Page:A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence, 1861-1865, Volume I.djvu/193

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Provisional Congress.

hospital, that the commanding officer's certificate cannot be obtained "without inconvenience and delay," so that the soldier, absent from camp, can always get a furlough or discharge without the knowledge of his commander.

Fourth. The large number of soldiers, that will be constantly traveling on the railroads on the proposed system of a ten days' furlough for five per cent of all the effective men, together with the sick leaves provided for, will form an average of probably not less than fifteen or twenty thousand men in constant movement. This would occupy the transportation facilities, already much too limited, to such an extent as seriously to impair the movement of troops and supplies.

In whatever aspect the proposed legislation is contemplated, I cannot view it otherwise than as dangerous to the public safety, and I most earnestly recommend that, in taking it again into consideration, Congress will weigh any possible advantage that can result from this measure against the disasters, that are not only the possible, but, as it appears to me, the probable results of its adoption.

Jefferson Davis.

Executive Department, February 4, 1862.

To the Congress of the Confederate States.

Gentlemen: I return, with my objections, the bill entitled "An Act to repeal so much of the laws of the United States adopted by the Congress of the Confederate States as authorizes the naturalization of aliens." My objections are the following, viz.:

First. The bill does not save the rights of aliens who were domiciled in the Confederate States at the beginning of this revolution, and had already commenced the proceedings necessary to their naturalization. It would be manifest injustice to such aliens as have remained among us and have sympathized with and aided us in our struggle to cut them off from these rights, at least inchoate, and deprive them of the boon held out to them by laws to which we were assenting parties at the time they emigrated to the Confederacy.

Second. While there is perhaps no direct prescription of the Constitution making it the duty of Congress to establish a rule of naturalization, I submit that in addition to the grant of that power