The Postmaster-General has the direction and management of the post-office department. He appoints all officers and employees of the department, except the four Assistant Postmasters-General, who are appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate; appoints all postmasters whose compensation does not exceed one thousand dollars; makes postal treaties with foreign governments, by and with the advice and consent of the President, awards and executes contracts, and directs the management of the domestic foreign mail service.
The First Assistant Postmaster-General has charge of the following divisions, viz:
Salary and Allowance Division--The duty of readjusting the salaries of postmasters and the consideration of allowances for rent, fuel, lights, clerk hire, and other expenditures.
Free Delivery--The duty of preparing cases for the inauguration of the system in cities, the appointment of letter-carriers, and the general supervision of the system.
Division of Post-Office Supplies--The duty of sending out the blanks, wrapping paper, twine, letter balances, and canceling stamps to offices entitled to receive the same.
The Money-Order Division--Under the immediate direction of a superintendent, who has supervision and control thereof, including the domestic money-order business and the postal note business, and the superintendence of the international money-order correspondence with foreign countries, as well as the preparation of postal conventions for the exchange of money orders therewith, and the conduct of correspondence relating to these subjects.
The clerical force of the money order division is distributed into six subdivisions, as follows:
Dead Letter Office--Under the immediate direction of the superintendent, who is charged with the treatment of all unmailable and undelivered mail matter which is sent to it for disposition; the enforcement of the prompt sending of such matter according to regulations; the duty of noting and correcting errors of postmasters connected with the delivery or withholding of mail matter; the investigation, by correspondence, of complaints made with reference thereto; the verification and allowance of claims for credit by postmasters for postage-due stamps affixed to undelivered matter; the examination and forwarding or return of all letters which have failed of delivery; inspection and return to country of origin of undelivered foreign matter; recording and restoration to owner of letters and parcels which contain valuable inclosures; care and disposition of all money, negotiable paper, and other valuable articles found in undelivered matter and correspondence, both foreign and domestic, relating to these subjects.
Its clerical force is distributed into seven divisions, as follows: Inquiry Division, Opening Division, Unmailable and Property Division, Money Division, Minor Division, returning Division, Foreign Division.
Correspondence Division--To this division are referred all inquiries received from postmasters concerning the discharge of their duties, disputes regarding the delivery of mail matter, inquiries relative to the construction of postal laws and regulations, and all correspondence of a miscellaneous character.
The Second Assistant Postmaster-General has charge of the transportation of all mails. His office embraces four divisions and two offices, viz:
Contract Division prepares all advertisements inviting proposals for star, steamboat, and mail messenger service, receives the proposals, prepares orders for the award of contracts, attends to the execution of contracts, prepares cases and orders for the establishment of new service or changes in existing service, attends to all correspondence relating thereto, and prepares statistics and reports of mail service required by law.
Division of Inspection is charged with the examination of monthly and special reports of postmasters as to the performance of mail service by contractors and carriers; the preparation of cases and orders for deductions for nonperformance of service and for the imposition of fines for delinquencies of contractors and carriers, of authoriztion for payment of railway postal clerks, of certifications of service to the Sixth Auditor, and the correspondence relative to non-performance of contract requirements for carrying the mails.
Railway Adjustment Division prepares cases authorizing the transportation of mails by railroads, the establishment of railway postal car service, and changes in existing service; prepares orders and instructions for the weighing of mails, receives the returns and computes basis of pay therefrom; prepares cases for the adjustment of allowances to railroads for carrying the mails and for postal cars, and attends to all correspondence relating to these matters.
Mail Equipment Divsion is charged with the preparation of advertisements inviting proposals for furnishing mail bags, mail locks and keys, label cases, mail bag cord fasteners, and mail bag catchers; the receipt of proposals and the preparation of contracts therefor, the issuing of such articles for the use of the service, the repairing of the same, the keeping Railway Adjustment Division prepares cases authorizing the transportation of mails by railroads, the establishment of railway postal car service, and changes in existing service; prepares orders and instructions for the weighing of mails, receives the returns and computes basis of pay therefrom; prepares cases for the adjustment of allowances to railroads for carrying the mails and for postal cars, and attends to all correspondence relating to these matters.
Mail Equipment Divsion is charged with the preparation of advertisements inviting proposals for furnishing mail bags, mail locks and keys, label cases, mail bag cord fasteners, and mail bag catchers; the receipt of proposals and the preparation of contracts therefor, the issuing of such articles for the use of the service, the repairing of the same, the keeping of records and accounts, and the preparation of all correspondence incident to these duties.
Office of Railway Mail Service has charge of the railway mail service and the railway post-office clerks, prepares for the Second Assistant Postmaster-General cases for the appointment, removal, promotion, and reduction of said clerks, conducts the correspondence, and issues the orders relative to moving the mails on railroad trains; has charge of the dispatch, distribution, and separation of mail matter in railway post-office cars, and the principal post-offices, and conducts the weighing of mails when ordered.
Office of Foreiqn Mails has charge of all foreign postal arrangements (except those relating to the money order system), including the preparation of postal conventions and the regulations for their execution, as well as the consideration of questions arising under them; and conducts the correspondence relative thereto both with foreign governments and private citizens. It also has the supervision of the ocean mail steamship service in all its details, including the settlement of the accounts with steamship companies for the conveyance of mails from the United States to foreign countries.
The Third Assistant Postmaster-General has charge of the finance office, etc., embracing the following four divisions:
Division of Finance--The duty of issuing drafts and warrants in payment of balances reported by the Auditor to be due to mail contractors or other persons; the superintendence of the collection of revenue at depository and depositing offices, and the accounts between the department and the Treasurer and Assistant Treasurers and special designated depositories of the United States. This division receives all accounts, monthly or quarterly, of the depository offices, and certificates of deposit from depositing offices.
Division of Postage Stamps and Stamped Envelopes--The issuing of postage stamps, stamped envelopes, newspaper wrappers, and postal cards; also the supplying of postmasters with envelopes for their official use, including registered package envelopes.
Division of Registered Letters--The duty of preparing instructions for the guidance of postmasters relative to registered letters and all correspondence connected therewith; also the compilation of statistics as to the transaction of the business.
Division of Files, Mails, etc.--The duty of receiving, distributing, and indexing all papers coming into the office; of dispatching and recording all papers sent from the office, and of keeping and attending to the office
The office of the Third Assistant Postmaster-General has also charge of the special delivery system, and of all business relating to the rates of postage and the classification of mail matter, including the official entry of newspapers and periodicals.
The Fourth Assistant Postmaster-General has charge of the bureau including the divisions of appointments, of bonds and commissions, and of post-office inspectors and mail depredations.
Division of Appointments--The duty of preparing all cases for establishment, discontinuance, and change of name or site of postoffices, and for the appointment of all postmasters, and attending to all correspondence consequent thereto.
Division of Bonds and Commissions--The duty of receving and recording appointments; sending out papers for postmasters and their assistants to qualify; receiving, entering, and filing their bonds and oaths; and issuing the commissions for postmasters.
Division of Post-office Inspectors and Mail Depredations--To this office are intrusted the general supervision of the work of the post-office inspectors, the consideration and adjustment of their accounts for salary and expenses. To it are referred all complaints of losses or irregularities in the mails, and all reported violations of the postal laws.