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made in connection with those for institutions of that class. Further, I learn from an authority on the subject that in the several States and Territories of the country there are now more than 100 schools for deaf-mutes which, are instructing 10,000 pupils or upwards, and that those schools are everywhere regarded as purely educational institutions, though in a few States they have been connected by law with boards of charities. I also learn that at a recent convention of American instructors of the deaf, a resolution was adopted calling attention to the confusion in the public mind as to the status of schools for the deaf and blind, and resolving that the members of the convention desire to put upon record their earnest hope that in all future State legislation schools for the deaf and blind may be classitied with the educational forces of the State, and that their misleading association with the penal, reformatory, and charitable institutions of the various commonwealths may give way to such enlightened public opinion as will demand that the instruction of the deaf and blind shall form part of the school system of the State.
It is also to be observed that Congress very clearly recognized and emphasized the educational character of the Columbia Institution in the act approved April 8, 1864 (13 Stat., 45), by which it was enacted that the board of directors are empowered to grant and confirm such degrees in the liberal arts and sciences as are usually granted and conferred in colleges.
However, the existing state of the law, and the facts upon which it appears to be based, must be regarded as well as the expert opinions which consider that existing laws should be modified. The benefits of a hospital for surgical or medical treatment are not restricted to indigent or defective classes, and the fact that some patients pay in whole or part does not make it any the less a charitable institution. There, it is true, the idea of treatment is involved; but the sick as well as the poor, and not necessarily only the sick who are poor, have always been embraced in the benefits of charitable foundations and modern hospitals. There is no doubt il clear distinction between those on the one hand who, by reason of indigence, or moral delinquency, or mental deficiency, are the subjects of charity or reform because they belong to the pauper and defective classes; and those on the other hand who may not be indigent, but who, because of a purely physical defect, congenital or resulting from illness, require special instruction and training to develop normal faculties which otherwise would remain dormant. This instruction and training has so far taken the educational direction, and any advances in remedial treatment, still perhaps in the region of experiment, would doubtless be tributary to education. Nevertheless, while the distinctions between an institution for the deaf and dumb and a charity or reformatory are obvious, and should be regarded in practical administration, it seems to me that the law respecting the Columbia Institution, which alone I am to regard, views the institution as charitable in part, and so far as to classify it justly, for the purposes of the board of charities act, under charitable and eleemosynary institutions.
In the first place, as was said by the Solicitor-General in 22 Opinions 1, 5, “the Government has substantially furnished the money to build and run it." The act of incorporation (11 Stat., 161), which shows that the primary purpose was the instruction of the deaf and dumb, and at that time of the blind as well, provides for such deaf and dumb in the District of Columbia as were of teachable age and in indigent circumstances, and for the reception of deaf and dumb from the several States and Territories on such terms as may be agreed upon with the authorities of the institution; and the act of May 29, 1858 (id., 293), extended the benefits of the institution to deaf and dumb children of persons in the military and naval service of the United States upon
the same terms as such children belonging to the District of Columbia. By the act of February 23, 1865 (13 Stat., +36), the teaching of the blind was no longer required, and provision made elsewhere for indigent blind children. In the appropriation act of March 2, 1867 (1+ Stat., 157, 16+), it was provided that a certain number of deaf mutes residing in the several States and Territories, applying for admission to the collegiate department of the institution, shall be received on the same terms and conditions as those prescribed by law for the residents of the District of Columbia, at the discretion of the president of the institution, and this privilege was twice enlarged by later acts. Chapter 5 of Title LIX of the Revised Statutes, embodying the earlier law relative to the institution, shows, I think, both the educational purpose and the benevolent and charitable side of the scheme. The subsequent appropriation acts which you cite show that the Government in supporting the institution provides for books and illustrative apparatus, and that the expenses of instruction in the collegiate department are paid from the appropriations even when the pupils are not indigent, and that the board of trustees, with the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, are authorized to bear so much of the expense of the support of the deaf mutes admitted from the several States and Territories, when indigent and while in the institution, as they may deem proper (e. g., act of March 3, 1883, 22 Stat., 603, 625; act of March 2, 1889, 25 Stat., 939, 961; act of August 30, 1990, 26 Stat., 371, 392).
It often happens, of course, that universities, colleges, and schools extend aid in various forms to poor and deserving students, and that the benefits of the great foundations are not altogether paid for in money by any students; but the distinctions in the case of an institution for the deaf and dumb are, I think, obvious, and have been herein indicated as to this institution, and I therefore conclude that the Columbia Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, as well as the others named, is a charitable institution within the meaning of those words as used in the recent Board of Charities act.
How far has your relationship to these four institutions been by that act modified?
I do not proposé to construe the act in general, but I may point out what seem to me its salient provisions in the light of its purpose as drawn from the history of the administration of charities in the District. It is, I believe, commonly understood that the evil or defect in the charitable work of the District heretofore has been a lack of uniformity of supervision and of coordination or cooperation among the various agencies of control and direction. This act seems to be the last step in the efforts of Congress to remedy this defect. How far the new Board of Charities has been clothed with power to this end, and how far they will work out a perfected scheme are matters for the future to determine. It is to be assumed, of course, that the various institutions affected, while still continuing to perform their functions through their own separate boards of direction heretofore duly authorized to manage and conduct their various operations, will desire and endeavor to cooperate with Congress and the Board of Charities in the effort to work with the greatest possible effect and economy. The diverse supervision or control which already exists, being in some cases committed to the heads of departments and in others to the District Commissioners, is not necessarily disturbed or affected in material respects by this act. In brief, the act directs the Board of Charities to visit, inspect, and maintain a general supervision over the institutions described, forbids any payment to be made to such institutions for any resident of the District who is not received and maintained therein pursuant to the rules established by such Board of Charities, with certain exceptions, and directs such institutions subject to the supervision of the Board of Charities to furnish, on request, information and statistics in such form as the board may deem essential. The District Commissioners may order an investigation by the board of the management of any such institution, and the board shall report to Congress annually an account of all matters placed under their supervision, including in their report their recommendations for the economical and efficient administration of charities and reformatories of the District, along with estimates for such future appropriations as will best promote these objects.
It is not necessary to speculate upon the many matters, irrelevant to your present inquiry, suggested by the act, as, for instance, the status of an institution in reference to payments for residents of the District before the Board of Charities shall have established rules, or as to the difference of the board's functions and powers when applied to institutions which do, or to institutions which do not receive a definite payment per capita, or according to the service rendered in a given case, for each resident of the District of
Columbia received and maintained; or as to the scope of the phrase "care or treatment” as further defining the institutions included. It is at least certain that the board is charged with the duty of visitation and of general supervision over all the institutions described, is clothed with a power of investigation in conjunction with the Commissioners of the District, and is directed to report the results of its work with its recommendations and estimates to Congress.
I am unable to discover how this situation interferes with or substantially affects your previous relations to the four institutions in question. My view is practically the same as that of Mr. Olney in his opinion upon the relation of the Secretary of the Interior to the Freedmen's Hospital and Asylum (20 Opin., 652), and I may slightly paraphrase and apply his language to the present case, namely; with the exception that the Board of Charities is given the general supervision of these institutions, and, under the order of the District Commissioners, the power of investigation with the duty of submitting a report and recommendations to Congress, the powers and duties of the Secretary of the Interior are unchanged by the act of June 6, 1900, and remain the same as before its enactment.
I might properly close here, were it not for the fact that you suggest other recent laws affecting all these institutions, indicating, generally, transfers of supervision and control to other departments or to the District Commissioners as the possible effect of the acts cited.
As to the Government Hospital for the Insane, the act of March 3, 1881 (21 Stat., 438, 460), authorized the District Commissioners to visit and investigate the management of the institution and to receive a report of its receipts and expenditures, with the express proviso, however, that the supervision of the Secretary of the Interior should continue as theretofore. I think the proviso clearly indicates that your jurisdiction over the institution continues, and if it were necessary to add anything, the principle of Mr. Olney's opinion just cited plainly covers the case.
As to the Columbia Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, its history and status were carefully reviewed in 21 Opinions, 319; and 22 Opinions, 1, in connection with an inquiry as to