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Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed to conser with the board of war on the subject, and report their opinion to Congress, Whether the plan is practicable, and would be attended with advantage.
The members-Mr. Burke, Mr. Gerry, Mr. Matthews.
DECEMBER 31, 1779. The committee appointed to confer with the board, of war, report as their opinion, that the plan communicated to them by the board appears practicable, and, if carried into execution, promises supplies of certain articles immediately wanted for the troops at much less expense, and with greater despatch, than they can otherwise be procured; that no coercion is requisite in the execution ; that the expense will not exceed half a million of continental dollars; and the risk to the United States is inconsiderable : Whereupon,
Resolved, That it be referred to the board of war; and that they be authorized to take order.
JANUARY 11, 1780. A report of the board of treasury was read, relative to the report of James Milligan, late one of the commissioners of accounts, and authorized by special ap. pointment of the board, on the 21st day of June last, in consequence of an order of Congress of the 7th of the same month, to repair to Virginia, and settle the accounts of the United States against the troops of the convention of Saratoga ; and the correspondence be
tween the said James Milligan and major general William Philips, senior officer of the said troops; together with sundry other papers relative to the said accounts : Whereupon,
Resolved, That for facilitating the settlement of the accounts of the United States against the troops of the convention of Saratoga, which have arisen subsequently to those settled and paid by lieutenant general Burgoyne, previous to his departure for England, all articles proper to be included be charged at the same rates as the like articles were charged in the accounts settled between major general Heath and lieutenant general Burgoyne.
That all supplies hereafter furnished to the said troops be charged in like manner.
That major general Philips, now in New York on parole, be required to have the amount due for pro. visions and other articles supplied to the said troops, in the months of March, April, May, June, July and August, 1778, and January, February, March, April, May, June and July, 1779, forthwith discharged, agreeably to the resolutions of Congress of the 19th December, 1777, and 22d May, 1778.
That if major general Philips shall persist in refus. ing to discharge the said accounts, demand thereof be made from general sir Henry Clinton, or the officer commanding in chief the British forces at New York.
That in case of non-compliance in this resort, the guards be thereupon doubled, at the expense of the British government, and the said troops kept on half allowance for the space of one month; on one third allowance for the succeeding month; and thenceforward one fourth allowance, until further order shall be taken, for the equitable adjustment of the premises.
That the mode adopted by George Rice, assistant deputy quartermaster general, at Charlotteville, for apportioning the charges of supplies furnished by the quartermaster general's department to the troops of the convention, and the guards, appears to be the only practicable one left for adjusting the same.
That the quartermaster general be directed to take effectual care ihat the accounts of all supplies which may in future be furnished by his department for the said convention troops, be kept separate from the accounts of supplies furnished for the guards.
That the board of treasury be authorized and directed to commission and instruct some suitable person or persons to complete the final settlement of the said accounts, and receive the sums due thereon, or the articles delivered in kind, on the part of the enemy.
That the said board give the necessary orders for collecting the vouchers and preparing the accounts of the supplies furnished to the said convention troops, from the 1st of September to the 31st December, 1778, and from 1st August to the 31st December, 1779.
JANUARY 17, 1780.
Congress took into consideration a report of a committee on a memorial from the honourable the minister plenipotentiary of France; and thereupon came to the following resolutions :
Whereas the minister plenipotentiary of France hath represented to us that a quantity of wheat and flour hath been procured and collected in the state of Maryland, at a great expense, for the fleet of his most, christian majesty, and for his garrisons in the French islands; that they are in pressing want of those sup-, plies ; that by an act of the legislature of the said state, commissioners therein named are authorized to : seize wheat and flour in stores; and that the seizure of the wheat and four collected as aforesaid, and in the hands of William Smith, Esq. of Baltimore, in the said state, would embarrass the measures of the agent of the marine of the king of France, endanger the success, of military plans, and expose to want the garrisons aforesaid ; and bath requested our interposition in this regard : Therefore,
Resolved, That it be, and it is hereby recommended to the governour and council of the state of Mary-land, to direct the commissioners appointed to carry the act for the immediate supply of flour and other provisions for the army into full force and execution, to refrain from seizing the provisions which have been purchased by permission of the state of Maryland for the agent of the marine of his most christian majesty ; to replace them in case they have been already seized; and to permit the exportation thereof.
That a copy of the memorial of the minister plenipotentiary of France, and a copy of the papers enclosed, be immediately transmitted, with the foregoing resolution, to the governour and council of the state of Maryland.
Resolved, That Congress entertain a high sense of the exertions of the legislature and governour and council of the state of Maryland to procure an immediate supply of flour and other provisions for the army.
And that the governour and council be requested to cause the same to be forwarded as fast as procured, to the army, the pressing wants of which demand immedi. ate relief.
JANUARY 26, 1780.
• The committee, to whom was referred a letter of the 19th from general Washington, brought in a report, which was read and taken into consideration. · The first paragraph being read, viz.
" That general Washington be informed that Con“gress had no intention of connecting the settlement 6 or payment of the accounts against the convention of troops with the proposed exchange of prisoners, and “ that he be authorized to proceed to negotiate said 6 exchange with all convenient despatch on such “ terms, in all respects, as he may judge most expe“ dient”
An amendment was moved by Mr. Livingston, se. conded by Mr. Folsom, to add thereto “ Yet from a 6 change of circumstances, they think it improper to 66 conclude an exchange, till it is agreed as a prelimi6 nary article that the accounts be settled and paid.”
A motion was made by Mr. M'Kean, seconded by Mr. Peon, to postpone the consideration of the para