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While the consular service, on account of its quasi-diplomatic character, in some cases is still retained by the State Department, nevertheless all our consular representatives are, by the provisions of this bill, required, under the direction of the Secretary of Commerce, to gather and compile, from time to time, useful and material inforination 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 reports quarterly, or oftener if required, of the information and statistics thus gathered and compiled to the Secretary.
The increase in salaries is moderate and quite limited-$8,000 for the Secretary, $1,000 for the Assistant Secretary, and $3,000 for the Chief of the Bureau of Manufactures. The Geological Survey being transferred and united with the Bureau of Mining, and the Chief of the Geological Survey being made the head of this Bureau, no additional salary is involved. A limited clerical force will be required in the Secretary's office and in the Bureau of Manufactures, and a few additional clerks in the Bureau of Mining and Geological Survey. Outside of this there is no occasion for an increase in the clerical force, as the bureaus and divisions transferred are now all equipped with an ample clerical force. In my opinion, from $50,000 to $60,000 per year would fully cover all increase of salary involved in the establishment of this Department.
This Department, equipped as contemplated in this bill, will be a most potent factor in our commercial and industrial development. It will aid us in extending our commerce at home and abroad. It will aid us in securing better and greater markets for all American products abroad. It will protect our laboring men against improper immigration and bring them in closer relation and better harmony with the employers of labor. It will serve to remove the many clogs and drawbacks in our industrial development. It will breathe new life and vigor into the industrial life of the nation and do for that what the Agricultural Department is doing so well and effectively for the American farmer.
I desire to add a few words supplemental to this brief statement of the scope and merits of the bill. This measure was originally prepared in the Fifty-fifth Congress by the Senator from Maine [Mr. Frye), who so ably presides over the deliberations of this body. No action was taken on the bill at that time. In the last Congress the bill was referred to a subcommittee, of which I had the honor of being chairman. The bill was somewhat amended and reported favorably, I think, about the middle of the last session. It remained on the Calendar, and we were unable to reach it at that time. The bill is now substantially the same, with some changes in phraseology to improve its language, as that which was on the Calendar of this body during the latter half of the last session.
Mr. Clay. Will the Senator from Minnesota permit me to ask him a question? Mr. NELSON. Certainly.
Mr. CLAY. Is it not true that this measure came from the Committee on Commerce at the last session of Congress with a unanimous report, and that it comes from the Committee on Commerce at this session with a unanimous report?
Mr. Nelson. Certainly. I am glad the Senator from Georgia has called my attention to that fact.
Mr. CLAY. Both political parties gave the bill their unanimous support, I understand.
Mr. Nelson. At the last session the Committee on Commerce had the bill under consideration and went carefully over it, and there was a unanimous favorable report from the committee, and the same committee, with some additional and new members on it, at this session has reported it in the same manner.
Mr. BERRY. Will the Senator from Minnesota yield to me for a moment?
Mr. BERRY. I desire to state that I was not present in the committee, either at the last session or at the present session, when the report was ordered. That is all I wish to say about it.
Mr. Nelson. I am not willing to take up the time of the Senate any further in debating or cliscussing this question. I may add, however, that I have on my desk a large bundle of letters, petitions, communications, etc., from commercial bodies, chambers of commerce, boards of trade all over this land, all earnestly favoring this measure. I am willing to answer any questions, if questions are asked, but I am not disposed further to take up the time of the Senate in debating the bill. If gentlemen would like to hear an explanation as to any particular point of the bill, I shall be very glad to explain it, if I can.
Now, Mr. President, unless there is some other disposition, the bill having once been read at length, I ask that it be read section hy section for amendment.
Mr. MALLORY. Mr. President, I desire to state, in reference to the statement made here that the bill was unanimously reported by the Committee on Commerce at this session, that I was not present at the meeting when that report was ordered to be made. I have not read the bill; in fact, I know nothing of its details, although I will state that I am disposed to favor a Department of Commerce.
Mr. TELLER. I wish to ask the Senator having the bill in charge whether he intends to press it to a vote to-day. Is that the purpose?
Mr. Nelson. Not necessarily, if there are any objections. I do not intend to force the measure at all.
Mr. TELLER. A similar bill may have been reported at the last session of Congress. If it was, nobody ever called the attention of Congress to it. I confess I never saw it. I did not know it was here. This bill has appeared on our tables in print for the first time this morning. Nobody has seen it. Nobody has had an opportunity to see it.
Mr. Cullom. Will the Senator from Colorado allow me? I think a bill similar to this passed the Senate at the last session.
Mr. TELLER. I think not. It may be that there is necessity for this bill, but I think there is necessity for some amendments before it is passed.
Mr. SPOONER. Will the Senator from Colorado allow me to ask him a question? Mr. TELLER. Certainly.
Mr. SPOONER. I do so because of the Senator's great familiarity with the subject, he having heen Secretary of the Interior. Now that the entanglements of the Government with the Pacific railways have been eliminated, what, under the law, are the remaining functions of the Commissioner of Railroads?
Mr. TELLER. I do not think there are any. I think the office of Commissioner of Railroads could be abolished if it were not that there is a desire occasionally to put a man in office. That is all there is in it now.
I wish to ask the Senator from Minnesota, who seems to have this bill in charge, upon what theory the committee propose to transfer from the Interior Department, which has charge of all our land interests, the Geological Bureau, which deals largely with questions pertaining to mines and of late years somewhat with reference to surveys of public lands and matters that pertain particularly to such lands. I wish to know upon what theory that provision is put in. I think it is the first time it has ever been put in, although I do not know.
Mr. Nelson. No; it was in the other bill. Will the Senator allow me to make an explanation?
Mr. TELLER. That is what I want.
Mr. NELSON. I will state that the Geological Survey, with which, of course, the Senator is familiar, he having been at the head of the Interior Department, belongs to the Interior Department. The work of the Geological Survey is confined largely to exploring our mineral resources throughout the country and making reports on that subject. Now, this bill proposes to transfer the Geological Survey, just as it is, without disturbing its functions in the least, to this new Department, and couples with it a Bureau of Mining, making the present head of the Geological Survey the head of the new Bureau, termed the Bureau of Mining and Geological Survey. In addition to the duties that are now imposed upon the Geological Survey, it directs the head of it to gather, compile, and furnish all valuable, necessary, and useful information in respect to the mineral resources of the United States. It is simply cumulative, and does not in any way change the scope and purpose of the Geological Survey. It simply adds new duties and makes its head the head of the Bureau of Mining and Geological Survey.
Mr. TELLER. I should like to say that the Geological Survey has for years been doing the very things they are to do hereafter. Whether they had authority to do them or not, they have been doing them.
There is in the Land Office a mining division, which deals with legal questions that come up concerning the entry and patenting of mining claims. Do I understand that by this bill that bureau will be transferred to the Geological Survey
Mr. NELSON. No, sir.
Mr. TELLER. I do not see why it should not be, if you are to take the mining business from the Interior Department, where it belongs, and put it in this new Department.
Mr. Nelson. I will say, if I am not interrupting the Senator from Colorado, that we do not transfer
Mr. TELLER. No; I am not making a speech. I am trying to get information.
Mr. Nelson. We do not transfer that division of the Interior Department relating to mining to which the honorable Senator refers, because that division of the Interior Department is charged with passing upon the validity of mining claims and the
entry of mining claims, and matters of that kind. All that pertains to entries of land, whether agricultural, timber, or mineral lands, must necessarily belong to that Department, because it is an adjudicating and an appellate Department in respect to those matters. The Geological Survey, the Senator will remember, has nothing to do with passing upon the validity of mineral claims. That is foreign to its purpose. The Geological Survey is transferred and its Director is made the head of the Bureau of Mining and Geological Survey, which is simply a Bureau of an advisory character, to gather and compile and disseminate useful information in respect to the mining industries of the United States.
Now, the other branch of the service to which the honorable Senator refers, which belongs to the Interior Department-I refer to the adjudication of and passing upon mineral claims-it seems to me, and I think the Senator will agree with me, ought to be left in the Department charged with passing upon our public-land questions. That is the view I have taken of it, and if I am mistaken I shall be glad to hear from the honorable Senator from Colorado, because I remember well that for many years he was the very able and energetic head of that Department--one of the ablest men who has ever had charge of that Department with whom it has been my pleasure to do any business.
Mr. TELLER. I must, of course, be pleased with the compliment which the Senator has paid me, but I am now more interested in getting a reasonable and decent bill than I am in my fame as Secretary of the Interior.
I do not know, and I do not believe the Senator does, and I do not believe anybody else does, what jurisdiction the Geological Bureau will have or assume after they get to work under this bill. I want a little opportunity to see what this measure is going to do. The mining interests of the United States are now under the control of the Interior Department. There is no complaint anywhere, that I know of, as to the administration of affairs under the Department, except of the delay, which is occasioned by the fact that the Department have not the force they ought to have. Last year there were more mining properties entered and patented than in any other year in our history, and the number will increase every year, undoubtelly. While I have no objection to the Geological Bureau making any geological surveys and geological reports which they now make, which intimately and closely connect the discovery and exploiting of veins, etc., I do not want it to be possible that they shall be a mining bureau that can take charge in any way or manner of the work that is now being done in the Interior Department. I think this bill will need some little regulation before we get through with it.
Mr. NELSON. Will the Senator in this connection allow me to say a few words more?
Mr. TELLER. Proceed.
That the office of Director of the Geological Survey, and all that pertains to the same, is hereby transferred from the Departinent of the Interior to the Department of Commerce; and there is hereby established in the Department of Commerce a bureau to be known as the Bureau of Mining and Geological Survey, of which the Director of the Geological Survey shall be the head; said Bureau
Now, here is the language to which I wish to call the attention of the Senator:
Said Bureau shall have charge of the Geological Survey, and it shall also be its province and duty to foster, promote, and develop the mining industries of the United States by gathering, compiling, and disseminating practical and useful information concerning the mineral resources and mining industries of the United States, and by such other methods as may be directed by the Secretary or prescribed by law.
Now, in this connection, permit me to call the Senator's attention to the last proviso on page 7, line 19:
and prorided 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 Departinent 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.
Now, the jurisdiction over mineral lands and mineral entries and all that, to which the Senator refers, is not disturbed in the least bit. It leaves the Geological Survey with exactly the scope and power it has now, and then entails upon it the duty of acquiring and disseminating useful information in respect to our mineral resources. It in no wise disturbs the mineral administration of the Land Department.
Mr. TELLER. That may be true. What I wanted the Senator to tell me, which he has not told me, is upon what theory the geological work is proposed to be put in the Department of Commerce. It naturally belongs where it is.
Mr. NELSON. While this Department is termed the Department of Commerce, I will say to the honorable Senator from Colorado that in the original bill it was called the Department of Commerce and Industries.
Mr. TELLER. I think that would be a better term for it now.
Mr. Nelson. We thought at this time, comparing it with the terminology as to other departments, that it would be better to leave it with a single name. We have a Department of State, a Department of War, a Department of the Navy, a PostOffice Department, a Department of Justice, and so on, all with one single name, and so we thought, as a matter of simplicity, that it was better to have one single name in this instance and to call it the Department of Commerce.
Now, we grouped it under this head for this purpose. The mining industries of the United States are of great importance. They are perhaps next, or nearly so, to our great agricultural interests. The Senator is familiar with the work of the Geological Survey.
In addition to that, this new Department is required to gather and compile statistics and information in respect to our mineral and mining resources and to disseminate it among the public. That is the object and purpose of it, and inasmuch as that is a matter which bears upon our commercial and industrial interests, we thought it proper to group it in this Department.
I have heard no objection from any of the departments in respect to this matter. All of the heads of the different departments are familiar with this bill, and from not one head of a department am I advised, directly or indirectly, that there is any objection to the transfer of this bureau or any other bureau.
Mr. Teller. If there is to be a mining Bureau established, and it does not do any more than the Senator says it does, it is not worth while to establish it, because that work is now being done by the Geological Bureau, and nobody is finding any fault. There has been entertained by the miners a notion that they ought to have a bureau, but this will not answer their demand by any means.
Mr. President, so far as I am concerned, I want a chance to look at this bill. I have not seen it before. It is a very important bill. It cuts into the departments that exist without, it seems to me, rhyme or reason, and it will make a Department bigger than some of the old departments are. I do not think the bill ought to be taken up at this time and in this way. As I said, the bill has been printed only this morning, and the report has just been printed. I do not ask to displace the bill, but it ought to go over by consent until some of us can have a chance to look at it.
Mr. LODGE. Mr. President, I am very strongly in favor of this bill. I believe it to be eminently desirable. I shall at the proper time offer one or two slight amendments in regard to the method of transferring the commercial statistics from the State Department to this proposed Department, and I think that the Senator in charge of the bill will have no objection to them when I present them.
It is very proper that everything which comes from our consuls relating to the statistics of commerce and conveying information as to the opportunities to develop commerce in foreign countries should fall under the new Department. But it is important to remember that the consuls also report, as it is their duty to do, a great deal of political and diplomatic information. Much of that ought not to be printed; much of it is confidential. In many places the consuls, although they are not diplomatic representatives, perform the duties of diplomatic representatives, owing, perhaps, to their distance from the center where the minister or ambassador may be or to the fact that they are representing this Government in a colony or dependency of some other power. It is therefore important, Mr. President, that before their commercial and statistical information is turned over to the Department of Commerce it should pass through the hands of a representative of the Secretary of State in the State Department.
The amendments which I propose to offer are mere matters of detail and do not affect the purpose of the bill in seeking to transfer commercial statistics from the the State Department to this new Department. I do not wish to be understood as in any sense opposing this bill. I desire merely to offer amendments which I think will improve it and make more specific the transfer that is there intended.
This, I believe, is the only work transferred from the State Department. The other transfers come from the Interior and the Treasury Departments. I believe those Departments to be now greatly overcrowded with work. A great many heterogeneous and dissimilar subjects are crowded in upon them. I believe it would make for good administration to have them systematically concentrated under one head, as proposed in this bill, and I am only sorry that, in arranging for one of the surveys to go there, the committee did not provide that all the surveys should be concentrated under one bureau of surveys, which should be in the new department or in some department, instead of having four or five or half a dozen surveys going at once at enormous expense, and not yet able to produce a good topographical map of the United States.
I think the bill might perhaps be improved in that way, but that is in the direction of extending the measure and not cutting it down. As I read the bill, I believe most of the bureaus proposed to be transferred are instrumentalities of commerce, and I think it would make very much for good administration to bring them together under a new department, and I can not see that it would not improve both the Interior and the Treasury Departments to be somewhat relieved, for they are now very greatly overloaded with all kinds of work. But in discussing the bill it may be found better to take in some things and leave out others. I hope the Senator from Minnesota will press the bill now, while the Senate is not engaged with any other matter requiring immediate attention, for I think it would be very desirable if we could deal with it at this early day in the session.
Mr. Hale. Mr. President, the bill is certainly a great innovation and a great surprise to some Senators. I have not known what was in it or what was contemplated by it until this morning. Whether it received discussion and scrutiny in the important Committee on Commerce I do not know, but I have been told that it passed without any discussion, and that the Senator from Minnesota was directed to report it
Mr. Nelson. Will the Senator from Maine allow me to interrupt him at this point?
Mr. Hale. Certainly.
Mr. Nelson. I will say that this same bill, or substantially the same bill, with the exception of a few verbal changes, was brought up before the Committee on Commerce at the last session and fully considered by everybody present. There was quite a comprehensive and lengthy report, which was read at length, and, barring one or two members who were absent, every member of the committee fully understood it. It was fully debated, and, so far as I know, the committee are unanimous.
Mr. CULLOM. May I interrupt the Senator from Minnesota for a moment?
Mr. Cullom. I stated a while ago that I understood a similar bill had passed this body at the last session. I find I was mistaken in that statement. It was not passed at the last session or at any other session, but I remembered distinctly that such a bill was reported by the Senator from Minnesota either at the last session or the one before, and at that time there seemed to be no opposition to it. I failed to remember the fact that it was not actually passed. I thought it went through the Senate and was sent to the other House, but I find I was mistaken. I desired merely to state this fact.
Mr. Nelson. Will the Senator from Maine allow me to make a suggestion?
Mr. Nelson. I have no disposition to hurry this matter, and I suggest to the Senator from Maine and the Senator from Colorado that we let the bill go over and take it up to-morrow at the close of the morning business. Can we agree to that?
Mr. Hale. The Senator from Illinois Mr. Mason) has given notice that he will address the Senate, or seek to do so, to-morrow after the close of morning business, upon a subject which will give rise to extended controversy, and that will have precedence. I should not want, for one, to agree
Mr. Nelson. Very well; I overlooked that fact. Then I would suggest Wednesday, at the close of the morning business.
Mr. JONES, of Arkansas. Will the Senator allow me to suggest that the limited number of Senators present ought not to undertake to determine what the Senate will do on Wednesday. The Senator from Minnesota can move to take up his bill whenever he pleases, after the morning business is disposed of, and there is no doubt the Senate will go ahead with it; but there ought not to be any attempt to secure unanimous consent for a proposition of that sort, in view of the limited number of Senators now present.
Mr. Nelson. I ask unanimous consent-I think there will be no objection--that this bill may remain as the unfinished business. Mr. Hale. It is the unfinished business. Mr. Nelson. I ask unanimous consent that it remain as the unfinished business. Mr. HALE. The Senator does not need to do that. Mr. TELLER. It will remain the unfinished business unless displaced. Mr. Jones, of Arkansas. No; it is not the unfinished business.
Mr. Hale. It has been taken up by a vote of the Senate, and is the unfinished business.
Mr. Jones, of Arkansas. No, sir; it is not the unfinished business. When there is an unfinished business, it is taken up at 2 o'clock, having been under consideration when, on a previous day, the Senate adjourned. But when measures which are taken up in the morning hour are not concluded they return to the Calendar, and they have no right other than that growing out of their position on the Calendar.