Lapas attēli

cies in the office of commissioner to China, he acted and was recognized by the Government of the United States as chargé d'affaires ad interim for the following periods, viz: From May 26, 1852, to January 31, 1853; from January 27, 1854, to April 14, 1854, and from December 9, 1854, to May 4, 1855, during which time he only received the compensation allowed to the secretary of legation and Chinese interpreter, viz, $2,500 per annum, and now asks that he may be allowed the difference between that amount and the usual salary of a chargé d'affaires.

A letter from the Secretary of State, dated May 13, 1856, fully corroborates the statements of the petitioner, and the committee, regarding this case as clearly within the principle heretofore acted upon in similar cases, report a bill in favor of the petitioner and recommend its passage.

[See pp. 696,721, 722, 731.]

May 20, 1856.

[Senate Report No. 182.] Mr. Mason made the following report:

The Committee on Foreign Relations, to whom was referred the memorial of J. E. Martin, esq., acting consul of the United States, praying compensation for diplomatic services, have had the same under consideration, and now report:

It appears from the memoral that on July 19, 1850, on the recall of Mr. J. B. Clay, chargé d'affaires of the United States at Lisbon, the archives of the legation were placed in the hands of the memorialist, then the acting consul of the United States at that port; that from that time to June 15, 1851, when Mr. C. B. Haddock, the successor of Mr. Clay, arrived in Lisbon, the entire duties and responsibilities of the legation rested upon and were performed by him; that during that time the fees and emoluments derived from the consulate were insufficient to pay the current expenses of the office, and that he has received no compensation whatever for the additional duties and responsibilities devolved upon him by having the charge of the legation.

The statements of the memorial are fully sustained by a letter from the Secretary of State, dated February 29, 1856, as to the time during which the affairs of our legation at Lisbon remained in Mr. Martin's charge, and the justice of his claim for compensation is strongly urged in a letter from Mr. Haddock, United States chargé d'affaires at Lisbon, dated January 18, 1853.

Regarding this case as being within the principle heretofore established in the allowance of similar claims, the committee report a bill for the relief of the memorialist and recommend its passage.

[See pp. 642, 671.)

May 23, 1856.

[Senate Report No. 187.] Mr. Mason made the following report:

The Committee on Foreign Relations, to whom was referred the memorial of Joseph Graham, United States consul at Buenos Ayres, praying compensation for diplomatic services, have had the same under consideration, and now report:

The claimant alleges in his memorial that as consul of the United States at Buenos Ayres he was placed in charge of the legation by Mr. Pendleton, the chargé d'affaires of the United States at that place, August 3, 1852, when the latter gentleman left his post on a special mission to Montevideo. That he was duly presented and recognized as the chargé d'affaires of the United States, performed all the duties, and incurred all the expenses and responsibilities of that office from that time to October 20, 1854, when Mr. Peden, the successor of Mr. Pendleton, entered upon the duties of the legation. He admits that Mr. Pendleton returned from his mission to Montevideo September 11, 1852, and remained until the 25th of November following, and that he also returned from his special mission to Paraguay March 26, 1853, and remained at his post until his return to the United States; but alleges that subsequent to his own recognition as chargé d'affaires by the Government of Buenos Ayres, and during the absence of Mr. Pendleton, a revolution occurred in that country and a new party came into power, by which he was recognized as chargé d'affaires, and consequently he continued to act in that capacity even while Mr. Pendleton was at his post.

The Secretary of State, in a letter to the Hon. Thomas H. Bayly, chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, dated February 9, 1854, says:

That on the departure of Mr. Pendleton from his post, on a special mission to the upper provinces of the Argentine Confederation, Mr. Graham was officially announced to, and recognized by, the Government of Buenos Ayres, as chargé d'affaires during Mr. Pendleton's absence, and in that character corresponded with the Government and with this Department from August 3, 1852, until the 11th of the following month.

On November 25, 1852, Mr. Pendleton again left Buenos Ayres for the Republic of Paraguay, and was absent until the 26th of March following. During this interval Mr. Graham addressed dispatches to this Department in the character of chargé d'affaires, and although there is no evidence on file to show that he was officially presented to the Government, it appears that he was recognized in that capacity.

And in a letter to the chairman of this committee, dated May 12, 1856, the Secretary of State, after referring to the "continuous diplomatic service from August 3, 1852, until the arrival of Mr. Peden, that is, to October 20, 1854,” which “Mr. Graham represents himself as having performed,” as being for “a considerable part of the time at the most constructive, and not justly entitled to that consideration which Mr. Graham attached to it,” adds:

I am of the opinion, however, that Mr. Graham is entitled to compensation in a diplomatic character during Mr. Pendleton's absences, mentioned in my letter to Mr. Bayly [above referred to), and from Mr. Pendleton's presentation of him on March 31, 1854, to the 20th of October of the same year.

Acting upon the principle heretofore established in similar cases, the committee report a bill in favor of the claimant, allowing compensation for the several periods the United States had no other diplomatic agent at Buenos Ayres, and recommend its passage.

August 12, 1856.

[Senate Report No. 284.)

Mr. Weller made the following report:

The Committee on Foreign Relations, to whom was referred the petition of Dr. James Morrow, late agriculturalist attached to the squadron under the command of Commodore Perry during his expedition to Japan, have had the same under consideration, and now report:

That it appears from his memorial and accompanying papers that some time in February, 1853, Dr. James Morrow, of South Carolina, was detailed by the Navy Department for the performance of such duty as might be assigned him in reference to the care and distribution of seeds and the use of agricultural implements, under the command of Commodore Perry, during his late expedition to Japan and the Chinese seas. That while engaged in that service, which continued for about two years, he did distribute large numbers of seeds to the inhabitants of Japan, Lew Chew, and other places, teach the proper mode of cultivating them to the natives, distribute agricultural implements used by us, with instructions how to use them, etc., and also collected a large number and variety of seeds and plants, the growth and production of those countries, many of which were new to us and promise to form a valuable addition to our agricultural and horticultural interests, carefully preserved and sent them home for distribution. That he also collected many specimens illustrative of natural history, now deposited in the national gallery at the Patent Office and at the Smithsonian Institution. That in the performance of those duties he necessarily incurred heavy expenses in traveling inland, hiring the protection of guards, etc. That at one time for a period of nearly four months during the expedition, owing to the indisposition of the surgeon and the general prevalence of sickness in the squadron, he was required to perform the duties of assistant surgeon.

That for all these various services he received no other compensation than is allowed to a master's mate ($300 per annum), at which rank he was rated-among the lowest grade of officers known to the naval service--for want of power in the Department to assign him any other, as stated by the Secretary of the Navy.

The value and importance of Dr. Morrow's services are fully recognized by the Department of State, both in regard to the agricultural and scientific interests of the country, and he therefore asks that a compensation adequate to those services may be allowed him.

That he is clearly entitled to it can not be denied. The committee therefore report a bill in his favor, and recommend its passage.


January 16, 1857.

(Senate Report No. 308.] Mr. Slidell made the following report:

The Committee on Foreign Relations, to whom was referred the memorial of the executors of Gen. John Armstrong, deceased, of New York, late minister plenipotentiary of the United States at Paris, praying compensation for extra services performed by him during the continuance of his mission, have had the same. under consideration, and now report:

That it appears from the memorial and accompanying papers that General Armstrong, then minister plenipotentiary of the United States at Paris, was, on the 17th March, 1806, appointed by his Government commissioner extraordinary and plenipotentiary in conjunction with James Bowdoin, then minister plenipotentiary at Madrid, “to meet, confer, and treat” with the proper officers of the Spanish Government, "of and concerning the territories of the United States, and of His Catholic Majesty, and also concerning all wrongful captures, condemnations, and other injuries for which the parties may be responsible the one to the other, or the one to the citizens or subjects of the other.” That on the arrival at Paris of the Spanish envoy said negotiations were commenced, and continued for some months, but no definite period is mentioned.

It further appears from the memorial that the board of commissioners appointed under the treaty with France of April 30, 1803, to examine into and adjust, in connection with the French bureaux, claims of American citizens against France for illegal captures of ships and cargoes, having failed to complete that duty within one year from the date of the ratification of the treaty (the period limited therein), General Armstrong gave his time and attention to the investigation of the claims remaining unacted upon by the commissioners.

On the 7th December, 1821, General Armstrong addressed a letter to the Secretary of State setting forth the grounds upon which he based his claim for additional compensation. That letter was referred by the Secretary to President Monroe for his decision. On the 10th April

, 1823, President Monroe declines deciding the case for reasons stated by him at length, the substance of which is that the claim for compensation as commissioner, etc., to negotiate with Spain involved, to some extent, the same principles as a claim in which he was himself personally interested, and therefore he could not act in the case; and further, that the compensation claimed for perfecting the uncompleted work of the commissioners under the treaty of April 30, 1803, should properly be referred to the legislative department of the Government, which alone had authority to decide it.

From that time to the presentation of this memorial this claim seems to have rested without any attempt, so far as the committee are advised, to reassert it.

In considering the first branch of this claim, the committee find that President Monroe, in stating his reasons for declining to decide it, refers to an “analysis of all the claims which had been presented and allowed or rejected since the foundation of the Government,” prepared by him some time previously. From a careful examination of the precedents collated in that analysis, and others which have subsequently occurred, the committee have been able to find in no one of them the recognition of a principle broad enough to cover the present claim. The allowance of extra compensation to diplomatic agents of the Government seems to have been based, in every instance, upon the additional expenses necessarily incurred in the performance of the extra duties imposed.

In this case the committee can perceive no such necessity for additional expense. General Armstrong remained at Paris—the court to which he was regularly accredited. All of his negotiations with the Spanish envoy were carried on in that city, and, for aught that appears to the contrary, those very negotiations may have been regarded as a legitimate part of his duty as minister to France, a supposition strengthened by the fact that Paris was selected as the place of such negotiation, with a view to obtaining the aid of the French Government in effectuating its objects.

It is also worthy of remark that Mr. Bowdoin, minister of the United Stated at Madrid, and colleague of General Armstrong in this special negotiation, does not appear to have asserted any claim for his extra services in that regard, notwithstanding his attention to the business might have involved the additional expenses incident to a trip from Madrid to Paris. But whether Mr. Bowdoin made such trip or not, his right to additional compensation would seem to stand upon a ground quite as high as that of General Armstrong.

In that day, during the comparative infancy of our Republic, it frequently happened that ministers of the United States accredited to different European courts were associated together in the performance of special services; and yet it does not appear that extra compensation was allowed for such service in any case in which increased expenses had not been incurred by the minister.

In reference to the second branch of this claim, the Secretary of State, in a letter dated December 30, 1856, in reply to one of inquiry addressed to him by the committee, says:

In regard to that clause of the petition which relates to the alleged services of General Armstrong with reference to the claims of citizens of the United States on France, I have to remark that there is no instruction to him on record in this Department authorizing or directing him to perform those services; consequently it is not competent for me to say whether or not, if they were performed as alleged, they were deemed to be within his province as diplomatic agent of the United States or otherwise. It is at least difficult to understand what the nature or extent of those services could have been subsequently to the year assigned for the duration of the commission on the subject of the claims, when the 11th article of the treaty of the 30th of April, 1803, declares that every necessary decision shall be made in the course of a year, to commence from the exchange of ratifications, and no reclamation shall be admitted afterwards.

From this statement it seems to be very clear that General Armstrong in undertaking, as he alleged, to complete the unfinished business of the commissioners under the treaty of April 30, 1803, not only acted without instruction or direction from his Government at home, but also in violation of the stipulations of the treaty itself.

The permanent interests of any government are best promoted by confining its active agents within the limits of prescribed duty. This principle is especially true in its application to a government like ours, founded upon a constitution and laws in which the powers and duties not only of its principal departments, but of each subordinate agent in those departments, are particularly defined. To compensate a public officer, therefore, whether occupying a high or low station, for the performance of acts not only without the line of his duty, but in derogation of the authority under which he acted, would naturally tend to encourage a spirit of insubordination in the public service, and might lead to serious inconvenience, if not postive mischief, in its results; and when applied to such as are invested with diplomatic functions in foreign countries, remote from the supervision of the Government at home, the dangerous tendency of such a policy becomes the more clearly manifest.

Other cases have occurred, heretofore referred to this committee, in which official agents of the United States in foreign countries have assumed powers and performed acts not only unauthorized by, but against the postive instructions of, the Government at home, and afterwards claimed at the hands of Congress extra compensation therefor; and should the second branch of the claim of General Armstrong be now sustained it would, in the opinion of the committee, encourage on the part of public functionaries abroad a disregard of all limitation upon their own powers and authority, and greatly multiply the number of applications similar to the one now under consideration and those above referred to.

For these reasons, thus briefly presented, the committee are satisfied that on neither branch of the case are the memorialists entitled to relief, and they recommend that the claim be rejected.

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »