Page:A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence, 1861-1865, Volume I.djvu/589

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557
Second Congress.

nishing of machinery for carrying the mails and compelling those who might use the facilities thus furnished to pay the expense thereof.

The second evil against which this clause was intended as a safeguard was the wasteful extravagance which grew out of the franking privilege, with its attendant abuses of large contracts for stationery, printing, binding, &c., and increased Government patronage with its train of corrupting influences.

With this knowledge of the purpose of the framers of the Constitution, and of the evils against which they intended to provide by the clause under consideration, I cannot escape the conclusion that to authorize the transmission of any mail matter free of postage is to violate the true intent and meaning of the Constitution.

If the act now before me should become a law, the Postmaster General would be bound to pay railroads and other carriers for conveying newspapers to the armies without reimbursement from any source whatever. He could not be repaid out of the general Treasury without a violation of the letter of the Constitution, nor out of the other revenues of his Department without in effect imposing on those who pay for carrying their own correspondence an additional charge to defray the cost of conveying newspapers for others.

If it be competent for Congress under the clause to order newspapers to be carried free of postage, the power exists to order free transmission of any other mail matter. But we must ever remember that Congress can exercise no implied powers — certainly none not necessary to carry into effect the powers expressly granted; and where shall we find in the Constitution any power in the Confederate Government, expressed or implied, for dividing either the people or the public servants into classes unequally burdened with postal charges?

In that part of the Constitution which specially treats of the burden of taxation, every precaution has been taken to secure uniformity and to guard against bounties or preferences of any kind; and although not directly applicable to the subject of postage, the spirit of the whole provision is so opposed to inequality in legislation that the passage may well serve for illustration. The first clause of article 1, section 8, gives to Congress power "to lay