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Meeting of Congress.-President's Message.-Public Lands.

Mr. Clay proposes Land Bill.-Proceedings in Senate.Proceedings in House.Bill passes.Retained by President. - United States Bank.Public Deposites.— Three per cents. -Bill on France.--Proceedings in Congress. The second session of the given of the foreign relations of 22nd congress commenced the the country. 4th day of December, 1832. The claims against Portugal

Thirty-two members of the had been acknowledged, the senate appeared in their places, negotiations with Spain, and and the vice president being ab- Naples for indemnity promised sent, and Mr. Tazewell, the a favourable result. president pro tem., having re- Chastisement had been inflictsigned his seat, Mr. Lowrie ed upon the pirates of Sumatra, called the senate to order, and for an injury committed upon they proceeded to elect a presi- our commerce. dent pro tempore.

The public finances were in On the 5th ballot Hugh the most prosperous condition, L. White of Tennessee, was de- and congress was congratulated clared duly elected, and he con- upon the near approach of the tinued to act as such during the entire extinction of the national session. In the house 165 mem- debt. As a consequence of this bers answered to their names, event the president recommenand both branches of congress, ded a reduction of the tariff, to being organized, information of the revenue standard. that fact was communicated to

He then alluded to the agency the president, and the next day of the United States bank in his annual message was trans- postponing the redemption of mitted to congress. That docu- the 3 per cents. to October, 1833, ment will be found in the appen- and suggested a doubt whether dix, page 80.

the public deposites were sa se A satisfactory account was in that institution.

He also recommended a re- the command of the federal govduction of the price of the public ernment in the public domain. lands, so as to prevent their be- A majority, however, in both coming a source of revenue, and branches of congress, were too an amendment of the constitu- strongly impressed with the tion so as to limit, and define the wisdom of the policy hitherto power of the general govern- pursued hastily to abandon it, ment over internal improve. and the land bill introduced by ment. The policy of the gov- Mr. Clay at the last session, ernment in relation to the In- was regarded by them as a dians was applauded, and an means of securing the existing extension of the judiciary system policy from hasty and improper to the new western states, was innovations, by enlisting strong again recommended.

and active interests in its sup.

port. The subject next in impor- This bill proposed that 10 tance to nullification which at- per cent. of the proceeds of the tracted the attention of congress public lands, should be reserved at this session was the public land in addition to the 5 per cent. now system. In the last volume of reserved for internal improvethis work, an account was given ments in the new states, and of the public domain, and of the that the residue should be general system adopted for its divided among all the states in management.

proportion to their representaConflicting opinions had pre- tion, to be applied under the vailed, since the absolute neces- direction of the state governsity of deriving a revenue from ments to the purposes of educathis source had ceased, as to tion, internal improvement, or the propriety of persevering in colonization. this system.

In consequence of the opposiA party had arisen which tion of the administration, this sought to bring the whole public bill was postponed in the house, domain into market at once, for after receiving the sanction of the purpose of enriching a few the senate, and in his message, speculators at the expense of the president expressed himself the public. Others advocated in favour of reducing the price of a reduction of the price as an the public lands, so as to barely approximation to the same result. reimburse the expenses of their Some urged a donation to the acquisition, and surveying. states, of the public lands within

This view of the subject was their respective limits, and va- with good reason deemed as rious schemes, all indicating an intended to subvert the existing unsettled, and restless state of land policy, and at an early the public mind, were started for period of the session, Mr. Clay the purpose of prodigally dis- asked leave to introduce a bill sipating the great resources at similar to the one which had

taken up.

passed the senate at the last into our government; that consession. On the 12th of De- gress had no right to delegate cember, he accordingly intro- its authority to them, and that duced the bill, which being re- the proposition to divide the ferred to the committee on public proceeds of the public lands, lands, on the 3d of January, was only another mode of wastMr. Kane reported from this ing the public revenue, and committee an amendment sub- thereby prolonging the system stituting instead of Mr. Clay's of high protecting duties. bill, a new bill, reducing the A doubt, too, was suggested, price of public lands to one as to the right of the federal dollar per acre, and to fifty cents, government to hold these lands, to actual settlers. Mr. Clay within states which had been moved, upon the coming in of created.

Unless the property the report, that it be made the in the soil belonged to the state order of the day, for the 7th of government, or its inhabitants, it January, when the subject was could have no claim to be inde

pendent, and it was thus degraded Mr. Kane, Mr. Buckner, Mr. to a dependant condition, and Black, Mr. Grundy, Mr. Hill, was merely a colony. Mr. Moore and Mr. Benton, Those who supported the bill spoke in opposition to Mr. Clay's asserted that though it was true bill, and were replied to by Mr. that the government owned a Clay, Mr. Bibb, Mr. Poindexter great part of the land, still it had and Mr. Ewing.

made liberal appropriations for The opponents of the bill internal improvements and educontended that the new states cation, and now proposed to inwere not on an equality with increase them; that it had prothe old; that they were kept tected the settlers, and defrayed down by one great landholder the expenses of their government, whose property was not subject while territories, out of the pubto taxation for roads, education, lic treasury,: that the land was and other public objects; and sold upon liberal terms, and that that while they were subject to the west was settled so fast, that these disadvantages, large sums the political institutions of the of money were annually drawn country could hardly keep pace from their limits, to be expended with its growth. That the proin the old states ; that the price position to divide the proceeds of the public lands was too high, was not new; and that it could and that it should be reduced to scarcely be deemed unconstitufacilitate the settlement of the tional by those who had propowest.

sed to divide the whole surplus It was contended, too, that revenue in the same manner; it was unconstitutional to divide that there was no danger of corthe public revenue among the rupting the states by a pro rata states, and that such a course distribution of any branch of the would

introduce corruption revenue, and that the objects to be promoted were of the utmost years, and to surrender the reimportance to the public welfare. fuse lands to the states after a

Various efforts were made to given period, and the other by postpone taking the question, so Mr. Mardis, for granting to that it was not until the 24th of actual settlers the right of preJanuary, that the vote on the emption. substitute was taken, when the These resolutions were postsubstitute was rejected, ayes 17, poned to the 16th of December, nays 26.

and when taken up for consideMr. Benton then moved that ration, a discussion commenced each of the new states should upon the general merits of the have a grant of land equal to land policy of the government, what had been granted to Ohio; which was only terminated by but the amendment was nega- a motion to lay the resolutions tived, ayes 12, nays 26.

upon the table. Mr. Benton now moved to The bill from the senate was deduct the expenses of the pub- not taken up until the 1st of lic lands, before dividing the pro- March. ceeds; but the senate rejected it, Two motions were then made ayes 14, nays 24. Mr Forsyth in the committee of the whole then moved to strike out coloni- house, to amend the bill, by Mr. zation, as one of the objects to Duncan, to reduce the minimum which the proceeds were to be price to one dollar, and to set applied; which was negatived, apart 20 per cent. instead of 12, ayes 18, nays 21.

of the proceeds for the new An amendment moved by Mr. states, which were negatived Mangum, to strike out all re- without a count. strictions on the application of

Mr. Wickliffe then moved to the funds, shared the same fate; strike out the objects to which ayes 16, nays 23.

the funds were to be applied, An attempt was made, the and to postpone the distribution next day, January 25, to recon- until the public debt was paid, sider the vote as to colonization; which amendments were carried. but the senate refused, ayes 18, Mr. Clay, of Alabama,then movnays 27. Efforts to recommited to strike out the whole bill, and postpone were equally un- and to substitute one reducing successful, and the bill was pass- the price of the public lands, ed, ayes 24, nays 20. The bill which, after a warm debate, was was then sent to the house for rejected without a division; as concurrence. In that body, re- was a motion of Mr. Mason's, to solutions were offered at an deduct the expenses attending early day, (Dec. 11) one by Mr. the management of the public Boon, and also one by Mr. Clay lands before distribution. of Alabama, to inquire into the The bill was then reported to expediency of reducing the price the house, and the amendment of all the lands which had been of Mr. Wickliffe, which left the subject to private entry for five application of the funds 'to the

discretion of the states, was con- also in transferring them from curred in, and the other, refer- one place to another, without ring to the public debt, was re- charge. It was also provided jected. The other amendments that the public moneys should be were cut off by the previous deposited in the United States question, and the bill was pass- bank, unless the secretary of the ed, ayes 96, nays 40, and sent treasury should otherwise diback to the senate.

rect; and in that case, the secreIn that body, Mr. Chambers de- tary was required to give his clared himself much dissatisfied reasons to congress immediately with the amendment, but it was upon its meeting. concurred in, ayes 23, nays 5.

For its exclusive privileges, of These votes indicated that which this was one of the most two thirds of both houses were important, the bank agreed to in favour of the policy advocated pay, and did pay, a bonus of by Mr. Clay, and if the presi- $1,500,000 to the United States dent had returned the bill with government. his objections, it was understood The deposit of the public that it would have become a moneys, therefore, was in pursulaw, notwithstanding the veto. ance of a contract, and the

This opportunity, however, power of removal vested in the was not given to them, as the secretary, was obviously intendpresident retained the law until ed to enable him to secure the after the adjournment, and thus government from loss, should prevented congress from express- any event render the bank ining its opinion upon his objec- secure as a place of deposit, or tions. The bill was thus defeat- if the bank should prove itself ed by the executive, who in this unfaithful as a fiscal agent. manner assumed an absolute, After the act renewing the instead of the qualified veto upon charter of the bank had been the acts of the legislature, which vetoed, the policy and constituwas confided to him by the con- tionality of creating such an institution.

stitution by congress, became

more pointedly the subjects of Among the subjects recom- political discussion, and the admended in the annual message ministration and its supporters to the attention of congress, was were finally arrayed in deadly the propriety of removing the hostility against the bank. public moneys from the United A striking proof of this feeling States bank.

was given in the annual message, In incorporating this institu- in the recommendation of the tion, it was provided in the act president to remove the public of incorporation, that the bank deposits, and a further indicashould act as the fiscal agent of tion was manifested when the the government in receiving, and secretary of the treasury, who disbursing the public funds, and had hitherto advocated its re

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