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But after making a statement in regard to the matter that was predicated upon truth in every material sense and every material point, it was then that the coxcomb member of the commission [laughter on the Democratic side) became offended and came to this House and undertook to defend the extravagant expenditures of the commission. When he arose to a question of personal privilege, Mr. Chairman, there was not a voice raised against it on this side, though we knew he had no question of privilege to present to the House. A point of order could have been made against his request, and he could not have been heard, but no one upon this side desired to smother anything in connection with the matter. If Democracy desires to smother corruption anywhere at any time, Mr. Chairman, I hope to God there will be some power that will expose it to the American people to the extent that it will never have national recognition now or at any time in the future. [Applause on the Democratic side.] The gentleman from New York was allowed to speak without limit in reply to what I said, and had full opportunity of saying everything he desired, and when I asked to be heard in reply I was immediately limited by a Republican objection to thirty minutes, while the gentleman from New York had had the privilege of speaking without limit.
Further than that, there was denied to me by a Republican objection the poverty-stricken privilege of revising my remarks in the RECORD, in order that I might correct any incongruity of speech that may have appeared in my remarks by reason of haste or interruption of debate. Even that was denied by a Republican objection, and to-day, when I come to speak from the RECORD, I am met with a Republican objection again, and by the gentleman from New York [Mr. BENNET), whom I did not object to being heard as he desired when he asked to be heard upon a question of privilege that he did not have. Such magnanimity, Mr. Chairman, as that is damnable, and I say to the gentleman that his conduct in regard to the matter is characteristic of the littleness of the man with whom I am dealing.
When the gentleman from New York undertook to answer the charges I presented to this House as a reason why it should not make a further appropriation of $125,000 to continue the life of this Immigration Commission, the gentleman denounced my author as a liar and the facts upon which they were predicated as a lie out of the whole cloth.
Mr. Chairman, that was not a brave act. The gentleman knew that under the rules of the House the man he denounced as a liar did not have opportunity to reply, did not have opportunity to defend himself against the charge, and he knew that under the Constitution he could not hold him responsible elsewhere for what he said upon this floor. That was a very high character of bravery, indeed, that caused a Member of this House to denounce one who had no opportunity to defend himself against the attack here or elsewhere as a liar. Indeed it is the kind of courage that would cause a strong man to take a newborn, helpless babe and whip it to a finish. (Laughter and applause.] Such bra very! (Laughter.] It deserves a monument that will almost kiss the skies, and if I were the gentleman from New York I would be so proud of myself for Having exercised it that I would hardly know how to contain
myself because of it. Oh, such noble courage! It is great. [Laughter.] But, Mr. Chairman, let us see if my informant was a liar. For a Member of the House to say that some one is a liar who is not in the House or that facts stated by another is a lie out of the whole cloth is not binding upon anybody ; it does not make it the truth by a jugful. [Laughter and applause.] If the words of one person denouncing another as a liar make it so, then I have an interview on my desk that appeared in the Star of this city a few days ago which makes the gentleman from New York a liar. [Laughter and applause.]
The gentleman's speech in defense of the Immigration Commission against charges of extravagances and delay made by me disclosed that Mr. J. H. Patten, secretary of the Immigration Restriction League and chairman of the national legislative committee of the American Purity Federation, was my informant that was denounced as a liar by the gentleman from New York, and that part of the daily press of the country that is controlled by special interests heralded his denunciation of Mr. Patten over the country, and, in doing so, sought to impress the casual reader with the idea that I, perhaps, had made false statements in my charges of extravagance and delay upon the part of the commission by heading the reports of his speech with big headlines such as MACON's facts coldly false,” and so forth.
Now, Mr. Chairman, it is easy to denounce a statement as false, just as it is easy to call a defenseless person a liar, but proving the fact is a different thing. After the gentleman had made his speech in reply to what I had to say in regard to the conduct of the commission, Mr. Patten was interviewed by an Evening Star reporter of this city on Thursday, January 27, and, among other things, said :
Representative BENNET is quite mistaken in representing that I did anything one year ago last fall to prevent his reelection to Congress.
His allegations, in so far as they are material and implicate me as knowingly or unknowingly misrepresenting the situation, are absolutely untrue, false, and unfounded in fact, and he does not dare to prosecute my statements or to make his libelous statements in an unprivileged place.
One year ago Representative VICTOR MURDOCK, of his own motion and notion, and without any knowledge on my part, called attention to the commission's expenditures. Similarly Senator Gary, in the Senate, February 18, 1909.
The best authority is perhaps Representative TAWNEY, who said Monday, after the debate on the commission's expenditures, . according to page 947 of the RECORD : “All the facts brought out in this debate came to the Committee on Appropriations, were discussed," and resulted in the commission's curtailment.
I mention this to show that the gist of the episode certainly can not be attributed to my fabrications, as Mr. BENNET's accusations allege.
Mr. Chairman, if the remarks of the gentleman from New York made Mr. Patten a liar in deed and in truth, I want to know if Mr. Patten's statement has not made him a liar. [Laughter.]
Mr. Patten says the statement of the gentleman from New York is libelous, and that he dare not make it in an unprivileged place; and therefore, Mr. Chairman, coming back to my statement of a few days ago, I think I was justified when I said that Mr. Patten was entitled to as much credit upon this floor for truthfulness and veracity as the gentleman from New York until it could be shown that the gentleman from New York was a saint and Mr. Patten was a liar, and I knew the
gentleman from New York was not a saint. [Applause.) But, Mr. Chairman, the gentleman from New York said that the facts furnished me by Mr. Patten were lies out of the whole cloth, and he said if I had desired to find out the truth about the commission that I could have come to him and he would have told me. Mr. Chairman, what do you think of that? [Applause.]
I have always understood that it was just as illogical and would be as futile to go to a person charged with wrong doing, whether he was a Member of Congress or not, in order to get the true facts—the true, burning, living facts-about charges made against him as it would be to take a trip to heaven to hunt devils or to hell to find saints. [Laughter and applause.]
The gentleman from New York in his speech took up the immaterial things set forth in my remarks, and dwelt at great length upon them; he attempted in that way to muddy the waters, and from the way the Republicans of the House applauded him you would have thought he was making a great hit; that he was declaring gospel truths, when, in fact, he only attacked the immaterial matters contained in my speech. For instance, he asked me if Mr. Patten said there was a steering committee connected with the Immigration Commission. I had said in my remarks that there was a steering committee in connection with this commission, and when I replied that he did, he said that was a lie out of the whole cloth, that he had never heard of such a thing as a steering committee in connection with the commission, and he dwelt at considerable length upon the subject and received considerable applause from the Republicans of the House. What are executive committees? Are they not steering committees directing the action of the body of which they are a part? Are they not created solely for that purpose? There is an executive committee in connection with this Immigration Commission, and Mr. BENNET of New York is a member of it, and when he charged that the suggestion of a steering committee in connection with the commission was false he was simply quibbling and trying to lead the minds of his hearers away from the real truth upon the subject.
Why, sir, the Committee on Rules of this House is nothing more nor less than a steering committee, that directs the procedure of the House. It is the steering committee of the House, and every attempt to deny it is an attempt to evade the truth; and when Members try to evade the truth, they are not worthy of consideration, in the House or out of it. [Applause on the Democratic side.]
But the gentleman from New York tried to create the impression that the commission while abroad worked, worked, worked overtime; that they severed their connection with the Union and worked overtime until they were so completely exhausted that they actually fell asleep. [Laughter,] Mr. Chairman, that was an effort to create the impression that the commission was hard at work all the time it was abroad. I had denounced the trip as being for fun, and I am going to prove before I get through that they did have some fun [laughter), and that was the main thing for which they went abroad. [Laughter and applause.]
In regard to that falling-asleep business, Mr. Chairman, I want to say that I have seen men fall asleep who had not toiled long and arduously [laughter] ; something that they had taken at the dinner table seemed to make them drowsy, and they sometimes get sleepy from atmospheric conditions. I am of the opinion that one of those things had more to do with putting the members of the commission to sleep than the work they did, and that the gentleman from New York knows it. [Laughter and applause.) He said when he was in Rome that he was so hard at work that he did not have time to cast his eyes upon the great St. Peter's. [Laughter.] He said that when he was in the gay city of Paris he did not have time to see any of its beauties, and he tried to convey the idea that he hardly had time to draw a good long breath, and that the only thing that kept him there overnight was that he could not get a train out of the city; and the next time he was there that he only remained about two hours, and that he had the record of having made the two shortest trips to Paris that any American on earth had made.
Gentlemen, that remark was only characteristic of the extravagance of the gentleman's remarks throughout his speech, and he had no evidence whatever of a truthful character to show that a thousand Americans had not made shorter trips to Paris than he; and yet when he made that statement it received Republican applause, when every Member that applauded him knew there was no truthful foundation upon which his statement could rest.
Mr. Chairman, the gentleman tried to convey the idea that while the Immigration Commission was abroad it was so engrossed with its labors investigating inmigration conditions in foreign countries for the purpose of bettering immigration conditions in this country that it did not have time to have any fun at all. The gentleman from New York practically said that he did not have time to look upon the great St. Peters, and did not have time to see anything in Paris; but, Mr. Chairman, let us see whether they had time, or any member of the commission had time, to see anything anywhere else or to take part in any sort of pleasures or entertainments while abroad.
I noticed in an article in one of the papers of the city of New York, published on the 7th day of September, 1907, that among other things said about the Immigration Commission's trip abroad, the following language was employed, which has not been denied up to this time that I have heard of, as much given to denying facts as the gentleman from New York seems to be:
Representative WILLIAM S. BENNET, of New York, and Mrs. Bennet, who returned from Europe yesterday by White Star steamer Cedric, had some interesting experiences while abroad. Mr. BENNET was a member of a committee that investigated immigration conditions in Europe and Asia Minor. While in Turkey a call was made upon the Sultan
You all remember that old Sultan [laughter and applause], whose public life was so corrupt and whose private life was so dissolute that he was driven from the throne.
A MEMBER. It was not the Sultan of Sulu?
This same old Abdul Hamid, now deposedand decorated Mrs. Bennet with the insignia of the Order of Kindness, an ancient Turkish society. This medal is in the shape of a five
pointed star, with a diamond in the center. It is inlaid with enamel and studded with rubies.
Mr. Chairman, is it reasonable to believe that the gentle man's statement was entirely correct when he said that he was so engrossed in his duties as an immigration commissioner, investigating immigration conditions while abroad, that he could not take time to look upon the great cathedral of St. Peter, in Rome, or draw a good long breath or have a good sight of Paris, when we have this record of his remaining long enough in Turkey to deal with and cultivate the attention and good will of old Abdul Hamid [laughter and applause), until he felt called upon to decorate Mrs. Bennet, the companion of the distinguished gentleman from New York, with the Order of Kindness, and placing diamonds upon her breast. [Laughter and applause.]
I want to say that, in my humble judgment, the gentleman either had time to look upon St. Peters or draw a good breath in Paris, or else he willfully neglected his duties as commissioner in Turkey in order to engage in such sumptuous and decorative entertainments as this. (Laughter.) But the gentleman says that they did not have any junket abroad. He took quite an offense at what I said about a junket. Mr. Chairman, the definition that Webster gives of a "junket” is, "A feasting by public officials at the expense of the government.” (Laughter and applause.] That is a junket. I want to say to the gentleman from New York that the records on file in the Treasury Department in this city show that he junketed to the extent that he had himself entertained at hotels, at the WaldorfAstoria, at $6 a day, in this country, and hotels abroad that stood as well or as high or higher than does the WaldorfAstoria in this country, and from the record the commission's expense account discloses that they had charges for railroads and steamships, fees and tips, hotel bills, carriages, telegrams, wines, whiskies, cognac, mineral waters, lemonade, glacé, pills, siphons, citrons, cleaning and pressing clothes, shaves, shines, hair cuts, shampoos, and rubs. (Laughter and applause.]
Mr. Chairman, the record shows that they had these wines, whiskies, lemonades, and other luxuries throughout Europe, and that the auditor saw fit to allow them as necessaries, but he refused to allow for the shines, shaves, shampoos, rubs, and so forth, on the theory that it was graft and that he could not afford to stand for graft by public officials, and yet the gentleman says their trip abroad was not a junket. [Laughter.] Mr. Chairman, the tips I speak of, in so far as the gentleman from New York is concerned, are rich. The commission had a meeting and agreed on tips on a 10 per cent basis, but the coxcomb member of the commission was not willing to allow it to stand at that, and complained in regard to it, and said that he had a position in connection with his appointment as a commissioner and as a Member of Congress to sustain, and he raised the tip price and put it at about 25 per cent. In other words, the gentleman was trying to sustain the dignity of a Member of the American Congress and a member of the Immigration Commission by the tip route.
Mr. Chairman, the gentleman from New York indicated that the commission had no time for pleasure, that he did not even see the Appian Way, but the commission seems to have seen