THE CONGRESSIONAL GLOBE (P. 1416--March 5, 1872)
Relevant Material in RED BOLD FACE
inserting "judges of the Court of Claims." I think they ought to be admitted,
The amendment was rejected.
The VICE PRESIDENT. The question recurs on
agreeing to the proposed amendment to the rule as amended.
The amendment as amended was agreed to.
Mr. COLE. Now I demand the regular order.
Mr. CONKLING. I wish to make an inquiry of
the Chair. Was the last question upon agreeing to the third clause?
The VICE PRESIDENT. It was, as amended by the Senate.
Mr. CONKLING. So that the subject still remains
before the Senate?
The VICE PRESIDENT. No; it is agreed to now.
Mr. CONKLING. There is no further vote to be taken?
The VICE PRESIDENT. No further vote on the amendment
ot the forty-seventh rule.
Mr. CONKLING. Then I ask the Senator from California
to allow me to call attention to one thing that will take but a moment,
and there may not be another time so appropriate. The forty-sixth
"Messengers may be introduced
in any state of business, except while a question is being put, while the
yeas and nays are being called, or while the ballots are being counted."
This rule very likely
means, and by some occupants of the chair it is held to mean, that if a
Senator be on the floor for a momentary purpose, making perhaps a single
remark, or receiving an answer to a question, if at that time the eye of
the Presiding Officer falls upon a messenger, everything is to be suspended,
the Senator is to take his seat while this message is received. I
submit that course is not economical of time or convenience, if there be
no other objection to it. I think that is not the way any deliberative
body ought to do business. Some distinguished person comes into court,
no matter how distinguished the person is, no matter what his relations
to the court may be, it is enough that his communication should be received
at the first moment when it can be done conveniently. But if there
be some argument going on, if there be some man upon the floor engaging
the court, I think that nobody knows an instance in which any sort of propriety
or deference has been held to require that instantly everything must stop
in order that the person, no matter of how much consideration, may be heard.
I should like to have this rule so far amended or
so far relaxed in its application that some attention, some heed shall
be given to a Senator who may at the time be speaking. Of course,
the Senator will yield at a convenient time. It happened to me the
other day, when the present Presiding Officer was not in the chair, but
when the honorable Senator from Rhode Island was presiding, who is one
of the last Presiding Officers on earth, I think, that would ever incommode
anybody by design, or even by accident, that I was addressing to the Senator
from Iowa one single remark, the statement of which, as it appeared in
the Globe, did not exceed an inch long; and in the midst of that, it was
necessary for me to stop and sit down while the Clerk of the House or Representatives
delivered a number of bills, which carried away from the mind and recollection
of every Senator any point, had there been a point--I do not insist there
was--in the remark I was then making. If there had been any point,
it would have evaporated and vanished entirely before the time came when
I could complete my sentence. I think there should be no rule which
constrains any Presiding Officer to be so precise as that; but, on the
contrary, when a messenger comes here, if it is necessary for him to wait
a minute, or five minutes, until there is a convenient pause when the message
may be delivered, that would be a full satisfaction of every courtesy due
from the body. Usually it is not the slightest inconvenience to the
speaker that he yields; but sometimes it may be.
Mr. COLE. I must call for the regular order.
The Senator does not offer any proposition.
Mr. CONKLING. I have a proposition.
I was under a misapprehension in supposing that the vote was being taken
on the amendment to the amendment.
The VICE PRESIDENT. It was on the amendment to the
rule as amended.
Mr. CONKLING. The final vote was taken without my
knowing it. I meant to have offered this:
Add to rule forty-six, "but
when a Senator is speaking it shall be optional with him to yield or not."
I make that as a mere
suggestion. Very likely there is a better way of getting at it, but
in some form I would like a rule which would relieve the Presiding Officer
from the necessity of introducing a messenger at a moment which may be
Mr. COLE. That would have to be proposed,
and go over one day at any rate.
Mr. ANTHONY. If there is any fault, it is
because the Presiding Officer is to judge when a Senator shall be interrupted,
and is liable to make a mistake. I do not think it is done intentionally;
but if it were left optional with the speaker whether he should be interrupted
or not; where should we be? I have known a speaker to hold the floor
four days, and a man who would not consent to be interrupted either.
Mr. CONKLING. The Senator from Rhode Island
is a little too liberal in his construction here. "Messengers may
be introduced in any state of business."
Mr. ANTHONY. "May be," not "shall be."
Mr. CONKLING. I understand; but if I was willing
to take time I might show that "may be" does not mean anything very different
from "shall be" there: "In any state of business except while a question
is being put, while the yeas and nays are being called, or while the ballots
are being counted." Now, the Senator says that if this rule is amended
so as to make it optional for a Senator to yield or not, he may hold the
floor four days. Let me remind the Senator that he is not taken off
the floor by interruption; he resumes the floor at once, and if he wants
to hold the floor four days, he can prevent any sort of action on a message
of the President, executive or otherwise. Therefore it does not put
it in the power of a Senator to interrupt the business of the Senate in
any case more than now.
Mr. EDMUNDS. It would interrupt the messenger.
Mr. CONKLING. Yes, he might interrupt the
Mr. POMEROY. I wish to call the attention
of the Senator from New York to the reason of the rule, and why I think
there would be great inconvenience as well as great impropriety in allowing
a Senator the option of yielding the floor or not. These messages
are from coördinate branches of the Government, from the President
or House of Representatives, and they should have precedence over a Senator
in being presented here. But the Presiding Officer always has the
discretion to call on the Senator who may be on the floor to yield at some
convenient period in his remarks. I think that discretion is always
used by the Presiding Officer, and should be.
Mr. CONKLING. I think the rule gives very
Mr. POMEROY. I do not think the rule should
be changed so that messengers from the coördinate departments of the
Government should wait the pleasure of a Senator whether he would let them
communicate to the Senate or not.
Mr. COLE. That cannot be considered at this
time anyway. I demand the regular order.
Mr. CONKLING. I take no exception to that,
although I have said to the Senate that this was a surprise to me.
I was under an entire misapprehension; I should have offered my amendment
but that I supposed the last vote taken was a vote on an amendment to the
Mr. TRUMBULL. There is another rule pending.
We are not through with the report yet.
Mr. CONKLING. Then, on the suggestion of the
Senator from Illinois, I will move my amendment, which may not be a very
good one in form, to the other rule, which he says is pending.
Mr. TRUMBULL. I understand there is one pending.
The VICE PRESIDENT. There is one pending.
The Chair will state to the Senator from New York that the previous proposition
was an amendment to the forty-seventh rule, and his amendment is to the
Mr. CONKLING. The Chair is quite right.
The VICE PRESIDENT. The Chair will state now
that is has always been his custom in presiding at the other end of the
Capitol, as well as in this branch of Congress, to wait until a member
has completed a sentence where he might probably be interrupted with less
inconvenience to himself than at any other point, before he announced a
message from the President or from the other House. Sometimes the
messengers desire to return as soon as possible to official duties, and
therefore the Chair has sometimes asked Senators to pause when they would
perhaps have preferred to wait a moment or two longer.
Mr. COLE. I call for the regular order.
The VICE PRESIDENT. The Chair desires to draw
the attention of the Senate to the fact that in the forty-seventh rule
there are now two surplus "ands. If there is no objection the Secretary
will be authorized to omit them in preparing this rule for publication.
One "and" will be inserted before the last clause, "the Librarian of Congress,"
and the others omitted if there is no objection. The Secretary will
make that verbal correction.
A message from the President of the United
States, by Mr. Horace Porter, his Secretary, announced that the President
had on the 2d instant approved and signed the following acts:
An act (S. No. 392) to
set apart a certain tract of land lying near the headwaters of the Yellowstone
river as a public park.
act (S. No. 423) for the relief of Julia A. Smith;
An act (S. No. 550) to constitute
Shreveport, in the State of Louisiana, a port of delivery; and
An act (S. No. 675) granting
to James D. Dana the use of certain plates.
The message also announced
that the President had on this day approved and signed an act (S. No. 445)
to defray the expenses of district judges from other districts while holding
district or circuit courts in the southern district of New York.
MESSAGE FROM THE HOUSE.
A message from the House of
Representatives, by Mr. McPHERSON, its Clerk, announced that the House
had passed the following bills; in which the concurrence of the Senate
A bill (H. R. No. 1390) for
the relief of the sureties of the late Jesse J. Simpkins, deceased;
A bill (H. R. no. 1857) to
relieve certain citizens of Georgia therein named from their political
A bill (H. R. No. 1858) to
relieve certain persons therein named from political disabilities; and,
A bill (H. R. No. 1854) to
authorize Rev. Jeremiah Moynihan, of New Orleans to import one set of marble
altars free of duty.
The message also announced
that the House...
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