QUESTIONABLE NATIONAL EXPENDITURE.
1. The census.
2. It is not worth the cost.
3. Better ways for expending the money.
4. It is not a census.
5. What should be done.
6. When the government would be justified in extending census work.
7. Expenditure for education. 7a. Investigation of labor questions.
8. Postal savings banks.
9. Bounties to sugar growers. DD. Ship subsidies. II. Grants of money and land to railways.
12. Evils from such grants.
13. Destruction of eastern farmers.
14. National land surveys.
16. Expenditure for rivers and harbors.
57. Condition on which they should be made.
18. Ought they to be made at all? 59. Is the lessening of the cost of transportation a sufficient reason? 20. Is this fair treatment to land transportation companies? 21. This reasoning does not apply to the Erie Canal.
22. Better results of making conditional appropriations to land transportation companies.
23. The present policy defeats its own end.
24. What the policy of Congress should be.
25. The building of reservoirs for farmers.
26. The collecting of trade information.
27. The Occidental Trade Commission.
28. A national university.
29. Advantages. 3o. Same subject.
1. The first item of questionable expenditure that may be mentioned is the census. The Constitution pro vides that at the beginning of every decade the popula tion Shall be enumerated for the purpose of apportion ing the representatives of the lower house of Congress. This constitutional mustard-seed has had an extraordi nary growth, for the census of 1890 was hardly com pleted ten years after beginning work at a cost of $11, 539,278, nor was less money and time required for the preceding census of 1880. It need not be remarked that the persons selected for this work ought to be com petent and conscientious. An authentic illustration may be given of the work done by one of the census employes. It was thought desirable to col lect information concerning the mortgaging of farms in the various States, and test counties were selected. In one of them the official, instead of making inquiries as he should, either of the persons who mort gaged their farms or of others possessing correct infor mation, hired a room in a hotel, and, in imitation of the spider's mode of working, drew out the reasons day by day in a peaceful and noiseless manner from his inner self. He rarely went out, afraid, perhaps, of the sun shine or the rain. It is not believed that many of the census employes were as conscienceless as the one de scribed, but enough is known of the work of the enum erators of population in some places to discredit greatly the information given by the government to the world in these stately folios.
2. Even if the figures are correct, the knowledge thus acquired is not worth the cost. Eleven million dol lars is a large sum, expended for work much of which is obsolete, or too imperfect for use. It is true that a large number of persons were employed in collecting or manu facturing information ; but did the gain to them justify the Government in incurring this expenditure? The cost of the census exceeded the endowment of every college in the United States except three or four of the largest. Imagine the difference in results from an expenditure by one of these institutions and from the money thus spent for collecting the information contained in these twenty five volumes! 3. Again, in undertaking the business of education, the first duty of the Government is to teach the people the rights and duties of citizenship. It will hardly be contended that the information thus collected can be util ized very extensively by the people. Only specialists can work with much success in this huge quarry. How much more might have been accomplished by expending $11,000,000 in diffusing information concerning the ob ject of government, the rights and duties of its members, and in promoting the principles and love of justice! 4. Lastly, this is not a census in the proper meaning of the term. These ponderous volumes are a vast ceme tery of figures, taken from the two worlds of fact and fic tion, so naively buried together that no orie will ever be able to separate them.
5. What evidently should be done is to comply with the constitutional requirement, and no more; the work of collecting information, needful for legislative or other public purposes, can be undertaken in better ways and at less expense by the different departments of Govern ment.
6. We would not assert that the Government will never be justified in extending the census work beyond the constitutional limit. If its methods are improved so that the work can be done in a trustworthy manner, and results can be obtained that are worth the cost, then the Government may be justified, having gained constitu tional assent, in going further. But it certainly is not, so long as the work is so imperfect.' Happily, Congress has at last learned the lesson and the census of 190o has been kept within narrower boundaries. Let us hope that the census freshet will continue to recede until it is confined within the limits intended by the makers of the Constitution.
7. From the census let us pass to the department of education. So far as any authority exists to do such work, it must be found, we think, imbedded in the au thority of the Government to defend and preserve itself ; and to this end the education of the people in all ways relating to good citizenship in its broadest sense—the best use of one's powers, mental, physical and moral—is with in the scope of the Government. Admitting that all the information collected and diffused by the Government has a truly educational purpose, yet it is so remote, com pared with what might be done, as to fall under the ban of criticism. It is true that the expense incurred for National education is not large, but the way is opened for limitless expenditures so long as no principle, no limi tation, is set up to guide the legislator. Thus far nothing very important has been added by the Government to the world's stock of knowledge. For the most part informa tion gathered by other sources has been put into new forms. Whatever may be its value, ought not the work to have been done by the States, cities and educational institutions? 7a. Another expenditure of a questionable character is for the department of labor. If such work ought to be done at public expense, are not the States and mu nicipalities the proper functionaries? Ought not the National Government to keep true to its original pur pose of performing those larger functions that cannot be performed at all, or less efficiently by the State? Surely there is nothing peculiar about the work of the Labor Bureau which renders the national performance of it more effective than any other. It is true that the Government has been fortunate in having its work con ducted by a man of peculiar fitness, but this should not prevent any one from seeing the questionable nature of the ground itself occupied by the National Govern ment. The truth should not be disguised that the cause of labor, great and worthy as it is, possesses no pe culiar feature which justifies the Government in singling it out for frequent investigation and study.
8. Another experiment, occasionally recommended by a government official, is the establishing of postal savings banks. The sad history of the British govern ment's attempt to conduct such institutions, so succinct ly described by Mr. Loud during the last session of Congress,la ought to be a sufficient warning to our gov ernment. The British government is paying depositors a higher rate of interest than is earned on their money, but dares not lessen the rate—behold the strong shadow of the voters! 9. Another expenditure that may be classified as questionable are bounties given to manufacturers or producers to compensate them for anticipated losses growing, out of changes in the tariff. Thus the sugar growers were compensated when the duty on sugar was lessened several years ago and more than $4o,000, 000 were paid them to reimburse their real or imag inary losses. This surely is a dangerous principle for the Government to establish and maintain. Assuming that the granting of assistance was justifiable in the beginning, does it follow that, if it is begun by the Gov ernment, it must be perpetual? No one questions the cogent reasons lying at the foundation of our pension system; but suppose the revenues of the Government should greatly decline, would it not be justified in diminishing expenditures for pensions in common with expenditures for all other purposes? If therefore the expenditure for this purpose is not a perpetual, un changeable obligation, certainly the granting of assist ance, a gift, to manufacturers, producers or any other class is not of a higher character.
io. That the granting of a subsidy or bounty to American shipping is a questionable expenditure is clearly shown by the wide difference of opinion on the subject. This contrariety of opinion is twofold : First, with respect to the general principle of granting a sub sidy for such a purpose; and, secondly, if it ought to 'be granted, the conditions or terms. That the subject is in the questionable category is too clear for dispute. The arguments, however, in favor of and against na tional assistance need not be repeated here, and a ref erence to them must suffice. It may be added, though, that if the principle of special national assistance to any business, or industry be admitted, it is difficult to re sist the conclusion that shippers make quite as strong a plea why it should be given to them as many others can do to whom it is given.'' T. The wisdom of grants to railways,' both of land and money, may be questioned. The grants of land to the Union Pacific and Central Pacific, which form a con tinuous line to the Pacific, have been justified, as many think, because they have lessened the power of the In dians in marring the general peace. The same reason has been spread over the land grants to the Northern Pacific. Before the construction of that road the Indians con stantly passed and repassed the boundary line, and could not be easily restrained from perpetrating outrages. The railway has proved an effective barrier, cutting off their retreat to the northern country, and thereby lessening their aggressive power. But this reason did not justify the Government in making lavish grants of land to other companies from which no such public advantages have accrued.
12. On the other hand, some great evils have had their origin in this policy of government. The first to be mentioned is the building of railroads far in advance of settled portions of the country, and sinking for a long period, or forever, large amounts of capital. The method of many of these companies was to establish ways of transportation, and then invite settlement; and this policy was justifiable within proper limits. But they should not have gone so fast or so far. Instead of keeping only a short distance ahead of settlements, and thus of compact ing settlers, railroads have been built at great expense all over the unsettled portions of the United States. If the Government had not tempted them with enormous grants of land, they never would have moved so wildly. The Government might have accomplished the same re sult, but in a wiser manner. It might have granted land to companies more slowly, or as needed for settlement. Had this policy been pursued, hundreds of millions of cap ital, now sunk, would not have been thus used. The pop ulation of the country would have spread over a smaller area and have been much denser, resulting in greater economies in maintaining the postal service, in establish ing and maintaining churches and schools, highways—in short, in all matters pertaining to civilization. How much better would the sick have fared had the country been more thickly settled ! In other words, our Western civilization has been the most wasteful imaginable, and with the least comfort and economy to the settlers.
13. These results of the government policy, though bad enough, are not the worst. To develop the railroads and earn dividends, not only their lands, but the lands of the Government, have been sold at low prices. The con sequence is that the cheaper farming plants of the West have crushed the farming industry in the East, and are now laying low those in the eastern portion of the valley of the Mississipp1. Had this colossal destruction been caused by private competition, the destroyed might in deed have mourned over their unhappy fate, but could not have complained of the injustice or shortsightedness of the Government. They would have regarded their fate as caused by one of the unknown perils of industry, against which no wisdom can always provide. For the Government to smite them down, as it has done, by fur nishing others with cheaper farms, is a most extraordi nary policy, for which there is no defense. It is true that consumers have the benefit of cheaper products, both in the East and in other countries, but their gain does not justify the Government in destroying the farmers in the East without making compensation to them. And the Government still continues this policy without making a sign of granting compensation to those whom it has destroyed.
14. Another questionable expenditure are National surveys of land within State limits. Of course, the Gov ernment has a right to make surveys and examinations of its own lands, but we cannot conceive any justification in making surveys and examinations of State lands except for defensive purposes. The Government is no more jus tified in doing this than in doing any other work for a State building, a State house or highway. It is true the amount thus expended has not been large, but it is an nually increasing, and the tendency is clearly in the wrong direction.
Is. Of the same nature are expenditures for public exhibitions. Many of the nations have done likewise, and such expenditures have received the public sanction as possessing commercial value. Perhaps this view is correct; but if it is, to any degree, the United States has gone far beyond reasonable limits. Intercourse between States and countries is so cheap and easy that less cogent reasons exist than formerly for bringing together the in dustrial treasures of the world. Besides, many have learned by the more recent exhibitions that the newest in dustrial ideas are no longer freely put on exhibition. An eminent mechanic, who spent several weeks at the Chi cago exposition, told the writer that in minutely examin ing every piece of machinery exhibited he only saw three pieces that were new to him, and that these three did not contain the newest ideas pertaining to the particular ma chines in which they were embodied. The latest per fected printing press was not there, because the inventor did not care to put his ideas where they could be readily copied. Prom the industrial point of view, therefore, the later exhibitions are not so useful as were the earlier ones. Doubtless much is learned, many are stimulated, but whether they are worth their cost is another ques tion. Great Britain was satisfied with one experiment of this kind, and Chicago wants no more.' i6. Another expenditure of this character relates to the improving of rivers and harbors.' At one time the Government built roads for military purposes, justifying its conduct from military necessity. It is evident, on the slightest consideration of this subject, that the bene fits derived from such improvements are in some cases both local and general ; in others only local. The asser tion may be easily maintained that in places where the improving of rivers and harbors is most desirable, the local advantage is so great that the local Government would be willing to unite in defraying a part of the ex pense of the general improvement, and the willingness of a locality to do so might serve as a proper test to de termine whether such an expenditure ought to be made. Philadelphia has been much interested, of late years, in improving the Delaware, and has contributed very con siderable sums for this purpose. The same thing has been done in other places. May it not be safely assumed that this would be done in almost all cases where real im provements are desired. For example, to improve the Mississippi, would not the States to be especially bene fited make an appropriation, if this were the condition of a National grant? Were National appropriations made on this condition, without doubt improvements not de sired, of no real worth, would be eliminated from the list.' 17. The Government ought not to appropriate a dol lar of the public money for the improvement of any river or harbor except on condition that the locality especially benefited shall contribute a considerable proportion for the same purpose. Ought Congress to make an appro priation to deepen the Delaware? If so, let Philadelphia or the State of Pennsylvania, or the States of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, appropriate a similar sum. Ought an appropriation to be made for New York harbor or Hud son River ? The cities surrounding these waters of the States of New York and New Jersey should contribute as much more. Ought the navigation of the Mississippi to be improved? If so, the States through which it flows or those which adjoin it should contribute a similar sum.
If appropriations for improving rivers and harbors were made on this principle, the needed improvements in most cases would receive local support, while the others would fail. Perhaps there would be disagreement concerning the amount of money the locality ought to give; perhaps the percentage ought to be larger in some cases than in others, but as a local benefit is to accrue from every real improvement, so the principle of a local appropriation ought to be an indispensable condition to the obtaining of a National grant for this purpose.' 18. The question still remains, On what grounds can these improvements by the General Government be justi fied? One ground is to secure more perfectly the coun try against foreign attacks. Yet if the water of a river or harbor is deepened so that vessels can enter, is not the danger increased of foreign invasion through the same ways? 19. Again, it is said that such improvements are jus tifiable because they improve commercial intercourse. Is there no limit to the action of the Government in im proving the modes of intercourse between the States? If it be admitted that the Government can build railroads, of course it can improve rivers and harbors. But would not many a man, and the public, too, be better off if less money was squandered on some of the so-called rivers and harbors and used in building and improving vessels? Again, if those who are engaged in commerce have a right to ask the Government to deepen rivers, so that larger vessels can be borne on them, have not manufac turers as good reason to ask Congress to enlarge their plants and introduce the most improved machinery, so that they can fulfill more perfectly the needs of pro duction? 20. The fact cannot be ignored that internal improve ments are in many cases for localities, and not for all. It is contended that the advantages of commerce are dif fusive ; that by deepening a river so that larger vessels can enter and discharge their cargo, which is sold and distributed at less cost among thousands and millions, all are benefited. This is the foundation on which river and harbor improvements mainly rest. Suppose the deepen ing of rivers and harbors has the effect desired, of lessen ing rates of transportation, is this fair treatment toward competing companies which have invested large sums, never thinking that the Government would raise a fund by taxing them in common with others, and use it to destroy them? Is the Government justified in opening or improving a waterway for public use that shall compete with a private route, unless it makes good the damage it has caused? A private company may indeed run the risk of a competitor, but it is a very different thing for the Government to play the part of a rival, and with funds partly drawn from a competing company. A member remarked during the debate in the House on the River and Harbor bill in 1901, concerning the abolition of an appropriation for maintaining the navigation of the Mis souri River : "The very minute you decide here to abandon the river will surely mark the time of a general increase all along the line."' Admitting the truth of the remark, is this the proper mode for the Government to regulate railway rates? If they are excessive, there is adequate State, if not National authority for reducing them. Must the Government incur this expense, to be paid by the people through taxation, when the wrong can be corrected, if it exists, without any expense by compelling the company to reduce its rates? What a strange, wasteful method to apply for the redress of a wrong when the obvious and entirely adequate remedy can be applied without expense.' 21. The maintenance of the Erie Canal may be justi fied because it was built before any of the private com panies. Having been built, the State is as fully justified in improving it as rivals are in improving their facilities for transportation.
22. Again, would not commerce be better served by public appropriations to those engaged in land transpor tation on the condition of reducing their charges below those now demanded by water transportation companies? The profits of land companies would increase largely were this done, and they would be happy indeed to re ceive such subsidies in exchange for lessened rates.
23. Lastly, the present policy of the Government is destructive of the very end it seeks to accomplish. To enable railroad companies to make lower rates, they must have more business; this is an indispensable condition of reducing them and maintaining an efficient service. To divert their traffic is to lessen their receipts and impair their ability to reduce their rates.
24. Congress, therefore, should aim at three things: First, to make appropriations for rivers and harbors conditional on appropriations by the localities that are to be specially benefited by them; second, to make none that are chiefly or wholly for individual benefit; third, to put all appropriations of this nature in the bill pre pared for this purpose. The practice is growing of getting the largest sums possible in the regular bill, and afterward of smuggling additional appropriations into the Sundry Civil bill. This practice has not a single argument in its favor except in those years when the Committee on Rivers and Harbors prepare no bill con taining appropriations for this purpose.° 25. An expenditure for building reservoirs to col lect water that is to be used for private or individual irrigation clearly falls within the class of questionable expenditures. Small appropriations have been made for surveys and experiments relating to irrigation, and both political parties, in their campaign platforms in 1899, yielded to the wishes of those who believe in making appropriations for this purpose. A bill, or rather, an amendment to the River and Harbor bill, was therefore introduced at the second session of the Fifty-sixth Congress in execution of this policy. Though defeated by a strong majority, this is not the end of the matter; for the believers in such an exten sion of national assistance for private advantage are nu merous and persistent. In a brief and strong speech against the bill, Mr. Grosvenor of Ohio said: "I know that the principle upon which you would take the money of my constituent and- pay it out for the building up of any competitive power against my constituent is not just legislation." This argument, we think, is un answerable, but, logically and correctly applied, how much national legislation would be smitten down by it? Long prominent as one of the most consistent and liberal donors of national aid to almost everybody and concern desiring it, Mr. Grosvenor at last has stopped and declares: "We have gone far enough in legislat ing for special interests." Though a most loyal party man, he easily disposed of the plank in the national platform by declaring that it was an "ornamental prop osition," and consequently not to be seriously re garded." 26. A questionable expenditure, but worth noting in this connection, was that recently incurred for obtaining information concerning the South American Republics. This was done to quicken commercial intercourse be tween them and the United States. The reason for dis continuing this expenditure has a much wider application.
It may be asked, Would not this investigation, though undertaken primarily in the interests of American pro ducers and shippers, if yielding the results desired, have benefited all engaged in production, employer and em ployed? Probably. And by furnishing more work and thus adding to the purchasing power of the employed, would not farmers and all other classes engaged in sup plying them with goods and products of every kind have been benefited? Probably. Assuming that these bene fits would have followed, would the Government have been justified in making the inquiry? Might not the same thing be said in favor of Governmental inquiries and undertakings in other directions? It would seem that only two rules can be applied—either to withdraw entirely Governmental action from such inquiries, de signed for the benefit of the people, especially the in crease of their wealth; or to go to the other extreme and widen the functions of Government by including every class of persons for whom the Government can perform any useful service. Between these two limits can any firm middle ground be found? 27. Congress, having undertaken for the benefit of a special class to collect information on trade with the South American States through officials appointed specially for that purpose, the next step was short and easy, the creation of a commission of five individuals to exploit the Orient for the benefit of American pro duction and commerce. The objectors showed that the collection of such information was one of the chief duties of the consuls residing in the Eastern countries, and when they were answered by the assertion that the consuls were incompetent, the assault was repelled by declaring that the President ought to appoint consuls who were competent to perform this duty. It was also shown that a large appropriation had been recom mended to the Pennsylvania Museum for doing this very service; consequently either that appropriation or the $75,000 recommended for the commission ought not to be passed. As the debate proceeded and the Con gressional surgeons continued their dissection of the bill, its flimsy texture became apparent, that the life and pay of the commission might be extended an in definite period, and that Senators and Representatives were not prevented from serving; in short, that this was to be one of the most delectable "junketing expedi tions" ever projected by the many ingenious creators of these schemes. Yet the members saw such glittering temptations in the bill that it passed the Senate and came dangerously near passing the other body.' 28. When Gallatin was Secretary of the Treasury, rejoicing in 1807 over the speedy extinction of the Na tional debt, his vision widened, and he planned a National university. Since his time such an institution has been often included in schemes for Governmental expansion. If this were done, several of the functions now conducted by the Government might be advantageously recombined —all the scientific work, the coast, land and geological surveys, the work of the fish commission, food inspection, the administration of health laws, hospitals, the work of the Agricultural Department, or so much as ought to be done by the Government, the National museum, the educational bureau, the library, the conducting of the Naval Observatory, bureau of statistics, the census and all statistical investigations relating to labor; in short, all work of a scientific or economic character that ought to be done by the Government. For example, an investi gation pertaining to currency or tariff systems, desired by legislators, would be included within its sphere." 29. Several obvious advantages would result from such a department or university, conducted by competent men. First, Congress would be relieved from many spe cial investigations, and, by drying up these fountains of Congressional exploration, money as well as reputations would be saved.
3o. Second, such investigations would be more thor ough and useful conducted by competent, trained men without any thought of consequences to individuals, classes or parties. Thus far, through fear of unpopular ity with the working class, the most needful investiga tions that ought to be made in the interest of labor have not been undertaken by any bureau, except that of Massachusetts. But a department, organized as sug gested, ought not to be deterred by such considerations. Its success then would depend on the persons selected to do the work. If they were incompetent, elected on the pull-principle, as a reward for past or future service, then the institution would be only another addition to the number of disappointing ones now existing.
'See debate on the last Census bill concerning the limit of collecting information. 33 Cong. Record, 1149.
'aHouse, May 30, 1900, 33 Cong. Rec. 6756.
'Wee reports No. —, 56 Cong., 1st Sess., debates 33 and 34 Cong. Record, numerous speeches; shipping subsidies by F. L. McVey, 9 Jour. of Polit. Econ., 24, Griffin's list of books on Mercantile Marine Subsidies, Gov't. Print. Office.
'See Table No. 79, 19th No. of Statistical Abstract for details. `See Appendix D, 33 Cong. Record, 6787, 6793.
'The river and harbor bill for 1890, 1 Sess. 51 Cong. was fully debated, both in the House and Senate. For comparison of ex penditures between the United States and France for improv ing water-ways see Rep. Burton's speech, April 6, 1896, 28 Cong. Rec. 3637. The first appropriation for rivers and harbors was in 1816. The first separate bill for that purpose was in 1826.
"It is a fact that is not attempted to be denied that the pending bill, as well as every appropriation bill that has been reported by the Committe on Rivers and Harbors for a num ber of years, carries large appropriations for the special inter ests of particular localities and individual property owners." Rep. Thomas, 34 Cong. Record, 1022.
For the local and personal character of some of these ap propriations, see 34 Cong. Record, 1022. For an elaborate de scription of the mode of preparing one of these bills showing how the members of the committee take care of their own special interests, localities and States, see F. W. Cushman's speech, 34 Cong. Record, 1087. The light turned on the mode of preparing river and harbor bills chiefly comes, less frequently from the truly disinterested patriotic legislators than from the disappointed one who has failed to get as large appropriations as he desired for his district or State. See the debate on the River and Harbor bill of 1901, in 34 Cong. Record.
For history of the local and national expenditure for Miss. levee construction, see Senate Rep. on Miss. River Floods, No. 1433, 55 Cong., 3d Sess. The entire expenditures for Rivers and Harbors to June 30, 1900, is $347,500,000.
"In Secretary Lamont's report for 1895 he remarks con cerning the expenditures for improving the Mississippi that $29,558,699 had been appropriated since June 28, 1879. Of this sum $9,104,879 had been expended for building and improving levees, $3,782,222 for harbor improvements to protect the fronts of cities, nearly $3,000,000 in purchasing plant, etc., leaving but little more than one-third of the money expended (to be) applied to the actual work of deepening the channel. For the Missouri $8,896,000 had been appropriated at different times, "a sum quite disproportionate to the present or prospective com merce. With the modern means of quick transportation fur nishing sharp competition it may be questioned if the familiar arguments in favor of these costly improvements for the pur pose of regulating the rates of freight charges still obtains in a degree sufficient to justify at this time large expenditures in further attempts to provide and maintain a navigable channel in that river." Rep. of Secy. of War, 1895, p. 29.
"This idea is embodied in the appropriations for 1901 for building levees along the Mississippi River. See 33 Cong. Record, 7035, 7036.
See remarks of W. H. Moody, 34 Cong. Record, 2939.
'34 Cong. Record, 1024.
Senate Corn. on Commerce, which reports the bill, also reports a full description of the plans that are to be improved. See Senate Rep., No. 1686, 55 Cong. 3d. Sess.
Cong. Record, 819, 824, 870, 876, 1133, 1666, 2323, 2938. See also interesting debate in the Senate on making an appropria tion for irrigating the arid lands of the West, 31 Cong. Record, 1395, and 32 Id. 2268. A reference may also be made to Water Supply and Irrigation Papers, prepared by the Geological Dept. House Does., No. 108, 54 Cong. 2d Seas., and No. 220, 55 Cong. 3d Sess.; Surveys of Reservoir Sites, No. 116, 11 Senate Mis. Doc., 85 Cong. 3d Sess.; Usefulness of Reservoirs to Agriculture, same Vol., No. 124.
"For the history of and debate on this bill, see Index to 33 Cong. Record, Senate Bill, No. 1939; also same Vol.. 3484, 5230, 6237, 6764.
"See article by C. W. Dabney in Science, Jan. 15, 1897. See Senator Chandler's speech on the Naval Observatory April 11, 1900, 33 Cong. Record, 3 —; also his report on the subject, No. 1043, 56 Cong., 1st Sess.