Page:A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence, 1861-1865, Volume I.djvu/186

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Messages and Papers of the Confederacy.

case, I respectfully submit to Congress that it might be remedied in a less objectionable manner than is provided for in the bill.

3d. It is obvious that the intent and purpose of this bill was humane, and directed to ameliorating the condition of the sick soldier, but in very many cases the opposite effect will be produced. The sick soldier, entitled to either furlough or discharge, now obtains it through the regularly appointed officers of the Government, provided with blank forms to be properly filled up, by means of which the rights of the soldier to his transportation and allowances can be readily liquidated. But by the provisions of the bill it will very frequently occur that owing to irregularities in his papers it will be impossible that his account can be settled at the office of the paymaster; still worse, he may be exposed to the loss of his cherished honor, to be branded as a deserter by his failure to secure the proper evidence of his honorable discharge.

I do not think that Congress can have been aware that some weeks prior to the passage of this bill the War Department had issued regulations, relaxing the former rules, dispensing with many of the formalities, and simplifying the means of obtaining furloughs and discharges for the sick. I annex a copy of these regulations, which go as far as, in my opinion, compatible with the necessities of the service, and which seem to me to render the legislation now proposed unnecessary.

Jefferson Davis.

[Received December 14, 1861.]

Executive Office, January 22, 1862.

To the Congress of the Confederate States.

After mature consideration of the bill to encourage the manufacture of small arms, saltpeter, and of gunpowder within the Confederate States, I felt constrained to return it with the following statement of objections: By its provisions the bill deprives the Executive of the discretionary power to protect the Government against unnecessary or improvident contracts, and confers upon individuals who may propose to furnish to the Government any of the supplies enumerated the right to demand that their proposition shall be accepted, and that 50 per cent of the amount proposed to