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Q. Had you bad any conversation with him in regard to it?--A. No, sir; he never said a word before that day.
Q. And never since in regard to it ?--A. No, sir.
Q. You continued right along in your work until this morning ?--A. Until this morning.
Q. Where were you and Mr. Curry when the conversation took place to day!--A. At the stable.
Q. How far is that from the house ?--A. Three-quarters of a mile.
Q. Did any one come there with Mr. Curry this morning ?--A. No, sir.
(NOTE.-Peter Cohen was bere called, but no response was made.
ALANSON W. BEARD Sworn and examined.
By the CHAIRMAN: , Question. Are you the collector of the port of Bostou ?-Auswer. Yes, sir.
Q. How long have you been such ?-A. Since April 1, 1878.
Q. You were notified by subpæna duces tecum to produce a list of those who had been discharged from your office since April, 1878; bave you prepared such a list?
Mr. PLATT. Mr. Chairman, it does not seem to me that the resolution under which we act authorizes us to go into this matter, which is one, ac. cording to my understanding, that is specially within the province of another committee—the one on civil service reform-and I can remeinber nothing in the resolution which, even by implication, would permit this line of inquiry. If I remember the clause in the resolution, it re. fers to persons "employed," and, as I suppose, employed in the ordi. nary occupations of life.
The CHAIRMAN. The words of the resolution are as follows: “The committee shall also inquire whether any citizen of any State has been dismissed or threatened with dismissal froin employment, or deprivation of any rigbt or privilege, by reason of his vote or intention to vote at the recent elections, or has been otherwise interfered with."
Mr. PLATT. Tbat manifestly does not refer to removals and appointments in the custom-house.
Mr. BLAIR. Is the inquiry predicated upon the assumption that men have been dismissed from employment in the custom-house by reason of the way in which they exercised the suffrage ?
The CHAIRMAN. The purpose of the inquiry is to show the number of removals from the custom-bouse since the advent of Mr. Beard there, and that the removals were for political preferences.
Mr. BLAIR. If, as a foundation for the inquiry, the question could be put to the collector whether any man has been discharged, or any intimidation, tbreats, or undue influences have been brought to bear upon any employé in the custom-bouse to influence his vote, by himself or his subordinates, to his knowledge, and he should answer in the affirmative, it seems to me there might then be some ground for the inquiry; but unless the foundation for such an inquiry is laid, I think that we certainly ought not to go into it.
Mr. PLATT. Changes have been made in the New York custom-house
since the advent of the present collector there, but I apprehend it would not be our province to make inquiries into that matter. Then, too, there were alleged discharges in the custom-house at Providence, but we held that those were outside of our inquiry.
Mr. McDONALD. We did not contemplate going into the matter of those discharges, because a memorial bearing on the subject had been referred to another committee.
Mr. PLATT. No special authority to extend the inquiry as is here proposed has been given to this committee, and that fact ought to be taken into consideration in determining the scope of the authority given to this com inittee under the clause of the resolution. It is readily apparent that if a list of the removals from and appointments in the custom-house is to be submitted to this committee, it will be necessary for one side or the other to investigate the case of each person in. quired about. This may bear harshly upon the individuals themselves, as there may have been varying degrees of efficiency, or possibly some little matters which we ought really not to bring out against those indi. viduals, which were the causes of the removals. Regarding this as entirely outside of the scope of this investigation, I must object to it.
Mr. McDONALD. In the case of the custom-house in Rhode Island, the fact is that the memorial, sigued by soldiers, claiming that the civil. service regulation and the laws of Congress in enforcement of it bad been violated by the displacement of soldiers and the substitution of civilians, was referred, not to a committee specially raised to make that investigation, but to the standing Committee on Civil Service and Retrenchment. In view of that fact, witnesses were not presented in regard to it, nor was the subject of those removals in aur way cousidered or raised by this committee when in Rhode Island. The disposition wbich was made of that memorial did not in any manuer serve to construe or restrict the resolution under which tbis committee is acting. The directiou of our inquiry, as set forth in the language of the resolution, is as to whether any citizen in any State has been interfered with in bis right to vote or bas sutfered any deprivation on account of his voting or expressing any intention to vote. Whether such interference or deprivation has been through the agency of a government official or superiutendent of a government establishment or through that of a man employing but one person to do work for bin, it seems to me, is of no consequence except in so far as concerus the expenditure of time required to be expeuded in the investigation.
Mr. PLATT. I think that the view that has been taken by this com. mittee of the clause of the resolution is entirely consistent with the theory that the clause bas reference to intimidation by employers of employés as distinguished from dismissals by office-holders or officials. |After reading the clause. I think that it is apparent tbat such is the meaning of it. Though the committee has taken an immense amount of testiinony, it has not been claimed, up to this moment, that we had anything to do with dismissals for political reasons in custom houses or other government institutions. It might with equal propriety be claimed that we could go into the Senate Chamber, or into any other branch of the executive department of the government, and inquire whether dismissals have been made there for political reasons.
The CHAIRMAN. The words of that clause of the resolution are certainly very broad : “ The committee shall also inquire whether any citi. zen of any State.” That includes office-holders, and most certainly those who are in Federal employ. "Has been dismissed or threatened with dismissal from employment." A clerk in the custom-house is certainly in Gemployment,"_" or deprivation of any right or privilege by reason of his vote or intention to vote," etc., 6 or has been otherwise interfered with." The committee distinctly met this question in calling Michael Kilduff and Michael Daily, who were employed upon the post-office building in the city of Boston, both of whom testified that they were dismissed from employment by reason of their votes. Is there a distinction between a man working in Federal employ as a day.laborer on a public building and one who is employed in the custom-house by the year on a salary?
Mr. PLATT. There is certainly this distinction, Mr. Chairman : The men who were at work on the post-office building were mere laborers, employed by and at work for a contractor (Mr. Brown) by whom the work there was being done and whose relation to them was identical with that of any otber employer or any manufacturer to bis employés. In the instance before us the men are not employés of a corporation or au in. dividual, but are appointees of the executive department of the govern. ment. Indeed, I do not know that they can be removed by the collector without consultation with the head of the Treasury Department at Washington. I know that many of the collectors, when contemplating re. movals or appointments, do confer with the Treasury Department at Washington, and send there the reasons for such action as they propose shall be taken. It seems to me that the distinction is a very marked
The CHAIRMAN. So far as concerns any essential or practical reason why the committee should not make the inquiry, I can see noue, if there is an opportunity for the persons charged to be heard here as well as be. fore any other committee of the Senate. If there are dismissals or removals from the custom-house here for political reasons, the inquiry in regard to them, it seems to me, is one within the scope and province of this committee, and the fact itself one that should be known to the of. ficials at Wasbington, and to the Senate; if there be none such, the truth cannot burt the collector.
Mr. PLATT. I was speaking of it not on the collector's account, but on the committee's account.
Mr. BLAIR. I would not object to the collector's answering the ques. tion as to whether any removals that had been made were in any way connected with recent elections, reserving the right to object to a general investigation of the subject-matter. If the answer should happen to be that no such removals had been made, this discussion would seem to have been superfluous.
After further discussion, in which Mr. Blair referred to the necessity of economizing time, in view of the large amount of testimony remaining to be taken and the disposition to conclude the present investigation on the following day, the chairman ruled that the inquiry was within the line of the committee's investigation, and the examination proceeded.
By the CHAIRMAN: Q. Mr. Collector, have you the list 1-A. I would say, Mr. Chairman, in the first place, that the collector has neither the appointing nor the removing power, with respect to any officer in the custom-house; that the appointments are all by the Treasury Department, and the remor. als by the Treasury Department.
Q. Are they made upon the recommendation of the collector ?-A. They are usually made upon the recommendation of the collector; not always.
Q. Has there been a single instance, since you have been collector, in which your recommendation has been overruled ?-A. Not in the matter of removal or appointment.
Q. That being the case, it seems to me tbat the production of your list is now in order.-A. I have not the slightest objection to the production of the list.
The previous discussion in the committee was here renewed, with the following conclusion :
The CHAIRMAN ruled that the testimony was admissible, and that the witness must answer. Mr. PLATT objected. The objection was overruled.
By the CHAIRMAN : Q. Mr. Witness, you will please to produce the list.-A. (Producing .the list.) That wbich I now hand to you is the list. I presume that it is correct. I asked the clerk to make it up, but have not had time to go over it.
Q. (After an inspection of the list.) The list contains, first, the namesof those whose offices have been abolished; next, of those who bave been removed, and, lastly, of those who have been appointed.-A. Yes, sir; offices abolished to the amount of nearly $27,000.
Q. The list contains no specific statement of promotions to fill vacan. cies ?-A. The list of promotions that have been within the force, in consequence of vacancies, is not there.
NOTE.—The list here submitted is as follows :)
Memorandum of appointments and removals from April 1, 1878, to July 15, 1879.
April 30, 1878.-R. C. Nichols, acting depnty collector.
May 20, 1878.-H. F. Stocker, inspector.
June 5.–George Chapin, inspector.
April 1, 1878.-James H. Danforth, deputy collector, vice Huguley, time expired. April 5.-E. D. White, clerk, vice Allen, resigned.
May 9.-C. H. Johnson, assistant weigher, vice Hyde, promoted to assistant weigher, at $3.50 per diem, vice Whall, promoted to assistant weigher, at $4 per diem, vice Knights, deceased. (Restored.)
May 21.-S. W. Edgell, night inspector, vice Batchelder, promoted to inspector, vice Stocker, removed. (Restored)
May 21.--Anson Streeter, night inspector, vice Tower, promoted to inspector, vice Emerson, removed. May 21.-J. N. Clark, janitor, vice Stover, removed. May 21.-J.S. G. Aspinwall, night inspector, vice Bates, removed.
May 28.-Charles P. Searle, clerk, vice J. H. Cook, promoted, vice Raymond, promoted to superintendent warehouses, vice McM., removed.
June 1.–Thomas Plunkitt, messenger, vice Dugan, removed. (Restored.)
June 1.-P.J. Fee, messenger, vice W. M. Hall, promoted to assistant weigher, vice S. C. Wright, promoted to assistant weigher, at $4, vice Wass, removed. (Restored.)
June 1.-Wm. Claffey, storekeeper, vice Lane, promoted to night inspector, vice Metcalf, reinoved. (Restored.)
June 1.-G. A. J. Colgan, night inspector, vice McCarty, transferred to assistant weigher, vice J. N. Wright, removed.
June 1.-Warren S. Bragg, inspector, vice George Chapin, removed.
September 4.-C. W. Ryan, clerk, vice Chadwick, promoted to clerk, vice Locke, promoted to janitor, vice Stover, removed.
October 21.-G. F. Woodman, inspector, vice West, removed.
December 13.--J. N. Wright, inspector, vice Torrey, promoted to assistant weigher, at $4 per diem, vice Whall, promoted to weigber, vice Lakeman, removed. (Restored.)
December 16.-Charles H. Pew, second inspector, vice Robert Tarr, removed.