Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Q. The charge was dismissed !-A. Yes, sir.

Q. Were there any complaints, while he was in the employ in the cus. tom-house, that he was rude to ladies or guilty of any improprieties! A. No, sir; he is quite a courteous man.

Q. Do you know M. B. Lakeman !-A. Yes, sir.

Q. Do you know whom he was for?-A. He was always for General Butler, but a very stanch Republican singularly.

Q. What is bis record as a soldier ?-A. Senator Blaine told me that he was one of the best soldiers who ever went from the State of Maine. He went from Augasta.

Q. Do you know Captain Hall who got his place !-A. I do not. I know Captain Whall.

Q. Is Captain Whall a competent man for the place he fills ?-A. I should say that he was; yes, sir. They generally fill those bigher places by promotion. When a man was dismissed, they took for the higher office the one next lower officer (at least that was my notion) and put the lower man in the higher position. That is according to civil-service ideas, I believe.

Q. Do you know M. 0. Hall !-A. Yes, sir.
Q. What is his record as a clerk ?-A. A very good clerk.

Q. (By Mr. PLATT.) In that case, the office was abolished ?-A. I do not know whether it was or not.

By the CHAIRMAN: Q. Yes, the collector states tbat it was. What is Mr. M. 0. Hall's status as a politician in the State ?-A. He was always a Republican.

Q. With what wing of the party did he go last year?-A. I guess he generaliy voted for General Butler, if General Butler was a candidate; I should say so from what I know of him. I never asked him, however.

Q. What was bis status as a soldier !-A. I think he was in the Navy. [Referring to book.] He was in the United States frigate Sabine.

Q. Wbile you were in the custom-house, were you in the habit of appointing Democrats 1-A. No, sir. .

Q. You appointed Republicans, did you ?-A. Every time, as long as they held out.

Q. There seem to be plenty of them in Massachusetts ?-A. No trouble about that-they overrun. . By Mr. PLATT:

Q. You spoke of some man as being one of your few particular friends; who was that !-A. I had in mind two: Mr. Mister, whom I have known from boy bood, and who was my chief clerk years ago, and Mr. Stover, wbom I slept with in the army. It was one of those two, I think.

Q. Mr. Mixter, you say, was one of your few particular friends in the custom house ?-A. Yes, sir.

Q. Have not some of your particular friends been retained in the custom-bouse ?-A. I haven't any doubt of that.

Q. Take Mr. Allen (who, I understand, made up this list for the collector), he is a relative of yours ?-A. Yes, sir; he is a brother-in-law. Mr. Alley says tbat Mr. Beard treats with unvarying kindness. I say to him that Mr. Beard treats me with unvarying kindness. I have said that be bas done so publicly, as I say it privately.

Q. He bas done so publicly as well as privately ?--A. Yes, sir; I am very glad to say that he has. I hope he will continue it.

Q. Are there not five persons in the custom-house still retained by Mr. Beard who are relatives of yours ?-A. I do not know the number. There is a brother of mine ; there are my two brothers-in-law; those make three. I do not think that there are any more.

Q. An uncle?-A. Oh, there is an elderly man on the laborer's roll; I forgot bim-my uncle—at $2 a day. He is the one whom I asked Mr. Beard to retain, the only one; and Mr. Beard very kindly did so.

Q. Have you not a cousiu there by the name of Parker?-d. No, sir.

Q. Then, in speaking of the removal of Mr. Mixter, you did not intend to be understood as meaning that he was removed on the ground that he was a friend of yours ?-A. No, sir; not at all. I simply spoke as I did because—if you will pardon me a moment-my relations with Mr. Mixter have been very peculiar. He was originally my schoolmaster. I unfortunately went to school late in life. I took him away from a very good place under Mr. Walker, who told me that he was the best statistician in the country; and, having taken him away from a good place, I wished to see him retained. He was the best mathematician in the custom house, by all odds; no doubt about that; and I felt personally responible for him,

Q. The office was abolished, but he was not obliged to go out ?-A. Yes, sir; so I understood; the office was abolished. I did not speak as I did in any spirit of unkindness.

Q. No; but I did not know but that you meant to intimate that be bad been removed or that the office had been abolished because he was a friend of yours ?-A. No; I did not think that.

Q. It was a little more fashionable, when you were collector, for the officers of the custom-house to be Butler meni than it is now 9-A. I think that is the way that our erring humanity runs. If they lie as fast to my successor as they did to me, some of them, it will be pretty diffi. cult to tell how they are.

Q. We are all erring mortals. The officers of the custom-house knew that you were a strong Butler man and know that Mr. Beard is not?A. Yes, sir; and you cannot censure him, and I do not. It is not a man's disposition to quarrel with his living

Q. Who are the friends of General Butler, as you understand it?-A. I think there are a great many men there who were originally friends of General Butler, but I very much doubt to-day whether you would find a single man there who is in favor of General Butler.

Q. Do you not know that a great deal of complaint is made against the collector by ardent Republicans, because he keeps Butler men in the custom-house ?-A. Well, sir, whatever he does, the collector will wish he had done the other thing, judging from the pressure.

Q. There would be likely to be a great deal of fault found with him any way?-A. Yes, sir; tbat was my lot.

Q. You do not desire to be understood, then, as inakiug any criticisms upon the course which the present collector has pursued in the way of appointments !-A. I have not made any criticisms, and what I say here of bim in the way of testimony I would say in the kindest spirit. It would have been very indelicate for me to make any strictures upon his course. The only criticism I would make would be that I would bave taken the civilians and left the soldiers; but that is his business. I do not know that he could have done otherwise than he did.

Q. You would not keep a soldier whose character would not be just right, because be was a soldier?--A. I would not, if his character was pot right.

Q. I suppose that you must have appointed civilians!-A. Yes, sir,

Q. And perhaps in the place of soldiers ?-A. I tbink that I never ap. poiuted a civilian in the place of a soldier without cause, save in two in.

stances. Then I did not know that they were soldiers, and I reappointed the men.

Q. In reference to many of the officers there, when asked whether they were good officers, you said tbat they had been certified to you by certain heads of departments so to speak, and yon took their statements for it.--A. My practice was this, to give it to you briefly. I had the qualification and standing of the officers made upon a grade of sometimes three, sometimes five, and sometimes ten, for my own private use in the manner shown in the contents of the book I have here. I would require the surveyor (who is at the head of the outside department) to grade erery officer in his department upon a scale, say of five, one being for the highest and five for the lowest. I formed ms estimate of qualifica. tion upon that of the officers who were brought in immediate contact with these outside ofticers, and that is the opinion tbat I have expressed to-day. I had an examination of the inside officers about once in three months and was accustomed to personally supervise their work. A man such as Mr. Hinds, for instance, I regarded as one of the very best clerks in the building. He was a very competent man during my administra. tion. I do not know what he was subsequent to that. Therefore I speak from personal knowledge of the clerks inside and from the knowledge of Mr. Underwood of the clerks outside.

Q. Do you not suppose that when you came there you found there, upon examination, men who were thougbt by the former collector to be good and efficient men, but who, upon inquiry, you thought were not just the men you wanted, and that you let tbem go and took on others in their places !-A. I discharged about $150,000 worth of officials in about a year, so tbat there must bave been some change in the men.

Q. What I was getting at is this : Will not every new collector, when he comes to make an examination, acting in perfect good faith, be likely to get the idea tbat clerks who were there before he came, and who may have been thought by his predecessor to be the very best men, are not perfectly good men for him to keep there, and is be not likely to make & change in their cases !-. You want a perfectly frank answer ?

Q. Yes.-A. The practice is this : After a contest for the place, erery new collector who takes it bas many friends to oblige. Those friends insist that the men who are in are incompeteut, or, for some reason or other, must go out, and that new men must come in, and through the pressure of-if you will pardon we-Senators and members of Congress, the collector realizes that he must find places for the new men. That was in the days when civil service reform was not quite so professed as it is now. The way to get a man in was to turu a man out; to tell him you don't want him. You do not assign any reason; you did not in those days; I do not know how it is now. Another way is to abolish one office in one department, leave over a surplus of money in another department, and put three men in there. I presuine that Mr. Beard has done it. I know that I did. That is the way we answered the persistentand continued, and even enormous, pressure that is brought to bear upon a man who holds the place.

Q. You are giving now a little of your own experience when you beld the office ?-A. I am; but I am giving the experience which every collector who holds the office must give. That was the plan.

Q. But you do not answer my question. It is this : Does not every collector, as he comes into office, appear to reach naturally, and in good faith, the conclusion that clerks whom his predecessor regarded as very good ones are not very good ones I-A. I have no question that the col. lector may come to such a conclusion in good faith, but if an officer is a good officer, I do not see how any pair of spectacles changed about will change the character or qualifications of the officer.

Q. But, depending upon the opinion of the surveyor, for instance, as you did, or upon heads of departments, is it improbable that you would think a man was a very good officer as to whom your successor, coming in and making investigations for himself, would have a different conclu. sion ?-A. If any successor of mine came to a different conclusion in regard to an otticer, I should say that he came to it honestly.

Q. Did you rely upon the reports made to you by the surveyor for the standing and efficiency of the men in his department ?-A. Not alto. gether, but mainly.

Q. Mr. Hartwell was auditor under you !-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Was the office abolished by you l-A. Yes, sir.

Q. Was it restored 1-A. Yes, sir; by order of a commission which came here.

Q. How long after it had beeu abolished 1-A. About a year and a half. I think it was in this way: As I have told you, Mr. Hartwell was a an inefficient man. Mr. Fiske, the present deputy, inust know and be able to testify to that; the condition of the accounts themselves will show it; the condition of Judge Russell's accounts will certainly show it. My own were ready for settlement in two months after I went out of office; Judge Russell's are not ready for settlement yet. And by reason of that fact Mr. Hartwell's office was abolished and the business was turned over to Mr. Grant, who was then receiving a salary of $2,000 a year. A year and a half later, when it was ordered here by Secretary Sherman, the commission found the accounts of the office, as they were pleased to say, in such admirable condition that, while they cut downeverybody else, they, of their own motion, made a recommendation that Mr. Grant's salary be increased to $3,000, and that he be paid, I tbink, the same salary as was paid the auditor in tbe New York or the Philadelpbia custom-house.

Q. Did Mr. Hartwell get back under your administration ?-A. No, sir.

Q. But the office of auditor was restored ?--A. The duties of the office always existed and always must exist. It was the particular sal. ary which was abolished to save the sum of $3,000; that was the abol. ishment; it was the abolition of a salary, and Mr. Hartwell toll because he was behind tbat salary.

Q. What was Mr. Hartwell's salary as auditor ?-A. $3,000.

Q. Mr. Grapt took his place ?-A. Yes, sir; at $2,000, if I remember rightly. I do not know anything about Mr. Hartwell as a man ; I presume he may be a very good mau; but, as an officer, he was a failure.

Q. Mr. Hartwell was an officer during some portion of the time wbile you were collector ?-A. Yes, sir.

Q. Was there any trouble with your own accounts during the time you were there ?-A. Mr. Grant straightened the accounts all out, brougbt me a number of blanks, found a number of papers that were missing, and, as be expressed it, thought it was very fortunate that Mr. Hartwell went out as be did. About the detail of the accounts I do not know; I give you the detail of the reports as brought to me.

Q. I understood you to speak of Judge Russell's accounts, and to state that you thought they had not been settled. You do not know anything personally on that matter?-A. The last time I saw the judge

-I tbiuk it was some time in the winter-be repeated to me substan. tially what I have now told you. Attbat time they had not been settled.

Whether they have since been settled or not I do not know ; I think not, however.

Q. You dismissed C. C. Burt?-A. I cannot remember now whether it was an absolute dismissal or whether he went out at the time they were abolishing the offices; but the reason which controlled my inind in putting him in the one or the other category was the practice which I stated in my direct testimony.

Q. Did you apprise the department of the reason ?-A. If he was dis. missed, I did ; if his office was abolished, I did not, I should say. I bave copies of the letters at home in a large letter-book, but I did not bring them with me. Mr. Collector Beard has those letters down there and he would know better about that than I know.

Q. General Butler requested you to put a man in his place ?-A. There was a man in the custom-house as a laborer by the name of Grant. He was a sort of a humorist-a very good sort of a man. As General Butler told me himself, Grant bothered the life out of him to give him Grant) promotion and place. I think he was some relative of General Butler's; I do not know about that however. He was one of the three men whom the general ever asked me to do anything for. I judge that he is not a good Butler man now, because he abuses me as though I were a pickpocket, they say.

Q. General Butler requested you to make appointments !-A. I say to you as Judge Russell said to me, that General Butler asks less, re. ceives less, and is a better man to get along with, in point of patronage, than any other man in public life.

Q. You were a Butler man ?-A. Yes, sir; and am now.

Q. And wbether be asked it or not you would prefer to appoint a Butler man, all other things being equal ?-A. I would not. I dis. charged more Butler men than anti-Butler men when I went in the cas. tom-house, because they were the least efficient. I told General Butler about it, and he told me that if they could not keep up their end of the beam to let them make the most of it; he could not help it.

Q. Did you discharge more of such men than did the present collector ? -A. I could not tell you.

Q. You speak of having made a reduction of $150,000 ?-A. I say that I reduced the expenses about $ 150,000 while I was there-somewhere in the neighborhood of $130,000 or $140,000-and that necessa. rily took out a great many men.

Q. At what point in your administration was that reduction made ! A. It'was in the first year, I think.

Q. How long were you there?-A. One term of four years.

Q. You spoke of having abolished a great many offices. Did you make discharges other than by abolishing offices !-A. Did I dismiss men ?

Q. Yes?-A. O, yes.

Q. And probably to as great an extent in a year and a half as the present collector has 1-A. I wouldn't be surprised if that were so. Do not understand me, Mr. Senator, as finding any fault with the discharges of Mr. Beard, or as being disposed to make any criticism ; I do not care to.

Q. Not at all. I was just following out the line of the question, that very many of these discharges must depend upon the discretion of the collector.-A. They must depend altogether upon the discretion of the collector. He alone is responsible; he must be.

Q. And as long as Mr. Beard acts in good faith, he is not to be criti. cised !--A. Not by bis predecessors, certainly.

« ZurückWeiter »