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certificates. The next amount is the difference between the loan account, as shown by receipts and expenditures, and the public debt statement from 1837 to 1871, awaiting proper action of Congress before correcting the differences, which are all in the receipts and expenditures.
Q. Did you examine these different accounts at the time 1-A. No, sir; I did not. Those are the results of the labors of Mr. Fish.
Q. And you took them as correct?-A. I was ordered to put them in, and in order to put them in I had to make a separate column, to show that these did not appear from the books, but were put there by order of the Secretary to make the two harmonize.
Q. Now state why, in the nature of things, these items would not appear on the books of the Register.-A. They do appear upon the books, but not as classified in the public-debt statement. They all appear on the books, but not as classified in the public-debt statement. It does not change the total of the expenditures or receipts of the government one cent. It merely changes the method of classification.
Q. Then these items do appear in another place on the books, but not in connection with the public debt ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Are those books showing the receipts and expenditures examined by you from day to day, and have they been during the time you have been in the office; you see them every day ?-A. I have to handle them nearly every day, more or less.
Q. Have there been changes in any entries in those books with a view to make up any of these statements with reference to the public debt ?A. None that I am aware of.
Q. No alterations in the books for that purpose ?-A. No, sir; not unless it has been done from a warrant or a counter-warrant. Of course, if the Secretary should issue a warrant, and that warrant should change the statement pro or con, I cannot state his authority for issuing the warrant.
Q. And you change the books accordingly?-A. According to his warrants; not with any scratching. It would be simply to credit one and debit another.
Q. I think you have stated fully that those changes occurring in the public-debt statement during the years 1870 and 1871, as appears from the tabulated statements of the Register and the Secretary, arose from the different methods adopted in stating, and from no other cause or reason ?-A. That is all; different methods of statement. One method
STATEMENT No. 2.--Statement of receipts, fc.-Continued.
was of stating it by issues and redemptions, and the other a different method of classification.
Q. And you regard the latter method as the best method of stating the debt?-A. The method that now obtains; I do.
By Mr. BECK: Q. Your large experience in the office of the Register enables you to speak pretty fully of the duties of that office, and therefore I want you now, as briefly as you can, to tell us what you understand by the first subdivision of section 313 of the Revised Statutes, which provides that “it shall be the duty of the Register to keep the accounts of the receipts and expenditures of public money, and of all debts due to or from the United States."—A. That the Register's office shall be the bookkeepers of the government, to put it as condensed as possible.
Q. And every dollar that comes into the Treasury and every dollar that goes out of the Treasury must appear on the books of the Register?-. Yes, sir.
Q. And his annual published reports import absolute verity as to those facts ?-A. They are supposed to do so.
Q. That is the object of them ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. He has, from the beginning of the government, or from a very early period of it, made these annual reports to Congress and the country, has he not?-A. Yes, sir.
C. And up to 1870 the annual report so furnished was all that the country had to rely upon as to the truth of the condition of the Treasury ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Now you say that in 1871 it was ascertained that all those statements had been false from the beginning of the government !-A. No, sir.
Q. What do you propose to tell us ?-A. Not that they were false, but that they were not stated correctly; that they were not stated on a correct basis as far as the public debt was concerned. They stated the amount that the government proposed to owe, but not the amount it did actually owe; the difference was that it stated the amount the gorernment proposed to owe from year to year, and not what it did actually owe.
Q. Would, or not, each year then correct the other !-A. It might, and it did in a great measure correct the other, year by year, provided all the loans were negotiated.
Q. So that what failed to appear in one year by reason of the issue not having been negotiated, would appear in the next when it was ?-A. Unless the loan was canceled or not wholly negotiated.
Q. And if it had been either canceled or not wholly negotiated, was it not the duty of the Register in the succeeding year, from that fact appearing, to so alter his statement as to make that appear?-A. He ought to do it, of course.
Q. The Secretary ascertained, or the Register and the Secretary to. gether ascertained, in 1871, that from 1833 there had been wrong statements made to the public annually by the Register as to the truth of the debt ?-A. I do not know that you can say it was wrong. For instance, on a certain basis you may say you owe a certain amount of money, and on another basis you may say you owe a different amount of money, and still both would be correct. For instance, you may say, “I owe $100,000,” which might be correct. You may say then that I owe $100,000, but I have $50,000 coming to me, and consequently I only owe $50,000. There would be a difference of $50,000, and yet both
statements would be correct. It depends entirely on the basis of your statement.
Q. You state this, however, that in 1871, and from that time on, the statement now goes forth to the country that each statement made by the Register from the time he began to make statements up to 1870 was made upon a false basis I-A. According to my opinion, they were.
Q. That is now the statement made to the country each year!-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Is it not true that you have for the years embracing 1869 and 1870, and back of them, in the last eight or nine years, repudiated all the former statements by the Register as to the state of his accounts I-A. Yes, sir; if you call it that, and according to my opinion very correctly.
Q. You have statement “F” before you. Turn to the year 1864 in the statement where the Register from the year 1861 up to 1870 stated that the public debt was $1,7-10,690,489.49, while in 1871 be stated that the public debt for that year was $1,815,784,370.57, making an increase of $75,093,881.08. How did he in 1871 make that change, and upon what data ?-A. He did not make it from any data given here at all; he went back to 1835. He says the debt in 1835 was so much; he then goes to the books and says we received during 1836 so much money, we expended so much, we spent so much money on account of redemp. tions, making our debt so much for 1836, and so much for 1837, and so much for 1838, and so much for 1839, up to this point when he brings it to $1,815,784,370.57, without any regard to the preceding statements whatsoever. It is by a series of revisions of the receipts and expenditures, the actual receipts and the actual expenditures of each year from this point up to that, together with a little change in classification, which has been explained to you.
Q. Then, in order to get that result, and to upset all previous statements and to make a new statement which increased the public debt that year over seventy-five million dollars, was he not compelled to examine each warrant that had been issued during all those years in order to see where those mistakes were made; or, if not, how did he do it ! A. No; because the previous statement was not made from warrants at all; it was made from the records of the loan division, made from the issues. Therefore, you could not expect it would harmonize with the warrants. One is the actual issue of the bonds, and the other is the warrants.
Q. I understand that. Now, he had to ascertain the difference between the issues ?-A. Not as I understand it.
Q. Explain what you mean.-A. He did not want to examine the debt statement. He threw that old statement over as an incorrect statement and proposed to make a correct statement. He proposed to make a correct statement by taking the debt as fixed at a certain amount in 1835, and then taking the actual cash received into the Treasury on account of loans and deducting the actual cash paid for the redemption of loans, and to make a series of the public debt just exactly in accordance with the actual amount of cash received and cash paid out on account of redemptions, and make a true statement without any regard whatsoever to the other statement.
Q. What I desire to know is, would or not he be compelled in order to make up that statement to look to see the correctness and the accuracy of each warrant that had been issued either covering money into the Treasury or paying it out?-A. He would if he had the slightest doubt of the correctness of them.
Q. But, unless he did that, could he know that he was making a truthful statement in making this?-A. He could know it as well as in making any statement. The books are so kept that it is almost impossible to have a mistake. If he examined ever so much he could not be absolutely certain, because human nature is fallible with all the examination that is possible.
Q. Must not every dollar that is covered into the Treasury be covered in by a covering warrant ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. And every dollar drawn out, drawn out by a warrant ?-A. Yes.
Q. Unless, therefore, in making up a new statement and discarding the old books he looked at each.warrant covering money in and every warrant paying money out, had he any way of knowing whether the new statement was correct or not.-A. He had no, way of knowing, except that it has been proved each year that these statements were correct. Each year it is proved.
Q. It is proved that the former statements have been false?-A. The former statements were made out on altogether a different basis. They were not made up on the same basis. He does not make up a statement on the same basis that he did before and find discrepancies, but he makes it up from a different basis.
Q. When he makes it up from that different basis and finds that it differs in the year 1874 over $75,000,000, would he not have to look at the warrants that covered money in and the warrants that paid it out to see that that difference of $75,000,000 was correct !-A. He might have to do it; but I do not see that if he looked ever so much he could ever find it. It would be an impossibility to find it, because that goes by a series of years, and he would have to look away back to the beginning of the government.
Q. Then, do I understand you to say that all the Secretary did was to take what appeared on the books, without any examination of the warrants, to be the true receipts and expenditures, assuming them to be correct, and that they worked out this change?-A. Yes, sir. He assumed them to be correct.
Q. As found in the printed reports of the receipts and expenditures ! A. I do not know that he did that; but he assumed them as correct, as found on the books of the Treasury.
Q. And it was the books of the Treasury that accounted for receipts and expenditures that he took as the basis, instead of the books of issues and redemptions ?-A. Yes, sir. That is the point in a nutshell.
Q. Explain again to the committee the effect that will or may be produced, and the difference that may result from stating the account, first, by issues and redemptions, and secondly, by receipts and expenditures, confining yourself to the public debt.-A. It may be different, from the fact that bonds may be issued for a very large amount of money during one fiscal year, and the money may not actually be received into the Treasury until a series of fiscal years subsequent. Therefore, if you take the issues and redemptions, you will have during the first year a debt of the amount of that loan; if you take the receipts and expenditures, you will have nothing for that year, but in the series of subsequent years you will have a debt in proportion to the amount of the loan negotiated.
Q. Have you any account kept of discounts and premiums ?--A. Yes, sir; we keep an account of discounts and premiums.
Q. Where and in what form does that get into the public-debt statement !-A. It does not go into the public-debt statement. It goes as premium or as interest or as discount. Premiums and discounts are generally classified together.
Q. In what form do you keep an account for losses, under the head of unavailables or otherwise -A. We only get those amounts from the Treasurer's report after his accounts are audited and allowed by the Comptroller.
Q. Where do you keep that ?-A. We keep that in the Treasurer's accounts of receipts and expenditures.
Q. Do you mark it “unavailable,” or do you charge it to 6 profit and loss” -A. No, sir; we either debit or credit the Treasurer with the amount, according as it is received or debited from him.
Q. And what form of warrant is used for that, as everything has to be done by warrant, either covering in or paying out. How do you charge it when a defaulter causes loss ?-A. I really cannot answer that question. I do not know how it is done. I merely know that the Treasurer renders his account in which he states that he has lost a certain amount of money deposited with some depository; he makes his statement and the Comptroller examines it, and if he thinks it is correct he allows it. If he so allows it, it is passed to the credit of the Treasurer. I do not think any warrant is issued on that at all, it is just passed to his credit. I cannot state positively, though, but I do not think any warrant is issued for it.
Q. You have just said, and I have believed it to be the rule, that whenever anything is once covered into the Treasury by a covering warrant it has to be disposed of by another warrant !-A. Yes. I cannot say positively whether a warrant is issued for it or not. My attention has not been called to that matter particularly.
Q. When did the Secretary first begin making up his public-debt statement, do you remember 7-A. I think it was in the year 1870.
Q. Up to that time nothing had ever come from the Secretary's office; I believe he had no organized bureau required by law to do that work?A. No, sir,
Q. The Register alone did it!-A. Yes, sir.
Q. When the Secretary made up his books in 1870, from what data did he make them up, what books outside the Register's books had he to make them up ?-A. He had his own books. He keeps the same series of books that the Register does of the appropriations.
Q. Had he always done so ?-A. Yes, sir; as to the appropriation books.
Q. And when Mr. Saville and those gentlemen in the Secretary's, office had made up the statement according to what they regarded as the true mode of bookkeeping, was it made up from their own books, or made up from their books and your books combined, or do you know how it was made up ?-A. I think it was made up from our books.
Q. Was it made up subsequent to the time when you and this other gentleman you have spoken of had been detailed to do that work A. That was a portion of it when I was detailed with him, and it was finished subsequent to that period. I was only detailed to assist hinr for two or three months.
Q. After that work was all done, and they had come to the conclusion that the present mode of stating it was the true one, then the order came from the Secretary to make them conform I-A. Yes, sir.
Q. And then it was that Mr. Register Allison objected to making any change in the statements for past years, while he was willing to conform; in future !--A. He did not object because he thought it was a bad state. ment, but he objected on the ground that he did not think they ought to disturb old statements. Q. Had the Secretary any power by law, that you are aware of, to