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The bill to regulate the intercourse between the United States and the British Colonies, was returned from the other House with amendments. Mr. JOHNSTON, of Louisiana, moved that the Senate agree to the amendments. On the motion of Mr. VAN BUREN, the bill was ordered to lie on the table until the afternoon.
Mr. VAN BUREN, in the commencement of his remarks, spoke in so low a tone that the Reporter could not distinctly hear him. He was understood to say, that, if there was any ground for opposing the measure, it was that it might interfere with the laws of the States. The bill had formerly been before the Committee on the Judiciary, of which he was a member, and had been found full of difficulties.... Continue Reading
Mr. VAN BUREN said that the proposition of the gentleman from South Carolina related to the Judiciary, which he conceived to be one of the most important branches of our Government. Great difficulty had been found in adapting the process of the United States’ courts to the judiciary system of the States. It had more than once been proposed to pass general laws on the subject. But, whenever this... Continue Reading
Mr. VAN BUREN remarked, that, when an officer of the Government appropriated the money of Government to his own uses, the principle at present acknowledged, authorized an union of equity with law, to effect a distribution of his property. This was done to operate as a security. But now it was proposed to carry the principle farther, and to allow the United States, for debts contracted by... Continue Reading
Mr. VAN BUREN said, that we owe it to the country to dispose, without delay, of this subject, which, for six years, has consumed so much of our time. In the first discussion on this subject, it was contended that the rights of the creditor were impaired by the provisions of the bill; it is now said of the same bill and provisions, that they give too great a power to the creditor over the debtor.... Continue Reading
Mr. VAN BUREN, from the Committee on the Judiciary, reported a bill granting the assent of Congress to an act of the Legislature of Alabama, incorporating the Cahawba Navigation Company, without amendment. * * * Mr. VAN BUREN said that the same bill passed the Senate last year, but did not pass the House. It involved no new principle. The compact between the United States and the new States... Continue Reading
Mr. VAN BUREN said that it was with reluctance that He differed with his friend from Tennessee, especially on a subject on which the experience of that gentleman was so much greater that his own, and still more in relation to a matter in which the new States had not received their share of benefit. It was proposed by this bill to place the States admitted into the Union, since the year 1789, upon... Continue Reading
Mr. VAN BUREN observed that, on Friday the Senator from Tennessee (Mr. White) happened to be on the floor, explaining his views on this amendment, when he (Mr. V. B.) entered the Senate—and he supposed, from the tenor of that gentleman’s observation, that his amendment was, in its scope, co-extensive with the argument on the bill to abolish Imprisonment for Debt, to which he alluded. I was, said... Continue Reading
Mr. VAN BUREN said he hoped the bill would not be re-committed. It would create an injurious delay-while, if there ever was a case in which a legislative decision ought speedily to be made, it was this. The bill ought not, therefore, to be recommitted, so as to place it behind the other business. He thought the Senator from Maine might reach his object without recommitting the bill; and Mr. V. B... Continue Reading
Mr. VAN BUREN said he approached the discussion of the bill under consideration with a degree of solicitude he had seldom experienced. It arose from a deep consciousness of the importance and delicacy of the subject, and the difficulties which would attend a satisfactory determination. He freely confessed, that he did not remember a legislative question in which his feelings had been more deeply... Continue Reading
Mr. VAN BUREN, who said that the question ought now to be disposed of. Six States were not waiting the result of the legislation on this subject. This was the second year which this subject had been before Congress, and he was very desirous that its decision should be no longer delayed; and it was quite certain that the bill could be disposed of at once. Mr. V. B. then made some remarks in a very... Continue Reading
Mr. VAN BUREN followed Mr. S. at great length, in favor of the claims. (The Editors have been unable to obtain accurate reports of either of the above speeches.)
Mr. VAN BUREN explained. He had not attributed the deficiency of the commutation to any unjust or unfair intention towards the Officers. But he had said that seven years' full pay was their just equivalent, and that, the present applicants having lived so long, the operation of the act upon them was unjust.
Mr. VAN BUREN was not pleased with the time which has been chosen for presenting this document. But the statement itself was a very lame one, and he thought failed to sustain the claim of its author. In the first place, it did not appear by whom this statement was sworn to. And then the grounds on which the co-operation of the Syren was sustained, were very slight. The gentleman supposes that a... Continue Reading
Mr. VAN BUREN said, that this bill had been twice before the Senate, and had each time been favorably reported upon by the Committee on Commerce. The amount only of the compensation has formerly been disagreed upon. The amount now proposed, was the lowest estimate that had been mentioned. Whether the principles by which the other House decided claims like this, were applicable to the Senate, he... Continue Reading
Mr. VAN BUREN said that he did not conceive that the office conferred the right to call to order. If the powers of the Vice President were derived from the Constitution, as nobody doubted, he knew of no sanction to that power, either in cases of irrelevancy or impropriety of speech. The only express power granted by the Constitution was that of giving the casting vote. This amendment went to give... Continue Reading
On this amendment a Debate arose, which continued until a late hour, in which Messrs M'KINLEY, SANFORD, TAZEWELL, JOHNSON, of Kentucky, BERRIEN, VAN BUREN, KANE, M'LANE, and ROWAN, participated.
Mr. VAN BUREN supported the motion, remarking that the bill, in its present form, was allowed to progress merely through an oversight of the Senate.
Mr. VAN BUREN made some brief observations, and expressed a desire that the question might be taken at once. The vote being then taken on the motion of Mr. HAYNE, to fill the blank with 800,000 dollars, was decided in the negative, as follows:
Mr. VAN BUREN then intimated that he designed to address the Senate, to-morrow, in favor of the claim.
Mr. VAN BUREN expressed himself briefly in opposition to the amendment. He spoke, generally, in so low a tone, that the Reporter cannot undertake to detail his remarks. He was understood to say, that he thought the object to be effected by the amendment of too little importance to authorize an opposition to the wishes of the other House.
Mr. VAN BUREN proposed to amend the bill, by striking out the words placing the duty of appeal in the hands of the District Attorney. * * * Mr. VAN BUREN said that he was not entirely satisfied. The original bill gave the right of appeal, and in some cases made it imperative. He thought the present bill, in its general features, bore promise of being effectual in attaining its object, and... Continue Reading
Mr. VAN BUREN said, that the appeal ought in his opinion to be made imperative in certain cases. In smaller cases it was not important. The law ought to be imperative in such cases on the Attorney General. He had prepared an amendment, which he thought would cover this point and some others satisfactorily. There was now, according to the bill, no person pointed out as the permanent prosecutor for... Continue Reading
The motion was sustained by Mr. HAYNE, and opposed by Mr. VAN BUREN, who observed that the bill had better lie on the table; as, should it pass the Senate, the tariff bill in the other House would prevent its passage in that body. * * * The question being put, the bill was then considered, when Mr. VAN BUREN moved its indefinite postponement.
Mr. VAN BUREN said that this question had been one on which he had felt considerable doubt, not being a military man. The gentleman from Maine, [Mr. Chandler] deserved great credit for the vigilance with which he detected, and the spirit with which he opposed, any expenditure which was not required by the wants of the country. And if he [Mr. V. B.] thought the office unnecessary, he would join... Continue Reading
Mr. VAN BUREN said, that the leading feature of the message of the President, was the breach of privilege. There were other matters also included in the communication. Now, said Mr. V. B., we all agree as to the matter of the message; but we only disagree as to the manner in which it shall be acted on. He allowed he had been struck with the remarks of the Senator from Virginia, that the two... Continue Reading