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Q. Neither of the reports agrees with the other ?--A. The total figures do not agree.
Q. That is what I am asking.–A. There seems to be an explanation here.
Q. I only ask if the totals agree 1-A. They do not agree. Q. Do they agree for any of the years commencing at 1860 and ending with 1870 !-A. 1860 agrees, 1861 agrees, 1862 does not agree, the difference being about four millions apparently; but there is a note there as an explanation.
Q. We are asking now as to the total amounts.-A. 1863 does not agree in the total; 1864 does not agree in the total; 1865 does not agree in the total; 1866 does not agree in the total; 1867 does not ; 1868 does not; 1869 does not; and 1870 and 1871, as I have already said, do not.
Q. Then I understand you that neither the report of 1870, the report of 1871, nor the pamphlet, all issued by the Register, agree in the amounts as to the total of the public debt ?--A. So it appears.
By: Mr. BECK: Q. Had not all the annual reports of the various Registers of the Treasury made prior to the report of 1871 agreed substantially with each other as to the public debt of the United States for each year?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Since 1871–72 does not each annual report substantially adopt the previous report for all except the year with which it deals ?-A. I believe so.
Q. So that in fact the material changes, whether they were the system or what not, that occurred, occurred between 1869 and 1871 ?-A. I think they occurred in 1871 exclusively, with the exception of a blunder in this tabulated statement which was made by Mr. Nevin-he did not know how to make it—the blunder of devlucting the cash in the Treasury.
By Mr. ALLISON: Q. In answer to Senator Beck you say that the reports for 1870, and prior years, from the Register's Oflice, substantially agree as to the public debt; you also say that the reports of 1871, and subsequent years, substantially agree?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Now, will you state briefly whether or not the mode of stating the debt in the Register's office was the same for 1870 and prior years, as for 1871 and subsequent years, and, if not, state the difference?-A. The mode of stating it was different. There was a change in the mode of stating the debt.
Q. When -A. After 1870.
Q. You speak of the great discrepancy in 1869 and 1870. How do you understand that that originated ?-A. My understanding is that it originated in the Receipts and Expenditures Division, by the chief of that division taking the monthly public-debt statement as a guide to him instead of going to the books of that division ; he thought that was an official statement. That is my understanding of it.
Q. And he deducted the cash in the Treasury from the amount of the debt :-A. That is apparently the way in which he arrived at the figures which were published in the Register's report.
By the CHAIRMAN: Q. When does the fiscal year of the government end ?-A. It ends on the 30th day of June.
Q. When are the reports made to Congress ?-A. The report is made upon the reassembling of Congress at its next session following the close of the fiscal year.
Q. How many months are there between the close of the fiscal year and the completing of the reports to Congress ?-A. About five months.
Q. Do you know whether the Secretary's Finance Report for the present year is yet in print!-A. It is in print. I hardly think it is out of the hands of the binder, as I have not received any copy, but I have no doubt you can get one if you desire it, without waiting for its being bound.
Q. There are five months, in round numbers, between the closing of the fiscal year and the reporting to Congress of any account. Are those five months generally used for the purpose of getting up the accounts and seeing whether there are errors, and getting in statements ?-A. The accounts are not settled and allowed until some time after the close of the fiscal year. That time is spent in the settlement of the accounts to a considerable extent. The Register is required by the Secretary to have his report ready by the first of November for the printer. There the interval is only four months.
Q. You stated something in connection with bonds and amounts, that they might change from the 30th of June to the 1st day of July, being in different offices on different days. Is not the time named, between the 30th of June and December 1, used for the purpose of getting up the accounts and making them agree, getting the statements from the different offices for the purpose of agreeing?-A. I know of no necessity for agreement.
Q. If there was a necessity !-A. There would be opportunity for it if it were necessary.
Q. Ought not the books of the Register, Treasurer, Secretary, and First Comptroller all to agree on any and every point in which money passes through the department 1-A. They ought to agree in certain re. spects, but there are some respects in which some of these books would not show what others would show.
Q. Does any warrant pass through the department without going through the four different bureaus or divisions, and being entered in all ?-A. No, sir. The Treasurer receives the warrant finally for payment. It is his warrant for making the payment. The Secretary's books would show the issue of warrants, but would not show at all times the amount paid by the Treasurer. They would show the amount he was authorized to pay, but not the payments.
Q. The Secretary's books may not show at all times the amount paid by the Treasurer ?-A. That is iny understanding.
Q. Do you krow of Register Allison going in person to the Secretary to remonstrate against making changes relating to the accounts previ. ous to the time the order was received ?-A. He informed me that he had stated to the Secretary that in his judgment it was not worth while to correct the statements that had been published during the former administrations, and I wderstood that that letter of Mr. Saville was received subsequently to his making that statement to the Secretary. I understood him to state that that was a question of expediency in his judgment, that he would not have corrected a statement that had been made by former administrations in regard to the public debt, or receipts and expenditures, and published, even if he knew it to be erroneous. His language was something like this, that he would have taken it up as he came into office and made every statement correct, and let the old statements stand to take care of themselves.
Q. The changes as made then changed the statements that had been
furnished by numerous Secretaries and Registers who had preceded ?A. They made a different statement for the same period.
Q. And those statements changed the figures, as you have them before
you, in the reports of 1870 and 1871 ?-A. Yes, sir.
By Mr. ALLISON:
By the CHAIRMAN : Q. Mr. Beck has asked you whether your report made to the Secretary and by the Secretary to Congress ought not to be an exact transcript of your books at all times ?-A. I should call them a compilation from the books. It is bringing together various items.
Q. And should be a true statement, and intended to be a true statement, from the books ?-A. Undoubtedly.
JANUARY 6, 1879. WILLIAM GU'ILFORD sworn and examined.
By the CHAIRMAX: Question. Are you connected with the Register's office ?-Answer, Yes, sir.
Q. What are your duties there ?-A. I have charge of making up the receipts and expenditures of the government, and also of making up different statements that are required by members of Congress and the departments, generally furnishing information connected with our office.
Q. How long have you been in the Register's office ?-A. Fifteen years last November.
Q. State brietly what your duties have been during the full time.-A. They are, as I stated before, to prepare the receipts and expenditures annually, which I have a force of clerks detailed to assist me at, and preparation of statements required from time to time. For instance, I made out the statement required by the committee.
Q. The object of the question was to know whether you had been engaged the entire time you have been in the office on that work.-A. No, sir. Since about 1867 or 1868, I think, I have had charge of that work.
Q., What did you do previously ?-A. I did miscellaneous work. I used to keep some of the appropriation ledgers, and did a variety of miscellaneous work that was required.
Q. What is your official position? Are you chief of one of the divisions, or head of a division, or keeper of any particular accounts !-A. My principal work is having charge of getting up the receipts and ex. penditures, and I have a force of four clerks under me. Mr. Beatty is chief of the receipts and expenditures division, and I am subordinate to bim.
Q. Was Mr. Allison Register in 1869 and 1870 ?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. Do you know of a letter of instructions, or verbal instructions, from the Secretary's office to Mr. Allison in 1869 or 1870 in regard to a change of the way of stating the accounts ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. What do you know of it?-A. Mr. Allison showed me that letter, and I knew of it outside. Mr. Ross A. Fish told me Mr. Saville was going to send such a letter.
Q. What letter have you reference to ?-A. A letter in which Mr Sa. ville recites, in substance, that the discrepancy between the statement of the public debt by the Register's office and the Secretary's office would have a tendency to impair our credit abroad, and requesting Mr. Allison to change his figures of the public debt statement in accordance with that published by the Secretary. That was the substance of the letter.
Q. Was there a statement sent from the Secretary's office to the Reg. ister by which he knew how to change the figures ?-A. Not that I am aware of. He referred him to the way in which it had been stated in the Secretary's office the previous year.
Q. I hand you the Finance Report of 1870 and ask you if that is the statement he referred to (pointing to page 25 of the Report of 1870) ?-A. The Finance Report of 1870, page 25, contains the table which the Secretary wished referred to.
Q. Has the Register a tabulated statement of the public debt in the same report ?—A. Yes, sir. It does not correspond with the other.
Q. Will you turn to it?-A. Yes, sir; it is on page 276.
Q. You say it does not correspond with the other statement !-A. It does not.
Q. Was it a part of your duty to make up that table of the Register?A. Not at that period ; not until subsequently.
Q. Do you know whether the Register's table as prepared in that volume was a true transcript of the books of the Register's office ?-A. I do not. I know that for the year 1869–70 it was not a true transcript of the books.
Q. Was it a true transcript previous to 1869–70 !-A. I do not know. It was not made up by me. It was made up by Mr. Marsh, of the Secretary's office, in conjunction with the Register's office. It was made up from the issues and redemptions, and a portion of those were kept in the Register's office and a portion in the Secretary's office, and it could only be made up by a combination of the two offices.
Q. Which table are you describing now?-A. The Register's table,
Q. You say it was not a true transcript of the books ?-A. I know that for the years 1869 and 1870 it was not. There was an error on the part of the clerk who made it up, an error of nearly one hundred million dollars in each year.
Q. Could an error running over two years of one hundred millions in your office remain two years without being detected ?-A. It was not in the office; it was merely in this table.
Q. Is that table officially signed? Did it go officially from the Register's office ?-A. Yes, sir, the whole report did. It seems that it was not discovered until 1871, when it was corrected.
Q. Were there errors in that table to your knowledge previous to 1809 ?-A. There were no errors to my knowledge, but it was stated previous to 1869 from entirely different data from what it was stated for 1869. It was stated from the issues and redemptions prior to 1870, and subsequent to that it was stated from the receipts and expenditures, being different data altogether.
Q. Does that table of the Register substantially agree with each year as stated there from the beginning of the government down to 1870 !-A. I cannot say positively without a reference.
Q. Take any report; I hand you for instance the one of 1868; look and see whether those two agree.-A. (After examining.) I should say it did, from the slight examination I have given it, exactly agree.
Q. Take that report as far back as 1857–58 and see whether it substantially agrees with that.-A. My impression is that it is so to all
intents and purposes. I have not examined all the reports; but the reports themselves will show,
Q. Was the change in the report between 1870 and 1871 in the Register's office in consequence of a letter received from the Secretary's chief clerk to the Register?-A. So I understand.
Q. Do you know whether the Register made the change willingly, or whether he thought it ought not to be done !-A. He told me he objected to it on the ground that he did not think it well to disturb any past and back statements, and that he remonstrated with the Secretary about changing it.
Q. What was the reply ?-A. I do not know the words of the reply, but the Secretary sustained Mr. Saville in demanding the change.
Q. How far did that change go back-to what year?-A. I think it went back to about 1835.
Q. Do you know the amount of difference the changes involved in the public-debt statement ?-A. They involved in some years very heavy differences, from the fact that, as previously stated, from the issues, if a loan of a great many million dollars had been issued and recorded, it would appear in the debt statement; but in the present mode of statement from the receipts and expenditures, it would not appear until that loan was negotiated, and sometimes, as if the loan was issued in the latter part of a fiscal year for a great many million dollars and it was not negotiated until the next fiscal year, it would make a number of million dollars difference—the whole amount of the loan.
Q. Do you know the amount it did involve? Have you a statement of the differences ?-A. I have prepared such a statement of the differences, I believe, for this committee.
Q. Has there been a statement in your office by my request made today that you would present us to show what the differences were ?-A. I was told that you required a statement of that kind, but that it had been prepared. I know I prepared a statement giving the increases and decreases from one year to another.
Q. (Handling paper marked “Statement F.”) Is the statement of differences there correct ?-A. (Examining.) It appears that the differences in the various years are correctly set forth in that statement; but I do not adopt the footings by way of addition. I examined the figures before I came here, and I found the differences that appear on this Statement F to be correct. The differences between the statement of the public debt in the reports of 1870 and 1871 are as follows:
For 183:3, 8665,4% increase in the report of 1871.