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He came right to me at my office in the Equitable Building. There was no concealment about it. I wrote to the department requesting that the department should make an examination of the matter. I had no antagonismu to either of the parties, because Mr. Merrill is also an excellent man. I asked the department to look into and examine the matter. I sent for Mr. Cheney myself to say the same thing to bim, and to ask him to look over it and examine it, and not to allow his office to injure a man who was so prominently a good man, as there were bad men enough in the office, without sacrificing a good one. After some two or three months' delay, and through the efforts of members of Congress, &c., Mr. West was restored. His was a removal and a restoratiou, wbich left a very uncomfortable feeling there in the service. Tbat feeling still remains. It was an abuse of Mr. Cheney's position by the men who were in the office, wbich, in my opinion, caused the whole of it. Now as to Mr. Temple. Mr. Temple was not as old a clerk as Mr. West, and in some respects he may have been a little indiscreet, but bis intention to do his duty was pronounced. He is a very faithful and efficient man. I have seen biin on the road from New York to Albany dozens of times, because when anything was wrong in connection with the mails I was in the habit of starting out myself to see what the trouble was, and I saw Mr. Temple many times. I saw these men from time to time, and they knew that they were liable to find me on the cars at any time.
By the CHAIRMAN: Q. Was not that legitimately the business of Mr. Cheney, as superintendent of the railway mail service !-A. Yes, sir. Certain of our routes were very inuch more important than otbers. Our connections with the West by the Boston and Albany road, and also our connections with New York, were the most important connections for the business men of Buston, and there were very great difficulties about them. For eleven years the Boston and Albary Railroad Company never received a dollar's compeosation for the transportation of the mails; refused to receive it and refused to make any set. tlement with the Post Office Department; and when tbe mail cars were put on that road they were put op as a personal favor. Mr. Twichell, a former member of Congress, was president of the Boston and Albany Railroad Company at that time, and for several years, as I say, the company refused to receive a dollar's compensation. It was so on the line running to New York, through New Haven and Hartford. I went over those roads, and I knew what tbe route-agents were doing. I knew that these men were reliable. Mr. Temple's natter, of course, came right home to me, and the matter which caused Mr. Temple's removal was called to my attention.
Io reference to Mr. Blunt. Mr. Blunt was an appointee of the office, and went into the railway mail service, these mail-agents being selected out of tro or thrre under appointments. I selected Mr. Blunt as a man to take charge of the carriers' delivery in Boston. I came on to Washington, and the same matter was brongbt up as in Mr. Temple's case, aod I made an examination of it. I nominated Mr. Blunt as the superintendent of carriers in Boston, and be was approved by the department and assigned to duty. Mr. Blunt, as was stated to me, was open to precisely the name objecion that Mr. Temple was removed for. I made inquiries into the matter. I went to Mr. Field, the special agent, and said to him, “ If there is anything more in this case, let mne know it. If I should not nomipare Mr. Blunt, let me know it.” I did nominate Mr. Blunt and be was approved by the Postmaster-General, and is acting there to-day, an efficient and active man. But out of all these things there has been a coostant irritation between the men of the railway mail service and of the post office. Mr. Temple came to me with this patter, and I heard bis story. I talked the matter over and sent forward Mr. Temple's papers for his reinstatement. I do not do those things without being careful about them. I had done the same with Mr. West, and in Mr. West's case I also intervened at the department. I supposed that Mr. Temple would, in due time, get bis matter up, and thought that the sharp edge of it would wear off and that they would be reinstated; but the matter has grown worse and worse, and the edge has grown more and more.
By the CHAIRMAN: . Q. Between whom is this antagonism -A. Between the men in the railway mail service and the clerks in the post-office.
By Mr. MONEY: Q. You say that the difficulty was principally the result of the interference of men who were running Mr. Cheney's office !-A. I think so entirely.
Q. If Mr. Cbeney bad been in bis office would these things have been i--A. Mr. Cheney is an excellent man, upright and straightforward in every respect.
Q. We meau in his official relations. If he had been there in the administration of the affairs of bis office, and had not left so much to his subordinates, would this state of things have arisen 1-A. If Mr. Cheney had been there in the matter of Mr. West (as I was in my office) he could have sat in judgment between these two men and solved all in five minutes.
Q. You say that you have been frequently up and down the roads in postal cars ?A. Yes, sir.
Q. Did you ever see Mr. Cheney at any of these times when you have been on postal cars!-A. When Mr. Cheney first went into the ottice, I think that he and I were together over several of the roads. After that I did not see hiin so much. As his office grew, and as he had more clerks, and as additional roads were established, I saw less and less of him.
Q. At the time these troubles.came up, was he at his office ?-A. No, sir; Mr. Cheney has been sick and absent for a month at a time.
Q. You consider Mr. Cheney personally a good and true man l-A. I certainly do. I think that his whole history in the post-office there, in his dealing with men, and his whole personal intercourse in the office is one which would not be to the detriment of the service.
By the CHAIRMAN: Q. Go on and state why Temple was not reappointed as West was!-A. I cannot understand it now. I cannot find that there were any specific charges against him. Mr. Temple certainly asked for them, and if he insisted on having the charges I think he was entitled to have them investigated in an official manner and to have a report apon them. He has been in the service and has all at once left off. He may be told ope hundred reasons for it, but it is a rule in the departinent everywhere that except in a case which is so flagrant that everybody knows the cause of dismissal (sucb, for instance, as arresting a man in the office for taking a letter, to give the reason for a man's discharge. If a man were arrested in my office for taking a letter I would not give any other reason than that, but would discharge him instautly. But if it is a collision between different persons in the same office, the man who is discharged has a right to know the cause of his dismissal. The only way that an official can live is to have charges against him properly heard and decided.
Q. Do you know whetber Mr. Temple applied for a copy of the charges against him and did not get them :-A. He told me that he did apply. I signed a petition for him which would bring the matter up for investigation in the department. Mr. Twichell was a member of Congress at the time that Mr. Temple was promoted to a clerkship in the railway mail service, and I know of Mr. Temple's applying to Mr. Twichell to intervene at Washington and to have the matter investigated.
Q. Have you any knowledge from any source why Mr. Temple was not reappointed !A. No, sir. I was told that there are reasons for it, but I do not know the reasons.
By Mr. MONEY: Q. Were yon told at the department that there were reasons for it?-A. I was told at Mr. Cheney's office. Mr. Cheney would have to recommend it. It would come throngh him and through his office unless the department here moved directly in the matter and made an investigation.
Q. Yon say that the department was advised of the state of things ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Did the Postmaster-General or the Assistant Postmaster-General give you any information about it, or assign any reason why there was not an investigation, or why Temple was not reappointed ?-A. No; I do not think that I had any talk with the Postmaster-General about it, and I do not know that I had with Mr. Tyner. Mr. Vail's department should investigate it. But I think that the feeling was that Mr. Temple was removed, was now out of office, and that there was an end of it, and that they would not allow him to come back. Whatever reason they had they did not give to me beyond the statement of Mr. Blunt and my own opinion at the time that he was open to the same criticism. I made au investigation sufficient to satisfy me on that, and for that reason I had no hesitation in recommending Mr. Temple's restoration or an examination of the case (it made no matter which). If Mr. Temple was wrong, and if I had decided Mr. Blunt's case wrong, that was no reason why Mr. Temple should come back if he was out of the office properly.
There was one question raised here which I would like to explain to the committee, in reference to the payment of these men. The postmaster is absolutely responsible for all the payments made in the office. In an office like Boston a very large nunber of men are paid, and the disbursements are very large; but there is one rule which protects postmasters. No clerk can go into the service and receive a dollar's compensation until he bas taken oath and is reported at Washington. Now comes another Net of men-railway postal clerks and route-agents. A route-agent receives his commission or appointment from Washingtou, and the postmaster is notified by the department of the appointment of such a man, but that does not entitle him to his pay. When he comes to my office, he must show that he runs on the road for which he is designated, and he must bring a certificate of tbe postmasters at the termini of the road that he has performed the service. That is shown by his mails coming and going. On that be gets his pay. The railway mail service is still different from that. We are notified of the appointment of the mail-agents, and their names are put upon the pay-roll. They come in and receipt for their pay, and they are supposed to remain in office until we are notified of a change. Every route-agent, who is once in the service properly and legally, is authorized to be paid until the postmaster is potified that he bas ceased to be a mail-agent. Such a notification comes immediately, so that the Auditor of the Post-Office Department can audit our accounts. Otherwise there would be no checks upon payments, whether proper or improper. If these regulations are followed, and if Mr. Cheney's office does its duty, as it is supposed to do, the postmaster pays the men who are properly qualitied in his own oftice, pays the route-agents who are properly appointed, and pays those postal-car clerks, &c.—all wbo are designated to be paid at his office. So that the postmaster does not investigate tbe question as to mail-agents being or not being in service. Mr. Stabl might be paid for six months or six years without the postmaster at Boston knowing that he performs a day's service. He is not in my office. I cannot know where he is. He may be transferred from one railroad-route to another without my knowledge.
By Mr. MONEY: Q. You pay until you are notified by the superintendent that tbe mail-agent is no longer in the service ?-A. Yes, sir.
By Mr. CALDWELL: Q. You tbipk tbat a good deal of this trouble has originated from the dismissal of Mr. Temple and Mr. West?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Did you understand for what they were dismissed? Did their dismissal originate out of this proposition to make a present to Mr. Blunt, or did it have anything to do with it 1-A. Tbat was not any substantial cause.
Q. Was that the alleged cause so far as you know ?-A. There were various matters, but that was not even the alleged cause to me. It was a more serions matter than that which was brought up against them.
Q. Did you say a little while ago that you bad orders to put Holmes on your payroll 1-A. Yes; Mr. Holmes was put on my pay-roll by the order of the PostmasterGeneral after my coming to Washingtou to see how such a thing could be done. I did not see it any better then than I do now,
Q. Are you certain tbat Mr. Jewell was then Postmaster-General; was not Mr. Creswell-A. I think Mr. Jewell was Postmaster-General.
Q. Did Holmes continue to draw on two pay-rolls as long as you were postmaster in Boston ?-A. Yes; I was told that the same thing was done in other offices and that it was a manner of increasing compensation. Every post-office has so much allowed for clerk hire, and this was diminishing the fund out of which I was to pay for the actual work done in my office by just so much, and was relieving another department (which has a separate appropriation) from just so much.
Q. Did Holmes perform any duties at all in your office appropriate to your department of the service ?-A. No, sir. He immediately caine in collision with Mr. Lewis, who had tbe superintendency of mails, and he and Mr. Lewis have been in collision from that time. After I left the office Mr. Holmes received still more promotion and Mr. Lewis a corresponding degradation. Part of the salary was taken from one and added to the other, and Mr. Lewis, who had been there thirty-five years, found himself superseded by Mr. Holmes, who represented an entirely outside department. This antagonism bas gone on in the same way. '
Q. Is not Mr. Holmes in point of fact superintendent there and is he not to-day the managing man in Mr. Cheney's office 1-Ā. I think you can say more than that. I should say that he is pretty much the managing man in the post-office and in Mr. Cheney's office also.
Q. He runs both of them I-A. Very much.
Q. He is recognized as the head of the office there 1-A. I think he has a right to represent Mr. Cheney, or has bad, for I do not know what his rights are now. He bad tbe right to sign Mr. Cheney's name, to make his orders, and to answer his letters. In my office nobody could write any letters for ine which I did not sign personally, except mere formal letters.
Q. Do you know anything about the compensation of superintendents of railway mail service ?-A. That is a matter of law. There are two general superintendents appointed. Tbe compensation of the railway mail clerks is fixed by the Post-Office Department. They are paid a larger salary than the corresponding clerks in the postoffice proper. Congress is asked anpually to give an appropriation to certain classes of service; so much for special agents, so much for railway mail service, so inuch for the transportation of mails, and so much for postmasters' salaries, &c.
Q. What is this $5 a day for which is allowed to superintendents of the railwaymail service in addition to $1,600 per annum !-A. I think the former rule was to allow a less som, but under advice and consultation here in the department a specific sum was fixed for paying them all alike. Formerly, certain superintendents were allowed $3 a day, some $4 a day, some more; but I think that now the matter has been changed.
They receive a certain per diem compensatien for the days on which they are supposed to be in the post-office service.
Q. They receive an appual salary and in addition to that a per diem compensation ? -A. Yes.
Q. Do they not in addition to that receive something for extra expenses ?-A. Formerly they did.
Q. In looking over the statement of Mr. Cheney's accounts for different months, I find charges for incidental expenses in addition to per diem. Do you know what that is intended to cover I-A. No, sir; I know that the department does allow certain incidental expenses. These have to be stated in proper form, and the department can call for the items.
By Mr. MONEY: Q. How do the superintendents of railway mail service draw their per diem 1-A. They draw it on their own statement of services.
Q. They sign a pay-roll for their salary 1-A. Yes.
Q. And how do they get their per diem l-A. They have to make a statement every time of the service done. If one of these gentlemen was out of service for ten days in the month, he would not certify that he was in the service and would not receive his per diem for those ten days. He would receive his salary, but not his per diem.
Q. He does not get the per diem unless he is actually doing service -A. That is the understanding
By the CHAIRMAN: Q. In other words, he has to certify and to furnish vouchers for the service done by him in order to get his per diem ?-A. Yes.
By Mr. MONEY: Q. He draws his salary for thirty days in the month if he is absent ten days, but he cannot draw the $50 per diem for those ten days unless he certifies falsely -A. That is it.
By Mr. FREEMAN : Q. You spoke highly of Mr. Cheney personally; you said you could only speak of bim in his business relations ; has he had business relations in connection with your office !-A. Yes, sir. Mr. Cheney's office and my office, through him personally, had very little to do. I was dealing with the men who represented him there in his office.
Q. Were your official relations with Mr. Cheney's office conducted satisfactorily by whoever were there 1-A. I think I could not have been misunderstood in what I said in that matter. I meant to say that this feeling which has grown up there grew up out of the absence of Mr. Cheney and by the sort of discretion and authority which was intrusted by bim to the men who represented him in his office.
Q. He had to leave such discretion with them as you would have to do with persons under you. There was more or less necessity for it, was there not ?-A. There had to be some delegation of authority.
Q. And when he was absent from his office you could not tell whether or not he was engaged in his daty ?-A. Not at all. I have stated that.
Q. What relations has the cashier in your office to the payment of salaries !-A. T'be cashier is my servant just as much as the lowest employé in the office is. I am absolutely responsible for him. I merely designate him to make payments and call him cashier. He does not even give a bond to the department.
Q. But still he handles large sums of money!-A. Immense amounts; four or five million dollars a year in the Boston post-office.
Q. You think it very important to have a good man in that position 1-A. Yes, sir. The cashier, Mr. Adams, is a very careful man. I made him deputy postmaster, as the law requires that somebody shall be designated as deputy in the case of the death or absence of the postmaster. I was required to give bond in $600,000, and my bond covered his. I never took a bond from anybody in my office. I thought that if I could not deal with them without a bond, I could not deal with them at all. I do not believe in compelling men to be honest by watching them. I may have given the committee a wrong impression about Mr. Holmes, which I wish to correct. Mr. Holmes is a very efficient business man, but he has no knowledge of human nature so as to enable him to deal with other men, and these very disagreements tbat came up arose partly from that fact. Men could not be in that position representing Mr. Cheney to such an extent as these men did without availing themselves indirectly of the opportanities which came from magnifying their office.
By Mr. MONEY: Q. Do you know Mr. Chickering, postmaster at Pittsfield ?-A. Very well. Q. Does his official business bring him into any relations with Mr. Chepey's officeiA. At first it did more than it does now. Pittsfield used to be a considerable distributing point, and its relations to New York and Boston were very considerable. Mr. Chickering is a man who takes particular interest in his office.
Q. Did his office bring him frequently to Mr. Cheney's office in Boston 1-A. It took him to my office. He came to see Mr. Lewis, who had charge of the mails.
WASHINGTON, D. C., March 4, 1878. Hugh DALY sworn and examined.
By the CHAIRMAN :
Q. Have you been recently engaged in the postal service 1-A. I have been, up to the 15th of August last. I was appointed an assistant clerk in December, 1867, at a salary of $1,000, to run between New York and Boston. I remained in that position two years, when I was proinoted to a clerkship, at a salary of $1,200. I remained in that position about two years, and was promoted to a head clerkship, with a salary of $1,400. About that time I commenced the study of law, as I was running one week on and one week off, and on my off weeks I devoted as much time as I could to the study of law. I ran as head clerk for probably three years; but my health broke down, and I went to Mr. Cheney and offered to resign as head clerk, and to be transferred to the New York and New Haven Road, at a compensation of $1,200. Mr. Cheney granted that request, and my pay was reduced, therefore, from $1,400 to $1,200. I continued to act as the New York and New Haven agent (the heaviest route probably in New England). On the death of my brother, who was murdered in San Francisco on the 7th of last August, I resigned, my resignation to take effect on the 15th of August. I therefore have been out of the service since the 15th of last August, after a continuous service of nine years and eight months in that division.
Q. During that time you were running between Boston and what point ?-A. Between Boston and New York.
Q. Under Mr. Cheney's jurisdiction ?-A. Yes, sir ; and before that under Mr. Vassal's.
Q. Have you any knowledge of Mr. Cheney's presence or absence at his office in Boston, or on the roads within bis jurisdiction R-A. Perhaps I had better inform the conimittee that in our run from New York we would get up at about five o'clock in the morning, leave the New York post-office at six, leave the New York depot at eight, and arrive at Boston about five o'clock in the evening During the first years in my service I frequently called at Mr. Cheney's office to see him on particular business, but I seldom found him there-very seldom. When Mr. Cheney succeeded Mr. Vassal, he of course knew but very little about the service. It is a position, perhaps, of more complications than any position under the appointment of any of the departments of the United States. Therefore, when Mr. Cheney came in he could not run that service to the satisfaction of the department, and shortly after bis advent to the office Mr. David A. Holmes, formerly of Putnam, in the State of Connecticut, who had been a route agent, was taken by him as a clerk. I believe Mr. Holmes first took the title of chief clerk. He continued in Mr. Cheney's office doing Mr. Cheney's business, and in fact acting as the superintendent of the division. Nearly every order that was issued was issued in the name of Mr. Cheney and signed by David A. Holmes, chief clerk. That continued for a series of years until the time arrived when it became so hot for Mr. Holmes that he left that office, and was grafted on the office of the superintendent of the railway mail service in Washington.
Q. What do you mean by saying that it became so hot for Mr. Holmes - A. His conduct was such that the clerks were almost in open rebellion. Nearly every order issued by Mr. Holmes was issued with an insult attached to it. It would commence in an insulting wanner or would close in one. If Mr. Holmes took a dislike to any of the clerks running to that office he would show his dislike so that it made it very uppleasant, and the clerks made complaint to Mr. Cheney. I was one of those who made complaint, and I think Mr. Cheney told me that he was going to Wasbington. When I bad correspondence with Mr. Cheney I would generally direct my letters to Ashland, N. H., and he would answer them from there, and in that way I could keep op a communication with him, wbich did not pass through the bands of the chief clerk, Stahl, or Holmes. This continued for several years. When I made inquiries in the office at Boston for Mr. Cheney, I very seldon found him therevery seldom.
Q. Did you see Mr. Cheney often on the road in the discharge of his duties -A. I never saw him traveling on the road for the purpose of investigation. He did ride on my train once or twice on his trips to Washington, but I never saw him on the road in the discharge of his duties as superintendent of that division.
Q. Do you know where he spent most of his time 1-A. I do not, other than by hearsay, and through letters that I sent to New Hampshire, and which were answered from Ashland.