網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

building and repairing of all vessels, docks, and wharves. He is charged with the enlistment and discipline of the men and furnishes all supplies. The Naval Academy at Annapolis and the Naval Observatory at Washington are under the Navy Department.

101. The Secretary of the Interior.—This department has charge of all matters relating to the sale and survey of the public lands, the adjudication and payment of pensions, the treaties with the Indian tribes of the West, the issue of letters patent to inventors, the collection of statistics on the progress of education, the supervision of the accounts of railroads, and the receiving and arranging of printed journals for Congress, and other books printed and purchased for the use of the Government.

102. The Secretary of Agriculture. — This department, which prior to 1889 belonged to the Department of the Interior, collects and disseminates useful information on agriculture. From it new and valuable seeds and plants can be had, for it is the duty of the Secretary to cultivate them and to furnish them to the farmers upon application. He investigates the diseases of plants and animals, makes analyses of soils, minerals, liquids, and fertilizers, and prepares reports on the same, which are distributed in all parts of the country. In 1891 the Weather Bureau was transferred from the War Department to the Agricultural Department.

103. Secretary of Commerce and Labor.— The province and duty of this department is to foster, promote, and develop foreign and domestic commerce, the mining, manufacturing, shipping, and fishery industries, the labor interests, and the transportation facilities of the United States. The lighthouse service, inspection of

steamboats, bureau of navigation, shipping, bureau of standards, coast survey, immigration service, bureau of statistics, census office, and fish commission are under the control of this department. It was created, in 1903, to meet the demands of the great increase of commerce and manufacturing that followed the SpanishAmerican war.

104. Treaties.—The leading subjects dealt with in treaties are commerce, amity, peace, alliances, indemnities, boundaries, and privileges. The President may delegate the power to make treaties to the Secretary of State, or to our minister in the country with which he wishes to treat. “By and with the advice of the Senate” does not mean that he must consult that body in the negotiations. Yet, as the Senate has a committee on foreign affairs, he usually consults the Senators on that committee.

105. Appointment of Officers. The number of positions to be filled under the Federal Government is nearly 250,000. Of these the President appoints some 5,000 directly. He is generally guided in the exercise of this power by the advice of the Cabinet, collectively and individually, and the members of Congress from the States and districts where the applicants reside. Besides those named in the Constitution as subject to his appointment, the President fills the most important positions in Washington, the first three classes of postmasterships, collectorships all over the United States, and military and naval appointments.

106. The Civil Service.—Until recent years all civil appointments, except Federal judges and special commissions, were made for four years. This practice began

in 1820 in the Treasury Department and was made general by President Jackson. From Jackson's time down to 1883 every change of administration, especially when a new party came into power, was followed by a “clean sweep” of the offices. The consequence was that the Civil Service fell into inexperienced and even inefficient and corrupt hands, and this risk was run every four years. To reform this evil Congress, in 1883, passed the Civil Service law, creating a Civil Service Commission of three persons, not more than two to belong to the same political party. Applicants for the Civil Service in the executive department, except for positions filled by the President, with the consent of the Senate and for places of unskilled labor, are now, by the rules of the Civil Service Commission, tested by competitive examination; and if they receive an appointment they cannot be removed, except for just cause and upon written charges.

107. The Diplomatic Service. — The persons through whom our Government transacts political business with other nations at their capitals are the diplomatic agents. Their duty is to act upon instructions coming from the President through the Secretary of State. In this capacity they help to make treaties and other agreements and to establish such international relations as are conducive to the welfare of the United States.

There are different ranks of diplomatic agents, or ministers: (a) Ambassadors, or those sent to England, France, Germany, Russia, Italy, Austria, Brazil, Mexico, and Japan; (b) envoys extraordinary and ministers plenipotentiary; (c) ministers resident; and (d) chargés d'affaires, or those not accredited by the President to the head of the government to which they are sent (as is

the case with the first three classes), but by the Secretary of State to the minister of foreign affairs, of the country to which they are sent. The last named are sometimes merely temporary agents until a duly accredited minister arrives. The United States has ministers at the capitals of about forty countries of the world. Several nations have purchased homes for their legations at Washington -something we have never done for our ministers abroad.

108. The Consular Service.—The persons appointed to look after our commercial interests abroad are called consuls. They are classified as consuls-general, consuls, and consular agents. They report upon trade conditions, indicate wherein our commerce may be benefited, certify invoices, examine emigrants, etc. The service requires about 1,100 persons. Five consuls-generalone each for Europe, Asia, Africa, and North and South America-are appointed to visit every consulate at least once in two years, and report to the State Department. Any one in the service receiving $1,000 salary or more, must be an American.

109. Removal from Office.—The President can remove an officer not subject to the Civil Service rules, by nominating and, with the consent of the Senate, appointing a successor. If the Senate is not in session any vacancy may be filled by the President alone; but if the Senate does not confirm the appointment at its next session the commission of such an officer expires at the end of that session, and the President makes a new nomination.

Questions on the Section.—What military power has the President? When has he control of the militia? What authority has he for consulting the heads of the departments? What is a reprieve? a pardon? a commutation? Can the President pardon a man

convicted under a State law? What exception is made to his pardoning power? How many votes at least are required now (1906) for the Senate to concur in a treaty? What appointments is the President authorized by the Constitution to make? In whom may Congress vest powers of appointment? How are vacancies that happen in a recess of the Senate filled?

SECTION 3.-PRESIDENTIAL DUTIES 1. He shall, from time to time, give to the Congress information of the state of the Union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient. He may, on extraordinary occasions, convene both houses, or either of them; and in case of disagreement between them with respect to the time of adjournment, he may adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper. He shall receive ambassadors and other public ministers: He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed; and shall commission all the officers of the United States.

110. Legislative Functions of the President.—When the President informs Congress, through his message, as to the need of legislation, he is in a measure helping to make laws. So also when he gives his consent to a bill or vetoes it, or calls Congress into extra session; but when he calls an extra session of the Senate to confirm appointments, which he always does immediately after his inauguration, he is performing an executive function.

III. Recognition of a Foreign Government.—When the President receives an ambassador from a foreign country, the act is an acknowledgment of friendly relations. In case a newly established government, as that of Panama in 1903, sends a minister, his reception is a recognition of its existence as an independent nation.

112. Commissions.—A commission is a certificate stating definitely the powers conveyed to an officer. It is sealed, by the Secretary of State, with the Great Seal of the United States.

« 上一頁繼續 »