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some one to examine the figures carefully and make a report of his examination, or do you mean that clerks occasionally assisted you where to find things ?-A. I mean this: That there were clerks in the department who were interested in the subject and who would examine of their own accord the books and discover an item, and they would bring it to me and point out the error, and then I would examine that with care.
Q. I understood you to say that you commenced this work about the time of Mr. Boutwell's induction into office, and you ended in December, 1871 ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. And the result was embodied in the Finance Report of 1871 to Congress -A. Yes, sir.
Q. I have here the Finance Report of 1870. Look at the table on page XXV and see if that is the result of your work (handing witness the Finance Report of 1870).-A. (Examining.) That is not the result of my work, I think. That is the first time, I think, that I undertook to state the account of loans and Treasury notes, or the public-debt account.
Q. Is that statement the result of your work ?-A. About that I cannot say positively. I am under the impression, however, that it is an attempt to make the debt statement correct, the first attempt I made.
Q. Now, take the report which you did make and see whether that does not agree with it to a cent. I hand you the Finance Report of 1871, and ask you to see if the table on pages XXI and XXII is not just liké that in the report of 1870, as to which I just now inquired.-A. I presume they are.
Q. Can you not say positively whether they are alike or not?-A. (Examining.) I think there is no question that they are identical statements. Q. If you commenced your work in 1869 and finished it in 1871,
how do you account for that table in the report of 1870, which was sent to Congress in 1870 ?-A. I cannot recall the facts in detail, but I presume that that table in the report of 1870 was the result of my investigations up to that time, and the subsequent investigations simply confirmed my previous examination and carried the details further.
Q. Then, do I understand that instead of 1871 it was in 1870 that you completed and made the report to Congress ?-A. No, sir ; I did not complete it and did not make any report to Congress, except so far as furnishing that table.
Q. I am not speaking of you, but the Secretary of the Treasury.-A. I understand. I did not complete the table in the Finance Report of 1871 in 1870, only so far as correcting differences I had discovered up to that time was concerned. In 1871 I added to the report the notes.
Q. Contine yourself now to the public debt statement. I understood you to say that you personally examined the public debt.-A. I personally examined the public debt accounts.
Q. You commenced in March, 1869, and ended in December, 1871 ?A. Yes, sir.
Q. I ask you whether or not the table in the report of 1870, on page XXV of the public debt, is not in exact figures as to the amount of the public debt each year the same as the table in the report made in 1871 ? -A. I would like to compare the figures one by one before I answered that positively; but I think they are. I do not think that there is the slightest doubt that they are.
Q. How do you account for the result of your work being in the report of 1870 when you did not finish it until 1871 ?-A. The result of my work is not in the report of 1870, except in the form of that table.
The result of the work so far as it went in 1870 is in the report of 1870. My impression was that it was not, but I find that it is; and it simply shows that at that time, in December, 1870, I had progressed so far in my work as to justify the publication of that table.
Q. And your subsequent examination made no change in it !-A. It probably did made changes. I do not know positively whether it did or not.
Q. You are intelligent enough to tell whether it did or not? There are the two statements, and you ought to say.-A. It makes no change in those two tables as to the gross amounts. It does make changes in the details.
Q. I am speaking of those two tables.-A. Those two tables are in all probability identical tables.
Q. This report is dated December 5, 1870, addressed to Congress. Upon examination the table of the public debt appears to be the same as in the report of 1871, so that your work appears in the report of 1870?–A. It appears to be in the report of 1870 as well as in the report of 1871, but in the report of 1871 there is another table which shows that I had published one year before the correct debt statement. It was the result of my examination up to that time.
Q. I hand you for the purpose of your examination and give you an opportunity to answer the question. I shall ask a statement which you will see is taken from the Register's and Secretary's Reports of 1870 as to the public debt with the result of each year, whether it be an increase or decrease of the public debt. I am asking no question now as to the footings; but taking these tables which have been put in evidence as correct, is there or is there not a change in almost every year from 1833 to 1870, in some years a decrease and in some years an increase?A. By this statement it appears that there was a change in every single year one way or the other from 1833 down to 1870.
Q. Were these changes the result of your work!-d. That I cannot say, for I do not know.
Q. Assuming that statement to be correct, which has been put in evidence as correct, is that the case ?-A. Í can simply answer the question in this way. I find here an item which I recall: The Register stated the debt in 1835 at $351,289.05; the Secretary's statement is that the debt was $37,513.05, showing a decrease in the Secretary's statement of $313,776. That decrease in the statement of the debt was the result of my examination of the debt accounts. I presume these other differ. ences were results of examinations conducted at the same time and of subsequent examinations from the commencement of my work to the time the table was published.
Q. I understood you to say that you commenced your examination of the public debt at the beginning of the government, which was 1789:A. Yes, sir.
Q. There are no different figures stated until 1833. Were they cor. rect, and did you find no differences previous to 1833 ?-A. I think there are corrections made in subsequent Finance Reports, although I may be mistaken. I did not charge my memory with that detail, but there were differences prior to 1833, which are explained in the tables of the Finance Reports which I prepared or which were prepared under my direction.
Q. Look at some of the Finance Reports, such as you think proper ?-A. I will take the Finance Report of 1873 and compare it.
Q. Tell me whether or not there were changes made previous to 1833 or whether you found any differences.-A. I do not see any changes in subsequent reports. I have looked at the report of 1873. The amounts of the debt as stated from 1791 to 1833 are exactly the same in the Fi. nance reports of 1870 and 1873.
Q. Having examined the debt from the beginning of the government, can you give us any reason why you made no changes, or why the figures were not different previous to 1833 while they differ every year after 18331-A. Yes, sir; I can. The years 1833 and 1834 differ very slightly, and they are differences which would seem to indicate an omis. sion. The items are one of $665.95 and the other of $1, both of wbich may have been caused by the omission of an itein of the debt that was redeemed. In 1835 the debt was at its lowest point, it had all been called in and there was a large surplus in the Treasury. I assumed in making my first examination that the errors at that time had reached the smallest point, and I started in my examination, after making this investigation and discovering this fact, from 1835, because I had here almost as good a starting point as the point would be where there was no debt, or at the beginning of the government; and rather than make any changes prior to that time, the result having been reached in 1835 that there was no debt, for it had been wiped out, before making any changes prior to that time examinations should go to the very last degree of accuracy in reference to every item ; but subsequent to that time the investigation could be continued with the utmost accuracy from year to year by reason of the fact that I had a starting point in 1835. I did not charge my memory with the arguments I used with myself; but I recall the fact that I did suspend my examination from the beginning as to the details, and began anew in 1835, because the debt was so small at that time that the possible errors were at the minimum, and I made the examination from 1835 with the utmost care.
By Mr. DAWES : Q. Leaving the same examination as to the past to be a matter for the future?-A. Leaving the same examination as to the past to be conducted as opportunity offered, and of course the examination as to the past had to be made to a certain extent, and was made so as to explain as much as possible of the Revolutionary debt and of the debts that did not appear in the cash account from 1791 to 1835.
By the CHAIRMAN: Q. The debt account previous to 1870 had been made and kept in the Treasury Department by what are known as Issues and Redemptions A. Yes, sir.
Q. In 1870 or 1871 it was changed and kept by what are known as Receipts and Expenditures on account of the public debt ?-A. It was not changed; I simply added another method, leaving the old method to continue exactly as it had been continued all along, but I stated the debt in addition in a new way from Receipts and Expenditures, and I used the Receipts and Expenditures account for the public debt statements, after, however, comparing that with the results of the statement of the account from loans and Treasury notes, as it was called, or from Issues and Redemptions.
Q. Did you or did you not in 1871 in your new statement change the system from what is known as Issues and Redemptions to that of Receipts and Expenditures, and did that or not make the difference in each year from 1833 or 1835 in the total amount of the public debt as stated by yourself!-A. I can say in answer to that question simply that the statement of the public debt printed for general circulation was made up on the 1st day of January, 1871, from an account of the debt kept in accordance with the Receipts and Expenditures, and I believe that it was made up on that day for the first time from the data derived from that source. Prior to that time the public debt statement had been made up, so far as I know, from the account of Issues and Redemptions. The statement from that time, from the 1st of January, 1871, to the present time, if the books have been correctly kept, will agree in every item of increase and decrease with the account of Issues and Redemptions. Prior to 1871, however, and going back to 1835, the account of the debt made up from Receipts and Expenditures differs from the account of the debt made up from Issues and Redemptions in a varying amount, depending entirely upon how many outstanding and uncovered amounts remained on the books of the Treasurer, or, in other words, how much of the receipts on account of loans had been satisfied by the issue of bonds, but had not been covered into the Treasury before the books relating to Receipts and Expenditures, and covering the same period of time, were finally closed for the purpose of the annual settlement.
Q. I will endeavor to ask you straight questions, and I would be glad to have direct answers, one way or the other?-A. I will try to give you an answer, I assure you.
Q. If you have explanations to make after making your answers, of course you can make them ; but it is due me, and I have a right to ask that you shall answer each question directly, and then you may make any explanation you think proper.-A. I will try to answer the questions as directly as possible.
Q. It appears that each question carries you into an argument. It is not usual for a witness to argue a question. It is usual for a witness to answer questions.-A. It is usual also for a witness to endeavor to understand a question before he answers it.
Q. Of course, if you do not understand it say so; but I should like an answer that would enable me to learn whether you mean “yes” or “no.” -A. There are a great many questions that cannot be answered “yes” or “no," and that I do not propose to answer “yes” or “no.” I propose to answer so that I can swear to what I say.
Q. You have sworn to all you are saying.-A. Yes, sir, and I want to make my answers correct, and I will endeavor to give you the exact answer to every question you ask me, as I have done heretofore.
Q. Now, will you tell me whether or not you changed the system, and whether you made a change in the gross amount of the public debt between the years 1835 and 1871 ?--A. I did change the system, and it did not inake a single cent's difference in the gross amount of the debt.
Q. Now tell me what the amount of public debt was, as stated preri. ous to 1870, for the year 1862 ?—A. In the Finance Report of 1869, page 317, the Register of the Treasury states the public debt on the 1st July, 1862, at $514,211,371.92, and in the Finance Report of 1871, page 13, the Secretary of the Treasury states the public debt for 1862 at $524,176,412.13. By the Secretary's table of 1871 the debt would appear to have been greater in the year 1862 than by the Register's table of 1869 by $9,965,040.29.
Q. Then in that year there appears to be a difference?-A. There is a difference between these tables of $9,965,040.21.
Q. Now take the two following years, and tell us whether there is not a difference and an increase ?-A. In the two following years there is also a difference between the two tables. For the year 1863 the difference is an increase in the Secretary's statement of $20,978,957.26, and for the year 1864, there is an increase in the Secretary's table of $75,093,881.08.
Q. Then, as reported by the Register for the years we have named1862, 1863, and 1864—and as reported by the Secretary in the report of 1871, and continued since, there is a difference in round numbers of $10,000,000, $20,000,000, and $75,000,000 in these three years, and there is an increase in the Secretary's report I-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Then do the figures in the two reports agree?-A. They do not agree in the two reports.
Q. Was not the great amount of this $116,000,000 that you spoke of in the Revolutionary debt, and did not that occur previous to 18351-A. $76,000,000 of it, I think, was in the Revolutionary debt; that is, the estimated Revolutionary debt. It nerer has been ascertained exactly what it was in detail.
Q. That being so, would not the large amount of difference apparent in those reports have occurred previous to 1835 ?—A. No, sir.
Q. The debt previous to 1835 had been reported by Issues and Redemptions had it not ?-A. Previous to 1835 I cannot say. I do not know. I am very much inclined to think that the debt statement was, prior to 1835, made up from the published account of Receipts and Expenditures, but I do not know that positively, and could not state it positively without a careful examination.
Q. You stated!, a short time ago, that there were certain bonds issued for the Revolutionary debt. When were those bonds issued ?-A. I can. not give you the date, but they were issued some time between 1789 and 1791.
Q. What was the amount of those bonds ?-A. Estimated at $ 76,000,000, though I believe the exact amount has never yet been ascertained. It is believed that some are still outstanding.
Q. Was it not previous to 1835, that they were issued ?-A. O, yes, they were issued previous to 1835.
'Q. That being so, how could you state the debt by Receipts and Expenditures when no receipts came into the Treasury for that large amount of money ?-A. By Receipts and Expenditures as far as they would go, and by patching up the books from the loans and issues where there were no receipts, and that is precisely what they did do. M. Baker, whose handwriting and work I ran across very frequently in my investigations in this department, seems to have kept a record of his own, showing a great many of these old loans and memoranda of the fact, where the money did not go into the Treasury. I found a large book of memoranda made by bim in 1824, in which he explained at that date a great number of these old stocks that were issued without moneys being received for them.
Q. I understood you to say that by patching up the books they could state the public debt by Receipts and Expenditures ?-A. Let me mako it more plain by saying that the accounts of the debt would be stated from the Receipts and Expenditures as far as the Receipts and Expenditures went, and then where the Receipts and Expenditures did not agree the difference was the loans or the expenditures on account of loans for which no money was received.
Q. Could you keep a correct account Exclusively by Receipts and Expenditures of the public debt ?-A. Yes, sir; I can keep a correct account.
Q. How would you manage a case that occurred within a short time, as the Eads jetty issue, or the payment of the Massachusetts debt by the United States, where bonds were issued and no receipts came into the Treasury ?-A. Precisely as I did manage the Maine or Massachusetts case that you speak of. If you will examine the books of the depart