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A REPLY TO THE "MINORITY REPORT" OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE UPON STATE
There are times when it is eminently proper for Legisla tive bodies to make investigations into the affairs of States and Nations, and by a thorough, careful and truthful review of history, by close applications of reasoning as to causes and effects, by making honorable and truthful con trasts, arrive at, and open to the public view the sources of the State or National prosperity, or the causes of its financial, governmental and political derangement and embarrassments. When properly, wisely and honestly conducted, investigations of this character always redound to the public good, but when confined within the limits of a narrow and selfish partizanship-when the Statesman and Legisla tor is sunk below the level of the demagogue and political trickster when the reporter divests himself of political responsibility and personal individuality and lends himself to the base and dishonest machinations of corrupt and libelous associates-when the report itself, is perverted from the legitimate character of a State paper to that of a falsifying and malicious attack upon personal honesty and integrity-such investigations are useful only as an exhibition of the want of character, moral and political integrity of the men who engage in their preparation, the servility of their party feelings and political principles, and the desperate and hopeless chances of their political success.
To say that the document denominated a "Report" by the minority of the Special Committee of Investigation into the Financial Affairs of the State, authorized by the House, at the late Extra Session of our State Legislature, and signed by "E. Kanter," as one of the Committee, bears. in all its features these characteristics, and is amenable in all its parts to such reflections, is simply reiterating to all who have heard or read that "Report," a patent truth. To dignify it with any other title than an "electioneering splurge," would be to pervert its character and subject it to merited ridicule. To call it a history of the financial affairs or condition of the State, would be giving currency to an absurd and foolish falsehood.
It may be proper, in this connection, to refer to the authors of this remarkable "report," vouched for by "undersigned" as "one of the committee." Enough is known of it to establish its paternity with such men as the notorious Dr. Alvord, the equally notorious and more unscrupulous Thompson, of the Grand Rapids Enquirer, Griswold, the ostensible editor of the Lansing Journal, and others of that ilk, the whole being under the immediate supervision and direction of the Hon. George W. Peck. The mere mention of this corps of authors and politicans is a conclusive answer to the "report" where the authors are known; but lest there might be some misunderstanding, and some few honest men really think it was the production of "the undersigned,” it is proper to thus state its parentage, before reviewing some of the statements of the "report" itself.
The opening paragraph of the "report" sets forth with doleful lugubriousness the great disadvantages which beset "the undersigned" and his associates in their arduous pursuit of knowledge under great difficulties. They state, though not in words, that they were denied all information from the State departments, and were compelled to rely upon unauthenticated reports, AND THEIR OWN RESOURCES ! This insinuation is palpably false, as they were afforded the same aid and figures which were asked and furnished to the majority. It is true the minority of the Committee made requests of the Chairman of the Committee as well as the State Treasurer for privileges and information upon certain matters entirely without the scope of the resolution demanding the investigation, and which had not the most remote bearing upon the subject matter referred to the Committee, and of which there was no shadow of necessity; which requests were, of course, and properly, refused; and upon this refusal to gratify a paltry spirit of personal malignity, and a prompt repulsion of insolent imputation, by the State Treasurer, is founded the lacrymore sympathy of the "undersigned "the wail for sympathy with which the report" is opened. When it says the "undersigned was obliged to go into the investigation single-handed," we are prone to believe the truth of the statement in consideration of the weakness of the thing but seriously protest against the attempt of "the undersigned" to rob his associates, before mentioned, of their due proportion of the laurels to be reaped among the "unterrified," in the compilation of the "report."
'The undersigned" in opening his review of the finances of the State, commences with the assertion that in the year