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Restoration of the Deposites.

[SENATE. amazing capacity of swallowing up, at pleasure, the whole favorite doctrines. They (in connexion with the Southern of the other twenty-three. The honorable Senator from people) believed themselves oppressed by Federal legislaMassachusetts would say, perhaps, If you wish our Feder- tion; and, thinking they had discovered a remedy, they al Government to last out all time, place it upon a broad were determined to enforce it, without sufficient regard and steady foundation, resting upon its twenty-four pil. to the opinions of their fellow-citizens opposed to them. lars—the States—but with full self-existent power to keep He hoped he would be understood on this point, and that the whole in equal subjection. Nonsense, say my honor- his motives, in referring to neither party, would be misable friends of the South, if you wish to witness the steady taken; for, in fact, he thought much better of each of strength of each State, and a union of the whole that these parties than they had been generally in the habit of in its strength will stand up forever, capsize the Govern- thinking of each other. He did not think the Carolina ment of the Union, place it in the steady position of an nullifiers traitors, or tories, as they have been so often inverted cone, and admire it standing on its little end. He called in other sections of the Union. Nor did he think did not propose to discuss or decide upon the merits of the inhabitants of New England “highway robbers," the two systems, and only referred to them to show that “gwindling pedlers," "avaricious aristocrats," "cowardly those who sanctioned them, though opposed to each other, New England weavers," as they had been so frequently were equally the advocates of power. But he thought called by their Southern brethren, to prove that they philosophy was on the side of the honorable Senator from were unfit for political communion with the chivalric Massachusetts; for he would have looked upon it as more spirits of that section. No, sir, said Mr. K. So far from feasible for the whale to swallow Jonah, than fur Jonah this, I have ever considered the population of New Engto swallow the whale.

land as one of the most noble race of men that inhabit But, said Mr. K., this is theory. What has been the any portion of the earth's surface, with but few equals, practice of the political parties of which I speak, and who and no superiors. Brave, patriotic, industrious, frugal, are now charging and declaiming against power? Do my ingenious, and enterprising, they possess in their national friends of the South, said he, require me to prove this character all the good qualities by which the good citizen grasping spirit on their present friends of the North, by is usually estimated. And, said Mr. K., the people of this any acts in the political course of the latter? He presumed country should never forget that they owe a debt of gratno such proof would ever be required. If so, he would itude to this portion of their fellow-citizens, which trifling refer them to their own speeches, writings, and votes, or offences should never be allowed to cancel. Sir, said he, those of their party, passim, for a period at least ever did they not rock the cradle of liberty on our continent? since 1828. From this copious source, he could prove Did they not stir the first embers of the Revolution? Do the people of the North almost any thing but democrats they not now tread the classic soil of American independand gentlemen. And is any proof required, said Mr. K., ence? Did they not pour out their blood like water, and against my friends of the South, that they will make a their treasure like trash, in securing to us the inestimable vigorous use of power when they have it? If so, said he, privileges which we now enjoy? And, in short, does not look to the present condition of the Union party of South impartial history, here and elsewhere, present the New Carolina; and to this proof, said Mr. K., I cannot refer England States as one of the brightest clusters in the with so much levity. What is the condition of the minor- American constellation? Yes, sir, said he; and Southern ity in this respectable State, when we properly estimate magnanimity should acknowledge, that whilst Georgia, his the rights of opinion in this country? Why, sir, said Mr. own respectable State, in its infancy and weakness, was K., the noble and persecuted spirits of Ireland, tortured crushed in a few weeks, by the weight of British power; with their tests, and tormented with their taxes, who de- wbilst the respectable State of South Carolina, now so spairingly hug their chains, and invoke the spirits of an threatening in her power, weakened by internal divisions, Emmet or Grattan-the patriot Pole who in exile shivers was compelled, in a single summer, to yield in the same in the frosts of Siberia, or who, more fortunately, escaped unequal combat, and again take the oath of allegiance to the triple fangs of European tyranny, and now humbly King George the Third; when the great and populous sues before us for a solitary home in the uncultivated wilds Middle States were wavering and vacillating; these de. of your Western wilderness-is not more completely the voted “yankees,” these “New England weavers,” boldvictim of an iron-hearted and unfeeling despotism, than ly stood up in solid column, with unbroken ranks, and is, at this moment, the Union party of South Carolina. Sir, unbroken spirits, breasted the whole power of Britain, said Mr. K., what is tyranny in this country, or what can and like the noble lion, when pierced in deadly conflict, tyranny be here, until the character of our people gained fresh vigor at every wound. The enemy could changes, but a tyranny over the mind?--a denial of equal make impression every where else, but they never could political rights, with an exaction of equal political duties? make any serious impression there. No odious restraints upon the personal liberty of the citi- Sir, said Mr. K., I am a Southern man, but no fear of zen would be attempted or tolerated. What, then, are offending the sectional jealousies of my constituents will the alternatives presented to as patriotic a body of men ever deter me from doing justice to every portion of our as our country holds? Sir, it is perjury, degradation country. Yes, sir, let us all do full justice to the citizens and exclusion from office, exile, or bloody rebellion; to of every part of the confederacy as a people. But when the latter of which they seem inclined to resort, rather the present combination against the democratic republic than submit to the bard conditions imposed on them by cans claim, as a party, all the virtue, all the patriotism, their countrymen. Sir, let me not be misunderstood. It all affection for the constitution, and set themselves up as is with the kindest feelings that I refer to these matters the sole enemies to encroaching power, they throw conof history. He intended, he said, to cast no reflections fusion into all history, and contradict the understanding on the character or patriotism of the very respectable of every reading man in the community. party who were in the majority in the State he had refer- He did not object, however, to this modern union of red to. He believed the great body of that party as pure opposite parties, whatever the motive or the object. He and as patriotic as any party in this country. He only re- anticipated much good from it. He hoped the parties ferred to this fact, among others, to prove the truth of a would become much better acquainted, and learn that the principle which was universal in its operation. That was, North could do without the South, as well as the South that political parties never objected to the use of power, could do without the North; and that neither will do well when power was in their own hands. The majority in without a union with the other. Carolina had, no doubt, acted with good intentions, but He said he was glad that the opposition had assumed had acted hastily, and with an over-zeal, to enforce their the name of whigs. He was sorry to see the materials of

SENATE.]

Restoration of the Deposites.

[JUNE 4, 1834.

the party so closely examined; and the name, when ap. But all hope of re-charter was at an end. No one, he plied to them, so much laughed at, and so universally believed, even insisted on it as a probability. If so, he ridiculed-for, said he, I also anticipate much good to the would beg them to recollect, that the enemies of the country from their adoption of this name; for, said he, if bank were not to be numbered by the friends of the adit be true, as some one has said, that “men are likely to ministration. He asked the Senate to look to the vote in become the scoundrels we call them,"especially when they the House. He said it was known that there was a large submit to the name, it seemed to him that by a much and respectable party in the country-the State rights stronger principle, or rather by a stronger operation of the inen, “the real marble columns,” Austerlitz guards, of same principle, men might be expected to reach some of eighieen years training in this war against the bank, those virtues which are associated with a name they have who had always been the firm allies of the President in this assumed. In fact, said he, I have history to encourage contest, however they differed with him on other subjects. me in this hope; for, during the four reigns which suc- They had, to be sure, he said, like the Saxon regiments ceeded the revolution of England, the real old genuine at Leipsic, (he believed it was,) gone over to the enemy, church-and-state, Divine-right, passive-obedience tories and turned iheir artillery against the President, on the deof England, became so accustomed to oppose in act and posite question. But that was only because the old man feeling, every exercise of power by a party whom they charged bayonets a little too soon. On the great and final thought unworthy to rule, that they were insensibly con- battle between President Jackson and President Biddle, verted by a false position; and being duped by their own they will be obliged to recognise their old alliance, and hypocrisy, many of them became the most violent liberals assist the “old hero” in getting out of a scrape which in England; and their families so remain up to this day. they have contributed so largely to get him into. That May we not hope for some such result here? May we they would do this, was shown by their votes in the House not hope that our quasi whigs may become real whigs; on a resolution against re-charter. He said there was and by habitual hostility to the exercise of power by those another circumstance in the history of the bank, that he wło now hold it, that they may be led, by habit and a did not think would favor its prospects before the people. feeling of consistency, to make less use of it when it falls He said the bank had lately refused to submit to an exinto their own hands? He thought so.

amination under a resolution of the House. He had not He said, however, that he must say to his friends, the read the report of the majority, but had only read the renew whigs, that they would only be taken on trial, and port of the minority. He had been so astonished at hearlie hoped they would begin in good earnest to establishing the pretence on which the bank based the refusal, their new claims, and prove the sincerity of their pro- that he thought he would examine and see what could be fessions. He said, as the good Catholic must believe in said in defence of it: and he said he had read the report real presence, use the cross in baptism, the ring in mar- of the minority, and was very much pleased with it. It riage, &c., and make good use of the breviary and the was a beautiful piece of composition, contained many missal, so the true whig should oppose the encroachments beautiful extracts from English works, many handsome of power in all the departments of Government, study sentences and round-turned periods. On the whole, it economy in the administration of the Government, and was a most excellent performance, but had well-nigh made pay some little attention to the provisions of the constitu- him a convert to the truth of a saying of the celebrated tion. He said, if there were abuses in the Executive Abbé de Pradt, that “ language was given to man to department, (and it was likely there might be some,) let conceal his thoughts with.” He said the only mis. them be corrected. He would co-operate for that pur- take of the minority consisted in placing on one page of pose. But let us not direct the whole of our attention to their report, that clause in the charter which authorizes the Executive, when we know that the origin of the most the examination, and to which the reader may sometimes of the abuses we have to encounter is traced to our own refer. department. I wish our new friends, then, said Mr. K.,

He said, he thought the resolution to examine the bank to show the purity of their faith by putting their shoulders a useless one; and the resolution reported by the major. to the wheel in good earuest, to assist us in bringing back ity of the committee, summoning the directors to answer the constitution to its original purity, and in restoring the for contempt, he thought equally useless; and he hoped Government to that simple machine which was intended it would not pass. But the power of either House to ex. by our ancestors.

amine the bank, and proceedings of the bank, was unSir, said Mr. K., I beg pardon for what may seem a di- questionable, and heretofore unquestioned. Sir, what a gression. A fleeting thought which passed me, and which spectacle of party infatuation bave we now exhibited. I intended only to use briefly for the purposes of illus- This resolution passed the House by a majority of perbaps tration, has led me on to the consumption of triple the three-fourths. It had been debated for several months, time I intended to employ upon the whole subject. I every inch of ground disputed, and it never occurred to only rose to reconcile my vote upon the second, with my any member, or any body in or out of Congress, that the vote upon the first resolution. My object has been to power did not exist in the House to pass such a resolu. prove that there has been no violation of the constitution, tion. And, moreover, it is a power frequently heretoso as to call on us to vote upon this other than as a ques- fore submitted to. Yet, so soon as the pleasure of the tion of pure expediency. The object of my digressive bank is known, a flood of light bursts upon the land, and illustrations and references has been to prove, that those members are now expected to censure their own prewho are foremost in denying the existence, and denoun- sumption, for voting for a resolution now for the first cing the exercise of an Executive power, plain, and set-time ascertained to be unauthorized. tled by long construction, have no peculiar claims to at- He said it had been frequently stated that administratention upon that subject. As he had unintentionally tion men were “collared." This might be so with some, consumed so much time, he would cut short to a conclu- in one sense. But it seemed to him, if administration sion. He could do so with the more propriety, as the men wore a collar, that many bank men are not only colSenator from New York had fully anticipated him, and to lared, but yoked, harnessed, bitched, and blindfolded. whose arguments he referred.

Sir, said he, I would not do the bank injustice; but I He said, then, there being no violation of the constitu- !hink it has been unfortuna ·ly advised in this case. The tion, the question was one of expediency: Was it then power given to examine, was only to make clear a right expedient to restore the deposites, unless the bank was to to which the Government would seem to have a claim, be re-chartered? He thought not. If there were any upon common law principles. The Government is both hope of a re-charter, he would vote for the restoration. la principal and partner; and, in either character, should

JUNE 4, 1834.]

Restoration of the Deposites.

(SENATE,

have the right of free inspection. It was a partner, he being put off to the law's delay, and the glorious uncersaid, to the extent of $7,000,000; and generally a prin- tainties of forensic issues. At the time of granting the cipal or depositor to the amount of ten millions, (though charter, the Government had reserved the right of searchat present of only three or four millions;) and should ing for violations of charter in the books of the bank have free access to the books and proceedings, not only itself; and it was not to be tolerated now, that these books as a corrective, but as a preventive privilege.

should be closed upon it, and a challenge thrown down The committee should not have been required to state to go off to law, and try issues before judges and juries. what had been done--for to ascertain this was the object Mr. B. would not inquire into the reasons which might of the examination, and to limit the search to breaches of make it preferable to the bank to try issues before judges the charter, was to deny all the benefits of the privilege; and juries, instead of trying them by her own books, and there might be a thousand facts ascertained by an exami- the oaths of her own directors. There might be reasons nation, not amounting to a breach of charter, that would for such a preference; there doubtless were reasons for justify the Government in taking care of its interests, by it; he would not inquire into them; he rested upon the withdrawing its funds. For instance, said he, it might position that Congress had a right to ascertain the conbe making large loans to insolvent persons, or other. duct of the bank by looking into the books of the bank, wise rendering itself bankrupt by bad management, which and extracting testimony from the bosoms of the direct. would make it advisable for the Government to take care ors; and he would never consent to compromise, or of its interests. There was no reasonable pretext for the abandon that right. Neither the special pleading or refusal then, and the people would look upon it as an ad- stern refusal of the directors, nor the lofty tone of victory ditional evidence of the arrogance of the bank.

and clefiance assumed here, could draw him off from that He did not believe any thing of importance to the Gov. position. He stood upon the charter, and would not ernment would have been found, had the examination descend from that high eminence to pursue the bank into taken place. It was very probably true that the account court, however clamorous or importunate that bank might for printing and distributing political tracts and speeches be, until an inspection of the books, and an examination was large, and the account for loans to members of Con- of the directors, had first been obtained. gress and public printers was, perhaps, as bad been It was in vain, said Mr. B., for the United States Bank stated, a frightful one, not only in amount, but in the to challenge the United States Government into a court terms of the loans--not being such as was usual with any of law. it was a flight-an absolute begira—from all other class of customers. But it was doubtless abundantly real, all practical, all useful investigation; for on a scire solvent, and he would do it the justice to say, that it had facias nothing could be tried but mere technical violations faithfully performed its duties as financial agent to Gov. of charter, fettered by rules of evidence, and cramped ernment, and from 1819 to 1832, he did not believe there with lawyer-like distinctions between the infractions which was a banking institution in the world that banked upon amount to forfeiture, and those which do not; between sounder principles, and if it had let politics alone, all the infractions which result from abuser, non-user, and would have been well.

misuser. Abuses, malpractices, corruptions, oppressions, After a few other remarks, the object of which was fovoritism, could not be examined under a scire facias. to prove that the charter would not be renewed, he said The great inquiry, standing at the head of all the subjects he was bound to conclude that there was no prospect of of examination prescribed by the House of Representaa re-charter, and he could see no earthly reason for a res- tives--that of the commercial embarrassments, and the toration, unless there was to be a re-charter of the institu- bank's share in producing them-would be shut out from tion. He briefly gave his reasons for this opinion, and investigation on the trial of a scire facias. So would all stated that a paper currency was shocked by the slightest the political loans, all the electioneering expenditures, touch-that to return the deposites now and remove them and all the manauvres to exclude the Government direct. again in two years, would only keep the currency in a ors from a knowledge and a share in the transaction of feverish and Auctuating state, and renew the distresses the business of the bank. None of these things could be which had in some measure passed by, as trade was fast examined in a court, because they are abuses of the adjusting itself to the new state of things. He concluded charter, and not violations of the charter; so that this by summing up the reasons of his vote on the resolution. challenge to go into court, is, in reality, an absolute flight Ist. He did not believe that the constitution had been from all that part of the investigation in which the country violated, or any absolute right of the bank taken away, is most interested, and which it most loudly demands. and therefore, he felt at liberty to vote on the question Mr. B. said, that he had been one of the first to come as one of expediency. 2d. He did not believe it expe- forward with a public opposition to the renewal of the dient to restore the deposites unless the bank was to be United States Bank charter. He came forward upon re-chartered. 3d. He did not believe there was a hope general principles, applicable to all Federal banks, and of re-charter, and therefore, should vote against the reso- without the slightest reference to the good or bad conlution to restore.

duct of this institution. His first speeches were still ex[When Mr. King bad concluded, Mr. PRESTON and tant, and would warrant him in saying that his opposition Mr. FORSYTH made a few remarks, of which notes have was general, not particular—directed against the nature of not been preserved.]

the institution, not its acts-and free from every insinua. Mr. BENTON thought it due to the occasion to reply tion to the prejudice of its directors. He knew nothing particularly to the defiance, so ostentatiously thrown out to the prejudice of these functionaries at that time; and by the Senators who so warmly defended the course of brought forward his whole opposition upon the basis that the bank in resisting the inquiry ordered by the House of the affairs of the bank had been fairly and prudently Representatives. The United States were invited, defied, managed; but that the institution was of a nature that and dared, to sue out a scire facias against the bank; and ought not to be tolerated in a republic, nor even in a pledges were given for a prompt trial and victorious issue, limited monarchy--that it had too much power over the for the bank. Mr. B. declined to accept these defiances, property of the people, and the liberty of the people-and would not examine into the authority upon which and that its capacity to do some good was immeasurably these pledges for prompt trial were given, nor the grounds overbalanced by its inherent tendency, and unrestrainable on which these confident calculations of bank victory proclivity, to perpetrate great mischief. These were his were predicated. He meant to stand upon the words of original grounds of opposition to this institution; and he the charter, and the rights of Congress, to try issues with referred to them to show that his feelings were national, the bank, upon an inspection of its own books, without and not personal; that he was acting as a Senator, and

Vol. X.--119

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Restoration of the Deposites.

[June 4, 1834,

not as an individual; and that, in subsequently arraigning which would not only make the reduction gradual and the conduct of the institution, he was acting upon a de- gentle, but make it operate fairly and equally on all parts velopment of facts which was not foreseen, and availing of the country, and on all classes of debtors. This, the himself of arguments which the misconduct of the direct board utterly refused to do! and boldly persevered in its ors had put into his hands.

wanton, partial, and oppressive mode of curtailment! Mr. B. said that in all the allegations of misconduct Mr. B. then read the following sentences from the mewhich he had brought against this bank, he had avoided morial of the directors: “It is of course impossible for us generalities, and confined himself to particulars, giving, to know by what principles of policy the committee have not only the specification, but the evidence upon which been governed. Its proceedings are secret, and we can the allegation rested. He meant to pursue the same only ascertain at intervals, some of the results to which they course in future, and would now point out some additional lead. We attribute to them the excessive curtailment in reasons for withholding all confidence and favor from this the business of the institution, which has been so sudden bank, and showing that this resolution ought not to be and oppressive, and which was not necessary either to adopted. What he should say was bottomed upon the the extent to which it has been carried, or in the manner memorial addressed to Congress by the late Government in which it has been made to bear on the community." directors, and he would confine himself to the points Here, said Mr. B., is a specific charge, of the most serious which had not been dilated upon before; not that he did nature, made against the bank. It charges them with not see these points, but that it had not entered into his conduct which is, in the first place, a violation of the head to suppose that the bank would refuse to permit the charter; for, by the charter, the business of the instituissues to be tried by its own books and its own oaths, tion is to be transacted by twenty-five directors, five of which had been made up between the two sets of direct- whom are to be appointed by the Government: these diors—those of the Government, and those of the stock- rectors are to act at a board, at which every director has holders—and upon these issues he meant to rest the ac- a right to be present, and at which seven, at least, must quittal or condemnation of the bank. The Senate would be present before their acts become lawful. Yet the recollect, Mr. B. said, that the late Government direct proper business of this board--the immense business of ors, under the sanction of their names, and upon their curtailing a debt of sixty-four millions, and by which comresponsibility as gentlemen and as officers, had made munities have been convulsed, and individuals ruined-many and grave charges against the bank, and offered to is given up to a secret committee of three, with authority prove them by the books of the institution itself--that to act as they pleased, to report nothing to the board, iheir memorial was contradicted by a formal and elaborate and to keep the Government directors in utter ignorance publication, under the authority of the board, and that of what they did. The proceedings of this committee, he himself, at an early period of the session, had moved thus illegally vested with the whole power of the twentya resolution for the purpose of trying the truth of the five directors, next claimed a moment of attention; issues thus made up between the two sets of directors. but as these proceedings were secret, but little could be The Senate did not agree to that mode of trying these known about them. Enough, however, was discovered issues; nor was any trial of them had; but a course was to establish the fact of the grossest partiality and favorit. adopted by the Senate which implied the charges of the ism, both as to sections of country, and classes of debtGovernment directors to be false, or frivolous; for these ors. The whole region south of the Potomac was exdirectors were rejected, and denounced as spies, and res- empted from the pressure; and whether that exemption olutions of honor and confidence were adopted in refer- implied a compliment, or the reverse, to that region, he ence to the bank. Mr. B. thought it due to the Govern- would not undertake to say. At New Orleans a heavy ment directors that the truth of their charges should have pressure was made; and the wickedness and wantonness been tried before they were rejected; and also thought of that pressure was well proved by the fact that the moit due to the country that the bank should be cleared of ther bank brought off $800,000 in specie from her branch these charges before it received new proofs of honor and in that city, in the last days of February or first days of confidence. The Senate did not think so; and now, that March! At St. Louis, a curtailment was ordered upon a it was proposed actually to give back the public moneys comparatively trifling debt of about $400,000, wbile a to the keeping of this institution, when it had refused to broker in Philadelphia, a Mr. Thomas Biddle, was exsubmit to the investigation ordered by the House of Rep- empted from any reduction on a loan of a million, at about resentatives, he must be excused for detaining the Senate five per cent.! This was a sample of the manner, Mr. B. while he went over the heads of those charges, which, if said, in which the curtailment was carried on, and the true, deprives the institution of all claims to confidence, pressure produced; yet the community are to be told by and shows it to be a mere engine of politics, favoritism, the whole party of the bank, that the President is the and oppression, worked by a single band, in violation of author of the distress! and all attempts to ascertain the its charter, and in contempt of its own board of passive truth from the bank's own books, and the testimony of the directors, as well as of the Government which created it directors, are to be resisted and refused.

The first point to which Mr. B. invoke the attention Mr. B. said there was a parallei complaint against the of the Senate, was the manner in which the late reduction Bank of England, a few years ago, for the commercial of the business of the bank was conducted; and he read clistress wbich took place in the year 1825. The bank passages from the memorial of the Government directors, was charged with having contributed to produce the panic to show that the reduction was conducted with wanton and distress;* a committee of thirty-two members was appartiality, and open breach of the charter; that it was confined to particular portions of the country; that it was • The following remarks from Mr. Easthope were worthy of exerted at particular times; favoring some classes of a member of Parliament, and deserve to be known and redebtors, and oppressing others; and that the whole busi-nemberer by every American at the present time: ness was given up to the committee on the offices--a com

“On the occurrence of the panic in 1825, the House might miitee appointed by the president, and of which he was that unfortunate evew! was attributable to the Bank of England,

recolleet a great diversity of opinion as to the extent to which a member--and which was specially exempled from re- prevailed. He thought it was of paramount importance clearly porting their proceedings to the board of directors. It to understand what part the bank had taken in the aflair-fer, appeared from these readings that the Government di- according to that, the opinion of Parliament ought to be guided rectors had endeavored to mitigate the severity and in- as to the degree of trust which could be fairly reposed in the justice of the curtailment, by offering a resolution to have bank. The Parliament was called upon to make a very seriit conducted on principles of equality and uniformity, lous, and a very important decision, as to the renewal of the JUNE 4, 1834.]

Restoration of the Deposites.

(SENATE.

pointed to examine into the truth of the charge; and no by the Government directors is appalling, that they only proposition to renew the charter would be listened to in hear of what is done at the branches through public ruParliament until the charge was fully examined. The mor; and that none of the instructions sent to the branchcommittee was composed upon parliamentary principles, es during the last year, had been submitted to the board! a majority consisting of the enemies of the bank; every Mr. B. demanded if it was possible that Congress could gentleman being put upon it who joined in the accusation. suffer the trade, commerce, property, and whole moneyThe bank submitted to the investigation, although there ed concerns of four-and-twenty States, to lie at the mercy, . was no clause in the charter to require it. The commit. and to be governed by the secret orders of one single tee reported, unanimously, that every assistance had been man in Philadelpbia; when, by the terms of the charter, given by the directors; all their books freely laid open, a board of twenty-five directors, five of them appointed and every question promptly and candidly answered. by the Government, could alone exercise the vast and imSuch was the conduct of the Bank of England. What a portant powers of governing these branches? Here was contrast to the late conduct of the Bank of the United a clear case in which the board was superseded, and set States! And until the authority of Congress was vindicated aside—the charter trampled under foot-the Government -until the insurgent bank was reduced--and until it sub- directors treated as nonentities and the trade, commerce, mitted to the same test of its guilt, or innocence, which property, and currency of twenty-four sovereign States, the Bank of England submitted to, he should resist every subjected to the despotic and secret control of one man. proposition to treat it with respect or confidence; and Is this a national bank, or the bank of one man? might, eventually, feel it to be his duty to move to repeal The next instance of systematic breach of the charter its charter.

in transacting business without the knowledge of the Another great breach of the charter, and palpable board of directors, was in conducting all that branch of abuse, was in the manner in which the branch banks were business which came under the idea of foreign corresgoverned. The late Government directors had commu- pondence. The immensity of this business, Mr. B. said, nicated this abuse to Congress. By the charter, the might readily be comprehended from recollecting that the branches were to be under local boards, subject to the large transaction of the three per cent. public debt, in general regulations of the parent board: but all this was which the orders of the Government were frustrated by reversed in practice; and the local boards were made the the bank two years ago, was a part of this business; and instruments of a subaltern committee that is to say, of that the whole of it was conducted by one of those subalthe president of the bank himself—and governed by se tern committees. The late Government directors, at cret instructions from this committee; and thus, the branch page nineteen of their memorial to Congress, expressly banks became passive engines, to be worked by the pres- state, that the very existence of this foreign correspondident of the bank, in any scheme of policy which he might ence is scarcely known to them! "It is never seen on choose to direct. To sustain this allegation, Mr. B. read the table, or in the room, where the board meets, The the following statement from the late Government di letter-books containing the various instructions and orders rectors to Congress:

from the institution, as given by the president, are never “The correspondence that must pass between the bank submitted for their inspection.” And the Government and its offices, cannot but be extensive and important. directors say of this foreign correspondence, precisely Letters are occasionally read from the presidents and what they had said of the correspondence with the branch cashiers of the branches, but they appear to be merely the banks—that it is not in their recollection that what was reports which are made at stated periods. Those which done in the course of the last year, on this head, had ever are written from the bank, and which, of course, contain been submitted to the board. directions affecting its whole operations, are never sub- Mr. B. read from the memorial of the Government dimitted to the board, either before or after they are sent! rectors to establish the two points, first, that the board Indeed, it is notorious that the directors of the bank fre- was superseded by a subaltern committee, and that the quently hear of the operations of the distant offices, Government directors were excluded from a knowledge through public rumor, or information from those places, and participation of what was done. The following were before any is communicated to them at the board. It is the passages read: not in the recollection of either of us that the instructions, “In a word, from the moment we took our seats at the at any time, by the president to the branches, during the board, we have seen that the real business is not there last year, have ever been submitted to the board!" transacted, nor its real authority there exercised; that

Having read this extract, Mr. B. called upon the Sen- there exists, beyond its control, a power that can be, and ate to recollect, that the Government directors were is, exerted, promptly, secretly, and efficiently, from one wholly excluded from these committees, which did the end of the country to the other; that the just instrumentbusiness of the bank; that the old rule which assigned the ality of the directors has been curtailed, either by the directors in rotation, a month at a time, to these commit- mode of operation gradually introduced, or by positive tees, had been first violated and then repealed, and the regulations, from time to time prescribed; and that their appointment of the committees put into the hands of the duties must be inadequately performed, if they are wil. president alone, he himself always being one of them. ling to remain passive instruments under a system, instead The whole twenty-four branches, then, are under the ex- of asserting their rights as representative agents charged clasive and secret management of the president. Not with an important and highly responsible trust.”. only the Government directors, but the whole board were Mr. B. read another extract from the memorial of the excluded, not only from the management of the concerns same directors, which he said was entitled to peculiar conof the branches, but even from a knowledge of what was sideration at this moment, when the committee of the done in them! And it was by this means that the branch- House of Representatives had been denied extracts and es were made, last winter, to play their part in the great copies from the books of the bank; and the directors had drama of oppression and alarm, which, for several months, refused to testify: it was to show that extracts and directoagitated and afflicted the country. The statement made rial information were freely given to editors of newspapers

favorable to the bank, while denied to Congress! denied charter; and until that decision was made, the affairs of the to the President of the United States! denied to the Govbank ought to be considered, in every sense of the word, pub- ernment directors! and these directors stigmatized as spies tic. He conceived the public mind ought to be enabled, by the for communicating to the President what they could find possession of every information, to approach the question of re- out! The following was the passage read by Mr. B. for charter with that degree of consideration which its importance so well merited.”

this purpose:

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