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Compensation Law.

H. OF R.

compensation law, which was supported and point of view, we must take a variety of cirvoted for by a majority of both Houses of Con cumstances into the calculation, and ii may be gress, and signed by the President of the United difficult to say what is the precise sum that should States; a compensation law, which was acknowl- be given. If'a married man shall bring his famedged by every member of the Senate and of the ily with him, he will incur an expense greater House to be just, if not politic, by taking the fif than to come alone. If a member should come teen huadred dollars; for he was informed that alone to the City of Washington, he incurs less every member, one from Virginia excepted, had expense than if compelled to bring one servant, taken the money, which was conclusive evidence or an attendant, with him, to aid him on the road, that they did not consider it public robbery. And and when at the city, to take from him the trouthe honorable gentleman from Virginia did not ble of a thousand calls, which would break in refuse the money, because he thought it wojust, upon his time, and render him, in a great meas. for he advocated the measure; upon principle sure, useless to bis constituents; or by paying the only he could not agree to embrace the present same for extra attention at the boarding houses. Congress. The worth of that member was well Or the amount of expense may depend upon a koowo to the House; and as to those who had thousand other considerations--whether a memvoted against the measure, and had received the ber shall drink water alone, or whiskey, or brancompensation, he did not suppose that the people dy, or Madeira, or Champaign; or whether a of any district would have complained of any member shall occupy a room alone, or whether such member, who had only taken that which he can find some kindred spirit to occupy a room had been allowed other members by law. In jus- together. But this part of the subject cannot be tice to himself, to the House, and particularly to reduced to anything like mathematical précision, the nation, he conceived it his duiy thus to dis- as to the amount of compensation. But this I tinguish the real from the fictitious compensation have said, and this I now repeat, that for married laws; for the age of reason had not passed away, or siogle, with servants or without servants, with and although there may have been a temporary horses or without horses, fifteen hundred dollars, sacrifice of worth and merit, it cannot continue. as a money.making scheme, is a poor business, Mr. J. said, such had been the artificial and un- whether applied to the farmer, the mechanic, the natural excitement agaiost the compensation bill, lawyer, the doctor, or any other other class of the that a particular friend of his called upon his community; such is the necessary, expense and debtor io discharge a written obligation under sacrifice in being a member. Nor is it my wish bond and seal; upon presenting the note, the that it should be a money-making business. It debtor demanded to know of his creditor, whether is my wish to receive my compeósation from he was in favor of the compensation bill; and, the people whom I represent, and not from any upon being answered in the affirmative, payment other quarter. I despise prodigality, extravagance, was positively refused. This was not all. He and luxury, and equally despise griping avarice; had understood if a constable presented himself and in this, as in all other cases of money, 1 to the justices of the peace for preferment and would be governed by the principles of economy promotion, he was called on to know if he was --fix no unnecessary burden on ihe people—but in favor of the compensation bill. If the justice they must support their liberties and ihe Govern. of the peace wanted to be sheriff, he could thiok ment of their choice, by a moderate and rational of no better expedient than to denounce the com- system of necessary supplies. But, leaving this pensation bill; and particularly those who offered positive view of the subject, comparatively speak. as candidates to represent counties in the State ing, the compensation to members of Congress is Legislatures, a denunciation of the compensation inadequate, and, to equalize, you must either bill was made a sine qua non. In fact, by these level or reduce the salaries of most of the officers and other means, the poor compensation bill ex- of Government, or you must add to the per diem cited more discontent than the alien or sedition which has been received by the members herelolaws, the quasi war with France, the internal fore; and I believe the people have not yet intaxes of 1998, the embargo, the late war with structed the members of Congress to lessen the Great Britain, the Treaty of Ghent, or any one salaries of officers which have been fixed by the measure of the Government, from its existence. patriols of the country for twenty years and up; Such effects could not naturally result from the wards; and the people must love liberty less, and measure under consideration, but from the mis money more, than at preseot, to take such a step; representation of designing men, and from a mis- and when I introduce the salaries of some of the understanding of it by the virtuous, the faithful, officers of the Government, from memory, by tbe honest, yeomanry of the country. Mr. J. said, way of comparison, it is not to alarm, or to imply this reminded him of another story that was told that there should be a diminution or reduction, bim, of a young gentleman baviog made koown but to undeceive the people as to this monstrous to the father of a beautiful daughter, his wish to law, which gives $1,500 to members of Congress. visit the house on her account; who demanded

The President of The United States receives a of the young man, as a preliminary, whether he salary of $25,000 per annum, which amounts to was in favor of the compensation bill! This $68 49 per day. brings me, said Mr. J., lo ihe most patural part Vice President, $5,000 per annum, which, alof the inquiry-the amount of compensation. If lowing the sessions io average four months, is we consider ihis subject in an abstract or positive $41 10 per day.

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Secretary of State, $5,000, which is $13,70 per the Government, than the Judiciary or the Exeday.

cutive Departments ? But the duties of a judge Secretary of the Treasury, $5,000, which is disqualify him from being a lawyer, and he bas $13 70 per day,

no time to superintend his farm, or practice medSecretary of War, $4,500, which is $12 32 per icine, &c. In this respect the member of Conday.

gress must give up his practice at the bar; and Secretary of the Navy, $4,500, which is $12 32 in the case of the farmer or the doctor, the judge

has greatly the advantage, because the service he Foreign Ministers, $9,000, which is $24 65 per performs only separates him from those avocaday, besides an outfit of $9,000.

tions for short internals. These disqualifications Chief Justice, $4,000, which, allowing the time will not apply to State Legislatures, for there the occupied in travelling and attendance to be term of service is at a period when the neighbors four months, or one hundred and twenty days in are healthy, the farmer only attending to his each year, is $33 33 per day.

stock, the courts of justice closed, and the term Associate Judges, $3,500, which is, for one hun- of service so short, and the distance so inconsiddred and twenty days, $29 16 per day.

erable, that the sacrifice cannot be compared to a Postmaster General, $3,000 per annum. six months' siege. I cannot speak as to other Comptroller of the Treasury: $3,500 per an-members, but, as to myself, I am as much engaged

in the public service during the recess as I am at Treasurer, 3,000 per annum.

the City of Washington; ihe only difference is, Auditor of the Treasury, $3,000 per annum. that I ain, a good part of my time, upon my own Register of the Treasury, $3,000 per annum. farm, and not at the expense incurred from it. Commissioner of the General Land Office, This measure, which has excited so much dis$3,000 per annum.

content, involves feeling and not principle; and, Commissioner of Internal Revenue, $3,000 per with the advantage taken of it by the designing:

the nature of the measure was well calculated to Superintendent General of Military Supplies, rouse the jealousy of the people, by our inereas$3,000 per annum.

ing our own compensation; but they should reAttorney General, $3,000 per annum.

collect that they have given us that power, and Accountants of the War and Navy Depart. no other branch of the Government can take hold ments, each $2,000 per annum..

of it. The Constitution vests us with that power, And about thirty clerks in the different offices, and perhaps there is not a man in the United from $1,500 to $2,500 per apnum.

States of America who can suppose, for a moIn Virginia.-Judges of the Court of Appeals, ment, that the present compensation I allude to $2,500 per annum, which, allowing four months, the six dollars per day-can remain permanent as or one hundred and twenty days, for the whole the laws of the Medes and Persians, while there time occupied in a year, is $20 83 per day. is a gradual depreciation of money, and a propor

Judges of the District Courts, $1,500 per an- tionable increase of the cost of diet, of clothing, num, which, for three months, or ninety days, the and all the necessaries of life; and to give a memextent

of time occupied, is $16 66 per day. orable example of the forbearance of Congress to In Pennsylvania.-The Judges of the Supreme touch this subject, until driven to it by necessity, Court receive $2,000 per annum, which, for one the compensation has been at six dollars per diem hundred and twenty days, the extent of the time from the origin of the Goveroment, upwards of occupied in a year, is $16 66 per day, besides twenty-six years ago, and in 1796 the sergeanttravelling expenses.

at-arms and the doorkeeper received six dollars The presidents of the courts of common pleas per day, and their compensation was converted $1,600 per annum, which, allowing five months into a gross sum of $1,500 previous to the last for the time occupied, is $10 66 per day, besides session ; and I presume we could not be charged travelling expenses; and all the officers in Penn- with corruption or prodigality in this respect; at sylvania, from the constable upwards, have re- least we gave it to others, and received no more ceived an increase of compensation, within ten ourselves than we gave to the servants of the years, of at least fifty per cent.

House; and when we did regulate our own pay, But it is said the judges are commissioned, and we only placed ourselves on an equality with the of course it is implied that they are in service the servants of servants; no disrespect meant to our whole year; but, by the same implication or legal faithful sergeant-at-arms and doorkeeper. But I intendment, a member of Congress is in service have always said, that my great object was reform also the whole year. If, in fact, a member of in the proceedings of the House; the sum was not Congress is in session as many days as a judge in important in an individual point of view, although the

year, his actual service is as great. In vaca- I have never thought I was undeserving of the tion he is supposed to be employed, as it is his $1,500, nor do my constituents believe it. But duty, in reading and study. The same remark the mode makes us salary officers. Indeed! and will apply to a member of Congress, and if he is what magic is there in ihe name of salary offipresumed to be as faithful as a judge, he will read cers? The only difference between a salary offias much, and study as much; and I would ask, cer and a per diem, is simply in the mode of payif it should be less necessary for the Legislature ment, and not in the amount. It is immaterial to be enlightened, that controls every branch of whether you give the President his sixty-eight


Compensation Law.

H. OF R.

dollars per day, or whether he draws his $25,000 mate with an Englishman who resided in my quarter-yearly. The same may be said of the neighborhood, who informed me that he generally Military, and the Executive, and the Judicial de received sixteen pounds sterling for bis vote at partments.

each election. The motion which I make, thereThe per diem allowance originated from the fore, does not arise from any change of sentiment necessity and convenience of members, who had as to mode and amount of compensation. With daily calls upon them; and the salary officer was other considerations, already mentioned, vox popmade such from a convenience in the payment uli vox Dei has its controlling influence. Not quarter-yearly, or semi-annually. It is impossi- that this principle implies perfection in the peoble to make any other distinction. I believe a ple, but I hold it as a political maxim that the gross sum will reform the proceedings of the people are the fountain of power and authority; House; and although the people may change and if they should be ever carried away by a mo. their representatives every Congress, the case will mentary impulse, it does not arise from corrupnot be altered ; they will not, in the aggregate, tion; and the presumption is, that the people are find men more enlightened, more patriotic, more always right, as they are, as a people, always virindustrious, or less avaricious; and it is always lupus in their views; and a Representative who best to blend self-interest and patriotism together, ackaowledges this principle, and is willing to if it can be done; and the most beneficial results, carry into effect the will of the people, is entitled in my bumble opinion, were discovered from its to some liberality-to some consideration. But operation at the last session. But I deny that I do not admit that the great body of the people members of Congress are made salary officers are so deeply affected by this measure; but I beat least they do not partake of the advantages of lieve there is sufficient floating inflammable mata salary officer. In the Executive, or Judiciary, ter to turn the scale in most instances. In this or Military, or Naval departments, in case of sick respect I am for taking away all pretext, and bow ness or absence on furlough, no deduction is made to the will of the people, thus partially expressed, from the pay of the officer. If they languish on under all those unnatural means of excitement to a bed of sickness, under their own roof, and sur- which I have alluded. rounded by their own friends, the act of God does Vigilance is a virtue in a free people; it was not lessen their claims upon their country for this virtue that preserved us from Parliamentary support; but if a member of Congress should be encroachments in 1776, and conducted us to inplaced in the same situation, he receives no part dependence. Like Argus, the people should be of his fifteen hundred dollars; and, if detained watchful they should not slumber upon their after the session termipates, he receives no addi. posts. But at the same time we should guard tional compensation. He must perform the ser against precipitancy and unfounded suspicion, vice to entitle bim to the money. The Roman forgthese are the opposites of vigilance. It was diadem was put up to the highest bidders, and his these that threatened our cause in times that tried tory gives us the consequences; and it 'making men's souls; when the Father of his Country, the money or saving money be the object of the peo- immortal WASHINGTON, was distrusted of wantple, there is no districi in the United States so ing the capacity of a General or Commander-inpoor, but could furnish some character to serve Chief, in pursuing the Fabian policy, particularly for nothing, and, if required, would give to the his memorable retreat through the Jerseys, that public Treasury the fifteen hundred dollars for a saved his shattered army, and has crowned him seat in Congress: but then we should have a very with so much glory. Unlimited confidence is a different Congress from that which is now so weakness, but unfounded suspicion and distrust much identified with the honor and rights of the of a faithful public servant, is a political, if not a nation. The rich aristocracy of the country, who moral evil. In the United Staies, a public sercould roll in their carriages, or the profligate, who vant has some rational ground to make some calwould wish to put themselves in the market, culation upon a long series of uniform and undewould generally compose a Congress under such viating conduct, sentiment, and principle; with: an organization. We have a memorable, a very out such a hope, honor and virtue, and faithful memorable example before us, of legislators serv-services, would fail to meet their reward, and it ing their constituents for nothing-I mean the would revive the ostracism of Athens.' There members of the British Parliament. And what some apology may be urged, as the very organiis the effect? The King and Ministry have a zation of the goveroment often subjected the fund to purchase a majority; some cannot be people to the tyranny of usurpers, and put many purchased-such as Chaiham and Fox-others men above the laws. It is otherwise in this land were not worth purchasing. But for fifty or one of liberty, where the laws and the constitution hundred years it has been so contrived, ihat the are supreme, and where a wise, virtuous, and ex. King and his Mioistry have had a majority of perienced statesman may be of infinite service, so Parliament, to support them in all their systems long as he pursues a correct course, and has the of war and taxes, with the exception of a very confidence of the nation; but where no man can few years indeed, when the voice of the people act the tyrant without becoming impotent and for a moment gained the ascendency. And al contemptible, and where the finger of scorn and though the members of Parliament serve for no-infamy point him out as harmless in the private thing, the votes, in many places, were bought as walks of life. In this case, no man has been any other article in the market; for I was inti-charged with having changed his politics; the

H. OF R.



Federal members are Federal still, and the Re- Mr. WHITESIDE presented a petition of Mary publican members are Republican still. It is to Coles, who states that she has lost two husbands he regretted that it did not produce a change in and one son in the military service of the United that respect, and it had been for the better. I do States, and that she is now poor and infirm; and not make use of party names to excite party feel praying to be supported at ihe public expense. ings, nor do 1 iniend 10 drop an expression that Referred to the Committee on Pensions and Rev. can wound the feelings of any, whether voting olutionary Claims. for the bill or against it. Odious as this measure The SPEAKER presented sundry documents was supposed to be, some were not satisfied with transmitted to him by Rufus Easton, in relation magnifying every feature into a Gorgon's head; to the election and relurn of Juan Scott, as the but, what was the unkindest cut of all, it was rep. Delegate in this House from the Territory of resented that, while we were providing for our Missouri ; which were referred to the Committee selves, we had neglected to provide for the widow. of Elections. the orphan, the wounded soldier, the discharge of Mr. WILLIAMS, of North Carolina, submitted the national debt, the volunteer who had lost his the following resolution for coosideration : arms or bis horse in the public service, and other Resolved, That a committee be appointed to inquire claimants; that we had been loading the people into the decisions of Richard Bland Lee, Esq., Comwith heavy taxes, when the session was taken up missioner appointed under the act of Congress, entiin reducing and repealing the taxes. Whatever tled “An act to authorize the payment for property may be the opinion of others, I will hazard the lost, captured, or destroyed ly the enemy while in the assertion that no Congress, sioce the peace of '83, military service of the United States, and for other has greater claims upon the confidence and affec? purposes," passed the 9th of April, 1816. tions of the people; and by their acıs they shall Resolved further, That the said committee have be judged. Has the volunteer lost his only horse,

leave to send for persons and papers. this Congress has made provision to pay him; Mr. WEBSTER expressed some surprise at a has the faithful soldier arrearages of pay due him, motion to inquire into the decisions of an officer the last session made ample appropriations. Does invested with the powers and discretion of a the wounded, bleeding invalid present himself as judge, and which implied impropriety in the indigent, and unable to procure bis living by conduct of the officer. 'At least he conceived the labor, he is placed upon the pension list; has the motion to be rather hasty, and thought it would widow lost her husband, at the plains of Raisin be better to decline its inmediale consideration. or elsewhere, while in the service of the United He therefore moved that the resolution for the States, the balm of consolation is administered to present be laid on the table. the bleeding heart in the five years' half-pay; and, Mr. Williams assented to the wishes of Mr. if particular cases should be omitted, we are bound WEBSTER, aod the resolution was accordingly to pursue the example we have set ourselves; and ordered to lie on the table. if in any case we have made inadequate provi- On motion of Mr. Lowndes, the Committee of sion, ihe power is in our own hands.

Ways and Means were instructed to inquire into Mr. Johnson then submitted the following the expediency of amending the act, enuiled "An resolution :

act to regulate ihe duties op imports and toppage." Resolved, That a committee be appointed to inquire so far as relates to the duty on connage. into the expediency of repealing or modifying the late The House went into ihe election of a Chapact of Congress, changing the mode of compensation lain to Congress for the present session. On to the members of Congress ; with leave to report by counting the ballots, it appeared that there were bill or otherwise.

for the Rev. Burgess Allison 75, Walter Addison Mr. Deena intimated, that when this subject 40, and scaltering 4. should be fully before the House, there would be

Mr. ALLIBON was consequently declared duly more to be said about it; and, as the House bad elected. refused yesterday even to consider it, he required the yeas and nays on the question of consideration. A sufficient number not rising to support the

Friday, December 6. call for the yeas and nays, they were not called.

Three other members, to wit: from MassachuThe question on consideration was determined in the affirmative, without a division; and the JOHN Russ; and from Delaware, Toomas Coup

selle, ELIJAH H. Mills; from Peonsylvania, resolution itself was agreed to without a division; and Mr. Johnson of Kentucky, Mr. FINDLEY, ER, appeared and took their seals. Mr. WEBSTER, Mr. Bassett, Mr. PITKIN, Mr. Lucky Abolition Society, praying for an allot

The SPEAKER presented a petition of the KenCady, and Mr. REYNOLDS, were appointed the meni of public lands for free persons of color.said committee.

Referred to the Committee on Public Lands.

Mr. Johnson, of Kentucky, presented a petiTHURSDAY, December 5.

tion of Rufus Easton, complaining of the undue Four other members, to wit: from Rhode election and return of Joun Scort, as ibe DeleIsland, John L. Boss; from Vermont, LUTHER gate in this House for the Territory of Missouri, Jewett ; from Virginia, JAMES JJANSON; and and praying to be admitted 10 a seat in the place from Ohio, WILLIAM CREIGHTun, juo., appeared of the said Joan Scott.—Referred to the Comaand took their seats.

millee of Elections.


Relief of OfficersCommissioner of Claims.

H. OF R.

The following Message was received from the H. on the suggestion of Mr. Taylor, (of New PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED States:

York,) as above, to instruct the committee to inTo the Senate and House of

quire into the expediency of legislating on the Representatives of the United States : subject. In support of ihis modification, Mr. The 9th section of the act passed at the last session Taylor remarked, that after the provision '

made of Congress "to authorize the payment for property at the last session, it was asking rather 100 much lost, captured or destroyed by the enemy while in the of Congress to pass a resolution, the terms of military service of the United States, and for other which assumed the fact that suriber provision purposes," having received a construction giving it a was necessary. A change of opinion might scope of great and uncertain extent, I thought it have taken place in the House on the subject proper that proceedings relative to claims under that since the last session, but he thought it improper part of the act should be suspended until Congress to take that for granted which yet remained to should have an opportunity of defining, more precise- be ascertained. ly, the cases contemplated by them. With that view The motion of Mr. HARRISON, as it stands I now recommend the subject to their consideration. above, was agreed to without a division. They will have an opportunity, at the same time, of considering how far other provisions of the act may

COMMISSIONER OF CLAIMS. be rendered more clear and precise in their import. Mr. FORSYTH offered for consideration the

JAMES MADISON. resolutions which follow: DECEMBER 6, 1816.

1. Resolved, That the President of the United States The Message was read, and referred to the be, and he is hereby, requested to lay before this House Committee of Claims.

the proceedings of the Commissioner appointed under On motion of Mr. TOCKER, the Committee for the act of the last session, entitled "An Act to author. the District of Columbia were instructed to in- ize the payment for property lost, captured or destroyed, quire into the expediency of prohibitiog, by law, while in the military service of the United States, and the establishment of unchariered banking com- for other purposes. panies, or the circulation of the notes of such 2. Resolved, That the President of the United States companies within the said District.

be, and he is hereby, requested to order the further exOa motion of Mr. Johnson, of Kentucky, the ocution of the said act to be suspended, until the subMilitary Committee were instructed to inquire ject shall be disposed of by this House. into the expediency of organizing a corps of in

3. Resolved, l'hat the President be, and he is hereby, valids, and of establishing additional military made by the Commissioner under the said act have been

requested to inform this House whether the judgments academies.

paid by the Treasury, and if they have been paid, by RELIEF OF DISTRESSED OFFICERS, &c. what authority, and out of what fund.

Mr. HARRISON moved the adoption of the fol- Mr. Williams, of North Carolina, suggested, lowing resolution :

that they were a substitute for the motion he of Resulved, That the Military Committee be instructed fered yesterday. to inquire into the expediency of providing, by law,

Which objection Mr. SPEAKER Overruled; these for the relief of such of the officers and soldiers who resolves calling on the President for certain inhaving faithfully served in the armies of the United formation, that of Mr. Williams embracing an States, are now in distressed circumstances, and who, inquiry, by a committee of Congress, into the not baving received wounds or disabilities whilst in proceedings of a public officer. They were on actual service, are excluded from the benefits of the ihe same subject, it was true, but their objects pension laws, and that the said committee report by were widely different. bill or otherwise.

Mr. FORSYTA said a few words as to the obMr. HARRISON said it had been his intention to jects of his propositions. As to the first resoluoffer, with this resolution, some observations upon tion, being almost a matter of course under any the matter to the House, but understanding ihat circumstances, he presumed no objection would this course was not considered wholly proper on be made to it. As to the second, ihe President offering a motion to the House, he should reserve had informed the House, by a special message, his remarks for another stage of the business. that the execution of a part of the act had been He did so with the less reluctance, since any re suspended; and had recommended the revision marks he should have made would have been of other parts of it. It seemed, therefore, that with a view to enlist the feelings of the House, the Executive thought the provisions of the act and he felt, on reflection, convinced they must be obscure or incorrect; and, Mr. F. thought, that, to wholly unnecessary on this occasion, and that avoid injury to the United States from further the heart of every American would beat in unison decisions under the act, it would be proper to with the object he had in view. He had made suspend it. With regard to the last resolution, The resolution as broad as possible, that it might be had received io formation, he believed from afford to the committee a choice of the various a correct source, that the judgments of the Commodes of accomplishing the object committed to missioner bad been paid at the Treasury whenthem.

ever presented ; and, as far as he had understood, Tbe motion of Mr. H., as originally offered, there had been no act of Congress making an apembraced a positive instruction to ihe committee propriation for the purpose of liquidating these to report ihe mode in which the object could be claims. The act constituting the Commissioner's best accomplished, but was so modified by Mr. Loffice made no such appropriation; neither did the

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