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Seminary notes published by the Seminary of historical and political science online

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be given upon application.

The prices named below are the list prices of the publishers.

Students are required to purchase books marked ivith an asterisk.
American Book Company, Chicago.

Manual of the Constitution, Andrews $ 1.00

Analysis of Civil Government, Townsend 1.00

Civil Government, Peterman 60

History of England, Thalheimer 1.00

Media; val and Modern History, Thalheimer 1.60

Outlines of History, Fisher 2.40

General History of the World, Barnes 1.60

Political Economy, Gregory 1.20

Lessons in Political Economy, Champlin 90

Ginn & Co., Boston and Cliicago.

Ancient History, Myers & Allen $ 1.50

MediEBval and Modern History, Myers 1.50

Political Science and Comparative Law, Burgess, 5.00

Macy's Our Government 75

♦General History, Myers 1.50

Leading facts in English History, Montgomery... 1.12

Philosophy of Wealth, Clark 1.00

Political Science Quarterly, Yearly 3.00

Washington and His Country, Fiske...'".' 1.00

Harpers, New York.

*History of Germany, Lewis 1..50

*International Law, Davis 2.00

*Political History of Modern Times, Mueller 3.00

*Short English History, Green 1.20

Civil Policy of America. Draper 2.00

History of English People, Green, 4 vols 10.00

History of United States, Hlldreth, 6 vols 12.00

The Constitution, Story 90

Holt & Co., New York.

♦American Politics, Johnston $ 1.00

American Oolonies, Doyle, 3 vols 9.00

American Currency, Siimner 2..50

History of Modern Europe, Fyffe, 3 vols 7.50

Political Economy, Walker 2.25

Houghton, Mifflin & Co., Boston.

Discovery of America. Fiske, 2 vols % 4.00

American Commonwealths, I4 vols., each 1.25

American Statesmen, 24 vols., each... 1.25

American Revolution, Fiske, 2 vols 4.00

Critical Period of American History. Fiske 2.00

Epitome of History, Ploetz 3.00

Christopher Columbus, Winsor 4.00

Applet^n, New York.

Dynamic Sociology, Ward, 2 vols J .5.00

History of Civilization, Guizot 1.25

Political Economy, Mill, 2 vols 0.00

Cranston & Stowe, Chicago.

*Political Economy, Ely

.$ 1.00

Armstrong, New York.
*Democracy in Europe, May, 2 vols $ 2.50

G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York and London.

*American Citizen's Manual, Ford ? 1.25

Unwritten Constitution of the U. S., Tiedeman... 1.00

History of Political Economy, Blanqui 3.00

Introduction to Eng. Econon. Hist, and Theory,

Ashley 1.50

Indust. and Com. Siipremacy of Eng., Rogers 3.00

Economic Interpretations of History, Rogers 3.00

Constitutional History of the U.S., Sterne 1.35

*Tariff History of the United States, Taussig 1.35

The Storj' of Nations, 34 vols., each 1.50

Heroes of the Nations, 13 vols., each 1.50

American Orations, ed. by Johnston, Svols., each 1.25

Callaghan & Co., Chicago.
Constitutional History of U. S., Von Hoist, 6 vol $30.00

Constitutional Law of U. S., Von Hoist 3.00

Political Economy, Roscher, 3 vols 6.00

Crowell, New York.

*History of France, Duruy.., $2.00

Labor Movement in America, Ely 1.50

Life of Washington, pop. ed., Irving, 2 vols. 2..50

Problems of To day, Ely 1..50

Little, Brown & Co., Bc^^ton.

History of Greece, Grote, 10 vols ?17..50

Parkman's Works, per vol 1.50

Rise of the Republic, Frothingham o..')0

Longmans, Green & Co., New York.

Epochs of Ancient Historj^, each vol '. if 1.0(1

Epochs of Modern History, each vol 1.00

Political Economy, pop. ed.. Mill .. 1.75

The Crusades, Cox 1.00

Scrltaners, New York.

*American Diplomacy, Schuyler $ 3.50

History of Rome. Mommsen, 4 vols 8.00

Lombard Street. Bagehot .. 1.35

Silent South, Cable 1.00

t liver Burdett & Co., Boston.

*Historical Atlas, Labberton $1.50 or * 3.00

*Historical Geography of U. S., MacCoun 1.00

♦Institutes of Economics, Andrews 1..50

Institues of General History, Andrews 3.00

Dodd, Mead & Co., New York.

History of United States, Schouler, 5 vols $11.50

D. C. Heath & Co., Boston.

*The State, Woodrow Wilson $ 3.00

Principles of Politioal Economy, Gide 2.00

Methods of Teaching History, Hall 1..50

General History. Sheldon 1.60



Mncmillan, New York.
Constitutional History, England, Stubbs, 3 vols..$ 7.80
Principles of Economics, Marshall, vol. I 3.00

*01d South Leaflets, 33 Nos _

History Topics, Allen ,. 25

State and Fed. Governments of the U. S., Wilson 50

The American Citizen, Dole 90

Comparative View of Governments, Wenzel .20

Studies in American History, Sheldon— Barnes... 1.12

Any book in the above list w^ill be lurnlshed by the Lawrence Book Co., Crew's old stand, 745 Mass


State Universitv — Lawrence, Kansas.

Vol. II.


No. 3.


All studi'iits connected with the department
of History and Sociology are. by virtue of sucli
connection, members of the Seminary. All
students are expected to attend the Seminarj'
unless excused by the instructors of the depart-
ment. Students are credited with the time
spent in Seminary Avork.

The meetingsof the Seminary are held every
Friday, in Room 15, University Building-.
Public meetings will be held from time to
time, alter due annoui:iceraent.

The work of the Seminary consists of special
papers and discussions, on topics connected
with the Department mentioned; prepared
as far as possible from consultation of
original sources and from practical investi-
gation of existing c inditions, under the per-
sonal direction of the olTicers of the Seminary-
Special assistance in choice of themes,
authorities, etc., is given members of the
Seminary who have written work due in the
department of llistorj and Sociology, or in
the Department of English, or in any of the
literary societies or other similar organiza-
tions in the University: on condition that the
results of such work shall be presented to the
Seminary if so required.

In connection with the work of the Semi-
nary, a Newspaper bureau is maintained. In
this the leading cities of the United States
are represented by some twenty daily and
weekly newspapers. Thn piincipal object of
the Bureau is to enable students to form
habits of systematic reading, to keepinformed
on the current topics of the day. to study the
best types of modern Journalism, to learn to
•discriminate between articles of temporary
value only and those of more permanent
worth, tn make a comparative study of edi-
torial work, to master for the time being the
current thought on any particular sul)ject,
and to preserve by clippings properly filed and
indexed, important materials for tlie study of
current history and public life— to make his-
tory by the arrangement and classification of
present histoiicnl matter.

Special investigation and study will be
undertaken during each year, bearing on some
one or more phases of the administration cf
public affairs in this State; the purpose being

to combine service to the State with the reg-
ular work of professional and student life.
In this special work the advice and co-oper-
ation of State and local officials and of
prominent men of affairs is constantly sought,
thus bringing to students the experience and
judgment of the world about them.

Graduates of our own University, or other
persons of known scholarly habits, who have
more than a passing interest in .such work as
the Seminary undertakes, and who are willing
to contribute some time and thought to its
success, are invited to become corresponding
members of the Seminary.. The only condi-
tion attached to such membership is, that
each corresponding member shall prepare
during each University year one paper, of not
less than two thousand five hundred words,
on some subject within the scope of the Sem-
inary; and present the same in person at such
time as may be mutually agreed upon by the
writer and the officers of the Seminary, or in
writing if it be found impossible to attend
a meeting of the Seminary.

Tlie library of the University and the time
of the officers of the Seminary are at the
service of corresponding members, in con-
nection with Seminary work—within reason-
al)le limits.

More than twenty gentlemen, prominent in
official and professional circles, have already
connected themselves with the Seminary, and
have rendered very acceptable service during
past years.

The officers and members of the Seminary
will gladly render all possible assistance to
any public officials who may desire to collect
special statistics or secure definite iriforma-
tion on such lines of public work as are
properly within the sphere of the Seminary.

Any citizen of Kansas interested in this
work is invited to correspond with the Semi-
nary, and to be present at its meetings when







Secret A uv.



^i^TlTHIN the last few years numer-

''■^^ ous articles have appeared in
magazines and newspapers, criticising that
form of government which permits our
House of Representatives to evade, by
means of committee organization a full
responsibility for the passage of financial

At the request of some of the members
of the Historical Seminary an attempt is
here made to summarize the arguments
against the committee system as applied
to money matters, and' to criticise, briefly,
the various remedies proposed.

The argument is as follows :

Article i, section 7, of the Constitution
reads: "All bills for raising revenue shall
originate in the House of Representatives;
but the Senate may propose or concur
with amendments as on other bills," and
article i, section 9, provides that "no
money shall be drawn from the treasury
but in consequence of appropriations made
by law; and a regular statement and
account of receipts and expenditures of
all public money shall be published from
time to time." These two provisions are
the only ones to be found which deal
directly with the control of the purse and
their presence is in itself sufficient evidence
of a belief on the part of the framers of
the constitution that the people, who pay
the taxes, should, through their represent-
atives, have the privilege of determining
how the money raised by taxes is to be
expended. But the people under tlic
present system do not exercise that direct
control over taxation and expenditure
which was intended by the constitution,
and the result is slow progress in measures
of financial reform, corresponding to the
weak and indefinite responsibility felt by
Congress. The trouble lies with the
congressional committee system. In each
session of Consirress the amount of work is

so great, and the time so short for the
accomplishment of that work that the help
of committees, which shall make special
study of special subjects, has come to be
a necessity. Yet the committee system
brings with it the control of legislation by
a few members of the legislative body and
necessarily entails a loss of that general
knowledge of all subjects of legislation
which every representative ought to have
if he is really to be held responsible for
his vote. If the people do not truly con-
trol the purse, the fault lies with the com-
mittee system. The extent of this system
is better appreciated if it is remembered
that there are now in the House of Rep-
resentatives forty-seven standing commit-
tees, eleven of which have, either directly
or indirectly, to deal with questions of the
budget. Of these eleven the three most
important are the committee of ways and
means, the committee on appropriations,
and the committee on rivers and harbors.
In order to fully appreciate the influence
which these committees have upon budg-
etary legislation it is necessary to trace
the various stages through which a money
bill must pass before it can become a law.
At the beginning of each session the
Secretary of the Treasury presents his
report of the financial condition of the
government, and his estimates of the rev-
enue and expenditure of the coming year.
These estimates are based upon reports
which have been made to the Secretary of
the Treasury by tlie heads of the other
departments. They are transmitted to
Congress in the sliape of a letter addressed
to the Speaker of the House, and are then
referred to the financial committees of the
House. The committee of ways and
means ccmsiders that part of the estimates
which has reference to the raising of
money, and the committee on appropria-
tions that ])art which refers to the general



expenditure of money. But it by no
means follows that the bills introduced by
these committees must be in accordance
with the estimates. The committees need
not even examine- them if they do not
wish to do so. They can increase or
decrease the estimates at pleasure, or
completely change the plans outlined b}-
l!he Secretary of the Treasury. The Sec-
retary has not the privilege of explaining
his estimates before the House, and can
only appear before the committee when
asked to do so by the committees them-
selves. It appears, then, that the posi-
tion of the Secretary of the Treasury is
by no means so influential in the control of
the budget as is the position held by the
chairnan of one of these great commit-
tees. And it is for this reason that many
prominent politicians have preferred to
retain the position of chairman of the
ways and means committee in the House,
or of the finance committee in the Senate,
rather than accept the place of Secretary
of the Treasury in the cabinet.

When the committee on appropriations
has thoroughly digested the estimates, or
has made out a new scheme of expendi-
ture to suit itself, it begins to bring in
bills authorizing specific appropriations to
meet the expenses of government in the
various departments. If a member dis-
approves of the bill presented by the com-
mittee, he may of course introduce a bill
of his own. But he is not sure that he
will be allowed to speak upon his own bill
after he has presented it, for it is an
imperative rule of the House that every
bill must pass through the hands of its
appropriate committee before it is open
for discussion. So it lies within the power
of the chairman of the committee to kill
a bill thus introduced by simply refusing
to report, unless, indeed, the member has
sufficient support so that, by a majority
vote of the members of the House, he
can compel the chairman to report his bill
for discussion. Theoretically each mem-
ber of the House has an active voice in
determining taxation, but practically his

influence is reduced to a minimum unless
he is a member of an important commit-

It is evident then that the committee on
appropriations has practically the entire
control of the appropriation of money for
the expenses of government. The same
thing is true of the other committees, and
Woodrow Wilson, in his treatise on ''Con-
gressional Government," states the simple
truth when he says that our laws are
enacted by committees rather than by

When an appropriation bill has been
passed by the House it is sent to the Sen-
ate and there referred, without discussion,
to the Senate committee on Appropria-
tions. When that committee has submit-
ted the report the bill is either accepted
or amended. If it is amended it is sent
back to the House for reconsideration.
In the case of money bills the House
almost invariably refuses to accept the
amendments of the Senate, and proposes
a conference committee of three members
from each house. The Senate accepts
the proposition and the conference com-
mittee usually changes the bill so that it
becomes a compromise and does not meet
the real wish of either house.

This is the system of work followed by
Congress in the making of laws: The
question now arises, what is there in this
system which prevents the realization of
the principle that the people should con-
trol the purse ? How does it influence
the budget? It is not pertinent to con-
sider the effect of this system upon legis-
lation in general, but only in so far as it
has any influence on budgetary legislation.
In this connection it is found that two
bad results come from the committee sys-
tem. The first is that from a business
point of view, the origination of money

* When the committee on Appropriations presents
a hill, the rtonse goes into a c )minittee of the
whole, where each member is supposed lo be privi-
lesed to discuss, or propose amendments to. the bill.
But in fact, by a well recognized custom of the House,
a member usually cannot sain the recognition of the
Chair to propose "an amendment unless he has previ-
ously made some arrangement with the chairman of
the committee. The chairjnan is abso ute master of
the debate.



bills by a number of committees does not
tend toward homogeneity in the financial
measures of the year. The committee of
Ways and Means need have no communi-
cation with the committee on Appropria-
tions. Each committee prepares its own
bills absolutely without reference to the
measures proposed by the other commit-
tees. Hence there is no such thing as the
careful balancing of income and expendi-
ture which would probably take place if
the whole plan of the budget was in the
hands of one committee. In any other
country than our own such a system would
long ago have resulted in financial disas-
ter. But the United States is blest with a
surplus that permits the committee which
spends the money, because of the impos-
sibility of spending all the income, to
make appropriations without the slightest
reference to the propositions of the com-
mittee which gathers the money. That
such a system would naturally result, and
in fact has resulted, in foolish expenditure,
in extravagance, and in looseness in
accounts, is undoubted.

But great as this first evil is, the second
is still greater, namely, that contrary to
the spirit of the constitution, the people
have but an indefinite control of the purse.
According to the plan of the constitution,
a member of the House of Representatives
is directly responsible to the voters of the
district from which he is elected. His
actions in Congress are to be judged by
them, and he is to be held strictly account-
able for his position on every act of Con-
gress. But with our committee system
such a strict responsibility is impossible
and is recognized as impossible by the
voters of the district. A member, unless
he is upon some important committee, has
|)ractically no power to influence legisla-
tion. Fifteen members of the House of
Representatives determine what bills shall
be introduced toward meeting the expenses
of the government, and all that the other
members have to do on these particular
questions, is to "vote with the party."
In the majority of cases it is the chairman

of the fifteen who has the deciding voice
in the preparation of bills. One man,
who has in his hands almost absolute con-
trol of all appropriation bills, or of all
revenue bills, is responsible, not to the
•whole nation, every part of which is deeply
interested in such legislation, but to a
single district of a single state.

If we conclude from this that the con-
trol of the purse is not effectually secured
to the people by means of the election of
representatives to Congress, there seems
to be but one alternative by means of
which an effective control can be obtained,
that is, by the presidential election.

Once in every four years the conven-
tions of the political parties meet and
adopt platforms which outline the policy
of the party in regard to future legislation.
The presidential nominee writes a 'letter'
of acceptance in which he in turn outlines
his policy and his propositions for legisla-
tion. The voter of the country, certain
to have his own ideas upon the public
questions of the day, accepts these decla-
rations of the nominees as the basis upon
which he decides how he will cast his bal-
lot, and believes that he has thereby given
effective force to his legislative wishes.
But he has not done so. The President,
for whom he has voted, has no more
immediate influence over the legislation to
be proposed in Congress than has the
voter himself. Occasionally we have a
President who, by mere force of charac-
ter, gains a powerful influence over his
party and compels the members of his
party who are in Congress, to do his bid-
ding. But as a general rule our Presidents
are mere figure-heads and do not exert
any real influence on legislation. Never-
theless the voters are inclined to hold the
President responsible for a jjower which
he cannot exercise, and if the legislation,
for which the Speaker of the House and
his heads of committee are responsible,
does not satisfy the people, the}'^ refuse to
support the President at the next election.

The result of all this is that while men
think that by the election of a presidential



<:andidate the policy of the government in
matters of legislation has been decided,
the fact in the case is that they have sim-
ply expressed an opinion wliich need not
be followed by an irresponsible chairman
of a committee unless he chooses to follow
it. Budgetar)' legislation is of the utmost
importance to the nation. The questions
of free trade or protecticm, of pensions,
of internal improvements, of ex]3enditures
in the various departments, are all .ques-
tions of budgetar}' legislation, and are all
considered by the intelligent voter before
he casts his ballot for President. In this
way the budget undoubtedly has an influ-
ence upon politics, but on the other hand,
politics do not have any marked influence
upon the budget. Under our form of
congressional autocracy, the vote of the
people has not the influence which it
should have upon budgetary legislation,
or in fact upon legislation of any sort.

It is impossible then for the people to
fix any effective responsibility for the use
of the public money, by means either of
the district election of representatives, or
of the presidential election. The Presi-
dent has not the power of the purse and
ought not to be held responsible. The
Speaker of the House and his committee-
men do have the power of the purse and
cannot be held responsible under the
existing forms.

It was the central thought of the fram-
ers of the constitution, that there should
be a division of power and a consequent
division of responsibility, thus obviating
the dangers of the centralization of power.
But the history of our nation, as well as
the history of all other nations, would
seem to prove that such a division of
power is practically impossible for any
length of time, Sooner or later some
branch of government gains a power
almost if not not quite supreme. In the
United States it is Congress Avhich has
become the supreme power, and it is the
Speaker of the House who is the exponent
of that power. All this might be very well
if it were not for the fact that, while the

constitution intended a division of power
and a division of responsibility, the gov-
ernment which has sprung from that con-
stitution, is a government in which power
has been concentrated in the hands of
Congress, while the responsibility is still

It has been said that the Speaker of the
House is all-powerful. His power arises
from the fact that it is his privilege to
appoint all the chairmen and members of
the committees of the House. By a selec-
tion of chairmen from those members
whose views on the topics assigned to
them agree with his own, he has a direct
influence upon the course of legislation.
And in addition to this it should also be
noted that lie has power even against the
chairmen he has himself selected, by
means of the appointment of the three
members of the conference committee,
when the Senate has amended a House
bill and the House has refused to accept
that amendment. Yet the Speaker, all-
powerful as he is, is responsible, not to the
nation, but to the one congressional dis-
trict from which he is elected to take his
seat in the Plouse of Representatives.

For many years past the thought has
been gradually forcing, itself upon the
public mind that there is something radi-
cally wrong in a system of government
which presents the spectacle of such un-
limited power with such limited responsi-
bility, and that a reform of some sort is
needed by which the trend of constitutional
development, which has been described,

Online LibraryKansas. UniversitySeminary notes published by the Seminary of historical and political science → online text (page 42 of 62)