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L'Indépendance Belge." The Senator from Vermont, [Mr. EDMUNDS,] not recognizing the character of this important journal, distrusted the report. But this testimony does not depend upon that journal alone. I have it in another journal, "Le Courrier des États-Unis," of October 27, 1871, evidently copied from a Parisian journal, probably one of the law journals, where it is given according to the formal report of a trial, with question and answer:
"THE PRESIDING JUDGE. Did not this indemnity of twenty-five cents represent certain material expenses, certain disbursements, incidental expenses?
"M. LE CESNE. We could not admit these expenses; for we had an agreement with the American Federal Government, which had engaged to deliver free on board all the arms on account of France."
Now I make no comment on this testimony except to remark that it is in entire harmony with the letter of Mr. Remington, and that beyond all doubt it was given. in open court under oath, and duly reported in the trial, so as to become known generally in Europe. The position of M. Le Cesne gave it authority; for, beside his recent experience as Chairman of the Arms Committee, he is known as a former representative in the Assembly from the large town of Havre, and also a resident for twenty years in the United States. In confirmation of the value attached to this testimony, I mention that my attention was first directed to it by Hon. Gustavus Koerner, of Illinois, Minister of the United States at Madrid, under President Lincoln.
To this cumulative testimony I add that already supplied by our Minister at Berlin, under date of January 7,
1871, and published by the Department of State, where it is distinctly said that "recently rifled cannon and ammunition have been furnished to the French in enormous quantities, not only by private American traders, but by the War Department at Washington." This I have already adduced under another head. It is mentioned now to show how the public knowledge of Europe was in harmony with the other evidence.
There is another piece of testimony, which serves to quicken suspicion. It is already admitted by the Secretary of War, that, after refusing Mr. Remington because he was an agent of France, bids were accepted from Thomas Richardson, who was in point of fact an attorney-at-law at Ilion, and agent and attorney of Mr. Remington. But the course of Mr. Remington, and his relations with this country attorney, are not without official illustration. Since this debate began I have received a copy of a law journal of Paris, "Le Droit, Journal des Tribunaux," of January 18, 1872, containing the most recent judicial proceedings against the French Consul-General at New York. Here I find an official
report from the acting French Consul there, addressed to the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, under date of August 25, 1871, where a fact is described which was authenticated at the Consulate, being an affidavit or deposition before a notary by a clerk of Mr. Remington, on which the report remarks:
"This declaration establishing that this manufacturer caused the books of his house to be recopied three times, and in doing so altered the original form."
The Report adds:
1 Ante, p. 12.
"It is in this document that mention is made of the character, I might say criminal, which the name of Richardson appears to have assumed in the affairs of Mr. Remington."
After remarking that the witness who has thus testified has exposed himself to the penalties of perjury, being several years of imprisonment, the Report proceeds:
"You see from this that the operations of Mr. Remington give only too much of a glimpse of the most audacious frauds."
Here is testimony tending at least to stimulate inquiry: Mr. Remington's books altered three times, and the name of Richardson playing a criminal part. I quote this from an official document, and leave it.
Here, then, are six different sources of testimony, all prompting inquiry: first, the resolution of a committee of the French Assembly, showing suspicion of American officials; secondly, the cable dispatch of Squire, son-inlaw and agent of Mr. Remington, declaring that "we have the strongest influences working for us, which will use all their efforts to succeed"; thirdly, the letter of Mr. Remington, reporting, in various forms and repetitions, that he is dealing with the American Government; fourthly, the testimony of M. Le Cesne, the Chairman of the French Armament Committee, made in open court and under oath, that the French "had an agreement with the American Federal Government, which had engaged to deliver free on board all the arms on account of . France"; fifthly, the positive declaration of the London "Times" in the face of Europe, and reported by our Minister at Berlin, that rifled canuon and ammunition
had been furnished to the French in enormous quantities by the War Department at Washington; and, sixthly, the testimony of a clerk of Mr. Remington, authenticated by the French Consul-General at New York, that Mr. Remington had altered his books three times, and also speaking of the criminal character of Richardson in the affairs of Mr. Remington. On this cumulative and concurring testimony from six different sources is it not plain that there must be inquiry? The Senate cannot afford to close its eyes. The resolution of the committee of the French Assembly alone would be enough; but reinforced as it is from so many different quarters, the case is irresistible. Not to inquire is to set at defiance all rules of decency and common-sense.
To these successive reasons I add the evidence, which has been much discussed, showing a violation of the statute authorizing the sale of "the old cannon, arms, and other ordnance stores, now in possession of the War Department, which are damaged or otherwise unsuitable for the United States military service or for the militia of the United States," 1 inasmuch as stores were sold which were not "damaged" or "otherwise unsuitable." I think no person can have heard the debate without admitting that here at least is something for careful investigation. The Senator from Missouri has already exposed this apparent dereliction of duty, which in its excess ended in actually disarming the country, so as to impair its defensive capacity. One of the crimes of the Cabinet of Mr. Buchanan on the eve of the Rebellion was that the North had been disarmed. It is important to consider whether, in the strange greed for
1 Joint Resolution, July 20, 1868: Statutes at Large, Vol. XV. p. 259.
money or in the misfeasance of subordinates, something similar was not done when good arms were sold to France. The Chief of Ordnance, in his last Annual Report, which will be found in the Report of the Secretary of War, makes the following statement:
"Now there are less than ten thousand breech-loading muskets in the arsenals for issue. This number of muskets is not half sufficient to supply the States with the muskets they are now entitled to receive under their apportionment of the permanent appropriation for arming and equipping the militia."
Why, then, were breech-loading muskets exchanged for French gold? The Chief of Ordnance then proceeds: -
"This Department should, as soon as possible, be placed in a condition to fill all proper requisitions by the States upon it, and should also have on hand in store a large number of breech-loading muskets and carbines to meet any emergency that may arise."
But these very breech-loading muskets have gone to France. The Chief of Ordnance adds:
"Ten years ago the country felt that not less than a million of muskets should be kept in store in the arsenals." 1
Why was not this remembered, when the arsenals were stripped to supply France ?
This important testimony speaks for itself. It is not sufficient to recount against it the arms actually in the national arsenals. The Chief of Ordnance answers the allegation by his own statements. He regrets the small number of breech-loading muskets on hand, and refers
1 Executive Documents, 42d Cong. 2d Sess., H. of R., No. 1, Part 2, pp. 250, 251.