The great topic of discussion continÃºes to be the Mexican war - the increase of the Army, and the means to pay the Military expenses. The President, in his message, had intimated that Tea and Coffee ought to be taxed. The Government paper urged tho necessity of it. A short timesince the Secretary of the Treasury addressed a note to one of the Congress. ional Commiitees, urgiffg the measure as indispensable to meet the national expenses, and yet upon trial of the proposilion, as we statsd last week, the Government was completely floored. This vote hos excited very general attention nmong the politicinns, as indicating that the admioistration is in danger of a downfall. The CQnespondent of the Courier and Enquirer says : 'The voie of a want of cohfidenco in the administration, which occurred, a few iiouis ago, on a resolution of Mr. VVentworth, declaring it was inexpedic?it to tax tea and coflee, as recomniended bv the Administration, and which was decided by 115 ayes to 48 nays, has orealed a profound sensation in the political circles. Every thing is now in chios, and it is difficult to discover daylight ahead." The appropriations asked lor the coming year, for the Army, Navy, and Indian Departments, are as follows : Army proper, SG,813,G73 Volunteers, 17,932,331 Former appropriations, defiC1'ence3, 4,793,000 Total for Army, $29,539,004 Naval service, 8,920,214 Indian Department, 1,179,832 Amounting in nll to $39,639,050 On the proposition to place twomillions at the disposal of the President, as earncstly asked by him in his message, Mr. Preston Kivtg', of New York, who is spoken of as a particular friend. of Silas Wright, made a speech, which has been considered as definiRg the position of a large portion of the Northern Democrats. He held that the Mexican war must necessarily result in the cession of territory to the United 'States; and that it was a fixed principie with him, and with all his constituents, and with all tho Democracy of the North, that Slavery should not be extended into any territory thus acquired. He would have the free principie of the Wilmot proviso enacted into a law, whether the bill pending possed or not. The newly acquired territory must be open either to free labor or slave labor : it could not be improved by both. He spoke of the impoverishing effacts oÃ slave labor: and referred to tho prosperity of the North West, which hc attributed mainly to the Ordinance of 1787. He deprecated any postponemeut of the question, nnd insisted that now was the best time to settle it in favor of free institutions. Letter writers represent that the Southern members feel quite anxious to have the question now settled in favor. of Slavery, as they fear that the ne.M Congress will be more antislavery in feeling than the present one. But it appears that the Southern members intend that Slavery shall be spread over the whole country, if possible : if not, then they will compromise for half. By claiming much, they will hope to get, at least, something. They pursue their usual strain of "threatening and bombast. We give a short specimen from a speech of Mr. Hillianl, of Aiabnma. "The Missouri Compromise had done them much injustice. Suppose the South should select a particular institution existing in the Northern States, and commenco a war upon it, how would they regard t 1 VVhat would they think and say of such a proceeding? Why, then, did they do the same thing to their Southern brethren? The Slave populalion must have a representation somewhere. By the Compromise the Slave States were deprived of a portion of their politica] importance. Why, then, and by what right, was Slavery to be limited to the precise exteniit now occupied ? If there were States to bc formed at their side, under the same burningsun, and covering the same fertile plains, had they not common interests and common sympaihics? Why was every occasion seized on to interfere with those interests? Slaverv was their concern, wby not leave them lo manage it 1 If it had its advnntages, it had its evils also. He asked, in the name of liberty and of the Conslilution, thal it should not be made here n theme for nngry disputation. Let not gentlemen rise up in their places and meet them with speeches and projects such as those to which they hnd listened, and which had been surreptitiously brought into the House this morning. If this thing was lo be done, this Government would be unequal, and Hs days would be numbered. The spirit lingered still in the South which had produced our Revolution - a spirit which would stand for political rights lo the very last. They would cling to the pillara of the constitution as long as they could ; they would listen to the parting words of Washington, which yet vibrated in their ear, ns long as endnrance was possible ;_ but when they found they were to be duwntrodden, they would be constrained, though it would be with deepgrief, to give up an alliance, which was to be marked only by wrongs and oppressons, and gather about iheir homes and thoir property. But he trustee! the time would never come. Yet the spirit which lad this dny been manifested by Ihe member frotn New York ought to bo rebuked, and the blame ought not to be thrown from him npon ihe gentleman from Tennessee, (Mr. GentryJ who had spoken of the subject' on]y because he saw the quostion ooming. If the States on this side of the Mississippl were equally balanced on the subject of slavery, why should not the same balance be permiÃted to exist on the other," Tho bilÃ for adding ten regiments to the army lms been under discussion, nnd was so nltered in the House in committce of the whole as to mako it ten regiments of volunlecrs, instead of regulars. The provisiÃ³n to appoint a Lioutenant General did not carry, yeas 90, nays 124. The Government being greatly straitened for means, Mr. M'Kny, of North Carolina, rerorted a bilÃ authorizing the issue of Twenty-three Millions of Treasury Notes of a denomination not less Uinn 50 ; or, giving power to the President to negotiatc a loan. In the Senate, Jan. 11, the Vice President being sick, Mr. Atchison of Missouri, was elected President pro tem. A Slaveholder of cour.se ! ! A writer at Washington says : " Ã¯ have from good authority th.it the southern members are in a state of trepidation and anxiety unknown to them in former ytars. Tliey are deeply anxious by some means or other to secure the anncxation of the conqucred territory by some act of the present Congress, knowing that the slaveholding interest will be much weaker in the next Congress, than it is now. Indeed it is said -that they utterly despair of extending slavery over the territory, uuless the right to do so, shall be in some woy recognized during the present session. No means will be left untried to secure the Northern and Western Pemocrats from the position they have generally taken on the Wilmot proviso ; ihe result I will not predict." The hardworking laborer on the farm in Michigan, who thinka he is doing well to get $10 a month for working 15 hours a day, and who pays into the U. S. Treasury through a toriÃT $25 or 30 a year, has but a faint conception of the ease with which other men can take funds out of the Treasury which cost so much hard work to put them n. To give him an iustance, we will quote a sentence from a speech of Mr. Starkweather. of Ohio, in reference to Cul. Baker, of the Army, who, as a member of Congress also, had just made a speech. In explaining his previous remarks, Mr. S. said : " He had said that Col. Baker was probably a responsible person, as he had received $1,204 as the arnountof his travelling expenses as a member of the House lor the present session, and -S'48 as his per dicm for six days' service in the House ; amounting. together, to $1,312. He had, as furlher proof that he was responsible, stated !hat he had drawn, down to the last knife, what he was enlitled to receive from the stationery ii? the post oflÃ¯cc. Ke would read the items of this part of his receipls : " One ream of po per." Mr. S. read these items to show that he was a responsible man, and that he could be made to pay. But he was not the only officer who was to receive this clothing ; therewere other officerswho would be recciving itas he did - officers not so gallant - who had not got so many blows. " One portfolio." This, he presumed, was to carry cartridges in. " One paper-folder." These ivory folders were dangerous weapons ; they must carry terror to tho enemv. - Mr. S. should dread one of them more than forty swords; they would terrifv the enemy so much. " Six knives " - bowie-knives, he presumed - amounting in all to$20. How could Mr. S. have said that the gentleman was not responsible when he had also drawn $624 since May last, being down to the close of the last session. Surely he could not have fallen into such an error as to doubt the gentleman's responsibility. " Mr. S. said he understood it was three thousand miles from this city to Monterey ; and, if so, he snpposed it was three thousand miles back again - five hundred more than lhat, he was told. A travelling agent of the Government was entitled to receive ten cents per mile, which would make seven hundred dollars more. - Could_ Mr. S. have thought him irresponsible, when he was in the reeeipt of some $2,656, besides his colonel's pay and rations? He hoped the Reporters now understood him."