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The same care is used in selecting physicians as in choosing clerks, and no appointment is made until the applicant is furnished with a synopsis of qualifications. and duties, and required to furnish the information called for therein, and state by a letter of his own composition, in his own handwriting, whether he will accept the position, subject to all the conditions imposed.
ADDITIONAL FARMERS. For several years past Congress has appropriated funds for the pay of practical farmers in the Indian service, to be employed by the Secretary of the Interior, in addition to the regular Agency farmers. Under instructions of the Secretary of the Interior, the selection of persons for these places has been made by the Indian Office, the points to which they are sent being determined by the Secretary,
Great care is exercised to secure only competent practical farmers for these places, men who not only understand farming in all its branches, including the use and care of machinery and care of stock, but who have been actually engaged in farming for at least five years previous to appointment.
As in the case of clerk and physician, an applicant is furnished with a memorandum showing what will be expected and required in event of his appointment and stating the necessary qualifications, and required to signify his willingness to accept the place, subject to all the conditions imposed.
SAFEGUARDS AGAINST DECEPTION.
When any appointment, other than that of agent, is made to a position at an agency, the appointee is told that he must defray his own expenses in reaching his post of duty, as the appointment does not take effect until he reports in person to the agent. This fact, in connection with the certainty of dismissal in the evert of being found incompetent or unfitted in any way for service, thus necessitating the expenditure of more money for traveling expenses, tends to prevent attempts to deceive the office or obtain appointments by false representations.
AGENTS' RELATIVES. Under former administrations agents were not required, as now, to certify on the sheet upon which nominations are submitted, the relationship, if any, which the appointee might sustain to the agent. The consequence was that a number of agents surrounded themselves with their relatives, giving them the most lucrative positions at their disposal. This practice has been broken up, and agents now certify after each nomination whether or not the person nominated is related to bim or to his bondsmen. In no instance is an agent or superintendent allowed to nominate more than one member of his family or one kinsman in any degree.
LEAVES OF ABSENCE.
Formerly much suffering, and in many cases death, resulted from granting leaves of absence to agency physicians and allowing them to leave their posts of duty with. out making any provision for the care of such cases as might occur during their absence. Under the present rule no physician in the service is granted leave of
absence without being required to leave a properly qualified substitute to attend to 4rgent cases.
This ruling bas, without doubt, been of immense benefit to the Indians and agency employees, has prevented much suffering and saved many lives.
When the present administration took charge of the Indian office it was the almost universal custom to allow the agents and superintendents of schools to select the entire corps of employees. There were no regulations requiring any information to be filed as to qualifications, experience, relationship or character of the parties appointed. The names of teose removed and appointed were merely reported to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and were recorded on the “Record of Employees" without any question.
The new Commissioner, soon after taking charge, formulated a rule by which the agents and superintendents were required to make a statement of the qualifications of every person nominated for a position in a school, and to state the reasons for every dismissal made. In October, 1885, a circular was issued to all persons having charge of Indian schools, instructing them to furnish this information, and in Januar:, 1886, another circular was issued requiring a statement in advance of changes proposed in employees, giving in full the reasons and the good expected to be accomplished, and it was stated that no discharge or nomination would be approved unless the previous approval of the Indian Office had been obtained for such discharge or nomination.
Instructions were also issued providing that, in an exigency, changes might be made, and that a full statement of the facts in such cases must be immediately forwarded to the Indian Office, and the agents were informed that they would be held strictly responsible for the recommendations they might make, and would be held responsible for any injury to the service caused by any one appointed on their recommendations who proved inefficient.
It is now required that applicants for positions in the school service shall file evidence of their fitness. These testimonials are filed in the Indian Office, and can be referred to at any time. The employees are thus held responsible to the authori. ties at Washington for the performance of their duties, and have the assurance that they will be protected so long as they faithfully perform their duties. The wisdom of this change in the manner of making appointments is evidenced by the increased interest manifested by all school employees, and the consequent increased efficiency of the schools.
At the present time the schools are filled to their utmost capacity, and the only Teason why more children are not in school is because there are no accommodations for them. The average attendance since the advent of the present admistration has more than doubled, being in 1884, 6,115, and in 1887, 14,333, while during the current fiscal year it has increased at least 20 per cent.
EXPENDITURES FOR INDIAN SERVICE. Statements showing the cost of Indian Service, the efficiency of Indian Schools, Attendance, ete. 1882, 1883 and 1884......
$19,518,613 06 1886, 1887 and 1888..
18,872,791 55 Saving in favor of 1886, 1887 and 1888........
Out of the above expenditures the following sums were used for the support of Indian Schools : 1882, 1883 and 1884.
$1.149,024 88 1886, 1887 and 1888.
3,215,430 39 Excess over 1882, 1883 and 1884 for educational purposes.. 82,066,405 51 Table showing comparative average attendance at Indian Schools during the years mentioned:
*The figures for 1888 are estimated. All returns are not yet received, but, from those received, it is safe to say that the increase over 1887 has been at least 25 per cent. This is the actual average attendance. The enrollment is nearly 16,000.
THE PATENT OFFICE.
THE EFFICIENT WORK WHICH HAS BEEN DONE IN ONE OF THE MOST
IMPORTANT OF THE GOVERNMENT BUREAUS.
In this important bureau of the Interior Department the same salutary reforms and changes have characterized the advent of the Democratic party to power.
The country was met with what seemed to be a very plausible and vehement objection at first, that a change of administration would work disastrously to the business of the departments and bureaus. It was charged that turning out old and trusted officials and putting in new ones would have the effect of impairing the public service. That this was believed by many sincere and patriotic people cannot be doubted; but the change came and with it a change in the officials at the head of the Patent Office.
Time has contradicted these misgivings and forebodings that a change would impair the public service, and it is certain that in no bureau has such a charge been more plainly and clearly contradicted than in the Patent Office. There has been a steady growth, both of the business of the office and the respect in which it is held by the inventors of the country; and that this steady growth, this keeping up in its full vigor the business of the office has been accomplished under many disadvantageous circumstances.
HIGH ORDER OF MERIT IN DECISIONS.
The decisions of this office take a high rank. Indeed, so marked has been the judicial ability displayed by Commissioner Hall, that it has drawn from the leading papers of the Republican party many worthy tributes of this efficient and scholarly official. Prominent among recognitions in the Republican party of the efficiency and capacity with which this office is now conducted, is one taken from the New York Tribune of October 1, 1887, and expresses the sentiments of all. It says:
" In brief he seems to recognize the fact that the Patent Office is not a political office; that it is supported by the men of a particular class, the inventors-so well supported in short that the yearly dividend of twenty per cent. is realized from the fees paid in while there is an accumulated surplus of three millions of dollars in the Treasury.
* Every week's issue of the Official Gazette contains from one to three of the Commissioner's decisions on points of office practice, designed to bring uniformity in the same among the different divisions. If the story told by the attorneys is to be believed something of that kind is badly needed.”
The Scientific American, the ablest industrial journal in the world, then comments upon this as follows:
“The encomium of the Tribune on Commissioner Hall is just, and reminds one of the Patent Office administration under the Commissionerships of Judge Mason and Judge Holt, which was a good while ago, but whom the few of us live to remember with satisfaction."
CORPORATE POWER AND THE PATENT LAWS. Corporate power, grown to an alarming size during the past quarter of a century by special class legislation and the many privileges given to it during the Republican regime, has pushed its baleful influences even into the indus. trial arts.
For years it has been known that the real inventors of the country, most of thein humble but skilled mechanics in the industrial arts, have utterly failed to reap the benefits of their inventive genius. Seldom has it been that the real inventor has reaped the harvest of his patience and his skill. Almost every invention represents years of some ingenious mechanic's life, is immediately seized upon by some monopoly or other, the interest of the inventor bought for a song, and the benefits of the invention, which the spirit of the patent laws intended should go to the public at large, has been held for the advantage of the special few, to be doled out by corporations to the general public at enormous profits to the managers.
Benton J. Hall, the incumbent of the Commissioner's office, among other suggestions for reform, said in his last annual report that the statute enables rich and influential parties to keep the applications for patents, of which they are the assignees, pending in the office for years before their patent is issued. In the mean. time they are engaged in manufacturing aod putting upon the market the article or improvement, but warning the public that the patent is “applied for," the effect of which is to give them the absolute control of the monopoly of the invention and to deter all other inventors from entering the same field of invention and manufacturing the same article. The Commissioner recommended to Congress that this section should be modified, and that there be vested in the Commissioner a discretion to declare any application forfeited for want of prosecution whenever he is satisfied that such should be done.
In harmony with this suggestion, the Commissioner also recommended that patents should be limited by the exercise on the part of the Government of a cer. tain discretion vested in the Commissioner.
The abuse alluded to affects the farmer directly when it is remembered that barb-wire is made the basis of the barb-wire syndicates, whose enormous profits must be paid by the farmer; it affects the mechanic who is compelled to pay a profit by way of royalty upon the very tools he uses, to some powerful syndicate; it affects the poor seamstress, whose daily bread comes to her from the use of the sew. ing machine; it affects the mass of people who are compelled to pay enormous royalties upon inventions held and controlled by capital and monopolies.
The Commissioner thus formulates his conclusion.
“I suggest for the consideration of Congress the propriety of providing that all patents hereafter issuing shall contain a provision that they may be extinguished by the governo ment at any time upon the payment to the owners of the property, whether the patentee or his assigns, of a reasonable sum of money, such sum to be determined by arbitration or otherwise, as may seem appropriate to Congress.