him to speak. He rises in his place, and it is safe to say the speaker will recognize him without regard to party, greatly to the disgust of members who cannot get the same opportunity. He does not embark upon a radical reform of the tariff, but proposes a few changes of detail, among others, for example, free wool, and makes those a pretext for a discussion of the whole subject. If a private member had made the same proposal it would be referred with a hundred others to the appropriate committee. The author would be divorced from his measure, and the latter would disappear, perhaps for months, and if ever heard of again, it would be as a part of an elaborate bill, prepared by the committee, upon motives and considerations of which the country would know nothing. Mr. Snow would probably say that the secretary's proposal would be referred in the same way. But he is a very different individual. In the course of his speech he would insist respectfully but earnestly, upon the importance of immediate public discussion, and would close with submitting a resolution to that effect. Some members of his party, seeing the political capital to be made, would support the resolution. The opposition would at once see that with the secretary's speech published all over country, it would be too dangerous to try to stifle it by reference to a committee, and that they had got to take the bull by the horns. They would be anxious as to the character of the debate. It would never do to let any blatant member who could catch the speaker's eye damage the party and the cause by displaying his ignorance. They would go into caucus to select their best man to conduct the debate, and in a general way the speakers to follow him. The House would be divided into two organized and disciplined bodies under their respective leaders, ready to join battle in a discussion of principles before the whole country looking on with the most intense interest. Cannot Mr. Snow see how the "advice and suggestion" of the Pendleton Report might develop into something vastly more important, and that such

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are "the obvious advantages" which the author of that report pointed to but did not see fit to discuss?

We will suppose that while the regular business of the session was going on this discussion was kept up for two or three months. The country, as a whole, would learn more and come to more definite conclusions than from all the effects of local writers and speakers, including members of Congress, in as many years, from which, indeed, it probably does not learn anything at all. There would be added the immense force of personality. Members would come before their constituents through their speeches and votes in a totally different light and have a chance of standing on their own feet, instead of being the mere nominees of a party convention. The whole country would begin to take sides with the secretary and the President behind him on the one part, and the leader of opposition and his followers on the other. The elections would begin to take on a wholly different character.

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Suppose next that after a three months' debate a vote was taken, and the secretary's proposals defeated by a large majority. It would not be necessary for the Cabinet or even the secretary to resign. The President might say to the latter in private, "You have done well. Now help on the business of the session with tact and prudence, and we will see what another year may bring forth.' Or he might conclude that the secretary was not up to his work, ask for his resignation privately, and invite the member of the same party who had been most prominent and effective in the debate to take his place, and any member would gladly resign (reserving his chance of subsequent re-election when out of office) for a post of such distinction as the Cabinet would then offer.

These ramifications might be followed out indefinitely to meet possible objections, but there is one important consideration, that if the experiment did not work satisfactorily, the House at the end of the session would need only to rescind the resolution. inviting the presence of the Secretary and

the present condition of things would be restored. The question presents itself, why a measure recommended unanimously by eight Senators from both parties as offering "obvious advantages," so easily tried and set aside if it fails, has never received the slightest attention from Congress.


When Thomas Jefferson became President in 1801, he announced that his policy with regard to appointments would be to equalize the offices between the two parties and then to "return with joy to that state of things when the only question concerning a candidate shall be, is he honest? Is he capable? Is he faithful to the Constitution?" It is needless to say that this happy "state of things" was never realized even by Mr. Jefferson himself. On the contrary, as the service grew in numbers, appointments were made more and more on purely political grounds until in the time of Andrew Jackson the statement of William Marcy was nearer the truth, "to the victors belong the spoils." In the following selection Professor J. A. Fairlie describes the events leading to the adoption of the merit system and its effect upon the civil service:

Entrance to subordinate positions in the national administration is now in large measure regulated by the Civil Service Commission, which also has important powers to prevent abuses in the administrative service. To understand the purposes and methods of the commission, it is necessary to note former conditions, and to trace the development of measures for improvement.

Appointments to subordinate positions have been made from the beginning to the national government by the heads of departments, in most cases on the nomination of chiefs of bureaus or the principal local officials under whom the persons employed perform their duties. But the recommendations of members of Congress early became an important factor in securing positions; and with the development of party organization the influence of party managers came to be of great weight, especially in districts where the local member of Congress was not in political accord with the President.

From the beginning there has been no definite term for such subordinate positions; but they are held subject to the removal power of the appointing authority. There is no exact record of removals of employés; but it seems clear that at first the tenure in all cases was practically one of good behavior. The political removals from presidential offices by Jefferson was probably followed by removals of the same kind from minor posts. More certainly there were large numbers of political removals throughout the administrative service when Jackson became President in 1829. The total number in the first year of Jackson's term has been estimated at 2,000 out of 25,000 positions then under the national government. From this time, with the development of political removals from presidential offices, the same custom came to be more and more systematically followed for all grades of employés. It seems probable that removals from minor posts were always less in proportion than from the higher offices. But enough was done to disorganize and demoralize many branches of the administration with every party change in the presidency; and a good deal in the same direction at every new administration.

A small step towards better conditions was taken in 1853, when the clerks in the department offices at Washington with salaries from $1,300 to $1,800 were grouped into four classes; and it was provided that persons appointed to this "classified service" should be required to take an examination conducted by an examining board in each department. These examinations were, however, limited to those previously selected for positions; and often had no relation either to the candidates' ability in general or their qualifications for particular posts.

In 1864 provision was made for a small force of consular clerks appointed after examinations. After this time various attempts were made in Congress to secure the establishment of a permanent commission to control admission to the administrative service. President Grant supported this plan;

and in 1871 an act was passed authorizing the President to appoint a commission for this purpose.

The commission, of which George William Curtis was chairman, framed rules based on the principle of competitive examinations open to all applicants. But in two years the appropriation for the commission was defeated in Congress; and the new system had to be given up for the time. It was, however, established in a few of the largest local offices, such as the custom house and post-office in New York; and also, after 1877, in the department of the Interior by Secretary Carl Schurz.

On the assassination of President Garfield by a disappointed office seeker, public opinion was aroused against the prevailing method of patronage appointments. But it was not until nearly two years later, in 1883, that an act was finally passed which forms the basis for the present system.

This act was similar to that of 1871. It did not directly restrict removals, nor did it of itself establish a new system of controlling appointments. It provided for a commission of three persons, not more than two of the same political party, to be appointed by the President and Senate. This commission was to frame rules regulating admission to positions in the classified service, which should become effective when promulgated by the President. The act also provided that the rules should require competitive examinations and probationary appointments, to test the capacity and fitness of candidates, but with a preference for members of the army and navy disabled in the service. It also prohibited recommendations from members of Congress; required appointments to be apportioned to the states and territories on the basis of population, and restricted the levy of political assessments from government officials and employés.

Under the rules first adopted competitive examinations were required for new appointments to some 14,000 positions in the department offices at Washington and the large custom houses and post-offices. Since then the number of competitive

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