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Take Care Of The Pennies, &c.

Take Care Of The Pennies, &c. image
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Attorney General Pierrepont bas ïssued a circular letter to Circuit and District Judges, District Attorneys and Marshals, calling attention to abuses of administration and insisting on their correctiou. The appropriation for expenses for the present fiscal year, he says, is nearly exhausted, so that there is exceptional necessity for " severer economy and stricter accountabiltty." Among the evils mentionod by the Attorney General is the practice of keeping in attendance upon tho oourts a large number of witnesses, " whose testimony is uot of the Blightost value," or who, in many cases, do not testify at all. They are "mere lazy loungers about tho oourt for the sake of the fees." Mr. Pierrepont shows us how extensively the business of a witness has been carried on. The profits of the trade are not specifically set forth, but from the industry with which it is prosocuted it may be inferred that thoy are considerable. The charges for othor things aro said to be " exorbitant and unnecossary," and it would be strango if witness fees were an exception to the rule of extravagance. One advantage of the occupation is that the work may be easily and indefinitely niultiplied. A man can " lounge " in a dozen cases at once without any more labor than is involved in lounging in a singlo suit. There has been a similar looseness of disbursement in the matter of expenses for arresting, transportiug and keeping prisoners, for jurors, for miloage and for other things. To remedy the evil the Attorney-General directa that hereafter marshals shall subpoena only such persons as the District Attorney shall require in writing to be summoned, and the latter, " will be held rosponsible for the number of wituesses who attend the courts." It is precisely in matters of detail such as these that the practical work o) reform is to be accoiupiished. The head of a department, however honest and energetic he may be, often rogards his petty affairs if not as beneath his dignity, at least as things upon which it is not necessary for him to waste his time. He expects to secure reform by large means, by contriving new systems and broad and comprehensivo plans, or by some brilliant and novel stroke. If reform can be effected in this showy way, very well ; but we believe that it very soldom is so. However ingenious a system may be, its success, after all, depends upon the way in which it is administered. To look after that is the first duty of an executive officer. Nothiug connected with it is beneath his dignity, and no time given to it is wasted A witness' fee and a marshal's travel ing expenses for a mile are small matters in themselves, but many of them together make a large matter. Besides, petty abuses prepare the way for greal corruption, and bad administration in little things almost certainly implies bad administration in big things. We are glad that Attorney-Genera' Pierrepont has set to work in a practical fashion and made his first demonstration against petty but systeinatic abuses. If he goos on steadfastly he will make the Department of Justice what its name signifies and set a good example for his associates in the government. Tiie Detroit Post extracts and commends a " part of a sentence " from the speech made by Judge Taft at the recent Ohio Republican State Convention It is " universal liberty and universal suffrage, secured and made safo by universal education," and which the Posl moves to " insert in the National Kepublican platform next year." Meantima will the Post teil us what it or Judge Taft means by the " highfalutia " phrase, especially by universal liberty, universal suffrage, and universal education ? Are jails and prisons to be abolished, minors (including babies) voters, and to what extent is the universal curriculum to be be enjoined upon universal man - woman included ? Cincinnati is going to have a statue of Cincinnatus upon the top of a tower, and a correspondent asks the New York Evening Express, Who was Cincinnatus, any how? That journal replies: Cincinnatus was one of the most extensivo wholesale pork dealers in ancient Eome, and the inventor of that famous vegetable now known as the Bologna sausage. He killed the pigs on his farm, and toted them to the city in a wheelbarrow. When the Romans got into a row with the iEquians, the former hired Cincinnatus to go into the camp of the latter and grease the soles of their brogans with lard. This he did so successfully that the iEquians couldn't move two steps in any direction without slipping down. While thus deplorably embarrassed, the Romans feil upon thein with great fury and put every man ef them to the sword. Cincinnati is called Porkopolis after Cincinnatus. TnE London Economist of May 22, referring to the monetary crash at Rio de Janeiro, says that the low prices of sugar, cotton and other Brazillian productB during the laBt year, following upon a period of inflation in business, and this in a country which commits the two great economie blunders of having a vicious fiscal system, including heavy duties on exports, and an inconvertible paper currenoy, are quite sufficient to account for a very serious crisis ; and it is disposed to condemn the remedy that the Brazilian governraent proposeii to apply, which was an issue of more inconvertible paper, something after tho fashion of the lato Mr. Secretary Richardson's ptoceedings here in 1873. The quantity of inconvertible currency now in existonce in Brazil amounts to about $80,000,000, according to the consular reports to the British governineut. Jubub Hoar, of Massachusetts, has given a written opinión in tho New Ilauipshire Senatorial question, which sustains the position taken by the Demócrata, and in conflict with the action of the seceding Senators.


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Michigan Argus