The Conservative (Nebraska City, Neb.) 1898-1902, December 08, 1898, Page 10, Image 10

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The 1'rcHidcnt Trylnjj to Plcnsc theFrlcuil
and Enemies of Clvll-Scrvlco Ilcfoi-iu.
President McKinlcy is evidently muc
perplexed by the turn which civil-sei
vice matters have taken. Of all me :
who ever occupied the executive chai
ho is the most conciliatory nntl possesse
the happiest faculty of making the par
tisans of both sides believe that ho i
sincerely with them. In the war witl
Spain this triumph of diplomacy wa
carried out to perfection. In most o
the peace newspapers of this country h
is held up to praise as the great peac
president , who with his restraininj
hand kept back the demons of strife t
the very last. On the other hand
wherever members of the foreign affair
committees or leaders in congress havi
stated , as Representative Moody o
Massachusetts did .in thn republicai
state convention of Massachusetts , tha
the president was not far behind con
gress in its actual war purpose , ho ii
hailed as the great war chief.
Now , in the matter of civil-service re
form , President McKiuley comes verj
near to accomplishing the same thing
It is notorious that the actual evasion !
of the law have never been more wide
spread than today , and yet the press
dispatches describe reformers as coming
away from the white house satisfied thai
the president is heartily in sympathy
with them. The newspaper organ o :
one member of the cabinet , in a receui
editorial article , went further , and de
clared that Mr. McKinley was a bettei
friend of civil-service reform than auj
of the persons in the country who an
now presuming to urge him to stand bj
the existing law.
But the president's embarrassmenl
comes about in this way. He has foi
mouths been officially "considering'
whether to take the 4,000 medical ex
aminers of the pension bureau out o ]
the classified service or not. The civil
service commission has finally recoin
mended that he do one of two things-
either to exempt these doctors and be
done with it , or suggest to his peusioi ;
commissioner , Henry Clay Evans , thai
he pay some real regard to the existing
law. As administered by Mr. Evans ,
with full knowledge of Secretary Bliss ,
the thing has become simply a farce.
The statute permits the creation of an
extra board of examiners at the dis
cretion of the commissioner in any town
where he sees fit to do so. In theory ,
this is for emergency purposes , but Mr.
Evans , availing himself of a strained
interpretation of the law , established .
these extra boards almost everywhere.
To them ho gives the business , and , of
course the fees , and thus starves out the
regular officers , who are still legally in
existence. This violation of law by in
j direction has been going on ever since
a Mr. Evans took charge of the bureau ,
and is no secret. Mr. McKinley has
r >
doubtless had sufficient influence witl
his own administration to have il
stopped any time in the last eighteer
months if ho had cared to do so. Th <
civil-service commissioners are now
cold-blooded enough to say that in preference
eronce to the present absurdity thej
would recommend that the § 950,000 an
nually appropriated for medical exam
iuers' fees be directly turned into the
coffers of the party workers. This is r
choice which Mr. McKinley had nevei
intended to make , and hence his delaj
about bringing out the much-promisee
order of modification.
Last Saturday another covert blow ai
civil-service reform emanated from a responsible
sponsiblo officer of the administration ,
Deputy marshals and deputy collectors
of internal revenue are nominally within
the classificed service , and new appoin
tees must be taken from the eligible reg
ister. But in case a United States mar
shal does not do it , and selects his own
men as ho sees fit , what then ? David
M. Dunne of Portland , Ore. , for in
stance , has paid no more attention to a
civil-service-reforui law and rules than
to the ceremonial requirements of the
Koran. The civil-service commission ,
in view of contemptuous violations which
were steadily growing more frequent ,
made a formal demand upon the auditor
of the treasury for the state and other
departments that the vouchers in pay
ment for services rendered by these
deputies appointed outside of the merit
system be disallowed , in order that a
test case might bo brought as to the val
idity of such appointments. This the
auditor refused to do , politely referring
the commission to the comptroller of the
treasury. This means that such barriers
against violation of the civil-service laws
as are now supposed to exist are being
rapidly swept away , and it will not beef
of much moment what decision the
president reaches in regard to the classi
fications themselves. Whether ho takes
old offices out or puts in new ones it does
not matter so long as "the boys" act
ually get "the jobs. " Representative
Grosvenor was not the pliant weakling
that some persons supposed when in
congress ho gave up the fight against the
appropriation for the continuance of the
civil-service system. He simply came to
the conclusion that there was nothing
worth fighting for , and in this events
have proved that he was too nearly cor
There has been a little stir within a
few days about the distribution of 150
railroad tickets to voters by the new
head of the fish commission. The of-
'ence is acknowledged , and if a railroad
ticket is "a thing of value , " the statutes
of the United States have been openly
violated. But why should this disturb
the fish commissioner ? His appoint-
nent itself by the president was an
squally flagrant violation , in spirit at
east , of the statutes of the United
tates. Ho was the man who , instead
of possessing a scientific and technical
knowledge of fisheries , would , according
to Mr. Elkins , his senatorial backer , be
"bright enough to catch on all right. "
The civil-service commission itself
now receives some criticism on the
score that it is not so aggressive as in
the days of Col. Roosevelt , who was
feared by eveiy man who tried to use
public salaries as a bribe for political
service. But how are appointees of a
president , like civil-service commission
ers , to compel him to pay any attention
to what they have to say unless ho sees
fit to do so ? This brings the whole sub
ject down to a very simple basis. The
proper enforcement of our civil-service
law depends absohately upon the per
sonal attention of the president of the
United States. None of his subordi
nates will long violate laws or rules
against his will , and , on the other hand ,
none of his appointees can rise superior
to their chief and compel him to give
attention to them. New York Evening
sometimes asked ,
why every church-building has a boll
upon it , which is kept in operation , as
the neighbors think , a large part of the
day and night ; is it that in this ago of
the world one who wishes to worship
requires to be reminded of the place and
bime by the ringing of a bell ?
With respect to the present usage , the
practice would appear to be justified by
the results obtained. Balls are found
attached to churches , school houses and
3ourt houses , and in precisely those
places do performances begin at the
liours for which they are announced.
In other lands of public gatherings , as
in meetings of lodges , city councils or
jommittees , it is useless to attend at the
set time , and one is safe in happening in
anywhere within a couple of hours of it.
There are even theatres , in which the
surtain is supposed to rise at 8 o'clock ,
where the commencement is delayed
until it is thought that as many are
present as mean to come. From this
point of view , it is clear that much val-
lable time would be saved to the com
munity if bells were multiplied to the
ooint of distraction.
But as to the period when , and the
) bject for which , religious societies first
; ook up the use of sonorous metal as an
idjunct to their worship , it does not ap-
jear that there is any man who knows
; his. The practice seems to bo universal.
Wherever mankind is found , the ruling
jowers are addressed in the voice of
) ells , or if the worshipers are still too
udo to be able to fashion bells , they
sontrive some other kind of clatter to
inswer the same end. When they be-
jau it is only known to the deity whom
hey all thus variously seek to propitiate.
Che Egyptians , for thousands of years
efore Moses' time , used peculiar rattles
o notify their gods that they were
, bout to bo praised or petitioned iu due