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Secretary Long seems to have been moved to prevent any more "trial of Schley.” The country was not of the opinion that Schley was tried, but they have read the testimony; and there need be no hard feelings as to the dissolution of the court. The people do not require any more courts to know the state of the case. The Secretary has also approved of "the Majority Report," and that is not of moment, for the testimony is published. There are several competent persons who can state their views. Mr. Long says:
"And after careful consideration the findings of fact and the opinion of the full court are approved.”
Perhaps the main matter was that no ironclad—thinly clad—ship of ours, was hurt except the Brooklyn, and she was not disabled. This was according to the policy, but the order not to risk an ironclad was disregarded by Schley.
Concerning Secretary Long's opinion of Dewey, we have this:
"As to the points on which the presiding member differs from the majority of the court, the opinion of the majority is approved.
“As to the further expression of his views by the same member with regard to the questions of command on the morning of July 3, 1898, and of the title to credit for the ensuing victory, the conduct of the court in making no finding and rendering no opinion on those questions is approved-indeed, it could with propriety take no other course, evidence on these questions during the inquiry having been excluded by the court.
"The Department approves the recommendation of the court that no further proceedings be had in the premises.
“The Department records its appreciation of the arduous labors of the whole court.
“JOHN D. LONG, Secretary of the Navy." This is Mr. Long's opinion, and it is to be valued according to the final, general judgments. It is not in harmony with the reasons why Dewey was according to President Roosevelt, sent to the Asiatic Station. There he took "risks,” even took a "loop" five miles long out of the cable. Dewey might have said much more, but it did not seem necessary.
Among the risks Dewey took were the torpedoes. He knew the Spaniards had a supply, but remembered Farragut, and ran right along, at full speed. Another risk was the nine-inch Krupp guns, three in a row at the Lunetta battery. One of the bolts from a Krupp gun passed over the Olympic and struck the water five miles down the bay. Taking such risks was contrary to the orders of the Navy Department.
Secretary Root’s reprimand is one thing as he wrote it and another in the highly colored reports of it. We remark the difference between cold fact and warm color in all that has been said on the prosecuting side of the Santiago controversy.
The Secretary of War is an extraordinarily forcible writer. His public papers are remarkable for striking statements. The "reprimand” is directed by the President and the General's explanation is "not satisfactory.” The first article of regulations governing the army, is quoted as follows:
“Deliberations or discussions among military men conveying praise or censure or any mark of approbation towards others in the military service · · · are prohibited.”
That is the way it stands, and General Miles did not seem to have it fresh in his mind. However, everybody else said the same Miles did.
Senator Foraker approved Dewey's decision and announced President Roosevelt as his candidate for the Presidency in 1904, and that seems to cover the whole ground. The best point Secretary Root makes, is that the Army had not been involved in the “unfortunate and bitter controversy” in the Navy Department. That is well taken if there is any difference of opinion about, the Navy matter in the Army. In the last sentence of the reprimand, the Secretary of War gives a bit of that fervid form of expression of which he is a master:
“It is of no consequence on whose side your opinion was, or what it was. You had no business in the controversy and no right, holding the office which you did, to express any opinion. Your conduct was in violation of the regulations above cited and the rules of official propriety; and you are justly liable to censure, which I now express.”
In regard to the second letter of General Miles, there is an edged instrument used in the P. S. as follows:
“P. S.—Your second letter of explanation, dated to-day, received since the above was written, does not change the case. The necessity for repeated explanations but illustrates the importance of the rule which you have violated.”
As for involving the Army in the naval conflict, concerning which Secretary Root expresses fear, it is to be related that during the time the army was involved at Santiago for several days' severe fighting, the Navy did not become very much involved in aiding the army-nothing done at any rate that risked an iron clad, and in the language of the President “the man chosen” as Commander-in-Chief of the American fleet, was “timid about taking risks,” and did not disobey orders, but fell into “the dangers” the President described, as "of precisely the contrary character”—that is of obeying under stress of high responsibility timid orders, instead of taking telling risks.
We are not stating or leading up to an inference, that we have found an inaccuracy or inconsistency in the compliments the President has paid Admiral Dewey, because he has not agreed with him in all things. On the contrary, what the President once said to the Admiral, that he was selected for command of a remote squadron because he would not obey the orders of absentees, whose
information might be defective, is one of the things it was precisely proper in the President to say, for the reason it was true, and in the highest degree consistent with the heroic discharge of duty.
Captain William McKinley took a risk in disobeying an order on a battle field in the Shenandoah valley, when on General Crook's staff; and if Admiral Schley was disobedient when perfectly informed, or knew better than to do as he was told, was a risk that he took as a hero; and a perfunctory finding that he disobeyed an order, may cause an unpleasant sensation and yet inflicts no reproach that is a stain. Here is the significance of the dismissal of the historian who pronounced Admiral Schley "a coward and a catiff.” That act of the President is a slap in the face of those artificers of intrigue that have caused scandal.
The President's message to Congress announces a policy of novelty in both Army and Navy, and consists in drilling the regular troops in masses, and putting into the drill, instruction that covers embarkation and disembarkation. In the Navy there is to be hard work done. We have the ships and guns, and the crews, and the ironclads had better be put to risks on stormy seas, iron clad or not, and worn out in the service rather than to rust out in harbors, or be polished and preserved as elegant and costly toys, to illustrate that
"Ill fares the land to hastening ills a prey,
When wealth accumulates, and men decay." There was at least one unquestionable impropriety in the Navy Department and that the maintenance of the "historian," Maclay, as a "laborer" in the Brooklyn Navy yard, from which he sent the proof sheets of his toil to the home guard at the “concurrent" department. The President ordered the decorative "co-laborer” removed.
The name of this belabored citizen is Maclay, and the correspondence is too curious to omit.
"Office of the General Storekeeper, Navy Yard, New York, December 24, 1901.—John R. Procter, President Civil Service Commission-Sir: On December 23 (yesterday) I received the following communication from the Secretary of the Navy:
“'Sir: I am directed by the President to ask Edgar S. Maclay, special laborer, general storekeeper's office, Navy Yard, New York, to send in his resignation.
" JOHN D. LONG, Secretary.' “This communication was addressed to the commandant of this Navy, Yard and was duly forwarded to me. I desire to get an authoritative opinion from the Civil Service commission on the following points :
"First-Has the President of the United States any authority, under the laws governing civil service, to demand the resignation of a civil service employee in the classified list?
“Second-Has the President the authority or power to cause the dismissal of any civil service employee without preferring charges in writing and giving said employee an opportunity in which to make a defense?
“EDGAR S. MACLAY.” To this the commission replied as follows:
"Dec. 26, 1901.—Mr. Edgar S. Maclay, Office of the General Storekeeper, Navy Yard, New York, N. Y.-Sir: The commission is in receipt of your letter of December 24, 1901, asking its opinion upon the following questions:
“Has the President of the United States any authority, under the laws governing civil service, to demand the resignation of a civil service employee in the classified list?
“ 'Has the President the authority or power to cause the dismissal of any. civil service employee without preferring charges in writing and giving said employee an opportunity in which to make a defense?'
“In response you are informed that it is contrary to the practice of the commission to undertake to answer hypothetical questions. Your separation from the service, according to the facts in your case, as they appeared in the public press, was made upon the order of the Secretary of the Navy, in whom the power of removal rests. The demand of your resignation, followed by your removal, upon the direction of the President, through the Secretary of the Navy, was not in violation of the civil service act and rules, in view of the wellknown facts in your case.
“The object of the rule requiring notice and a hearing was to prevent political removals or removals upon secret charges. No issue of this kind is involved in your case.
"JOHN R. PROCTER, President.” President Procter, of the Civil Service Commission, also gave out the fol- lowing statement bearing upon the case:
“The commission has always held, as shown in its thirteenth report, January 1, 1897:
“'The civil service act did not intend that incompetent persons should be retained in office. The authority of removal and its exercise for proper reasons are necessary for the discipline and the efficiency of the public service. The power of removal is not affected by the law or the rules, further than that they provide that removals shall not be made for political or religious reasons.'
"The rule of the President, July 27, 1897, requiring that a person should only be removed for just cause, and upon reasons in writing, and after an
opportunity for making answer, was for the purpose of preventing political or religious removals, or removals upon secret charges, but was in no way intended to curtail the power of removal for just cause.
“Under this rule the reasons for a removal are to be a matter of record, but it does not impair in the slightest degree the prompt exercise of the power of discipline. In discussing this rule in the fourteenth report of the commission, December 31, 1897, it is stated that 'if the reasons are sufficient the officer will not hesitate to make the removal.' It cannot be asserted that Maclay's removal was for political or religious reasons or upon secret charges, as the reason for the department's action is well known, both to Maclay, and to the public."
It will be noticed that Secretary Long was not severe with Maclaystating he was "directed by the President to ask.” That did not risk an iron clad. Maclay stuck to his place until he heard from the Civil Service Commission, and then continued to go to the yard until he was summarily discharged. This was on the day after Christmas. The laboring historian put in an appearance as usual at the Navy Yard prepared to resume his duties. Pay Director Putnam went to Maclay's desk, read him the telegram of dismissal received from Washington, told him that he was dismissed. Maclay left the yard immediately.
This laboring man seems to be the only one that wants a personal quarrel with the President. We presume this appeals to the sense of humor of the President Maclay is the apple of the eye of the corner in the Navy Department that has managed the Schley case, and the suffering in that quarter seems to be deep. This might as well be allowed to end the case.
There appeared on the day after the closing scene, a pathetic story of the condition of Admiral Sampson, John B. Weeks, of Champaign, Illinois, publishes this letter from the Admiral's wife:
“Washington, D. C., Dec. 23, 1901.—My Dear Mr. Weeks: Admiral Sampson is too ill to really understand your most kind letter, just received, but if he were well he would wish to thank you for it, he cares so much for all ‘old times' and for anything that concerns Palmyra.
“The wording of your letter shows that living in the West has not blinded your eyes to the truth concerning recent events. I have enjoyed your expression of the true facts as you understand them.
"My dear husband is quite worn out with a long life of concentrated duty. Physically he is comfortable and happy, but the brain is tired beyond ever being rested.
“ELIZABETH BURLING SAMPSON.”