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ground that she would be the largest public servant in the country, weighing four hundred and seventy-two pounds. And for aught I know, this qualification is as good as many of those seriously urged.
This spoils carnival has been going on since the Fourth of March, and it is not ended yet. In a measure it continues through the larger part of the Presidential term. I affirm and maintain that the American people are heartily disgusted with a spectacle so absurd, so ludicrous, and at the same time so barbarous, shameful and revolting-a spectacle exposing the American name to ridicule and reproach. When speaking here of the American people I do, of course, not mean all the people. I do not mean the machine politicians of the two parties, who live on spoils. I do not mean Tammany Hall. I do not mean those poor creatures in Congress and in other high places who know they have not ability enough to sustain themselves as statesmen, and depend upon a following bought with patronage to prop them up. I do not mean the selfish speculators in politics, who find in the corruption underlying the patronage trade a congenial element. Nor do I mean those who like to be fed at the public crib, no matter whether they furnish an equivalent for their salaries. All these classes are the fast friends of the spoils system ; but they form only a small minority of the American people. When I speak here of the people, I mean the men and women who earn an honest living by honest industry. I mean the patriotic citizens who have the welfare of the country, the success of free institutions, and the honor of the Republic sincerely at heart.
In their earnest endeavor to serve the public interest, these people may be warm partisans. They wish their party to be successful and to win control of the Government. But a large majority of them are in their inward souls disturbed and disgusted when they see, after a party victory, hordes of partisans pounce upon the offices of the Government like a band of greedy mercenaries plundering a captured city. They are ashamed when, after the incoming of a new Administration, they
hear of a President wishing to abolish this scandal but not being permitted to do so by the ravenous spoilsmen of the party, and of an official guillotine at work and of so many heads falling every day. This shame and disgust may not, by all who feel it, be loudly expressed in words ; but nevertheless it exists, as in times gone by the conscientious abhorrence of slavery existed among the masses of the Northern people long before exciting events loosened their tongues.
But there is one part of the public service which now remains untouched by the tumultuous debauch of the spoils carnival. It is like a quiet, peaceable island, with a civilized, industrious population, surrounded by the howling sea. The President and the chiefs of the Government Departments contemplate this part of the service with calmness and contentment, for it gives them no trouble while the turmoil of the office-hunt rages all around it. The good citizen, anxious for the honor of his country, beholds it with relief and satisfaction, for here he finds nothing to be ashamed of, and much that is worthy of this free and great nation. This is the “classified service," covered by the Civil Service Law, the creation of Civil Service Reform. On the portals the words are written: “Nobody enters here who has not proved his fitness for the duties to be performed." The office-hunting mob reads this and recoils. The public servant within it calmly walks the path of his duty, undisturbed by the thought of the greedy cormorant hungering for his place. He depends upon his merit for his security and advancement, and this consciousness inspires his work. This is the application of common sense and common honesty to the public service. It is Civil Service Reform.
The present Civil Service Law was enacted under President Arthur. Under the Rules established by virtue of it applicants for clerkships and other subordinate places in the Government Departments in Washington and in the greater custom-houses and postoffices in the country have to pass appropriate competitive examinations to prove their fitness for the places they seek, and the appointments are made from those rated highest, without any regard to political affiliation or influence. Removals are discretionary with the appointing power ; but inasmuch as the element of favoritism is eliminated from appointments, removals are no longer made merely to make room for more favored individuals. The public servant who proves himself faithful and efficient is, therefore, wherever the law is honestly observed, substantially secure, no matter to what party he may belong. And it may be said that, under the national Government, the law, as far as it reaches, is honestly observed. That it is universally recognized to be so is due, more than to any other man, to Mr. Theodore Roosevelt, who, as a member of the United States Civil Service Commission, has performed his duties with rare fidelity, energy and fearlessness. All the high officers of the Government whose working force has been under the operation of the Civil Service Law have, without any notable exception, borne emphatic testimony to the fact that the law has relieved them of serious difficulty and trouble, and has given to the country a greatly improved service.
At the close of President Arthur's administration in 1885 the number of places classified, that is, covered by the Civil Service Law, was about 15,500. At the close of President Cleveland's administration in 1889 it was. about 27,300.. At the close of President Harrison's administration in 1893 it was about 43,400, to which should be added several thousand laboring men in the navy yards placed under similar rules by the voluntary and most laudable act of Secretary Tracy. As the whole number of places under the national Government amounts to about 180,000, we may say that more than one-fourth of the service of the national Government has ceased to be treated as mere spoils of party warfare. In one-fourth the party boss has lost his power. One-fourth is secure from the quadrennial loot. In one-fourth influence and favoritism go for nothing. One-fourth has been rescued from barbarism. One-fourth is worthy of a civilized country. So much Civil Service Reform has accomplished in the time of three Presidential terms. But
great and encouraging as its progress has been, Civil Service Reform, having conquered only one-fourth of the service, has done only one-fourth of its work.
There are still the laborers in the Government Departments and the higher grades of the clerical force, such as the chiefs of division, to be brought under the Civil Service Rules. These Rules are to be extended to many offices in which they are not yet in operation. The quadrennial slaughter, this relic of American savageness, has to be abolished first with regard to the fourth-class postmasters, of whom there are at present about 65,000, and whose execution en masse has so frequently caused conspicuous scandal. A bill regulating the appointment, and in effect precluding the wholesale removal, of this class of public servants, has already been before Congress. This or a similar measure should be pressed until it becomes a law. Meanwhile it is reasonable to ask that the spirit of Civil Service Reform be observed in all executive appointments. Although the President, in making the so-called Presidential appointments by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, cannot under the Constitution be bound by rules restricting his power, yet he may impose rules upon himself for the government of his own conduct in the exercise of the appointing power, so as to strip the offices of the character of party spoil and to treat them as what they are really intended to be: places of trust and duty, to be administered for the benefit, not of a political party, but of the people.
I know patience is one of the most necessary and most useful of virtues, especially in the pursuit of great reforms. But this virtue should not be cultivated to the extent of disregarding and neglecting any really existing possibility. And even the soberest view of the circumstances surrounding us at present persuades us that the time is fully ripe for a further and a very essential advance in the Reform of the Civil Service. Since the enactment of the Civil Service Law every President of the United States has done something to extend the area of its operation. As it is said that no rich man in Boston can decently die without leaving a sum of money toHarvard University, so it seems no President can quit office without commending himself, by a tribute to Civil Service Reform, to the merciful judgment of posterity. But President Cleveland has authorized us to expect from him a legacy of extraordinary value.
He is known as a man of genuine convictions, and may be trusted to mean what he says and to act according to his meaning. On no subject of public concern, neither on the tariff, nor on the currency, nor on constitutional principles, has he expressed himself with deeper earnestness, with more emphatic directness, than on the necessity of Civil Service Reform. Here are some of his words:
I venture to hope that we shall never again be remitted to the system which distributes public positions purely as rewards for partisan service. Doubts may well be entertained whether our Government could survive the strain of a continuance of this system, which upon every change of Administration inspires an immense army of claimants for office to lay siege to the patronage of Government, engrossing the time of public officers with their importunities, spreading abroad the contagion of their disappointment, and filling the air with the tumult of their discontent. The allurement of an immense number of offices and places, exhibited to the voters of the land, debauch the suffrage and rob political action of its thoughtful and deliberative character. The evil would increase with the multiplication of officesconsequent upon our extension, and the mania for officeholding, growing from its indulgence, would pervade our population so generally that patriotic purpose, the support of principle, the desire for the public good and solicitude for the nation's welfare would be nearly banished from our party contests and cause them to degenerate into ignoble, selfish and disgraceful struggles for the possession of office and public place.
And in his last inaugural address he said : One mode of the misappropriation of public funds is avoided when appointments to office, instead of being the rewards of partisan activity, are awarded to those whose efficiency promises a fair return of work for the compensation paid to them. To secure the fitness and competency of appointees to office, and to remove from political action the demoralizing, madness for spoils, Civil Service Reform has found a place in our public policy and laws. The benefits already gained through this instrumentality, and the further usefulness it promises, entitle it to the hearty support and encouragement of all who desire to