Page images

made in writing, stating briefly the ground thereof, and signed by the members of said commission agreeing therein; whereupon the two houses shall again meet, and such decision shall be read and entered in the journal of each House, and the counting of the votes shall proceed in conformity therewith, unless, upon objection made thereto in writing by at least five Senators and five members of the House of Representatives, the two Houses shall separately concur in ordering otherwise, in which case such concurrent order shall govern. No votes or papers from any other State shall be acted upon until the objections previously made to the votes or papers from any State shall have been finally disposed of.

[blocks in formation]

SEC. 6. That nothing in this act shall be held to impair or affect any right now existing under the Constitution and laws to question, by proceeding in the judicial courts of the United States, the right or title of the person who shall be declared elected, or who shall claim to be President or Vice-President of the United States, if any such right exists.

[blocks in formation]

THE coinage act of February 12, 1873 [No. 174], omitted the silver dollar from the list of pieces thereafter to be coined, but retained the trade dollar. A bill to provide for the free and unlimited coinage of silver dollars was introduced in the House December 13, 1876, by Richard P. Bland of Missouri, as a substitute for a bill "to utilize the products of gold and silver mines," introduced June 3. The bill passed the House the same day by a vote of 167 to 53, 69 not voting. In the Senate the bill was referred to the Committee on Finance, which reported it January 16, 1877, without recommendation, pending the report of the silver commission. November 5, by a vote of 164 to 34, 92 not voting, the rules were suspended to allow Bland to introduce and the House to pass a free coinage bill. The bill was taken up

1 "The previous question being ordered and the rules suspended, a single vote would introduce the bill without a reference to a committee, and would pass it

in the Senate January 28 and debated until February 15. The Senate added sections 2 and 3 of the act, the provisos of section 1, and, on motion of William B. Allison of Iowa, the limitation on the amount of coinage, the vote on the latter amendment being 49 to 22. The final vote in the Senate was 48 to 21, 7 not voting. February 21 the House concurred in the Senate amendments. On the 28th the bill was vetoed by President Hayes, but was passed over the veto, in the House by a vote of 196 to 73, 23 not voting; in the Senate by a vote of 46 to 19, 11 not voting. The coinage provision of the act was repealed by section 5 of the act of July 14, 1890 [No. 182, post]. REFERENCES. Text in U.S. Statutes at Large, XX., 25, 26. For the proceedings see the House and Senate Journals, 45th Cong., 2d Sess., and the Cong. Record. See House Misc. Doc. 27; Senate Exec. Doc. 3, 50th Cong., 2d Sess.; Sherman, Recollections, II., chaps. 31 and 32, and annual report as Secretary of the Treasury, December, 1877.

An act to authorize the coinage of the standard silver dollar, and to restore its legal-tender character.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Be it enacted. That there shall be coined, at the several mints of the United States, silver dollars of the weight of four hundred and twelve and a half grains Troy of standard silver, as provided in the act of [January 18, 1837] . · on which shall be the devices and superscriptions provided by said act; which coins together with all silver dollars heretofore coined by the United States, of like weight and fineness, shall be a legal tender, at their nominal value, for all debts and dues public and private, except where otherwise expressly stipulated in the contract. And the Secretary of the Treasury is authorized and directed to purchase, from time to time, silver bullion, at the market price thereof, not less than two million dollars worth per month, nor more than four million dollars worth per month, and cause the same to be coined monthly, as fast as so purchased, into such dollars. . . . And any gain or seigniorage arising from this coinage shall be accounted for and paid into the Treasury, as provided under existing laws relative to the subsidiary coinage: Provided, That the amount of money at any one time invested in such silver bullion, exclusive of such resulting coin, shall not exceed five million dollars. .

SEC. 2. That immediately after the passage of this act, the President shall invite the governments of the countries composing the

without any power of amendment, without the usual reading at three separate times." (Sherman, Recollections, II., 603.)

Latin Union, so-called, and of such other European nations as he may deem advisable, to join the United States in a conference to adopt a common ratio between gold and silver, for the purpose of establishing, internationally, the use of bi-metallic money, and securing fixity of relative value between those metals; such conference to be held at such place, in Europe or in the United States, at such time within six months, as may be mutually agreed upon by the executives of the governments joining in the same, whenever the governments so invited, or any three of them, shall have signified their willingness to unite in the same.

The President shall, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, appoint three commissioners, who shall attend such conference on behalf of the United States, and shall report the doings thereof to the President, who shall transmit the same to Congress.

[blocks in formation]

SEC. 3. That any holder of the coin authorized by this act may deposit the same with the Treasurer or any assistant treasurer of the United States, in sums not less than ten dollars, and receive therefor certificates of not less than ten dollars each, corresponding with the denominations of the United States notes. The coin deposited for or representing the certificates shall be retained in the Treasury for the payment of the same on demand. Said certificates shall be receivable for customs, taxes, and all public dues, and, when so received, may be reissued.

[blocks in formation]

IN his annual message of December 5, 1870, President Grant urged the attention of Congress to "a reform in the civil service of the country." In accordance with this recommendation, the sundry civil appropriation act of March 3, 1871, authorized the President to prescribe regulations for admission to the civil service. A civil service commission was appointed, and for two years appropriations were made for its support. The continuance of the appropriations was urged by Grant, and again by President Hayes in his annual messages of 1879 and 1880, but without inducing congressional action. The assassination of President Garfield called public attention forcibly to the

evils of the existing system of appointment and removal, and the annual message of President Arthur, December 6, 1881, brought the subject of civil service reform strongly before Congress. A bill "to regulate and improve the civil service" was introduced in the Senate December 6, 1881, by George H. Pendleton of Ohio, and on January 11, 1882, was referred, together with a bill "to prevent extortion from persons in the public service, and bribery and coercion by such persons," to the Committee on the Civil Service and Retrenchment. The bill was reported with amendments March 29, the committee report to accompany it not being submitted until May 15. The session closed without further action. The Pendleton bill was taken up December 11 and formed the principal subject of debate until the 27th, when, with various amendments, it passed the Senate by a vote of 38 to 5, 33 not voting. The bill was reported in the House without amendment January 4, 1883, read three times and passed, the final vote being 155 to 46, 88 not voting.

REFERENCES. Text in U.S. Statutes at Large, XXII., 403-407. For the proceedings see the House and Senate Journals, 47th Cong., 1st and 2d Sess., and the Cong. Record. Pendleton's report of May 15 in Senate Report 576. The annual reports of the Civil Service Commission are the primary authorities on the operation of the act; see also the Proceedings of the National Civil Service Reform League. The pamphlet and periodical literature is extensive. On the earlier history of the movement see House Report 47, 40th Cong., 2d Sess. (Jenckes's report); Senate Exec. Doc. 10, 42d Cong., 2d Sess., and Senate Exec. Doc. 53 (same in House Exec. Doc. 221), 43d Cong., 1st Sess. (commission reports); Senate Report 289, 44th Cong., 1st Sess. (Boutwell's report); House Exec. Doc. 1, Part 1, 46th Cong., 2d Sess. (Eaton's report); House Exec. Doc. 1, Part 8, ibid., and House Exec. Doc. 94, 46th Cong., 3d Sess. (New York regulations); Senate Report 872, 46th Cong., 3d Sess. (Pendleton's report). See also Senate Report 2373, 50th Cong., 1st Sess.

An act to regulate and improve the civil service of the United States. Be it enacted..., That the President is authorized to appoint, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, three persons, not more than two of whom shall be adherents of the same party, as Civil Service Commissioners, and said three commissioners shall constitute the United States Civil Service Commission. Said commissioners shall hold no other official place under the United States.





SEC. 2. That it shall be the duty of said commissioners:

FIRST. To aid the President, as he may request, in preparing suitable rules for carrying this act into effect, and when said rules shall have been promulgated it shall be the duty of all officers of the United States in the departments and offices to which any

such rules may relate to aid, in all proper ways, in carrying said rules, and any modifications thereof, into effect.

SECOND. And, among other things, said rules shall provide and declare, as nearly as the conditions of good administration will warrant, as follows:

First, for open, competitive examinations for testing the fitness of applicants for the public service now classified or to be classified hereunder. Such examinations shall be practical in their character, and so far as may be shall relate to those matters which will fairly test the relative capacity and fitness of the persons examined to discharge the duties of the service into which they seek to be appointed.

Second, that all the offices, places, and employments so arranged or to be arranged in classes shall be filled by selections according to grade from among those graded highest as the results of such competitive examinations.

Third, appointments to the public service aforesaid in the departments at Washington shall be apportioned among the several States and Territories and the District of Columbia upon the basis of population as ascertained at the last preceding census.

Fourth, that there shall be a period of probation before any absolute appointment or employment aforesaid.

Fifth, that no person in the public service is for that reason under any obligations to contribute to any political fund, or to render any political service, and that he will not be removed or otherwise prejudiced for refusing to do so.

Sixth, that no person in said service has any right to use his official authority or influence to coerce the political action of any person or body.

Seventh, there shall be non-competitive examinations in all proper cases before the commission, when competent persons do not compete, after notice has been given of the existence of the vacancy, under such rules as may be prescribed by the commissioners as to the manner of giving notice.

Eighth, that notice shall be given in writing by the appointing power to said commission of the persons selected for appointment or employment from among those who have been examined, of the place of residence of such persons, of the rejection of any such persons after probation, of transfers, resignations, and re

« PreviousContinue »