Obrazy na stronie
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

fully resisted. have
to say now that from the one of the fundamental principles

of his party) is u

tary of State, or any other officer to whose appoint sents itself to my mind—that suggested by the countries, we should have much less cause of ment we advise and consent, be more sacred ? | Senator from Virginia (Mr. Hunter) in regard to trouble. I know these may be considered ultra The public have a right to know his character. the subject of nominations. If it is to be under Democratic, and radical notions. Very well, I If it be good then he is fit for the office. If it be stood that all nominations are to be public, unless am content to entertain them, and leave to those bad the people have a right to know it; and their when particular nominations are designated as the gentlemen who believe there is something sacred representatives in the Senate have no right to con subject of private consideration, every time we in the character of our Government, some rights firm a nomination unless it is of a character with consider a nomination in private it will involve us peculiar to it, separate and apart from the people, which the people can be satisfied.

in difficulty. I have had occasion to oppose nom to entertain the opposite opinion; but until I can With regard to the treaties, I may be behind || inations for my own State, even those sent in by believe that the people are not sufficiently intellithe age in which I live. It is probable that I am; a Whig Administration, and to give my reasons gent or virtuous to be intrusted with their own but I cannot conceive of an instance when it is for so doing; and I have had occasion to say here affairs, and that the representative shall not be necessary that a treaty should be acted upon in that appointments made even by my own political held directly and strictly responsible for everysecret. I do believe that if in all our discussions friends were of a very objectionable character. thing he does, and everything he says in relation upon treaties the doors of the Senate had been Nominations of this kind come before us, and Sen- | to the public interest, I shall be opposed to any. open, and the newspaper press at liberty to com ators feeling a delicacy on the subject would not thing like secrecy in our proceedings. If our proment upon our proceedings, very many treaties feel at liberty to speak with perfect freedom in ceedings are right we have no cause to fear their which are now the law of the land would never public of the character of a man who may be up being submitted to the people. If we are not conhave been ratified. I do not believe the treaty of for an office, and whom we should think incompe scious that they are right, if they are of a doubtGuadalupe Hidalgo or the Clayton-Bulwer treaty tent for the office, and if one were to move to make ful policy or positively wrong, we should not would have been ratified; or at any rate we should the matter one for the private consideration of the engage in them. Sir, I want my constituents to have been spared the almost interminable discus. Senate, the motion itself would indicate what was know not only what I do in regard to their intersion which we had at a recent session, consuming to follow. Under these circumstances, of all things ests, but what I think. I would entertain no almost all our time, and costing how much money, on earth the nominations for offices submitted to opinion and express none, and give no vote that I do not know, if they had been laid before the the consideration of the Senate should be treated I would not desire them to know, and the reasons public, when the newspaper press could have taken as confidential, as we would treat them in our per which govern me in giving it. them up and discussed them, and the people could sonal intercourse. I trust, therefore, the practice Mr. PHELPS. Mr. President, I am extremely have understood them. I believe there are many of the Senate will not be departed from. I know gratified with the position which the honorable men who voted for those treaties, who would be the subject has been agitated and discussed, but Senator has taken. Although I have been for glad if they could go back and vote “no” upon the result of the discussion has always been that some years a member of this body, I have never them. I believe incalculable mischief has been the Senate has adhered to its preceding practice;

considered myself as the particular exponent of done to the public interests by having secret dis- and I think if the contrary method obtained the the principles and views of any party. If the cussions, and I believe it would be avoided if the experience of the Senate would, in a few months, Senator aitributes to my party sentiments which doors were always open to reporters of the public show them the necessity for changing it back to the honorable Senator from Virginia has just adpress, and to the people themselves to come in, the old one.

vanced, and if I am the exponent of Whig princiand hear every word uitered on the floor, and then Mr. BORLAND. I am not at all surprised to ples and practices, unfortunately the distinguished be permitted to discuss among themselves every hear the sentiments expressed by the Senator from Senator from Virginia is in the same category: question which is before us.

Vermont, for I would say with all respect to him Now, sir, I might retort upon the Senator, and Mr. PHELPS. During my experience in this that they are appropriate to the political party to

ask him if the Senator from Virginia is an expobody, several efforts have been made to change which he belongs, and to so able a representative nent of Whig principles? In the few remarks the rule of the Senate in relation to our mode of of it as he is upon this floor. It is perfectly nat which I made, I alluded to the practice of the Sen. holding Executive sessions; and to my gratifica- | ural for gentlemen of his political school to suppose ate from its origin to the present day, during which tion every attempt of that kind has been success that this Government (for I understand that to be it has been sustained by all who have gone before

us, and certainly they were not all Whigs. of the

But, sir, there is another consideration here. day, the rule which now obtains has governed it. above them and having rights which the people Is not the Senator aware that this practice has We have then from the first organization of the have not. I was a little surprised, though, to hear prevailed during a period of some sixiy or seventy Senate to the present day, the opinions of all who the Senator from Virginia, (Mr. Hunter,] because years, and when the majority in the Senate has have gone before us in support of the rule as it || he belongs to another political school which does consisted of his party? Has it not been so during now exists, to treat matters of a certain descrip- | hold to responsibility on the part of the represent most of our experience here! And if this rule be tion in secret session. Why should we abolish | ative to the constituents. But, sir, the Senator one consisting of Whig principles and Whig it? Why should we at this stage of the Senate from Vermont I think is perfectly consistent. He notions, how happens it that the Senator and his with a bare quorum present take it upon ourselves is acting upon and carrying out the great principle political friends have not abrogated it? Sir, if this to change permanently the character of the Sen- | upon which his party has acted in all its policy is a Whig doctrine it comes with not a very good ate, and to regulate the proceedings of those who from the beginning of the Government down. The grace from a gentleman associated with the majorare to come after us? Sir, a radical change of this || idea that the Government is a thing separate and ity of this body, to retort upon us. kind ought not to be made hastily. It ought not apart from the people, and looks down upon them 'I do not know that anything fell from me in the to be made in a moment, when the sense of a full as altogether without intelligence and disqualified remarks which I submitted, which would indicate Senate cannot be obtained.

for considering and determining on matters relative that I had any party view in the expression of Mr. BORLAND. Will the Senator permit to their interest, is drawn from Governments on them. I spoke of the propriety of the thing. me to say that this is not a new question?" Five the other side of the Atlantic; but under this Gov- Now, I put it to the Senator from Arkansas himyears ago it was before the body, and it has been ernment, which is based upon the very idea of the self, if a nomination were made from his own more or less discussed at every session since. intelligence of the people, their competency for State, which was unpalatable to himself, would he

Mr. PHELPS. That is just what I remarked self-government, their sufficiency in point of pub be willing to express his views fully in public upon in the outset, that efforts have been made from lic virtue and intelligence to understand and dis it? I am perhaps not a man of as much firmness time to time to abolish our present rule, and they charge wisely and properly all questions relating as he is, but I do not think that I would. And have always been unsuccessful. There are most to their interests, it seems to me that such a doc here let me remark that this rule of the Senate has abundant reasons for our holding secret sessions. trine is altogether out of place.

been made for its own protection, and it ought Does any man believe that our negotiations with With regard to treaties, it seems to me that not to be submitted to the discretion of the Presia foreign nations can be conducted with success, if sscret negotiations are very proper to European dent. It is not for the Executive to determine every project which is started by the treaty-making countries, where the Governments do not look to whether our proceedings shall be in secret or in power is to be made and acted upon subject to the interests of the people, but only to the interest public. It pertains to the dignity of the body to public inspection at the time? Are we to gain of the particular dynasty that happens to be reign regulate that. If a nomination is made, and the anything by exhibiting our diplomacy to the world ing at the time, and where the diplomacy and President consults us in relation to the propriety when the practice of the rest of the world is to negotiations consist in a sort of family arrange of that nomination, the very proposition is confikeep their diplomacy to themselves? It seems to ment for the benefit of the governors, and not of dential in its character. Suppose the chairman of me that we are not. We are often compelled, in the governed, leading to many things with which a committee to whom a nomination is referred in the discussion of treaties, to act upon considera we do not have anything to do in our treaties, this body appeals to me and says, “Sir, here is a tions which at the moment would not bear to meet such as their contracts for marriage for the pur nomination for your own State; you know the the public view. Take the instance suggested by | pose of sustaining such a dynasty on a particular man; what do you say of him?" I may reply the Senator, the treaty of peace with Mexico. ihrone, for the elevation of one and putting down that he is a very good citizen, but that in my humThat treaty was negotiated during a period of great of another, and to carry out some combination ble opinion he has not the integrity which entitles excitement. When we were called upon to act on among the nations. We stand apart from all such him to that office. Would any chairman of a it the excited state of feeling arising from the war considerations as those. We have no connection committee in this body feel himself at liberty to in which we were then involved was very high, with them. We have no such connection with come and report to the Senate that I had expressed and it was therefore our duty not to be guided by other Governments. We deny the right of other doubts of his integrity? Would any member of a the public feeling and public excitement, but by governments to interfere in our affairs, and we committee who consulted a Senator from the State, our own deliberate judgment on the subject, trusi disclaim the right on our part to interfere with feel at liberty to disclose a communication which ing to a rational view afterwards, when the public theirs. It has seemed to me from the limited view was asked for as confidential? Now, sir, if there excitement subsided, to justify ourselves before I have been able to take of the subject, that oui would be no propriety in that, if there would be the public. And that we could not have done in system of diplomacy has been one of humbuggery no propriety in disclosing it to an assembly of this open session.

and deceit, and that if we had a little plain sailing character, is there any propriety in calling in the But there is another consideration which pre- ll and open dealing in our relations with foreign whole country as witnesses to what I would say

320 Cong....3d Sess.

Special Session-Voting by Machinery.


meet to morrow at two o'clock.

in respect to the man? The Senator seems to con- from the people. Sir, I am as much a friend of Resolved, That the 34th rule of the Senate be amended sider that all the affairs are of a private nature. the people as the Senator; but I am a friend to the by adding to the clause providing for a committee of three But there are considerations which come before us people whose judgment, whose public interest is

members, whose duty it shall be to audit and control the

contingent expenses of the Senate, the following: connected with confidential communications be- to be respected. I am not a friend of that people And to whom shall be referred all resolutions directing tween us and the President, which are in their who are to be regarded as the irresponsible multi- the payment of money out of the contingent fund of the very nature confidential, and ought to be so treat- tude, whose transient public sentiments are not to

Senate, or creating a charge on the same. ed, and would be so treated in the private inter- | govern me. If this country is to preserve its lib

PUBLICATION OF DEBATES. course of all honorable men.

erty, and we are to appeal to the tribunal of the Mr. SEWARD. I offer the following resoluI am not disposed to protract this discussion, | people, I want it to be one of intelligence; and it is tion, and ask for its consideration now: but, sir, I must be permitted to say that whatever on that account that I wish to preserve this Gov

Resolved, That the Secretary be authorized to procure may be the views of other gentlemen, I hope and ernment in its ancient form. I am not one of those the publication in the National Intelligencer, of so much of trust that I shall leave this place, and take leave of who would break down, unnecessarily at least, the debates of the Senate during the last session of Congress

as has not been already published in that paper, and to pay public life with a better consciousness than that of any of the great landmarks which our forefathers

for such publication, and also for the publication of speeches having been the mere organ of a party. In the prescribed for our guidance.

of that session already made in the Intelligencer, the sum remarks which I made I had no regard to any Mr. SUMNER. Party allusions and party of four dollars per column. question in its political aspect. If it were a party considerations have been brought to bear upon Mr. CHASE. Let it lie over. question the matter would have been different. In this question. I wish to regard it for a moment

RECESS. the remarks which I made, I had only reference in the light of the Constitution and our instituto what was the practice of the Senate, and the tions. In the Constitution there is no injunction

Mr. MASON. We seldom receive any Execupropriety of that practice. of secrecy, on any of the proceedings of ihe Sen

tive communications until after one o'clock; 1 proMr. BUTLER: This is not the first time that ate; nor is there any requirement of publicity. || propose, therefore, if it meets the approbation of this subject has been under the consideration of To the Senate is left absolutely the determination the Senate, that we take a recess until half past the Senate since I have been a member of it. I of its rules of proceedings. In thus abstaining one.

I make that motion. recollect that some five or six years ago an hon- from all regulation of this matter the framers of

The motion was agreed to. orable Senator from Ohio, (Mr. Allen,] introduced the Constitution have obviously regarded it as in

EXECUTIVE SESSION. a resolution of the same kind; and I know that in all respects within the discretion of the Senate, to The Senate reassembled at half past one; and the discussion which took place at that time all the || be exercised from time to time as it thinks best. on motion by Mr. Mason, proceeded to the conold and respected Senators who were then in the The Senate exercises three important functions: | sideration of Executive business; and after a short Senate, Mr. Calhoun, Mr. Clay, and Mr. Web- First, the legislative or parliamentary power, time spent therein, the doors were reopened. Bler, took the same ground with the fathers of the wherein it acis concurrently with the House of

HOUR OF MEETING. Republic, and without distinction of party insisted Representatives, as well as the President; secupon the security of this usage; that is, of the Sen-ondly, the power “to advise and conseni" to

On motion by Mr. MASON, it was ate being a confidential body for certain purposes treaties with foreign countries in concurrence with

Ordered, That when the Senate adjourns to-day, it be to to advise the President. I should be very sorry the President; and, thirdly, the power “to advise to see it departed from. This is not a pure de- and consent" to nominations by the President to

VOTING BY MACHINERY. mocracy. If the Government of the United States offices under the Constitution. I say nothing of Mr. HOUSTON presented the memorial of was an undisguised and simple democracy, per- | another, rarely called into exercise, the sole power | Henry Johnson, the inventer of a new mode for haps the gentlemen might well insist upon a reso- to try impeachments.

taking the yeas and nays, asking an appropriation lution of this kind. They might make the Senate Ai the first organization of the Government the to enable him to make a trial of his machine in the the arena for the discussion of every subject as proceedings of the Senate, whether in legislation Senate Chamber. was done in Athens, or in democracies where the or on treaties oron nominations, were with closed The memorial was read. people directly had a vote. But we are a confed. || doors. In this respect the legislative business and Mr. HOUSTON. In submitting that memorial eracy of organized republics, and we live under a executive business were conducted alike. This I am willing to acknowledge that I am not sufficonstitution—a constitution by whose obligations continued down to the second session of the Third | cient of a mechanic to pronounce a positive decisI feel bound, as well as the usages under it. Congress, in 1794, when, in pursuance of a formal ion upon this new mode of taking the yeas and In private life when we have very grave matters resolution, the

galleries were allowed to be opened || nays; but from the examination which I have to consider, we generally call friends into confi- so long as the Senate were engaged in their legisla- || been able to give it, in connection with other Sendential consultation. Grand juries are organized | tive capacity, unless in such cases as might, in the ators older and more experienced than myself, I upon the same principle.

opinion of the Senate, require secrecy; and this rule feel convinced that the adoption of it will be the Mr. BORLAND. . Very improperly.

has continued ever since. Here was an exercise of means of a great saving of time, that in point of Mr. BUTLER. The Senator 'says very im- the discretion ofthe Senate,in obvious harmony with accuracy it is perfect, and it will afford Senators properly. I am one of those who believe that there public sentiment and the spirit of our institutions. who wish to talk a much better opportunity than is much more wisdom in the experience and trial and The change now proposed goes still further. It | they now have. It will have a tendency to shorten ordeal of time than in a hasty judgment. It has opens the doors on all occasions, whether legisla- || the sessions of Congress, and particularly so in been quaintly said by some one that constitutions tive or executive, except when specially ordered the House of Representative, if it should answer are made by a few sober men to control themselves otherwise. The Senator from South Carolina (Mr. | the purpose for which it is intended, as I believe it and the many when they are drunk. I believe that Butler) says that the Senate is a confidential will. The sum required for the purpose of making it is not an unwise proposition, that a constitution body, and should be ready to receive confidential the experiment is inconsiderable compared to the should be made deliberately and absolutely to communications from the President. But this will || value that will ultimately result to the Government guard us against temptations of excitement when

still be the case if we adopt the resolution now un- if it should be found efficient as is expected. Fifoccasions might arise to inflame the passions. der consideration. The limitation proposed seems teen hundred dollars is all that will be necessary,

In regard to discussions on treaties, if foreign ample for all exigencies, while the general rule will and that will enable a key to be put at every Senanations were to understand that we were to delib- | be publicity. The Executive sessions with closed tor's desk and the machine to be put in operation. erate upon their secret communications, and upon | doors, shrouded from the public gaze and public in the operation of the machine there is no possitheir treaties, in public, 1 doubt very much whether | criticism, constitute an exceptional part of our sys- | bility of an inaccuracy taking place. I know not they would make such communications as would enable us to take such advantages as would be of ll of other Governments less liberal in character. tem, too much in harmony with the proceedings | how many Senators have examined it; but I am

sure that any one who has paid any attention to service to us. I doubt very much whether they | The genius of our institutions requires publicity. its operation in the hands of the inventor must be would not withhold from us the very clue to the | The ancient Roman who bade his architect so to satisfied that it is a perfect machine of its kind. system of policy to enable us to adopt it with in- construct his house that his guests and all that he It may be objected that in the working of the telligence. 'Sir, such discussions of treaties is un- did could be seen by the world, is a fit model for machine while the yeas and nays are being taken, known in any other Government. I know it is the American people.

if a Senator were not in his own seat he could not said that this is a perfect democracy, that this is a Mr. MASON. I move to postpone the further vote. That is very easily obviated, for when the model republic, which is to set everything at defi- || consideration of the resolution until to-morrow. yeas and nays are read over by the Clerk, after ance, and that all that has gone before us, and the The motion was agreed to.

the vote has been taken, he could record his vote precepts and example of our ancestors, are so


in the same manner as is done now. He could do many impediments in the way of the progress of

A message was received from the President of || that if he were absent and came in during the call modern intelligence. I do not think so. I have the United States, by SIDNEY WEBSTER, Esq., his 1 of the yeas and nays or at their termination, so the organ of veneration. If you are to open the Private Secretary; and on motion by Mr. Gwin, that no objection can be made to it on that ground. galleries of the Senate to witness the discussion of the Senate proceeded to the consideration of Ex- No other person but the Senator himself can yote nominations, in many instances, rather than goecutive business; and after some time spent therein, in his seat. If the machine is fixed at his desk he on the streets, I would say nothing at all. I might

the doors were reopened, be tempted, from a sense of justice, to do so.

And the Senate adjourned.

No one can take advantage of his position to vote

in his absence; and not only that, if he should Senators and the President asked my opinion I

lose his key, all that he will have to do when the would give it freely and fairly, but I would give it under such circumstances at least as not to subject

THURSDAY, April 7, 1853.

yeas and nays are read over will be to address

the President and record his vote as is now done. myself to the popular mobs that might be organ

Prayer by the Rev. J. G. Butter.

It will not conceal the vote of any individual. ized out of the Chamber.


He cannot vote covertly because his name will The old usages of our Government seem to be Mr. BRIGHT submitted the following resolu- ll be read by the Clerk as soon as the voting has crumbling away. Democratic clubs and associa- || tion; which was considered by unanimous con- taken place. I can see no possible objection to the tions are taking the steps that should emanate sent, and agreed to:

machine. If the experiment should prove it to be New Series.—No. 21.

32n Cons.....30 Sess.

Special Session-Voting by Machinery.


worth anything, it will certainly be worth the sum to recommend its adoption, that I really think, if over to me, and I may use them as I thumb the which it will take to make it. If it should prove the Senate will reflect upon it, that they will not keys of a piano, and who would detect it? The successful, the House of Representatives can adopt || hesitate about it. I will remark, in the mean time, Senator from South Carolina (Mr. BUTLER) sug. it, and it will save half of their time, which they 1 that it will not be so important in the Senate, where gests that a Senator might lose his key. That is may add to their hour turns of speaking; for it there are but sixty-two names to call, as in the very true; but each man is presumed not to lose, takes half an hour there to take the yeas ard nays. House, where there are more than two hundred and wherever he is in the Chamber before the yeas The confusion which is incident to the taking of names. It will expedite business there, and will be a and nays are taken, he must, when the voie is the yeas and nays by the present mode, can all be saving of at least one half the time which they con- | given, be in his seat; and I can imagine nothing obviated. They can be taken in one minute, as sume. It will also enable them to dispense with more proper than to hear you, sir, in the place well as in ten hours. The only trouble will be their one-hour rule, and will give them an oppor- which you so well occupy arranging the Senate: that the Clerk will have to read over the names tunity of speaking as long as they please. It will “Senators to your places; are you all ready?" after they have been recorded. If the proposition take the yeas and nays with equal accuracy as, || (Laughter.). It would be very much like an old should meet the approbation of the Senate, I really and in a great deal less time than, the present militia training where, after getting the soldiers in think that it has never adopted anything for its mode. The majority of the committee indorse order, you ask “ Are you all ready;" and when convenience or for the saving of time, since it has my opinion as will all who examine the machine. all are ready then comes the word “Fire." The been a deliberative body, that will be more effectual | It will cost but $1,500 to make the experiment, | whole thing in my judgment is ridiculous. than the plan proposed. I do not wish to take it on and as gentlemen have objections to it, I should As to making an experiment in the Senate for myself positively to say so. Gentlemen have the like to hear them.

the benefit of the House of Representatives, I think same opportunity to examine the machine that I Mr. DODGE, of lowa. I was in the minority | it would be highly improper. Besides, I was long have. Tact from the conviction that it is useful, || of the committee on this subject. I cannot give a enough of that body to know that in this very necessary, and proper, and that it will be of great || positive opinion as to this machine itself. It ap- || calling of the yeas and nays lies one of the conadvantage, both in the saving of time and as a pears to me, however, that the delay occasioned || stitutional rights of its members." It is the right matter of accuracy. I move that the resolution | by the present mode of taking the yeas and nays, of a minority sometimes to consume the time of which I offered yesterday on this subject be taken which is a serious evil in the House of Represent- || that House when, in the last stages of legislation, up for consideration.

atives, does not exist here. If that body wishes erroneous and objectionable measures are attempted The resolution was read, as follows:

to use this new method of taking its yeas and to be forced upon them by a bare majority. I Resolved, that the Secretary of the Senate be, and he nays, I am disposed to let it do so, but I am not have been a member there, as I would be anyis hereby, authorized and directed to contract with llenry disposed to say that the Senate shall try the ex- where, to resist legislation of that kind, and resort Johnson, the inventor, for the construction in the Senate Chamber, of his new mode of taking the yeas and naya; || sentatives. One reason why I am opposed to this

periment for the benefit of the House of Repre- to all constitutional expedients—the calling of the provided the entire cost of the construction shall not exceed

yeas and ways is one of them—to defeat it. The the sum of $1,500, to be paid out of the contingent fund of

machine is, that sometimes a gentleman votes in argument, that it is wholly inappropriate for us to the Senate."

the negative when he wishes to vote in the affirm- undertake to try experiments for the House, is a Mr. BRIGHT. The resolution, I presume, ative, and the reading over of the names in a hurry sufficient answer to the proposition. I would not must go to the Committee on the Contingent Ex- may not enable him to detect the erroneous vote. make the allusion to the Senate, nor would I make penses of the Senate.

It is a sort of machinery that may be suitable to it disrespectfully to the House, but it is suggested The PRESIDENT. Certainly. Under the rule such a body as the House of Representatives where by Senators here that it is very convenient, at adopted this morning, that resolution goes to the perhaps there is a great loss of time occasioned by least for some men, to know how others vote beCommittee on Contingent Expenses.

ihe present method of taking the yeas and nays, fore they vote themselves; and if the voting is to Mr. HOUSTON. The resolution was intro- but I think it is not such a one as we should have be done by a mechanical process they will be deduced yesterday, and I suppose, according to the adopted in this body. I think that the inventor prived wholly of that privilege. Those men who practice of the Senate, it can be taken up for con- is an ingenious man. I wish to do nothing to in- follow file leaders will not know in which direction sideration now.

jure his rising prospects, or in any way detract their file leader is going, and they might perchance The PRESIDENT. In the opinion of the from his invention. I am in favor of promoting vote ay when they meant no. That would be Chair, it goes to the committee.

inventions, and am even willing to be humbugged another great mistake. I repeat that I think the Mr. HOUSTON. Do I understand that the rule to a moderate extent; and I never laugh at any whole thing is really ridiculous. adopted this morning, has a retroactive operation ? || attempt which is made at an invention. We live Mr. MALLORY. The idea of taking the yeas The resolution was submitted before the rule was in an extraordinary age; and it seems to me that and nays by machinery is not a new one. proposed.

wonders will never cease. If Napoleon had lis- very old one. Some eight years ago, a very inThe PRESIDENT. Does the Senator from tened to Fulton and not spurned him away, he genious friend of mine in Florida, invented a very Texas appeal from the decision of the Chair? might have been the conqueror of England. But curious and pretty machine for the purpose, and

Mr. HOUSTON. No, sir. I move that me- such great results will hardly attend this invention. when he came here to®obtain a patent, found that morial be referred to the same committee.

However, I do not wish tó depreciate it. I be- five days before, a patent had been issued to anThe motion was agreed to.

lieve the inventor is a meritorious young man. If other man for a machine in all respects similar to

he can only satisfy the House of Representatives, PAPERS WITHDRAWN.

and very nearly the same as his own. There are in which such a loss of time is occasioned by the some twenty different machines now existing for On motion by Mr. SHIELDS, Thonias G. Clin- | present method of taking the yeas and nays, that the purpose, many of which I have examined. ton had leave to withdraw his memorial and papers it is advisable that his machine should be adopted The one which we have now before us is particuin relation to the Potomac bridge.

there, I would like to see it carried into practice; larly ingenious, and would no doubt accomplish EXECUTIVE BUSINESS.

and when the Senate becomes expanded by the the object, if it be designed that the Senate shall On the motion of Mr. MASON, the Senate again which we are to obtain, there may be a necessity creation of more States out of the immense territory give up the practice of voting by voice and adopt

ing that of voting by machinery; and if that pracproceeded to the consideration of Executive busi

for it here, but at present I think there is none. tice be adopted, 1 apprehend it would be simply ness; and after some time spent therein, the doors

Mr. HAMLIN. The Senator from Iowa has an entering wedge. You would be required to go were reopened, and The Senate adjourned.

very well stated some of the objections which on and give the vote by machinery, to take it by exist, at least in my mind, to the adoption of the machinery, and to announce it by machinery. I

measure proposed by the resolution, but he has do not see but that one could be done as well as Friday, April 8, 1853.

not stated all of them. Every innovation is clearly the other.

not an improvement. There are some things which The Senator from Maine, in the climax of his Prayer by the Rev. J. G. Butler.

should be done in the old way and in no other remarks, aptly said that the calling of the yeas and

way. I am inclined to think that the taking of | nays is one of the greatest safeguards of a minority. EXECUTIVE SESSION. On motion by Mr. MASON, the Senate pro

the yeas and nays is to be classed amongst them. It is said by the Senator from lowa that he has ceeded to the consideration of Executive business;

It is suggested here by learned and able Senators no idea of trying experiments for the House, as if

as one principal reason why we should not adopt the machine should be tried in a large body first. and after some time spent therein, the doors were

this machine, that it is clearly unconstitutional, If it is to be tried at all, if there be any propriety reopened.

as the Constitution recognizes but two ways of in it, it should be in a small body, where the rights VOTING BY MACHINERY.

voting, viva voce or by ballot. I think it is clearly of the minority are not protected to such a degree, Mr. BRIGHT, from the Committee to Audit an innovation on the Constitution, if it is not un- by the calling of the yeas and nays. But in the and Control the Contingent Expenses of the Sen- | constitutional in fact; and as is well suggested by House of Representatives, where it is proposed to ate, to which was referred a resolution proposing | my friend from Connecticut, (Mr. Toucey,] it put a machine of this kind, they should by no to appropriate $1,500 to enable Henry Johnson, | may be an innovation upon such gentlemen as means set aside the present practice, which is one the inventor, to make an experiment, in the Senate some who have been members of this body, be. of the greatest guards of the rights of a minority Chamber, of his new mode of taking the yeas and cause it will deprive them of the opportunity of under our Government. nays, reported, by direction of a majority of the speaking in the only way in which they were ever But, sir, how is it possible to detect the absence committee, the same back for the consideration of || known to speak.

of Senators who are not disposed to do their duties the Senate.

But, sir, there is another idea in relation to this to the country if this machinery is to be adopted, Mr. HOUSTON. I understand that objections matter which I beg to suggest to the Senate. 1 by which the power of voting could be delegated really exist in the Senate to this machine, and I think on the whole it is ridiculous, and may well to one of the pages of the Senate? Certainly one shall be glad to hear from any gentleman those be treated as such. My friend who sits upon my of the pages could attend to it as well as the Senwhich he may entertain. I am satisfied that I right and my friend on my left are each to have a ator himself, and certainly the most important can answer them to his entire satisfaction; I do certain fixed key which, when touched, gives the matters of the body might be adopted with not six not care what they are. I think it is so perfectly vote yea or nay. They may give me authority members of the Senate present. Now, it is not unexceptionable, and it has so many advantages to vote for them in their absence, pass their keys true, as has been suggested, that the losing of the

It is a

320 CONG.....30 Sess.

Special Session--Publication of Debates.


Mr. Houston replied to the objections of by unanimous consent and agreed to:

key will deprive the Senator of the power of voting, additional copies of the report of the Committee which were considered by unanimous consent, because the key to the ingenious machine is simply on Frauds and Abuses was considered but not and agreed to: to lock it up and prevent its use by others. But, disposed of.

Resolved, That the Select Committee on Mexican Claims if Senators choose not to employ the key, the ma

be authorized to file their report upon the matters submitted EXECUTIVE SESSION.

to their consideration after the adjournment of the Senate. chine would be open to any person. I apprehend, however, that it is exceedingly essential that the

The Senate proceeded to the consideration of Resolved, Thal the Secretary of the Senate be authorized
Executive business; and after some time spent

to receive said report and to have the usual number of the presence of a Senator should always be manifested

same printed. therein the doors were reopened. by his voice; and it would certainly be dangerous

Resolved, That the services of

the clerk of said committo give him the opportunity of delegating the EMPLOYMENT OF MESSENGERS.

tee be continued for one month after the adjournment of the

Senate. power of touching the machine and voting yea or Mr. BRIGHT submitted the following resolu


tion: But, sir, when an innovation of this kind is pro- Resolved, That so much of any resolution or order of the

On motion by Mr. HAMLIN, the vote on the posed an innovation which is entirely new, in

Senate as provides for the employment of any person by passage of the resolution on the 6th instant, order

name or otherwise, under the direction of the Sergeant-at- ing five thousand extra copies of the report of the any legislative body on earth, the British Parlia

Arms, be repealed, and that such persons shall hereafter hold ment, or anywhere else, I apprehend that some their employment by the same tenure as other messengers.

Secretary of State relating to commercial regula

tions with foreign nations, was reconsidered. reason should be given for it. I apprehend that

On motion the Senate adjourned until two o'clock the constitutional method of voting, which has

The resolution was then amended by striking to-morrow. been pursued heretofore should be shown to be

out “five thousand” and inserting “two thouerroneous in some particular.

sand," and was finally passed. The honorable Senator from Texas, however,

SATURDAY, April 9, 1853.

PUBLICATION OF DEBATES. has given a very singular reason for the introduc

The Senate proceeded to consider the following tion of this machine, which is, that it will enable Prayer by the Rev. J. G. BUTLER.

resolution, submitted by Mr. SEWARD on the 7th Senators to make more speeches. If there be any- On motion by Mr. PHELPS, it was

instant: thing that would deter, me from voting for it, it Ordered, That William O'Brien have leave to withdraw " Resolved, that the Secretary be authorized to procure would be that consideration. his petition and papers.

the publication in the National Intelligencer of so much of Mr. BUTLER. If the Senator from Texas in


the debates in the Senate during the last session of Congress

as has not been already published in that paper, and to pay sists upon this matter, I shall move an amendment Mr. HUNTER submitted the following reso- for such publication and also for the publication of speeches by way of economizing time to enable us to deter: lution; which was considered and agreed to:

at that session already made in the Intelligencer, the sum of mine when we will have a vote, and how we ought

Resolved, That a committee, consisting of two members,

four dollars per column.” to vote. I suppose the spiritual rappers could as- be appointed by the President pro tem. to wait on the Pres.

Mr. CHASE. I hardly suppose that the Sencertain that for us in ample time, and if we were ident of the United States, and inforın him that unless he ate feels inclined to debate that resolution at this in an ante-room we should know when to be in may have further communications to make, the Senate will time, and for the purpose of testing the sense in re

close this session at one o'clock on Monday next. our seats to record our votes. (Laughter.].

gard to it, I move that it lie upon the table. But, Mr. President, in voting I should like to Mr. Hunter and Mr. Everett were appointed Mr. BRODHEAD. I will inquire from the hear the Senator's voice. Sometimes it is very the committee.

Senator from New York whether he intends to earnest; at other times it gives a very faint assent Mr. HUNTER subsequently reported that the extend the operation of the resolution back to the or dissent. The mere tones of the voice have a committee had discharged its duty, and that the first session of the last Congress or to confine it good deal to do with my judgment, and I do not President had informed them that he had no fur- to the last session. If it is confined to the last know that I should be disinclined to acknowledge ther communication to make; he therefore submil- session I will vote for it. it ted the following resolution; which was considered Mr. SEWARD. The last session of the last

Congress. Senators seriatim.

Resolved, That the President pro tempore close the pres- Mr. BRODHEAD. I ask that it may be so The question was then taken on the resolution,

ent session by adjourning the Senate sine die on Monday modified.

next, at one o'clock. and it was rejected.

Mr. SEWARD. Then I will insert the words THANKS TO THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM. " of the last" before “ Congress.' MESSENGER TO THE SENATE. Mr. CLAYTON submitted the following reso

Mr. CHASE asked for the yeas and nays, but The Senate proceeded to the consideration of lution; which was considered by unanimous con- they were not ordered. the following resolution, some time since submitted sent, and agreed to:

The question was then taken on the motion to by Mr. Badger:

Resolved, That the unanimous thanks of the Senate be, lay the resolution on the table, and there were « Resolved, That the Sergeant-at-Arms be authorized to

and the same are hereby, tendered to the Hon. David R. ayes 12, noes 13; no quorum voting. employ Preston Starrit, as messenger, from the first day

ATChison, for the very able, dignified and impartial manner The PRESIDENT'instructed the Sergeant-atof April, and that during the recess he 'shall, under the di

in which he has presided over the deliberations of the Senrection of the Sergeant-at-Arms, take care of the Senate ate during the special session now about to terminate.

Arms to invite in absent Senators. committee rooms, and perforin such other duties as may

The question was again taken, and resultedbe assigned to him."

MESSENGERS TO THE SENATE. Mr. DOUGLAS. I do not know the person

ayes 9, noes 19; still no quorum voting.

The following resolution, submitted yesterday Subsequently the vote was again taken, and it named in that resolution, nor do I know the object i by Mr. Bright, was considered and agreed to: resulted-ayes 16, noes 16. or necessity of it, but it has occurred to me that “Resolved, That so much of any resolution or order of So the motion was not agreed to. the appointing of messengers by resolution offered the Senate as provides for the employment of any person,

Mr. CHASE. I think it very desirable that the by this Senator and that Senator, disturbs the

by name, as messenger or otherwise, under the Sergeant at
Arms, be repealed, and that such persons hereafter hold

Senate and the country should understand somepolice of the Senate. I think we should intrust

their employment by the same tenure as other messengers.”. thing of the nature and history of this system of our police solely to the Sergeant-at-Arms. Let us


paid reporting before voting upon this resolution. provide how many messengers we shall have, and then put them under his charge, and hold him re

Mr. WELLER. I submit the following reso

It is with very great reluctance that I offer any

remarks at this period of the session; and nothing sponsible. I know that heretofore when com- lution for consideration:

but a sense of duty would constrain me to do it. plaints have been made to the Sergeant-at-Arms, Resolved, That the Secretary of the Treasury be request

I have, however, looked into this history, and I in relation to something that was wrong, he has

ed to transmit to the Senate a copy of the report made by told me, I have no control over that man. Some Gilbert Rodman, of California, to the Department, upon the

feel bound to vindicate before the Senate and the subject of the custom-house ai San Francisco, California. country the vote which I shall give against the Senator takes a favorite, and puts him in by res

I ask for the consideration of the resolution at resolution of the Senator from New York, (Mr. olution; he is independent of everybody about the this time. I do not know whether it is necessary

SEWARD.) Senate; he is independent of the Senators; there to make any remarks in reference to it. A report

It is now some five years since the practice of is no mode of calling him to account, no mode of which was made, in 1851, to the Department, dis- reporting in the Union and Intelligencer, comenforcing a compliance with rules. I dislike to closed a number of frauds that had been perpetra

It has cost, for the National Intelligeninterpose when Senators feel a personal interest in

ted while the custom-house was under the control cer, $30,428 54, and for the Union $49,123 18. the matter; but really I am opposed to the system of Colonel Collier. That report was on the files

It originated in a resolution adopted on the 11th of of appointing messengers by a resolution, and

of the Department; but the Secretary has informed August, 1848. At that time, as is well known, thereby relieving them from all responsibility to the Sergeant-at-Arms. us that it has been abstracted. The accounts of the public printing was disposed of by contract.

The contractors were not the publishers of either Mr. SHIELDS. My impression is that the Colonel Collier, in the mean while, have been ad

of the party papers at the seat of Government. Sergeant-at-Arms would appoint this man if he justed at the Department. The agent of the Govhad the power, and I think he ought to appoint

ernment has supplied the deficiency by making They were not, I believe, connected with the him. He is an excellent man whom I would like

out a draft of the report from the rough notes. political press in any form. It so happened that, to see appointed. I would prefer, therefore, to let That report has been placed on file, and my object

from some cause, the organs of the two princithe resolution lie over for the present, until I can is to get it laid before the Senate at once, as l'am

pal political parties were not very well supported see the Sergeant-at-Arms in reference to it and assure it will be if the resolution be adopted.

by subscriptions; and it was, doubtless, a princicertain whether he can appoint him.

The resolution was considered by unanimous

pal object of that resolution to supply the want of The resolution was accordingly passed over. consent and agreed to.

popular support by governmental patronage. It Subsequently a communication was received provided for the printing of the proceedings and HOUR OF MEETING. from the Secretary of the Treasury, transmitting

debates of the Senate alone in the Intelligencer and Mr. WALKER's resolution to change the hour of the report; which was ordered to lie on the table Union, at the rate of seven dollars and fifty cents meeting was considered and rejected. and be printed.

per column. It did not prescribe the quantity of

matter which a column should contain. It generREPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON FRAUDS.


ously left that to the discretion of the publishers of Mr. Houston's motion to print ten thousand Mr.SOULE submitted the following resolutions; the papers. The only duty devolved upon the


320 Cong....20 Sess.

Special Session-Publication of Debates.




Secretary of the Senate was to ascertain the num- by Blair & Rives, and to the Intelligencer. The residue of the edition may be distributed free ber of columns, long or short, wide or narrow, and Register of Debates, published by Gales & Seaton, through the mails. No such advantage is enjoyed to pay according to the number, at the rate of seven had, I believe, a very limited patronage by Con- | by any other paper in the country. It is a great dollars and fifty cents per column.

gress; but the commencement of which has grown advantage. The privilege of a free receipt in any This state of things continued until the com into a wasteful and extravagant system may be section of the country however remote, is an inmencement of the first session of the last Congress. found, I think, in an order of the Senate passed ducement to subscription for the Globe, which At that time the publisliers of the Intelligencer no in 1846, authorizing each Senator to subscribe for must be decisive with every person who takes a tified the Senate that they found the contract bur twelve copies of the Congressional Globe, at six paper for the sake of information in respect to densome, and asked to be relieved from it. The dollars for the long session, and three dollars for Congressional proceedings. No man will take the ground of this step was understood to be that the the short session. This action of the Senate was Intelligencer or the Union to learn what is done in publication of the debates of the Senate in full, followed the next year by an order of the House Congress, and pay postage when he can get the and the abstract which it was necessary to give of authorizing each of its members to subscribe for full reports of the Globe without paying postage. the debates of the House, so incumbered their | the same number of copies, and on the same con If the resolution of the Senator from New York columns as to injure the circulation of their daily dition. Three years later, in 1850, another order should be adopted, will not impartiality require paper. It was a voluntary act upon their part. was passed by the House, authorizing each mem that the privilege of free circulation be given to It was not called for by any action of the Senate. ber io subscribe for twelve additional copies. | both these papers? It was dictated by considerations of private inter- | This was before the passage of the Senate resolu Mr. President, I am not one of those who object

The paper was thereby left free to advocate tion of the last session, authorizing the publication to sustaining a party press by giving it the public the doctrines of the party to which the editors be of the debates in the Globe, at the rate of seven printing, in the ordinary legitimate course of busilonged, and to publish such matter, and such mat dollars and fifty cents per column. Let us see Those who represent the popular majority ter only, as they thought calculated to promote what was the amount of encouragement thus ex have a clear right to prefer in public employment the interests of that party. Nobody could com tended to the reporting and printing of Congres- i presses or persons of like political opinions. But plain of that. It was all right and proper. The i sional doings and debates. "Sixty-iwo members it is an abuse of power to promote party or perSenate acquiesced at once, and relieved the pub- of the Senate received twelve copies each, which sonal objects at the expense of the public interest. lishers from their contract.

makes seven hundred and forty-four copies; and Senators and Representatives are trustees for the At the last session of Congress both Houses two hundred and thirty-three members of the country. We have no right to give extra prices elected the publisher of the Union printer to Con- | House received twenty-four copies each, making to political friends rather than legitimate prices to gress, and fixed the rates of compensation. These five thousand five hundred and ninety-two copies. political opponents. We are bound to regard sarates, in my judgment, were not merely sufficient, | The subscription of both Houses, therefore, I credly the public interest; and in the disbursement but very liberal, not to say extravagant. I do not amounted to six thousand three hundred and of public money intrusted to our charge, to obdoubt that, with ordinary economy, under these thirty-six. Congress took six thousand three serve economy. I have shown beyond all conrates, the publishers of the Union can make not hundred and thirty-six copies of this publication. troversy, I think, that no good reason of a party simply ordinary profits, but an ample estate out This was equivalent to a pretty large list of cash or public nature exists for the publication of Conof the public printing. I believe this opinion can paying subscribers, and could hardly fail to make gressional proceedings and debates in the Union be sustained by the judgments of practical printers. the publication profitable. Now, sir, if the wor even-much less can any such reason be given for

Thus, sir, stands the case at this moment. The thy publisher of the Globe should think fit to dis- | their publication in the Intelligencer. So far am publishers of the Intelligencer have voluntarily continue it, (which I certainly do not desire,) does I from being willing to extend the system, and declined to continue reporting under the contract, | any man, can any man doubt that this public sub now, after having substituted the Globe for the and the publisher of the Union has obtained the scription, together with the certainty of private Intelligencer, under the circumstances I have depublic printing; and therefore the whole reason patronage, would induce competent publishers to scribed, to renew the employment of the latter, which originally induced the Senate to contract for undertake a similar work, and report the whole and thus pension a third paper upon the Treasury, the printing of the debates in the two papers, has proceedings and debates as fully as they are re and pave the way for the introduction of a third entirely ceased. There is now no argument, either ported now? And yet, as I have already stated, corps of reporters, that I would discontinue the of a party or of a public nature, known to me, we are paying the publisher of the Globe, under employment of the Union. For one, indeed, I am which will at all justify the continued printing of the resolution of the Senator from New Hamp- ready to say that I would discontinue the system the debates in full in either of these papers. And shire, seven dollars and fifty cents per column for of paid reporting altogether, and leave the whole it should be remembered that the contract was in preparing the very work for which the subscription business to private enterprise. I have no doubt it terms a temporary one. The resolution which is made. The subscription amounts to $38,016 for would be a very sufficient and adequate substitute. authorized ar, expressly declared that it was to the long session, and $19,008 for the short session. The resolution under consideration proposes to continue only. "until otherwise ordered by the The amount paid under the resolution of the Sen- | hire the publication of the debates and proceedings Senate."

ator from New Hampshire, since its adoption on of this special session and the last session of the But let me proceed with this history. Soon after the 29th January, 1852, is $23,433 78 say about last Congress in the National Intelligencer. These the printing of the proceedings and debates had $17,000 for the long, and about $7,000 for the debates and proceedings have already been pubbeen discontinued in the Intelligencer, a resolution short session. This is not all, for the House of lished in two papers at large. All the papers in was submitted by the Senator from New Hamp. Representatives, following the example of the the country have laid before their readers such acshire, (Mr. NORRIS,] requiring the Secretary of Senate, has directed its proceedings also to be counts of ihem as their conductors thought suffithe Senate to audit and settle the accounts of John published in the Globe, at the same rate of seven cient. The Intelligencer itself has done so. It C. Rives, the publisher of the Daily Globe, for dollars and tifty cents per column. I find upon has made its own selection. It has published printing the debates and proceedings, allowing him reference to the appropriation act of August, 1852, such speeches as its able and accomplished editors the same compensation as that paid to the publish-- that the sum of $21,000 was then appropriated to had thought fit to publish. It has not excluded ers of the Union-namely, seven dollars and fifty pay for reporting the proceedings of the House in altogether the speeches of political adversaries. It cents per column. That resolution passed the Sen- | that paper, and the further sum of $649 50 to a has published such of these as its editors regarded ate; and then we had, as before, two papers in the balance, for reporting and publishing during the as having enough of intrinsic merit to warrant their city printing our proceedings and debates, and at preceding Congress. I also find in the deficiency || publication. Its course in this respect has been the same expense.

act of the last session a further appropriation of such as the 'established character of the paper and Now, sir, is there any reason which will justify $9,375 to pay for like services during that session. a proper regard for fairness required. pahas fulthe Senate in employing and paying these two sets These, Mr. President, are considerable payments. filled its whole duty in this respect. It has done of publishers and reports to do the same work? This business of reporting even in a single paper all that could be reasonably asked of it. Why I can see none, even of a party character, so far is very costly. I am by no means certain that the ask it to do any more? Why employ it to do any as the Union is concerned. That paper, as I have practice improves the character of the debates. I more: What is the object of this proposed repubshown, is amply provided for by the public print do not know that it adds anything to the consid- lication from the Union and the Globe? What jusing. Still less can I see any so far as the Intelli- eration of the Senate or the House with the coun tifying, what plausible reason even, can be asgencer is concerned, for that paper, for the very try. I do not believe it does either. I think it a signed for the large expenditure of public money purpose of being left at larger liberty to promote bad system. It makes it the duty of the reporter which it will necessitate? A single reason only party objects, and consult the taste of its readers, to set down every word uttered, no matter how has been suggested. It has been said that the declined the contract.

[ocr errors][merged small]

trivial, how unimportant, or how ill-considered. I proposed republication in the Intelligencer will And now I ask the attention of the Senate and It sends at vast expense much that is valuable, I give wider publicity to the proceedings of ConI hope my statement will attract the attention of indeed, but much also that is worthless, and not gress. Under the circumstances, this is hardly the country also—to the expense of this printing a little that is worse than worthless, all over the more than suggesting that a little additional circuour proceedings. Before the contract with the country through these hired agencies. But, sir, | lation may in this way be obtained for a few Intelligencer and the Union the printing of the de- if the system were good in itself, why employ speeches which had not merit enough to induce bates of Congress was a private enterprise. Pub more than one paper? Does not one cost enough? || voluntary republication. lic patronage in the shape of large payments for Is it not enough to pay some $38,000 in the way Mr. SEWARD. If the Senator will give way reporting and publishing was not considered ne of subscriptions, and about the same sum for re for a moment, I can perhaps save him the necescessary to secure sufficient publicity for Congres- 1 porting and publishing for each proportionably for sity of continuing his remarks. sional proceedings. The prospect of additional the short sessions? This looks a good deal like Mr. CHASE. I prefer to go through with circulation was a sufficient stimulus to induce the paying for publishing a book, and then buying what I have to say. 'I cannot think, Mr. Presipublication of very full accounts of what was done, the greater part of the edition. Is it worth while | dent, that the argument I have just referred to has and of all the speeches of the members of either to pay more than one publisher?

any real weight with Senators. What, then, is House, which the country desired to read. I refer In respect to the Globe we have gone even be the object? I hear it said that the proposed rethose who would inform themselves on this sub- i yond paying for publishing and buying a large publication will not be profitable to the Intelligenject to Niles's Register, to the Globe as published part of the edition. We have provided that the cer. The amount to be paid under the resolution


« PoprzedniaDalej »