Slike strani
PDF
ePub

the operation of the Government and the carriage of mails. I am unwilling as yet to ascribe such a purpose to yourselves or your organizations.

But it necessarily follows from the facts stated that arrangements for carriage of the mails upon these several lines, if to be made at all, ought to be made separately with the different companies whose service is employed, upon such varying terms as to each as the nature and extent of the service require. I do not perceive that it is necessary for the Department to determive and announce a uniform rule as to all. The sound policy of the Department is, and it seems to me ought to continue to be, to procure the carriage of public mails in the most speedy, useful, and economical manner, making such arrangements upon each route as may be most desirable to attain the object. I shall be bappy to negotiate with the sevecal representatives of these lines such contracts as shall seem to me proper to be made and required by the interests of the service, and shall be quite willing to afford as liberal compensation therefor as may be just and proper, and authorized by the former enactments of Congress. For that purpose I will meet the authorized representatives of any company at such time as may be convenient, and as early as may be desired.

I do not recognize that the care of providing for the carriage of the outward bound mails of the United States is imposed upon the companies you represent, except in so far as they are employed by the Gov. ernment for the carriage of the particular mails delivered to them foi that purpose, or that it isniecessary or proper for them to give any notice to the public on the subject, much less such a notice as you indicate, and I may add that the Department will secure by proper measures the carriage of such mails without embarrassment to the public or imposing the duty upon you, if in particular cases a proper and satisfactory agreement cannot be made with an American company, which the Department would most desire, and for which it would be willing to accord as favorable terms as possible. Very truly, yours,

WM. F. VILAS,

Postmaster-General.

W. H. LANE, Esq., secretary Pacific Mail Steamship Company;

Messrs. F. ALEXANDER & Sons, New York, Havanna and Mexican Steamship Line; Messrs. JAMES E. WARD & Co., New York and Cuba Mail Steamship Company; Messrs BAULTON, BLISS & DALLETT, Red D Line of steamships; H. K. THURBER, Esq., chairman executive committee, United States and Brazil Steam ship Company; Messrs. WILLIAM P. CLYDE & Co., Clyde's West India Steamship Line; C. P. HUNTINGTON, Esq., Occidental and Oriental Steamship Company, New York.

NEW YORK, HAVANA AND MEXICAN MAIL STEAMSHIP LINE,

New York, July 17, 1885. Hon. POSTMASTER GENERAL, Washington, D. C.:

DEAR SIR : In answer to yours of 11th instant, relative to the carriage of the United States mails, we beg to say, that as we are desirous that some fair agreement be made between your Department and our line for the transportation of the mails to the ports of Havana, in Cuba, and Progreso, Campeachy, Frontera, Vera Cruz, Tampico, Tuxpan, in Mexico, we would like to know what compensation do you mean is in your power to pay our live for such transportation, as your remarks on page 5 of your letter, where you use the following: "Shall be quite willing to afford as liberal compensation therefor as may be just and proper and authorized by the former enactments of Congress," do not tell us upon what basis of remuneration you are willing to make contracts with us.

On receipt of your answer we will then advise you further on this subject. Respectfully yours,

F. ALEXANDER & SONS.

66

NEW YORK AND CUBA MAIL STEAMSHIP COMPANY,

New York, July 17, 1885. SIR: In answer to your communication of the 11th instant, we would say that we have no desire to embarrass the operation of the Government and the carriage of mails"; all we ask is fair compensation for the service rendered.

We therefore propose

1st. To carry the mail from New York to Havana by our weekly line of American ships for $500 per trip.

2d. To carry the mail from New York to Santiago de Cuba, where we run every four weeks during the summer, and every two weeks during the winter, for $550 per trip.

All our steamers are first-class iron vessels, rating A1 for twenty years.

Should these terms suit you we shall be pleased to send a representative to Washington to see you, or to make such contract through the postmaster of this city as may best suit your convenience. Awaiting your reply we are, very respectfully,

JAMES E. WARD & CO. Hon. WM. F. VILAS,

Postmaster-General, Washington, D. C.

POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT,
OFFICE OF THE POSTMASTER-GENERAL,

Washington, D. C., July 18, 1885. GENTLEMEN: I am in receipt to-day of your esteemed favor of yes. terday, and, replying thereto, beg to call your attention to the statutes of the United States regulating the power of the Postmaster General to make compensation for carrying the foreign mails. These statutes will be found on pages 153 and 154 of the Postal Laws and Regulations, edition of 1879; or you will find them as sections 4000 to 4013, inclu. sive of the Revised Statutes of the United States. Section 4007 authorizes the Postmaster-General to enter into contracts “ whenever the public service will thereby be promoted.” A subsequent law, passed in 187*, provides that such contract shall not be for a longer time than two years, unless otherwise ordered by Congress.

Section 4009 limits the compensation which the Postmaster General may allow to sea postage in case a foreign vessel carries the mail, and to sea and inland postage in case a United States steamship carries it. It is open to some question whether the latter section absolutely limits the power of the Postmaster General in respect to the compensation which may be allowed upon contracts nuder i he former. That question I should hardly be willing to base my judgment upon, it action demanded it, witbout reference to the Attorney-General. But I do not hesitate to say that I think, in view of all the circunstances affecting carriage by your line, I can justitiably adopt the extreme limit of compensation which the statute authorizes the Postmaster General to give, and pay you the sea and inland postage upon the mail which you carry. This will give you nearly three times the rate of compensation which you have received during many years past, and which is paid for the carriage across the Atlantic, and which only I should be obliged to pay upon other lines of carriage. If the amount of mail be considerable, so that the value of its carriage to business interests shall be great, this compensation will be munificent. It will only yield small results if small service be reudered.

There is no other law of Congress, of which I am advised, under which I can make provision for the carriage of the mails by your line, and I hope, for the credit of the American ship-owners, that they may be willing to serve their own country for a rate of compensation three times as great as foreigners are willing to serve it for in the same way. Because yours is an American line I think I can appeal to the pride of our countrymen to justify that spirit which leads me to proffer you more of their money than I should otherwise be obliged to pay for the procurement of the service.

Shonld there be anything in respect to this matter or in respect to any further nezgotiation upon which you would desire a personal interview 1 shall take pleasure in meeting you. Awaiting your reply, I am, Yours, truly,

WM. F. VILAS,

Postmaster-General. Messrs. F. ALEXANDRE & Son,

31 and 33 Broadway, New York.

POST-OFFICE DEPARTMENT,
OFFICE OF TUE POSTMASTER GENERAL,

Washington, D. C., July 18, 1885. GENTLEMEN : Replying to your favor of yesterday, in which you propose to carry the mail from New York to Havana by your weekly line of ships for $500 per trip, and from New York to Santiago de Cuba once in four weeks during summer and once in two weeks during winter for $550 per trip, I beg to state that if the proposed compensation appeared to me no more than just and proper for the service indicated, I should still be entirely without authority to make such a contract with you by acceptance of your proposal.

Reference to the laws which have been enacted by Congress, and which will be found on pages 153 and 151 of the Postal Lawsand Regulations, edi. tion of 1879, or in sections 4006 to 4013, Revised Statutes of the United States, will show you that the Postmaster General is limited to allowing to foreign lines sea postage, and to American lines sea and inland postage. Authority is given him to make contracts under advertisement to the lowest bidder, " whenever in his judgment the public interests would thereby be promoted." It is perhaps questionable whether by such contracts he could give more than sea and inland postage; but without discussing that question I am not aware of any reason why the public interests require the making of any peculiar contracts, for the service has been conducted satisfactorily in another manner for about twelve years. However, leaving that also open, for another reason I could not accept your proposal under the statute. It authorizes a special contract to be made only " after advartising for proposals.”

In view of this limitation upon my official authority, being unable to respond favorably to your proposal, I can only add that I will consider with attention any further suggestion or proposal you may make, or meet any representative you may send for personal conference. Yours, truly,

WM. F. VILAS,

Postmaster-General. Messrs. JAMES B. WARD & Co.,

113 Wall Street, New York.

Post-OFFICE DEPARTMENT,
OFFICE OF THE POSTMASTER-GENERAL,

Washington, D. C., July 18, 1885. GENTLEMEN: I am in receipt to-day of your esteemed favor of yesterday, and replying thereto beg to call your attention to the statutes of the United States regulating the power of the Postmaster General to make compensation for carrying the foreign mails. These statutes will be found on pages 153 and 154 of the Postal Laws and Regulations, edition of 1879; or you may find them as sections 4006 to 4013, inclusive, of the Revised Statiites of the United States. Section 4007 authorizes the Postmaster-General to enter into contracts " whenever the public service will thereby be promoted." A subsequent law, passed in 1878, provides that such contracts shall not be for a longer time than two years unless otherwise ordered by Congress.

Section 4009 limits the compensation which the Postmaster General may allow to sea postage in case a foreign vessel carries the mail, and to sea and inland postage in case a United States steamship carries it.

It is open to some question whether the latter section absolutely limits the power of the Postmaster-General in respect to the compensation which may be allowed upon contracts under the former. That question I should hardly be willing to base my judgment upon, if action demanded it, without reference to the Attorney-General. But I do not hesitate to say that I, think in view of all the circumstances affecting carriage by your line, I can justifiably adopt the extreme limit of compensation which thestatute authorizes the Postmaster General to give, and pay you the sea and inland postage upon the mail which you carry. This will give you nearly three times the rate of compensation which you have received during many years past, and which is paid for the carriage across the Atlantic, and which only I should be obliged to pay upon other lines of carriage. If the amount of mail be considerable, so that the value of its carriage to business interests shall be great, this compensation will be munificent. It will only yield small results if small service be rendered.

There is no otber law of Congress, of which I am advised, under which I can make provision for the carriage of the mails by your line, and I hope, for the credit of American ship-owners, that they may be willing to serve their own country for a rate of compensation three times as great as foreigners are willing to serve it for in the same way. Because yours is an American line, I think I can appeal to the pride of our countrymen to justify that spirit which leads me to profferyou more of their money than I should otherwise be obliged to pay for the procurement of the service.

Should there be anything in respect to this matter, or in respect to any further negotiation, upon which you would desire a personal interview, I shall take pleasure in meeting you. Awaiting your reply, I am, Yours, truly,

WM. F. VILAS,

Postmaster-General. Messrs. F. ALEXANDRE & Sons,

31 and 35 Broadway, New York.

PACIFIC MAIL STEAMSHIP COMPANY,

New York, July 18, 1885. DEAR SIR: In your communication to this company dated July 11, 1885, you say, concerning the carriage of mails on American steamers, among other things:

But it necessarily follows from the facts stated that arrangements for the carriage of the mails upon these several lines, it to be made at all, ought to be made separately with the different companies whose service is employeri, upon such varying terus as to each as the nature and extent of the service require. I do not perceive that it is vecessary for the Department to determine and announce a uniform rule as to all. The sound policy of the Department is, and it seems to me ought to continue to be, to procure the carriage of public mails in the most speeds, useful, and economical manner, making such arrangements upon each route as may be most desirable to attain the object. I shall be happy to negotiate with the several representatives of these lines such contracts as may seem to me proper to be made and required by the interests of the service, and shall be quite willing to afford as liberal compensation therefor as may be just and proper aud authorized by the former enactment of Congress. For that purpose I will meet the authorized representative of any company at such time as may be convenient and as early as may be desired.

Will you kindly indicate at your earliest opportunity npon which of our lines, if any, you desire to procure the carriage of United States mails, and what your view as to the nature of the compensation for the carriage of the mails upon each route may be? Upon receipt of your answer to this we can determine whether, as you indicate will be the case, the proposed compensation is just and proper, and a representative can meet you to arrange details. Yours, very respectfully,

JOS. HELLEN,

Secretary pro tem. NICHOLAS M. BELL, Esq., Superintendent Foreign Mails, Post Office Department,

Washington, D. C.

Post-OFFICE DEPARTMENT, OFFICE OF FOREIGN MAILS,

Washington, D, C., July 20, 1885. DEAR SIR: Your letter of the 18th, aildressed to the Superintendent of Foreign Mails of this Department, replying to my communication to your company and others of July 11, and signed in my bebalt by the Superintement of Foreign Mails, is received and contents noted.

You solicit an indication from the Department upon which lines, if any, it is desired to procure the carriage of the mails, and what the

« PrejšnjaNaprej »