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"those Books" Again

"those Books" Again image
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Many of our readers will recollect ihat soii'ie lwo yenes since we took Mr. McClelland to tnsk for taking from Congress six or eiglit liundred dollars worth of books voled as a gratuity to each member, in oddilion to a páy of from nine to twenty-five dollars a day. Our remarks nlthough true in every essontial particular, were then characterized by Ihe Argus as " savage." In further confirmation of the leasonablpncss of our animndversions nt that time, we will now quote from a disenssion in the U. S. Senate a few days since on the same subject. We have conoensed the remarks. Mr. Cameron, of Pa., moved to furnish every new membpr of the Senate with the same number of Books which had been furnishedto Senators Feb. 18,1827, which was agreed to. Mr. Sevier, of Arkansas, moved a reconsideration. He said there hnd been a battle about these books every year for 17 or 18 years past. Mr. Cameron replied that Mr. Sevier had réceived till tne books, and he only asked that new members might receive ihe same number. Mr. Sevier said that it would probably be voting seven or eight hundred dollars in addition to the pay of each metnber. How mudh would it cost ? At the last session we passed a resolution to put pon our tables some twelve or fourteen copies of the proceedings of this body ; and now these books are to be added. I liavo taken my portion of the books, it is true; but they are nu manner of use to me : Lnd now every new Senotor rnust be suppliéd. Thero will te no end to t!iis. Mr. Benton iind stöted ai the last íession that these books are of ten drawn and sold to booksellers in this city, and again pürchased by Order rif Congress for distribuí on. These books can be found in the library, and be taken to his room by any Senator, and kept for the whole session. There was no need of distribution. Mr. Cameron calíed in question the st.itciriPiü of members selling their books lo bóoksjllers. Mr. Sevior said that Col. Benton did make this sialpnient, in his plsfce in the Senate; nrïd hè (Mr. S.) had additional rensori for beliévirfg it. tle had foted ngninst the distribution of the books ever since hè had had a sent in Consress. - He oskeil for the yens nnd n lys. Mr. Nilea, of Conn., ïhought that the practice ff cliitiliu!i]i;: the booïis was nol credit.'ible In the Senate. It was fiot an honorable way of obtaining a politica] library. The publicntions were of vnluevet he had derived very liitle benefit from thetn. He thotight thern not essentiül. and could not vote for a resolution d:siribming then). Mr. Mangum, of N. C, was for considerador!. The subject had altracted the attention of Congress for fifteen yfear. Very large and mprovident conlracls Had been made, invdlving the Treasury tó the amoúnl of s cv er al húndred thovsaüd dollars , and Congreas feit constrained tolay violent haiïds on these contracts, and agree to compromisos perhans exceeding the Lounds of moderation, líe thouglil t impo.isible eritirely to arrest this discreditable and pernicioüs system. He was willjng that tho present new Senators should recelve their quota, although li e shbuld not vole for it. Öul hé wishcd the practice to stop here, and a bilí to be reported íor that purposo. Mr. Foote, as one of the new Senators, was uninformed respecting the boökai but f there vere improprioty in gránting ihém ho did nöt wish tó rëceivethem. Mr. called oi the Clerk for information, by which it appears that the bóoks werëthe Conslitutinn with 7idfix and otlier documenls, 2,003 at $1 25 and 10,000 more copies at 20 per cent less ; and o each Gember the Madison Debates, Congressional Globe, the U. S. Statutes at larga, andother works. Mr. Cnllioun said he was an old member, had steadily voted against these dis'ributions, yet feit embarassed. He had hesitated about taking them, yet as they must go to somebody, liad concluded tó take them. Yet among tlie smaller abuses of the government expenditures he 'considered this the grealesl: and would give hisshare of the books to any new member vvho desired them, They had nol iee.nfivc dollars adoantage to liim since the first day they encumbered the shelvesofhis library. Hisshare of the books voted at ihe last session we re packc in two large boxes, which he had not oper.ed, and whictihe pmbably should nol open during this session. It was a very great abuse. A stop should be put to it. [f ths system should go on for ten years l'inger as t had for ten years past, a whole librnry will be vofed to each Senator. Mr. Mangum moved the relerence of 'he rcsolution to the Joint Cotnmittee on the Libran'. Early action should be tak. n upnn il. Last winter, ón the last day of tiifi session, afier candlelighling, it was pressed throngh. Alter the new Senators weie supplied he hoped no more approprialions wöuld be mnde. Mr. Hale, of N. II., thought the personal claims of the new Senators, of whom he was one, should be entirëly disVegnrded. The piea of "just this once" will bs as strong riext session as now. Begin 10 do right huw, and forever put a slop to the abusfe. Mr. Matigum said he was not for doing wrong this once, but shóuld' vote against it. Stül he apprehended the appropriation would pass the present Congress in soms Form or other. Mr. Sevier said " this once" had been the cry ever since the system commenced, and he expected it woald be ogaih eiSectual. The question was referred to the Committce on the Library.