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Newspaper Correspondents As Clerks

Newspaper Correspondents As Clerks image
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A word respecting the siuall cl iss of committeo clerk who are at the sarae time correspondents. A good doal of ridieuloiis uewspaper writing lias been bestpwed upou thom, sinco Gen. Butler tried t) huw. the law to prohibit the eniployment of a correspondent by the goveriiinent. For ono 1 sluill never objecl lo such an euactment, and have littlo donbt that it wiil tend t ) makis Washington correspondents more independent, tmt it 13 very natural that souie of the correspondente should be inadecommittoo clerks. The office only continúes during the ession, and in most o sas tho pay is insutlicicnt to warrant the bringing on of clerka trom distant homes, ai clerks, unlike membei-3 of Congress, do not have unleage. The corresponden s are here, and mauy of them on small pay, and as they are apt and sarviceablo they are often oiíeiea these places, which ono session last six jnonths and tho next but three. Bettcr have the ind ípendence to reject them, no doubt, but when reputable journals think that a correspondent can live ia Washington on $100 a raonth and be "independent " they will be Hablo todisappointinent. A correspondent had far better bo a comiuittes clerk than a lobbyist. In most cases where prominent correspondents havo accepted this oñico it has boen to enable thom to aceess to the floor of Congress and the news. I have known of cases whero correspondents have servod in the capacity of clerk icithoutpay simply to be able to getat the nows and discuss current questions with leading members during tho sessions. Nor do I see any greater improprioty in tho rotention of correspondent as a clerk thanin the electiou of an editor as a meinber of Uongross. Mr. üieeley wrote lor hia paper constantly while niember of the House. Ben. Butler is a lawyer and practioea his profession constantly whila Coagress is in session, frequently running off for a week to attend to a big oase in Boston or New York. Farnsworih says that ho "practices law on tho rloor of the House," but this doubtless is an exaggeration, bat there are fifty rnembers of Congress who attend to cases with largo fees while Congress is in session, and why they should object to a poorly paid, helf starved correspondent doinga littlu committeo work, 1't see. When editors and publishers are so honest, puro, and independent that they never accept free passes irom the railroad corporations which they affect to denounce, tvnd when great lawyers who are Cougressmen refruin from attending to cases before the Supremo Court when Congress is in session, we may expect eorrespondents to decline a little extra pay hs committee clorks - and not much before. Nor do I blame the employees of Congress for reeeiving tho 15 per cent. Mditionl voted them by Congrcss. - They did not vote thesum into their own pocktts, and in a great many cases they are only eniployed during the session. - The last session was only for three months and this elass hardlyreceived pay enough lor their board-bills and their railroad tares to and from Washington. It is not an uncoinuion thing to vota additional pay at the end of a short session, and


Old News
Michigan Argus