RECOMMENDATION THAT THE PAY AND ALLOWANCES OF THE OFFICERS OF THE MARINE CORPS BE INCREASED, AND THAT THE ALLOWANCES FROM THE CONTINGENT FUND OF THE NAVY BE DEFINED.
COMMUNICATED TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES JANUARY 25, 1831.
January 25, 1831.
To the House of Representatives:
I beg leave to call the attention of Congress to the enclosed communication from the Secretary of the Navy, in relation to the pay and other allowances of the officers of the marine corps, and to recommend the adoption of the legislative provisions suggested in it.
Navy Department, January 24, 1831.
I have the honor to submit a letter from Col. Henderson upon the subject of the pay and other allowances of the officers of the marine corps.
A resolution sanctioning the continuance of these allowances was adopted by Congress on the 29th of May, 1830, which will expire by its own limitation on the 28th of the next month.
I am, therefore, induced respectfully to suggest the propriety of presenting the subject to the notice of Congress, for their consideration, and such legislative proceeding as they may d em the case to require.
I avail myself of the present occasion to bring again to your notice the want of legal direction for the allowances from the contingent fund, yearly appropriated for the navy, to cover expenses for various incidental purposes, with the hope that Congress may be disposed to make such legislative enactment on the subject as will place these allowances upon fixed and equitable principles, and relieve the officers of the navy and this Department from the existing embarrassments constantly arising from the various undefined claims upon that fund.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,
The President of the United States.
Head-Quarters of the Marine Corps, Washington, January 13, 1831.
The strong probability that no organization of the corps can be effected during the present session of Congress, induces me respectfully to call your attention to the condition to which the officers of the corps will be reduced after the 28th of February next. Their pay and emoluments, which at best are not comparatively equal to those of either the army or navy, will then be diminished more than one-third, unless some such relief is afforded to them as was given them by the last Congress.
As the commandant of the corps, I conceive it my duty to look to the interests of all its branches; and I now appeal, in behalf of all the officers, to your magnanimity, as well as your sense of justice, to prevent so heavy a penalty from resting on their shoulders. Under its former influence, some of the officers went to prison, and all of them suffered severe privations. Under such circumstances, the officers cannot but look with confidence to the head of their Department for aid, in support of allowances which they deem not only just, but on which their comfortable, if not their necessary subsistence almost entirely depends.
I remain, with great respect, your most obedient servant,
ARCHIBALD HENDERSON, Lieut. Col. Commandant.
The Hon. John Branch, Secretary of the Navy.