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- Mr. CLAW said, he had some observations - to submit on this question, which he would nottrespass on the Senate in offering, but that it had some command of leisure,in consequence of the conference which had been agreed upon in respect to the tariff. A bill to recharter the bank had recently passed Congress, after much deliberation. In this body, we know that there are members enough, who entertain no constitutional scruples, to make, with the vote by which the bill was passed, a majority of two-thirds. In the House of Representatives also, it is believed, there is a like majority in favor of the bill. Notwithstanding this state of things, the President has rejected the bill, and transmitted to the Senate an elaborate message, communicating at large his objections. The Constitution requires that we should reconsider the bill, and that the question of its passage, the President’s objections notwithstanding, shall be taken by ayes and noes. Respect to him, as well as the injunctions of the Constitution, require that we should deliberately examine his reasons, and reconsider the question. The veto is an extraordinary power, which, though tolerated by the Constitution, was not expected, by the Convention, to be used in or. dinary cases. It was designed for instances of precipitate legislation, in unguarded moments. Thus restricted, and it had been thus restricted by all former Presidents, it might not be mischievous. During Mr. Madison's administration of eight years, there had occurred but two or three cases of its exercise. During the late administration, I do not now recollect that it was once. In a period little upwards of three years, the present Chief Magistrate has employed the veto four times. We now hear quite frequently, in the progress of measures through Congress, the statement that the President will veto them, urged as an objection to their passage. - The veto is hardly reconcilable with the genius of representative government. It is totally irreconcilable with it, if it is to be frequent. ly employed in respect to the expediency of measures, as well as their constitutionality. It is a feature of our Government borrowed from
* Prerogative of the British King. And it is onarkable that in England it has grown obsolete, not having been used upwards of a centu*7. At the commencement of the French ReVolution...in discussing the principles of their Constitution, in the National convention, the Yeto held a conspicuous figure. The gay, laughing population of paris bestowed on the *ing the appellation of moon. veto, and,
**he Queen, that of Madame veto, the
spect and deference, to examine some of the
__ The President thinks that the precedents, drawn from the proceedings of Congress, as to the constitutional power to establish a bank, are neutralized, by there being two for and two He supposes that one Congress in 1811, and another in 1815, decided Let us examine both of
o of a new Congress, the President deliberately
o renews his recommendation to consider the o question of the renewal of the charter of the o Bank of the United States. And yet his friends o now declare the agitation of the question to be who preceded me. o premature. It was not premature in 1829 to o present the question, but it is premature in o, so * - Afer the President had directed public at: o tention to this question, it became not only as against the authority. * topic of popular conversation, but was discuss Co. ed in the press, and employed as a theme in against the power.
* popular elections. I was myself interrogated.
o on more occasions than one, to make a public ** expression of my sentiments; and a friend of o mine, in Kentucky, a candidate for the State *so legislature, told me, near two years ago, that he also was surprised, in an obscure part of his county, * (the hills of Benson,) where there was but
little occasion for banks, to find himself ques-
o quarters, to the partisans of the Administration $o every where, to agitate and make the most of st in the question. They have done so; and their o condition now reminds me of the fable invented o o by Dr. Franklin, of the Eagle and the Cat, to Usi | demonstrate that Esop had not exhausted intoo vention, in the construction of his memorable so fables. The eagle, you know, Mr. President, poss pounced from his lofty flight in the air, upon a o cat, taking it to be a pig. Having borne off li, his prize, he quickly felt most painfully the so aws of the catthrust deeply into his sides and
go o Whilst flying, he held a parley with the - supposed pig, and proposed to let go his hold,
, o if the other would let him alone. No, says po puss, you brought me fromyonder earth below, s and I will hold fast to you until you carry me o back—a condition to which the eagle readily so assented.
o The friends of the President, who have been o for near three years agitating this question, o now turn round upon their opponents who have
supposed the President quite serious and in
these cases. The House of Representatives in
three of them voted for the bank. Take those
18, and the vote of 1811, as to the question of
the constitutional power, would have been 21 and 13. And of these thirteen there might have been others still who were not governed in their votes by any doubts of the power.
In regard to the Congress of 1815, so far
from their having entertained any scruples in respect to the power to establish a bank, they actually passed a bank bill, and thereby affirmed the power.
It is true, that by the casting the Speaker of the House of Representatives, (Mr. Chevys,) they rejected another bank bill, not on grounds of want of power, but upon considerations of expediency in the particular structure of that bank. Both the adverse precedents, therefore, relied upon in the messsage, operate directly
forward to maintain. Congress, by various other
traordinary investigation into the administration
words in relation to myself.
against the argument which they were ****
1 voted, in 1814, against the old Bank of the
o o o and procrastination, during the progress United States, and I delivered, on the occasion, o of one bill. a speech, in which, among other reasons, 1 aso Notwithstanding all these dilatory expedients, signed that of its being unconstitutional. My o a majority of Congress, prompted by the will speech has been read to the Senate, during o and the best interests of the nation, passed the the progress of this bill, but the reading of it o with great re-lexcited no other regret than that it was read in
bill. And I shall now proceed,
such a wretched, bungling, mangling manner. During a long public life, (I mention the fact not as claiming any merit for it.) the only great question in which I ever changed my opinion, is that of the Bank of the United States. If the researches of the Senator had carried him a lit. tle farther, he would, by turning over a few more leaves of the same book from which he read my speech, have found that which I made in 1816, in support of the present bank. By the reason assigned in it for the change of my opinion, I am ready to abide in the judgment of the present generation and of posterity. In 1815, being Speaker of the House of Representatives, it was perfectly in my power to have said nothing, and did nothing, and and thus have concealed the change of opinion which my mind had undergone. But I did nor choose to remain silent and escape the responsibility. I chose policly to avow my actual conversion. The wo, and the fatal experience of its disastrous events had changed me. Mr. Madison, Gov. Pleasants, and almost all the o men-around me, my political friends, had changed their opinions from the same-causes. The power to establish a bank is deduced from that clause of the constitution which confers on Congress all powers necessary and proper to carry into effect the enumerated powers. In 1811, I believed a Bank of the United States not necessary, and that a safe reliance might be placed on the local banks, in the administration of the fiscal affairs of the Government. The war taught us many lessons, and among others demonstrated the necessity of a Bank of the United States to the successful operations of the Government. I will not trouble the Senate with a perusal of my speech in 1816 - but askits permission to read a few extracts: *But how stood the case in 1815, when he was called upon again to examine the powers of the General Government to incorporate a ma. tional bank?-A total change of circumstances was presented—events of the utmostmagnitude had intervened. “A general suspension of specie payments had taken place, and this had led to a train of consequences of the most alarming nature. He beheld, dispersed over the immense extent of the United States, about three hundred banking institutions, enjoying, in different degrees, the confidence of the public, shaken as to them all, under no direct control of the General Government, and subject to no actual responsibility to the State authorities. These institutions were emitting the actual currency of the United States, currency consisting of paper, on which they neither paid interest nor principal, whilst it was exchanged for the paper of the community, on which both were paid. We saw these institutions, in fact, exer. cising what had been considered, at all times, and in all countries, one of the highest attributes •f sovereignty-–the regulation of the curren *dium of the country. They were no lon. Boompetent to assist the treasury, in either
of the great operations of collection, deposite,
we obtained foreign capital (Dutch and French,) solo to aid us. During the late war American stock otgaoi was sent to Europe to sell; and, if I am not missofani informed, to Liverpool. The question does oison not depend upon the place whence the capital no for z is obtained, but the advantageous use of it. more on The confidence of foreigners in our stocks is ****** * proof of the solidity of our credit. Foreign. i... ors have no voice in the administration of this ... ... bank; and if they buy its stock, they are #on to or obliged to submit to citizens of the United ** States to manage it. The Senator from Ten... i.e., nose; (Mr. White,) asks what would have o been the condition of this country, if during *o the late war, this bank had existed, with such t; *:::: an interest in it as foreigners now hold? I will *** tell him. we should have avoided many of * the disasters of that war, perhaps those at De• * troit and at this place. The Government would ić, ho have possessed ample means for its vigorous to prosecution; and the interest of foreigners, Tokio British subjects especially, would have operani to ted upon them, not upon us. Will it not be a n serious evil to be obliged to remit in specie to ingo foreigners the eight millions which they now into have in this bank, instead of retaining that cathod pital within the country to stimulate its industo try and enterprise? j, amo. The President assigns in his message a conso- or spicuous place to the alleged injurious operation
too, of the bank on the interests of the western peojo ple: They ought to be much indebted to him for I his kindness manifested towards them; although, of two I think, they have much reason to deprecate it.
The people of all the west owe to this bank
o about thirty millions, which have been borrowed o from it; and the President thinks that the
o, payments for the interest, and other facilities ** which they derive from the operation of this
jo. * bank, are so onerous as to produce “a drain of eth,', of their currency, which no country can bear with e s ...'s out inconvenience and occasional distress.” of His remedy is to compel them to pay the whole 1 it * of the debt, which they have contracted in a m**, period short of four years. Now, Mr. Presid * dent, if they cannot pay the interest without go distress, how are they to pay the principal? If
the operations of Government, that occasion the transfer annually, of money from the west to the Atlantic States. What is the actual course of things? The business and commerce of the west are carried on with New Orleans, with the southern and southwestern States, and with the Atlantic cities. We transport our dead or inanimate produce to New Orleans, and receive in return checks or drafts of the Bank of the United States at a premium of a half per cent, We send, by our drovers, our live stock to the south and the southwest, and receive similar checks in return. With these drafts or checks our merchants proceed to the Atlantic cities and purchase domestic or foreign goods for western consumption. The lead and fur trade of Missouri and Illinois is also carried on principally through the agency of the Bank of the United States. The Government also transfers to places where it is wanted, through the bank, the sums accumulated at the different land offices for purchases of the public lands, Now all these varied operations must go on; all these remittances must be made, Bank of the United States or no Bank. The bank does not create but it facilitates them. The bank is a mere vehicle; just as much so as the steamboat is the vehicle which transports our produce to the great mart of New Orleans, and not the grower of that produce. It is to confound cause and effect, to attribute to the bank the transfer of money from the west to the cast. Annihilate the bank to-morrow, and similar transfers of capital, the same description of pecuniary operations must be continued; not so well, it is true, but performed they must be, ill or well, under any state of circumstances. The true questions are, how are they now performed? how were they conducted prior to the existence of the bank? how would they be after it ceased? I can tell you what was our condition before the bank was established; and, as I reason from past to future experience, under analogous circumstances, I can venture to predict what it will probably be without the bank.
o they cannot pay a part, how are they to pay the
so whole? Whether the pay of the interest be or ** be not a burthen to them, is a question for with ... themselves to decide, respecting which they
fo might be disposed to dispense with the kindness
ago. of the President. If, instead of borrowing 3. to o thirty millions from the bank, they had borrowto ed a like sum from a Girard, John Jacob Astor,
go one who would comothem and say—“Gentlemen of the west, it will ruin you to pay the in- - - - - terest of that debt, and therefore I will obligel supplies, stimulating our industry and invigor
Before the establishment of the Bank of the United States, the exchange business of the west was carried on by a premium, which was . generally paid on all remittances to the east of 2% per ct. The aggregate amount of all remittances throughout the whole course of the year was very great, and instead of the sum then paid, we now pay half per cent, or nothing, if notes of the Bank of the United States be used. Prior to the bank, we were without the capital of the thirty milions which that institution now ating our enterprise. In Kentucky we have no specie-paying bank, arcely any currency other than that of". of the Bank of the United States and its branches.
How is the west to pay this enormous debt of thirty millions of dollars? It is impossible, . It cannot be done. General distress, certain,
t fro| eration of the bank. It is not the bank, but wide-sperad, inevitable ruin, must be the con
== - - ment. Depressionin the value of all property, mendation, and that of veto, to so. It sheriffs' sales and sacrifices—bankruptcy must Must all legislation, in its commenco o necessarily ensue; and, with them, relief laws, in its termination. concentrate in the Po paper money, a prostration of the courts of jus when we shall have reached to ice, evils from which we have just emerged, things, the election and annual so must again, with all their train o will be an useless chool | visit our country. But it is argued by the people, and the whole buisnesoo gentleman from Tennessee, (Air, whore...) that may be economically conducted yosimilar predictions were made without being decrees. realized, from the downfall of the old Bank of Congress does sometimes receive thougpothe United States. It is, however, to be re-stions and opinions of the Head to collected that the old bank did not possessments, as to new laws. And, attoo one-third of the capital of the present; that it ment of this session, in his had but one office west of the mountains, whilst Secretary of the Treasury solo the present has nine; and that it had little or large, not merely in favor of the to no debt due to it in that quarter, whilst the support of the renewal of the too present bank has thirty milions. The war, too, existing Bank, who could no which shortly followed the downfall of the old that responsible officer was to bank, and the suspension of specie payments congress opinions directly ado which soon followed the war, prevented the in-sentertained by the Preso ". jury apprehended from the discontinuance of before has it happened to ho the old bank. - Department recommended the so
The same gentleman further argues that the law which, being according on o day of payment must come; and he asks when, sented to the President, so Co. better than now? Is it to be indefinitely post-veto? What sort of a banko o
poned; is the charter of the present bank to belject of which the President woulo. perpetual? Why, Mr. President, all things—led to furnish Congress, it to opolo | * governments, republics, empires, laws, human him, he has not stated. In o o ife-doubtless are to have an end; but shall such statement, we can only o o the we therefore accelerate their termination? The is his famous treasury Bono so lo west is now young, wan's capital, and its vast mended by him, from who no on resources needing nourishment, are daily de-recoiled with the instinction oo:
veloping. By and by, it will accumulate wealth, the approach of the Chulo . on
from its industry and enterprise, and possessits. The message states to "o lo
surplus capital. The charter is not made per-lunwillingly conceded, an onio - i. on Juno o
petual, because it is wrong to bind posterity as necessarily to make to perpetually. At the end of the term limited factory, discloses enough to o o o for its renewal, posterity will have the powerland alarm.” As there is no o og of determining for itself whether the bankshaupassage of this boro lo then be wound up, or prolonged another term, notwithstanding, by a constitution no And that question may be decided, as it now of two thirds, it can never on the o ought to be, by a consideration of the interests Representatives. The memo o of all parts of the Union, the west among the and especially its ongo to rest. Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof, the Committee of ways and Moo loo The President tells us that, if the Executiveled the bill, are therefore of on had been called upon to furnish the project of Portunity of defending homolo." a bank, the duty would have been cheerfully these circumstances, allow mo" o erformed; and he states that a bank, compe-President has ascertained out to tent to all the duties which may be required was unwillingly conceded lo o by the Government, might be so organized as directly the contrary; and the onnot to infringe on our own delegated powers, or already referred to, as well as who the reserved rights of the States. The Presi-infavor of the renewalso o dent is a co-ordinate branch of the legislative consented to and voted for to department. As such, bills which have pass-And we all know that to no oboth Houses of Congress, are presented to renewal could have prevento him for hi approval or rejection. The idea of and that they did not lo o the President for the project of a law, alarm have been o so is totally new in the practice, and utterly con-Atahoo! Against whom is o' trary to the theory of the Government. What House, or the Bank, or boo o o
shold we think of the Senate calling upon the Mr. President, pro o