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Register's Office, January 2, 1837. Sir: In compliance with your reference to me of the letter of the Hon. C. Johnson, upon the subject of an increase of the salaries of the clerks, I have the honor to submit the following arrangement: One chief clerk, at
- $2,000 Four clerks, each at the head of a particular branch
1,600 Eight clerks, book-keepers, connected with the receipts and expen
ditures of the revenue, and the commercial navigation of the United States
1,400 Five clerks recording and examining, and having charge of records 1,200 Two clerks, copyists
- 1,000 This arrangement is hased upon the relative grades of clerical duties, so as to give to each a compensation proportioned to the amount of duty and the responsibility attached.
I beg leave here to state, for the better understanding in relation to the duties of this office, that the prevailing idea, that this is merely an office of registry, is wholly incorrect. Many of the most important calculations and statements connected with the Treasury are made in this office, and among them are:
The statement of appropriations necessary for each succeeding year, exhibiting also the amount appropriated for the previous year;
An annual account of the receipts and expenditures of the United States ;
Annual statements of the amount of duties accruing on merchandise imported, and draw back payable on the exports;
Statement of payments made at the Treasury in the discharge of miscellaneous claims not otherwisc provided for;
Statement of the expenditures for the relief of sick and disabled seamen ; Annual statements of the commerce and navigation of the United States.
These constitute but a part of the important duties, and are independently of the many calls from both branches of Congress, under resolutions, often. involving delicate and elaborate calculations. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
T. L. SMITH,
Register. Hon. Levi WOODBURY,
Secretary of the Treasury.
OFFICE OF THE SOLICITOR OF THE TREASURY,
January 2, 1837. Sir: I have received Mr. Johnson's letter referred by you to this office for a report, in which a desire is expressed to place the clerks of the different Departments upon a footing of equality; and, with that view, that you should “cause to be prepared a statement of the clerks in the Treasury Department, and the salaries they ought to have, so as to make them upon a footing of equality with the clerks in the Post Office Department, as regulated at the last session of Congress.”
Sapposing that, by your reference of this letter to me, you desire my opinion as to the salaries that ought to be provided for clerks in this office
I take the occasion to state, that, in my judgment, the prompt and efficient discharge of the public duties belonging to it requires, according to the scale of the salaries in the Post Office Department, indicated in Mr. Johnson's letterFor a chief clerk
$2,000 For a clerk of the next grade
1,600 For one of the next
1,400 For one of the next
• 1,200 And for a messenger
700 I have, on several occasions heretofore, urged a more liberal provision for clerks in this office. Without repeating, in detail, the reason therefor, I will content myself with indicating the following considerations:
This office has the superintendence of all the civil suits, in which the Government is interested, throughout all the States and Territories of the Union; and requires a constant correspondence with all the district attorneys, marshals, clerks, and collectors, of the United States.
The number of accruing suits on its dockets is nine times as great as on the dockets of the late agent of the Treasury, while the number of clerks is the same.
The duties performed are of a character to require the services of clerks of a higher order of qualification.
There are now outstanding uncollected judgments, recovered before the creation of this office, of more than $5,000,000; the principal part of which, from want of an energetic and vigilant enforcement of the law at the time they were rendered, it is now impossible to collect, many of them being of very old date; but out of them, I have no doubt, might be gleaned many times the amount, annually, of such a salary as is necessary to procure a chief clerk who has had a legal education, who would relieve the head of the office of a heavy burden of duties, in a great measure clerical in their nature, which allow him no time for the vigorous correspondence and thorough investigation necessary to ferret out the means of satisfying a part of this enormous amount of old judgments.
My experience leaves no doubt, on my mind, that a wise economy would be consulted by making the liberal provision for clerks in this office proposed in this letter; and, being conscientiously convinced of it, I do not hesitate to take the responsibility of earnestly recommending it. I have the honor to be, with great respect, sir, your most obedient ser
Solicitor of the Treasury. Hon. Levi WOODBURY,
Secretary of the Treasury.
Statement of the number of clerks in the Treasury Department, the
compensation now allowed, and the proposed increase.
* Two clerks taken from the Fourth Auditor and given to Comptroller.