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The National tribune. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1877-1917, October 01, 1877, Image 5

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82016187/1877-10-01/ed-1/seq-5/

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TTHMS A'TIO'N'AL TRI1BU1NE
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one hundred thousandTnon. If those men were
paid tho bounty proposed by the bill, it would
make a total payment, for forty-eight months, of
eight hundred and eighty million dollars. One
half of this amount would represont the total
amount due for bo nties, provided that not a
dollar had been paid.
The Paymaster General of the Army, in April,
1876, stated to the Military Committee of the
House of Representatives, that the total bounty
paid by the United States Government up to
March 31, 1876, was three hundred and eighty
fivc million nine hundred and seventy thousand
six hundred and eighty-one dollars. This
.amount deducted from the four hundred and
forty million, which would be half of the amount
uamed above, would leave fifty-four million
-eighty-two thousand three hundred and eighteen
-dollars as the difference between what has been
paid under the present bounty laws and the
-amount which would have been, paid under this
bill, provided that the average force of one mil
lion one hundred thousand men were entitled to
bounty ; but it is estimated that of this force, there
were at least, five hundred and twenty-one thou
sand men who were not entitled to bounty. This
would leave to be paid twenty-eight million
thirty-two thousand three hundred and eighteen
dollars. These are the figures of the Paymaster
General, and it is probably the most liberal es
timate. Adjutant General Townsend's estimate, as
stated above, is much less a sum. Other prom
inent officers of the army, who are equally capa
ble of judging, have even gone so far as to assert
-that ten million dollars would be all that would
be required to pay the amount this bill calls for.
On account of the vast amount of clerical labor
and-investigation that will be necessary to insure
the proper payment of this bounty, when the bill
has been passed, it will require at least ten years
to settle all the claims against the Government
that will be brought under it; so that, taking
twenty million dollars as the total amount re
quired, it would only be a draft upon the Gov
ernment of between one and two million dollars
a year after the first year or two, when the cases
that are the most apparent could be immediately
decided upon. The public debt is now being re
duced three or four times that amount each year,
and a generous government ought to devote a
portion of this reduction to rewarding her faith
ful and patriotic soldiers. Twenty millions of
dollars is not too high a price to pay for an act
of justice. If there are any who think it is, let
them reflect a moment on the great work accom
plished and the value of the services rendered.
The nation is burdened with a debt The inter
est that is annually paid on this debt is a stag
gering load to bear, but the times are becoming
more prosperous. The money to be paid under
this bill will not impoverish the Union, but on
the contrary, it will lift from the industries of the
country a burden that has long rested upon them.
It will relieve want, inspire activity, and find its
way into the business channels, and, like life in
fused into the sinking frame, will impart life and
vigor. It will go, not into the pockets of the
capitalists, but into the hands of tho poor, the
industrious, the deserving, and, in the shape of
products of labor, will contribute to the general
wealth, and in time be restored to the nation that
gav) it. The wealth of a nation is not merely
an accumulation of gold and silver. It is to be
found usually in tho happiness of its people, and
in the loyal satisfaction expressed by them in the
wisdom and justice of its laws. To promote this
happiness, to rekindle the affection of the soldiers
who have just cause for complaint, this bill de
niauds attention-.
THE BOLL OF HONOR.
The following members of the House of Bep
resentatives of the Forty-fifth Congress, which
meets on the 15th of October, were members of
tho last House, and voted, on the 20th of June,
1876, for tho passage of the Bill to Equalize
Bounties. The soldiers will remember them:
Atkins, Democrat, of: Tennessee.
Bakeii, Republican, of Indiana.
Bakeii, Republican, of New York.
Ballou, Republican, of Rhode Island.
Banks, Republican, of Massachusetts.
Banning, Democrat, of Ohio.
Blair, Republican, of New Hampshire.
Bland, Democrat, of jMissouri.
BuRcnAiiD, Republican, of Illinois.
Cannon, Republican, of Illinois.
Caswell, Republican, of "Wisconsin. '
Clark, Democrat, of Missouri.
Clymer, Democrat, of Pennsylvania.
Cook, Democrat, of Georgia.
Cutter, Republican, of iJew Jersey.
Danpord, Republican, of Ohio.
Dennison, Republican, of Vermont.
Dibbrell, Democrat, of Tennessee.
Dunnell, Republican, of Minnesota.
Eames, Republican, of Rhode Island:
Eden, Democrat, of Illinois.
Finley, Democrat, of Florida.
Fort, Republican, of Illinois.
Foster, Republican, of Ohio. .
Franklin, Democrat; of Missouri. , iJp .
Freeman, Republican, of Pennsylvania
Fk-ye, Republican, of Maine.
Fuller, Democrat, of Indiana.
Glover, Democrat, of Missouri. 4
Haralson, Republican, of Alabama.
Hartzell, Democrat of Illmois. ., t
Hatcher, Democrat, "of Missouri.
Hamilton, Democrat of Indiana.
Hendee, Republican, bf "Vermont.
Henderson, Republican, of Illinois.
Hewitt, Democrat, o Alabama.
Hewitt, Demoerat,3JFew York.
Htjbbell, Republican, of Michigan.
Jones, Democrat, of New JEfompshire.
Joyce, Republican, of Vermont.
Kelley, Republican, of Pennsylvania.
Landers, Democrat, of Connecticut.
Levy, Democrat of Louisiana.
Mackey, Democrat, of Pennsylvania.
Maish, Democrat, of Pennsylvania.
McMahon, Democrat of Ohio.
Metoale, Democrat, of Missouri.
Monroe, Republican, of Ohio.
Morgan, Democrat, of Missouri.
Morrison, Democrat of Illinois.
Mutchler, Democrat, of Pennsylvania:
Oliver, Republican, of Iowa.
O'IsTeil, Republican, of Pennsylvania.
Page, Republican, of California.
Phillips, Republican, of Kansas.
Rainey, Republican, of South Carolina.
Randall, Democrat, of Pennsylvania.
Rea, Democrat, of Missouri.
Reilley, Democrat, of Pennsylvania.
Rice, Democrat, of Ohio.
Robbins, Democrat, of North Carolina.
Robinson, Republican, of Indiana.
Samson, Republican, of Iowa.
Sayler, Democrat, of Ohio.
Sinnickson, Republican, of New Jersey.
Smalls, Republican, of South Carolina.
bMiTH, Republican, ot Pennsylvania.
Southard, Republican, of Ohio.
Springer, Democrat, of Illinois.
Strait, Republican, of Minnesota.
Stenger, Democrat, of Pennsylvania.
Turney, Democrat, of Pennsylvania.
"Van Yoorhees, Republican, of Ohio;
"Waite, Republican, of Connecticut.
"Walsh, Democrat, of Maryland.
"Williams, Republican, of Wisconsin.
Yeates, Democrat, of North Carolina.
Each one of these gontlemen, as far as we can
learn, can be depended upon to vote in favor of
the bill when it comes up again in the Forty-fifth
Congress. There, are a number of other mem
bers who were absent at the time this vote was
taken, but who can be depended upon to oupport
the measure, and will make a sufficient number
to secure its passage, even without the-aid of the
new members, many of wh'6m will rio doubt be
in favor of the bill.
PENSIONS NOT A GRATUITY,
It is a common mistake, on the part of pen
sioners and the public, to suppose that a pension
given by the Government is a mere gratuity to
its patriotic soldiers. This is not so. To give a
pension to a soldier gabled by wounds, injuries,
or diseases, or the family of a dead soldier, is
merely the fulfillment of a contract made by the
TJnited States with every man who enlists in it3
military service.
The soldiers of the rebellion and their families
have a warm and active friend in Adjutarit Gen
eral Townsend of the Army. He appreciates, as
fully as any man, what is due to those who are
entitled to pensions, and makes it a labor, not
only of duty, but of love, to secure their rights.
Much of the clerical labor and investigation inci
dent upon pension matters is performed in the
office of the Adjutant General, and we take
pleasure in acknowledging, in behalf of the pen
sioners of the Government, the unremitting atten
tion which General Townsend always devotes to
his duties, in this particular. He has been of
great service, too, in aiding the passage of laws
by Congress remedying the defects in' the present
system of paying pensions.
Plain Words About Justice.
Last session, when General Logan was en
deavoring to persuade the Senate to consider
the bill to equalize bounties he uttered the fol
lowing words: l
"I desire to say to tho Senate that this bill has passed
the House since the year 1868 five 'different times and the
Senate once, and it.is now before the Senate again, having
passed the House by a great majority at this session. I
deem it just to the soldiers of this country who were de
frauded out of their bounty that this Government should
pay it at some time, and I think that they have waited
long enough for it. I feel that I can demonstrate to the
Senate or any other body that there is no one asking
bounty by this bill except those who are entitled to it.
and who ought to have had it long ago. I give notice now
that I will call it up every morning, and I will call the
yeas and nays as to whether it shall be taken up or not.
until the country shall fully understand whether or uol
these men are tobe longer deprived of that to which they
are justly entitled."
But the Senate refused to take up ihe bill, by
a vote of twenty to twenty-five, as follows:
TEAS Messrs. Allison, Boutwell, Cameron of Wis
consin, Conkllng, Dawes, Ferry, Hamlin. Harvey, Hitch
cock, Ingalls, Key, Logan, McMillan, Mtchell, Morton,
Paddock, Wadleigh. West, Windora, and Wright 20.
NAYS Messrs. Authouy, Bayard, Bogy Booth, Cu
perton, Christiancy, Cooper, Davis, Eaton, Edmunds.
Frelinghuysen, Gordon, Hamilton, Kelly, Kernan, Mc
Creery, Maxey, Merrimon, Morrill of Yermont, Sargent,
Saidburv, Sherman, Wallace, Whyte, and Withers 25.
ABSENT. Messrs. Alcorn, Barnum, Bruce, Burnside,
Cameron of Pennsylvania. Clayton, Cockrell, Conover,
Cragin, Dennis, Dorsey, Goldthwnlte, Howe, Johnson,
Jones of Florida, Jones of Nevada, McDonald, Morrill of
Maine, Norwood, Oglesby, Patterson, Randolph, Ran
som, Robertson. Sharou, Spencer, Stevenson, and Thur
man 28.
COMMISSIONER BENTLEY'S NEW PLAN.
"We can give the heartiest approval of the
manner in which Commissioner Bentley has con
ducted the affairs of the Pension Office, but we
must take issue with him over a new plan he
has proposed to abolish the present system of
examining surgeons, and establish another, which,
we think will not be as advantageous to the Gov
ernment, or to the pensioners as that at present
in operation,
In his last report to Congress, QommissiQner
Bentley describes his plan as follows:
"In place of the present system, under which the.,
claims are established by ex parte affidavits, generally
framed by the claimant's attorney, of persons unknown
to the office, and by the certificates of examining surgeons
whoso relations to the claimant, as tho neighborhood prac
,tioner, constitutes a powerful temptation to unduly favor
him, a system should bo adopted which will give to the
office an opportunity to closely question both the claimant
and ills principal witnesses, and secure medical examiua-
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