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that no such thing is ever attempted. Large bodies of men do in fact believe that the public interest will be advanced by enterprises that bring them individual profit. For instance, a railroad benefits the inhabitants of the country it traverses, to a degree far greater than the aggregate of the benefits to its stockholders. The bankruptcy of a railroad inconveniences or indeed positively injures the public more than the stockholders, in the total of the effects. It is most unfortunate that men ignore the unity of interest between enterprise and public welfare.

Although the practice of lobbying continues in connection with every one of our lawmaking bodies, it is not true that through this channel any considerable amount of money reaches any considerable number of legislators. Outside that which is spent in ways now held to be legitimate, most of the money is kept by the men supposed to be go-betweens, who pretend to accomplish bribes that are in reality never completed. It is a gainful occupation equally easy and disgraceful. If the member alleged to have been bribed, votes as the lobbyist has reported to his employer would be the case, the employer is quite content; if the member votes the other way, the employer dares not make any trouble.

Almost as simple and still more profitable is the resort to blackmail. The lobbyist thinks up bills that would damage somebody having money. These he presents on his own petition or that of a man of straw, or he gets some friendly member to introduce them, perhaps innocently, perhaps in collusion. The whole purpose is to get bought off. Such bills are variously known as "strike bills," "hold-up bills," "regulators," "sandbaggers," or by some other familiar title, according to the whim of this or that Legislature. In some States it is not uncommon for scores of these bills to appear at every session. For the most part they are aimed at corporations. At times they have been very profitable, not only to the lobbyists, but also to that small group of political degenerates in every Legislature who believe in making hay while the sun shines. They will continue to be an easy way of extracting money from the purses of spineless men until public opinion makes it as disgraceful to corrupt as to be corrupted, and equally disgraceful whether the corruption is direct or indirect.

We have reached the point where it is generally agreed that it is odious to pay a lawmaker for his vote. Unfortunately too many men otherwise honorable think still that it is not improper to pay somebody else to get a member's vote or influence legislative action, without overmuch scrutiny of the methods used. They are quite ready to pay the lobbyist without questioning his processes. They are nothing loath to retain lawyers or others supposed to be able to control certain members by influences political, social, or personal. They are unwilling to bribe but are willing to buy. Most of their money is wasted, but it does infinite harm, for it contributes in no small degree to that mistrust of legislative bodies which is the source of so much of the political unrest of our time.

CHAPTER XVIII

BRIBERY

The story of bribery in connection with modern assemblies is not pleasant. To avoid its telling might be the wish of one who finds no satisfaction in dwelling on the weaknesses of human nature, and yet it cannot be escaped if we are to try to learn whether the ethical standards of mankind are rising, or whether present-day forms of government invite and develop the evil. There is a widespread belief that legislative corruption is novel or is more common than ever before. On this assumption blame is attached by some to democratic institutions; by others it is advanced as a proof of degeneracy. In various ways it contributes to that lack of confidence in representative government which is a conspicuous characteristic of our time. Therefore it is of no small importance to determine what are the facts, both as to the past and as to the present.

Bribe y is an offense at common law. Originally in England it was confined to interference with the administration of justice, but presently it came to cover corrupt reward for the discharge of any public office. This appears to have been the conception of it in ancient times. At Athens the constant complaints of bribery were aimed chiefly at generals and others in administrative positions, as well as at demagogues who were bought to pursue this or that line of policy. “Of bribery in the popular courts of justice," says Freeman, "we hear very little, and of bribery in the Assembly itself we hear absolutely nothing. That Assembly doubtless passed many foolish, hasty, and passionate votes, but we may be quite sure that it never passed a corrupt vote.” On the other hand, the prevalence of venality among Athenian officials may be inferred from the injunction of Plato, in his ideal republic, that those who took presents for doing their duty should be punished in the severest manner. Let it not be supposed, however, that bribery was an evil peculiar to a form of government such as that of Athens. As Freeman well said in another connection, "it is absurd to infer that a democratic or a federal form of government has a necessary and special tendency to corruption, when it is certain that corruption has been and is rife under governments of other kinds." The fact is that in all ages and all climes men holding high public trusts have too often been guilty of betraying those trusts by the acceptance of bribes.

1 Hist. of Federal Govt., 1, 83 et seq.

The historians agree that bribery of lawmakers first became a crying evil in the reign of Charles II. As Parliament gained in power, inevitably the Crown sought to achieve by secret means what it could no longer do openly. Its resort was to “influence" of every sort, that, as Seeley defines it,” being "a general name for all the different forms of persuasion which the Crown by its greatness, splendour, wealth, and patronage could exert upon individuals.” Its worst phase is bribery.

The evil became notorious in the Pensioner Parliament, the body that under Charles II sat for seventeen years without dissolution. Many of its poorer members sold their votes for a very small gratuity. Lord Clifford allowed £10,000 for buying them; Lord Denby increased the allowance. The practice became so obnoxious under William III that public opinion revolted. The Commons resolved February 17, 1694: "That the Lord Falkland, being a member of that House, by begging and receiving £2000 from His Majesty, contrary to the ordinary method of issuing and bestowing the King's money, was guilty of a high misdemeanour and breach of trust; and that he be committed to the Tower of London during the pleasure of the House.” Accordingly he was sent to the Tower and kept there a few days, being released upon setting forth to the House that he was “highly sensible of their displeasure.'

More famous is the case of the Speaker of the House, Sir John Trevor. Bishop Burnet says of him: "Being a Tory in principle, he undertook to manage that party, provided he was furnished with such sums of money as might purchase some votes; and by him began the practice of buying off men, in which hitherto the King (William III) had kept to stricter rules. I took the liberty once to complain to the King of this method. CHAPTER XVIII

1 Some Impressions of the U.S., 124 (1883).
2 Sir J. R. Seeley, Introduction to Political Science, 261.

: John, Earl Russell, An Essay on the Hist. of the English Govt. and Const., ed. of 1866, 201.

BRIBERY

The story of bribery in connection with modern assemblies is not pleasant. To avoid its telling might be the wish of one who finds no satisfaction in dwelling on the weaknesses of human nature, and yet it cannot be escaped if we are to try to learn whether the ethical standards of mankind are rising, or whether present-day forms of government invite and develop the evil. There is a widespread belief that legislative corruption is novel or is more common than ever before. On this assumption blame is attached by some to democratic institutions; by others it is advanced as a proof of degeneracy. In various ways it contributes to that lack of confidence in representative government which is a conspicuous characteristic of our time. Therefore it is of no small importance to determine what are the facts, both as to the past and as to the present.

Bribe y is an offense at common law. Originally in England it was confined to interference with the administration of justice, but presently it came to cover corrupt reward for the discharge of any public office. This appears to have been the conception of it in ancient times. At Athens the constant complaints of bribery were aimed chiefly at generals and others in administrative positions, as well as at demagogues who were bought to pursue this or that line of policy. “Of bribery in the popular courts of justice," says Freeman, "we hear very little, and of bribery in the Assembly itself we hear absolutely nothing. That Assembly doubtless passed many foolish, hasty, and passionate votes, but we may be quite sure that it never passed a corrupt vote.On the other hand, the prevalence of venality among Athenian officials may be inferred from the injunction of Plato, in his ideal republic, that those who took presents for doing their duty should be punished in the severest manner. Let it not be supposed, however, that bribery was an evil peculiar to a form of government such as that of Athens.

1 Hist. of Federal Govt., 1, 83 et seq.

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