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waters of the Atlantic with the Mr Mercer also expressed his Gulff Mexico, 10,400 dollars. hope that no sudden impulse caus

In reply to a question from Mred by the remarks of the gentleWickliffe.

man from Kentucky, would induce Mr McDuffie said that the the House to adopt the amendCommittee of Ways and Means inent. He adverted to charges had determined to make the ap- which had been formerly made of propriation this year, but there was improper expenditures in these a disposition in the Committee to surveys, charges which he said discountenance any excess of ex- had never been, in any single inpenditure on these objects. stance supported by anything like

Mr Hall, remarking on the a plausible argument. He instancterm · National objects, asked if ed the Chesapeake and Ohio there was not a national object to Canal, to show that the Governwhich the revenue could be pro- ment was not subject to call after perly and beneficially applied; he call for the same object. For that meant the payment of the national canal, which the Engineers estidebt. That was the only national mated at eight millions, Congress object in his view. · Mr Hemphill had subscribed one million. No stated that the present appropria- second application had been made tion was partly required to com- and he would say further, that no plete surveys already commenced. second call would be made on He thought the appropriation of Congress to aid the eastern sec$30,000 insufficient : and moved tion of the work, estimated at eight to add $5000.

millions. He stated that these Mr Ingersoll expressed his re- surveys are made for the purpose gret that the gentleman from Penn- of obtaining knowledge; and withsylvania had moved to increase out that knowledge we must legisthe sum. He stated that it had, late in the dark, and the public been the practice, till this year, money would be wasted, in larger to pay the arrearages, as well as sums, in useless discussions as to the current expenses out of this the routes of roads and canals. 30,000 dollars; but he under- Mr Lea suggested to Mr Wickstood that this year the Depart- liffe, to enlarge bis proposition, so ment had ordered only the current as to include all objects which expenses out of the 30,000 dollars. may be recommended by either

Mr Hemphill withdrew his House of Congress. proposition to amend.

Mr Ellsworth thought the limMr Wickliffe moved so to itation unjust and unreasonable. amend the bill as to confine the If there are objects which are naappropriation to surveys of nation- tional, yet to be commenced, it al works which have been com- would be unjust to postpone them menced and are not completed. because they had not been begun.

Mr Clay opposed the amend- Mr Wickliffe accepted the ment, the object of these surveys amendment of Mr Lea as a modbeing to give that information ification of his amedment. on which Congress may found The question was then put on legislation.

the amendment as modified, and decided in the negative

-yeas or no propositions will pass. Com50, nays 66.

plaint had been made that the The bill having been reported works begun were not national, to the House was again taken up yet it was proposed to compel the on the 31st of March, when Mr Government to complete them inWickliffe moved to amend the bill stead of taking up others which in the clause appropriating money might be national. It was therefor surveys, by adding a proviso, fore an unreasonable proposition, , that the sum appropriated should and he hoped it would not be be expended on works heretofore adopted. directed, or which may be directed Mr Wickliffe defended his by either House of Congress. amendment on the ground gene

Mr Ellsworth expressed a hope rally of the abuse which the present that the amendment would not be mode led to, the unimportant naadopted. He reminded the House ture of the works which it enabled that it had been customary to pass members to procure to be underan appropriation of this kind taken, &c. annually; and he desired that it Mr Martin stated that, although be applied on the usual principle, opposed to the system, he was that the same discretion, which had still more opposed to the amendbeen hitherto given to the proper ment, in its present form. If department in the disbursement of the system was to be continued, this money, should still be given to he was for leaving its exercise them. He argued against the pro- where it was now, to the Execuposed change as inexpedient, un- tive, and to keep this House as just and unreasonable.

clear as possible of the contention, It seemed to contemplate that and the agitation which it was calwhenever a proposition for any ap- culatod w produce here. He then propriation for any particnlar work moved to amend the amendment is made, the subject is to undergo by striking out, or such as may a discussion in this House; and hereafter be directed by either members are to be called on to House of Congress.' decide, with the superficial know- Mr Trezvant made some reledge they must be supposed to marks against the commitment of possess, on the preference of mak- a discretion to the Departments ing a survey for a route here, as to the direction of any surveys. over that for a route there. He He wished to confine the approprihoped, therefore, that the amend- ation to such surveys as have been ment would not prevail.

commenced, and that the House Mr McDuffie repeated, the ob- should afterwards decide on the jections he had urged against this propriety of new ones. He argulimitation at the last session, whened at some length in explanation of a similar proposition was negativ- his views, and hoped the amended by a vote of four to one. If ment of the gentleman from South this limitation should be adopted, Carolina would not be adopted. every member will have his own Mr Hall opposed the whole syspeculiar project carried through tem, the amendment as well as

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the bill itself. If he took the that of the Senate is thc vote of amendment of Mr Martin, the re- the representatives of the States ; mainder of Mr Wickliffe's amend- and he wished to unite both. He ment would contain enough to in- declared himself utterly opposed volve all his principles. He could to the whole system, and every vote for none of the questions pro- scheme, survey, and appropriaposed.

tion under it. Mr Mercer suggested that many

Mr Mercer advocated the powsurveys had been ordered by Con- er of the Government to make gress which have not yet been these surveys, and the practice commenced. And the effect of which had prevailed under that the amendment would be to relieve power, denying peremptorily that the Executive of all responsibility it had led to any abuses, although whatever.

the allegation was so often repeatThe amendment moved by Mr ed, and arguing that a work comMartin to the amendment, was mencing and ending in a State then negatived.

might be, and often was strictly Mr P. P. Barbour suggested a national ; many cases of which he modification of the amendment so cited ; among others, he mainas to strike out the words either tained that if a line of canals from House of, so as to read — shall Maine to Georgia was a national be directed by Congress. work, any part of that line, how

Mr Wickliffe declined to ac- ever small, is national. The whole cept the modification.

work cannot be completed at Mr P. P. Barbour then moved once; it must be constructed in his proposition as an amendment detail and in parts. The Buffalo

Mr Drayton stated that his and New Orleans road, he conopinion had always been that the sidered as national, whether it was act of 1824, authorizing this ex- cut up in decimal parts, or viewed penditure for surveys, was uncon- as a whole. He said he had stitutional. He consequently was carefully investigated the practice opposed to all appropriations for of the Department, and he bethese objects; but he was in favor lieved it to be free from abuse. of the amendment for reasons he Even in a case which he had four stated -- the chief of which was years ago considered the most that it would tend to prevent abuses doubtful, he had subsequently in the execution of the act, and satisfied himself that there was no contending that works beginning ground for doubt. To objections and ending in the same State, on the score of local interests becould not be deemed national, buting too influential, he replied that many such under the present sys- in time of war it was as important tem had been undertaken. a power which regulated the di

Mr P. P. Barbour enforced rection of an army, as that which the propriety of the amendment gives the direction of a road. he had offered. The vote of this The western part of the State of House is the vote of the repre- New York had entirely sprung up sentatives of the people, while under the fostering influence of

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nays 96.

111 nays.


the late war, as millions had been Mr Barringer said the adoption expended there, in consequence of the amendment could only of the march of troops there. lead to a multiplication of surveys, Yet no one contended that in that and he argued briefly to show the case the Government should be inexpediency of the amendments. controlled lest the local interests The amendment to the amendof one section should be preferred ment was negatived — yeas 72, to those of another.

Mr Ambrose Spencer stated The question was then taken that the question as to the power on the amendment of Mr Wickof the Government to make these liffe, and decided in the negative surveys, was settled by the act of 75

yeas, 1824, and that it was useless now The bill was then ordered to a to make it a subject of discussion. third reading — 121 yeas, 64 He was opposed to imposing upon nays, and having been passed was the present administration a lim- sent to the Senate for concuritation which had not been impos- rence. ed on their predecessors. He In the Senate, it was amended declared himself adverse to the by two additional sections, approamendment to the amendment, priating $100,000 for opening, as well as to the amendment. The Cumberland road west of He expressed his concurrence in Zanesville ; $60,000 for continthe views which had fallen from uing it through the State of Indithe last speaker, and controverted ana ; $40,000 for continuing it the idea that works confined en- through Illinois ; and $32,400 tirely to particular States were for opening it from St Louis to necessarily not national, cases of Jefferson City in Missouri, and which he cited.

also providing for the appointment Mr Irwin of Penn, expressed of superintendence of that road in his hope that both the amend- those States, upon the same terms ment of the gentleman from Ken- as those superintending the road tucky and that of the gentleman in Ohio. These amendments from Va. would be rejected.

were sanctioned by the Senate; Mr Mallary contended that it yeas 26, nays 16. was due to the President, who is An appropriation of $15,000 at the head of the military force, was also made for arrearages on to give to him an entire command account of the Cumberland road. over those works which are con- An amendment was also offered nected with the military defence by Mr Dickerson, to strike out of the country. He could, in the the appropriation for the survey exercise of that power, lead to of a canal between the Gulf of more full and more satisfactory Mexico and the Atlantic. This results, than we can ever be was rejected, 15 yeas, 31 nays, brought to by listening to the con- and the bill was passed the next tending claims of condicting inter- day (April 17th) 26 yeas, 17 ests in the House. There was nays. no reason for imposing this limita- In the House the amendments tion on the present Executive. were concurred in except those

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providing for the continuation of sanctioned by a vote of two thirds the Cumberland road from St of both Houses, it does not Louis to Jefferson City. Those become a law. This right of the parts were stricken out in the President, however, is a mere House, on the 29th of May, and naked right of approval or disapthe Senate having concurred, the proval. He cannot annex any bill was sent to the President for conditions or qualifications to his sanction.

his approval.' Still less can be He had now taken his stand on undertake to give any particular the question of internal improve- construction to a law at the time ment-(the message rejecting of his approval. The President the bill for constructing the Mays- however seemed to think otherville road, having been transmitted wise, and notwithstanding the secon the 27th of May,) — and tion directed the application of having there set up certain dis- this appropriation to a road extinctions between national and lo- tending from Detroit in Michigan, cal improvements, to justify his re- to Chicago in Illinois, he underjection of that bill, he undertook took to limit its application to to approve of this bill with a quali- such part of the road as was fication. This qualification con- within Michigan, and to imagine sisted in a reference to a message that that declaration of his, that sent to the House, together with he would so apply it, rendered the bill, wherein he declared that the appropriation constitutionally as the section appropriated $8000 within the power of Congress. for the road from Detroit to Chi- No declaration of his could cago might be construed to au- make such an appropriation conthorize the application of the ap- stitutional, unless Congress was propriation to continue the road originally authorized to make the beyond the territory of Michigan, appropriation as made in the bill. he desired to be understood as Ii not so authorized, the Presihaving approved the bill with the dent should have returned the bill understanding, that the road is with his objections, and a declaranot to be extended beyond the tion, that he would apply an unlimits of the said territory.' constitutional appropriation upon

This message exemplified in a a constitutional object, was superstriking manner the crude and un- adding to a legislative violation of settled notions of the President the Constitution, a breach of his and of his constitutional advisers own duty as the chief executive respecting the nature of the Gov- magistrate of the Union. This ernment and of the duties of the difficulty was occasioned by the Executive. The President by the views expressed in his Message Constitution is vested with the rejecting the Maysville and Lexright of returning bills, that he ington road bill, which will be does not choose to sanction, with found in the second part of this his objections to the House where volume, page 22. they originated. Here the bill This bill, which originated in is reconsidered and unless it is the House, where it was reported

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