Civil-service Reform Amd Democracy: An Address Delivered at the Annual Meeting of the National Civil-service Reform League, April 25, 1893

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Pub. for the National civil-service reform league, 1893 - 31 pages
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Page 16 - ... the President can displace from office a man whose merits require that he should be continued in it. What will be the motives which the President can feel for such abuse of his power, and the restraints that operate to prevent it? In the first place, he will be impeachable by this House, before the Senate, for such an act of mal-administration; for I contend that the wanton removal of meritorious officers would subject him to impeachment and removal from his own high trust.
Page 7 - The evil would increase with the multiplication of offices consequent upon our extension, and the mania for office-holding, growing from its indulgence, would pervade our population so generally that patriotic purpose, the support of principle, the desire for the public good, and solicitude for the nation's welfare, would be nearly banished from the activity of our party contests and cause them to degenerate into ignoble, selfish, and disgraceful struggles for the possession of office and public...
Page 7 - Experience in its administration will probably suggest amendment of the methods of its execution, but I venture to hope that we shall never again be remitted to the system which distributes public positions purely as rewards for partisan service.
Page 14 - It would have been to me a circumstance of great relief, had I found a moderate participation of office in the hands of the majority. I would gladly have left to time and accident to raise them to their just share. But their total exclusion calls for prompter corrections. I shall correct the procedure ; but that done, return with joy to that state of things, when the only questions concerning a candidate shall be, is he honest ? Is he capable ? Is he faithful to the Constitution ? I tender you the...
Page 13 - With regard to appointments, I have so much confidence in the justice and good sense of the federalists, that I have no doubt they will concur in the fairness of the position, that after they have been in the exclusive possession of all offices from the very first origin of party among us, to the 3d of March, at 9 o'clock in the night, no republican ever admitted, and this doctrine newly avowed, it is now perfectly just that the republicans should come in for the vacancies which may fall in, until...
Page 13 - Of the thousands of officers, therefore, in the United States, a very few individuals only, probably not twenty, will be removed, and these only for doing what they ought not to have done.
Page 7 - ... reform has found a place in our public policy and laws. The benefits already gained through this instrumentality and the further usefulness it promises entitle it to the hearty support and encouragement of all who desire to see our public service well performed or who hope for the elevation of political sentiment and the purification of political methods.
Page 7 - ... dictate of honesty and good government that public expenditures should be limited by public necessity, and that this should be measured by the rules of strict economy ; and it is equally clear that frugality among the people is the best guaranty of a contented and strong support of free institutions. One mode of the misappropriation of public funds is avoided when appointments to office, instead of being the rewards of partisan activity, are awarded to those whose efficiency promises a fair return...
Page 13 - March, at 9 o'clock in the night, no republican ever admitted, and this doctrine newly avowed, it is now perfectly just that the republicans should come in for the vacancies which may fall in, until something like an equilibrium in office be restored. But the great stumbling block will be removals, which though made on those just principles only on which my predecessor ought to have removed the same persons, will nevertheless be ascribed to removal on party principles.
Page 7 - I venture to hope that we shall never again be remitted to the system which distributes public positions purely as rewards for partisan service. Doubts may well be entertained whether our Government could survive the strain of a continuance of this system, which upon every change of administration inspires an immense army of claimants for office to lay siege to the patronage of Government, engrossing the time of public officers with their importunities, spreading abroad the contagion of their disappointment,...

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