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S. D. Percival, county clerk, Madras, Oreg.
R. M. Russell, county clerk, Albany, Oreg. : A. M. Moody, county clerk, Vale, Oreg.
U. G, Boyer, county clerk, Salem, Oreg.
The CHAIRMAN. That is a practice which has sometimes been resorted to and has been very severely condemned. It results in a great number of Members of Congress being pestered with letters and telegrams from people, and in their coming to the members of the committee and making statements that can not be justified. When a bureau of the Government sends out to its employees a notice to personally make appeals and to be careful not to put anything in writing it does not commend the necessity of what they are asking to Congress.
Secretary Wilson. The kind of sentiment that I had reference to when I said
The CHAIRMAN (interposing). It might be of interest to these people to know that they never can send out such a letter that a copy does not eventually come to this committee.
Secretary WILSON. The sentiment I had reference to, which the department and the bureau had created, was the sentiment in favor of this kind of education. We have in a great measure created that kind of sentiment. We have gone to the representatives of the local educational boards and pointed out to them the advantage it would be to their local community, and their citizenship generally, that those who are applicants for citizenship were given a knowledge not only of the forms but also of the principles underlying our Government, and that we have been successful in that line is apparent from the fact that over 1,000 school boards have accepted our offer.
The CHAIRMAN. This has nothing to do with that matter, Mr. Secretary, because it has been stated that this appropriation had nothing to do, and was not intended to be used in connection with, educational work; but this is an attempt to build what is known as a backfire, to induce Members of Congress to vote for appropriations
regardless of the arguments that may be advanced by representatives of the service asking for the money, and it is an indefensible abuse of official action.
Mr. Crist. I did not mean to evade your question at all, Mr. Chairman, and if I had known you were not talking about the educational work
The CHAIRMAN (interposing). No; I am talking about this $150,000 for which you said there was considerable public demand, and which is very easy to create by resort to such methods.
Mr. Crist. At the time that hearing was had I wonder if that was not before the letter as dated. Was not the date of the hearing or the annual report from which you read prior
The CHAIRMAN (interposing). It is not the annual report; it is a letter.
Mr. CRIST. I realize that, but I mean
The CHAIRMAN (interposing). No; this estimate was submitted to Congress in April, and immediately upon its submission the chief of your bureau sent that letter to every examiner in the field starting them to interviewing and appealing to the judges and other persons that they thought might have some influence with Members of Congress to pester them with letters and telegrams about the inadequate appropirations made for this work, without any information on their part whatever; an attempt to create a furor here because something bad been neglected in connection with the service. It is a most conclusive argument to me that the service did not need what it was asking for.
Mr. Crist. What I thought you read there was in reference to the educational work. It says there is a demand for that.
The CHAIRMAN. We were speaking about this $150,000 all the time.
Mr. Crist. I do not know who made that statement.
The CHAIRMAN. The statement was made that there was a great public demand for this additional help.
Mr. CRIST. For the $150,000?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; before we ever mentioned the educational work. You made the statement here to-day.
Mr. Crist. I did not understand that point.
The CHAIRMAN. I remember it, Mr. Crist, because I was paying particular attention to it; and before any reference was made to the educational work you made the statement about the great public demand for this additional service.
Mr. Crist. I thought when you read that you referred to some statement I had made here before the Appropriations Committee.
The CHAIRMAN. I am talking about what you said here to-day.
Mr. Crist. If I had understood you to mean that $150,000, and as to the general demand for it, I would not have said I did not think it was stimulated by the bureau.
The CHAIRMAN. It was stimulated by the bureau?
Mr. Crist. Yes; the demand for the $150,000. If I had understood that I would have said, “Yes; I think it was stimulated by the bureau." I thought you were referring to the educational work.
The CHAIRMAN. That is a different thing.
Mr. Crist. I would not have evaded it if I had thought you meant the $150,000, I mean I would not have made an answer that appeared like an evasion.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, you are asking for some legislation in this item?
Mr. Crist. The first proviso I think has been taken care of in the sundry civil bill.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
FRANKING DUPLICATE NATURALIZATION PAPERS.
Mr. Crist. The second proviso is with regard to mail matter. That has been inserted there because the Post Office Department has ruled that we can no longer send out penalty envelopes to clerks of State courts to enable them to send to us the duplicates of naturalization papers, which they are required to forward. Under the regulations of our department in force for 10 years we have been doing that.
The CHAIRMAN. You send a penalty envelope to the courts to be used to transmit the official papers that are required to be filed with your bureau?
Mr. Crist. Yes, sir.
Secretary Wilson. Duplicates of naturalization papers. We have been furnishing through the bureau to the clerks of State courts franked envelopes by which they could send that material to the bureau. The Post Office Department has ruled that that can not be done.
The CHAIRMAN. How much would it amount to in a year if they had to pay postage on it?
Mr. CRIST. It is rather hard to say. For instance, in the New York courts the volume of business and the weight of the papers at the end of the month is so great that it would cost about $10 a month for each one.
The CHAIRMAN. And that is not a State function?
Mr. Crist. It is not a State function. We have looked upon them as being Federal agents, and they have been acting as such, and it has been so held by the courts themselves in construing the naturalization law; and we felt that they were entitled to the same rights in sending in these papers as the United States courts.
The CHAIRMAN. And the clerks of the United States courts use a penalty envelope to send in these duplicate papers?
Mr. Crist. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. But under this ruling the clerks of the State courts must put postage on the envelope, is that it!
Mr. Crist. Yes, sir. We have had letters from them saying they will discontinue the work and will not undertake naturalization any longer and for us to send and get these papers and to take them back. They say, “We are discriminated against; we do not get any money out of this; it costs the State more to carry on naturalization than the fees that are turned into the State or county treasury. This provision requested is similar to a provision that has been extended to the Census Bureau.
The CHAIRMAN. When was this ruling made by the Post Office Department?
Mr. Crist. In January, I should say, because the January and February and March papers did not come in from some of the State courts for two or three months.
The CHAIRMAN. Are the clerks of the State courts now paying postage?
Mr. CRIST. Yes, they are now paying postage.
Mr. Crist. No, sir; we can not allow it in the returns. We have had that passed upon to see if we could do so, and it has been decided that we can not reimburse them, although we can reimburse them for cost of registry.
ADDITIONAL SERVICES IN WASHINGTON. The CHAIRMAN. Now, you are asking out of this appropriation $36.000 additional for services in Washington.
Mr. Crist. Yes, sir; that is because when the doors are opened for this volume of work to come through the clerks of courts it throws correspondingly increased burdens upon the examining force and the bureau force. The bureau has been literally swamped.
The CHAIRMAN. We provide for the departmental service specifically, do we not?
Mr. Crist. Yes; you provide for that in the legislative appropriation bill.
The CHAIRMAN. What employments are you asking for out of this appropriation ?
Mr. CRIST. We asked in the letter that came up for $36.000 to provide for 30 clerks at $1,200. That was a lump estimate.
The CHAIRMAN. We do not mix up these services like that.
Mr. Crist. Originally we got a lump appropriation of $100,000 to organize in Washington, and on account of tħe unusual war conditions we have included this in here.
Mr. BYRNs. This is intended to provide 30 additional clerks at $1,200 each
Mr. CRIST. Yes, sir.
EQUIPMENT AND RENT IN DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA,
Mr. Crist. There is one item I think you might have overlookedthat is that after this $36,000 there is a provision for the purchase of equipment and rent of offices in the District of Columbia.
The CHAIRMAN. How much was included for that? You do not want to rent any offices, I suppose ?
Mr. CRIST. I doubt if we can get along with our present quarters. The CHAIRMAN. You have just got a new building, and you got a whole floor more than you estimated you would need.
Secretary Wilson. A whole floor more than we originally had money to get.
The CHAIRMAN. I understood you made an estimate of what you required, and through an error which was made they gave you an additional story.
Secretary Wilson. What happened, Mr. Chairman, was this: All the Congress was willing to give us was $24,000. They were not willing to give us $26,000, which was asked for. They said to us,
* Take the $24,000 for five years and go out and get the best quarters you can for it.” We did that and we got more than we expected.
The CHAIRMAN. And more than they intended to give you, too!
The CHAIRMAN. I understand they made a miscalculation and put on an extra story.
Secretary Wilson. They made a miscalculation on the size of the lot. They agreed to give us nine stories. They made a miscalculation of the size of the lot, and after they discovered their miscalculation they came back to us and said that there would be as much space in the eight floors as they originally calculated there would be in the nine, although they had contracted with us to give us nine floors. Having made the contract with them, we felt that we could not, in justice to the Government, back out of it, and so we insisted upon the nine floors. They thought it was to their own advantage to build it on the space they had rather than build it on the original space which they thought they had.
The CHAIRMAN. And the result was that you got about 84 per cent more space than you estimated you would have!
Secretary Wilson. Yes; that we originally expected when we signed the contract. TEMPORARY ADMISSION OF ALIENS FOR AGRICULTURAL PURPOSES.
(See p. 186.) Mr. CANNON. Mr. Secretary, I am not sure I understood you about one matter. Under the law a Mexican citizen for agriculture can come over and remain during the war?
Secretary Wilson. Not quite that, Mr, Cannon. Under the law the Secretary may admit any aliens temporarily under such regulations as he may prescribe, even though they may be otherwise inadmissible. Utilizing that discretion, I authorized, as the Secretary of the department, the admission of Mexicans and Canadians temporarily for agricultural purposes; that temporary period to be at the discretion of the Secretary, but not longer than the duration of the war.
Mr. CANNON. And the war may last one year or five, I hope it will not; now, have you changed those regulations?
Secretary WILSON, No.
Mr. CANNON. Well, the crop season is not a very long one. It would not be over one-third of a year or half of a year as the case may be. These people then could seek employment in mines or otherwise; in other words, when the war ends you would change your regulation possibly. You could not tell until it did end, and that would also be true as to the Canadians. The crop season in New York and the Dakotas and Minnesota and Michigan is shorter than in the South, so that they may seek employment otherwise.
Secretary Wilson. Yes. Those people have been in the habit of coming across the boundary line for a short distance, such as those that work in the potato fields in Maine, those who work in the wheat fields in the Dakotas and Minnesota, those who have been working in agricultural pursuits along the Mexican border; they have been coming over temporarily for the season. They have not penetrated to any great distance in the interior, and when the season was over they have gone back. Now, we have permitted that to take place