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CHAPTER XVI

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF SENATE BILL NO. 569—AN ACT TO

ESTABLISH THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE (AND LABOR

[Fifty-seventh Congress.]

PART I
PROCEEDINGS IN THE SENATE

On December 4, 1901, Senator Nelson introduced in the Senate a bill (Senate No. 569) “ To establish the Department of Commerce;” it was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce; on January 9, 1902, it was reported by Mr. Nelson, with certain amendments; January 22, 1902, the bill was ordered printed, as agreed to in Committee of the Whole, and at this period of its progress it read as follows:

A BILL to establish the Department of Commerce.

[Omit the matter in small type and insert the part printed in italics.]

Be it inacted by the Senate and Ilouse of Representatives of the United States of America' in Congress assembled, That there shall be at the seat of government an executive department to be known as the Department of Commerce, and a Secretary of Commerce, who shall be the head thereof, who shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, who shall receive a salary of eight thousand dollars per annum, and whose term and tenure office shall be like that of the heads of the other Executive Departments; and section one hundred and fifty-eight of the Revised Statutes is hereby amended to include such Department, and the provisions of title four of the Revised Statutes, including all amendments thereto, are hereby made applicable to said Department.

SEC. 2. That there shall be in said Department an Assistant Secretary of Commerce, to be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, who shall receive a salary of four thousand dollars a year. He shall perform such duties as shall be prescribed by the Secretary or required by law. There shall also be one chief clerk and a disbursing clerk, and such other clerical assistants as may from time to time be authorized by Congress, and the Auditor for the State and other departments shall receive all accounts aceruing in or relative to the Department of Commerce and examine the same, and thereafter certify the balance and transmit the accounts, with the vouchers and certificate, to the Comptroller of the Treasury for his decision theron.

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Sec. 3. That it shall be the province and duty of said Department to foster, promote, and develop the foreign and domestic commerce, the mining, manufacturing, shipping, and fishery industries, the labor interests, and the transportation facilities of the United States; and to this end it shall be vested with jurisdiction and control of the departments, bureaus, offices, and branches of the public service hereinafter specified, and with such other powers and duties as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 4. That the following-named offices, bureaus, divisions, and branches of the public service, now and heretofore under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Treasury, and all that pertains to the same, known as the Life-Saving Service, the Light-House Board, and the Light-House Service, the Marine-Hospital Service, the SteamboatInspection Service, the Bureau of Navigation and the United States Shipping Commissioners, the Bureau of Immigration, and the Bureau of Statistics, be, and the same hereby are, transferred from the Department of the Treasury to the Department of Commerce, and the same shall hereafter remain under the jurisdiction and supervision of the last-named Department; and that the Census Office, the Patent Office, and all that pertains to the same, be, and the same hereby are, transferred from the Department of the Interior to the Department of Commerce, to remain henceforth under the jurisdiction of the latter; that [the Department of Labor,"] and the office of Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries, and all that pertains to the same, be, and the same hereby are, placed under the jurisdiction and made a part of the Department of Commerce; that the Bureau of Foreign Commerce, now in the Department of State, be, and the same hereby is, transferred to the Department of Commerce and consolidated with and made a part of the Bureau of Statistics, hereinbefore transferred from the Department of the Treasury to the Department of Commerce, and the chief of said Bureau of Foreign Commerce shall be the assistant chief of the said Bureau of Statistics; and the turo shall constitute ome bureau, to be called the Bureau of Statistics, with a chief of the Bureau and one assistant (and it shall be the duty of said Bureau, under the direction of the Secretary, in addition to the duties now prescribed by law, to gather, compile, classify, and publish statistical information showing the condition of the foreign and domestic commerce, of the mining, manufacturing, shipping, and fishery industries, and of the transportation facilities of the United States a).

That the official records and papers now on file in and pertaining exclusively to the business of any bureau, office, department, or branch of the public service in this act transferred to the Department of Commerce, together with the furniture now in use in such bureau, office, department, or branch of the public service, shall be, and hereby are, transferred to the Department of Commerce.

SEC. 5. That there shall be in the Department of Commerce a bureau to be called the Bureau of Manufactures, and a chief of said Bureau, who shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and who shall receive a salary of three thousand dollars per annum. There shall also be in said Bureau one chief clerk and such other clerical assistants as may from time to time be authorized by Congress. It shall be the province and duty of said Bureau, under the direction of the Secretary, to foster, promote, and develop the various manufacturing industries of the United States and markets

(1 Pending.

for the same at home and abroad, domestic and foreign, by gathering, compiling, publishing, and supplying all available and useful information concerning such industries and such markets, and by such other methods and means as may be prescribed by the Secretary or provided by law. And all consular officers of the United States, including consul-generals, consuls, and commercial agents, are hereby required, and it is made a part of their duty, under the direction of the Secretary of State, to gather and compile, from time to time, upon the request of the Secretary of Commerce, useful and material information and statistics in respect to the commerce, industries, and markets of the countries and places to which such consular officers are accredited, and to send, under the direction of the Secretary of State, reports quarterly, or oftener if required, of the information and statistics thus gathered and compiled, to the Secretary of the Department of Commerce.

SEC. 6. That the jurisdiction, supervision, and control now possessed and exercised by the Department of the Treasury over Chinese immigration, and over the fur-seal, salmon, and other fisheries in Alaska, be, and the same hereby is, transferred to and vested in the Department of Commerce. · Sec. 7. That the Secretary of Commerce shall annually, at the close of each fiscal year, make a report in writing to Congress, giving an account of all moneys received and disbursed by him and his Department, and describing the work done by the Department in fostering, promoting, and developing the foreign and domestic commerce, the mining, manufacturing, shipping, and fishery industries, and the transportation facilities of the United States, and making such recommendations as he shall deem necessary for the effective performance of the duties and purposes of the Department. He shall also, from time to time, make such special investigations and reports as he may be required to do by the President, or by either House of Congress, or which he himself may deem necessary and urgent. † SEC. 8. That the Secretary of Commerce shall have charge in the buildings or premises occupied by or appropriated to the Department of Commerce, of the library, furniture, fixtures, records, and other property pertaining to it, or hereafter acquired for use in its business; and he shall be allowed to expend for periodicals and the purposes of the library, and for the rental of appropriate quarters for the accommodation of the Department of Commerce within the District of Columbia, and for all other incidental expenses, such sums as Congress may provide from time to time: Provided, however, That where any office, bureau, or branch of the public service transferred to the Department of Commerce by this act is occupying rented buildings or premises it may still continue to do so until other suitable quarters are provided for its use: And provided further, That all officers, clerks, and employees now employed in any of the bureaus, offices, departments, or branches of the public service in this act transferred to the Department of Commerce are each and all hereby transferred to said Department at their present grades and salaries, except where otherwise provided in this act, and they shall continue in office and employment as if appointed under this act until otherwise provided by law: And provided further, That all laws prescribing the work and defining the duties of the several bureaus, offices, departments, or branches of the public service by this act transferred to and made a part of the Department of Commerce shall, so far as the same are not in conflict

with the provisions of this act, remain in full force and effect until otherwise provided by law.

SEC. 9. That all power and authority heretofore possessed or exercised by the head of any executive department over any bureau, office, branch, or division of the public service, by this act transferred to the Department of Commerce, or any business arising therefrom or pertaining thereto, whether of an appellate or revisory character, or otherwise, shall hereafter be vested in and exercised by the head of the said Department of Commerce. And all acts or parts of acts inconsistent with this act are, so far as so inconsistent, hereby repealed.

Sec. 10. A person, to be designated by the Secretary of State, shall be appointed to formulate under his direction, for the instruction of consular officers, the requests of the Secretary of Commerce, and to prepare from the dispatches of consular officers, for transmission to the Secretary of Commerce, such information as pertains to the work of the Department of Commerce, and such person shall have the rank and salary of a chief of bureau, and be furnished with such clerical assistance as may be deemed necessary by the Secretary of State.

SEC. [10] 11. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.

SENATE REPORT

Senate Report No. 82, on Senate bill No. 569, from the Committee on Commerce, made on January 9, 1902, is as follows:

The Committee on Commerce, to whom was referred the bill (S. 569) to establish the Department of Commerce, have had the same under consideration and beg leave to report as follows:

To fully understand and comprehend the necessity for the establishment of the Department of Commerce, it is desirable and instructive to give a brief history of the inception, growth, and jurisdiction of the several Executive Departments of the Government.

STATE DEPARTMENT

The first department established was known as the Department of Foreign Affairs, and was created by the act of July 27, 1789 (1 U. S. Stat., 28). By the act of September 15, 1789 (1 U. S. Stat., 68), the name was changed to that of Department of State. This Department was originally vested, under the direction of the President, with jurisdiction over foreign, diplomatic, and consular affairs, and was, in 1793, given jurisdiction over the matter of patents for useful inventions, which it retained until 1819, when the same was transferred to the Interior Department. It was also given supervisory and appellate jurisdiction over the acts of marshals and others in taking and returning the censu; of the United States, which it retained until 1849, when the same was transferred to the Interior Department.

WAR DEPARTMENT

The next department established was the War Department, created by the act of August 7, 1789 (1 U. S. Stat., 49), and was originally vested with jurisdiction, under the direction of the President, over both military and naval affairs, over land grants for military services, and over Indian affairs. Its jurisdiction over naval affairs it retained until April 30, 1798, when the Navy Department was created; its jurisdiction over land grants was transferred to the Treasury Department in 1789 and 1796, and its jurisdiction over Indian affairs was transferred to the Interior Department in 1819. In 1833 the Department was given jurisdiction over the matter of military pensions, which it retained until 1819, when the Interior Department was established. During a part of this time the War Department and Navy Department jointly exercised jurisdiction over military and naval pensions, and it still retains the so-called Record and Pension Office.

TREASURY DEPARTMENT

The next depariment established was the Treasury Department, created by the act of September 2, 1789 (1 U. S. Stat., 65). It was originally vested with jurisdiction over the financial and fiscal affairs of the Government, with the collection and expenditure of the public revenue, and was also vested with jurisdiction over the sale of public lands, which it retained until the Interior Department was created in 1849.

NAVY DEPARTMENT

The next department established was the Navy Department, created by the act of April 30, 1798 (1 U. S. Stat., 553), and vested with jurisdiction over naval affairs. This Department had also for a time jurisdiction over the matter of naval pensions, until the same was transferred to the Interior Department in 1819.

INTERIOR DEPARTMENT

The Interior Department was established by the act of March 3, 189 (9 U. S. Stat., 396). It was originally given jurisdiction over patents for inventions, over the land-office business of the Government, over Indian affairs, over pensions, over the census, over the accounts of the officers of United States courts, and over public buildings. Its jurisdiction over public buildings was abolished in 1967, and its jurisdiction over the accounts of judicial officers was transferred to the Attorney-General in 1870.

POST-OFFICE DEPARTMENT

In 1789 (1 U. S. Stat., 70) a post-office, with a Postmaster-General, was established and given jurisdiction over the postal affairs of the Government. By the acts of February 20, 1792 (1 U. S. Stat., 231), and May 8, 1794 (1 U. S. Stat., 357), a General Post-Office was established, with a Postmaster-General at the head; and finally, on June 8, 1872 (17 U. S. Stat., 283), the Post-Office Department was established as one of the Executive Departments, with jurisdiction over all the postal affairs of the Government.

THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

On September 24, 1789 (1 C. S. Stat., 93), the office of AttorneyGeneral was created, whose duty it was to conduct all suits on behalf of the Government in the Supreme Court of the United States, and to

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