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Mr. WILSON mentioned the importance of facilitating by canals the communication with the Western settlements. As to banks, he did not think with Mr. KING, that the power in that point of view would excite the prejudices and parties apprehended. As to mercantile monopolies, they are already included in the power to regulate trade.
Col. MASON was for limiting the power to the single case of canals. He was afraid of monopolies of every sort, which he did not think were by any means already implied by the Constitution, as supposed by Mr. WILSON.
The motion being so modified as to admit a distinct question specifying and limited to the case of canals,
Pennsylvania, Virginia, Georgia, aye-3; New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, no-8.
The other part fell of course, as including the power rejected.
Mr. MADISON and Mr. PINCKNEY then moved to insert, in the list of powers vested in Congress, a power "to establish an University, in which no preferences or distinctions should be allowed on account of religion."
Mr. WILSON Supported the motion.
Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. It is not necessary. The exclusive power at the seat of government, will reach the object.
On the question,—
Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, aye-4; New Hampshire, Massachusetts,
New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Georgia, no-6; Connecticut, divided, (Doctor JOHNSON aye; Mr. SHERMAN, no.)
Colonel MASON, being sensible that an absolute prohibition of standing armies in time of peace might be unsafe, and wishing at the same time to insert something pointing out and guarding against the danger of them, moved to preface the clause (Article 1, Sect. 8), "to provide for organizing, arming and disciplining the militia," &c., with the words, "and that the liberties of the people may be better secured against the danger of standing armies in time of peace."
Mr. RANDOLPH seconded the motion.
Mr. MADISON was in favor of it. It did not restrain Congress from establishing a military force in time of peace, if found necessary; and as armies in time of peace are allowed on all hands to be an evil, it is well to discountenance them by the Constitution, as far as will consist with the essential power of the Government on that head.
Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS opposed the motion, as setting a dishonorable mark of distinction on the military class of citizens.
Mr. PINCKNEY and Mr. BEDFORD concurred in the opposition.
On the question,
Virginia, Georgia, aye-2; New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, no-9.
Colonel MASON moved to strike out from the clause (Article 1, Sect. 9,) "no bill of attainder, nor any
ex post facto law, shall be passed," the words, "nor any ex post facto law." He thought it not sufficiently clear that the prohibition meant by this phrase was limited to cases of a criminal nature; and no Legislature ever did or can altogether avoid them in civil
Mr. GERRY seconded the motion; but with a view to extend the prohibition to "civil cases," which he thought ought to be done.
On the question, all the States were, no.
Mr. PINCKNEY and Mr. GERRY moved to insert a declaration," that the liberty of the press should be inviolably observed."
The power of
Mr. SHERMAN. It is unnecessary. Congress does not extend to the press.
On the question, it passed in the negative,Massachusetts, Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, aye-4; New Hampshire,* Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, North Carolina, Georgia, no-7.
Article 1, Section 9. "No capitation tax shall be laid, unless," &c.
Mr. READ moved to insert, after "capitation," the words, " or other direct tax." He was afraid that some liberty might otherwise be taken to saddle the States with a readjustment, by this rule, of past requisitions of Congress; and that his amendment, by giving another cast to the meaning, would take away the pretext.
Mr. WILLIAMSON seconded the motion, which was agreed to.
* In the printed Journal, New Hampshire, aye.
On motion of Col. MASON, the words "or enumeration," were inserted after, as explanatory of census," Connecticut and South Carolina, only,
At the end of the clause, " no tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any State," was added the following amendment, conformably to a vote on the 31st of August,(p. 1477,) viz: “no preference shall be given, by any regulation of commerce or revenue, to the ports of one State over those of another: nor shall vessels bound to or from one State be obliged to enter, clear, or pay duties, in another."
Col. MASON moved a clause requiring, "that an account of the public expenditures should be annually published."
Mr. GERRY seconded the motion.
Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS urged that this would be impossible, in many cases.
Mr. KING remarked, that the term expenditures went to every minute shilling. This would be impracticable. Congress might indeed make a monthly publication, but it would be in such general statements as would afford no satisfactory information.
Mr. MADISON proposed to strike out "annually" from the motion, and insert "from time to time," which would enjoin the duty of frequent publications, and leave enough to the discretion of the Legislature. Require too much and the difficulty will beget a habit of doing nothing. The articles of Confederation require half-yearly publications on this subject. A punctual compliance being often impossible, the practice has ceased altogether.
Mr. WILSON Seconded and supported the motion.
Many operations of finance cannot be properly published at certain times.
Mr. PINCKNEY was in favor of the motion.
Mr. FITZSIMONS. It is absolutely impossible to publish expenditures in the full extent of the term.
Mr. SHERMAN thought "from time to time," the best rule to be given. "Annually " was struck out, and those words inserted, nem. con.
The motion of Col. MASON, SO amended, was then agreed to, nem. con., and added after "appropriations by law," as follows: "and a regular statement and account of the receipts and expenditures of all public money shall be published from time to time."
The first clause of Article 1, Sect. 10, was altered so as to read, "no State shall enter into any treaty, alliance or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit bills of credit; make any thing but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or grant any title of nobility."
Mr. GERRY entered into observations inculcating the importance of public faith, and the propriety of the restraint put on the States from impairing the obligation of contracts; alleging that Congress ought to be laid under the like prohibitions. He made a motion to that effect. He was not seconded.