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CASE OF HON. THOS. H. BAYLY.
March 3, 1855.–Laid upon the table and ordered to be printed.
Mr. Witte, from the Select Committee, made the following
The Select Committee appointed by the resolution of the House of Representatires, of July 21, 1854, to investigate the charges preferred by B. E. Green against the Hon. Thos. H. Bayly, ask leare to submit the following final report:
In a report submitted to the House of Representatives on the 3d day of August, 1854, by Mr. Walley, the committee stated that B. E. Green, the complainant, had “failed entirely to establish the first charge.” In relation to the second charge and specifications, the committee have examined the testimony, and unanimously come to the opinion that the allegations charged are not proved. One of the committee, Mr. Hill, desires to make a qualification in his admission, to wit : “ That though, in his opinion, Mr. Bayly made statements which to some may seem erroneous, and used arguments tending to erroneous conclusions affecting Mr. Green, yet there was not evidence to fix on Mr. Bayly an improper or fraudulent intent in so doing, and with this qualification he assents to and signs the report.”
The committee ask to be discharged from the further consideration of the subject.
W. H. WITTE,
JOURNAL OF THE COMMITTEE.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 10, 1855.
Committee met pursuant to notice.
It was ordered, that the clerk prepare the record testimony under charge second and specifications, and have the same printed for the use
of the committee. On moțion of Mr. Walley the committee adjourned, to meet at the call of the chairman.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 26, 1855.
Committee met pursuant to notice.
The printed testimony was laid before the committee, and on motion of Mr. Johnson they adjourned to Friday, February 2, in order to read and examine said testimony.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 1855.
Committee met pursuant to adjournment.
After a lengthy discussion upon the testimony, the committee adjourned to meet on Wednesday, February 7.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 1855.
Committee met pursuant to adjournment.
Mr. Green, through the chairman, presented a written statement, and pending its consideration,
Mr. Walley moved: “ That the paper submitted by Mr. Green be returned to him, inasmuch as it is in the nature of an argument upon matters already acted upon by the committee; and the chairman is requested to state to Mr. Green, that if there is any error in the record or report of the committee, it is their wish that Mr. Green should state in writing what, and where such errors exist, without any comment upon the same." Carried.
On motion of Mr. Walley, a copy of the above resolution was sent to Mr. Green.
After conference upon the testimony, the committee adjourned to Saturday morning, February 10.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 1855.
Committee met pursuant to adjournment.
Present: Messrs. Witte, Shower, Walley, Miller, Rogers, Jobnson, and Hill.
Mr. Green, through the chairman, offered a letter, accompanied by a list of corrections which he desired to be made.
Mr. Walley moved: “That the paper be received and placed on file, but inasmuch as it does not affect the oral or record testimony in any material point, the merits of the case are not prejudiced by the alleged discrepancies, if they all, or any of them, exist, as charged by Mr. Green; and the committee are of the opinion that most, if not all, of such alleged errors are incorrectly charged.” Agreed 10.
After some considerable discussion, the committee adjourned to meet on Wednesday, February 14.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 1855.
The committee met pursuant to adjournment.
Present : Messrs. Witte, Miller, Shower, Walley, Johnson, Rogers, and Hill.
The chairman presented the following communication from Ben. E. Green:
Washington, February 14, 1855. Sir: Late last night I obtained from Mr. Carrigan, as authorized by you, a copy of the resolution adopted by the committee on the 10th instant. It is as follows:
“Resolved, That the paper be received and placed on file ; but, inasmuch as it does not affect the oral or record testimony in any material point, the merits of the case are not prejudiced by the alleged discrepancies, if they all or any of them exist, as charged by Mr. Green; and the committee are of the opinion that most, if not all, of such alleged errors are incorrectly charged.”
The word “ charged” occurring twice in the said resolution calls for some comment. It was not my purpose to make any charge against the committee or their clerk. I did not and do not impute either negligence or intentional error. But now, as in my communication dated December 5, 1854, I attribute the inaccuracies and omissions of the journal and record entirely to " the press of other business at the close of the session, the very short time at the disposal of the committee, and the hurried manner in which they had to act in the premises."
Under the circumstances, it is not surprising that these inaccuracies should have occurred, however zealous the committee and their clerk may have been in the faithful discharge of their duties. The greater wonder is, that the record should be as perfect and correct as it is.
I distinctly and emphatically disclaim all intention of making any charge against the committee or their clerk in asking that these corrections should be made.
But I submitted to the recollection and decision of the committee whether the amendments suggested by me did not give a more correct idea and history of the case than is presented by the record as it stands.
If so, it is proper that the corrections should be made, and that I should request it to be done.
If any are, in the opinion of the committee, incorrectly stated in the memorandum submitted by me, I respectfully ask that they may be specified, that I may withdraw or amend them, so as to present them correctly. This I wish to do with the concurrence of the committee, and I respectfully submit that this is due to me, not as a matter of privilege, but of right, and no less due to the committee themselves.
I am confident that, if the committee will permit me to appear personally before them, I can satisfy them that all and every one of the corrections suggested by me ought to be made. I therefore ask that an opportunity be allowed me to do so. Respectfully,
BEN. E. GREEN. Hon. W. H. WITTE, Chairman, sc.
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 die.
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 conversatioa 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, wbere 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 Giled 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 ap
plicable in this case; but tendered the paper to Mr. Bayly for his 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, line 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, after name of Robert Ould, insert, * because Mr. Green proposed to prove what Mr. Doyle had said, or to 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,