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Page 397 of Life and speeches of the Hon. Henry Clay ... (vol. 2)/ compiled and edited by Daniel Mallory.

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ON THE SUB-TREASURY BILL. the ladies should buy only half the amount of silks, calicoes, teas, and so forth, during the year, which they had been in the habit of consuming; and in this way by saving, the colony would make the required sum of one hundred thousand pounds. If we would, for a few years, import only half the amount from England that we have been in the habit of doing, we should no longer feel the influence of the London money power. Mr. President, gentlemen, in my humble opinion, utterly deceive themselves, in supposing that this measure is demanded by a major- ity of the people of the United States, and in alleging that this is proved by the result of elections of the past year. That there were a vast majority of them opposed to it was demonstrated incontestably by previous elections. The elections of last year did not in many, perhaps most instances, turn at all upon the inerits of this measure. In several states the people were deceived by assurances that the sub-treasury was at an end, and would be no longer agitated. In others, the people had reason to be dissatisfied with the conduct of their banks; and they were artfully led to believe this bill would supply a corrective of the errors of the banking system. And where they have apparently yielded their assent to the bill, it has been that sort of assent which the patient yields, whose constitution has been exhausted and destroyed by the experiments of empiricism, and who finally consents to take the last quack medicine offered to him in the hope of saving his life. I know the people of the United States well. They are ever ready cheerfully to submit to any burden demanded by the interest, the honor, or the glory of their country. But what people ever consented to increase their own burdens unnecessarily The effect of this measure is, by exacting specie exclusively from the people, and paying it out to the official corps and the public creditor, to augment the burdens of the people, and to swell the emoluments of office. It is an insult to the under- standing and judgment of the enlightened people of the United States, to assert that they can approve such a measure. No true patriot can contemplate the course of the party in power without the most painful and mortified feelings. They began some years ago their war on the bank of the United States. It was dangerous to liberty; it had failed to fulfil the purposes of its insti- tution; it did not furnish a sound currency, although the sun, in all its course, never shone upon a better. In short, it was a monster, which was condemned to death, and it was executed accordingly. During the progress of that war, the state banks were the constant theme of praise, in speech and song, of the dominant party. They were the best institutions in the world, free from all danger to public liberty, capable of carrying on the exchanges of the country, and of performing the financial duties to government, and of supplying a far better currency for the people than the bank of the United States. We told you that the state banks would not do, 397

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