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Mr. FESSENDEN. If it creates no debate I will not object.
Mr. WILLIAMS. There will be no debate.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. cial order will be laid aside informally if there be no objection on the part of any member of the Senate. The Chair hears no objection. The question is on the amendment offered by the Senator from Oregon to the amendment made as in Committee of the Whole.
The amendment to the amendment was rejected.
The amendment, as amended, was curred in.
The bill was ordered to be engrossed for a third reading, was read the third time, and passed. Its.title was amended so as to read: * A bill granting lands to aid in the construction of a railroad and telegraph line from the Central Pacllic railroad, in California, to Portland, in Oregon."
CONSULAR AND DIPLOMATIC BILL. The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The special order, being the bill (H. R. No. 261) making appropriations for the consular and diplomatic expenses of the Government for the year ending 30th June, 1807, and for other purposes, is now before the Senate, as in Committee of the Whole, the pending question being on the amendment proposed by the Senator from Massachusetts, Mr. SUMNER,] to insert at the end of section two the following words:
And the compensation of William Hunter, Esq., chief clerk of the Department of State, shall be at the rate of $3,500 a year; and a suflicient sum is hereby appropriated for this purpose out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated.
Mr. FESSENDEN. It does not state when the compensation is to begin.
Mr. SUMNER. I presume with the passage of this bill.
Mr. FESSENDEN. You should say "from and after the 30th day of June next.
Mr. SUMNER. I should like to have it embrace the last year.
Mr. FESSENDEN. That language will not embrace it, and we never go back in such cases.
Mr. SUMNER. Could we not say the 1st of January???
Mr. FESSENDEN. Oh, no ; we should not do that; it would make a bad precedent.
Mr. SUMNER. Then I will insert the words “from and after the 30th of June next.''
Mr. FESSENDEN. I wish the Senator would put his amendment in the shape of a new section. It now comes directly after section two.
Mr. SUMNER. I propose that it shall come there.
Mr. FESSENDEN. But you make it come in as a part of section two. It should be a new section.
Mr. SUMNER. I desire to have it as a new section. The Clerk can change it in that respect.
Nr. FESSENDEN. Let it be read again as it now stands.
The Secretary read it, as follows: And be it further enacted, That from and after the 30th day of June, 1866, the compensation of William Hunter, Esq., chief clerk of the Department of State, shall be at the rate of $3,500 a year, and a sufficient sum is hereby appropriated for this purpose out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated.
Mr. FESSENDEN. I will state to the Senator that in the legislative and executive appropriation bill there is an appropriation to pay his present salary, which is $2,200, and all that it is necessary for the Senator to insert in this amendment is 6
an amount necessary to pay the additional salary herein provided for is hereby appropriated," &c.
Otherwise you make two appropriations, one in the legislative and executive bill, and one here, for the same purpose.
Mr. GRIMES. It ought not to be here at all.
Mr. FESSENDEN. I know that, but I want to perfect it as well as I can. I suggest to the Senator from Massachusetts to make his amendment read, “and the amount necessary to pay the increased compensation herein provided for is hereby appropriated,'' &c.
Mr. SUMNER. Let it be so changed. When do it. I think Congress ought to come squarely I drew it, I thought that any subsequent bill up and meet the responsibility of the case, and might be altered with reference to this.
give to the clerical force of the different DeThe PRESIDENT pro tempore. The amend- partments a proper compensa ion. I shall not ment will again be reported as modified. vote for this amendment, for ti.e reasons I have The Secretary read it, as follows:
given. And be it further enacted, That from and after the
Mr. TRUMBULL. It seems to me the form 30th of Junc, 1806, the compensation of Willian llun- of this amendment is objectionable. It proter, Esq., chicf clerk of the Department of State, shall be at the rate of $3,500 per annum; and the amount
poses to pay a person by name a particular necessary to pay the increased compensation herein salary, not to the oflicer. Is that usual? I would provided for is hereby appropriated out of any money inquire. So far as my recollection of the statin the Treasury not otherwise appropriated.
utes extends, the salary is affixed to the office, Mr. HENDRICKS. The Senator from Mas- not to the person. The judge of a court, the sachusetts reported from the committee a prop- head of a Department, the head of a bureau, osition, not the one that is now before the Sen
has so much salary; but here is a provision ate. I do not understand that this particular to give a person by name so much salary. I proposition comes before the body with the should like to inquire if that is not unpreceindorsement of the committee, but I under- dented. stand that it is his own proposition.
Mr. FESSENDEN. Entirely so. Mr. SUMNER. I beg the Senator's pardon ; Mr. SUMNER. I believe it is unprece. he will allow me to interpose an explanation. | dented, and the fact that it is unprecedented In the committee the subject was discussed in || is a reason for it on the present occasion. The the alternative, and I was authorized, in my case of Mr. Hunter was presented last evening discretion, to present to the Senate a proposi. as exceptional. He is exceptional in the length tion in the alternative, as at the moment should of his service, in the character of the labor that seem best. The committee first inclined in
he has performed, and in the trust which he favor of the proposition which is now under has enjoyed. Mr. Hunter is exceptional in all consideration, but on a second thought it seemed these respects; and in drawing the proposition that it might be better to include all the em- now before the Senate, I thought it better to ployés of the Department of State, and I was treat the case as exceptional, so that it should instructed to act accordingly. I presented, not in any respect be a precedent. therefore, it will be remembered, yesterday, a That brings me to the position of the Sengeneral proposition, applicable to all the clerks ator from Indiana. He thinks we ought to in the employment of the Department of State. embrace all the clerks in the Departments at That seemed to find little favor; Senators were once. against it; and I then withdrew it, and substi- Mr. FESSENDEN. All the chief clerks, tuted the proposition now before the Senate; as I understood him. and on that occasion I assigned some reasons Mr. SUNNER. I understoo: that he went in favor of the proposition which seemed to even further, and meant all the clerks and meet a very generous response from all sides. | employés in the Departments ; he thought they There seemed to be a general opinion that we were underpaid. I am sure that those in the ought to do something for this very faithful State Department, where I am most familiar, and eminent public servant.
are underpaid. I think we ought to do some. Mr. HENDRICKS. The proceedings yes- thing for them : the committee with which I terday misled me. I knew that the Senator had am associated think we ought to do something stated to the Senate that he was authorized by for them; and it was on that account that yeshis committee to propose the amendment which || terday I brought forward the proposition which, he did propose, and then when he perceived || yielding to remonstrances from Senators about that that did not meet with the favor of the me, I finally withdrew. I say this to the Senbody I understood him to withdraw it of his ator from Indiana that he may see that I go own motion and propose the amendment now along with him in that desire. I yielded relucbefore us. It is a very disagreeable thing to tantly to the expression of opinion about me, oppose any proposition of this sort, but I can- and withdrew the proposition. What next? I not see the propriety of selecting one chief became satisfied that there was at least one clerk of a Department and giving him a com- member in that body in the service of the pensation so much above the compensation || Department of State, whose position, as I have given to other chief clerks. If $3,500 is the said already, was absolutely exceptional; that proper sum to give a chief clerk in a Depart- || if you were disposed to neglect others, you ment as salary, I am in favor of it, but if it is ought not to neglect him ; that he had a claimnot, I am at a loss to know how we shall esti- I may call it even by that very strong termmate the value of the services of an eminent upon his country, after thirty years of service,
Are we going to pay particular officers for a compensation that should enable him to because they are so much better than other enjoy, not luxury, but a certain degree of comoflicers, or are we going to have a uniform stand- fort as years begin to creep upon him. When ard of compensation? If Mr. Hunter goes out I expressed that opinion, I found there was a of his office, his successor then is to have general accord about me. Senator after Sen. another compensation than that now given to ator rose to bear his testimony to the extraorhim, I presime. We pay the man, and do not | dinary merits of Mr. Hunter; and the only affix the salary to the office. It seems to me question at that time-I think the Senator from that is not right. If his services are very emi- Indiana was not in his seat-was interposed by nent and you feel it proper to do so, pay a sum the Senator from Maine as to the propriety of in gross for them; but do not establish that | making this motion on the bill now before the which will be a precedent in other cases. Senate. I think that I answered satisfactorily As I said at the last session, I am very ear
that objection. nestly in favor of giving an increased compensa- Then the question was left open simply on tion to the clerks in the different Departments. | the merits of this individual case. Has not Mr. I think they are very ill-paid. My knowledge, || Hunter rendered services to this Government having been at one time connected with one which at his period of life make it proper for us of the bureaus, justifies me in saying that the to individualize him by name for the increased compensation given to the clerks of the De- compensation which is now proposed? In inpartments is not adequate, in view of the talent | dividualizing him by name, you make no prewhich is to be found in the Departments, and cedent except where you can show similar serin view of the expense of supporting families vices. It is not a precedent for raising the in this city; but I think it is a very unfortunate | salary of any other chief clerk, nor raising any mode of arriving at justice to take out a par- other salary unless where you can exhibit a long ticular individual and give him an extraordi- series of services under peculiar circumstances nary compensation, and say then that all the such as we can exhibit in the case of this genrest of the starving families of those employed tleman. I hope, therefore, that the proposition in the Departments shall go without pay. This will not be opposed, and I hope that the Senis to be an argument against doing justice to ator from Indiana will withdraw his opposition the other clerks. I do not think we ought to and let it pass unanimously. Let us make this
offering to a good and faithful public servant attention I think he will be satisfied, though he Mr. SUMNER. Do I understand that the who has served all the Adininistrations from is not very easily satisfied where he has made Senator would be for a proposition to make John Quincy Adams down to this day, and I up his mind the other way. I am told that not him Assistant Secretary? believe has enjoyed the confidence of all. very long ago a proposition was made to Mr. Mr. FESSENDEN. Not on this bill.
Mr. JOHNSON. Mr. President, the Com- Hunter that he should become what the Sena. Mr.GRIMES. You can carry it in that shape. mittee on Foreign Relations, as has been stated tor from lowa proposes now, Assistant Secre- Mr. SUMNER. It is just as much in order by the honorable chairman, were unanimous in tary of State. He did not enter into the idea; on this bill as is the proposition to make a thinking that the compensation of all the clerks it was not agreeable to him; and for this rea- Solicitor. in the Department of State should be raised. son: he saw that the office of Assistant Secre- Mr. FESSENDEN. I admit that. They therefore authorized him, as he has said, tary of State would be a political office to be Mr. GUTHRIE. The chief clerks of this to propose an amendment increasing them changed with the change of Administration. Department, I have no doubt, is very essential twenty per cent. That was offered in good He had been there as a public servant know- to the office, and no new Secretary would like faith, and of course supported in good faith by ing only his country for more than thirty years, to undertake the business without the inforall the members of the committee; but we have and he preferred to continue with the humbler | mation possessed by him, or by some one who found that it is impossible to have it done. The title, so I am assured, rather than have another had been for some time in the office, and had Senate entertain a different opinion; and the title which might subject him to the vicissitudes taken some pains to understand the business. committee are not only now aware that in their | of our politics. Now, if we should carry out This gentleman knows more about our relajudgment at least an additional compensation the idea of the Senator from Iowa, which I tions with all the Governments of the world should be given to Mr. Hunter, but that the know he presents in good faith, we know not than any other individual in the State DepartSenate almost universally concur in that opin- that Mr. [unter ould not at close of this ment. He has been there a very long time; ion. I submit, tlierefore, to my friend from In- Administration be ejected, with others in a he has frequently discharged the duties of Secdiana whether it is actually just, because he is similar situation. I wish to give him this com- | retary of State, and he is very inadequately unable to compensate all the clerks of the De- pliment now in his declining years and to assure paid. I confess that I thought, when the place partment, to refuse to compensate one as to to him a position from which according to the of Assistant Secretary of State was created, it whose services we all concur and in whose in- course of things under our Government he will should have been offered to him, and he should creased compensation we all unite.
not be ejected. I wish to give him something || have had the additional compensation which I agree with him that they are very badly which shall be an assurance of the future. that place would have given him. I am in paid, and I have often been surprised at their Mr. FESSENDEN. I shall vote against this favor, however, of giving him additional com; being able to live at all with the salaries they proposition, for the reason which I before gave. pensation in some form, because it is a real receive, not merely in the Department of State I was anxious to have it put into good shape necessity at the present time. If gentlemen but the clerks in the Departments generally. in case the Senate should pass it, and therefore can put the proposition in any more appropriI think it very bad policy to keep them in the suggested the modification. I shall vote against ate form than that in which it is now presented, service of the country at a rate of compensation it, not that I am opposed to Mr. Hunter having I shall be glad, because I feel constrained, knowevidently not adequate to their support. It an increase of salary, for I think he ought to ing this individual and his essential services to appears to me to present temptations that they have it, because I esteem him to be a very val- the Government, to vote for an increase. may be unable to resist. I have no reason to uable man, and he has been there so many The PRESIDING OFFICER. (Mr. CLARK suppose that they have not been able to resist years that he is almost indispensable. With in the chair.) The Secretary will call the roll them; but I think it is bad policy to have in the regard to the objection which the Senator from on the amendment of the Senator from Massaemploy of the Government, particularly in the Massachusetts makes to the suggestion of the chusetts. Treasury Department, officers of this descrip- Senator from Iowa, I will only say that he will Mr. FESSENDEN. I understand that the tion who have very much to do with the actual be equally liable to removal as chief clerk Senator from Massachusetts proposes to withadministration of the finances of the country, as he would be as Second Assistant Secretary; || draw the amendment and offer one in a differu pon salaries which are certainly inadequate to but my own opinion is that no Administration ent form, support even any one of them who may be with- coming in there could or would dispense with Mr. SUMNER. I was about to substitute outa family, and how they live as some of them him, whatever position he might fill. Mr. Hun- a proposition following out the suggestion of do, with families consisting of a wife and sev- ter is not a political man in any sense.
the Senator from Iowa, and I am drawing it eral children, how they even manage to feed judgment no new Secretary of State could get
up now. them, much less to educate them, has always along for twenty-four hours without Mr. Hun- Mr. FESSENDEN. I will move one or two been a mystery to me. I would therefore ter's aid and his knowledge of the affairs of the amendments in the mean time. unite most cordially with the honorable mem- office. A man might write dispatches exceed- Mr. SUMNER. Very well. ber from Indiana in having them all increased; ingly well; but as to managing the office, he The PRESIDING OFFICER. Does the but that we are not able to accomplish now. could not do it unless he had more experience || Senator from Massachusetts withdraw the presI hope he will permit us at least, and those than any new man has, coming in there, or ent amendment? who think with him that the chief clerk of this any man gets who stays there for years. He Mr. SUMNER. For the present. particular Department is not paid enough look- is the factotum, in my judgment, in regard to
The PRESIDING OFFICER. It may be ing to his long and faithful service, to adopt most of the things done there.
withdrawn by unanimous consent, the yeas this amendment which gives him a rate of com- But my objection is twofold. I stated it and ways having been ordered. The Chair pensation by no means exaggerated.
frankly to the honorable Senator. I do not hears no objection and the amendment is withMr. GRIMES. I ask for the yeas and nays like it on this bill. To be sure, there is a pro
drawn. on the amendment. vision on this bill which looks something like
Mr. FESSENDEN. I move to amend the The yeas and nays were ordered.
it, but that was put on in the other House, and bill by adding at the end of section two these Mr. GRIMES. I desire to say that I am we did not see fit to strike it out, it being here,
words: perfectly content to pay Mr. Hunter $3,500, because we did not want to differ with the To commence on the 1st day of July, 1866, and the and if the Senator from Massachusetts will put House of Representatives on that subject. But amount necessary to pay the same is hereby approhis proposition in such a shape that I can con- that does not, to my mind, justify putting on
priated. sistently do so, I will vote for it with great another incongruous provision. I think the
Mr. TRUMBULL. I suppose it will be in pleasure. We all know the services Mr. Hun- proper place for a provision creating a new
order to move to strike out the whole of secter has rendered to the country in that Depart- civil office, and providing a salary for it, is on
tion two, after that amendment shall have been ment. I believe that it would be well to have the legislative and executive appropriation bill, made, because I intend to make that motion. a second Assistant Secretary of State there; which is now on our tables and will be taken
The PRESIDING OFFICER. That motion and if the Senator from Massachusetts will put up by and by.
will then be in order. his amendment in that shape I will vote for it In the second place, I do not like the idea of
Mr. TRUMBULL. I do not think we should most cheerfully; but this idea of singling out naming a particular individual in this way, go on making these Solicitors. Mr. Hunter as the only clerk in all the Depart- | although it might have the effect the honorable
Mr. FESSENDEN. Let him perfect the ments of the Government who is to receive an Senator
supposes. To name bim personally, section first. additional compensation is invidious, unkind and give him the additional compensation as
Mr. TRUMBULL. Very well. to the rest of the clerks, and will be attended chief clerk, would be productive of the evils
The amendment was agreed to. with very bad consequences, I think, in the which are spoken of. I would rather make for Mr. FESSENDEN. I move in line ninetyfuture. I can see very well how we are going him something in the nature of a permanent
nine of section one to insert the word “five to be annoyed, when other appropriation bills | position, as suggested by the Senator from Iowa. after “twenty” and before " thousand;" so as come up, with clerks, friends of ours, who will That he ought to have an increase of salary, to make the gross, appropriation for salaries come here and be constantly importuning to from his very long services and his position of consuls general, consuls, and commercial have themselves named, and then we shall the Department, acting, as he does very fre- agents $425,000. We have provided for some have a personal discussion upon the merits quently, as Secretary of State, I am entirely
new salaried officers here, and it may be well and qualifications of each one of those clerks | satisfied; and that I should be willing to vote therefore to add $5,000 to the appropriation. whose name may be suggested by a member for; but in the position in which the honor
The amendment was agreed to. from his State or by a member of the Senate able Senator from Massachusetts has seen fit Mr. TRUMBULL. I now move to strike out who may be interested in him.
to place the proposition, it cannot receive my section two of the bill. Mr. SUMNER. There is an easy answer to vote, although I do not feel disposed to make Mr. SUMNER. I hope the Senator will my friend from Iowa, and if I can have his any active and strenuous opposition to it. allow me to finish my amendment.
Mr. TRUMBULL. I hope the Senator does Attorney General, and the Solicitor in the this Department should have the assistance of a pronot mean to put it on as an amendment to sec
fessional gentleman properly to dispose of those subTreasury Department was appointed merely to
jects. To that end I recommend that an appropriation two.
attend to the collection of claims, and there tion be inserted in the civil and diplomatic approMr. SUMNER. I am not going to put it on may be a propriety for such an officer there. priation bill of $3,000 for the compensation at that section two, but to have it as a provision by But during the war the War Department had
rate by the year of an officer to be called the Soli
citor to the Department of State. itself.
a Solicitor attached to that Department, and I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant, Mr. TRUMBULL. Very well, then, it is so also had the Navy Department. The Post
WILLIAM II. SEWARD. in order for me to move to strike out section Office Department has now a Solicitor, and a Hon. WILLIAM P. FESSENDEN, Senate. two, and I do so.
bill is pending, I think, to give an Assistant The recommendation of the Secretary, it Mr. SUMNER. I believe it is not in order || Solicitor to the Treasury Department.
will be observed, is that it be inserted in the until the committees get through with their Mr. GRIMES. The office of Solicitor of civil and diplomatic appropriation bill. There amendments.
the Navy Department expires with the war or is no such appropriation bill at present. There Mr. TRUMBULL. I suppose it is in order within one year thereafter.
is the legislative, executive, and judicial bill, at any time for me to make a motion in refer- Mr. TRUMBULL. I was not aware of that || and the diplomatic and consular bill. In forence to the bill whenever I can get the atten- limitation. This is a provision now to estab- mer times, there was but one bill entitled as tion of the Chair.
lish a Solicitor in the State Department. In the Secretary has stated. Mr. SUMNER. Is it not the rule of the
my opposition to it I am governed entirely by I differ with the honorable Senator from Senate that the committees are first to get general considerations. I think that the At- Illinois on this subject. I do not see the pro
through with their amendments? I was going | torney General's Department should be an priety of making so large an establishment of . on with the business of my committee and have | independent Department of the Government, the Attorney General's office. With regard not yet got through.
and the construction of the laws to govern all to the Treasury Department, my experience The PRESIDING OFFICER. Does the the Executive Departments, the Interior, the satisfied me that they could not get along there Senator from Illinois withdraw his motion ? Treasury, the War, the Post Office, the State, at all without a Solicitor. Questions are aris
Mr. TRUMBULL. No, sir. There is no the Navy, should be the same and should come ing every day upon which you must have an other motion before the Senate with reference from the Attorney General's office. If the || immediate decision, and the officer to examine to the bill; and I move to strike out section Attorney General has not now sufficient force the papers and give the decisions should be two.
in his office give him one, two, or half a dozen an oflicer who is subject to the control and Mr. SUMNER. If I can have the floor on assistants, I care not how many, so that the under the direction of the Secretary of the the business that was pending I will move a public service requires them, and let one of | Treasury. He cannot send questions that section to come in immediately before section those assistants, if you please, attend to busi- arise there, involving the examination of patwo, from the Committee on Foreign Relations. ness that peculiarly pertains to the War De- pers to see what the statutes are on the parMr. FESSENDEN. I ask the Senator from
partment, or pertains to the State Department. ticular subject, to the Attorney General's office Massachusetts if he is authorized by the com- By having them all together and all under one and wait until the Attorney General, or somemittee to recommend the creation of a new head you will have one construction of the body under his direction, is in a condition to office.
laws. That is not the case now. A member advise him with reference to it. The office of Mr. SUMNER. This is carrying out the of the Senate stated to me the other day-I Solicitor of the Treasury Department has exmain idea of the committee.
think the Senator from Nevada; some Senator, || isted now for over twenty years, and the busiThe PRESIDING OFFICER. The amend. I know-that he had been around from one ness of the Solicitor is now very large. It is ment of the Senator from Illinois is in order, | Department to another and had found conflict- true it may originally have been the case that unless withdrawn.
ing constructions of statutes which subjected he was appointed merely to look after claims, Mr. TRUMBULL. It is not a matter of parties doing business with the Government to although I am inclined to think that is not so; much importance, but it is very manifest that a great deal of difficulty, expense, and uncer.
it has not been so within my recollection ; but the Senator from Massachusetts, unless he is tainty. This ought not to be. There should the business he has to do now is multiform. the committee himself, cannot make these be a head to the Law Department of the Gov. There is a great variety of questions arising motions from any committee. He has not ernment as well as to every other.
every day for the Secretary to decide, upon charge of the bill.
I will state here that I have had some con- which he wants to know what the law is, and The PRESIDING OFFICER. The ques- sultation with the Attorney General on this know it immediately, and it is impossible for tion is on the amendment of the Senator from subject, and that a bill can be prepared which him to examine them, and he sends them to Illinois. That Senator moves to strike out sec. shall place this whole matter under one head. the Solicitor to have an immediate opinion. tion two. The section will be read.
I think it very improper to be making a Soli- The Solicitor lays aside other business which The Secretary read section two, as amended, citor for each one of the Departments. If we can be disposed of afterward, and attends to as follows:
are to go on with that system we might as well the directions of the Secretary of the Treasury. Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the President abolish the Attorney General's office; we do I am satisfied that that officer is indispensable. be, and he is hereby, authorized to appoint, by and not need it at all. Instead of doing this, let I can understand from the letter of the Secrewith the advice and consent of the Senate, an officer in the Department of State to be called Solicitor to
us increase the force of the Attorney General's || tary of State why at the present time he needs the Department of State, at an annual salary of $3,000,
office as much as may be necessary to give all this officer, and why he has not needed him beto commence on the 1st day of July, 1866; and the the advice that is needed in the construction fore. During the war, claims were not presented amount nocossary to pay the same is hereby appro- of laws to the various Departments.
to any considerable extent to that Department; priated.
I would not interfere with the Solicitor of before the war there were none; but he says Mr. TRUMBULL. In making this motion, the Treasury Department because, as was very properly, and we can understand it, that I am not governed by any considerations of
stated by the Senator from Maryland, he is out of the war have grown many claims of forobjection to having a law officer for the State
not placed there for the purpose of construing | eigners upon our Goverment, and of our citDepartment, if one be necessary; and I am
statutes and fixing the rules by which the De. izens upon foreign Governments. Those must not prepared to say that it may not be neces
partments of the Government are to be gov. sary to have advice in connection with that erned, but rather to attend to the collection
be undoubtedly attended to through commu
nications made by the Secretary of State. He Department; but the question which influences of claims, and that Department may need is the person to communicate with foreign Gov. me is this: before the war the Law Department such an officer. I suppose, from the fact that ernments upon all these subjects; and with the of the Government was the Attorney General's
the office was established there a long time variety of matters arising there it is impossible Department, and all the other Departments,
ago, that it is necessary; but the Government for him to examine these questions personally, the State, the War, the Navy, •the Post Office, || having for eighty years been able to get along I have no doubt about it. The duties which the Interior--whenever a question arose about which there was a doubt in the construction of
without a Solicitor in the State Department, he is called upon to perform in the ordinary
and having been able to get along through the a law, referred that question to the Attorney
course of correspondence, &c., are enough to General's office. There was an exception, I continue to get along without such an officer war without such an officer, it can, I think, occupy all his time.
Now, then, there being this large number of think, in the case of the Treasury Departinent, which has had a Solicitor for some years, and
now, if there is a law officer to whom the State claims there at the present time, he must have
Department can apply for the construction of an opinion, upon those claims, of somebody perhaps it is necessary that there should be a Solicitor in the Treasury Department, not for
laws applicable to that Department. I hope else, which he can understand and appreciate,
the Senate will consent to strike out this sec- or else he must examine them himself and the purpose of advising that Department as to the construction of laws, but for the purpose rule in reference to these Departments. ond section, and let us have some uniform form his own opinion. He cannot examine
them himself. They are peculiar to and ap: of aiding in the collection of claims.
Mr. FESSENDEN. I hold in my hand a propriate to his office, and he would be exposed Mr. JOHNSON. The Solicitor of the Treas
letter from the Secretary of State on this sub- to a great deal of inconvenience if he were ury was appointed for the very purpose of super- | ject, which I will read:
obliged to send every claim that comes from intending the prosecution of suits or the defense
DEPARTMENT OF STATE.
foreign Governments or from foreigners, or of suits in which the Treasury was concerned ;
WASHINGTON, February 6, 1866. from our citizens upon foreign Governments, but when the Secretary desired any opinion he
SIR: The great number of claims of citizens of the to the Attorney General's office, to an officer always consulted the Attorney General.
United States on foreign Governments and of the cit- not under his control or direction, to be examMr. TRUMBULL. So I supposed; when- izens and subjects of foreign countries on this Gov. ever a legal opinion was desired by the Secreernment growing out of the late civil war and the
ined, and a report made by the Attorney Genimportance of the principles involved in them, mako eral; and as the answer must be made by the tary of the Treasury, it was obtained from the it indispensable, in my judgment, that the boad of Attorney General himself, it would lay a very considerably increased burden npon him. To of the second section of this bill, and the with what I might call the necessity of such an be sure, as ihe Senator from Illinois says, you appointment of a Solicitor under it.
office there. Senators all recognized the nemay make the Attorney General's office as Owing to the complicated nature of the cessity of such an office during the war in the large as he states it, witli half a dozen Assistant Treasury Department, Congress, many years Wur Department; and my friend from Michi. Attorney's General, and they may be divided, ago, saw fit to create the oflice of Solicitor of
I think, voted for it. I thought at the one for the Treasury Department, one for the the Treasury. I have heard no complaint, it time there was an equal necessity for the office State Department, and one for every other is true, of that; still, it has always appeared in the State Department growing out of the Department, if needed. How far they will be to me that the most consistent course would new condition of things, carrying with it a class needed for other Departments I do not know; have been to confide all questions of law that of business for the consideration of that Debut my own belief is that the same rule would arise even in that Department to the Attorney partment which it had never had before. apply to the State Department, with reference General, so that his decisions may be uniform, That brings me to the precise point which to these classes of claims, that applies to the and so that his construction of the various acts has been presented by the Senator from Nli. Treasury Department. I am satisfied that no of Congress may be uniform, and be under: nois, and afterward by the Senator from Michi. Secretary of the Treasury, with the business stood to be uniform throughout the United gan, that this office is not necessary in the that is to be done there, the great variety of States.
Department of State ; and they proceeded to cases that arise in regard to which he must During the war, owing to circumstances of argue that whatever in the way of legal opinhave the statutes examined, and have an opin- which we are all aware, Congress authorized ion may be required in the Department of ion upon which he can act, which he cannot the appointment of a Solicitor to the War De- State should be referred to the Attorney Gendo himself, could get along if he was obliged partment, and I believe the country has not eral. It seems to me that my friends, when to send all that current business out of his complained of that appointment. There seemed they press that argument, do not take into conoffice to get an opinion of somebody else, at to be a necessity for the employment of such sideration the precise nature of the business his own convenience, and subject to the inter- an officer owing to the great multiplicity of which it is proposed to submit to a Solicitor in ruptions of others. He must have it at the questions that arose during the war and the the State Department. If it were what perinstant; and, to a certain extent, the same pressing necessity of an immediate decision haps may be compendiously called the great must be true of the Secretary of State as re- upon them from time to time. I think that business or the great questions of law that may gards all these questions directly before him. necessity at present has ceased, and I think we arise in that Department, I should agree with The officer to look up the information to be may dispense with the services of the Solicitor bo:h of those Senators, that it would be advisa. stated to him should, in my judgment, be an of the War Department without injury to the ble that they should be submitted in the most officer under his control and direction, and public service.
solemn form possible to the highest law officer should do what he wants done at the time he But, sir, the questions which ordinarily and of the Government. Probably if such ques. wants it done, and he ought not to be sub- naturally come before the Secretary of State tions should arise in the Department of State, jected to another Department to get the infor- are of a character on which, it seems to me, it requiring any legal opinion, they would be so mation required. That is my beliet' with regard is necessary there should be a decision of the submitted. But, as I understand it, the necesto it; and I shall be opposed altogether to highest law officer of the Government. In that sity which it is proposed to meet now is of changing our system, which has worked ex- Department are considered from time to tiine entirely a different character. It refers to mat. ceedingly well in the Treasury Department, if questions of international law of the gravest || ters of what I may alınost call current business, it is proposed to make a new arrangement of and highest importance-questions which of occurring, if not daily, at least weekly, on which the law, as suggested by the honorable Senator all others deserve to be submitted to the calm the Department must express its opinion. For from Illinois.
consideration of the Attorney General, and the most part, this business grows out of claims, So in the War Department. During the war ought not to be left, in my judgment, to the first, by our citizens on foreign Governments, the Secretary of War could hardly have got decision of any inferior law officer. Questions | and secondly, by the subjects of foreign Gov. along if he had been obliged to send all these respecting the true construction to be given to ernments on our Government. questions out of his Department to the Attor- treaties, indeed all questions that relate to in- Now, for instance, to take the first class, the ney General-everything that arose there to be ternational law, must naturally come before the claims of our citizens on foreign Governments; taken up and decided-and receive the informa- | Attorney General of the United States; and I we all know that there is a large class of claims tion required when the business of the Attor- object to submitting those questions, or any of | growing out of the depredations of the Ala. ney General's office would allow it to be done. them, to an interior law officer without the con- bama and other cruisers that have sailed out
I am very unwilling, when a system has been currence of the Attorney General of the United of British ports, amounting to millions of dol. found to be a good one in its operations. for States. I see no necessity, I must confess, for lars. Before these claims can be presented to the sake of symmetry merely, or what would placing a Solicitor under the control of the Sec- the British Government they must be reduced be supposed to be symmetry-because it goes retary of State. Ifany question of importance to soine form. They should at least undergo no further than that-tochange that whole sys- arises in that Department, the Attorney Gen- some consideration on the part of some func. tem and enlarge the Attorney General's office. eral is the proper functionary to determine ittionary of our Government to the end that we I think that each Department should be inde for the Government. He, and he alone, ought | should not put forward mere shadows. Our pendent, so far as the current busiress is con- to be held responsible for the decision of the Government owes it to itself to ascertain that cerned. To be sure, every Secretary is entitled question, in case the Secretary of State should the claims have a certain validity, at least in to the opinion of the Attorney General. My deem it necessary to take his opinion. It seems form. How can that be done? As I under practice was, when an important matter arose to me the creation of this office of Solicitor to stand it, only through some legal officer, some upon which I wished very particular to rid the State Department is entirely an anomaly ; person familiar with that business, who can myself
of responsibility, to pass it over to some- it is without necessity so far as I can see, and attend to it specially, and in whom the Secrebody else, to get the opinion of the Attorney I shall vote to strike out the second section for tary of State
can rely. It may be said that the General; but, as a general rule, I think it | that reason.
Secretary of State can attend to it himself. would be better that the ordinary current busi- I do not see the necessity of giving the Secre- How so? Absorbed in correspondence of a ness and responsibility should be left with the tary of State a Solicitor to act under his especial political character, or of a diplomatic characDepartment where the question arises. I there instructions and control. It is generally sup: ter with foreign Powers, he can have no time fore, for these reasons, am opposed to the prop- posed that the Secretary of State is, or should to enter into the duties of a solicitor or of an osition of the honorable Senator from Illinois, be, a gentleman of such intelligence and such attorney to grind out a claim and reduce it to and think it would not be wise to adopt it. inforination as to make it unnecessary to refer || form in order that it shall be properly presented
Mr. HOWARD. I concur entirely with the ordinary questions of law to the Attorney Gen- to a foreign Power. That is a service which honorable Senator from Illinois in the views eral; that he is competent himself to decide | ought to be rendered in the Department, under which he has presented to the Senate in favor most of the questions which come before hiin; his eye, by some person in whom he has adeof striking out the second section of the bill. and I think undoubtedly that is true in the case
quate conäidence. I doubt very much the propriety of multiplying of the present Secretary of State. I do not That is one side of the case-claims of our the subordinate law officers in the various see the necessity, as I remarked before, of citizens on foreign Governments. Then comes Departments of the Government. It leads | creating another office to accommodate some the other side-claims of foreign Governments undoubtedly to a diversity of decision and opin: || favorite, under the control and direction of the on ours. The relations which I bear to the busiion in those various Departments, whereas it is Secretary of State, and I shall vote against it. ness of the Senate have made me perfectly
familiar with that class of business. It is uniformity in the construction given to the laws accurate statement made by the Senator from within my personal knowledge that but few during the course of their administration. It Maine, I should deem anything from me super- of the Governments of Europe at this moment is made the duty of the Attorney General, by fluous had it not so happened that my attention have not very large claims on our Government, law, to give advice and legal opinions to the was drawn at least three years ago to this very || growing out of the recent rebellion. I say various heads of Departments and to the Presi. question. It is fully three years ago that I nothing of the validity of the claims. Suffice dent of the United States whenever he is called received a communication from the Secretary || it to say that they are presented. Those claims upon to do so s and although we may appoint of State similar to the one which the Senator are entitled at least to a respectful consideraa Solicitor for the Department of State, it will from Maine has read to-day, and from that | tion; they should be entertained to a certain still be the right of the Secretary of State to time to the present my attention has been extent, so that when our Government passes call upon the Attorney General for his opinion drawn to the necessity of this office. It has upon them, they may at least have a reasonupon any question that he may see fit to sub. often been the subject of conversation when I able degree of knowledge with reference to mit to him ; so that the duty of the Attorney have been at the Department of State. Imade them. But can the Secretary of State obtain General is by no means lighter by the retention myself, at least three years ago, acquainted ll that reasonable degree of knowledge? For
39TH CONG. IST SESS.–No. 166.
instance, there are claims at this moment pre. question here is not whether you will have from one of the Departments of the Governsented by the minister of Prussia, and I under- them sent out to another Department, but ment. stand that the subjects of the claims are scat- whether you will have an officer of a higher Mr. GRIMES. What Department was it? tered throughout ihe whole country. Can the grade and of more intelligence-a man whom Mr. TRUMBULL. That came from the Secretary of State himself, by his own study, you cannot get for $1,800, the salary of a fourth- Treasury. The case was connected, in some qualify himself to deal with those claims? class clerk-to advise the Secretary as to the way, with the revenue. He was prosecuting Then there is another set of claims presented, facts on these questions. They cannot send the suit; and be writes me that the suit bad which also comes within my own knowledge these papers out of the Department. If they been settled for three weeks, and he knew nothpersonally, by the minister of the Hanse Towns, were required to be sent to the Attorney Gen- | ing about it, without the knowledge of the court and the subjects of those claims are scattered eral's office they would lumber up that office or anybody else--a case pending in court. also throughout the whole surface of our coun- to such an extent that you would require a new
Mr. FEŠSENDEN. Very likely, and very try. Must not the Secretary of State be aided building entirely for his Department, with the properly. by some professional person in the first audit | number of papers that would come into his Nr. I'RUMBULL. No, not very properly. of those claims? I submit clearly that he possession, and it would lead, in my judgment, | Surely the Senator from Maine does not mean must. I might go through, also, with other from the little observation I have had, to infinite that there should be that want of harmony nations, and show you the constant recurring delay and infinite confusion in the Departments. between the different Departments of the Gov. necessity of such an officer in aid of the De- That is what I think about it. The real question ernment. He does not mean that when be, as partment of State.
is, not whether you will send them to the Attor- an attorney, is prosecuting a suit, his client, or I submit, therefore, that my learned friends, ney General--for that is impossible; you can- anybody else should settle that suit without when they would transfer this duty to the At- not send the business of other Departments || giving him notice. torney General, do not conceive adequately there—but whether these questions, the infinity Mr. FESSENDEN. Ifit is within the power what it is. They imagine that we propose this of them that now arise, growing out of the war and jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Treasury officer merely to decide on what I have already and claims on both sides, are of importance to adjust it, it is very proper that he should called great questions of jurisprudence; but it enough to allow the Secretary an officer, with | adjust it. is no such thing. Such questions would natu- the pay of $3,000, an officer of a higher class Mr. TRUMBULL. If he did adjust it he rally go to the Attorney General; but the busi- than lie is at present able to employ. That is should not do it in that way. I know the Sen. ness which the ollicer it is now proposed to the simple question; because, to attempt to ator would not like a client of his to do that if establish must consider, would not, in the ordi- carry out the idea of the Senator from Illinois he was attending to a suit for a private party nary course of things, go to the Attorney Gen- on the subject would, in my judgment, be an in a court. eral. The Department of State could not be entire failure, and must necessarily be so.
Mr. FESSENDEN Let me say to the hon. conducted on that system. It must be han. Mr. TRUMBULL. How could it be a sail- orable Senator from Illinois that the business died at home; and to that end, I agree that ure when this Government has been carried of the Treasury Department is not conducted an officer to be called a Solicitor should be on in that way always until 1860?
exactly as he used to conduct his law office in appointed there; who should be in the Depart- Mr. FESSENDEN. It has not been carried the State of Illinois. That is the difference ment, always within call and ready to give his on in that way.
between the two cases. One is a little larger counsel and aid and diligence to the Secretary Mr. TRUMBULL. There had been no than the other, and involves other questions. of State.
Solicitor in any Department except the Treas- Mr. TRUMBULL. Undoubtedly; but I supMr. FESSENDEN. I wish to add also that ury before 1860.
pose we may illustrate great things by smalloues. Senators, I think, misapprehend the question, Mr. FESSENDEN. I will tell you how it Mr. FESSENDEN. Not always. from a want of familiarity with the business has been carried on. Great questions, as the
Mr. TRUMBULL. It is not an improper which is transacted at the Departments. Take, Senator supposes, arising in the Treasury De- illustration, I think, when speaking of a prac. for instance, the Treasury. A question comes partment, are sent to the Attorney General for tice which prevails, where an officer of the up for tlie Secretary to decide under the stat- an opinion. That has always been done; that Government is charged with a duty and is in
He must decide it under the statute. will be done now; but I tell him there are the exercise of that duty, and he finds that That is a matter of business occurring every hundreds of questions coming up from day to another Department of the Government, with day. There are more or less of them. Then day in the Departments that you never think out any notice to hini, las disposed of the busisome question comes up and he is not exactly of sending out of the Department, and which ness which is intrusted to him. I know very familiar with the application of the law to the could not be sent out of the Department with- well the Senator from Maine does not think facts; there is some doubt about it; it is not out making confusion in the business of the that proper, because the district attorney might clear; and yet it is before him for decision. Department. You cannot do it in the way the be putting the Government to expense by sum. Now, what used to be the way of doing that? Senator proposes; it would not be done; and moning witnesses and preparing to try a case He had some clerk in the Department who had the only question is, whether you will have an in court which had been disposed of without some legal knowledge. He would at once pass officer of a higher grade to attend to these || his knowledge. That should not be. That is it over to that clerk to examine the case, and matters or not. There has not been a neces- a small matter, the Senator says. I only men. state what the law was and the sections of the sity for such an officer in the Department of tion it by way of illustration. law. It is the business in his own Depart- State until at present. But the Senator must Now, I do not propose that every question ment; he cannot send out the paper to be see that there will be a very large number of that arises in the Departments is to be sent to examined by another Department, to get a these claims. The Secretary of State has been the Attorney General's office for a legal opinformal opinion on the subject. There is no able hitherto, from the very little business to ion. I never contemplated any such thing as time for it, and no necessity for it. In view be done in the Department, to attend to those that. That was not the practice of the Gov. of that, and of the inconvenience arising questions and examine them himself. He ernment during the first seventy years of its there, it was found necessary to have an offi- would only receive one occasionally. Now existence. Until 1860 no such thing as a cer of a higher grade than a mere clerk, whose they come in in very large numbers. That is Solicitor in the various Departments of the opinions would be better than you were likely the difference.
Government was known, with the single excepto get from a man receiving a small salary Mr. TRUMBULL. I never contemplated tion of the Treasury Department. Since then serving there, although he might be a credit- that every question in regard to the settlement we have been multiplying these officers. Now, able lawyer. For that reason the office of of it claim and every question in regard to if you will notice the letter of the Secretary of Solicitor was established.
what a statute was, was to be sent out of the State, it is not simply in regard to claims that Now, it comes to the same thing in the De- Department. I never supposed that. I sup- he desires to have a Solicitor appointed in his partment of State. Strike this section out, posed that the Government would be con- Department, but he says that important prin; and what would the Secretary of State be ducted just as it had always been conducted ciples of law are to be settled, international obliged to do? He must pick out some clerk up to 1860; that when the question involved principles. If international principles of law in his Department to do this work, and to was the construction of a statute of general are to be settled, they should not be submitted report on the cases to him. That will be the importance, about which there was a dispute, to a Solicitor employed in one of the Depart. amount of it. But on account of the war there it would be referred to the law officer of the ments of the Government, but they ought to go is a great variety of these questions that require Government, and that construction would gov. to the head of some Department. They are something better than the opinion he could get crn the Secretary of the Interior as well as the the most important questions that can be setfrom a clerk upon the subject. He wants an Secretary of War. But how is it now? Why, || tled, and may involve the honor and faith of officer of a higher grade, to be continually at sir, the district attorneys in the United States the nation. his hand, to state the facts and the questions are receiving instructions one way from one Mr. FESSENDEN. They go to the head of law arising out of each case. The idea that Department and another way from another of the State Department. all these papers, this infinite variety of claims Department; and what are they to do? I have Mr. TRUMBULL. Very well. In England and subjects in each Department, must be sent had a letter within a few days from the dis- we know that the opinions of the law officers out of that Department to another--every-day trict attorney for the northern district of New of the Crown are taken when great questions business-to be examined, would create infinite York-I believe it is in my committee-room of international importance are involved of a confusion. It could not be done, and would now-in which he says he has had one sort of legal character, and I apprehend it would be not be done.
instructions from the Attorney General and so here. It ought to be so here. Mr. HOWARD. It has been done for about conducted his business one way under those Mr. SUMINER. But in the British Foreiga eighty years past.
instructions, and that now he ascertains that Office there is a person whose particular duty Mr. FESSENDEN. I say it has always the suit which he was conducting in the court it is to grind out these particular classes of gone on inside of the Department; and the il is taken ont of his hands by an instruction claims.