« 이전계속 »
The question being put on Mr. C's amendment, it was agreed to, nem. con.
Mr. MACON said, he still thought that, instead of referring to the Committee separate and distinct propositions, it would be better to commit the whole subject of the election of President and Vice President of the United States, that the Committee might devise and report such plan as they should think best to avoid the existing evils, and secure the benefits which were deemed desirable in the mode of electing those officers. He therefore moved the following as a substitute for the resolution, and the several amendments already adopted, viz:
"That a Select Committee be appointed, who shall inquire into the expediency of so amending the Constitution, in the election of President and Vice President of the United States, as to attain the best, most preferable, and safest mode in regard to such elections."
After some conversation as to the expediency of this general reference, in preference to the propositions previously offered, between Mesrss. HOLMES, MACON, JOHNSON, of Ky, and COBB,
Mr. MACON'S motion was agreed to, and his amendment adopted.
[DEC. 19, 20, 1825.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 20, 1825.
"Resolved, That Congress does not possess the power to make Roads and Canals within the respective States. Resolved, That a select committee be appointed, with instructions to prepare and report a Joint Resolution, for an amendment of the Constitution, prescribing and defining the power Congress shall have over the subject of Internal Improvements, and subjecting the same to such restrictions as shall effectually protect the sovereignty of the respective States, and secure to them a just distribution of the benefits resulting from all appropriations made for that purpose."
In introducing these resolutions
Mr. VAN BUREN said, that it would be recollected Mr. VAN BUREN then said, that this was a subject on that he had, some days since, given notice of his intenwhich great diversity of opinion had existed, as was mani-tion to ask for leave to introduce a joint resolution, profested both at the last session, and at the present, by the number of propositions that had been offered. It was from this consideration that he thought a larger number should compose the Committee to whom the subject was now to be referred, than was usual, and, therefore, he should move that nine be appointed.
That number was agreed to.
Mr. DICKERSON gave notice that he should to-morrow ask leave to introduce a resolution for so amending the Constitution as to limit the term for which one person should be eligible for the office of President of the United
The Senate adjourned to Monday.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 19, 1825. Agreeably to notice, Mr. DICKERSON asked, and ing obtained leave, introduced the following resolution; which was read and passed to a second reading:
Ressolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, twothirds of both Houses concurring, That the following amendment to the Constitution of the United States be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States; and which, when ratified by the Legislatures of three-fourths of the States, shall be valid, to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution:
posing an amendment of the Constitution on the subject of the power of Congress over the subject of Internal Improvements. Upon the suggestion of gentlemen who feel an interest in the subject, and think the principal object can, in that way, be better effected, he had consented so far to change the course originally contemplated, by substituting resolutions expressive of the sense of the Senate on the Constitution, as it now is, and proposing the appointment of a select committee to report upon the subject, under such instruction as the Senate may think proper to give. Such resolutions he would now take the liberty of submitting. He did not, of course, wish to press their immediate consideration, but would call them up at as early a day as would comport with the state of public business and the ordinary course of prohav-ceeding in the Senate. He hoped he would be excused for expressing an earnest wish that the conceded importance of the subject would induce gentlemen to turn their attention to it as soon as they conveniently could, to the end that, when it was taken up, it might be carried to a speedy decision, and not exposed to those unprofitable delays and postponements which had heretofore attended measures of a similar character, and ultimately prevented an expression of the sense of the Senate on their merits. He deceived himself, if there was any matter in which, at this moment, their constituents felt a more intense interest, than the question of the rightful and probable agency of the General Government in the great work of Internal Improvement. Whilst, in the States, measures of that description had been harmonious in their progress, and, as far as the means of the States would admit of, successful in their results, the condition of things here had been of a very different character. From the first agitation of the subject, the constitutional power of Congress to legislate upon the subject had been a source of unbroken, and, frequently, angry and unpleasant controversy. The time, he said, had never yet been, when all the branches of the Legislative Department were of the same opinion upon the question. Even those who united in the sentiment as to the existence of the power, differed in almost every thing else in regard to it. Of its particular source in the Constitution, its extent and attributes, very different views were entertained by its friends. There had not been any thing in the experience of the past, nor was there any thing in the prospect of the future, on which a reasonable hope could be founded, that this great subject could ever be satisfactorily adjusted by any means short of an appeal to the States. The intimate
"No person who shall have been elected President of the United States a second time, shall again be eligible
to that office."
Mr. WOODBURY submitted the following resolution for consideration:
"Resolved, That the Committee on the Public Lands be instructed to inquire into the expediency of requesting the President of the United States to cause to be published a detailed statement of the names, rank, and line, in the continental army, of such persons as have not applied for the revolutionary land warrants issued, and remaining for them in the Bounty Land Office; and of such other persons as appear on the records of said Office, now entitled to have revolutionary land warrants issued to them."
Mr. COBB submitted the following resolution: "Resolved, That the Committee appointed on Thursday last to inquire into the expediency of amending the Constitution of the United States, in relation to the mode of electing the President and Vice President, be further instructed to inquire into the expediency of so amending the Constitation as to prohibit the appointment of any
connexion between the prosperity of the country and works of the description referred to, would always induce efforts to induce the General Government to embark in them, and there was but little reason to believe that its claim of power would ever be abandoned. As little reason was there, in his judgment, to expect that the opposition to it would ever be given up. The principles upon which that opposition is founded; the zeal and fidelity with which it has hitherto been sustained, preclude such an expectation. If this view of the subject was a correct one, and it appeared to him that it was, he respectfully submitted it as a matter of imperious duty, on the part of Congress, to make a determined effort to have the question settled in the only way which can be final-an amendment of the Constitution, prescribing and defining what Congress may, and what they shall not do, with the restrictions under which what is allowed to them shall be done. It appeared to him that, not only every interest connected with the subject, but the credit, if not safety, of our enviable political institutions, required that course; for it must be evident to all reflecting men, that the reiterated complaints of constitutional infraction must tend to relax the confidence of the People in the Government, and that such measures as may be undertaken upon the subject must be constantly exposed to peril from the fluctuations of the opinion of successive Legislatures. The subject, he said, had been viewed in this light by some of the best and ablest men the country has produced. As early as 1808, the propriety of an appeal to the States upon the point in question, had been suggested by Mr. Jefferson, in his last message to Congress. The same course had been recommended by Mr. Madison, and the recommendation repeated by Mr. Monroe.
Mr. WOODBURY remarked, that as the gentleman from Alabama had made no motion to enforce his views, the question was upon the adoption of the resolution in its present shape. On that point he would add only a few words to what his friend from Massachusetts had kindly suggested in support of its objects. If the right to these land warrants was unquestionable and the right was of a character to be treated with favor, and the mode of aiding it contemplated by the resolution would tend to enforce rather than defeat the right-the resolu tion would doubtless pass. As to the right, Congress, in September, 1776, conferred, for a bounty, one hundred acres of land on every soldier enlisting and serving during the war. More than 2,000 persons, entitled to this bounty, had never received their warrants: and, by a report from the Bounty Land Office, in November last, more than fifty warrants had actually been made out by Generals Knox and Dearborn, which still remained on file. A large tract of country, called the United States' Military Tract, had been appropriated to answer the warrants; and the statutes of limitations had, from time to time, been extended so as not to bar the proprietors. The right, then, in the first instance, was clearly established; and if any right was entitled to peculiar favor, it was a right purchased like this-by sufferings and sacrifices-by losses, toil, and blood, in one of the most holy wars on record. It was due to the memory of our fathers, that their intentions to the soldiers of the revolution should, if possible, be carried into complete effect; and where the original proprietor did not survive to receive the reward of his fidelity in the hour of peril and tribulation, it should be hastened to his children, who, in many instances, had performed our duty in smoothing the downhill of life to As yet, no decided effort to effect this great object had the saviours of their country. The mode suggested by been made; he permitted himself to hope that such ef- the resolution would, probably, on inquiry, be thought the fort would now be made. It was true, he said, the sub- best one to effect this object. Some had not applied for ject had not been referred to by the present Executive, their warrants from ignorance-others from forgetfulness and the reasons why he had not done so, were apparent, some had failed to get them from accident-and others, from the communications he has made to us. From those, because, by infirmities and age, they had so speedily been it appeared that the President entertained opinions, as to summoned to pass that bourne whence no traveller rethe power of Congress, which removed all difficulties turns. But a publicity, as wi le as that given to our laws, upon the subject. But, Mr. V. B. said, that, although of the names, rank, and line, of those entitled to the warthat circumstance might possibly diminish, it certainly did rants, would remove most of these difficulties. Speculanot obviate the necessity of now acting upon the subject, tors, it had been suggested, would also profit by this pubas the Senate were not left to conjecture as to the fact, licity, and, in some cases, defraud the real owners: but that there existed a discordance of opinion between the the opportunity for them to defraud would then be less. Executive and portions, at least-how large time would They are now more active and better informed on those shew-of the other branches of the Legislative Depart-points than the owners-such publicity would place the ment. Mr. V. B. said, that, entertaining such views owners, and their friends, on an equal footing with the upon the subject, he had felt it his duty to bring the sub-land-jobber. And, in addition to this, the owners, and the ject thus early before the Senate, and when the proper people at large, had as good a right to this information as period for discussion arrived, would avail himself of their their officers had. It was no State or Cabinet secret. indulgence to assign his reasons for the course proposed. was public property in a Government like ours; and this was an age, he trusted, of too much intelligence, for The resolution submitted yesterday, by Mr. WOOD-gentlemen seriously to argue against information and BURY, relating to Bounty Lands, was taken up. Some knowledge, because they might, in some instances, be discussion took place between Messrs. KING, BARTON, abused. This was a resolution or inquiry merely, and if and EATON, as to the best mode of proceeding in the any mode, more acceptable and efficient, could be devised case, and the most eligible committee for the reference of by the Committee to enforce the same object, he would, very cheerfully, acquiesce in it.
REVOLUTIONARY BOUNTY LANDS.
Mr. LLOYD, of Massachusetts, observed, that the course Mr. MACON said he had his doubts as to the beneficial pursued by the gentleman from New Hampshire, (Mr. effects proposed to be derived from the resolution. It WOODBURY,) was the correct and proper one on this oc- appeared to him, that, instead of preventing speculation, casion; he had no doubt there are many meritorious offi- it would encourage speculators to ride over the country, cers and soldiers of the Revolutionary army, still living, buying up these claims. In early life, in Congress, Mr. and the descendants of many who are dead, that are en- M. said he remembered there was one question that bortitled to the Bounty Lands, promised by Government, dered on this: it was, to get the statute of limitation suswho have not applied, from ignorance of their claims.pended for revolutionary services. Speculators went out The object of the proposition of the gentleman from New Hampshire was, to inform them of their rights. This subject, Mr. L. said, had been pending for nearly thirty years, and ought to be brought to a close; he hoped, therefore, the resolution would be adopted.
and administered all over the Union, on the property of persons having claims, and, in one case, two administrators came forward upon the same estate, and the man himself the original claimant, upon whose estate they pretended to have administered, came afterwards. He was thought
an imposter-but his Captain happened to be in Philadelphia, to prove his right, and the man received his claim. Publishing these names, Mr. M said, would be to set all the speculators abroad throughout the nation. If the law had expired, allowing these people time to obtain their warrants, he would submit whether it would not be better to revive it, that they might get their warrants, without any speculations on the subject.
[DEC. 20, 27, 1825.
On motion, it was ordered, that this letter be printed for the use of the Senate; and that it be referred to the Committee on Naval Affairs.
NAVIGATION OF THE OHIO RIVER.
The resolution submitted by Mr. EATON, calling for information relative to the removal of obstructions in the Ohio River, was then taken up.
Mr. HOLMES, of Maine, thought that, at present, all Mr. EATON said, the object of the resolution could be the advantage was on the side of the speculators; but, if stated in a very few words. Last year, $70,000 were apthe names were published, there would be something like propriated for the removal of the obstructions in the Ohio an equal chance. He knew of some speculators who and Mississippi Rivers. That portion of this fund which had been riding about the country, informing these claim- had been already applied to the purpose, so far from proants that they could obtain these land warrants for them.ducing a beneficial effect, had, he was assured from vaIf the information were distributed throughout the coun-rious sources, done considerable injury. His object was, try, it would be understood that the best way would be therefore, to obtain information as to the manner in which for the claimants to apply to their members of Congress, the undertakers have proceeded, that some means might who would charge them nothing for obtaining them. be adopted to avoid similar error for the future. SomeMr. RUGGLES thought it was desirable that some thing might be done to afford safety to the commerce of measures should be adopted to bring this business to a that part of the country. There are, Mr. E. said, between close. In consequence of these warrants being outstand- one and two hundred steamboats plying on those rivers, a ing, there was land in the State of Ohio, which could not large capital is invested in them, and the commerce carbe sold, or brought into use, and it was highly important ried on is to such an extent as to render it highly necessato that section of the country, that those who were enti-ry that it should be cherished and protected. tled to those warrants should not remain in ignorance of their rights. He suggested whether it would not be more advisable to lay the resolution on the table, till some mode should be devised that would be of service to the old soldier, without benefitting the speculator. He would, he said, unite in any motion by which Congress might satisfy these claims, and let the land in the State, which should remain unclaimed, be sold.
Mr. WOODBURY said he should have no objection to the resolution's being laid on the table, if delay would throw any light on the subject; but, as it was only for an inquiry into the expediency of the measure, he thought it would be as well that the resolve should be acted on
After some further observations from Mr. LLOYD, of Massachusetts. to shew that there was no danger of speculation in this matter, as the laws now stand-and an ineffectual motion, by Mr. EATON, to lay the resolution on the table, it was adopted.
On motion of Mr. ROBBINS, it was
Resolved, That so much of the President's Message as relates to a National University, be referred to a Select Committee, to consist of members; that said committee be instructed to report upon the expediency of such an institution; and, if deemed by them expedient, to report the principles on which it ought to be established: and a plan of organization that will embody those principles.
The Senate adjourned to Thursday.
THURSDAY, DEC. 22, 1825.
The Senate met, but no business of consequence being matured so as be acted upon, adjourned over to Monday.
MONDAY, DEC. 26, 1825.
Mr. HARRISON said this subject was one of vital importance to the Western country, and he was gratified that the gentleman had turned his attention to it; but he thought the Memorial he had this morning presented superseded the necessity of the resolution. The object of the persons who signed that memorial was the same as that contained in the resolution of the honorable gentleman; but, as it would do no harm, he should be willing that the memorial and the resolution should both be referred. Mr. H. said that no blame could be attached to the Secretary of War on this occasion, as he had framed the contract which he had entered into for that purpose, in strict conformity to the law under which he acted. It was also understood that the contractor would attempt to shelter himself under the plea of having literally performed depend upon the construction to be given to the law his duty as enjoined by the contract. It would, therefore, whether the injury that had been done was attributable to the terms in which it was expressed, or to the contractor.
Mr. JOHNSON, of Kentucky, thought it his duty to state that he was well acquainted with the contractor, who had formerly had a seat in the Legislature of Kentucky, and who had sustained a very high reputation. He had always thought him a man of most honorable character, and he therefore hoped, that, when the subject came to be investigated, it would be found that the rumours that have been circulated, to his discredit, were entirely
Mr. EATON said he was not in possession of any facts on which to ground an accusation, and he had made none. The application before the Senate merely asked for inforand executed. with all its attendant circumstances, that mation as to the manner in which the contract was made whatever Congress thought necessary on this subject should be done, with a view to the objects of the appropriation-which was, to remove the various obstructions
The Senate met, but no business of importance came to the navigation of the river. To show how improperly up this day.
TUESDAY, DEC. 27, 1825.
The VICE PRESIDENT communicated a letter from David Porter, a Captain in the Navy of the United States, and late commander of the Squadron on the West India Station for the Suppression of Piracy, requesting that the subject of certain communications from Thomas Randall and John Mountain, communicated to the Senate at the last session, and which he deems highly injurious to the character of himself, and the other officers of the Squadron, may be investigated, and a decision pronounced thereon; and,
the contract had been executed, Mr. E. adverted to the fact, that the very snag on which a steamboat had struck, and which had occasioned the death of forty of our citizens, now lies in the bed of the river, within a quarter of a mile of its original position.
Mr. HARRISON said the only question to be examined as to execution of the contract, was, whether the contractor had fulfilled his engagements or not. If there was a defect in the law, then no blame could possibly attach either to the contractor or to the War Department. Mr. H. said he was well aware, from information he had received, that much injury had been done to the navigation of the Ohio, from the application of a portion of the ap
DEC. 28, 29, 1825.]
Navigation of the Ohio River-Florida Wreckers.
propriation. So far, he agreed with the honorable gen-
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 28, 1825.
The Senate proceeded to the consideration of a resolution, submitted yesterday, by Mr. JOHNSTON, of Louisiana, calling for an inquiry into the law of the Territorial Government of Florida, relating to wrecks.
Mr. MILLS said he should be obliged to the honorable mover if he would point out some source from which the Judiciary Committee might derive the necessary information: it would be desirable, if it could be procured, that the law of Florida referred to in the resolution now under consideration, should be laid before them, that they might know what it was; but, as the resolution now stands, it would be impossible for them to ascertain from what source they were to procure the information required.
Whole, to consider the bill “ supplementary to an act for enrolling or licensing ships or vessels to be employed in the Coasting Trade and Fisheries, and for regulating the same." Mr. HOLMES said, that, since that bill had been reported, it had been thought necessary to make some further provisions in it in regard to the Coasting Trade in another part of the United States. In the year 1820, the act was passed, to which this is an addition, dividing the United States, or the shores of the United States, into two large Districts: one beginning at Passamaquoddy, and extending to St. Mary's; the other commencing at the Perdido, and extending to the Western Shore of the United States in the Gulf of Mexico. This act was passed before Florida was ceded to the United States, and, if it is not provided for in the act regulating the Territorial Government of Florida, Florida is not included in either of the two Districts. It would, therefore, he said, be probably necessary to alter the Districts, or to make a provision including Florida in one or the other, or both of them: to accomplish this purpose, therefore, he moved to postpone the further consideration of the bill to Monday next; which motion prevailed.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 29, 1825.
Mr. JOHNSTON, of Louisiana, said, the gentleman was Mr. HAYNE rose, and said, that, in obedience to a reaware that it was the business of the Governors of Terri- solution of the Senate, the Secretary of the Navy had tories to forward copies of the laws of the Territories, to transmitted to the Senate the proceedings of the Court of undergo the supervision of Congress, and that they would Inquiry, and of the Court Martial, on Commodore Porter. remain in force, unless disapproved. The resolution he Since this report had been made, the Commodore had had submitted, called the attention of the Judiciary Com-addressed a letter to the presiding officer of the Senate, mittee to the laws of the Territory of Florida, particularly which had been referred to the Committee on Naval Afto the law relating to wrecks. These laws had doubtless fairs. That the committee might have the whole subbeen transmitted to the proper Department, to be laid be- ject before them, Mr. H. moved that the letter of the fore Congress; and the committee, by applying, could Secretary of the Navy, and proceedings of the Court of otain them. Mr. J. said he had handed to the Chairman Inquiry and Court Martial, be referred to the same comof the committee some letters and publications relative to mittee. this subject, from which it appeared that great abuses Mr. LLOYD of Massachusetts, said he thought it neexisted. The act of Congress, passed last session, requires cessary to state to the Senate the circumstances under that the whole amount of property wrecked should be which he had become connected with this subject. A carried into the ports of the United States. He understood few days after his arrival at Washington, Commodore Porthat a very summary process had been instituted at Key ter called on him, and handed him a letter, requesting he West, by which all property that was wrecked, was de- would move a call for the proceedings of the Court of Incided by four or five individuals, who were perhaps inter-quiry, which was held on him and his officers, who had ested in the event-a large property has been condemned, and a salvage of from 70 to 90 per cent. allowed. Mr. J. then adverted to the immense amount of commerce which passed through the Gulf of Mexico, and to the heavy losses that are every month sustained by casualties; and stated the fact, that, in the month of September last, no less than ten vessels were lost on that coast. Mr. J. said this had been a great subject of complaint, from our own eitizens, particularly from the Insurance Companies; and he had a knowledge that two of the Foreign Governments had applied to this Government for redress, stating, that the abuse is so enormous, it is worse than piracy If the lays had not been transmitted from the Territory, Mr. J. said he had not the means of obtaining them; and he could not tell how the Judiciary Committee would act on the subject.
charge of the squadron on the West India Station, in the year 1823 and 1824. From the good disposition which he felt to all the gallant officers of the Navy, and certainly the distinguished hero of Valpariso was one of them, he said he had no objection to the call being made, although he was not in possession of the circumstances of the case. In consequence of this, Mr. L. said, as he had no views of his own to answer, he thought it proper to ascertain whether the call was ready to be complied with, and, in prosecuting this inquiry, he found that the proceedings of the Court of Inquiry and of the Court Martial had been printed, and bound up together in one volume, of which there was a considerable number with the Navy Department, ready to answer the call of either House of Congress. In consequence of this, Mr. L. stated these facts to Commodore Porter, who assented to the resolution's being presented in the shape in which it passed the Senate. Some days after this, Commodore Porter asked him what measures he intended to adopt, with regard to the communication from the Navy Department: that communication had not then been received, and Mr. L. said he knew nothing more of the subject than was contained in a pamphlet the Commodore had sent him, and what he had collected from the newspapers; and until the communication from the Navy Department had been received, and he was better acquainted with the subject, he did not think it consistent with the decorum due to the Senate to adopt any further measures in referThe resolution was then agreed to. ence to it. His object, he said, was answered, by obtainThe Senate then proceeded, as in Committee of the ing the communication from the Navy Department, and
Mr. HOLMES, of Maine, said he recollected one instance of this kind which had been referred to the Judiciary Committee, who made application and obtained the Act of Florida from the Department of State. A bill was reported by that committee to repeal certain acts of the Territory of Florida in regard to unreasonable taxes imposed. That bill passed both Houses of Congress: he-recollected that case distinctly, and he believed that the act regulating the Government of Florida required that copies of the laws should be transmitted, to be laid before Cóngress, who possessed the power of revising all the laws of the Territories.
Import of Wines-Bonds of Public Officers.
[DEC. 30, 1825. Jan. 3, 4, 1826.
having it laid before the Senate. Another reason which BONDS OF PUBLIC OFFICERS. had induced him not to come to any determination on the subject, was this-he had seen that, when a similar mo- Whole, to the consideration of the bill "to provide for The Senate then proceeded, as in Committee of the tion was made, in the other House, it was stated there the security of public money in the hands of Clerks of was other information connected with the case, which he believed had been ordered to be furnished; and wish-Courts, Attorneys, and Marshals, and their Deputies."
to know what that might contain, he had determined not
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 30, 1825.
should not be required, by the bill, to give bond, as well Mr. CHANDLER inquired why the Attorney General as the District Attorneys.
Mr. HOLMES said, the same query had been suggestdocu-trict Attorneys are Receivers of Public Moneys, though ed to him by several members of the Senate. The Disnot recognized as such by the Treasury Department; and one of the principal objects of the bill, is, that they should give bond for money coming into their hands. Mr. H.
No business of consequence was transacted this day, said he could refer to cases to show that they are, and and the Senate adjourned over to Tuesday.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 3, 1826.
The VICE PRESIDENT communicated a letter from Thomas Randall, one of the persons mentioned in Commodore Porter's communication to the Senate of the 27th ult. enclosing a copy of the printed publication alluded to by the Commodore, and commenting upon the character and objects of that communication, and requesting that this letter, with the paper enclosed, be printed and referred to the same committee to which the letter of Commo-it dore Porter has been referred.
On motion of Mr. SMITH, the letter and paper enclosed were referred to the Committee on Naval Affairs.
IMPORT OF WINES.
must necessarily be Receivers of the Public Money in the execution of their duty; and as this was the case, and there had been public defaulters amongst them, it was necessary to guard against it. Such is the difference of practice in the different States of the Union, that, though in some of them the Attorney has little to do with the collection of the public money, in others he does almost every thing: he issues the writ, he receives the return of it in his office, he enters the suit, gets a judgment, and takes out execution, and perhaps, if the money is likely soon to be paid, he keeps in his office without giving it to the Marshal; and as such is the practice in many of the States, it is necessary he should give bond. Mr. H. said, he was not sure but the bill might, with propriety, be so amended, as to include the Attorney General, though he was not prepared to say, at present, that such a provision was proper. He should, therefore, move that the bill be postponed and made the order of the day for Thursday next, that the Judiciary Committee might direct an amendment to th bill, without its being referred back to that committee which motion prevailed.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 4, 1826.
The Senate proceeded, as in Committee of the Whole, to consider the bill "to provide for the seizure and sale of property brought into the United States, in violation of the revenue laws, in certain cases ;" and the blanks having been filled,
Mr. LLOYD, of Massachusetts, rose, and said that a communication had been laid on the table this morning, from the Treasury Department, relative to the quantity of Wines imported into the United States since the year 1800. Mr. L. said that the object of procuring the information from the Treasury Department, in answer to The bill from the House, making appropriation for the the call, that had been made for it, was to lead to an inves-payment of the Revolutionary and other Pensioners of the tigation, as to the expediency of endeavoring to restore a United States, was taken up, as in Committee of the trade to the United States, which had formerly been one Whole, and, no amendment having been offered, was orof much advantage, but which in some of its branches, dered to a third reading. from the heavy rate of duties imposed on it, had of late years been greatly diminished. This could be done, as he apprehended, only by a reduction of the rate of the existing high duties on the importation of certain Wines. The Secretary of the Treasury, in his Annual Report, had suggested the propriety of reducing the rates of duty on Teas, Coffee, and Cocoa, and, as he believed, had wisely done it; but all the reasons in favor of such a reduction, applied as strongly at least to the importation of Mr. HOLMES rose, and said that the object of this Wines. The trade with the wine-growing countries had bill is to prevent the expense attending small seizures. formerly been more strictly a barter-trade than almost any It had been the case, especially on the frontiers, that the other enjoyed by the United States; the wines were re-seizures which had been made had almost always been ceived in return for the shipment of our domestic pro- made in small packages, of small value, and as it is necesducts-the flour, corn, staves, and provisions of the coun- sary to libel them in the District Courts of the United try-whereas the trade in teas, and in coffee, so far as it States, the expenses of adjudication, in many instances, was received from Java, Sumatra, and Arabia, was prose-swallowed up all the profit, and there is consequently no cuted with specie; and although he had no alarms res-inducement for the collector to make the seizure. pecting the exportation of specie, believing that, in a time of peace at any rate, and in an open market, the supply would be generally equal to the demand; yet, as he did consider a trade which was commenced by the exportation of our own domestic products, and which gave two freights to our vessels instead of one, was equally worthy of consideration, he had moved for the information which had been given; and, as he understood the Committee of Finance had under consideration the subject of a reduction of duties on importations, he would move the reference of the statement received from the Treasury Department to that committee, to consider
The reference to the Committee of Finance was then agreed to.
the alteration in the law proposed by the present bill, if any small packages are seized that have been illegally introduced into the United States, and in the opinion of the collector they do not amount to more than $200 value, he may proceed to obtain a forfeiture, by advertising for eight weeks in the newspapers, and if no person appear, the property shall be sold; but, to guard against any accident, as persons may have sent packages from abroяa which may not have been illegally introduced, there is a provision in the law that the proceeds of the sales shall be placed in the Treasury of the United States, and remain there a year, to the end that any person claiming the property may enter his claim as if no sale had been made
The bill was then ordered to be engrossed for a third reading.