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Now, Mr. President, I beg leave to say a word with regard to that report and the measure which the committee have proposed. But for my great respect for the members of that committee and its chairman, and were I not forbidden by my knowledge that they are incapable of such a thing, from the bare reading of their reported propositions I should suppose that, as this writer intimates, whose language I have adopted, the object of the report was to present a scheme which could not be accepted. I am forbidden to entertain such an opinion by my great respect for the committee. I know they are incapable of anything of that sort, and I therefore am obliged to suppose that they thought this might be accepted, that it might possibly, under some supposable circumstances, calm the agitation which is prevailing on this subject, and result in the readmission of members from the late rebel States. That, no doubt, was their intention; but I beg leave to say that it seems to me that it is utterly impossible that that should ever be the effect of it. For example, allow me to particularize. After the States have accepted these terms, after they are represented in this body and in the House of Representatives for a period of nearly four years, if they accept the proposition next fall, they are to be denied the right of voting for their own Representatives in Congress; for we are told every day, and I believe it is to a certain extent true in some States, that the whole mass of the people participated in the rebellion, or at least, in the language of the report, "adhered" to it. The language of the report does not exclude merely those who were original conspirators, but all who may finally have adhered to the rebellion. Now, consider that proposition for a moment. These States are to be represented in the other House and in this body after having accepted these terms, and still their representatives are to be chosen without the votes of the people. I would ask, who is to vote? The colored men cannot vote. Take South Carolina or Mississippi or Georgia. Who is to choose Repre-giving us the opinions, which I think we can find sentatives in those States? I will not say it out for ourselves, of different persons throughis a mockery, because my respect for the com- out the country. I wish only to say that, notmittee forbids; but I must say that it does withstanding my respect for each and all of seem to me that no man can expect that any those who may choose to instruct us on the of these States will ever accept the terms pro- subject, we have a duty to discharge, and must posed. I agree with the Evening Post on that discharge it in the best way we can upon our point. I will say further that I am not sure, own views and sentiments as to what the conif they would accept it, they ever ought to be dition of the country demands. permitted to vote at all.
Mr. FESSENDEN. The Senator from Connecticut has gone into a discussion of the merits of the report. I said nothing of the merits of the report. I did not intend to say anything, and I do not now, on that subject. I merely rise to say that I choose to avoid anything of that description until the report comes properly before the Senate, when, if I have sufficient strength, I shall endeavor to explain the views of the committee upon that subject so far as it may become my duty to explain them. In the mean time I suppose we are to have gentlemen
Mr. FESSENDEN. I wish to ask the Senator a question. I have the impression that President Johnson has said, over and over again, that the government of these States ought to be exercised by the loyal portion, those who had been loyal to the Union.
Mr. DIXON. In the first place, I beg leave to say to the Senator from Maine that it makes no difference to me, in forming my opinions, what the President or any other man says. If the President had said so, it would not be of binding authority on me, unless my judgment approved it. In the next place, I say that I agree with the sentiment, not because the President said it, but because I believe it is a true and correct sentiment. But that is not what the report says. The report of the committee does not say that only loyal men can vote. I know the President says that; everybody says it who thinks as I do; but the question is, what is a loyal man?
Mr. FESSENDEN. Did he not say those who had been loyal, those who had not participated in the rebellion, should be those intrusted with the Government? Was not that his recommendation in regard to Tennessee?
Mr. DIXON. When these States are again regarded as members of the Union, if they accept the terms of readmission proposed to them, all loyal men at the time ought to be permitted to vote. I will not say that the exception made in one clause of the report is not correct, that certain leaders be disfranchised; but I say that to disfranchise a whole people, to tell them that they may send members to Congress and still shall not vote for
scheme with regard to reconstruction upon which they could come to a unanimous or nearly unanimous agreement.
The proposition made by the honorable Senator from Oregon this morning would indicate, for instance, that he is not exactly satisfied with the result to which the committee came. I really, with all respect to my friend from Oregon, beg leave to say that when a committee after great deliberation has come to a conclusion upon a subject which has been assented to and reported, at any rate the members of the committee should abstain from pressing individual views in advance of the general action of the body to which the report has been made, because it has a tendency to weaken the effect of the report itself.
I accede to what has been said by the honorable Senator from Connecticut with regard to the eminent standing of the press from which he has read; but, eminent as it is, I think it is not immodest on the part of the committee of fifteen, selected with very considerable care, and, with one exception, perhaps, composed of gentlemen eminently fitted for the position which was assigned to them, to suppose that after months of deliberation, after great study and reflection, after careful examination of the evidence before them, not only as to what was wise to do, but as to what could be done, the united opinions of a very large majority of them might be supposed to come about as near the right as the opinion of an individual who may happen to write in the columns of a newspaper. acknowledge, as a general rule, that the editor of a newspaper knows by intuition far more of the state of the country and what is wise to be done, no matter what his age, or what his position, than Congress can possibly know; but I think, at any rate, a little faith should be given to a committee of Congress, so large as this committee, and to Congress itself, devoting itself carefully to the study of the great questions on which it proposes to act. I cannot agree with my honorable friend from Connecticut, that because the opinions which he read happen to appear in a press of character they are therefore so conclusive as at once to overturn all the conclusions to which, after much deliberation, the committee have arrived. At any rate I shall beg leave to ask, when the proper time comes, for the careful consideration of the Senate of all these important questions; and having no pride of opinion on the subject, if Congress shall come to the conclusion that the scheme which has been presented needs amendment and alteration, I shall submit with perfect willingness and perfect contentment, in the hope that something wiser and better will be reached; but until we come to the discussion I am unwilling to admit, even upon the authority of the New York Evening Post, that what we have done cannot be acceptable to the people of the United States.
Mr. DIXON. I suppose the Senator from Maine did not intend, in his opening remarks, to question my right to offer the amendment. Mr. FESSENDEN. Not at all; I only suggested to the Senator that when he stated that the wisdom of those remarks of the Post might, he hoped, have some effect even upon this body, it was rather an intimation that this body could not be expected to act wisely and justly. Mr. DIXON. The word " 19 even, as used by me, may have, I think, a different meaning from what the Senator supposes. My meaning was that those remarks ought to have influence, even upon so distinguished and so wise a body as this; but I will consent to strike out the word " even," if it is offensive to the Senator. Mr. FESSENDEN. Not at all.
Mr. DIXON. I meant to say, and I now repeat, that even in such a body as the Senate of the United States, words of wisdom like these might have their effect. I certainly would be the last person to reflect on the Senate, or to reflect on the committee, but I suppose I have a right to say that I do not think the report of the committee contains all the wisdom which even may exist in the Senate or in the committee itself.
them for that is the result of it-to say, "You may be represented, but you shall not yote," seems a mockery. Under it there might hardly be twenty voters, possibly, in a State.
Mr. President, why did I read the article from the New York Evening Post? Not as an authority. It struck me that the views were so correct and so sound that I desired to adopt them as my own, and I was very certain that the source from which those ideas came would have great weight with the loyal people of this country, and properly so; that that paper had a character for loyalty and for patriotism and for ability and for honesty and integrity which gave it weight; that what came from the distinguished and venerable editor of that paper was entitled to weight, even in the Senate of the United States, and therefore I read the article and adopted its language.
I have only one word more to say. I am extremely desirous-no man can be more desir ous than I am-to unite upon some plan which shall pacify the country, and which shall restore and reconstruct the Union. I had hoped this committee would propose something which would accomplish that. As to the plan proposed, I am utterly hopeless with regard to its producing any good effect. I may be mistaken. I have the highest respect, I need not say, for the members of the committee. I know they are patriotic; but I think they are utterly mistaken, and I think I have the right to say it, in all respect to them.
Mr. GRIMES. There seems to be some controversy between the Senator from Connecticut and the Senator from Maine as to what are, at this time, the opinions of the President of the United States; and occupying the peculiar relations which the Senator from Connecticut does to the Chief Magistrate of the country, I desire to refer, as he has done, to a newspaper, one published in this city, purporting to give the last revised opinions of the President, and to inquire of him whether or not they are authentic. I hold in my hand the National Intelligencer of this morning, which contains an article represented to me to have been telegraphed from the precincts of the White House to the various newspapers in the country, headed, "The President and his Cabinet in Council:"
"It is understood that at the Cabinet meeting yesterday the President invited an expression of opinion from the heads of Departments respecting tho propositions reported on Monday last by the congressional committee on reconstruction. An interesting and animated discussion is said to have ensued, in the course of which, if rumor be true, Secretary Seward declared himself in very decided and emphatic terms against the plan of the committee and in favor of the immediate admission of loyal representatives from the lately rebellious States.
tary of State in his opposition to the plan recom"Secretary McCulloch was as positive as the Secremended by the committee, and expressed himself strongly in favor of an immediate consummation of the President's restoration policy by the admission into Congress of loyal men from the southern States. "Secretary Stanton was equally decided in his opposition to the committee's propositions, was for adhering to the policy which had been agreed upon and consistently pursued by the Administration, and was gratified that the President had brought the subject to the consideration of the Cabinet.
Secretary Welles was unequivocally against the committee's was earnest in scheme, and his support
of the President's policy, comprehending the instant admission into Congress of loyal representatives from the States lately in rebellion,
"Secretary Harlan was rather reticent, and expressed no opinion.
Postmaster General Dennison was in favor of carrying out the restoration policy of the President, but expressed some doubts as to the precise time at which loyal representatives from the southern States should be admitted to seats in Congress.
"Attorney General Speed was not present at the meeting, being on a visit to his home in Kentucky. "The President was earnest in his opposition to the report of the committee, and declared himself against all conditions-precedent to the admission of loyal representatives from the southern States in the shape of amendments to the Constitution or the passage of laws. He insisted that under the Constitution no State could be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate, and that Senators and Representatives ought to be at once admitted into the respective Houses, as prescribed by law and the Constitution. He was for a rigid adherence to the Constitution as it is, and remarked that, having sustained ourselves under it during a terrible rebellion, he thought that the Government could be restored without a resort to amendments. He remarked in general terms that if the organic law is to be changed at all, it should be at a time when all the States and all the people can participate in the alteration."
being. I have not seen the President or any member of the Cabinet or any human being with regard to it. I read the article in the Evening Post, and it struck me as being true and as coming from a source entitling it to great weight and authority. I knew it would be respected by this body from the character of the writer. I thought it correct, and it was exactly in accordance with my sentiments.
I say this because it might possibly be supposed from what the Senator said that this resolution of mine has been offered in consequence of some consultation. Sir, I am in consultation with nobody. I attempt to act here as a Senator in accordance with my own views of right. I may be wrong; but I am under the lead of no master and no man. I care not what the President or anybody else thinks. If what he does and says is right, I support him; if they are wrong, I denounce him. That, I take it, is the position of every Senator. No man is worthy of being a Senator unless that is his position. I repeat that I have offered this resolution without consultation with anybody.
Now, a single word as to the President's views. I do not see that there is any very great contradiction. It cannot be supposed that the President will in every statement which he makes of his views express every single shade of idea that he may have heretofore expressed. He thinks that the southern States should be represented. How and by whom? Take all his language together, and it is by loyal men when they come here in an attitude of harmony and loyalty to the Government and are represented by loyal men. That is what my resolution says; that is what the President says, and I believe that is his view.
Now, Mr. President, if I understand the force of language, that is not the position that the President of the United States has hitherto occupied. If I understand it-and perhaps the Senator from Connecticut can set me right if I am in error-the President of the United States now insists that these States shall be immediately represented; that they are entitled, under the Constitution of the United States, to immediate representation in the Senate and House of Representatives without any antecedent conditions, and the most of his Cabinet concur in that opinion. I suppose that this is the antagonist proposition that is put forth from the White House in opposition to the report of the committee of fifteen, commonly called the committee on reconstruction-the immediate unconditional admission, without any terms, without any conditions, of the representatives of those States and of the people of those States.
Mr. SUMNER obtained the floor.
Mr. DIXON. I ask the Senator to yield to me for a moment to reply to the Senator from Iowa.
Mr. DIXON. The Senator from Iowa intimated in his opening remarks that I had some peculiar knowledge or means of knowledge of the President's views. He spoke of the "peculiar relations" in which I stand to the President. The Senator is entirely mistaken in regard to that. My relations to the President are precisely similar to those of the Senator himself. I have seen the President but once within the space of two months, and then for not over five minutes. I take his views from his written, published statements.
Mr. GRIMES. If the Senator will excuse me, the fact that the Senator's resolution was identical in spirit and almost in terms with the language attributed in the National Intelligencer of this morning to the President led me to infer
Mr. DIXON. If it is identical in spirit, then the Senator is mistaken in another point when he says that the President has now taken new views and new grounds. He says that the language attributed to the President in the paper from which he has read, is identical in spirit with the resolution that I have offered. My resolution is taken from the President's veto message of the Freedmen's Bureau bill more than two months ago; so that the Senator will see that he is mistaken in supposing that there has been any change in the President's views, if mine are identical with his; and I do not suppose there has been any change. I do not suppose that the President has changed from the views contained in that resolution. I copied the resolution from the words of the Presidert contained in that veto message because I thought they were extremely well expressed and because they were my views.
Now, I desire to say with regard to this resolution of mine, that I have not offered it in consequence of any consultation with any human
Mr. GRIMES. I did not intend to convey the idea that the Senator from Connecticut has a master; but I submit, after all he has said, that I was perfectly justified in saying that peculiar relations subsisted between him and the President, when he himself admits that he went, not only for the spirit, but for the identical language of his resolution, to the celebrated veto message of the President of the United States on the Freedmen's Bureau bill.
Mr. DIXON. It is no uncommon thing for a resolution to be offered in language taken from a message of the President of the United States. It is frequently done, and it is very proper, as it strikes me. In some remarks that I had the honor of making about two months ago in the Senate, I embodied that extract from the message of the President as the expression of my own views. I then said that I thought it was right, and I have now offered it in the form of a resolution.
Mr. SUMNER. When I rose a moment ago I intended to make a remark in reply to the Senator from Connecticut, but the question seems to have drifted out of sight. I will observe, however, that the question involved in his proposition is so important that I never regret
Mr. SHERMAN. I should like to know if the unfinished business does not come up at
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Chair was about to remark that the morning hour has expired, and it is the duty of the Chair to call up the unfinished business of yesterday.
Mr. SHERMAN. I have no objection to allowing the special order to pass over informally for a few moments to afford Senators an opportunity to make explanations on this subject. The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The order of the day can only be laid aside by unanimous consent. No objection being made, it is laid aside informally.
and I most sincerely hope that the Senator from Maine, the chairman of the committee on reconstruction, who has this matter in charge, will bear that in mind. I do not believe that Congress at this moment is in a condition to give the country the best proposition on this important subject. I am afraid that that excellent committee has listened too much to voices from without, insisting that there must be an issue presented to the country. For myself, I have always thought that that call was premature. There is no occasion now for an issue to be presented to the country. There are no elections in any States. The election in Connecticut is over. The election in New Hampshire is
Mr. SUMNER. I was about to say that the proposition involved in the resolution of the Senator from Connecticut is so important that it may be considered as perhaps always in order to discuss it. I do not know that we ought to pass a day without discussing it in some way. I certainly do not deprecate this discussion; but while I say that, I am very positive on another point: I should deprecate any effort now to precipitate a decision on that question;
over. There are to be no elections before next autumn. What is the occasion, then, for an issue to be presented to the country? I see none, unless Congress, after a most careful and mature discussion of the whole subject, is able to present an issue on which we can all honestly and as one phalanx go forward to battle.
I do not intend to be drawn into a premature discussion of the issue presented by the report of the committee on reconstruction. I merely speak now to the question of time. I am sure that that report could not have been made in the last week of March. I am equally sure that if the committee had postponed their report until the last week of May they would have made a better one than they have made in the last week of April. I hope, therefore, following out that idea, that all decision of this question will be postponed as long as possible, to the end that all just influences may come to Congress from the country, and that Congress itself may be inspired by the fullest and amplest consideration of the whole question.
Why, sir, there is the evidence which has been laid before this committee. We have not yet seen it together. That evidence ought to be together; it ought to be laid before the whole country; and we ought to have returning to us from the country the just influence which the circulation of that evidence is calculated to cause. I am sure that wherever that evidence is read the people will say Congress is justified in insisting upon security for the future. To that end, I take it, the evidence was taken, and I hope that Congress will not act until we get the natural and legitimate influences from that evidence.
But, sir, allow me to say, by way of comment on the proposition of the Senator from Connecticut, that it seems to me my excellent friend, when he brought forward his proposi tion, forgot two things.
Mr. DIXON. Probably more than that. Mr. SUMNER. He says probably more than that; but the two things he forgot were so great, so essential, that to forget them was to forget everything. In the first place, he forgot that we had been in a war; and in the second place, he forgot that four million human beings had been changed from a condition of slavery to freedom. Those two great ruling facts my excellent friend forgot, evidently, when he drew up his proposition. He forgot that we had been in a war, because he fails to make any provision for that security which common sense and common prudence, the law of nations, and every instinct of the human heart require should be made. He provides no guarantee. Sir, the essential thing, at this moment, is a guarantee. The Senator abandons that; but it is because he forgets that we have been in a war. If I, like the Senator from Connecticut, could forget this terrible war, with all the blood and treasure that it has cost us, I, too, could forget the guarantees; but as that war is always in my mind, the Senator will pardon me if I insist that we shall have guar
Mr. DIXON. If the Senator will allow
Mr. SUMNER. In one moment I shall have done. In the second place, I have said that my excellent friend forgets that four million human beings have been changed in their condition. Four million slaves have been declared to be freemen; and by whom, and
resumed the consideration of the following
by what power? By the national Government; and let me say that, as the national Government gave that freedom, it belongs to the national Government to secure it. The national Government cannot leave those men whom it has made free to the guardianship or custody or tender mercies of any other government. It is bound to take them into its own keeping, to surround them all by its own protecting power, and invest them with all the rights and conditions which in the exercise of its best judgment shall seem necessary to that end. All that my excellent friend has absolutely forgotten. It is not in his mind. If I could bring myself to such an obliviousness, if I could bathe so completely in the waters of Lethe as my excellent friend from Connecticut seems to have done daily in these recent times, I could join him in the support of his prop
Mr. DIXON. One word in reply to the Senator from Massachusetts, with the consent of the Senate. The Senator says that I have forgotten many things, and among others the guarantees required by the four million slaves who have been emancipated. I desire to ask the Senator what guarantee those persons have in the proposition reported by the committee. The Senator exhausted all the terms of opprobrium in the English language in denouncing a resolution which was before the Senate some time since, and which contained the only guarantee for the colored race that is contained in this report. The only guarantee which he says he keeps constantly in his mind, and which I have forgotten, contained in this report is that providing that if those persons are not allowed to vote in the States in which they reside they shall not be counted in the apportionment of Representatives. The Senate has not yet forgottenthe echoes are still ringing in this Hall-what the Senator said in regard to that proposition. If the English language contains any term of reproach, if it can be coined into any form or shape of opprobrium which he did not exhaust on that subject, and some of which my friend from Maine [Mr. FESSENDEN] cited as beauties of rhetoric, I am mistaken. I think he could have gone no further in denouncing that very proposition which is the only guarantee in this report; and yet he says I have forgotten that they require guarantees. I beg leave to remind the Senator that he too has forgotten his own words on that subject.
Mr. SUMNER. Not at all.
The resolution of Mr. DIXON was ordered to be printed.
BOUNTIES TO COLORED SOLDIERS.
Mr. HENDERSON submitted the following resolution; which was considered by unanimous consent, and agreed to:
Resolved, That the Committee on Military Affairs and the Militia be, and are hereby, instructed to inquire into the expediency of changing the laws so as to enable back pay and bounty due to colored soldiers for services in the late war to be drawn upon the same proof of marriage as is now required for the collection of pensions due to such soldiers under the act of July, 1864.
USE OF THE HALL.
Mr. WADE. I now move to take up the resolution granting the use of the Senate Chamber to Mrs. Walling for the purpose of delivering a lecture.
Mr. SHERMAN. If there is to be no debate upon that resolution, and it will not supersede the special order, I am perfectly willing that a vote may be taken upon it; but if the motion involves a postponement of the pending order I object to it.
Mr. WADE. I do not propose to debate it. I suppose it is understood by the Senate, and that we can get a vote upon it at once. If it gives rise to debate, I shall let it go over.
Mr. SHERMAN. I hope, then, the vote may be taken. I believe the yeas and nays have been ordered upon it.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. It is moved that the Senate proceed to the consideration of the resolution.
The motion was agreed to; and the Senate
Resolved, That the use of the Senate Chamber be granted to Mrs. M. C. Walling for the purpose of delivering therein an address, on Tuesday evening, the 17th instant; the floor of the Senate Chamber to be for the exclusive accommodation of members of the Senate and House of Representatives and their families.
Mr. WADE. I move to amend the resolution by striking out the time mentioned in it and inserting "Monday evening, the 7th instant."
The amendment was agreed to.
Mr. SHERMAN. I call for the yeas and nays on the adoption of the resolution. The yeas and nays were ordered.
Mr. ANTHONY. I wish to offer an amendment to this resolution. I was opposed to the resolution, but since the Chamber has been granted to Mr. Murdoch and was once granted to this lady and then reconsidered, I think it would be cruel to refuse it now. I shall therefore vote for the resolution; but I think there ought to be a stop put to the practice (which is evidently going to be very prevalent unless we stop it by a resolution) of granting the use of this Chamber. In the other House they have been obliged to pass a resolution making it out of order to offer any such resolution, and now, the House Hall being closed, all persons who wish to lecture without going to the expense of paying for a hall will come here and apply for this Chamber. The objections to it are too manifest to need any recapitulation. I move to amend the resolution by inserting at the end of it the following:
POST OFFICE APPROPRIATION BILL.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The unfinished business of yesterday, being the bill (H. R. No. 280) making appropriations for the service of the Post Office Department during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1867, and for other purposes, is now before the Senate, the pending question being on the amendment offered by the Senator from Illinois, [Mr. TRUMBULL.]
Mr. HOWE. I am going to vote for this amendment if I get a chance. I think I will vote for any part of it, for almost any one line of it. I would rather vote for the whole of it than for any part of it. It was said last evening that the modification made by the mover of the amendment was more objectionable than the amendment as originally introduced. Mr. President, what is this proposition? As introduced it proposed to say that no part of the money to be appropriated by this bill should be expended on persons or officers undertaking to exercise or perform the duties of an office which by law is required to be filled by the advice and consent of the Senate who shall not be confirmed by the Senate. The language is:
That no person exercising or performing, or undertaking to exercise or perform, the duties of any office which by law is required to be filled by the advice and consent of the Senate, shall, before confirmation by the Senate, receive any salary or compensation for his services, unless such person be commissioned by the President to fill up a vacancy, which has happened by death, resignation, or expiration of term during the recess of the Senate and since its last adjournment.
What is the objection to that? The objection urged was that incompetent or dishonest and faithless men may be found in office during the recess of the Senate, and it might become necessary in the judgment of the Executive, and in the judgment of all men it might be manifestly necessary to remove that officer, and if we adopted the amendment as it then stood, it would preclude payment to the suc cessor of an officer so removed. In other words, President to remove an incompetent officer or it was held to be a check upon the right of the
a dishonest officer in the recess of the Senate. To meet that objection to the amendment it was modified yesterday, and the latter clause of it now reads:
Unless such person be commissioned by the President to fill up a vacancy which has happened during the recess of the Senate and since its last adjournment by death, resignation, expiration of term, or removal for acts done or omitted in violation of the duties of his office; the cause in ease of removal to be reported to the Senate at its next session.
What is the objection to that? It was said yesterday, it has been said repeatedly during this debate, that the question of the right of the President to make removals had been settled, was established, was no longer to be controverted. If that be so, I am opposed to the whole amendment. If it is settled that the President has under the Constitution the right to remove officers at his pleasure, let him do it. I hold that the President ought to discharge every part of the duty laid upon him by the Constitution. When he does make a removal then he makes a vacancy; and I know, when
duties he ought to receive the punishment due to infidelity. I am not sure that he always does.
a vacancy exists, the Constitution makes it the bounden duty of the President to fill it or to see that it is filled. If the Senate be not in session he must fill it himself. If the Senate is in session, he must nominate and enable the Senate to fill it. If, therefore, it be the settled construction of the Constitution that the President may remove officers at his pleasure, then a vacancy legally, regularly occurs, and when that vacancy is filled it is the duty of the Legislature to appropriate the money necessary to pay the salary.
I hold, Mr. President, that this amendment is one of the most important, if not the most important, proposition that I have been called to vote upon since I have had the honor of a seat on this floor. It is nothing less than whether a hundred millions of money is to be placed in the hands of the President of the United States, and always kept there, to be used in propagating political opinions with the people of the United States. I never saw an opinion, I never heard of a political opinion that I would be willing to propagate at that expense. I think if we confine this missionary work to the proper organs, all political opinions which are proper to be inculcated upon the American people may be inculcated at a much less expense.
I will not vote for this amendment; I will not vote for any other proposition which is calculated either to restrict the powers which the Constitution confers upon the President or which are calculated to embarrass him in the exercise of those powers; and I say once more, if the Constitution does delegate to the President of the United States the right or the power to make these removals, it is our duty to acquiesce in that construction, to recognize the vacancies thus created, to cooperate cheerfully with the President in filling them, and appropriate regularly and annually the money necessary to pay the officers thus appointed; but I say that that power never was given to the President by the Constitution and never ought to be vested in him by the Constitution.
This question has been treated as if all the officers whose duty it is to collect the customs, whose duty it is to collect the internal revenue, whose duty it is to act as marshals and deputy marshals of the several districts, all these subordinate officers were the mere assistants, aids, waiters, personal attendants upon the President to help him discharge his duties, and as though he were individually and officially responsible for all their acts.
I controvert both those propositions. There is not one of these officers, from the collector of customs to the deputy marshals, but what is a minister of the law. Almost every one of these offices has been created by law, by the enactment of Congress, to perform some duty which Congress thought ought to be discharged. There is no manner of truth or propriety in saying that they are the agents or the aids of the President of the United States. They are simply the agents or ministers of the people of the United States, called to do their work, commissioned to serve their interests. And Í deny that the President of the United States is responsible for their conduct or misconduct. Nobody ever urged, nobody ever thought of intimating, no one ever thought of holding the head of one of your Executive Departments responsible for the conduct or misconduct of those employés working under his immediate When there have been defalcations, peculations, or other acts of misconduct, who ever thought of holding the Secretary of War, the Secretary of the Treasury, or any one of the heads of the Executive Departments responsible for such misconduct or for any misconduct of subordinates? Each one of those officers has an official duty to discharge, and each one of them, whether he be the head of a Department or a clerk in it, has his duties prescribed by law, not always to be found in the statute, but the authority is found in the statute for directing him in the discharge of his duties. When he discharges them he receives the credit of fidelity. When he fails to discharge those
Mr. President, the light to be gathered from the language of the Constitution is in a small compass and it seems to me is conclusive. The Constitution says that the President
"Shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate shall appoint, embassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law; but the Congress may by law yest the appointment of such inferior officers as they think proper in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of Departments.'
What possible ideas could the makers of this Constitution have had in their heads when they used this language, if they did intend that after all the President should have the right to remove all these appointees when he pleased to do so? Why require the concurrence of the Senate in the appointment of a postmaster if the moment the Senate adjourns the President can create a vacancy in that office, which he fills himself, independent of the Senate? That interpretation of the Constitution would give us the services of postmasters and other officers for about twenty-four hours in the year. On the last day of the session of this body the President might send us the names of those officers whom he wanted confirmed. That complies with the clause of the Constitution which says he shall nominate. He has discharged that duty. Then we confirm or we reject as we see fit. Suppose we confirm under those circumstances? He would surely send us men unobjectionable to the Senate, however objectionable they might be to him, and why? Because we adjourn to-morrow, and as soon as we have adjourned he has nothing to do but quietly displace the officer and then there is a vacancy, and that vacancy the Constitution expressly tells him to fill bimself by a commission emanating from himself. This provision, requiring the concurrence of the Senate to any of these appointments, you see, if that is the interpretation of the power of removal, is the idlest thing in the world.
But if this power to remove officers is at all necessary, or was thought to be necessary to be vested in the President in order to secure the efficiency of the public service, why did the makers of the Constitution say to Congress in so many words, "You may take from the President the appointment of just as many of these subordinate officers as you please?" It does say "Congress may by law vest the appointment of such inferior officers as they think proper"—we are the judge of what are inferior officers where they are not prescribed in the Constitution "in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of Departments. Every one of these subordinate officers the President may by act of Congress be deprived of all control over, and the appointment may be vested in your courts or in the heads of the Departments. Why did the framers of the Constitution give this power to Congress if they deemed it essential that the President should have a continuing, supervising control over these officers? It is evident to my mind that such an idea never entered the head of any member of that Convention. Not a word is said of the President's power to remove anybody. The Senator from Maryland reminds us that not a word is said of the right of the President with the concurrence of the Senate to remove anybody. That is true; but I understood him to admit that the President with the concurrence of the Senate would have the right to remove any officer appointed by the President with the concurrence of the Senate.
Mr. JOHNSON. What I intended to say, and what I supposed I did say, was that the nomination by the President and confirmation by the Senate of an officer would necessarily act upon and remove the previous incumbent; as both cannot be in the same office, the incumbent must go out.
Mr. HOWE. I understood the Senator cor rectly, I think. The power of removal, when
not restricted by supreme law, he said, and I agree, is an incident to the power of appointment. The power of appointment being unlimited, the making of one appointment to-day is not of itself a reason why another should not be made to-morrow. It has not exhausted the power; that power still continues in the same tribunal; and if he make another to-morrow it is a vacation of the one made to-day, because two officers cannot occupy the same office any more than two bodies can occupy the same space. The right of the President and the Senate to remove does follow, in the estima tion of the Senator from Maryland, as in my own, as an incident to the power of appointment; but how does the President get it? Where does he get the power to remove officers whom he does not appoint, whom he cannot appoint, but who can only be appointed by the concurrent act of the President and the Senate? The Constitution is silent; it does not follow as an incident of the appointing power, because he has not the appointing power; it no more follows as an incident that the President can remove a man appointed by the President and Senate than it follows that he can remove an officer appointed by the Supreme Court here-its clerk, for instance. Where does it come from? Nay, the Constitution is not absolutely silent upon the power of removal, for the Constitution does declare that "the Presi dent, Vice President, and all civil officers of the United States shall be removed from office on impeachment for and conviction of treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. These terms cover every officer in the civil service of the United States. There is a method by which they may be removed-the power of impeachment.
The idea that is urged here by the Senator from Maryland, and has been urged by others, "You must not tie up the hands of the Presi dent; if you mean to have an efficient and honest discharge of the public service, you must give him the right to remove faithless officers'-this idea was not out of the minds of those men who made this Constitution; but they never thought of saying that the President might remove at will, and upon his own judg ment, any man whom he deemed to be faithless or whom he deemed to be unsatisfactory. No; they said, "Here is a trial; they may be removed for these offenses, upon trial and conviction before the Senate of the United States," that being the only tribunal that can try an impeachment. I am not about to say that this right of removal through the process of impeachment, inasmuch as it is expressly given, is given to the exclusion of all other means; I do not mean to say that the law-making power cannot vest in the President of the United States or elsewhere the right to make removals for causes which are not matters of impeachment; but I do say, just here, that in my judgment, the men who made this Constitution understood an office to be something very dif ferent from what it has been treated in this debate, and very different from what it has been understood to be in the estimation of American politics for at least the last thirty years. An office was understood by them to be an estate, to be conferred upon men only because they were worthy and capable of serv ing the public, and to be taken from men only because they ceased to be worthy and capable; and the question whether they had so ceased or not they never dreamed was to be deter mined by any mere political agency actuated by mere political feeling.
Let me say a few words now upon the matter of authority, for this question is not a new one-it has been debated over and over again. It came under debate, as we learn, in 1789 for the first time. The Senator from Maryland objected to this amendment because it covered all officers, including, as he says, members of the Cabinet as well as others, and because it never was, as I understood him to say, imagined by any statesman, in the early days of the Republic, that a member of the Cabinet could hold office a day or an hour against the
will of the President; that he was intended to be the confidential friend and adviser of the President, to be in his confidence; that he must have his confidence, and nobody imagined that one could hold that office who was not in every way entirely satisfactory to the President. In answer to that idea I have to remind the Senate that the very first debate which arose in the history of our Government upon this power of removal arose in 1789, on the passage of an act creating an Executive Department, to be known as the Department of Foreign Affairs. Mr. JOHNSON. My friend will permit me to interrupt him for a moment. That is true; but the objection to the particular bill to which the honorable member refers was that in the preamble it assumed that the general power of removal was in the President, not that he would not have the right to change his Cabinet officers.
does not confer this right upon the President than this attempt of theirs to give it to him; and here it is, in so many words. This act passed, it seems, without attracting any debate, without any controversy; but it was not acquiesced in for a long time without controversy. In 1835 an attempt was made to repeal the first section of the act, and the second section, which I did not read; and a bill was introduced into the Senate of the United States for that purpose. It was subjected to a debate, and a pretty thorough debate, which I do not propose to read even an extract from; but I must call the attention of the Senate to the vote upon the passage of that bill. It was a bill to repeal this section of the act of 1820, which conferred upon the President of the United States the right to remove these officers during the continuance of their term; and upon the passage of that bill the yeas were-Messrs. Bell, Benton, Bibb, Black, Calhoun, Clay, Clayton, Ewing, Freling huysen, Goldsborough, Kent, King of Georgia, Leigh, McKean, Mangum, Moore, Naudain, Poindexter, Porter, Prentiss, Preston, Rob
bins, Silsbee, Smith, Southard, Swift, Tomlinson, Tyler, Wagerman, Webster, and White31, including, is it too much to say, not merely the ablest men of that time, but some who have been ranked among the ablest of any time, either in this country or elsewhere. In the negative are recorded the names of Messrs. Brown, Buchanan, Cuthbert, Hendricks, Hill, Kane, King of Alabama, Knight, Linn, Morris, Robinson, Ruggles, Shepley, Tallmadge, Tipton, and Wright-16. The vote is almost two to one in number, denying this right of removal to the President, and in weight of character, force of intellect, ability to comprehend-I was going to say something strong, but I am admonished by a look of my friend over the way, [Mr. MoRRILL,] and I will simply say quite two to one.
Mr. President, in the face of such a vote as that so recent as 1835, had, with full review of the debate in 1789, which it is asserted here settled the whole question, I do not think it is fair or safe to say that this right in the President is a matter of fixed and established construction. Being firmly convinced myself that the Constitution does not confer any such power upon the President, that it was never meant to confer any such power upon the President, that it is a power which he does not need, which he ought not to have, and which no one man can be intrusted with with safety to the public service, I have watched this for the vote upon the dentent with us much interest as I have attended upon any debate which has taken place and any vote which has been given in this Chamber. I concede the right of the Legislature to vest this power in the President if they see fit, but I want the Legislature to understand that if hereafter he exercises the power it is not his fault; it is the fault of the Legislature. He will exercise it if you permit him, beyond all question. I would if I were in his place. How he will employ it, to what end he will employ it, it is not for me to say, not for us to anticipate. If you want the President to be clothed with this power, and to have the disbursement of these millions, say so; take the consequences; be manly about it; but do not let us refuse to pay an officer that we authorize him to appoint.
But we are asked, what good will it do us to pass this amendment? What is the object? What is the inducement? I will tell you one good that will come of it, I think. I find in a recent paper a dispatch like this sent out from this city:
Mr. HOWE. I shall not reproduce the debate. There was a bill pending before the Congress of the United States to create the Department of Foreign Affairs, now the Department of State. That proposed to make the head of the Department removable at the pleasure of the President. That was supposed to raise the question of the President's power to remove officers, and it led to a lengthy debate in the Administration of General Washington, the first President of the United States. The decision was that the bill should pass, notwithstanding those terms. The argument which supported the bill did insist upon the right of the President to remove officers generally, and that the power of removal was in the President. But, sir, after all, I think any one who reads that debate, I think it has been the judgment of American statesmen generally since I am not about to sum up their opinions, but I think it is the judgment of American statesmen who have considered the subject since the date of that debate that the weight of the argument, that the reason of the thing, was on the side of those who denied this right of removal; and we cannot fail to know that the mere circumstance that the executive office was then in the hands of General Washington must have influenced the result of that debate very materially. I do not know that the first President laid claim to any such power; but we all know that it was not the habit of the American people at that time to wait for him to lay claim to honors or to powers. They thrust honors upon him; and if he had laid claim to the shirt of every one of the who voted to concede him this power of removal, I do not doubt that every one of them would have stamped Washington's name on their garments in a moment. They were not in a mood to deny anything that he asked for himself, or that was asked in his behalf. That was the decision, though made at that time and upon that bill to create the Department of State. Since that the subject has been under debate. In 1820 an act was passed entitled "An act to limit the term of office of certain officers therein named, and for other purposes;" the first section of which is in these words:
"Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That from and after the passing of this act all district attorneys, collectors of the customs, naval officers, and surveyors of the customs, naval agents, receivers of public moneys for lands, registers of the land offices, paymasters in the Army, the apothecary general, the assistant apothecaries general, and the commissary general of purchases, to be appointed under the laws of the United States, shall be appointed for the term of four years, but shall be removable from office at pleasure."
That is the first section of the act, and it is all I care to read. Why did the Congress of the United States attempt to fix the tenure of these officers? Clearly because they thought they had the power to do it. Why did they, in the same act, confer upon the President the right to remove these officers, any of them, during this term? Clearly because they thought the President ought to have the right and had it not. There can be no plainer declaration of the opinion of Congress that the Constitution
39TH CONG. 1ST SESS.-No. 147.
friends should have the preference, and that no known enemy of the Administration policy should receive the quasi indorsement of a Federal appointment. In addition to this, the ax has actually been set to work, and decapitations are now of daily occurrence. Its effects are already visible in the altered and respectful deportment of more than one radical opponent in both branches of Congress."
"Within a few days past a great change is noticeable in the matter of executive appointments. The President seems to have realized that longer forbearance with the enemies of his Administration and its measures was working rank injustice to his friends, and to have realized the potency of the old party maxim, that 'to the victors belong the spoils.' As a consequence, the radicals who mustered effrontery enough to call upon the President and solicit appointments for their friends, received little reward for their labors, and were treated to a plain exposition of his intentions for the future. They were told in language decisive and unmistakable, that his
Thank God, I am no radical! It does not. refer to me.
"Heretofore, when the President's Private Secretary was sent to the Capitol on official business, he was received with a haughty frigidity that was abso-. lutely insulting. Within a few days all have become anxious to do him reverence. He is met with the blandest of smiles, and surrounded by crowds who protest against any rupture of the friendly relations that should exist between the President and Congress, and who vie with each other in bestowing attentions, uttering pretty speeches, and deprceating the idea that they are or ever were in hostility to the Executive. But the work will go on. No Those one will be deceived by hollow pretenses, office-holders who have abused their positions to vilify the President and disrupt the Republican
party will be made to give way to better men. The
bare manifestation of this resolve has already half accomplished its purpose.'
So it is written. What good will it do to Why, sir, adopt this amendment? it is asked. it will satisfy the country that this work is only half done; at least that we are not more than half subdued to what is called the President's policy; that something remains yet to be done. it will do something to convince the country that there is a little of the spirit which should imbue an American Congress left still here in these Houses, which are daily visited by the. polite, as I am glad to learn we habitually are, messenger from the President; that although we are not entirely subservient and obsequious, nor slavish. It will do something to satisfy the yielding up with a most prodigal hand to meet country that the revenues which the people are the demands, and the just demands, of the nation, are appropriated in accordance with the best interests of the people, and to promote the great ends which induced them to yield them.
Mr. President, there is a feature in this dispatch that I think demands especial notice. We are informed in it that
The President seems to have realized that longer forbearance with the enemies of his Administration and its measures was working rank injustice to his friends, and to have realized the potency of the old party maxim, that' to the victors belong the spoils.'
We are subsequently told that the ax is in motion. The ax is in motion for what? To hew down and appropriate the spoils to the victors? Who are those victors that are gathering in the spoils, and when and where did they achieve their victory? These questions ought to be answered. I cannot answer them. I know of no victory that the President of the United States has achieved since 1864, when the loyal hearts and the loyal hands of the United States elevated him to the second office in the gift of the American people. If he has achieved a victory since then I have omitted to read of it in the papers, and I have not been informed of it in any way. Who were those victors that achieved that victory? I had a slight hand in it myself, and all my heart was in it. I thought I was triumphant, and that the nation was, when the choice fell on Andrew Johnson instead of Mr. George H. Pendleton of Ohio. When and how was this victory, which I thought I could safely hug to myself, changed into a defeat? I have not changed it, nor consented to the change of it, nor have I appointed the time when I shall consent to the change of it. If spoils belong to the victors, I really submit that to the Union party, who have achieved all the victories that have been achieved at all, whether in the forum or on the field, since 1860, ought to have some share in these spoils.
I think, Mr. President, much good, great good every way, will come of the adoption of this amendment. You will improve the character of the public service. The great, the leading, the most delicate trusts which your different statutes have created to be executed by these officers will then be in honorable and honest and brave hands, and they will feel that they are secure in the possession of those trusts. Refuse this and you will see every