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of this course. If our government must sell monopolies, it would seem to be its duty to take nothing less than their full value; and if gratuities must be made once in fifteen or twenty years, let them not be bestowed on the subjects of a foreign government, nor upon a designated and favored class of men in our own country. It is but justice and good policy, as far as the nature of the case will admit, to confine our favors to our own fellow-citizens, and let each in his turn enjoy an opportunity to profit by our bounty. In the bearings of the act before me, upon these points, I find ample reasons why it should not become a law.

It has been urged as an argument in favor of rechartering the present bank, that the calling in its loans will produce great embarrassment and distress. The time allowed to close its concerns is ample; and if it has been well managed, its pressure will be light, and heavy only in case its management has been bad. If, therefore, it shall produce distress, the fault will be its own; and it would furnish a reason against renewing a power which has been so obviously abused. But will there ever be a time when this reason will be less powerful? To acknowledge its force, is to admit that the bank ought to be perpetual ; and, as a consequence, the present stockholders, and those inheriting their rights as successors, be established a privileged order, clothed both with great political power, and enjoying immense pecuniary advantages from their connection with the government.

The modifications of the existing charter, proposed by this act, are not such, in my view, as make it consistent with the rights of the states or the liberties of the people. The qualification of the right of the bank to hold real estate, the limitation of its power to establish branches, and the power reserved to Congress to forbid the circulation of small notes, are restrictions comparatively of little value or importance. All the objectionable principles of the existing corporation, and most of its odious features, are retained without alleviation.

The fourth section provides “that the notes or bills of the said corporation, although the same be on the faces thereof, respectively, made payable at one place only, shall, nevertheless, be received by the said corporation at the bank, or at any of the offices of discount and deposit thereof, if tendered in liquidation or payment of any balance or balances due to said corporation, or to such office of discount and deposit, from any other incorporated bank.” This provision secures to the state banks a legal privilege in the Bank of the United States, which is withheld from all private citizens. If a state bank in Philadelphia owe the Bank of the United States, and have notes issued by the St. Louis branch, it can pay the debt with those notes; but if a merchant, mechanic, or other private citizen, be in like circumstances, he cannot, by law, pay his debts with those notes; but must sell them at a discount, or send them to St. Louis to be cashed. This boon conceded to the state banks, though not unjust in itself, is most odious; because it does not measure out equal justice to the high and the low, the rich and the poor.

To the extent of its practical effect, it is a bond of union, among the banking establishments of the nation, erecting them into an interest separate from that of the people; and its necessary tendency is to unite the Bank of the United States and the state banks in any measure which may be thought conducive to their common interest.

The ninth section of the act recognizes principles of worse tendency than any provision of the present charter.

It enacts that “the cashier of the bank shall annually report to the secretary of the treasury the names of all the stockholders who are not resident citizens of the United States; and, on the application of the treasurer of any state, shall make out and transmit to such treasurer a list of stockholders residing in, or citizens of such state, with the amount of stock owned by each.” Although this provision, taken in connection with a decision of the Supreme Court, surrenders, by its silence, the right of the states to tax the banking institutions created by this corporation, under the name of branches, throughout the Union, it is evidently intended to be construed as a concession of their right to tax that portion of the stock which may be held by their own citizens and residents. In this light, if the act becomes a law, it will be understood by the states, who will probably proceed to levy a tax equal to that paid upon the stock of the banks incorporated by

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themselves. In some states, that tax is now one per cent., either on the capital or on the shares, and that may be assumed as the amount which all citizens or resident stockholders would be taxed under the operation of this act. As it is only the stock held in the states, and not that employed between them, which would be subject to taxation, and as the names of foreign stockholders are not to be reported to the treasurers of the states, it is obvious that the stock held by them will be exempt from this burden. Their annual profits will, therefore, be one per cent. more than the citizen stockholders; and, as the annual dividends of the bank may be safely estimated at seven per cent., the stock will be worth ten or fifteen per cent. more to foreigners than to citizens of the United States. To appreciate the effect which this state of things will produce, we must take a brief review. of the operations and present condition of the Bank of the United States

By documents submitted to Congress at the present session, it appears that on the 1st of January, 1832, of the twenty-eight millions of private stock in the corporation, $8,405,500 were held by foreigners, mostly of Great Britain. The amount of stock held in the nine Western and South-Western States, is $140,200, and in the four Southern States, is $5,623,100, and in the Middle and Eastern States, is about $13,522,000. The profits of the bank in 1831, as shown in a statement to Congress, were about $3,455,598; of this, there acerued in the nine Western States, about $1,640,048; in the four Southern States, about $352,507; and in the Middle and Eastern States, about $1,463,041. As little stock is held in the west, it is obvious that the debt of the people in that section, to the bank, is principally a debt to the eastern and foreign stockholders; that the interest they pay upon it, is carried into the Eastern States, and into Europe; and that it is a burden


their industry, and a drain of their currency, which no country can bear without inconvenience and occasional distress. To meet this burden, and equalize the exchange operations of the bank, the amount of specie drawn from those states, through its branches, within the last two years, as shown by its official reports, was about $6,000,000. More than half a million of this amount does

not stop in the Eastern States, but passes on to Europe, to pay the dividends of the foreign stockholders. In the principle of taxation recognized by this act, the Western States find no adequate compensation for this perpetual burden on their industry, and drain of their currency. The branch bank at Mobile made, last year, $95,140; yet, under the provisions of this act, the state of Alabama can raise no revenue from these profitable operations, because not a share of the stock is held by any of her citizens. Mississippi and Missouri are in the same condition, in relation to the branches at Natchez and St. Louis; and such, in a greater or less degree, is the condition of every Western state. The tendency of the plan of taxation which this act proposes, will be to place the whole United States in the same relation to foreign countries which the Western States now bear to the Eastern. When, by a tax on resident stockholders, the stock of this bank is made worth ten or fifteen per cent. more to foreigners than to residents, most of it will inevitably leave the country,

Thus will this provision, in its practical effect, deprive the Eastern as well as the Southern and Western States, of the means of raising a revenue from the extension of business and great profits of the institution. It will make the American people debtors to aliens, in nearly the whole amount due to this bank, and send across the Atlantic from two to five millions of specie every year to pay the bank dividends.

In another of its bearings this provision is fraught with danger. Of the twenty-five directors of this bank, five are chosen by the government, and twenty by the citizen stockholders. From all voice in these elections, the foreign stockholders are excluded by the charter. portion, therefore, as the stock is transferred to foreign holders, the extent of suffrage in the choice of directors is curtailed.

Already is almost a third of the stock in foreign hands, and not represented in elections. It is constantly passing out of the country; and this act will accelerate its departure. The entire control of the institution would necessarily fall into the hands of a few citizen stockholders; and the ease with which the object would be

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accomplished, would be a temptation to designing men to secure that control in their own hands, by monopolizing the remaining stock. There is danger that a president and directors would then be able to elect themselves from year to year, and, without responsibility or control, manage the whole concerns of the bank during the existence of its charter. It is easy to conceive that great evils to our country and its institutions might flow from such a concentration of power in the hands of a few men, irresponsible to the people.

Is there no danger to our liberty and independence in a bank, that in its nature has so little to bind it to our country? The president of the bank has told us that most of the state banks exist by its forbearance. Should its influence become concentred, as it may under the operation of such an act as this, in the hands of a selfelected directory, whose interests are identified with those of the foreign stockholder, will there not be cause to tremble for the purity of our elections in peace, and for the independence of our country in war? Their power would be great whenever they might choose to exert it; but if this monopoly were regularly renewed every fifteen or twenty years, on terms proposed by themselves, they might seldom in peace put forth their strength to influence elections or control the affairs of the nation. private citizen or public functionary should interpose to curtail its powers, or prevent a renewal of its privileges, it cannot be doubted that he would be made to feel its influence.

Should the stock of the bank principally pass into the hands of the subjects of a foreign country, and we should unfortunately become involved in a war with that country, what would be our condition ? Of the course which would be pursued by a bank almost wholly owned by the subjects of a foreign power, and managed by those whose interests, if not affections, would run in the same direction, there can be no doubt. All its operations within, would be in aid of the hostile fleets and armies without. Controlling our currency, receiving our public moneys, and holding thousands of our citizens in dependence, it would

But if any

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