and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises for revenue necessary to pay the debts, provide for the common defense, and carry on the Government of the Confederate States; but no bounties shall be granted from the Treasury; nor shall any duties or taxes on importations from foreign nations be laid to promote or foster any branch of industry; and all duties, imposts, and excises shall be uniform throughout the Confederate States." It is true that the payment of postage is not properly a tax, but compensation for service rendered; yet it would scarcely be ingenuous to deny that so to regulate the rates of postage as to produce an excess of receipts over the expense of carrying mail matter for one class and to use this excess in order to carry free of cost the mail matter of another class would strongly conflict with the just equality of privileges and burdens which the above-cited clauses were designed to secure.
I regret to be compelled to object to a measure devised by Congress for the benefit or relief of the Army, but with my convictions on the subject it is not possible to approve the act now before me.
Richmond, Va., March 9, 1865.
To the Senate of the Confederate States.
I feel constrained to return the bill "To provide for the promotion of officers in certain cases" to the Senate, in which it originated, with a statement of the objections which have led me to withhold from it my signature.
The Constitution provides, in paragraph 2, section 2, article 2, that the President "shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate," to appoint officers of the Confederate States not otherwise provided for, "but the Congress may, by law, vest the appointment of such inferior officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the Heads of Departments."
In the bill under consideration it is declared that "it shall be competent to the commanding general in the field, or the Secretary of War, to order the promotions to be made of the officers next in grade," &c.
This seems to me to confer a power of appointment on commanding generals not warranted by the Constitution.