« ForrigeFortsett »
there appears to exist a diversity of opinion. Some gentlemen think it improper to legislate definitely over that country, until the pledge given in the proclamation that it will in our hands be held subject to future negotiation, is redeemed in a manner satisfactory to the Executive who made it; and others wish to divide the country between the State of Lonisiana and the State to be formed of the Mississippi Territory. To rescue this subject from the first objection, at a very early period of the session, I moved a resolution calling on the President for information, on two points: 1. Whether there was any pending negotiation respecting our title. 2. Whether it was the wish of the Executive that the Legislative authority of Congress over the country should be suspended with a view to future negotiation and adjustment in relation to the claim of the United States. To this request the President has returned no answer. But without the aid of those lights which it is in the power of the Executive to shed upon the question, we all know that the downfall of the late Spanish Monarch, and the distracted state of revolution in which Spain is involved, renders it impracticable to recognise any legitimate authority with whom a negotiation could be conducted. It is true, several letters have passed between Mr. flecretary Monroe and Mr. Foster, the British Minister, during the recess of Congress, relative to our possession of West Florida, and the manner of taking it. On this correspondence it is not my intention at present to comment. It is a new proof of the disposition which Great Britain has always shown to intermeddle in the affairs of other nations, and the language of Mr. Foster is in the highest degree arrogant and insulting. Mr. Monroe, in his letter of the 8th of July, aster repelling the insinuations made by the British Government as to the motives by which the President was actuated in taking possession of the country. declares “that by this event the United States have acquired no new title to West Florida. They wanted none.” From this declaration it is evident that no doubt is entertained by the Executive as to the validity of our title, and therefore it is unnecessary to suspend for a longer period the admission of that country into the Union. The people of Florida were excluded from a partici. pation in the formation of the constitution for the State of Louisiana. Should you now transfer them to the government of the Mississippi Territory, under similar disabilities, it may be productive of the most mischievous consequences. The vulnerable position of our Southern frontier is well known to every gentleman—its commercial importance to the Western country is equally notorious. In the event of war with Great Britain, New Orleans and the Floridas must be vigorously defended, or they will fall into the hands of the enemy. What, then, sir, will become of the commerce of all the Western States and Territories? The key to their intercourse, not only with Europe and the West Indies, but with the North. ern and Eastern States in the possession of Spain or Great Britain, they are at once locked out from
the ocean, and left without a market at which to
vend the surplus products of their industry. In such a crisis shall we hesitate as to the utility of receiving these people into the great American family 7 In order to elicit the opinions of gentlemen on this interesting subject, and to conciliate those who disapprove of the boundaries designated in the second section of the bill, I shall move to strike out that section, with a view of extending the State of Louisiana from the lberville to Pear! river, and incorporating the residue of the disputed territory with the State which we are now about to form. Thus the country will be finally disposed of, and each State will command a portion of the seacoast acquired by the purchase of Louisiana. I will only add, that this proposition has been made with the approbation of the agents from New Orleans, and is the result of a mutual desire to promote the permanent interests of the people in that section of the United States. Mr. Poindexter then offered the following amendment: “And be it further enacted, That the said State shall consist of all that tract of country contained within the following boundaries, to wit: beginning on the river Mississippi, at the point where the southern boundary line of the State of Tennessee unites with the same ; thence along said line to its junction with the western boundary of the State of Georgia; thence along the said boundary to the thirty-first degree of latitude, and along said degree of latitude to a point opposite the river Perdido; thence to the junction of said river with the Gulf of Mexico, including all islands within six leagues of the shore, to the junction of Pearl river with the Lake Pontchartrain; and up said river to the 31st degree of latitude; thence to the river Mississippi, and up the same to the beginning.”
The question on this amendment was taken without debate, and carried. Mr. Clay moved to add the following proviso, to follow after the section just adopted; which would have the effect to keep that portion of country, taken possession of under the President’s proclamation, subject to future negotiation: “Provided, That nothing herein contained shall be so construed as to prevent that portion of the territory comprehended within the said boundary, formerly composing a part of the country known by the name of West Florida, being subject to future negotiation on the part of the United States.” Mr. Clay (Speaker) said, that in offering this amendment to the Committee, he confessed he was actuated rather by a disposition to accommodate the views of other gentlemen, than from any difficulty which he felt on the subject himself; for, with respect to our title to West Florida, he thought it utterly impossible that any gentleman could examine that question, without suffering other considerations to mingle in the investigation, and not be thoroughly convinced that the title was in the United States : and he confessed, that were he to consult his own views only, he should not hesitate a moment in making an unqualified annexation of that territory to the States to be formed of the Orleans and Mississippi Territories. But as some gentlemen, adverting to
the President's Proclamation for taking possession of that country, had supposed that some difficulty might arise under it from such a procedure, in order to quiet these apprehensions, he had submitted this proviso. The right of the General Government to destroy the integrity of a State having been questioned, it would be well to guard against any difficulty on that score by a reservation to the General Government of the power to negotiate on the subject of this territory. At the same time he made this proposition, Mr. C. utterly disclaimed the idea that in any possible state of things ought this country to be ceded away. He considered the possession of West Florida as indispensable to the interests and prosperity of the Western States, and so far to the integrity of the Union ; and he should as soon see a part of the State which he represented ceded away as this territory. What, he asked, was the extent of the country in question ? In breadth, about twenty miles; in length about two hundred, binding to that extent our Southern frontier. The danger of having provinces of a foreign Power on our frontier is too well disclosed by the late communication of the President (concerning Henry's mission)—a disclosure which must combine, in the execration of the project it developed, every man in the country, and every honest man in every country. Suppose the former dynasty of Spain to be reinstated on the throne, it could not desire, for honest purposes, the possession of West Florida. In proposing the amendment, Mr. C. said it was merely his object to make the acts of the Legislative body tally with the proclamation of the President. io; to his firm conviction, it should be determined that we have not the title, he had no idea that even in that state of things the territory would be given up, but that an equivalent should be given for it. Mr. C. said he fully approved the boundary established for the new State of Mississippi by the section just agreed to, so far as it operated on the Florida Territory. It gave to the State of Louisiana about three-fourths, perhaps four-fifths, of the population of the whole territory—a population homogeneous to the character of the countryAmerican in principle and feeling; and with pleasure he had seen the Convention of the Orleans Territory, in requesting this annexation, display a liberality of sentiment in desiring a further American population, which he trusted would be reciprocated by Congress. Although the State of Louisiana could not be gratified by the annexation of the whole territory, their desires would be gratified to a considerable extent by giving them all that portion of it lying west of Pearl river. The acquisition of the valuable settlements on the high lands, and their hardy population, would satisfy all the material wishes of the State. By this addition they would give to the new State of Louisiana the entire control of the Lakes Maurepas and Pontchartrain, by which the city of New Orleans may be most easily ap: proached; you thus enable the State to take all necessary means to repel invasion. You effect another object, said Mr. C. There is not any
very great natural connexion between the people immediately on the bay of Mobile and Tombigbee river, and those on the Mississippi. If there be any connexion, it is an artificial one, resulting from the preponderancy of capital at New Orleans, and will be lessened whenever there shall be a commercial capital at Mobile. I am therefore anxious to unite the territory east of Pearl river, including the bay of Mobile, to the Mississippi Territory, to which it is naturally connected; and, Mr. C. said, he had no hesitation in declaring that either Pearl river or the Pascagoula ought to be the boundary which is to separate the two parts of the country respectively to be attached to the States of Louisiana and Mississippi—the Pearl river, upon the whole, would be the best, as dividing the territory in about equal portions. Mr. C. concluded by expressing his satisfaction that this subject had been taken up, and that the amendment proposed by the delegate from Mississippi had obtained, which he hoped would finally pass, &c. Mr. RhEA said, that the amendment proposed by the honorable Speaker to him appeared strange. I, said Mr. R., do firmly believe that the title of the United States to the country west of the Perdido river, named West Florida, is good and valid to all intents and purposes; and, therefore, I will not vote for a proposition which will evince a doubt relative to the sufficiency of that title. But it is said, that the Proclamation of the President has declared the same principle that the amendment proposes. That may be, but that is no law; that proclamation is not law, nor is the Legislature of the United States bound by it, unless they intend to adopt a principle similar to that used in Great Britain, where the King and Council can issue an edict having the force of law. This principle ought not to be established under the Constitution of this nation. But the domineering interference of the British Government relative to West Florida, if there was no other reason, ought to be cause sufficient to reject this offered amendment; that interference . Government which has no possible right or title to the country in question, will be, in a manner, sanctioned by the offered amendment. On these three points, then, the amendment ought to be rejected : first, that it goes to shake the solidity of the title; second, that it goes to sanction an opinion, that a preceding Proclamation of the President of the United States is obligatory on the Congress of the United States; and, third, that the amendment, if agreed to, will go to authorize an opinion that the domineering interference of Great Brittain, in respect to the country in question, was right and proper. Against these points I will said Mr. R., hold up my hand—and therefore will vote against the offered amendment. Mr. PoindextER said, that he only agreed to this annendment with a view to conciliate those who, thought a pledge was given by the President's Proclamation for future negotiation; but, whilst he agreed to it, he considered it utterly impossible that the United States could ever surrender it. Such was the tenor of the language
of the President and Secretary of State, that the country never would be surrendered. Mr. Mitchill observed, that our Minister who negotiated the purchase of Louisiana had been repeatedly told by Talleyrand, in the course of the negotiation, that the French intended to cede the country of West Florida; so that it had been not only purchased, but understood to have been purchased. His certainty of the comleteness of our title was such, that he was unwil#. to do any act which should recognise the existence of a doubt on the subject, and he was therefore opposed to the proviso. At the same time he had no objection to the amendment just agreed to ; he was willing that the people on the Tombigbee and Alabama rivers should have free access to the ocean, and thus do away all artificial distinctions which had been made by a foreign Power whilst the territory had been in its possession. Mr. Macon was well satisfied with the amendment proposed ; for he could not have consented to vote for this bill without the proviso, or something like it. Hither to this Government had done everything it could to preserve peace. The embargo and all the restrictive measures had in view to preserve peace; and peace would always be best maintained by a due regard to public faith. If a territory be incorporated into a State, it was the opinion of Mr. M. that neither the President or Senate have a right to give it up. It had never been understood by any party, under our Constitution, that under the treaty-making power the President would cede one inch of a State. Convenient although the territory is to us, and though we have possession, and it is said no pledge has been given in relation to it, yet it appeared to him that the proclamation held out the idea that we held it until an opportunity was afforded for negotiating on equitable terms. Mr. M. said he was willing to acknowledge that he had not examined the title in the same manner as the Speaker and the gentleman from New York had done, so as to enable him to pronounce on it with certainty; but the title did not come into the question on the present point. Had we, when all the rest of Louisiana was surrendered to us, obtained possesssion of Florida 2 No, we had not. It appeared to have been at least a doubtful question whether we obtained a title to it or not. What had been stated by the gentleman from New York, of Talleyrand's declaration to our Plenipotentiaries, had not much weight, because a claim was now set up to it not by France but by the Spanish Government. The proviso under consideration, whilst it could not in any degree invalidate our claim, did away the objections in his mind to the proposed annexation of territory. If the territory was once annexed to the State, without reservation or condition, they might as well hereafter attempt to cede away Boston or Old Plymouth, as that territory. Mr. WRight spoke against the amendment at considerable length. Mr. Clay replied ; and Mr. RhEA rejoined. When the question was taken on the proviso, which was adopted without a division.
The bill having been reported to the House, and the House having agreed to take up the same, an adjournment took place.
FRIDAY, March 13.
Mr. Lewis, from the Committee for the District of Columbia, presented a bill authorizing the cutting and making a canal from the river Potomac around the west end of the dam, or causeway, from Mason's Island, and for other purposes; which was read twice and committed to a Committee of the Whole on Monday next.
Mr. Gholson, from the Committee of Claims presented a bill for the relief of John Tuompson; which was read twice and committed to a Committee of the Whole on Monday next.
The House resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole, on the bill to relinquish to the corpor
ation of the City of New Orleans the use and pos
session of a lot of ground in said city. The bill having been gone through and amended, was by the House ordered to be engrossed for a third reading. Mr. Cheves offered the following resolution, premising that he was induced to propose it from a wish to bring before Congress the claim of one of his constituents, which would be embraced in the scope of this inquiry: “Resolved, That the Committee of Public Lands be directed to inquire what provision ought to be made respecting lands granted by the British Government of West Florida, not subsequently recognised by the Spanish Government, and the claims to which have been filed according to law with the Registers of the United States; and that they have leave to report by bill or otherwise.” After some general objections by Mr. RhEA, the resolution was adopted.
The House resumed the consideration of the unfinished business, viz: the report of the Committee of the Whole on the bill for enabling the people of Mississippi Territory to form a constitution and State government.
The amendment changing the boundary of the Territory, &c., moved by Mr. Poindexter, together with Mr. Clay's proviso, were agreed to without a division.
An amendment, yesterday offered by Mr. PoinDexter, in the following words, next came under consideration :
“Nor shall any grant, deed, or other conveyance, heretofore derived from any authority whatever, be read in evidence in any court of said State against any grant derived from the United States, unless the validity of the same shall have been recognised by the United States, or some special tribunal constituted by them for the purpose.”
Mr. Bacon said it was so well understood what was the object of this motion, that it was unnecessary to explain the grounds of objection to it. He merely rose to require the yeas and nays on its adoption; which were accordingly taken-yeas 70, nays 37, as follows:
YEAs—Willis Alston, jr., William Anderson, Stevenson Archer, Burwell Bassett, William W. Bibb, William Blackledge, Adam Boyd, Robert Brown, William A. Burwell, William Butler, John C. Calhoun, Langdon Cheves, Matthew Clay, James Cochran, Lewis Condict, William Crawford, Roger Davis, John Dawson, Joseph Desha, Samuel Dinsmoor, Elias Earle, William Findley, Meshack Franklin, Thomas Gholson, Peterson Goodwyn, Edwin Gray, Isaiah L. Green, Felix Grundy, Bolling Hall, Obed Hall, John A. Harper, Aylett Hawes, Jacob Hufty, John M. Hyneman, Joseph Kent, Abner Lacock, Joseph Lefever, Peter Little, William Lowndes, Aaron Lyle, Nathaniel Macon, Thomas Moore, William McCoy, Arunah Metcalf, Samuel L. Mitchill, Jeremiah Morrow, Hugh Nelson, Anthony New, Thomas Newbold, Thomas Newton, Stephen Ormsby, Israel Pickens, James Pleasants, jr., Benjamin Pond, John Randolph, Samuel Ringgold, Jonathan Roberts, William Rodman, Ebenezer Sage, Ebenezer Seaver, Samuel Shaw, John Smilie, George Smith, Richard Stanford, William Strong, Uri Tracy, George M. Troup, Pierre Van Cortlandt, jr., Robert Whitehill, and Richard Winn.
Nars—Ezekiel Bacon, John Baker, Abijah Bigelow, Harmanus Bleecker, James Breckenridge, Elijah Brigham, Epaphroditus Champion, Martin Chittenden, John Davenport, jun., William Ely, James Emott, Asa Fitch, Thomas R. Gold, Richard Jackson, junior, Lyman Law, Joseph Lewis, jun., Robert Le Roy Livingston, James Milnor, Jonathan O. Moseley, Joseph Pearson, Timothy Pitkin, jr., Peter B. Porter, Josiah Quincy, William Reed, William M. Richardson, Henry M. Ridgely, Thomas Sammons, Philip Stuart, Silas Stow, Lewis B. Sturges, Samuel Taggart, Benjamin Tallmadge, Charles Turner, jr., Laban Wheaton, Leonard White, Thomas Wilson, and Robert Wright.
The question on the bill being engrossed for a third reading was decided without debate—yeas 67, nays 39, as follows:
YEAs—Willis Alston, jun., William Anderson, Stevenson Archer, David Bard, Burwell Bassett, William W. Bibb, Robert Brown, William A. Burwell, William Butler, J. C. Calhoun, Langdon Cheves, Matthew Clay, James Cochran, Lewis Condict, William Crawford, Roger Davis, John Dawson, Joseph Desha, Elias Earle, William Findley, Meshack Franklin, Thomas Gholson, Peterson Goodwyn, Edwin Gray, Isaiah L. Green, Felix Grundy, Bolling Hall, Obed Hall, John A. Harper, Aylett Hawes, Jacob Husty, John M. Hyneman, Joseph Kent, Abner Lacock, Joseph Lefever, Peter Little, William Lowndes, Aaron Lyle, Thomas Moore, William McCoy, Samuel McKee, Alexander McKim, Arunah Metcalf, Samuel L. Mitchill, Jeremiah Morrow, Hugh Nelson, Anthony New, Thomas Newbold, Thomas Newton, Israel Pickens, James Pleasants, jr., Henry M. Ridgely, Samuel Ringgold, Jonathan Roberts, William Rodman, Ebenezer Sage, Ebenezer Seaver, Samuel Shaw, Daniel Sheffey, Richard Stanford, William Strong, George M. Troup, Charles Turner, jr., Robert Whitehill, William Widgery, Thomas Wilson, and Richard Winn.
Nars—Ezekiel Bacon, John Baker, Abijah Bigelow, Harmanus Bleecker, Adam Boyd, James Breckenridge, Elijah Brigham, Epaphroditus Champion, Martin Chittenden, John Davenport, jr., William Ely, James Emott, Asa Fitch, Richard Jackson, jun., Lyman Law, Joseph Lewis, jun., Robert Le Roy Livingston, James Milnor, Jonathan O. Moseley, Joseph Pearson, Timothy Pitkin, jun., Benjamin Pond, Peter
B. Porter, Josiah Quincy, William Reed, William M. Richardson, Thomas Sammons, John Smilie, George Smith, Philip Stuart, Silas Stow, Lewis B. Sturges, Samuel Taggart, Benjamin Tallmadge, Uri Tracy, Pierre Van Cortlandt, jun., Laban Wheaton, Leonard White, and Robert Wright.
The bill was then ordered to be read the third time on Monday next.
The House resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole on the bill for establishing a Quartermaster's Department, and for other purposes, together with the amendments reported by the Committee of the Whole. [This bill goes to establish, also, a Commissary General's Department, abolishing that of Purveyor of Public Supplies.] Mr. Roberts, in the progress of reading and amending the bill, moved to strike out the fourth section of the bill. which goes to abolish the office of Purveyor of Public Supplies, with an intention then to move a recommitment of the bill, assigning a number of reasons in support of the in Otion. The motion was opposed by Mr. WRight and Mr. TALLMADGE, and lost—yeas 15. An ineffectual attempt was also made by Mr. LAcock to reduce the Commissary General's salary from $3,000 to $2000, the present salary of the Purveyor of Public Supplies, whose duties he is principally to perform. The Committee went through the bill, and reported it to the House. Mr. Roberts moved that the report of the Committee of the Whole lie on the table, as the House was thin, the Committee of Foreign Relations sitting, and the bill only this morning laid before the House. Mr. WRight opposed the motion on the ground of the urgency of the business, the want of such a department being now most seriously felt. †. motion was agreed to, 38 to 37, and the House adjourned to Monday.
Monday, March 16.
Mr. Dawson, from the committee appointed on the Message of the President, of the fifth instant, presented a bill for the admission of the State of Louisiana into the Union, and to extend the laws of the United States to the said State; which was read twice, and committed to a Committee of the Whole to-morrow.
The bill relinquishing to the corporation of New Orleans the use and possession of a certain lot of ground in said city, was read a third time, and passed.
The following Message was received from the PREside NT of the UNited STATEs: To the Senate and House of
Representatives of the United States :
I lay before Congress a letter, from the Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of Great Britain, to the Secretary of State.
JAMES MADISON. MAnch 13, 1812.
WashingtoN, March 11, 1812.
The undersigned, His Britannic Majesty's Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the United States, has read in the public papers of this city, with the deepest concern, the Message sent by the President of the United States to Congress on the 9th instant, and the documents which accompanied it. In the utter ignorance of the undersigned as to all the circumstances alluded to in those documents, he can only disclaim most solemnly, on his own part, the having had any knowledge whatever of the existence of such a mission, or of such transactions as the communication of Mr. Henry refers to, and express his conviction, that, from what he knows of those branches of His Majesty's Government with which he is in the habit of having intercourse, no countenance whatever was given by them to any schemes hostile to the internal tranquillity of the United States. The undersigned, however, cannot but trust that the American Government, and the Congress of the United States, will take into consideration the character of the individual who has made the communication in question, and will suspend any further judgment on its merits until the circumstances shall have been made known to His Majesty's Government. The undersigned requests the Secretary of State to accept the assurance of his highest consideration. AUGUSTUS J. FOSTER.
The Message having been read, was, on motion of Mr. Newton, referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations, and ordered to be printed.
Mr. Cheves, from the Naval Committee, to whom was referred the amendments of the Senate to the bill concerning the Naval Establishment, made a report on the same. The House then, on motion of Mr. Cheves, agreed to the amendment making a reduction of the appropriation for repairs from $480,000 to $300,000. Mr. Cheves moved that the House disagree to the amendment limiting the appropriation for timber to such as should be requisite for rebuilding four of the old frigates, to that which goes to strike out that section which proposes to lay up all the gunboats now in commission, and to that going to remove all the pursers at present in service after the 1st of May next, thereafter requiring the concurrence of the Senate in all such appointments. Mr. C. assigned his reasons for the motion. In relation to the first amendment, he observed that the modification of the Senate contemplated the purchase of a description of timber for a partic. ular purpose, which would not call for more than $150,000, although four times that amount, viz: $200,000 per annum for three years had been apF. As to the second amendment, he oped it would not be agreed to, as the gunboats were a species of force calculated for harbor defence, and not for sea service; and as the House with that view had directed them, until necessary for such purpose, to be laid up and distributed in the several harbors along the coast. The last amendment, though not objectionable in principle, would, in detail, be detrimental to the public
service, because it put out of commission, at a month's notice, all the present pursers, some of whom were on board ships in Europe, and whose places could not be substituted in treble that time; and because it required of all pursers bonds of security to the amount of $20,000 each, which would effectually bar a proper selection of persons for that station.
After some remarks of Mr. McKee and Mr. RhEA in favor of the first amendment, the question on disagreeing to it was taken and carried– ayes 60. Two other amendments were disagreed to without a division.
The bill to enable the people of the Mississippi Territory to form a constitution and State government, and for the admission of the same into the Union on an equal footing with the original States, was read a third time and passed, without debate, by yeas and nays, as follows: YEAs—Willis Alston, jun., William Anderson, Stevenson Archer, Burwell Bassett, William W. Bibb, William Blackledge, Adam Boyd, Robert Brown, William A. Burwell, William Butler, Langdon Cheves, Matthew Clay, James Cochran, Lewis Condict, William Crawford, Roger Davis, John Dawson, Joseph Desha, Samuel Dinsmoor, Elias Earle, William Findley, James Fisk, Meshack Franklin, Thomas Gholson, Peterson Goodwyn, Edwin Gray, Isaiah L. Green, Felix Grundy, Bolling Hall, Obed Hall, Aylett Hawes, Jacob Husty, John M. Hyneman, Joseph Kent, Abner Lacock, Peter Little, William Lowndes, Aaron Lyle, Nathaniel Macon, George C. Maxwell, Thomas Moore, William McCoy, Samuel McKee, Alexander McKim, Arunah Metcalf, Hugh Nelson, Anthony New, Thomas Newbold, Thomas Newton, Stephen Ormsby, Israel Pickens, James Pleasants, jun., Henry M. Ridgely, Jonathan Roberts, William Rodman, Ebenezer Sage, Ebenezer Seaver, Samuel Shaw, George Smith, John Smith, Richard Stanford, William Strong, John Taliaferro, George M. Troup, Charles Turner, jun., Robert Whitehill, Thomas Wilson, Richard Winn, and Robert Wright–69 Nars—Ezekiel Bacon, John Baker, Abijah Bigelow, Harmanus Bleecker, James Breckenridge, Elijah Brigham, Epaphroditus Champion, Martin Chittenden, John Davenport, jr., William Ely, Asa Fitch, Thomas R. Gold, Charles Goldsborough, Richard Jackson, jr., Joseph Lewis, jun., Samuel L. Mitchill, Joseph Pearson, Timothy Pitkin, jun., Benjamin Pond, Elisha R. Porter, Thomas Sammons, Silas Stow, Lewis B. Sturges, Samuel Taggart, Benjamin Tallmadge, Uri Tracy, Laban Wheaton, and Leonard White—28. The amendments proposed by the Senate to the bill “supplementary to an act to raise an additional military force” were read at the Clerk's table, and concurred in by the House.
The House resumed the consideration of the report of the Committee of the Whole on the bill for establishing a Quartermaster's DepartInent.
Considerable desultory discussion took place on the details of the bill.
Mr. Lacock moved to strike out so much of the bill as establishes the office of Commissary General,