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of 1873 took the lead with the declaration : "No railroad, railway or other transportation company shall grant free passes, or passes at a discount, to any person except officers or employes of the company.” First and last, fifteen States have followed the example with varying constitutional provisions aimed at this insidious form of bribery, and others have met the situation with statutes. Now that there has been federal prohibition of the practice, we are not likely to see it ever revive.

New Hampshire has met the situation singularly. Its general law prohibiting free transportation, enacted in 1878, was not properly obeyed. When in 1881 an attempt was made to put teeth into the law by making it a crime not only for railroad officials to give, but also for any person to receive, one legislator rose and frankly stated his dilemma. He had a pass and

. wanted to use it going home. Enough others were in the same box or aroused sympathy enough to get the proposition defeated by a vote of nearly three to one. In March of 1897 there was extraordinary legislation. The exceptions in the law of 1878 were extended by adding after “persons poor and in misfortune, who are unable to pay said fare," the words "and others," so that the concluding exception read — "and others to whom passes have been granted.” A member frankly said on the floor that this was designed to make legal the issuance of passes to members of the Legislature, and the bill was passed. Men with a sense of propriety outraged by this, were unable to get the Convention of 1902 to recommend a constitutional amendment, but the Convention voted, 221 to 101, to recommend that “the Legislature consider the subject and enact such legislation, if any, as in their opinion the public good may require." When in accordance therewith in 1907 the railroads were forbidden to give passes, the Governor was authorized to contract for the transportation of members, officers, and employees of the General Court. They were to get no mileage unless their homes were more than two miles from a railroad station, in which case members and officers were to get every week twenty cents for each mile to and from home to station. In 1915 it was found necessary by statute to threaten with a fine as high as a hundred dollars any member or employee who might let anybody else use his legislative ticket.

An Oklahoma legislator has to take oath that he will not receive, use, or travel upon any free pass or free transportation during his term of office. In Canada, by statute, members of both Houses of Parliament are entitled to free transportation at all times upon railways under the jurisdiction of Parliament. The Constitution of the Irish Free State says that Parliament may provide its members "with free traveling facilities in any part of Ireland.” It is common in the countries of Continental Europe to give legislators their transportation free or at greatly reduced rates. In Italy and Germany it is free; French Deputies get a large discount. Railroads on the Continent, however, are for the 'most part owned by the government, which might be argued as altering the situation somewhat.

With the great lessening in the cost of transportation, American legislators seem to have come to make money out of their mileage. Railroad fares at three cents a mile appear to leave a handsome profit, even taking into account the incidentals of travel, provided the member goes to and fro but once or twice in a session. This of course accrues most to the advantage of members living at a distance from the capital. The Congressman from the Pacific Coast is supposed to be lucky. In the course of the session of any Legislature some newspaper is reasonably sure to call attention to the plum falling into the lap of the legislator who comes from the most remote corner of the State. Naturally this encourages criticism of the system and adds to the absurd but prevalent notion that all lawmakers are petty grafters. As a result reduction or abolition of mileage is a favorite resort of those demagogues whose hypocritical demands for economy are designed to get them into office, as well as of some sincere patriots whose information does not match their motives.

Is it to be conceived that the system would have withstood the innumerable assaults upon it if to honorable legislators acquainted with the facts of the situation, the system had not seemed to accomplish, however roughly and crudely, a justifiable purpose ?

Misunderstanding has come from uncertainty as to just what "mileage” does or should mean. Critics too hastily assume that it means nothing but transportation costs. Even if that were so, there remain the questions of whether it includes those for a member's family, and whether but one journey to and fro should be taken into account. In origin and early development, however, we have seen that the payment, whatever its name, was meant to cover what we call traveling expenses. Why should it not now go at least that far? Indeed would there be injustice in having it approximate the additional living costs entailed by service in a legislative body? No general rule could be devised that would measure these fairly and accurately for every member, so diverse are the conditions. Probably distance furnishes as good a criterion as can be found. Speaking broadly, the farther a member lives from the seat of government, the more it costs him, directly and indirectly, to share in making laws. With that in mind, the criticisms of mileage become narrow, unreasonable, unjust.

PERQUISITES NEW JERSEY in 1844 summarily freed itself from all perplexing problems of mileage or other legislative perquisites by declaring that besides the salary of five hundred dollars, members should receive no other allowance or emolument, directly or indirectly, for any purpose whatever. Nebraska and South Dakota have forbidden any pay or perquisites other than per diem and mileage. Arkansas and Colorado have forbidden any compensation, perquisite, or allowance except as provided in their Constitutions. Pennsylvania prohibits any extra compensation, whether for service upon committee or otherwise, a restriction that would bring gloom to lawmakers in various States where recess committees flourish. When Ohio prohibits extra compensation, it discloses the particular evil there aimed at by specifying postage.

That it has been deemed necessary to give to such provisions the solemn weight of constitutional declaration, precludes denial of the existence among legislators of traits of human nature that are to be found in other bodies of men. In any considerable group of human beings you are sure to find some individuals who are greedy or thriftless, some who lack a fine sense of honor, many who are indifferent. The result in most of our Legislatures has been a luxuriant growth of petty graft, of no very great consequence in its aggregate burden on the taxpayers, but extremely annoying to men with scruples, and having various demoralizing effects calling for remedy. It has not always been easy to draw the line between expenditures reasonably to be incurred for the proper performance of duty


and those that savor of individual benefit. Furthermore, while some perquisites of office are harmful, others are harmless and may be accepted safely by the most conscientious. These things, too, are often matters of convention, with standards changing from generation to generation or from place to place. Time was when the item for flip or punch was a normal entry in the expenses of ordaining a New England clergyman. Yet even before the prohibition amendment came, the legislative committee that put in a bill for champagne or even beer, was rash indeed. Opinion, however, did not seriously frown on a charge for cigars.

Our ancestors were not above perquisites, as you may see by an entry of the Massachusetts General Court, October 27, 1648: “It is ordered, by the full Courte, that the bookes of lawes, now at the presse, may be sould in quires, at three shillings the booke; provided that every member of this Courte shall have one without price." 1 Doubtless they salved their consciences by arguing that there was special need for lawmakers to have "the bookes of lawes." More than two centuries later the temptation to get books at the public expense survived still in Massachusetts, for we find that when in 1858 the Legislature fixed by law the compensation of its members at three hundred dollars a year, it felt moved to put in the statute: “No periodicals, publications or books, other than those printed for the use of the Legislature, shall hereafter be ordered for members at the charge of the Commonwealth."

Since 1850 the Michigan Constitution has declared that a member “shall not receive, at the expense of the State, books, newspapers, or other perquisites of office not expressly authorized by this Constitution.” Maryland in 1851 ordained: "No book or other printed matter not appertaining to the business of the session shall be purchased or subscribed for, for the use of the members, or be distributed among them at the public expense.” About that time the book agent must have been abroad in the land. Horace Greeley, who served in Congress for the short session of the winter of 1848–49, tells us in his “Recollections of a Busy Life,” of his vote against paying for the books that for years it had been the custom to buy for each new member, consisting of "American Archives," "Debates in Congress," etc., at that time swelled (by enormous charges) to a

1 Records of the Colony of the Mass. Bay in N.E., U, 262.

He says

cost of about one thousand dollars a man.

it was well known that many to whom the books were voted never took nor saw them — merely drawing an order for them, and selling it to the book-suppliers for so much cash in hand, less than half what the books cost the Treasury. In one case, a member well-known to Greeley was reputed to have sold his order and gambled away the proceeds before going to his lodging the night after the appropriation was voted.

Nowadays the only advantage the lawmaker has in the matter of books is that he has his pick of the government publications. Not many of these have permanent worth enough to warrant filling up library shelves with them, but now and then some publication de luxe comes along, or something of real historical value. The chief complaint the public may make on the score of books is the wastefulness of the system of government publication. In the seventeen years after the Act of 1895 the excess accumulation of documents in Washington that neither Congress nor the Departments had been able to distribute, amounted to more than ten million publications. Senator Smoot estimated that the actual loss in that time due to defective methods of distribution had been not less than $25,000,000. On a smaller scale the same sort of thing is to be found in every

State capitol. An efficiency engineer backed up by intelligent legislation could save the people of the country vast sums in the aggregate, while placing a huge amount of reading matter now wasted where it would have at least the chance to be of service. The burden put on the lawmakers themselves by the duty of trying to help distribute this matter properly, is no small item. Congressmen have the advantage of the franking system. Is it not penny-wisé pound-foolish for the States not to pay at least the cost of distributing the documents they print ?

About the first thing the members of the very first Congress did was to provide themselves with newspapers, to be paid for out of the public treasury. The committee reporting on the matter said just as would be said to-day : “Public economy requires that the expenses of government be retrenched.” Then it went on sapiently: “But as your committee consider the publication of newspapers to be highly beneficial in disseminating useful knowledge throughout the United States and deserving of public encouragement, they recommend that each

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