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lerate the payments, both
The account of his payments by books and upon the lists of arrears, lists of arrears will be varied. As by as much time as is now taken present, the books being kept so up in making the calculations and long open, the after-claimants are entries in those columns. The cala few ; and one entry servęs, in his culations (however easy they may final, account, for the whole sum be to persons accustomed to them) paid by him for arrears during the and the entries, though short, yet time of his treasurership ; and one being numerous, mult, like the list of arrears suffices for his voucha transcripts into the lifts, take up er; but if he pays upon lifts of arsome time. A book of a first rate, rears, all the persons left unpaid for fix months, has contained the upon all the books by all his predenames of fifteen hundred eighty-six cessors, these payments must be persons: upon the payment of as come so very, numerous, that inmany of these men as are seamen, stead of one item in his final acsums must be calculated and entries count of the total sum paid by him made in two columns at least. for arrears, in the course of his Where time is fo valuable, every whole treasurership, he must insert portion of it is worth saving. in his account of every year the
From this examination into the total lums paid by him during that effect that the substitution of the list year for arrears, at every port of arrears, in the place of the ships' where he has a list; and the list books, will have upon the pay- made up, annually, at every port, ment of the seamen, we are led to will be his voucher for the lums be of opinion, that if, upon the paid at that port: but this altera. death or refignation of a treasurer, tion will ftill leave his accounts clear all the ships' books paid by him and undisturbed. are immediately closed, the fuccef- In one branch, this mode will be for may pay all the after claimants of advantage to the pay-office by left unpaid upon those books, by fhortening their accounts. lists of arrears, without creating fent the pay clerks at each port either delay or disturbance in the transmit every month to the navypay of the seamen; especially if office an account, containing the the number of entries upon the list sums paid by them upon the reof arrears be reduced, by the o- calls of everythip during that miffion of the five columns of defal- month at their respective ports, discations above-mentioned. It re- tinguishing the treasurer by whom mains to be seen, whether this al. paid, in order that each lum may teration will cause any confusion be posted to the account of the end. in the accounts of the treasurer. ing of each fhip's book in the led
A fhip's book, paid by him, will ger. From these returns the paybe made up in the same manner it master of the navy makes out is now. It will be paid upon by 'monthly certificates of these payone treasurer only, and will be his ments. The places where pay. voucher for the total fum contained ments are made upon recalls bem in the column of full wages'; for ing four, and the ihips' books of which sum he will have credit in three treasurers being open for payhis account of that year in which ment, these certificates for the the book was paid.
month of August laft were twelve ;
that of Mr. Ellis contained the pay. ' into the office of the paymaster-ges ments upon three hundred fifty- neral of the forces a regulation, two ships; that of colonel Barré, which, as it seems to us, may be upon one hundred and ten; besides applied as beneficially to the office that of the treasurer in office. Had of the treasurer of the navy. The these payments been made
lifts custody of the cash applicable to of arrears, they would have been thc navy services, may be trans. all made by the treasurer in office, ferred from the treasurer to the and there would have been four re- Bank of England, and the account turns only, each containing a single only of the receipts and payments article, being the amount of all the be kept in his office. All the payments upon the liit of arrears at sums now received by bim may be that port during that month, and received by the Bank : fums from posted in the ledger to the account the Exchequer may be imprefted to of payments on lists of arrears; fo the Bank: fums 'directed; by the that, instead of four hundred sixty- letters of the different boards to be two separate articles inserted in the paid to him, may be directed to be returns, entered in the certificates, paid into the Bank: all bills afsigaand posted into the ledger, four en- ed upon him for . payment may be tries only would have been made in paid, and all extra-payments may each, and consequently twelve en- be made by his drafts upon the tries would have served instead of Bank. The payment of the seamen, thirteen hundred eighty-fix, for the artificers and labourers in the these payments in that month on- yards, and the persons in the hor-ly
pital Mhips, and on the half-pay lists, If the ships' books of a treasurer inust be carried on in the same manmay be closed upon his death or ner it is now: these men cannot be resignation, that which is afligned paid by drafts ; they must have as the principal cause for the delay cash; and with that cash the pay in making up his accounts is re- clerks muit be entrusted, as they are moved: not that this caufe is wide at present, and the treasurer must enough to cover the delay. The continue to be responsible for them, ships' books are in arrear seven years as for officers of his appointment only, but the accounts are in arrear and under his controul; but this above twenty years; and this delay will be no obstruction to the regula. rests with the office of the treasu. tion. The money may be all issued rer; for the materials which com- to the pay-clerks by the drafts of pose the accounts of the year 1762, the treasurer upon the Bank, acare not complete in the office of the cording to the requisitions of the auditors of the impreit; the reason navy-board, in like inanner as many given for it is, a want of officers' of these fums are issued at this day ; and clerks properly qualified to and upon the death or refignation make up the accounts in arrear ; for of a treasurer, the balances of his which the remedy is obvious. cash in the Bank, and in the hands
This examination has enabled us of his pay.clerks, may be struck to form an opinion upon another immediately, and carried over to the point of moment to the public. account of his succeflor. In this The legislature have, in the last fituation the treasurer, neither refeffion of parliament, introduced ceiving nor paying public money
himself, himsell, can be neither debror to, ing all contracts, whether for the nor creditor of the public, excepe purchase of stores or materials, or as far as he may be responsible for for the performance of services in his clerks. On passing his accounts, their several departments; that certhe bill indorsed, or requisition of tain officers are appointed or offici. the navy board, is both his autho• ally bound to superintend the exerity and voucher for his draft. The cution of the contracts; and no draft indorsed is the voucher for the payment is directed to be made but Bank to prove their payment. If upon the certificate or testimony, these accounts agree (and they ought in fome Thape or other, of these frequently to be compared together) officers that the contraíos have been it is highly probable that they are executed to the amount of the deboth right.
mand with honesty and fidelity, and The only remaining source of de- according to the terins and condilay, in the accounts of the trea- tions of the engagement. Certain surer of the navy, that has come officers of these boards, in their under our observation, is the ne- respective departments, compare the ceffity, arising from the present bills with the terms of the concourse of the Exchequer, that these tracts, and examine the computa accounts fhould pass through the tions and castings. The commisoffice of the auditors of the impreít. fioners, relying upon their accuracy Public accounts ought certainly to and fidelity, aflign the bill fo exbe fully and accurately examined amined upon the treasurer for paysomewhere. The officer entrusted ment. The treasurer, before he with public money should give an tranimits his account or ledger to account what he has done with it; the auditors of the impreft, feirds and the public have a right to the the several parts of ir to difcient satisfaction of knowing that their branches of the navy, victualling, moner has been applied to the pur- and sick and hurt othees, with the poses for which they gave it, vouchers : the officers, whose buli.
The treasurer of the navy is an nefs it is, in these departmen s, officer merely ministerial : he neia compare the articles in the ledger ther receives nor pays in confe- with their correspondent vouchers, quence of any judgment of his own, and with the entries in their books but as he is directed, or according of office; this examination warto lists prepared for him, and rules rant the subscription of the com: prescribed him; and therefore to missioners of the navy to the ledger pals his accounts, is no more than entries. The auditor compares the to see that he has an authority, and abstract with the particular items a correct voucher, for every pay. that compose it ; he recaits and rement he claims to be allowed. computes the compound articles,
We learn from the information of and makes fome alteration in the George Marth, clq. one of the com- arrangement of others. miffioners of the navy; and from From this state of the progress Jonas Hanway, esq. one of the com- of these accounts, it seems to us missioners of the victualling; and that the accounts of the crea'urer from Mr. Nathan Crow, chief clerk of the navy are in fact not audire i to the commiffioners of sick and hurt, by the auditor of the impreft, but that the commuovers of each office by the cornmillioners of the navy. are entruited with the power of make To the commitioners of the se. 1783
veral boards is committed the im- extend the chain of re-examination portant trust of making and de. to any given length, the pollibility ciding upon the execution of all of error must exist in the last link. contracts. They are the fole judges The auditor himfelf is not perfect : of the reasonableness of the terms, errors in his accounts have been disand of the fidelity with which they covered in the pipe-office, and corare fulfilled ; they direér the pay, rected by him. ments or sums to be advanced on Since, then, the accounts of the account, consequent to the com- treasurer of the navy are, in effet, plete or part performance of the passed, and with sufficient care and contracts. Hence they are the ul. accuracy, in the offices to which timate judges of the ground and they severally relate, and the most confideration of every payment important parts of the examination These powers must be entrusted are intrusted to those officers 'withsomewhere without appeal; and out control, it seems reasonable to where, to all appearance, so pro- suppose the computations and caft. perly as with the presiding officers ings, generally the business of of the several boards, subject to the clerks in office, may, with equal superintending eye of parliament. safety, be finally committed to the
"Of this material branch of an fame decision. audit, the auditor of the imprests We are therefore of opinion, that has no cognizance. From the na- auditing the accounts of the treature and constitution of his office, surer of the navy, in the office of he is not competent to examine in the auditors of the impreft, is unto the grounds of these payments; neceffary, and may be dispensed or, if he could examine, can he be with ; that the proceedings of that qualified to decide upon the pro- office upon the accounts of the treapriety of them? Neither does he surers now before them lhould ceale, fee any vouchers (except for the and the materials relative thereto few extra payments :) he relies up- be returned to the office of the on the testimony of the commis- treasurer, and that the auditors fioners of the navy (a testimony he fould be relieved and discharged is bound not to call in question) from all attention to them for the that they exist, and warrant the en• future. tries : he does no more, in fact, Palling public accounts without than what 'has been previously, and the intervention of the auditors of to all appearance sufficiently done the impreft, is no novelty in the to his hands in the navy.office, Exchequer. Thomas Rumsey, efq. `except the dispoting of certain ar. deputy auditor of the excile, inricles in different order ; which, as formed us of the manner in which far as it is useful, inay easily be the accounts of the duties under ado; ted in the office of the trea- the management of the commissioners surer; where they are now profiting of excise are passed. These comby his exam, le in the arrangement miffioners are all jointly accountof the insupers. Errors may cer. able for the sums received and paid tainly escape the navy and other of- by them on account of the excue, ficers. The auditor discovered an and other duties committed to their error in the account of the year truit: they do not pass thi 1750, of a double charge of eighiy counts in tbe office of the a witors feven pounds ten eings; and, of the imprelt, but in that of the
auditor of the excise; an office in. remembrancer, and retains the destituted for that special purpose. clarations in his own office. The
The accounts they pass every year, total charge upon the commissioners are fixteen cash accounts, and se- of excise for the year 1778, was venteen general accounts. All ex- seven millions four hundred seveno cept the malt are made up to the ty-nine thousand fix hundred and sth of July. Each cash account thirteen pounds; the total discharge contains the account of the weekly was five millions fix hundred fiftyreceipts and payments of the com- fix thousand eight hundred twentymissioners themselves only, relative nine pounds, to one or more duties. It is made We find likewise, from the exout by the accountant general in amination of Mr. James Roulands, whose department those duties are. first clerk in the office of James After examination, it is sworn to by West, esq. one of the auditors of all the commissioners, before thc the land revenue, that the accounts cursitor baron of the Exchequer, of the receivers general of the land about the May following; after tax, window tax, and of several which, it is delivered to the auditor other duties, are not pafled in the of excise, with all the vouchers : office of the auditors of the imprest, he examines them, and reduces the but in the office where he is einaccount into the official form of the ployed. Exchequer : he makes
Since, then, the course of the parts, one on parchment, the other Exchequer does not render it absoon paper, as is done in the office lutely necessary that all public acof the auditors of the imprest. counts thouid be passed in the office
Besides these cath accounts, the of the auditors of the imprest, we general accounts are likewise made see no reason why the navy ac, up every year by the accountants counts may not proceed in the general to the faine period. These like train with thole of the excisc. general accounts are more compre. Of chefe duties the commissioners hensive than the cash accounts. themselves are the accountants”; They contain all the receipts and and therefore a distinct office is appayments of each particular duty by pointed for the pafling them; but every collector throughout the king- in the navy, the treafurer being the dom, and at the office in London :' accountant, and neither appointed they are Gigned by the respective ac by, nor subject to the countants general, and delivered to tioners, his accounts may, without the auditor with the vouchers. He daager of collufion, be completely, examines and reduces them into the as they are now in by far the most like official forms, and makes out fi- material part, passed by the commilar parts of them. They are not missioners of the navy; they may sworn to by any one. Both the cash be reduced into the Exche juer and general accounts are figned by form in the trealurer's office, adopt. the deputy auditor of excise, declared ing from the audiror his arrangeevery year, usually in June or July, ment of the articles, and may be before the chancellor of the Ex. paffed through the Exchequer ofchequer, and signed by him and fices. iwo lords of the treasury; after All these public accounts, in which, the auditor delivers the whatever office passed, are drawn parts on parchment to the king's up in the official form of the Ex