Page:A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence, 1861-1865, Volume I.djvu/342

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Messages and Papers of the Confederacy.

ered that it would not be proper to submit the nominations for these appointments to the Senate for its advice and consent until the time arrived when the commissions are to take effect.

It has occurred to me, however, that the Senate may be of opinion that these nominations should be submitted to it at the present session. If such should be the judgment of the Senate, the nominations will be submitted before its adjournment.

Jefferson Davis.

Richmond, Va., March 17, 1863.

Richmond, Va., March 18, 1863.

To the Senate and House of Representatives.

Herewith is transmitted a communication from the Postmaster General, calling attention to the serious embarrassments in which the postal service is becoming involved under the operation of the act of 11th of October last, which rendered all postmasters, except those appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, and all contractors for carrying the mails, their riders and drivers, between the ages of 18 and 45, liable to military duty. In the opinion of the Postmaster General, it will be impracticable to continue the postal service in large districts of our country, without some modification of this legislation.

Under present military necessities, I am very reluctant to increase the list of exemptions, and, were this a case which did not involve a great public interest, would decline to communicate the recommendation to you. In view of the vital importance of maintaining mail communications throughout our country, and the small number of persons who appear to be necessary to the continuance of the postal service, I present the communication of the Postmaster General, and commend it to your attention.

Should you concur with me in the propriety of allowing some exemptions for the purpose proposed, I would suggest that it be confined to contractors, to the exclusion of subcontractors, and that the number of drivers be limited so as not to exceed one for, say, every 25 miles of service in coaches, and that the whole number of exemptions shall not exceed, say, 1,500.

With these or similar restrictions, I am of the opinion that the rule of subjecting all citizens alike to the performance of their