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LOANS AND TREASURY NOTES. Under this head I call the attention of the Senate to the great difference in the Finance Reports as to what they were for the year 1863. They are stated differently in four annual reports, as follows: In the report of 1863
$756, 489, 905 57 In the report of 1864
............... 776, 682, 361 57 In the report of 1870
814, 925, 494 96 In the report of 1876
................... 717, 284, 707 01
The various Finance Reports differ widely as to the amual expenditures of the goyernment, as the following table will show:
Increase in expenditures in report of 1871 as compared with report of 1869.
Statement showing the total amount paid in each fiscal year for Army and Nary pensions, as
per Finance Report for 1870 and letter of the Commissioner of Pensions of July 25, 1876.
Secretary's table, Finance Report for 1875........... ............. $142, 540, 493 44...
........ $13, 554, 419 89
........ 129, 391, 228 38... Decrease.........................................
................ 405, 154 83 Difference or increase in Secretary's table .... ........ 13, 149, 265 06 13, 149, 265 06
* Should be $1,805, 939,345.93. Difference, $600. Error in stating.
$6'095.11. Difference, $600.) Errors resulting from above.
After a careful examination, the differences between the Finance Reports are, with the exception of the errors described in the table below, found to be as stated by Senator Davis in his speeches of January 13 and 14, August 5, 1876, and November 16, 1877.
The foregoing statements agree with the statements in the reports in the Congressional Record of the above speeches, the same having been carefully compared by me.
Table of errors.
Character of errors.
Erroneous amounts. Correct amounts.
$1, 141, 072, 666 19 $*100, 000 difference.
122, 617, 434 07 $3 difference.
Caused by transposi
tion of figures 7,283, 2,783, 425, 879 21') instead of2,783, aggre
Il gate being correct. 73, 093, 881 08 $0.60 difference. 1.200, 723 36 $0.03 (lifference. 9,963, 040 21 $900 difference.
75, 093, 881 08 $0.60 difference. 19, 973, 632, 423 71 $10 000 difference. 1,805, 939, 345 93 $600 difference.
6. 095 11 $600 difference. 2, 162, 753 92 $600 difference.
In stating revenue collected
In stating decrease.
JOSEPH T. POWER sworn and examined.
By the CHAIRMAN: Question. What is your position in the Treasury Department ?Answer. Chief of the Division of Warrants, Estimates, and Appropriations in the Treasury Department.
Q. How long have you been in the government service in the Treasury Department !-A. Since May 9, 1869.
Q. State how long in the different offices.-A. I was in the Register's office until July 1, 1875, when I was appointed to my present position.
Q. Have you been designated in a general way by the Secretary of tee Treasury to answer calls and inquiries from this committee?-A. The Secretary has referred all communications of this committee to my division, and generally directed me to prepare all answers and furnish all the information within the control of the department to the committee as it might be called for.
Q. Which you have done!A. With the exception of one or two reports that are being prepared, and which will be received by the committee in a short time.
Q. When was the office you now hold created by law ?-A. Since the organization of the department under Mr. Boutwell the Warrant Division has existed as at present; but the act of March 3, 1875, commonly known as the Kellogg bill, that fixed by law the organization of the Warrant Division as it now exists.
Q. In what office, and how, was the branch of service that you now are engaged at attended to previous to 1870 !-A. Previous to 1870 the duties now assigned to this division were performed by two divisons, the organization of the department then recognizing more divisions and subdivisions than at present. In 1870 Secretary Boutwell consolidated the different divisions and branches of his office in an organization about as it now stands. There have been some slight changes since.
Q. And in 1875 this was recognized by law I-A. Yes, sir.
Q. When was a regular set of books, as you now keep them, opened in the Secretary's office !-1. From the organization of the office, as one of the duties of the Secretary of the Treasury, as provided by law, is to sign all warrants, and the necessary books of record therefor have always been kept in his office.
Q. When was the regular set of books, as you now keep them, opened in your office !-A. I am not able to say that a complete set of books as is now kept in this office was kept in the Secretary's office prior to the act of March 3, 1817, reorganizing the Treasury Department, but I am of opinion that there always has been a regular set of appropriations ledgers kept in the Secretary's office since the commencement of the government, in one form or another.
Q. I understood you to state that in 1870, under Secretary Boutwell, there was a consolidatio nof duties in various offices brought into one, and in 1875 that was recognized by law; are you keeping the books at present just as they were kept previous to 1870:- A. The books are now kept precisely as they were previous to 1870, with certain changes and improvements added to give more detailed information, but the same general plan remains.
Q. Was a new set of books opened, or did you continue along on the old set in 1870 when these offices were, as you say, consolidated and made more efficient ?-A. The same general class of ledgers was kept. There was no such thing as creating a new departure in plan or books. There were some improvements introduced in the books; but the general plan of appropriation ledgers, which is a very simple form of public accounts, has been preserved.
Q. Do you keep what is ordinarily known as a day-book and a ledger! -A. What is ordinarily known as a day-book is known in the Secretary's office as a “ register”; in the other offices it is known as a “journal.”
Q. And what is the ledger known as ?-A. As a ledger.
Q. Are your books kept by what is usually known as double or single entry!-A. As far as the principles of double-entry bookkeeping are applicable they are applied to the Treasury accounts, the appropriation accounts being the impersonal accounts in double-entry bookkeeping.
Q. If the question was put to you in a general way whether double or single-entry bookkeeping was the system in the Treasury Department, and a categorical answer was required, what would be your answer?-A. I would answer that the Treasury system is a unique one; and while it applies all the principles of double-entry bookkeeping, the system might be termed a quadruplicate system of entries. I will explain that, if you please. When a public officer receives funds from the Treasury for disbursement, the amount is charged to an appropriation and the Treasury credited with its payment. The disbursing officer is charged with the amount advanced, and credited with his disbursements, requiring four independent entries to make one payment from the Treasury.
Q. I understood you that the Secretary's office, as now organized, is more general and more complete than it was previous to 1870 !-A. The organization at present has brought all the duties of the Secretary's office under certain divisions.
Q. Do you consider it more complete in its organization than it was previous to 1870 or not?-A. I believe, as the office is now organized, that it is much more efficient than it ever has been before, so far as I am able to judge from the public records, while I have no personal knowledge of the way in which the public business was performed prior to 1869.
Q. When was the Register's office created ?-A. By the act of September 2, 1789, organizing the Treasury Department.
Q. Is the Register what is known as the official bookkeeper of the government ?-A. He is the official bookkeeper and keeps all accounts of the receipts and expenditures of the public money and of all debts due to or from the United States, except as the law has since assigned certain duties to the Second, Third, Fourth, and Sixth Auditors.
Q. Does that change the Register from being the official bookkeeper of the government and the final custodian of all papers and warrants ?A. It gives the Second, Third, Fourtlı, and Sixth Auditors the duties of keeping the personal accounts of all disbursing officers under the War, Navy, Interior, and Post-Office Departments, and the custody of the records and vouchers therefor.
Q. Do I understand that the officers named by you are the custodians of warrants on which money is drawn from the Treasury ? -A. The Register of the Treasury is the custodian of all warrants drawn on the Treasurer after they are paid.
Q. Can money be paid out of the Treasury in any way unless it passes through the Register's office ?-A. It cannot.
Q. The Register, I understand, is the final keeper of all vouchers on which money has been drawn from or paid into the Treasury ?-A. With the exception named. To illustrate: The Secretary of War makes a requisition in favor of an officer of the Army. The amount to be advanced to that officer is charged to him on the books of the Second or Third. Auditor, as the case may be, and the requisition comes to the Secretary of the Treasury, who issues a warrant. That warrant is countersigned by the First Comptroller and registered by the Register, and becomes a voucher to the Treasurer in the disbursement of that much money; but the accountability for that money by the officer is rendered to the Auditor, and the Auditor, therefore, becomes the custodian of the accounts and vouchers for the disbursement.
Q. How is it with bonds? Can bonds be issued or redeemed without going through the Register's office ?-A. The Register issues all bonds.
Q. Does he receive all bonds that are redeemed !-A. He finally receives them. After being redeemed by the Treasurer, and passing through the accounting office, they reach his office for final registration and for custody, unless they are destroyed, as the law now requires most of the public securities to be destroyed after redemption.
Q. Please explain how money by warrant is paid into and out of the Treasury. Take any example that you think proper, and give us the initiative step, and so on to the final payment, in your own way, the object being to get a full explanation of how money is paid into and drawn from the Treasury.
A. 1. A collector collects public money and deposits it in the Treas. ury or subtreasury of the United States, or in some designated depository, taking duplicate certificates of deposit.
2. One of these certificates he forwards to the Treasury Department, where it is charged to the Treasurer by a warrant covering the amount into the general fund, where, under the Constitution, it must remain until drawn therefrom in consequence of appropriations made by law.
3. When an appropriation is made by Congress the Secretary of the Treasury brings the amount on the books of his office, the Comptrollers and the Register, by an appropriation warrant, which directs the amount to be charged to the general fund and credited to the particular appropriation account designated.
4. The head of the department having control of the appropriation may now pay it out in two ways:
First. By making a requisition on the Secretary of the Treasury in favor of a disbursing officer, who must account for its disbursement to the proper Auditor and Comptroller.
Second. By a requisition on the Secretary of the Treasury based upon