In the Senate
Tuesday, a resolution was introduced and adopted fixing Friday, 1st May, as the day for the adjournment of Congress.
The amendment of the House
to the Senate bill authorizing the transmission of newspapers to soldiers free of postage was concurred in. The bill to provide for the conscription of foreigners was after debate, transferred to the secret calendar, and further discussed in secret session.
The consideration of the bill for the impressment of railroads was postponed until to-day; also, the bill for the confiscation of the leasehold interest of alien enemies in telegraph lines.
bill for the assessment and collection of taxes was amended and passed.
A bill from the Committee of Finance, authorizing the issue of $100,000,000 bands, beating six per cent, interest payable in Treasury notes, or cotton, was transferred to the secret calendar and considered in secret session.
It is understood that the bill was passed.
The bill relative to a provisional navy was recommitted to the Committee
on Naval Affairs.
In the House
the bill reported from the Committee
on the Medical Department, to regulate the granting of furloughs in hospitals, was taken up. A substitute for the bill was offered by Mr. Clarke
, of Ga.
, which was rejected, and the original bill, with slight amendment was passed.
A bill was also reported from the Medical Committee
, placing the clerks of the Medical Department of Richmond
on the same footing, in regard to increased compensation, with the clerks of the Executive Departments
The bill was so amended as to include all clerks in the civil employment of the Government
, and then agreed to.
Senate bill, referred to the Committee
on Quartermaster and Commissary Departments, to abolish any offices in these departments, was reported back with a recommendation that it pass.
The bill was at once acted upon and agreed to.
The same committee also reported back Senate bill relative to bonds of Quartermasters and Commissaries, with an amendment.
The bill and amendment were laid upon the table.
The same committee reported back a bill to regulate the payment of commutation for transportation to officers in the military service of the Confederate States
which was adopted.
From the same committee a bill was reported back to amend an act relative to prisoners of war. The bill was agreed to.
The same committee, to whom was referred the resolution of the House
to reference to the contract for flour between the Commissary General
and Messrs. Hazall
& Co., reported through their chairman, Mr. Chilton
The conclusions of the committee are follows:
That prudent precautionary measures were adopted by the Commissary General in the manner of lefting out this contract.
- 2. That the firm with whom the contract was made furnished, in its appliances capacity, integrity, and efficiency, an unquestionable security that the contract on its part would be faithfully complied with, aside from the bond and security which it gave.
- 3. That said firm acted in good faith in the proposals made in accordance with the request of the Commissary General; that the proposal which was accepted was the best which could be obtained for the Government.
- 4. That the contract made with Messrs. Hazall, Grenshaw & Co. was fairly entered into; that no Government agent, either directly or indirectly, has, or ever had, any interest whatever in the profits of the contract.
- 5. That the contract was just and reasonable, and does not secure to the contractors more than a fair and equitable compensation for the labor and services inquired of them in its fulfillment.
- 6. That thus far it has been carried out by the contractors with scrupulous good faith, and in the opinion of the committee, has enabled the Government to obtain supplies of flour at 2 cheaper rate than could otherwise have been obtained.
The committee state that they have examined many persons, experts in the manufacture of flour, owners of mills, millers, inspectors of flour, &c., and, with one accord, they have pronounced the contract reasonable and just, and many of them say the contractors do not receive the usual compensation for grinding, and hauling the wheat and flour to and from the respective depots in Richmond
, and furnishing to the Government
the barrels or packages; and there of them who had denounced the contract under a mistaken view of its provisions, which had been from prudential considerations kept from the public upon being made acquainted with the terms of the contract hesitatingly approved it as just and reasonable.
The report, with the contract, was ordered to be printed.