policy, i. e., that of destroying the trade in imitation butters by the imposition thereon of a prohibitive tax, carried the bill to the Committee on Agriculture.

Questions as to the reference of bills are determined by the Senate, but rarely is there difficulty, since bills are customarily referred "appropriately referred" under the rule at the time they are introduced. In addition, all petitions, memorials, and papers relating to bills are sent to the appropriate committee for consideration when the committee takes up the bill.

After introduction and reference in the Senate Chamber, the original draft of a bill goes to the desk of the Secretary of the Senate, where a record of it is entered, and on the following day a printed copy is delivered at the room of the committee to which the Senate ordered the bill referred. The bill can then be said to be in the possession of the committee. After the clerk has docketed each bill and its accompanying papers, the usual routine is that all bills relating to an executive department of the government shall be referred to the head of the department concerned. Thus, bills sent to the Military Committee are, under a standing order adopted by the committee, referred to the Secretary of War for recommendation. Upon the return of the papers the chairman usually assigns the bill to a sub-committee of his committee. These sub-committees are composed usually of from two to five Senators, who, more or less informally, discuss and amend the bill and draft their report. Both the bill and the report are presented at a meeting of the full committee, passed upon, and a report, either favorable or adverse, ordered to be made to the Senate. Oftentimes the minority of a committee disagreeing with the majority, will file a "minority report," setting forth the reasons of their dissent.

An individual Senator, by his ability and special aptitude for particular branches of legislation, is sometimes permitted by his colleagues upon the committee, to perform the functions of both committee and sub-committee. Thus, Senator Vest, of Missouri, a strong partisan in a Senate overwhelm

ingly opposed to him politically, possesses by courtesy of the Committee on Commerce, of which he is a member, the privilege of passing for that committee (except in cases where there is a contest) upon bills relating to the bridging of navigable waters of the United States-a very important function of Congress.

Frequently, cabinet officers appear voluntarily, or by invitation, before a committee or sub-committee, to explain certain legislation which they desire, and are interrogated by members of the committee.

The chairman of a committee relating to one of the executive departments is an important factor at the department. He is brought into close relations with departmental affairs and with the Secretary, and frequently becomes his constant adviser. This is especially true of committees which consider appropriation bills, and subjects more nearly executive than legislative. Officials of the departments concerned are careful not to incur the disfavor of the chairman or any of the members of the committee, in each House of Congress, upon which they depend for appropriations and for special legislation.

The importance of this contact of the legislative with the executive departments of the government is forcibly illustrated in the relations which the chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations bears to the President and the Secretary of State, in formulating the foreign policy of the Administration. The Senate shares with the President the treaty-making power, which the Constitution declares to be a part of the law-making power. The Senate thus secures a general control over the foreign policy of the Administration. Treaties which have been signed are submitted to the Senate for ratification, and find their way to the Committee on Foreign Relations. It usually behooves the President to keep in touch with the majority in the Senate, and feel its pulse as to treaties in progress of negotiation. This is naturally done through the Committee on Foreign Relations, and its chairman is often consulted in advance.


The strict limitation of debate which the House has found it necessary to impose is in sharp contrast to the utter lack of restraint which prevails in the Senate. In the following selection, Professor Paul Reinsch refers to some extreme instances of the abuse of this privilege and points out the evil consequences which result from it:

The principal characteristic-though a negative one-of the procedure of the Senate, is the total absence of all rules in any way limiting discussion. The use of the previous question was abolished early in the history of the Senate, and Clay's attempt to reintroduce it in 1840 did not succeed. Since then the Senate has come to look upon the complete freedom of discussion as its most cherished attribute, as indeed it does guarantee the dignity and importance of each individual member.


The unlimited liberty and opportunity of speech has however been repeatedly abused in the recent past, and turned to purposes not in harmony with the idea of rational deliberation. The silver senators were the first to make unduly extensive use of this freedom of debate to tire out the opposition to their measures. Senator Carter's well-known performance, when, at the end of the session of 1901, by means of a harangue of thirteen hours, he defeated the river and harbor bill, did not subject him to severe censure, because that bill was not generally regarded as a wise measure. his action, considering his motive-to punish the Senate for not having given him a coveted appropriation for irrigation purposes-would certainly not bear repeating very often without seriously discrediting the Senate. The latter was in fact the result, when Senator Quay, himself and by proxy, with interminable talk tried to shut out other measures and filibustered for his statehood bill. Nor did Senator Morgan's probable conscientiousness in his objections to the Panama Canal free from censure his use of a like method. When Senator Platt of Connecticut poured forth everlasting discourses on Cuban reciprocity, it was with the incidental pur

pose of side-tracking tariff revision. Earnest, explicit, and thorough discussion of a measure has become a favorite method of the Senate for the postponement and defeat of other measures, an open attack upon which would be considered impolitic. What Senator Carter did in 1901, the representative of South Carolina threatened to do two years later, in his successful attempt to force upon the Senate a claim of his state for $47,000, which, after deduction of a valid federal set-off as adjudicated by the proper authorities, actually amounted to 34 cents. This extreme instance of what Senator Vest called blackmailing the Senate, seems to have been the straw that broke the camel's back. It aroused a deep sense of indignation on the part of the House, leading to the firm resolve not to submit to such tactics on the part of the Senate in the future.

At the end of the session, after legislative measures have been subjected to extensive discussion in the Senate, and when little or no time remains for action in the House, the conference committees meet to discuss the points of difference between the two houses. At this time the representatives of the Senate are apt to use the inability of that body to close discussion as a cudgel to be held over the House of Representatives, in order to force it to accept the point of view of the Senate. Their arguments upon such occasions take the following form, "This is the best we can secure. Should we introduce an enactment complying with the wishes of the House, it would inevitably be talked to death by certain senators who are opposed to this measure. Therefore, if any action is to be had at all we must adopt the compromise proposed by the Senate." The repeated use of this argument finally drove the leaders of the House to remonstrance; after the incident of the claim mentioned above they made a declaration of independence. Under the rules of the House, general appropriation bills are not allowed to include changes of existing law. But the Senate has no such rule, and, in the words of Mr. Hull, "there is hardly a conference report adopted by the House that does not contain legislation which

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could not have been brought in under the rules." February, 1903, the Senate added to the army appropriation bill an amendment of the law concerning the retirement of officers, it was pointed out that these provisions would have no standing under the House rules and Mr. Cannon declared, "In this body close to the people, we proceed under the rules. In another body. legislation is by unanimous consent. But indignation rose to its full height, when the South Carolina claim had been forced down the unwilling throats of the powerless conference committeemen of the House. On this occasion Mr. Cannon made the following statement of remonstrance:

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"Gentlemen, know that under the practice of the House and under the rules of the Senate the great money bills can contain nothing but appropriations in pursuance of existing law, unless by consent of both bodies. If any one of these bills contains legislation, it must be by the unanimous consent of the two bodies, and the uniform practice has been, so far as I know, the invariable practice has been with the exception of one amendment upon this bill, that when one body objected to legislation proposed by the other upon an appropriation bill, the body proposing the legislation has receded.

"The House conferees objected, and the whole delay has been over that one item. In the House of Representatives, without criticizing either side or any individual member, we have rules, sometimes invoked by our Democratic friends and sometimes by ourselves-each responsible to the people after all said and done-by which a majority, right or wrong, mistaken or otherwise, can legislate.

"In another body there are no such rules. In another body legislation is had by unanimous consent. In another body an individual member of that body can rise in his place and talk for one hour, two hours, ten hours, twelve hours. .

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Your conferees were unable to get the Senate to recede upon this gift from the treasury against the law, to the state of South Carolina. By unanimous consent another

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