The Writings of Carl Schurz/To President McKinley, March 4th, 1897


New York, March 4, 1897.

Permit me to address to you a few words in the name of the National Civil Service Reform League whose president I am.

It seems to us very important that the United States Civil Service Commission should be regarded and treated as an essentially non-partisan body, and that it should, therefore, not be subject to sweeping changes as to its composition with every change of Administration. If you should deem it wise not to keep all the present members of the Commission but to give the Commission a Republican majority, yet we would respectfully ask you to consider whether in that case the public interest will not be best served by making the one change required for that purpose, and thus preserve the substantial continuity of the Commission. We are strongly of the opinion that the largest possible preservation of that continuity would be most in harmony with the spirit of the reformed civil service system, and hope that it will commend itself to your good judgment. Should you deem it proper not to make any change in the Commission at all, we would, for the reason mentioned, be all the more gratified and hail your decision as a precedent of very great value.

I beg leave to add that if the organization over which I have the honor to preside, or myself personally, can in any way ever be of service to you in the line of the principles we represent, we shall always be gladly at your disposal.

Accept my warmest wishes for the success of your Administration as well as for your personal prosperity, and believe me,

Very sincerely yours.