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celed at his office. A salary of over one thousand dollars and less than two thousand dollars, estimated on the gross receipts at his office, ranks a postmaster as third-class. When the salary, similarly estimated, is between two and three thousand dollars, the postmaster and his office are secondclass; while a salary of three thousand or over, puts the postmaster and his office in the first class. The salaries of postmasters of the first three classes are ascertained and fixed from their quarterly returns to the Auditor of the Post Office Department. First-class and second-class postmasters are not allowed commissions on the money-order business.
The total number of post offices in the United States is now more than 60,000. There are about one hundred fifty thousand persons employed by the department, one half of the whole number of persons in the Civil Service of the United States. The total expenditures of the department were $190,238,288 in 1907, the receipts being about $6,653,000 less. The business of the Post Office Department extends over the entire country; and, through the Universal Postal Union, the foreign mail service has become very great and efficient.
The Secretary of the Navy.—This officer executes the orders of the President relating to the naval establishment of the United States. The department is divided into eight bureaus, each in charge of an officer of the United States Navy. The work of the department is shown in the names of these bureaus: Bureau of Yards and Docks; of Equipment; of Navigation; of Ordnance; of Construction and Repair; of Steam Engineering; of Supplies and Accounts; and of Medicine and Surgery. This department has charge of the Naval Observatory at Washington, and publishes the Nautical Almanac. Admiral George Dewey is now President of the Gen
eral Naval Board. The school for the education of naval officers is the Naval Academy at Annapolis, and is under this department. The course of study covers six years, two of which are spent at sea. Candidates for appointment as midshipmen must be between sixteen and twenty years of age, physically sound, and must pass examination in the elementary branches and in certain higher studies. Expenses are borne by the Government, and graduates are commissioned as ensigns in the navy. Each Senator, Representative, and Delegate appoints two midshipmen to the Academy. The President appoints thirty at large, and two for the District of Columbia. Midshipmen receive $500 per annum.
The Secretary of the Interior.—The Department of the Interior has charge of a vast business of great interest to the public. It deals with all questions relating to public lands, Indian affairs, pensions, patents, education, and various other interests pertaining to the general welfare of the country. There are two Assistant Secretaries of the Interior. The chief officers of the first five bureaus are called Commissioners. The Commissioner of Pensions has charge of the granting of pensions, with an annual disbursement of $153,000,000 to about 950,000 pensioners.
The Commissioner of Education has charge of the general educational affairs of the nation. His duties, in the main, consist in the collection of such statistics and facts as shall show the condition and progress of education in the several States and Territories; to diffuse such information respecting the organization and management of schools and school systems, and methods of teaching, as shall aid the people of the United States in the establishment and maintenance of efficient school systems; and otherwise to promote the cause of education throughout the country.
The Geological Survey forms a very important branch of this department. Its work pertains to the scientific surveys of the United States, the conduct of irrigation operations, and kindred matters, and is in charge of a Director.
The Secretary of Agriculture.—The Department of Agriculture collects and publishes useful information on this subject. The farmer may learn from this department how to protect his grain and fruit from destructive insects. He may also learn the cause and cure of the diseases which affect his domestic animals. The department furnishes information about soils, fertilizers, climate, seeds, and methods of cultivation. The Weather Bureau forms an important branch of this department. Notice of approaching storms is sent throughout the country, that vessels about to leave port may receive timely warning, and thus the risk of the destruction of life and property be avoided. Other important bureaus are: the Bureau of Animal Industry; of Plant Industry; of Soils; of Forestry; of Chemistry; of Entomology; and of Biological Survey. The Director of Experiment Stations is an assistant in this department.
The Secretary of Commerce and Labor.—The Department of Commerce and Labor, organized in 1903, has for its function the promotion of the interests of American commerce, manufactures, mining, fisheries, and labor. The regulation of immigration, the work of the United States census, and the supervision of the coast survey belong to this department. The Census Bureau has recently been established as a permanent branch of the public service. The Constitution provides that the census shall be taken every ten years (C3). Another very important bureau in this department is the Bureau of Corporations. This investigates all corporations engaged in interstate or foreign commerce; except railroads
and steamship lines which transact such business under the supervision of the Interstate Commerce Commission. Other important bureaus are the Bureau of Standards, the Bureau of Statistics, the Bureau of Fisheries, the Bureau of Manufactures, the Bureau of Labor, and the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization. Important officers are the Commissioner of Labor, the Commissioner of Fisheries, the Commissioner-General of Immigration, and the Superintendent of the Coast and Geodetic Survey. The Lighthouse Board has charge of the construction and maintenance of lighthouses, beacons, and fog signals for the protection of vessels on our coasts..
Ambassadors, Ministers, and Consuls.—The diplomatic and consular service has for its duty the representation of the interests of the United States in foreign countries. In order to carry out the foreign policy of the President, to facilitate communication, to aid in negotiating treaties, and to protect the interests of American citizens abroad, the diplomatic seryice has been instituted. These officials represent our Government in a political capacity. They are principally of two grades, ambassadors and ministers.
An ambassador is a diplomatic agent of the highest rank. Diplomatic etiquette requires that the great powers send to us the same grade of minister that we send to them. The United States now sends ambassadors to ten countries: Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Austria, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, and Turkey. The salary received by ambassadors is $17,500. The social demands upon them are very great, and their expenses are often greater than their salaries.
A minister is a diplomatic agent of the United States charged with the same duties as an ambassador, but accredited to a country of less importance.
An ambassador represents the person of the ruler of the country from which he comes; a minister represents the government from which he comes, but not the personality of the executive. In the days when ministers were the highest representatives of the United States abroad, these officials were often kept waiting for audience under the rules of precedence in favor of ambassadors, applied in the case of the ambassador of some petty kingdom.
Ministers and ambassadors reside in the capitals of the countries to which they are sent. There are about forty officials of these higher grades in the diplomatic service at present. The chargé d'affaires is a minister of an inferior grade accredited by the Secretary of State to the minister of foreign affairs of the country to which the agent is sent. The term is also applied to an official in charge until the accredited minister has assumed his duties.
The consular service has charge of our commercial interests abroad, and has nothing to do with diplomacy or politics. The United States Government has consuls resident in all important foreign seaports. The duties of consuls are very numerous. They exercise protective care over American seamen and shipping, and perform various important duties for Americans abroad. They administer oaths, take testimony, examine invoices of the cargoes of ships, and set forth the number and the condition of the seamen. They send to the State Department monthly reports concerning matters of commercial interest occurring at their stations.
Ambassadors and ministers are sent to countries, while consuls are sent only to cities. None of the officials of the diplomatic and consular service have a fixed term of office. It seldom lasts longer than four years, although it does not necessarily change with the administration.