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government; publishes the laws, treaties, presidential messages, proclamations. He is the keeper of the Great Seal of the United States.
114. The Treasury Department, presided over by the Secretary of the Treasury, has charge of the financial business of the government. It is the duty of this Secretary to prepare and suggest plans for creating revenue and supporting the credit of the United States; to superintend the collection of revenues coming from the customs duties and internal taxes; to grant warrants for the payment of money according to appropriations by Congress; to audit the accounts of all the departments; to supervise and regulate the national banks and the currency of the United States, the coinage of money, and to attend to the collection of a variety of statistics. These are the main duties of this department, although there are many other duties.
115. The Department of War, presided over by the Secretary of War, has charge of the military forces of the Union, the signal service, the spending of money appropriated by Congress for the improvement of harbors and of navigation.
116. The Department of the Navy, presided over by the Secretary of the Navy, has charge of the naval forces, and of certain matters relating to navigation, such as the issuing of nautical charts and almanacs.
117. The Department of Justice is presided over by the Attorney-General of the United States. The AttorneyGeneral has charge of all law suits in which the United States is concerned as a party. He is consulted for legal advice by the President, heads of departments, and other federal authorities. To this department all the marshals and district attorneys of the United States are attached. 118. The Post Office Department, presided over by the Postmaster-General, has charge of the carrying and delivery of letters and parcels known as mail matter, and the sending of money by means of money orders. It classifies mail matter, and fixes the rates of postage. It has power to make postal arrangements with foreign countries.
119. The Department of the Interior, presided over by the Secretary of the Interior, was organized in 1849 to take charge of various duties which had grown up with the development of the country. The diverse duties under the charge of this department are: (1) The management of the public land, including mines (General Land Office); (2) the regulation of dealings with the Indians (Indian Bureau); (3) the payment of pensions and the distribution of bounty lands (Pension Office); (4) the issuing of patents to inventors, and preserving models of all machines patented (Patent Office); (5) care and distribution of all public documents (Superintendent of Public Documents); (6) the collection of statistics and facts showing the condition and progress of education, and the publication of such information as may assist in the improvement of education throughout the United States (Bureau of Education); (7) taking the census of the United States every ten years (Census Office); (8) the auditing of the accounts of certain railroad companies to which the United States has granted loans and subsidies (Commissioner of Railroads); (9) the superintendence of the government hospital for the insane and the Columbia asylum for the deaf and dumb (under the Pension Office).
120. The Department of Agriculture, presided over by the Secretary of Agriculture, has for its duty the promotion of the agricultural interests of the country. It collects information and makes scientific investigations as to the diseases of plants, the best methods of cultivating the soil, and so forth.
Besides these departments, whose heads have seats in the cabinet, there are several other offices or boards, namely:
121. The Department of Labor, the duty of which is to collect and publish information concerning such matters as rates of wages, hours of labor, food and expenses of laborers, and all matters which may lead to the improvement of the condition of laborers.
122. The Interstate Commerce Commission, which has supervision of the rates which railroads may charge for carrying passengers and freight from one State to another. Its duty is to see that certain laws of Congress, which are intended to make railroads treat all persons equally and fairly in the matter of such rates, are carried out.
123. The Civil Service Commission, whose duties we have already examined.
124. The Commission of Fish and Fisheries, whose duty it is to provide for the preservation, improvement, and increase of the stock of fish in the rivers and lakes and on the coasts of the United States.
Questions on the Federal Executive.
1. Who is the chief executive of the United States ? 2. Who may be elected President? 3. What is his salary? 4. How is he elected ? 5. When is he elected? 6. For how long is he elected? 7. Who may vote at the presidential election? 8. How does the electoral system work? 9. In what event is the President elected by the House of
10. In what event is the Vice-President elected by the Senate? 11. In case of the removal, etc., of the President, who becomes
President? 12. What further provision is made for the presidential succes
sion ? 13. What are the names, residences, and political party of the
persons now holding the offices of President and Vice
President? 14. What are the powers and duties of the President? 15. What arrangements are made for appointments in the civil
service? 16. What relations exist between the President and Congress? 17. Describe the powers and duties and mode of appointment of
each of the following officers; give the names and residences
of the persons now in office:
(h) The Secretary of Agriculture.
(a) The Department of Labor;
THE FEDERAL JUDICIARY.
125. The Judiciary of the United States consists of the Supreme Court, Circuit Courts, and District Courts. To these may be added the Circuit Courts of Appeals and the Court of Claims.
TV, , Const., Art, III., Sect. 1,
126. The Supreme Court consists of a Chief Justice and eight Associate Justices. It meets annually in Washington, on the second Monday in October. Six Justices make a quorum. The court has original jurisdiction in all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and in all cases in which a State is a party.' All other cases that come before it are appealed to it from State courts or from federal Circuit or District Courts. Generally speaking, cases may be appealed to the Supreme Court only when the matter in dispute exceeds $5,000 in value. But any case in which a law of Congress has been declared unconstitutional by a lower court, that is, any case which involves an interpretation of the Constitution, may be appealed to the Supreme Court regardless of the sum in dispute.
127. Circuit and District Courts.—The area of the United States-exclusive of the Territories—is divided into nine circuits. One Justice of the Supreme Court is assigned to each of these circuits, and in addition there are special Circuit Judges. The Circuit Court in session may consist of the Supreme Court Justice alone, of the Circuit Judge alone, or of either of these and the resident District Court Judge. The circuits are divided into districts, the boundaries never crossing State lines. Some of the States constitute each a single district; some are divided into two districts, and some into three, according to the population and the amount of business. For each district there is a District Court. The District Courts are considered the lowest of the federal courts. The Circuit Court of each circuit sits in each district of its circuit successively, and the Supreme Court Justice is required by law to sit in each district of his circuit at least once every two years. These courts have been 1 U. S. Const., Art. III., Sect. 2, Par. 1 and 2. 2 U. S. Const., Art. III., Sect. 2, Par. 1 and 2.