« AnteriorContinuar »
without opposition, with the consent of the thing is due to a company which thus carried reported which covers the whole ground that States, and many miles of telegraph line bave through to its completion, at great hazard, an the Senator from New Jersey desires to cover. been built under that general authority. There enterprise so exceedingly important to the It will be recollected by several Senators on can be no objection to allowing any telegraph commercial interests of the world.
this floor that we once voted a subsidy, to this company to land a cable within any State where Again, sir, we cannot effectually prevent any. company of $70,000 a year for a long period. the State itself assents to it. This amendment | thing of the kind. Why? Because it already | England gave a vory large subsidy, besides provides that if the State assents to the land lands upon the shores of Newfoundland and giving them the exclusive use of the British ing of the cable within the limits of the State connects with the United States by means of territory for twenty-five years from that time, the consent of Congress is granted to that a telegraph overland. It can still exercise about twenty years now. This bill simply landing. Can there be any possible objection || that privilege, and will exercise it undoubtedly || authorizes the company to land its cable on to that consent being granted, reserving our rather than give up its chartered right for the the shores of the United States. It is tbe same power to repeal at any time this authority, or twenty years exclusive occupation of the priv. | bill which passed the Senate before the adeven to seize the cable, if necessary, should || ilege so far as Great Britain is concerned. journment, but failed to pass the House. I we be involved in foreign complications? I Under these circumstances, is it wise to re hope the Senate will vote down the amend. do not desire to extend a monopoly. No mo fuse to this company simply the privilege of ment and pass the bill. nopoly can be more beneficial in its character | landing its cable upon the shores of the United Mr. GRIMES. I wish to inquire why the than the present cable. But at the same time | States, when we gain this by it, which we have Senator does not propose that general bill as it is a monopoly, because it is confined to a not now, the privilege by this bill of regulat a substitute for this. single corporation that regulates and governs | ing its rate of fare, and other privileges which Mr. CHANDLER. This does not interfere the prices of messages between this country we do not now enjoy? At present, landing as with the general bill. This simply authorizes and Europe. If we can by general bill extend it does, where it does, it has perfect control this company to land its cable on the shores of that authority to this company as well as to of the whole, and will for a considerable series the United States. all other companies it seems to me we ought of years, of its rates of fare, as well as other Mr. GRIMES. I am a little more obtuse to do so.
It will take no longer to pass the things, and no preference is given by law to than my friend, the Senator from Nevada. I bill in the form in which it is now proposed communications by the Government. In this am not able to perceive the distinction and the to be amended than it would to pass it as a bill it is stipulated that if it does land its cable difficulties which he seems to apprehend if we special bill. I therefore am in favor of the on the shores of the United States those re- | adopt this amendment. It seems to me that amendment. Indeed, as a general rule, where strictions must be submitted to and agreed to. if we adopt this amendment we extend the ever any privilege is conferred on any com They undoubtedly will be. Those restrictions same privileges to all telegraph companies that pany I should like to see that same privilege will be of very great advantage, particularly we do to one, and I cannot comprehend the conferred upon any other company, private in the right to regulate the rates of fare and pre argument of the Senator from Maine, that becharacter, under the same restrictions. scribe such other regulations as Congress may cause we adopt the first amendment proposed Mr. FESSENDEN. I perfectly agree with see fit to impose.
by the Senator from New Jersey we thereby the honorable Senator from Ohio, but he does In this state of things I think, as other gen lose our power to control the Newfoundland not comprehend, I think, the point which is tlemen have thought, that it is best to grant company in the charges it may impose on mesnow under discussion with reference to this this privilege, inasmuch as we cannot preveut sages. I think that was the argument of the particular bill. A bill was reported at the last the communication already established, over Senator from Maine. session, which was prepared with great care by which we have no power whatever, and if the Mr. FESSENDEN. No, sir; I was giving the Committee on Foreign Relations, which company see fit to avail themselves of the priv my reasons why we could safely take this bill covered the whole ground and permitted any || ilege granted by this bill they will subject them out of the operations of the general law. company to land its cable upon the shores of selves to the exercise of a power which may be The VICE PRESIDENT. The morning the United States on certain conditions pre very beneficial to the country.
hour having expired, the unfinished business of scribed in the bill. These were very carefully Under the circumstances it was not deemed yesterday is before the Senate, and the Senator drawn, and are quite restrictive. I take it there advisable by the committee to subject this par from Vermont (Mr. Edmunds] is entitled to will be no objection to the passage of that bill ticular company to the operation of a general | the floor. as applicable to all companies hereafter to be law, or rather to compel them to wait until Mr. CHANDLER. I ask the unanimous chartered. It does give the permission which that was passed, but to avail ourselves of the consent of the Senate to be allowed to have the ought to be given in such cases, throws the desire they have now to complete their com vote taken on the telegraph bill. It will not whole open; but it makes certain provisions munication in this way, and derive all the ad occupy many minutes. which I think to be absolutely necessary, and vantage from it which we might by the opera Mr. TRUMBULL. I think it will take some those are that there should be a reciprocal tion of this bill. My opinion, therefore, is time. grant of power in foreign countries; that there | decidedly that we ought not to amend this bill Mr. CHANDLER. No; we are ready to should not be exclusive privileges granted there in the manner proposed by the honorable Sen vote now. which will restrict the right to certain compa ator from New Jersey, but to pass it, and then Mr. TRUMBULL. There are severalamendnies when certain other companies chartered pass the general law.
ments to be proposed. There is one which I here cannot have those rights. But in order Mr. STEWART, It occurs to me, and I shall offer myseli if no one else does. to attain that some time is necessary, some suggest to the Senator from New Jersey, that The VICE PRESIDENT. The Senator considerable tiine perhaps, before the legisla. the bill without his amendment will meet the from Illinois objects to displacing the unfinished tion of different countries can be so arranged || object which he desires to accomplish. He business. It must therefore be proceeded with. as to make it reciprocal. Under those cir proposes to provide that any company that is
TENURE-OF-OFFICE LAW. cumstances it was not thought advisable that organized in any State may bave these privi. all of those restrictions should be extended to leges. I can see very readily that a company
The Senate, as in Committee of the Whole, this company at the present time. Why? For may be organized in a State that will acquire
resumed the consideration of the bill (H. P. the simple reason that this was the pioneer | exclusive privileges on the other side if we do
No. 3) to repeal an act regulating the tenure company already established; it has a grant not make some regulation in advance, and thus
of civil offices, the pending question being on of the exclusive privilege from Great Britain create monopolies. For instance, take the
the amendment reported by the Committee on for twenty years. If, therefore, we apply the company authorized by France ; if we allow
the Judiciary. principles of that bill to this company, which them to organize here under State law without
Mr. EDMUNDS. Mr. President, when I is the pioneer company, it will effectually pre some guards this general provision will allow gave way yesterday for an executive session I vent its enjoyment of the right to land its cable the whole thing to be monopolized in a year.
was about calling the attention of the Senate upon the shores of the United States. Companies created here would get special priv
to the proceedings in this body on the 4th of It was therefore, under the circumstances, ileges from Spain and France, and then they May, 1826, when a committee of the Senate, thought advisable by the committee not to would have general privileges here, which would composed of seven of its most eminent and oppose the passage of this bill, but to put upon close the entire door. The only reason why I patriotic members, reported upon this subject it certain restrictions. If, however, we put can consent to vote for this bill is because this is fully; and I propose to read some extracts from the restriction now proposed upon it, it must the pioneer company, and we reserve the right
that report. They say: be very evident that the company cannot exer. to alter, amend, or repeal the act, and we are
“In coming to the conclusion that executive patcise the right unless it gives up the privilege
ronage ought to be diminished and regulated on the not granting anything more than we should
plan proposed the committeo rest their opinion on which is already granted to it, and even to do otherwise. But with the amendment of the the ground that the exercise of great patronage in that might take very considerable time. What Senator from New Jersey I can very well see
the hands of one man has a constant
tendency to is to be gained by it? And what are the rea
sully the purity of our institutions and to endanger how the whole thing would be disposed of the liberties of the country. This doctrine is not sons applicable to this company? There was without any further action of Congress by new. A jealousy of power and of the influence of every reason in the world, when this work was having general privileges granted here and patronage, which must always accompany its exer
cise, has ever been a distinguished feature in the undertaken, why the exclusive privilege for special privileges on the other side. I think it American character. It displayed itself strongly at twenty years, or a specific length of time, I will defeat the object aimed at. I am in favor the period of the formation and the adoption of the should be granted. It was a new experiment; of the idea of the Senator from New Jersey,
Federal Constitution. At that time the feebleness
of the old Confederation had excited a much greater it was a very doubtful experiment, which cost, and will vote for a general bill allowing com dread of anarchy than of power- of anarchy among necessarily, a great deal of money. For a panies to land their cables in the United States, the members than of power in the head and allong time it was unsuccessful, but it was perse- || provided companies of this country have the
though the impression was nearly universal that a vered in with great diligence and great persist.
Government of more energetic character bad become same privileges in Europe.
indispensably necessary, yet even under the icfuency, and at last it became a success. Some. Mr. CHANDLER. There was a general bill ence of this conviction suob was the dread of power
and patronage that the States with extreme reluc course comprehended under the causes which have be independent of executive will and should tance yielded their assent to the establishment of the of late contributed to the increase of executive pat depend upon the law. And yet nobody sus. Federal Government. Nor was this the effect of idle ronage, your committee are aware that and visionary fears on the part of an ignorant mul such removals may be found in the early stages of
pected that any indignity was being offered to titude without knowledge of the nature and ten the Government; but they are so few, and exercised the Executive; that any affront was being ten: dency of power. On the contrary, it resulted from so little influence, that they may be said to consti dered to him ; that it expressed any want of the most extensive and profound political knowl tute instances rather than as forming a practice. It edge, from the heads of statesmen unsurpassed in is only within the last few years that removals from
confidence in him ; but rather that it expressed any age in sagacity and patriotism. Nothing could office have been introduced as a system, and for the a settled and everlasting principle of true jurisreconcile the great men of that day to a Constitution first time an opportunity has been afforded of testof so much power but the guards which were put
prudence in a Government that is of the people ing tho tendency of the practice and witnessing the upon it against the abuse of power. Dread and jeal mighty increase which it has given to the force of
and for the people. ousy of this abuse displayed itself throughout the executive patronage and the entire and fearful The Senators and Representatives who apinstrument. To this spirit we are indebted for the change in conjunction with other causes it is effectfreedom of the press, trial by jury, liberty of con ing in the character of our political system. Nor
plied that law to their own administrations only science. freedom of debate, responsibility to con will it require much reflection to perceive in what
imitated what they had found in their own stituents, power of impeachment, the control of the manner it contributes to increase so vastly the ex States worked the best. I beg to ask my hon. Senate over appointments to office, and many other tent of executive patronage.
orable friend from Indiana whether the conprovisions of a like character.'
**So long as offices were considered as public trusts, "The committee believe that they will be acting to be conferred on the honest, the faithful and capa
stitution and frame of government of that State in the spirit of the Constitution in laboring to multi able for the cominon good, and not for the benefit put any of the executive officers of that State ply the guards and to strengthen the barriers against or gain of the incu in bent or his party, and so long as into the control of the Governor? I have exthe possible abuse of power. If a community could it was the practice of the Government to continue in be imagined in which the laws should execute them office those who faithfully performed their duties, its
amined the constitution of Indiana, and, like selves, in which the power of government should con patronage in point of fact was limited to the more that of Vermont, the officers whom that frame sist in the enactment of laws in such a state the ma power of nominating to accidental vacancies or to chine of government would carry on its operations newly-created offices, and could, of course, exercise
of government provides for are the officers of without jar or friction. Parties would be unknown, but a moderate influence either over the body of the
the law. Their title to office does not depend and the movements of the political machine would but com
community, or of the officeholders themselves; but upon the will of any man in Indiana, be he little more disturb the passions of men than they are when this practice was reversed, when offices, instead disturbed by the operations of the great laws of the
high or low. It depends upon the selection of being considered as public trusts to bo conferred material world. But this is not the case. The sceno on the deserving, were regarded as the spoils of vic of the people; and they hold according to the shilts from this imaginary region where laws execute tory, to be bestowed as rewards for partisun services terms prescribed by the constitution, subject themselves to the theater of real life, wherein they without respect to merit; when it became to be are executed by civil and military officers, by armies
to being expelled by impeachment for misbeunderstood that all who hold office hold by the tenand pavies, by courts of justice, by the collection and ure of partisan zeal and party service, it is easy to
havior. Is not the State government of Indiana disbursement of revenue, with all its train of salaries, see that the certain, direct, and inevitable tendency a model for us all? Is not justice administered jobs, and contracts; and in this aspect of the reality of such a state of things is to convert the entire body we behold the working of patronage and discover
there? Are not the revenues collected ? Are of those in office into corrupt and supple instruments the reason why so many stand ready in any country of power, and to raise up a host of hungry, greedy, not the public agents virtuous and attentive and in all ages to flock to the standard of power, and subservient partisans ready for every service and assiduous in their duties ? Nobody doubts wheresoever and by whomsoever it may be raised.' however base and corrupt. Were a premium ofiered
it. The machine of government treads, if I The committee on these principles reported,
for the best means of extending to the utmost the
power of patronage, to destroy the love of country may use the expression, upon flowers. Indiana as I said yesterday, six distinct acts, some of and to substitute a spirit of subserviency and man has not suffered because executive power and wbich passed the Senate. One of them, which worship; to encourage vice and discourago virtue;
executive patronage were not built up on the illustrates the character of them all, is con
and, in a word, to prepare for the subversion of lib
erty and the establishment of despotism, no scheme modern theory of partisan democracy in the tained in one single section, but it contains the more perfect could be devised, and such must be the United States. And so it is in every State, I identical principle and the very substance of tendency of the practice with whatever intention the act which you have now before you under adopted or to whatever extent pursued.”
believe, or nearly every State of this Union ;
and yet every man who hears me knows that consideration. It declared :
I might go on with this reading, I think, to
every State government in this Union is better "That commissions issued to the officers in the the profit of myself and those who hear me ; administered to-day than the Government of Army and Navy of the United States shall no longer be made out with a clause importing that they are
but these were the opinions that actuated the the United States is; that every State govern'to continue in force during the pleasure of the Presi
conduct of, a majority of this body in times ment in this Union has been better adminisdent of the United States for the time being;' but gone by on more occasions than one. They tered for the last forty years than the Governshall be made out with a clause declaring that they are 'to continue in force during your good behavior;'
were opinions founded in vast political ex ment of the United States. and no officer shall ever hereafter be dismissed tho perience. They were opinions founded in the We therefore find that this disposal of officers service except in pursuance to the sentence of a lessons of history, because, turn which way in the will of the Executive is not a necessary court-martial or upon an address to the President from the two Houses of Congress."
you will, you cannot in history point to an in step for good administration. We find, on the Thus it will be perceived that far within that ing to be called in any degree civilized or in
stance where the liberties of a people deserv contrary, that the practice of their being in the magical period of eighty years, which has so
hands of the Executive has been an evil in the great an effect upon the mind of the distin- || by the gradual accretion of executive power
telligent have been overthrown otherwise than practical administration of the Government, guished Senator from Indiana, the statesmen
because all around the Government you have, running up from a pure democracy to some of the day, the representatives of the States,
as I say, the constant witness of State organizconsul, from some consul to an emperor, and and through them the representatives of the
ation and State administration which puts your sober and reflecting will of the people, thought || pelled and overthrown by a pure revolution. from an emperor to a tyrant, who at last is ex: national administration to shame upon
same class of officers. it necessary, and this body accordingly enacted so far as it could on its part, to declare that
Now, sir, coming down to the present his I am not to be told, therefore, that purity of the President of the United States should not
tory of these measures, we do not find, as my administration, that success in the collection exercise, as applied to one particular branch
friend from Illinois supposed yesterday, that of the revenue, and that progress in the course
the law which it is now proposed to repeal was of the public service, the irresponsible power
of government depend upon the fact that all an invention intended to cramp the feet and of removal from office during a recess of the
the agents of the law are merely the creatures Senate.
tie the hands of Andrew Johnson merely. We and agents of the Executive, whoever he may In 1835, on the 9th of February, ten years
find that a Republican Congress with a Repub be. Why, sir, when an officer is appointed after the events to which I have last referred,
lican . President, in whom it had entire polit under any frame of government that is other Mr. Calhoun, from a similar committee, made
ical confidence-Mr. Lincoln—when in 1862 | than a despotism what is he? Is he the mere
and 1863 it created a new executive office, that a report upon the same subject, in which, after
servant and creature of the Executive, or is he of Comptroller of the Currency, which was to giving the number of the employés of the Gov.
the responsible agent of the law that imposes ernment, its officers and agents, and the great || and was to exercise, therefore, considerable
have its agents in every section of the country, upon him certain duties and surrounds him disbursements that were then being made for
with certain rights, so that, treading in the path the public service, amounting to $22,713,755,
influence upon the destinies of the people, de of his duty, he can compel the President of the
clared in express terms in its law that the as the total expenditures of the Government Comptroller of the Currency should not hold compel me to pay mine? That is the idea that
United States to pay his taxes as well as he can under the direction of the Executive, he pro his office at the will of the President of the ceeds to say, referring to the great number of
I have been taught to entertain of the true func officers who received these disbursements and
United States, but that he should hold his tion of an officer of a free people.
office at the will of the people found in its the great power of presidential patronage in
Well, sir, this tenure-of-office law came to controlling the action of these officers thus
authorized expression in the statute-book; and be enacted, and it came to be enacted, as Senreceiving the money:
that law stands a witness to the purity of a ators have said, because the prime and moving
Republican Administration to this day. . Are "But, as great as is this number, it gives a very
cause on the spot was that this very power in imperfect conception of the sum total of those who,
Senators dissatisfied with that? If they are, the hands of an Executive whose politics you as furnishing supplies or otherwise, are connected why do not they with the same zeal make haste did not like was going to be put in practice with, and more or less dependent on the Govern to put the Comptroller of the Currency at the ment, and of course liable to be influenced by its
to displace good men and to put in their stead patronage, the number of whom, with their depend
will of the present President of the United bad men, as we believed ; that Mr. Jolinson ents, cannot even be conjectured. If to these be States ?
intended, in the absence of the Senate, as he added the almost countless host of expectants who are seeking to displace those in office or to occupy
They did not stop there, sir. They provided, did do to a very great extent, to remove from their places as they become vacant, all of whom must although I now forget the precise year, that | office the faithful public servants whom he had look to the Executive for the gratification of their no removal of any officer of the Army or of the nominated or whom his predecessor had nom. wishes, some conception may be formed of the immense number subject to the influence of executive
Navy of the United States should be made at inated, and who bad been subjected to the patronage."
the will of the President alone, and that those scrutiny and had received the approval of the Then he proceeds:
officers should only be removed upon the sen Senate, and to put into their places men who In speaking of the practice of removing from
tence of a court-martial upon a trial; that is | had shed tears at Philadelphia or who had emofice on party ground as of recent date, and of to say, that the tenure of their offices should I braced at Boston; and so the law stepped in.
Was not that a wise purpose ? Was not that a Now, what does this law provider I think My friend may go into a dissertation if he wishes justifiable act of legislation, if we had the con. I can demonstrate to the Senator that it does to do so, when it comes to his turn to speak, stitutional power? The country thought it was. exactly that same thing; that it forbids a re upon proximate and final cause. There is
But Senators say that it was confessed on moval from office during the recess of the Sen ever so much discussion in books of philosophy the occasion of the passage of that act that it ate upon the mere irresponsible caprice of the | about that. But it is cause enough for me, sir, was a mere temporary expedient resorted to Executive, and therefore puts the Executive constitutional cause, if the Senator will, when as one of doubtful propriety in the abstract upon the same ground during the recess that the President of the United States acting, it und in justice as meeting the unjust measures he stands upon during the session, because he is honest as he always must, upon a con. of a bad man. I have searched the Globe during a session of the Senate the President scientious regard for the public service and a with some interest through those debates, and has not the power to make a vacancy and fill it conscientious sense of his responsibility to the I have failed to discover any evidence in the up. He has not the power, as I contend, to people and to God, chooses to send in one observations of any man, save the Democrats make a vacancy at all during the session of the man's name for a place that another man holds. who taunted us with it, that such was our pur Senate, whether he fills it or not; and in the When he has done that he has done his duty, pose.
On the contrary, the committee in great trial--one of the judges in which my whether that cause satisfies my friend and me making their report and in opening this sub friend was-only one instance, I believe, in the or not. Then it becomes our opportunity to ject to the Senate declared, through its chair. history of the Government was found where | speak and to consider, and if we are satisfied
there was even the appearance of a removal on with the cause, or with any other cause that "But the committee have recommended the adop 'the part of the President during a session of the appeals to our judgment and good sense, the tion of this rule respecting the tenure of officers as a permanent and systematio and, as they believo,
Senate without a corresponding nomination to act is accomplished. an appropriate regulation of the Government for all make the removal perfect; and even in that If my friend by using the term "cause" in Administrations and for all time."
case-the case of Pickering-the whole was the sense that he understands it means someThat was the ground that we stood upon. done on the same day and by presumption of thing more than this, and that the party to be To be sure, the present and pressing emer law, and I have no doubt, in fact, on the same removed must have been guilty of some high gency to put a good rule in operation grew out instant.
crime, then I entirely disagree with him. The of the fact to which I have referred; but that Then what are the powers of the President Senator cannot forget that the will of the peoact was defended and it was carried upon the of the United States during a session of the ple is, as found in the statutes of the country, . ground that it introduced a true and honest Senate ? He has no power, I am happy to say, that no officer shall hold his office for more reform into administration, that was to stand to remove any officer. I say this, not speaking than four years. I say no officer ; I mean the as well to day when the people bid a welcome of the present honored Executive more than great body of them; saying no officer' is to a new administration as it was to stand yes any other; indeed, less than any other; be saying it too widely. But the great body of the erday when they were hissing out of sight one cause if I would give the power to any man I administrative officers of the Government are that disgraced itself, and to stand after you, would give it to him ; but I will not give up limited in their tenure of office to four years ; sir, and after the President, and after we shall the Government to a man of my own choice. and the object of that was by those who passed have left our places and others whom we know The people have not authorized me to give it it, I have no doubt, as the object of the State not shall follow us. I do not wish to be told, up; they have conferred no such trust upon constitutions is all over the country, that there therefore, unless the proof is produced, by any me; and if I should do it I should betray them may be brought into direct review, into necesSenator, that any man who advocated the pas as well as sacrifice myself. Now, what are sary review within a limited period, the public sage of the bill advocated it at all upon the his rights ? His rights are, when he thinks conduct of every man ; and if he has deserved narrow and selfish and partisan ground that it there ought to be a change in the public ser a fresh lease of power, a fresh evidence of pubwas a mere firebrand intended to make war vice of any particular office, to propose to us, lic trust, drawn from the administration of his upon a present enemy with. It did not stand as the representatives of the States, the change duties, then it is to be presumed he will receive upon any such principle. It was not advo. that he wishes to make; and if we are satisfied it. That is the theory of this Government, as I cated upon any such principle.
that the person whom he proposes to put in understand it. At any rate, that is the statute. But it is said that this law has by experience will be a better officer than the one whom he Therefore I say that • cause,' in the sense that been shown to work badly, and therefore, proposes to put out then it is our duty to say I understand it, and in the sense that the peowhatever may have been the justification that ay; if we are not satisfied of that, but believe || ple have understood it, for a change in an office, introduced it and passed it, it has been demon in the reverse, it is our duty to say no. Un. is not necessarily some crime, is not necessarily strated to be of that deleterious character to happily, Mr. President, as times have gone, some misconduct of an officer, but it is a genthe public service that it deserves repeal. That we have not always even done that. We have eral and discreet survey by those who are in: is a fair argument if it is well founded. That, been more apt--and I am not speaking of this trusted with the right and who have imposed it' it were well founded, would be a real argu Administration, because we have, as yet, had upon them the duty of deciding it, of the gen: ment; and it is the only question that there is no experience--even under a hostile Adminis eral public and political reasons-not political really here. Everything else is extrinsic. But tration, to say ay to a bad nomination, than in a party sense necessarily, butin a wider and a what is the fact? Let us see. I suppose every we ought to have been.
better sense—which should govern administra. Senator is aware-I do not know whether other Mr. MORTON. With the permission of my tion. Does the Senator now understand my people are or not; I have no right to know friend I will state the question again, for he position? whether the Executive is aware-ihat this law has not answered it, and I will make it so short Mr. MORTON. I do not understand that which you now propose to sweep away is a law that he will not forget it. If the President the Senator has answered the question ; but I that only has effect so far as it respects re should be restrained during vacation from sus understand his position to be this: that the movals from office during the recess when the pending an officer except for cause, what we President would have no right during the sesSenate is not in session. To-day and every understand to be cause, should not the same sion of Congress to propose to remove an day when we are sitting here the provisions principle govern him during the session of Con officer by sending in a new name for the same of that law have no application to appoint- | gress, so as to retrain him from sending in an office except for the same cause that would ments and removals from office.
Other nomination for the same office, except justify the suspension during vacation. That Mr. MORTON. I should like to ask my there be the same cause for the removal of the is his position, and that is the position I desire friend from Vermont this question: if the prin- || present incumbent? That question is not very to have understood. ciple of the law is right, that the President | iong, and I think the Senator can remember it. Mr. EDMUNDS. Now, I will come to the sball not remove officers during vacation except Mr. EDMUNDS. I shall certainly remem suspension, as my friend has suspended. I for cause, should not the spirit of that law ber the gentleman who puts it, if I do not re say that the President ought not to suspend govern him during the session of Congress, so member the question. Certainly, Mr. Presi. an officer in vacation unless he has cause for that he should not propose to remove an officer dent, I am determined to agree with my friend. it. Take it even upon the careful and restrict. during a session of Congress except for cause I will not be put into a different position from ive language of the act of 1867 as it stands which would justify him in suspending him what he assumes about that. I say with him now, which to be sure is a quite unnecessary during vacation ?
that the President of the United States has no subject to argue, because the pending propoMr. EDMUNDS. The question is so long, business to nominate to us a man--I am now sition is to suspend that entirely; but take it Mr. President, that I have almost forgotten the speaking of moral business, because the Con upon that language. The evidence that is to beginning in paying attention to the end ; but stitution gives him a right to nominate as often control the action of the Executive in suspenI believe I understand it.
as he pleases-the President has no right to sion is to be evidence that is satisfactory to his Mr. MORTON. If your memory is not very propose to us to put out one man and put in conscience and to that of nobody else ; and as short you do. another unless there is cause.
the Senator from Indiana well knows, acting Mr. EDMUNDS. I think I begin to com Now, what is cause? The Constitution has upon that discretion that the statute reposed prehend it. Undoubtedly the same nrinciple made the cause. The united discretion of the in him, the late President suspended one of which governs the changes in the administra President of the United States and the repre the highest officers of the Government, Mr. tion of office during a recess of the Senate sentatives of the States, that is cause. If the Secretary Stanton, upon a mere ground of ought to govern it during a session o: the Sen. President of the United States thinks for any etiquette and nothing else, because Mr. Stanate. I am very glad, indeed, to know that my reason that satisfies his moral nature that it is ton, when invited to resign in a set formulary illustrious friend thinks so, as I assume he does better to make a change in an office, and pro- | of high considerations of public interest, or from his putting the question. I assume that poses it to us, and we are satisfied for any reason words to that effect, replied in the same form he believes in the affirmative of the question that is consonant to our moral sense of right that high considerations of public interest led he has propounded ; and it gives me a consid and wrong that that change ought to or may him to feel it to be his duty not to resign. The erable degree of satisfaction to kuow it. be made, then it is done, and there is cause. late President of the United States did not
misunderstand the act of 1867. He knew that has been an injury to the public service in of public history, and you cannot shut your eyes that act, as guarded and restrictive as it was, preventing the displacement of evil officials, to it. Where was the barrier that intervened was intended to confer upon him an absolute because the Commissioner of Internal Reve. and stood in his way in carrying out such a discretion ; to be sure a responsible discretion, nue could not find legal evidence, there hap- plan? It was this same much-abused tenurenot a capricious one, but an honest and a con pened once a month all the time a session of of-office bill. The Secretary of War, Mr. Stanscientious discretion, which, being honest and the Senate ; and if there had been any pretense | ton, laying aside those sentiments of delicacy conscientious, was completely absolute; and of such a thing the Senate could have been that would have led him consulting his own he acted upon it; and he suspended the high. | appealed to by a new nomination; but we did personal wishes, to resign at once, and yielding est and the best officer in his Cabinet, without not get a new nomination; and what was the to the unanimous wish of the Republican memany disparagement to the others, upon a mere
It was not because there was such a bers of the House of Representatives and to point of etiquette ; and he sent the suspension law, but it was because the Executive of the the wish of a very large number of Senators, io us; and how did we act upon it? I am at United States either did not believe that his stood by the law and stood by his office in spite liberty to speak of it inasmuch as the injunc. || officers were guilty of any impropriety, or else, of the will of the President, and thus thwarted tion of secrecy in that case has been removed. believing it, he did not care to remove them that design, if there ever was such a one, as I We did not put in any plea of abatement to or to propose to remove them for that reason. believe there was. Who can measure the disJr. Johnson's exercise of that power, but we The allegation, therefore, that this act has asters to this country had such a scheme existed treated it in the same spirit that he had sent proved injurious to the public service entirely and been carried out? A creature of the Presit to us, upon its merits; and we thought, and falls to the ground, because there has been no ident of the United States in the War Office I believe the country sustained us in it, that time for thirty days that it has stood in the and another in the Navy-if he was not there that was not a good cause for changing Mr. way of a session of the Senate where the Presi already-would have put the whole power of Stanton and succeeding him by whoever the dent of the United States, had he been embar this Government at the disposal of one man, personage night be. Was that wrong? rassed by anything in the law in the way of and your reconstructed States, arising out of
To go back a little ; my attention is called | tinding proof, could not have found his way out their disasters under the beneficent and merto the purpose of the enactment of this law, of it by sending in a nomination to this body. ciful legislation of Congress, would have been and I am now shown and will read another | No, sir; it is a sheer complaint of the enemies || consigned to an aristocracy of serfdom where passage from the debate on that occasion. of this principle of legislation, who are endeav- || the white rebels would have held the rod of When Mr. Doolittle, of Wisconsin, charged oring out of the disordered state of public tyrants over the white loyalists and the black that although the purpose of the measure was affairs and of public administration to find in his opinion to force the President against some motive or some excuse for overthrowing I dislike, therefore, to hear gentlemen, withhis will to retain the Secretaries appointed by a law which has not interfered with the public | out qualification, accusing this lawas one which Mr. Lincoln, and yet that the phraseology was service at all.
has brought detriment to the country. It is such that the bill if passed would not accom Now look on the other side.
not so. It has brought good to the country in plish that object, the Senator from Ohio, [Mr. good officers appointed by President Lincoln the ways I have named. SHERMAN,] who was a member of the confer and by Mr. Johnson in the earlier days of his Now, what do we propose to do? We proence committee and assisted to frame the pro administration were kept in by force of this pose, in order as we had hoped to meet the viso which was under debate, said:
law? They can be counted by thousands. Sen views of our own political friends, who had seen, "I do not understand the logic of the Senator from ators know perfectly well that the public ser or thought they had seen, practical difficulties Wisconsin. He first attributes a purpose to the committee of conference which I say is not true. I say
vice was carried on in spite of the efforts of in administration under this law, to give, by an that the Senate have not legislated with a view to any
the Executive to turn out honest and industri act of generous confidence in the present Ex: person or any President, and therefore he commences ous and determined public servants and to put || ecutive, to him during the next recess of Conby asserting what is not truc there."
into their places mere politicians who had gress a complete power to sweep out of office That, sir, is the language of one of the gen apostatized from their party or who had come the persons who now hold it. But we are met tlemen of this body to whom we all look as up out of the sink of the rebellion desiring by the argument of gentlemen that this is a justly among our leaders, one who had charge again to be fed out of the public Treasury. A want of confidence in the Executive, that it or assisted in having charge of the conference careful examination of the records of this body | implies that we are putting him on probation. between the two Houses on the subject; and, and of the records of the State Department | Sir, it is a new way of exhibiting want of conas I said before, I believe an examination will will demonstrate that the officers appointed by | fidence in the President to suspend a statute fail to disclose that any Senator who voted for Mr. Johnson, after his apostasy to his party which restrains him, and leave him entirely at the passage of the bill put it upon any such and before this law passed and to fill up vacan liberty for any period of time. I should have ground as has been intimated by the Senator cies which the Constitution gave him power to supposed it was a vote of the highest confifrom Illinois.
fill up as a whole, proved the most mischievous dence. The argument of gentlemen who adopt To return to the subject of the operation of of all. The law, therefore, instead of being that method of argumentation reminds me of this law. I have shown that it has no opera a barrier against his removing bad officials, has a little scrap of history that I saw in reading a tion at all during the session of the Senate; been a barrier against his removing good ones; book the other day, and I will refer to it. that this restriction upon the President of his and you find when you look at the facts that By an imperial law of Gratian, in the time power to suspend from office is in terms con every opportunity that he did have, speaking of the Romans, it was decreed that those who fined to a recess of the Senate. Now honor as a whole, was made use of to fill up the pub- || called in question the prince's judgment or able Senators say that the law has proved to lic service with a class of persons whom nobody || doubted the merit of such as he had chosen be a bad one because it has embarrassed the has any faith in.
for a public office should be persecuted as guilty Executive in the exercise of his power to re Why, sir, look at the one instance alone of of sacrilege and burnt. I am sure that genmore incompetent, incapable, and dishonest the effect of this law upon the Commissioner | tlemen who take this lugubrious view of our officials, and as proof of that they point to the of Internal Revenue, in whom we all had con relations to the President of the United States fact that the incoming Administration finds the fidence. Are Senators ignorant of the fact that must have got their system of republicanism offices filled up with that class of persons. he would have had his office taken from him from the Roman days, and must really suppose Well, sir, I think that is pretty true as a fact in a moment but for this law? No man can that Senators who differ from the judgment of that they are so filled up. How many days, doubt it. Are Senators ignorant of the fact the Executive, if he has one-and we have no though, I should like to know, has this act and this is a matter of public notoriety-that message from him on that subject-are really been in operation since it was passed, and how name after name, when the Senate has met, i guilty of a sacrilege and an affront. But, sir, many days has it been a barrier upon Andrew has been sent in for his place, whom commit that is not so. The newspapers may say so if Johnson? Just three hundred and twenty- tees of this body have reported unanimously | they like. In fact I believe we were told in three days, while there have been three hun. | against, and whose nominations have been re argument yesterday by one distinguished Sendred and ninety-two days since the passage of jected with scorn because they were persons ator that the newspaper press of the country, the act down to the commencement of the wholly unworthy of public confidence? What the representatives of public opinion, demanded present session when the Senate has been in would have been the condition of the internal this repeal. Certainly some of the newspaper session, and the sessions of the Senate were revenue adıninistration at this moment had press do; but they do not represent the public distributed over the following periods of time: not this law stood between the will of Andrew | opinion of my State, as far as I understand it. the first session began on the 4th of March, Johnson and his advisers and that faithful! I saw in a paper of this city two or three days 1867, and lasted through that month to the public officer who has just retired from that ago a very long article and a very ingenious 30th; a special session began on the 1st of office?
one, written evidently by somebody who underApril and lasted until the 20th of April, 1867; Look at the case of the Secretary of War. stood the subject, who pointed out to the Senanother session began on the 3d of July and Look at the condition of the country as touch ate of the United States that it would be a lasted until the 20th of July, 1867; another on ing his office. Are Senators ignorant of the piece of impertinence for us to refuse to pass the 21st of November and lasted until the 2d fact that it was believed by a great portion of a bill that the House of Representatives had of December, 1867; another on the 2d of De the people of this country that the President sent to us by such a unanimous vote ; that we cember, 1867, and lasted until the 27th of of the United States meditated, by the aid of are recreants to our duty. The same song has July, 1868; another on the 21st of September, some of the extremes of the Democratic party been sung here. The overshadowing majesty 1868; another on the 16th of October, 1868; and of the rebels, to resist the measures of of the Representatives of the people is apanother on the 10th of November, 1868; and reconstruction by force, and to set up govern- | pealed to; and I wonder that Senators who then the last session of the last Congress began ments of his own in the southern States in spite wish to carry on this pageant to its highest in December, 1868. Thus during this very of the will of the representatives of the people? | degree of perfection should not have suggested period of time when gentlemen say the law Senators are not ignorant of it. It is a matter
that the House should be marshaled here with
the sound of trumpets and should stand around recent legislation of Congress, and that is the Mr. EDMUNDS. I was speaking of the us and demand in the name of the people that power of Congress to regulate removals from constitutional power. we should repeal this law. But that has not office. This has been settled not only by the Mr. SHERMAN. I say that as a question been done. That is one part of the play that impeachment trial, but by the repeated action of law before the tenure-of-office act was passed seems to have been omitted.
of both Houses, acquiesced in now by all de. several laws conferred on the President exAgain, it is said that it is the wish of the partments of the Government. The power of pressly the power of removal in a great multiExecutive. Mr. President, the wish of the removal is not a constitutional but a legal power. tude of cases. Executive, unless it is communicated to us in The Constitution does not confer the power of Mr. EDMUNDS. Unquestionably. the way that the Constitution prescribes, has removal upon the President, or upon the Sen Mr. SHERMAN. The first section of the no place here. The President of the United ate, or upon both, or upon any other branch of tenure-of-office act does limit him, and repeals States bas his duties; the Constitution pre the Government, but leaves that with a great all the various acts which conferred the power scribes them. The Senate of the United States variety of other powers to be regulated and con of removal on the President. I regard the bas its duties; the Constitution prescribes | trolled by law. When the Constitution is silent first section of the act as more sweeping in its them. In the line of its duty the Senate of the law prevails. The removal of all officers | effect, more broad and comprehensive in its the United States is as independent of the Ex is now provided for by law and is not fixed by operations thau even the second section, beecutive as the Executive is of the Senate. They any constitutional provision. Thus officers of cause it repealed all the laws that enabled the are both friends; they are both members of the Army and Navy are protected from removal President summarily to dismiss an officer from the same Governinent, and I take it that each by courts-martial, and all civil oflicers are pro his office. Under an act which was often without feeling and without hostility will pur tected by the tenure-of-office act. Several off debated during the impeachment trial the sue the sphere of its action without paying cers are protected by a fixed duration of their President was authorized to discharge the Sec. much attention to the cries of gentlemen who term of office, during which they cannot be retary of War, the Secretary of State, and all say to us, as the reason for passing or enacting removed. It inay now be considered as a set Cabinet officers and a multitude of civil offilaws, that this does or does not meet with tled question of law that the power of removal cers, and he might communicate that discharge Executive favor.
depends entirely upon the acts of Congress, and or that removal to the Senate. In practice, Now, sir, I have said all that I wish to say not upon any constitutional provision.
confirmation by the Senate usually terminated upon this subject upon the present occasion. The question, then, is whether the tenure-of the office of the previous incumbent; but the I have said it in the first place to vindicate office act wisely provides that the Senate of President had the power by express provision myself, as one of those who voted in favor of the United States should share with the Presi of law to make the removal without regard to the passage of this law originally, from the dent in the power of removing civil officers. the Senate. If the tenure-of-office act is reaspersion-for I treat it as such, though not so
In regard to the Army and Navy the question pealed the President and Senate combined intended I know-of the Senator from Illinois has long been settled and the settlement has may during the session of the Senate remove aud others who have said that we passed the
been acquiesced in. Those officers can only an officer, or the President may alone remove law as a mere party expedient, as a mere tem
be removed upon the advice and finding of a an officer but not appoint another. If the porary contrivance to hedge around a Presi court-martial. No such tribunal has been pro tenure-of-office act remains no removal can dent whose politics we did not like. I have
vided in the tenure-of-office act to pass upon be made except with the consent of the Sen. shown from the record that reporting the bill
the cause of the removal of civil officers. "If | ate. If this act is repealed removals may be from a committee I took exactly the opposite this had been done there could be little doubt made without the consent of the Senate, and ground. I have shown that the distinguished upon the precedents mentioned but that such the only question the Senate will act upon in Senator from Ohio in the remarks of his that
a'law would be held as constitutional, proper, that case will be the question of the confirmaI just now read put it upon the broad and true and right. The only question is whether it is tion of the new appointee. ground of legislating upon principle, and nat politic and wise to invest in the Senate any The second section of the act takes away for any man. I have defied gentlemen who | portion of the power of removal.
from the President the power of removing an have maintained the opposite to show us in the
By the tenure-of-office act no removal can officer during the recess of the Senate. This Globe anywhere any such narrow method of be made during the session of the Senate or is for more than one half the year, so that .egislation as they accuse us of, and I have during the recess of the Senate except by con whatever the exigency may be, however grave further said this because I feel, and I believe sent of the Senate, so that every act of removal may be the suspicion aroused in the mind of that the people of my State feel as they intelli must be participated in by the Senate. Now, the President against any officer of the Govgently consider these subjects, that there is in the face of the experience that we have had ernment, and however pressing may be the involved in this more than the success of this for the past two years, is it wise to limit the necessity, the President cannot more that offiAdministration, more than the harmony of this
power of the Executive over removals and cer from his office unless the Senate is here to Congress with the President of the United make his power depend entirely on the action advise and consent. All he can do is to susStates, because that will exist; but there is of the Senate and not of any other tribunal? pend him from office, and suspend him for involved in it really a destiny which is either That is the only question to which I choose to what? The President may be entirely conscious by a calm and constant progress to carry us address myself.
that the officer complained of has been guilty more and more under a reign of law to happi As a general rule it is not wise to mingle of dereliction of duty, has been guilty of fraud ness and prosperity, or that other progress of
the powers of the various departments of the or of gross neglect or of many other things; which history is full of instances, which carries Government. There are three great divisions but unless he can show satisfactory evidence us by gradual accretions of executive power, or departments of the Government that stand that the officer has been guilty of misconduct culminating at last in the hands of some bold apart from each other. They form the triangle in office or crime, or has become incapable or and dangerous man to a tyranny which, like of public safety, and upon them rest the safety, legally disqualified to perform the duties of the other tyrannies, must be, as it always should order, and good conduct of society. These are office, he cannot suspend him. be, followed with blood.
the legislative, the executive, and the judicial It seems to me that the operations of this Mr. THAYER. Imove to amend the amend. departments. They have been in exceptional great Government cannot be carried on upon ment reported by the Judiciary Committee by
cases mingled. The Senate shares with the this basis unless the Senate is kept here the striking out the words "suspended until the
President in the appointing power, and also greater portion of the year to share in the next session of Congress” and inserting:
shares with the President in the treaty-making power of removal. The point made by my Made and declared to be inoperative and void from
power. The Senate forms a part of the legis. honorable friend from Indiana I think was not and after the passage of this act: Provided, however,
lative power, and it shares the judicial power fully met by the argument of the Senator from That the President shall report to the Senate within in the trial of impeachments, thus absorbing Vermont. Under the tepure-of-office act the ten days from the beginning of each session all ap one branch of the judicial power. But with pointments made by him during the preceding recess
President and the Senate may this day remove of the Senate which require confirmation by the
these exceptions the three great departments a man without other cause than mere political Senate.
of the Government, legislative, exccutive, and reasons, or for any reason whatever. The effect of my amendment, if adopted,
judicial, are kept distinct. It is not wise, in Mr. EDMUNDS. The reason is a cause, in will be to make the bill read: my judgment, to overlook this division of
my estimation. powers.
Mr. SHERMAN. Yes; we, the Senate, That an act passed the 2d of March, 1867, entitled
My friend from Vermont, it seemed to me, "An act regulating the tenure of certain civil offices,"
may remove for mere political differences of be, and the game is hereby, made and declared to be gave rather a narrow construction to the ten: opinion, but we will not allow the President to inoperative and void from and after the passage of ure-of-office act, not such a one as I have this act: Provided, however, That the President shall
remove except for crime and misconduct susreport to the Senate within ten days from the begin
always put upon it and not such a one as I tained by satisfactory evidence. We do not ning of each session all appointments made by him think it fairly bears. He said that the tenure make the same rule for his removals that we during the preceding recess of the Senate which re of-office act does not apply to removals made do for our own. We go to him, and I think quire confirmation by the Senatc.
during the session of the Senate. Mr. SHERMAN. Mr. President, I am grati.
much too often for the public good, and ask
Mr. EDMUNDS. I said that before the removals for mere political opinion, avd yet fied at the manner in which this debate has thus tenure-of-office act the President had no power by law we forbid him doing this during the far been conducted, and especially at the very to remove during the session of the Senate. recess unless he is prepared to arraigo the inable and interesting speech made by the Sen Mr. SHERMAN. There is the very point || cumbent upon written charges supported by ator from Vermont. I did not intend until
on which my friend and I would differ. "Under || proof. Suppose the President should turn to yesterday to engage in the debate, and will various laws of Congress which were cited and us and say, "Very well, make a case for reoccupy very little of the time of the Senate in | quoted very often in the impeachment trial moral under the tenure-of-office act and I will stating the reasons for my vote on this bill. the power of removal was expressly conferred send a name to the Senate." It would be imOne question at least has been settled by the upon the President.
possible to remove a great multitude of officers