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Q. Is Lowell on the road from Boston to bis home?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. He bas to go that way in order to get home 1-A. Not necessarily. It would be as easy for him to go home by the other road.
Q. Do you know what influence Mr. Cheney exerts in having postmasters and other officials removed and appointed in that district 1-A. I do not.
By Mr. CANNON:
By Mr. FREEMAN: Q. You would not have seen Mr. Cheney at the station at Lowell if you had not happened to be there when he was passing ?-A. Certainly not.
Q. It is not his special business to call upon you there ?-A. No, sir.
Q. It would not follow that he does not pass over the road a dozen times without your seeing him ?--A. No, sir. I may state that, when I inquired for him at Boston, I have sometimes received an answer that he was at Ashland.
Q. When be wanted you he would telegraph you to meet him ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. And when he did not want you, it did follow tbat he was not out on the road attending to his business ?-A. No, sir,
By the CHAIRMAN : Q. Is it Mr. Cheney's duty to visit post-offices in his district to see that they are all properly conducted ?-A. I cannot say positively, but I should tbink not.
WASHINGTON, D. C., March 6, 1878. MILO V. BAILEY sworn and examined.
By Mr. EASTMAN : Question. What is your position ?-Answer. I am superintendent of the third division of the railway mail service. I am also assigned to duty as chief clerk to the general superintendent of the railway mail service in Washington.
Q. What was your position in 1875 ?-A. It was the same. Q. Who was general superintendent at that time :-A. Mr. Bangs. Q. State whether or not you heard Mr. Bangs say anything in relation to the absence of Mr. Stahl from his duties and bis furnishing a substitute.-A. My recollection is indistinct, although in that case, as in many others, we have talked about the matter. Mr. Bangs said to me that Stahl had been in the service a good many years, that he was a competent man and was entitled to some consideration, and that he should have it. At the time that the first leave of absence was granted to Mr. Stahl, I wrote it. As I understood Mr. Bangs, he had bad some conversation with Mr. Cheney about the matter, and he said that Mr. Stahl was to put in a substitute. At least, I knew that Stabl was off and that there was a substitute in his place. That was Mr. Bangs's onderstanding, also. I knew it, and of course he did.
By Mr. CALDWELL: Q. Over what territory are you superintendent in the railway mail service !-A. Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Q. Where are your headquarters ?-A. In Washington, in the office of the general superintendent. I am also chief clerk in the office of the general superintendent.
Q. Do you stay in the office all the time?-A. No, sir.
Q. What proportion of time do you stay in the office ?-A. I am out of the office jast as often as I can get out of it. When Mr. Vail is bere to remain any length of time, and when the office work is up, I am out on the road.
Q. About what proportion of time are you out on the road and what in the office ?A. In the past year I bave been off more, probably, than I have been any year before. I was probably four months off during the past year.
Q. How much have you been off during the present year ?-A. Not more than two months, I believe.
Q. How much was it the year previous ?-A. About the same, I judge, or a little more, because it was my first year in charge of the division. I had to go over the roads considerably more.
Q. Do you receive any increased compensation by reason of the duties which you discharge as chief clerk?-A. No, sir.
Q. You get $1,600?–A. I get $1,200.
Q. What is the cause of the inequality ?-A. For the reason that I have a very small division.
Q. In addition to that, you get $5 per diem 1-A. Yes, sir. Q. Do you get any extras-any incidental expenses ?-A. Nothing whatever. e. Do you consider that your per diem includes expenses ?-A. It includes everything.
Q. Wbat time was it that you heard Mr. Bangs say that Stabl bad been a good man ?-A. He said he was a very good and faithful man, who bad been in the service a long time, and that he was entitled to more than ordinary consideration.
Q. Was Mr. Cheney present at the conversation ?-A. No, sir. I understood from Mr. Cheney that he had had a conversation with Mr. Bangs about it, but I was not present.
Q. How long is it since this particular conversation took place between Mr. Bangs and yourselt 1-A. It was at the time-in 1875.
Q. Were you then occupying the same position as yon are now ?-A. I was head rail. way postal clerk, at a salary of $1,400, and I was detailed as chief clerk in the office. Q. Do you know Mr. Stahl ?-A. No, sir; I never met him.
Q. How did this conversation happen to arise ?--A. Mr. Bangs was in the habit of talking these matters over with me every evening. After the office closed at four o'clock we remained generally until five or six talking over the business of the office.
Q. You recollect Mr. Bangs speaking of a gentleman named Stabl?--A. I had known of Mr. Stahl for several years. Q. Mr. Bangs spoke of his being a good and faithful officer?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Did you hear him say that he would let Stahl go to Bowdoin College for the purpose of studying medicine ?-A. I did not; but I knew that Stahl was studying sometbing somewhere.
Q. Did Bangs say anything on the subject of Stahl's studying medicine ?-A. No, sir. Q. I put it to you, as a man of judgment, do you think that that was a proper trans
1 action, for Mr. Bangs to let Mr. Stabl, who was receiving compensation as an officer of the government, go to Bowdoin College to study medicino ?-A. That is a difficult question to answer.
Q. I ask you for your judgment about it as an officer ?-A. I could answer it better if the case came before me for decision.
Q. It is before you now. I ask you for your judgment upon it now. Was anything said by Mr. Bangs in relation to the length of Mr. Stahl's service!-A. Nothing more, as my recollection serves me, than that Mr. Sahl had been in the service a long time.
Q. Mr. Bangs did not say how many years 1-A. No, sir. Q. Was anytbing said by Mr. Bangs in regard to the number of leaves of absence that had been granted to Mr. Stabll-A. I cannot recollect.
Q. Suppose that Mr. Stabl bad been in the service of the government eight or ten years, and tbat during that time, wbile serving as a faithful officer, he had asked for po leave of absence, do you think it would be proper to allow him five consecutive nionths' leave of absence? Do you think it was a proper thing for Mr. Bangs, or any other oficer of the government, to grant leave of absence to Mr. Stahl, for any length of time, to study medicine, law, or anything else! Would it be a proper thing to grant leare of absence to an officer of the government to go into mercantile business !-A. If he were given leave of absence it relieves him entirely from his duties to the government. It has been the practice in all the departments of the government for years to grant the clerks leave of absence.
Q. Is not the purpose of such leave of absence to afford some recreation, and some relief to the clerks?-A. Soinetimes; and sometimes it is 'o enable them to attend to private business. Sometimes leave of absence is granted to an employé who has a piece of property at home, to go and see to it.
Q. Would it be a proper thing to grant leave of absence to a party to open a family grocery, and go into the mercantile business I–A. Yes, sir; if he did not give any of h s time to it after his leave of absence expired.
Q. Do you think it a proper thing to allow an officer of the government leave of a'sence for four months to go up and engage in a mercantile venture, and during this me to be paid by the government?
Mr. Cannon. I object to the question, because there is no proof showing such a state of facts. In my opinion, under the proofs in this case, the proper question would be this: “When an otficer had been in service for ten years, without leave of absence, was granted a leave of absence for thirty days absolutely, and then a three months' longer leave on his furnishing a substitute, then returned to daty for two and a half months, and, on his resignation and going out of service, was granted an additional thirty days' leave without a substitute, in your opinion would snch a transaction, under the practice of the department, be proper ?”.
(Mr. Cannon's objection was overruled, and Mr. Caldwell's question was allowed to be asked.)
Q. Do you think it a proper thing to allow an officer of the government leave of absence for four months to go and engage in a mercantile venture, during that time to be paid by the government?-A. Not an absolute leave of absence. I will explain
the matter of leave of absence. When I first entered the service as route-agent, nearly nine years ago, applications for leave of absence were made directly to the department. Neither the division superintendent nor the general superintendent of the railway mail service had anythiug whatever to do with them. At that time no record of leave of absence was kept. If a man asked for a leave of absence for thirty days, he might do so three or four times in a year if he chose, and the answer invariably was, “Leave of absence granted you for the time asked (not to exceed thirty days at any time), provided you furnish a proper substitute to be approved by the postmaster at the terminus of that route.” That matter of leave of absence continued in that way until 1873, when it was placed under the charge of the superintendent of the railway mail service, and the practice after that was, when an application for leave came to the department or to the general superintendent he referred it to the division superintendent for his recommendation. Up to the last three years, or two and a half years, the matter of leave of absence in the railway mail service has been very loose.
Q. How long bas it ceased to be loose?-A. For the last two or three years. There was an order, or rather a regulation, issued last August that no man is to be absent for more than thirty days in one year under any circumstances; this, however, to be modified in case a man was injured on the cars or became ill by reason of exposure in the service.
Q. Did you ever know of any case like it?-A. I do not recollect any pow.
Q. Did you ever know of any employé of the government, while receiving compensation from the government, to go off and study medicine or law, and to spend days and weeks in that way while being paid by the government?-A. I cannot say that I have known it.
Q. Notwithstanding the looseness that prevailed several years ago in that particu. lar?-A. I conld, by going to the books in the office, find the names of men who had been given leave of absence on furnishing substitutes, and who in the mean time had attended to their private business. They obtained leave of absence for that purpose, and it was so known at the department.
Q. Is not a substitute considered to be a person who discharges the same duty as the party who has, for the time being, leave of absence 1-A. At times be cannot do so. For instance, if one of the head clerks in the service, an expert, desires leave of absence, perhaps there are nine cases ont of ten in which there can be no enbstitute to perform his duties. Consequently, we detail some clerk of a lower grade who is able to perform them.
Q. Suppose the bead clerk at the Richmond office wanted leave of absence, and it was understood that he was to have leave of absence on furnishing a substitute, and suppose that be should furnish a laborer as a sabstitute (his own compensation being $150 a month and that of the laborer thirty or forty dollars a month), would you regard that as a substitution in any proper sense of the word ?-A. T'he substitution may, in a great many cases, be made in that way, so that finally the work would be as well performed. The laborer would do the work of some one lower, and some one else would be detailed to do the work in the higber grade.
Q. Would not that show that you had more employés in the Richmond office than were needed !-A. No, sir.
Q. Would it not show that the service was costing the government more than it ought to cost ?-A. No, sir; we may have some one in the office who can do the work of the man on leave of absence, and there may be a common laborer who can do his work; and so we could detail one man from a lower grade to a higher grade, and so on.
Q. Do you think it legitimate for a party who gets leave of absence on condition that he furnish a substitute to furnish a laborer as a substitute ?-A. No, sir; but I think there are cases in which that can be done without injury to the service.
Q. Do you think that, ordinarily, a man with $50 a month would be regarded as a proper substitute for a man with $116 a month?-A. That is a question which, takon exactly as it is asked, I should answer “No”; but we have employés of a lower grade who can perform the duties of those of a higher grade, and we can use them in such cases, when one is sick or on leave of absence, and we can put one of a still lower grade in his place. I do not think that such substitution would work any injury whatever to the service.
Q. Suppose that the clerk (as in this case of Mr. Stahl) had been a faithful servant for ten years without baving any leave of absence; that in the eleventh year he concluded that he wanted to study medicine; tbat one month's leave of absence was granted bim; that be understood that he should have montbly leaves until be completed his studies at college; that his monthly leaves amounted to three months added to the original one month granted by the department (making four months). I put the question to you for your judgment, and ask you whether you think that an arrangement of ibat sort would be proper, and whether you think that that is in accordance with our ideas of civil-service reform 1-A. I could answer it better by putting the case in this way: If a man who has been under my supervision in the service for ten years, and who
has never lost a day by sickness or leave of absence, desires to leave the service, if I could do anything for him inside the regulations I would do so.
Q. How far would you go?-A. I could not go any further than giving him one month's leave.
Q. If there were no regulations on the subject, how far would you consider yourself at liberty to go!-A. One month's leave; and that was all that Mr. Stahl had, except when his duties were performed by a substitute. I have nover heard of any complaint being made as to the manner in which his duty was performed during that three months' absence.
Q. You think, then, that, under the circumstances, that was a proper thing to be done ?-A. I would not be willing to have instances of that kind occur in such a way as to establish a precedent which would be followed.
Q. Why not, if it is a suitable thing to be done! Why would it not be well enough to make a record of it?-A. Becanse every one in the employment of the government, and especially in the railway mail service, looks very closely to precedent, and a man who is not so good as a man who might be allowed such a privilege, but who still thinks he is, would be very much dissatisfied if he had not the same privilege.
By Mr. MONEY: Q. In other words, you think that it is a good thing, but that it ought not to be Tipeated ?--A. At the time I did not see anything out of the way in it.
By Mr. CALDWELL: Q. Did you know about it?-1. I knew that Mr. Stahl was absent, and that this service was performed by a substitute.
Q. Did you know what sort of a substitute he had; whether he was doing Mr. Stabl's daties or was doing inferior work ?-A. I presumed that he was doing inferior work, for the reason that there was a different clerk in Mr. Stahl's place, and I knew who the clerk was.
Q. How did you come to know that?-A. By the correspondence which came to our office daily.
Q. You knew by that correspondence that Mr. Stahl was at Bowdoin ?-A. No, sir; I did not kuow be was there until I was told so within the last week or ten days.
Q. Did you ever see, in the office, any statement in writing showing that Mr. Bangs at any time gave bis consent to the arrangement ?-A. No, sir.
Q. Were you in Mr. Bangs's office in the months of August, September, and October, 18751-A. Yes, sir.
Q. It seems from the papers bere on file that Mr. Cheney wrote to Mr. Bangs asking for an additional leave of absence for Mr. Stahl, for the month of September, and at the same time forwarded Mr. Stahl's resignation. There is a letter here showing the acceptance of the resiguation, but there is no letter showing that the leave of absence was granted. Is there any record kept in the department of this month's leave ! A. The division superintendent in the railway mail service at that time granted leave of absence himself, except in special cases. At that time there were no copies of letters whatever kept in our office. Mr. CALDWELL. The first letter seems to be preserved. The WITNESS. I see that it has been; it is in my own handwriting. Mr. CALDWELL. There was a reply to the application for the first leave of absence, and we have the reply here; but there is no evidence to show that the leave of absence applied for in September was granted.
The WITNESS. When Mr. Bangs wrote letters himself, he never kept copies of them anless he considered them of more than ordinary importance.
Q. Do you think it is not a proper thing to have a record of such things kept !A. Yes, sir. We keep it now. Since that time there has been a good deal of improvement in the service in that particular.
Q. Do I understand you to say now that you think such an arrangement as that would not be tolerated to-day!-A. It could not be under the regulations.
Q. Do you not think that the regulations in that respect are right to-day?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Then do you not think that this thing was wrong then ?-A. Matters were not kept so closely down then, and what was tolerated at that time would not be tolerated to-day.
Q. You mean to say there was nothing in the regulations at that time which forbade a transaction of that soro?-A. There was nothing in the regulations which prevented any length of leave of absence so long as a substitute was furnished.
Q. Do you think that there onght to be ?-A. I always thought so; but what would
Q. He does pretty much the whole work of Mr. Cheney's office !-A. I bardly think so.
Q. Do you not correspond a good deal with him ?-A. Not personally. I form my opinion of Mr. Holmes more from having been with him, as he was in our office here in Washington.
Q. Do you not get replies from Buston that are signed Cheney per Holmes ?-A. I do occasionally.
Q. Are not most of the letters which you get from Mr. Cheney's office signed in that way?-A. I should have to examine before I could tell you.
Q. Do you know of any complaints being filed in your office against Mr. Cheney ?A. Noue, whatever.
Q. Do you know of any complaints being made at your office of a failure on Mr. Cheney's part to attend to his duty ?-A. None has ever come to me. I have seen some articles in newspapers that were forwarded to the office.
Q. Were those articles marked !-A. They were.
Q. Were there any charges made in those articles as to neglect of the service in the first division ?-A. I should have to look them up. I presume that I can find them in the scrap-book.
Q. Did Mr. Vail see them ?-A. I do not know.
Q. They were not regarded as worthy of investigation ?--A. There have been news. paper articles against other superintendents of divisions. If charges caine against any men in the service in a shape that entitled them to an investigation, they would be investigated.
Q. Do you not, on newspaper articles specifying times and circumstances and persons, think that an investigation should be made !--A. I should; but there never has been anything of the sort in this case.
By Mr. CANNON: Q: The practice obtains in other departments of the government besides the railway mail service of granting leave of absence without substitutes, does it not ?-A. Yes, sir; at least one leave of thirty days in the year.
Q. I suppose that sick-leaves are also granted without substitutes ?- A. They were, formerly; but now a person who is absent on account of sickness has the time of his absence taken from his regular leave of absence.
Q. I am speaking of the other departments of the government.-A. I only know as far as the Post Office Department is concerned.
Q. How is it in the Interior and Treasury Departments ?-A. I do not know the regulations of those departments. In the Post-Office Department proper every man is allowed leave of absence for thirty days every year, and I believe that that is the rule in all the departments, without a substitute.
Q. If it is not proper for a small employé to have leave of absence for a short time, what would yon say to higher-priced and more expensive employés of the government, drawing salaries pot by the hundred dollars, but by the thousand dollars, and who are not engaged in duty half the time, but are practicing medicine, or practicing law, or traveling in Earope? What would you think of a proposition of that kind : Does the larger salary of the higher-priced officer make it more excusable and moral in him ?-A. No, sir. In the departments, if a man does not take his thirty days' leave of absence in one year, he is entitled to sixty days' leave the next year.
Q. They are doubled up ?-A. Yes, sir; they are doubled up.
Q. By this doubling up process Mr. Stahl, who had served ten years without any leave of absence, would be entitled to three hundred days' leave?--A. Yes; but in our service the thirty days' leave of absence that is granted is granted only on condition that the service of that employé is performed without any additional expense to the department. That is the understanding now, and that, of course, gives the department proper an advantage over us to that extent.
Q. Is it the practice, in your department, where you pay your employés from $600 to $1,350 a year, to appoint a man and then let him sie around in Washington for thirty or sixty days before he goes on duty ?-A. No, sir. When a man is appointed to the service he commences to do it from the first day that his appointment is reg. istered.
Mr. Cannon. Then a different rule obtains in yonr department from that which obtains in reference to ministers to the courts of Great Britain, France, and other countries with salaries of $17,500 a year. They sometimes lie around for a month The WITNESS. I do not know when their salary commences.
By Mr. EASTMAN: Q. You testified in reference to incideutal expenses, and stated that no incidental expenses were included in your charges. State how it would be if you were called