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A Small Back-pay Steal

A Small Back-pay Steal image
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The Legislaturo of this State has provod an apt scholar : that is in learnrig fho bad trieks of Congress, tricks whicb it had solemnly condemned by resolution. We refer to the separate action of th'o Sonate and House on the 24th uit, in voting additional pay to Secretarles, Clerks, Sergeants-at Anus, Firemen, and Messengers. Those officers sought the positions held, knowing the usual per diem allowance ; their pay was flxed during the early days of the session ; if not satiafactory they could have deolined to work and turned over their offices and the duties to sorae of the numerous applicants anxious to step into their official shoes and serve the public at the designated wages. The increase voted was from 50 cents a day to Messengers, to $2 per day to the Secretarles anti Clerks, the aggregate amounting to several thousand dollars. The aggregate it is ture is small and insigniíicant compared with the pattern steal of Congres3 which furuished the precedent; but if it is no less larceny to steal a thousand. than tenor a hundred thousand dollars- the courts or the publio sometimes seem to treat the smaller steal as the greater offense it is no less a crime against the public. This action is in direct violation of the follovving constitutional provisión, Art. IV., Soc. 21 : " The Legislatura shall not grant nor authorïze extra compensation to any public oiïicer, ageut or contractor, aiter the service has been rcndered or the contract entored into." In this case the contract was made early in tho session, and all but tvo or three days of the service had been rendered. It is a good trait to be generous - with one's own money, but tó be generous with the moneys of the people is not so laudable, unless tho generosity is the complement of justice to the tax-payers as well as to the recipientsof the bounty - for it is bounty rather than pay. Another liberal appropriatiou wa3 rnade tho same day, $500 (each) to the Seoretary of the Senato and Clerk of the Honso for making indexes to the session aws and superintending the publication of the documenta of the sesáion - a work which, or all that portion of it which will devolve upon the otfioers named, can not occupy twenty days apieoe of their time. This $500 added to the $5 per day for tho session will give the Secretary and Clerk each over $1,100 for about four months and a half work, or for less than four months deducting recesses. Liberal with the people's nionev asrain. - Another sruall raid on tho treasury - not on the members' own pookets - was attempted by the House the same day. A resolution was adopted appropriating $100 to each newspaper reporter naraed, Messrs. Ciiaxey, Stockinö, Greusel, and Fairfield, which was reconsidered and postponed indefinitely. Then popped up another member with a paira itching to grab some public moneys for somebody, and offered another resolution giving the reporters above named, and representing, in their order, the Tribune, Post, Frce Press, and Saginaw Enterprise, $75 each, which resolution was adopted by yeas,_40; nays, 37. B ut these honest representatives of an honest and watchful press were not to ba caught with chaff or made parties to the plundering scheme, and forthwith addressed letters to the Speaker declining the tundered compensation. But no thanks to the House tbr such virtuous action. Tho credit of defeating that little 380 steal attaches to the reporters, who did not propose to have charity contributions doled out to thein from the treasury. At the risk of exciting our jealous cotemporaries of thecity down the Huron, we will venture a word commendatory of Senator Childs. Divesting himself of local prejudices and local pressure, he carried out his pledge made at the noininating convention, favorecí the worst liberal appropriations in aid of the University, opposed the many scherues and devices designed to distract and destroy, and proved himself a fast friend of the chief educational institutiou of the State. We speak these words cheerfully, and to make partial amend for the coldness with which he is treated both by the organs of his party and the journals in his vicinity. - We wish we could equally coiniuend his votes on sonio other matters, especïally ou the Detroit Park and other subjugating bilis. Wo suspect that both ho and Col. Geant may hereafter see cause to regret their park votes. Itf the Senate, on the 24th vilt., the ohairman of the House of Ways and Means reported the amount of appropriations made prior to the last session and unpaid. His items included $11,200 University aid and 27,000 for tha uow hall. The Uuiversity is in want of these inoneys now ooerdue. Without realizing froui them it can hardly meet its daily bilis. And yet, with nearly a million of dollars ia the treasury, warrints are withheid and payment delayed. Why is this ? Has that deposit of over half a million in a single Detroit bank the State getting four per cent. and the bank loaning for ten and going snacks with State officers, (perhaps)- auything to do wjth it ï Will some one riso to explain 'i Hojí. James Brooks, Kopreseatative in Congress froai tho Sixth New York district, died at his Washington resideuce on Wednesday evening, at 8:30 o'cloek, " from the effects of a fever contracted in Asia," the report says. Mr. Brooks Was hom in Portland, Maine. Nov. lOth 1810, and was in his 63d year. Ho has been connectad with tho New York fi.tpress since 1836, and was a writer aud speaker of decidcd ability. Daniel S. Cobb, of Kalainazoo, a retired merchant, waa appointed by Gov. Bagley and confirmed by the Senate as Eailroad Commissioner undcr the new law creating such an offioo and defining the daties of the incumbent. It is a $4,000 office, and requirea great business capacity and strict integrity. It inay be made of service to the State and people or confer no benefit upoa either. Mr. Cobb is spoken of as a first-class man, but we are not posted as to what he knows about railroads. JUDSE Mellendy, of the Branoh and St. Joseph circuit, hsd a 6troke of paralyút at Coldw&tei on the 30 th uit.


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Michigan Argus