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Abase Of The Franking Privilege

Abase Of The Franking Privilege image
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The oxtont of the ttbusu of tlie fr.anking privilege may bo peroeivcd by any one wb.o visita Washington ducing tho Presidential oampaign. ■ In thu Benoto wing of tho Capítol may bc found the uarters of the Corigrtissioiiiil ilopublican Comraitteo ; and hore, day and night, niaj' be scen a corps of writora busily engagod in scndlng off Repubfycan documcnt8. In tho heuso wing may be seen a score of Democratie olorlcs doing tha sumo thing for thoir party ; and both corps aro uot so much engaged dirooting documenta as in direoting thern. Tbo documenta thus franked aro ticd up in largo bundies and pent to any part ot' tho country whora political zoal may cali, and then thoy aro direotod and anow eent off under the forced frank, wliiob bas onco already pnssod through tho mail. Any strangor ho entnra tho head quarter.s of either party 13 at once requestod to givo hia tima for an hour or two in forging franks. Xo pretense is nade of imitating tho hand writing; eaoh pereon is at liborty to select the name of any member of either House and to eond tho dooument umltir hi.s name. Ei'.Lih writcr usually adoptn tho name of his own mombar oi' Congross, thinkn thcroby to oonfer honor on his representa'.ive by sending out a paper whioh tho majoiity of renders would verdantly tiank to bo sent by tho ropro3entative whose name it benrs. Tho objoot of this wholesalc forgory is to gave the esp of postage Tho politica! jn af this year hfis commerced carly nd vigorously, and so Par not far f rom fice milliont of document have beon thus a'.ready dispatohe;l,:;!i(l almost ev:;ry ene of them un'.lor a forged frank. If thess documenta :iad pnly rsquirod th minimum pó&tnn;e, of two cents oach, theae forgeriea .rotild lave deiranded the posÉ-officeof ono huninrl thouamd dollaft. Ag a mati'er of fact, and rememboring that some of them iro thiok paniphlets, the ftotnnl fraud :an not be le=s t'.um oue hundred and ifty to two hunired thousacd dollars, and yet the cuinpnign Í8 not more tban 'airly coiMmenoud. Tiefora November , doubtless tun million.iof documente will have bi:en distributed by the two jartios, at 1 cost to the postoífioe oí' frota hree to fivo bundred thousand dollars ; and every one of Jhein will require two 'rauds ; first a fonceiy, thon a ohcating of the poe-t-office. But thei-o is another faci connooted with the transmisión of these documente which doubles the acnount of fraud. ïho law iá expre88 that a stamp or frank which has onco passed thringh tho mails cannot be used again. ii'ost ot' these doouments aro sent out fraEk'ed but not direotöd os we have said. 'jfhey go in large quantities to the central cal committee at'somo prominent center of pop ulation; aud are thero directed iia' again sont out through the mails undei" the frank alroady uaed. Oi' course, 'this doublos tho ainount of i,ostago fradulenily withheld from the government. But this is not all, nor the worst. Thfr is another and a personal question connected with this subject, whieh we aro sorry to noticp. ïho postmaster of the city of Washington is also seoretary Seoretary of the Uongressional Kepublican Oommitiee, and os Secretary the suporintundency of this distribution of Kepublican ideas. As postmaater Ii9 has solcinnly sworn to colleot tho revonues of Kis cüice and tum them over to hÍ3 government. Tet within 60 oriïOdnya, he haa sent off two nnd a half ïnillions of document?, almost every one of them known by him to bo frudulently frr.nked - nay, franked in his ovrn ,way by his own orders, and he has permitted a very larga nnmbei of docuraant-i of tha op po?ito political party to pass through his office, equally fradulently franked. And he is, ag we are informod on goed authority, in the constant habit of sending to tho vnrious dopartments and requesting the elcrks thero to spend their evenings ut the oommittco room forging franks. Tho civ'l oííieei-s of tho govcrninent are thus induced to cominit forgeiy and to help to cheat tho postoffics out of hundreds of tbonsanda of dollars. Thero in no reason to doubt that these frauds will bn kept up as long as earnest and soraewhat unscrupuloua poliiicians on both eides desire to eloct their President. lu fact tho inoro innocent writer, T?ho hesitatos to do those thingi), is told that custom makes it right - that both partios Lave alwayB done it and always will. For the sake of honosty thoroforo, as well as in behalf of lower postage, we trust tho franking privilege will soon be abolished; tor until that happens, those and numerous similiar abuses aro sure to be perpotiated.


Old News
Michigan Argus