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number may very soon be increased to three hundred and twenty, or even to five hundred. Now, it is impossible that the House should be willing to give to those five hundred exmembers the right to prosecute any sort of claims upon the floor of this House.
Mr. FARNSWORTH. Does not that number include those ex-members who have come from a distance to again visit Washington?
Mr. BANKS. It does. But there is no harm in requiring every man who seeks the privilege of the floor of the House to declare that he is not the agent or attorney for any claim, and does not come here to influence legislation. The House understands that that is done now, but it is not done; at least the officers of the House do not so interpret the
Mr. FARNSWORTH. This proposed rule goes further than that. Suppose an ex-member of Congress has some matter before a committee of the House, and he has, perhaps, been before that committee, this proposed rule would require him, if he wishes to come in upon the floor, to make certificate that he is not interested in any matter before any committee.
Mr. BANKS. Not at all; it does not imply that. It simply implies that he does not seek to come upon the floor for the purpose of prosecuting any private interest. There is no question about his right to go before a committee. But when he comes upon the floor of the House he is not to come here for that purpose; that is the intent of the proposed rule.
Mr. BUTLER, of Massachusetts. I now desire to ask my colleague [Mr. BANKS] if he will move to recommit this report to the Committee on Rules? If so, I will not move to lay it on the table.
Mr. BANKS. I have suggested to the honorable gentleman from New York [Mr. Cox] || that inasmuch as this seems to be a surprise upon the House, and it has not been so carefully considered as it might be, it would be well to have it recommitted.
Mr. COX. I would be glad to defer to the gentleman, but this proposes so slight a change in the existing rule that I would like to have some expression of the House upon it.
Mr. SCOFIELD. I suppose that all members of the House would concur in excluding from the floor any person that came from the people here who was interested in legislation of any kind, because they have adopted just such a rule. If any gentleman from the dis trict of my friend from Massachusetts, [Mr. BUTLER,] however high in character or in learning, should come here to influence legislation in any way, he would be excluded from the floor. No matter whether that legislation be of a public or a private character, he would be unable to come upon the floor and consult with the members of this House. Now, if the people cannot send here any gentleman from The district of my friend from Massachusetts, no matter how distinguished or eminent he might be, and come upon the floor of this House for the purpose of influencing legisla tion, why should we allow the same people to send the gentleman himself here for that purpose after his term shall have expired. Should there be any distinction made between an exmember of Congress and a man of equal character and reputation who has never been a member of Congress?
If, for instance, the Chamber of Commerce of the city of New York should be interested, as is frequently the case, in important legislation before this body, they may select some gentleman of eminence to come here and represent their views. Some other organization in the city of New York, holding opposite views, may select another gentleman of equal eminence to come here and represent their views in opposition. The representative of one body happens to have been a member of Congress; the other happens never to have 42D CONG. 2D SESS.-No. 169.
had that distinction. When the matter comes up, one of those men can come upon the floor and consult with members, can suggest amendments, and arrange the whole machinery; while his rival, who is just as distinguished, and represents, perhaps, just as good a cause, or possibly better, is obliged to sit in the gallery and watch the proceedings which he cannot in any way affect. Now, why should we wish to make such a distinction? Let the people send here anybody they choose to influence legislation; but let all who come be treated alike.
I will tell you why, as I conjecture, so many members of Congress come here upon business connected with legislation. They do not come necessarily on any bad errand; I do not make any such reflection; but they are selected in preference to some eminent lawyer in their own locality, who is perhaps better acquainted with the business than they, simply because those who send them know that if they select an ex-member of Congress he can come upon this floor and by reason of his kindly relations with members, formed before he left Congress, may perhaps induce them to act more favorably upon a bill than they otherwise would.
I say let all be put upon an equal footing. As one who expects to retire from this body at the end of this Congress, I am perfectly willing, if I should ever come back here again, either to take the pledge that I am not coming upon the floor to affect legislation or else to stay out. If I wish to influence legislation, I will go before the committees.
Mr. BUTLER, of Massachusetts. Now, Mr. Speaker, we have had four speeches in succession in favor of this rule. I hope I may be allowed to say a word on the other side without being interrupted by somebody who wants to make another speech in its favor. I agree that it needs all these speeches, and some more besides, to recommend it to the judgment of the House.
I am sorry the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. SCOFIELD] could not find some other gentleman than myself upon to whom to base his illustration. If I should desire to come on this floor after I leave the House I shall not be obliged to come in virtue of this rule. Having had the high honor to receive the thanks of the House for services performed during the war, I have a right to come on this floor under another rule. So that proposition does not affect me. I stand clear of this rule now and in the future. [Laughter.] I am an impartial judge upon this subject. Besides, I do not mean to go out of Congress just yet, unless I desire so to do. [Laughter.]
Now, then, let us see what this rule means. It has been in force many years-you know how many, Mr. Speaker; I do not-and there are only two hundred and twenty-five members of Congress who have registered under it during its existence or when it has been in force. Now, the trouble we meet with the lobbyists is not on this floor. We are generally so noisy, if not so busy, that lobbyists do not stand any chance here. The lobbying is done outside.
I will tell the House my first objection to this proposition. I do not desire to be called on every day to cast some vote to belittle members of Congress. I am willing to take that dose once in thirty days; but I do not desire to take it every day. [Laughter.] One day we are told that if we nominate or recommend a man to office, we are to be put in the penitentiary. [Laughter.] The next day gentlemen come in and say, If, after you go out of Congress, you should come here, you are to be suspected of coming for the purpose of carrying out some corrupt scheme; and you are to make a certificate to the contrary before being allowed to come upon the floor." It is very well to say that a man interested in a claim shall not come upon the floor to lobby for that claim; but I take it that no good citizen comes upon this floor unless he is inter
ested to some degree in some legislation which is going on here. And then it is proposed to provide that if an ex-member comes upon the floor he shall not speak to a member of Congress. Why, sir, it was only a few days ago that we were called upon to vote that a member of Congress should not speak to an exective officer on certain subjects. Now we are not to speak to each other on any subject. [Laughter.] And so it goes.
Why is it, Mr. Speaker, that two hundred and forty-odd men, likely to be two hundred and eighty, selected for the purpose of representing forty-million people, every other day undertake to convince the people of the country, and not only the people of this country, but the people of all nations, that a man has only to come in here with his pockets full of money, or his hands full, and we are ready to be bought? Does any gentleman complain? Does any one mistrust evil? If anybody feels there is any evil in this direction, let him get up and name the man. If anybody knows of evil, let him say who does it, and we will exclude that man. The condition this rule will put us into is this: all the honorable and honest members of Congress-and I assume they are all so will not come in here under any such pledge as that, "I am interested in nothing that is to be the subject of legislation by Congress." They will not come in here under any such pledge. Bad men, if there are any, will sign the pledge.
A man who comes here to use his position as an ex-member of Congress for the purpose of influencing improperly the legislation of Congress and to do it properly is one of his rights-a man, I say, who comes here to influence the legislation of Congress improperly, will sign any pledge you put to him. You only keep out honest men while you keep in the rogues. That is the sort of sieve you estab lish-you keep out the honest men while you keep in the rogues. Therefore I say this rule should not be put in this stringent form. It is clear a man should not advocate his own claim on the floor of Congress, or with Congressmen elsewhere, improperly. But this rule covers every kind of legislation public and private. I may see that a law regulating courts of justice, requires change, and I am interested as a good citizen in having the change made. I come in on the floor, after I leave Congress, and say to the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, "Do you know there exists this defect in the law?" He answers, "No." Unless I agree I will not say that to him I cannot come in here as an ex-member of Congress, even if I say no more than this.
Now, do not let us beslaver ourselves. us remember the old Scotch proverb, "It is a dirty bird that befouls its own nest." Let us say no man whatever, not confined to exmembers, shall come upon the floor who will not sign a declaration that he is not interested in any legislation, and then perhaps we may pass it. I respectfully submit that this rule had better be recommitted. I hope my friend from New York [Mr. Cox] and my colleague from Massachusetts [Mr. BANKS] will agree to have it recommitted. I know my colleague recommends its recommitment. If this is not done, I must ask at least to have a vote on the bill which shall mark the sense of the House; and therefore I move to lay it upon the table.
Mr. BANKS. I ask my colleague to yield to me for a single moment.
Mr. COX. I did not yield the floor to the gentleman from Massachusetts to make that motion.
Mr. BUTLER, of Massachusetts. I withdraw the motion to lay upon the table for a moment for the gentleman from New York.
Mr. BINGHAM. I desire to say something about this.
Mr. COX. I will yield the floor to the gentleman from Ohio; he is going to speak on your side.
Mr. BINGHAM. Mr. Speaker, I hope the into our presence at all; that the people shall Mr. ELDREDGE. It attracted very little House will consider the propriety of recom- have no kind of representation on this floor attention, and scarcely any member noticed mitting this amendment to the rules, as sug. except that which is known as the represent. that such a rule was in existence; but now. by gested by the honorable gentleman from Mas. ation in the House of Representatives under a sort of spasm, the gentleman has brought rachusetts, [Mr. Butler,] to the Committee on the Constitution and laws of the nation.
the rule before the House. Rules. If the House will consider for a I believe, sir, that the American people, Mr. COX. Well, the spasm is not mine: I moment, they will notice there is a provision when they come to understand this thing, will am only the organ of the committee. The of the existing rule struck out by the pending | inquire, "Why do you discriminate? Why make gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. LEWIS) introamendment which allows ex-members of the a written rule imposing a specific obligation duced it into the House and made no condi. Senate of the United States to be admitted to the upon your Sergeant-at-Arms as to ex-mem- tions in it. The Speaker knows, and every privileges of the floor of the House. The result bers of Congress, and make no rule whatever member of Congress knows, and the dooris that the proposed amendment excludes every as to other people?". You say you do not keepers know, that we do need some rule to one from ihe floor of the House of Represent- || provide for the admission of other people. give purity to legislation. That is the whole atives except ex-members of the House. The But they are admitted. That is my answer; truth, and it is as well that it should be spoken language of the rule as it stands now, bitberto they are admitted ; they are here day after plainly. adopied, is “ex.members of Congress.” Every || day; there is no rule against it-I mean no Mr. SMITH, of New York. As I gather one knows that members of the Senate are rule imposing an obligation upon the Sergeant- from this debate, the object of the proposed members of Congress as well as members of the at-Arms, like the language incorporated here. amendment is to prevent ex-members coming House of Representatives, but that is struck Mr. Cox. The gentleman knows that that on the floor to influence legislation. The lanout by the amendment, and it is proposed to is a defect in the execution of the rule. guage of the amendment, as I construe it, only insert "ex-members of the House shall be Mr. BINGHAM. Not quite.
excludes ex.members that have a personal and entitled to the privilege of admission to the Mr. COX. Yes, it is.
private interest in legislative measures.
It floor on making declaration on honor in a Mr. BINGHAM. The rule provides that does not exclude the professed lobbyist, the register to be kept for that purpose that they "the Doorkeeper shall be held responsible to attorneys, who are the men who create the have no personal or private interest in any the House for the execution of this rule." It greatest difficulty and are the most objectionlegislative measures before the House or any is limited exclusively to admitting to this floor able. It seems to me that the rule should be of its committees.'
those who have been bitherto members of the so amended, its language should be broad Mr. Speaker, I ask the House to take notice House. I insist upon it that the rule shall be enough to cover not only those who have a that the proposed amendment as it stands | equal; that an ex-member of Congress is as personal or private interest, but those who are is restricted exclusively to ex-members of much'entitled to consideration, if he behaves professionally interested. this House. The original rule extends to ex- himself well, as any other citizen of the Uni- Mr. Cox. The language of the rule, as members of the Senate.
ted States or any other person who may have proposed to be amended, is : Mr. COX Will the gentleman allow me to
Ex-members of the House shall be entitled to the state that the Senate rules forbid ex-mem- Government of the United States. There privilege of admission to the floor on making declarbers of the House from having permission to fore, if we are to have this sort of action at
ation on honor, in a register to be kept for that pur.
pose, tbat they have no personal or private interest go upon the floor of the Senate?'
all, I insist that it ought to be equal; that all in any legislativo measure before the House or any Mr. BINGHAM. That is not the point on gentlemen who are not members of the House, of its committees. hand now,
appearing on the floor hereafter, shall appear Mr. SMITH, of New York. Do the comMr. COX. It is the point I would like to on the same declaration, to wit, a written mittee consider that as including professional make.
pledge of honor that he has no personal or interests? Mr. BINGHAM. That is not the point | private interest in any measure pending before Mr. COX. Certainly. at all.
Congress or any of its committees. The gen- Mr. KiNG. Mr. Speaker, I rise to ask a Mr. COX. I think there is nothing like tleman is democrat enough to accept that rule simple question. Does the House think that being mutual.
of equality. I make this appeal to the House we need protection against corruption by ex: Dr. BINGHAM. The point I am desirous that they may see the propriety of recommit- members of Congress or anybody else? If to make now is this: that if it is needful to ting this rule, and if we are to have such a that is admitted I shall be in favor of the protect this body at all against the influence rule at all, that it be quite equal, and affect rule proposed. I deny for myself that any of men not members of the body, the rule every one, excepting members of the House, such protection is necessary, but I am a new ought to be general and exclude everybody who seeks admission to this floor.
member here, and perhaps I do not understand except upon such a declaration on honor as is Mr. COX. One word in reply to the gen. the machinery here as well as the older mem here required.
tleman. He was a member of the Thirty- bers. I submit, Mr. Speaker, to the members of this Ninth Congress, and there was a rule passed in Mr. COX. I want to protect the gentleman House that it does not become them to cast that Congress, perhaps with his sanction- and keep him pure and good. [Laughter.] this sort of indignity upon the great office of the Mr. BINGHAM. "I did not take any notice Mr. POTTER. Will my colleague yield to Representative of a free people, which is man- of it.
me for a moment ? ilestly being cast upon that office by incorpor- Mr. COX. That rule excluded all ex-mem- Mr. COX. Certainly. ating in your rule this provision, as to ex- bers of Congress from coming into this Hall. Mr. POTTER. I ask a moment only to say members of this body, that they are not to be || I believe it was in the Thirty-Seventh Con- that I cannot see anything improper in the trusted on this foor except upon a declaration gress, not in the Thirty-Ninth. It was passed proposed rule, or any reflection in it on memof honor. I know the gentleman may say that by but one vote, but it allowed no ex-member bers of Congress or ex-members of Congress we do not provide for the admission of any. to come in under any conditions or pledges. as a body. body else." But I know that, in practice, every I think the gentleman from Ohio most likely The gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. session we admit many men who never were at that time supported it.
SCOFIELD] touched the key of this whole commissioned by the people to have the priv- Mr. BINGHAM. I can only say that I matter when he said that ex-members of Coaileges of this floor. They have these privileges never had my attention called to it in the gress who are selected to represent private daily. There is no written declaration required || world.
interests and to prosecute measures before of them upon honor that they are not here to Mr. COX. Nobody complained of it. this House are selected because of their facilcorrupt the Representatives of a free people. Mr. BINGHAM. Oh, of course not. ity to come upon the floor of this House at But because it happens that a man has been Mr. COX. Nobody thought of complaining | all times and talk with members here. I intrusted with the great office of a Represent- If any honorable ex member of Con- concede that that is so, and it seems to me ative, although he may discharge his duties gress comes here for the purpose of renewing that it is entirely proper that ex-members of most faithfully and effectively, and has subse. old associations, of seeing old friends, or even Congress when they leave this Hall and go quently retired into private life, he has thereby if he comes here for the purpose of influ- into the private business of claim agents become so suspicious a character that if he encing our ordinary political matters, he can should stand upon the same footing of every comes upon this floor at all he can only be have the right to come upon the floor provided ot ber claim agent and professional man; that admitted upon a written declaration made he makes this pledge. The more this dis- is, that they should be excluded from the floor upon his honor, and in the presence of wit. || cussion goes on, the more am I inclined to by a rule of this House. nesses, that he is not here to corrupt anybody. adhere to the rule. It is but a simple amend- Now the suggestion of the gentleman from And it is not merely a reflection upon the ment to the present rule. Why have not Ohio (Mr. BINGHAM] that this proposed rule out-going members, but it is a reflection as gentlemen here who are so indignant now would exclude only ex-members of the House, well upon every member, present and to come. inoved to modify the rule as it exists at it seems to me to be entirely unjust. We have If we are really so weak, sir; if we are really || present?
a general rule to exclude from the floor every. so incapable of discharging the high duties Mr. ELDREDGE. I did ask you to do it. body but ex-members of Congress and a few intrusted to us, in the presence of these I think it ought to be repealed.
others, yet that rule is construed with a certempters, then I ask you to set up the only Mr. COX. The gentleman from Wisconsin tain license which allows us to bring our con barrier which will be a sufficient protection has been a member here for four or five ses- stituents upon this floor for a few minutes to for men so weak and so incapable of dis- | sions, and has never complained of that rule, show them what is going on here. But every: charging their duties, and say that nobody | perhaps because it has not been executed, but body knows that the moment the courtesy of shall come near us, that nobody shall come that is no fault of our rule.
the House is abused the lobbies and cloak
rooms of this Hall can be cleared by the simple direction of the Speaker.
And so in regard to the usage which the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. BUTLER] says will arise in respect of this rule. He says that an honest man who is interested in legislation will make the statement required and keep out of the House, while a dishonest man would come in. Sir, the moment that is found out the Speaker can direct that such a man shall be excluded from the floor. I must confess that I do not see anything in this proposed rule that reflects upon members or ex-members of Congress, and therefore I shall give it my support.
[Here the hammer fell.]
Mr. BUTLER, of Massachusetts. to lay this report upon the table.
Mr. BANKS. I trust the gentleman from New York [Mr. Cox] will submit a motion to recommit.
Mr. COX. I want to test the sense of the House upon the subject.
Mr. HOAR. If the motion to lay on the table is voted down, will it be in order to move to reconsider the main question so that a motion to recommit may be made?
The SPEAKER. The Chair knows nothing in the rules to prohibit that.
Mr. FARNSWORTH. Is it in order now to move to recommit?
Mr. BUTLER, of Massachusetts. withdraw the motion to lay on the table, if a motion to recommit can be made.
The SPEAKER. That is not in order, pending the previous question.
Mr. FARNSWORTH. Then I move to reconsider the vote ordering the main question, in order to submit a motion to recommit.
The motion to reconsider was agreed to, on a division-ayes 87, noes 35. Mr. FARNSWORTH. I now move that the report of the Committee on Rules be recommitted to that committee.
The question was taken on the motion to recommit; and upon a division there were— ayes 93, noes 31.
Before the result of the vote was announced, Mr. HOLMAN called for the yeas and nays.
Mr. GARFIELD, of Ohio. Oh, no; let
Mr. HOLMAN. This is a test vote, and I call for the yeas and nays.
The question was taken upon ordering the yeas and nays; and upon a division there were-ayes 23, noes 97; not one fifth voting in the affirmative.
Before the result of the vote was announced, Mr. HOLMAN called for tellers on ordering the yeas and nays.
Tellers were ordered; and Mr. BUTLER, of Massachusetts, and Mr. HOLMAN were appointed.
The House again divided; and the tellers reported that there were-ayes 32, noes 130. So (one fifth not voting in the affirmative) the yeas and nays were not ordered.
The motion to recommit was accordingly agreed to.
ORDER OF BUSINESS.
Mr. WHEELER. I desire to call up a privileged question, being the motion to reconsider the vote by which a bill in relation to the Central Pacific railroad was recommitted to the Pacific Railroad Committee.
Mr. WOOD. Does that take precedence of the special order?
It does, because it is one of the highest privileged questions. Mr. ELDREDGE. Is it in order to submit a report from a committee of conference?
The SPEAKER. That is a question of Ligher privilege than the one presented by the gentleman from New York, [Mr. WHEELER,] and is in order.
MRS. FRANCES A. M'KINNEY. Mr. ELDREDGE submitted the following report:
The committee of conference on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses on the amendment of the Senate to the bill (H. R. No. 1866) for the relief of Mrs. Frances A. McKinney, having met, after full and free conference have agreed to recommend, and do recommend, to their respective Houses, that the Senate recede from their amendment to the bill.
CHARLES A. ELDREDGE,
T. W. OSBORN. Managers on the part of the Senate.
The report was adopted.
Mr. ELDREDGE moved to reconsider the vote by which the report was adopted; and also moved that the motion to reconsider be laid on the table.
The latter motion was agreed to.
CENTRAL PACIFIC RAILROAD.
Mr. WHEELER. I now call up the motion to reconsider the vote by which the House recommitted to the Committee on the Pacific Railroad House bill No. 1553, relating to the Central Pacific Railroad Company. If that vote shall be reconsidered, I propose to submit a substitute for the bill and amendments, which substitute I ask the Clerk to now read for the information of the House.
Mr. BANKS. I will inquire whether the gentleman from New York [Mr. WHEELER] sends up this substitute to be read as a part of his speech. If not, I object.
The SPEAKER. It will be read as a part of the remarks of the gentleman from New York.
The Clerk read as follows:
Whereas the Central Pacific railroad, the western link in the chain of railroads connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, is now completed to Oakland, opposite San Francisco, and it is important that the western terminus of said railroad should be as near as Dossible to San Francisco, and should have sufficient accommodations for the travel and commerce passing over said road: Therefore,
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the use of one half of the island of Yerba Buena, or Goat Island, in the Bay of San Francisco, California, is hereby granted to the Çentral Pacific Railroad Company, its successors and assigns, for a terminus for its railroad, to be used exclusively for railroad purposes; and this grant shall continue so long as the said premises shall be used by said company, its successors and assigns, for the purposes above named, and no longer; and said premises shall be subject to taxation as is other like property under the laws of the State of California: Provided, That within one month from the passage of this act, the President of the United States shall appoint three commissioners, who shall be authorized at the expense of the Central Pacific Railroad Company to examine said island, to hear allegations and proofs, and to take into account as well any benefits or any injury which may accrue to the Government of the United States from the execution of this act; and within three months from their appointment, said commissioners, or a majority of them, shall award such sum for the use of said half of said island, as granted by this act, as in their judgment, or in the judgment of a majority of them, shall be deemed just and equitable, which amount shall be paid by said Central Pacific Railroad Company, before it shall avail itself of this grant: Provided further, That said one half of said island shall be selected and designated within six months from the passage of this act, by or under the authority of the President of the United States: And be it further provided, That this grant is upon the express condition that the Government of the United States hereby reserves the free use of the whole of said island for military purposes in time of war, or in anticipation of war, when deemed necessary by the President of the United States.
SEC. 2. That nothing herein contained shall destroy or impair any lawful or equitable rights and claims of private parties, if such exist, to the said island, or any part thereof; and the said Central Pacific Railroad Company is hereby authorized to locate and construct its railroad and telegraph line from its present terminus at Oakland to said island, and there establish the western terminus of said railroad and telegraph line: Provided, That this extension shall be subject to the charter, laws, and conditions which now govern the construction and existence of the Central Pacific railroad; but no subsidy of any nature whatsoever is hereby intended to be or is given to the said Central Pacific railroad: Provided further, That said railroad shall reach said island with its track, and occupy its designated portion thereof, within three years from the time said
company shall be in undisputed possession, free from adverse claimants: And be it further provided, That the superstructure upon which the track shall be placed shall be built upon piers, with spans of not less than three hundred feet, which piers shall be reduced to a minimum, and also to the least possible width consisient with safety, and so placed and shaped with reference to the channel and direction of the tides as to offer to them as little obstruction as possible.
SEC. 3. That if at any time the wants of commerce or naval communication shall require it, upon the direction of the President of the United States, the said Central Pacific Railroad Company shall erect a drawbridge over such portion of the channel as the engineer department of the United States shall direct.
SEC. 4. That any and all railroad companies shall have the right to run their cars from the mainland over the track of the Central Pacific Railroad Company to said island, and thereupon have reasonable facilities and accommodations for doing business, under such rules and regulations as shall be prescribed by the said Central Pacific Railroad Company; but each company availing itself of this privilege shall first pay to the Central Pacific Railroad Company a just proportion of the cost of the improvements on said island, and the expenses incurred in reaching the same from the mainland; such proportion to be measured and determined by the benefits which said railroad company may derive from the use of said main track and island; and in case of any disagreement between any such railroad company and the said Central Pacific Railroad Company, as to the amounts to be paid, and as to the use and occupancy of said track and island, the same shall be determined by the Secretary of War, subject to the approval of the President of the United States: Provided, That the said Central Pacific Railroad Company, and any other railroad company availing itself of the privileges of this act, shall receive and deliver freight and passengers which shall pass over their lines of road, or any part thereof, without extra charge, at one or more points convenient for business and travel on the western shore of said bay, and within the corporate limits of the city of San Francisco: Provided further, That the said Central Pacific Railroad Company shall make no charge for wharfage for freight or passengers which have passed or are to pass over their line of road or any part thereof: And be it further provided, That Congress reserves full power, whenever in its judgment it may be proper so to do, to authorize by law any other railroad company or companies to construct and maintain its or their own independent connections with and use of that part of the island of Yerba Buena, the use of which is by this act granted, that shall not be actually occupied for legitimate railroad purposes under law of Congress at the time said subsequent legislation may be had.
Mr. WHEELER. Mr. Speaker, I offer this substitute on my own responsibility; but I wish to say that it has the approbation of the Committee on the Pacific Railroad. It will be seen by the House that it differs in several particulars from the bill originally reported by the committee.
The first point of difference is the proposition in the tenth line, which provides that the premises shall be subject to taxation as is other like property under the laws of the State of California." When the bill was under consideration in committee, the question arose whether the company, if so disposed, might not evade taxation upon the allegation that the property belonged to the United States. To remove that doubt, it has been expressly provided that the property shall be subject to taxation as is other like property under the laws of the State of California.
Mr. GARFIELD, of Ohio. What do you mean by "like property."
Mr. WHEELER. Railroad property, buildings, tracks, &c.
The second provision, which is a material one, is that the President of the United States shall appoint three commissioners, who shall examine this island in person; who shall take into account as well any benefits as any injury which the Government of the United States may receive from this act if carried into execution, and shall award a gross sum as damages for the taking of the island; and the company is not to enter into possession until this award has been paid. It was deemed better for the Government that this course should be taken rather than that provision should be made for an annual rett. However, the House will have its election between this proposition for an award and that of an annual rent, as one of the amendments to the original bill provides for the payment of a rent of $50,000 per annum.
The third change is in the provision of the substitute that the Government may take possession of the whole island for military purposes in time of war or in anticipation of war. The original provision was that the Government might take possession of the island during
The fourth amendment is that which provides that this superstructure shall be placed upon piers with spans of not less than three hundred feet in width. This provision has been inserted for the purpose of meeting the objection that this improvement would work the obstruction, if not the destruction, of the harbor of San Francisco. The mayor of San Francisco, the officers of the Chamber of Commerce of that city, and other citizens, recently addressed a communication to five officers of the engineer corps upon the Pacific coast, and submitted this inquiry:
"What would be the effect, if any, in shoaling the harbor and bar of San Francisco, consequent upon the erection of a bridge resting upon piers, connecting Goat Island with Oakland Point ?"
The answer of these five engineers is this:
"A bridge on piers between Yerba Buena island and Oakland Point would have no appreciable effect in shoaling the San Francisco harbor or bar if the bridge were built on small piers with spans of three or four hundred feet; in other words, the number of piers reduced to a minimum, and also of the least possible width consistent with safety, and so placed and shaped with reference to the channel and the direction of the tides as to offer to them as little obstruction as possible."
The substitute which has just been read adopts this identical language, and provides:
That the superstructure upon which the track shall be placed shall be built upon piers, with spans of not less than three hundred feet, which piers shall be reduced to a minimum, and also to the least possible width consistent with safety, and so placed and shaped with reference to the channel and direction of the tides as to offer to them as little obstruction as possible."
Is this whole subject open to debate on a motion to reconsider?
The SPEAKER. The motion to reconsider opens debate in the widest sense.
Mr. SARGENT. But I am fully prepared to show that the bill as it existed before these modifications had the approval, at any rate was not objected to by the people and press of San Francisco. I think it is fair to infer the sentiment of San Francisco from the course of its Senators, if that course was never challenged. The bill was fully considered in the Senate in 1868 in the form in which it was recently reported from the Committee on Pacific Railroads. I have the debate in my hand, and will call attention to a few passages. Both California Senators engaged in the debate, and I cite the language of one of them on the subject. The Globe has the following:
"Mr. COLE. There is certainly nothing in the way of building the road to the shore of the mainland and out into deep water opposite San Francisco in case they choose to stop there rather than to go to this island. However, I am quite willing that this company shall have their depot and place of transshipment upon the island of Yerba Buena."
So far at least as the two Senators of that day, Mr. Conness, who supported the bill, and Mr. COLE, were concerned, there was an entire willingness "that this company should have their depot and place of transhipment upon the island of Yerba Buena." Nothing more was proposed in the bill recently before the House.
But in that debate there cropped out the villainous scheme, in support of which there is now a ravenous lobby prowling about the Capitol, to deliver over this island to speculators. This is a big job, worthy of notice, that it would seem only corrupt fingers could handle. There is a scheme on foot, and then had its inception, to give Yerba Buena island to private claimants who had and have no more right to it than I have, and this in disregard of any wants of the Government for fortification purposes, and in view of the further fact that the only use of the island could be for fortifications or for a railroad terminus.
I need not say that if these schemes could succeed the island would be at once sold to the railroad company, and that that is the object of this pressure for the title by these hungry individuals who bore us with importunities to have this island made over
The identical language of these five engin
These engineers are B. S. Alexander, lieutenant colonel engineers, brevet brigadier general United States Army; A. F. Rodgers, assistant Coast Survey; G. H. Mendell, major of engineers; C. Seaforth Stewart, lieutenant colonel United States engineers; R. S. Williamson, major United States engineers. They report this will not work any injury to the harbor of San Francisco.
The fifth amendment provides that the Central Pacific Railroad Company shall make no charge for wharfage for freight or passengers which have passed or are to pass over that island. It is deemed just that some compensation should be made to the Government for the cession of one half of this island, and free wharfage for the commerce of the country is no small boon. As I stated in a former discussion, all through commerce passing through San Francisco pays to private wharf-owners in San Francisco two dollars a ton. This amend
ment is made for the purpose of allowing the House to say whether through commerce shall pass through that city free, or pay to private owners of wharves in San Francisco two dollars
The sixth amendment is that which provides Congress reserves full power to grant such portions of this island as may not be used by the Central Pacific Railroad Company to other railroads.
I have sought in these amendments to meet every substantial objection heretofore urged against this bill. I now ask the previous question on the motion to reconsider.
Mr. GARFIELD, of Ohio. Will the gentleman from New York permit me to ask him a question?
Mr. WHEELER. Certainly.
Mr. GARFIELD, of Ohio. I think there are two amendments which the gentleman from New York would not object to add to the ones which he has already stated.
Mr. WHEELER. I will be willing to hear any amendments which gentlemen may sug
gest when this bill comes before the House for
Mr. HOLMAN. I rise to a question of
Mr. GARFIELD, of Ohio. The amendment which I suggest is that if in case of war the Government of the United States should order the removal of this depot it shall be at the expense of the company, and not at the expense of the United States.
Mr. WHEELER. I will withdraw my demand for the previous question, and yield to the gentleman from California, [Mr. SARGENT.]
Mr. GARFIELD, of Ohio. The bill ought to contain a provision of the sort I suggest.
Mr. WHEELER. When the bill is before the House, I will consider any amendment which may be proposed.
Mr. GARFIELD, of Ohio. All I ask is a chance to move such an amendment.
Mr. WHEELER. I yield now to the gentleman from California.
Mr. SARGENT. Mr. Speaker, the interests of the State of California are deeply involved in this bill. I have endeavored to examine it without too much regard for the extravagaut denunciations of those who would peril every material interest of the State out of personal hatred for the railroad company, and without being too much influenced by the scurrilous abuse of those whose private interests are put in the scale against the great wants of commerce and preferred to the real good of our queen city. On one hand in this contest in California are those who can see no good in anything that is not inimical to the railroad company, reënforced by those who would create rival towns at Saucelito or elsewhere; on the other those who think the question is broader than a strife of localities, and who care for the general business of the State and nation.
So far as the interests of the company are concerned, while I believe in justice to them, I more strongly believe in the necessity for facilities to move our vast wheat crop, to entice the trade of Asia, and to give an outlet to our manufactures to the opulent and extending, markets of the East. That I and my colleagues are not alone in our views on this matter I am prepared to prove. I admit that San Francisco has spoken by the ordinarily recognized modes against the bill that was last considered by the House. In deference to the objections that seemed to be urged by respectable organs of public opinion, I have counseled such modifications as would obviate all those objections; and the suggestions have been heeded.
It was objected that a solid causeway from Oakland to Goat Island would turn all the water between the island and the city of San Francisco so as to increase the strength of the tides, scour away the holding ground at the bottom of the harbor, and perhaps affect the entrance. But it was said by Professor Peirce, by engineers recently, and by all other authorities, that a bridge with piers three hundred feet apart, &c., would not have that effect. Very well; the very language of the engineers has been adopted to regulate the construction of the bridge.
Again, it was urged that the company could use the island for wharfage and warehouse purposes, and thus impose taxes on commerce or build up a new city. That is expressly prohibited in the bill, and guards inserted making it impossible.
It was said property would be built up not liable to taxation under State laws. That is guarded against by a provision rendering the property liable to such taxation. Every point of objection has been sought to be avoided, save the one that no terminus except an insecure wharf end shall be afforded to the greatest railroad of the world.
Mr. HOLMAN. I rise to a point of order.
How San Francisco would be benefited by transferring this land through Thomas Dowling, or rather through those who hold his "title," to the railroad company, instead of the company getting it by a direct grant, has never been explained, and probably will not be. Gross and exaggerated stories, known, I think, to be false, were told in that debate to bolster up the pretensions of these lobbyists to the island. I quote from the Globe:
"Mr. COLE. I move to amend the bill by inserting as an additional proviso the following:
"And provided further, That this act shall not impair the rights or claims of persons in possession of the island of Yerba Buena at the time of the military occupation thereof, or who have been ousted therefrom by military force, nor the assignees or grantees of such persons; but such rights and claims shall be ascertained and liquidated according to the laws of California.
Mr. HOWARD. I hope that amendment will not be adopted.
"Mr. COLE. The facts, so far as this amendment is concerned, are, that there were persons in possession of this island, living there with their farmhouses and improvements, who had been there for many years. I think their occupation began before the acquisition of the country by the United States. They were in quiet and peaceful possession of their homes upon the island until about a year ago, or perhaps until the year 1866, at which time, after the war had ended, the military authorities took possession of the island and ousted these parties. This was done by the strong arm of military force, and without any adjudication of their rights. These persons were in possession of this property by as much right as other citizens in San Francisco held the property that they occupied; for it will be remembered that this island is within the boundaries of the city of San Francisco. Other persons upon the main land in the city of San Francisco regard themselves as justly entitled to the property they were in possession of, and which has been granted