The U.S. Constitution: Continuity and Change in the Governing of the United States
National Debt - part 3
National Debt - part 3
By the United States in Congress assembled, September 27, 1785 : The report of the grand committee being amended to read as follows, resolved, that for the services of the present year, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-five, for the payment of one year's interest on the foreign and domestic debt, and as a provision to discharge the balance of the estimate of April twenty-seventh, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-four ... it will be necessary that three millions of dollars ... be paid into the common treasury ...
By the UNITED STATES in CONGRESS assembled
SEPTEMBER 27, 1785
THE report of the grand committee being amended to read as follows
RESOLVED, That for the services of the present year, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-five, for the payment of one year's interest on the foreign and domestic debt, and as a provision to discharge the balance of the estimate of April twenty-seventh, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-four, above the sum called for by the resolve of Congress of that date, it will be necessary that THREE MILLION of DOLLARS, in addition to 649,880 dollars, hereafter provided for, be paid into the common treasury, on or before the first day of May next, to be appropriated to the following purposes.
- Civil department..........122,331
- Military department..........187,224.32
- Purchases of Indian rights of soil, and the incidental expences.......... 5,000
- Contingencies, the expences under which head shall on the 1st of Jan.
- annually, be transmitted by the board of treasury, to the legislature
- of each state,..........90,000
10,000,000 livres loaned in Holland and guaranteed by France, one year's interest
24,000,000 ditto public French loan, one year's interest thereon..........222,222,20
..........174,000 dollars Spanish loan, one year's interest thereon..........8,700
5,000,000 florins first Dutch loan, one year's interest thereon..........96,527.5
2,000,000 ditto second Dutch loan, one year's interest thereon at 4 per cent...........30,888.88
..........846,710 livres to the farmers general of France, one year's interest thereon..........7,840
10,517,380.6 dollars--one year's interest thereon..........631,042.6
Loan office debt.
3,778,900 dollars issued to the 1st Sept. 1777, equal to specie--one year's interest
3,459.200 dollars issued between 1st Sept. 177, and 1st March 1778, which sum is
..........subject to liquidation by the scale, but the interest is payable on the
..........nominal sum,--one year's interest thereon..........207,540
5,146,330.8 dollars specie value of uncancelled loan office certificates issued after
..........the 1st of March 1778, one year's interest thereon..........308,780.6
4,823,724..........dollars estimated amount of certificates issued and to be issued to the
..........lines of Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and
..........Georgia,--one years interest thereon..........289,423.4
1,141,551.5 dollars, balance of the estimate of the 27th of April 1784, above the
..........sum called for by the resolution of Congress of that date,..........1,141551.5
..........Total estimate,.......... 3,649580
..........Balance to be called for,..........3,000,000
Deduct for part of the Dutch loan applied towards a discharge of the last year's estimate, and which the sums required from the states last year will replace; and for loans now in the hands of the Dutch commissioners, and hereby appropriated for the purposes of this estimate, 649,880 dollars, and there remains the balance of three millions of dollars, to be paid into the common treasury.
The committee find that, for reasons stated in the resolve of Congress, of the 27th of April, 1784, there yet remains a moiety of the requisition for eight millions of dollars, and the whole of the requisition for two millions of dollars, to be applied to the use of the United States, before any new requisition ought to be made--They are therefore of opinion, that the states be called upon to make actual payment of three quarters of the remaining moiety aforesaid, on or before the first day of May aforesaid.
The committee have not been able to obtain information how many states have complied with the resolution of February 17th, or that of April 18th, 1783, relative to a rule, for adjusting the quotas of the several states in federal requisitions.--They are therefore of opinion, that the several states which have ot decided on that subject, be again solicited to come to a decision thereon, and to send forward the same, as a measure necessary to enable Congress to effect a settlement of accounts with the several states, and to apportion to each a just quota of the public expences; but in the mean time, as the public faith renders it the duty of Congress to continue their annual demand for money, the committee are of opinion, that in the apportionment thereof, the quotas of the several states should be adjusted agreeably to the best information which Congress may from time to time have obtained on the subject. Upon this principle they recommend to Congress, that in the present requisition for three millions of dollars, the quotas of the several states be as follows, viz.
Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations,.......... 64,636
Which sums, when paid, shall be passed to the credit of the states respectively, on the terms prescribed by the resolution of Congress of the 6th day of October 1779, and together with the monies relied on to discharge the aforesaid deduction of 649,880 dollars, be applied in conformity with the several appropriations in the preceding part of this report, giving preference according to the order in which they are stated in the estimate.
As more than two-thirds of the sum called for is to be applied to the payment of interest on the domestic debt; the committee are of opinion, that the several legislatures may so model the collection of the sums called for, that one third of any sum being paid in actual money, the other two-thirds may be discharged by the interest due upon loan-office certificates and upon other certificates of the liquidated debts of the United States. And to ascertain the evidences of interest due upon loan-office certificates, the holders thereof respectively, shall be at liberty to carry them to the office from which they issued, and the holders of other certificates of liquidated debts of the United States, to carry the same to the loan-office of that state wherein they are inhabitants, or if foreigners, to any loan-office within the United States, and to have the interest due thereon, settled and certified to the last day of the year 1784.
Provided that the commissioner of the continental loan-office in any state, shall not on any pretence whatever, settle, or issue any certificate or certificates, for the interest due on any continental loan-office certificate or other certificate of liquidated debts aforesaid, unless as hereafter provided until the state for which he is continental loan-officer shall have passed a legislative act, complying with this requisition; nor shall he issue any certificate, or take any other measure whereby the interest may be paid by the state in any mode not pointed out by this requisition; nor shall the commissioner of the continental loan-office in any state shall have complied with this requisition, issue any certificate or take any other measure whereby a discrimination may be made by such state between the holders of loan-office certificates issued from his office, who are citizens of that state, and foreigners, or the citizens of any other state that shall have complied with this requisition: Excepting from this proviso, such state or states, as, by the books of the treasury shall appear to have paid their full quota of the requisition of the 30th October 1781, for eight millions of dollars upon the former and present apportionment of the same, so far as to admit the commissioner of the continental loan-office in such state or states, to issue certificates for interest in the same manner as the commissioners in the states passing legislative acts, as aforesaid: Provided always, that any continental loan officer shall issue certificates for interest as aforesaid, due on continental loan-office certificates issued from his office and belonging to foreigners, and also, to the citizens of such states as shall have passed a legislative act, complying with this requisition as aforesaid.
Provided nevertheless, that where any state hath made provision by law, for paying any part of the interest of the domestic debt of the United States contained in the estimate on which this requisition is founded, the continental loan-officer in such state, shall without delay, ascertain the sum which shall have been so paid pursuant to such law, on or before the first day of January next, and shall make report thereof to the board of treasury, and also, to the legislature of such state, who may deduct from their quota of this requisition, and be credited in part payment thereof, the sum so paid not exceeding two-thirds of such quota, every state being held to pay in specie one third part of the said quota, previously to the admission of such credit. And if any state shall have so paid in discharge of interest as aforesaid, a sum exceeding two-thirds of its quota of this requisition, such surplus shall be admitted as a charge against the United States in the settlement of the general account of such state; but if any interest after the said first day of January, shall be paid by any state contrary to the true intent of this requisition, such payment shall not be admitted as a charge against the United States. And if any commissioner of a continental loan-office shall disobey, or neglect to carry into execution any resolution or order of Congress, or otherwise neglect his duty in the said office, the board of treasury shall suspend him from his office, and the emoluments thereof, and immediately report the reasons thereof to Congress; and the board of treasury are hereby empowered to appoint in the room of the commissioner of the continental loan-office so suspended, a citizen of the state in which the office is kept, who shall have all the powers and emoluments of a commissioner of the continental loan-office until Congress shall finally determine respecting the suspension.
And every commissioner of the continental loan office, previously to settling and issuing certificates as aforesaid, for the interest due on certificates of liquidates debts, other than loan office certificates, shall administer an oath or affirmation, or require a certificate signed by one of the persons whom the state in which the commissioner resides shall, in the legislative act complying with this requisition appoint, that he had administered to the owner or possessor of every such certificate, an oath or affirmation, that the same is bona fide the property of the particular state in which the said commissioner resides, or of a citizen or citizens of the said state, or of some corporate body or charitable institution within the same, or of some person who is not a citizen of any of the United States; describing the certificate or certificates alluded to in every such oath or affirmation, in such manner as shall be necessary to identify the same, or as may be prescribed by the legislature of the said state.
And for preventing the depreciation of certificates to be issued as aforesaid, the legislature of each state is required to provide in the act complying with this requisition that if on the first day of January 1787, the said state's quota of the said certificates so to be issued shall not be in the hands of the state treasurer or other proper officer, the deficiency shall be collected and paid into the continental treasury in specie, which, when so paid, is hereby appropriated to the redemption of such surplus certificates.
Provided nevertheless, that any state which shall have obtained a credit in the books of the treasury for the full compliance with the requisition of 4th September, 1782, for one million, two hundred thousand dollars, with the requisition of 27th April, 1784, for completing the payment of one half of the requisition of 30th October, 1781, for eight million dollars, and also with this requisition, shall at any time after such compliances, be admitted to pay into the treasury of the United States any sum, or sums in the said certificates to be issued for interest as aforesaid, and have credit for the same, to be deducted out of the quota of such state in the next succeeding requisition; provided that such sum or sums do not exceed one half of the said quota.
That the board of treasury cause to be made a bank-paper, and thereon to be struck the form of certificates, to evidence the interest due as aforesaid, and transmit to the several loan-officers, a sufficient number of the same. That the said board furnish the several loan officers, with such checks and instructions, as they from time to time shall judge necessary, to prevent counterfeited certificates of debts from obtaining a settlement of interest, and to detect counterfeit evidences of interest, and thereby to avoid receiving them in discharge of taxes; which certificates of interest being parted with by the holders of the principal, shall be deemed evidence that he has received satisfaction for the same, and therefore shall be receivable from the bearer in lieu of money in the proportion aforesaid, in any other state in the union, as well as in the state in which they were issued That the state receiving such certificates and paying the same into the public treasury, with a proportion of specie as aforesaid, shall have credit therefor; which payment shall be considered as a discharge of the interest due on the domestic debt, in the proportion that each state avails itself of the said certificates of interest. And where loan-office certificates issued after the first day of March 1778, shall be presented to the loan-officer, they shall be reduced to their specie value, conformably to the resolutions of Congress of June, 1780, and that specie value expressed on some part of the certificate, and the interest thereon settled and certified as in other cases.
As a motive for the chearful payment of the sum now called for, as well as of the arrearages on that of April 27, 1784, the committee are of opinion that the states be reminded, that Congress have passed an ordinance for the survey and sale of the western territory of the United States, and that the proceeds thereof will be applied as a sinking fund to extinguish the domestic debt. Future requisitions for interest on the domestic debt, will therefore be reduced in proportion as this fund may be rendered productive.
RESOLVED, That Congress agree to the said report.