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with such supplies; the state of each and every station, as
to supplies; all the shipments made, &c. &c.; and to do all such other business as may be required of him. A copying clerk, to keep the letter books, and do such other copying as may be required of him. ” Other officers would also be required to act, under the immediate direction of the Chief of this branch: for instance, officers to inspect provisions and slop clothing ; to hold surveys upon them; to attend particularly to all shipments, and #. against all impositions in the quality and condition of articles delivered under contracts, &c. It will be seen that this arrangement proposes, that money requisitions shall pass the special examination of the branch under which they are to be expended: the reason is obvious: that branch will possess precise knowledge upon the subject, and will be enabled to decide promptly and correctly whether the requisition should be approved or not; for instance, should money be required under the head of “Repairs,” the requisition would be sent to the officer having charge of “the building, repairing, and equipping department,” who would cause it to be examined minutely, and, if found correct, he would approve it, and submit it in that state to the Secretary of the Navy, who would cause a warrant for the amount to be issued, and placed in the hands of the disbursing agent, to be ap. lied by him in conformity with his instructions; thus, in its incipiency, using every precaution to ensure its faithful application and expenditure. But, with these precautions, which would, unquestionably, greatly improve the existing practice, we should still be uncertain as to the application of money, according to instructions: none but the officer giving the instructions can decide, to a certainty, whether the moneys are expended according to those instructions; and this he ascertains by comparing the one with the other on his records. It is, moreover, to be presumed, that his professional knowledge, which enables him to judge correctly as to the kind, quality, quantity, and prices of the articles required in the department of the service specially committed to him, would be of particular value in the examination of all accounts originating in oxpenditures directed by himself. This admitted, it results, that every account of expenditure should be examined and approved by the officer having the superintendency of the branch which approved the money requisitions, and from which the instructions for its expenditure were issued. Accounts, thns examined and certified, might be sent to the Fourth Auditor of the Treasury, and there undergo such further examination, as to their calculations, as would ensure their correctness. Such an arrangement would impose auditorial duties upon each branch of the Department, and, in that case, additional clerks would be required, viz.: two for the first mentioned branch, and one for each of the others. Under such an arrangement, disbursing agents, resid: ing in the United States, might be required to forward their accounts weekly; that is, to send, at the termination of every week, their vouchers for disbursements during that week. Upon being received, they would be imme: diately examined, and, if found correct, the amount would be passed to their credit, and they would be so informed; if incorrect, the error would be corrected, while all the circumstances are fresh in the memory of all parties. This course would be attended with advantages both to the Government and to the individuals coucerned, to whom the prompt settlement of accounts should always be desirable ; and it is not perceived that it would occasion much, if any, additional trouble to either party. It would require the constant and vigilant attention of both ; and
SEN. AND H. of REPs.] Documents accompanying the President’s Message.
[21st Cong. 1st SEss.
these are duties which every public agent should be de-
exhibited Balances on hand, - $69,761 58 Overpayments; that is, expenditures exceeding the sums remitted, under certain specific heads of appropriation, - - 69,230 13 Actual balance of money in his hands, - $531 45 The returns of another disbursing agent, showed Balances on hand, - - $103,248 33 Overpayments, - - - - 92,259 41 • Actual balance of moneys in his hands, $10,988 92
One of the agents, having upwards of thirty thousand dollars in his hands, belonging to, and remitted to him out of the appropriation for “Gradual Increase,” applied the amount to the payment of accounts arising under five other distinct heads of appropriation, viz: Sloops of War, Navy Yards, Five Schooners, Contingent prior to 1824, and Contingent for 1826. The principle which confines the application of Navy appropriations to the particular objects for which they are made. or which, in other phrase, declares that “the sums apppropriated by law for each branch of expenditure, shall be solely applied to the objects for which they are respectively appropriated, and no other,” has thus, in numerous instances, been violated in practice. The inquiries of the Commissioners lead them to believe that this has been done sometimes intentionally, as the least of two evils: at other times, unintentionally, arising from misapprehension on the part of disbursing agents and others, as to the proper head of appropriation to which disbursements should be charged. The cases particularly cited are, principally, it is believed, of the former class. The agents were instructed, it is understood, to apply moneys in their hands, under certain heads, to the payment of accounts arising and due under other heads. Such accounts were, it is said, of such a nature, that payment of them could not be postponed without violating * ublic faith, to preserve which, it became necessary to violate the law. Of the latter class cases are cited in our communication of the 31st March last, to which we beg leave to refer ou. The Commissioners not having been charged with the duty of adjusting and settling Navy accounts, can give no precise information respecting them; but the deep interest they take upon all subjects affecting the service in which they have the honor of holding commissions, has induced them, from time to time, to make inquiries, from which they are fully satisfied, that the intention of the 21st CoNG. 1st SEss.] law of 1809, in its provisions as to the application of the specific appropriations, has never been carried into full effect, in any one year since its enactment. The theory of specific appropriations would seem to embrace exact and precise accountability; and this consideration, no doubt, had some weight in producing its adoption. But the test which has been applied, in the expenditure of millions of dollars, during the last twenty years, has certainly not confirmed the anticipations of its advocates. The Commissioners will not say that it is utterly impracticable to carry this system literally into effect. If Congress were to make the appropriations sufficiently large to guard against every possible contingency, and to ensure an adequate amount under each head, to meet every possible expense arising under that head; and if all the agents were so thoroughly acquainted with their duties, as to be able at all times to decide correctly, as to the specific heads of appropriation to which each and all of . numerous articles required, should be charged; then, if the Department would take eare to keep in the hands of all the disbursing agents a balance under each and every head of appropriation, so as to enable them promptly, and in good faith, to redeem all the public engagements at their respective agencies, a literal execution of the law might be expected. But would Congress make excessive appropriations? No enlightened friend of the Navy would make such a proposition. And experience fully shows, that disbursing agents, even those most accustomed to Navy business, will occasionally misapprehend instructions, and unintentionally pay accounts out of the wrong appropriation. And we would observe, that the absolute necessity of keeping balances in the hands of the agents under each appropriation, would make the aggregate of balances so large as to form a serious objection. In no case would it be expedient—in some cases it might be unsafe—to entrust such balances even to bonded agents; for they would generally far exceed the amount of their bonds. The estimates, upon which the nppropriations are founded, are prepared with all the care and accuracy of which the fallible judgment of man will admit. Yet, after all, they are but estimates; and until it shall be given to us, to foresee the events of futurity, the fluctuations in the markets of the world, and the casualties of the ocean, we shall never arrive at precise accuracy in our calculations, as to the expense of a Navy employed in every known sea, and experiencing the vicissitudes of every known climate. A degree of accuracy, sufficient for practical purposes, may be gained; and this is all that can be reasonably expected. Yet, even in this case, it will be found that some items in the estimate are too low, others too high; but take the whole together, and they may prove sufficient. The item of “Pay of the Navy;” the expense of which may be approximated nearer than that of any other item of Naval expenditure, is liable to be affected in its amount by unforeseen contingencies. For instance, seamen's wages may rise, and it inay become necessary to give them a bounty to induce H. to enter into the public service. A few more seamen, or a few less, than the number estimated for, would produce a variation between the expenditures and the estimates. Besides, it has not always been the pleasure of Congress to appropriate the whole amount of the estimates, which has frequently occasioned embarrassment; for instance, the estinate for “Repairs of vessels," for the year 1829, was curtailed in the appropriation $75,000, and that for “Navy Yards,” was reduced $225,000. The reductions occasioned the suspension of important measures, contemplated when the estimates were made; the postponenment of which must ultimately create additional expense. But nearer views of the existing system of Naval approriations may be required for its thorough comprehension.
Documents accompanying the President's Message.
[SEN. AND H. of Reps.
# If a single dollar be taken, intentionally or otherwise, from one appropriation, and applied to another, it is a violation of law. Suppose a ship is about to be equipped for important service, and there should be large balances under all the appropriations excepting that for Ordnance, which is exhausted; under the law, however urgent the necessity, not a cent could be drawn from either of the redundant appropriations for the purchase of arms. It was surely never the intention of Congress, that a vessel of war should be sent to sea without being, in all respects, thoroughly prepared to defend the honor of her flag; yet, in the case supposed, she could not be properly prepared, without violating the law of appropriations. Similar embarrassments would arise from a defieney in either of the appropriations from or to which transfers are forbidden Thus, the law, in gaining an object of diminutive va: lue, when contrasted with its main design, (the employment of ships of war.) would, if literally observed, defeat the intentions of Congress. Towards the close of o year some of the specific appropriations are found to be deficient. The ships, probably, whose expenditures occasioned this deficiency, are abroad in distant seas. Bills are drawn upon the Government for their support, and under this very head of appropriation whose deficiency has just been diseovered. These bills cannot be protested ; they must be paid : and, under such circumstances, the Secretary of the Navy has generally directed them to be paid out of some of the redundant appropriations. Demands are made from other parts of the world, and by disbursing agents in the U. States, upon the same deficient appropriation, and moneys are remitted under other heads to enable them to meet pressing engagements. When the accounts of disbursing agents are received for settlement, if all the appropriations under which their disbursements have been made, should then be sufficient to enable the Auditor to settle them, it is done by warrants of payment and repayment; the former purporting to be warrants authoriz. ing the payment, to the disbursing officer, of specific sums, corresponding, in their respective amounts, to his overpayments; the latter purporting to be drafts upon him, requiring him to pay into the Treasury certain unex..". in his hands, under those heads of appropriation where his expenditures were short of the remittances made to him. By these warrants not a cent is taken out of the Treasury or paid into it ; the disbursing officer, in whose favor, or upon whom, tthey are drawn, is wholly ignorant of them. They result from a Treasury arrangement, and are said to be indispensably necessary in adjusting the account of the appropriation. If, however, any of the appropriations should be insufficient, so that these warrants of fietitious payment could not be drawn upon them, without showing that the expenditures under them had exceeded the sum total of the appropriation, then the accounts of the disbursing agents must remain unsettled. It is believed that there are numerous accounts precisely in this situation, at this time, that have been so for some years past, and that such accounts can never be settled without the interposition of Congress. These complex, fictitious operations, in the settlement of Navy accounts, were unknown till the year 1809, and, until then, accounts could always be settled by the plain and simple rule of charging individuals with the amount of moneys placed in their hands for disbursement, and, crediting them with the amount of their disbursements, when properly vouched. The law of 1809, requiring that accounts shall be kept so as to be charged to the appropriations, renders these operations necessary in their adjustment, while it has greatly multiplied the forms, and increased the labor, without any advantage that the Commissioners can perceive. That all disbursing agents should be required to ac
tus see it in practice.
count, satisfactorily and promptly, for all the moneys plac
SEN, AND H. of REPs.]
Annual Treasury Report.
[21st Cong, 1st SESs.
ed in their hands; that the forms of keeping, rendering, and settling their accounts, should be so plain and intelligible as to be clearly understood, not by able accountants only, but by every member of the community (for every member has an interest in them) are propositions which no one, it is presumed, will attempt to controvert. It has, we hope, been satisfactorily shown, that the act of 1809. has not produced these effects; and a modification of that law, and of the act of the 1st May, 1820, heretofore recited, appear to be necessary in the accomplishment of results so desirable.
The Commissioners would recommend, that the accounts be kept so as to show the cost of building ships, of repairing them, their annual cost in the service, and the cost of every authorized object of improvement; that the estimates be made so specific as to be distinctly understood, so that every appropriation shall be made with a thorough understanding as to the amount required for each object; that the power of transferring them from one appropriation to another, as the exigencies of the service may render necessary, be committed to the President; that, at the commencement of every session of Congress, reports be made, showing the expenditures of the year, and the various objects to which the moneys appropriated shall have been applied. -
If these suggestions, and those heretofore presented in this communication, relatively to the organization of the different branches of the Department, and the duties appropriate to each branch, be approved, the Board would further respectfully recommend, that the appropriations for the Navy be, hereafter, made under the following general heads, viz:
For Pay and Subsistence of the Navy.
For building, repairing, and equipping vessels, including their wear and tear at sea, and ordnance, and ordnance stores.
For Navy Yards, Docks, Wharves, and all improvements therein.
For Provisions, Medicines, and Hospital Stores.
For Contingent Expenses, such as transportation, travelling expenses, the purchase of Books, Maps, Charts, Chronometers, Nautical Instruments, and other articles necessary for the service, and not specifically provided for.
This arrangement . leave the first item, viz.: Pay and Subsistence of the Navy, under the immediate direction of the Secretary of the Navy; the second, third, and fourth items, would come under the immediate direction of the respective branches heretofore proposed; and the last item, viz.: “Contingent Expenses,” to be drawn upon by each, as such expenses should arise, in each branch, until experience should inform us as to the probable amount required under each branch, when oportion might be divided into specific sums for each.
I have the honor to be, with great respect, sir,
Your most obedient serv't. JOHN RODGERS. Honorable John BRANCH, Secretary of the Navy.
Navy 2,565,979 24 Public Debt 8,715,462 87 The expenditures for the
fourth quarter, including
3,689,542 93, on account of the public debt, are estimated at 7,245,481 05
Making the total estimated expenditures of the year 36,164,595 10
Leaving in the Treasury, on the first of Ja- nuary, 1880, an estimated balance of 4,410,071 69 On this balance, which includes the funds heretofore 21st Cong. 1st SEss.] SEN. AND H. of REPs.]
Annual Treasury Report.
(SEN. AND H. of REPs.
been reserved, under the 4th section of the Sinking Fund Act of 1817, $2,000,000, and the residue has been held to meet existing appropriations. But, of those appropriations, it is estimated, on data recently furnished by the proper Departments— 1st. That there will be required, to complete the service of the year 1829, and of previous years, $2,457,173 16, which sum will be expended in the year 1880. 2d. That the sum of $862,251 84, will not be required for the service of those years, and may, therefore, be applied, without being re-appropriated, in aid of the service of the year 1830; as will be more fully stated when the estimates of the appropriations for that year are presented. 3d. That the sum of $115,962 08 will be carried to the surplus fund, at the close of the present year, either because the objects for which it was appropriated are completed, or because those moneys will not be required for, or will no longer be applicable to them.
II. Of the Public Debt.
The total amount of the public debt of the United States, was, on the 1st of January, 1829, "Viz: Funded debt Consisting of Six per cent. stocks, Five per cent. stocks, including $7,000,000 subscribed to the Bank of the U. States, Four and a half pr ct, stocks, 15,994,064 11 Three per cent. stock, Unfunded debt, Consisting ofRegiste'd debt, being claims registr'd prior to the year 1798, for services and supplies during the revolutionary war, Treasury notes, outstanding Mississippi stock, outstanding, 6,055 09 The payments made, and to be made, on account of the public debt, for the year 1829, amount to Of this sum, there will have been paid for interest, And on account of principal,
2,563,994 25 9,841,011 55
Leaving the total debt, on the 1st of January, 1830, Wiz : Funded debt, as per statement K, Unfunded debt, as per statement L, 42,536 57 Of the sum applied to the payment of the public debt, in the year 1829, $10,049,630 50 have accrued under the second section of the Sinking Fund Act of 1817; which completes the whole amount of that appropriation
1830 18,901 69 Total redeemable in 1830 8,017,695 51 In 1831—(viz: on the 1st Jan. 1882)— * five per cents, 1,018,900 72 four and a half per cts. 5,000,000 Total amount in 1831 6,018,900 72 In 1832—four and half per cents 5,000,000 On the 1st of Jan. 1833, four and a half per cents, 2,227,363 97 Total redeemable in 1832 7,227,863 97
Annual Treasury Report.
[21st CoNG. 1st SEss.
The inconvenience to which the Treasury will be exposed by this cause, may be averted by redeeming the stock subscribed to the Bank of the United States, and authorizing the Commissioners of the Sinking Fund to purchase the three per cents, when, in their opinion, the terms on which such purchase can be made, will render it as favorable to the United States as the payment of other stocks, then redeemable. This stock is now quoted in the market at about 873. An unlimited authority to redeem it, would, no doubt, somewhat enhance the price: but this effect would, in a great degree be counteracted by the option to redeem other stocks. If, however, the reve. nues, can, in the opinion of Congress, be more advantageously reduced, or otherwise disposed of, when the other stocks shall be redeemed, the payment of the three per cents may be postponed; subject to the operation of a small Sinking Fund, to be applied conditionally, viz: when the stock can be bought at a reasonable price, to be fixed by law. In such case;it will be necessary to the full employment of the present Sinking Fund to give the Commissioners power to purchase the five and four and a half per cents at their market price.
III. Of the Estimates of the Public Revenue and Erpenditures for the year 1830. The amount of duties on imports and tonnage, which accrued from the 1st of January to the 30th September, 1829, is estimated at $21,821,500, being $2,621,300 less than that which accrued in the corresponding period of the preceding year. This deficiency É. arisen almost entirely in the 1st quarter of the present year, and was E. caused by the extensive importations which had een made in the early part of 1828, in anticipation of the inereased duties. In the 2nd and third quarters of the year, however, the importations have so augmented, that accruing duties secured in those quarters are but 49,300 dollars less than those secured in the second and third quarters of the preceding year. This improvement still continues, and there is reason to believe that the duties accruing in the fourth quarter will nearly equal those of the fourth quarter of last year. It is worthy of remark that the accruing revenue of the three first quarters of the year 1829, though so much below that of 1828, is only 270,200 less than that of the same period of the year 1827. The debentures issued, during the three first quarters of 1829, were 3,059,060,25 which exceeds the amount issued during the corresponding period of the year 1828, by 96,475 70. The amount of debentures outstanding on the 30th of September last, and chargeable upon the revenue of 1830, was $1,111,136, exceeding, by $65,992, the amount chargeable on the same day in 1828 on the revenue of 1829. -The value of domestic articles, exported from the United States, for the year ending on the 30th of September last, is estimated at $55,800,000, being 5,130,33i more than the value of those exported during the same period, in the preceding year. The amount of Custom House bonds in suit on the 30th of September last, was $6,591,714 20, being $1,967,435 45 more than on the same day in the preceding year. It may be observed, that the great increase of this item, for several years past has arisen from the heavy failures in the China trade; in which series of bonds falling due from the same houses, commence in one year, and terminate in another. From a view of all these facts and considerations, the receipts for the year 1830 are estimated at $23,840,000.
Viz: Customs - - 22,000,000. Lands - 1,200,000. Bank Dividends 490,000.
Incidental receipts, includin arrears of internal duties di
rect tax, and canal tolls 150,000 To which is to be added the balance estimated to be in the Treasury on the 1st of January, 1830 4,410,071 69 Making an aggregate of - - 28,250,071 69 The expenditures for 1830 are estimated at 23,755,526 67 Viz: Civil, Diplomatic, and Miscel- - laneous 2,478,225 62
Military service, including fortifications, ordnance, Indian affairs, pensions, arming the militia, and internal improvemethts - - 5,525,189.95 Naval service, including the gradual improvement of the Navy - - 4,257,111 10 Public Debt . * - 11,500,000 00 Which will leave an estimated balance in the Treasury, on the 1st of January, TT 1831, of . - - - 4,494,545 02 If the foregoing estimate of the revenue and expenditure be correct, the sum at the disposal of the Commissioners of the Sinking Fund, for the year 1880, will be $11,500,000, and when the increase of population is considered, may probably be safely computed at $13,000,000 for the four succeeding years. his sum will complete the payment of the whole Public Debt, within the year 1884, without applying to bank shares. Should it be determined to . the revenue, so as to correspond with the existing expenditure, it will require the exercise of a wise forecast, on the part of the Legislature, to avert serious injury. Merchants having goods in hand, liable to be affected in price by a change in the fiscal system of the Government, have a just right to expect from it a reasonable notice, corresponding with the magnitude of the change proposed. In accordance with these views, it is respectfully suggested, that, whatever diminution of duties shall be #. upon, it be made to take effect prospectively and gradually. It will, in such case, be proper, at an early period, to select the articles upon which to commence the reduction. As auxiliary to this undertaking, the annexed tables, M and N, have been prepared. Table M exhibits . the amount of duties, accruing on such articles of importation, as are generally of foreign production. Table N exhibits the tariff of duties imposed by foreign Governments, on such articles as are produced in, or exported from, the United States, as far as has been ascertained at the Treasury Department. The precise effect of a reduction of duties on the revenue, can only be ascertained by experience; but, as the imports will be somewhat increased by the operation, it is not apprehended that a gradual reduction, commencing at an early day, would sensibly prolong the total extinguishment of the public debt. The various duties devolved on the Treasury Department, in relation to Custom Houses, and Land Offices, have led to the exercise of powers not sufficiently defined by law. These are liable to be enlarged by successive gradations, under special exigencies, without legislative sanction, until the powers of the Department to perform indispensable duties are derived from usage, rather than the statutes. Of this nature, are those exercised in the payments for contingent expenses of the Cutter service, repairs to Custom Houses, Wharves, and Ware-houses, belonging to the United States; expenses to Inspectors employed in special services, in ii. to their per diem compensa