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on the subject is of a public character, and it is
isters plenipotentiary, ministers resident, commissioners, chargés d'affaires, and secretaries of legation, appointed to the countries hereinafter named in schedule A, shall be entitled to compensation for their services, respectively, at the rates per annum hereinafter specified; that is to say, embassadors and envoys extraordinary and ministers plenipotentiary, the full amounts specified therefor in said schedule A; ministers resident and commissioners, seventyfive per cent.; chargés d'affaires, fifty per cent., and secretaries of legation, fifteen per cent. of the said amounts respectively.'
In this country we do not stand much upon the different grades or positions which diplomatic agents possess; they are altogether artificial; I think as little of them, perhaps, as anybody else; but in Europe it is different; they Now, the proposition which I have moved judge of men's importance frequently accordproceeds, in harmony with this, simply to, de- ing to their name or grade or standing. Long clare that where the President shall undertake custom there has made distinctions between to appoint an envoy extraordinary or minister the various grades of these officers. In the plenipotentiary to any court where we are now public law, the different order and dignity of represented by a minister resident there shall the various grades of diplomatic agents is perbe only the salary of a minister resident. Pro- fectly well understood and always has been. ceeding with the theory of this act and a cer- If a nation sees fit to be represented there by tain theory of the Constitution, the President a minister of an inferior grade, it labors under has the power already to appoint to all these an apparent disadvantage; he is not consid courts an envoy extraordinary and minister ered by his associates as being on an equal plenipotentiary if in his discretion he shall see footing with those of them that are of the first fit, but there is no salary appropriated by law. rank. A minister of the first rank may, for Ifthe amendment now offered should be adopted instance, go into the presence of the emperor, it would be in his discretion, at any of the courts or king, or highest officer of the State and comwhere he shall see fit, to change our represent- municate with him directly, where, by the etiative from a minister resident to an envoy ex- quette of the nation, a minister of an inferior traordinary, but without any increase of sal-grade would not be permitted to do so, but ary; and the simple question remains whether would have to communicate with some suborit is not fit to give this discretion to the Presi- dinate officer. dent. He is not called upon to exercise it. There are places where he may think it better to continue the minister resident.
Mr. FESSENDEN. He can do it now. Mr. SUMNER. But there is no salary; the salary would not apply. The object of my amendment is to supply the salary in such cases. That is all. I have heard it observed that though the President may now, under the Constitution, appoint to any place an envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary, he is, to a certain extent, restrained in the exercise of that power by the want of an appropriation to support an envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary at such a court. This proposition meets that difficulty precisely. It empowers him, if he sees fit at any court, to raise the minister resident there to the rank of envoy extraordinary, to transfer the salary which he now has as minister resident to the other office. Legislation is required to enable him to do that.
I come again, then, to the simple question of expediency in the case. That is to be determined, I take it, by the testimony we receive from Europe. I should certainly be disposed to respect very much the testimony of the gentleman whom the Senator from Iowa quotes if it were given fairly on the facts. That is the reason why I said I should like to see his letter. I should respect it very much; but then I am free to say that I speak on this matter somewhat from my own individual observation for many years, almost for my whole life; and I have no hesitation in giving the opinion that the diplomatic interests of our country in Europe, at the courts where we are now represented by ministers resident, would be promoted by this change; and that was the opinion of the committee with which I have the honor to be associated, after the most careful consideration of it, not only this year, but during some years past.
Mr. WADE. Perhaps I ought to say a word on this subject, as I first moved it in committee. I did so upon information which I had received from some of our ministers abroad, gentlemen with whom I was formerly acquainted, who in letters to me mentioned that they were laboring under this disadvantage-not a disadvantage to themselves, but a disadvantage to the country. I suppose the object of sending a minister abroad at all is that he may have a position which will enable him to exercise as much influence as the Government that sends him can properly clothe him with.
Mr. FESSENDEN. I should like to know the name of the Senator's correspondent.
Mr. WADE. The one to whom I refer particularly is Mr. Harvey, representing this country at the court of Portugal. Perhaps I ought not to state anything about this, but all he said
Now, when we are entitled to consider ourselves among the first nations of the earth in point of population, of influence, of respectability, and in every point of view, I think it is a modesty that works to our disadvantage for us to refuse to send agents abroad with titles which will, in the estimation of those to whom we send them, place us upon a position as high as other nations. I am informed that by this course we detract from our influence abroad, and I should expect that would be the case, because foreign nations are not apt to rate a people much higher than they see fit to rate themselves. This amendment will cost us nothing. It is simply conferring a rank which is considered important abroad, although it is not deemed important among us, because we do not stand so much on this kind of etiquette as they do in Europe. As they do regard it of consequence, and as it is just as easy for us to give the highest title as the lowest, why should we not do it? It will give us an advantage abroad, and put us on a footing with other countries represented by the highest grades of diplomats. If we do not rate ourselves equal to them, we shall not be rated so by the customs of those nations. That is all there is about it. I do not think it needs an elaborate argument. I think it is a very cheap way of obtaining the influence we ought to have if we send diplomatic agents abroad at all.
Here let me say that if I could have my own way about it I never would have a resident minister abroad. I would abolish the whole of them. I do not think they are of any kind of importance to us. I do not think they do any good in our relations with Europe. There may be barbarous nations with which we have communication where a resident minister all the time may be of some service; but with those nations of Europe with whom we are in constant communication, having treaties well understood with each other, there is no more need for and no more importance to be attached to a resident minister than there is to have such agents sent by these States to each other. Now, if a difficulty springs up between this country and a European nation, we hardly ever settle that controversy by means of our minister there; we generally send a special agent to do that special business, and that is the way we ought to do the whole of it and rid ourselves of the entire incumbrance of this whole matter. But if we will have ministers abroad, let us have them of the first class; let us rate ourselves as we really are, on a standing and dignity with any nation of the earth. Let us do it unless we will abolish them, and if you will go that way with me I should like it much the best. That is all I have to say about it. It is a cheap way of rating ourselves as we ought to be rated and that to our advantage.
Mr. SUMNER called for the and they were ordered.
Mr. SHERMAN. Since the yeas and nays are to be called I feel bound to state, very briefly, the position I occupy in regard to this matter. I am perfectly willing, in order to meet the argument of my colleague and of the Senator from Massachusetts, to give the rank provided for, but I do not wish to do it in such a way that it will inevitably draw with it an increase of pay. The objection to the amend ment proposed by the Senator from Massachu setts is this: the law now confers upon an envoy extraordinary the salary of $10,000 a year; it is so fixed by law, and at the next session we shall undoubtedly have an application from every person appointed under this proviso for the legal salary, and we cannot refuse to grant it to him. The legal salary affixed to this title of envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary is by the law, first, $17,500 to a certain class named, then to another class $12,000, and to another class $10,000, and this compensation being fixed by law the persons appointed under this proviso will undoubtedly apply for the salary. I have submitted to the Senator from Massachusetts an additional section that will accomplish his object and the object of my colleague without involving this danger, and if that amendment is satisfactory to him-be now has it before him-I am perfectly willing to vote for it.
Mr. SUMNER, Very well. This would practically carry out the idea the committee had.
Mr. SHERMAN. The language of the schedule already read by the Senator from Massachusetts, is, that the salary of envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to "Great Britain and France" shall be "each $17,500;" to "Russia, Spain, Austria, Prussia, Brazil, Mexico, and China, each $12,000; all other countries, each $10,000."
We have no envoy extraordinary to any other country than those named specifically.
Mr. FESSENDEN. Your amendment will reduce them to $7,500.
Mr. SHERMAN. No, it only affects the third class and no other. It says "in countries not specifically named in schedule A" the salary of a minister plenipotentiary shall be $7,500.
Mr. FESSENDEN. Now the salary of those not named is $10,000. By this you reduce it to $7,500.
Mr. SUMNER. There are none now appointed under the third clause.
Mr. SHERMAN. There are none under the third clause of this schedule. There are ministers plenipotentiary at $17,500, and some at $12,000, but none at $10,000. None have been appointed under that third clause; so that the effect is to provide that the compensation of an envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary and of a minister resident to all the countries not specifically named in this schedule shall be $7,500. That gives them the incidental advantages of getting in to see the king a little sooner than otherwise.
Mr. SUMNER. I am perfectly willing to accept that substitute.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Massachusetts can withdraw his amend ment by unanimous consent, the yeas and nays having been ordered.
Mr. GRIMES. I trust this amendment will
That is not denying what I
not be adopted, because it will do away, I ap-
Mr. WADE. I did not say that he asked us to pass any such law. I said that I understood from him that he labored under this difficulty.
Mr. GRIMES. Yes, sir; that he labored under this difficulty, and the natural inference would be that he desired to have the difficulty removed; and the Senator from Ohio, in his capacity as one of the members of the Committee on Foreign Relations, has proposed to remove it by elevating him in rank. He is the gentleman known to the country as the man who telegraphed to Charleston, South Carolina, that Fort Sumter was about to be relieved, and the result was that fire was immediately opened by the rebels upon the vessel that went there to relieve the beleaguered men in that fortification.
Mr. WADE. You are wrong.
Mr. GRIMES. No, sir, I am not wrong. Mr. James E. Harvey was the man, and stands on the record as the man-and I am prepared to prove it who telegraphed through to Charleston that Fort Sumter was about to be relieved, and in consequence of that the rebel fire was opened upon Fort Sumter. He is the man who has within a short time written a most infamous letter, written as it was by a minister representing this country abroad, to the Secretary of State, which he has seen fit to publish in the New York Times. I have only seen copious extracts from it and have not had an opportunity to read the whole of it, in which he denounced Congress in the most unmeasured terms, and if I understand the force of language he intimates that it would be well for the President of the United States to eject us from the Halls of Congress. This is one of the gentlemen whom it is proposed to elevate in rank from ministers resident to envoys extraordinary and ministers plenipotentiary.
Now, Mr. President, if we are going to give him the honor let us not cut ourselves off from the opportunity, at a future day during this session, or when the consular and diplomatic bill shall be under consideration at the next session of Congress of also conferring upon him a part of the Treasury of the United States in consideration not only of the services that he renders as foreign minister, but also in consideration of the services he rendered to the country while he was here, and the services he is rendering to us by the private communications which he keeps up with the Secretary of State and which the Secretary of State publishes as electioneering documents in his organ in New York.
Mr. WADE. I am very sorry that on a question of this sort, which is purely of a public character, having no reference that I know of to the conduct of any individual on earth, the character of a gentleman should be dragged in here to be stigmatized before the public when there is no occasion for it. If the Senator from Iowa has any particular grief against this minister I wish he had taken some other way and some other occasion to vent his feelings on the subject. I do not think that this is the place or the occasion or the issue for that kind of spleen. The gentleman has gone back to the time the rebels fired on Fort Sumter and the communication that he says Mr. Harvey made to them. I know something about that letter. It was investigated at the time, when Mr. Harvey was most ungenerously charged with about the same thing that he has been charged with here to-day. All that he didall his communications with South Carolina, with everybody, and anybody-was done with the knowledge of the President and his Cabinet, and at their request.
Mr. WADE. It is not denying it, but it is taking the sting out of it. If he was acting in conformity to the wishes of his Government he was not in communication with traitors, unless they were all traitors together, which the gentleman will not pretend.
Now, sir, what has the character of Mr. Harvey to do with the question that is before us? This proposition does not apply to any minister in particular. If one half what the Senator has said is true, and if the authorities that govern Mr. Harvey do their duty, he will not be minister very long. If he uses his position to assail Congress and to put up the President of the United States, as many have done, to drive Congress out, if the President ought not to be displaced, he will not leave this minister one hour in his position after such advice. I know nothing about that. I am not the advocate of any man or any man's conduct here, and least of all do I wish to discuss a gentleman's character here upon a question in which it is not involved and having nothing to do with it.
a higher position because, as it was said, Leopold was our great friend, although I believe it turned out afterward that he was not, and that his influence had really been turned against us, and because Belgium was such a very important country, having about five millions of people, although it is not so important in the way of trade to us as the Netherlands, having no foreign possessions. That was for his benefit. He is the last man abroad that I would attempt to dignify or to please by raising his rank, for reasons which I shall not give. I would have said, until this morning, that I felt differently toward Mr. Harvey, the minister to Portugal; but if the statement which I have read is true, which professes to be extracts from a letter of his published in the New York Times, he has been guilty of a grave indecorum; and instead of passing a bill by which he could be by any possibility raised in rank, he ought to be kicked out, because it was an interference with what, being a foreign minister, it was improper for him to interfere with, if the letter was actually written, and I suppose there is no doubt about it; and in the next place, it was a very unnecessarily impertinent letter with reference to some branches of the Government, he being a foreign minister.
Mr. JOHNSON. What letter does the honorable member refer to?
Mr. FESSENDEN. I refer to a letter which is said to be printed-I have not seen the letter itself-in the New York Times. It is reviewed in an article sent to me in Wilkes's Spirit.
Mr. JOHNSON. I have not seen it. Mr. FESSENDEN. The review I saw was in Wilkes's Spirit, in which it was stated that it was a letter published in the New York Times, and directed to the Secretary of State. I thought very well of Mr. Harvey when he was here. He was a very good correspondent, and very much of a gentleman in his manners, and a man of talent undoubtedly. Whether this is true or not, I do not know; I only say,
he has written such a letter, I do not know that he has expressed opinions with reference to Congress that would be at all disagreeable to the Secretary of State. presume he knew to whom he was writing, and how his letter would be received.
Sir, what is the question? It is no more nor less than this: have we given our ministers abroad that rank that enables them to be as useful to the country as they are capable of being if we bestow it upon them? That is all there is of it. I do not wish to confer rank upon any man in order to gratify any vanity he may have on the subject. I care nothing about that. That is the furthest thing in the world from my intention. But as I said before, if there are different grades and ranks of these diplomatic agents, and in Europe some are considered of more influence and respectability than others, it does not become a great nation like this, in my judgment, to put its diplomatic agents upon the lowest footing where they will be considered by European Governments as standing in an inferior position; and that applies to the whole of them—not to Mr. Harvey any more than the rest of them-but to all of them together. Why, then, discuss the charac-if ter of a single one of our diplomatic agents in order to rebut this question or to explain it? It has no bearing upon the question, and ought not to have been introduced here.
Mr. FESSENDEN. Whatever we may do, if we should adopt the amendment proposed by my friend from Ohio, [Mr. SHERMAN,] the result, in my opinion, will be the same. We shall have, in a very short time, a statement that this rank of minister plenipotentiary cannot be supported on so small a salary with that dignity which the position requires. But I enter my entire dissent to the idea that the influence of our ministers abroad depends upon whether they are called by one title or another. The thing itself is preposterous so far as my own judgment is concerned. The influence which a man would have at a foreign court depends, in the first place, somewhat perhaps upon his own capacity, but more, unquestionably, upon the power of the Government that|| he represents. It is the rank of his Government and the power that it has among the nations of the earth that gives him power abroad. The idea that it is required for the protection of the interests of this country in foreign courts that we should change the title and the rank of our ministers is one that does not address itself with any sort of force to my mind. I have no doubt there may be some little matters of etiquette in which a higher rank would be convenient to the ministers themselves, and that is all there is of it.
Now, sir, I will venture to say-and the Senator from Massachusetts and the Senator from Ohio [Mr. WADE] will contradict me if I am not right about it-that there are but two men among all our ministers resident who have ever said a word on this subject. One of them is the minister to Belgium and the other is the minister to Portugal. I have never heard of anybody else that made any disturbance about it. I know that an effort was made here two years ago to force the minister to Belgium into
Mr. FESSENDEN. So I understand. I cannot say that the letter exists, because I have not seen it, but I have seen what purported to be extracts from it published in Wilkes's Spirit.
Mr. JOHNSON. It would be an extraordinary thing, and the fault almost as much of the Secretary as of the correspondent, if he has received an official letter from a minister abroad censuring Congress and published it.
Mr. FESSENDEN. It was not an official letter. Letters are marked "official," I believe, where they are particularly meant to be kept private; if not marked "official" they may be published. I suppose this was written for publication.
Mr. JOHNSON. That would make it no better so far as the Secretary is concerned.
Mr. FESSENDEN. With the opinion the he sends an admiral on any service, if it be honorable Senator may have of the Secretary only of compliment, he produces at once a I have nothing to do. I have never compared greater effect than if he sends a lieutenant. notes with him on that subject. I am not com- My friend, the Senator from Iowa, has just menting on the Secretary's conduct in pub-induced us to send the Assistant Secretary of lishing the letter, if it has been published. I the Navy to Europe, because in that way he only say that if such a letter was written by thought he should give more éclat to a certain Mr. Harvey to the Secretary, he understood service. I united with him in that effort. Why perfectly well to whom he was writing, and did he do that? Why not allow one of the comhow it would be received and appreciated. mon clerks of the Department to carry that resolution? The Senator from Iowa on that occasion knew full well that if he sent the Assistant Secretary of the Navy he should do more than if he sent a simple clerk of the Department; and therefore I am brought to the precise point, that whatever may be the rank of our country in the world, and how much soever we may be entitled at all courts where our representatives are, to the highest precedence, yet such is human nature that our position is impaired by the rank of the agent that we send. I wish to give to our agent all those artificial accessaries and incidents which the law of nations allows. I follow the law of nations. Why does the law of nations authorize or sanction, and why do our Constitution and statutes, following the law of nations, authorize and sanction this difference of rank, except because it was supposed that if you sent a person of a higher rank you could obtain a corresponding degree of influence? That is the theory which underlies the whole question of rank. It runs into the Army; it runs into the Navy; it runs into Congress; it runs into all the business of life; and the simple question is, whether now, in the diplomatic service of your country, in dealwith your foreign agents, you will discard a principle of action which you follow in everything else.
Mr. JOHNSON. The honorable member from Maine does not seem to understand me in what I said just now.
Mr. FESSENDEN. I beg the Senator's pardon.
Mr. JOHNSON. What I meant to say was that I could hardly believe it possible that the Secretary of State would publish, or consent to have published, a letter written to him, whether official or private, censuring Congress. If he has done it, what I did say was, that I think he has offended just as much against good taste, to say nothing stronger, as the writer himself.
Mr. FESSENDEN. I do not remember the particular language; I only remember, generally, in casting my eye over it, that it was very offensive. I cannot say that he mentioned Congress specifically, according to my recollection, but it was easy to understand it.
Mr. JOHNSON. I think we ought to see it. Mr. FESSENDEN. However, with that I have nothing to do further than this: I was merely saying that so far as I knew-and I beg the Senator from Massachusetts and the Senator from Ohio to correct me, if I am in error -there is no man abroad who has written on this subject or said anything about it excepting these two gentlemen, the minister to Belgium and the minister to Portugal. If there are any others, I should like to know it. I can understand, with regard to those gentlemen, why they would like it very well indeed. The only ques, tion for us to consider is, in the first place, the danger that will arise hereafter with reference to salaries, which may be greater or may be less; and, in the next place, whether it is advisable to take it for granted, as is stated here, that the rank and influence and power of this country depend upon whether these gentlemen who represent us are called one thing or another. I do not believe it. If I thought the rank or influence or position of the country abroad depended upon the rank or title of its diplomatic representative, instead of depending upon what the country is and what it is known to be, I might vote for the amendment; but merely to gratify these gentlemen I do not think it is right.
Mr. SUMNER. I have no feeling on this question at all-not the least; nor do I approach it as a political question. I see no individual in it. I do not see Mr. Harvey or Mr. Sanford. I see nobody here to oppose and nobody to favor. I see nothing in it but my country and its service abroad. Sir, I think I am as sensitive as any other Senator with regard to that just influence that belongs to my country as a republic great and glorious in the history of mankind. I believe that I am duly proud of it, and conscious of the weight that it ought to carry wherever it appears. I know that the name of my country stands for something now in the world, and that whoever represents that country on the ocean or in the diplomatic service has, alone, a great and powerful recommendation. But I also know too much of human history and too much of human nature not to know that men everywhere are influenced more or less by the title of those who approach them. Mr. FESSENDEN. Governments are not; men may be.
Mr. SUMNER. My friend says Governments are not so influenced, men may be; but let me remind my friend that Governments are composed of men. My friend knows perfectly well that if he sends a general on a particular service, he by his presence produces a more certain effect and a prompter result than if he sent a colonel or a major. My other friend, who represents the Naval Committee on this floor, [Mr. GRIMES,] knows very well that if
The PRESIDING OFFICER, (Mr. POMEROY in the chair.) Is the Senate ready for the question?
Mr. SUMNER. I think I should prefer to have the vote taken on the proposition as it came from the committee. On considering the other proposition I see that it requires some amplification in order to be perfectly clear and not to come in contact with one or two appointments that have already been made under the old statute. For instance, we have envoys extraordinary and ministers plenipotentiary at Chili and at Peru. They are not in the schedule. They come under the third clause of the statute. I think, therefore, if the Senate are disposed to adopt the conclusion of the committee, they had better follow the proposition which has been most carefully considered and digested and I think is in complete harmony with the existing statutes.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question then will be on the amendment reported by the Committee on Foreign Relations, upon which the yeas and nays have been ordered.
The question being taken by yeas and nays, resulted-yeas 15, nays 17; as follows:
YEAS-Messrs. Dixon, Doolittle, Harris, Henderson, Hendricks, Howe, Johnson, Morgan, Norton, Pomeroy, Sprague, Sumner, Wade, Wilson, and
NAYS-Messrs. Buckalew, Clark, Conness, Cragin,
ABSENT-Messrs. Anthony, Brown, Chandler,
So the amendment was rejected.
Mr. SUMNER. I am directed by the Committee on Foreign Relations to move another amendment, on page 6, line one hundred and twenty-seven of section one, to insert at the end of the clause with reference to the salaries of our commissioners and consuls general at Hayti, Liberia, and Dominica:
And the title of these diplomatic representatives shall be hereafter minister resident and consul general.
The title now at those three places is com-
sioner receives the same pay as a minister
same rank; but it seems that practically he is not so recognized at the court where he is accredited. At any rate, he is not so recognized in the island of Hayti. The Secretary of State has referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations a recent dispatch from the commis sioner/and consul general there on this subject, with a recommendation that the Senate should take it into consideration, and take such steps with regard to it as they should think best. The committee have considered it, and the result is the proposition now before you. I will read from this dispatch a brief extract. It is under date of "Port-au-Prince, Hayti, April 21, 1866:"
"Confirming a doubt whether I should add a single line to the already voluminous pages which I send you by this mail, I cannot help asking your attention to two suggestions which seem to me important and urgently called for at the present time.
"The first is that the functions and title of the office held by General Cazeneau and myself"
General Cazeneau has not yet been confirmed for any office
"be changed to those of minister resident, so that
"2. That this influence cannot be exerted, if the representatives of our Government are kept at the official distance from the springs of political influence which they now occupy.
"To illustrate both these points: the relations between this and the sister republic are now in a crisis. The parties seem bent on quarreling. If anything saves them from such an event, it will be the influence of foreign Governments, particularly our own."
"I cannot but think that if at this moment I could go directly to his Excellency I could do service at once to my country and to these poor, distracted republics which would be of incalculable value. And it tries me, when the case is so urgent, to be compelled to stand aloof-a sort of lay figure.
The change I ask would add nothing to the ex• penses of the Government, and would cost no material inconvenience in any way. It would be a proper compliment to a sister republic, and would withdraw an indignity which we seem to impose on this Government by denying to it the kind of representation we make near other Governments which are less important in themselves and which occupy much less close geographical and political relations with us."
This is the argument which is presented by this functionary accredited to Hayti. I can see no objection to the change.
Mr. GRIMES. Why not include the Sandwich Islands?
Mr. SUMNER. That has already been done. It was done last year. Our representative to the Sandwich Islands is now called a minister resident.
Mr. FESSENDEN. I will ask the Senator if it will increase the salaries.
Mr. SUMNER. Not at all.
Mr. FESSENDEN. The one at Liberia now gets $4,500.
Mr. SUMNER. Yes, sir.
Mr. FESSENDEN. $7,500 each.
Mr. SUMNER. The salary at Hayti is $7,500.
Mr. FESSENDEN. What are the others? Mr. SUMNER. Dominica $7,500 and Liberia $4,500. No increase of salary is intended, and I will add to the amendment the words with no increase of salary."
Mr. FESSENDEN. I should like to hear the amendment as it now stands.
The Secretary read it, as follows:
And the title of these diplomatic representatives shall hereafter be minister resident and consul general, with no increase of salary.
This will give them
The amendment was agreed to.
Mr. SUMNER. I move to insert on page 5, line one hundred and eight, after the word "Nantes" the words "St. Catharine's, in Brazil." I am directed to make this motion by the committee which I represent.
Mr FESSENDEN. I should like to hear the reasons for it.
Mr. SUMNER. The explanation of this amendment is as follows: St. Catharine's, in Brazil, is a port where, in times past, the consul has been paid by fees only, until during the
rebellion it was put on the $1,500 list. The object of my motion is now practically to continue it on that list. We are represented there by a gentleman of peculiar merit, who has gained the confidence of the Department, and of all who are familiar with his services there, by his fidelity and ability. I mean Mr. Lindsay, of New Bedford, Massachusetts. Of course, if his salary is stopped, and he is remitted to his fees, he will not be able to continue there. It is regarded as important by those familiar with the place, and who transact business there, that a person of Mr. Lindsay's character should be our consul there. It was only a few days ago that I presented to the Senate a petition, which was duly referred to the Committee on Commerce, from citizens of New Bedford on this subject. Perhaps I have never presented to the Senate a petition more respectably signed; every signature representing the greatest respectability, and, I may add, the largest wealth. As it is very brief I will read it:
could be placed in association with the commissioner appointed on the side of the British Government. The interests that were to go before them were very considerable; and it appears from a communication, which I shall have read in a minute, that they have already amounted to $5,000,000. At that time, it was supposed that the services might be completed within five or six months, certainly within a year, and it was on that account that the compensation was placed, as it was, at $5,000. But instead of being completed within a year, the service is still going on, and I understand will not probably be completed before next January. Meanwhile, this distinguished gentleman whom we enlisted in this service is necessarily withdrawn from, I may say, the career in which the Senators from New York, I believe, will testify, he was so eminent, and he is left simply for this long service of more than two years with the sum of $5,000. On taking the case into consideration, the committee thought it advisable to recommend an addition of $3,000, by way of completing what I will again call the round sum for his services. I will send to the desk a letter which has been received from the commissioner himself in which he sets forth the case.
Mr. FESSENDEN. I think it is a private claim. Mr. SUMNER. Oh, no, it is not. It is for salary.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The communication will be read if there be no objection.
The Secretary read it, as follows:
"The undersigned, citizens of New Bedford, in the State of Massachusetts, interested in the whale fisheries, respectfully represent: that St. Catharine's, in Brazil, is an important place of resort of our whaling fleet, and it is essential to our interests that the consulate at that place should be filled by an American competent to the performance of his duties; that the present incumbent, Benjamin Lindsay, Esq., we regret to learn, will be compelled to relinquish the post unless the salary of the office, which has ceased by the termination of the war, shall be restored; and as the fees of the office are very inconsiderable, the result will doubtless be the transfer of its duties to some foreign and incompetent person. We therefore respectfully pray that the salary of the consulate at St. Catharine's may be restored."
This is signed by John H. Clifford, and a large number of other citizens whom I have already described.
I have also here a letter from a gentleman well known, formerly a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Charles B. Sedgwick, of Syracuse, earnestly recommending that this consulate should be placed in the $1,500 list. This is all I have to say about it. It seems to me from what I understand, and from my inquiries at the State Department for I have made it the subject of conversation there--that it is important that we should be well represented at this place. Perhaps what I have said may serve to distinguish this case from other cases, and will induce the Senate to allow it to be restored to the $1,500 list. I hope it may!
Mr. FESSENDEN. I suggest to the Senator that he had better insert it after the word Barcelona," in the one hundred and sixth
Mr. SUMNER. Very well; I will move to insert it after the word "Barcelona," in the one hundred and sixth line.
The amendment was agreed to.
Mr. SUMNER. I have another amendment to offer, to come in at the foot of page 6, which I send to the Chair:
For further compensation of the commissioner under the treaty between the United States and her Britannic Majesty for the final settlement of the claims of the Hudson's Bay and Puget Sound Agricultural Companies $3,000, in full for his services and personal expenses.
Mr. FESSENDEN. What is that for? Mr. SUMNER. I will tell you. The commissioner mentioned is Hon. Alexander S. Johnson, late chief justice of the court of appeals of the State of New York. He was commissioner in 1864, under an act which I have in my hand, entitled "An act to carry into effect a treaty between the United States and her Britannic Majesty for the final settlement of the claims of the Hudson's Bay and Puget Sound Agricultural Companies."
By that act it is provided:
That the compensation of the commissioner shall be $5,000, in full for his services and personal expenses."
The question in the committee at the time was very seriously considered whether he should be allowed a certain salary or given what we familiarly call a round sum for the whole business. It was understood that we should require the services of a thoroughly capable man, a man of high character, who
ALBANY, April 28, 1866. DEAR SIR: When it was proposed to me to accept the place of United States commissioner under the treaty for the final settlement of the claims of the Hudson's Bay and Puget Sound Agricultural Companies it was understood that the matter would be finished in four or five months. I was appointed in
July, 1864, but did not succeed in meeting the British commissioner until the succeeding January. We then found that looking to the nature and gravity of the claims amounting to $5,000,000, and involving very important questions of public law as well as a difficult inquiry of fact, we were not in the possession of the requisite evidence on which we could proceed to a decision. We thereforeset on foot the procurement of testimony on the part of the claimants of the United States and it is now ascertained that the matter will not be ripe for hearing before January, 1867.
You will readily understand that this is a very different state of things from that contemplated when the compensation of the commissioner was fixed, and that an engagement of this sort interferes necessarily with other associations.
Under these circumstances I think it right to ask that Congress should make a further provision upon that subject.
Your obedient servant,
ALEXANDER S. JOHNSON. Hon. IRA HARRIS, United States Senate.
Mr. FESSENDEN. I should think this was a case where provision ought to be made; but the question in my mind is, whether it may not be considered in the nature of a private claim, and if so, improperly on this bill. It seems that the original law provided that $5,000 should be paid in full for these services. That $5,000 he has received, and he has gone on to perform services which were not anticipated at the time the law was passed and he accepted the office. Now, if he has a claim upon Congress on that account, it should be provided for in an act passed for that purpose, and I raise the point for the decision of the Senate. It strikes me it comes entirely within the rule. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Does the Senator make the point of order?
Mr. FESSENDEN. Yes, sir. I make the point that this is a private claim and cannot be put upon an appropriation bill.
Mr. HARRIS. It really seems to me there is but little in this point of order. This gentleman has been performing services for the Government for now nearly a year and a half for which he has received $5,000. He is still to go on and complete those services. I adcompensation it was supposed that those sermit that when the provision was made for his vices would be of much less value than they have proved to be. Under the circumstances, he asks for further compensation for services yet to be rendered. It cannot be regarded
as a private claim. He is to go on for the best part a year yet in performing and completing the services for which he was appointed. It seems to me to come directly within the prov. ince of a bill of this kind to provide for services yet to be rendered.
Mr. FESSENDEN. I suggest to the Senator that perhaps the difficulty may be avoided if the amendment is put in a different shape. If the Senator will offer an additional section to the bill providing that the services of Mr. Johnson may be continued until a specified time, making it a provision of law, and that for the additional services to be performed by him he shall receive the sum of $3,000, I suppose, if it is recommended by a committee, it would be in order. But simply to put in this bill an appropriation of $3,000 in this way I think is out of order. I make the point in this case reluctantly, but I make it because I feel obliged to make it. The law is exhausted. If he has rendered these services it is a claim against the Government. If you want to provide for a continuance of these services, and payment for them, that can be done in a separate section.
Mr. JOHNSON. It comes recommended from the committee, does it not?
Mr. FESSENDEN. Not in the shape that I suggest. It comes from them merely as a recommendation of $3,000 more to be appropriated.
Mr. JOHNSON. It does not come in the shape the Senator suggests, but the honorable chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations can put it in that shape.
Mr. SUMNER. I will put it in any form to suit the views of Senators. The vote of the committee was that the chairman be directed to move on this appropriation bill an additional $3,000 for Judge Johnson as further compensation for his services.
Mr. JOHNSON. I suggest to my friend from Massachusetts to let the amendment be passed over for a moment, and then he can redraw it so as to meet the suggestion of the chairman of the Committee on Finance.
Mr. SUMNER. I am perfectly willing to accept any form. I will draw it to meet the suggestion of the Senator from Maine.
Mr. NESMITH. I have some familiarity with the proceedings of this commission, having been before it several times to testify, and know perhaps as much as almost any person of the facts to be brought before them for decision. The commission I do not think will be able to get through in a year. The amount of business before them is very great, and the testimony is scattered from the summit of the Rocky mountains to the Pacific ocean, and up and down the ocean for several degrees of latitude; and I do not apprehend that they will get through in a I think if any provision is to be made for extra compensation or increased compensation to Judge Johnson it should be made now. He has served very much beyond the time that the compensation provided for by law was adequate to; and I do not believe they will be able to complete the business in less than twelve or eighteen months. They have to take a great deal of testimony. I hope, therefore, that the amendment will be adopted to this bill.
Mr. HENDRICKS. It does not strike me that this amendment is a violation of the rule of the Senate. An existing law provides a compensation for this officer. This amendment simply changes that compensation. The existing law says his compensation shall be $5,000. This modification of the law is that it shall be $8,000. In view of the services rendered, the Senate can judge better now of what they are worth than before the services were rendered at all. If the services were entirely completed, I think the point made by the chairman of the Committee on Finance would be well made; but as this is, during the pendency of the service, a modification of the rule of compensation, I cannot see that it is a private claim.
Mr. TESSENDEN. I felt it my duty to raise the point. If the Senate overrule me, I cannot help it.
Mr. HENDRICKS. The Chair is to decide the question.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chair prefers to take the sense of the Senate on the question whether the amendment shall be received in the form in which it is now offered. The question being put; the amendment was received.
absolutely without blame. He has been in a position where, had his integrity been open to the least seduction, he might have been tempted. No human being imagines that he has ever for a moment yielded. He has discharged his very important trusts on a very humble salary. think the Senator from Maine knows him well enough to know that he has brought to those functions an ability of a peculiar character. And now, in the decline of life, he finds himself with simply the smallest salary of a clerk, on which he can with difficulty subsist; and yet all the time rendering these important services and discharging these very considerable trusts, absorbed in the business of the office, so that he takes it home with him every night. It with him in the evening and it returns goes with him in the morning, and then it fills the whole day. I think that such a public servant does deserve recognition in some form. I have for a long time felt that his compensation was grossly inadequate. I have thought that his salary ought directly to be raised; but after consideration of the question in committee, and after consultation with others who were supposed to be good advisers in the matter, it was thought best to make a recommendation such as I have now moved, being the addition of twenty per cent. to the compensation of all the clerks in the Department. The argument for that, let me add, seems to me to be completely enforced in the petition from these gentlemen which has been read at the desk. I can see no objection to it, especially after what we have done for the clerks of the Treasury. Are not these public servants at the State Department as worthy as those public servants at the Treasury?
Mr. FESSENDEN. What the Senator has said shows that he has not investigated the subject about which he is speaking. In the first place, the salaries of the clerks of the Treasury Department generally have not been increased at all, in any way.
Mr. FESSENDEN. I hope that will not be adopted.
Mr. SUMNER. I send to the Chair a petition that has been pending for some time before the committee on this subject, which I ask to have read.
The Secretary read as follows:
To the Senate and House of Representatives:
The petition of the undersigned, clerks in the Department of State, humbly represent that their salaries which were fixed when gold was current and the prices of the necessaries of life were comparatively low, are now entirely inadequate to their support with the most rigid econony. Indeed, some of them who have been more fortunate than others in the enjoyment of small incomes from private sources, have from time to time been obliged to sacrifice the principal from which those incomes were derived, to provide themselves and their families with shelter and the plainest clothing and food. Many of them might earn more by obtaining employment elsewhere, but some of these have been so long in office, that, in all humility, they deem it their duty to remain until it shall be otherwise decreed, at almost any sacrifice, believing that the knowledge and experience which they have gained is not their property, but a valuable one to the public, in whose service those qualifications have been acquired.
At the last session of Congress an appropriation was made for additional compensation to clerks in the Treasury Department. Your petitioners have no doubt of the wisdom of that measure, but regret that they may not have been deemed worthy of a similar boon,
Supposing, however, that the apparent partiality referred to may have been occasioned by an oversight your petitioners appeal to your sense of justice to place them on a similar footing with the clerks in that Department in respect to compensation.
And your petitioners, as in duty bound, will so ever pray.
dents and cashiers of banks, for anything like that sum. The new banks that were made in the country were taking these men out of the Treasury Department every day in the week, and the only way of meeting the difficulty was precisely in the mode I have suggested.
Now, these clerks of the State Department come in and ask for an increase of twenty per cent., when that twenty per cent. increase has not been given in any case to any of the clerks in any of the Departments. I will say to the Senator, if he proposes to make an increase of the pay of the clerks there, the proper way to do it is to ask the Secretary of State to recommend it in the first place. The difficulty with the Secretary of State is, that he will not recommend anything. He just sits there and says, "Go to Congress," and will not let us know his opinion. If he thinks that the salaries in his Department ought to be increased, let him take the responsibility of saying so under his hand, and saying what class of clerks ought to be paid an increase, and how much, and then we will consider it; but we cannot get a word, and do not get a word, from the State Department on the subject. They will recommend nothing; but they will let the clerks come here petitioning, without giving us the information as to how much they ought to receive and what classes ought to be made of them.
Mr. SUMNER. I do not know that there is any necessity for me to add anything to that petition. It speaks for itself. It states the whole case. But perhaps I should add one word at least with regard to one of the public servants there, the gentleman who heads the petition, Mr. Hunter. He is one of the oldest public servants now connected with the Government. He has been in the Department of State for more than thirty years. He may be called the living index to that Department; and I believe I do not err if I say that in all the public service there is no person whose integrity is more absolutely above suspicion. Placed in a position of the greatest public trust, where all the foreign correspondence of this Government passes under his eye, that which comes to the Government and that which leaves the
Government, I believe he has passed a life
In the next place, this is not the proper place to put it. It should be put where we put all such provisions, on the executive and legisla tive appropriation bill, which covers all the expenses of all the Departments, and not on the diplomatic and consular bill.
Mr. MORGAN. That bill has not yet been passed.
Mr. FESSENDEN. No, sir. The Senator from Massachusetts will have abundance of time to get information on this subject, and prepare his amendment, and move it on that bill; but it should not be placed on this bill. In the first place, the amendment is improper. It raises the whole of these salaries twenty per cent., without any distinction, without our knowing anything about it; and then it is put in the wrong place. Therefore I object entirely and absolutely to this proposition.
But while doing that, I cannot close without saying that I concur fully in all that has been said by the honorable Senator from Massachu setts with reference to the merits and the claims of Mr. Hunter, the chief clerk of that Department. He has been there for years, and espe cially through the war, without saying a word, on a very inadequate salary-one of the most faithful and valuable men in the Government. He is absolutely poor and hardly able to scratch along. Much of the time he has been acting Secretary of State. He has received but a small salary without complaining, absolutely poor, with a family upon him. He is one of the most valuable men there is, or has been, connected with the Government for years. I coincide with what the Senator from Massachusetts said of him, and I think we ought to increase his salary. That is my opinion, and I should be glad to have an opportunity to do it. Mr. SUMNER. Let us do it now. Mr. FESSENDEN. This is not the place to put it on, and I object entirely to having it here. Why insist on having it here? Mr. SUMNER. I will tell you. I have a
Mr. SUMNER. Some of them have. Mr. FESSENDEN. We made a provision a year or two ago for the female employés who received $600 a year, and for the messengers, the mere laborers of the Department, giving them an additional percentage; but we refused utterly to raise the salary of the clerks generally. What we did was simply this, and it was the only way to reach it: in the Treasury Department there are several clerks whose services are absolutely indispensable; they are very able men, and men who could be heads of bureaus, who were absolutely necessary to the working of the Department. They were leaving us at the rate of eight or ten a week. Why? Because they got salaries of $1,800 and $2,000, when they could go out of the Departinent and receive $3,000, $3,500, and $4,000; and we were losing them fast, so that we could not carry on the business of some of the bureaus. You could not supply their places; that was out of the question; and for. that reason an appropriation was made out of which the Secretary was empowered to increase the salaries of certain clerks where he thought the public interests required it. It was the only way in which the business of the Department could be kept on at all. But we utterly refused to apply any portion of that appropriation to raising the salaries generally of the clerks in the Department. Since then, the clerks who did not get any of it, and who are overpaid, or paid amply the first-class clerks, for instance, who get $1,200, the most Mr. CONNESS. I hope the Senator from of whom do not earn any more than that, and Massachusetts will withdraw the amendment of whom you could get five thousand at any now pending and substitute for it a proposition time-made a howl about it, and said, "Here to increase, and increase to a respectable exyou have been raising the salaries of persons tent, the salary of Mr. Hunter; and I beg to who receive the biggest compensation, and not say to the honorable chairman who has this given those who receive the least anything.' bill in charge, that although it may appear That is true in point of fact; but the reasons irregular to affix it here, the compliment well are perfectly obvious. We were obliged to do deserved will be the greater to Mr. Hunter if it. There is a very great difference in the we embrace the earliest opportunity to render We could get plenty of boys at $1,200 him a measure of simple justice. I will not a year, and it is all they earn, and probably undertake to add anything to the well-earned ample pay for them; but you cannot get ac- reputation of that distinguished gentleman and complished, able men, who are fit to be presi-faithful public servant; but I am prepared to