Obrazy na stronie

amendment of the Senator from Calfornia, to insert in the thirteenth line of the first section of the amendment reported by the committee, after the word "be," the words "made under regulations from and."

The amendment to the amendment was agreed to.

The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The question now is on the amendment of the Senator from California, to strike out in the fourteenth line of the amendment of the committee the words "Secretary of the Interior," and to insert "Commissioner of the General Land Office."


Mr. WADE. I move now to take up Senate bill No. 203, the unfinished business of the morning hour of yesterday.

The motion was agreed to; and the Senate, as in Committee of the Whole, resumed the consideration of the bill (S. No. 203) to enable the New York and Montana Iron Mining and Manufacturing Company to purchase a certain amount of the public lands not now in market; the pending question being on the amendment of Mr. POMEROY to the first section of the amendment reported as a substitute for the bill by the Committee on Public Lands.

Mr. POMEROY. I desire to withdraw the amendment that I moved yesterday, which was to add the proviso at the end of the original bill to the first section of the substitute reported by the committee, and to offer another proposition which will better secure the object I have in view. No action having been taken upon it, I suppose it is competent for me to withdraw it, which I now do, and in lieu of it I propose to insert in the tenth line of the first section of the substitute, after the word "pur poses" the words "or in any other preemption or homestead settlement;" my object being simply to make secure any settlement that may have been made against the location to be made by this company.

Mr. WADE. If the Senator will allow me, I will state that the Senator from California [Mr. CONNESS] has shown me an amendment that he has prepared which I believe covers the whole ground, and to which I have no objection.

Mr. POMEROY. Very well; I will withdraw my amendment and listen to the amendment of the Senator from California.

The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Kansas withdraws his amendment to the amendment of the committee.

Mr. CONNESS. I have prepared a few amendments to this bill with a view of perfecting it or making it unobjectionable, and at the same time, of course, carrying out the purposes that its friends have in view. In the thirteenth line of the first section of the amendment of the Committee on Public Lands, I propose to insert after the word "be" the words "made under regulations from and," and in the fourteenth line, to strike out the words "Secretary of the Interior" and insert "Commissioner of the General Land Office;" so that the clause will read:

Three of which sections may be selected of lands containing iron ore and coal, and the remaining sections of timber lands near the said selections containing ore and coal, which selections shall be made under regulations from, and subject to the approval of, the Commissioner of the General Land Office.

That is the only amendment I propose to that section. The amendment reconciles it to the practice of the Land Office.

Mr. WADE. I do not think there is any objection to that amendment; but the Senator from Indiana [Mr. HENDRICKS] has had great experience on this subject, and I should rely more on his judgment than on my own, in regard to this amendment.

Mr. HENDRICKS. My only objection is to the latter part of the amendment, inserting "Commissioner of the General Land Office" instead of the "Secretary of the Interior." It has been the custom to submit the question of important selections of the public lands to the Secretary of the Interior. Railroad lands, swamp lands, and other selections are submitted to his judgment as the head of the Department. Of course, before they go to him they pass the supervision of the General Land Office, and the bill as it now stands secures the examination both of the Commissioner and of the Secretary. I do not see any propriety in cutting off the Secretary's revision of the judgment of the Commissioner, as is customary on all| such questions. I do not object to the first part of the amendment, and therefore shall ask for a separate vote on it.

The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The question will be taken on each amendment proposed separately. The question now is on the

[blocks in formation]

that it may, perhaps, defeat the grant. I think the bill is sufficiently clear without this amend

Mr. WADE. On reflection I am disposed to think that that is an unnecessary precaution. It will certainly throw a cloud over the title that this company will acquire by purchase from the Government. Of course they will have no right to any gold that may be discov ered on the land by anybody, for under this bill they have no right to take gold and silver or anything but iron and coal. But if persons are to be permitted to go searching upon that land and they should find gold somewhere upon it, and are then to be permitted to cut the timber belonging to this company, it would render the whole grant very uncertain. I think when we expressly reserve in the bill all mines except those of iron and coal, sufficient caution has been had. I think it is anticipating what will not probably take place, and it will throw, as I said before, a cloud over the title that this company will acquire; because, after they have purchased and taken possession of the land, it will reserve not only the mines upon that land, but will reserve the privilege to strangers of going on there and using the timber on the land of this company to work the mines that may be discovered. I think there is no necessity for that.

And here I desire to say that this bill has been submitted to the most critical and searching examination of the Committee on Public Lands, and especially of the gentleman on that committee most competent to make this examnation, who himself, perhaps, is as much a master of this whole subject as any gentleman in the Union. I think we have submitted to about amendments enough. I am afraid this amendment will involve the title, or cloud it so


Mr. JOHNSON. I suppose the objection of the honorable member from Ohio is to the latter part of the amendment, not to the first part.

Mr. CONNESS. Will the Senator permit me to explain the amendment? Mr. JOHNSON. Certainly.

Mr. CONNESS. The question involved here is whether you will grant twenty miles of land in a mining region which may contain the most valuable mines of gold and silver, or whether you will not. I know there is an exception made in the bill of non-conveyance of lands containing these precious metals; but it is impossible, as this company are authorized to go into the forests, into a new country, to determine before they obtain the title to the lands, whether valuable mines of the precious metals are contained in these lands or not. They will therefore get the title and the patent of the United States to the lands before those discov eries can be made. Suppose that by the bill, although the patents issue, such lands are reserved as shall be found to contain valuable mines; I apprehend that without a provision, as a condition of the title, allowing persons to enter those lands, no person would have the right to go on them, and the mines would be practically reserved to and subject to the will of the company to whom we give title to the land.

The next point is as to the use of such timber as shall be necessary to work those mines. In the first place, you will remember that all the timber on these twenty miles of land goes with the land to these parties. It is said they want the timber in order to work the iron. So they do; but they are not prevented by my amendment from having all the timber that they will require. But if the lands be valuable for the purpose for which we are about to make this grant, as to give this company the right to make this selection and purchase, certainly the lands are also valuable if they shall be found to contain valuable mines of the precious met als to the public; but they will be valueless unless they are permitted to be worked, and they cannot be worked without timber.

The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The morn ing hour having expired, it becomes the duty of the Chair to call up the special order.

Mr. CONNESS. Let it lie over informally, Mr. WADE. I hope that the special order will be passed over informally, so that we may be permitted to take a vote on this bill.

Mr. CONNESS. I shall only occupy a few moments in explaining this amendment.

The PRESIDENT pro tempore. By com mon consent, the special order may be laid aside if there be no objection.

Mr. HENDRICKS. Let it be laid aside informally, so that it shall be the business in order as soon as this bill is disposed of.

The PRESIDENT pro tempore. No ob jection being made, that will be considered as the understanding of the Senate. The Chair hears no objection.

Mr. CONNESS. If you shall subject all the timber upon this twenty miles of land to the will of the parties to whom you now convey the land, you practically subject the valuable mines that may be discovered there also to their use; for they may put such a price upon the timber as will make it utterly im practicable for anybody but themselves to work the mines, and it may be totally impracticable to obtain timber from the contiguous territory; for twenty miles of timber may embrace all that there may be within a very large district; and thus we come back to the original proposition. If the purpose is to make the grant complete, then I have nothing to say, because the Senate will understand when they vote that they vote upon that proposition. If the purpose is really to reserve the mines, remembering at the same time that the owners of this land and this iron-working company will have a right to become miners them.

bers of it here. I care nothing about whether this amendment is adopted or not. I live in the very midst of a country involving the conditions that I discuss, and I have seen them from day to day, for years of my life. We have appended the same condition to our Pacific railroad grants. We granted to the Pacific railroad all the timber upon the even sections and the land and the timber upon the odd sections; but you will find that we incorporated an amendment, in 1864, in the grant, reserving against the railroad company and former grant of the timber as much of that timber as was necessary for the operations of the miners upon the even sections where mines may be discovered, because the reservation of the timber is as necessary as the right to work the mine itself. This amendment, therefore, is not applying a new condition, but carrying out a policy that has been adopted, and a policy that every man who lives in a mining region understands the necessity of.

Mr. KIRKWOOD. I should like to make a suggestion to the Senator from California. I understand very well the propriety of the reservation in regard to the lands falling within the line of the Pacific railroad. They need the timber for ties; but in this case this land, except where iron ore itself exists, is needed for the purpose of producing coal to work the ore. I understand from the Senator from Califormia that the necessity for timber in mines is for no other purpose than that of cropping I do not know the technical name. Mr. CONNESS. Timbering their tunnels and shafts.

selves, they may enter and discover the mines, and they may retain possession of those mines, and the condition that is imposed here may inure to them, so that there is no conflict if that should occur; but if other citizens are to be permitted to enter, to explore and ascer tain whether valuable mines exist there or not, I submit that the right to use as much timber as is necessary to carry on their purpose is an absolute necessity to their occupancy. I submit that to any Senator who is acquainted with that section of the country

and its business.

Mr. WADE. I shall occupy but a moment of time. I might apply to this case the old maxim, "If the sky should fall we may catch larks." Now, sir, this proposition is as broad as it is long. The gentleman thinks that by probability a gold mine may be discovered there valuable to work, and if it is, he wants the timber that these parties purchase subjected to the purpose of working those mines. It may be perhaps as possible in the future that such a mine will be discovered, and that they will want all our timber and thus destroy our iron-works, as it will be that we shall deprive the gold miner of the opportunity of discovering a mine and prevent him from using the timber to work it. The cases are altogether too remote. They escaped the searching investigation of that most competent committee that reported this bill, and I hardly think they would wish to attach to it a provision to anticipate against a contingency so remote and so unlikely to occur. On the one hand it is as likely to affect us who ask this grant and propose to pay for it, as it is that the discovery will be made by somebody else, and that they will want the use of our timber. I think it is too remote altogether, and it is subjecting the grant to such contingencies as will render it less valuable and less secure, and make men hesitate to embark in it, for it must be remembered that in order to go on with this great work of manufacturing iron in this distant Territory a great capital must be laid out there in the start. It will require a very large capital to start the work, and capitalists are very apt to be frightened out of their propriety if they see such unusual conditions attached to the grant. They do not like to run the hazard. That is the principal objection that I have to it. The danger is certainly so remote that the gentleman cannot suppose that it is necessary to anticipate and provide against a contingency 80 unlikely to occur.

Mr. CONNESS. The danger and the objection to making such a grant as this in a country entirely new is, that nobody knows what that country contains. I submit to the honorable Senator from Ohio that this is not by any means a remote condition, because you are to begin at the beginning of it. Persons enter upon that land, knowing nothing of what it contains, or what are in its bowels. I am not strenuous about the proposition that I have submitted; but I feel it my duty to explain it to the Senate, so that they may vote understandingly upon it. It is a matter of very little consequence to me whether you grant to AB twenty miles of land in the midst of one of your Territories or not. I have always been of the opinion that the title should go to the mines; and if the purpose here is to convey the title to the mines, all right, let it be done. But I submit that if that is not the purpose, and you are going to grant twenty miles of land for the purpose of working iron, and you intend to reserve to your people the working of the mines of precious metals that may be discovered there, you should reserve to them the reasonable use of the mines and of the working of the mines. The one is not worth anything without the other. My purpose is not to embarrass this company, nor to throw a cloud upon their property.

But the honorable Senator replies to me twice, thrice, that a committee have examined the bill. So they have. I submit the remarks I have made to that committee, or to the mem

Mr. KIRKWOOD. For timbering their tunnels and shafts. I apprehend the amendment would not be objectionable if it were confined to that; but under this amendment extensive steam-works and all that kind of thing may be set up there and the timber taken off this land to run those steam-works.

Mr. HENDRICKS. If the Senator from Iowa will yield to me for one moment, I desire to suggest to the Senator from California that I cannot conceive that his amendment is neces

sary for the purposes that he desires. The bill already declares that no mineral lands other than coal or iron shall be granted; and it provides that the title which shall be issued shall not convey any lands containing the precious metals. Now, the company by the patent get no title to any land except of the character intended to be granted. They cannot take more than that. They do not become the owners, by virtue of the patent, of any lands except of the classes described. The effect of the amendment proposed is to give the right to take timber on land that is not of the character described. If you adopt this amendment, it makes the title uncertain as far as they have a right to acquire. Therefore, I think, if we intend to pass this bill, we had better stand by the language of the committee.

Mr. CONNESS. I find a good deal of objection to this amendment. As I said before, my purpose is not to oppose one tittle of interference or impediment against this bill. I am quite aware of the practical necessity of the suggestion that I have made. At the same time, having placed my views on the subject before the Senate, I am perfectly willing to withdraw the amendment. It is, as I stated before, a matter of no consequence to me.

The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The amendment is withdrawn.

Mr. McDOUGALL. Mr. President, it is my opinion that the amendment proposed by the Senator, my colleague, would be a well-advised amendment if the bill required it; but I do not think it exactly germane to the bill. It is my judgment that the whole proposition is what may be denominated as special legislation. I do not understand why the New York and Montana Iron Mining and Manufacturing Company" should "be authorized within one year after the approval of this act" to select tracts of land in the Territory of Montana "which, in the aggregate, shall not exceed twenty sections." Such a thing has never been done in

this country to develop any such interest. The persons who discover iron-and this is the age of iron-are protected sufficiently by the present law. Those who discover gold or silver or cop per, or any other valuable metal, are protected sufficiently by the present law. That to a company incorporated there should be granted twenty sections, is a proposition the meaning of which I can only understand in this way, that it is a matter of speculation. The men of the West, where I inhabit, have been too much disturbed by speculation. Individual enterprise has developed all the West, from the Mississippi valley to the mountains and to my own coast. We have not sought the support of organizations arranged in New York, which is my own native State and of which I speak with respect. All these things have been achieved by individual enterprise, as they have combined themselves; and companies organized here for speculative purposes have no right to any such franchise or any such grant from this Government. To pass such an act as this would be an evil precedent. It should not be incorporated in our laws. I speak to the main question of the bill and to those who have considered what the office and business of legis lators is. Those who are ignorant should not undertake to speak of countries which they never inhabited and about which they know nothing. Those who think should pause. There are but few here-I know none but my colleague and myself in this Senate Chamber and the Senators from Nevada-who know anything about the country concerning which it is now proposed to legislate. I cannot account for the bill except as a matter of personal speculation against the policy of the country and against its true interest.

Mr. WILLIAMS. Mr. President, I desire to make one or two suggestions as to this bill with a view of eliciting some information. My attention has not been called to it until this morning. I find that section two of the bill provides that this company may acquire immediate possession of this land by marking the boundaries "and publishing a description thereof in any two newspapers of general circulation in the said Territory."

Now, if I understand the meaning of that section and of the other provisions of the bill, it is that this company can proceed at once, as soon as they mark their boundaries and publish their description of these lands, to take possession of the lands and hold them for two years without taking any other step, and during that time they may make any use of these lands they see proper. They may cut off and convert the timber to any use, and in every way appropri ate the lands contrary to the intendment of this bill.

Mr. KIRKWOOD. Will the Senator read the last section of the substitute?

Mr. WILLIAMS. I do not know that that changes particularly the effect of the second section. I desire further to inquire-I think it is desirable to know-who constitute this New York and Montana Iron Mining and Manufacturing Company. Is this one of the moonshine organizations that are so numerous at the present day, or is it composed of solid, substantial men? Do they mean business by securing this grant? I do not know but that the policy of the bill may be perfectly correct; but before I vote to grant to any company consisting of persons unknown to Congress twenty sections of land, I desire to have more infor mation on the subject than I have at this time, because by this grant we not only transfer this land, which may be very valuable, but it also becomes a precedent, as it occurs to my mind, which we may be hereafter called upon to follow, and in that respect it assumes an importance. I do not know that after I am further advised upon the subject I shall oppose this bill, but I should like to have more information than I now have about the matter.

Mr. WADE. I know some of these corporators, and they are some of the wealthiest men I know of; they have been engaged long in the iron business. Mr. Ward, of Detroit, is one,

who is very extensively engaged and has been for many years in that business. He was applied to to join this enterprise. It was supposed that it would be a great benefit to that western country, to the Pacific railroad, to the working of the mines, and everything else there, if instead of taking all their iron from the East and carrying it thousands of miles over the plains without any roads or proper means of carriage, manufactories could be erected upon the spot where iron to a large amount might be made. It would be a great benefit to the country, and those engaged in it believe that they could make it profitable to themselves. We are all confident that such an enterprise, if successful, will be of the greatest benefit to the people of the country there, enabling them to erect machinery to work their gold mines, and use iron for all the purposes for which iron in a country like that is useful. It is more doubtful in my mind whether it will prove to be a good speculation.

tion being on the motion of Mr. HENDERSON to postpone the further consideration of the bill until the first Monday in December next.

Mr. SHERMAN. I desire to give notice that if I can get the consent of a majority of the Senate on Monday, whatever else may interpose, I shall seek to press the passage of the Post Office appropriation bill, and on the next day the Army appropriation bill. The accumulation of business from the Committee on Finance is becoming so great that we feel it our duty to press these appropriation bills on Monday and Tuesday next; and I give this notice now, so that Senators may make their arrangements accordingly, that I shall expect the Post Office and the Army appropriation bills to be disposed of on Monday and Tuesday.

Mr. HENDRICKS. I wish the attention of the Senate for a few moments to one or two points made against this bill by the Senator from New Hampshire [Mr. CLARK] some days since. It will be recollected by the Senate that the Senator from New Hampshire objected to the bill upon the ground that it provided relief for some persons whose title to relief he doubted. Among others, he selected the contractor for the machinery of the double-enders Chenango and Ascutney, Mr. Quintard. Now I wish to call the attention of the Senate to the very points in the report to which the Senator from New Hampshire alluded in his argument. After showing the excess of the cost over and above the contract price, the report of the board goes on to say:

Before such men as Ward and some other wealthy men that are engaged in business-who are not speculators any more than they can speculate out of a legitimate business-would embark in such an enterprise, it was deemed necessary that the company should have a grant of lands something like this, and for this reason, which will occur to the Senator from Oregon in a moment: if they should lay out $200,000 or $300,000 and commence operations there in erecting their furnaces and other works, the people about there would see at once, "These men who are preparing to operate thus extensively will want the timber near by," and they would enter upon the lands immediately and have it in their power to put the furnace company upon just such terms in regard to timber for making coal as they saw fit. These men said at once, "Although it may be a good business for us, provided we can get the means of working it, we will not undertake it unless we can secure the title to enough timber land to make coal sufficient to carry on this business." Is that unreasonable? I know very well that they will not enter on this business unless they can thus acquire a title. They would be very foolish to do so, because the prosperity of their business would immediately be in the hauds of strangers that would impose upon them just such terms as they pleased in regard to an essential element, without which they cannot make their capital available. All there is in this bill is that it allows the entry of the land before the surveys. They may go now if they can find iron anywhere on lands open to entry, and they may enter all the land they please, provided they can pay for it. They could do so in Montana but for the fact that the land there has not yet been surveyed. They cannot enter it for that reason, and it may not be surveyed for two or three or four years. By this bill they wish barely to acquire just such a right as everybody will have as soon as the land is surveyed. That is all there is about it.

I hope this explanation will be satisfactory. There is no other speculation in it than the contingency of that business that they propose to engage in being profitable. They can work no gold mines, they can acquire no title to any gold or silver mines, nor anything else but iron; and if there should be coal there they would have the advantage of it. It is not very likely they will find any.

Mr. GRIMES. I wish I could look at this matter

Mr. HENDRICKS. I ask the Senator from Iowa to yield that I may call up the other bill. I suppose the Senator from Ohio will not now object. It appears that this is leading to debate.

The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The special order was laid aside only informally by unanimous consent. It is now before the Senate. CONTRACTORS FOR VESSELS AND MACHINERY. The Senate resumed the consideration of the bill (S. No. 220) for the relief of certain contractors for the construction of vessels-ofwar and steam machinery, the pending ques- I

"That there is no charge in the bill for these vessels for rebracing the boilers: that the causes of delay in building the hull and machinery of the Onondaga were on account of expensive alterations, and also the same as apply to the Chenango and Ascutney; that he was relieved from the time of his contract for this vessel, so far as regards time of completion, by the extensive alterations ordered to be made, and that the Department was fully satisfied that she was finished as soon as possible."

This entire contract for building the machinery of these vessels, the Chenango and Ascutney and for the hull and machinery of the Onondaga was taken together, as I understand; and the report of the board covers in this passage the entire three pieces of work. The loss of Messrs. Quintard & Company was $29,000, shown by the evidence, upon good work, the quality of the work not questioned anywhere. The board finds that their loss upon this particular machinery was $29,000. The amend ment proposed by the Senator from Iowa will reduce the allowance to a little less than ten thousand dollars. So where there was an actual loss. as proven before the board-and it is not questioned anywhere-of $29,000, the bill, as amended on the motion of the Senator from Iowa, proposes to allow a little less than ten thousand dollars.

I read from

I will refer only to two cases. page 38 of the report of the board, in regard to the Mattabesett and the Shamrock:

Mr. President, the machinery for the Chenango and for the Ascutney belonged to a class of twenty-two which will be found in the award made by the board; and I wish to call the attention of the Senate to the fact that the machinery there contracted for by these men was of a very much heavier and more expensive character than was supposed at the time the work was commenced. It will be recollected by the Senate that there was great demand for this work at the time. The Government was in a strait for a Navy, and it was impossible at the time the contracts were made to have the drawings and specifications prepared so that the contractors might know exactly what they were to build. I will call the attention of the Senate to the evidence in one or two cases merely as illustrative of the class. That there was much more expensive machinery-engines and boilers weighing very much more than was supposed at the time it was made-is established by the testimony of twelve of these establishments. The contractors for the Mattabesett, the Shamrock, the Chicopee, the Tallapoosa, the Otsego, the Metacomet, the Mendota, the Lenapee, the Mackinaw, the Osceola, the Sassacus, and the Pawtuxet, twelve in all, establish the fact that this machinery was much heavier and more expensive than was supposed at the time the contracts were made.

The contract price was $164,000.” * "There is no charge in the bill (annexed to this record and marked No. 38) for any condemned material or faulty workmanship, and it shows the actual cost of labor and material, and the bill of extra work shows a profit of about twenty per cent. At the time of taking these contracts there were no drawings furnished, and it was understood that the engines were to be about the same size and weight of the class of the Paul Jones, but in reality were of very much heavier weight and increased size, which was one of the chief causes of loss to the contractors, over and above the contract price."

[ocr errors]

Now, I call the attention of the Senate to the case of the machinery for the Pawtuxet, on page 21. There the report says:

"The excess of cost, over and above the contract price, was due to the greater weight of engine than the contractors were led to expect them to be, Mr. Isherwood, chief of the Bureau of Steam Engineering having assured them that they would not exceed

those of the Paul Jones class, (three hundred and seventy-four thousand pounds;) whereas the weight of one built by them was six hundred and thirty thousand pounds."

Very much above what was supposed by the contractors at the time the contracts were made. The trouble was, that at the time the contracts were entered into, or the bids received, the drawings and specifications were not prepared. I presume these men were sufficiently intelligent in their business to know what would be the weight and expense of an engine in ordinary times if the drawings and specifications were complete; but twelve of these contractors establish in their cases that the machinery was much heavier than was supposed at the time the contracts were made or the bids put in. Although the argument of the Senator from New Hampshire was forcible against this particular class, and was very favorable to another class, I think this entire class of contractors for the machinery are also entitled to relief. I ask the attention of that Senator to the fact that the average of loss to the men who contracted for the machinery was above $25,000, some $29,000, and some $40,000, but the average was about $25,000. Now the proposition of the Senator from Iowa brings down the allowance of each one of these men to less than $10,000.

The contract price for machinery was $82,000. The Senator from Iowa has secured an amendment that there shall be but twelve per cent. allowed upon it, which will be less then $10,000, if my calculation be correct. We are to allow less than $10,000, where the losses average above $25,000. Of that entire class there are two where the loss was only between five and six thousand dollars on each vessel; but in those cases the parties had the iron at the time, and therefore there was no loss upon the material, but all the others averaged, I believe, about twenty-five thousand dollars loss. When the fact is shown in twelve of these cases that the machinery was very much heavier than the contractors were led to suppose at the time, when the further fact is considered that the drawings and specifications were not prepared, and could not be with the greatest diligence, I presume, in the Department, so that the parties might know the precise weight and size of the machinery, I submit whether this little allowance of one third of the actual loss is an unreasonable thing for these parties, the contractors for the machinery, to expect at the hands of the Government.

It may be, Mr. President, that I am all wrong in my views about this; but this fact has had much weight upon my mind: the Government was in a strait; she came into this war with a navy that could not contend with any of the considerable nations of the earth; she had to establish a blockade upon one of the longest coasts in the world, at more points than per haps were ever blockaded in the world; the Navy Department had to strain every energy possible, it had to require all these workmen to do its work, and when they preferred doing work for individuals rather than going into contracts with the Government they were almost compelled by public sentiment at the demand of the Department to undertake it. They did

toosuc. If Senators will turn to page 8 of the report of the commission, composed of Selfridge, Fletcher, and Eldredge, they will find the statement of the person who built the hulls:

undertake it, and at an early day, considering the magnitude of the work, they placed upon the ocean a navy that enabled us to defy the Powers of the world, the grandest navy in the world, that makes every port along our coast secure against every hostile Power who may come against it. Is it becoming the dignity and the justice of this nation that these men shall bear a loss in the prosecution of so great a work for the country? For the commanding general that gains a battle we pass a vote of thanks and give a medal; and for illustrious and great deeds in the history of nations monuments are erected; but for these men that placed upon the ocean a navy that makes our coast as secure as it is possible for man to make a coast-for this great work these men, instead of having a medal, or a vote of thanks, or a monument, are to bear a loss, and some of them to into bankruptcy. go

Now, sir, I cannot appreciate the sentiment that requires that these men should bear all this loss. The fact of loss is clearly established. Upon that question no member of the committee had a doubt, no member of the board who examined this question for five minutes had a doubt that they sustained the loss, and that they sustained the loss in many cases because of the interference of the Government; and I submit whether it is becoming in us to let that loss fall altogether upon them. Taking the classes that are objected to by the Senator from New Hampshire, they get but about one third of their loss by the bill as it is now amended, and taking the entire class they get not quite, I believe, fifty per cent. of the entire loss; and I submit, if it is the pleasure of the Senate to relieve these parties, if we can do it more securely to the Government than by passing the bill as now amended. It allows but twelve per cent. in any case upon the contract price. My judg ment is satisfied that this is below what is right.

Mr. CLARK. I gave this matter some examination when it was before the Senate at an earlier day. I have given it some examination since; I have given it a more thorough examination since that time than I gave it before; and all the examination and all the attention that I have been able to bestow upon it assure me that the bill ought not to pass. If the Senator from Indiana and those other gentlemen of the Senate who have this bill in charge had turned their attention to examining the cases individually, and would show us which ought to be provided for, and which ought not, I could agree to vote for those that ought to pass, and cheerfully vote for them; but when they bring here forty-two cases and do not pretend that all ought to pass, but that some are good and some bad, and thus make the good carry the bad, I cannot quite agree to the whole.

Mr. HENDRICKS. The Senator does not quite place the committee right. The committee who make this report think that each case ought to be relieved. That was the opinion of the committee, but the equities of some were not quite so strong as others. Mr. CLARK, Then I will understand the Senator as representing the committee, and the committee as being of the opinion which he now states, that they all ought in equity to be relieved. Will the Senator allow me to ask him if he is of that same opinion still, that they all ought to be relieved?

Mr. HENDRICKS. Yes, sir, I am. Mr. CLARK. Then I will ask the Senator to follow me as I examine some of these cases, one by one; and I will ask him by and by, when I come to some of these cases, whether he is then of the opinion still. I ask the Senator to turn his attention first to the cases of the Agawam and the Pontoosuc. I examined, I think, three cases when I spoke to the Senate before the cases of the Iosco, the Massasoit, and the Chenango. I have been through the list on page 2 of the table of double-enders, wooden hulls," I think, including eleven or twelve, and I find them all much in the same condition. I now take the two which come next to the Iosco, the Agawam and the Pon

"Regarding the contracts for the United States steamers Pontoosue and Agawam: there appeared before the board George W. Lawrence, ship-builder, of Warren, Maine, and constructer and contractor for the above vessels built by him, at Portland, Maine, and having been duly sworn, stated that the above vessels were constructed at the same time by him, and the cost shown is that of both together. That both contracts were signed on September 9, 1862, and the vessels to be launched in one hundred and twenty-six days, or on January 13, 1863. That the Agawam was launched on April 21, 1863, and the Pontoosue on the following May 20, 1863, and on those same days, respectively, delivered over to the engine-builders; that the delay in launching was, on his part, of no loss or inconvenience to the Government, having been delayed on account of certain valves, &c., required previous to launching, having not been fitted in place by the Portland Works, contractors for the steam machinery."

These vessels were detained on the ways some two or three months by the want of the valves by the persons who were to furnish the steam machinery.

"That the contract piece for each vessel was $75,000," or $150,000 for the two. Here I want to call attention to what was the contract price, or what was the cost of the machinery of the Paul Jones. Can the Senator from Indiana tell me?

Mr. HENDRICKS. No, sir; I cannot. Mr. CLARK. Can the Senator from Nevada tell me what was the contract price for the machinery of the Paul Jones?

Mr. NYE. I cannot tell now, but I can find out.

Mr. CLARK. Perhaps I can inform the Senator. I do not know precisely, but my information is-and my information comes from the chairman of the Committee on Naval Affairsthat it was $52,000, or not to exceed $55,000. I understand that to be correct.

Mr. GRIMES. Yes, sir.

Mr. HENDRICKS. I ask the Senator when the Paul Jones's machinery was built.

Mr. CLARK. I cannot state precisely when it was built.

Mr. GRIMES. The Paul Jones was built some time before the contract was made for these other vessels. The engines of these other vessels, for which $82,000 was contracted to be paid, were considerably heavier than that of the Paul Jones.

Mr. CLARK. That was precisely the point to which I desired to bring attention. These men complain that they supposed the engines they were to build were to be about the weight of the engine of the Paul Jones, and that they cost more because they were heavier. Now, the fact is that the machinery of the Paul Jones cost $52,000, or not exceeding $55,000, and the Government gave from $75,000 to $80,000, $90,000, and over $100,000 for these engines for the reason that they were heavier.

Mr. GRIMES. Eighty-two thousand dollars. Mr. CLARK. Eighty-two thousand dollars for some, and some higher than that, I think.

Mr. GRIMES. Eighty-two thousand dollars for those that were made on the model of the Paul Jones.

Mr. CLARK. The same model.

Now, it is evident at once to the Senate that they had their consideration for it, and they are not to be allowed to come here and complain that the engines were heavier than that of the Paul Jones, when their price was proportionably heavier. But I want to go along with these hulls.


That the contract price for each vessel was $75,000 each, $150,000. The total cost of both vessels, including all extra work, $180,429 40. That there was paid by the Government for extra work $10,319 93; allowance made for material sold after completion of vessel, $1,587 93; allowance made for material on hand after completion of vessel. $1,300; making a total for extras of $13.207 86. That the total cost of both vessels over and above the contract stipulations and amounts paid by the bureau for extra work was $17,221 54.

Precisely that sum is reported here; for each vessel $8,610 77 allowed by the board.

"The contractors for the steam machinery were allowed fifty days after the launching, in order to

erect it on board, which time expired in the case of the Agawam on June 10, 1863, but that she was not by them delivered to the Government until December 9, 1863, two hundred and thirty-two days."

Here is the point: here was this Government engaged in blockading a coast many times larger than ever had been attempted before; they wanted the vessels, they contracted for the vessels, they stipulated to have them at a given time; but these people did not deliver them for more than a year afterward, some six months, some nine months, some twelve months after they had agreed to deliver them; and all that time prices were rising; and now they come in here and ask us to pay, not for the vessels at the contract price after that time, but to pay for all the extras they were put to by reason of their delay. After so long a time elapsed beyond the time at which the vessels were to be completed, if the Government had said, "We will not take these vessels; we wanted them for blockading the coast; but you did not furnish them in time; the war is well-nigh toward its end; we will not take them," could these contractors have complained? But the Government did not say that. The Government said, "We will take the vessels; we will pay you the price which we stipulated, even at this late day;" and yet these contractors are not content. They want the Government not only to pay them the price which it agreed to pay, nine months or a year after the time had elapsed, when it had been denied the use of the vessels, but also to pay the extra price which arose by the enhancement of labor and materials while they were thus delaying.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

That was within less than a year of the time of the surrender of Lee. She was detained for the want of the machinery three hundred and sixty-one days, only four days less than a year, enhancing the price of the hull, which we are obliged to pay, depriving the Government of the use of the vessel, and then calling upon us to pay this enhanced price. Does the Senator from Indiana think that quite right? I will ask him, then, to turn with me over to pages 16 and 17, and let us see about the machinery for the Pontoosuc and the Agawam.

"Appeared before the board Edward H. Davis, treasurer of the Portland Company, Portland, Maine, on the part of the company, contractors for the machinery of the double-enders Pontoosue and Aga

wam. Under oath states, that the contract for these vessels was dated, by the Navy Department, August 30, 1862"

A little more than a year after the war commenced

"in which they were allowed one and a half month from April 21, 1863, the time of receiving the hull of the Agawam from the builders, to complete the machinery of said vessel, and one and a half month from May 20, 1863, the time of receiving the hull of the Pontoosuc from the builders, to complete the machinery of said vessels and deliver them to the Government: but the Agawam was not so completed and delivered until November 30, 1863; the Pontoosuc until April 14, 1864."

Now, I ask the Senator's attention particularly to this part of the report, if he will give it to me, to what these people say themselves in regard to it:

"The principal cause of delay was from the difficulty of the work, and being unprepared for the manufacture of marine engines, the works having been employed, previous to making this contract, in the building of locomotives principally; labor was obtained with difficulty, and when obtained, of an inferior kind."

Here is this very remarkable statement-I invite the attention of the Senate to it-that these men undertook work which they were not prepared for, which they were not skilled in, which they found to be difficult, and for which their shop was not prepared, and they were thus delayed two hundred and seventy and three hundred and sixty days in the two cases by their own inability and want of preparation for the work which they undertook; and yet they come forward and ask you to pay them $40,000

apiece on each vessel. That is the report on each of these vessels which were delayed thus by their own insufficiency in preparation for the work. If a man who is unskilled in work undertakes to do it, and binds himself to do it, who is to suffer for it? That was exactly this case; and now I want to ask the Senator from Indiana whether he thinks that men who had not the ability to do the work, and who found it difficult, whose shop was not fit for it--they had not been used to building marine engines, they had been used to building locomotives-1 want to ask him whether, when such men undertake work of that kind, for which they are not fitted and for which they are not prepared, the Government ought to pay all the extra expense they are put to by such unskillfulness and want of preparation? They do not say a word about the engines being heavier, that I remember, and yet they may. I will look and see; they go on to state:

engine, what would an individual have said? He would have recovered damages, and he would have been entitled to damages. He would have recovered damages such as he could have shown in any court. But the Government did not say that; the Government did not say to these men, “We must have damages from you for not fulfilling this contract;" the Government went forward liberally, at the end of the time, took the engines, and paid the men the money. Now they are not satisfied. They come in here and say, "We must have more; it is very true we delayed you; it is very true in the case of the Agawam we were two hundred and twenty-three days behind; it is very true in the other case of the Pontoosuc that we were three hundred and sixty-one days behind; but the Government ought to be generous. I agree the Government should be liberal; but when men come into the Congress of the United States and ask the Government to be generous, they should show that they performed good service for the Government. The bill is now in a better situation than it was some days ago; but if we give these men what this bill provides, twelve per cent., we shall pay them over nineteen thousand dollars for delaying work in that way, for delaying work by their own unskillfulness, for delaying work which they could not accomplish for the want of proper experience, for delaying work for want of proper shops and tools; and they knew when they undertook that work just what their shops and tools were fitted for, and they knew that their experience had been in locomotives and not in marine engines.

"That the machinery for both vessels cost $222,606 79; that the bills for extra work still unpaid are $1,219 37 -total cost, $223,826 16; that the contract price was, for both vessels, $161,000; leaving a balance, the excess of cost to them over and above the contract price, including amount claimed for extra bills, of $59,82616."

Resulting, as they say, from the difficult character of the work, from their not being prepared for it in their shops, because they had not been used to building marine engines, but to building locomotives, and because they could not get labor and materials. That is the statement they make themselves; and what is worse than all this, when they ask you to pay $59,826 16 extra, they go on to say:

"That there is no charge in this bill for proportion of general expenses in running the works, which is estimated to be twelve and a half on the whole amount, which is a minimum charge, amounting in all to $26,712 81, which they claim as a part of the actual cost of the vessels' machinery."

They sustained a loss on the contracts of $59,826 16 on the two engines, and then they wanted $26,712 81 as interest on their tools, which they say were not fitted for such work, and which delayed the work; and this board actually allowed them $21,041 36 for interest on these tools which were not fit for the work, and swelled the whole amount of allowance up to over eighty thousand dollars. This board report for these two vessels completed in that way about ninety-seven thousand dollars extra. They report on each of the hulls $8,610 77, and on each of the engines $40,433 73 to these men who undertook work which they could not perform, for which they were not prepared, and which they delayed the Government in getting, one of them within four days of a whole year, when the Government wanted the work.

Now, I want to ask the Senator a question. He says that when a general fights a battle and wins a victory, we vote him thanks. Do we vote thanks to that commander who is ten miles behind and does not get up into line? Most of these men were a year behind and did not begin to form in line at the time they said they would, deprived the Government of the use of the vessels all the time they were so hanging back. The price was going up and enhancing, and they ask the Government to pay that enhanced price which arose from their own delay. That is the statement of the case. I ask the Senator from Indiana if he is in favor of paying the two men who built these two engines. Did not the Government do all for them that the Government ought to do when they took these engines off their hands, nearly a year afterward, and paid them the full price under the contract? If the Government had said to these men, "You have been delaying this work; we have suffered for the want of these engines; you agreed to furnish them at a certain time, but you did not furnish them; we must deduct so much from your pay;" what could these men have said? What would an individual have said in a case of that kind? Suppose one individual had contracted with another to furnish him a marine engine on a given day, and he did not furnish it until a year after, and that man had been losing all his trade and business by the want of that


[ocr errors]

Now, Mr. President, if it could be shown on the part of these contractors that they undertook this work unwillingly, that the Government came to them and besought them to take up this work, that they objected to it, that they stated to the Government they were not used to doing it, that their tools were not prepared for it, that their shop was not fitted for it, that they had doubts whether they could carry it through in the time stated, and that the Government then urged them, and said, "We must have this work from some quarter; we will run the risk, and you must undertake it and do the best you can," that would have been one thing; but there is not a particle of proof of anything of that kind. They do not suggest it. These men were anxious to get these contracts; many of them were exceedingly anxious to get them, some not so much so. When the persons to whom the Senator has alluded took the contracts the weight of the engines was specified and they knew what they had got to do. It is true they undertook before that to build them, and had gone on before they got the contracts to commence their work; but they had signed no contract, and if when the contract came and the specifications came, they found the work heavier than they expected or agreed to do, it was easy to say, "Mr. Secretary of the Navy, that is not what I undertook; you represented to me that these engines were to be of the weight of those of the Paul Jones; I cannot agree to do that," the objection would have been considered; but that is not this case nor either of these cases which I am considering, for neither of these men allege that he did not understand what the weight of the engines was, nor does either of them allege that it was heavier than he expected when he undertook the contract.

I come now to the case of the Osceola, which is found on pages 6 and 7 of the report of the board:

"Appeared before the board E. F. Tilden, of the firm of Curtis & Tilden, ship-builders and constructers of the United States steamers Massasoit and Osceola. Under oath states the whole amount of cost of above vessels to have been $65,597 35; the amount of extra work allowed and paid by bureau $7,340 57; the amount of contracts $50,000; the cost of these vessels over and above the contract price and allowance paid for extra work to be $8.256 78. That the contract for the hull of the Massasoit was dated September 10, 1862, and the vessel to be launched on January 14, 1863, (one hundred and twenty-six days.)"

Very nearly the same time, it will be seen, was allowed for building all these vessels.

I shall skip the Massasoit, as I believe I made some observations on that the other day.

"That the contract for the hull of the Osceola was dated October 15, 1862, and the vessel to be launched on February 8, 1863, (one hundred and twenty-six days.) That the vessel was ready for launching April 15, 1862, but was not launched until May 23, being detained on the ways-the bed-plates not being completed and put in the vessel by the engine-builders."

Here is the same excuse, the same difficulty -the engines were behind, the bed-plates were not put in.

"That the vessel was delivered to the contractors for steam machinery on May 23; that they were allowed fifty days, or until July 12, to erect on board the engine, &c., but occupied until November 27, 1863."

Here was a delay of one hundred and thirtyeight days beyond the stipulated time. They were to have lifty days, and they took one hun dred and eighty-eight; nearly four times as many. These contractors say:

"By the delay on the part of the engine-builders to complete the machinery, they [Curtis & Tilden) were unable to complete the work on the two vessels and receive the several payments as agreed upon in their contracts, and also suffered pecuniary loss from the great rise in labor and material during that time."

That is, during the time they were delayed. Mr. NYE. Let me ask the Senator from New Hampshire one question, whether it was not a fact that the engines and the hulls were separate contracts. The engines constituted one contract and the hulls another.

Mr. CLARK. Certainly.

Mr. NYE. Then the man who built the hull was not to blame.

Mr. CLARK. The man who built the hull, if he performed his contract in time, would not be to blame; and I do not know that in this case the firm of Curtis & Tilden, though they did not get their vessel off until two months after, were to blame, because they were delayed by the men who were to build the machinery and put it in; they were delayed for the want of bed plates. But the machine-builders undertook to contract with the Government that the machinery should be ready. This firm made a contract that the hull should be done at a certain time, and the engines were to be put in in so many days after. The hulls were delayed by the engine-builders in not putting in what should have been put in earlier, and were then delayed by these same machinebuilders for a great length of time, four months after the time allowed. The Senator says the man who built the hull was not to blame; but who was? The man who built the machinery; and yet you put the man who built the hull and the man who built the machinery together, and serve them both exactly alike. That is the effect of your bill. Somebody is to blame. The Government were defrauded of this vessel--I said defrauded, I mean deprived of the use of this vessel-about two hundred days by some. body. By whom? By one or the other; and yet you propose to pay both. Now, if the man who built the hull was not to blame, pay him alone, but do not undertake to pay the man who deprived him of the power of putting his work in the water and delivering it at the time he agreed to do-the man who built the ma chinery. Now, will the Senator from Nevada and the Senator from Indiana turn to page 17 and let us see about this machinery?

"Appeared before the board Oliver Edwards, president of the Atlantic Works, East Boston, on the part of the company, contractors for the machinery of the double-enders Sassacus and Osceola. Under oath states, that the contract for the Osceola was dated September 20, 1862, and for the Sassacus, October 15, 1862, in which they were allowed seven months. or until April, 1863, and May, 1863, to complete the machinery of said vessels and deliver them to the Government, but the Sassacus was not so completed and delivered until September, 1863, and the Osccola until November, 1863."

And here the whole summer of 1863 passed away, when these vessels should have been operating in the southern Atlantic in the blockade, or elsewhere; the most favorable part of the year passed away, and the vessels were still delayed at the wharf for the want of machinery; and yet this is not a liberal Government that will come forward and pay the men what it agreed to pay after such a delay.

« PoprzedniaDalej »