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tories, territories this side of the river Leitha; the other, trans-Leithan, or those on the other side, being the Hungarian territory. Beginning with those on this side of the river, the upper House consists of one hundred and seventy-five members: observe, it is more than twice as large as our Senate. The lower House consists of two hundred and three members: smaller than our House of Representatives. But now pass to the other side of the river and look at the Hungarian Parliament. There the upper House contains two hundred and sixty-six members, and the lower House, or Chamber of Deputies, as it is called, four hundred and thirty-eight.
Pass to Italy, a country organized under a new constitution in the light of European and American experience, liberal, and with a disposition to found its institutions on the basis of science. The Senate of Italy contains two hundred and seventy members, the Chamber of Deputies five hundred and eight.
Then pass to Spain. There the upper branch of the Cortes contains one hundred and ninety-six members, and the lower branch four hundred and sixteen. So that you will find in all these countries, Great Britain, France, Prussia, Austria in its two Parliaments, Italy, and Spain, that the number adopted for the lower House is much larger than any now proposed for our House of Representatives.
I call attention to this fact because it illustrates by the experience of other nations what may be considered as a rule on this subject. At any rate, it shows that other nations are not deterred by anything in political experience from having a House with these large numbers; and this perhaps is of more value because European writers, political philosophers for successive gener
ations, have warred against large bodies. We have the famous saying of the Cardinal de Retz, that any body of men above a hundred is a mob; and that saying, coming from so consummate a statesman and wit, has passed into a proverb, doubtless affecting the judgment of many minds; and yet in the face of this testimony, and with the writings of political philosophers all inclining against numbers, we find that the actual practical experience of Europe has gone the other way. The popular branch in all these considerable countries is much more numerous than it is now proposed to make our House of Representatives.
REFORM AND PURITY IN GOVERNMENT:
NEUTRAL DUTIES. SALE OF ARMS TO
SPEECH IN THE SENATE, FEBRUARY 28, 1872.
FEBRUARY 12, 1872, Mr. Sumner introduced a resolution, with a preamble setting forth its grounds, providing,
"That a select committee of seven be appointed to investigate all sales of ordnance stores made by the Government of the United States during the war between France and Germany; to ascertain the persons to whom such sales were made, the circumstances under which they were made, and the real parties in interest, and the sums respectively paid and received by the real parties; and that the committee have power to send for persons and papers; and that the investigation be conducted in public."
And on his motion it was ordered to lie on the table aud be printed. On the 14th the resolution was taken up for consideration, when Mr. Sumner entered into an exposition of the matter referred to in the preamble, and of the law applicable thereto, remarking in conclusion:
"For the first time has the United States, within my knowledge, fallen under suspicion of violating the requirement of neutrality on this subject. Such seems to be our present position. We are under suspicion. What I propose is a searching inquiry, according to the magnitude of the interests involved, to ascertain if this is without just grounds."
Thereupon ensued a long and acrimonious debate, - toward the close of which, Mr. Sumner, on the 28th, in review of the case, spoke as follows:
R. PRESIDENT, Besides the unaccustomed interest which this debate excites, I cannot fail to note that it has wandered far beyond any purpose of mine, and into fields where I have no desire to follow. In a few plain remarks I shall try to bring it back to the real issue, which I hope to present without passion or prejudice. I declare only the rule of my life, when I say that nothing shall fall from me to-day which is not prompted by the love of truth and the desire for justice; but you will pardon me, if I remember that there is something on this planet higher than the Senate or any Senator, higher than any public functionary, higher than any political party: it is the good name of the American people and the purity of Government, which must be saved from scandal. In this spirit and with this aspiration I shall speak to-day.
In considering this resolution we must not forget the peculiar demands of the present moment. An aroused community in the commercial metropolis of our country has unexpectedly succeeded in overthrowing a corrupt ring by which millions of money had been sacrificed. Tammany has been vanquished. Here good Democrats vied with Republicans. The country was thrilled by the triumph, and insisted that it should be extended. Then came manifestations against abuses of the civil service generally, and especially in that other Tammany, the New York custom-house. The call for investigation. at last prevailed in this Chamber, and the newspapers have been burdened since with odious details. Everybody says there must be reform, so that the Government in all its branches shall be above suspicion. The cry for reform is everywhere, from New York to New
Orleans. Within a few days we hear of a great meeting, amounting to ten thousand, in the latter city, without distinction of party, calling for reform; and the demand is echoed from place to place. Reform is becoming a
In harmony with this cry is the appointment of a Civil Service Commission, which has proposed mild measures looking to purity and independence in officeholders.
Amidst these transactions, occupying the attention of the country, certain facts are reported, tending to show abuses in the sale of arms at the Ordnance Office, exciting at least suspicion in that quarter; and this is aggravated by a seeming violation of neutral duties at a critical moment, when, on various grounds, the nation was bound to peculiar care. It appeared as if our neutral duties were sacrificed to money-making, if not to official jobbers. The injunction of Iago seemed to be obeyed: "Put money in thy purse." These things were already known in Europe, especially through a notorious trial, and then by a legislative inquiry, so as to become a public scandal. It was time that something should be done to remove the suspicion. This could be only by a searching investigation in such way as to satisfy all at home and abroad that there was no whitewashing.
In proportion to the magnitude of the question and the great interests involved, whether of money or neutral duty, was the corresponding responsibility on our part. Here was a case for action without delay.
Under these circumstances I brought forward the present motion. Here I acted in entire harmony with that movement, now so much applauded, which overthrew
1 Case of Plau, French Consul-General at New York.