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sanction of every member of the Senate. He wished that it had come before them, not in connexion with any thing else. If you go on the principle of economy in the selection, make that the principle; but if you choose the printer, having high confidence in his integrity and character, then set before him the terms on which you propose to have your work executed. The gentleman said, that he would not bind the Senate to elect the person making the lowest bid. The Departments never deviate from the principle of taking the lowest bid, if the person making that lowest bid is a responsible person, and able to carry his contract into execution. He did not rise so much to oppose the amendment, as to say that, so long as he was a member of the Senate-so long as he was in public life-now, and to all time-he would put his veto upon this-he would say, were it not for the respect be bore the gentleman from Rhode Island, and did he not fear that gentleman would attach the remark to the amendment now under consideration, which application he did not intend-he would say this contemptible and scandalous system of offering the public printing to the man who would make the lowest bid. Men would bid, for the sake of having the work, who could not possibly do the work. If the Postmaster General advertised for proposals for carrying the mail, and if the Commissary General advertised for proposals to furnish beef, it was because they did not, and could not, know the fair price of those articles. But the Senate could know, and did know; the prices were fixed; they could elect their printer to do the work at those prices, and were in want of no contract. There ought to be no contracts made in the country, for doing the public business; it had introduced more fraud and low cunning than any thing else in the world. The printing had been fixed at a fair price, and he would not introduce the principle that the lowest bidder should be entitled to the place. He would not introduce the principle that the lowest bidder should be made a member of Congress; that the lowest bid should elect the Secretary, Doorkeeper, &c. &c. These things were not exactly so, but it was the same principle; and he would not establish the principle that Judges of the Supreme Court and members of the House of Representatives should take their places because they were willing to work cheaper than any body else. Tell me the difference in principle-Where is the difference between electing a member of Congress, and electing a printer to Congress? If you give too much for the printing, and if you give your public officers too much for their services, curtail the one, and lessen the salary of the other, but do not establish this contemptible principle of doing every thing by contract, and with the lowest bidder. The Senate could fix the salaries for their officers; they could fix the price for their printing; there was no necessity for a contract; and he would say, that he felt an instinctive abhorrence at doing every thing by contract. He should vote against any proposition of the kind, at any time, and he was sorry that this was introduced to clog and embarrass the passage of a simple proposition to amend the rule, in a point which he considered important.
Mr. CHANDLER thought it proper, if they were paying any men too high for their services, to curtail the expenses; but what had that to do with this subject? He did not say they were not paying too much. If the gentleman from Rhode Island had offered a resolution to raise a Committee to inquire into the subject, he should have voted for its passage. If he would do it now, he [Mr. C.] would vote for it. But this was merely relating to another subject, a transaction by itself, and they would act upon it by itself. If the amendment was adopted they could not act upon the whole together, but would be obliged to divide the questions.
Mr. KANE said he should trouble the Senate with but a few words upon the subject. If the gentleman from
Rhode Island had made a proposition simply to ascertain whether too much was paid for the printing, he should have voted for it: for he agreed with the gentleman that the printing had heretofore cost too much; but that it cost too much now, he was not prepared to say. When he said that the printing had heretofore cost too much, he did it from the knowledge that it was as well done now for a less price, than was formerly paid. It seemed to him that the information the gentleman asked for would be given to the Senate just at the moment when they were called upon to act upon the subject, and would have an undue influence upon the minds of the Senators in the choice. The gentleman from Rhode Island proposed for bids, after the manner of the Departments. The reason they advertise for proposals is, because it is not in their power to know what are fair prices for the articles they wish to obtain. The Senate, on the contrary, could ascertain the prices at which the printing should be done. He should be unwilling to trust the printing to any person who would do it for less than he could afford to do it for; the printer must be able to do the work in the manner and form required.
He would state a case, which proved that the printing was now done cheaper than formerly. "Tother morning, in a committee room, he had occasion to examine two documents, in which were several pages of rule work; he found that they were done upon a new plan, in which as much was contained upon a single page, for which they paid three dollars and fifty cents, as formerly cost them seventeen dollars. In the documents accompanying the President's message, there was as much on a page for which they paid four or four and a half dollars, as they had been in the habit of paying eleven dollars for; so that he concurred with the gentleman from Rhode Island, that they had heretofore paid too much. Whether they did now or not, he could not say; but in his judgment, it was as cheap as it could be done by contract. In providing a printer, they should never choose a person who would do it for less than he could afford to do it for.
Mr. KNIGHT observed that he should not have said another word on the subject, had it not been for the term " contemptible," applied to his amendment by the Senator fom Kentucky [Mr. JOHNSON.]
The CHAIR said he had not understood the gentleman from Kentucky as applying his remark to the amendment of the Senator from Rhode Island.
Mr. KNIGHT said he had certainly so understood the gentleman, but was happy to learn that he had misunderstood him.
Mr. JOHNSON, of Kentucky, considered it due to himself to say, that his former expression was, that, "but for the respect he bore for the gentleman from Rhode Island, and fearing that he would apply the remark to the present proposition, he should have said the system of advertising for a bidder was contemptible." He had used the same remark again, as applied to the system out of the House. If he could have so little respect for the Senate, whatever he might think, he could not have so little respect for others, and had too much respect for himself, to make use of such expressions.
The CHAIR again said, that, had he understood the gentleman from Kentucky as applying his remarks to the amendment of the Senator from Rhode Island, he should certainly have called him to order.
Mr. JOHNSTON, of Louisiana, said, that he went upon the principle that a majority of votes should always govern in cases of election. He was of opinion that all such appointments as the one which was now the subject of discussion should be made by a majority. He was opposed to the amendment, because he conceived that the mode proposed was the very worst mode that could be adopted. Previous to 1819 the practice had been to put out the printing to the lowest bidder, as is contemplated
[DEC. 17, 1828.
Mr. BENTON said there was such a thing as too much legislation. It was idle for the farmer to plant and replant, without giving time for a crop. But fifteen or sixteen days of the session had transpired, and they were seriously at work on this subject of printing. Last springno, (said Mr. B.) last summer-we had adopted a very salutary regulation, by joint resolution, and, without waiting for the effect of that resolution, we were at work on the matter again. He would call the attention of the Senate to the resolution of the 24th May last, and which would be found at page 153 of the Laws. Those who have been any time in Congress will perceive that the resolution to which he had referred, will cause a reduction in the price of printing, of one-half, and in some instances three-fourths. The ordinary method of printing had been, frequently, to make four pages where only one was found to be necessary. Here was a saving of three-fourths of the expensethis the effect of dispensing with title pages. In most cases it would be found that one-half the expense would be saved. This was a great deduction from the profits of the printer. Again, the resolution provided that the yeas and nays should be printed as ordinary matter, and not be set in columns, as had heretofore been done. Here was another saving, but not so great. The resolution also provided that Executive documents, reports, &c. should be bound together-here was an improvement, but no saving. Mr. B. then referred to the statement which had been made by Mr. KANE, of the great economy of printing, át the present session. This fact, he said, was not confined to the single act of printing, but affected the binding also. Where there was tabular work, exceeding the size of a page, it necessarily had to be folded, and greatly swelled the size of the volume; and, when much used, it looked like a rolled heap of straw. He did not know whether the prices at present allowed were too high or too low, but he knew that the resolution to which he referred had the effect of lessening the cost of the printing, and, consequently, the profits of the printer.
by the amendment of the gentleman from Rhode Island, and the effect of it was to have the printing done with the poorest materials, and on the worst possible plan. Indeed, he had been informed that a bill of a highly important nature had been put off for a whole year, in consequence of the neglect of a printer who performed the work under a contract. The minority would not act without further information, and the majority were afraid to act without the requisite information. The effect of competition was to attract here a number of persons, all anxious to get hold of the public money, who, ignorant of calculations, and not aware of the expenses to be encountered, were willing to take the work at prices ruinous to themselves, and disadvantageous to the Government. The expenses of the Congressional printer are necessarily very great; a large amount of capital is expended by him for materials and machinery; and the vast number of persons employed by him subjects him to heavy and continued expenses. How, then, was it to be expected that a person could be prepared, immediately on the acceptance of his bid, with the materials and competent workmen, to execute the printing in a proper manner, with the reduced prices which competition would exact? He well recollected that, under the contract system, the printing was executed in the most slovenly manner, and that the difficulties experienced by it forced an investigation of the subject. Three modes of obviating those difficulties were proposed: to continue the contract system with some modification; for each House to execute its own printing, by the establishment of an office, entirely under the control of the Government; and, lastly, by electing a printer and fixing the prices of the work. The first having been found so objectionable, was abandoned; the second, Congress was not disposed to adopt, because it was deemed but an experiment, the effects of which would be extremely doubtful; the third proposition, of electing a printer, and fixing the prices, was determined on by the resolution of 1819, and experience had fully demonstrated, that that was the most preferable method of executing the printing Let us wait a little longer, (said Mr. B.) and ascertain of Congress. He was not prepared to say whether the the practical effects of the resolution. The Secretary and prices were too high or too low. He was perfectly wil- Clerk had wisely discharged their duties, as prescribed by ling to refer that subject to a Committee, to inquire and it, and the whole matter was under their control now. report upon; and, indeed, the suggestion of the gentle- There was no necessity for the interference of the Senate. man from Illinois had satisfied him that an inquiry was neAs to the amendment of the Senator from Rhode Island, cessary. If, said he, the language of the resolution was it provides that the proposals shall not be opened until the so vague as to enable one printer to put a construction Senate were to act upon them. What would be the efupon it by which seventeen dollars was charged for a fect of this? Why, to swell the profits of the printer: for, piece of work which another charges but three dollars for, when carried into effect, it would be found that the work it is time that it should be amended. The subject had had been done in a manner different from what the probeen before the Retrenchment Committee of the other posals specified. The paper would be of an inferior House, at the last session, and it was found by them, that, quality, and the work done with the sole view to profit. by a construction put upon the language of the resolution, How different was the case where Congress itself demore had been charged for some of the work than was termined the prices, and the printer went to work with a necessary. The difficulty, however, with him, [Mr. J. proper understanding of the matter. The gentleman from said,] was not as to the prices given; but the great evil Rhode Island had spoken of the amount paid for printing consisted in the vast number of useless documents which at the last session of Congress. But the amount named by were annually printed. We were inundated with useless him did not form a part of the current expenses of the documents; the volumes were swelled to an exorbitant session. The Executive Journal, Jefferson's Manual, the extent, and seventeen or eighteen volumes were annually Treasury Reports, &c. had been ordered to be printed, and bound. How many of these were actually necessary, he it was not right to throw out the idea to the public that left it for the Senate to decide; most of them were cer- the Senate had been more extravagant in their expenses at tainly entirely unnecessary. The Retrenchment Com- the last session than formerly. With regard to this plan mittee had recomended that a Standing Committee should of putting out the printing to the lowest bidder, he had be constituted by each House, who should decide on the another remark to make. The printing of Congress was quantity of printing necessary to be done. This, [said frequently of a confidential nature. We are obliged to inMr. J.J will be the true economy. Mr. J. did not see the trust our printer with many matters requiring secrecy, utility of the last part of the resolution, which went to and he his journeymen. It was necessary, then, that we repeal part of the resolution of 1819, but he entirely con- should elect a man of character, on whom we can rely for curred with the gentleman from Tennessee, that a major- the discreet performance of his duties. Many of these conity of votes should determine the choice of a printer. As fidential matters related to foreign nations, and the agents to the contract system, it might do for the several De- of foreign Governments would freely give, in many partments, but it was neither proper nor expedient cases, more than the whole amount paid for the public printing, to be put in possession of these matters. The ob
ject of the gentleman from Tennessee, in offering his resolution, was understood and approved of by all parties, and he hoped the amendment would be rejected, and the question put upon the original resolution. He had no doubt it would pass.
Mr. KNIGHT said, that gentlemen did not yet seem to understand his proposition. It did not go to the effect that the Senate should elect the individual who should send in the lowest proposals. It was merely calling for information; the Senate could choose whom they pleased. The whole length and breadth of his proposition was to get information, that they might act upon the subject understandingly.
The question was then taken upon Mr. KNIGHT'S amendment, and lost.
The question then recurred upon the adoption of Mr. EATON'S resolution.
Mr. CHAMBERS said he had never been satisfied that this was a proper subject for legislation. The constitution had, by the most express terms, given authority to the Senate alone to choose its own officers, and he could not perceive the propriety of calling in the aid of the other branches of the Government to assist them in exercising this power. He read the clause of the constitution conferring the power. The only question is, whether the printer be the officer of the Senate, and he presumed no doubt could be entertained about it. He was not the officer of the Government, regarding it as composed of the three legislative branches: they do not unite in his election, in the designation of his duties, nor do they exercise any control over him. He was appointed by the Senate alone; his duties were directed by the order of the Senate; and, as had been assumed in debate, and he supposed properly assumed, his official existence might be terminated by them. If, then, he be the officer of this body, and the constitution gave to this body the sole power to appoint, it was necessarily the constitutional right of the Senate alone, to determine the manner of their proceeding in the appointment. The only argument which he could anticipate was, that the joint resolution of 1819, (which had all the forms of a law,) had still left the act of appointment to be performed by the Senate. This argument admitted legislation on the subject to be entirely unnecessary and superfluous. But it is not exactly in conformity with the facts of the case: the resolution of the Senator from Tennessee (Mr. EATON) goes upon the principle, that the law must be altered before the Senate can control the manner of their own proceedings; it looks to the provisions as binding upon the Senate in its substance and in its form, and professes to derive all our authority, not from the constitution, whence it arises, but from this legislative act.
keepers, as to the printer; that they were all provided for by the constitution. In former times, very learned and worthy men had passed the resolution fixing the choice of printer, and he considered the experience of nine years as worth something in matters of legislation. But, according to the gentleman from Maryland, no person but the President of the United States could appoint the officers of the Senate.
Mr. CHAMBERS repeated the reasons to show that the printer was the officer of the Senate, and asked how he could be considered the officer of the Government at large,or any one of the other departments of the Government, constituted, directed, controlled, and destroyed as he was by the Senate alone. The instances mentioned of the Secretary and Sergent-at-arms, were precisely analogous in principle to that of the printer. The power of the Senate to appoint them was derived from the same clause in the constitution, and it had never been deemed necessary or proper to invoke the aid of the House of Representatives or the President to direct our proceedings in relation to their appointment. He would, however, ask the gentleman from Tennessee, whether the printer to the Senate was, or was not, an officer of the Senate ?
Mr. EATON apologized for the misconstruction he had put upon the remarks of the gentleman from Maryland, and replied to his question, that the printer was not an officer of the Senate.
Mr. CHAMBERS.-If he is not an officer of the Senate, whose officer is he? He is elected by the Senate, and if he is not the officer of the Government, or of a Department, it necessarily followed that he was the officer of the Senate.
Mr. WOODBURY asked for the reading of the amendment, and it was read accordingly.
A division of the question was then called for, and it was determined first to take the question on striking out.
Mr. TAZEWELL said, if he understood the amendment of the gentleman from Maryland, it went to do away with the whole of the joint resolution of 1819. Nine-tenths of that resolution goes to describe the duties of the printer. Did the gentleman mean to do away with the resolution altogether? I will read the resolution, (said Mr. T.) for the gentleman's information. [Mr. T. read that part of the resolution which describes the manner in which the work shall be done, and then added] and in this way it goes on. Surely the gentleman does not mean to do away with all this. If this be his object, or if it be not, let me make a remark or two. Is there no danger of the two Houses, in electing their printer, coming into contact? for, while the printer to one shall do his work in pica, the printer to the other may do it in brevier, &c. Hence the necessity for the joint resolution, defining the manner in which the work shall be done, to produce a uniformity in its execution, and in the prices. With regard to a violation of the constitution, he disagreed with the Senator from Tennessee, and concurred with the Senator from Maryland, that the printer to the Senate was an officer of the Senate, and this he derived from the constitution. The constitution had prescribed the powers of Congress, and provided for the passage of such and such laws. But it is said we must not use in our laws the terms made use of in the constitution. And why not? The constitution provided for the impeachment of Judges, declared the tenure of their office-that they should hold them during good behavior, &c. &c.; and shall we not say that Judges may be impeached, and fix the tenure of their office? Every law may contain the exact words of the constitution. And do you, in using them, do that which is wrong? With regard to the printing of Congress, each House had always the power to appoint their printer, and each House had always exercised it; but mischief had resulted from the mode of appointment, and Mr. EATON replied, that the same principle applied to prevent its recurrence again, the joint resolution of also to the election of the Sergeant-at-arms, and the Door-1819 was passed. In this, both parties agreed. Some le
The propriety of revising the whole system seemed to be conceded by some, because they were already persuaded the prices paid were extravagant; by others, because they had doubts, and by others because they were willing to receive information. By repealing the law or joint resolution of 1819, the power of the Senate would be made to rest, as he thought it should, upon the positive provision of the constitution; and at a future and convenient day in the session a committee might be raised to regulate the system of duties, emoluments, and other matters connected with it, as the deliberate judgment of the Senate should find to be proper.
These considerations induced him to move to strike out all after the enacting clause, and insert the following:
"That the joint resolution, approved the 3d of March, 1819, entitled A resolution directing the manner in which the printing of Congress shall be executed, fixing the prices thereof, and providing for the appointment of a printer or printers,' be, and the same is hereby, repealed."
gislation on the subject was necessary. The spirit of the resolution, however, should be preserved. Mr. CHAMBERS again took the floor. If (said he) the honorable Senator had attended to the remarks he had submitted, he would have perceived that the course proposed by him did not involve the inconveniences suggested. He had suggested the repeal of the resolution of 1819, not with a view to leave the prices and duties of the printer entirely unprovided for, but expressly with a view to the future action of the Senate upon it, when a more perfect and satisfactory system should be provided. All who had addressed the Senate on the subject, except the Senator from Missouri, (Mr. BENTON) had expressed a willingness to see this matter in charge of a committee; he could only judge of the opinions of those who had not engaged in debate by looking to the apparent concurrence in opinion of those who did, and he had thus been led to believe the Senate was prepared to act upon the subject with effect. In this state of things, the resolution of the Senator from Tennessee, (Mr. EATON) is stripped of every claim to the consideration of the other legislative branches except as to its asking their authority and permission to enable us to prescribe the mode in which the constitutional power of this body is to be exerted.
The Senator from Virginia, (Mr. TAZEWELL) says it is entirely proper that the Legislature should enact laws in the very words of the constitution, and instances the case of the Judges. The constitution authorizes and directs Congress to legislate on the subject of Courts and Judges: and although it would seem to be very unnecessary and idle legislation to introduce amongst other enactments this, that Judges should hold their commissions during good behavior, yet it would seem to be a most strange and singular idea, that an act of Congress should be passed, having no other object but exclusively to enact, in the very words of the constitution, that “Judges shall hold their offices during good behavior." Such, he contended, was the case now before the Senate. The sole object of the resolution he proposed to strike out was, to clothe the Senate, by the authority of a law, with a power which they already possessed, derived from the constitution.
Mr. C. then modified his amendment, by adding to it the words, "so far as the same refers to the appointment of printers."
[DEC. 18, 1828. The time might arrive, when the Senate might wish to act upon the subject, and to repeal a part or the whole of the resolution; if the concurrence of the House was not obtained, they would be shorn of their own powers, and be deprived of a proper control over their printer, &c. approved of the principle that a majority should govern, in all cases.
The question was then taken on striking out the original resolution, and negatived.
The question then occurred on engrossing the resolution for a third reading, which was carried in the affirmative.
THURSDAY, DEC. 18, 1828.
THE LEAD MINES IN MISSOURI.
The bill for the sale of the lead mines in the State of Missouri (introduced by Mr. BENTON) was taken up and considered as in Committee of the Whole.
Mr. BRANCH said, he should like to hear the reasons assigned for the passage of the bill, as he did not see the necessity of disposing of the public property in this manThey were already hurrying the property into market faster than there was any occasion for; and there was no reason, in his mind, why these mines should be exposed to sale.
Mr. BENTON said, the same subject had been frequently before the Senate, and had, during the last session, he believed, passed this body, and been sent to the other House. The facts had often been exposed to the consideration of the Senate, and of committees, and very elaborate reports had been made, filling several hundred pages, of their proceedings. This bill did not apply to the lead mines of the Upper Missouri, but was confined to those within the bounds of the State of Missouri. Those upon the Upper Missouri were first discovered about the year 1720, and had been worked from that time to the present; but the mines in Missouri had been, for a long time, unworked; the land had been but scratched over, or had been dug some fifteen or twenty feet. The mines in Missouri were very little profit to any body, and reports from that section stated, that very little was received from them; they were neither profitable nor desirable property to the Federal Government. This bill barely authorized them to be offered for sale; it did not order their sale; there was no coercion on the contrary, the notice of the sale was not of the ordinary kind. Public notice was to be given in every State in the Union, in some newspaper, six months before the sale. It was five and twenty years since Louisiana came into the possession of the United States, and it was five and twenty years since these mines were discovered: an early law of Louisiana provided for the reservation of certain of these lands, so that they could not be sold. He thought it time to have them explored, and made productive. He did not see why the gentleman from North Carolina opposed the bill, and wished to
Mr. NOBLE said, he did not wish to intrude: but we had all to answer for our sins, and he presumed we should all have to do it on the same plan. The resolution had not yet been referred to a Committee. He thought it should take that course, and he would move its reference to the Committee on the Judiciary. If it did not go to that Committee, he should be in favor of referring it to the Committee on the Contingent Expenses of the Senate. It would then come under the eye of the intelligent gentleman from Illinois, (Mr. KANE) who, from his remarks to-day, had evidently given his attention to the subject. If in order, he would move that the resolution and amendment be re-stretch the sceptre of barrenness over the whole of the ferred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
The question being taken on referring the subject to the Committee on the Judiciary, it was determined in the negative.
Mr. NOBLE said he would make another motion, and that was, to refer the matter to the Committee on the Contingent Expenses of the Senate. He begged leave to say that he had no object in view, but to get at the merits of the case. If he was now called upon to vote, he might do it in the dark. He hoped the Senate would agree with him as to the necessity of a reference.
The motion of Mr. NOBLE was decided in the negative. Mr. JOHNSTON, of Louisiana, said he was satisfied that the Senate had the right to elect its own officers, in its own way, and without the concurrence of the other House. He was in favor of the resolution, as offered by the gentleman from Tennessee, but thought it did not go far enough.
State of Missouri. The Government would be no loser by the sale; and, if no advantages were to accrue to the Government of the United States, or to any body else, by keeping the mineral country of Missouri in a state of barrenness, why should the bill be opposed?
Mr. BRANCH replied, that it was generally conceded, that, where authority was given to the President of the United States, or to any of the Departments, that it was equivalent to saying that the power might be exercised; and, although the authority given by this bill was discre tionary, only, he conceived that it would, in fact, be peremptory; for, if the President of the United States had liberty to dispose of these lands, he would be importuned by speculators until he had thrown the whole into the mar ket. And why should they force the sale of what it was not necessary to sell, and why should the State of Missouri be so anxious to have them disposed of? Is not this the
wealth of the country? Is not this the general treasure, purchased by the public money? Is Missouri alone interested in these lead mines? No, sir, this is the public property. He would ask the honorable senator, if the mines belonged to the State of Missouri, whether he would be so willing to throw them into the market now? Would he not keep them until there was a demand for them? Would he not wait until a more propitious period? He [Mr B.] thought he would.
Mr. BARTON said, the Senate must be well acquainted with the fact, that, at the time the State of Louisiana was purchased, the Missouri mines were but little known, and that the general idea was, that they were immensely valuable. Among the first laws passed by the State of Louisiana, was one making large reservations of land, in the neighborhood of these mines. Since that time, much more was known of the mines than at that early period. It was now known, that almost the whole of the southern part of | the State of Missouri, which was a broken and poor country, was a mineral country. It was also known, that the
which had been reported by the Committee on the Public Lands, and stated that the question would be upon the amendment; which was explained by Mr. BARTON.
Mr. BENTON then replied, that very ample reports had been made, both by Government agents and others. The United States appointed an agent there, many years ago, with a salary of $1,500 dollars per annum, who had examined the country; and reports had also been made by persons who had been a long time resident in that country. As it was early in the session, he was willing the bill should lie over, that the gentleman might examine the reports on the subject.
The question being taken on the amendment proposed by the committee, it was adopted, and the bill was then ordered to be engrossed for a third reading. Adjourned to Monday.
MONDAY, DEC. 22, 1828.
The Senate was principally occupied this day in discussing a bill for the relief of Susan Decatur et al.
TUESDAY, DEC. 23, 1828.
COMMERCE OF THE WEST.
A bill allowing duties on foreign merchandise, imported into Louisville, Pittsburg, Cincinnati, and St. Louis, to be secured and paid at those places," was taken up and considered.
Mr. WOODBURY (Chairman of the Committee on Commerce) said, this was the same bill which had been before that committee, and passed the Senate, at its last session, but was not acted upon in the House of Representatives. Full security was afforded to the public, by its provisions, that the duties would be paid; and, as the convenience of the merchants of the Western country would be promoted, and the public lose nothing by the proposed arrangement, he saw no obstacle to the passage of the bill.
Mr. MARKS said, he recollected that, two sessions since, he had presented a memorial from the merchants of Pittsburg, praying that that place might be made a port of entry. Since that time, he had understood that the citizens of Pittsburg did not require the passage of a law on the subject; they were altogether indifferent to its passage, and he was not certain whether they would approve of it. He merely rose to give the Senate this information. It was altogether immaterial to him what order the Senate took upon the bill.
most valuable lead mines in the United States were north of the State of Missouri. The Spanish lead mine was there, and the whole of the valuable mineral country was in a triangle, made by the boundary line of Missouri and the Mississippi river. It was necessary for the United States to cover this country with tenantry, and their mines were almost inexhaustible. The whole of this other country had been examined, and people were anxious to work it. The mining business was known to be extremely uncertain, and it was also extremely fascinating; it was something like gambling, exciting high hopes, which were frequently not realized. Under the present United States' laws, several cases had occurred in which lands had been sold to individuals, and lead ore afterwards being discovered upon the lands, the patents were withheld. Now the Government did not want these lands; they had already inexhaustible stores in the Spanish mine, the Fever river lead mines, in the State of Illinois, and upon the east and west sides of the Mississippi. The project of this bill was not to force the sale. The gentleman from North Carolina had supposed, that, because the Government could dispose of them, they must necessarily; but it did not follow; the President of the United States might have firmness enough to resist improper importunities. He would state a case of the difficulty of which he had complained. In the village of Belle Vue, a tract of land had been sold by the Government to an individual as long ago as the year 1806; lately, ore has been discovered, not upon his tract, but in the neighborhood of it, in another part of the town, Mr. WOODBURY said, the gentleman from Pennsylvain consequence of which his patent had been withdrawn. nia had not, certainly, paid attention to the provisions of Under this state of things, in the course of time, almost the bill. He would state, for his information, that the bill the whole State of Missouri will be reserved, and withheld did not provide for the establishment of ports of entry: from sale, and subject to this system. The mines on the it was not the intention of the committee to make such a Upper Missouri, and north of the State, were so much provision. It was at first contemplated; but, for himself, more valuable, and, as they were worked, the settlers and he was against it. The bill provides merely that the dulaborers had left the State of Missouri and gone up to ties on goods to be imported into Louisville, &c. shall be them. This bill only abolished the law of reservation and secured to be paid at those places: the bonds will then be restriction, which had been found to be extremely injurious sent to New Orleans, and paid at such places as the colto that country, and which must ultimately be the ruin of it. lector of that port might direct. While on the floor, he Mr. CHANDLER observed, that, as the gentlemen would state, that an amendment had been made to the bill, from Missouri must know more of the subject than they at the last session, which was not contained in it as introwho lived at a greater distance, he would ask them if this duced by the senator from Missouri, viz. to include land had ever been surveyed by authority of the Govern- "Nashville, in the State of Tennessee," as one of the ment, and whether there were any reports upon the sub-places at which, also, duties on foreign merchandise might ject; if so, he should like to see them, that he might have some more information, and make up his mind-as it might be advisable to sell all these lands, or it might be better to sell only a part. There were always many speculators about a new country, and, as the gentleman from North Carolina very justly observed, if the President once had the liberty, he would be constantly importuned until he had thrown the whole of them into the market.
The PRESIDENT here read an amendment to the bill,
be secured to be paid. For the purpose of extending
Mr. MARKS explained, that he had not paid attention to the provisions of the bill, and repeated, it was immaterial to him whether it passed or no.
Mr. BENTON stated, that the object of the bill was to give facilities to those persons in the Western country