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For 1850, $775,464 %% decrease in the report of 1871.
Q. Do you know of a statement made by Mr. Allison, then Register showing the differences between the Register's statement and the Secretary's statement made up at the time?-A. There were several statements made up at different times in regard to these discrepancies in receipts and expenditures and the public debt. I do not know what particular one you have reference to.
Q. Do you know of one that Mr. Allison kept among his private papers ?-A, I could not tell unless I saw it.
Q. Did you ever see one that he had in his private drawer?-A. I could not say unless I should see it to refresh my memory.
Q. If the committee should want a thorough examination of the books and the warrants for a given year, say 1869, with a view of looking for errors, if there were errors, how long would it require to examine that year, and how many persons would have to work at it ?—A. That would depend a good deal upon the persons who were employed. If you employed the clerks of the office who are familiar with the books, they could, of course, do it with a great deal more rapidity than many outsiders would. I should think it would take persons who are thor: oughly familiar with the books about from three to four months, and at least double that time for persons who were not familiar, from the fact that a person who is familiar knows almost to a page, he can turn almost to the page exactly without reference to the index; whereas a person who was unfamiliar with the books might require some five or six minutes to find by the index the page of accounts he might wish to refer to. There were about thirty thousand warrants issued in 1869. Some of those warrants have as high as from twenty to thirty entries, each entry requiring to be posted at a different place in the ledger; and, estimating that a clerk would do one hundred warrants in a day, which is considered a pretty fair day's work, it would take him about three hundred days.
Q. To examine a given year, how long and how much force would it require with clerks in your office ?-A. I say it would take from three to four months for clerks in our office who were familiar with the work, and double that time for persons not familiar.
Q. You have not stated what number of clerks yet.-A. Two clerks. Q. Would 1869 be an average of the work between 1860 and 1870 ?— A. I should think it would. The warrants were much heavier prior to 1869, and were considerably less subsequent to that time, so far as my knowle lge goes. So that it would probably be about a fair average.
Q. If we were coming up to the present time it would make a fair arerage ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. But taking it between 1860 and 1870, would 1869 be an average of the warrants !-A. No, sir; I think it would take longer to examine the years previous to 1869.
Q. How much longer?-A. Probably a month or two longer, from the fact that during the war the warrants were much heavier than they were subsequently.
Q. In amount which of the statements is the largest, the one your office showed in 1870 or in 1871 ?-A. For what year?
Q. For all the years.-A. They vary. Sometimes they are larger, sometimes smaller; sometimes they increase, sometimes they decrease. On the average the statement is larger in 1871 than it was in 1869.
Q. How much on an average ?-A. Exclusive of those two errors to which I referred before ?
Q. No; just as they stand.-A. For an average I should have to make a calculation.
Q. Take 1862, and tell me what is the difference between your reports in 1870 and 1871 as to the public debt in 1862.-A. $9,965,010.21 increase.
Q. The next year?-A. $20,978,957.26 increase.
Q. Just follow it on to 1870.-A. The next year there is a decrease of $1,945,156.79; the next year $10,189,705.52 decrease; the next year $14,073,111.25 decrease; the next year $24,633,113.48 decrease; the next year $99,449,733.36 increase; the next year $94,313,828.07 increase. Those two last increases are a clerical error.
Q. Between 1869 and 1871 were the books and warrants in the Register's office carefully re-examined from 1836 to 1870, or not?-A. I do not know of any examination of them.
Q. Were you in the office the whole time!-A. Yes, sir; I do not know to what you have reference.
Q. I had reference to the question I put. Were the books and the warrants in the Register's office re-examined from 1836 to 1870 where those changes appear on the statement you have given us, so as to develop those errors ?-A. They were examined by a clerk of our office who was detailed into the Secretary's office. I assisted this clerk, Mr. Ross Fish, who made up the statement, in making it up.
Q. How long was he at it!-4. I should think about a year and a half; from one to two years, certainly.
Q. Did he do it in your office or in the Secretary's office ?-A. He did it in the Secretary's office, but from the books of the Register's office.
Q. Were the warrants compared with the books ?-A. No, sir; he did not compare any warrants with the books unless he had an idea that there was some erroneous entry made, and then he would hunt up the warrant and compare it with the books.
Q. Did you prepare that statement for the committee in the Register's oftice (handing to witness statement marked “Statement No. 2," being a statement of the receipts, expenditures, and outstanding principal of the public debt, interest, and premium paid from 1860 to 1877, inclusive, compiled from the books in the Register's office"?-A. Yes, sir; I believe I prepared that with my own hands
Q. Do the amounts given in that statement, as the principal of the public debt, commencing with 1859 and ending with 1870, agree with the amounts in the report of 1870, as reported from your office !-A. I think not. I think they do not agree till the report of 1871.
Q. Do they agree with any report made from your office previous to 1870 ?-A. No, sir.
Q. Do they agree with the reports made since 1871 ?-A. I believe they do.
Q. Do these agree with the table referred to by the Secretary in the letter to the Register directing him to change his statement ?-A. Yes; I believe they do.
Q. I see in a column headed “Amounts to be added to receipts," marked “b," $2,019,776.10; and another one marked “c," $1,000,000.00; and then one marked “d," $3,274,051.69, making a total of $6,293,827.79, which you say is “to be added to receipts." What is meant by that ?A. That is in accordance with the Secretary's Report of 1871. Those amounts do not appear upon our books. They are added in accordance with the Secretary's order, in order to harmonize the two, as is shown in the Report of 1871.
Q. I understand that these three items amounting to between six and seven million dollars do not appear upon your books ?--A. They do not.
Q. But are added here by order of the Secretary ?-A. So I understand.
Q. How did you state the debt for 1870 and previously ?-A. I did not state it myself, but it was stated by the issues and redemptions.
Q. How has it been stated since ?-A. It has been stated since by receipts and expenditures, and the table has been revised in accordance.
Q. In the revision you speak of, you changed the amounts as they had previously been reported from your office, commencing with 1833 ?-A.
By Mr. ALLISON: Q. Do I understand that you have charge of the books in the Register's office showing the receipts and expenditures of the government ?A. No, sir; I compile from the books the receipts and expenditures.
Q. It is a part of your duty, then, to make up a tabulated statement annually of the receipts and expenditures from the books of the Register!-A. Yes, sir.
Q. How long have you been engaged in that work ?-A. About ten or twelve years, as near as I can recollect.
Q. Were you engaged in that work in 1869 or 1870 ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. I understood you to say in answer to Senator Davis that there were clerical errors in the statements of 1869 and 1870. Will you now state the nature of those errors and the extent of them, as nearly as you can?-A. The public debt in the statements for 1869 and 1870 was stated by the head of the division, who had no practical experience in the business, and he was told by Mr. Saville that he must make it agree with the public-debt statement of the Secretary. Instead of making it up from the books of the Register's office he sent up-stairs and got the public-debt statement for the last month of that year from the Secretary's office. In this public-debt statement, as you are aware I presume, there is a column “principal of the public debt"; there is then a column of interest, which added is carried out, making so much. Then there is a column of "cash in the Treasury” which is deducted, leaving a net total of so much. Instead of taking the figures of the principal of the public debt, he took the figures below, which gave the present debt plus the interest and minus the cash in the Treasury, making one hundred million dollars difference from what the real state of the public debt was. He took that for the two years 1869 and 1870, as you can readily see by referring to the public-debt statements of those two years.
Q. That accounts for the errors there?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. I understood you also to state that you regard the statement of differences on the exhibit marked “F” as correct during the different years?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. But that you do not adopt the footings of that statement. What is the difficulty with the footings as you understand ?-A. It is this: We will suppose that there was $ 100 discrepancy for the first year, and $100 the second, and $100 the third, and $100 the fourth, and so on for a series of years, it would still at the last be only $100 discrepancy, whereas if you add them up it would be as many hundreds as there were years.
Q. It would not do to add them up!-A. That would not be correct.
Q. You stated in answer to Senator Davis that it would take two clerks in your office three or four months to make an examination of receipts and expenditures for the year 1869?-A. That is in my opinion.
Q. Do you mean to say that such examination would involve the separate examination of each particular warrant as well as of each entry on the books of that year?-A. Yes, sir. It is a subject of calculation that any one can make for himself. There are thirty thousand warrants, and it depends entirely upon the rapidity with which the men work when they get through with it. There are thirty thousand warrants, a great number of which have a great many entries upon them, each requiring you to turn to a different page of the ledger to verify it.
Q. In making up the public debt statement from the receipts and expenditures account, and then making up the same statement from the issues and redemptions account, finding differences between the two, would it be necessary to examine all the warrants and all the entries for a given year, in order to account for discrepancies or differences that might exist ?-A. No, sir; it would only be necessary to examine those warrants which have relation to the public debt:
Q. How much time would such exainination require for a given yearsay 1869–in your office?-A. It probably would not take over about a month's time; but then I do not see what you could arrive at, for they are statements entirely different; one is a statement of the issues of a loan, and the other is a statement of the actual receipts from that loan, and they have no relation to each other. For instance, if you issue one hundred notes, and charge yourself as owing that amount as soon as you issue them, I think it would be an incorrect statement of your indebtedness. You do not owe anything until those notes have passed into other hands and you have received the money for them. The old statement was a statement of all the obligations which the United States issued. The present statement is the amount of money actually received by the United States, which I think is the true statement.
Q. Then you regard the present mode of statement as an improvement upon the old mode ?-A. I do, and very materially so, and I think any business man would coincide in that view.
Q. It shows the true condition of the public debt ?—A. Exactly, with the exception that I do not know about the classification of it; it may be wrongly classified, but the modus I consider far superior.
Q. I understood you to say that a clerk was detailed from the Register's office to make an examination of these differences as stated from the two accounts—Mr. Ross Fish ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Do you understand that he made a thorough examination from the books of the Register's office in order to ascertain these differences !-A. I believe he did.
Q. Is he still an employé in the Treasury !-A. He is not.
Q. Where is he now ?-A. I do not know; he is about the city somewhere. I think he is in the employ of the board of public works.
Q. Who assisted him?-A. I assisted him somewhat, and Mr. Bailey, of the Secretary's office, assisted him also. I was detailed for some three or four months. He wanted me, and I was detailed there until I wanted to go back to my own work.
Q. State the character of the work during the time you were employed upon it, as to its range and efficiency.-A. It was made up from the receipts and expenditures; these published books, classified from them.
Q. The receipts and expenditures as shown by the books of the Register's office ?–A. Yes, sir; and the best evidence of their correctness is a statement which I have furnished this committee, where the receipts and expenditures of the government, from the commencement up to the pre nt time, are given, year by year, together with the balance in the Treasury each year, arriving at the time I bring it up to, 1876, bringing to a very cent the balance in the hands of the Treasurer, as is acknowledged by the Treasurer in his report, and also giving the exact amount of the balances of appropriations, as we have them in our books to-day.
Q. In a statement made up by you for this committee, and now appended to your testimony, marked “Statement No. 2,"* you have a column “ Amounts added to receipts” which you say do not appear upon the books of the Register. Will you explain the nature of those amounts and why they do not appear on the books of the Register?-A. The first amount is discount on bonds of February 8, 1861. It was not charged to the loan, awaiting proper action of Congress to make the proper entry. The next is a million dollars which should be charged to the Navy pension fund and credited to the Navy pension fund 3 per cent
The statement referred to is as follows: STATEMENT No. 2.-Statement of the receipts, erpenditures, and outstanding principal of
the public debt, interest and premium paid, from 1-60 to 1877, inclusire, compiled from the books in the Register's office.
Received from loans during year.
Paid on account
loans during the
Amounts to be
Principal of debt at close of year.
b$2, 019, 776 10
1859. 1860. 1861. 1862 1863 1864 1865 1866. 1867 1868. 1869 1870 1671. 1872. 1873. 1874 1875. 1876. 1877..
$58, 496, 837 88 20, 776, 800 00 41, 861, 709 74 529, 692, 460 50
776, 682, 361 57
712, 851, 553 03
$14, 431, 350 00
el, 000, 000 00
$58, 496, 837 88 64, 842, 287 88 90, 580, 873 72 524, 176, 412 13 1, 119, 772, 138 63 1, 815, 784, 370 57 2, 680, 647, 869 74 2, 773, 236, 173 69 2, 678, 126, 103 87 2, 611, 687, 851 19 2, 588, 452, 213 94 2, 480, 672, 427 81 2, 353, 211, 332 32 2, 253, 251, 078 78 2, 234, 482, 743 20 2, 251, 690, 218 43 2, 232, 284, 281 95 2, 180, 394, 817 15 2, 205, 301, 142 10
d3, 274, 051 69
8, 893, 471, 481 06
6,694, 464, 166 75
6, 293, 827 79
2, 205, 301, 142 10
a Oustanding debt July 1, 1859.