15th of Harren’s Folly, 1760
Subject: First hearing of the Interior Senate Committee on the Interior
Chairman Terrence May of Haense
Senator Urrigon Drumm of Kaedrin
Senator Konrad Stafyr of Haense
Department of the Interior
The Duke Helena, Secretary of the Interior
Mister Ed Myre, Undersecretary of the Interior
Sir Terrence May: “This hearing will now come to order.”
Joseph Clement: “Are those for… myself and Mister Myre?”
Sir Terrence May: “Definitely!”
Joseph Clement: “Kindly,” he says with a rise.
Sir Terrence May: “Unless you're comfortable there.”
Joseph Clement: “Why not.”
Sir Terrence May: “I just took them out of courtesy.”
Joseph Clement: “We really ought to reshape this place a bit.”
Ed Myre: “I suggested it to the Mayor….”
Sir Terrence May: “Mister Secretary, Mister Undersecretary, thank you for tending to us in this very important hearing.”
Sir Terrence May: “I will now call the roll.”
Joseph Clement: “Never get to it.”
Sir Terrence May: “Mister Drumm.”
Sir Terrence May: “Mister Drumm.” He looks up and starts looking around for him.
Joseph Clement raises an eyebrow Urrigon's way.
Sir Konrad Stafyr nudges Drumm.
Joseph Clement: “He's old, Sir Terrence, as old as you!”
Urrigon Drumm: “Sorry!”
Joseph Clement: “Perhaps he's gone for a snooze.”
Sir Terrence May is unable to see the dwarf from over the desk.
Urrigon Drumm: “Oi'm 'ere!”
Joseph Clement: “There we are.”
Sir Terrence May: “Ah, yes.”
Urrigon Drumm waves his hand up above the seats.
Sir Terrence May: “Mister Stafyr.”
Sir Konrad Stafyr: “Here.”
Sir Terrence May:“The committee is now in session.”
Sir Terrence May: “Mister Secretary Novellen and Undersecretary Myre, thank you for being here to testify about the Interior.”
Sir Terrence May: “It is my honor to chair this new committee. An important vessel for the welfare of the Orenian people is indeed the Interior Department.”
Sir Terrence May: “Some good names come to mind, such as that of Mister Edmond Manston.”
Sir Terrence May: “Anyways, let us begin.”
Sir Terrence May: “I now invite the Secretary or his deputy to give an opening statement about the Department's intentions.”
Joseph Clement takes to the podium.
Joseph Clement: “I do say it is an honor, Sir Terrence, Sir Konrad, Senator Drumm.”
Sir Terrence May: “Thank you.”
Joseph Clement: “It well pleases me that a committee was formed for the purposes of my department - I second your thoughts, in that the Interior is one of the most important of all departments within the ministry. I think it should go without saying that the Imperial City of Helena, one of the department's primary responsibilities, has gone with unprecedented growth.”
Ed Myre: “Hear Hear.”
Joseph Clement: “So much so that we now fail in finding open housing,” he continues, biting his lip with a frown.Housing prices have followed suit; the average three-story home now costs two-thousand minae for purchase. Now, this both pleases and unsettles me.”
Joseph Clement: “Our construction workers cannot keep up the pace; and I do not want to milk the Treasury dry for more contractual payments.”
Joseph Clement: “Additionally, I do not want to increase the contractual payments where unnecessary. Such would do the Treasury violence.As such, I am of the opinion now that the Imperial City is about at its maximum; left to the eb and flow of population. Secondly, the department has been watching closely the developments within the Crown's direct dominion of Curon. We have received happy news that Governor-General Halcourt plans soon to begin renovations to Avalain. In addition, the Third Regiment- yes, there is a third regiment- has received a flurry of fresh recruits. Census data, shared with me by Mister Edward Napier, reflects the growth in population there. And last - the subject of, in my opinion, the most importance. The province-in-rebellion of Warwick has been completely and totally subdued. I, among others, are most proud. It's a subject of much celebration throughout the Empire. On the technical side, the Crown shall rule it directly as a territory. This requisition of such a massive swath of land once more into the Empire has prompted discussion within my department on land and property.”
Joseph Clement: “If I recall correctly, I dispatched via Imperial Post a piece of legislation that I had drafted. I presume this Committee has received it, yes? What I propose to this young committee is a national land survey. The Empire is at its extant - her flag reigns across the continent whole. It is my desire, and that of others, to conduct a survey on-foot to discern the properties that constitute her, whether public, private, ecclesiastical. Dispensing with deeds of ownership where necessary, a registry for administrative purposes, and what have you. I have also explored the possibility of commissioning a mapmaker once the project is complete.”
Sir Terrence May: “I now recognize myself for five saint's minutes for questions.”
Sir Terrence May: “Mister Secretary, thank you for this wonderful presentation. Unlike your predecessors, you surely have come prepared.”
Sir Terrence May: “With regard to the Warwick land, does the Crown intend to appoint a designee to attend to its upkeep and repurposing?”
Joseph Clement: “I believe so, yes. A lord-lieutenant or some other officer.”
Sir Terrence May: “From the Imperial State Army?”
Joseph Clement: “No sir. Not a lieutenant in the military sense, but in the broader meaning of the word. Perhaps the equivalent of… a governor-general, a lord-palatine.”
Sir Terrence May: “Thank you. Let me now turn to other things. I will reserve time for my colleagues to ask about the railroad and other matters but I am particularly interested in your budget.”
Sir Terrence May: “In 1750, the then Treasurer Peter de Sarkozy submitted a budget to this Senate of five hundred marks. Is this a sufficient allocation for 1760 and moving forward?”
Sir Terrence May: “I renew my time for an additional five saint's minutes.” He taps the gavel lightly.
Joseph Clement: “To be frank, Mister Chairman, I do not believe the five-hundred to be a sufficient amount going forward.”
Sir Terrence May nods as he scribbles a memo of this answer.
Joseph Clement: “I have under my employ several offices who go without pay as of now.”
Sir Terrence May: “Mister Secretary, this entire government has no standard pay. The Department of Justice is taking steps to remedy this.”
Sir Terrence May: “But I have only seen Mister Adler do this.”
Joseph Clement: “I have under my employ an Undersecretary, a Practitioner-General, assistants for Curon and Kaedrin, and a Commissioner of Buildings. The amount of responsibility these few take is immense - especially considering they are not paid. The Commissioner of Buildings, for example, finishes projects within days- and he is responsible for the entirety of the city's construction.”
Joseph Clement: “The Practitioner-General, on the other hand, is charged with the operation of the Empire's medical capabilities.”
Sir Terrence May: “I renew my time for an additional five saint's minutes.” He taps the gavel lightly.
Joseph Clement: “If we are to expand into the operation of a railroad, surveyance of land. . .”
Sir Terrence May: “We may even have to quintuple your budget!”
Joseph Clement: “My Undersecretary has suggested a raise to two-thousand minas per annum.”
Joseph Clement: “From the original five-hundred.”
Sir Terrence May: “Ah, quadruple.”
Sir Terrence May: “I yield back. Mister Drumm has the floor.”
Urrigon Drumm: “Ow much would go to t'e Railroad?”
Joseph Clement: “It needs to be appraised, sir. It was originally a nationalized project under the Helena Administration. I do not know for exact operating costs, but I presume that I would have to allocate a fair majority of the budget towards its regular upkeep and operation.”
Urrigon Drumm: “If t'e Chair permits me, oi would like t'e nominate myself as Comissioner of Railroads, indefinitely, to manage its construction an' budget.”
Joseph Clement: “I believe the Constitution would forbid you, Senator Drumm. But you might be the Committee's oversight responsibility towards the project.”
Sir Terrence May: “I do not believe a sitting senator can take on another position. However I can make a committee assignment specifically for this purpose.”
Sir Terrence May: “I will grant it.”
Sir Konrad Stafyr: “Aye… Sadly, the Edict of Establishment I believe forbids a senator from holding other auxiliary titles and positions.”
Sir Konrad Stafyr: “But I would support the creation of such a role, in an oversight capacity, that is.”
Urrigon Drumm: “Oi 'ave no furtha questions.”
Joseph Clement: “I believe the regular operation of the railroad will have to be delegated towards a Commissioner, as you said.”
Joseph Clement: “Mister Chairman, my undersecretary has some insight into the current rail, if it pleases the Committee.”
Sir Terrence May: “Very well. Does the Senator from Haense yield?”
Sir Konrad Stafyr: “Aye, I yeild.” He lowers his hand, nodding.
Sir Terrence May: “Mister Undersecretary.”
Ed Myre: “Thank you Chairman, Senators. If it pleases the Committee I would like to give a brief overview of the current status of the rail.”
Sir Terrence May: “Proceed.”
Ed Myre: “My apologies, Chairman, the dear Minister was enlightening me on something.”
Ed Myre: “As I was saying. The situation with the rail. Prior to the nationalization the rail fell out of use, neglect unfortunately. The rail though sits intact in the same spot directly outside the Capital.”
Sir Terrence May reaches into his coat pocket and procures a whole carrot, munching down to his stomach's content.
Ed Myre: “Though a recent inspection I managed to perform shown some structural problems along it.”
Ed Myre: “One might suspect that the rail would need at least for repair… five thousand minae perhaps.”
Urrigon Drumm folds his arms shaking his head.
Ed Myre: “That is all I particularly have… the dear Minister enlightened me to some recent changes, which forgoed my initial statements.”
Sir Terrence May: “The Senator from Haense is recognized.”
Sir Konrad Stafyr: “Secretary Novellen… A question, if I may. There's a lot of projects in the works within the Ministry of the Interior that shall require a significant increase in spending. For instance, thousands of minas shall no doubt need to be funneled into the creation and expansion of the Transimperial Railroad. Funds will also be required to pay countless government employees, undertake city maintenence, and the likes. Have you an estimate on how much the Empire might expect to spend as per these requested increases in expenditures?”
Sir Konrad Stafyr: “Furthermore, do you believe that this stimulus will assist the Empire in it's economic recovery in the aftermath of this most devastating war?”
Sir Terrence May nods in agreement about packaging an economic stimulus.
Joseph Clement: “At the current rate, one can leave no doubt that the construction of one, let alone three separate terminals- and a fourth, when Curon's line is incorporated- the construction would cost several thousands alone.”
Joseph Clement: “Infrastructure always boosts economic growth. But this question is best deferred to the Minister of the Treasury, sir.”
Sir Terrence May: “Thousands!”
Joseph Clement: “Unfortunately, the department must contract out most of its work.”
Urrigon Drumm raises a hand.
Joseph Clement: “To individual workers.”
Sir Konrad Stafyr: “Very well, thank you Mister Secretary. I'd like to yield the remainder of my time to Senator Drumm.”
Sir Terrence May: Good, good, contracting to private companies, yes.”
Urrigon Drumm stands looking to May with permission.
Sir Terrence May: “Mister Drumm, please.” He nods, gesturing to him.
Urrigon Drumm: “It is made obvious t'e me t'at t'e Interior Ministry is not made aware of t'e current status of t'e railroads.”
Joseph Clement: “I would respectfully reject this, Senator Drumm. I am well aware; Kaedrin's line is complete, Haense's own is pending land grants.”
Urrigon Drumm: “Mista Myre's information is years old, many of t'e old lines 'ave been shut down, an' a new line 'as been constructed-.”
Urrigon Drumm: “T'e Haense line is finished as well, Mista Secretary.”
Urrigon Drumm: “Pending Stations is all.”
Joseph Clement: “Oh? I see. This is new information to me. The last update I had on its progress signalled that it was pending land grant.”
Urrigon Drumm: “Oi confess t'e Curon line is lackin', aye, but t'e presume its old status is untrue.”
Joseph Clement: “Your oversight is most appreciated, Senator.”
Urrigon Drumm: “Oi 'ave worked tirelessly wif Kaedreni miners to construct t'e system.”
Ed Myre: “I must confess Senator, I have spent many a sleepless nights in the Ministry Office. I must get out more.”
Sir Konrad Stafyr: “It would seem as though the hardy workers of our great Empire have made great strides! Truly, these Kaedrini gentlemen must be praised.”
Urrigon Drumm: “Oi yield.”
Sir Terrence May: “Very well then.”
Sir Terrence May: “Do my colleagues have any more to say on this matter?”
Sir Terrence May: “Closing statement, please.” He gestures to the Interior officials.
Joseph Clement: “Sir Terrence, if you'd pardon me, we've yet to reach the subject of the land survey.”
Joseph Clement: “What is the opinion of the Committee on the draft?”
Sir Terrence May furrows his brow in confusion, looking for his agenda sheet.
Sir Terrence May: “Gah, if only Angelika was here.”
Sir Konrad Stafyr: “These deeds…” He looks over his own draft of the bill, taking it up from the seat next to him. “Would they have to be issued for /every/ land holding outside of the provincial urban centers, Mister Secretary? If so, that might prove to be a troublesome endeavor.”
Joseph Clement: “I believe I did provide for breathing room in the legislation - they will be issued at request.”
Joseph Clement: “Mhm.”
Sir Terrence May: “I must make this correction or else His Imperial Majesty will send me another nasty gram about incorrect wording in our legislation.” He said somewhat tempered.
Joseph Clement: “Of course.”
Joseph Clement: “A draft, sir.”
Sir Terrence May: “So these deeds are handed out at the request of a landowner to you to keep track of in a registry, yes?”
Joseph Clement: “Might you rephrase the question, sir? I believe I misheard you.”
Sir Terrence May: “The deeds. The purpose of the deed is to keep track of holdings in the demesne, yes? Landowners can request for such.”
Joseph Clement:“That is correct, sir.”
Joseph Clement: “In addition, I would presume these deeds be used as legal documentation in courts of law- questions of inheritance and what not.”
Sir Terrence May: “And the deeds are a record of all holdings not related to peerage but say, military installations, companies, and what have you?”
Joseph Clement: “Deeds ought to be handed out to private owners. I see no purpose in handing out a deed to public land per se.”
Sir Terrence May: “Thank you. “Are there any further actions on the measure?”
Sir Terrence May: “I will now call the roll to report the NATIONAL LAND SURVEY BILL, 1760 out of the Imperial Senate Committee on the Interior.”
Sir Terrence May: “Mister Drumm.”
Sir Terrence May: “How does Mister Drumm vote on this bill?” He looks to him, dipping a quill to record his vote.
Urrigon Drumm: “Aye.”
Sir Terrence May: “Sir May votes aye.”
Sir Terrence May: “Sir Stafyr.”
Sir Konrad Stafyr: “Aye, I say it should proceed out of committee and onto a vote in the full senate.”
Sir Terrence May: “On a vote of three to zero, the committee reports the NATIONAL LAND SURVEY BILL, 1760 to the full floor of the Imperial Senate for consideration in the next legislative day.” He taps the gavel.
Sir Terrence May: “Is there any further business?”
Joseph Clement: “None to report, Mister Chairman.”
Sir Terrence May: “This hearing is now adjourned.”
A gavel is heard.
Committee on the Interior
National Survey Bill, 1760