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"IIWJMIfW'W 'HfS1 rwwwir"'""!."" THE NATIONAL TRIBUNE, 93 Ir..v .." ntfftTa!? I I, K' i m I ft; IF r m It which is quito long, and the memorials, each hoar conclusive oviclonco on thoir face that thoy arc not the spontaneous expressions of the officers who assume them as thoirs. The line of thought, the character of expression, the nature of the arguments, are all familiar and as easily recognized as the Washington Monument. There are many phrases in it repeated so often and so drearily in every report, letter, argument, and evidence given by the Commissioner for four years past, that the paternity is apparent. " The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau" The signatures are the act of the officers, the ideas are thoso of Bentley. Whether he wrote the order himself or not it is certain that he inspired it, and inspired it so thor oughly that nearly every sentence has his earmark, and the unmistakable odor of the tension Office permeates the whole transaction, and for all the pur poses involved in the document itself it is John A. Bentley who usurps the function of commander-in-chief and adjutant-general of the G. A. B., and does it for his own private purposes and to forward his own schemes. So too the newspapers take up the matter under similar inspiration, and announced, before the ink on the order was fairly dry, that the Grand Army of the Republic was wheeling into line in support of Bentley's measure, and this before any Post had acted at all on the matter. Again, in a few days the same papers, under the same inspiration, announces that the Committee on Appropriations in the House propose to .put Senate bill No. 49 G as a rider on the Pension Appropria tion bill. Yet everybody knows that that commit tee never did so propose, and that such action would be a direct violation of the rules of the House, and could only be done by unanimous consent. All and each of these arc steps m Mr. Uentieys method of creating, or, properly, manufacturing public opinion by indirect and unfair methods. He is known to have stated in Philadelphia that the examiners provided for in his bill would have to be impermanent session in that city, and it is safe to say that there were many other matters stated by him quite as significant that are not known. But the evidence of a deliberate and carefully ar ranged plot, prepared by Mr. Bentley, are just as clear from the negative side as from the affirmative. In this General Order No. 11, so unmistakably the creature of the Commissioner, there is a demand made upon the Posts to approve this new measure - the bill of the Senate Committee and yet the bill itself is not furnished for their consideration. Only the first two sections of the bill are given, out of the nine sections, and those omitted are the very sections which give vitality to the whole, which prescribe the manner of carrying the bill into effect, and which are most open to serious and fatal objection. They do not give section 7, which authorizes the Commissioner on his own caprice or pure whim to investigate any and every case over again " after a pension has been allowed." They thus deliberately deprive the very tribunal they are addressing the Posts of the G. A. B. of the opportunity of examination of the whole schemo as reported, and practically ask a blind and incon siderate indorsement of unknown machinery, bo cause the headquarters have been "satisfied" by Mr. Bentley, and have become his unconscious agents to procure this indorsement. If the Grand Army of the Republic desire to have any weight or influence on this great question they ought to know what they are passing upon, and speak from such knowledge, and not as passive and obedient instruments to turn qut ready-made opin ions to order. Thoy ought to know the existing evils j they ought to know what are said to bo the causes ; they ought to hear both sides j they ought to bo sure that they understand the Operation and effect of the measure they are called upon to indorse. In the debate on the bill in the Senate in tho winter of 1819, which was thorough, it was igno 'miniously defeated. What did Gen. James Shiolds, Sonator from Missouri, a horo of tho Mexican war and of the war of tho rebollion, say, " I should like know who is tho author of such a bill. Ho deserves a loather medal and I call upon tho pensioners of America to give him one." What did Hon. A. G. Tkurmau, Sonator from Ohio, say of it, " It will carry terror to the hearts of two hundred thousand pensioners." Hon. G. I Edmunds, of Vermont, ffctnooiiy appoaad ths bill as wall as did Sanaiors Blaine, Yoorhoes, Colliding, ICornan, and other great lights of both political parties. Wo shall endeavor in another article to show as clearly as wo can what this bill No. 496 does in fact mean, and what may bo naturally expected from its pro visions if it becomes a law. But our purposo now is only to expose tho. underhand methods taken by a high public officer to bolster up by a manufac tured public opinion, a measure utterly bad in itself and which will cause still greater delay, hindrance, and suffering to the army of claimants who are waiting for tho justice of the Nation, and whose claims are blockaded in the Pension Office. Four Millions of Dollars Annually Paid Out for Fraudulent Pensions. In tho House of Representatives, on tho 16th day of December, 1880, the Hon. Jay A. Hubbell, of Michigan, used these words : The Commissioner of Ponsions informs me, and the press of the country has published it, that he is satisfied that, under tho present system df paying out pensions, over $4,000,000 (and he does not know how much more) has been paid out fraudulently out of cyery fifty millions disbursed. This, then, is not Mr. Hubbcll's declaration, for ho is careful to give his authority. This is Commissioner Bentley's declaration this is his charge ; this is what he assumes to knoiu ; for observe he says he is satisfied as to that much, but does not know how much more. This charge means that nearly 15 per cent, of the Pensions are fraudulent. We challenge Mr. Bentley to the proof. We challenge him to show by any sort of reasoning, by any possible state of facts, by any decent show of argument, that this, or anything like the case made in this monstrous charge, does in fact exist. The truth is that Mr. Bentley has slandered by wholesale a large body of people whom he of all men is bound to protect. He has done it without evidence, and he knows it. He has done it as a means to an end, and that end not tho best for the Government or tho people. His records do not show any such state of facts. His secret service agents even give him no such data. Tho record of criminal prosecutions shows no such fearful rate of crime. If it wore true, he ought to be kicked out of office for incompetency. Any man who has all the courts, all the law, all the power of the United States behind him, who has absolute authority over the admission or rejection of claims, who has a special detective force of his own, who has large annual appropriations to detect and punish fraud, sinks to the level of confessed imbecility when he makes such a statement. Not a Senator or Representative but would repel with scorn such a charge as applied to his own people ; but Mr. Bentley includes and calumniates all, be cause he distinguishes none. Four millions of dollars, and perhaps more, lost every year, by Commissioner Bentley ! I ! Is not this rather a high figure to pay for tho doubtful usefulness of. this gentleman ? What would tho Secretary of tho Treasury think of one of his auditors, or tho President or a comp troller, who allowed four millions a year to be stolen bv fraud ? What would Mr. Schurz, ot the Interior, say to an Indian commissioner who made such a confession ? Nay, more j what would be come of any officer who confessed to four hundred thousand, or oven forty thousand, lost in his office by fraud on this Government '! Gentlemen, if you belie vo Mr. Bentleyif you think ho told the truth, you would instantly remove him from an office which bore such results, or you would be impeachod. The country can't afford such a luxury as Mr. Bentley at such a price. Now remember, for four years ho has been press ing this cry of fraud. Is it not time ho should give somo proof, better than Mr. Hubbell gave, of the Maine swindle by a clerk in the Pension Office, in 1S64, aud a negro conspiracy in Detroit, detected and punished uy tue conviction of Richardson. Tho wholo body of Pensioners who are covered by tiis slander challenge and require you to point out and punish the guilty, aud to leave unharmed tho reputation of the innocent. Prove your case and show yourself 4ncompotcnt for your Office, or admit your oxtravagance ; if not, you libel aud show yourself unfit for it from want of judicial mind and judicial impartiality. The Closing iTear. Another milestone on tho road of life has been passed. Bach and all of us are ono year nearer the hour when the dark curtain will be lifted and we will pass forever into the silent land. Now, we are not proposing to preach a sermon, but to prcsont some philosophic views. The prospect of leaving this world should never cause a shudder or draw a tear. Wc know that wo are physical beings, and that all such must die. In the language of an old English poet "Like leaves on trees tho race of man is found ; rjow green in youth, now withering on the ground. Ihus generations in their turn decay ; So flourish these, whon those have passed away." Each and all of us take life upon certain condi tions, and are oft operated upon by circumstances seemingly beyond our control. Those wonderful laws through which wo are living, breathing hu man beings, and not mere crude matter, senseless clods, are wrapt in as much mystery as our condi tion in the new life. But ono deep conviction per vades every intelligent mind aye, has a lurking place oven in that of the rude savage, that beyond the borders of this life there is another, and there the disembodied spirits of mortals will be in happi ness or misery. Whence arises, why exists this universal conviction, unless it be implanted in our natures by the Great, Eternal Spirit? The bolief of the savage in this doctrine may be compared to his hut of mud and sticks, while that of the man of learning would resemble the marble palace; but both are houses in which to dwell. Well, if we are ever to enter tbo blissful abodes of the future, beyond the river of life, we must while here come into accord with what we feel to be the attributes of superior being3. Leaving out the question as to the relations of Christ to nis Eather, we know that when he said, "As the tree falh, so it lies," he spoke an indisputable truth. Hence, if our minds are permeated with gentleness, charity, geniality, purity, we not only ennoble ourselves and prepare ourselves for this new life, but we be come able to infect others with like traits and dis positions. And now, at the dawn of a new year, may we with cheerful hearts act upon the living conviction that this life is a blessing intended for us (otherwise we should not be here), and that as ife is lived, in honor or in shame, we will enter with honor r with shamo into our eternal homes. Bill Pour Hundred and Ninety-six. We refer all our comrades, patrons and readers to the exhaustive review we have heretofore given of Senate Bill No. 496. We have denounced it and that justly as a contf i vance to enlarge the power and patronage of the office, by creating six hundred new officers to be ap pointed by the Secretary of the Interior, but nom inated, in fact, by the Commissioner of Ponsions. -We have stated and stated correctly ; that it is a slur and an insult upon the large body of examining surgeons, and was intended to be so ; that Mr. Bentldy bases one of his chief arguments upon an alleged want of professional honor on the part of. these surgoons. t We have stated, and state again, that these new examiners have np power of decision, or even of recommendation ; that they are not allowed to be judges, in any sense; that thoy are only commis sioners to take the affidavits of any witness who may appear, or be produced before them, and to send on such affidavits to tho Pension office. That they have no power to issue subpeenas to compel witnesses to appear or to punish for not answering. That they havo no sort of resemblance to a Court; that tho United States whom they pretend to reprosent cannot summon any witness, however necessary, to dofend and expose a fraudulent claim That it is physically impossible for them to do ordinary justice to pension claimants. That there must bo long and tedious delays for many of those who want to be examined, and delays made expensive by being at a distance from their homes, and by tho necessity of paying for themselves and thoir witnesses while thus dancing attendance and waiting their turn. That in almost every pension claim witnesses re side in different districts, in remote States and ter ritories out of reach of tho claimant, except, by cor respondence through tho mails, and thus an exam ination began in ono State, must ba sent from ona set of commissioners to another until all th links of tetiino&y are complete if ayer thy cam ba. .li 31 - .l kffit ?? IP! 111