Obrazy na stronie

= do I say they may not, if they choose, open | desire, therefore, to ask the Senator from In- Court of Claims to these parties, not to investhe finding of this tribunal which has been con- diana, who seems to have given attention to tigate their legal claims against the Governstituted under a resolution of the Senate ; but this subject, whether these contractors con- ment, because they have none, but to ascertain I submit that you have before you a proper tracted for other vessels than those named in the amount that is equitably due to them, I am authority for your conclusion, and I ask you, this report of the committee during the exist- perfectly willing to vote for it. If they have why go behind their report, especially when ence of the war between 1861, the time of its sustained losses on all their contracts taken that report is commended by the Navy Depart- commencement, and 1865, the time of its close. together with the Government during this ment itself, and by the Naval Committee of the Mr. HENDRICKS. I believe that the board | period of time, I am perfectly willing to open Senate?

has given us no evidence upon that question ; | the doors of a court where they may be heard ; The case seems to me to be unanswerable ; but I understand that some of these contractors but I am wholly unwilling to adopt the proit is impregnable. I put it, first, on the ground did construct other vessels, and some did not. ceedings of this board and call it a court bindof original equity, growing out of the abnor- For instance, I understand that the Messrs. ing upon me. Why, sir, I have no evidence mal condition of war; in the second plece, I Secor constructed either four or five vessels, I before me, nor has any gentleman yet stated put it upon the ground that it has been heard | do not know which, and their claim here is for that such evidence is before us or can be proand considered by a tribunal practically of three. I did hear, though from no authentic duced, that this board went outside of the your own selection ; and I may add, in the source, that Messrs. Eads & Co., of St. Louis, representations of these parties themselves third place, that all this has been admitted and did some other work for the Government beyond except what was stated by the Senator from recognized by a committee of your body. I that mentioned in this bill, but what that work Indiana, who always states his positions corhope you will not hesitate to do justice. was I do not know.

rectly, that experts, men learned in this busiMr. HENDERSON. I suppose the Sena- Mr. HENDERSON. My reason for asking ness of building ships, were introduced perhaps tor from Massachusetts is perfectly familiar | the question springs from the fact that I noticed to testify as to the general cost of these things. with this report, and as I know but little about in the report that Mr. James B. Eads, of St. Let us look at this report for one moment. it I rise merely for the purpose of getting some Louis, who deserves a great deal of credit for Here is the contract for the Winnipec: information in order to guard myself in my his industry and energy in the construction of "The contract for the Winnipec was made August vote. I desire to ask him if the board consti- vessels in the early part of the war, is allowed by

21, 1863, to be completed in eleven months; but the tuted under the resolution of the Senate heard this board for constructing the Milwaukee, which

vessel was not completed and accepted until March

20, 1865." any evidence whatever beyond that which was was constructed at St. Louis, $30,438 84, and

Why was that? I see that the parties in this presented by the contractors themselves. I they allow him on the Winnebago $29,174 20,

case are allowed every dollar that they claim. call his attention to the minutes of the board: | making an aggregate of $59,613 04, which they

The Government is allowed nothing on account “The board, after a critical examination of the suppose is the loss he has sustained in the con

of this delay. This board awarded to these bills of cost presented by the several contractors for struction of these two vessels. According to vessels and steam machinery contracted for in the

parties $63,715 41 for losses, and yet the vesyears 1862 and 1863, who have appeared and made my understanding Mr. Eads constructed some

sel, which was to have been completed in eleven sworn statements, has determined the excess of cost

five or six vessels for the Government. Am I in the several cases, over and above the contract to understand that if Mr. Eads made money

months after the contract was entered into,

which would have been in June, 1864, was not price and allowance for extra work, to be as follows."

upon the other contracts he is entitled to be The minutes of their proceeding do not show | paid for his losses upon these two vessels?. I

completed until the war had nearly closed. I

see no sufficient excuse for that. that they heard any testimony whatever except understood from Mr. Eads, who is a very highly Here is the case of the monitor Camanche. that which was brought by the contractors honorable gentleman indeed, that upon one or themselves, the bills of cost which they pre.

What amount do these gentlemen say we must two vessels he had lost some money, but I allow them? One hundred and seventy-nine sented and which they swore were the bills | surely did not understand from him that he that entered into the construction of these ves

thousand nine hundred and ninety-three dollost money upon all the vessels that he consels. I ask the Senator if he has any informa

lars and eighty cents, the amount of loss, as we structed. My understanding was quite to the tion on that subject, whether they were author

are told, sustained by these contractors. What contrary; and if we are to allow large sums ized, or whether they did take other testi

was that contract? It was made June 20, 1862, of money for losses sustained in the construcmony than that which was presented to them?

and the vessel was not completed and delivered tion of some vessels I cannot see why there I suppose they were authorized to do so.

until January, 1865—not more than two or should not be a set-off at least of the amount Mr. SUMNER. I will say to my friend that

three months before the war was concluded. of profits made upon other vessels constructed

I know that some reasons are stated why the I have no information beyond what appears in || by the same parties. My friend from Indiana the report.

work was delayed, but when we come to look tells me that the Messrs. Secor, who are alMr. HENDRICKS. If the Senator from

at those reasons they are unsubstantial. lowed for large losses by this report, constructed Massachusetts will allow me, there was other other vessels. Am I, by my vote, to allow

I will now refer to the iron-clad Onondaga. evidence taken by the board. What was the

We are told on the sixth page of the report them a large amount of money to reimburse

thatentire evidence before the board is not com- them for losses upon the vessels named here municated in the record of the board, but in | without knowing what amount of profit they

“The contract for the iron-clad Onondaga was

made May 26, 1862, and was completed February, reading the record of the board I find that there made upon other vessels? I do not know but 1864; the contract price was $625,000, the cost claimed was additional evidence to that of the con- that the contracts were all taken together;

was $710,156 51, and the award $85,203 91." tractors themselves taken.

probably they were all taken together; and it Now, let us see what the committee say was Mr. HENDERSON. Upon what points? is surely a very dangerous precedent, as stated

the cause of this delay: Mr. HENDRICKS. Upon the character | by the Senator from Kentucky, to make these "The delay in the completion of the vessel was and cost of the work. allowances when the parties have really made

occasioned by scarcity of labor, difficulty of obtainMr. HENDERSON. By whom were the || large sums out of the Government upon other

ing materials, strikes, and having to close his shop

for two months on account of mobs in the summer witnesses suggested? contracts.

of 1863.'" Mr. HENDRICKS. The board took the The Senator from Massachusetts says that Was it in consequence of any action of the testimony of naval constructors. I believe this is a court that we have established to in- Government? Was it in consequence of the they are officers in the Navy.

vestigate this matter; and he asks, do we not depreciation of the currency? There is not a Mr. CLARK. I will inquire if there was take the reports of the Court of Claims? Cer- word said about that; but we are told that it anybody else examined besides these construct- tainly we do, but the Court of Claims was was owing to the scarcity of labor, the difficulty ors and officers connected with the Navy ? established by act of Congress. Was this of obtaining the materials that entered into the

Mr. HENDRICKS. I do not understand board established by a joint resolution of construction of the vessel, and strikes. Why, these constructors to be contractors. They are Congress? I do not so understand. We are sir, these things all occur, and they are things, officers of the Navy.

acting upon the supposition that this is an as was very justly said by the Senator from Mr. CLARK. Certainly, I understand that; inferior court, and that its decision is binding but I do not find in looking over the report

Kentucky, that contractors always take into upon us, and that we must necessarily allow consideration. Is the Government to be rethat anybody beyond those were summoned as these claims. Why so? This was nothing but sponsible for these things ? Surely not. I do witnesses.

a resolution of the Senate, adopted on the 9th not wish to take up the time of the Senate. If Mr. HENDRICKS. I am not prepared just of March, 1865, making it the duty of the these parties have lost money I really want to now to say that there was anybody beside these | Secretary of the Navy to organize this board, allow them something. I do not ask that these naval constructors.

and directing them to make a report. It was parties shall be broken up, or that they shall Mr. CLARK. I do not see any in the no law of Congress, and this board had none be ruined when they were doing the best they report.

of the attributes of a court. In fact, their could, and acting very much as the Government Mr. HENDERSON. Although my friend || proceedings did not possess the solemnity that itself was acting, (as was very correctly stated from Massachusetts has made a very earnest

should attach to a court, and of course we are by some Senators,) in the dark, in the conspeech in favor of allowing these claims, and under no obligations whatever to pay their struction of these vessels. I am unwilling from which I was very much struck with the awards. I understand that this was a mere under all the circumstances that they shall lose merit (as I supposed) of the claims, yet he preliminary proceeding to ascertain the amount if they have lost; but what evidence have we seems not to be perfectly conversant with the of loss sustained by these parties, and if they that they have lost? whole case. I think he is rather generous on did sustain any loss, then to open the courts

Mr. COWAN. Was not that the purpose this occasion, and jumps at the conclusion that | to them, so that there might be an investiga- for which this board was created, to ascertain these contractors are entitled to something too tion and the amount found due paid.

the amount of the loss? readily. It springs, however, from his mag:

If the Senators who are urging the passage

Mr. HENDERSON. I presume so; but nanimous and generous nature, I think.


of this bill will bring in a measure to open the surely it has none of the sanctity of a court. The Senator from Pennsylvania is too good a $2,250,000—a very large sum of money--but I venture to say that every person who owned lawyer to insist upon anything of that sort; also from the principles upon which it is founded, a machine shop in the city of New York or and as I understand, this was a mere prepara- and especially since the statement made by the Philadelphia, or the State of Ohio, who has tory proceeding to see whether any legislation honorable Senator from Massachusetts. He been employed directly or indirectly in the should be had on the part of Congress to open admits the correctness of the general rule of manufacture of the muniments of war, has the doors of the courts. These parties cannot law that parties may enforce contracts fairly | made several times the cost of his entire propgo now into the Court of Claims and claim

construed, without any hardship, and if losses erty before the war, if he has managed with damages or ask to be reimbursed for these occur to the contractor it is his loss; if, on the ordinary skill, simply because those works have losses, because they have no legal right to go other hand, profits are made, it is his benefit. been constantly employed. And yet, because there. But if they have sustained losses, let That rule is applied to all contracts for the Gov. these particular contractors have lost money us go to work and legislate so that they may be ernment by individuals, and no one feels it to in the building of a certain class of vessels, reimbursed; but how? Are we to take as con- be a hardship.

you propose to reimburse that loss. It seems clusive this proceeding? I do not understand, But the honorable Senator from Massachu- to me we ought not to enter upon such a field. as the Senator from Pennsylvania will see on setts now states that during this war, and by I am staggered at the probable results of such the tirst page of this report, that there was any reason of this war, this principle of law cannot a policy. If this bill passes upon the ground evidence taken except the statements of the be applied and ought not to be applied. If that on which it is now placed by members of the contractors and the bills that they produced. is true, then there is no end and no limit to the || Senate, we shall have claims without end, and I do not charge anything corrupt or anything claims upon the Government.

If that is true,

you cannot resist them. There have been cases fraudulent upon these contractors, but I do not the same claim that is made in this case may where persons contracted to deliver hay at fifknow that all these bills that are produced by be made in behalf of every person who has fur- teen dollars a ton and have paid twenty-five the contractors went into these identical ves- nished oats or hay or corn or supplies of any dollars a ton for it. Contracts have been made sele They were constructing other vessels. kind to the Army or Navy. It will apply to for oats, for wheat, for transportation, for supI do not suppose that the bills show what ves- every class of claims that is made against the plies, for all kinds of muniments of war. Why sels the different items were contracted for. Government. It may be applied to every office- do you not apply the same principle to those The bills do not show into what vessels the holder of the Government, to every person class of cases? You cannot resist them, if items went. As I have shown already in one whose salary has been fixed on a specie stand- you once adopt this rule. I, therefore, am not case, as I understand, Mr. Eads contracted for ard, to every person whose expenses have been prepared, on a question involving so large an five or six vessels, and it seems he lost but changed by the existence of the war. It would amount as this particular case, and a principle upon two. I know that Mr. Eads is an honor- apply to all classes of contracts as well as to which involves millions more, to vote for such able gentleman; I am personally acquainted mechanics.

a proposition. with him; and I know he would not present Now, I venture to say that there has been no The Senator from Massachusetts places this bills containing items that went into other ves- time in the history of America when the me- claim upon another ground, which I think has sels; but I do not know these other parties; chanics of this country have been so prosper- been sufficiently answered by the Senator from and I will not act even in favor of Mr. Eads, ous and have made such large sums of money Missouri, and that is, that we instituted a court; although he is an honored citizen of my own as they have during the recent war. Great they have made an award, and we are bound State, until I know that he made nothing upon activity has been given to all branches of in- to carry into execution that award. If this the other vessels that he constructed for the dustry. Every man who has had a shop or who were a court organized by law, and if an award Government. Such surely is not now my un- has been engaged in mechanical employments had been made by it upon principles of law, I derstanding. It may be so. I have bad no con- has had constant occupation. All classes of should feel bound by that award, although I ference with him on this subject except what I industry have been made prosperous by the || might not approve of the principles adopted have mentioned, and that occurred a year or demands arising out of the war. The absence | by the court; but that is not the case here. two ago.

of laborers in the field of battle, the absence of Every day we pass resolutions of inquiry; we Now, Mr. President, notwithstanding these ordinary competition, the vast supplies needed call upon the Secretary of War, or the Secre. contractors may have lost something, I think by the Government, and the purchase of every. tary of the Navy, or the Secretary of the we ought not to act here in a matter of so much thing that enters into the consumption of human || Treasury for information. He furnishes that importance, a matter involving over two mil- life were so great during the war that all classes information. We do not bind ourselves before lion dollars, without knowing whether we are of business men have been prosperous. I ven- band to adopt the conclusions of the Secretary disbursing it for the proper parties or not, ture to say further that the very class of men of War, or the Secretary of the Navy, or the without knowing that it is justly their due and for whose relief this bill has been provided have Secretary of the Treasury. We do not even whether they are entitled to it as men who been more prosperous during this war than ever bind ourselves to take the facts that he gives bave done so well as the Senator from Massa- before. It is a matter of common remark that So in this case, at the end of a long chusetts claims. I recognize their claims. I they have made large sums of money. Nearly | debate, at the end of a controversy upon this recognize the great service they have rendered all the wealthy manufacturers have become very class of claims, a resolution was offered, to the Government. But I apprehend that more wealthy; and this has extended not sim- | I think, by the Senator from Iowathe most of them andertook this work with a ply to those articles consumed by the Govern- Mr. GRIMES. Oh, no, I did not offer it. view of making something upon it, that they ment, but to all articles of manufacture. There Mr. SHERMAN. Some one offered the made the contracts with a view of making is no class of the people of this country for resolution in the Senate, and my impression money; and, as has been very properly said, whom the Senator from Massachusetts could is that I voted for it, because I wanted to know these men are shrewd, capable men. They with less force appeal for sympathy than for the facts. know very well how to make their contracts. the mechanical and manufacturing interest of Mr. GRIMES. It was offered at the execuIf there was any action of the Government the country, simply because by the extent and tive session, and there was no debate upon it. which caused them to lose, if by taking, as in nature and character of the war they have had Mr. SHERMAN. The very fact that the the case of the Camanche, the machinery that constant occupation and employment without chairman of the Naval Committee cannot tell was provided for that vessel and putting it in the ordinary competition.

when this resolution was offered, under what another vessel, they were delayed in the con- Now, the question arises whether we shall circumstances it was offered, and what inducestruction of the vessel and loss was occasioned deliberately indorse a principle by which every ments led to its being adopted, shows that it in consequence, I am perfectly willing to allow contractor of the Government may claim from had no influence whatever and ought to have for it; but I will not allow it upon the report us the losses he has sustained on one particu- no influence whatever in our deliberations. of this board. I cannot doit. I do not under- lar contract. If the rule was applied gener- Mr. CLARK. The Senator will see, if he stand that it was appointed by a joint resolu. ally, and you attempted to ascertain the loss looks at the resolution, when was offered. tion of Congress. I do not understand we are of the individual and reimburse that loss, that It was offered on the 9th of March, 1865. under any obligation whatever to confirm the would not be so heavy; but that is not the case Mr. SHERMAN. At the executive session? awards made in their report. I do not uuder- here. Here a particular class of vessels is Mr. CLARK. It must have been, for ConBiand that they have taken evidence such as selected, and it is shown that the contractors gress adjourned on the 4th of March. they ought to have taken. I do not under- haye lost money upon those vessels. Now it Mr. SHERMAN. That shows the folly of stand that both sides of this case have been may be that these same contractors, as I know basing any argument upon the resolution, heard. It is exceedingly difficult to get the is the case, because I know some of these con- except the facts that the committee have truth even when both sides are heard, but you tractors, have made very large sums of money brought before us. never get the truth when only one side has on other contracts with the Government. It is Mr. MCDOUGALL, The Senator from Ohio been heard, and I see nothing to satisfy me not proposed to deduct those profits; it is not will allow me to inquire of the Senator from that more than one side bas been heard in this proposed to make an equitable rule upon the New Hampshire whether he understands that whole investigation. It is yet to be shown quantum meruit principle, and giving them the resolution was adopted after Congress that such is the fact. I have not seen it, and only what is properly and justly and fairly their adjourned. I was present when that resoluI have yet to learn it. No gentleman has loss in all their transactions with the Govern- tion was passed. stated it on the floor; and yet this bill is per- ment, but you are to select a particular class Mr. CLARK. Here is the record on the tinaciously urged upon us.

I cannot vote for

of contracts, a particular class of vessels, on report: “In the Senate of the United States, it, and I hope other Senators will not vote for which there has probably been a loss of some March 9, 1865.'' it until we are better prepared to do so. two millions, and you are to reimburse that Mr. JOHNSON. That shows when it was

Mr. SHERMAN. Mr. President, the im. loss, leaving them to enjoy all the profits they | adopted. portance of this bill arises not only from the have made on their contracts with the Govern

Mr. CLARK. That is the time, I suppose, amount of money involved in it, which is li ment.

when it was offered.


Mr. SHERMAN. Congress adjourned on the Senate, where the body is of a more perma- constructors in the naval service do understand the 4th of March.

nent and durable character, these claims upon it; done carefully as it could be done by men Mr. CLARK. It could not have come over, the public Treasury--the expenses of this year who understand what is the underlying basis of then, from the regular session of Congress. may run up to a period of one year of the war all truth, maihematics. After careful investi

Mr. SHERMAN. That shows very clearly --we may destroy the interest of all the widows gation, at the invitation of the Senate, under the that the resolution can have no effect on the and orphans and the people of this country orders of the Secretary of the Navy, we have debate. It was a mere resolution of inquiry. who have invested their property in the public had their results on our tables for a long time. The Secretary of the Navy could not furnish debt; we may impair the public debt; we may The detail d testimony was submitted to the this information himself, and therefore, at the adopt principles which will lead to expenditure || Naval Committee, and as the conclusion of suggestion of some Senator, we do not know without limit and without restraint. I, for one, the deliberations of that committee this bill is who, it was proposed that the Secretary of the am disposed to scrutinize carefully every claim submitted to us, no member of the committee Navy should get this information by means that is now made upon the Government, and dissenting except one, and he is a dissenter; of a board composed of some of his sub- to yield only when that claim is proven to be but he does not controvert a single thing afordinates.

just and proper, but not sooner than that. firmed in the report of the board that sat at Mr. CONNESS. I will state to the Senator Among the persons who would be benefited | Brooklyn, presided over by Commodore Selfthat the resolution was offered by the honora- || by this bill is a gentleman whom I regard as ridge, or a single thing that is affirmed by the ble Senator from Nevada, [Mr. NYE,] I think, I highly as any man in the State of Ohio; a man committee who investigated the subject. upon the last day of the executive session.

of great energy, skill, and capacity, and yet I Now, it is well that there should be some Mr. SHERMAN. The resolution itself was could not be influenced by a desire to give him objectors. That is the vocation of the Senator proper, and I have no doubt I should have even what he might claim to be just, to vote from Iowa, and I may say the same of the Sen. voted for the resolution, because it tended to this large sum of money and adopt a principle | ator from Ohio. But it is well to affirm the procure facts that might influence the judg: | which might be injurious to the people at large, | right. Governments have no right to do wrong ment of Congress. I cannot say but what if at least without further testimony than we have any more than individuals. When these cona particular case of hardship was furnished to presented to us in this report. If, however, tracts were made the price of labor was altome, a clear case of loss, and especially if that the matter is pressed to a vote, I intend before I gether different than during the period when the loss was caused by any act of the Government, the subject is closed to offer an amendment, contracts were performed, and why? Because I might be willing to reimburse that loss of which I will now read, and which, adopting the of the exceptional condition of our country, well money caused by the Government. I prob- | principles upon which this bill is founded, I do stated by the Senator from Massachusetts, and ably would have voted for the resolution ask- not see how any member of the Senate can vote there are exceptions that prove rules. I reing for this information, but it has no effect on against it. It is to add to the amendment of member well that there came forward men of the judgment of the Senate now. This infor- the Senator from Iowa the following:

large fortunes, men of great enterprise, men mation is given to us simply like ordinary in- Provided further, That no payment shall be made of high patriotism, willing to lend their fortunes formation from an executive Department. It to any person, firm, or corporation who bave received and hopes to the Government. They were per

United , is not sustained, so far as we know, by any greater than such award; and for the purpose of as- haps too old for arms; I saw many of them; oath. It does not appear from the report, so certaining the saine the said board is hereby reorgan- they said, “We will furnish you arms, we will far as I can see, from the beginning to the end,

ized, and shall inquire and determine the profits of
each person, firm, or corporation derived from such

build you ships, build you anything; all we that any one of these contractors was put on other contracts, and such profits shall be deducted

want is an order." The men who came forward oath. from such award.

to build the iron-clads were of that class, the Mr. HENDRICKS. The testimony was all If the principle on which we are asked to best men of the country, and men not only of under oath.

act in this case is to be adopted, then, as a great mechanical skill, but who had won wealth Mr. SHERMAM. It is not stated on the matter of course, this same board ought to by their enterprise and their skill, and were face of the report. At any rate, it is ex parte in extend their observations beyond these par- ornaments to the country. They came forward its very nature. Now, it seems that the

amount ticular contracts and ought to look and see willing to hazard their fortunes. No one could of the claims, according to one allegation of whether the individual, firm, or corporation | anticipate, as the Senator from Massachusetts this report, was $2,383,520 20, and the amount whose poverty or distress we are about to well remarked, it was not within the precogniof the awards is $2,267,627; so that it appears relieve is not already rich in accumulated tion of any human being, what would be the that they have scarcely made any variation profit on other contracts. It may be that this

condition of the country twelve months from between the amount of the claim and the amount board will find that although in these particu- the time. What happened? Money, not the of the award. This is always a remarkable lar cases of contracts losses have been suf- representative of money, rose to two for one. fact, because we know that human interests fered, yet these very contractors who are Prices appreciated accordingly two for one. prompt us strongly

appealing to our sympathy, and who have so Again, the exigency of the Government Mr. CLARK. If the Senator will pardon me, excited the sympathy of our friend from Mas- required all the labor to be employed and the board were not to report what they thought sachusetts, are now wealthy far beyond their three times as many rolling mills as could be due, but what was the cost of these vessels, || highest ambition before the war occurred. If obtained in Pennsylvania and otherwise to get and they, of course, would take that from the the principle is to be adopted of making good out the material for clothing the iron-clads; contractors.

all the losses, we ought at least to be credited consequently up went iron. Mr. SHERMAN. I say that the losses claimed with the profits gr ng out of this war. All these things were not within the possibefore the board by the parties in interest were Mr. MCDOUGALL. It is pleasant for me bility of contemplation by the most prescient $2,383,000, while they actually awarded the to be once in accord with the Senator from Mas

It was special to this class of entersum of $2,267,000. That very fact shows that | sachusetts, [Mr. SUMNER.] I think with him | prise. I think that the first Secretary of War they did not scrutinize these claims very closely, that Governments should be protectors and not under the last Administration gave contracts to because it is not in the nature of things, be men oppressors. There seems to be a great laek some people to build wagons who made great ever so honest, but that there would be a greater of information here on matters of and about fortunes, and contracts for saddles, out of difference between the aggregate of claims which every Senator on this floor should be which great fortunes were made, and so of among a great number of contractors and the well informed. These claims were presented contracts for harness, and cattle, horses, and aggregate of awards than is made in this case. to the Senate at an early day of the last Con- many other things. But the business of buildIt is only a difference of three or four per cent. gress; they went to the Naval Committee, buting these iron-clads was a business of dollars I do not deny that there may be many merito- the accounts stated were not satisfactory to the and cents; it could be shown by the books, rious cases in this report; but I can only say Navy Department, and the Senate itself passed | proved by exact testimony, established as a that the principles upon which this report is a resolution directing an inquiry to ascertain fact in a court of justice, how much they cost. founded are not such as will induce me to vote the actual cost of these vessels and their ma- It was well known by these gentlemen that they from the Treasury of the United States two and chinery. The vessels were at that time esteemed would be ruined unless the Government would a quarter million dollars, and establish a prin- || highly-more so than they seem to be by some protect them. They came forward and built ciple which, in my judgment, will lead to a very A board was organized of men of the their ships; they put them on the sear; they large expenditure.

most accomplished skill in such matters, nom- destroyed their enemies. They knew then that Senators must remember that we shall be | inated by the official representative of the Exec. they were expending I think at least thirty per called upon before this session closes to pass utive of this Government. It was not neces- cent. over and above what the contract price upon a character of claims that will test the sary that the men should be of great accom- was, and that their whole fortune was gone judgment of every Senator. A demand will | plishments in many respects, because they were unless they should be protected. They came be made upon us by those who are most de- || only to inquire what was the true cost of these here; they asked relief from the Senate. The serving of our bounty and our favor, who have vessels and their machinery. For six months Senate sent them to the Secretary of the Navy, protected and maintained the Government that board sat in continuous session at the asking that it shou be carefully inquired into, during four years of terrible war; a demand Brooklyn navy yard and in the city of New not what was a fair profit on this labor, but will be made by the soldiers for $200,000,000 York. The board represented the Govern- what was the cost of material and labor, and for the equalization of bounties. A deinand ment of the United States, having been se- that award is sent to us, and I say we shall be is made by the loyal States, and a bill on the lected by the Secretary of the Navy. Testi- dishonest if we do not pay it. I do not believe subject is now being pressed in the House of mony was taken pro and con, every man under it belongs to Government to be dishonest. Representatives, for $150,000,000. Demands | oatli, as in a court of justice. It was carefully Mr. HENDRICKS. I shall detain the Senof every character and kind are constantly done by men who understand the law of care. ate but a few moments in answer to a point or pressed upon Congress. Indeed, if we do not fulness, as men who are educated to the busi- two made by the Senator from Missouri and resist with a firm and unyielding band here in ness of othicers of our Navy and engineers and the Senator from Ohio. I do not think that



their view of the subject is just to the parties officers of the Government employed in the in off-setting. I do not know that the contracts that present this claim. In the first place, the construction of vessels. Whether they were were made all together; but I think they were Senator from Missouri says that before the superintendents of these particular vessels I different contracts for different characters of beard that was organized there was no evi- cannot answer the Senator, nor do I care. vessels. I know nothing about it; but if they dence, so far as he can observe, except the They knew the character of the vessels, their made profits, it is what mechanics expect, that testimony of the parties themselves. Now, dimensions, and all about them; and when they shall make soine profit, and I cannot see Mr. President, I think that if the board was called upon to examine the accounts presented the principle of taking away their profits on satisfied with that evidence and reported it as they say that those accounts are correct. It one vessel because they sustained a loss on satisfactory, we should be slow to question even must be so, because they know what would another. that testimony, for during the last Congress we necessarily go into a vessel of the sort.

Mr. President, suppose that Eads & Co. in made parties to actions competent witnesses Another point made by the Senator from 1862 made a contract to build two vessels, and in ordinary suits in the courts between man Missouri and the Senator from Ohio is that we the Government suggested from time to time and man; and if this board received the testi- are not required to give much force to the find- alterations in those vessels, and they are the mony of the parties themselves, together with ing of the board; for what reason? For the losers upon those vessels to the amount of their books of account, their detailed state- reason that that board was organized pursuant $50,000, and suppose they take contracts for ments of expenditure, and relied upon that, I to a resolution of the Senate. I am not able two other vessels, and the Government does should not disregard the results of their inves- to understand the moral force of that argn- not interfere at all, there is no trouble about tigation because of that alone. But the Sena- ment. If the House of Representatives had them, and they go on and complete their contor has not thoroughly examined the report of concurred in the resolution, and a board, com- tracts within the time specified and they make the board, as he stated himself, else he would || posed perhaps of these same men, had been a profit on those contracts, why shall you take have found very material testimony in addition organized by the Secretary of the Navy under that away which is right and which they ought to that of the parties themselves; and I will a joint resolution, do the Senators believe that to enjoy to set it off against losses which were call his attention to the testimony of Naval the investigations of the board would have been occasioned in part by the act of the GovernConstructor Pook, on pages 30 and 31 of the more thorough than they were when it was ment? report of the board. I will read just one or organized by a resolution of the Senate? Where The Senator from Ohio used an illustration two sentences of that testimony to show the is the force of that objection? These officers

that I think is unfortunate for the purposes of character of it. In answer to a question, he were discharging a duty to the Government. his argument. · He says that men have lost says:

Did they not do it fully and fairly? If the money by buying corn, oats, horses, and other "Haring examined the bills of cost and extra work award of arbitrators is questioned because of things for the Government during the war, and of gunboat Chenango, built by Jeromiah Simonson, partiality, mistake, or fraud, you must show it; that we upon the same principle that we indemI find them to be fair and reasonable in every respect. Having examined the bills of cost and extra work for

the fact must be made known; and in the nify the constructors of iron-clads and monithe gunboats Massasoit and Osceola, built by Curtis absence of some evidence on the subject the torsought to indemnify those ordinary contract& Tilden, I find them correct, charges fair and reas- award is presumed to be honestly made, and ors. I am surprised that the Senator does not onable, and consider that the bill for extra work should be paid in full. IIaving examined the bills

made upon a full investigation of the case. see a difference. A man goes to a quarterof cost and extra work for the gunboat Pontiac, built Now, here is a board organized pursuant to a master or a commissary for what purpose ? by Hillman & Streaker, I find them correct, charges resolution of the Senate. I was not present, Not to produce but for the purpose of buying fair and reasonable, and consider that the bill for extra work should be paid in full. Having exam

as I now recollect, when that resolution was and then selling to the Government upon specined the bill of cost of gunboat Wyalusing, built by passed, for I think I left a day or two before ulation. His purpose is exclusively to make a C. II. and W. M. Cramp, I find it to be correct, fair the adjournment of the extra session, and I speculation. The mechanic in his shop proand reasonable in every respect. llaving examined the bills of cost and extra work for the gunboats

knew nothing about its introduction or its pas- duces; he is not a speculator; he is a laborer. Agawam and Pontoosuc, built by George W. Law- sage; but it is a resolution of the Senate, and He expects by his labor and his enterprise and rence, I find them correct, fair, and reasonable, and a board is organized pursuant to it to do a par- his skill and his judgment to make a profit, and consider that the bill for extra work should be paid

ticular duty for the Government. Why is it he makes a contract with the Government and in full."

that the finding of that board has less moral the Government interferes with him in the And he goes on with other accounts. Then

weight with the Senate than it would have if prosecution of that contract and he asks to be he comes to another account where he says he

the board had been organized under a joint reimbursed; and it is said to him by the Sena. Guds these items not to be fair and correct,

resolution of the two Houses? I am not able tor from Ohio, “You, a mechanic that expend and that they ought not to be allowed as they to see.

your money and your labor for the benefit of are presented; and upon his testimony the

The Senator from Missouri referred to the the Government, stand upon the same moral naval board acts. Then I find that Naval Constructor Delano, an experienced man in the

case of the Onondaga. That vessel is said to il proposition as the speculator, the shoddy conconstruction of vessels-of-war, was also a wit

be one of a very fine and very superior order. tractor, who expected profit and nothing else ness before the board; also, Assistant EngiThe Senator said that the delay in the con

when he made his contract." A man contracts neer Pierce and Chief Engineers Lawton and

struction of that vessel was not occasioned by with the Government to furnish corn or hay or

any act of the Government. If he will turn to oats for the Army; he expects to go out and Brooks were witnesses before the board. I have been able to refer to these during the dis

page 19 of the record of the board, he will find make his purchases at once to fill his contract; that he is mistaken. It appears there:

he knows what the prices are, and he can go cussion. What other testimony there was

out and satisfy contract at once.

If he before the board in addition to the testimony

"That the causes of delay in building the hull and

machinery of the Onondaga were on account of ex- contracts to supply a thousand head of horses of the parties, I am not able at the moment to

pensive alterations, and also the same as apply to the at $100 a head, he knows what the present Egy; but this testimony of these officers of the Chenango and Ascutney."

cost of horses in the market is and he goes out Government is upon the very points that the Expensive alterations were ordered by the at once and fills his bid. board was investigating.

Government. Both Senators referred to the Mr. KIRKWOOD. Suppose the horses are Mr. HENDERSON. The Senator will fact that some of these parties may have con- to be delivered three or four months hence, and excuse me for interrupting him. The point structed other vessels and may have made the price rises in the mean time? to which I wish to direct his attention is this:

profits out of those vessels, and it is proposed Mr. HENDRICKS. Then he takes it as a did these parties who were witnesses before || by them to set off the profits that may have speculation; but I say that the mechanic who the board, and to whom he now refers, have any been made in the construction of other vessels | undertakes to do work for the Government personal knowledge of the work, or were they against the losses that were sustained on these. which cannot be completed within six montbs, connected with it as superintendents in any || Upon what principle does that rest? It is a and which is not, because of the act of the Govsuch manner that they would neccessarily new idea to me. I know nothing about this ernment, completed within eighteen months, know that these were the items of articles that

except that I heard it stated, from no reliable does not stand before the country and before went into the construction of these identical authority, that Messrs. Eads & Co., constitu- Congress as a speculator. Here are men in vessels ?

ents of the Senator from Missouri, had macie New York that have shops; they are doing Mr. HENDRICKS. Of course these naval

money in other work.

I know nothing about work for the country; they are building maconstructors being skilled men knew what

it except just as I have heard a rumor to that chinery for the demands of the business of the onyht to go into a ship. Suppose that the cost effect. Suppose that Eads & Co. did make country, making money, and the Government of a house is in investigation before a court; money in building some other ship, was it not says to them, "We want a ship built." They suppose we are investigating the cost of a right that they should make something? Ought | devote their entire energy, their capital, and house, and the size of it is given, the material the profits that were made by them in the pursuit | their machinery to the production of this ship. that goes into it is known to a carpenter or a of their business, profits that they would have It is not a matter of speculation; it is an entermechanic just as well as if he saw each piece made in doing work for individual citizens of the prise for the benefit of the Government. put into the house.

country, be taken away from them because they Mr. TRUMBULL. Will the Senator from Mr. HENDERSON. Did they superintend sustained a loss on other vesseis? I do not Indiana allow me to inquire whether this is a the work or had they any personal knowledge | understand this proposition of setting off prof- bill for the benefit of mechanics or contractors ? of it, or were they men connected with the its that may have been made on other vessels How much of this money will go to the workGovernment here, naval constructors in this as against losses sustained on these. I do not men that he is talking about? city, or were they naval constructors at New | understand it either as a legal or a moral prop

Mr. HENDRICKS. I do not know of a York or elsewhere?

osition, unless they obtained the contracts on single case in which this does not go for the Mr. HENDRICKS. I am not able to say which they made the profits by improper influ- benefit of a mechanic. There may be some of where these men lived, or where they discharged | ences, unless there was fraud in them. Then these contractors who are not mechanics, but the duties of their oflice. I find them to be Il perhaps there would be some moral propriety || I am not aware of a single case of that kind.

As the wages

an answer.


The workman, the particular mechanic who ate the Government itself selected the board. In my city the largest firm there built two of assisted the contractor in his shop, has received These contractors, whose interest depended on the largest monitors and have not asked for bis wages from month to month.

the judgment of the board, had no voice in the additional compensation. They have not come went up he was paid. When the contract was selection of the men that were to try their case. forward to knock at the doors of Congress and made the laborer got eleven cents an hour. In The Secretary of the Navy, representing the ask for additional compensation. Another firm two months from that time he got thirteen Government, organized the board. That board, in my city comes forward and asks for it. Now, cents; two months further on he got fifteen having no interest, no sympathy with the con- how do they predicate their contracts? My cents; and two months further on he got eigh- tractors, but of the Government's own selec- friend, the Senator from Indiana, alluded to a teen cents. He has been paid this; he could tion, heard the testimony for five months, and contract for a house a few minutes ago. How compel the contractor to pay it. The con- made its award.

does such a contractor predicate his bid? He tractor himself is the mechanic, investing his Mr. SHERMAN. As a matter of curiosity | goes around and asks the stone-mason how labor, his skill, his judgment, and his means I would like to ask my friend from Indiana if much he will put up the stonework for ; he in his shop; and he produces a vessel that is the Supreme Court of the United States is an asks the brick-layer how much he will put up acceptable to the Department and that is valu- ex parte tribunal. I need hardly ask him for the brickwork for; he asks the plasterer how able to the Government. I say he is not to

much he will put up the plastering for by the be compared to the man who goes out into Mr. HENDRICKS. No, sir, I never es- yard; so with the shingling, the roofing, and the market to buy up what may be needed for teemed it so.

all; and before he takes the contract he predthe Army for the purposes of speculation. Mr. SHERMAN, And yet the Supreme icates his bid on the sub-contracts he can

The Senator from Ohio says that mechanics Court of the United States is selected by the make. How do these machinists do? How have made more money during the war than President of the United States, and decides have they done? I know how they have done; they ever made before. If the Government causes in which the United States are inter- the Senator from Ohio knows how they have

ested. Therefore his argument that this is an done. Before they make a contract with the struct ships, and they had been left to pursue ex parte board, because appointed by an officer Government they make arrangements for the their ordinary business, they, too, would have of the United States, is hardly of much force. iron and steel conditioned on the receipt of a enjoyed the advantages, so far as advantages Mr. HENDPICKS. The suggestion of the contract from the Government; they get the were enjoyed, coming from the war; but hav. Senator is forcible, but it was not myself that material at the price it was worth when the ing to construct these ships, they are losers. was saying this was an ex parte proceeding. I Government asked their proposals. Does the Senator question the fact; does the have not complained of it as an ex parte one. Now, if you give fifteen per cent., or twelve Senator doubt the fact that they are losers? I am answering the argument of the Senator per cent., as the Senator from Iowa suggests, Then why does he say that mechanics have from Ohio ; he said it was an ex parte pro- that pays amply for the increased cost of labor; made money? We are talking about these ceeding, and the award was ex parte. If it was the mechanics do not suffer; they will lose nothparticular cases. They have not made money. ex parte at all, I was going to show it was ex ing by this operation. But in the event of passOther mechanics have made money, I admit. || parte on the side of the Government, not on ing the bill as reported the contractor makes The Senator, I presume, is aware of the fact the side of the contractors.

the money and the mechanic gets nothing out that for three years back the railroad compa- Mr. SHERMAN. The evidence was of it. This is a fact which can be substantiated nies have not been able to make contracts for || parte, that is what I said.

by every practical man living in a city where the delivery of locomotives at any period in Mr. HENDRICKS. So far as the evidence || these iron-clad vessels have been built; although the future; and why? Because mechanics have is concerned, it is from the mouth of the

par- an institution in my city is interested in it, I known for three years past that there was a ties themselves and from the mouth of Gov- care nothing for that. I say that ithless the Senconstant advance in the cost of material and ernment officials. Neither in the organization ate adopt the amendments offered, I shall oplabor, and they would not make contracts for of the board nor in the evidence that was heard pose the bill and take another opportunity to future delivery, but required the companies to || by the board was it an ex parte proceeding. If consider the subject. pay what an engine was worth when produced. the Senate are willing that these men shall Mr. CLARK. I have found a good deal of But here the Government obtained from these be destroyed in an enterprise that was so im- difficulty in regard to this class of cases, and parties their contracts; and the question is, portant to the Government at the time, in an the ditliculty arises from their being classed under all the circumstances, shall they be held enterprise in which they were materially inter- | together. I have no doubt, from the examinato the bond?

fered with by the Government itself, then I tion I have made, that there are meritorious The Senator says the award is large; it is submit to the judgment of the Senate, it is not cases included in the bill, and perhaps there $2,267,000. That is what the board say were my judgment. I do not think our country are some cases which ought to have as high an the losses. I think myself that the losses ought requires it. I do not think the constituency I award as this board has reported. I am satisto be paid because they have been occasioned represent ask it at my hands. I do not think fied from the examination I have given that in part by the act of the Government. The || that between man and man they would them- || there are others who ought not to have anySenator from Nevada proposes by his amend- selves render such a judgment. When the thing at all; so that if I vote for the bill either ment that it shall be restricted in the highest Government itself has interfered so that the in the amended forın or in the form in which it . case to fifteen per cent. upon the contract price. contracts were not completed at the time con- comes from the committee I am likely to do I believe that would reduce it very nearly a templated, so that these parties had to pay | injustice to somebody. million dollars. The Senator from Ohio pro- || instead of sixty dollars, $145 per ton for iron, I have been, Mr. President, casting around poses that it shall be twelve per cent. I think, || I do not think that the constituency that I rep- to see what we could do with a proposition of then, the reduction would be something more resent will desire me to say that all of this loss this kind. It first occurred to me that you might than a million dollars. The precise amount I shall fall upon the enterprising men who gave refer it to the Court of Claims, but yet I am cannot state to the Senate. пр their shops from profitable employment to

satisfied that the Court of Claims would not do Mr. McDOUGALL. Permit me to ask the an employment that yielded no profit. We ask | justice to some of the cases that are here, beSenator a question. I have not listened to the no profit for it; we ask simply that they shall cause a man may not have a legal claim who entire debate. Is there an exceptional case in not be destroyed; and the proposition of the may have an equitable claim, and he would not. regard to the Camanche?

Senator from Iowa is (and with the slight be able to recover there; and yet I am satisfied Mr. HENDRICKS. Yes, the Camanche is amendment proposed by the Senator from Ne- that this board, which was constituted at the excepted by the amendment. The entire award vada I will agree to it, and if that should not last session of Congress, was not a board to was $2,267,627 18. A restriction to twenty meet with the concurrence of the Senate I report upon what was due to these contractors; per cent. upon the cost price would be $1,721,- would then agree to the proposition of the it only considered one side, that is, what the 624 68. Reducing it to fifteen per cent. I sup- Senator from Iowa) that of the $2,267,000 of vessels had cost these men; it did not consider pose would allow $1,300,000 or $1,400,000; loss more than $1,000,000 shall still fall upon the other side, what deductions ought to be and reducing it to twelve per cent. I suppose the contractors.

made by the Government in paying them the would leave it about $1,000,000, so that the Mr. RIDDLE. Mr. President, the hour | amount; so that it cannot be called any fair Senator from Iowa proposes that these contract- admonishes me that I have but a short time to arbitration, or award, as the Senator from Inors shall lose above $1,000,000 by his amend- speak, and I shall detain the Senate but a few diana termed it, because they considered only ment. Now, I submit to the Senate that as the minutes. I shall vote against this bill in its one side, that is, the cost. If the question had entire loss is proven before a board organized by present form. I shall vote for the amendment been submitted to the board what deductions the Government itself, at least by a Department of the Senator from Nevada in the first place, shall be made from the cost when you find it, of the Government, to be above $2,000,000, but I would prefer the amendment of the Sen- that would have been an entirely different thing; is it not enough that you ask it to be reduced ator from Iowa. With either of these amend- but they were instructed only to consider what $1,000,000, that you should make fall on these ments attached to the bill, I am willing to vote was the cost of the vessel in each case, and contractors a loss of $1,000,000? for it.

report to Congress. And yet the Senator from The Senator from Ohio says that this was an There is one fact that has escaped the atten- Nevada says that having committed it to them ex parte examination. If it were proposed | tion of Senators upon this floor, and it is a to award the cost, we are bound to pay it. I between two men to arbitrate a matter of dis question of contract. If I had not already been do not understand it so. pute between them, and it was agreed that one convinced, the Senator from Ohio would have Mr. NYE. I did not say exactly that. of the litigating parties should select all the convinced me by his argument that if you open

Mr. CLARK. That was the substance of arbitrators, perhaps it would be said that was the door in this matter, other contractors can

what I understood the Senator to say. ex parte. He selects the court himself, and come in and claim additional compensation. I Mr. NYE. I said that, admitting the princertainly he cannot complain of the award am for additional compensation in these cases, ciple that anything is to be paid, we should when made.. Under a resolution of the Sen. ll but not in the way it is asked for in the bill. pay the ascertained cost.

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