Page:A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence, 1861-1865, Volume I.djvu/498

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Messages and Papers of the Confederacy.

Richmond, June 7, 1864.

To the Senate of the Confederate States of America.

A bill which originated in the Senate entitled "An Act to authorize the appointment of additional officers of artillery for ordnance duties" has been presented for my signature, but it contains a provision founded on an error of fact which compels me to return it without approval, that the error may be corrected.

The bill contains the following proviso: "Provided, That acting ordnance officers having been found duly qualified for appointment according to the regulations of the War Department, and being already on duty in the field under the orders, of the Secretary of War, shall have preference of appointment under this act." There are no acting ordnance officers on duty in the field, and I learn on inquiry that the persons so designated are in reality merely employees of the Ordnance Bureau for the performance of ordnance duties in the field in the absence of legislation authorizing the appointment of officers. This proviso, therefore, has the effect, under an error of fact apparent in its terms, of restricting the Executive in the choice of persons to fill the offices created by the bill to a list of employees selected by a chief of bureau, which is plainly not in accordance with the expressed intention of Congress, nor with the terms of the Constitution.

Jefferson Davis.

Richmond, Va., June 10, 1864.

To the House of Representatives of the Confederate States of America.

I herewith return to your honorable body, with my objections, a bill which originated in the House entitled "An Act to amend an act entitled an act to impose regulations upon the foreign commerce of the Confederate States to provide for the public defense," approved February 6, 1864.

The principal provisions of the bill are unexceptionable, but one of its clauses requires to be guarded by some restriction or modification in order to prevent serious injury to the public service. For a proper understanding of the subject it is necessary to state certain facts, probably unknown to many members, and which have an important bearing on the policy of the Government.

Prior to the passage of the act of 6th of February, 1864, the