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treasury, without any resort to loans or increased taxes, will prove ample for defraying all charges imposed on it during 1838. The report of the secretary of the treasury wil afford you a more minute exposition of all matters connected with the administration of the finances during the current year; a period which, for the amount of public moneys disbursed and deposited with the states, as well as the financial difficulties encountered and overcome, has sew parallels in our history. Your attention was, at the last session, invited to the necessity of additional legislative provisions in respect to the collection, safe-keeping, and transfer of the public money. No law having been then matured, and not understanding the proceedings of Congress as intended to be final, it becomes my duty again to bring the subject to your notice. On that occasion, three modes of performing this branch of the public service were presented for consideration. These were, the creation of a national bank; the revival, with modifications, of the deposit system established by the act of the 23d June, 1836, permitting the use of the public moneys by the banks; and the discontinuance of the use of such institutions for the purposes referred to, with suitable provisions for their accomplishment through the agency of public officers. Considering the opinions of both houses of Congress on the two first propositions as expressed in the negative, in which I entirely concur, it is unnecessary for me again to recur to them. In respect to the last, you have had an opportunity, since your adjournment, not only to test still further the expediency of the measure, by the continued practical operation of such parts of it as are now in force, but also to discover—what should ever be sought for and regarded with the utmost deference—the opinions and wishes of the people. The national will is the supreme law of the republic, and, on all subjects within the limits of its constitutional wers, should be faithfully obeyed by the public servant. §. the measure in question was submitted to your con

widoon, most of you have enjoyed the advantage of 27

personal communication with your constituents. For one state only has an election been held for the federal government; but the early day at which it took place, deprives the measure under consideration of much of the o it might otherwise have derived from the result. Local elections for state officers have, however, been held in several of the states, at which the expediency of the plan o bv the executive has been more or less discussed. ou will, I am confident, yield to their results the respect due to every expression of the public voice. Desiring, however, to arrive at truth and a just view of the subject in all its bearings, you will at the same time remember, that questions of far deeper and more immediate local interest than the fiscal plans of the national treasury were involved in those elections. Above all, we cannot overlook the striking fact, that there were, at the time, in those states, more than one hundred and sixty millions of bank capital, of which large portions were subject to actual forfeiture—other large portions upheld only by special and limited legislative indulgences—and most of it, if not all, to a greater or less extent, dependent for a continuance of its corporate existence upon the will of the state legislatures to be then chosen. Apprised of this circumstance, you will judge whether it is not most probable that the peculiar condition of that vast interest in these respects, the extent to which it has been spread through all the ramifications of society, its direct connection with the then pending elections, and the feelings it was calculated to infuse into the canvass, have not exercised a far greater influence over the result than any which could possibly have been produced by a conflict of opinion in respect to a question in the administration of the general government, more remote and lar less important in its bearings upon that interest. I have found no reason to change my own opinion as to the expediency of adopting the system proposed, being perfectly satisfied that there will be neither stability nor safety, either in the fiscal affairs of the government, or in the pecuniary transactions of individuals and corporations, so long as a connection exists between them which, like the past, offers such strong inducements to make them the subjects of political agitation. Indeed, I am more than ever convinced of the dangers to which the free and unbiassed exercise of political opinion—the only sure foundation and safeguard of republican government—would be exposed by any further increase of the already overgrown influence of corporate authorities. I cannot, therefore, consistently with my views of duty, advise a 1enewal of a connection which circumstances have dissolved. The discontinuance of the use of state banks for fiscal purposes ought not to be regarded as a measure of hostility towards these institutions. Banks, properly established and conducted, are highly useful to the business of the country, and doubtless will continue to exist in the states so long as they conform to their laws, and are sound to be safe and beneficial. How they should be created, what privileges they should enjoy, under what responsibilities they should act, and to what restrictions they should be subject, are questions, which, as I observed on a previous occasion, belong to the states to decide Upon their rights, or the exercise of them, the general government can have no motive to encroach. Its duty toward them is well performed, when it refrains from legislating for their special benefit, because such legislation would violate the spirit of the constitution, and be unjust to other interests; when it takes no steps to impair their usefulness, but so manages its own affairs as to make it the interest of those institutions to strengthen and improve their condition for the security and welfare of the community at large. They have no right to insist on a connection with the federal government, nor on the use of the public money for their own benefit. The object of the measure under consideration is, to avoid for the future a compulsory connection of this kind. lt proposes to place the general government, in regard to the essential points of the collection, safe-keeping and transfer of the public money, in a situation which shall relieve it from all dependence on the will of irresponsible individuals or corporations; to withdraw those moneys from the uses of private trade, and confine them to agenst constitutionally selected and controlled by law; to abstan from improper interference with the . of the people, and withhold inducements to improvident dealings on the part of individuals; to give stability to the concerns of the treasury; to preserve the measures of the government from the unavoidable reproaches that flow from such a connection, and the banks themselves from the injurious effects of a supposed participation in the political conflicts of the day, from which they will otherwise find it difficult to escape. These are my views upon this important subject. formed after careful reflection, and with no desire but to arrive at what is most likely to promote the public interest. They are now, as they were before, submitted with an unfeigned deference for the opinions of others. It was hardly to be hoped that changes so important, on a subject so interesting, could be made without producing a serious diversity of opinion; but so long as those conflicting views are kept above the influence of individual or local interests; so long as they pursue only the general good, and are discussed with moderation and candor, such diversity is a benefit, not an injury. If a majority of Congress see the public welfare in a different light; and more especially if they should be satisfied that the measure Fo would not be acceptable to the people; I shall ook to their wisdom to substitute such as may be more conducive to the one, and more satisfactory to the other. In any event, they may confidently rely on my hearty co-operation to the fullest extent which my views of the constitution and my sense of duty will permit. It is obviously important to this branch of the public service, and to the business and quiet of the country, that the whole subject should in some way be settled and regulated by law; and, if possible, at your present session. Besides the plan above referred ...} am not aware that . one has been suggested, except that of keeping the public money in the state banks, in special deposit. This plan is, to some extent, in accordance with the practice of the government, and which, except, perhaps, during the operation of the late deposit act, has always been allowed, even during the existence of a national fank, to make a temporary use of the state banks, in particular places, for the safe-keeping of portions of the revenue. This discretionary power might be continued, if Congress deem it desirable, whatever general system may be adopted. So long as the connection is voluntary, we need perhaps anticipate few of those difficulties, and little of that dependence on the banks, which must attend every such connection when compulsory in its nature, and when so arranged as to make the banks a fixed part of the machinery of government It is undoubtedly in the power of Congress so to regulate and guard it as to prevant the public money from being applied to the use, or intermingled with the affairs, of individuals. Thus arranged, although it would not give to the government that control over its own funds which I desire to secure to it by the plan I have proposed, it would, it must be admitted, in a great degree, accomplish one of the objects which has recommended that plan to my judgment—the separation of the fiscal concerns of the government from those of individuals or corporations. With these observations, I recommend the whole matter to your dispassionate reflection; confidently hoping that some conclusion may be reached by your deliberations, which, on the one hand, shall give stability to the fiscal operations of the government, and be consistent, on the other, with the genius of our institutions, and with the interests and wishes of the great mass of our constituents. It was my hope that nothing would occur to make necessary, on this occasion, any allusion to the late national bank. There are circumstances, however, connected with the present state of its affairs, that bear so directly on the character of the government and the welfare of the citizen, that I should not feel myself excused in neglecting to notice them. The charter which terminated its banking privileges on the fourth of March, 1836, continued its corporate powers two years more, for the sole purpose of closing its affairs, with authority “to use the corporate name, style and capacity, for the purpose of suits, for a final settlement and liquidation of the affairs and acts of the corporation, a d fo the sale and disposition of their

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