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H. or R.]

Military Establishment-Estimates of Appropriations. [JANUARY, 1794.

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The Clerk then read an amendment agreed to by the Committee of the Whole House, as to granting years of half-pay to the widows and orphans of such soldiers as die in the service of the United States.

Mr. BEATTY then moved a second amendment, which was, in substance, that an addition to the pay at present given to the non-commissioned officers and soldiers, that, for those hereafter enlisted, a certain sum per month shall be allowed, and reserved, and be given to him at the time of his discharge; and if he dies, before the end of his service, the money shall be paid to his representatives. Mr. B. also wished this gratuity to be unalienable, that a non-commissioned officer or soldier might not be tempted to dispose of it beforehand, for less than its value, and thereby disappoint the benevolent design of the House.

Mr. WADSWORTH proposed to add, as an amendment, the word officers, before the words "noncommissioned officers and soldiers." He said, that the officers were more depressed than the soldiers, which was known to the whole country.

Mr. SMITH Could not consent to this amendment, without better information than any which he yet had.

Mr. SCOTT said, that he could not believe that the officers of the Army were in a state of depression. He, at this time, could mention forty applications for military commissions. There were great numbers of country gentlemen who would be glad to get them. It was the private men who wanted encouragement.

Mr. SMILIE thought that the amendment of Mr. WADSWORTH, upon the amendment of Mr. BEATTY, came in awkwardly in this place. He was friendly to the general ideas, but disliked the

mode.

Mr. BOUDINOT moved to strike out the words hereafter enlisted, and to apply the bounty to every non-commissioned officer and soldier in the service. There was no good reason for such a material distinction between the old soldiers and the new levies. The amendment would then meet his wishes.

Mr. WADSWORTH withdrew his amendment upon the amendment, and the original amendment of Mr. WATTS, with the bill, was referred to a select committee.

ments, be re-committed to Messrs. GILES, DEXTER, SHEARJASHUB BOURNE, LEE, and CLARK.

The House resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole House on the report of the Secretary, of the sums necessary to be appropriated for the service of the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety-four; and, after some time spent therein, the Chairman reported that the Committee had had the said report under consideration, and come to a resolution thereupon; which was read, and ordered to lie on the table.

Resolved, That this House will, to-morrow, again resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole House on the said report.

FRIDAY, January 10.

ESTIMATES OF APPROPRIATIONS. The House then went into a Committee of the Whole, on the statements and estimates of appropriations for the current year, 1794.

Mr. GILES suggested several reasons for separating the items and the estimate of appropriations for the Civil List, and for discharging the current expenses of Government, from the articles designated for other purposes. He moved the House to take up the resolution agreed to by the Whole House yesterday, and make it the subject of a separate bill.

Mr. MADISON said, that members had been reduced to the most serious difficulties by the delays in the payment of their salaries. The Civil List ought always to have a fund provided for it in the first place, because it was a mere matter of form to put it to a vote. It was otherwise with the Military Establishment. He trusted, that would never be reduced to a mere form.

Mr. NICHOLAS supported the motion of Mr. GILES. He thought that the House should immediately pass a bill for establishing a provision for not fair to suppose that every gentleman in that the expenses of the members of Congress. It was House came to town with as much money in his pocket as would clear his expenses. Why put any person to pecuniary inconvenience when at a distance from his resources? The accounts ought to be kept distinct.

Mr. FITZSIMONS and Mr. BOURNE remarked, that the next article in the estimates was so blended with the preceding that they must be comprehended in one.

On this, Mr. NICHOLAS withdrew his second to the motion, and the House went into a Committee of the Whole, Mr. TRUMBULL in the Chair.

Mr. BOUDINOT moved a resolution covering the next article in the estimate. The item providing for the Clerks in the Loan Offices, being objected Ordered, That the said bill, with the amend-to, was passed over for the present. ment, be re-committed to Messrs. BEATTY, IRVINE, JEREMIAH WADSWORTH, DEARBORN, and VAN GAASBECK.

The House proceeded to consider the amendments reported yesterday by the Committee of the Whole House, to the bill providing for destroyed certificates of certain descriptions: whereupon,

Ordered, That the said bill, with the amend

Mr. GILES then moved, that the Committee do now rise. The motion was seconded by Mr. NiCHOLAS, and supported by Mr. MADISON.

$107,693 43, be appropriated for sundry purposes, The resolution moved by Mr. BoOUDINOT, that was agreed to. The Committee then rose, and the House, after some consideration, adopted the resolutions.

JANUARY, 1794.]

French Emigrants from St. Domingo.

Mr. GILES then moved, that a committee should be appointed, to prepare and bring in a bill for that purpose. This was agreed to, and a committee

named.

[H. OF. R.

the least previous expectation of their arrival. The whole inhabitants instantly assembled, and deputed a committee, of which he was one, to go on board the vessels, and examine their situation. Resolved, That, for the expenditure of the Civil Thirteen thousand dollars were instantly subList of the United States, for the year one thou- scribed. Fifteen hundred of these people were sand seven hundred and ninety four, together with quite helpless; three hundred and fifty of them the incidental and contingent expenses of the se- were old men, or women without their husbands, veral Departments, and offices thereof, there be or children without their parents. Some had appropriated the several sums of money follow-credit, and some had not. Five hundred of them ing, to wit:

[Here follows an enumeration of the different items.]

had been sent to France by the Minister, at the expense of the Republic; the rest remain in this

country.

The House then again resolved itself into a [It was then moved, that the report of the ReCommittee of the Whole House, on the said re-lief Committee be read a second time; which beport; and, after some time spent therein, the Chair-ing done, it was moved that this report be taken man reported that the Committee had again had up by a Committee of the Whole House.] the said report under consideration, and come to a Mr. S. SMITH was for proceeding instantly to resolution thereupon, which he delivered in at decide on the subject. the Clerk's table, where the same was twice read, and agreed to by the House, as follows:

Resolved, That, for making good deficiencies for the support of the Civil List Establishment; for aiding the Fund appropriated for certain officers of the Court, jurors, and witnesses; for the support of light-houses, and for other purposes, there be appropriated the several sums of money following, to wit:

[Here the items are enumerated.]

Ordered, That a bill or bills be brought in pursuant to the said resolution, and the resolution for the expenditure of the Civil List; and that Mr. BOUDINOT, Mr. TRUMBULL, and Mr. GILLESPIE, do prepare and bring in the same.

Mr. NICHOLAS, from the committee appointed to select such parts of the PRESIDENT's Communications, respecting the Regency of Algiers, as his Letter, accompanying the said Communications, suggests it would be proper to keep secret, made a report; which was read, and ordered to lie on the table.

Ordered, That the Message from the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, of the 7th instant, respecting the appointment of an officer for receiving, safe-keeping, and distributing, the public supplies, under the direction of the War Department, which lay on the table, be referred to Mr. HARTLEY, Mr. BEATTY, and Mr. SWIFT; that they do examine the matter thereof, and report the same, with their opinion thereupon, to the House.

Mr. NICHOLAS hoped that the motion would be deferred to another day. He felt a difficulty in this matter, because it was entirely new to him; he had not yet formed his mind upon it. He suspected that, to bestow the money of their constituents on an act of charity, though it would be extremely laudable, was yet beyond their authority. They had been sent to this House with limited powers, and for special purposes. He would be extremely happy to vote for the relief of the fugitives of Cape Francois, if, upon reflection, he found it Constitutional. He therefore wished to delay a determination, until he had leisure to form a deliberate opinion on the subject.

Mr. CLARK never had entertained a moment's

hesitation that relief should be given.

Mr. S. SMITH, to prove that there was no illegality in bestowing the assistance wanted, read a passage in the despatches that had been printed, addressed by our Executive Government to the American Minister at Paris, stating that they had thought themselves authorized to advance money, for the immediate support of the fugitives. From this proceeding, he inferred, that Congress might lawfully do the same. He mentioned the obligations that this country lay under to France, which he hoped would never be forgotten. He enlarged considerably on the generosity of the citizens of Baltimore. He imagined that, in this affair, the American nation had exerted a degree of generosity unparalleled in the history of any other people.

FRENCH EMIGRANTS FROM ST. DOMINGO. Mr. MADISON wished to relieve the sufferers, Mr. SAMUEL SMITH, from the committee to but was afraid of establishing a dangerous precewhom was referred the petition of William Pat-dent, which might hereafter be perverted to the terson, Samuel Sterrett, and Gustavus Scott, the committee appointed by the Legislature of Maryland to draw and distribute the moneys granted by that State for the relief of the French emigrants from the Island of St. Domingo, made a report:

countenance of purposes very different from those of charity. He acknowledged, for his own part, that he could not undertake to lay his finger on that article in the Federal Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constiMr. S. SMITH said, that there never was a more tuents. And if once they broke the line laid down noble and prompt display of the most exalted before them, for the direction of their conduct, it feelings, than had been exhibited on this occasion. I was impossible to say to what lengths they might He believed that such a scene of distress had go, or to what extremities this practice might be never before been seen in America. Three thou-carried. He did not agree with the member who sand fugitives had been at once landed, without spoke last, that nothing like the generosity of 3d CoN.-7

H. OF R.]

French Emigrants from St. Domingo.

[JANUARY, 1794.

that every member in that House felt the warmest sympathy with the situation of the sufferers. He would be very glad to find a proper way for their relief.

Mr. NICHOLAS said, that he had not been able to discover upon what authority the House were to grant the proposed donation. If the question should that day come to a vote, which he trusted it would not, he had resolved to give his voice in favor of the sufferers: but, when he returned to his constituents, he would honestly tell them that he considered himself as having exceeded his powers, and so cast himself on their mercy. He felt many obstacles to voting away this money without further deliberation.

He

America had ever been heard of before. As one example in contradiction to this assertion, he mentioned, that when the city of Lisbon had, in 1755, been overwhelmed by an earthquake, the Parliament of England instantly voted one hundred thousand pounds for the support of the sufferers. In doing this, they had, he believed, acted in unison with the feelings of the British nation, and such feelings did that nation the utmost honor. He likewise imagined, that the Parliament had acted agreeably to the British Constitution, which allowed them an indefinite and absolute right in disposing of the money of their constituents. But as to the American Congress, the case was widely different. He was satisfied that the citizens of the United States possessed an equal degree of Mr. BOUDINOT declared, that he had never been magnanimity, generosity, and benevolence, with able to discover any difficulty in the matter. By the people of Britain, but this House certainly the law of Nature, by the law of Nations-in a did not possess an undefined authority correspond- word, by every moral obligation that could influent with that of a British Parliament. He wished ence mankind, we were bound to relieve the citithat some other mode could be devised for assist- zens of a Republic who were at present our allies, ing the French sufferers than by an act of Con- and who had formerly been our benefactors. gress. He was in hopes that some other mode, could not for a moment endure the idea of a hesiequally effectual, and less exceptionable, might be tation on such a question. When a number of devised. As to what our Executive Government our fellow-creatures had been cast upon our symhad already done, as quoted from the official de-pathy, in a situation of such unexampled wretchspatches by the gentleman who spoke last, the in-edness, was it possible that gentlemen could make ference did not apply; for in that emergency, a a doubt whether it was our duty to relieve them? delay would have been equivalent to a total de- It had been said that the House was not, by the nial. It had been said, that we owed the French Constitution, authorized to give away money for every sentiment of gratitude. It was true; but it such purposes. He was satisfied, that to refuse was likewise true that we owed them something the assistance requested, would be to act in direct else than sentiments, for we were indebted to opposition both to the theory and practice of the them a very large sum of money. One of the Constitution. In the first place, as to the practice, instalments of that debt would be due in a short it had been said that nothing of this kind had time, and perhaps it might be safest for Congress ever occurred before under the Federal Constituto advance the sums now wanted for the French tion. He was astonished at such an affirmation. refugees, in part of that debt, and leave it to the Did not the Indians frequently come down to this decision of the French Ministry whether they city, on embassies respecting the regulating of would accept of such a payment or not. He did trade, and other business-and did not the Execunot wish to press this expedient upon the House, tive, without consulting Congress at all, pay their but he begged leave to submit it to their consider- lodgings for weeks, nay for whole months togethation; and as he had not yet been able to resolve er? and was not this merely because the Indians in his own mind what line of conduct the House were unable to pay for themselves? Nobody ever ought to pursue, he requested that the discussion questioned the propriety of that act of charity. of the question might for a short time be deferred. Again; when prisoners of war were taken, there Mr. CLARK wished that the gentleman who was no clause in the Constitution authorizing Conspoke last would be careful of preserving consist-gress to provide for their subsistence: yet it was ency. It was only a few days ago that he had laid before the House a resolution, by which Congress were to indemnify all such citizens of the United States as had suffered losses by the British pirates. He supposed that for this, there would be found as little authority in the articles of the Constitution, as for relieving the fugitives from Cape Francois.

Mr. MADISON, in explanation, replied, that the two cases were widely different. The vessels of America sailed under our flag, and were under our protection, by the law of Nations, which the French sufferers unquestionably were not. As to the resolution he had proposed, it was not then before the House, and hence he could not speak to it with propriety. It was very possible that the House might find it wrong, and reject it. He wished not to be misunderstood, for he was sure

well known that they would not be suffered to starve. Provision was instantly made for them, before we could tell whether the nation to whom they belonged would pay such expenses, or would not pay them. It was very true that an instalment would soon be due to France, nor did he object to reimbursement in that way, if it could be so obtained. But, in the mean time, relief must be given, for he was convinced that we had still stronger obligations to support the citizens of our allies than either Indians or prisoners of war. In the second place, as to the theory of the Constitution, he referred gentlemen to the first clause of the eighth section of it. By that clause Congress were warranted to provide for exigencies regarding the general welfare, and he was sure this case came under that description.

Mr. FITZSIMONS thought that it would be ex

JANUARY, 1794.]

Petition of Thomas Manning-Commerce of the United States.

[H. OF R.

pedient to lose as little time as possible in going cess in a Judicial Court would have procured an into the Committee. It was hard on the State of indemnity, but it was with a nation, over which Maryland to support of itself such an immense Judicial Courts had no control; the petitioner, number of people. Besides, the period for which therefore, could derive no redress but from the that State had engaged to furnish them with sub-justice of his country, which was bound to prosistence was expiring; so that it was absolutely tect the rights of its citizens in all cases, and when necessary to come to an early decision whether it could not prevent an injury, it ought to repair the House would assist them or not. Mr. Genet the damage. That this, in the present case, might had made a discrimination among the sufferers: be done with a moral assurance of a reimbursesome of them he had promised to assist, and oth-ment, as it would be a just article of charge in ers, as aristocrats, he had disowned altogether. Mr. DEXTER read the clause referred to by Mr. BOUDINOT, but could not draw from it any such inference. He was very unwilling to vote against the proposition, and therefore solicited a delay, that he might have leisure to find proper reasons for voting in its favor.

the account of the United States against France, to which justice must cheerfully give its sanction, and which, in happier times, that Government will undoubtedly allow. That, as the justice of the demand was confessed, indemnifying the petitioner would be advancing a payment for France, for which her credit and honor were pledged, but which the present situation of that country would not at present allow her to make; but, Mr. S. observed, that as the case was of the first impression, and he wished there might be a thorough investigation of principles as well as facts, he moved that the petition, with the documents accompanying it, might be referred to the Secretary of State. This motion was agreed to.

The SPEAKER laid before the House a Report of the Secretary of the Treasury, of a statement of the actual tonnage of American vessels employed in the commerce between the United States and foreign countries, for one year, ending the thirtieth of September, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-two, pursuant to the order of this House, of the third instant; which was read, and ordered to lie on the table.

Mr. GILES was averse to precipitation in an affair of such magnitude. The report had been read for a first time to-day; it had then been read for a second time to-day. As if all this had not been sufficient, the House must likewise go into a Committee this day. Like the gentleman who had just sat down, he felt many doubts as to the legality of such an act of bounty; and he wished, before he gave a vote on either side of the question, to free himself from these doubts. He considered his duty to his constituents as a very solemn trust. Some personal insinuations had been cast out, as if gentlemen who professed Constitutional scruples had wished to embarrass the subject. Reflections of this kind could answer no good purpose. Gentlemen (said Mr. G.) appeal to our humanity. The appeal is out of place. That is not the question; but whether, organized as we COMMERCE OF THE UNITED STATES. are, under the Constitution, we have a right to make such a grant? He did not understand why The House again resolved itself into a Coman application was made to Congress in particu-mittee of the Whole House on the Report of the lar. "It would have been made with greater pro- Secretary of State on the privileges and restricpriety to the Provincial Assemblies, as their pow- tions on the commerce of the United States, in er over the purses of their constituents was more foreign countries. When extensive than that of this House over the revenues of the United States.

[The motion for the House resolving itself into a Committee immediately was then withdrawn, and the report was committed to a Committee of the Whole on the State of the Union.]

MONDAY, January 13.

Mr. SMITH, of South Carolina, rose and addressed the Chair as follows:

Mr. Chairman :-Among the various duties which are assigned by the Constitution to the Legislature of the United States, there is, perhaps, none of a more important nature than the regula tion of commerce, none more generally interesting to our fellow-citizens, none which more seriously claims our diligent and accurate investigation.

PETITION OF THOMAS MANNING. Mr. SHERBURNE called up the petition of Thomas Manning, presented last week. He observed that the facts set forth in the petition were estab-tee, will scarcely be requisite. lished by documents which accompanied it. That the petition originated in a contract made by the petitioner with an agent of the French Government in Martinique; that, although that Government had recognised the powers of their agent, and the performance of the services which were the ground of the contract, they had refused to fulfil it, but by a payment of assignats, instead of specie, which had been particularly specified. He observed, had the contract been made with an individual, a pro

It so essentially involves our navigating, agricultural, commercial, and manufacturing interest, that an apology for the prolixity of the observations which I am about to submit to the Commit

In the view which I shall take of the question, disengaging the inquiry from all topics of a politi cal nature, I shall strictly confine myself to those which are commercial, and which alone are, in my judgment, properly connected with the subject.

Called upon to decide on propositions, merely commercial, and springing from a report, in its nature limited to commercial regulations, it would be as ill-timed, as it would be irregular, to mingle with the discussion considerations of a political

H. OF. R.]

Commerce of the United States.

[JANUARY, 1794

mistaken to consider them as a part of a system. But though the comparison will be made with principal reference to the condition of our trade with France and Great Britain, antecedent to the existing revolution, the regulations of the subsequent period will perhaps not be passed over altogether unnoticed.

nature. I shall, accordingly, reject from the inquiry every idea which has reference to the Indians, the Algerines, or the Western posts. Whenever those subjects require our deliberations, I shall not yield to any member in readiness to vindicate the honor of our country, and to concur in such measures as our best interests may demand. This line of procedure will, I trust, be deemed by The table, which I have before me, comprises those gentlemen who follow me, the only proper the principal features of the subject within a short one, and that the debate will be altogether confin- compass. It is the work of a gentleman of coned to commercial views; these will of themselves siderable commercial knowledge, and I believe open a field of discussion sufficiently spacious, may be relied on for its correctness. An attenwithout the intervention of arguments derived tive reference to it will, with some supplementary from other sources. It would indeed argue a remarks, convey a just conception of the object, weakness of ground in the friends of the proposi-a view to conciseness and simplicity has excluded tions, and imply a distrust of the merits of their from it all articles (the production and manufac cause, were they compelled to bolster it up with tures of the United States) which are not of consuch auxiliaries and to resort for support to argu-siderable importance. ments, not resulting from the nature of the subject, but from irrelative and extraneous considerations.

Accustomed as our ears have been to a constant panegyric on the generous policy of France towards this country in commercial relations, and to as constant a philippic on the unfriendly, illiberal, and persecuting policy of Great Britain towards us in the same relations, we naturally expect to find in a table which exhibits their respective systems, numerous discriminations in that of France

The propositions, as well as the report, being predicated upon facts and principles having relation to our commerce and navigation with foreign countries, by those facts and principles, and those alone, ought the propositions stand or fall. It will not be denied that this country is at pre-in our favor, and many valuable privileges granted sent in a very delicate crisis, and one requiring dispassionate reflection, cool and mature deliberation. It will be much to be regretted then, if passion should usurp the place of reason, if superficial, narrow, and prejudiced views should mislead the public councils from the true path of national interest.

to us, which are refused to other foreign countries, in that of Great Britain frequent discriminations to our prejudice, and a variety of privileges refused to us which are granted to other foreign nations. But an inspection of the table will satisfy every candid mind, that the reverse of what has been supposed is truly the case—that neither in France The report of the Secretary of State, on the nor the French West Indies, is there more than privileges and restrictions on the commerce of the one solitary and important distinction in our favor, United States in foreign countries is now before (I mean the article of fish oil,) either with regard the Committee. The tendency of that report to our exports thither, our imports from thence, (whatever may have been the design of the re- or our shipping; that both in Great Britain and porter) appears to be to induce a false estimate of the British West Indies, there are several material the comparative condition of our commerce with distinctions in our favor, with regard both to our certain foreign nations, and to urge the Legisla-exports thither and to our imports from thence, ture to adopt a scheme of retaliating regulations, and, as it respects Great Britain, with regard also restrictions, and exclusions. to our shipping; that in the market of Great BriThe most striking contrast which the perform-tain, a preference is secured to six of our most ance evidently aims at, is between Great Britain and France. For this reason, and as these are the two Powers with whom we have the most extensive relations in trade, I shall, by a particular investigation of the subject, endeavor to lay before the Committee an accurate and an impartial comparison of the commercial systems of the two countries in reference to the United States, as a test of the solidity of the inferences which are attempted to be established by the report. A fair comparison can only be made with an eye to what may be deemed the permanent system of the countries in question. The proper epoch for it, therefore, will precede the commenment of the pending French Revolution.

The commercial regulations of France during the period of the Revolution have been too fluctuating, too much influenced by momentary impulses, and, as far as they have looked towards this country with a favorable eye, too much manifesting an object of the moment, which cannot be

valuable staples, by considerable higher duties on the rival articles of other foreign countries; that our navigation thither is favored by our ships, when carrying our own productions, being put upon as good a footing as their own ships, and by the exemption of several of our productions, when carried in our ships, from duties which are paid on the like articles of other foreign countries carried in the ships of those countries; and that several of our productions may be carried from the United States to the British West Indies, while the like productions cannot be carried thither from any other foreign country; and that several of the productions of those countries may be brought from thence to the United States, which cannot be carried from thence to any other foreign country.

These important differences in the systems of the two countries will appear more fully, by pass

* Vide table annexed.

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