« ПретходнаНастави »
1,845,000 00 250,666 54 72,782 82 12,580 29 257,550 00
50,000 00 450,000 00 13,155 87 38,997 95
400,000 00 10,000 00 6,969 69
120,000 00 9,355 72 6,444 81
public creditor, if insisted on by him; it being due, in both
honor and good faith, as well to hiin as to the Treasury. TREASURI DEPARTMENT, July 3, 1837.
It is true that the difficuliy of procuring it when wanted SiR : Replies having, in most cases, becu received to my has been somewhat enhanced, and this, at the time when circular, addressed in May last to the cashiers of those de demands for it are increased, and the ability of some of the posite banks which had suspended specie payments, I now banks is weakened by the failures of some of their custompropose to submit a few remarks to your consideration, But these are obstacles which are by no mcans insugrowing out of those replies, and out of events which have perable, and wbich, when occurring, it is the duty, and it since transpired in connexion with your relations to the is hoped will be the desire, of every bank to make efforts to Treasury Department.
remove, at any reasonable expense and trouble. 1. It affords me much gratification to find, so far as re 3. The returns of the condition of the selected banks, gards the inquiry concerning payment and security, a great which were requested to be continued, have generally been willingness expressed to make the United States amply made with promptitude and regularity. But while it is safe for the eventual payment of all that is due, and a strong very satisfactory to see, in most cases, a reduction in disconviction entertained by the banks that no loss will be counts and circulation, and which course is tbe most efultimately sustained by the Government. But, whenever ficient to cure one of the existing evils in banking, and to reasonable doubts on this subject have arisen with the De. enable the institutions which have suspended specie paypartment, steps have been taken to procure additional se ments to resume them at an carly day, and with much curity, or to withdraw the public funds more rapidly, if greater safety, it is regretted that, in a few instances, this possible, than was otherwise intended. And a part of the course has not been adopted. But whenever departed from object of this communication is to apprize you that such in such a crisis, the error has tended, and must tend here. will be the crurse which a sense of duty must require mo after, to impair the confidence of the Department in the to continue to pursue in regard to any bank whose condi- sound management of the institution, and to justify such tion may appear doubtful, while the relation of debtor and steps as may lead to a more speedy withdrawal of the pubcreditor exists betwcen it and the Treasury.
lic money, or to the procurement of increased security. 2. Another portion of that circular communicated in 4. Such a departure, also, is likely to delay the resunipformation concerning the lenient mode which, under the tion of specie payments, concerning which the views of the severe losses experienced by many of the banks from mer former deposite banks were requested in that circular, and cantile failures, and under the embarrassments to others, have generally been since presented. Without claiming caused by panic and want of confidence, was contemplated the right to interfere on this subject beyond the deep solicito be adopieil in recalling the public funds. That mode tulle and interest selt by the Treasury Department conceniswas by such moderate drafts and transfers as the public ing the condition and conduct of all its delitors, and beyond necessities should, from time to time, demand; and an car its July vigilantly to examine into those points when indul. mest request baving been inade for a satisfactory compliance gences are sought or granted, the inquiries before mentionwith it on the part of the banks, assurances have generally ed were made on these accounts alone. It has been a matbeen given of a readiness to answer those calls with prompt- ter of regret to find, in most of the explavations on the subitude, and in an acceptable manner. But, though it is ject of suspending as well as resuming specie paymenti, gratifying to add that, in most cases, these assurances have that the action of one bank has been made to depend 60 since been fulólled, and something like three millions of exclusively on that of others. The location, losses, liabili. dollars of publie money have been paid over hy the discon- | lies, and means of the banks, were and still are very dif. tinued banks since the 12th of May last, and, in a few in- ferent among themselves, as well as in different quarters of stances, all which was on hand; and though about nine the country. In illustration of this remark, it may be menmillions more are expected to be paid early in July, yet, tioned that several of them, as in the Eastern States in in some cases, proper efforts and sacrifices do not appear 1814, have actually continued to pay specie, and many to have been made to discharge their important obligations others appear to have had ample ability to do it, if more to the Treasury. In such cases, and especially where the courage, energy, and independence had fortunately been nieglect produced serious inconvenience to our fiscal opera- united with their great available means. Since the panic tions, or injury to the public creuit, the Department has has in some degree subsided, and the opportunity has been felt compelled, by its responsibility in the Government, to enjoyed for lessening balances, discounts, ond circulation, take preparatory measures suitable to obtain indemnity for and when so much more can be done, in this respect, withthe past, and enforce those obligations in future. It will out causing distress, in consequence of the diminished busifeel obliged to adopt such measures hereafter in all similar ness of the community, and the smaller demand for money, instances; and, though its moderation and lenity have been, it is to be lamented that a more general effort has not been and will be, as great as is supposed to be justitinble, they made to resume specie payments at the carliest day practimust not be misconstrued into indifference or forgetfulness cable and safe. It is true that a few banks very commend. of what is due as well from the banks as to the public alıly have alreadly resumed, and are in the successful discreditors and the United States.
charge of their plain legal obligations, though on a reduced The location of several of the banks, and the small scale in business and protits; and that others are efficiently amount of public money in their possession, will exempt attempting to place themselves in a similar position. Bui, them from many calls at present, and enable them easily from the replies to my inquiries, the inclination seems to to ineel such as are made. But the situation of others will, be too prevalent for the banks in one city, county, State, under all just forbearance, render the calls upon them more or large region of country, to postpone the measure till al| frequent and imperative, and will require, as it is hoped others in the Union are ready and willing to unile. Their they will receive, a correspondent exertion to answer them. positions, in various respects, are essentially unlike, though Such exertion, it is believed, will in the end be far better in general very strong
The condition of the former defor all concerned, though accompanied liy some temporary posite banks, as a whole, is believed to be stronger now, as sacrifices, than to suffer loss of character, by incurring the lo specie compared with circulation, or immediate means to imputation of a continued violation of essential dutics, and meet immediate liabilities, 80 us readily to sustain specie by exposing the Treasury to embarrassinent, and the pub- payments under ordinary circuinstances, than has been the lic creditors and officers tv severe injury,
condition of all the banks in the United States at any forThe Department cannot recognise ile right of any for iner period for the last quarter of a century. Their specie, mer depository to be exempted from paying specie to the on an average, is about one to three of their circulation, and
Vol. XIV.-A 7
their immediate means nearly one to two and a half of their consequence of the unu ual amount of deposites by officers immediate liabilities. But, in some large sections of coun of the mint. try, the specie is in a ratio quite 30 per cent. greater, while In relation to “ what objects of public expenditure can, in others it is less. The want of confidence in some places, with least injury to the public service, be either wbolly and the effects of losses in others, and which constitute the dispensed with during the present year, or bear any material only other principal differences in the ability, at different reduction," I would observe that a minute and critical periods, to sustain such payments, have not extended in examination on this point was instituted in May last by this the same degree to all places, and have already diminished | Department. much more in some of ihem than in others.
The result of it was, that enough could and would be It is therefore earnestly hoped that, by prudent and per-| postponed till next year, to amount to about $15,000,000. severing efforts, a resumption of specie payments can be ef Consequently, the expenditures during the present year fected at no very remote Jay, and successfully maintained were estimated in my recent report upon that basis. After by many of those institutions indebted to the Treasury. every delay of them which the public interests may permit, So far as this Department has power to encourage such ef- it is therefore expected that, of the outstanding appropriaforts, it has done, and cheerfully will do it, while the ex tions, now exceeding $24,000,000, not much over nino isting laws remain unrepealed, by giving a decided prefer- | millions will necessarily be required to be expended during ence for holding all kinds of public deposites to such banks the residue of the year. as pay specie. But, beyond that, Congress and the States Since this resolution passed, further inquiries on this alone can tawfully extend other assistance.
point were instituted, in connexion with the other DepartYou will more readily excuse my anxiety on this topic, ments of the Government; but the result cannot be esscnwhen, besides the reasons before stated, you are assured of tially varied from that to which the Department arrived the strong convictions entertained by this Department that last spring. the resumption of specie payments, as soon as it can be ac The particular heads of appropriations that it is supposed complished by any reasonable exertions or sacrifices, would need not and will not be expended in full during the year, not only increase the facilities of our fiscal operations, and and the amounts under cach, are very numerous and diffimuch promote the convenience of the public creditors, but cult to be prepared; but, if desired, will be submitted tend to remove many reproaches from the banking institu- (hereafter) with as little delay as practicable. tions themselves, and to preserve a strong sense of moral The only remaining inquiry is “the amount required to obligation to discharge faithfully, so far as able, every duty fulfil all existing engagements contracted prior to the first impuscd by law.
day of June last, and all existing engagements contracted Respectfully, yours,
since that tiine." LEVI WOODBURY,
Each Department has been requested to furnish a stateSecretary of the Treasury. ment on this subject as early as it can be completed. But To tlic Cssur of
some delay being unavoidable, it has in the mean time been deemed advisable to submit immediately the answers to the
other portions of the resolution. Those statements will UNEXPENDED APPROPRIATIONS,
be niade as comprehensive as possible, but can of course
relate to only a small part of the whole appropriations of Letter from the Secretary of the Treusury, transmitting Congress, which it has been and will be necessary to ex
the information required by a resolution of the House pend during the year. All salaries of judicial, executive, of the 11th instant, in relation to the amount of ap
or other officers- the expenses of forcign intercoursepropriations of the pust and the present years remain the pay and subsistence in both the army and navy-all ing unexpended, &c. September 15, 1837. Read, and pensions--all Indian annuities-all private bills which have laid upon the table.
passed-many miscellaneous appropriations, with several TREASURY DEPARTMENT,
other items-stand independent of any special engagements
or contracts made by any public officers, and cannot thereSeptember 14, 1837.
fore enter into this computation. Six : This report is submitted in compliance with the
Respectfully, yours, following resolution, passed on the 11th instant :
LEVI WOODBURY, “ Resolved, That the Secretary of the Treasury be di
Secretary of the Treasury. rocted, with as little delay as possible, to communicate to Hon. J. K. Polk, this House the amount of the appropriations of the past
Speaker of the House of Representatives. and present years remaining unexpended; the amount required to fulfil all existing engagements contracted prior to the first day of June last, and all existing engagements
Statement of the amount of appropriations of the past contracted since that time ; also, the amount of money and present years remaining unexpended on the inth drawn from the Treasury and placed in the hands of dis September, 1837, inclusive, ugreeably to a resolution of bursing officers or agents on the first day of May last and the House of Representatives of the 11th inst., riz: at the present time; and that he also report what objects of Balances of appropriations on the 31st public expenditure can with the least injury to the public December, 1836,
- $16,752,283 09 service be either wholly dispensed with during the present | Appropriations made at year, or bear any material reduction."
the second session of The tabular statement annexed shows, as desired, “the the 24th Congress, amount of the appropriations of the past and present years exclusive of the Postremaining unexpended" to be $24,075,239 37. (A.) office Department, - $28,575,837 10
In reply to the inquiry as 10 “ the amount of money Specific and indefinite drawn from the Treasury and placed in the hands of dis appropriations made bursing officers or agents on the first day of May last, and by former acts of Conat the present time," I would state that, at the former
2,824,250 10. period, it appears to have been $5,264,052 95, and at the
31,400,087 50 latter $5,049,540 76.
It may be useful to add, that both sums are much larger than they would otherwise be, in
Pay Members of Congress in Specie, fc.
[25th Corg. Ist Sess.
Expenditures of the United States from
indispensable to perform the disagreeable task of making the 1st January to the 17th September,
some discrimination in paying out what specie the Treasu1837,
24,077,031 22 ry had ; otherwise the Department would have been com
pelled to resort to a course still more objectionablema genLeaving balances of appropriations, 11th
eral and absolute refusal to pay the specie on hand, or September, 1837
- $24,075,239 37 which might be collected, to any public creditor whatever.
As the acts of Congress seemed imperatively to require that TREASURY DEPARTMEET,
specie or its equivalent should be alone paid whenever deRegister's Office, September 12, 1837. sired, if it could be procured, such a refusal would have inT. L. SMITH, Register. volved the Department in the guilt or folly of paying noth
ing in conformity to law, because it was not able in that PAY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS IN SPECIE, &c.
manner to pay every thing. It would have violated the
plain and imperative directions of Congress in all cases, Letter from the Secretary of the Treasury, transmitting
and where no necessity existed to do it, and no inability to the information required by the resolution of the House obey them could be pretended, because that necessity and of Representatives of the lith instant, in relation to the inability happened to exist in some cases, and only to a offer to pay members of Congress in specie, fc. Sep. specie, so far as the Department was able, seemed no less
limited extent; consequently, an obligation to pay the tember 15, 1837, read, and laid upon the table.
reasonable than legal. But as no act of the Legislature TREASURY DEPARTMENT, September 14, 1837. pointed out the kind of discrimination to be adopted in such Sır: This report is submitted in compliance with the an emergency, it became indispensable for the Department following resolution, passed the 11th instant :
to exercise a sound discretion on the whole subject, regu. "Resolved, That the Secretary of the Treasury report 10 lating it by the circumstances of the various cases and the this House whether a let:er, purporting to be addressed by straitened extent of its means. This was done by making him to the Clerk of the House, offering payment in specie the offer of full or part payment when it appeared to be reto members of Congress, is authentic; if so, to what other required by the peculiar character of some of the claims, claimants on the Treasury a similar offer has been made, the usages of the Department, or the necessities of certain and what principle of discrimination, if any, has been branches of the public service. The local position of much adopted in the medium of payment to the public creditors. of the specie in the Treasury, in respect to the residence of Also,
many of the creditors, furnished in some cases another “That he report, so far as now ascertained, the amount guide. But, in adopting an unavoidable discrimination, of specie received by the Government since the first day of the endeavor has been to make it as little invidious as posMay last; the sources from whence derived, and the amount sible, and, in no cases, is it believed, whatever importunifrom cach; the regulations under which the saine or any ties may have been used, have any such payments been part thereof has been disbursed; the persons to whom paid, made out of the Treasury to officers of the Government in and the sums paid to each; the amount now on hand, and preference to other public creditors, similarly situated, exwhere deposited: also, whether, since the date above, the cept it be in a few instances, to defray the mere travelling public dues or any portion thereof have been received in pro- expenses of army officers
. The particular classes of claimtested Jrasts, or any funds other than those prescribed by ants who have received such offers and such payments, the joint resolution of the 30th of April, 1816.”
when desired, and the particular principles of discriminaThe first inquiry is, "whether a letter purporting to be tion in each of thein, will be exhibited more fully in the foladdressed by him to the Clerk of the House, offering pay- lowing statementa. iment in specie to members of Congress, is authentic.” But, in order to understand the grounds of that dise miThe undersigned did address a letter to the Clerk of the nation, it will be necessary that the House should first be House of Representatives, a copy of which is annexed, apprized of the general situation and amount of the specie (A 1,) and, on the same day, another letter of like import which the Department has fortunately been able to com. to the Secretary of the Senate. Neither of these was pub- mand, and which is required to be reported by the last lished by this Department, but being on the subject refer- branch of the resolution. red to, though no date is given in the resolution, it is pre On the suspension of specie payments by the banks in sumed the first one is that the authenticity of which the May last, the Treasurer had in the mint a deposite for the undersigned is requested officially to verify. The next in- purpose of procuring metal for coining, equal to about a quiry is, "to what other claimants on the Treasury a sim- million of dollars. (Sce C.] But most of it then was, ilar offer has been made, and what principle of Jiscrimina and still is, in use for that purpose, and for other operations tion, if any, has been adopted in the medium of payment of the establishment, so as to leave only a part of the whole, to the public creditors." In reply to this he would state, amounting perhaps to one-fourth, subject to be drawn out generally, that a similar offer to fulfil the law, by paying and employed for other objects, without obstructing or dedemands on the Treasury in specie, when preferred to bank seating the original design of Congress and the Executive paper, has been made to many claimants; and, though not in having it placed there. able to extend it to all immediately, yet, specie being by The amount of duties paid in specie since May has not, in law promised to all who require it, the Department has consequence of indulgences granted to the mercantile inter. frequently given assurances that it should be paid to all as est, been sufficient to defray even the expenses of collecting soon as a sufficiency could be obtained. The offer of it has, it, and of demands by the merchants on their debentures, but therefore, been enlarged from time to tiine, corresponding it is supposed to equal about five hundred thousand dolwith the increase of our resources in specie, so as to en lars, and that portion of it which has been subject to draft, brace as great a number of public creditors as the imme- being about one-fifth, is stated with all the particularity and diate and available amount of such resources in the Treas accuracy now attainable, in the table annexed. (C.] The ury would justify. But when, by the stoppage of specie foriner deposite banks which continued to pay specie on the payments on the part of the banks in May last, and hy the eastern side of the Allegany mountains, held public money indulgences granted to the merchants in postponing the equalling in all about $300,000. In and near the Atlantic, payment of their bonds for duties, sufficient specie could there has been paid into the Treasury for patents, for some not be obtained to pay all the public claims till Congress of the interest on stocks owned by the Indians, for repay. should furnish aid by some new legal provision, it became ments, and some miscellaneous items, with what the dis