« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
This resolution proposes simply to suspend the collection of this tax until the 1st of March next, which will enable the Legislature to hold its annual session, or until the accounts of the State with the General Government are adjusted, which will probably be done and the money paid in the course of two or three months. We are able to pay this tax, if we had any permission to do it. We do not ask the abatement which was allowed to other States who were allowed to pay it, and we are not included in the relief bill that has been proposed in the House of Representatives, which refers only to the rebel States. As this cannot be of any injury to the Government, and as a balance of money on any fair adjustment of accounts is actually due to the State of West Virginia, I trust this relief will be granted by the Senate.
tary Affairs. I think that bill should be referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Senator make that motion?
Mr. DOOLITTLE. Yes, sir. Mr. STEWART. I do not see the necessity for that change. As the proposition is to transfer the Indian Bureau to the War Department I do not know why it might not go to the Committee on Military Affairs, and I think it quite important that it should go to that committee. Mr. CLARK. It seems to me it certainly ought to go to the Committee on Indian Affairs, the committee who naturally consider such subjects, and not the Committee on Military Affairs. They know the condition of affairs in the Indian Bureau, and it is not supposed that the Military Committee do. It should go to the committee that is conversant with the matter proposed to be changed.
Mr. TRUMBULL. I notice in reading over the resolution that it provides for a suspension of the collection of this tax until the 1st of March next, or until an adjustment shall be made with the State. That would put it in the power of the Secretary of the Treasury to suspend it forever, or of the State, if they did not make an adjustment. I apprehend the Senator does not mean that it should have that construction. I suggest to him whether the phraseology should not be altered so as to provide that it shall be suspended until March, unless the accounts are sooner adjusted.
Mr. VAN WINKLE. Very well. Mr. TRUMBULL. I suppose that was the intention.
Mr. VAN WINKLE. I accept that amend
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The joint resolution has not been read at length to the Senate. It will now be read.
The Secretary read the joint resolution, which directs the Secretary of the Treasury to suspend the further collection within the State of West Virginia of any part of the direct tax imposed by the act of August 5, 1861, until the 1st day of March next, or until the adjustment of the claims of the State against the United States.
Mr. STEWART asked, and by unanimous consent obtained, leave to introduce a bill (S. No. 322) to transfer the Bureau of Indian Affairs from the Department of the Interior to the War Department; which was read twice by its title, referred to the Committee on Military Affairs and the Militia, and ordered to be printed.
Mr. DOOLITTLE subsequently said: The Senator from Nevada [Mr. STEWART] introduced a few moments since a bill to transfer the Bureau of Indian Affairs from the Department of the Interior to the War Department; which was referred to the Committee on Mili
Mr. STEWART. I beg the Senator's pardon. I doubt whether anybody is familiar with Indian affairs. We hear constantly that it is the most mixed and discordant branch of the public service. Any one traveling through the Indian country will see that the whole system is a very defective one. The general knowledge of the system is defective; every one knows that it is defective; and certainly what little knowledge a party here may have of the details, will not be very important in considering the propriety of this change.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Extended debate on the question of reference is not in order.
Mr. STEWART. I hope the bill will be referred to the Committee on Military Affairs.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wisconsin moves that this bill be referred to the Cominittee on Indian Affairs.
Mr. NESMITH. Is the question debatable?
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senate has usually allowed a limited debate on the question of reference, but extended debate is not in order. It is not in order to give extended reasons why it should be referred to one committee or the other.
Mr. KIRKWOOD. Has the bill not been already sent to the Committee on Military Affairs?
The PRESIDING OFFICER. It has not been referred to any committee.
Mr. NESMITH. I desire to state that the Committee on Indian Affairs had this whole subject under consideration, and a sub-committee, consisting of some members of the Committee on Indian Affairs of the House and some of the Senate, gave their attention to the subject during the last summer, made very extensive investigations, and have collected a great many facts in a report bearing on the subject. It is a subject upon which the Committee on Military Affairs, as a committee, I apprehend, have no particular knowledge. I know that a great deal of information on this subject, which it is necessary to have in order to act understandingly upon it, has been collected by the Committee on Indian Affairs, and I believe every principle of propriety would send the bill to that committee.
Mr. STEWART. On that statement I withdraw my objection to its reference to the Indian Committee.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The bill, then, will be referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs.
ator from New York, who is not now in his seat, [Mr. MORGAN,] introduced a bill for the relief of John Hastings, and an order was made referring it to the Committee on Commerce. The Committee on Claims has had that matter under consideration for quite a number of years, and last year there was a bill passed for his relief, and I wish the order referring this bill to the Committee on Commerce to be suspended until the Senator from New York comes in, when I will move to refer it to the Committee on Claims, where it ought to go.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. That course will be taken if there be no objection. The Chair hears no objection.
Mr. MORRILL asked, and by unanimous consent obtained, leave to introduce a bill (S. No. 325) to give certain powers to the levy court of the county of Washington, in the District of Columbia; which was read twice by its title, and referred to the Committee on the District of Columbia.
Mr. KIRKWOOD asked, and by unanimous consent obtained, leave to introduce a joint resolution (S. R. No. 93) for the appointment of a commission to examine and report upon certain claims of the State of Iowa; which was read twice by its title.
Mr. WILSON asked, and by unanimous consent obtained, leave to introduce a bill (S. No. 323) to fix the military peace establishment of the United States; which was read twice by its title, referred to the Committee on Military Affairs and the Militia, and ordered to be printed.
Mr. MORGAN asked, and by unanimous consent obtained, leave to introduce a bill (S. No. 324) for the relief of John Hastings, late surveyor and depositary of public moneys at Pittsburg; which was read twice by it title, and referred to the Committee on Commerce. Mr. CLARK subsequently said: The Sen
Mr. KIRKWOOD. I move that the joint resolution be referred to the Committee on Military Affairs and the Militia, and printed.
Mr. DOOLITTLE. I suggest that it should go to the Committee on Claims, and not to the Committee on Military Affairs.
Mr. CLARK. What is the nature of it? Mr. DOOLITTLE. It is in relation to cer tain claims of the State of Iowa.
A bill (H. R. No. 590) for the relief of William Mann and Jacob Senneff-to the Committee on Patents and the Patent Office.
Mr. NESMITH. This is a very brief resolution, which will nct probably occupy two minutes. It merely proposes to refer a case to the Court of Claims.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The appropriation bill is really before the Senate, and any objection will prevent the taking up of the joint resolution.
Mr. FESSENDEN. The Senator can take it up to-morrow just as well.
Mr. NESMITH. I should be very much obliged to the Senator if he would allow me to take it up now.
Mr. FESSENDEN. If I did not have to oblige anybody else, I would do it with all my heart.
Mr. NESMITH. I presume there will be nobody else.
Mr. FESSENDEN. Well, I will not object. Mr. SPRAGUE. Mr. President
Mr. FESSENDEN. I cannot give way any further. I objected to my friend from Oregon taking up a resolution, but I said I would give way to him if I did not have to oblige anybody else. Now I see the whole business of the Senate is coming in.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection being made, the appropriation bill is before the Senate.
Mr. SPRAGUE. I have been trying all the morning to present a petition.
Mr. FESSENDEN. It can be presented just as well to-morrow as this morning.
Mr. SPRAGUE. I desire that it may go to the Committee on Commerce to-day, in order that it may be acted on to-morrow.
Mr. FESSENDEN. It is exceedingly disagreeable to me to object in any case, but I have given way for thing after thing for half an hour after the regular time. I did say to the Senator from Oregon that I would give way to his resolution, but he has lost the floor. If, however, Senators will agree to stop there, I will give way so far as to allow the Senator's petition to be presented and my friend from Oregon to call up his resolution, which will give rise to no debate, as I understand.
Mr. SPRAGUE. I will agree to that. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The petition will be received, if there be no objection.
Mr. FESSENDEN. I move to amend as we go along, to strike out the words "including loss by exchange thereon" in line ninetyeight of section one.
That was the purpose of the committee, undoubtedly. The amendment was agreed to.
Mr. SHERMAN. The last one ought to be stricken out.
Mr. FESSENDEN. Very well, one or the
other should be stricken out. The amendmenting
The next amendment reported by the Committee on Finance was in line sixty-two of section one to insert "Barcelona" after "Boulogne;" in line sixty-seven to insert "Hankow" after "Hong Kong;" and in line seventytwo to insert "Nantes" after "Nice," among the consulates provided for in schedule B. The amendment was agreed to.
The next amendment was to strike out the proviso in schedule C, section one, line ninetyeight, "Provided, that the compensation of the consuls at Malta, St. John, (Canada East,) Nice, Lisbon, Santa Cruz, and Tampico, is established at $1,500 each, annually, and the salary of the consul at Nassau (New Providence) is established at $3,000," before the gross appropriation of $420,000 for salaries of consuls general, consuls, commercial agents, and consular clerks, and to insert the following proviso after the appropriation:
Mr. FESSENDEN. It is $2,000 in the list I have here.
Mr. SHERMAN. But it was raised during the war to $4,000.
Mr. FESSENDEN. Then the increase ceased with the war; and it is $2,000 now, and this amendment increases it to $3,000.
Mr. SHERMAN. If so, it can be stricken
Provided, That the compensation of the consuls at Malta, St. John, (Canada East.) Nice, Lisbon, Santa Cruz, Tampico. Prince Edward Island, Barcelona, and Nantes, is established at $1,500 each, annually, and the compensation of the consuls at Nassau, (New Providence,) and Hankow is established at $3,000 each, annually.
Mr. SPRAGUE. Then I am willing to leave it at $2,000, and my amendment is simply to strike out of the amendment of the committee the words "Nassau, (New Providence.)"
The amendment to the amendment was agreed to.
Mr. POLAND. I propose to amend the amendment of the committee by inserting after the word "annually" where it first occurs the words that at Nice to commence December 14, 1865." The consulate at Nice had a salary of $1,500, the same as is provided by the amendment of the committee, which was to continue according to the terms of the law until the close of the war. That salary actually ceased on the 14th of December last. During this period a gentleman from my State, one who was many years associated with me upon the bench, has filled the place as consul. He was obliged, in consequence of the health of his family, to resign his place upon the bench and go abroad. The salary is very meager, $1,500 a year, not half enough to support himself and family. It is a very expensive place to live, and one where the consuls of other nations have very much larger salaries than we provide for our consul, and a place where the duties of the consul are constantly increasing, and largely increasing. Our European squadrons winter at Nice, or some portion of them, so that the duties of the place have been altogether larger than ever before. Judge Aldis, the consul, has been performing the duties during the whole of this time without any salary. The fees are very small, I think less than $100 during the last year. It is a place that is very largely resorted to by persons from this coun try and from all countries for health. Most of the foreigners there are persons who are invalids, and those from this country need the attention and sometimes the assistance of an agent of this Government. It is only bare justice that the salary should commence when the former salary ceased, on the 14th of December.
Mr. FESSENDEN Iwas not present when this bill was considered in the Finance Committee, and I cannot very well answer.
Mr. SHERMAN. This is really a reduction. The Secretary of State thought it ought to be $3,000. I think the present salary is
Mr. FESSENDEN. I can only say with regard to this case that the facts are undoubt edly as stated by the honorable Senator from Mr. FESSENDEN. It is $2,000 now, and Vermont. When this gentleman went out he the increase is to $3,000. Mr. SHERMAN. Four thousand dollars is raised to $1,500 during the war. supposed the salary to be $1,500, because it was the present salary.
We now propose with regard to some half a dozen of
Mr. SPRAGUE. I should like to ask the
the compensation of the consul at Nassau was chairman of the Committee on Finance what prior to the war. I know that in the Committee on Commerce the compensation was proposed to be increased, and I should like to know what the compensation was before the war, as it is proposed now to make it $3,000. My impression is that it was then $1,500; and if it was $1,500 before, why is it necessary that it should be $3,000 now?
Mr. SPRAGUE, I move that "Nassau, (New Providence,)" be stricken out of this amendment.
Mr. FESSENDEN. I am told that it is a very expensive place, and probably $3,000 is not too large a salary.
Mr. GRIMES. It is not more expensive than other places where you pay only $1,500. Mr. FESSENDEN. It is a very important point.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Does the Senator from Rhode Island insist on his amendment?
Mr. SPRAGUE. Yes, sir; I move that "Nassau, (New Providence,)" be stricken out of the amendment of the committee. I also move to insert "Nassau, (New Providence,)" after "Nantes," in line seventy-two of section one, in order that it may be established at $1,500; otherwise it may be continued at $4,000 as at present.
Mr. FESSENDEN. It is $2,000 accord.
to the recently published list. It was raised temporarily during the war, and is now $2,000. There are a great many cases where an increase was temporarily made during the war; but the recently published list of diplomatic and consular officers of the United States, dated March, 1866, states the salary at Nassau at $2,000.
ber, so that he would be getting the salary for the same time that he was receiving the fees. Mr. POLAND. I will modify that.
Mr. FESSENDEN. I do not see any reason applicable to this case which is not applicable to every other one that we have. This officer may be, and unquestionably is, a gentleman of high character and standing; but a consul is a consul, and if we do this in one case there is no reason why we should not do it in others where the salary has not been received.
these places, where we are satisfied that we must have consuls and that the fees will not pay them, to give them a salary of $1,500. That is right enough; but if we go back in one case to make up the deficiency between the period when the salary ceased and the beginning of the next fiscal year, I do not see why the same rule should not be applied to all the other places where we have paid a salary of $1,500 during the war. If we begin this system with regard to Nice there is the same propriety in going through with it in regard to all these other consulates. As the policy has been as a general rule not to go backward and pay arrears of salary, the committee do not recommend anything of that kind. It is a matter for the Senate to decide whether it is worth while to make up to this gentleman who is consul at Nice what he would have received had the salary been $1,500, from December until the present time. It strikes me that the difference is not very great, and if it really costs no more to live there than the salary amounts to, this little addition will not give him much.
Mr. POLAND. It is very true, as the honorable Senator from Maine says, that the amount of half a year's salary of $1,500 is not a very large sum; but when the salary is not more than half enough to support the gentleman and his family at the place, it becomes a matter of some importance. I will say, in reference to the gentleman who holds this small consular position, that he is a gentleman who is amply qualified to represent us at any of the courts of Europe. He is in the place, and I know that when he went there, although as the law then stood the salary was only to last during the war, he was informed by Mr. Seward, Secretary of State, that the position of that place and the wants of the Government were such that undoubtedly the salary would be continued. He was told that although as the law then stood it was only a temporary position, the salary undoubtedly would be made permanent, and that he might rely on that when he received the appointment. In reference to many of the other cases which the Senator named, where the salary ceased at the same time, the consuls' fees are larger than the salary provided. One object of the Government in providing a salary instead of fees was, that the fees in some cases would be a much larger compensation than the salary of $1,500 which the bill provides, so that the Government really makes a saving by taking away the fees and reducing the officer to a salary of $1,500; but that reason does not apply to this case. I trust that the amendment will be adopted.
Mr. SUMNER. I know Mr. Aldis very well, and have known him for many years. I need add nothing to what the Senator from Vermont has said with regard to his eminent merits. He was one of the Senator's associates upon the bench of the supreme court of Vermont, and I have regarded it as a substantial benefit to our country that he was willing to accept this post. He conferred with me before he did accept it, and I most earnestly counseled him to accept it, if he could make up his mind under the circumstances to leave the country; for I desired to secure his services there. I shall, therefore, vote for this amendment; and I make this distinction between this case and the others, that in this case we actually have evidence with regard to the character of the incumbent and to the necessity of this increase. I have conferred with my friend, the Senator from Vermont; I know the evidence that he has, and I also have some evidence myself direct from Nice, all showing the necessity of this increase; and since I am informed of that necessity, and am familiar with the merits of the incumbent, and as the amendment is now moved, and I am to vote upon it, I shall vote in favor of it.
Mr. FESSENDEN. In addition to the objection which I before stated, there is another difficulty in the way, and that is that in the mean time, from the time the salary ceased up to the 1st of July next, this officer will have been receiving his fees; and this amendment gives him a proportion of $1,500 from last Decem
Mr. EDMUNDS. I think there is a special reason which applies to this case that has not yet been wholly stated; and it may apply to some others, or it may not. Until some others are suggested to which it does apply, I shall take it that it does not apply to any others. That reason is that Nice is the winter naval station for our Mediterranean fleet. They have been there most of the time, if I am correctly informed, this winter, or at least a considerable period of the time.
Mr. GRIMES. It is not the headquarters of the Mediterranean fleet; the headquarters is Lisbon.
Mr. EDMUNDS. I of course yield to the statement of the chairman of the Committee on Naval Affairs as to where the technical headquarters of the fleet is. I have not been there myself, and I cannot say; but if I am correctly informed by the newspapers, and from private information from Nice and from Florence, the Mediterranean fleet, or some considerable portion of it, has spent some time this winter at Nice; and I think the chairman of the Naval Committee will not dispute me on that. I have credible reason to believe that this gentleman who has been referred to, and who is a gentleman, has been obliged by those ordinary courtesies and duties belonging to consuls, where any American citizens or sailors are, to spend a sum of money which would equal the amount of this small salary for the short time during which it is proposed to allow it to him, in those necessary acts of hospitality and assistance which any man who represents his country in any position abroad feels bound to incur, and which, of course, ordinarily uses up a very large part of his salary. This gentleman, in this instance, if I am correctly informed, has done this, and therefore it appears to me that there is a special reason which applies to his case, and which may not apply to the others, for having the salary which he has really expended in the appropriate duties of his consulate, and in those hospitalities which, to be sure, the law does not oblige him to perform, but which a decent sense of respect for his countrymen requires him to perform, should, to this small degree, be made up.
The amendment to the amendment was rejected-ayes seven, noes not counted.
Mr. POLAND. One objection to the amendment I offered before was that it was not equal and exact justice to all. I now propose to amend the amendment of the committee by adding to it this proviso:
mercial agent appointed to perform their duties, or by any other person in their behalf, shall be accounted for to the Secretary of the Treasury in the same mode and manner as is provided for in section eighteen of the act approved August 18, 1856, entitled "An act to regulate the diplomatic and consular system of the United States." And when the fees so collected by any consul or commercial agent amount to more than $2,000 in any one year the excess for that year shall be paid to the Secretary of the Treasury in the mode provided for by said act.
Mr. FESSENDEN. This amendment was reported on the strength of statements made to the committee by various gentlemen, that some of the consulships which are paid by fees alone afforded to the consuls very large salaries, it is estimated as high as $10,000 in some instances, and in one case even as much as $20,000. They have vice consuls and commercial agents at different places under them, covering a large extent of territory, and receive all the fees. The places paid by fees in this way embrace some of the best positions in Europe. It was stated on very good authority, and I have no doubt is the fact, that many of them actually receive very large pay from their fees, much larger than any of the consuls at regular salaried posts. The difficulty, however, about it is, that it is rather troublesome to get at it. Our consular system now is working admirably well. The fees being accounted for to the Treasury, and the consuls generally being paid by salaries, the system has now got to be almost self-supporting; it costs very little. The fees very nearly pay the salaries provided for; I do not know exactly how nearly. In those consulates, however, where the consuls are paid by fees entirely, they do not account for the fees, and they amount in some cases, as we are informed, to a very considerable summuch more than we pay to consuls who receive salaries. I find that after this amendment was drawn and reported, a communication was sent to the State Department requesting information with regard to it and the opinion of the Department in relation to it. In reply we received a communication from the Secretary of State, which I send to the desk and ask to have read.
The Secretary read the following communication:
Those objections are:
1. The proposed section requires a certain class of consular officers to report their fees to the Secretary of the Treasury, instead of, as at present, to the Secretary of State, by whom they are submitted to Congress and to the President. As the Department of State is charged with the appointment, direction, supervision, and removal of these officers, it would seem to be essential to a proper discharge of its functions that they should report to it.
2. The proposed section appears to have been drawn up under the erroneous impression that all the fees received constitute a merely personal compensation to the consular agent receiving them. It is to be considered that out of these fees are also to be paid the office rent, clerk hire, and all other expenses incurred in the performance of the services for which the fees are exacted. It is also to be remembered that section fifteen of the act of August 18, 1856, already provides that "every consular agent shall be entitled, as compensation for his services, to such fees as he may collect in pursuance of the provisions of this act, or so much thereof as shall be determined by the President; and the principal officer of the consulate or commercial agency within the limits of which such consular agent shall be appointed, shall be entitled to the residue, if any, in addition to any other compensation allowed him by this act for his services therein." Inasmuch as the duties and labors of every such consul are proportionately increased by every such agency over which he has supervision and for whose acts he is responsible, to abrogate this portion of the act, as this proposition seems to contemplate, would be to require the consul in such cases to assume additional labors and responsibilities, attended probably by increased expenses, for which he is to receive no compensation, or else to discourage the appointment of agencies which the growth of American trade in his dist. ict really demands.
3. Values and prices, as well as the duties, responsibilities, and expenditures of consular officers, vary so greatly in different parts of the world that a uniform limit of $2,000 would be, in different localities,
of very unequal value-in some too little, in others too great, and in others, (after the usual deductions above mentioned are made,) would leave to the consular agent no compensation whatever. A limitation of the compensation of consuls and commercial agents to a fixed and equal sum at all posts, is not in accordance with previous legislation upon the same subject, which seems to have been intended to graduate the compensation according to the amount of labor, the amount of responsibility, and the amount of expenditure, &c., required at each post.
4. The President has the power, and it has usually been the practice of the Department to recommend its exercise, to nominate and appoint, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, full consuls responsible directly to this Department, (with such compensation as Congress may decide to be suitable for the particular place in question,) to all places where the increase of business seems to warrant it, instead of continuing subordinate consular agents, who are responsible only to the consuls by whom they were appointed.
It can hardly be deemed necessary to guard against any neglect on the part of the executive department to take such action, for the amount of the fees received at every port is, as before stated, duly submitted to Congress and printed every year, showing precisely where such changes are needed.
If under the present system any consular officer is likely to receive too much compensation for his services, the true remedy would seem to be either to diminish the amount of the fees exacted or else give him a fixed salary. Compensation of all public officers of the United States is expected to be graduated either according to work or according to time. The proposition in question does not seem to carry out either of these objects, since it does not guaranty a fixed salary, but pays for a certain amount of work, and then requires an additional amount to be performed without any pay at all.
5. It would also seem to make it the interest of consular agents to discourage consular business whenever it exceeds a certain amount, whereas it is for the advantage of revenue and of trade that all such business should be performed promptly, willingly, and effectually.
It is not deemed necessary or expedient, therefore, to recommend a change in the present system. That it works justly to the Government and the consular officers is best shown by the fact that, as at present administered, the consular service has been for the past three years, and for the first time in the national history, steadily and gradually reaching a point where it will soon become a self-supporting system, paying all its own expenses.
The amount paid for compensation of consuls and commercial agents during the last four fiscal years, and the amount of fees received during the same years, are as follows:
Amount of salaries and loss in exchange from January 1, 1861, to June 30, 1862..... ..$432.141 39 Fees......... 125,371 64 .$306,769 75
ination of the official list that they have generally selected places where the consuls are paid by fees. If any gentleman desires to be accurately informed on this subject, if he will go to the office of the Fifth Auditor of the Treasury, he will there get some authentic information. I am told by officers who have charge of the consular business there that there are consuls in the employment of the United States who receive salaries of from eight thousand to twenty-five thousand dollars.
Mr. JOHNSON. In fees?
54,387 79 $17,265 85
Leaving an apparent deficit of............
It is not doubted that the increase of fees at some points, and the reduction of salaries at others which have already taken place during the present fiscal year, will, at its termination, show that the consular system is now practically self-supporting. But it is doubtful whether the proposed change would not weaken its efficiency, and thus again make it a drain upon the Treasury,
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant, WILLIAM H. SEWARD. Hon. WILLIAM P. FESSENDEN, Chairman of Committee on Finance, United States Senate.
Mr. GRIMES. It ought to be known at the State Department how much salary is received by a good many of these consuls, because I understand there have been persons appointed from that Department to the most valuable consulships in Europe. They have an admirable opportunity there to select the best places, and I guess it will be discovered by an exam
Mr. GRIMES. In fees alone-at such places as Leeds and Bradford, and places of that kind in Yorkshire and Lancashire. It is in consequence of some law that was passed since the beginning of the rebellion requiring triple invoices.
That is the secret of the
Mr. GRIMES. That requirement is really an imposition upon the importing merchant.
Mr. FESSENDEN. No, it is necessary to protect the revenue. It has been a very great protection.
Mr. CHANDLER. I think that this amendment is eminently necessary, and I hope it will prevail. It will be remembered by many of the older Senators that some years ago the consular system had become corrupt; very great corruptions had crept into it. For example, the consul at Liverpool received as much as forty or fifty or sixty thousand dollars per annum. Congress took up the entire consular system and reviewed it, and fixed the salaries, the intention being to fix a salary at every important point. Then there were some unimportant points which were not deemed of suffi cient consequence to justify the payment of a fixed salary, and those we left open to be paid by fees. The intention was to fix a salary at every point where the business would really warrant the payment of a salary to the consul. Upon that principle the whole consular system was reorganized. This was, perhaps, ten or twelve years ago. Since that time some of the points that were not then deemed of sufficient importance to authorize a fixed salary have now become points of great business importance, and I am informed that now the same evils have crept into those places which existed prior to the reorganization of the system, that some of the consuls, as the Senator from Iowa says, receive, perhaps, eight or ten or fifteen thousand dollars a year, when if the places had been of sufficient importance to warrant the payment of $1,500 a year the salary would have been fixed at $1,500. As the Senator has suggested, I believe that these fat pickings are generally selected by those who are not particularly well known to Senators, and without any special reason being given for their obtaining such appointments.
I hope that this amendment will prevail, and that a limit of $2,000 will be fixed. If when the system was reorganized these places had been deemed of sufficient importance to justify the payment of a salary at all, $1,500 would have been fixed as the limit; they would have been placed in schedule C. If this amendment shall not prevail, I shall propose to put them in that lower schedule.
Mr. FESSENDEN. I think that probably would be an error the other way. I notice that many of these consulates are at very important places, where a great deal of business is done. Take, for instance, Sheffield. The consul there is paid by fees. The consul at Manchester, which is about the same sort of place, has a salary of $3,000. Sheffield probably is equal in importance to Manchester. Mr. CHANDLER. It is now; it was not then.
agents and vice consuls whom they have to pay out of their fees. I should think that $3,000 might safely be fixed as a limit. My only doubt about the amendment was whether $2,000 would be too small at some of these large places.
Mr. SUMNER. I think it would be. Mr. FESSENDEN. If we amend the amendment by inserting $3,000 in place of $2,000 it will probably be right, and perhaps by the next session we can get the information we ought to have in reference to all these places, so that we may fix the proper salary at each. Mr. CHANDLER. I do not object to that. Mr. FESSENDEN. I feel disposed, there fore, to move to amend the amendment by striking out $2,000 and inserting $3,000 in the eleventh line, and then to let it stand; and I make that motion.
The amendment to the amendment was agreed to.
Mr. SHERMAN. I desire to amend the amendment further by inserting the word "such" after the word "any" in line ten, so as to read, "when the fees so collected by any such consul or commercial agent;" so as to confine the operation of the section to these particular cases.
Mr. FESSENDEN. That is right. The amendment to the amendment was agreed to.
Mr. JOHNSON. I ask the honorable chairman whether the act of August 18, 1856, referred to in the particular amendment, does not require the consuls to report to the State Department.
Mr. FESSENDEN. I think not; but the amendment was not drawn by me but by the Senator from Ohio.
Mr. JOHNSON. I understood the letter from the Secretary of State to the Senator from Maine to say that by the law as it now stands they make a report to the State Depart
That is those who are
Mr. FESSENDEN. paid by fees.
Mr. JOHNSON. And he objects to this particular amendment on the ground that so far as it is concerned you are taking the consuls away from the State Department.
Mr. FESSENDEN. I think by that act they report to the Secretary of the Treasury.
Mr. SHERMAN. The intention was to extend the provision of the old act which applied only to scheduled or salaried consuls to the consuls who receive compensation in fees.
Mr. JOHNSON. That I understand. Mr. SHERMAN. The eighteenth section of the act of August, 1856, provides that
"All fees collected at any of the legations, or by the consuls general, consuls, and commercial agents mentioned in schedules B and C, and by vice consuls and vice commercial agents appointed to perform their duties, or by any other persons in their behalf, shall be accounted for to the Secretary of the Treasury, and held subject to his draft."
Whoever drew the communication for the State Department, made a mistake, because the language of the law was followed in drawing this section.
The amendment, as amended, was agreed to. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The amendments reported by the Committee on Finance are now completed.
Mr. CHANDLER. I am instructed by the Committee on Commerce to propose this amendment to come in at the close of the first section in the bill:
For repairs of cemetery, fences, and sexton's house belonging to the United States in the city of Mexico, $1,500, to be expended under the direction of the President of the United States.
I have a report of the Committee on Com merce on this subject which can be read if desired. The appropriation is for the repairs of the cemetery in the city of Mexico where our soldiers are buried.
Several SENATORS. State the substance of it. Mr. CHANDLER. The cemetery is out of repair; the fences are down; and the consul at the city of Mexico and our late minister in Mexico united in recommending that this
appropriation be made for the repairs of the cemetery. That is the substance of the report, but it can be read, if Senators desire to hear it. Mr. SUMNER. I do not think it is necessary.
Mr. FESSENDEN. I suggest whether this item had better not be put on some other bill. Mr. CHANDLER. It is a consular recommendation, and the Committee on Commerce proposed to put it on this bill. But it is not a consular matter. Mr. CHANDLER. It may as well go on this bill as any other. ESSENDEN. In that I differ from the Senator. It strikes me as singularly inappropriate to this bill. It may well go on the miscellaneous bill at the end of the session, where we insert various miscellaneous items. I think it ought not to go on this bill. I do not object to the appropriation, but I do not think this is the proper place for it. We never do put things of that sort in this bill. It has nothing to do with the consular and diplomatic
Mr. CHANDLER. It may just as well go on this bill as any other. Mr. FESSENDEN. There is no propriety in putting on this bill something entirely inappropriate to it, when there are other bills to which it would be appropriate.
Mr. CHANDLER. I think it more appropriate to this bill than any other.
Mr. FESSENDEN. There are no consuls buried there.
Mr. CHANDLER. It is a matter brought to our notice by a recommendation of one of our consuls. I think it belongs quite as much to this bill as to any other.
recommend that $1,500 be appropriated for the purpose specified, to be expended under the direction of the President.
Mr. FESSENDEN. I do not think it is to be put on the consular and diplomatic bill merely because a consul advised it, when there are other bills to which it would be appropriate. Mr. CHANDLER. The committee thought it better to put it on this bill, and therefore instructed me to report it here.
Mr. FESSENDEN. Probably it did not occur to the committee that this was not the proper place for it.
Mr. CHANDLER. What place would be more proper?
Mr. FESSENDEN. The miscellaneous appropriation bill at the end of the session; it would be very proper there.
Mr. SUMNER. I am sure that more than once similar appropriations have been put on this bill. I remember that at least once I moved such an appropriation to the civil and diplomatic bill to repair the cemetery at Constantinople.
Mr. FESSENDEN. Is the money to be expended by the consul?
Mr. CHANDLER. Under his supervision. Under his supervision. I think this is the place for it. Mr. SUMNER. I think it may come in here. Mr. FESSENDEN. If it is a proper appropriation I suppose there will be no harm done by putting it here; but I should like to hear the evidence.
Mr. CHANDLER. Let the report be read. The Secretary read as follows;
The Committee on Commerce to whom was referred the letter of Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, bearing date March 5, 1866, indorsing communications from Marcus Ottenberg, relative to the condition of the American cemetery at the city of Mexico, report:
That by the provisions of the act of Congress, approved September 28, 1850, $10,000 was appropriated for purchasing, walling, and ditching a piece of land near the city of Mexico for a cemetery or burial ground for such of the officers and soldiers of our Army as fell in battle or died in and around said city, and for the interment of American citizens who had died or may die in said city. The money thus appropriated was expended by direction of the President of the United States for the object specified in the act. Seven hundred and fifty American officers and soldiers who died in and about the city of Mexico during the war, were interred in the ground thus acquired, and since the war a large number of American citizens have also been interred there. The American consul now represents that the cemetery is in a neglected and dilapidated condition, and estimates that it will require $1,500 to repair the cemetery, the sexton's house, and for other necessary repairs in and about the premises. The committee
The amendment was agreed to.
Mr. SUMNER. I am directed by the Committee on Foreign Relations to move an amendment to come in on page 2, line sixteen, after the word "dollars," in the shape of a proviso:
consideration which does not always attach to those of the inferior rank.
Provided. That an envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary appointed at any place where the United States are now represented by a minister resident shall receive the compensation fixed by law and appropriated for a minister resident and no more. I should like to make a brief explanation of It will from its
place that it comes after the appropriation for salaries of envoys extraordinary and ministers plenipotentiary and ministers resident. The object in one word-that I will state precisely before proceeding into detail-is to authorize the Government to employ in its discretion persons with the title of envoys extraordinary and ministers plenipotentiary where it now employs ministers resident, but without any increase of salary. This subject has occupied the attention of the committee for several years; it has been more than once, I think, brought before the Senate. The committee in their recent consideration of it, I think, were unanimous that the good of the service, especially in Europe, required that this change should be made. From all the information that comes to us, it appears that our ministers at the courts where they have only the title of ministers resident play a second part to gentlemen with the title of envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary, though representing Governments which we certainly should not consider in point of rank in the world on an equality with ours. They are second to them; in short, to use a familiar illustration and simply in order to bring the difference home to the Senators, when they call upon business or appear anywhere they bear the same relation to the envoys extraordinary of those smaller Governments that, for instance, a member of the other House when he waits upon the President of the United States, as we know, bears to the Senators. The Senator is admitted to the President, when the member of the other House, as we know, waits. It is so now with the ministers resident of the United States as compared with persons of a higher title at the courts to which they are accredited, although those gentlemen with a higher title represent what I have already said we should regard as inferior Powers.
I hold in my hand, by way of illustration, the last Almanac of Gotha, for 1886, which is the diplomatic authority for the world, and has been now for about a century; and by way of example, I turn to the diplomatic list for the Netherlands, where it will be remembered we are represented by a patriotic citizen, well known to most of us, and who was connected with the press, Mr. Pike, with the title of minister resident. By looking at the list, I find at this same court that the Grand Duchy of Baden is represented by an envoy extraor dinary and minister plenipotentiary, that Belgium, the adjoining country, and with a population much inferior to our own, is represented by an envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary; that Denmark, a nation which now, since she has been shorn of the two provinces of Schleswig and Holstein, has not a million and a half of population, is represented by an envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary. Spain, of course, is represented by an envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary. Even the Grand Duchy of Hesse is so represented; so is the kingdom of Italy; so is the Duchy of Nassau; so is Portugal, so is Prussia, and so on. In transacting business the American minister resident at the court of the Hague is always treated as second to all these representatives. I have alluded to the relations which we bear to the head of the executive department here as compared with members of the other House. I doubt not that Senators know there is an advantage in that in the dispatch of business, in having access promptly and perhaps with a certain
That, in brief, is an outline of the present condition of things. I think there are none of the courts where our representatives do not complain that they suffer personally and in the public interests which they represent through this inferior position, and the object of the proposition now moved is to relieve this evil. It is to secure to these representatives the advantages which we covet for our country to the end that their own respectability may be enhanced and that they may transact the public business with the most effect.
It is not proposed and now I come to the suggestion which the Senator from Iowa has made in a whisper-it is not proposed that there shall be any increase of salary.
Mr. CONNESS. That will come next year. Mr. SUMNER. I will come to that. Mr. GRIMES. That is not the suggestion I made. The suggestion I made in a whisper, which the Senator seems to have heard, is that Mr. Pike, the gentleman to whom he alludes, in a letter to me ridiculed this whole proposition.
Mr. SUMNER. I think he must be the only one, then, that does it.
Mr. GRIMES. That may be. I have no correspondence with any but him.
Mr. SUMNER. I should like to see the letter.
Mr. GRIMES. I think the Senator from Maine has seen it.
Mr. SUMNER. Very well. I will finish what little I have to say. I can only say, that from my experience in this matter, with some opportunities of observation and reflection, and with no personal interest in it whatever, with no desire to advance the interest of any human being, and at this moment having no one of our functionaries in view, simply speaking for the interests of my country, as I understand them, abroad, I am satisfied that they would be promoted by this change. And now comes the remark of the Senator from California that next year will be the demand for an increase of salary.
Mr. CONNESS. Perhaps it may be a year further on.
Mr. SUMNER. Perhaps the year after, or ten years from now. I do not know that it may not come; but I bring this forward in good faith. I do not bring it forward merely by myself; I bring it forward now as the representative of the Committee on Foreign Relations on this floor, after having carefully considered it, and believing, as I do, that the public interests will be promoted by it.
Now, a question may arise as to the form in which it is presented. I should like to have the Secretary read the proposition before I
comment on it.
The Secretary read the amendment. Mr. SUMNER. It will be observed that the proposition does not undertake to empower the President, or to direct him, to make this change, but it assumes, according to a certain theory of the Constitution, that under the Constitution it is in the discretion of the President to send embassadors, envoys extraordinary, or ministers resident, or any other diplomatic functionary in his discretion, Congress having only the discretion of supplying the means. The Constitution says:
"He [the President] shall have power by and with the advice and consent of the Senate to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur, and be shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate shall appoint, embassadors, other public ministers, and consuls."
It was in pursuance of this provision of the Constitution that in 1856, when our consular and diplomatic system was revised, the following provision was enacted; and here again you will observe that the provision does not undertake to empower the President to appoint embassadors, envoys extraordinary, or other diplomatic functionaries, but it assumes that he may do it, and proceeds to supply the salary. The provision is as follows:
"That embassadors, envoysextraordinary, and min