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Allowances for advertising for offices of the first and second classes, in compliance with Department order dated March 7, 1882, are made out of the appropriation for advertising for the office of the PostmasterGeneral.
The appropriation for advertising for the present year is $20,000. The amount allowed for advertising at the larger post-offices for the past year was $10,314.87.
I estimate that about $12,000 will be needed for advertising under the order of March 7, 1882, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1887.
In this connection I beg to renew the recommendation heretofore made, that this appropriation be placed under the control of one officer,
The recommendation made by this office in 1883 and renewed last year, that the Government should pay the office rent at post offices of the third-class 'received the favorable consideration of the committees of the Senate and House, but the bill failed to become a law.
In the act approved March 3, 1885, a proviso was incorporated giv. ing the Postmaster-General discretionary authority to lease premises for use of post-offices of the third class from July 1 last; but provision for the payment of rent was not made. That is, the Postmaster-General was authorized to make disbursements for rent of premises leased for third-class post-offices out of the appropriation for rent, fuel, and light for the current fiscal year. This appropriation, however, was $10,000 less than the sum estimated for first and second class offices.
Postmasters at offices of the third class are now compelled to pay the expenses of rent, fuel and light, stationery, and miscellaneous items, and in some cases a part of the clerk-hire. It is a hardship to compel these postmasters to pay these expenses from their salaries, or from their private funds. As stated by the Postmaster-General last year (see Report of the Postmaster-General for the tiscal year ended June 30, 1884, page 20), "there is no reason why these expenses should not be paid at third-class post-offices as well as at first and second-class offices."
I renew the recommendation, therefore, that provision be made for the payment of reut for offices of the third class. I am of the opinion, also, that the Government should provide for the payment of expenses for fuel and light, stationery, and miscellaneous items for these offices.
A tabulated statement showing the number of these offices of each grade, by States and Territories, is herewith submitted, viz:
Statement showing the number of third-class post-ofices October 1, 1885, arranged to exhibit
the number in each grade from $1,000 to $1,900, in each State and Territory.
States and Terri
$1,000. $1,100. $1,200 $1,300 $1,400. $1,500. $1, 600. $1,700. $1,800. $1, 900. Totals.
2 10 21 7 4 13
3 2 15 9 3
12 11 3 3
9 10 5 1
7 3 11
5 150 69
1 103 81 31 10 25 15 94 80 38 19 65 10 49
8 25 47
5 160 19 94 11 119
6 15 21 61
2 20 23
8 11 64 3
1 20 2 9 6 14
3 2 10
Any further information which may be required relative to this matter will be cheerfully furnished.
The act of Congress approved March 3, 1883, prohibiting clerks employed on money-order work in post-offices from engaging in any other postal duties has caused considerable embarrassment in adjusting the duties of clerks. This was in part remedied by the proviso incorporated in the act approved March 3, 1885. This proviso is not, however, satisfactory, as the adjustment of the dual duties of clerks in postoffices causes much annoyance and confusion. I therefore renew the recommendation heretofore made, that the allowance for clerk-hire as made by this office should cover the entire cost of clerical labor in postoffices.
LIMITATION OF APPLICATIONS FOR REVIEW OF SALARIES OF POST
In reports heretofore made by this office, relative to the work of reviewing the salaries of postmasters of the third, fourth, and fifth classes, under the act of March 3, 1883, as construed by the honorable AttorneyGeneral of the United States, it was suggested that the attention of Congress be invited to the subject of fixing a limit to the presentation of claims of this character.
In the report of the Postmaster-General for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1884 (page 80), January 1, 1886, was suggested as a reasonable limit for filing claims of this kind. No action was taken by Congress, however; and I therefore renew the recommendation, and suggest that January 1, 1887, be fixed as a limit for the presentation of applications under the said act.
At present claims for readjustment of postmasters' salaries can be filed at any time; and unless some date in the near future is fixed by law as a limit for filing the same, the work of adjusting the said salaries will continue without limitation.
RENT OF STATIONS OF WASHINGTON, D. C., POST-OFFICE. In the act making appropriations for the service of the Post-Office Department for the current fiscal year, provision for the payment of rent of the East Capitol Station of the Washington office was omitted ; therefore, from July 1st last, no rent for the said station has been paid.
In the appropriation act approved July 5, 1884, the rent for the said station for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1885, was fixed and authorized at the rate of $30 per month. I therefore recommend that Congress be asked to provide for the paymeat of the rent for the said sta. tion for the current fiscal year at the rate of $30 per month ; and that the necessary appropriation at the same rate be granted for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1887.
I desire, also, to respectfully call attention to the need of legislation for Station C of the Washington, D. C., post-office. At present this station is located on F street northwest between Fourteenth and Fifteenth streets. Owing to an increase of business, and the rapid growth of the postal service in the vicinity of this station, it is now one of the most important branches of the Washington office.
Under existing law no rent can be allowed for premises or rooms to accommodate this station. The postmaster, under date of October 14, 1885, recommends that Congress be asked to provide for the payment of the rent for this station at not exceeding $900 a year.
I recommend that the attention of Congress be again called to the amounts disallowed for stationery in the accounts of postmasters at a number of offices of the first and second classes, for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1883.
These amounts were suspended and disallowed on account of the inadequate appropriation for stationery for the year named. The appro. priation was $55,000, being $5,000 less than the estimate. These postmasters made the expenditures for stationery in good faith and should be reimbursed. A special report on this subject, giving a list of the offices with the amounts suspended and disallowed for lack of appropriation will be made in season to be considered by Congress in the deficiency bill.
In conclusion I cannot too highly commend the chiefs of divisions, and clerks of this Bureau for the faithful and efficient manner in which their duties have been performed. Very respectfully,
A. E. STEVENSON,
First Assistant Postmaster-General. Hon. WM. F. VILAS,
TABLE A.-Statement, showing the number of Presidential post-offices in each State and Territory June 30, 1834, and June 30, 1835, with increase and decrease ; also the number of post-offices of each class, together with the number of money-order post-offices and stations by States and Territories June 30, 1885.