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Cabinet Officers In Congress

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It is stated on good authority that the President, in a forthcoming message to Congress on the civil service, will recommend that the menibers of the Cabinet bo allowed seats on the floor of the House of llepresentatives and the privilege of participating in the debates od questions relatiog to their departments. This is a proposition to adopt as far as practicable under our constitution and laws the theory of direct, personal responsibility of the Oabinet to the representative branch of Congress. Materially the same proposition was introduced dn'ring theTbirty-eighth Congreso (186465) by Mr. George H. Pendleton, then a member of the House from Ohio. His bill, reported favorably by the committee to which it was leferred, wae in the following terms : Be it enacted, etc, That the Secretary of State, the Öecretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of War, the Secretary of the Navy, the Secretary of the Interior, the Attorney General, and the' Postmaster General shall be entitled to occupy feats on the floor of the House of Ttepresentatives, with the right to particípate in debate upon matters relating to the buRiness of the respective derartments, under such rules at may be prescribed by the House. Sec. 2 And he it further enacted, That tbe said Secretarie?, Attorney General and the Postmaner General chall attend the sepsioiiB of the Houfe of Representativos immediately on the openinge of the rittings on Mondays and TburpdayKOf esch week, to cive iuformatinn in repiy to questions which may be propounded tothem uuder the rules of the House. There was also a draft of rules submitted for carrying out the intentions of the proposed bill, which provided that members should give notice of an inquiry for information frorn any of the heads of the departments ; that such notice should be conveyed to the proper Cabinet offlcer ; that the inquines should be first in order of business Mondays and Thursdays, and that there should be no debate or statements in the questions and answers further than should be necessary to a clear understanding of the same. No vote was ever taken on the proposed bill, but it was widely discussed pro and con in the closing days of the session. The most elabórate argHtnents were made by Messrs. Pendleton and Garfield in favor of the proposition, and by Messrs. Morrill fof Vermont) and Cox, opposed to


Old News
Michigan Argus