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Mr. CLARK. The Senator from Nevada
to time, he might have destroyed Lee and his
Mr. NYE. I have not said so. I asked if
turmoil in the building of thirteen ships, and thirteen such ships, my friend from New Hampshire seems to count the very minutes of time against him as a reason why this Government should not be just to him. To that kind of reasoning I object. I insist upon it that the very severe criticisms of the Senator from New Hampshire, so fully answered by the distinguished Senator from Indiana, were not fair upon this report or upon the bill.
Now, sir, as little as I know of legislation, I think I see a way in which the distinguished Senator from New Hampshire could have shown his fairness much more clearly to my mind. He declares to you that some of these parties are entitled to remuneration. Then, why does he not move to strike out such as are not entitled to recover, in his opinion? He says he will the is a
very easy thing for a Senator to do; but it is a very hard thing to be endured by those who are groaning under burdens they can hardly bear, for honest toil, honest labor, and honest material that they have given to this Government in the hour of her direst necessity. It is very easy for my friend from Missouri and my friend from New Hampshire to say, We will postpone it for another year," when the very case shows you that every one of these parties who has not gone over already is tottering on the very verge of bankruptcy. Oh, postpone it! Give my friend time to read the pamphlet! If we will only postpone it, he is going into it very thoroughly; he will spend the vacation in reading the literature of double-ender iron-clads, and next winter he will come here ready to be appointed, if the exigencies of the country should require it, a naval constructer!
Sir, we have here the testimony of two men who have grown grey in the service of this country, two naval constructers whose fame is not bounded even by our own shores, who have been consulted by other countries, long-tried and faithful servants of this Government, and they substantially indorse the testimony of these contractors. Sir, I insist upon it, that when these men come here they are entitled to an answer. I have taken no pains to ascertain how Senators are going to vote on this question; but if these men are to be buried amid the ruins of their misfortune, bury them now; for burial would be a relief. Do not keep them hanging upon the tenter hooks of uncertainty till frost time again, and then the Senator from Missouri or the Senator from New Hampshire may not have got fully booked up on the subject, and will move to postpone it for another season. Sir, quick poison is better than slow; and if this Senate has made up its mind that the rule of conduct they will establish is to take two and a half millions of money from citizens of this country, do it now. If the blow must be struck, let it fall now. Their agony already has been greater than they can endure. My friend from California knows that hundreds of thousands of dollars are involved in his own State, where the men have advanced their own money and have carried their loss like good soldiers and patriots.
Mr. President, all that I regret is, that this whole subject had not been referred to the honorable Senator from New Hampshire originally, and then we should have had set forth exactly what ought to be paid, and what ought not to be paid. I hope that this motion to postpone will not prevail, but that the bill will be passed as amended on the motion of the Senator from Iowa; it is throwing at least a crumb to hungry men, which is ever grateful.
Mr. GRIMES. My amendment has been adopted.
Mr. NYE. That amendment being adopted, I hope the bill will pass. I am entirely satisfied that it will be in consonance-and I make this remark in view of the inquiry that the Senator from New Hampshire made whether the tax-payers would like it-with the judgment of the people of this nation that they shall not take the labor of a man who has labored faithfully for them and he go unrequited. Sir, this is all that I desire to say on this question.
Mr. NYE. That is what I claimed, that it
Mr. CLARK. It deals generously with these
Mr. President, I have said that I do not like
Mr. NYE. I do not know any such thing.
Mr. CLARK. It is very apparent that by the force of one given to the other, the thing is to be carried through by joint weight and joint influence. Some of these men may be, as the Senator says, poor; and some of these men may be rich, and if they are not misreported, are rich; but whether they be poor,
or whether they be rich, makes no difference in the justice of the Government. If a man is rich and has earned well of the Government he should be paid. If he is poor, and has not earned well of the Government, then he should not be paid. It is not by any such standard that I wish to try these men.
Nor do I wish to have this matter lie over that I may examine it; for I have said nothing about examining it. I wish it could be laid over, or I wish some different scheme could be devised by which we might do justice, as I said, individually in these cases, each case by itself and for itself, and not lump them in this way, and by a general bill give them twelve per cent. on the contract price. As I said before, in that way a man may get more than he is entitled to or he may get less than he is entitled to. They should not be leveled down in that manner, but each should have according to what he deserves.
"Now," says the Senator from Nevada, "why does not the Senator from New Hampshire move to strike out a case?" Because I have not had time to examine the cases through. I have not had time to examine any one of these cases sufficiently to enable me to say that the man may not be deserving of something, though on the showing he makes he is not entitled to it. I might strike out some that were deserv ing. If I were to move to strike out so that the bill should pass as I think it ought to pass, I would move to strike out forty-one and leave only one, whoever he might be, and try that, and then take the others up afterward. That is the way we ought to legislate, one by one, as we do in other cases, and not in this collective method.
Now, Mr. President, one word in regard to what was first said by the Senator, that this board had examined the weight of these engines. Where is the evidence of it? This board was not established for any such purpose. It was not established to report upon the weight.
Mr. NYE. Here is the evidence of it. I read from page 21:
"That the excess of cost, over and above the contract price, was due to the greater weight of engine than the contractors were led to expect them to be, Mr. Isherwood, chief of the Bureau of Steam Engineering, having assured them that they would not exceed those of the Paul Jones class, (three hundred and seventy-four thousand pounds.)"
Mr. GRIMES. Who says that?
Mr. NYE. Mr. Henry W. Gardner, of the firm of Gardner & Lake, contractors for the engine and boilers of the double-end vessel Pawtuxet.
"Whereas the weight of one built by them was six hundred and thirty thousand pounds; that the total cost, including cost of collection of bill and interest," &c.
There is the evidence.
Mr. CLARK. Is that all the evidence?
Mr. NYE. Here it is in several cases.
"That the excess of cost was owing to the great rise in labor and material and difficulty in procuring the same. There are many reasons why the engines cost more than the amount of contract: first, when the engines were contracted for, drawings and specifications were not furnished us, and we were totally ignorant as to the weight of said engines, boilers, &e. From the best information and belief, we were led to suppose the machinery would weigh three hundred and eighty or three hundred and ninety thousand pounds, and have to say that the raw material was worth about the amount of the contract, for the reason of the great excess of weight of metal over and above our estimate."
And you will find it in two or three other places in the report.
Mr. CLARK. But that does not state the weight of the engines.
Mr. NYE. It states the weight of one engine, and the engines of the double-enders are all alike.
Mr. CLARK. Only one man, so far as I know, states the weight of the engines.
Mr. NYE. The fact appears—
Mr. CLARK. They state generally that they weighed more.
Mr. NYE. Will the gentleman allow me to make a suggestion?
Mr. CLARK. Certainly.
Mr. NYE. The fact appeared clearly before our committee that the weight of the engines of the double-enders was about the same. I will ask the Senator from Indiana if he did not so understand it?
Mr. HENDRICKS. Yes, sir. I understood when the specifications and drawings came to be examined they corresponded. Mr. NYE. They were alike.
Mr. HENDRICKS. There was no differ
vance. I am no especial admirer of General George B. McClellan; but I speak this for justice. After having captured Yorktown, with a worse siege than the first time when Yorktown was taken, the history of which is indicted in the Rotunda, he advanced and lacked simply the support that he required in his own programme as a military man accord||ing to the strategy that he had stated. Perhaps the Senator-soldier from New Hampshire has learned the retreat of the Ten Thousand and Moreau out of the Black Forest; perhaps he went with Hannibal and Napoleon across the Alps; perhaps he has fought on many fields; perhaps he is able to lay down with Machiavelli the science and art of war. I say those remarks about General George B. McClellan are unwarranted, for he was a gallant man and a patriotic man. It is still a question pending whether he was a great general or not. [Laughter.]
Mr. RIDDLE. Mr. President, these extraneous questions, I think, should not be lugged into a debate on so important a matter as this. On a former occasion, some days since, I expressed my views upon this bill, and told the Senate that I would discuss it hereafter if necessary. That discussion I think now unnecessary. I then said, and I intend to adhere to it at present, that I would vote for the amendment of the Senator from Iowa, and if that amendment should be adopted I would vote for the bill. I infinitely prefer now the motion of the honorable Senator from Missouri, and why? What is the reason for it? It is to enable us to winnow the wheat from the chaff. It has been shown us that some of these allowances ought to be made and some ought not to be made. Now give us time to examine into this matter. There is no mechanic suffering from this delay; the mechanics are all paid off; and I venture to assert, and challenge contradiction, that nearly every one, if not every one, of the gentlemen who made these contracts had made a fortune out of the Government before he lost something on these contracts. It was their own option that they took the contracts. They made their contracts with their sub-contractors before they assumed the great contract, and if they lose on one and we are compelled to compensate them for that loss, should they not, with the same propriety, come back and pay us the excess of what they made upon the others? Would not that be justice? Would not that be fair to the Government?
Mr. GRIMES. It is due to Mr. Isherwood and to the Navy Department to state that they say that to each one of these contractors to whom the $82,000 was paid the specifications were delivered when the contract was made. The drawings were not delivered, but the specifications were placed in their hands.
Mr. HENDRICKS. That was when the contract was signed, not when the work was commenced.
Mr. CLARK. The point to which I wish to call the attention of the Senator from Nevada is, that only one person undertook to state the weight of these engines before the board. The board was not established for any such purpose. The board was simply established to ascertain and to report what was the cost of the work.
Mr. NYE. Will the Senator allow me to ask him a question?
Mr. CLARK. Certainly.
Mr. NYE. How could they ascertain what this work cost unless they ascertained the weight of the engines and machinery?
Mr. CLARK. In various ways. I do not know how specific the bills may have been. I do not know whether these gentlemen put in the weight of the raw material; whether they put in the weight of the engines or whether they fixed their bills in some other shape, upon the day's work or in some other way. That does not appear here, and that is the very point. They could put bills of cost in different shapes, and, I dare say, did put them in different shapes. I dare say the material cost differently to different individuals. Some, perhaps, would pay more and some less. This commission was appointed for the purpose of ascertaining the cost over and above the contract price and allowance for extra work, and report the same to the Senate. That was their work, to ascertain the cost, not to ascertain the equities on the other side; not to say what was required by the contract and what was furnished by the contractors, but simply to ascertain the cost and report that. I desire a very different thing. I desire that the equities on the other side should be stated in regard to the cost, and that we should have the whole matter intelligently before the Senate.
Mr. McDOUGALL. I do not rise to discuss this question, but only to make an observation in reply to the Senator-soldier from New Hampshire. He has talked about the battle of Fair Oaks and said something about Mal vern Hill, and he has spoken about a general who is absent. The maxim "de mortuis nil nisi bonum" applies to the absent as well as to the dead.
Mr. CLARK. Put in the dead. [Laughter.] Mr. McDOUGALL. He will live beyond your period. General George B. McClellan was an excellent soldier and a true patriot. If General McDowell had been allowed to make his movement as he was directed, according to General McClellan's advice, down to Yorktown to support him, he would have been in Richmond very shortly. Cowardly men withheld his forces for the defenses of Washington, and therefore General McClellan had not the material with which to ad
The details which are cited by Senators on this floor are comparatively unimportant. If these gentlemen have just claims upon the Government, let them present their claims to the Court of Claims; or, if they prefer it, let them bring their individual cases before the Senate, and have them examined upon their merits. I may vote, perhaps, for all of them; certainly for some; but let us have the just claims presented separately from the unjust claims. I am not going to discuss this question; but I repeat now what I have said heretofore, that if we are going to make this allowance, if we are going to open the door, there will be no closing it. As was remarked by the Senator from New Hampshire, why cannot your wagon-makers come in for an additional allowance? Why cannot your contractors who contracted to deliver hay for twenty dollars a ton and had to give thirty dollars for it come in for additional pay? Where are you going to stop? That is the question. My plan is to postpone the subject, or rather it is the plan of the Senator from Missouri, and I shall vote for that with all my heart. I trust the Senate will postpone the bill in order that we may winnow out the wheat from the chaff.
The question being taken by yeas and nays, resulted-yeas 11, nays 24; as follows:
The PRESIDING OFFICER, (Mr. DooLITTLE in the chair.) The question is on the motion of the Senator from Missouri, [Mr. HENDERSON,] that this bill be postponed until the first Monday of December next; and upon that question the yeas and nays have been ordered.
YEAS-Messrs. Clark, Davis, Doolittle, Guthrie, Henderson, Howe, Kirkwood, Riddle, Sherman, Trumbull, and Wade-11.
NAYS-Messrs. Anthony, Chandler, Conness, Cragin, Foster, Grimes, Harris, Hendricks, Howard, Johnson, Morgan, Morrill, Nesmith, Nye, Poland, Pomeroy, Ramsey, Sprague, Stewart, Sumner, Van Winkle, Willey, Williams, and Wilson-24.
ABSENT-Messrs. Brown, Buckalew, Cowan, Creswell, Dixon, Edmunds, Fessenden, Lane of Indiana, Lane of Kansas, McDougall, Norton, Saulsbury, Wright, and Yates-14.
So the motion was not agreed to.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question now is on concurring, in the Senate, with the amendments made in Committee of the Whole.
Mr. HENDERSON. I now move to recommit the bill and the amendments to the Committee on Naval Affairs.
Mr. CONNESS. I wish simply to say in connection with my votes on this proposition, that I voted against the postponement because it is within my knowledge that some of the claimants comprehended by the bill deserve what is due them by the Government, for I believe sums are due them by the Govern ment. But, although I believe that, I cannot vote for the bill in its present shape. I cannot agree to give twelve per cent. to parties who it has been clearly shown in the Senate are not entitled to a dollar, in order that those who are deserving shall be paid. Legislation of that kind cannot have my vote. It is not measured, in my opinion, by justice, for when we speak of justice we must never forget that there is more than one party who requires it at our hands. No addition, in my opinion, can be made at this time to the public indebtedness without the perpetration of a crime. It is an absolute crime, in my opinion. I say for myself that nothing can induce me to perpetrate that by my vote.
I am willing to vote the uttermost farthing that shall be ascertained to be due to any or all of the contractors who are parties comprehended by this bill; but only upon an examination of the cases; and I believe, and have believed from the beginning, that a specific examination of each case will lead to the payment of those who are most worthy at the earliest period of time.
It may be, Mr. President, that the Senate may pass the bill in its present form. If they shall do so of course I have no condemnation to utter in advance of what a majority may do; but until it is done by a vote of the Senate, I shall not believe that the Senate of the United States will pass the present bill or any bill made up as it is, comprehended as it is, putting upon the same level every class of claimants entitled to every degree of consideration. My opinion is that it should be committed for the separate examination of the claims. Whether that committal should be to the Committee on Naval Affairs or not is a question for the Senate to decide. I am perfectly willing that it should go there with instructions to them to report upon each case separately. I am prepared upon such a plan to be even generous as well as just to those who are found emimently worthy by the examination to be made. My own choice would be to commit it to the Committee on Claims of this body.
Mr. CLARK. We do not want it. Mr. CONNESS. The Senator, who is chairman of that committee here, says he does not want it. I knew that; and although the Senator has discussed this measure with a clearness and acumen that commonly belong to him on every subject, and evidencing the industry that is of so much value to this nation, I have so much confidence in the Senator's sense of justice that I believe the cases having merit would receive due consideration at his hands.
It was suggested by the Senator from Nevada, who addressed the Senate a few moments ago on this subject, that the chairman of the Com
mittee on Claims had now committed himself upon the subject. I do not understand that when a Senator performs the duty incumbent upon him here of analyzing closely the claims that are presented for the public consideration and payment he is committing himself against a measure. While the uttermost farthing that is due should be paid by the Government to whom it is found to be due, the uttermost farthing at the present time should be also kept in the Treasury if it belongs there; and I should feel for one that I was performing my part but illy here if I did not by my votes sustain such utterances. If the instructions are to go with this motion, or it is to be the understanding that when the bill is recommitted to the Committee on Naval Affairs they are to examine each case and report at the earliest period of time during this session, so that it may be acted upon, what is due to each of these contractors, I shall give a vote for that recommittal; but in its present shape I desire to say that the bill cannot receive my vote on its passage.
I have felt, Mr. President, called upon to make this statement more particularly because constituents and friends of mine are interested in some of these claims. I shall as a matter of course, both in the gratification of my feelings and in rendering them justice at the earliest period of time, seek the opportunity of serving them to that extent. If they expect anything beyond that they expect service that they cannot receive at my hands. I am in favor of the earliest examination of their claims, and the payment of the greatest amount that shall be found to be their due, and I have no doubt that their claims will stand the closest test of examination and comment when the facts are presented to this body.
Mr. WILLEY. Mr. President, if this bill is to be recommitted, speaking for myself only as a member of the Committee on Naval Affairs, I hope the suggestion of the honorable Senator from California will prevail and that it may go to the Committee on Claims or some other committee. I have not deemed it necessary to participate at all in the discussion, not because I had not examined the claims sufficiently to satisfy myself, but because I saw the bill was being discussed by other Senators more competent to do justice to the case, and perhaps more familiar with the subject. My own convictions upon the subject from the examination I have given the case are very clear. My mind is made up very conclusively on the merits of these claims. Therefore I do not think it is justice to the Senate to recommit the bill to the Naval Committee, if the other members of the committee feel toward the claims as I do. I trust that if it is recommitted at all, the suggestion of the Senator from California may prevail, and I know of no better committee to which it could go than the Committee on Claims. I am satisfied that although there may be a difference in the merit of these different claims, there is not a claimant in the bill mentioned that is not justly and honestly, before the country and the Senate, entitled to more than the bill will give him.
In reference to the difficulty in regard to the form of the bill, I have not been able to see the point in the objection made. I think there be no more difficulty because several claims are included in the bill than there would be in the case of the naval appropriation bill or any other general appropriation bill which contains many distinct appropriations for various objects. The report upon these claims is distinct and separate; the claims themselves are set forth separately in the bill; and it is just as easy to modify any one of the claims or to strike it from the bill entirely as it would be to modify an appropriation bill or to strike it from the bill entirely.
carrying through those that may have less merit than others. It is hardly just to the Naval Committee to say that they would allow themselves to become the instruments of reporting any bill or any claim to the Senate that they did not believe to be deserving of merit and which they did not believe ought to passed be by the Senate.
I conclude these remarks without going into any examination. I hope the suggestion of the Senator from California may prevail, and that if the bill is to be recommitted it will go to the Committee on Claims or some other committee. I do not want it recommitted myself; I have no desire of that kind.
The PRESIDING OFFICER, (Mr. DooLITTLE.) The pending motion is to recommit || the bill to the Committee on Naval Affairs.
Mr. WILLEY. I suppose the question could be as well tested on the recommitment, to which I am opposed, by moving to amend that motion so that the bill may be referred to the Committee on Claims, which motion I make.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from West Virginia moves to amend the motion to recommit by referring the bill to the Committee on Claims.
I do not think that the honorable Senator from New Hampshire has done the sub-committee of the Naval Committee justice when he urges upon the Senate that cases containag less merit than others are included in the whole, in an omnibus bill, for the purpose of
Mr. CLARK. I think we had better perhaps try the motion to recommit to the committee from which the bill came. I think there is no doubt the Senate have confidence in that committee. I am sorry the Senator from West Virginia should have understood that I intended to accuse the sub-committee of making up this bill in this way for the purpose of carrying one claim by means of another. What I meant to say was that these people who went before the board had done it for the purpose of carrying one with the other. I did not make any charge upon the committee.
I do not feel quite willing, so far as I am individually concerned, after having expressed myself so freely in regard to some of the claims, that the bill should go to the Committee on Claims, and solely for the reason that I feel that some of these people coming here with claims might not feel that confidence they ought to feel in a committee examining the matter. They might feel that I was prejudiced against their claims.
Mr. WILLIAMS. I hope this amendment which has been proposed by the Senator from Iowa [Mr. GRIMES] will be adopted and an end put to this controversy. Everybody knows that in a case of this kind we cannot ascertain the facts with mathematical accuracy; and all we can do is to approximate to justice. This subject has been examined by a board constituted for that purpose; it has been reexamined by the Naval Committee; it has been elaborately discussed here before the Senate; and now I say it will be more economical for the Government, if there be any persons in this number presenting claims not just in law or equity, to pay them the twelve per cent. rather than to protract this litigation and controversy; and it will be better for the men entitled to more than twelve per cent. to have the twelve per cent. at this time than to be compelled to wait year after year and finally get in the end perhaps a larger sum. I am in favor, so far as I am individually concerned, of settling the question at this time.
this time by the adoption of this proposition, and that the Government will save money by paying all these persons twelve per cent. I think they will be benefited and the Government will be benefited. I think the proposi tion ought to be adopted.
Mr. CONNESS. I need not say, as I have already spoken all I desire to say on that subject, that I differ very much from my friend from Oregon in the opinion he has expressed; but I rise to suggest that I think it is apparent that it will be found on a slight examination that the subject can be divided into classes when it comes before the Senate again and that although there are forty-two cases they need not come before us in forty-two bills; nor need even the examination be conducted except as to classes. I think that it is not so much of a work as is imagined and that if the bill be recommitted it will be found to be more easily and readily performed, and that we shall act upon it with more promptness and, I will not repeat, with more justice.
I am very glad the suggestion is made to commit the subject to the Committe on Claims. I wish to say again that I have no doubt the honorable chairman of that committee will act, not only with justice, but with generosity toward these claimants. The case, as has been stated, has been fully discussed here, and I think it may be conceded that it is the sentiment of the Senate to act with generosity toward these claimants, and I have no doubt that it will be examined with that view and with reference to that sentiment and opinion; and I hope that that course will be taken.
Now, sir, if the proposition that has been suggested should prevail, and each one of these claims should be brought before the Senate and before Congress by itself, and discussed as extensively, as no doubt it would be, as the claims have been upon this occasion, very much of the time of Congress will be occupied with this subject, and I do not believe there is any probability that we shall ascertain the facts in the case and be more likely to do justice after all that time and trouble than we are now. So far as I am concerned, I have listened to this discussion and heard what has been said on both sides; and I believe that justice will be promoted, that it will be more to the advantage of the claimants to have the question decided at
Mr. DAVIS. I would suggest to the Senator from Missouri that he add to his motion an instruction to the committee to report separately upon each case. I presume that each case has its distinctive facts and features, and I confess it struck me as somewhat improper to group in a single bill as many cases of dif ferent claims, each claim sustained by a differ ent state of fact, as are embodied in this bill. Another thought has occurred to me in relation to this matter. Some of these claimants may have had other contracts with the Government and upon those other contracts they may have made large profits, two or three times the amount of their losses on the contracts embodied in this bill. When a man contracts with the Government, as a general rule he must risk his contract and he must make or lose by it according to his judgment and according to his vigilance and energy in the execu tion of his contract; and when he has made profitable contracts with the Government, and consequently has received large profits, is it just to the Government, is there any claim of justice in his favor that he shall retain all the large profits which he has made upon other contracts and shall be indemnified in a contract on which he has made a loss? I think not. It seems to me that the committee ought to be instructed to report a separate bill in relation to each case, and that Senators might have an opportunity of withholding any remuneration in favor of parties who have made large profits upon other contracts. I therefore suggest to the Senator from Missouri that he add to his motion that the committee, to whatever committee it may be referred, be required to report a separate bill in relation to each claimant whom they deem entitled to relief.
Mr. HENDERSON. I decline to accept that amendment to my motion. I prefer that the bill shall go back to the same committee from which it came, since the discussion of the question. I do not desire that it shall be sent to the Committee on Claims. I have entire confidence in the Naval Committee, and after the facts that have been developed here in the discussion I think the Committee will do what is right. I have no doubt about that. If they report back the amendment of the chairman of the Naval Committee I cannot say that I shall vote against it; but I would rather they would reëxamine it. I think the Senate would be better satisfied if there was a reexamination.
I hope we shall vote on this proposition and refer it back to the Naval Committee.
I do not ask that the committee report separate bills; I do not want them to do so; they may class the cases.
Mr. GRIMES. I think there would not be an absolute necessity for a separate bill in each case. I think the cases could be classified. For instance, the cases of the hulls could be put by themselves. There are some cases that spring out of the manufacture of wooden hulls of vessels entirely; others were different classes of vessels, and different classes of engines. Four or five or six bills might cover all the
Mr. HENDERSON. I think the country will be better satisfied and the Senate will be better satisfied to have this measure go back for reëxamination; and if the committee shall, upon that reexamination, decide that we ought to pay these claims, I am sure that I do not understand the subject sufficiently to put myself against the allowance; but I think facts enough have been developed to satisfy me anyhow that there are some claims here that ought not to be allowed. I suggest further, that the way the bill now stands the Senator from Massachusetts [Mr. SUMNER] has secured the adoption of an amendment to pay two other claimants. I do not know whether their claims have ever been examined by the committee or not. I do not suppose they have.
Mr. SUMNER. They are only to be paid what they shall prove before the Department. Mr. HENDERSON. I am not satisfied with that sort of legislation. They never were before the board, as I understand. I did not understand that the Senator's amendment provided that those cases should be examined by the Department.
Mr. NYE. The amendment is that they shall stand on the same footing with the others, the same percentage being allowed as in the other cases.
Mr. HENDERSON. Now, let me suggest that if the amendment of the Senator from Iowa, the able chairman of the Naval Committee, should be adopted, that pays twelve per cent. on the entire amount of the contract price. The amendment of the Senator from Massachusetts is to be included, of course, bringing in two contracts that have never been examined, and very large contracts, as I understand; those contractors will be paid twelve per cent., too, though the committee has never examined those cases at all. The committee has not reported that they are entitled to anything; the board has not examined those claims; and all I have to satisfy me that they are entitled to anything is the proposition of the Senator from Massachusetts. That upon a great many radical measures would be amply satisfactory to me; but I do not know that I can vote twelve per cent. upon two large contracts merely because these gentlemen are thought by the Senator from Massachusetts to be as meritorious as those reported upon.
Now, I do not think we are legislating properly. Senators may think that I am putting myself in the way of doing justice to meritori ous characters when I know nothing about the subject. That may be true. I think it is altogether likely that if the committee will reexamine this question and report back to the Senate that I am mistaken, and that I am interfering in a thing about which I know nothing, I shall be perfectly satisfied. I do not know that I shall put myself in the way here again. I differ with the Senator from Oregon. He says the cheapest way to do this thing is to vote the bill and get rid of it. It has suggested itself to my mind that to-morrow morning I will bring a suit against my friend from Oregon. He says that when a claim is prosecuted against a defendant the best way is to pay it. I will only make my claim against my friend very large, and he will pay me twelve per cent. to get rid of me, I suppose, as the cheapest way to settle the suit. [Laughter.]
Mr. WILLIAMS. No doubt I should make money by it. [Laughter.]
Mr. HENDERSON. I will say no more.
Mr. MORRILL. I am very much in the position of the Senator from Missouri; that is, I know nothing very specially about this case. I have a general impression resulting from a general reading of the case and from some observations upon the case as it has progressed here. But what occurs to me is this: what are we to gain by sending it back to the Committee on Naval Affairs? We send it back to them for what purpose; with what expectation? Is it said that any new light has been elicited by the debate? Are we satisfied that this committee have been corrected in their judgment, instructed, or informed by this debate, so that they are in a better condition now than they were when the debate began? If so, there might be some hope; but if they are all of the opinion of my honorable friend from West Virginia, [Mr. WILLEY,] I should have very little expectation of their changing much this report.
Is it expected by those who propose to send the report back to the Naval Committee that new evidence is to be taken? Is there any new evidence to be offered? Is it to be returned to the committee with instructions to reinvestigate and take new evidence? If not, what is to be gained by a recommittal?
It is to be recommitted, I hear it suggested, for the purpose of classification. How valuable that would be, I do not know. It might aid the Senate somewhat in its investigation, possibly; but after all it would not enlighten the judgment of the committee, and so far as results are concerned they would reach the same things precisely. And now all of us can see that this is a question of confidence to some little extent. I feel that I, to some extent, am to vote on this as a question of the confidence I repose in the committee and the commission. I believe the allowance is reduced now, on the motion of the honorable Senator from lowa, the chairman of the Committee on Naval Affairs, to twelve per cent. on the contracts or twelve per cent. on some definite sum. That I understand now to be the judgment of that committee; I believe the entire committee. The moving of the amendment by the honorable chairman conveyed to me the inference that that is his judgment; and now I understand the committee are agreed that at least twelve per cent. ought to be paid. I understand the suggestion of the Senator from West Virginia to be that there are no claimants named in the bill who ought not at least to have that much.
Now, sir, if we are to act on that basis, what on earth is to be gained by longer delay in returning this to the committee? The classification which is suggested as possibly being an advantage to us, after all I conceive will be of very little use to us. I have read this report, and at one time I went through it somewhat with a view to make up a general judgment about it; and I think there is specification. Although there is general aggregation, there is detail; each case is set down by itself and each case was considered by itself.
I have made up my mind that on the whole, if it came to a general vote, I should vote for this bill, not that I have examined each case in detail and have become satisfied of its particular merit, but I do not forget the general fact that this work was done at a time when everybody must know that in the nature of things it was impracticable to do the thing without losing money. The Government was pressing in these shops in all directions. They were crowded with work. They gave up their own private enterprises to facilitate the public service; and I think we all know enough of the general disorders of the country, the general disruption of business affairs, to know that it was impracticable in the nature of things that these business operations could have gone forward under the circumstances at all economically to the contractors.
But I am not going to argue the question, because I am not sufficiently posted on the particular facts to justify it. I mean to say simply
that all the evidence, all the facts offered in this case, concur in showing that this business on the whole was a bad business for the contractors. The general judgment of the committee now is that at least twelve per cent. is due these contractors. There is no danger that injustice will be done by the Government if that much is allowed; much more is claimed, and much more, I believe, the majority of the committee concluded to report to the Senate.
One other thing should be considered: how does this case come here? The question was here last year, presented to the consideration of the Senate, and on the whole it was thought best to refer it to the Department out of which these contracts originated, who were supposed to have some information of course of the whole affair, to appoint a commission-a commission of its own choice, a commission of its own men, who would sit upon these cases, hear all the evidence, and make up a judgment. That was a commission appointed on one side; it is what in ordinary parlance we should say was an ex parte arbitration, arbitrators chosen entirely on the part of the Government; not in the ordinary law parlance an indifferent arbitration, but an ex parte arbitration, arbitrators chosen by the Government itself, Government employés, Government officers. Certainly a presumption ought to arise, I submit, that so far as the Government is concerned it has had an umpire of its own choosing. Nobody says it was not intelligent; nobody suggests that it has not been indifferent; nobody suggests that the award has not been the result of full consideration; and now I think the fair deduction is that the Government interests, at least under these circumstances, were duly considered.
Then, in addition to that, it has had a further safeguard. That report coming into this Senate has been referred to one of your first committees, and you have the evidence of the manner in which they have attended to their duties, and to-day I understand that all that committee concur in the judgment and belief that at least twelve per cent. ought to be paid these perUnder these circumstances, I rose only to suggest that I shall vote, not to recommit, but for the bill.
So the motion was not agreed to.
Mr. HENDERSON. I have but one more motion to make in regard to this bill, and then, if the Senate desire, they can pass it. I move that the pending bill and the amendments be committed to the Committee on the Judiciary with instructions to report a bill by which the claimants may institute their several actions in the Court of Claims and recover such amount as will reimburse their actual cost in executing the contracts. I ask for the yeas and nays. ["No, no."] I withdraw the call.
The motion was not agreed to.
Mr. KIRKWOOD. For the purpose of ascertaining what is the precise judgment of the Senate on this matter, I move to amend the bill
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Sena
tor from Iowa will allow the Chair to state the question. The bill is in the Senate, and the question is on concurring in the amendments made as in Committee of the Whole. Shall the question be taken on the amendments separately?
Mr. GRIMES. I think they had better be taken separately.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The first amendment will be read.
Mr. KIRKWOOD. If I can succeed in amending the original bill
Mr. GRIMES. Let me inquire of my colleague if he does not think the sentiment of the Senate has been sufficiently tested on the subject, when they refused to commit the bill to either of the committees suggested for the purpose of separating these different claims. I believe the Senate, by a vote of almost two to one, decided that it should not be done.
The Secretary read the first amendment adopted in Committee of the Whole, which was to strike out the original bill after the enacting clause, and insert in lieu of it the following:
That the Secretary of the Treasury be directed to pay, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, to the several parties the awards made in their favor by the naval board organized under the resolution of the Senate adopted March 9, 1865, the awards being made under date of December 23, 1865, and reported to the Secretary of the Navy: Provided, That the payment shall not, in any case, exceed twelve per cent. upon the contract price, except in the case of the Comanche, in which case the award shall be paid in full.
That is no test vote.
Mr. JOHNSON. Mr. KIRKWOOD. I want to see whether it is the intention to consider these matters separately or altogether. I think the evidence in regard to this one is such that it ought to be stricken out. Whether I can do that at this time, or after the amendments are passed upon, I do not know.
Mr. SHERMAN. The Senator can very easily do it by a simple proviso, providing that no portion of the money shall be paid to the contractors who built the particular vessel. In my judgment, that is the only way to reach it. Mr. KIRKWOOD. I am not familiar with the rules. I will state what I want to have done. I want to strike out the allowance to the Globe Works for the machinery for the wooden double-ender Iosco, if I can get at that in some way.
Mr. MCDOUGALL. It has been ruled before that until the amendments of the Committee of the Whole have been acted upon in the Senate, it is not in order to move amendments. So it has been ruled several times. I have seen it here. Whether the ruling is right or not, I do not know; but that has been the ruling.
Mr. CLARK. I think the proposition is very clear one. The Senator from Iowa [Mr. GRIMES] moves a substitute for the whole bill, and it is in order, certainly, before the substitute is voted upon, to amend the bill which is proposed to be stricken out. The Senator from fowa [Mr. KIRKWOOD] proposes to amend the original bill by striking out one item from the bill, so that it will leave then, to the choice of the Senate, either to take the substitute of the Senator from Iowa, [Mr. GRIMES,] or the amended bill.
Mr. CONNESS. But that will not reach his object.
Mr. KIRKWOOD. Will it be in order for me now to move to amend the original bill in the respect which I have indicated?
The PRESIDING OFFICER. I understand from the suggestion of Senators accustomed to preside that it is in order to move to perfect the original bill before the vote is taken on striking it out and inserting a substitute. So the motion of the Senator from Iowa, in that state of things, is in order.
Mr. KIRKWOOD. I am not certain of that; and for the purpose of being assured of it, I move, if it be in order, to strike out of the original bill this item on page 8:
To the Globe Works, of South Boston, Massachusetts, upon the machinery for the Iosco and Massasoit, $59,577 99.
I have before me the report of the board showing the reasons why this award was made. It is one of the cases to which the Senator from New Hampshire called attention. This is the explanation given in that case:
"The contracts for these vessels were dated by the Navy Department August 15, 1862, in which they were allowed seven months, or until March 14, 1863, to complete the machinery and deliver the vessels to the Government, but the Massasoit was not so completed and delivered until the 9th of January, 1864, nor the Iosco until the 18th of January, 1864, the principal cause of delay being the difficulty in obtaining workmen, as the demand for the services of men in the Army and Navy was so great, and also on account of the number of vessels being built by the Government, making it impossible, with the scarcity of labor, to fulfill the contracts within the given time."
The only reason assigned for the delay is that they could not get hands to do the work, and we are called upon for that reason to pay them $29,789 for each vessel. I think that they ought not to be paid that amount for that reason, and therefore I move to strike out this item.
Mr. CLARK. I desire to make a suggestion to the Senator from Iowa. It is the evident symptom of the Senate that they will take the substitute instead of what will be left of the bill if this item be stricken out. Then are we not wasting time in this way?
Mr. KIRKWOOD. This will be out of the substitute as well as of the bill, as I understand.
Mr. CLARK. Not at all, because the substitute refers to the report.
Mr. KIRKWOOD. Does not the substitute refer to the bill?
Mr. CLARK. No, the substitute does not refer to the bill; it refers to the original report of the board.
Mr. KIRKWOOD. If the Senate are determined to pass this measure as it is, be it so. I am sure this claim to which I have called attention ought not to pass. As, however, my amendment is supposed to be wasting time without any object, I withdraw it.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on concurring in the first amendment made as in Committee of the Whole as a substitute for the original bill.
The amendment was concurred in.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question now is on concurring in the remaining amendment, made as in Committee of the Whole, to add an additional section.
Mr. GRIMES. I move to amend that amend ment by inserting the words "such amount of" before the word "compensation" at the close of the amendment, so that the Secretary of the Navy may pay these claimants if upon investigation he shall conclude that they are entitled to such an amount of compensation as is allowed in the previous section.
Mr. SUMNER. Certainly, I have no objection to that.
Mr. HENDRICKS. That amendment, I understand, refers the question to the Secretary of the Navy.
wood, of Cincinnati, Ohio, who built the Tippecanoe, whose contracts have been completed to the satisfaction of the Department, and who were prevented from appearing before the naval board, they shall be entitled to the same rate of compensation as is authorized to be paid to other parties building the same class of vessels and machinery; and such payment to be made to them, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, under the supervision of the Secretary of the Navy, provided the evidence submitted for his examination fully estab lishes the right of the said parties to such amount of compensation.
The amendment to the amendment was agreed to; and the amendment, as amended, was concurred in, as follows:
Mr. CLARK. I believe there is no amend. ment now pending.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. There is not. Mr. CLARK. I move the following amendment as a new section:
And be it further enacted, That the sums hereby authorized to be paid to the parties herein named shall be in full for all work done by said parties on the vessels and machinery for which said sums are respectively paid, and if accepted by any of said parties shall be on that condition; and none of said parties shall be entitled to said sums until he shall execute a receipt in full for said claim.
The amendment was agreed to.
The bill was ordered to be engrossed for a third reading, and was read the third time.
Mr. TRUMBULL. On the passage of the bill I ask for the yeas and nays.
The yeas and nays were ordered; and being taken, resulted-yeas 22, nays 11; as follows:
MESSAGE FROM THE HOUSE.
A message from the House of Representatives, by Mr. MCPHERSON, its Clerk, announced that the House of Representatives had passed without amendment the joint resolution (S. R. No. 56) authorizing the Secretary of the Treas ury to adjust the claim of Beals & Dixon against the United States.
The message further announced that the House of Representatives had insisted on its amendments to the bill (S. No. 26) to encourage telegraphic communication between the United States and the island of Cuba and other West India islands, and the Bahamas, disagreed to by the Senate, and agreed to the conference asked by the Senate on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses thereon, and had appointed Mr. THOMAS D. ELIOT of Massachusetts, Mr. CHARLES O'NEILL of Pennsylvania, and Mr. NELSON TAYLOR of New York, managers of the conference on the part of the House.
ENROLLED BILLS SIGNED.
The message also announced that the Speaker of the House of Representatives had signed the following enrolled bills; and they were thereupon signed by the President pro tempore:
A bill (S. No. 158) to facilitate the settlement of the accounts of the Treasurer of the United States, and to secure certain moneys to the people of the United States, or to the persons to whom they are due, and who are entitled to receive the same;
A bill (S. No. 255) to remit and refund certain duties; and
A joint resolution (S. R. No. 56) authoriz ing the Secretary of the Treasury to adjust the claim of Beals & Dixon against the United States.
HOUSE BILLS REFERRED.
SEC. And be it further enacted, That in the cases of Donald McKay, of Boston, Massachusetts, who built the Ashuelot and machinery, and Miles Green-requested the concurrence of the Senate; and
The message further announced that the House of Representatives had passed the fol lowing bills and joint resolution, in which it