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ryland, Virginia, aye—7; Massachusetts, South Carolina, Georgia, no—3; North Carolina, divided.
Article 7, Sect. 2, as amended, was then agreed to, nem. con.
Article 7, Sect. 3, was taken up. The words, “ white and others,” were struck out, nem. con., as superfluous.
Mr. Ellsworth moved to require the first census to be taken within “three,” instead of “six,” years, from the first meeting of the Legislature; and on the question,-New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, aye-9; South Carolina, Georgia, no—2.
Mr. King asked, what was the precise meaning of direct taxation ? No one answered.
Mr. GERRY moved to add to Article 7, Sect. 3, the following clause : “ That from the first meeting of the Legislature of the United States until a census shall be taken, all moneys for supplying the public treasury by direct taxation shall be raised from the several States according to the number of their Representatives respectively in the first branch."
Mr. LANGDON. This would bear unreasonably hard on New Hampshire, and he must be against it.
Mr. CARROLL opposed it. The number of Representatives did not admit of a proportion exact enough for a rule of taxation.
Before any question, the House
TUESDAY, AUGUST 21st.
In Convention, -Governor LIVINGSTON, from the Committee of eleven to whom were referred the propositions respecting the debts of the several States, and also the militia, entered on the eighteenth inst., delivered the following report:
“The Legislature of the United States shall have power to fulfil the engagements which have been entered into by Congress, and to discharge, as well the debts of the United States, as the debts incurred by the several States, during the late war, for the common defence and general welfare.
“ To make laws for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States; reserving to the States, respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia, according to the discipline prescribed by the United States.”
Mr. GERRY considered giving the power only, without adopting the obligation, as destroying the security now enjoyed by the public creditors of the United States. He enlarged on the merit of this class of citizens, and the solemn faith which had been pledged under the existing Confederation. If their situation should be changed, as here proposed, great opposition would be excited against the plan. He urged, also, that as the States had made different degrees of exertion to sink their respective debts, those who had done most would be alarmed, if they were now to be saddled with a share of the debts of States which had done least.
Mr. SHERMAN. It means neither more nor less than the Confederation, as it relates to this subject.
Mr. ELLSWORTH moved that the Report delivered in by Governor LIVINGSTON should lie on the table; which was agreed to, nem. con.
Article 7, Section 3, was then resumed.
Mr. DICKINSON moved to postpone this, in order to reconsider Article 4, Section 4, and to limit the number of Representatives to be allowed to the large States. Unless this were done, the small States would be reduced to entire insignificance, and encouragement given to the importation of slaves.
Mr. SHERMAN would agree to such a re-consideration; but did not see the necessity of postponing the section before the House. Mr. DICKINSON withdrew his motion.
Article 7, Section 3, was then agreed to,—ten ayes; Delaware alone, no.
Mr. SHERMAN moved to add to Section 3, the following clause: “and all accounts of supplies furnished, services performed, and moneys advanced, by the several States to the United States, or by the United States to the several States, shall be adjusted by the same rule.”
Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS seconds the motion.
Mr. Gorham thought it wrong to insert this in the Constitution. The Legislature will no doubt do what is right. The present Congress have such a power, and are now exercising it.
Mr. SHERMAN. Unless some rule be expressly given, none will exist under the new system.
Mr. ELLSWORTH. Though the contracts of Congress will be binding, there will be no rule for exe
cuting them on the States; and one ought to be provided.
Mr. SHERMAN withdrew his motion, to make way for one of Mr. WILLIAMSON, to add to Section 3,“By this rule the several quotas of the States shall be determined, in settling the expenses of the late war."
Mr. CARROLL brought into view the difficulty that might arise on this subject, from the establishment of the Constitution as intended, without the unanimous consent of the States.
Mr. Williamson's motion was postponed, nem.con.
Article 6, Section 12, which had been postponed on the fifteenth of August, was now called for by Colonel Mason, who wished to know how the proposed amendment, as to money bills, would be decided, before he agreed to any further points.
Mr. GERRY's motion of yesterday, “ that previous to a census direct taxation be proportioned on the States according to the number of Representatives,” was taken up. He observed, that the principal acts of Government would probably take place within that period; and it was but reasonable that the States should pay in proportion to their share in them.
Mr. ELLSWORTH thought such a rule, unjust. There was a great difference between the number of Representatives, and the number of inhabitants, as a rule in this case. Even if the former were proportioned as nearly as possible to the latter, it would be a very inaccurate rule. A State might have one Representative only, that had inhabitants enough for one and a half, or more, if fractions
could be applied, and so forth. He proposed to amend the motion by adding the words, “subject to a final liquidation by the foregoing rule, when a census shall have been taken."
Mr. Madison. The last appointment of Congress, on which the number of Representatives was founded, was conjectural and meant only as a temporary rule, till a census should be established.
Mr. READ. The requisitions of Congress had been accommodated to the impoverishment produced by the war; and to other local and temporary circumstances.
Mr. WILLIAMSON opposed Mr. Gerry's motion.
Mr. LANGDON was not here when New Hampshire was allowed three members. It was more than her share; he did not wish for them.
Mr. BUTLER contended warmly for Mr. GERRY'S motion, as founded in reason and equity.
Mr. ELLSWORTH's proviso to Mr. GERRY's motion was agreed to, nem. con.
Mr. King thought the power of taxation given to the Legislature rendered the motion of Mr. GERRY altogether unnecessary.
On Mr. Gerry's motion, as amended,
Massachusetts, South Carolina, aye—2; New Hampshire, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, no–8; North Carolina, divided.
On a question, “Shall Article 6, Sect. 12, with the amendment to it, proposed and entered on the fifteenth inst., as called for by Colonel Mason, be now taken up?" it passed in the negative,
New Hampshire, Connecticut, Virginia, Maryland,