Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

one of them scrambled for, gambled for by a class of men that I will not attempt to describe, for the English language is not yet quite copious and rich enough to describe them adequately; but let the prevailing system of politics continue for twenty years and you can get out of our lexicographies a better description of them than ever was found of any natural curiosity yet in human language.

Much good every way will come of the adoption of this amendment. In addition to securing more faithful service in these offices, you will satisfy the country that you have got a Legislature which does not get down on its knees when a message is received from the White House, which does not take its gospel from the President of the United States, which does not vote the money of the people according to his dictation, but a Legislature which listens to the people that created it, takes its gospel from them, from them gets instruction, to them holds itself responsible, and to their will is now and hereafter always amenable. This will be gained, I think, by adopting this amendment.

fallacy. The time is coming, Mr. President, as sure as you live, when it will not be a fallacy; when it will be a reality. The time is coming when these people who have under this instrument the right to send representatives here will see to it that the representatives do their will and not the will of the President.

Notwithstanding I am as anxious as the Senator from Maryland to have peace, I do not see the way to it as he directs; but I know a way to it; I know a way to peace. Let the President of the United States recognize this body-I do not mean this Senate, but these two Houses-as the law-making power, and let us recognize in him the Executive of the United States. Then we can have peace. If he does not discharge his duty exactly as we like, we will not undertake to interfere with him if he will let us discharge our duties as we understand the people who sent us here require of Then I think there is room enough in the the United States for both the President and the Congress to exist and to breathe.

us.

But, says the Senator from Maryland, it will not do to urge this thing; it will not do to press it now; we must have peace; we are confronting critical times; the Secretary of State has written a letter to some one of our foreign ministers, and it looks as though we might have a fight; we are in danger of war; we must have peace at home; this division between the President and Congress must terminate. God hurry on that day; I am as heartily anxious to see it as any man; but how shall we bring it about? There is no man I know to whom peace seems more desirable than to me, but how shall we get it? How is it to be attained? Is it only found at the White House, and delivered in small packages done up to order and obtained by the Congress of the United States upon the personal application of its different members? Is that the only way we can get peace? Well, I guess we had better go without it a short time longer. Is it only to be obtained by our surrendering the most manifest terms of the Constitution and surrendering the dearest interests of the American people? Is peace only to be had upon such terms as these? I guess it would be too expensive. We declined peace in 1861 upon these terms. We might have had it then precisely upon these terms. If we would have surrendered the expressed will of the Amercan people, abandoned their choice, subjected them to the dictates of those men who said there should be no peace until we did that, we might have had peace. You can always have peace if you will not resist what anybody will do. If all wrong and outrage and injury be accepted as readily and as cheerfully and as politely and as courteously as right and justice, you can have peace. Let a man cuff you and take it good-naturedly without contest or struggle, peace remains. Turn the other cheek as a reply to being smote upon the one, and you can have peace upon those terms.

But, sir, the trouble was that the American people had not quite made up their minds to take peace upon those terms. They thought that under this organic law they were made the arbiters in American affairs. They thought they had the right to send representatives here, each State to send two to this Chamber, and every district in each State to send one to the other Chamber; and when they had them here, they thought they had a right to be obeyed by them. They thought they had the right to send them here, a right conceded in this instrument -conceded, no; that is not the word I mean to use-secured to them in this instrument to send

men here, to do what? Their own pleasure? The pleasure of the President? No, no; the pleasure of the men who sent them here, to execute the will of their constituents. That is what they thought. They have been cheated into that idea, and they are not willing to give it up; and I think for the present we had better indulge them in this idea, even if it be a

Sir, I cannot look back to see precisely how I have expressed myself. If I have uttered a sentence or a word which looked like a complaint of the President for exercising the power of removal, I have been a little misunderstood. Ido not want anything I have said to be interpreted in that way. I am not the man to complain or to whine because the President does what the law lets him do. I said once, I think, and if I have not said it, I say it now, that if I were there I would do the same thing. I would have my friends in these offices if you would let me have them there and pay them for being there.

I am told the President is afflicted with an idea. I know what that disease is. I had

go.

one myself once. I suppose he believes in it. I can understand that the more readily because I am in the habit of believing in my own ideas. I suppose he wants the American people to accept it. That is natural. If he honestly believes in it, he ought to desire them to accept it; but I want the American people to accept my idea. No, I do not exactly ask them to accept it-they have got it bad, and I want them simply to hold on to it, and I do not want them to be dragooned into letting it But I am not finding fault with the President for doing any one thing that you let him do, that the law permits him to do, in order to induce the American people to accept his idea. He himself was once, not a President, but a legislator. He himself seems to have, on one occasion at least, and I think on many, developed a very accurate and a very creditable idea of the duties of a representative. On the 19th of Decembr, 1860, talking in this Chamber to the American Senate, prescribing their duty to that party who had not been victorious in the election of 1860, but had been defeated, and the party to which he then belonged, he reminded them what they could do and what they ought to do. He reminded them that Mr. Lincoln had been elected according to the Constitution and according to law, and said: "I am for abiding by the Constitution, and in

abiding by it I want to maintain and retain my place

down Mr. Lincoln and drive advances upon southern institutions, if he designs to make any. Have we not got the brakes in our hands? Have we not got the power? We have. Let South Carolina send her Senators back; let all the Senators come; and on the 4th of March next we shall have a majority of six in this body against him. This successful sectional candidate, who is in a minority of a million, or nearly so, on the popular vote, cannot make his Cabinet on the 4th of March next unless this Senate will permit him."

and take possession? No. Can Mr. Lincoln send a foreign minister or even a consul abroad unless he receives the sanction of the Senate? Can he appoint a postmaster whose salary is over a thousand dollars a year without the consent of the Senate? Shall we desert our posts, shrink from our responsibilities, and permit Mr. Lincoln to come with his cohorts, as we consider them, from the North to carry off everything? Are we so cowardly that now that we are defeated, not conquered, we shall do this? Yes, we are defeated according to the forms of law and the Constitution; but the real victory is ours; the moral force is with us."

That is a clause which I think has escaped

the attention of the honerable Senator from Maryland. There is one statesman who certainly thought the Senate had something to say about advising the appointment of a Cabinet minister.

That is the way your President talked when he was a Senator. Do you suppose that he who then knew so well what belonged to the character of an American Senator has forgotten it now? Does he not remind us to-day of the duty that devolves upon us? Do you think he was prepared to cover with smiles and blandishments a messenger from Mr. Lincoln in those times, if he had been President, or that he will entertain any very hearty and cordial respect for us if we do the like to his messengers? I think not. I would rather take the advice found here in the language of the President himself as a guide in discharging the duties of a Senator on this floor, and in this emergency, than to follow the suggestions so persuasively urged upon us yesterday by the Senator from Maryland.

Mr. President, I had no idea of occupying so much time when I rose. I want the Senate to adopt this amendment. I think the Senate had better adopt it as it stands. I do not care to deny to the President the right to remove officers for cause, but if the Senate sees fit to deny that, I acquiesce. The effect of this last provision is simply to leave that power of removal for cause in his hands and to deny him the right to make removals for any other rea But either the part or the whole of this amendment, I ask the Senate, out of respect for itself, out of its respect for the country, out of its regard for duty, and above all, out of regard to the true meaning of the Constitution of the United States which each of us has sworn to support and defend, to adopt.

son.

Mr. GUTHRIE. Mr. President, I think this amendment is in bad taste, and particularly at this time. When a proposition of this kind was first presented I was asked if I made the charge that it was an attempt to curtail the President's power. I told him that I did not; my charge was that it was carrying out the vindictive spirit of some one in the body who wanted to prevent particular persons from being appointed to fill the place of certain persons now enjoying office and emoluments after their term should be over. But he has amended it now so as to deny a right heretofore conceded, and to make it really an assailment of the power of the President and a denial to his appointees of the reward of office to which every man is entitled who discharges the duties of office.

My objection to this measure is that the question was settled in 1789, settled when a great many of the men who had participated in making the Constitution were here in Congress, settled at the instance of Mr. Madison, who, perhaps, better understood the Constitu tion than any one else, and who regarded the power of removal as a power incidental to the executive duties which the Constitution con

ferred upon the President. This power of removal was acquiesced in during the Administration of Washington. I think the Senator from Wisconsin attributes more deference to Washington on the part of Congress than was felt or acted upon. However that may be, the power was exercised by Jefferson, by Madison, degree. It has been the settled doctrine of the by Monroe, and by Adams, in a greater or less Constitution since 1789 to the present time. My objection to this species of legislation is that it is an attempt to change the settled construction of the Constitution, which has been acted upon and sanctioned by the American people; it is a revolution in relation to the appointing and removing power, a civil revolution inaugurated by the members of Congress who go back and criticise the action of their

"Am I to be so great a coward as to retreat from duty? I will stand here and meet the encroachments upon the institutions of my country at the threshold; and as a man, as one that loves my country and my constituents, I will stand here and resist all encroachments and advances. Here is the place to stand. Shall I desert the citadel, and let the enemy come in predecessors in coming to the resolution arrived

The question being taken by yeas and nays, resulted-yeas 19, nays 11; as follows:

at in 1789, and it is done obviously and clearly because these gentlemen do not agree that the President shall not have the power of removing certain men who support them and their measures in opposition to him. We all know that there are very few of them who, when they come to make a speech, can deny it.

I am very sorry for the difference that has grown up between the President and Congress upon the subject of reconstruction. I was prepared to take the President's recommendations. I was disposed to consider that the result of the battle-field had given us full and fair guarantees. From the action of those States in electing Legislatures and changing their constitutions; from their sending representatives to the Senate and to the other House and asking admission into these Halls, I was disposed to take them on the credit of the acts they had done; to take them as sincere men; to take them as our generals on the field were prepared to take them, and forget and forgive the past. I believed we could do more with them for the Union and for the prosperity of this nation while they were in this body and consulting with us, and in the daily performance of acts of kindness toward each other and to our respective sections, than we could do by keeping them out and abusing them and declaring a distrust of them. I still think it would have been better if we could have come together and agreed. I charge no man with willfully doing these things to keep them out, and to keep them in a conquered position; but I know that is the deliberate opinion of the gentleman who last spoke that we should do so, for he proposed to put them under territorial governments and to provide from the Treasury of the United States for the expense of maintaining territorial governments for the people of these eleven States. I have no doubt he is sincere in his opposition to the policy of the President and in his desire to curtail the President's power; but I was glad to hear him say that if he was President of the United States he would exercise this power which all Presidents have exercised. I do not believe he loves his enemies any better than he loves his friends; and he has said that he would stand by his friends.

I am unwilling to change by vote of mine or to sanction a change of the construction of the Constitution in this particular as it has existed ever since the days of Washington and has been exercised by all the Presidents. There may be dangers, there may be inconveniences in adhering to it; but I believe this Government cannot be carried on successfully and advantageously without the power of removal being invested in the Executive. I believe the power of Congress and public sentiment will always restrain the Executive in the direction in which he ought to be restrained. I advise and counsel no unjust or improper deference to the President; but I do advise that we will let the landmarks settled by our fathers and adhered to by all succeeding Administra tions stand where we found them. I do not want to put it in the power of the President to say that Congress is making war upon him by denying to him a power that all the Presidents of the United States have exercised, or curtailing it as far as possible.

I have no doubt that Congress could have passed a law authorizing the President to fill any vacancies that might occur, and then it would have been proper to let it go on as it has gone on without law upon the assumption that it came within the class of cases enumerated in the Constitution.

I shall vote against the amendment because I am unwilling to change the settled construction of the Constitution in this particular. I am not willing to set the precedent of making war upon the President and curtailing a power that has been exercised by all the Presidents of the United States in a greater or less degree. The PRESIDING OFFICER, (Mr. HARRIS in the chair.) The question is on the amendment offered by the Senator from Illinois, on which the yeas and nays have been ordered.

[blocks in formation]

SEO. -. And be it further enacted, That all advertising, notices, and proposals for contracts for the Post Office Department, and all advertising, notices, and proposals for contracts for all the Executive Departments of the Government required by law to be published in the city of Washington, shall hereafter bo advertised by publication in the two daily newspapers in the city of Washington having the largest circulation, and in no others: Provided, That the charges for such publications shall not be higher than such as are paid by individuals for advertising in said papers: And provided also, That the same publications shall be made in each of said papers equally as to frequency, and that the circulation of such papers shall be determined upon the 10th day of June annually; and the publishers of all papers competing for such advertising shall furnish a sworn statement of their bona fide paid circulation of each regular issue for the preceding three months; and shall in like manner certify under oath that such circulation has not, during the said three months, been increased by any gratuitous circulation, by a reduction in price below the ordinary and usual price of such papers, or by any other means, for the purpose of obtaining the official advertising: Provided, That the charge for such adverting shall not be greater than is paid for the same publication in other cities, or at a higher rate than is paid by individuals for like advertising.

Mr. JOHNSON. What is the law now? Mr. WADE. I suppose the object of this advertising is to give the widest circulation possible to these contracts, so as to create competition for them. The law as it now stands, and which this amendment seeks to modify, is the following section in the naval appropriation bill, approved March 3, 1845:

"SEC. 12. And be it further enacted, That in all cases where proposals for any contract or contracts, to be made by any of the Executive Departments or bureaus, and in all cases where notices of any descrip tion, issuing from the same, are now required by law to be advertised, the same shall be advertised by publication in the two newspapers in the city of Washington having the largest permanent subscription, and at the discretion of the Executive in any third paper that may be published in said city: Provided, That the charges for such publications shall not be higher than such as are paid by individuals for advertising in said papers: And provided also, That the same publications shall be made in each of said papers equally, as to frequency."

The present law, after providing very carefully for selecting the two papers that have the largest subscription, leaves it at the option of the President to take a third paper, without any regard whatever to its circulation, which really destroys the efficacy and symmetry of the law entirely, and is inconsistent with its provisions. The object being, as I said before, as I suppose, to give the widest circulation possible to these notices, when the law provided that they should be published in the two papers having the largest circulation, it was entirely inconsistent with that proposition then to say that the President, without any regard to its circulation, might, at his discretion, take any third paper. The object of the amendment is to correct that, and to have the advertising done in the papers of the very widest circulation. The old law was not properly guarded to secure that. This amendment requires that affidavits shall be made as to the amount of the circulation, so as to secure honesty in the calculation, and to see that the law is not evaded. That is all there is to it.

as to make it acceptable and not obnoxious in that regard.

Mr. CONNESS. As this amendment was originally introduced by the honorable Senator from Ohio it proposed to repeal an existing section of law, and would also, without his intention, repeal another section of the existing law necessary to be in existence; and the attention of the Department was particularly directed to what the effect of the amendment as originally prepared would be. The amendment, as proposed now by the Senater, has been reconstructed so as to avoid that difficulty, so

[blocks in formation]

Mr. WADE.

I think it will not.

Mr. CONNESS. This places it on the highest public ground.

I think it does.

Mr. SHERMAN. It puts them in the same position as papers published in other cities, as understand.. Mr. CONNESS. Mr. SAULSBURY. I have only one remark to make on this proposition, and it is simply this: during the last Administration it was not found necessary, on grounds of public policy or otherwise, to propose any such amendment to the Post Office appropriation bill as is now proposed; it was not found necessary during the Administration preceding that; and I do not know what necessity exists now, under the present Administration, for making such a proposition greater than existed under preceding Administrations. Perhaps, however, the country will be able to understand it.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on the amendment of the Senator from Ohio.

Mr. SAULSBURY. I ask for the yeas and nays upon it.

The yeas and nays were not ordered.
The amendment was adopted.

Mr. CONNESS. I propose the following amendment to come in at the end of the first section:

[ocr errors]

To enable the Superintendent of the Naval Observatory to carry out the object of the Senate resolution of March 19, 1866, for report of Isthmus routes to the Pacific ocean, $1,500.

I will simply say, in explanation of this amendment, that the Senate passed a resolution calling upon the Superintendent of the Naval Observatory to furnish a report upon the data in possession of that office relating to the Isthmus routes for the purpose of the construction of a canal for commercial uses. It is found by the Navy Department that there is no appropriation from which the expenditures necessary in making that report can be drawn. They are required to furnish maps and lines of levels, &c., requiring a good deal of work. It has also been found by Rear Admiral Davis, who has charge of the Observatory, since he entered upon the work that a large mass of the most important matter, facts of great public importance and consequence, are in possession of the office. Since the introduction of the resolution there has been sent to me by Mr. Squier, our former minister to Central America, a very large mass of important matter connected with this subject, much of it obtained from British sources, which has been forwarded to that office.

I will also say now, in connection with this matter, that it is a subject in which many of the leading men of the country are taking a very deep interest, including Lieutenant General Grant. It is proposed further to follow this up with a survey to be made during the next winter. The encouragement that the parties engaged, including the Superintendent of the Naval Observatory, have met with since they have begun their observations point to very great success in the investigations proposed and being carried out. There is no opportunity to obtain this slight appropriation in any other way than by a separate resolution, except by an amendment to one of the appropriation bills, and it was deemed fit to propose it to this bill. It is offered with the concurrence of the Committee on Post Offices and Post Roads.

Mr. SHERMAN. Is it reported from that committee, and am in favor of striking out this committee?

proviso.

The amendment was agreed to.
Mr. WILSON. I offer the following amend-
ment as an additional section:

Mr. CONNESS.

Yes, sir.
The amendment was agreed to.

The amendments were ordered to be engrossed and the bill to be read a third time. The bill was read the third time and passed.

MESSAGE FROM THE HOUSE.

A message from the House of Representatives, by Mr. McPHERSON, its Clerk, announced that the House of Representatives had agreed to the report of the committee of conference on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses on 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.

The message further announced that the House of Representatives had passed a bill (H. R. No. 342) in amendment of an act to promote the progress of the useful arts, and the acts in amendment of and in addition thereto; in which it requested the concurrence of the Senate.

HOUSE BILLS REFERRED.

The following bills and joint resolution from the House of Representatives were severally read twice by their titles, and referred as indicated below:

A bill (H. R. No. 344) to incorporate the Niagara Ship-Canal Company-to the Committee on Commerce.

A joint resolution (H. R. No. 130) to carry into immediate effect the bill to provide for the better organization of the pay department of the Navy-to the Committee on Naval Affairs.

A bill (H. R. No. 342) in amendment of an act to promote the progress of the useful arts, and the acts in amendment of and in addition thereto to the Committee on Patents and the Patent Office.

ARMY APPROPRIATION BILL.

Mr. SHERMAN. I now move to postpone all prior orders, if there are any, and take up the Army appropriation bill.

The motion was agreed to; and the Senate, as in Committee of the Whole, proceeded to consider the bill (H. R. No. 127) making appropriations for the support of the Army for the year ending the 30th of June, 1867.

The Committee on Finance reported the bill with two amendments. The first amendment was to reduce the appropriation "for contingencies of the Army" from $250,000 to $100,000.

The amendment was agreed to.

The next amendment was to strike out the following proviso at the end of the bill:

Provided, That no part of the money hereby appropriated shall be used for paying the Illinois Central Railroad Company for the transportation of the troops or the property of the United States; and the Attorney General of the United States is hereby directed to institute a suit against the said company in the circuit court of the United States, in the eleventh circuit, without delay, to recover from the said company any moneys that have been paid to the said company by any department of the Government for the transportation of the troops or property of the United States; and the said Attorney General is hereby further directed to appear for the United States in said court, and prosecute its interests in the said suit.

Mr. SHERMAN. This is the same controversy that we had here a year ago, and which was then very thoroughly debated, and I think the Senate by an almost unanimous vote agreed to strike out a similar proviso in the Army appropriation bill of last year. I wish to call the attention of the Senate to it now, so that if a controversy should arise between the two Houses in regard to it, it may be understood. We examined the matter thoroughly a year ago and came to the conclusion that the arrangement made between Mr. Secretary Cameron and the Illinois Central Railroad Company was a reasonable one and ought to be executed in good faith by the Government, and therefore this proviso was not a proper provision to be inserted in a law. We adhere to that conclusion, after a reëxamination of the subject.

Mr. YATES. I perfectly agree with the

And be it further enacted, That the sum of $146,000 be, and the same is hereby, appropriated out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, to be disbursed by the Secretary of War, in the erection of fire-proof buildings at or near the Schuylkill arsenal, in the city of Philadelphia, to be used asstorehouses for Government purposes at that post.

I will simply say that this amendment is in accordance with a recommendation of the Quarof War. We have $6,000,000 worth of proptermaster General, approved by the Secretary erty there now, and the buildings are insecure, and they think it absolutely necessary for the security of that property and for the public service that this appropriation should be made. The amendment was agreed to.

Mr. CONNESS. I offer the following amendment to come in at the end of the fortieth line on the third page:

Provided, That the quartermaster's department shall, in supplying clothing and blankets for the military service on the Pacific coast, give a preference to articles manufactured there, when the same can be obtained without paying an increased price therefor, and when the quality shall be found to be of an equal or superior character.

amendment like this, changing and modifying the existing law, will embarrass the bill, and I think it ought not to be adopted, certainly not without grave consideration.

Mr. CONNESS. I should have been pleased if this amendment had met the concurrence of the Senator from Ohio, but I am very glad that the Senator has opposed it in the manner in which he has done. I do not think his objection that this amendment applies to a locality is a tenable one, because there is no other lo cality, he will remember, situated just like ours. We are on the other side of the continent. I am glad, however, that he has made the obser vations that have fallen from him. The department appear to have been as oblivious heretofore to the fact that there were manufactures of this character in California as my honorable friend from Ohio. He says that if I shall be active in advising our manufacturers when they may bid they can get contracts to supply these articles. I beg to assure my honorable friend that there is a knack about bidding that the California manufacturers do not yet appear to understand or come up to. They have been here again and again by their agents and have undertaken to impress upon the Government and the agents of the Government employed in making these contracts the value and benefit to the Government of receiving their bids.

I wish to say, in explanation of this amend ment, and I call the attention of Senators to it, that the quartermaster's department, and the Indian department also, are now, and have been, sending out to that coast, a class of blankets and cloth of the most inferior character, mostly manufactured in England, costing the Government from twenty-five to fifty per cent, more than our domestic manufactures, made entirely of wool, can be obtained for at San Francisco. I have at my room now-I did not know that this bill would be called up today-specimens which have been sent to me of the blankets furnished by the department with the prices that they cost the Government, and also specimens of the blankets that are manufactured at San Francisco. Those made there are made entirely of wool, and are obtainable on the ground at less than the origiual cost of the foreign article; and we are paying in addition for the foreign inferior article the entire cost of transportation to that coast. In addition to that, while the domestic article is made entirely of wool, at least one half or two thirds of the foreign article is infused with cow's hair. The cloth sent out there for clothing is not of so bad a character, but yet a bad character, wearing out almost imme diately, and costing the poor soldier nearly all the Government pays him to be supplied with clothing. I do not think that the amendment can meet with any objection according to the terms that are proposed in it.

Mr. SHERMAN. The law is now very stringent in prescribing the mode and manner in which the quartermaster's department shall purchase property for that department. Bids are to be invited, and the contracts are let to the lowest bidder. Samples are furnished, and those samples have to be complied with. Now, to make a stipulation in favor of the domestic manufacturers of California in a bill of this kind would be unusual, in violation of the general policy of the Government, and would create trouble. The same claim might be made in every other community. The same claim might be made in Missouri and Iowa and in any other State. The Senator says that Californía furnishes better blankets at a cheaper price. Then the people of California must learn to bid at the regular time for furnishing supplies in California. This is the only way in which it can be done. If the Senator will take pains in advising the people of California of the time and place for making bids for blankets, I have no doubt in due time the manufactures of California, if they are springing up so rapidly-I did not know that they had manufactured in California

Mr. CONNESS. The Senator evidently does not know a good many things. Mr. SHERMAN. The introduction of an

ment.

It has often been stated in this body that the most expensive branch of this Government, and the branch in which there is the least responsibility, is the quartermaster's departIt would hardly be necessary to affirm that that is the fact here to-day. I say this without any inclination to pass a word of censure upon the head of that department. He cannot know, managed as the department is, all that transpires. If I were at liberty to state here what I now know in regard to the impos sibility of honest men getting good goods accepted, it would surprise the country and the Senate. Let me tell the Senator, and it is a startling fact, that (against a special order from the department here) after an inspection of the blankets sent out to San Francisco from the New York market, showing them to be utterly unfit for use, and after an examination and their condemnation by a military board of inspection regularly constituted, there was a peremptory order to go forward and use them; and five thousand pairs of blankets were concerned in that transaction. General Halleck examined them himself, and ordered them to be set aside, and would not permit them to be used, notwithstanding the peremp tory order of the department.

Sir, this is not a new thing. It may be new in the Senate. I have at my rooms now specimens of the article that your soldiers are com pelled to sleep under by this mismanagement that would surprise Senators, and they would be ashamed that either a white man or a black man should have them for his covering. The Senator smiles; but I assure him that if he were camping out and had to be warmed on a cold night by the miserable trash sent out to the soldiers on the Pacific coast he would not smile in the morning. I know the Senator's kindly heart.

There is nothing in the objection that he makes. No provision of this kind can come up in favor of Missouri or any other place. The Senator from Oregon, [Mr. NESMITH,] [ apprehend, can bear a little testimony in this case. I will have these specimens brought here that the Senators may see them. I have had specimens already at the Quartermaster General's Office, but it is very hard to reach these things through departmental sources. The Indian department have done the same thing. They have managed in the same way. They have sent out blankets that have cost one hundred per cent. more than the blankets that are made in Oregon or San Francisco. Those blankets are made entirely of pure wool, while the blankets sent there have one half or two thirds of cow's hair, upon which your shoddy contractors have grown rich, and they and

their families are shaming sensible, modest, and discreet people of both sexes at your leading hotels throughout the country. I desire merely-it is a very simple amendment-that the Government shall give the preference when they can supply a better article there at a less cost. I do not think anybody can object to that.

willing to vote for the amendment as it now stands. If there are good blankets made in California, and cheaper than can be purchased in New York, it is the duty of the Government to advertise for bids in San Francisco and Portland, and purchase them there, undoubtedly. I shall have no objection to a carefully prepared section to require bids to be published in those cities and inviting proposals; but after all, these blankets must be submitted to the inspection of officers. They must be examined to ascertain whether they correspond with the samples furnished on which bids are generally awarded. I suggest, therefore, that the Senator had better withdraw the amendment for the present. I do not intend to press the bill to a passage to-night. I merely desire to have it reported to the Senate, and then let it go

over.

Mr. CONNESS. All right; I will do that. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The amendment is withdrawn.

Mr. NESMITH. I concur fully in what the Senator from California has stated with refer ence to the production of these articles on the Pacific coast. I do not know, however, whether it would be good policy to incorporate a provision of this kind in this bill or not. Since I have been here, for the last five years, I have made very strenuous efforts to get the Indian department to make its purchases in that country. They manufacture in Oregon the best blankets that I know of in the world; and I presume they manufacture them equally as good in California. It is a well-known fact that the wool, which is a staple article of production in that country and in all the States and Territories of the Pacific coast, is remarkable for its cheapness. The climate and the grazing facilities are such that it costs little or nothing to raise it; and a great deal of it is shipped to this side. While labor is somewhat higher there than it is here, the low price of wool enables the manufacturer there to make these articles of a better quality than can be shipped from this side at the same price. I have had a good deal of experience in this matter, in the examination of accounts of purchases of the Indian department; and last summer while I was out on the Pacific coast in connection with a committee of investigation of Indian affairs, I took great pains to obtain all the invoices of the goods that the department furnished from New York, and then the invoices of similar goods purchased and made on the coast, and by comparing them I found that the articles were purchased much cheaper there; and by comparison of the articles themselves I found that those that were purchased on that coast were of a quality very superior to those which had been sent there.

I am as anxious as the Senator from California that the Pacific coast shall be patronized in the purchase of these articles where the quality is superior and they can be purchased quite as low as they can be on this side; but

am not certain as to the propriety of incorporating a provision of this kind in this bill. However, I am willing to vote for it. I think some means should be taken, either by the department, or if the department refuse, by Congress to compel the department to purchase where they can get the best articles and at the least price. The expense of shipment is very great.

Mr. CONNESS. I did not intend to do so, but I will now send to the desk to be read a note received this morning from the honorable Secretary of War, and I will state how and why it was written. I knew that these departments were unaware of the extent of our manufactures in this line, and also their excellence; and when I was out there last fall I ordered a pair of blankets, not of an extraordinary character but of the best quality that are made for domestic blankets, to be made to present to the Secretary of War. They came to hand the other day, and this is a note in answer describing their quality. I will ask that it be read, and ask Senators to listen to its reading. The Secretary read as follows:

WASHINGTON, April 28, 1866.

MY DEAR SIR: I have the pleasure to acknowledge receiving the pair of excellent blankets made for me, at your request, at the Mission mills in California. They surpass anything of the kind I have ever seen, and are more perfect and beautiful than I had known to be possible in such fabrics, and prove that manufactures will, like everything else, attain to the highest perfection on the Pacific coast. Mrs. Stanton's admiration of them knows no bounds, and she joins me in the desire that you will communicate to the manufacturers, and accept for yourself, our grateful thanks. EDWIN M. STANTON.

Hon. JOHN CONNESS. Mr. SHERMAN. I do not think any Senster who reflects on the present law would be

The bill was reported to the Senate as amended, and the amendments were curred in.

con

Mr. SHERMAN. There are other amendments that may be offered, but which we are not prepared now to offer, and I therefore move that the bill be postponed until to-morrow. The motion was agreed to.

EXECUTIVE SESSION.

Mr. ANTHONY. I move that the Senate proceed to the consideration of executive business.

The motion was agreed to; and after some time spent in executive session, the doors were reopened, and the Senate adjourned.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
WEDNESDAY, May 2, 1866.

The House met at twelve o'clock m. Prayer by the Chaplain, Rev. C. B. BOYNTON. The Journal of yesterday was read and approved.

BOMBARDMENT OF VALPARAISO.

Mr. BLAINE asked unanimous consent to offer the following resolution:

Resolved, That the President of the United States be respectfully requested, if not incompatible with the public interest, to communicate to the House at the carliest practicable day any authentic information that may come into his possession in regard to the reported barbarous bombardment of the city of Valparaiso by the Spanish fleet on the 31st of March ultimo. Also, to inform the House what instructions had been given by the Navy Department to the officer commanding the American fleet in those waters. Mr. BOUTWELL. I object.

JOHN R. BECKLEY.

Mr. HARDING, of Kentucky, by unanimous consent, submitted the following resolution; which was read, considered, and agreed to:

Resolved, That the petition, claim, and papers in support of the same, of John R. Beckley, as mail contractor, heretofore presented to the Postmaster General, be referred to the Committee of Claims, with instructions to inquire into the justice of the same, and report by bill or otherwise.

LAND GRANTS TO NEVADA.

Mr. McRUER. I ask unanimous consent to report, from the Committee on Public Lands, Senate bill No. 216, concerning certain lands granted to the State of Nevada.

Mr. WASHBURNE, of Illinois. I have no objection to calling this up to have it printed. The bill was accordingly ordered to be printed.

SOLDIERS AND SAILORS OF 1812.

Mr. COFFROTH, by unanimous consent, submitted the following resolution; which was read, considered, and agreed to:

Resolved, That the Committee on Invalid Pensions be, and is hereby, instructed to report by bill or otherwise on pensions to all of the surviving soldiers and sailors of the war of 1812.

Mr. SCHENCK. I demand the regular order of business.

The House accordingly proceeded, as the regular order of business, to the calling of the committees for reports, commencing with the Committee on Patents.

PAPERS WITHDRAWN.

On motion of Mr. STEVENS, leave was granted for the withdrawal from the files of the House of the papers in the case of Major Moore.

PATENT OFFICE FEES. Mr. JENCKES. I am instructed by the Committee on Patents to report House bill No. 342, regulating appeals to the examiner-inchief of the Patent Office, with a recommendation that it pass.

The bill was read. It provides that upon an appeal from the examiner to the examiner-inchief the appellant shall pay a fee of ten dollars, and no appeal shall be allowed until the said fee shall be paid.

Mr. JENČKES.

Mr. Speaker, when this board of appeals was created no additional fee was prescribed for an appeal to it, and it has become overloaded with appeals from examiners-in-chief. Two fees are now paid in the Patent Office; one a fee of fifteen dollars upon filing the application, which is a payment for an examination; and the other is a fee of twenty dollars upon the issuing of the patent, which is the evidence that the party applying has convinced the Patent Office that he is an inventor. For the intermediate service no fee is required and none has been paid. It is reasonable that there should be a fee in view of the increased labor devolved on the Patent Office. If no one desires to debate the bill, I demand the previous question upon it.

The previous question was seconded and the main question ordered.

The bill was ordered to be engrossed and read a third time; and being engrossed, it was accordingly read the third time and passed.

Mr. JENCKES moved to reconsider the vote by which the bill was passed; and also moved that the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table.

The latter motion was agreed to.

Mr. JENCKES moved to amend the title of the bill so as to read, "An act in amendment of an act to promote the progress of the useful arts, and the acts in amendment of and in addition thereto."

The amendment was agreed to.

PAY OF PATENT-OFFICE EXAMINERS.

Mr. JENCKES also, from the Committee on Patents, reported a bill in addition to an act entitled "An act to promote the progress of the useful arts," and the acts in amendment thereof; which was read a first and second time.

The bill authorizes the Commissioner of Patents to pay those employed in the United States Patent Office, from April 1, 1861, until August 1, 1865, as examiners and assistant examiners of patents, at the rates fixed by law for those respective grades; provided that the same be paid out of the Patent Office fund, and that the compensation thus paid shall not exceed that received by those duly enrolled as examiners and assistant examiners of patents for the same period.

Mr. WASHBURNE, of Illinois. It cannot be possible that I understand that bill aright. If I do, it goes back, raising the salaries of certain parties in the Patent Office since 1861.

Mr. JENCKES. The gentleman does not understand the bill, and if he will listen to me for a moment I think I can explain it satisfactorily. During the time named in this bill, which is the period covered by Mr. Holloway's commissionership, certain assistant examiners were employed to do the duties of examinersin-chief. The Commissioner declined appointing additional examiners-in-chief, as he might have done under the law, because the business of the Patent Office had at that time fallen off, and he did not wish to burden the Patent Office fund by the employment of men who at some time would have nothing to do. Hence he employed assistant examiners and second assistant examiners to do the work of examiners-inchief and first assistant examiners, and they performed it satisfactorily. Upon examining the law, he was not satisfied that he had power

to pay them for the work they had performed, because he had not appointed them to the office the duties of which they had performed.

The passage of this bill is requested both by Mr. Holloway and by the present Commissioner of Patents as an act of justice to those who have done this work, so that they shall receive the pay for the work which they have done, and not be held to be satisfied by the pay of an inferior grade of officers.

The bill does not make any appropriation. These men are to be paid out of the Patent Office fund.

Mr. DAWES. I would ask the gentleman how this claim came to run along from year to year for four years.

Mr. JENCKES. It has not. It was before Congress at its last session, and the bill passed the Senate, but failed in the House. I have letters here from the former Commissioner of Patents and from the present Commissioner, and a statement from the examiners themselves of the duties which they have performed, and I will have them read if gentlemen desire to hear them. The point is this: that the Patent Office fund which has been accumulated by the labors of these men should pay them just what they have earned.

Mr. WASHBURNE, of Illinois. Have not these men been paid their salaries regularly?

Mr. JENCKES. They have been paid salaries regularly for an inferior grade of officers, while they performed the duties of a higher grade of officers.

Mr. WASHBURNE, of Illinois. That may be; but they have been paid the salaries of the officers the duties of which they performed.

Mr. JENCKES. No, sir; there is where the gentleman is mistaken. They have not been paid the salaries of the officers the duties of which they have performed, but salaries of officers of an inferior grade, the duties of which, of course, they did not perform during the time they were performing the other duties.

Mr. WASHBURNE, of Illinois. They have been paid the salaries of the offices to which they were appointed.

Mr. JENCKES. Yes, sir; but they did not perform the duties of those offices, but of a higher grade of offices to which they were assigned by the Commissioner. And this is merely to pay them for what they have earned.

Mr. HARDING, of Illinois. That is, while they held colonels' commissions they performed the duties of brigadier generals, and now want brigadier generals' pay.

Mr. WASHBURNE, of Illinois. Exactly; that is just it; they want brigadier generals' pay while doing the duties of colonels.

Mr. HARDING, of Illinois. No, sir; while performing the duties of a brigadier general, holding the commission of a colonel.

Mr. JENCKES. That is it.

Mr. HARDING, of Illinois. I wish merely to remark that if this great principle is adopted it will benefit a great many meritorious men. There have been thousands of men in the Army who have been commissioned as colonels, but have performed the duties of brigadier generals; and this principle would bring them all in for brigadier general's pay. It opens wide the door, and the Treasury can be most completely emptied; there is no doubt about it.

Mr. JENCKES. This bill is to pay men for the duties they have performed. And the gentleman from Illinois [Mr. HARDING] is mistaken in comparing this case with the case of colonels performing the duties of brigadier generals. This requires no appropriation, for the money is taken from the Patent Office fund. The other would require an appropriation.

Mr. HARDING, of Illinois. I move to lay the bill on the table.

The motion was agreed to.

Mr. ROLLINS moved to reconsider the vote by which the bill was laid on the table; and also moved that the motion to reconsider be laid on the table.

The latter motion was agreed to.

JONATHAN BALL.

Mr. JENCKES, from the Committee on Patents and the Patent Office, reported a bill for the relief of Jonathan Ball; which was read a first and second time, referred to a Committee of the Whole House, and with the accompanying report ordered to be printed.

PATENTS AT PARIS EXPOSITION.

Mr. CHANLER, from the Committee on Patents and the Patent Office, reported a joint resolution authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to appoint three commissioners to attend the Paris Exposition; which was read a first

and second time.

The joint resolution authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to appoint three commissioners to examine and report upon the patented machines and inventions which may be exhibited at the Paris Exposition of 1867; and provides that the said commissioners be empowered to employ the necessary draughtsmen and photographers to carry out the intention of this joint resolution, the necessary funds for the expenses of said commission to be drawn by the Secretary of the Interior from the Patent Office fund not otherwise disposed of, not to exceed the amount of $15,000.

Mr. WASHBURNE, of Illinois. I should like to hear some explanation of this joint resolution.

Mr. CHANLER. The purpose of this proposed commission is to enable the Secretary of the Interior, if in his opinion it may be necessary, to appoint a commission of experts, who shall go to Paris on behalf of the Patent Office of this Government to examine and take the proper drawings or photographs of the patented machines which may be exhibited at the coming Exposition of 1867. The practical result of this commission will be to enlarge the records of the Patent Office, so as to enable the Commissioner of Patents to decide upon the merits of the claims presented to him for patents in this country.

Under the existing law, unless the Patent Office of this country has full and sufficient information in regard to foreign patents, any person bringing here copies and models of foreign patents may obtain patents here, although such patents may exist at that very moment abroad. All will understand that at the Exposition at Paris there will be exhibited a large number of patented machines; and persons may take copies of them and obtain patents for themselves in this country if the Patent Office here is deficient in proper information upon the subject of patents in foreign countries.

Another point is that the character of this commission, which will be appointed from among the experts and mechanical men of this country, will be such as to warrant us in believing that the information they will obtain will be of the greatest practical value to mechanical men in this country, as well as of interest to scientific men all over the world. And it will enable the Commissioner of Patents to lay before the country a full, accurate, and valuable report, one which will be of the greatest value to the mechanical interests of this country. That is the whole scope and purpose of this joint resolution.

In regard to the money which is called for by this joint resolution, the amount can be changed if the House shall think it necessary. The Committee on Patents are not committed to any sum; they have merely named this sum, because there must be some amount provided for expenses.

except the information which is now being received in the ordinary course?

Mr. CHANLER. It is a question of time. The specifications and drawings of patented machines which will be exhibited at the Exposition at Paris will not reach this country, without some such means as this, in time to enable the Patent Office of this country to be benefited by them. And the specifications which come here from Europe do not come until three years after an application is made there for patents, as I am informed at the Patent Office. And therefore, if I am correctly informed, it will be two or three years before the Patent Office will receive the necessary information in regard to inventions not yet patented.

Mr. BOUTWELL. If the gentleman will allow me, I will say that I do not know from what source he obtains his information. But my experience is that patents are issued in England in a much shorter time after applications are made than they are in this country. And drawings and specifications are to be had for the merest pittance.

Mr. ROSS. I rise to a question of order; that this being an appropriation bill, it should go to the Committee of the Whole.

Mr. WASHBURNE, of Illinois. The gentleman is mistaken. I am sorry to say this is not an appropriation bill.

The SPEAKER. The point of order, even if well taken, is taken too late. But this is not an appropriation bill; it does not propose to appropriate money from the Treasury, but to take it from the Patent Office fund.

Mr. BOUTWELL. I would inquire of the gentleman from New York [Mr. CHANLER] if the Patent Office is not supplied from all the countries of Europe with specifications and drawings immediately upon the issuing of patents there. And I would further inquire if it is not a common thing for practitioners to send abroad for specifications and drawings of patents which they can obtain at say less than three shillings each. And what is to be obtained through this proposed commission, l

Mr. CHANLER. This joint resolution is simply to aid the Commissioner of Patents to add to the information of his bureau. That is the object of this proposition, and it comes from the Bureau of Patents.

In regard to the statement of the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. BorTWELL] that pat∙ents are issued more promptly in England than in this country, he may be correct. But I hope the House will bear in mind that this Exposi tion of 1867 will include the new inventions and patented machines not only of England, but of France and the whole of Europe and the world. And it is not impossible that the inventions exhibited there will be copied and presented in this country in a less period of time than that required to lay before the Pat ent Bureau in the ordinary way full informa tion in regard to them. It is simply in behalf of the Patent Office that this joint resolution is submitted to the House.

Mr. WASHBURNE, of Illinois. My distinguished friend from New York [Mr. CHANLER] desires to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to appoint three high-toned gentlemen to go to Paris to look at and report upon the patented inventions which may be exhibited at the Paris Exposition of 1867, and then he goes on to propose that these three high-toned and elegant gentlemen shall be authorized to draw $15,000 of money out of the public Treasury to pay their expenses. That is the purport of the joint resolution which we are asked to

pass.

Now, I need not say to the House that I am opposed to this whole thing. I am opposed to it, in the first place, because it is not necessary. The gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. BOUTWELL] has shown to the House that there is no difficulty in obtaining all the necessary information now. All the information we will get lings and sixpence in every case. by paying $15,000, we can get for three shilmissioners are empowered to supply the neces sary draughtsmen, photographers, &c., and the Secretary of the Interior is authorized to draw the necessary funds for the expenses said commissioners from the patent fund, not to exceed $15,000.

These com.

of

I have heard no reason which would justify the House in making this appropriation, except that we should take the money of our constituents to pay the expenses of certain gentlemen to go to Paris.

Mr. JENCKES. Mr. Speaker, the gentle

« AnteriorContinuar »