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The President and his Cabinet are sometimes known as the “Administration,” a word also applied politically to the President's term of office.
The Secretary of State.—The first in rank among the Cabinet officers is the Secretary of State. He is our minister of foreign affairs, that is, he has charge of all business between our own and other governments. He is the only officer authorized to communicate with other governments in the name of the President. He is the official head of the diplomatic and consular service, negotiates treaties, and issues instructions to our ambassadors and ministers abroad. The Secretary of State is the keeper of the Great Seal of the United States; in his department all civil commissions are made out, recorded, and sealed. He keeps the National archives, and superintends the publication of laws, treaties, and proclamations.
There are three Assistant Secretaries of State. The bureaus are: the Diplomatic Bureau; the Consular Bureau; Bureau of Rolls and Library; of Trade Relations; of Accounts; of Appointments; of Indexes and Archives; and of Citizenship.
The Secretary of the Treasury.-The Cabinet officer who conducts the finances of the Nation is the Secretary of the Treasury. His department attends to the collection of the revenue, issues warrants for the payment of money from the Treasury, audits accounts of all the other departments of the Government, and supervises the coinage of money and the printing of currency. It regulates the National banks, the customhouses, the life-saving service, and the marine hospitals. The National Board of Health is also under its control. In the Treasury Department there are three Assistant Secretaries; six Auditors; the Treasurer of the United States, who receives and pays out all public money; the Register, who keeps all accounts of receipts and expenditures, issues all
bonds of the United States, and whose name with that of the Treasurer is printed on all paper money; the Comptroller of the Currency, who supervises the National banks; the Commissioner of Internal Revenue; two Solicitors; a Comptroller of the Treasury; the Director of the Mint; and many other officers in charge of various branches of the enormous business. The department has charge of the building of post offices, customhouses, and other government buildings. No man directly interested in trade or commerce can be appointed Secretary of the Treasury.
The Secretary of War.—The Secretary of War has charge of all business relating to the military affairs of the Government. The department is divided into ten bureaus, each having charge of an important part of the work. Among the duties to which the officers attend are: the paying of troops; the securing of army supplies; the erection of forts; the improvement of rivers and harbors; and the publication of the official records. Many explorations have been made under the auspices of the department. The government of the Philippines is now under its supervision. Each bureau in the department is in charge of an army officer of high rank. The Adjutant General issues the President's orders, conducts the military correspondence, issues military commissions, and keeps the record of the army. The Judge-Advocate-General reviews the findings of courts-martial, and is the legal adviser of the Secretary of War, who generally is not a soldier. Needed improvements in the management of the army and in the defenses of the country are recommended by the General Staff. This is composed of some of the ablest officers in the army, ranking from captains to Major Generals, the member of highest rank being Chief of Staff. The ranking general officer of the Line is now Lieutenant General (retired).
The Military Academy at West Point is under the charge of the War Department. Each Senator, Representative, and Territorial delegate has the right to appoint one cadet to the Academy. The President appoints one for the District of Columbia, and also forty at large. Thus, in ordinary times, the commissioned officers of the army are supplied, graduates of the Academy receiving commissions as second lieutenants in the army. The course covers four years of rigid study and drill, and all necessary expenses are paid by the Government. Candidates for appointment and entrance must be physically sound, possess good educational qualifications, and be between seventeen and twenty-two years of age. The pay of a cadet is $609.50 per year.
The Attorney-General.—This officer is the legal adviser of the President, and represents the United States in all suits at law in which the United States is a party. He gives his opinions on questions of law whenever requested to do so by the heads of departments. He is himself the official head of the Department of Justice. The Solicitor-General is his chief assistant, and seven Assistant Attorneys-General defend or prosecute suits in which the Government of the United States is interested.
The Postmaster-General.—This officer is the head of the Post Office Department. He awards all postal contracts, establishes and discontinues post offices, regulates mail routes, the issue of stamps, the receipt of the revenue of the offices, and has general charge of the postal affairs of the Nation. He appoints all postmasters whose salaries do not exceed one thousand dollars a year. Postmasters who receive more than this amount are appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. The principal subordinate officers of the department are the First, Second,
Third, and Fourth Assistant Postmasters-General. The First Assistant Postmaster-General has, broadly, the administration of all matters relating to appointments and salaries of postmasters and other persons in the postal service; and directs the operations of the city free delivery systems. The Second Assistant Postmaster-General has charge of the transportation of mails by railway in the United States, and of the foreign mail service. Questions relating to railway adjustment and contracts come under his supervision. The Third Assistant Postmaster-General has charge of the collection and paying out of money, the supplying of stamps and postal cards, the care of registered mail, and attends to the moneyorder, classification, and redemption departments or divisions. The Fourth Assistant Postmaster-General has charge of matters relating to the rural free delivery, the dead-letter office, and general supplies. The topography division, relating to post-route maps, is under his charge.
The Postmaster-General retains for his personal administration, besides the general matters of policy, the inspecting system of the department, that is, the division of Post Office Inspectors. He determines appeals from the action of the several Assistant Postmasters-General. He submits to the President the cases relating to Presidential appointments, and issues all orders requiring the formal approval of the Postmaster-General of the United States.
Postmasters are paid according to the amount of business done at their post offices. There are four classes of postmasters and post offices, graded according to the salary received. If a postmaster's salary is less than one thousand dollars, he is a postmaster of the fourth class, and his office is a fourth-class post office. The amount of his salary depends upon the box rents and the value of the stamps can