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H. of R.]

Vacancy in the Presidency.

[Jan. 10, 1791.

vacancy, it would be in the power of the Vice there was an incompatibility in the offices of President, by virtue of the power of removing Secretary of State and that of President. He officers, absolutely to appoint a successor, with observed, that the appointment to the Regenout consulting either branch of the Legislature. cy, in all countries, is generally of the first law

Mr. SHERMAN observed, that this matter is officer. left with the Legislature. The whole power of Mr. Jackson objected to the Chief Justice, the people, in case of the vacancy, devolves on and said the Speaker of the House of Reprethe Legislature. The particular officer is not sentatives was, in his opinion, the next ofticer pointed out; it lies with

Congress to say who it in point of dignity to the President and Viceshall be. The President of the Senate is an offi- President. cer of the United States. In case of the death Mr. Madison objected to the Chief Justice, of a Governor and Lieutenant Governor, it is as it would be blending the Judiciary and Escommon in the several States for the oldest coun-ecutive. He objected to the President pro tem. sellor to preside. He instanced the case of the of the Senate. He will be a Senator of some abdication of James II. Adverting to the Con- particular State, liable to be instructed by the stitution, he showed that the appointment of State, and will still hold his office-thus he will Vice President, in certain cases, devolves on the hold'two offices at once. He adverted to the Senate. The vacancy may be filled for a longer other objections which had been offered against or shorter time, and this appears to be a ques- the Secretary of State, and showed the comtion previous in its nature to be determined. patibility of the two offices.

Mr. SEDGWICK said he should be in favor of Mr. STONE stated sundry difficulties respectthe motion of the gentleman from New Hamp- ing all the officers that had been named; but, shire, if it was not for the express provision in on the whole, thought there were fewer against the Constitution, which says, the office shall be the Secretary of State than any other officer filled by an officer of the United States. Should that had been mentioned. the vacancy now happen, there would be no of- Mr. SENEY was opposed to coming to any deficer in the Senate that could be appointed. cision at the present time. He thought more

He mentioned that the office of Chief Justice important business was before the House. He was considered as next to that of President, was not for making any decision that would give and, therefore, on the whole, he considered umbrage to any officer of the Government. The him as the most proper person to fill the vacan- Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Treacy. He thought the bill respecting the votes sury were equally entitled to the public notice. for President and Vice-President should be Mr. Carroll was in favor of coming to a first determined. He moved, therefore, that the decision; and if nothing more could be offered committee should rise, and take up the next bill. against the motion for filling up the blank with

Mr. Carroll and Mr. LIVERMORE objected the Secretary of State, he presumed the comto the motion for the committee's rising. mittee were ripe for a decision; he referred to

Mr. Madison was also opposed to the mo- the situation of countries who had not, in seation. He enlarged on the subject, and said he son, made provision for a Regent, &c. thought it a duty urged by a variety of con- Mr. SuermAN said, he was in favor of the siderations, important in themselves, and more committee's rising and reporting the bill, and so, perhaps, in their consequences, that the de- leave the blanks to be filled up in the House. cision should be now made.

Mr. White was in favor of filling up the Mr. Smith started a variety of objections to blank in the committee-he saw no reason for Mr. LIVERMORE's proposition. He thought it a delay. The officers mentioned are as well unconstitutional, as it would, in its operation, known now as they will be three days hence. deprive a State of a vote in the Senate. The President and Vice-President being in

Mr. Bourne said, he seconded the motion health, is a reason why the subject should now for the committee's rising, because he conceiv- be considered; it can be done with coolness and ed there was other business of more immediate freedom from all warmth. importance to be considered; and he saw no ne- Mr. LAWRENCE said, he thought there was cessity for coming to a decision on this question no necessity for precipitating the decision. at the present time.

With respect to every person that has been Mr. LAWRENCE supposed the blank could be named, difficulties have been started. The filled up in the House; he was, therefore, in subject is important, and time should be given favor of the committee's rising.

to deliberate on the several officers that have The motion for the committee's rising was been named. He hoped, therefore, that the negatived.

committee would rise and report the bill, and Mr. Benson was in favor of filling up the leave the blank to be filled up at another time. blank with the Chief Justice. He observed, Mr. Burke was in favor of the committee's that the objection arising from the Vice-Presi- rising. He observed, that the members in gendent's having it in his power to name his suc- eral appeared to be very much undetermined. cessor, in case the Secretary of State is insert- This is the first day the subject has been under ed, does not apply to the Chief Justice. He is consideration. He hoped the members would independent of the Executive.

not be precipitated to vote on the occasion. He pointed out several particulars, in which Mr. CARROLL said, if the committee should JAN, 11, 1791.]

Duty on Spirits.

(H. of R.

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rise, he hoped the bill would not be reported, portations for the past year have been made on but that they would sit again.

speculation, and are not to be again expected; Mr. Burke said, he hoped the committee and there will be, said he, a very great decrease would sit again.

in the amount of the revenue on wines. He adThe question on the committee's rising and verted to the Western expedition, and observ. reporting progress was carried in the affirma- ed, a greater sum than has been mentioned will tive.

be wanted on that account; and the pension list,

he feared, would be increased rather than diTUESDAY, January 11.

minished. On the whole, he thought there was JUDICIARY.

no danger of a great excess in the revenue. The

duty on domestic spirits he considered as proMr. BLOODWORTH presented a memorial from per; it is a duty that will be submitted to by the merchants and others of the town of Fay- the people, and even a direct tax would be paid etteville, and another from the merchants without murmuring, if the necessity was made of Wilmington, respecting the Judiciary sys- apparent. tem, proposing certain alterations therein. Re..

Mr. Jackson replied to Mr. WADSWORTH. ferred to a committee of five, consisting of He controverted the estimate offered by that Messrs. Burke, BLOODWORTH, Giles, gentleman, and then entered into a recapitulaand BROWN.

tion of his arguments against the bill, and urged DUTY ON SPIRITS.

the postponement of it to the next session. The House again resolved itself into a Com- Mr. STONE observed, that the House had at mittee of the whole on the bill repealing, after last got into a mode of considering the subject, the last day of next, the duties heretofore which ought to have been attended to at first. laid on distilled spirits, and laying others in He adverted to the drawback stated by the their stead, Mr. BOUDINOT in the chair. gentleman from Pennsylvania; but he desired

The thirteenth section, which provides for to know why this sumn, which amounts to uplaying a duty on spirits distilled from mate-wards of ten thousand dollars, is not mentionrials the produce of the country, was read. ed by the Secretary of the Treasury. He con

Mr. Jackson moved that this section should sidered the sum stated by the Secretary for the be struck out. He observed, that this he con- year '39, as the nett produce of the revenue; ceived to be the stage of the bill in which aand he believed that would be found to be thé stand ought to be made by its opposers. This sum. With respect to the decrease in the imclause respects the produce of the country, and portations, this had been the cry for seven here the friends of American manufactures and years back. He believed this would continue produce ought to make their exertions to defeat to be the case, though the importations, he was the bill. He then read a particular estimate, well satisfied, would continue to increase, and by which, he said, it appears that the proposed this would be owing to our increasing populaprovision was entirely unnecessary. He then tion. offered some general observations on the bill. The gentleman from Pennsylvania has noticDirect taxation, said he, has been objected to; ed the probable decrease in the importation of this power is as fully recognised by the Consti- teas, wines, &c. but takes no notice of the intution, as the right of laying excises; those, crease in the importation of other articles. He therefore, who are opposed to the latter, have said, gentlemen had called our attention to the as good a right to offer their objections, as those Mediterranean and Indian expeditions; but opposed to the former. The Secretary says, neither of these subjects are now before the we ought to leave direct taxes as a resource for committee. If these subjects are to be cona future emergency: but is it not better to bave sidered, let us go into a committee on them and two resources than one? The impost duties see what is necessary to be done. At present, must increase, and a sufficient revenue for we are devising ways and means to pay the inevery purpose from that source is to be expect- terest of the State debts; and, with respect to ed. Why, then, should we lay this obnoxious this object, he conceived the revenue to be detax? He concluded, by saying he should lay rived from the present establishments will be his estimate before the House.

sufficient for that and all the other exigencies of Mr. WADSWORTH said, he had also inade Government, until the year 1793. It is now some calculations which he should submit to said, that the excise will be sufficient for all the the House. In these he had taken pains to be demands of Government; but he suspected that as accurate as possible. He then read his esti- he should hear something on the subject of tonmate, by which it appeared that the probable nage before the end of the session. amount of the impost would be diminished even Mr. Williamson adverted to the publication below the sum stated by the Secretary of the of the resolutions of the Assembly of North Treasury. The tonnage, he said, would be di- Carolina, in which some misinformation had minished, owing to the change in the present taken place. He then alluded to the assuinpsituation of Europe, and the cessation of the tion, and observed, that since the United States demand for grain. The importation of molasses had made the State debts the debts of the Union, and sugar must be lessened, as the articles are it became necessary to provide for them, and not to be had. Great part of the European im-lhe supposed some sort of excise was necessary.

H. OF R.]

Duly on Spirits.

(Jan. 11, 1791.

He reprobated a land tax; and then observed and satisfaction which appear in others; in that excises, according to the Constitution, those which, it is presumed, bear, at least, a full ought to be equal. He proposed to equalise proportion of the burthens already imposed by them, by proposing a tax on beer and cider. If Government. there will be an excess in the revenue, as ap- He contended, that the operation of the bill pears pretty evident, let the duty on our own would be to equalize the public burthens; and produce be struck out. He insisted on the in- when this is realized, as it will be, he doubted justice of laying this duty on those States which not a spirit of conciliation and good humor had been adverse to the assumption.

would be the consequence. He suggested other sources of revenue-men- Mr. Jackson said, that the funding law had tioned newspapers, on which, he supposed, if a appropriated the revenue for the payment of all duty was laid, it would be advantageous to the the debts original and assumed; and the faith of public and to the printers. He concluded by the United States is pledged only to make up saying, he hoped the thirteenth section would such deficiencies as may happen. It appears be struck out.

from the calculations before the committee, that Mr. Ames offered a few remarks, to show no such deficiency will be to be provided for. the obligation of the Government to provide He wished gentlemen to show some plausible permanent funds for the payment of the inter- reason for this additional burthen on the people. est of the debt, agreeably to the spirit of the The estimates he had offered cannot be invalilaw passed the last session; nor did he conceive dated. that a casual surplus was any sufficient reason Mr. PARKER said, he had heard nothing to for not making complete provision; annual induce him to change his mind respecting this grants for the purpose of supporting the public bill. He had been uniformly opposed to ex credit had been sufficiently proved inadequate cises, and he should not withdraw his opposito the object.

tion at the present tiine. He then adverted to Mr. BlOODWORTH observed, that if preju- the unequal operation of an excise, especially dices do exist, whether well founded or not, on the Southern States, which, he said, renderthey produce all the mischiefs of a well founded it entirely contrary to the spirit of the Coned opposition, until they are removed. He said stitution. He doubted not the revenue would a universal opposition to excises exists in North increase, notwithstanding the suppositious deCarolina, and he dreaded the consequences of falcations which had been mentioned. He urged this measure being urged. North Carolina has the unpopularity of the measure. The cultivabeen well disposed to the Government-what tion of the Southern orchards ought to be enis the reason this is not at present the case? It couraged by the Northern States, as the Southis owing, sir, to the measures which have been ern States had encouraged their navigation and pursued by the Government. The assumption fisheries. But if this partial duty is to be presswas a measure universally odious to the people ed upon us in this manner, I shall not think it of that State, and he believed it was so to many my duty to be equally zealous in their favor in other persons in the Southern States. With re- future. spect to the observations of the gentleman from Mr. LIVERMORE observed, that several estiMassachusetts, that North Carolina knew, mates had been offered to the committee-they when she adopted the Constitution, that the cannot be all right, because they disagree. He General Government had a right to lay excises, observed, that it had not been noticed by any he observed, that North Carolina expected that person that the present duty on foreign rum some attention would have been paid to her pro- would be taken away by this bill, and the whole posed amendments. On the whole, he hoped sum to be raised from that article is from the the clause would be struck out; and is an ex. bill now under consideration. But suppose a cise is thought to be necessary, let it be laid only surplusage of revenue of one or two hundred on foreign spirits, and spirits manufactured from thousand dollars should be in the Treasury, foreign materials.

which I wish with all my heart may be the case, Mr. LAWRENCE replied to Mr. BlOODWORTH's are there not ways and means enough to apply observations, respecting confining the duty to this surplusage to the advantage of the United foreign spirits. He said, this would operate to States?' He instanced a variety of ways in produce a very great deficiency in the revenue. which such a surplus might be applied; but he The importation of foreign spirits will be de- did not seriously contemplate such a surplus. stroyed, and the revenue derived from that He then adverted to the objection on account source will be lost.

of the inequality. He said, the duty on spirits He adverted to certain objections which had distilled from molasses is agreed to; why should been urged against the bill, from the experience not the spirits distilled from peaches in the of Great Britain. He showed that none of Southern States be also subject to a duty? This these applied to the present occasion. The bill he considered as unequal, and discovered a want is divested of those qualities commonly sup- of candor in the gentlemen from the Southward. posed to be connected with excise laws. He Mr. PARKER asked the gentleman if molasses took notice of the accounts of uneasinesses was an article of the produce of this country? which are said to exist in some of the States, The Southern States have nothing by which and counterbalanced them by the tranquillity | they can procure molasses. If the gentleman Jax. 13, 1791.]

Land Offices.

[H. of R.

would consent to excise fish, he would consent Mr. Sedgwick presented petitious from a to an excise on peach brandy.

number of officers and soldiers in the MassaMr. Fitzsimons observed, that the deficiency chusetts line of the late army, which were read occasioned by the alteration in the duty on fo- and referred to the Secretary of War. reign rum would occasion a very considerable Mr. Fitzsimons presented a petition from a addition to the deficiency in the revenu. With number of tradesmen employed in the various respect to the inequality mentioned, he said there branches of ship-building in the cities and liberwas no probability that the Southern States ties of Philadelphia, praying that they may have would ever pay an over proportion of the revenue. some speedy remedy for recovery of their debts

Mr. Williamson stated certain particulars, in those branches of business, by, instituting to show that a just idea of the sum paid by suits in the Federal Courts; which was read North Carolina could not be known by any and laid on the table. statements from the public offices. Their busi- Also a petition from Joshua Barney, late a ness is carried on coastwise. To judge of their captain in the navy of the United States, prayconsumption, recourse must be had to the ex- ing to be reimbursed his expenses while a priportations of that State. He said the exporta- soner with the enemy; and that he may be put tions of North Carolina amounted to a million on the same footing with the other officers in of dollars annually.

the late American navy. Mr. CLYMER said, that a gentleman from Also a petition of sundry officers in the late Georgia had mentioned the aversion that the American navy, praying compensation for serpeople of Pennsylvania bore to an excise law. vices, &c. The two last petitions were read, Such a law, he observed, had been in force in and referred to a select committee of five menithe State for fifty or sixty years, and the excise bers. officers were vested with as much power as it Mr. Williamson moved that the rule of the was proposed to give them by the bill before the House, in these words, “ that no bill amended House; that some resistance had been offer by the Senate shall be committed,” may be ed to those officers acting in the line of their expunged; which was agreed to by the House. duty, but that those who opposed them in the

A message was received from the Senate, execution of their business were severely fined. informing this House that they have passed a He was not convinced that the duty, which it bill for erecting that part of the State of Virwas proposed to lay on spirits by the bill under ginia, called the district of Kentucky, into a consideration, was odious to a majority of the separate State, and for admitting the same as a States—the most of them had excise laws of member of the Union, to which they desire the their own, and he conceived the present bill concurrence of the House. was as well guarded as possible, by wholesome In Committee of the whole on the bill reprovisions, against every objection. From the pealing, after the last day of next, the dustatements which had been produced, there ties heretofore laid on distilled and other spirits would be no great excess in the revenue he ap. imported from abroad, and laying others in their prehended, but if there was, it would be well stead, Mr. Boudinot in the chair. applied in lessening the public debts.

The committee proceeded in the discussion Mr. Madison remarked on the observations as far as the forty-fifth section. of Mr. Fitzsimons respecting the Southern States not paying their proportion of the im

THURSDAY, January 13. post. He showed that the trade of the Southern States was carried on by the Eastern and

The bill from the Senate for the admission Northern States. That the consumption of the of the district of Kentucky into the Union, Southern States was proportioned to their num

was read the second time, and made the order bers, and in this way they bore their full pro- of the day for Monday next. portion of the public burthens.

Mr. Sedgwick laid the following motions on Mr. Jackson replied to Mr. CLYMER, and the table: said, that if the people had been severely fined Resolved, That a committee be appointed to bring for a breach of the excise law in that State, he in a bill to authorize the President of the United had been well informed that the fine had been States to cause the principal of the debt due to foas severely remitted.

reign officers, the interest whereof is now payable The question on striking out the thirteenth in Paris, at the rate of six per cent. per annum, section was negatived—33 to 17.

to be discharged.

Resolved, That as it will be impracticable, during WEDNESDAY, January 12.

the present season, to consider and decide on the LAND OFFICES.

report of the Attorney General respecting the Ju

diciary system with that deliberation which the im. The bill for granting lands to the inhabitants portance of the subject demands, the consideration and settlers of the town of Vincennes, in the of the said report be postponed. Illinois country, northwest of the Ohio, and Resolved, also, That the Attorney General be di-confirming them in their possessions, was read rected to report to this House a bill

, making a tema second time, and referred to a Committee of porary provision for the clerks, jurors, and other the whole House.

officers of the Federal Courts; and that he also re

H. OF R.]

Vacancy in the Presidency.

[Jan. 13, 1791.

port to the next session, a bill making a general pro. cancy, to meet again, and make another choice; vision for the officers and jurors of said Courts, only, however, for the remainder of the four NEW REVENUE BILL.

years; because, at the end of that time, the powIn Committee of the whole on the bill re

er of choosing the Electors should return to, pealing, after the last day of — next, the du- and be exercised by the several States.

If the motion before the committee was neties heretofore laid on distilled spirits, and lay. ing others in their stead, Mr. Boudinor in the gatived, he gave notice that he would bring in

his, viz: to fill up the blank with the person last chair.

The discussion of the remaining sections was antecedently chosen President of the Senate. finished; and the bill, with the several amend

Mr. Baldwin said, that he should vote for ments, reported by the Chairman to the House. the present motion, because he conceived that On motion of Mr. Carroll, it was

the Constitution is express, that an officer of

the Government, designated either by the law Resolved, that the consideration of the bill with or the Constitution, should be appointed to fill the amendments be postponed, and made the order this vacancy. He stated some objections against of the day for Monday next.

the Chief Justice. He is an officer who ought VACANCY IN THE PRESIDENCY. to be entirely detached from all political agita In Committee of the whole, on the bill de- tions whatever-his inind ought to be kept calm claring the officer who, in case of vacancy in and as unembarrassed as possible. He quoted the office of President and Vice President, shall the precedent established in the law instituting exercise the office of President of the United the Governor of the Western Territory—there States, Mr. Boudinot in the chair.

the Secretary is to succeed the Governor. The The motion for filling up the blank with “ the Secretary of State is an Executive officer, an Secretary of State for the time being,” was re- assistant to the President, and must be supposnewed by Mr. Carroll.

ed, from his situation, to be the most proper Mr. LIVERMORE gave notice, that he should person to supply the vacancy. move for leave to bring in a bill to alter the Mr. SHERMAN was of opinion, that putting time of the annual meeting of Congress.

the Chief Magistracy into the hands of a sub

ordinate officer, was by no means proper. As PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORS.

to the observations made by the gentleman last The House then went into Committee on the up on the arrangements in the Government of bill declaring the time when the Electors of the Western Territory, he did not think they President and Vice-President of the United could be applied to the present case. That GoStates shall be chosen; also, when they shall vernment is a subordinate one, and a kind of meet and give in their votes—Mr. BOUDINOT legislative power is vested in the Governor of in the chair.

selecting from the laws and regulations of the Mr. CARROLL renewed the motion, that the different States, such as he thought requisite for vacancy in such case be filled by the Secretary the Government of those he had under bis care. of State for the time being.

He was in favor of giving the supreme ExMr. LIVERMORE observed, that the character ecutive, in case of accident, to the President of the gentleman who fills that office should of the Senate. The Government would cerhave no weight in determining the question, tainly suffer fewer inconveniences by that arbecause the House was about to provide for a rangement than if the Head of a Department case that might not happen before a number of was put in. The Vice-President, by the Conyears were elapsed. The House should fix on stitution, succeeds to the President--the Presithe officer who would, from the nature of his dent of the Senate to the office of the first; it office, most naturally succeed. He hoped they is therefore very natural that he should also would not determine in favor of an officer of exercise the duties of the second in case of their own creating, and of which no mention vacancy. is made in the Constitution. The Chief Jus- To designate any officer as possible succestice, he remarked, had been spoken of: one sor to the President, would be giving him too great objection he mentioned against him—the much dignity, and raising him, in a manner, provision which the Constitution makes in case even above the Legislature. the President is impeached, viz: that he should Mr. Carroll observed, that the vacancy preside. As this was an elective Government, might happen in the recess of the Legislature, he wished its principles preserved, and not to or in the absence of the President of the Senate; see the Chief Magistracy filled by an officer the Secretary of State would always be at the not the choice of the people. The President seat of Government. Besides, the Constitution of the Seuate pro lem. appeared to him a much declares the vacancy shall be filled by an fitter oflicer to fill that station: he was origi- officer of the Governinent. The President of nally chosen by the people to the Senate. the Senate is only an officer pro tem. If the

When amendments to the Constitution came framers of the Constitution had intended the to be thought of, perhaps it would be proper to vacancy should be filled by an officer named provide for this case by a special clause in it, in it, they could have designated him; but this einpowering the Electors who had chosen the they had not done; he therefore supposed they President and Vice-President, in case of va- I had in view some officer not then in existence,

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