And allow commission to deputies.Sec. 23. And be it further enacted, That the Postmaster General be, and he is hereby authorized to allow to the deputy postmasters, respectively, such commission on the monies arising from the postage of letters and packets, as he shall think adequate to their respective services and expenses: Not to exceed 20 per cent. except at port where packets arrive,Provided, The said commission shall not exceed twenty per cent. to any one deputy, except the postmaster at the port where the European packets do or shall arrive, to whom such farther allowance, in addition to the emoluments of his office, shall be made, as the Postmaster General shall deem a reasonable compensation for his extra services, in the receipt and dispatch of letters originally received into his office, from on board such packets, and by him forwarded to other offices: and at Burlington on Lake Champlain.And except the deputy postmaster at Burlington, on Lake Champlain, whose compensation the Postmaster General is hereby authorized to augment, on account of his extra trouble in receiving mails passing to and from Canada, to a sum, not exceeding one hundred dollars per annum: Allowance to certain deputies who rise in the night.And except certain deputy postmasters who are obliged to rise in the night to receive mails, whose compensations the Postmaster General is hereby authorized to increase, not exceeding forty per cent. on the amount of monies arising on the postage of letters and packets: Not to exceed $1,800 per annum,
Except deputy postmasters at Philadelphia and New York.And provided also, That the compensations aforesaid shall not exceed one thousand eight hundred dollars per annum to any one postmaster, excepting the deputy postmaster at Philadelphia, who shall be allowed a compensation, not exceeding the sum of three thousand five hundred dollars a year, including all perquisites and emoluments, of which a regular account shall be rendered to the Postmaster General: And excepting the deputy postmaster at New York, who shall be allowed a compensation, not exceeding two thousand seven hundred dollars a year, including all perquisites and emoluments, of which a regular account shall be rendered, as aforesaid: Allowance of stationery, &c.Provided also, That the reasonable charges of the deputy postmasters for stationery, for cases necessary for the safe-keeping and convenient distribution of letters, and for advertising the lists of letters, from time to time, remaining in their offices, accompanied with proper vouchers, shall be admitted by the Postmaster General, and placed to their credit: Extra allowance to postmaster of Philadelphia.And there shall also be allowed to the deputy postmaster of Philadelphia, for his extraordinary expenses incurred in the execution of his office, under the existing law, an additional compensation, at the rate of eight hundred and fifty dollars a year, to be computed from the first day of July, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-two, to the first day of June next.
- The decisions of the courts of the United States on the duties and obligations of the “Postmaster General,” “Postmasters,” and the “Post-office,” have been:
When the issue is taken upon the neglect of the postmaster himself, it is not competent to give in evidence the neglect of his assistant. Dunlop v. Munroe, 7 Cranch, 242; 2 Cond. Rep. 484.
When it is intended to charge a postmaster for the negligence of his assistants, the pleadings must be made up according to the case; and his liability then will only result from his own neglect in not properly superintending the discharge of their duties in his office. Ibid.
In order to make a postmaster liable for negligence, it must appear that the loss or injury sustained by the plaintiff, was the consequence of his negligence. Ibid.
Parol evidence cannot be given, that one set of written instructions from the postmaster general superseded the other. Ibid.
The circuit courts of the Union have jurisdiction, under the constitution, and the acts of April 30, 1810, sec. 29, and of March 3, 1815, sec. 4, of suits brought in the name of “The Postmaster General of the United States,” on bonds given to the postmaster general by a deputy postmaster, conditioned “to pay all monies that shall come to his hands for the postages of whatever is by law chargeable with postage, to the postmaster general of the United States for the time being, deducting only the commission and allowances made by law, for his care, trouble and charges in managing said office,” &c. Postmaster General v. Early, 12 Wheat. 136; 6 Cond. Rep. 480.
The postmaster general has a right to take a bond from postmasters to him, as postmaster general, under the different acts establishing and regulating the post-office department; and particularly under the act of May 1, 1810, chap. 42, sec. 29. Ibid.
An entry in the post bill, is by no means conclusive evidence of the transmission of a letter so as to charge the postmaster for it; still, it may never have been put into the mail, or it may have been stolen on the passage. Dunlop v. Monroe, 7 Cranch, 242; 2 Cond. Rep. 484.
The neglect of the postmaster general to see for balances due by postmasters, within the time pre-