others at a lower compensation. By quence, in comparison to another with immediate connexich arrangement, the public work would be better done, ion with it; and that was, that one-half the boats on the honest men would be better fed. This was no time Ohio canal would not run this season, from actual want of ncrease the expenditures of the Government. He money to start them. Such was the state of enterprise d some evidence to adduce on this subject, and which in the West; and, that it might have its full effect, the ent to show that there were facts to justify him in op- facts he had stated must be taken in connexion with yet ng all unnecessary expenditures. There were sub-another, which might possibly surprise many of those antal reasons to fear that the public revenue would who heard it-that some portion of that Ohio flour passed, on prove inadequate to the public expenditures. The in prosperous times, into the interior of Massachusetts. penses of this Government, from the time when it had Mr. L. believed that he had eaten Ohio flour at his own discovered to be corrupt to the present time, had home. And he had before him a document which would dranced nearly twofold: in some of the Departments, show that, in the town of Worcester, an inland village, ich were formerly sources of revenue, there were now inconsiderable in a commercial point of view, having no y debts and liabilities. He would instance only one. other communication with the seaboard than by a canal At the time Mr. McLean left the Post Office, its income navigated by small boats, for the transportation of merreally exceeded its expenses; there was then an existing chandise and domestic products, principally for home cumulated balance in its favor of 289,000 dollars, ac- consumption, there had been imported the astonishing ng to his statement, and of 230,000 dollars, by the amount of ten thousand barrels of flour, and seventeen Passion of his successor, the present incumbent. It thousand bushels of corn, during the last year. The conceded by the friends of the administration, that the transportation of produce on the whole line, in small apartment was greatly in debt. It had already borrow-boats, amounted in all to more than seventeen thousand of certain State banks to an amount of nearly 400,000 tons, consisting chiefly of the agricultural products of the s; and it had been again and again publicly stated, Southern, Western, and Middle States. Not only grain, d there was good reason to believe the very serious but pork, was brought from the West, for they eat not that the entire sum of indebtedness of the Depart- only the bread, but the meat, also, of Ohio; while, from , including arrearages due to mail contractors, with the same channels, they received the cotton of the South. her abilities for the payment of money now due, would These channels, it was true, were not dried up. No; the tle short of one million of dollars! How that debt providence of God had been more kind than that; but be paid might become a subject of grave consid- they had been blockaded, they had been embargoed, so with those gentlemen in the House who contended they had been subjected to an effectual non-intercourse. astrict-construction of the constitution. Mr. L. knew The people could get neither their usual supplies, nor o clause in that instrument which would warrant any their accustomed means of paying for them. He stated partment in borrowing money from banks; and it these facts to show that the present condition of the peoall comport with the system of ethics to which most ple of this country was such as to disable them from encal men reconciled their consciences, to say that during an increase of burdens. who had trusted the Department, without authority, look to it for remuneration, without seeking for the erposition of the authority of that House. The debt, The CHAIRMAN replied, that he was not aware that the rever, must be paid; and it must come out of the rev- gentleman had transgressed any rule of order; but if the es of the country. There was good reason to believe gentleman from New Jersey would point out wherein, the at the debts of that Department to mail contractors ex- Chair would decide. Mr. PARKER did not press his obsied one million of dollars; so that, instead of a reve-jection, and Mr. LINCOLN resumed.]

[Mr. PARKER here inquired of the chairman, whether the gentleman was in order.

it of between one and two hundred thousand dollars, He said that none could be more sensible of the value had in its place a debt of a million. While the reve-of order than he was-none more willing to receive adwas thus diminished, the liabilities of the Government monition from members more experienced than himself, d been greatly, unexpectedly, and unjustifiably aug- or to submit with greater deference to the chastenings of ented. And what means had we to meet these de- the Chair. He trusted he should be among the last on ads? Would the people be willing to submit to direct that floor to exhibit any contumacious spirit. But when tation? He trusted that no gentleman proposed to he voted to refuse so small a sum as $1,400 to one of the art to such an expedient. The object could only be Departments, he felt himself bound to give some good flected by a retrenchment of useless expenditures, by reason for so doing. He was endeavoring to give his reanary in the disbursement of the public money, and by sons, and to show that as the people had but little money earing to increase the burdens already imposed upon for their own necessities, so they had other uses for it, of people. The people had no means of meeting any more pressing importance than the establishment of cased demands. In confirmation of the truth of this new clerkships. The House had seen what was the state alement, it might be proper for him to advert to one or of the agricultural interest; and, in relation to that of man

H. of R.]

The General Appropriation Bill

(APRIL 9, 1834

"For additional clerk hire in the Department of State, $1,500."

ufactures, he would beg leave to quote a recent state- gentleman's argument? Sum it up, and what did it ment, which went to show that, in one neighborhood in amount to? Had the gentleman attempted to show that his State, sixteen cotton mills had either stopped, or re- the clerk was unnecessary? He had not. But he ind ceived orders to stop, on the first of next month; by which resisted the appropriation only because the asking for it 28,300 spindles would be thrown out of operation, and seemed to cast a slur on the predecessors of the presen: 1,850 laborers dismissed from the employment by which Secretary of State. He would ask that gentleman whe they earned their daily bread. Was not this a fact which ther this was the first time that additional clerks had been went to the point of his argument? Did it not show that called for in this very Department. If the gentlema it was important to husband the money of the people? would look to the appropriation bill of 1819, he would Mr. L. feared he should be obliged to go for the reduc find this item: tion proposed by the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. VANCE] in his own compensation-a calamity which was certainly very unexpected when he had come to this place, but a When had this appropriation been made? Under the measure which the necessity of the times seemed to re- present administration? It had not. Who was at that quire. And he feared, further, that he should be obliged time in the Department of State? The very gentlera to suggest another amendment to this bill, from the pecu- [Mr. ADAMS] who proposed to strike out the presen liar aspect of a late decision upon his friends and himself; item. But the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Lis forty of whom had, by the vote of the House, been thrown coLN] had travelled out of his way to make an attack up out of a situation to express their sentiments on that floor. the Post Office Department. Mr. H. had hoped tha It had been determined that a committee of inquiry should this Department of Government would not be attacke go forth, to ascertain in what places the money appropri- until the attack could be substantiated by some show ated by this bill should be deposited. He expected that argument. But the gentleman had adduced none. W that committee would shortly determine, and delight the there a deficit in the Post Office Department? The House by a report that their careful and sedulous in-was. And the Postmaster General alone was held quiry had resulted in the unanticipated discovery that swerable for it. He would venture to say that that off the Bank of the United States, concerning which that cer was not justly liable to any imputation. He wa committee at present, of course, knew little or nothing, blameless-Mr. H. had been going to say-as an ange since they were sent to inquire into its condition, turned If there was any deficit, it was owing to the conducte out to be a perfectly safe place of deposite for the public members on that floor, and members of the Senate. Ge moneys, and was on every ground worthy of being re-tlemen who rose in their places, and abused the P chartered; and, therefore, that one of the resolutions Office Department, would themselves go cringing a which had been reported by the Committee of Ways and wheedling to the Postmaster General to get addition Means, and adopted by the House, in which it was de-stage allowances, and an increase of mail accommod clared that the deposites should continue in the custody tions; and then they would come there, and mal of the State banks, ought to be rescinded. And, on this speeches throwing the whole blame on that innocent of presumption, his amendment would propose that, after cer. Accommodations had been extended to the peopl the words "any money in the Treasury," there should be of the Union in the way of mail routes, such as never ha inserted the following additional clause: "And deposited been granted at any former period of the Governmen in the Bank of the United States." To such an amend- and a consequent increase in the expenditure of mos ment he should anticipate the consent of the chairman of was of course unavoidable. He would then, on th the Committee of Ways and Means, and of the members floor, say to his constituents and to the world, that of this Committee of the Whole; because, if the result of blame did not attach to the Postmaster General, but the inquiry now to be instituted by gentlemen who were their own representatives and the representatives of oth unquestionably without any bias in the case, should show in both Houses of Congress. that the bank, in this great issue between the country and But in this simple inquiry, whether an additional cle itself, should be able to sustain the plea of not guilty, and was needed by the Department of State, the gentle that committee, as an impartial jury, should return their had given to the House the price of flour and corn, a verdict against the charge which had been preferred, the number of cotton mills which had been stoppe then all would agree that the Bank of the United States There was one other on which Mr. H. agreed with was a proper place for the custody of the public deposites. gentleman, viz: that meat and bread were necessary It appeared to him that, before the House made any ap- the support of human life. That fact had here been propriation, they should decide whether the money ap- lemnly announced to the people of the United States, propriated was to be taken from the Bank of the United Mr. H. was not disposed to dispute it, though be States, or from the State banks. Mr. L. added that if thought that a little codfish and pork and molasses m he should be constrained to move such an amendment, he be necessary to carry on the process. The gentles hoped his doing so would not be attributed to any pur-had further taken occasion to say that he should vote pose of delay. He trusted that the investigating commit- the amendment which had been modified by the gen tee would be prompt and diligent in the performance of man from Ohio, [Mr. VANCE.] Mr. H. hoped that their task, and that they would be able speedily to re-should always be found willing to vote for all salutary port to the House that there existed no fraud or corrup-ductions in the expenses of Government. But when tion in the management of the bank, and that, in conse- gentleman came out beforehand, and let his construe quence of such report, the amendment would be adopted. know that he should vote for such an amendment, Mr. HAWES, of Kentucky, said that he was sorry the wanted to ask, not that gentleman but his const us very first vault of the gentleman from Massachusetts on whether he would vote for the amendment if he the that floor had been the delivery of such a speech; that it would pass? Mr. H. said he was induced to say the gentleman had taken occasion on this small item of because that gentleman had travelled out of the appropriation to launch forth into a general attack upon for the sake of making an attack upon a man whose ch the administration. He admitted the gentleman to be acter stood far above all attacks that could be made correct in one thing, and that was, that his former rela- it; whose honor still stood, in Mr. H.'s view, unimpesc tions had placed him in circumstances from which he ought and unimpeachable, notwithstanding the attempts to know something of the forms of business. But that were made to his prejudice. The people of this cou was the only point in the gentleman's whole argument in for years to come would have reason to thank Major B which Mr. H. could agree with him. And what was the ry for what he had done in increasing the mail facilites

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the United States, although millions should be needed to defray the cost.

[H. OF R.

of State, to edit and publish the work; and unless the proper documents, most of which are now in the Department Mr. LINCOLN here explained, and denied having utter- of State, are arranged or put in some order, the work el a single suggestion against the character or conduct of cannot progress with the required facility, and the papers, the Postmaster General. He had not mentioned him, nor old and worn as they now are, will sustain great damage alluded to him. He had only stated facts in relation to without the contemplated arrangement and binding up in the Post Office Department; what had been the state of volumes. Among these papers, transcripts of which are its revenues when Mr. McLean went out of office, and now required for the Documentary History, are compris. what their condition was at this time. ed not only the letters of the officers and agents of the

Mr. WARD said that he rose for the purpose of sub- Government, civil and military, but a mass of other pamitting a single remark on the subject under considera-pers of infinite importance to the finances of the country; tion, with the view of making the honorable gentleman the reports of all the various committees of Congress from Massachusetts acquainted with the fact, that the sub-from 1775 to 1789 on public affairs, and upon the appliject in relation to arranging and making indexes to the cations of individuals, of which there is no record; and archives in the Department of State was submitted to the excepting a few printed reports, nothing exists but the House of Representatives, in the first instance, by Mr. Livingston, the late Secretary of State, in compliance with a call made upon him by this House, and not by the present Secretary of State, as that honorable gentleman supposes.

original draughts of the reports of those committees. Of the same character are the letters and reports of the board of war, letters and reports of the board of treasury and of the superintendent of finance, wherein a multiplicity of claims growing out of the revolutionary contest were reMr. W. said that a resolution was introduced into this ported or decided upon, and some of which are kept alive Hruse, some two or three years ago, according to the to the present day. There is no record, nor are there best of his recollection, he did not remember the precise duplicates of those papers. By arranging these papers, date, requiring the Committee of Ways and Means to in-and binding them in volumes, with suitable indexes, they quire into the expediency of such a measure. That the will be preserved to future generations. Several volumes committee thereupon addressed letters to the heads of De- have been so arranged; but if the remainder are left as partments, requesting their opinions upon the subject. they now are, a few more years must insure their decay In answer thereto, they gave it as their deliberate opinion and entire loss. that such a measure was absolutely necessary.

The honorable gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. That, at that time, the sum of $6,000 was inserted in LINCOLN] seems to think that our finances are not in a the appropriation bill, to be applied to that object, which, situation to warrant this expenditure. This objection a as was stated yesterday by the honorable gentleman from few years ago might have been urged with some force, Massachusetts, [Mr. EVERETT,] was lost in the Senate, by when we were indebted a hundred millions of dollars; but reason of one of the members of the committee to whom the expenditure of the small sum of one thousand four the subject had been referred, having moved to strike it hundred dollars, now that the debt is extinguished, for an , under the impression that the same item of appropri- object so laudable, and which all admit to be necessary, can ation was twice inserted in the same bill. He said he had carry but little weight with it. The objection against its to doubt but that the Secretary of State was induced, from being inserted in the appropriation bill might have been that circumstance, to ask for the appropriation at this urged with greater plausibility if this had been the first time, and he considered that the honorable gentleman time appropriations had been made in this manner; but from Massachusetts [Mr. LINCOLN] had done great injus-as similar provisions have been inserted in most of the fice to the Secretary of State, by observing that he had appropriation bills heretofore passed, Mr. W. said he cast a reflection upon his predecessors in office, in his let- should therefore record his vote in favor of it. He said ter to the Committee of Ways and Means, which had been he would take this occasion to observe that he regretted read. That letter does not cast the slightest reproach that gentlemen should, in the course of their remarks upon apon any of the gentlemen who have heretofore filled almost every question before Congress, deem it necessary that high office, and the distinguished gentleman now at to cast reflections upon New York-a State which he the head of the Department of State is incapable of ma- was proud to call his native State, and one which he had kng such a charge against any individual. the honor, in part, to represent. In the remarks made The attention of the late Secretary of State was drawn in the House yesterday, by the honorable gentleman from. to this subject more particularly in consequence of the Indiana, [Mr. EwING,] he stated, in answer to some obset of the 5th May, 1833, which authorized the publica-servation made by his worthy colleague, [Mr. CAMBREon of the diplomatic correspondence from 1783 to 1789, LENG,] that he presumed the appropriation was intended and which, by a recent resolution of this House, is direct- for some clerk to be appointed from New York; for that ed to be distributed. The voluminous papers from which State, he said, came in for all the "loaves and fishes,' the selections were made, had been deposited in the gar- which might account, he said, for his [Mr. CAMBRELENG's] ret-rooms of the Department of State in files, once ar- being in favor of it. Fanged and labelled; but, from accidents and removals, the researches of historians, and the mistakes or neglect of those who from time to time had had access to the papers, in restoring them to the proper files, a perfect scene of Confusion existed, and no man living could tell what papers were in the garret-rooms, or what were missing. They were, therefore, obliged to open every bundle of papers, with little regard to their labels, and from the vast mass to select every thing which bore upon the diplomacy of the country for that period.

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[Mr. EwING here explained-disclaimed any unkind intention; and made some remarks as to what he had before said, which were very imperfectly heard. They had some reference to the States of New York and Delaware.]

Mr. W. said he could not believe that the remarks of the honorable gentleman had been made in any spirit of unkindness towards that State; but Mr. W. said, as he was in favor of the appropriation, he felt himself called upon to disclaim being governed by any such considerations, and he believed that his honorable colleagues were as free During the progress of this work an act of Congress from any bias of the kind as himself. Mr. W. said that, was passed authorizing the publication of the Documentary during the present discussion, he had ascertained from the History of the United States, which will embrace a large "Blue Book," an official publication of the Department proportion of the revolutionary papers. These must be of State, and which contains a register of all officers and selected and prepared for the press. A contract has been agents, civil, military, and naval, in the service of the made with Messrs. Clarke & Force, by the late Secretary United States, and which, in conformity with a joint reso

H. OF R.]

The General Appropriation Bill.

[APRIL 9, 1834.

lution, is transmitted biennially to Congress, the remark- once, to lay their hands on papers which were called for. able fact, that the number of persons in office at the seat It was the House that would suffer the penalty, shoul of Government from the great State of New York does this small appropriation be refused. If it were true, as not exceed nine, and the aggregate of their salaries had been alleged, that this bill contained for clerkships to twelve thousand dollars. The officers and clerks now the amount of eighty thousand dollars, he hoped some employed in the several Departments at Washington ha ve other item would be selected as a battle-ground on which been appointed from the respective States as follows: to urge the ruthless war against the administration which From Massachusetts 21 From Delaware 7 was manifestly intended. Mr. A. would not now say how 53 he should vote when those questions should arise. He 5 should make up his opinion on the merits of each sepa3 rately, and vote for it or not, according to its own distinct 3 propriety.

New Hampshire 10
Connecticut

10

Vermont

1

Rhode Island

1

N. York ($12,000) 9

New Jersey

15

Pennsylvania

Maryland

45 97

Virginia
North Carolina
South Carolina
Georgia

Kentucky

Tennessee
Ohio

6

Mr. CHAMBERS said that he was opposed to this ap S propriation, not on account of its amount, but because of 2 the principle involved. And this was but one out of many items of the same kind in the same bill. He should It is therefore manifest, from this statement, that the vote for the amendment because the committee had crea State of New York, which contains nearly one-sixth of the ted an office, of the necessity for which he was not satawhole population of the United States, and which pays fied. What evidence of that necessity had been shown into the treasury more than one-half of the revenue of to the committee? None, except the mere opinion of the the Government, has not a fair proportion of its citizens Secretary of State. Mr. C. would be the last man to in office, and, instead of being censurable and obnoxious detract from the merit of that officer; but he was not w to the charge made against it by that honorable gen- ling, when acting upon that floor, to take the mere opis tleman, has just cause of complaint; but he was happy to ion of any man, whether connected with the Government see that the patriotic and intelligent people of that State or not, as to the creation of an office. That House should require no prompting from personal feeling, or party have better evidence than this. They were told that the considerations, to do their duty to their State and to their papers in that Department were in a deranged condition, country. and a new clerk was asked to put them in order. But

Mr. ARCHER said that he had not risen for the pur- why was this necessary? It was certainly the business of pose of entering into the general discussion, but simply the clerks in every Department completely to arrange the with a view to explanation, which was due to a gentleman papers of which they had the custody; and it was matter to whom he stood in relations, not only of official cominu- of history that, during the progress of this Government, nication, but of personal and private friendship. He re- that Department had proceeded for four years without a gretted that a gentleman whose representation was so demand for any new clerks. And they had the opinion deservedly high as was that of the gentleman from Mas- of half a dozen Secretaries of State, who had not deemed sachusetts [Mr. LINCOLN] should have made a charge, and the office necessary, to set off against the opinion of one no light one, upon the conduct of the present Secretary that it was. of State. He was sure the gentleman could not have well So far, then, as the weight of opinion was concerned, considered what he was saying, or he would not have suf- it was all against the appointment. Nor had the House fered any influence of party spirit to seduce him into doing any evidence of such an increase in the business of that injury to one of the most honorable and high-minded men Department, as rendered new clerkships indispensable. in the world. It had happened from the relation in which They had been told that the difficulties of our foreign re Mr. A. stood to the Secretary; and he had sought an op- lations had all been arranged on the most happy terms, portunity of explanation in reference to the letter he had and it was certain that the nation had no representative at addressed to the Committee of Ways and Means, in the two of the most important Courts of Europe. The Hous course of which he had taken occasion to say that he had therefore, had reason to suppose that the business of the not had the most remote intention of conveying any injuri- Department was diminished rather than augmented, a ous imputation upon the conduct of his predecessors. Mr. that, if there was to be any change, it would be one m A. thought there was no foundation for such an idea. It was the way of retrenchment. But Mr. C. was opposed t a fact well known that, although this evil had long exist- this item on another ground. It was the duty of the ed, the predecessors of the present Secretary had omitted Committee of Ways and Means to report a bill for the to ask Congress for a remedy. simple purpose of defraying the expenses of the Govers Did it follow, because the present Secretary had ment; yet, under color of doing this, they had undertaken deemed it proper to supply this omission, that he was to create an office. The rule prescribing their dutie thereby reflecting on those who had gone before him? enjoined it upon them to inquire how they might s Ought he, out of deference to the precedent they had set to the economy of the Departments and the accountability him, to have suffered the evil to go on and increase? But of the public officers;" but, in the present bill, that com the gentleman from Massachusetts had said he should mittee had inserted requisitions for new officers-not the have made his demand general for an additional clerk, and clerkship of $1,400 only, but others to the tune not specific, by referring to the particular duty that was $80,000. Some gentleman denied that the amount wa to be performed. But if the Secretary had taken that so great. Mr. C. had not particularly examined the bi course, what would have been said then? What! shall but whatever was the exact amount, the whole thing wa we grant an appropriation when we are not told what it objectionable on principle. The necessity of new officer is for? How much better founded would such an objec

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was a matter to be inquired into by the committees D expenditures in the respective Departments, and it wa their duty to report on that subject to the House. M C. concluded by again declaring his purpose to vote f the amendment.

Mr. POLK said that he regretted the protraction of thi debate, as well as the character of it; and he was certa not anxious to contribute any thing to its prolongation He implored the House to come back from the wide rang which had been taken, to the item on which they wer

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He

called to vote. If the appropriation were proper, to vote cupied, and had been answered that they all had as much it, and if not, to reject it. The objections which had business as they could attend to. They attended at regubeen urged against it might be classed under two heads. lar office hours, and were forbidden, by a rule of the The first of these was the ground taken by the gentleman Department, to leave their offices but by express permisfrom Massachusetts, [Mr. ADAMS,] and recently repeated sion from the head of the Department. Why was it that, by the gentleman from Pennsylvania on his left, [Mr. on a little item like this, gentlemen would launch out into CHAMBERS,] Viz: that an appropriation bill was not the discussions on the price of grain, and give solemn intimaplace to provide for an additional clerkship, or to create tions that this appropriation bill was to be contested until Offices of any kind; it should only contain provision for a clause should be admitted providing that all these drafts objects sanctioned by law. But the gentlemen seemed were to be made on the Bank of the United States. He to forget that the appropriation bill was itself a law, as had heard such rumors before; and was it indeed so, that well as any other expression of the legislative will. Did the House was to be compelled to discuss and decide upon they forget that the office of Commissioner of Pensions the bank question a second time? Must all the wheels of was first created by an appropriation bill, and that that Government be stopped unless this particular fiscal agent ficer and the clerks in his department at this moment was to be employed? And, in giving this intimation, did held their office by the tenure of that law alone? It was the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. LINCOLN] speak as proper a place as any other to insert a clause erecting his own sentiments only, or those of others? That was an office for the first time. But the present item did not for the gentleman to say: all that Mr. P. should observe create an office; it expressly provided for a temporary was, that, if that question should be forced upon them, service. If it should turn out that the officer to be em- he should be prepared to meet it at the proper time. He ployed was perinanently needed, his office could then be would only add, that the Secretary of State had, in this made permanent by law. The statute-book was full of case, done what he conceived to be his duty. If the aid such provisions. In the year before last, when the dis- should be refused to him, he would only take more time taguished gentleman from South Carolina [Mr. McDUFFIE] to answer the calls that would be made upon him. had been at the head of the Committee of Ways and trusted that the House would not indulge any farther in a Means, similar provisions had been made, and large general discussion of this angry and exciting character. amounts provided for extra cleik hire; and, in 1833, Mr. BINNEY said that his motive for addressing any when another distinguished gentleman, from the city of remarks to the House upon this item of the bill, was to New York, [Mr. VERPLANCK,] had occupied the same prevent a misconception, to which the character of the Station, he bad reported an appropriation bill containing discussion might expose his vote, unless he briefly exthe following item: "For arrearages of clerk hire, plained its reasons. It was an item to which he had $73,998." No objection had then been made to the prin- given more personal attention in committee than to some ciple involved; but now, they were called upon to estab- others, and upon which he had then formed the opinion, lish a principle which went to contradict and overturn the still unchanged, which he meant to express and to explan. while practice of the Government. There was nothing| He desired not to be misunderstood by either side of the is the argument. As to the other items in the bill, they House. On the propriety of economy in public expendiwere not now proper subjects of discussion; he should tures at all times, and particularly at the present time, he explain them in their due order, as the committee reached entertained no doubt. He would be found in company them. The House had been solemnly notified that they with those who promoted it, wherever it could be pracmust not vote this amount of $1,400, because there were tised with safety to the public service. He should also act ther items in the rear. Mr. P. had already stated that in concert with such measures as should have for their those other items, which were sought to be so much object to bring the holders of office into sympathy with agnified, were for clerks in the Land office and in the people, whose present condition was one of great and the Pension office, and were only for the same number increasing distress. All such measures would have the chrks as had been employed during the last year. cordial support of his vote. He would not be separated But what was there in the present case? He had been from his friends on this floor upon any questions or saved the trouble of explanation by the excellent remarks measures of similar import. He also concurred in the of his friend from Virginia, [Mr." ARCHER,] who had in principle by which the distinguished gentleman from Masbach a satisfactory manner vindicated the Secretary of sachusetts [Mr. ADAMS] had limited the scope of approRute from the undeserved imputation of having thrown priation bills. As a general rule of legislation, applied reproach on the conduct of his predecessors in office. to such bills, it had his assent. Thus much he thought it

ad never so much as entered the mind of the Secre- necessary to say, to prevent misconception on one side. ary to cast censure any where; he had forwarded his let- As it regarded the other, he would say, that he was a er to the appropriate organ of the House. He said the member of the Committee of Ways and Means, from ppropriate organ, notwithstanding the committee had which this and similar bills had proceeded, and he desired ben lectured upon their duties by several of the new to have his course in regard to all measures recommendmembers of the House, who were no doubt much better ed by that committee understood by the House. Upon quainted with the order of business there than the old some of the most interesting of those measures, he had embers who had had a seat upon the floor for years. found himself to belong to a very useless minority. In They should all learn their duties soon. Mr. P. here regard to all of them, he must be considered as wholly quated the Secretary's letter, and then went on to ex- without pledge of any kind to support any of them on plain. If a citizen, having a claim on a foreign Gov- this floor, which had not his entire approbation at the trament, called upon the State Department for the pa- moment when he should be called to act upon them. He pers necessary to substantiate it, it frequently happened would not say, though he might say it with more propriethat they could not be found, and this had been the case ty than the gentleman from New York, [Mr. CAMBREfor a great number of years. Nobody had attributed any LENG,] "you know how things are managed in commit fault to the honorable gentleman from Massachusetts, tee," but he would say, that, with a strong inclination to Mr. ADAMS, or to any of the other predecessors of the do his duty there, and elsewhere, he was often compelpresent Secretary. Mr. P. said that he, like the g ntle-led to act with but very faint lights to guide him; that Than from Maine, [Mr. JARVIS,] had had an ocular inspec- when he gave his passing assent to any measure, it was tion of the condition of the papers in question, and had sincerely given at the moment; and that, when he saw en them in a garret-room of the Department building. reason to change his course, he would do it without the He had made particular inquiry how each clerk was cc slightest hesitation, whatever might have been his course

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