The Writings of Carl Schurz/From George F. Edmunds, March 26th, 1886

Senate Chamber,
Washington, March 26, 1886.

I have yours of the 25th. The trouble would be, in the way you propose, precisely the one that now exists, with the further complication that, in sending for persons and papers by a committee, the dignity of the Senate would require, if papers were refused, that the refusing official should be punished for contempt, and this proceeding, applied to all the instances, would be somewhat cumbrous. The Departments do not intend that the public or the Senate shall know the contents of even the confessedly official papers in the files regarding the administration [official conduct] of the people to be removed, because, in the great mass of cases, it would doubtless appear that their official behavior had been perfect and therefore their proposed removal must be purely political.—In haste, yours truly.