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ing a law, but the short period of the session which remained afforded me no sufficient opportunity to prepare my objections and communicate them with the bill to the House of Representatives, in which it originated. For this reason the bill was retained, and I deem it proper now to state my objections to it.
Although from the title of the bill it would seem that its main object was to make provision for continuing certain works already commenced in the Territory of Wisconsin, it appears on examination of its provisions that it contains only a single appropriation of $6,000 to be applied within that Territory, while it appropriates more than half a million of dollars for the improvement of numerous harbors and rivers lying within the limits and jurisdiction of several of the States of the Union.
At the preceding session of Congress it became my duty to return with my objections to the House in which it originated a bill making similar appropriations and involving like principles, and the views then expressed remain unchanged.
The circumstances under which this heavy expenditure of public money was proposed were of imposing weight in determining upon its expediency. Congress had recognized the existence of war with Mex. ico, and to prosecute it to “a speedy and successful termination” had inade appropriations exceeding our ordinary revenues. To meet the emergency and provide for the expenses of the Government, a loan of $23,000,000 was authorized at the same session, which has since been negotiated. The practical effect of this bill, had it become a law, would have been to add the whole amount appropriated by it to the national debt. It would, in fact, have made necessary an additional loan to that amount as effectually as if in terms it had required the Secretary of the Treasury to borrow the money therein appropriated. The main question in that aspect is whether it is wise, while all the means and credit of the Government are needed to bring the existing war to an honorable close, to impair the one and endanger the other by borrowing money to be expended in a system of internal improvements capable of an expansion sufficient to swallow up the revenues not only of our own country, but of the civilized world? It is to be apprehended that by entering upon such a career at this moment confidence at home and abroad in the wisdom and prudence of the Government would be so far impaired as to make it difficult, without an immediate resort to heavy taxation, to maintain the public credit and to preserve the honor of the nation and the glory of our arms in prosecuting the existing war to a successful conclusion. Had this bill become a law, it is easy to foresee that largely increased demands upon the Treasury would have been made at each succeeding session of Congress for the improvements of numerous other harbors, bays, inlets, and rivers of equal importance with those embraced by its provisions. Many millions would probably have been added to the necessary amount of the war debt, the annual interest on which must
THE PATENT OFFICE is the popular name for the seat of the Department of the
Interior, of which the Patent Office is a bureau. It is of the Doric style of Greek