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it has had consideration and the knowledge and experience of older and wiser nations than we have set ourselves up to be. The Government of Great Britain has a department of public works that has control of all government construction, except fortifications and vessels for the navy. The German Government also has a department of public works and so has the French Government.
The principle of having the civil works of the government referred for direction and construction to a department of war seems to me incongruous, and its results have been of such a mediocre character that it appears to me that this resolution should meet with the approval of this body at once. I recognize the wisdom of what Mr. CARTER has stated and of what Mr. BURROWS has stated. I still think that the motion should prevail. But this being an entirely novel proposition, I am willing, with the consent of my seconder, to withdraw the motion, and make a motion that it be referred to a special committee.
Mr. HauPT.-Mr. President, I desire to ask Mr. BURROWS a question, with his consent. I quite agree with the sentiments of Mr. BURROWS and Mr. CARTER, and I would like to ask them both what the facts are as to how much the Government assists in the development of transportation facilities. Do they not know that there must first be a survey, and that it sometimes requires two years before such a survey can even be authorized by legislation? And do they not know that before an appropriation is made it must be recommended by the War Department, and that the War Department will certainly be very much handicapped by the limited number of men it has at its command to do the necessary work? Do they not know that every project must come through the chief of engineers, the district engineer and local engineer, and that the local engineer is the man who makes the recommendation? He may not have been in his district more than a few weeks when he is called upon to make a recommendation, and if his recommendation should be approved by his superior officer and by the Secretary of War, then come the delay and trouble of procuring legislation.
These are a few of the evils of the system which prevent, and I might say prohibit, local enterprise. I have been before the committees of Congress time and time again, and have heard delegations there seeking permission to make their own improvements, to remove bars and other obstructions preventing free navigation. This difficulty has been confronting the country for many years.
I respectfully submit that I am not in favor of the Government extending its control and jurisdiction, as favored by Mr. BURROWS. I do believe we ought to have a proper method whereby people who are ready to relieve themselves will be justified—especially people along the New Jersey coast and the other coasts of the country-in asking the privilege of constructing works for the purpose of saving life and property. a matter of such very great importance.
Mr. Morss, of Boston.—Mr. President, speaking for New England, I would like to say that our experience has been that we have been spending money by appropriations, which appropriations will aggregate about $9,000,000, for Boston harbor alone. That work has been kept up and has been satisfactory to the merchants in every way.
I understand that at the present time the Panama Canal work has been taken out of the hands of the civil engineers and put into the hands of Government engineers, and it seems to me that there must have been some very good reason for it. I want to indorse the work of the engineers as it has been demonstrated to us in New England. We have never suffered from it in any way.
Mr. Kelly, of Philadelphia.—I merely want to ask the Chairman of the committee whether the committee took into consideration the statement recently made by the President of the United States that he was not in favor of any further Cabinet extension. It seems to me it might be advisable to establish a new department of public works, but in view of the fact that the Secretary of Commerce and Labor now has charge of such work, which he knows how to perform, perhaps it might be put in that department. The Bureau of Corporations is a very important bureau; that is now in the De
partment of Commerce and Labor. It seems to me that if another Department is to be created it would be quite satisfactory if it were placed under one person, a member of the Cabinet.
While I am on my feet I would like to say that I do not altogether agree with Mr. Burrows in his statement regarding the Interstate Commerce Commission. I think that the Interstate Commerce Commission has done considerable work, both in the interest of the railroads and in the interest of the shippers. There are many things to-day that have been done by the Interstate Commerce Commission which, to my mind, have been very beneficial, both to the shippers of the country and to the carriers. It has done much to prevent rebating, falsely classifying articles and under-billing. I think those three things alone are quite important, and the Commission should be sustained for them alone. I merely wish to raise that question.
Mr. Rogers, of Philadelphia.—Why not act on the suggestion of Mr. GIBSON, that this matter be referred to a committee? I would second Mr. Gibson's motion that this matter be referred to a committee to report early to-morrow morning. This is a subject that has not been in the hands of a committee and I think it is well worthy of the consideration of a committee. I call for the question.
The PRESIDENT.—What is your motion, Mr. GIBSON ? Mr. CARTER.—I made the motion, but that is not the form in which it was put.
The PRESIDENT.—Mr. CARTER could move to amend it.
Mr. GIBSON.—Is an amendment to an amendment parliamentary?
The PRESIDENT.—Yes; an amendment can be amended once. Mr. Gibson.—If that is so, I do not intend to invoke the privilege. My seconder suggests that the resolution I have offered be carried, and that it be then referred to a special
committee for report at the next meeting of the National Board of Trade next year.
The PRESIDENT.—That is your motion ? Mr. Gibson.—Yes sir. The PRESIDENT.—That covers your motion, Mr. Carter ? Mr. CARTER.—I change my motion, to refer it to a special committee.
The PRESIDENT.—You make the motion that it be referred to a special committee to report next year, recognizing the importance of this great question.
Mr. CARTER.—I accept that.
Mr. GIBSON.—I beg pardon. My motion was that the resolution as offered be adopted, but to leave the work of further consideration to be referred to a committee to report next year.
Mr. CARTER.—That I do not accept.
Mr. GIBSON.—We in New York intend to pursue this matter irrespective of what action you may take in this Board. We would like your affirmance of our proposition, that we might go out to the world bearing your approval; but if we do not get it, we shall go on with our propaganda just the same.
The PRESIDENT.—The Chair understood that you were willing to refer it to a special committee to report next year. Is the Chair wrong? Mr. GIBSON.—No, sir; only for further consideration.
The PRESIDENT.—Then you are irregular and Mr. CARTER'S motion is before the convention.
Mr. Gibson.—I admit that. I was only trying to offer a plea in abatement.
The PRESIDENT.—Then the motion is that this very important matter be referred back to a committee. Will Mr. CARTER kindly state his motion again?
Mr. CARTER.—I move that the matter be referred to a special committee—if that is the sense of the house-to report upon the matter at the next meeting of the National Board of
Trade next year, and that the committee be appointed by the Chair.
Mr. Carter's motion was agreed to, as disclosed by the ayes and noes. Mr. GIBSON.—I call for a division.
The President put the question, and the Secretary reported thirty-five voting in the affirmative.
Mr. Gibson.—I am not certain that all these gentlemen understood just what they were voting for, that they were voting for Mr. Carter's amendment.
The PRESIDENT.—The Chair will put the motion again. It seems that some delegates may not have understood that it was Mr. Carter's motion and not an amendment. The question is upon Mr. CARTER's motion to refer this matter to a special committee to bring in a report next year. Now, you all understand that.
Upon a division the Secretary reported thirty-three voting in the affirmative and thirteen in the negative.
The PRESIDENT.—The ayes have it.
The President, under authority of the resolution, named the following special committee: Messrs. WM. H. GIBSON, New York, Chairman; JAMES RICHARD CARTER, Boston ; A. T. ANDERSON, Cleveland; Wm. P. Wilson, Philadelphia ; JOHN M. HARPER, Philadelphia.
THE CUSTOMS ADMINISTRATIVE ACT AND THE
Mr. ZUCCA, of New York, submitted the following report:
The Committee on Customs Administrative Act recommends a change in the present regulations governing the collecting of money in payment for customs duties.
WHEREAS, Under the present regulations the Collector of the Port compels importers to pay customs duties in United States gold and silver certificates, in United States bills or United States gold or silver currency and accepts, as an accommodation to merchants, what are known