Page images

Decision of the Chair.

[May 30, 1836.

present session in the slightest degree to retard or ob- / assign them, would be when the question was propoundstruct the business of the House, nor had he raised a ed by the Speaker; and, therefore, that is the time that single point of order. On the abolition memorials he he should ask to be excused when the vote is taken by had, until the formation of the select committee, in every ayes and noes, because, in strict parliamentary construc, instance voted to lay them on the table. Nor had he tion, the vote by acclamation and the vote by ayes and once refused to vote, or dodged any question. On sev- noes are one and the same, though it is physically imeral occasions he had sustained the decisions of the Chair, possible to take the latter in the same manner with the and should continue to do so, whenever he thought them former. right. For that gentleman he had voted, and his rea. It is maintained by those who oppose the decision of sons were conscientious and satisfactory to himself for the Chair, that if motions of gentlemen to be excused preferring him as the presiding officer of the House. from voting be postponed until after the House has deci. The editor of the Globe had no right to denounce him ded the main question before it, and then, should the as a “ factious spirit or anarchist," nor to classify bim House refuse to excuse them from voting, they might with “ White men and nullifiers.

prefer voting to incurring the penalty of refusing; and Mr. HARD called for the orders of the day.

thus might vote on a question that had already been de. The CHAIR decided that the question of order took cided, and thereby reverse the former decision; and this, precedence, and must first be settled.

say gentlemen, would introduce much confusion. It is Mr. SPEIGIIT remarked that it was the misfortune further said that the discussion of the excuses offered by of members of Congress to be visited by the “slang gentlemen might occupy several days; and if they were twang” of newspapers, and he would refer them to the

not excused, and thereupon choose to vote, they might columns of the Intelligencer and United States Telechange by their votes the decision made on a previous graph, when the editors of those papers were respect day. sir, said Mr. S., these are difficulties; and if we can ively printers to the House, and the party to which Mr. avoid them without running into others equally embarS. belonged were in the minority. Mr. $. then pro-rassing on the other side, we certainly should do so. ceeded to sbow that the decision of the Chair was right,

But, sir, suppose we reverse the Speaker's decisionand referred to the circumstance of the precedent cited suppose we establish it as a part of the lex parliamenta. by the Speaker in support of that position.

ria, that “ after the call of the ayes anil noes has comMr. BELL spoke in favor of an enforcement of the menced, and a part of the members have answered to rules of the House. He cited the rule, that members their names and voted, a gentleman, on his name being shall vote unless, for special reasons, they are excused by called, may answer by moving to be excused from voting. a vote of the House, and said that this rule ought to be and that that inotion must be decided before the vote of enforced, and that the decision of the Speaker would the House on the main question is gone through with,” have to be reversed, because the time might, and prob. what consequences may result from such a proceeding? ably would, come, when the order of the House would

Let us carry it out for a moment. If one gentleman may be broken up by a factious minority. He then referred claim this as a right, so may others. A vole by ayes and to the power given in the constitution to enable the

noes is commenced. Part of the members, on their House to regulate its own proceedings, to punish mem. names being called, have answered and voted. The vote bers, and by a vote of two thirds to expel a member. of the House is in part taken; and at this stage of the He said, in the case supposed, where members might proceeding, a gentleman, on his name being called, embarrass the proceedings, this power should be exer- moves to be excused from voting, and proceeds to ascised; and after one or two factious or contumacious

sign his reasons. He goes into an argument on the persons had been expelled, others would be cautious merits-yes, sir, the merits of the main question before how they refused to vote, except for good and sufficient the House, by way of proving that he cannot conscien

tiously vote on it, either in the affirmative or negative, Mr. SPANGLER said: I desire to say a few words in no jurisdiction; that it involves the exercise of power explanation of my opinion on the question before the He may urge that it is a subject over which Congress has House. A vote has been ordered to be taken by ayes not conferred by the constitution; that the subject, and noes.

The Clerk has proceeded with the call, and though within the constitutional power of Congress, is of a number of gentlemen have answered to their names. a nature so delicate and dangerous, that its agitation will The gentleman from Maryland, (Mr. JENIFER,) on bis only tend to excite and inflame the public mind. These, name being called, rose in his place, and moved that he be excused from voting. The Chair entertained the by gentlemen as considerations which ought to operate

and many other topics of discussion, may be introduced motion, but decided “that before the question can be to excuse them from voting. taken on excusing, the vote of the House on the pend. Well, sir, other gentlemen, differing in opinion from ing question musi be finished, and the decision thereon these, will of course answer them, or at least may an. announced.

From tbis decision the gentleman from swer them; and thus, after the vote of the House has Virginia (Mr. Wise] has appealed; and the question is, been in part taken, a debate on the merits of the main "ishall the decision of the Chair stand as the judgment question may arise, extending throughout several days. of the House?” Sir, said Mr. S., I am for sustaining At last a decision is bad on the motion to be excused. the Chair; I think the decision clearly right. Should The name of the gentleman next on the list is called, and we reverse it, and establish the contrary rule, much in. he moves to be excused from voting; and he also assigns convenience might follow; and indeed it might be found his reasons; a debate again ensues, and after one or more impossible to transact the business of the House. The

days spent in discussing his excuses, a decision is bad. question is a new one, and is attended with difficulties.

The Clerk then calls the name of the next gentleman, Our object should be to settle it in such a manner as to and he wishes to excused, and a debate again ensues. avoid, as far as possible, embarrassment and confusion. Sir, where is it to end? and if this mode of proceeding The vote of the House by ayes and noes is but one vole, be established, how long may the House be occupied in though there are two hundred and forty members; and, taking a vote on the main question? Sir, so far as I can upon parliamentary principles, is precisely the saine as discover, weeks or months might be consurned in calling the vote by acclamation. They are identical. If the

the ayes and noes on a single proposition. rule required that a member should assigo bis reasons Again: During this time, what sort of a journal would for being excused from voting, when the vote is taken your proceedings present? On the first day the ayes and by acclamation, the only time, of course, when he could noes are called through the A's; on the second, through


[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

the B's; on the third day, through the C's; and so on the main question. Is it, then, consistent with the gento the end of the alphabet, requiring as many days as eral scope and spirit of the rules I have cited, that, after there are letters. If such were in fact the proceedings the previous question has been ordered, and after the of the House, I ask gentlemen, in all candor, whether they ayes and noes are commenced, and when no one of the would be willing to have them spread upon the journals privileged motions can be interposed, yet another mo

Again: Suppose the previous question had been or- tion may be made-must be entertained and decided-dered, how will its operation be affected by such a pro- which may involve in its consideration a protracted deceeding? Every gentleman knows that the previous bate on the merits of the main question? Yes, sir, question is intended to cut off all further debate on the which may present as wide a field for discussion as was main question; but the principle contended for might open to gentlemen the first moment the main subject render it a nullity, and in effect entirely abrogate it. was taken up in Committee of the Whole on the state of Suppose the previous question to be ordered by the the Union. Sir, I can sanction no construction of rules House. The Clerk is calling the ayes and noes on the that leads to such results. I believe that it might lead main question. A gentleman, on his name being called, in its consequences to endless confusion and interruption moves to be excused from voting. He proceeds to as- of the business of the House. To avoid this, I would sign his reason; and it is, that the 36th rule of the House, so construe the 28th rule as to require that gentlemen which authorizes the previous question, is unconstitu- ask to be excused from voting before the commencetional, as tending to abridge the liberty of speech. Sir, ment of the call of the ayes and noes. “Every memI am no advocate for the frequent use of the previous ber who shall be in the House when the question is put question; but I would ask to what length might not such shall give his vote, unless the House, for special reasons, a discussion extend' Again: A gentleman moves that shall excuse bim." When, in the language of the rule, he be excused from voting. After hearing his excuse, “is the question put" It is put when the Chair proand debating it, it is ordered that the vote on excusing pounds it to the House. Then is the time for gentlemen be taken by ayes and noes; and on that question, another to ask to be excused, if they do not wish to vote. The gentleman, on his name being called, moves to be ex- calling of the ayes and noes by the Clerk is not putting cused from voting; and after a debate on his motion to the question. He puts no question to the House, and be excused, the vote is ordered to be taken by ayes and he cannot call the names of the members until after the noes; and, while the Clerk is calling the names, another Chair has put the question. My opinion is, that a mogentleman asks that he be excused. Sir, where is it to tion to be excused from voting vught not to be enterend! when is it to end?

tained after the call of the ayes and nocs has been comThe question arises, how are we to steer clear of these menced; and that, if entertained, its consideration and difficulties? How are we to transact the public business decision should be postponed until after the pending without entangling ourselves in the meshes of our own question is decided, and the decision announced to the rules? To me the question is free from embarrassment- House; and I shall so vote. the path is direct and plain. The 28th rule of the Mr. ADAMS made and enforced the point, that the Hause says: “Every member who shall be in the House rule says the member shall give his vote “when the when the question is put shall give his vote, unless the question is put;” and as it is put to each member, when House, for special reasons, shall excuse him.” When his name is called, then is the time for him to vote or may he ask to be excused? I answer, at any time before ask to be excused, and give his reasons. Such, he con the Clerk has commenced calling the ayes and noes, but tended, was the rule, and if inconvenience should arise, not after. A gentleman may ask to be excused from the rule could be changed; and he then referred to his voting when it is in order to do so, but at no cther time. own case in 1832, the principles of which he explained We ought so to construe and apply our rules that they to be exactly the reverse of that assumed by the Speaker. may harmonize and conduce to the easy and convenient The House did not then pass over the name, but did transaction of business. The 34th rule provides that vote upon the request to excuse, and refused it; and "a motion to adjourn shall always be in order.” Yes, then resolutions were offered and postponed, declaring sir, "always in order;" but who ever dreamed that it that he had committed a breach of the rules, and orderwas in order, under this rule, to move an adjournment ing the appointment of a committee to ascertain what pending the call of the ayes and noes, or while a gen- measures the House should take. The course now tleman has the floor, unless he expressly yields it for adopted, he said, was a practical nullification of the

rule, and the House really had no rule upon the subject. Again: The call of the ayes and noes occupies about Mr. BOON said, if editors of newspapers were the half an hour. After the expiration of the morning hour, contemptible creatures represented by members of the it is in order, even pending the consideration or discus- House, he thought it improper, if not evincing a want sion of reports from committees and resolutions, to of dignity, to reply to their pemarks upon that Avor. move "that the louse do now proceed to dispose of the If they were entirely worthless, wby did gentlemen conbusiness on the Speaker's table, and to the orders of the descend to reply to them there? For one, he would not day, (see rule 17.) Yet if the morning happens to ex.

If he were assailed in this way, he would, if he pire, as it frequently does, pending the call of the ayes deemed it necessary, redress the grievance elsewhere. and noes on questions pertaining to morning hour busi- After the learned dissertation which they had just heard ness, who ever thought of interrupting the vote by in. from the gentleman from Massachusetts, he humbly conterposing a motion sihat the House do now proceed to ceived that they had had glory enough for the public dispose of the business on the Speaker's table, and to service for one day, in discussing editorial paragraphs the orders of the day?”

and the subject of a member sitting in his seat and reAgain: After the previous question is ordered, a mo- fusing or declining to vote; he therefore moved the pretion for a call of the House is in order; so is a motion vivus question. to lay the main question on the table; so is a motion to The previous question was seconded by the House: adjourn: And each of these motions may be made again Yeas 75, nays 46; and the main question was ordered and again, one after the other, at any time between the put without a count. call of the previous question and the commencement of The main question, “Shall the decision of the Chair the call of the ayes and noes.

But every gentleman stand as the judgment of the House?" was decided in knows that, after the call of the ayes and noes is com- affirmative: Yeas 108, nays 61. menced, no motion is in order until after the decision of The CHAIR then announced the vote on the motion

that purpose?

do so.



H. OF R.)

The Deposite Bill-Polish Exiles.

(May 31, 1836.

of Mr. Lang to lay the appeal of Mr. Patton on the to whom they pleased; thus opening, if he understood table; which was: Yeas 98, nays 91.

the bill, (though perhaps he did not,) under the form of The CHAIR also announced the vote on the motion charity, a pretty extensive field for speculation. A case of Mr. CRAIG to suspend the rules till one o'clock, in like this bad recently come within his knowledge. An order to fix a day for the consideration of the deposite old schoolmate of his presented himself to him the other bill, (pending which motion Mr. Patron declined voting, day, after an absence of twenty years; he told him that asked to be excused, and appealed from the

of he had gone on to the public lands, without authority of the Chair,) which was: Yeas 123, nays 54.

law, but as an American citizen, and as much entitled to The House then adjourned.

the consideration of Congress as any Polish exile, bowever unfortunate his position. Well, on a quarter sec

tion of land this individual located himself, without auTuesday, May 31.

thority, but relying on what had been the law of this THE DEPOSITE BILL.

country, granting privileges to actual settlers upon the The House proceeded to consider the resolution re- unsurveyed public lands, which law he (Mr. G.) ported by Mr. Owens, from the Committee of Ways and hoped would be re-enacted, but which, as it now stood, Means, fixing on a day for considering the deposite bill. was likely to do as much injustice to individuals, as some

The resolution, baving been amended, was to make gentlemen assured us it had wrought injury to the pubthe said bill, together with the bills then on the Speaker's lic Treasury. His friend located himself on this quarter table, the special orders of the day for the day succeed. section, and expended in mills, and other establishments, ing the final disposition of the appropriation bills. The some ten thousand dollars; being, as he believed, two question pending was the motion of Mr. Bell to strike thirds of the accumulation of twenty years of industry. out all after the word Resolved, and insert, That the de- A Polish exile came and located this very land, under posite bill be made the special order for the 25th May. the law of 1834, and claimed that the Secretary should

Mr. BELL modified his motion by substituting the give him the land, with all its improvements. 13th June for the 25th May.

Mr. G. repeated that he had not been able, from this Mr. MILLER moved to postpone the subject until cursory reading of the bill, to understand it; and he did Monday next. Lost: Yeas 49, nays 80.

not rise to throw any embarrassment in the way of its Mr. KINNARD moved to amend the amendment by passage, if it was proper that it should pass. But he including the bills relative to the Cumberland road; but would ask the gentleman who had charge of the bill to subsequently withdrew it.

permit it to lie on the table until he had an opportunity Mr. OWENS suggested that the bill be made the spe- to examine it. cial order for to-morrow week.

Mr. BOULDIN said he was not like the gentleman Mr. E. WHITTLESEY moved to except Fridays and from New York, (Mr. GRANGER,) who had just taken Saturdays; lost: Ayes 69, noes 74.

his seat.

He (Mr. B.) would vote for this bill in no Mr. McCOMAS moved to amend the amendment by stage. If it took from the grantees any thing, he would including in the special order the bills for extending the not vote for it. He would not rob a robber, much less pension act of 1832, establishing the northern boundary a beggar. If it added to their grant the breadth of a of Ohio, and for the admission of Michigan and Arkansas hair, he would not vote for it. Why should we grant into the Union.

land to the Poles? Were they meritorious: Our own Mr. WILLIAMS, of North Carolina, moved to post- citizens are equally so. Were they poor: Our own pone the whole subject until Tuesday next, which was citizens, many of them, were as poor as any body. Do agreed to: Ayes 86, noes not counted.

we wish to encourage rebellion in foreign countries? Mr. MILLER, from the Committee on Invalid Pen. This would hazard our safety-our name as an bonest sions, made a report concluding with a resolution setting nation-our character as a wise and prudent people. apart Saturday next, from half past ten o'clock, for the These he would not hazard on any consideration. But consideration of bills reported, and to be reported pre. here there was nothing to hazard, unless we did it wil. vious to that time, by said committee.

lingly and unnecessarily. We had jewed, screwed, he Mr. WARDWELL moved to amend the resolution was sorry to say, almost shuffed with, our old revolu. by including the bills reported by the Committee on tionary soldiers, in relation to their claims, and had given Revolutionary Pensions.

these foreigners their thirty-six sections of land, of six Mr. JARVIS moved to amend the amendment by in- hundred and forly acres each, which he understood cluding the bills reported by the Naval Committee, for had been selected on both sides of a river for many miles naval pensions: lost.

up and down, including the improvements of many who Mr. E. WHITTLESEY moved to include the bills re- had spent their lives, and risked the lives of their fami. ported by the Committee on Claims: lost.

lies, to obtain from the Indians the very land now given Mr. P'ARKS moved to lay the original resolution and to the Poles. He said he would contrast the conduct of amendment on the table; hich was agreed to: Yeas 70, the Government in relation to their own citizens with

that of the Government in relation to these foreigners.

Mr. CONNOR rose and said he was sorry to be obPOLISH EXILES.

liged to interrupt the gentleman from Virginia, but he Mr. BOON, from the Committee on Public Lands, re. must call for the orders of the day. ported a bill to amend an act granting lands to certain Mr. BOULDIN was quite willing to conclude his re. exiles from Poland.

marks, either then, or whenever the bill should again The bill having been read twice, and the question come up in its order. being on ordering it to be engrossed for a third reading, Mr. JOHNSON, of Kentucky, asked the consent of

Mr. GRANGER said he did not know that he should the House to permit him to report from the Committee object to passing this bill to a third reading; but he could on Military Affairs a bill from the Senate providing for not, at this time, consent to vote upon it. He had the appointment of three additional paymasters of the known something of the manner in which those lands army. His object was to act on the bill forthwith, inas. had been selected. He had listened as attentively as he much as the public service was suffering, and he had recould to the reading of the bill, and, for aught he could ceived a communication from the executive department see, after these lands shall have been drawn, it would urging the speedy passage of the bill. be in the power of these Polish exiles to sell their shares The motion was objected to.

nays 59.

Mar 31, 1836.)

Post Office Department.

(H. or R.


his constituents. He hoped that the vote would not be

reconsidered, or that the House would retain the old In execution of the special order of Friday last, the tariff. House resumed the consideration of the “bill to change Mr. HUNT said: I trust, sir, the House will not agree the organization of the Post Office Department, and to with the Committee of the Whole in their amendment to provide more effectually for the settlement of the ac- this bill; and I shall vote in favor of a reconsideration, in counts thereof."

the hope that the projet of the Committee on the Post The question pending was on concurring with the office and post Roads may be adopted; or, if not, at Committee of the Whole in their proposition to amend | least that the House will adhere to the rales of postage the bill, by inserting the following clause:

as now established by law. When this question was be“ Sec. 38. And be it further enacted, That from the fore the Committee of the Whole, (on the 27th of May,) thirty-first day of December, one thousand eighit bun. I endeavored to show that the old rates of postage were dred and thirty-six, the following rates of postage shall not only inconvenient, but established arbitrarily, withbe charged upon all letters and packets carried in the out much regard to any governing principle, and in mail of ihe United States, excepting such are by law ex- their operation worked great injustice; and I gave, as an empt from postage, to wit:

illustration of this view, the case of Albany and Troy in “For every single letter, or letter composed of one my own State, the former paying only twelve and a half piece, carried not exceeding fifty miles, five cents. cents upon single letters from New York, and the latter

“Over fifty, and not exceeding one hundred miles, ten paying eighteen and three quarters of a cent, merely becents.

cause Albany fell two miles short of 150 miles from New .Over one hundred, and not exceeding two hundred York, and Troy ran four miles over 150. That this inemiles, fifteen cents.

quality operated as a tax upon the citizens of Troy, for “Over two hundred, and not exceeding four hundred the benefit, in all its business operations, of a rival city. miles, twenty cents.

I then adverted to the difficuliy of assuming any scale Over four hundred, and not exceeding eight hundred of miles which should do exact justice to all; and conmiles, twenty-five cents.

tended that, in fixing a scale, we not only had a right, “Over eight bundred miles, thirty cents.

but it was our duty, to look to its operation upon the. “And for every letter or packet composed of two pieces, / great business portions of our country. I believe, sir, double these rates; and for every letter or packet com- that the projet of the committee has been based substanposed of three pieces, triple these rates; and for every tially upon these views. That projet possesses another letter or packet composed of four or more pieces, quad advantage, in simplifying the mode of keeping the acruple these rates: Provided, That all letters and packets counts of the Department, and in adapting the charges of one ounce, avoirdupois, in weight, or more, shall be to the federal coin of the country. Again: it will in its charged single for every quarter of an ounce.

operation produce a very considerable reduction in the The question pending was the motion of Mr. Mar- tax upon the circulation of intelligence-a tax which Tix, to reconsider the vote by which the following should at all times be placed as low as the exigencies of amendment was adopted:

the Government will allow. But the amendment adopt. Retain the first clause of the section, and strike out ed in the Committee of the whole, and which is pro. all after the 7th to the 15th line of the section, inclusive, posed to be reconsidered, not only in my judgment reand insert, "over 50 miles, and not exceeding 150, ten stores all the inequalities of the old tariff, but will reduce cents; over 150 miles, and not exceeding 400, fifteen the revenue of the Post Office Department to an extent cents; over 400 miles, and not exceeding 800, twenty rendering all further increase of mail facilities impossicents; over 800 miles, twenty-five cents."

ble, without a resort directly to your Treasury. This is Mr. CONNOR produced a letter from the Postmaster a state of things not to be desired by an American legisGeneral on the subject of the tariff of postages, and givelator or patriot. ing a detailed statement of the revenue derivable from After the clear and frank statement from the Departthe various rates of postage. By the old plan, the reve. ment read this morning from your table, showing its nue therefrom amounted to about $3,000,000. By the capabilities and wants, in reference to the best interests plan of the committee, there would be a loss on the of the country, no one, it seems to me, can doubt as to smaller rates of $281,152, and a gain on the larger of the course now to be pursued. By agreeing to the $188,408, being a total loss of $92,744. But by the amendment adopted in Committee of the Whole, we ob. amendment, if adopted, there would accrue a loss of viate very few of the evils of the old system, while we $549,417, which would at once suspend and put an end cripple the most beneficent operations and improvements to all chance of increasing the facilities of mail transport of the Department. By reconsidering the vote taken on a ation and of opening new routes. The letter was of great former day, we place it in our power to adopt the prolength, and entered into a great variety of details in ref- jet of the Post Office Committee, matured with much erence to the point, and earnestly recommended that deliberation, and sanctioned by the Department; or, at either the proposition of the committee should be adopt least, (if this course be not acceptable to a majority of ed, with the modification of reducing the rate of letters this House,) of falling back upon the present rates, over 800 miles from 30 cents to 25, or otherwise retain which will enable the Department to progress with its the old rates.

proposed improvements without embarrassment, and Mr. MARTIN explained the reasons that had induced leave to a future Legislature the task of remedying the him to change his opinion. He was assured that the inequalities and defects in the existing tariff of postage. amendment would cripple the Department, and he was I shall therefore vote for a reconsideration. in favor of the old rates.

Mr. TAYLOR said that it seemed to be agreed on all Mr. Hawes was in favor of the old tariff, and hands that the Post Office Department was never intendshould vote both against the amendment and the propo-ed as a source of revenue to the Government, and that sition of the committee.

it never ought to be. In this, there appears no difference Mr. McKENNAN was in favor of the present rates; of opinion. But, sir, if the present rates of postage are for he had heard no complaints from his constituents, continued, it is very evident that it will become a source and he did not believe any change was desired. of revenue to a pretty large amount beyond the expenses

Mr. PARKS entered into an explanation, showing that of the Department. It appears by the report of the the proposition of the committee would injuriously affect | Postmaster General that the balance in favor of the De

H. or R.)

Post Office Department.

(May 31, 1836.

partment the last year was 467,000 dollars; and the an- postage, so that all will feel its beneficial effects, and none nual increase of the amount of postage has been, for a will have to complain that it is increased at any distance; few years past, not less than ten per cent. By the and it conforms in the rate of postage to the federal curstatement of the Postmaster General which has just been rency, which all admit is desirable. The only objection read, the amount of postage is set down at three millions to this I believe arises from the apprehension that it will of dollars for the last year, which, at the ordinary in- so far reduce the amount of postage as to embarrass the crease, will probably be not less this year than three mil. Department, and compel the Postmaster General to lessen lion three hundred thousand dollars. The increase of the expense by diminishing the accommodations now 300,000 dollars added to the balance in favor of the De. I enjoyed by the people. This certainly should be avoided. partment which accrued last year, and you have, at the 1 would do nothing calculated in the least to curtail the present rate of postage, the sum of 767,000 dollars present mail facilities, or to prevent that reasonable ex. revenue, over the expenditures; provided there should tension of the system which the rapidly increasing pop. be no additional expense incurred. The new routes ulation and business of the country may require, now or which are proposed to be established by the bill now hereafter. By the letter of the Postmaster General to before the House, it is estimated by the committee, will the chairman of the Post Office Committee, it appears cost the Department about 300,000 dollars, still leaving that his estimate of the amount of reduction which will a large balance in its favor. Now, sir, without any result from this amendment is something over half a change in the tariff of postage, and making all reason- million of dollars; which, he thinks, is more than the able allowance for extending the accommodation of mail Department can bear, and keep up the accommodations facilities according to the increasing wants of the peo. which are now furnished. But I do not understand, from ple, it cannot be doubted that there will be annually hearing the letter read, that in this estimate the increasaccumulating an excess of revenue over the expenditures, ing revenue from postage was taken into the account, to a large amount. This seems to be admitted by the which probably will equal, for a series of years, at least committee, and the amendment which they have propo- an annual increase of ten per cent., and which was estised, according to their estimates, will reduce the aggre. mated by the gentleman from Massachusetts at fifteen gate amount of postage some two or three hundred per cent. And as that gentleman has stated that if the thousand dollars. But this amendment I would not con- vote is not reconsidered, he sball move to amend, so as sent to, because I think it would operate unjustly and to defer the period when the new tariff of postage shall unequally. It proposes to reduce the amount of postage; take effect to the 1st day of January, 1838, it appears but while it reduces the rate with some, it increases it to me that the apprehended difficulties may and will be with others; it does not uniformly reduce the rate of avoided. There will, of course, before that period, be postage. My honorable colleague [Mr. Mann) has said, a large balance in favor of the Department, which, with more than once, that in examining this subject, it was the gradually increasing amount of postage, will, it is benot statesmanlike to examine it with reference to the lieved, be sufficient to warrant the reduction without ex. effect that it might have upon one's constituents; that periencing any embarrassment. At all events, before this would be too limited a view of the subject; but that ibat time, we shall have had two annual reports from we should look to its effects upon the whole people at the Postmaster General; the true condition of the Delarge.

partment will then be well understood, and something Sir, I grant that in examining the effect that any like a just estimate may be formed of the probable effect measure proposed here is likely to have, we should not of the reduction proposed, and the ability of the Depart. be exclusively confined to our immediate constituents; ment to sustain itself under it; and, as Congress will then but I venture to say no gentleman upon this floor can be in session, any alterations can be made which may be examine a subject so general in its operation, affecting, indicated by existing circumstances. I shall, therefore, more or less, all classes and conditions of people, as this vote against a reconsideration, fearing that, if the motion amendment does, without a particular inquiry into the to reconsider prevails, the amendment of the committee effect it will have upon his immediate constituents. will be adopted, which I am most decidedly opposed to, And, indeed, sir, if he should neglect to do this, he preferring altogether that the present rates of postage would be wanting in bis duty to them. Several gentle should be continued. men have expressed to the House the opinion that the Mr. SMITH said he was opposed to the motion of reamendment of the committee would operate injuriously consideration. The honorable gentleman from New upon their constituents; and such, sir, I have no doubt, York, who is a member of the Post Office Committee, would be the effect upon those I have the honor to rep: (Mr. Mann,] had told the House that my colleague, resent in part upon this foor; and hence I infer it would who has addressed the House this morning upon this produce general dissatisfaction. From my district to subject, [Mr. Panks,] has taken a narrow or “unstatesAlbany, the capital of the State, with which there is at manlike' view of it, because he has argued against the all times an extensive correspondence, and especially original proposition of the Post Office Committee, and in during the session of the Legislature, the postage would support of the proposition of the gentleman from Massabe increased from 12 to 15 cents; and to and from New chusetts, upon the ground of their dissimilar effects upYork, the commercial emporium of the State, it would on his [Mr. Parks's] immediate constituents, and the be increased from 183 to 20 cents; and so with other im- State of Maine. My colleague has told the House, Mr. portant points of communication. What the aggregate ef. Speaker, what will be the operations of the two projects fect may be, it is impossible for me to determine; but upon the citizens of Bangor and vicinity, and demonstrated look, as I know those wbom l represent would naturally that, while the one will not be prejudicial, but, perhaps, look, to the effect that it would have upon the correspond favorable to his constituents and to otbers interested in ence with those important points, where business neces. the commerce of Bangor, the other will be injurious and sarily leads to the greatest amount of letter comunica oppressive. And it is because the argument bas thus tion, and here I find the effect of the amendment of the been deduced from the effect to be produced upon a conimittee would be decidedly injurious. Sir, I voted for region with which the representative is familiar, and the amendment offered by the gentleman from Massachu. about which there can be no mistake, that the honorable setts which prevailed, and which it is now proposed to gentleman from New York repudiates it as narrow and reconsider. I was in favor of this, because it is free unstatesmanlike. from the objections which have been considered, it will I know not, Mr. Speaker, what may be the exact exbe more uniform in its effects, reducing all the rates of I tent of territory requisite to be embraced by one's

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »