The Nigger Part Left Out.
The New York papers bring us full accounts of a decided variance between the president and the secretary of war, in regard to what shall be done with the slaves of rebels. The secretary of war took strong ground in favor of arming them and using them to fight the rebels. He caused his report to be printed, and sent off copies to the prominent newspapers in the north. The secretary submitted his report to the president on Saturday. The president read it Sunday night, and on Monday morning he sent for Mr. Cameron and required him to strike out all that part of his report relating to the use of "contrabands" in the army, on the ground that its recommendations were premature, and ill-timed. The New-York Tribune says "the secretary promptly and resolutely refused to suppress a word of it. — The discussion between them was protracted. It ended as it began, the president insisting upon the alteration, and the secretary respectfully but firmly refusing to change a syllable of his recommendations. A subsequent interview in the afternoon had a similar conclusion of debate, but a new and strange conclusion of the executive will. The president announced his purpose to strike out the entire passage about the emancipation and arming of the slaves before sending in the report with his message to congress. Mr. Cameron declared he should not recall or suppress the document in the hands of northern and western editors, and that the printers were at liberty to do with his report what they pleased."
The president thereupon erased about a column of Mr. Cameron's report — all the abolition portion of it — and substituted a paragraph which is as mild and noncommittal as could be desired. And in this shape the president sent his secretary of war's report to congress.
Of course the president had a right to do this. He is commander-in-chief, and his secretaries must conform to his views, or leave. But it passes our comprehension how any man who has been snubbed so severely as Mr. Cameron has, can, consistent with the smallest degree of self-respect, remain another hour in the cabinet. His views differ from the president, and he should retire and give place to some man whose opinions harmonize with the administration.
The report, as written by the secretary of war, has gone out to the public, through the newspapers, while the report, as amended by Mr. Lincoln, (who knocked the nigger out of it,) was read in congress, and given to the country as the official document.
Of course abolitionism will howl over "executive dictation," the "one man power," etc., and charge Mr. Lincoln with joining the proslavery side. But he can afford to incur the denunciations of abolitionism, for he will be sustained by the conservative democratic hosts of the country. He seems determined to adhere faithfully and unswervingly to the line of policy which he proclaimed in his inaugural, and on which he has since conducted his administration.