« AnteriorContinua »
Mr. Walley moved " that the communication received this morning from Mr. Green be referred to the clerk for the purpose of conference with Mr. Green upon the matters referred to in said communication, and that the clerk report to the committee the result of such conference, and any alterations or additions in or to the record which the clerk may recommend afier such conference.” The motion was adopted.
The chairman then put the following question to the committee : “Is the second charge and specifications, in the opinion of the committee, sustained by the evidence and argument submitted to them?” which, upon the call for the yeas and nays, was unanimously decided in the negative. The following is the vote :
Nays-Messrs. Witte, Miller, shower, Walley, Johnson, Rogers, and Hill.
The committee then adjourned to meet at the call of the chairman.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 1855.
Committee met pursuant to the call of the chairman.
Mr. Carrigan, the clerk, submitted the result of his conference with Mr. Green as to the corrections of the record, which was accepted. The committee then adjourned sine dic.
C. W. CARRIGAN, Clerk.
Note. The committee, at the request of Mr. Green, admit the following modifications to a previous report, but, in the opinion of the committee, it does not affect or alter the result at which the committee arrived.
House report, 33d Congress, number 354, on page 2, journal of July 26, 1854, there should be inserted the following: “Mr. Green offered a written memorandum, addressed to Mr. Witte, chairman, stating his reasons for wishing to have Messrs. Wise and Doyle summoned; also, stating the substance of an alleged conversation with Mr. Doyle. The committee refused to receive the paper, and also refused 10 permit Mr. Green to state, under oath, the substance of said conversation with said Doyle.”
Same report, same page, journal of July 27, 1854, insert as follows: "Mr. Bayly stated that it was an established rule of law that, where a witness refers to any written memorandum, the opposite party has a right to ask the court to take it from him and have it 6led with the clerk. He, therefore, moved that a paper, to which Mr. Green had referred, should be taken from him and filed with the clerk of the committee.
“The paper in question was Mr. Green's notes of the volumes and paging of documents to be offered in evidence. Mr. Green contended ihat the rule of law was not correctly stated by Mr. Bayly, nor applicable in this case; but tendered the paper to Mr. Bayly for bis inspection. The committee granted Mr. Bayly's motion, and the paper was taken from Mr. Green to be filed with the clerk.”
Same report, page 15, at the bottom of page insert, by parenthesis : (Here Mr. Green's testimony was called to the attention of Mr. Wise.)
Same report, page 16, lice 17, after word committee, insert parenthetically : (Here Mr. Green's testimony was read to Mr. Wise.)
Same report, page 16, line 21st, insert parenthetically: (Mr. Green's testimony was then read to Mr. Doyle.)
Same report, page 16, line 11 from the bottom of page, after Virginia, insert: “Question by Mr. Bayly— Did he give any names?' Answer by Mr. Doyle—No, sir.?”
CORRECTION BY COMMITTEE.
Same report, page 20, line 10, afier name of Robert Ould, insert, “because Mr. Green proposed to prove what Mr. Doyle had said, or lo show what he, Mr. Green, had actually said to Mr. Doyle ; and that it was not competent for Mr. Green to impeach the testimony of his own witness."
Charge second and specifications. Charge 2d. That said Thomas H. Bayly, as chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means of the 31st Congress, and as chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the 32d Congress, did “use improper, if not illegal means"—to wit, wilful misrepresentation and falsehoodinvolving a breach of trust reposed in him by the House, and intended to deceive the House, and thereby " to secure the passage” of the acts of September 26, 1850, and February 10, 1852, making appropriations for the payment of the indemnity due to Mexico, under the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, with the full knowledge and purpose, on the part of said Bayly, that the money appropriated by said acts would be, and the same was subsequently, paid to said Corcoran and others; and with the further knowledge, on the part of said Bayly, that a large sum of money would be, and a large sum, to wit, near half a million of dollars, was thereby, lost to the United States, which might have been saved, had the reasonable wishes of the Mexican government as to the mode of payment been acceded to.
Specification l-Wilful misrepresentation.
In this, that whereas the Mexican government being in great want of money, and under the necessity of procuring advances at an interest of 18 to 24 per cent per annum, from the bankers employed by the United States to pay said indemnity, a proposition was submitted on behalf of the Mexican government to the United States goverment, and especially to the said Thomas H. Bayly, in his official character of chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means; and whereas the said proposition was, that an arrangement should be made either to pay the said indemnity, in advance of its falling due, directly to the Mexican government, in the same manner as the payments under the late treaty were made to General Almonte, the Mexican minister; or that drafts of the Mexican government for the amount payable, when due, should be accepted by the United States government, so as to render the same negotiable—the United States government in either case taking a full receipt and acquittance direct from the Mexican government. Nevertheless, the said Bayly endeavored to deceive the House of Representatives, by misrepresenting the nature of the said proposition submitted as aforesaid on behalf of the Mexican government, and by endeavoring to produce an impression that said proposition contemplated that Duff Green was to be employed as the agent and banker of the United States in making said payments, when said Bayly well knew that no such agency was ever contemplated by the said proposed arrangement.
In this, that said Bayly stated to the House of Representatives, and endeavored to produce the impression, that said Benjamin E. Green, when acting as chargé d'affaires of the United States in Mexico, had received and failed to account for the fourth and fifth instalments of the indemnity due by Mexico to citizens of the United States, under the convention of 1843, when said Bayly well knew that his said statement was utterly false. And when afterwards called upon by another member of the House to withdraw said false charge, he (Bayly) said: “I did not so charge, as the report of my speech will show, for this whole matter was involved in doubt,” (see Cong. Globe, lst session 32d Congress, page 359,) when said Bayly well knew that said matter was not involved in any doubt, because the circumstances of those alleged payments had been investigated by Mr. Slidell, United States minister to Mexico, whose report fully exonerated said Ben. E. Green from all responsibility in the premises; and said Bayly had fully examined, not only Mr. Slidell's said report, as published in the congressional records, (see Ex. Doc. No. 133, 1st session 29th Congress,) but, as he himself stated, had also examined the orginal documents on file in the State Department, and therefore must have known that his said original charge, and the assertion with which he accompanied bis subsequent denial of having made said charge, were alike false and calumnious.
Specification 3—Wilful falsehood. In this, that after quoting from the civil and diplomatic bill of 3d March, 1845, the following clause, to wit:
“For paying the April and July instalments of the Mexican indemnities due in 1844, the sum of $275,000: Provided, It shall be ascertained to the satisfaction of the American government that said instalments have been paid by the Mexican government to the agent appointed by the United States to receive the same, in such manner as to discharge all claims on the Mexican government, and said agent to be a delinquent in remitting the money to the United States.”
The said Bayly, to give color to his said false accusation of said Ben. E. Green, and thereby to secure the passage of said bills in the form desired by said Corcoran, said as follows:
“After the passage of the law to which I have referred, Mr. Polk, through Mr. Slidell and our consul in Mexico, Mr. Black, instituted an inquiry in Mexico to ascertain, if possible, whether the contingency provided for had happened. He became satisfied it had, and the money was paid.” (Cong. Globe, 1st session 32d Congress, p. 340.) Whereas said Bayly well knew that no part of the money was ever paid under the act quoted by him, and that Mr. Polk ascertained, by the said inquiries of Messrs. Slidell and Black, that the said contingency had not happened, and therefore refused to make any payments under the act quoted by said Bayly; and that the claimants, because of Mr. Polk's said refusal to pay under the said act, applied at the next session of Congress, and procured the insertion of the following clause in the civil and diplomatic bill of August 10, 1846, to wit:
“For paying the principal and interest of the fourth and fifth instalments of the Mexican indemnities, due in the year 1844, the sum of $320,000: Provided, The claimants, each for himself, shall relinquish to the United States his right to said instalments: Provided, further, That each of the claimants shall agree to take in payment the scrip of a stock bearing interest at five per cent., payable in five years." Respectfully submitted.
BEN. E. GREEN. Hon. John LETCHER, Chairman of the Committee of Inquiry appointed under
House resolution of July 8, 1854. P. S. 1 submit herewith copy of a report from the Comptroller, which fully proves the charge of falsehood as set forth in specification 3d. Most of the other proofs which I wish to submit are of record, and easily procured. But the witnesses whom it will be necessary to call are intimate friends of said Bayly, and will be very reluctant to state any facts to his prejudice. Nevertheless, fully aware of the disadvantages of my position, I confidently believe that, if your committee will give me a fair chance, I can prove all and more than I have charged.
BEN. E. GREEN.
WEDNESDAY, July 26, 1854.
B. E. Green, being duly sworn, testified as follows:
As to charge 2d.
Question by committee. Have you personal knowledge of any facts to sustain charge 2d ?
Answer. I have personal knowledge of many facts to sustain charge 2d.
Question by committee. What are the facts to sustain the charge of “wilful misrepresentation,” contained in charge second ?
Answer. I have personal knowledge of many of the facts tending to prove the allegation of wilful misrepresentation. I was employed in 1850, by Mr. I. D. Marks and others associated with him in Mexico, as an attorney, to aid and act in concert with the Mexican minister, lo effect an arrangement whereby the Mexican government might be enabled to anticipate the payment of the third and fourth instalments of the indemnity due by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, either by the payment of ihe money in advance by the government of the United Stales direct to the Mexican minister here in Washington, in the same manner in which the payment under the late Mexican treaty was made through General Almonte, or by obtaining an acceptance, by the United States government, of drafts drawn by the Mexican government, parable in the United States at the pleasure of the United States government. The object of this proposed arrangement was two-fold: first, to relieve the Mexican government from the necessity of paying interest at the rate of eighteen to twenty-four per cent. per annum for advances to the bankers employed by the United States to make the payments ; secondly, to give to the Mexican government the benefit of the large premium of exchange—to wit, twelve to fifteen per cent.—on drafts upon New York. As an inducement to the United States to assent to this arrangement, I was authorized to offer, as a premium of exchange for prompt payment here, or acceptance of the drafts, one per cent. more ihan any banker should offer for the contract to pay the money in Mexico. When this matter first begun, I was absent on government service abroad. On my return to the United States, and shortly after the change in the government, resulting from General Taylor's death, I addressed to the Hon. Daniel Webster the following communication, to wit:
WASHINGTON, August 1, 1850. SIR: My friend, Mr. I. D. Marks, wrote to me from Mexico last winter, saying that, wanting funds, the Mexican government wished to negotiate drafts on the government of the United States for the two remaining instalments under the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, and asked my aid to obtain an acceptance so as to make the drafts negotiable. My father, who in my absence received his letter, applied to the late administration, and it was understood that the drafts would be accepted, payable at the pleasure of the government, when an appropriation was made by Congress, and that as four-and-a-half per cent. would be allowed to the United States for accepting, and the payment in advance would save some ten per cent. more, the Secretary of the Treasury would, during the present session, ask an appropriation to enable this government to make the payment now, and thus save to the United States near, or quite, one million of dollars.
With this understanding, Mr. Marks has closed a contract with the Mexican government; and I have just received a letter from him saying, that as soon as he can be advised that the death of General Taylor and the change in the cabinet has interposed no obstacle to the negotia