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H. OF R.)

On Titles.

[May, 1789.

have recourse to public opinion to support their The House divided on the question; 19 in favor arguments, they generally find means to accom- of the motion, and 26 against it. modate it to their own; the reason why I think So it passed in the negative. public opinion is in favor of the present measure Adjourned. is, because this regulation in itself is reasonable and just. Some gentlemen think a system of moderate

MONDAY, May 11. duties will be capable of improvement; every sub- A committee, consisting of Messrs. White, sequent year they may be increased, and so be- Scott, and Sturgis, was appointed to confer come more and more productive. If we were on with the committee appointed by the Senate, to the eve of a war, in which it is presumable our view and report in what manner the rooms in the expenses would increase, such policy might be City Hall shall be appropriated. proper; but as we want it only to pay a certain debt, the demand will decrease, and we shall have

ON TITLES. less occasion for an increase of revenue.

The House took into consideration the message I think if we should not support public credit from the Senate, communicated on Saturday last

, now we have the ability, the people will lose all respecting the disagreement of the Senate to the confidence in the Government. When they see report of a joint committee, on the subject of anpublic bodies shrink from their duty, what can be nexing titles to the offices of President and Vice expected but they will neglect theirs also? It President. cannot be for the interest of the people of the Mr. PARKER moved a resolution to the followUnited States that they should continue to pay a ing effect : high interest, and suffer an accumulatien of the principal of the national debt till some distant adopted the report of their committee appointed to

Resolved, That this House having, on Tuesday last, period. Will any gentleman assure us that the confer with a committee of the Senate, stating, “ That people will then be better able to pay it off than it is not proper to annex any style or title to the reat present? Have they any certain evidence that spective styles or titles of office expressed in the Conwe shall grow richer as we delay the establish-stitution ; and having, in their Address to the President ment of our credit and the payment of our debts ? of the United States on Friday last, proceeded to act I think they have not; therefore it is best to get pursuant thereto, deem it improper to accede to the out of debt as fast as possible, and while we have proposition made by the Senate, as communicated by the command of funds amply sufficient for the their order of the 9th instant, for appointing a commitpurpose.

tee to confer with a committee of this House, in conMr. LAWRENCE.—It has been intimated by gen- sidering and reporting under what title it will be protlemen in favor of high duties, that it will límit per for the President of the United States in future to the consumption of foreign articles; if this be the be addressed. case, the quantity imported will be lessened; if it Mr. Page seconded the motion, observing, that is our object to raise revenue, it is certainly un- in his opinion, the House had no right to interfere wise to destroy the object from which the reve- in the business ; the Constitution expressly prenue is to be collected. It is supposed the amount scribed the power of Congress as to bestowing tiof the duties will be insufficient to answer the tles. He did not conceive the real honor or dig. public wants; and yet the public creditors have nity of either of those situations to consist in high great expectations from this resource. Let us sounding titles. The House had, on a former occatherefore be careful how we destroy it; if reve- sion, expressed their disapprobation of any title benue is our primary object, and the other considing annexed to their own members, and very justly erations but secondary, we should do nothing to too. After having so fully and explicitly declared operate against that principle.

their sentiments against such measures, he thought Mr. Madison.-It does not follow, because it it behooved them to be explicit with the Senate. will in some degree limit the consumption, that | Indeed, he felt himself a good deal hurt, that genwe ought not to lay a high duty on rum; if it has tlemen on this floor, after having refused their that effect, it will be an ample compensation for permission to the Clerk to enter any more than the loss of revenue; but probably, as we extinguish their plain names on the journal, should be standour debt, we shall have the less occasion for the ing up and addressing one another by the title of revenue itself.

the honorable gentleman.” He wished the pracMr. GOODHUE.— The object of the committee tice could be got over, because it added neither to is to raise revenue, I take it. This would, per- the honor nor dignity of the House. haps, be best done by reducing the duty, but I am Mr. Lee approved of the appointment of a comnot inclined to reduce it so low as some gentle- mittee to confer with a committee of the Senate, men seem to desire: it may be reduced a few as the mode due to the occasion ; but he was cents, and therefore I move to insert ten instead against adding any title. of twelve.

Mr. TUCKER.-When this business was first The question was taken for striking out the brought before the House, I objected to the aptwelve cents, as it stood in the bill, on all spirits pointment of a committee to confer with a comof Jamaica proof, imported from the dominions of mittee of the Senate, because I thought it a subnations in alliance with the United States, in ject which this House had no right to take into order to leave it blank, to be filled up hereafter. consideration. I then stood single and unsup

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May, 1789.]

On Titles.

[H. OFR,

ported in my opinion, but have had the pleasure wretched by the loss of their only protectors and to find since, that some gentlemen on this floor means of support? This spirit of imitation, sir, this agree that I was right. If I was then right, I spirit of mimicry and apery will be the ruin of our shall. from a stronger reasoning, be right now in country. Instead of giving us dignity in the eye opposing the appointment of another committee of foreigners, it will expose us to be laughed at as on the same subject. The joint committee re- apes. They gave us credit for our exertions in ported that no titles ought to be given; we agreed effecting the Revolution, but they will say that to the report, and I was in hopes we should have we want independence of spirit to render it a heard no more of the matter. The Senate re- blessing to us. jected the report, and have now sent us a resolu- Mr. TRUMBULL moved for the appointment of tion, expressive of a determination to give a title, a Committee of Conference, to consider on the to which they desire our concurrence. I am still difference which appeared in the votes of the of opinion that we were wrong in appointing the two Houses upon the report of the joint comfirst committee, and think that we shall be guilty mittee. of greater impropriety if we now appoint another. Mr. BURKE hoped the House would express What, sir, is the intention of this business? Will their decided disapprobation of bestowing titles in it not alarm our fellow-citizens ? Will it not any shape whatever; it would be an indignity in give them just cause of alarm? Will they not the House to countenance any measures of this say, that they have been deceived by the conven- nature. Perhaps some gentlemen might think the tion that framed the Constitution? That it has subject was a matter of indifference; but it did been contrived with a view to lead them on by not appear to him in that light. The introducdegrees to that kind of government which they tion of two words which he could mention into have thrown off with abhorrence? Shall we not the title of these officers, would alter the Constijustify the fears of ihose who were opposed to the tution itself; but he would forbear to say any Constitution, because they considered it as insi- thing further, as he had a well-grounded expectadious and hostile to the liberties of the people ? | tion that the House would take no further notice One of its warmest advocates, one of the framers of the business. of it, (Mr. Wilson, of Pennsylvania,) has recom- Mr. GOODHUE thought the conference unnecesmended it by calling it a pure democracy. Does sary, because the House had not only adopted the this look like a democracy, when one of the first report of their committee, but proceeded to act in acts of the two branches of the Legislature is to pursuance thereof. confer titles ? Surely not. To give dignity to MR. Seney joined the last gentleman in sentiour Government, we must give a lofty title to our ment, and thought it an unnecessary waste of Chief Magistrate. Does the dignity of a nation time to give the subject any longer discussion. consist in the distance between the first magistrate Mr. Madison.-I may be well disposed to conand his citizens? Does it consist in the exalta- cur in opinion with gentlemen that we ought not tion of one man, and the humiliation of the rest ? to recede from our former vote on this subject, If so, the most despotic Government is the most yet at the same time I may wish to proceed with dignified; and to make our dignity complete, we due respect to the Senate, and give dignity and must give a high title, an embroidered robe, a weight to our own opinion, so far as it contradicts princely equipage, and finally, a Crown and here theirs, by the deliberate and decent manner in ditary succession. Let us, sir, establish tranquil- which we decide. For my part, Mr. Speaker, I lity and good order at home, and wealth, strength, do not conceive titles to be so pregnant with danand national dignity will be the infallible result. ger as some gentlemen apprehend. I believe a

The aggregate of dignity will be the same, President of the United States, clothed with all whether it be divided among all, or centred in the powers given in the Constitution, would not one. And whom, sir, do we mean to gratify ? Is be a dangerous person to the liberties of America, it our present President ? Certainly, if we expect if you were to load him with all the titles of Euto please him, we shall be greatly disappointed. rope or Asia. We have seen superb and august He has a real dignity of character, and is above titles given, without conferring power and influsuch little vanities. We shall give him infinite ence, or without even obtaining respect. One of pain; we shall do him an essential injury. We the most impotent sovereigns in Europe has asshall place him in a most delicate and disagreea- sumed a title as high as human invention can deble situation; we shall reduce him to the neces- vise; for example, what words can imply a greater sity of evincing to the world his disapprobation magnitude of power and strength than that of of our measures, or of risking some diminution of High Mightiness? This title seems to border althat high reputation for disinterested patriotism most upon impiety; it is assuming the pre-emiwhich he has so justly acquired. It is not for his nence and omnipotence of the Deity; yet this tigratification ; for whose, then, are we to do this ? tle, and many others cast in the same mould, have Where is the man among us who has the presump- obtained a long time in Europe, but have they tion and vanity to expect it? Who is it that shall conferred power ? Does experience sanction such say-for my aggrandizement three millions of an opinion? Look at the Republic I have alpeople have entered into a calamitious war; they luded to, and say if their present state warrants have persevered in it for eight long years; they the id have sacrificed their property, they have spilt their I am not afraid of titles, because I fear the danblood, they have rendered thousands of families I ger of any power they could confer, but I am

H. OF R.]

On Titles.

[May, 1789.

against them because they are not very reconcila- report of their committees; it was proper, thereble with the nature of our Government or the ge- fore, that they should mutually assign their reanius of the people. Even if they were proper in sons, in order to bring about an agreement to the themselves, they are not so at this juncture of same resolution. He hoped, therefore, that such time. But my strongest objection is founded in a committee would be appointed, though he had principle; instead of increasing, they diminish no expectation that the House would give up an the true dignity and importance of a Republic, opinion they so justly and decidedly entertained and would in particular, on this occasion, diminish respecting titles. the true dignity of the first magistrate himself. Mr. PARKER wanted to know what was the If we give titles, we must either borrow or invent object of gentlemen in the appointment of a Comthem. If we have recourse to the fertile fields of mittee of Conference? The committee could luxuriant fancy, and deck out an airy being of our only say that the House had refused their consent own creation, it is a great chance but its fantastic to annexing any titles whatever to the President properties would render the empty phantom ridi- and Vice President; for certainly the committee culous and absurd. If we borrow, the servile imi- would not descend into the merits of a question tation will be odious, not to say ridiculous also; already established by the House. For his part, we must copy from the pompous sovereigns of he could not see what purpose was to be answered the East, or follow the inferior potentates of Eu- by the appointment of such a committee. He rope ; in either case, the splendid tinsel or gor- wished to have done with the subject, because geous robe would disgrace the manly shoulders of while it remained a question in the House, the our chief. The more truly honorable shall we people's minds would be much agitated; it was be, by showing a total neglect and disregard to impossible that a true republican spirit could things of this nature; the more simple the more remain unconcerned when a principle was under Republican we are in our manners, the more ra- consideration, so repugnant to the principles of tional dignity we shall acquire; therefore, I am equal liberty. better pleased with the report adopted by the Mr. SHERMAN thought it was pretty plain that House, than I should have been with any other the House could not comply with the proposition whatsoever.

of the Senate. The appointment of a commitThe Senate, no doubt, entertain different senti- tee on the part of the House, to consider and ments on this subject. I would wish, therefore, to determine what style or title will be proper to treat their opinion with respect and attention. I annex to the President and Vice President, would would desire to justify the reasonable and republi- imply that the House meant that some style or can decision of this House to the other branch of title should be given. Now this they never could Congress, in order to prevent a misunderstanding. intend, because they have decided that no style But that the motion of my worthy colleague (Mr. or title ought to be given; it will be sufficient to PARKER) has possession of the House, I would adduce this reason for not complying with the remove a more temperate proposition, and I think quest of the Senate. it deserves some pains to bring about that good Mr. Jackson wondered what title the Senate will and urbanity, which, for the despatch of pub- had in contemplation to add dignity or lustre to lic business, ought to be kept up between the two the Presidential Chair. For his part he could Houses. I do not think it would be a sacrifice of .conceive none. Would it add to his fame to be dignity to appoint a Committee of Conference, called after the petty and insignificant princes of but imagine it would tend to cement that harmo- Europe ? Would styling him His Serene Highny which has hitherto been preserved between ness, His Grace, or Mightiness, add one tittle to the Senate and this House; therefore, while I the solid properties he possessed ? He thought it concur with the gentlemen who express, in such would not; and therefore conceived the proposidecided terms, their disapprobation of bestowing tion to be trifling with the dignity of the Govtitles, I concur also with those who are for the ernment. As a difference had taken place beappointment of a Committee of Conference, not tween the two Houses, he had no objection to a apprehending they will depart from the princi- conference taking place. He hoped it might be ples adopted and acted upon by the House. productive of good consequences, and that the

Mr. White did not approve of a Committee of Senate might be induced to follow the laudable Conference, because the House had already de- example of of the House, termined the question by unanimously adopting Mr. MADISON was of opinion that the House the report of the joint committee. He did not might appoint a Committee of Conference withthink that it was worth while having the subject out being supposed to countenance the measure. longer contested; he was satisfied both the spirit The standing rule of the House declared, that, in of the Constitution and the spirit of the people case of disagreeing votes, a Committee of Condisapproved of titles.

ference should be appointed. Now, as the case Mr. Bland would be careful of giving um- provided for in the rule had actually happened, brage to the Senate, because he wished that the he inferred that it was proper to proceed in the unanimity and moderation which subsisted be- manner directed by the rules of the House. The tween the two Houses might continue. He subject was still open to discussion, but there was considered the prese as a very proper opportu- little probability that the House would rescind nity for the appointment of a Committee of Con-their adoption of the report. I presume gentleference. The two Houses had disagreed on the men do not intend to compel the Senate into their

MAY, 1789.]

Duties on Imports.

[H. OF R.

measures; they should recollect that the Senate must tell gentlemen I differ from them, when stand upon independent ground, and will do no- they think titles can do no harm. Titles, sir, I thing but what they are convinced of the pro say, may do harm, and have done harm. If we priety of; it would be better, therefore, to treat contend' now for a right to confer titles, I apprethem with delicacy, and offer some reasons to in-hend the time will come when we shall form a duce them to come into our measure. He ex- reservoir for honor, and make our President the pected this would be the result of a conference, fountain of it. In such case, may not titles do an and therefore was in favor of such a motion. injury to the Union? They have been the occa

Mr. Seney intended nothing disrespectful to the sion of an eternal faction in the kingdom we were Senate, but he conceived, after having adopted formerly connected with, and may beget like inthe report of the committee, it would derogate quietude in America; for I contend, if you give from their own dignity, to rescind a unanimous the title, you must follow it with the robe and the resolution ; and for what other purpose could a diadem, and then the principles of your Governconference be appointed by the House? They ment are subverted. must certainly suppose that there might be ground Mr. Lee moved the previous question as the for changing their opinion. Nothing of this kind best mode of getting rid of the motion before the appeared to him, and therefore he was of opinion House: he was supported by a sufficient number. it would be a useless consumption to waste any And on the question, Shall the main question be more time about it.

now put ? it passed in the negative; and so the Mr. Clymer thought that there was little occa- motion was lost. sion to add any title either to the President or On motion, it was Vice President. He was very well convinced, by Resolved, That a committee be appointed, to experience, that titles did not confer power; on join with such committee as the Senate may the contrary, they frequently made their posses-appoint, to confer on the disagreeing votes of the sors ridiculous. The most impotent Potentates, two Houses, upon the report of their joint comthe most insignificant Powers, generally assumed mittee, appointed to consider what titles shall be the highest and most lofty titles. That they do given to the President and Vice President of the not indicate power and prerogative is very obser- United States, if any others than those given in vable in the English history; for when the Chief the Constitution. Magistrate of that nation bore the simple style of Messrs. MADISON, PAGE, BENSON, TRUMBULL, His Grace or Highness, his prerogatives were and Sherman, were the committee elected. much more extensive than since he has become His Most Sacred Majesty.

IMPOST BILL. Titular distinctions are said to be unpopular in The House then went into a Committee of the the United States; yet a person would be led to Whole on the bill for laying a duty on goods, think otherwise, from the vast number of honor- wares, and merchandises imported into the United able gentlemen' we have in America. As soon States. Mr. Page in the Chair. as a man is selected for the public service, his fel- The question on laying a duty on molasses low-citizens, with liberal hand, shower down being under consideration: titles on him-either excellency or honorable. Mr. Tucker.—Notwithstanding I am anxious He would venture to affirm there were more for a reduction of the duties on all the articles in honorable esquires in the United States than in the bill, yet my vote on molasses will be reguall the world besides. He wished to check a pro- lated by what the committee shall determine in pensity so notoriously evidenced in favor of dis- other cases, as I do not conceive it to be out of tinctions, and hoped the example of the House proportion.' If a general reduction takes place might prevail to extinguish that predilection on the other articles, I shall be disposed to make which appeared in favor of titles.

a reduction on this article; but as mine is but a Mr. Page.-If I thought the motion made by single vote, gentlemen may not be inclined to my colleague in the least degree disrespectful, I favor my proposition for a general reduction, in should not have seconded it. I would be the last order to gain my assent to a reduction on this parman on this floor to treat that worthy body with ticular article. disrespect; but I believe it cannot be construed to Mr. Goodhue was of opinion that the duties have such a meaning. If we were to let the reso- were too high for collection ; but he did not agree lution lie on the table, it would not be disre- with the gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. spectful. But what is the object of the motion ? Tucker) that the duty on molasses was rated in Simply to inform the Senate that we cannot re- proportion to the other articles, and therefore the scind a resolution adopted in consequence of the question, whether molasses shall be reduced or report of a joint committee. If the conduct of not, did not depend on a general reduction, but either House is in the least degree disrespectful, on its own bottom; if it was rated too high for (though I do not conceive it is,) the body who collection and proportion, the committee would declined adopting the report, after knowing the agree to reduce it. sense of 'the other to be in its favor, is the Mr. Fitzsimons expected the gentleman from most so.

South Carolina would vote in the manner he had But on what are a committee to confer? Not pledged himself; he had promised to vote for reupon what title shall be bestowed, because we ducing the duty on molasses if the committee bave no right to enter on the subject; and here Il reduced the duty on other articles; now, as they

H. OF R.]

Duties on Imports.

[MAY, 1789.

had decided against a reduction, he hoped the made by the gentleman in his place. He could gentleman would be in favor of the duty on mo- not recite the particular expression of the gentlelasses, as it stood in the bill, and not vote in the man, but he understood from it that the gentlemanner he had promised.

man pledged himself to reduce the duty on Mr. Tucker.—The gentleman last up has cer- molasses, if the gentlemen from the Eastern tainly misunderstood me. I made no promise. I States would join him in a general reduction. said my vote would depend upon the reduction of Mr. Tucker.-I expressed a wish for a general the other articles, but I was indifferent as to rum; reduction to take place throughout the whole sysI did not consider the State I represented as being tem; but I never made a promise with regard to either particularly benefited or injured by a duty a reduction of any particular article. on rum; and therefore did not urge any argu- Mr. Senty observed, that the discussion of moments in favor of reducing that article, more than lasses had been deferred when the subject was I thought it might be proper to preserve the ratio, last before the House, in order to give time for a as fixed by the House, between the several arti- full investigation; but he conceived that no such cles. If gentlemen think rum can bear a high reason now existed, in favor of its lying over, and duty, and be safely collected, I have no objection therefore hoped the House would proceed to deto letting it remain. But there are some articles cide upon it. that bear heavily and unequally upon South Mr. Ames was willing to proceed to the conCarolina; now, I think it my duty to vote in such sideration of that subject; he did not wish it dea manner as to prevent her from bearing an un- ferred to the end of the list, that it might be held due proportion of the tax to be collected; I am, over them in terrorem ; there were several consequently, obliged to vote for a high tax on articles in the list, which he did not conceive to articles used in other States, (if my State is highly be taxed too high for collection, or out of proportaxed,) however unequally it may fall. I shall tion with others, therefore it was likely they therefore vote so as to endeavor to oblige other would not be reduced. If this was the case, the States to bear their true proportion of the aggre-reduction would not be general, and the gentlegate sum. I wish to defer any determination man from South Carolina might not think it his on the article of molasses until we have gone duty to favor the reduction of molasses. He through the other articles, that I may know how wished every article to stand upon its own botto vote on this. If gentlemen think my single tom. If molasses was too high, the committee vote of no consequence, they may proceed; but would lower it; if not they will continue it at the I may think the duty too high on molasses, and rate it is, and the business would be done with. If may be disposed to make it five cents, or less, if a the committee were disposed to proceed, he was reduction is made in the other articles; but I ready to take up the subject. would not be understood to pledge myself for any Mr. CARROLL saw no reason for postponing the particular sum.

business at this time. When the subject was susMr. Ames thought the gentleman from Penn- pended on a former occasion, several gentlemen sylvania (Mr.FitZSIMONS) had misunderstood the from Massachusetts were absent on business, but gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. TUCKER) it was surely unnecessary now to have any delay. respecting his pledging himself to vote in favor After the repeated discussions it had undergone, of molasses. He believed the gentleman from he was satisfied gentlemen were prepared for a South Carolina incapable of making any impro- decision, and he hoped the question might be per accommodation either on this or on any other taken, and the committee proceed to get through occasion ; the subject had never been mentioned the business. Gentlemen should consider the to him, nor he believed to any body else, much daily loss which the revenue sustained by the less could the gentleman's intention be the result delay of this bill; he cautioned them against conof bargain or compromise. For his own part, he sidering overmuch, and letting slip the opportunity would never consent to such a degradation of his they now had to supply the public wants. rights as a member of the House, as to stipulate Mr. WADSWORTH would not go over the old for the exercise of his opinion.

ground, and enumerate all the reasons why a reMr. Tucker.—If the gentleman from Pennsyl-duction of the duty on this article should take vania (Mr. Frrzsimons) supposes that I have place. He satisfied himself with saying it was bargained to vote for or against any measure, he out of proportion, and too high ever to be collectdoes me wrong; and if he charges me with such ed with certainty; he wished the committee to actions, I desire he may state his reasons and lower it to three or four cents, and apply to an explain himself. I did not hear perfectly what excise for the deficiency, not conceiving an exhe said when he was up before, and therefore cise on distilled spirits to be inconvenient or did not refute any improper construction he might unpopular. have put on my arguments.

Mr. Ames was sensible that any further discusMr. Fitzsimons had no difficulty in declaring sion of the present subject was unpleasant, nay, his meaning. He understood, when the article of it was painful to the committee; but he had such rum was under consideration, that the gentleman impressions on his mind in regard to its imporheld out a promise to vote for the reduction of tance, that he must trespass on them again. On the duty on molasses if the committee would all subjects demonstration is desirable, but there agree with him in reducing generally. This is only one science capable of complete demonpromise was not made in a private manner; it was stration. Many other sciences admít of differe

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