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Mar 30, 1836.)

Decision of the Chair.

[H. Or R.

rule--for abolishing that wbich existed, and making a course which has been pursued is a substantial surrender a new one-but surely it cannot justify the Speaker or of the rights and security from atlack of the Southern the House in violating the existing rule, or giving a con- country on that subject. The outworks of our detences struction to it in direct opposition to its letter and spirit, bave been given up to the abolitionists, and the door is and to the practice of the House on a former occasion. left open through which, one day or other, the citadel itThis argument, if it must be called an argument, pro self will, I fear, be dangerously assailed. But the major. ceeds upon the assumption that there are, or may be, ity thought otherwise. I make no imputation upon members in this House factious enough, or foolish enough, their motives; time will show whose course was most or vile enough, to raise question after question, and to wise. And as to the particular imputation, that I wished, hang one question upon another, for no other purpose by voting against the decision of the Chair, to reopen than to prevent a decision. If such a temper existed the question, to keep up excitement, it is shown to be wan. with any number of members, or even any one member, tonly and shamefully gratuitous by the fact that, on the you cannot prevent such a result by your decision. I will very day when that question was taken, I made two disprove to you, and in a way which you cannot deny, that, tinct motions for the express purpose of disposing of the if there be one single member who is wicked and factious subject, and ending it finally on that day. First, I enough to pursue such a course, he can prevent you from moved to suspend the rules to go on with it when the taking the question, even after the previous question has orders of the day were called; and afterwards, when a been ordered; and this, too, only by making motions, gentleman from New York had made a molion which which are undoubtedly in order, from day to day until would only bave postponed the questions as to these the end of the session. Suppose the previous question gentlemen who had declined voting for a few days, I ordered: the member gets up and moves that the House | asked him to yield me the floor for the purpose of move adjourn; you must put the question; it is decided against ing a postponement until the 1st day of August-in other him; he then moves a call of the House, which he has words, an indefinite postponement. a right to do, as solemnly setiled by the House last ses. Thus it is that the motives and conduct of members on sion; it is decided against him. He then moves to lay the this floor may be misrepresented and perverted by those subject on the table, which you have repeatedly admitted who are under no restraint from either truth or decency.* this session to be in order; it is decided against him. He The SPEAKER stated the grounds of his decision to then moves again to adjourn, and goes through the same the House, substantially to the following effect: circle of questions ad infinitum. You cannot prevent In giving his decision on a former day, when the same him as long as the rules remain unchanged, and he re- question of construction of the rules, now raised, was mains a member. All the motions I have stated are first brought to the notice of the House, he had stated a clearly in order; how long they will be allowed to re- case which might arise, as an illustration of what would main so, God only knows. It is as easy to repeal them be the practical operation of the rules, under a contrary by a decision of the Chair as it has been to repeal the decision from that which he bad given. The case sup. right to debate questions of order, or the rule which posed, for the purpose of illustration merely, was not ap. requires every member to vote unless excused. None of our rules are framed upon the presumption of there * On the question, “Shall the decision of the Chair being members disposed so grossly to abuse their privi- stand as the judgment of the House!" those who voted leges. And the possibility of such abuse, or the actual in the affirmative arefact of abuse, can never justify you in depriving a mem- Messrs. Anthony, Barton, Bean, Bockee, Boon, Boul. ber of rights secured to him by the existing rules, though din, Bovee, Briggs, Brown, Buchanan, Burns, W. B. you may change the rule or punish the member for shame. Calhoun, Carr, Casey, Chaney, N. H. Claiborne, Clevefully annoying the House under a perverled use of his land, Coles, Connor, Craig, Cramer, Cusbing, Cushman, privileges. Sir, this notion about a few members being Beberry, Dickerson, Doubleday, Dromgoole, Fairfield, able to prevent a decision being a reason in support of Farlin, Fry, P. C. Fuller, William K. Fuller, Galbraith, the Speaker's decision, is a mere pretext, having no force Gillet, Glascock, Grantland, Haley, Joseph Hall, Hamer, in sound reasoning, and no foundation in fact, in regard Samuel S. Harrison, Albert G. Harrison, Haynes, Hiesto the particular case to which it was applied. If such a ter; Howard, Hubley, Huntington, Huntsman, w. Jackdisposition bad existed, it could have been gratified in son, J. Jackson, Jarvis, J. Johnson, C. Johnson, B. Jones, several ways, within the rules of order. That no such Judson, Kennon, Kilgore, Kinnard, Klingensmith, Lane, means were resorted to, of itself falsifies the gross and Laporte, J. Lee, Leonard, Logan, Loyall, Llicas, A. wanton imputation made upon those who voted against Mann, J. Mann, Martin, May, McKeon, McKim, Mc. the Speaker's decision.

Lene, Miller, Montgomery, Morgan, Muhlenberg, OwI regret that I have felt myself compelled, in vindica. ens, Page, Parker, Parks, Patterson, Franklin Pierce, tion of myself from the denunciation to which I have D. J. Pearce, Pettigrew, Phelps, John Reynolds, Joseph been exposed, to renew this question. I could in no oth Reynolds, Ripley, Roane, Schenck, Seymour, W. B. er way sustain my opinions in argument. The making of Shepard, Shinn, Sickles, Spangler, Speight, Taylor, this motion may be made the ground of new imputations Thomas, J. Thomson, Toucey, Turner, Turrill, Vandera of a factious spirit. They may be made with full as poel, Wagener, Ward, Wardwell, Webster, Weeksmuch truth as those already indulged in. This motion,

108. too, will afford an opportunity to those who were mis. Those who voted in the negative areled in the former vote, and are now satisfied of their er. Messrs. Adams, H. Allen, Ashley, Beale, Bell, Bond, ror, to do homage to truth and reason, and manifest their | Borden, G. Chambers, J. F. H. Claiborne, Clark, Cor. firmness and independence, and their scorn of party win, Darlington, Denny, Everett, Forester, J. Garland, denunciation and partisan dictation.

Granger, Graves, Griffin, Hard, Hardin, Harlan, Hazel. I have another word to say. Those of us who voted tine, Hoar, Howell, Ingersoll, Janes, Jenifer, J. W. against the decision of the Chair have been charged with Jones, Lawler, Lawrence, L. Lea, Lewis, Lyon, S. Madoing so for the purpose of keeping open and prevent.son, Maury, McKay, McKennan, Mercer, Milligan, Mor. ing the settlement of the abolition subject. The false. ris, Patton, J. d. Pearce, Phillips, Reed, Rencher, hood of this imputation is notorious to every man in this Robertson, Russell, A. H. Shepperd, Slade, Standefer, House, so far as I am concerned. I have differed with Steele, Storer, Taliaferro, Waddy Thompson, Underthe majority of this House as to the best means of dispowood, Vinton, E. Whittlesey, L. Williams, s. Williams, sing of the questions that have arisen. I believe that ihe Wise-61.

H. Or R. )

Decision of the Chair.

(May 30, 1836.

plied to any members of the House, as seemed to have | bers have voted, and half have not, and arrest the decibeen inferred; and it was due no less to the House than sion on the question before it, until it can decide on the to bimself that he should seize the opportunity to dis- case of the member who has not voted? Or if the roll be claim (and he took great pleasure in doing so) any in- permitted to be called through, must the decision, as astention of having imputed improper motives to any hon- certained by the voles given, be suspended, until the orable members of that honorable body. He did not House can decide on the case of the member who bas say on that occasion, nor did he mean to be understood not voted? If this be the true construction of the rule, as saying, that any members of that honorable House it may be that no decision could ever be had on the main were factious, or would be influenced by any other than question; for on the question to excuse a member from proper motives, and their own sense of public duty. voting, or to take order in his case, if he refuse to vote, He was endeavoring to show simply that, under a decis. debate may arise, and, aster discussion, and possibly great ion contrary to that which he had made, the effect might delay, the House may proceed to vote by yeas and nays be (he did not say it would be) to suspend, if not to put on the question of excusing him from voting, or to coa stop to, the transaction of the public business. He erce him to vote; and whilst the House are dividing, and had also, in giving that decision, referred to the case pending the call of the yeas and nays on this question, which had occurred in 1832, as he now referred to it, and before the result of the vote is announced, a second for the single purpose of showing that, in that case, the member may refuse to vote on that question, or decline vote of the House was declared, and the decision made voting, or ask to be excused. And so, if this construction upon the question pending before it, without the vote of the rule be correct, the proceedings of the House of the member who did not vote, and who asked to be must be again suspended, and the decision arrested upon excused.

the case of the first member who refused or declined to (Mr. Adams here asked, if the Speaker was going on vote, until the question can be settled in the case of the to argue that precedent, if he could be permitted to an. second member who did not vote on the question of exswer?]

cusing the first; and so upon the question of excusing The Speaker proceeded to examine the precedent, the second member from voting, a third member may and to state the proceedings in the case, as they ap- not vote, and ask to be excused, and the proceed. peared on the journal, to show that the House, withoutings of the House must be again suspended, and the dethe vote of the member who had asked to be excused, cision on the case of the second member who bas not (and though his request to be excused from voting had voted be arrested until a question be taken in relation been refused,) did, notwithstanding, proceed to call the to the third member who has not voted; and thus, upon roll through, and pronounce the decision. In that case, each successive case of members who may not choose to the decision of the House was declared upon a very im. vote when their names are called, the same thing may portant question—a question of no less importance than occur, and there may be no possibility of ever deciding a resolution declaring that one of the members of the any question, however important, so long as any one House “merited the decided censure of the House;" | member may decline or refuse to vote, and the business and yet, if the true construction of the rule be that every of the House may be thus utterly obstructed and stopped, member who is present when a vote is taken, must either and this, too, though the votes of the members who may vote or be excused from voting, before a decision can not have voted could not, if given, change the result; be bad, no decision could have been pronounced in that as, for example, in the first case in which this question case. It appeared, further, from the journal, tha', after the arose on a former day, where the votes given by the votes of the members who had given their votes bad members who did vote stood ayes 182, noes 9; and as in been declared, and the decision of the House been made the present case, wbere the votes given on the question on the question before it, on the next day the case of the now before the House, as ascertained by the Clerk, and member who had not voted was the subject of considera- communicated to the Speaker, though not formally antion, and resolutions which had been introduced upon nounced to the House, show that the vote of the memthe subject were, by a vote of the House, laid on the ber who has not voted, and asks to be excused, cannot, table, and there the matter ended. He had cited this if given, change the result. ('The state of the vote, as case (the only one of the kind, he believed, which had subsequently announced to the House, was ayes 123, ever occurred) for the single purpose of showing thal, noes 54.) The same difficulty would arise is, in the in the opinion of the House of Representatives of that midst of a division of the House, (by yeas and nays, or Congress, it was not necessary for every member present otherwise,) the proceedings were arrested, to enable to "give his vote, unless the House, for special reasons, the House to pass a vote of censure, or otherwise pun. shall excuse him," in order to enable the House to de. ish a member, instead of stopping to take the vote on cide the question before it, upon the votes of the majorie excusing him. If any one member present declined to ty of the House who did give their votes. It was to es. vote, and asked to be excused, on the question to centablish this point alone that he had referred to this case. sure, or otherwise punish, no decision could be had unThe rule is silent as to the time at which the member til the case of him who had declined to vote on the quesshall be excused; if he "shall be in the House when the tion was settled, and his case, again, could never be sete question is put,” he "shall give his vote, unless the tied so long as any one member declined to vote on the House, for special reasons, shall excuse him.". But the question of excusing him. And so, if this be the true time at which his case shall be considered is left in the construction of the rule, no decision could ever be made discretion of the House. It is competent for the House, on any question, so long as any two members shall alterif he has committed a violation of the rules of the House, nately decline to vote on each successive question of exto pass his name, and consider his case subsequently. cusing or coercing each other to vote.

The case he had stated on a former occasion, and now This was the case he had stated by way of illustration, repeated, (for the purpose of illustration,) as one that when this question had first arisen. He had stated it might arise, was this: Suppose the House to be dividing, for the purpose of showing what would be the practical and the vote taking on the bill, or other propositions be- effect of a decision contrary to that which he had given. fore it, and pending the call of the yeas and nays, and He had given it simply as an illustration, and without before the vote is announced, a member refuses to voie, any intention of imputing improper motives to any mem. or declines voting, and asks to be excused; must the ber of the House. House, in such case, suspend the calling of the yeas and And he respectfully submilted whether a construction nays, stop in the middle of the roll, when half the mem- which may lead to such a result can be the proper conMay 30, 1836.)

Decision of the Chair.

(H. OF R.

struction of that rule of the House which declares that cal construction which could be given to the rules, to enevery member present shall vote, unless, for sufficient able the House, without great embarrassment and delay, reasons, he shall be excused by the House? The rules to despatch the public business. of the House were intended to promote and to facilitate, He had felt an anxious solicitude to decide the quesand not to defeat, the transaction of public business; and, tion properly; and at the same time, if possible, to meet in bis opinion, such a construction was to be given to the views of the House, and aid himself in forming a them as would attain the end for which they were fra- correct judgment, he had, before he had given the de. med. It was a common occurrence, in taking the vote cision on the question, when it first arose, taken the opinby yeas and nays, or by dividing the House, for mem. ion of several members of the House, of different politbers to remain silent in their seats, and not give ibeir ical parties, all of whom had concurred with him in opinvotes; and yet it had been the immemorial usage, and ) ion that the decision which he subsequently gave was was now the daily practice, to proceed with the vote and the only practical construction which could be given to pronounce the decision, as ascertained by the count of these rules that would enable the House to accomplish those who have voted, without making any question in the objects for which they were framed. The House relation to the members who have not voted. The had, when the question was first raised, sustained the names of those who do not answer are passed silently decision; but if, on reconsideration, or more full exami. by. Is the case at all changed by the fact that a mem. nation, it should now come to a different conclusion, he ber, instead of remaining silent in his seat, and suffering would take great pleasure in conforming to their will. his name to be passed, rises in his place, and informs the He felt sensibly the weight of responsibility which de. House that he is present and has not voted? The mem- volved on the presiding officer of the House. Difficul. ber who remains silent, and suffers his name to be passed, ties, growing out of the complexity as well as the vague bas violated the rule as much as he who rises and informs and uncertain terms in which many of the rules adopted the House that he is present, and has not voted. In the for the government of the House are couched, were former case, the daily practice is to proceed with the constantly arising. New and delicate as well as difficult vote and declare the decision; the House takes no cog. and very important questions of order were often raised, nizance of the case. He may have doubts on the ques. upon which it was his duty to decide. His opinions tion, and not be prepared to vote, or he may have suffi. were, however, subject to the revision and correction of cient reasons, and may not choose to trouble the House the House; and if the House differed from him in opin. with them; and yet he as much violates the rule as the ion upon this or any other occasion, they will so declare, member who informs the House he has not voted. and he would most cheerfully yield to their decision,

These rules, which are the laws of the House, are to and promptly execute their will. be construed as a whole, and so as to give effect to each In the present case he was of opinion that the decision one of them. One of the rules of the House, for ex. he had made on a former occasion, and now made, was ample, provides that “a motion to adjourn shall be always correct, and for the convenience of the House, and he in order;" and yet none will maintain that, whilst the unhesitatingly adhered to it; but if the House thought House is in the act of dividing, and a question is taken otherwise, they would sus’ain the appeal, and he should as by yeas and nays, it would be in order for a member, unhesitatingly execute their will. when bis name is called for his vote, ay or no, to rise in Mr. CALHOUN, of Massachusetts, said he voted the his place, and interrupt or arrest the further vole of the other day to sustain the decision of the Speaker, because House, by moving that the House adjourn. None will he saw no better way to expedite the business of the maintain ihat the motion to adjourn at this stage, though House; but he wished to stare some difficulties in the declared by the rule, in absolute and unqualified terms, manner of doing the business of the House which arose to " be always in order," could be entertained until after from the frequent use of the previous question. The the vote of the House on the question on which they are previous question is called, and, upon a decision of the in the act of voting is completed, and the decision pro- Chair involving a point of order, a gentleman rises to nounced. So another rule of the House declares that "it debate; the previous question is construed as applying shall be in order for the Committee on Enrolled Bills to to the point of order, and the House is compelled 10 report at any time;" and yet none will maintain that it settle the question in a moment, without the slightest would be in order for a member of that committee to rise consideration or debate. He would appeal to gentle. in the midst of a vote by yeas and nays, and arrest the men if it was possible for them to decide understandingvote of the House by making a report, which report, it ly. How could they bring their minds to a decision? made at that time, must stop the vote of the House until How could they reason to a conclusion? He would ask it was disposed of. And so the rule under consideration if they were willing that the decisions they made should could not have contemplated that a vote of the House stand as precedents on the journal, to be appealed to at on a division, by yeas and nays, could be arrested until succeeding sessions, and forever, as the deliberate dethe House could take cognizance of the case of a mem. cisions of the House? He knew the decision had been ber refusing to vote, or asking to be excused from voting. made; but was it on good reasons, deliberately examin. The rule provides that he shall give his vote, if he be ed? He contended that the previous question did not not excused, but it is silent as to the time when his ex- cut off debate upon a question of order, but that the rule cuse shall be considered. He was clear that such a ques- applied only to ibe main question; and he read the rule tion could not be interposed pending a division of the in the Manual, which says that incidental questions may House. From the reason as well as the necessity of the arise for which no rules can be provided, such as ques. case, he had decided on a former occasion, and now de. tions of order, which must be decided as they arise. cided, that the vote of the House, on a division by yeas The only question is, how shall they be decided? Shall and nays, could not be interrupted or arrested by inter- a conclusion be jumped a', without argument or consid. posing any other question; but that the vote, when com. eration? menced, must proceed, and the decision be had; leaving Mr. C. then read the rule which says that, on appeals it at the discretion of the House to settle or take order upon questions of order, “no member shall speak more upon any other question which may incidentally arise, at than once, unless by leave of the House." This (said such time as may suit its pleasure or convenience. The Mr. C.) is equivalent to a direct declaration that a memdecision he had made on a former occasion, and now made, ber may speak once, and that each member is so entitled was conformable to these views, and for the convenience to speak. This is another rule which must be transof ihe House, and was, in his judgment, the only practi 'gressed, if the House maintains the decision of the

H. OF R.]

Decision of the Chair.

[Mar 30, 1836.

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Chair upon the point referred to; and he would say, if countries with which we have intercourse? The mem. the House adhered to this rule, then, on an appeal upon bers were required by every sense of duty to act upon a question of order, be it when it may, or what it may, their own judgment, however much they might differ in debate must be permitted. The only questions of order opinion with the Speaker; and the publisher of this not always debatable were such as arose upon ques. atrocious assault upon the members ought to be repritions of decorum, and Mr. C. read a part of the 21st manded. He is an officer of the House, and should rule: “If any member, in speaking or otherwise, trans- come under its control in such respects as this. He gress the rules of the House, the Speaker shall, or any spoke as a citizen of the country, not as a member of a member may, call to order; in which case, the member party; upon such a subject he belonged to no party; be so called to order shall immediately sit down, unless spoke for the dignity, and character, and purity of the permitted to explain; and the House shall, if appealed House, and he would not allow such an ouirage to pass io, decide on the case, but without debate.” Here the over in silence. When the time sball have arrived when distinction was in regard to decorum and debate. The the members of the House are to be denounced by their rule came under that head, and related only to the order official organ, for thinking freely, and acting according and courtesies of decorum and debate, as regulated by to their judgment, let them know it. If the time has not the rules of the House. Upon all other questions of arrived, let them reprimand the offender who has per. order, every one may debate; and he would ask if free. | petrated the outrage. He would say again that he spoke dom of thought and of speech was to be cut off upon as an independent man, free from party prejudices; and important decisions of the Speaker, merely because the he called upon the House to stop this annoyance, which previous question was depending? There was no more would continue and increase unless the House applied perfect tyranny than would exist under such a construc. the proper remedy. tion of the rules. It was tyranny of the worst kind, if Mr. LANE said as the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. he could be compelled to vote without an opportunity to Patton) had no difficulty in voting on the question io think, and thus to form an opinion. He did vote to sus. Suspend the rules, and as he merely desired to bring up tain the Speaker's decision in the instance last week, the same question which was decided the other day, it which was similar to the present, because he saw no could not be productive of any good to continue the dismore convenient mode of settling the matter before the cussion upon the appeal; he iherefore moved that it be House. It is not usual for members to ask to be excused laid on the table. from voting, especially without being excused at once. Mr. ADAMS appealed to the gentleman to withdraw The only precedent to the contrary was the distinguished his motion, as, from reasons personal to himself, he deone of the gentleman from Massachusetts, (Mr. ADAMS.] sired to make a few remarks upon the appeal.

By the rule, every man is compelled to vote one way Mr. LANE declined withdrawing his motion. or the other, unless for special reasons he is excused; Mr. WILLIAMS, of North Carolina, asked for the but he is not compelled to violate his conscience. No yeas and nays; which were ordered, and the Clerk proman can suppose that a member should be forced to ceeded to call the roll. vote when, according to his convictions, he ought not to Mr. JENIFER, of Maryland, having declined to vole vote either way; and if he says he cannot conscientiously on the motion to lay Mr. Patton's appeal from the devole, then is he to be excused. Such a course, thus cision of the Speaker on the table, he moved to be exopen and manly, is entitled to peculiar favor, when con. cused, and the Speaker decided that his motion to be trasted with one which is not unfrequent-the retiring excused should be postponed until after be announced outside the bar of the House, or sitting in one's seat

the vote of the House on the appeal of Mr. PATTON; without answering at all. In the former case, the mere

and that the vote of the House on a question could be asking to be excused constitutes, in my apprehension, declared before the members declining or refusing to the special reason contemplated in the rule. No gentle. vote were either excused from voting, or the penalty man surely would rise in his place and decline voting, for refusing or declining to vote was enforced by the in the presence of the House and of the country, unless House. From this decision the reasons operating upon his mind were of the most Mr. WISE appealed, and proceeded to remark that imposing and controlling character. If, however, a be, with others, had been denounced by the official pa. member declares that he will not vote; if he throws defi per as a factious spirit, and had been denominated an ance at the House, he is to be met with its rules, and "anarch," for refusing, on a former occasiop, 10 vote on dealt with as the House may deem proper.

the resolutions reported by the gentleman from South Mr. C. then alluded to the obnoxious attacks upon Carolina, [Mr. PincknEY,) and for voting against the members of the House, made in the Government paper

decision of the Speaker then made, to postpone the ex. by the official printer of the House, and which had been cuses of members refusing or declining to vole until commented upon by the member from Virginia (Mr. after the vote of the House was declared by the Chair. PATTUN) with so much spirit and intelligence. He said

He said he felt bound to vindicate himself and his friends this was not the first instance in which members had i frum the charge of a factious spirit extending to anar. been arraigned for acting according to their convictions chy. He had been denounced as an “anarch" in an op. of duty. A number of gentlemen the other day were probrious sense; but in the literal meaning of the word, arraigned, because they dissented from a decision of the applied properly to the occasion of his vote, he claimed Speaker, as factious, as opposed to the rules of the the honor of having been an “anarch,” and gloried in House, and opposed to order here and every where. pleading guilty to the charge. What is the meaning of His name was not among them, but he looked with "anarch di li must mean, literally, one who denied the shuddering upon that attack upon the character of the power of the Government, in the case referred to: one members, and upon the freedom of action in the House. who said and voted that the General Government was He alluded to this attack, because it appeared in the or. " without power to affirm or deny any proposition in gan of the executive Government; and this was what relation to slavery in the States, and one who denied the gave it importance. He would ask, if it was to be al power of Congress to govern slave property any where." lowed that members of the House, for performing con. In that sense, he was an “anarch," and in no sactious scientiously and independently their duty here, were to spirit he refused to vote on the resolutions of the select be hung up by an officer of the House, paid by its treas- committee on slavery. He respectfully sent his reasons urer, as factious disorganizers, and that the charge was to the Speaker, at the time he refused, in writing. He to be conveyed all over the country, and to all other I thought that if one Congress might deny its power over

Mar 30, 1836.]

Decision of the Chair.

(H. OP R.

slavery in the States, a subsequent Congress, not bound incur the penalty, if his excuse be not received, or be by the acts of this House, might affirm the power which offers none, he may purge himself of the “disorderly we now deny; and he refused, peremptorily and posi- behaviour" by voting. But, according to the Speaker's tively refused, to vote on questions which Congress it- | decision, he must be excused or punished, and he canself had no power to vote upon, either to affirm or to not vote when the rule says he shall vote or be excused. deny. He could not, consistently, do otherwise than He asked what the reason of the decision was? Solely, positively refuse to vote, and did not ask to be excused, the reason of inconvenience. In the first place, he said, because, in his comprehension, the petition to be ex- the inconvenience of the rule proved thie existence of cused admitted the right in the House to compel bim to the rule; and no "argumentum ab inconvenientecould vote upon a proposition which the House itself had no destroy the rule itself. The remedy for inconvenience power to entertain. He conscientiously entertained these was to abolish or to modify the rule. But did the reaopinions, and, as courteously as bis sense of duty to the son of inconvenience exist? True, to some extent, constitution and his constituents permitted, he expressed whenever a member refused, there would be delay; but them by his refusal to vote, and by his written reasons the House, or a majority, could at once, by aid of the for so doing

previous question, soon despatch the question of excuse, [Here Mr. Hamer, of Ohio, called Mr. Wise to or pardon, or punishment; and that was the easiest and order. The Speaker deciding Mr. W. to be in order, most convenient mode of despatching every difficulty be proceeded to say)

or inconvenience in the case. Ilere was an illustration That, in another sense, he was an “anarch." He of the truth of this position. According to the Speak. was against a Government of corruption! This was his er's decision, the majority is in the power of the minori. high offence; he was opposed to the “powers that be" ty; which, if it be given to that factious spirit of which creating those which are to be, and the perpetuation of it is accused, can delay the decision of the House ad ina spoils-party Government. He desired, in the revolu- finitum by repeated refusals to vote and repeated aptionary sense, to be without such a Government as the peals from the Speaker's decisions! He said, in fact, infamous Globe is now laboring to entail upon the

ihat such decisions were well calculated to arouse a country.

spirit of just and indignant resistance in the minds and The decision of the Chair was obviously, to his mind, conduct of those who were oppressed by their tyranny: erroneous. The constitution and the 28th rule of the He had, in the conscientious discharge of his duty, and House settled the question. The first declares “that a with the sincerest regard to the highest supremacy of majority of each {House] shall constitute a quorum to the rules of order, refused to vote, and no power on do business," and "each House may determine the earth could have forced his tongue to vote away all prorules of its proceedings, punish its members for dis- tection of slaveholding interests. No! He defied the orderly behaviour, and, with the concurrence of two arm of civil power of the Sergeant-at-arms of the House, thirds, expel a member.” The latter declares, “ every and all the terrors of the standing army of a military member who shall be in the House when the question despotism, if it should be attempted, to make his tongue is put, sball give his vote, unless the House, for special speak traitorously to his constituents; he would, with. reasons, shall excuse him.” He put the question, out courting, bave suffered and exulted in martyrdom! then, whether the House can be said to have voted until He bad been denounced as a factious spirit, as every " every member in the House shall have given his vote, man was likely to be, by the minions of power, who had or shall have been, for special reasons,” excused. If the independence and patriotism to resist their tyranny, the House has not voted, how can any vole of the expose their abuses, and denounce their prostitution. House-House in its technical sense, as understood by He was glad that be had at last the companionship of the constitution-the House composed of "every mem- his worthy and truly honorable colleague, [Mr. Patrox.] ber in it when the question is put”-be declared? He The Globe had classed the forty-six factious spirits into contended that no decision had yet been made on the two classes--Harrison men and abolitionists, and White resolutions of the slavery committee, because the House men and nullifiers. It was obvious here were four, had not voted on them, for the reason that every mem. instead of two denominations of persons; but the Globe ber present had not voted, and many had refused to made out denominations to suit its slanders. He would vote. If a member sat silent, he ordinarily, without a remark there were Harrison men who were not abolicall of yeas and nays, or a count, gave a tacit vote. If tionists, and many abolitionists who were not Harrison a count was called, or the yeas and naye, and he sat or White men; and there were nullifiers who were silent, if not reported for failing to vote, he was usually | White men--no nullifiers were abolitionists; and White considered absent, though in the eye of the Clerk. men who were not nullifiers-and no White men or nul

But when he refused to vote, and actually announced lifiers were abolitionists. He should not condescend to his presence by refusal, the rule says he shall vote. notice the Globe, but the majority here seem to make it Vote upon whai? A question decided, or a question their mouth-piece; the freedom of debate lies prostrale pending? The Chair says, by its decision, he shall vote under the “previous question,” and the Globe speaks upon a question decided. What is the consequence? " by authority” for that high power before which all the Suppose a bill passes the House by a majority of one, dignity and freedom of this House have been, long ago, three members refusing to vote. After a vote of the made to bow low-low in the dust! majority of one is declared and announced as the decision Mr. WILLIAMS, of Kentucky, spoke in opposition of the House, you compel the three refusing members to the decision of the Chair, and condemned ibe un. to vote. They vote against the bill or resolution: the warrantable classification of his name in the article in the act has passed, then, with a majority of two against it in Globe. He noticed this because the fact of the editors the House! Ay, but would gentlemen tell him that it of the Globe being the printers of the House gave that is not the vote which was postponed, but the excuse? paper an authority it was not otherwise entitled to. On They could not thus reason, because the rule said it was the subject of the presidency, no man living knew his the vote which shall be given; and if the refusing mem. preference; but he indignantly repelled the charge made ber cannot vote after the decision declared, you cannot against him in the Globe of being an anarchist and revo. punish bim for not voting after decision. When a mem. lutionist. He should, when the time arrived, vute for ber refuses to vote, he has three alternatives presented; whom he pleased, and should not suffer himself to be he may ask to be excused for a special reason; he may driven from what he considered right, by the abuse and offer no excuse, and incur the penalty; or, rather than I slang of a newspaper. He had done nothing during the

YOL. XII.-257

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