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give advice and opinion upon questions of law when required by the President or the heads of any of the departments. By the act of June 22, 1870 (16 U. S. Stat., 162), the Department of Justice was created, with the Attorney-General at its head.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
By the act of May 15, 1862 (12 U. S. Stat., 387), the Department of Agriculture was created, with a Commissioner of Agriculture at the head. This was afterwards changed into an executive department, with a Secretary of Agriculture at the head, by the act of February 9, 1889 (25 U. S. Stat., 659). This Department has jurisdiction of an advisory character over the agricultural affairs of the country.
From this brief summary it will appear that the Government first started out with only three Executive Departments --namely, the State, War, and Treasury—and in connection with these departments, for administrative purposes, there was a Postmaster-General and AttorneyGeneral, neither of whom, however, was head of an Executive Department. The executive business of the Government was conducted under these five heads until in 1798, when the Navy Department was established, which withdrew the naval affairs from the War Department. In 1849 the Interior Department was formed by absorbing the patent business from the State Department, the land-office business from the Treasury Department, Indian affairs from the War Department, pensions from the War and Navy departments, and census from the State Department.
It will be observed from the foregoing statement that the Government, in 1789, really distributed its public business among five distinct branches of the Government-practically five departments—the State, War, Treasury, Post-Office, and Department of Justice. It is true that in the last two cases--that of the Post-Office Department and the Department of Justice—they did not become full-fledged departments until a much later day, but the direction and control of the postal business was assigned to the Postmaster-General and of the judicial business to the Attorney-General as separate and distinct branches of the public service at that early day. As a matter of fact, then, there has really been only an addition of three departments-that of the Navy, Interior, and Agriculture—within a period of one hundred and twelve years. It will be observed that the Interior Department naturally and inevitably arose from an extraordinary accumulation of public business in the other departments of the Government. The two great departments of the public service (if we take into account the different classes of public business involved and the number of employees) are the Treasury and Interior departments. The business of these departments has expanded to a large and varied extent. If we look at the number of employees in the respective departments here at Washington, we find the condition to be as follows:
There are in the Department of Justice 141, Navy Department 324, State Department 95, Post-Office Department 697, Agricultural Department 804, War Department 1,787, Interior Department 1,10, and Treasury Department 4,881 employees. From these figures it appears that both the Interior and Treasury departments have cach a greater number of employees than all the other departments of the Government combined.
If we look at the duties assigned to each of these several departments, we find that, outside of the Treasury and Interior departments, the other departments are mainly charged with a single class of public business-the State Department with foreign affairs, Department of Justice with judicial affairs, Navy Department with naval affairs, Post-Office Department with the postal business of the country, War Department with military affairs and the improvement of rivers and harbors, and the Agricultural Department with agricultural matters. But when we come to the Treasury and the Interior departments we find each of these departments vested with a large number of separate and distinct public duties disconnected with each other.
Take, for instance, the Interior Department: It has to-day charge of the General Land Office, Indian Office, Pension Office, Patent Office, Bureau of Education, Census Office, Commissioner of Railroads, Architect of the Capitol, Geological Survey, Government Hospital for the Insane, and the Columbia Institute for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb.
The Treasury Department stands charged with a still greater variety of diversified duties and subjects. It has charge of all the fiscal and monetary affairs of the Government, including the issuance and maintenance of a safe and sound currency, the collection and disbursement of the revenues of the Government, the auditing and paying of all public accounts and claims in the several departments of the Government, the public deht, and the coinage. All this business is mainly distributed in the following divisions, offices, and bureaus, to wit:
Treasurer of the United States, Director of the Mint, Comptroller of the Currency, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Division of Public Moneys, Division of Loans and Currency, Secret Service Division, Comptroller of the Treasury, Register of the Treasury, Auditor for the Treasury Department, Auditor for the War Department, Auditor for the Interior Department, Auditor for the Navy Department, Auditor for the State and other Departments, Auditor for the Post-Office Department, national-bank redemption agencies, Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Commissioner of Customs, and the Revenue-Cutter Service.
In addition to these offices, divisions, and bureaus, which all pertain to the financial and fiscal affairs of the Government, this Department has charge of the following bureaus, offices, and divisions of the public service:
The Supervising Architect, Bureau of Statistics, Life-Saving Service, Commissioner of Navigation, Office of Steamboat Inspection, LightHouse Board and Light-House Service, Coast and Geodetic Survey, Marine-Hospital Service, and Bureau of Immigration.
It is apparent that none of these branches of the public service has any immediate or direct connection with or is germane to the principal and most important duties of the Treasury Department. This Department stands charged, chiefly and first of all, with the financial and fiscal affairs of the Government, with all that pertains to finance and revenue, and ought not to be charged with duties foreign to these. subjects. These other branches of the public service, which lie outside of the subject of finance and revenue, pertain more directly to the subject of commerce, manufactures, and other industries.
It is also to be noted in this connection that in none of the departments of the Government have we any bureau or division of the public
service to which is committed the promotion of the manufacturing and mining industries of the country-two very important branches of our industrial life. In view of our great progress and development in mining and manufacturing industries, which now far exceed the ability to supply our own wants, and in view of the urgent necessity of securing more extensive markets abroad, it must be apparent to anyone who gives the subject the least thought that there is an urgent demand for the establishment of a department of the public service to have the charge of and to aid in our industrial development, and to secure us better and more extensive markets abroad.
This fact is now, and has for many years been, recognized by all the principal commercial bodies throughout the country, and there seems to be an urgent demand throughout the industrial world for such a department. Most of the other great governments of the world have a department of this kind. England has her board of trade; France, her minister of commerce and industry; The Netherlands, a minister of public works and commerce; Austria-Hungary, a minister of commerce and national industries; Italy, a minister of commerce, industry, and agriculture; Spain, a minister of commerce, agriculture, and public works; Portugal, a minister of public works and industry, and Russia has just established a ministry of commerce and industry instead of having it, as heretofore, a branch of the finance ministry. In all of these Governments the fact is recognized that a department of this kind is essential and necessary for the care, promotion, and development of commerce and manufactures. The United States, in order to be on a footing of equality and in order to be fully equipped to enter the competitive field with the strongest nations, ought to take a lesson from and be guided by these examples.
In order to make such a department useful and effective, and in order to fully equip it with all the necessary appliances to execute its great task and purpose, it ought to be vested with all branches and departments of the public service relating and germane to the subject of commerce, manufactures, and other industries.
The bill now under consideration is framed to carry out this purpose and idea. It establishes in the proposed Department a new bureau, to be known as the Bureau of Manufactures; to have charge of the manufacturing interests of the United States; to gather, compile, and publish information in respect to the same, and information in respect to securing markets for our products abroad, and to assist in developing the manufacturing industries of the United States and the markets for the same. It transfers to this new Department from the Treasury Department, the Life-Saving Service, the Light-House Service, the Marine-Hospital Service, the Steamboat-Inspection Service, the Bureau of Navigation, and the United States Shipping Commissioners, the Bureau of Immigration, the Bureau of Statistics, and the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey; and from the Interior Department the Commissioner of Railroads, the Patent Office, the Census Office, and the Geological Survey; and from the State Department the Bureau of Foreign Commerce, and consolidates that with the Bureau of Statistics, transferred from the Treasury Department.
It transfers the Geological Survey from the Interior Department to this new Department, and makes the Director of the Geological Survey the chief of a Bureau of Geological Survey and Mining, and it also transfers the Department of Labor and the Office of Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries, neither of which belongs to any of the great Executive Departments, to the new Department. It will readily be perceived from a mere inspection that the bureaus, departments, and branches of the public service thus transferred to the new Department are all intimately connected with and directly pertain to the subject of commerce, manufactures, mining, and other industrial enterprises.
The salaries of the officers and employees of the several bureaus, departments, and branches of the public service thus transferred to the new Department remain unchanged. The bill increases the salary roll only to the extent of $8,000 for the Secretary, $4,000 for the Assistant Secretary, and $3,000 for the Chief of the Bureau of Manufactures. In all, $15,000.
In addition to this it will be necessary to make appropriation for a limited clerical force in the Bureau of Manufactures, and perhaps a few additional clerks in the Bureau of Geological Survey and Mining, and a few clerks in the Secretary's office. The aggregate increase for salaries is not likely to exceed the sum of from $10,000 to $50,000 a year. The expenses involved in establishing this new Department will be insignificant in comparison with the great work to be done and the great results that can be obtained.
Your committee are firmly convinced that there is an urgent demand and an urgent necessity for the establishment of this new Department, and accordingly recommend the passage of said bill, with some amendments.
DEBATE IN SENATE
The discussion in the Senate began on January 13, 1902, when Mr. Nelson moved that the Senate proceed to the consideration of the bill (S. 569) to establish the Department of Commerce, as in Committee of the Whole. This having been agreed to, Mr. Nelson said:
Mr. Nelson. Mr. President, I do not intend to take up the time of the Senate in any lengthy general debate, and for that reason I have prepared a very brief statement, which I shall read to the Senate in order to save time, giving the purpose and scope of the bill.
(1) There is among our Executive Departments no department that stands charged with the care, promotion, and development of our vast commercial, manufacturing mining, and other industrial enterprises. The agricultural interests of the country are well served and taken care of by the Agricultural Department, but the other great industries of our country, as well as our great commerce, are without any direct governmental guidance and assistance. These vast interests of our people—the great throbbings of our economic and industrial life-have no governmental head, direction, or guidance, but are left to shift for themselves without any system, harmony, or unity of action, so essential to thorough and permanent progress. Such a condition is not only hampering in dealing with ourselves, but is much more embarrassing, retarding, and injurious when we come to compete with other nations and enter the competitive field of the world's tratfic and commerce. To enter the markets of foreign countries effectively and systematically we must thoroughly familiarize ourselves with the laws, trade conditions, resources, and wants of those countries. This can only be done systematically and effectively through an organ of our Government charged with such task-the gathering and dissemination of the necessary information.
This matter is now becoming more important and more urgent than ever before. Our productive capacity, pressed by an abundance of capital, labor, and raw material, far exceeds our own wants, and will so continue with increased force and persistence, so that the great problem is and will continue to be to secure and hold greater and more extensive inarkets abroad. To American capital, American labor, and American enterprise this is a most vital question. Without greater markets abroad industrial stagnation and congestion, superinduced by too rapid production,
are liable at any time to set in and produce a reaction that will be derroralizing, damaging, and destructive to all classes of our people, and will not only bring an economic convulsion, but will also raise serious social problems, difficult to meet and adjust. There is, therefore, from this standpoint and view, an urgent demand for a Department of Commerce, to act as an intermediary and support for the American people in meeting and solving these problems.
(2) All the other countries of the world, great and small, have, with but few exceptions, felt the need of such a governmental organ and help and have, in substance, in one form or another, such a department as is contemplated in this bill. And what other countries have felt the need and made use of we ought to avail ourselves of, too. Without the help of such Department we will not be on a footing of equality and will in many respects, as against our commercial and industrial rivals, be handicapped and at a great disadvantage.
(3) All this has been apparent for a long time to our commercial and industrial world. The boards of trade, chambers of commerce, and other similar organizations of all our larger cities and industrial centers throughout the land, east and west, north and south, with one accord, by memorial, resolution, petition, and letter, petition and ask for legislation establishing such a Department. The President of the United States has seen the necessity and demand for such a Department, and hence in his last annual message recommended the measure to Congress.
(4) There is further a cogent reason for the establishment of such department. It is this: That some of the other departments are overloaded and overburdened with work and duties foreign to their main and chief purpose and not germane to their principal functions. This is especially true of the Treasury Department. The Interior Department was established in 1849 to relieve the other departments of some of their burdens. Nearly all the business assigned to it, in the first instance, came by transfer from the other departments. It took the Patent and Census offices from the State Department, Pensions and Indian Affairs from the War Department, and the General Land Office from the Treasury Department. There is fully as much occasion and necessity now for relieving some of the other departments of their burdens as there was in 1819. There is also this further reason: That there are scattered in the various Executive Departments divisions, bureaus, and branches of the public service disconnected with and isolated from the principal functions of the department, but all connected with and relating to our commercial and industrial development. If these several divisions and branches of the public service can be grouped under one head and be made to articulate in harmony and for a common purpose and end, instead of being isolated, they will become much more useful and effective and accomplish much more good, both singly and in the aggregate.
The bill establishing the Department of Commerce makes it “the province and duty of the 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." It establishes two new bureaus which do not now exist-a Bureau of Manufactures, to foster, promote, and develop the various manufacturing industries and markets for the same at home and abroad, and a Bureau of Mining, to which is attached the Geological Survey, charged with the duty of fostering, promoting, and developing our various mining industries. The bill transfers from the Treasury Department the following branches of the public service, which are not germane to and have not any direct connection with the fiscal or financial affairs of the Government--to wit, Life-Saving, LightHouse, Marine-Hospital, and Steamboat-Inspection Service, Bureau of Navigation and Shipping Commissioners, Bureau of Immigration, Bureau of Statistics, and Coast and Geodetic Survey—and from the State Department the Bureau of Foreign Commerce and consolidates with the Bureau of Statistics.
All these matters pertain not to the financial or fiscal affairs of the Government, but Senators can all see that they have a direct relation to the vast shipping industries of the country. The bill transfers from the Interior Department the Commissioner of Railroads, the Census and Patent offices, and also the Geological Survey, which is attached to the new Bureau of Mining. The Department of Labor and the Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries, both outside of any Executive Department, are also transferred to the new Department.
It will be perceived by a mere inspection that the branches of the public service thus transferred to the Department of Commerce are all connected with and germane to the work and duties assigned to the new Department. By securing harmony and cooperation under one head, and by causing them to articulate together and for one great common purpose, all these branches of the public service will become more useful and effective, and in the aggregate will be able effectively to carry out and discharge the work and duties of the new Department.