« AnteriorContinuar »
made with the agent of the bank was now disavowed the three months' delay, and as this difficulty was removuntil "some incidents connected with this secret negoti- ed by the President of the bank, who agreed to pay the ation accidentally came to the knowledge of the public interest, as the money would remain in the hands of the and the Government." The fact is, that as soon as that bank. The letlers just mentioned were accordingly subpart of the arrangement which seemed to conflict with mitted to the President, who never saw the Secretary of the charter was received, the determination was made to the Treasury on the subject, as that gentleman was sick, decline executing it before any publication of any sort and who himself decided on the postponement, after seewas seen or known in regard to it.
ing the recommendation of Mr. McDuffie and Mr. Car. The evidence of this is so clear and so short, ibat it breleng. Much stress is also laid on the visit of the deserves to be cited as an example of the general inaccu. President of the bank to Washinglon, while the Commit. racy of this manifesto. The committee of exchange, in tee of Investigation were in Philadelphia. The truth their report to Congress in January 29, 1833, declare as was, the letter of the acting Secrelary was received so follows:
immediately before the period fixed for issuing the notice “But when the contract itself reached the bank, on of payment, that if any thing were to be done at all, it the 12th of October, and it appeared from the communi- was to be done only by personal communication with the cation of Messrs. Baring, Brothers, & Co. that the stock Secretary, as there was no time for correspondence. The was to be purchased on account of the bank, they were gentlemen of the committee were aware of bis going, and immediately instructed, on the 15th of October, that the two of its members wrote letters to promote its object. bank bad no authority to become owners of the stock," Besides, bis leaving the Committee of Investigation in &c.
full possession of the bank and all its papers, so far from When two of the members of the committee were ex- being a subject of reproach or suspicion, is the surest amined on oath before the Committee of Ways and mark of his entire reliance that there was nothing in the Means, they confirmed the statement as follows:
concerns of the bank wbich they might not examine at Question. Had the President or Exchange Commit- leisure during his absence, and was the best proof of his tee any intention to disavow General Cadwalader's au confidence in them as well as bimself. The whole subthority to make the contract he did, until after the ap- ject was before the Committee of Investigation of 1832, pearance in the New York papers, of the 11th or 12ih and that committee acknowledged, as will be seen from October last, of the circular of ibe Barings to the foreign the following extract from their report, that this postholders of the United S'ates three per cent. stocks, an. ponement was not the work of the bank. The commitnouncing to them that they had the authority of the bank tee say: to purchase or negotiate a postponement of the stocks They made a call upon the President of the bank for held by them?
the correspondence in relation to the postponement of Answer of Mr. Manuel Eyre. I can say yes, positive- the payment, in the following words: Will you please ly: I recollect it perfectly well. When I first read this give a copy of the correspondence connected with your letter, I said it was not proper, and disavowed it, application in March last, requesting a suspension by the
Answer of Mr. Matthew L. Bevan. I never did see, Government of the payment of a portion of its debt inmyself, the notice referred to in the New York papers, lended to have been made on the first of July next, or a but well recollect, the moment the letter was received, statement of the arrangement made in relation to thet giving information of the proceedings in relation to that subject.' Which correspondence was communicated by negotiation: the President of the bank, with the appro. the President of the bank, with the following remarks: bation of the Exchange Committee, immediately wrole, “I have made no application to the Government, nor disavowing the nature of that arrangement, it having been have I requested any suspension of the payment of any made under a misapprehension.
portion of the public debt." The complaint in regard to the postponement by the “The inquiry, I suppose, relates to this circumstance: Government in April, 1832, is of the same character. I received a let:er from the acting Secretary of tbe He says that, “after this negotiation had commenced, the Treasury, dated the 24th March, 1832, informing me that Secretary of the Treasury informed the bank that it was Government was about to issue a notice on the first of his intention to pay one-halt of the three per cen's. on April of their intention to pay, on the first July next, odethe first of the succeeding July, which amounted to about half of the three per cent. stock, and to do it by paying $6,500,000." The President of the bank, although the to each stock bolder one-half of the amount of his certit Committee of Investigation was then looking into its af-cate. He added: fairs at Philadelphia, came immediately to Washington, “If any objection occurs to you, either as to the amount and upon representing that the bank was desirous of ac- or mode of payment I will thank you to suggest it.' commodating the importing merchanis at New York, " Thus invited by the Government in a communication (which it failed to do,) and undertaking to pay the inter- marked confidential,' to give my opinions on a measure est itself, procured the consent of the Secretary, after contemplated by the Government, I felt it my duty to exconsultation with the President, to postpone the payment press my views of its probable operation; in my reply, until the succecding first of October.
Therefore, dated 29th of March, I stated that so far as The impression liere intended to be conveyed is, that the bank is concerned no objection occurs to me, it being the President of the bank, in order to relieve the institu. sufficient that the Government has the necessary amount tion from a dentand which it could not sustain, asked an of funds in the bank to make the contemplated pay ments.' indulgence, which was conceded by the Government. I then proceeded to observe, that, in the present condi Now the truth is, that the Government wished to make the tion of the commercial community, and with a very large postponement, but could not do it without the aid of the amount of revenue, (amounting to nine millions) to be bank. Mr. McDuffie, chairman of the Committee of paid before the first of July, the debtors of the Govern Ways and Means, and Mr. Cambreleng, chairman of the ment would require all the forbearance and all the aid Committee on Commerce, who were then members of that could be given them; and that the payment pro the Committee of Investigation at Philadelphia, wrote posed, by creating a demand for the remittance of seve letters to the Secretary of the Treasury, dissuading the ral millions of dollars to European stockholders, would Government from making the payment. The only diffi- tend to diminish the usual facilities afforded to the debtculty in doing it was, that the Commissioners of the Sink- ors of the Government, and might endanger the punctual ing Fund bad no authority 10 postpone the payment, as payment of the revenue. For this reason I thought it they would be obliged to pay the quarter's interest during for the interest of the Government to postpone the pay.
ment till the next quarter. I further stated, that the plan “In regard to the rate, you are the most competent of paying to each stockholder only one-half of his loan, judge of its fitness, and I will merely add, that the bank, would not be so acceplable as if his whole loan was paid not wanting funds in Paris, and believing that they will at once.
be lower hereafter, would not make a similar purchase “Having thus performed my duty in giving the opin- from any other quarter, and is influenced exclusively by ion asked, I left it of course to the Government to de. the belief that any other arrangement would be less adcide. On the part of the bank I sought nothing; I re- vantageous to the Treasury." quested nothing. After weighing the circumstances, the So, in his letter of the 11th February, 1833, “The Government were desirous of adopting the measure, but purchase of the bill is not in the least desirable to the the difficulty I understood to be this, that the sinking bank, nor would the rate now allowed be given to any fund would lose the quarter's interest, from July to Oc- other drawer than the Government, for we shall send by tober, of the sum intended to be paid in July; and that the same conveyance which carries your bill a large the Government did not feel itself justified in making the amount of bills purchased at 5.45, being nearly 11 per postponement unless that interest could be saved, but cent. less than the price actually given to the Treasury." that it would be made provided the bank would make the The bank, then, did not wish to purchase the bill. But sinking fund whole on the first of October. To this, the bank offered its agency to collect it on the following said that, as the bank would bave the use of the fund terms, on the 5th of November, 1832: during the three months, it would consent to save the "Should you prefer not fixing a rate at present, but to sinking fund barmless, by paying the three months' inter- take the chances of a higher rate hereafter, the bank, on est itself, as the matter stands.
receiving your bill, would place the amount of it to the “Now, it will be seen that the bank, in all this, has credit of the Government, on the 2d of March, at the not had the least agency, except to offer its opinion, when current rate of exchange of the best bills of that day in asked, in regard to a measure proposed by the Govern. Philadelphia." ment, and then to offer its aid in carrying that measure Here ihen was a distinct proposal to collect the bill, into operation."
just as the bank collects bills for individuals, so that if the “The committee are fully of opinion, that though the bill had, in November, 1832, been sent to the bank, it bank neither sought for, nor requested' a postpone- would have been forwarded to Europe, and if, on the 2d ment of the payment by the Government, as stated in the of February, 1833, when it was payable in Paris, it had declaration of the President, yet if such postponement not been paid, the bank would have been apprized of that had not been made, the bank would not, on the first of fact, and would not have made the payment on the 2d of July, bave possessed the ability to bave met the demand March, and the whole transaction would have been closwithout causing a scene of great distress in the commer- ed. This course, however, the Government did not cial community.”
adopt; but, after considering the offers for the bill made The next evidence adduced of the bank's opposition from other quarters, decided to sell it to the bank. to him, is its claim for damages. Of this he gives the 2d. It is not the fact that this money was left in the following account:
use of the bank, being simply added to the Treasury de“ The bank became the purchaser of a bill drawn by posites." our Government on that of France for about $900,000, Suppose that it had been, it would not in the slightest being the first instalment of the French indemnity. The degree affect the question of damages? When a party purchase money was left in the use of the bank, being sells a bill, and is paid for it, that is, has the funds placed simply added to the Treasury deposite. The bank sold to his credit, to be drawn whenever he chooses without the bill in England, and the holder sent it to France for further notice, the party is as much paid--the fund becollection, and arrangements not having been made by longs as little to the bank, as if the party had actually the French Government for its payment, it was taken up withdrawn the whole sum in specie. But not only was by the agents of the bank in Paris, with the funds of the the fund in this case drawn from the general resources of back in their hands. Under these circumstances it has, the bank and placed to the credit of the Treasury, but through its organs, openly assailed the credit of the Govo immediately after that was done, Congress passed a law ernment; and has actually made, and persists in a demand to lend the money, and the Secretary of the Treasury isof fifteen per cent., or $158,842 77 as damages, when no sued a notice that this money was to be forthwith lent out damage, or none beyond some trifling expense, has in fact to capitalists, that is to say, to be immediately withdrawn. been sustained, and when the bank had in its own pos. The credit given to the Treasurer was on the 11th of session on deposite several millions of the public money February, 1833. The notice of the Secretary, dated the which it was then using for its own profit. Is a fiscal 61h of March, offered to lend out this money after the agent to the Government, which thus seeks to enrich | 20th of March; of course the bank could make no use of itself at the expense of the public, worthy of further it; on the contrary, as it would probably be withdrawn trust?"
immediately, it became not merely useless as a deposite, 1st. It is not correct to state that the bank was the but required the bank to shape its loans to others so as to " fiscal agent" of the Government in this matter. On provide for the immediate payment. the contrary, the fiscal agency of the bank was offered Nor is this all. Not only was this sum passed to the without any charge to the Government, and declined, credit of the Treasurer; not only was the early withdraw. The bank did not wish to purchase this bill at all, but al of it from the bank announced by the Secretary, but proposed to collect it, paying the money only after it had the identical proceeds of this identical French bill were been received by the agents of the bank in France. Thus, actually used by the Government for the payment of its when the Secretary of the Treasury wrote to the bank ordinary expenses. about this bill, the president of the bank, in his answer, The account of the Treasurer at the bank stood thus: dated November 5, 1832, said:
$717,264 22 “ The bank has already in Paris a larger sum than it
1,735,460 40 has any immediate use for, yet it is not indisposed to in- (in consequence of the payment of the crease it, because it may hereafter have occasion for the French bill,) funds, and because it is believed that if the terms can be February 25,
1,842,658 14 made acceptable, the purchase of the whole by the bank March
· 1,620,699 89 would be the best operation by the Government;" and
1,551,627 97 again, in the same letter:
1,496,907 43 over all the just rights of the other creditors of an insol30,
1,052,862 10 vent; and now when the case is changed, when the Gov. April 8,
1,082 560 88 ernment sells its own bill to its own citizens, and that bill 15,
918,816 61 returns protested, with what propriety, nay, with what 22,
746,613 61 pretensions to common honesty, can the Government pre29,
826,070 90 sume to deny the same justice to its own citizens? The May 6,
814,046 61 books of the Treasury are crowded with cases or damages 13,
774,630 47 exacted by the Government from American citizens; and 25,
431,560 43 one is now selected merely from its peculiar aptness to when the money was repaid.
the present occasion. It will thus be seen, that there was at the credit of the Some years ago, Mr. Stephen Girard sold to the Treas. Treasurer, on the 18th of Feb., the sum of $1,735,460 40, ury four bills, two of which returned protested owing of which $903,565 89 were the proceeds of the French to the insolvency of his correspondent in London; when bill, and as in the month of April there was to his credit the two otbers became due they were paid for the honor only $746,613 61, the difference between these two of Mr. Girard by the Messrs. Barings, who also agreed sums, that is to say, $156,952 28, had been drawn fór out to pay the two first in London, as of the day on which of that fund of $903,565 89.
they were payable. Mr. Girard applied to Congress for Accordingly, when the Treasurer came to repay the exoneration from the claim of twenty per cent. damages, money, he had not enough of it remaining; but was allegingobliged to draw on funds elsewhere, so that in acknowl. " That from the said sum of £22,500 sterling due on edging the receipt of his draft on the 11th of May, 1833, the 18th August last, being passed by Sir Francis Baring the cashier of the bank added:
& Co. to the credit of the Secretary of the Treasury of " Your transfer check for $700,000 on the office of the the United States, as on the day the same became due, Bank of the United States at New York will appear at no real loss or damage can accrue to the United States the credit of your account this day, and will thus prevent from the said bills being returned under protest. the overdraft which the change now advised would Congress rejected the claim; and Mr. Girard paid the otherwise bave occasioned.”
damages of twenty per cent. In the United States then the bank had paid the amount On that occasion, the Committee of Claims called on of the bill in its least convenient form. But when it was the Secretary of the Treasury, Mr. Gallatin, and in his protested in Paris, the agents of the bank finding a bill answer, which makes part of their report, he says that with its name upon it protested, came forward and paid he had rejected Mr. Girard's claim for four reasons, of it on account of the bank; so that the bank had actually which the two most essential are: paid for this bill twice over: once in Pbiladelphia and “1st. Because, considering the large amount of bills once in Paris--that is, it had of course a credit for the (more than two millions of dollars,) annually purchased proceeds of the sale of the bill in London, but its actual on account of Government, i: appeared absolutely neces. disbursements on account of the bill were upwards of sary never to give up the damages whenever a legal right $1,800,000.
to ihem had accrued, and because that right has in every What makes the case stronger is this—that on the 22d instance, without regard to persons or circumstances, of March, the day when the protested bill came back to been enforced. the bank, the whole amount to the credit of the Treasu " 20. Because, if abandoned in this instance and for ry throughout the whole United States, with the excep- that reason, every drawer who was solvent might, by tion of the Danish indemnity money, was $1,827,048 88. making a remittance to the bankers in Europe, after bills Now, the bank had advanced $903,565 89 in Philadel. protesied for non-payment had been returned to the phia, and $921,590 18 in Paris, making $1,825,156 07, Treasury, induce them to make a similar offer, and erade so that although it had credit in England, for the bill sold the payment of damages." there, the bank had actually advanced on account of this The lapse of years at last reversed the state of the parbill a sum equal within less than two thousand dollars of ties. Mr. Girard becomes the largest stockholder in a the whole funds of the Government in the bank.
corporation called the Bank of the United States, and be When the bill returned protested, the bank, as the en. and his partners, in the course of their business, purchase dorser, called upon the Government to pay the principal a bill from this same officer, the Secretary of the Treasand the damages. It did this as a matter of course. It ury, which comes back protested after having been twice did it as a matter of the clearest duty to the Government, paid for. Mr. Girard's heirs and his associa:es apply to because if the Government had any right at all to draw ihe Secretary; not even for the same amount which Mr. the bill, it had a right to make France pay the damages G'rard formerly paid; not for i wenty per cent. the damfor its breach of contract, and it had no mode of claiming ages in Pennsylvania; but for fifteen per cent, the dauragainst France, unless in the first instance it paid the ages in Washington: and the only answer vouchsafed by damages to the bank, which it might the more readily do; the Treasury Department is, that the claim “bas no as, being one-fifth partner of the bank, its own share of foundation in law or equily"-lo which the President the $158,000 would be $31,600.
now adds, that it is an attempt to "impair the credit of But whether the French Government pays these dam- the Government, and tarnish the honor of the country." ages, or not, it is manifest that the American Government Such a course tends to an utter confusion of all ideas of must pay them; and this upon the simple principle, not justice; nor is it a thing tolerated by the American peoof equity, but of ordinary honesty.
ple, that an individual shall go among the citizens pur. From ihe foundation of the Government to the present chasing bills and exacting damages, and when his own day, whenever the Government bas purchased a bill from bill, sold to tbese same citizens, returns protested, he a private citizen, and that bill bas, from whatever cause, shall wrap bimself up in his official immunity, and refuse returned protested, no matter how hard the case may to do to his fellow-citizens which he has compelled them be, no matter what circumstances of excuse or mitigation to do to him. may be offered by the citizen, no matter whether dam But supposing all to be directly the reverse of what ages were actually sustained or not, the Government has it really 18; supposing the claim to be questionable in. rigorously enforced its claim for damages. It has not stead of being equitable, is there any thing in it which merely forcedl a solvent merchant to pay, but has insisted can at all justify ihis denunciation of the bank? Here is that its claim for damages should have its legal precedence a claim made by certain American citizens for damages
on a bill of exchange, which they have purchased of the mittee. And although since, by an unusual remodelling Government. The question is a legal one. The judi. of those bodies, some of those directors have been placed cial tribunals are to decide it. Yet while the bank is on some of the committees, they are yet entirely excludquietly waiting the action of the laws, the President of ed from the committee of exchange, through which the the l'nited States prejudges the question; denounces the greatest and most objectionable loans have been made." bank for having presumed to make the claim; and gives There are two things remarkable in this paragraphthat to the country as a reason why he should instantly first, the straugeness of the confession; and next, the falremove a Secretary of the Treasury, in order to subject lacy of the statement. It is here asserted that not to the whole public revenue of the United States to his own have the Government directors on committees is to “cut disposal.
off all means of communication with the Government in In further illustration of the opposition of the bank to relation to its most important acts;" that is to say, that bis election, he next proceeds to treat of certain acts of the confidential opinions and the unreserved expressions the board of directors. The annunciation of these is used by their colleagues on a committee are to be comprefaced by remarks on the magnitude and importance municated to the Government. It is precisely this fact, of the facts, their recent disclosure, and their great enor. thus officially announced, which would make these directmity: and the whole is concluded by a complaint of the ors unsafe depositories of the confidence of their col"bundreds of thousands and even millions' which may leagues. “Ai the commencement of the present year, be employed in subverting the liberties of the country be proceeds, “not one of the Government directors was and in disparaging the Executive. How little founda- placed on any one committee.” Now, of these directors, tion in fact there is for all this will be readily seen by ex- who could then be appointed, there were but two resiamining the allegations in the order in which they are dents of Philadelphia; the third not baving yet been ap. presented.
pointed. Why these two directors, one of whom had First. He says, that “although the charter and rules just come, for the first time, into a banking institution, of the bank both declare that not less than seven direct were not named on the committees, in the place of old ors shall be necessary to the transaction of business, yet and valued directors, it would be more invidious than difthe most important business, even that of granting dis. ficult to decide; but that there was no studied exclusion counts to any extent, is intrusted to a committee of five was obvious from the fact that, at the very next quarterly members, who do not report to the board."
appointment, two out of the Three Government directors Now, the charter does not require seven directors to were placed on committees. Nor is there any foundation make discounts.
for the assertion that an “unusual remodelling" of these Nor do the rules of the bank require seven directors. committees has taken place. On the contrary, the com.
Nor is it true that any committee of five bas this pow. mittees were appointed quarterly, as they bave for years er to discount.
been appointed, and not the slightest remodelling of Nor does any committee discount without reporting to them, usual or unusual, bas taken place. As to the exthe board.
change committees, who are charged with the arrangeThe charter says that "not less than seven directors ment of the foreign and domestic exchanges of the bank, shall constillte a board for the transaction of business.” requiring commercial experience and knowledge of the But the business of the board is not exclusively or pri. business and the credit of individuals, those who are pre. marily to make loans; its business is to govern the whole sumed most qualified are most naturally chosen. These institution. If the charter required seven directors to directors have no claim to the slightest distinction above make a discount, it would have said so of the boards of their colleagues, and they must take their chance with directors of the branches, whose more exclusive business the other members in the formation of committees. In it is to discount. But it places no such restriction on the truth, men will choose their associates on committees, as branches, where by far the greater discounts are maile. in every thing else, from confidence in their capacity or The business of the board is to prescribe how the details their personal qualities; and not to be chosen to places of of the operations of the bank are to be made; it may trust implies only that others are more trus'ed. delegate a portion of its power of making loans to com The third is-" It has long been known that the presi. mittee, for in truth to require a board of seven directors dent of the bank, by his single will, originates and exe. to meet before any bill could be discounted, would en- cutes many of the most important measures connected tirely destroy the most useful operations of the bank; with the management of the credit of the bank; and that and accordingly the exchange committee meet every day the committee, as well as the board of directors, are left for the purchase of bills, and their purchases are submit. in entire ignorance of many acis done, and correspondence ted to the board at their next meeting. It would be sup- carried on, in their names, and apparently under their posed, from the manner in which it is stated, that this was authority." some recent innovation. So far from it, the discounting An assertion so general, can only be met by as general of bills of exchange was formerly done by a smaller num- a denial; at the same time, the committee deem it their ber than at present. On the 13th of February, 1821, duty to declare, that this allegation, 90 positively made, during the administration of Mr. Cheves, and before the as of a known and acknowledged fact, while it charges time of the present officers, a rule was adopted that the board of direclors with a dereliction of their duty,
"In the absence of the exchange committee, the pres- and a surrender of their trust, does the greatest and most ident and cashier shall be authorized to purchase ex. flagrant wrong to the officer who presides over this insti. change which may be offered for sale, if an immediate tution. This officer has devoted eleven years of the best answer be desired, and report such purchases to the ex- portion of his life, and all his time and all his talents during change committee at ils next meeting thereafter.” that period, to the service of the bank: he has, at all
Thus giving the power here complained of to only a times, consulted freely with the directors, and has never single director of the bank. Yet no one ever imagined sought to make his "single will” the law of the bank. that it was a violation of the charter. In truth it is a pow. The proofs of the ability and integrity of his administraer exercised very generally by the officers of banks tion are to be read in the prosperity and strength of tbe throughout the United States.
institution;- in the reiteraied approbation of ihe stockThe second is—"To cut off all means of communication holders; and in the unwavering confidence of the succeswith the Government in relation to its most important sive boards of directors who have been the witnesses of acts. At the commencement of the present year, not one his labors. And the committee confidently believe, that of the Government directors was placed on any one com such proofs can never be obliterated by such sweeping
declarations, let them emanate from what source they regard with surprise and regret is, that these directors, may:
having such a commission to execute from the President, The fourth is in the following passage:
never communicated the fact to their colleagues, nor to “ The expenditures purporting to have been made the officers of the bank, and while these officers were under authority of these resolutions, during the years 1831 giving to them the freest and most unreserved access to and 1832, were about 80,000 dollars."
all the books and papers of the bank, and while their This, too, is another misstatement. The expenditures colleagues were siiting in perfect confidence by their purporting to be made under these resolutions during the sides, neither those officers nor the directors had the reyears 1831 and 1832, were, as will be explained in this motest suspicion of this official investigation into their report, exactly $48,287 90.
conduct, begun nearly two mootbs before, under orders of The fifth is, “ that publications have been prepared and the President until they read it in the newspapers. extensively circulated, containing the grossest invectives When, at the meeting of the board, after its publication, against the officers of the Government; and the money, the subject was introduced, one of the Government die which belongs to the stockholders and to the public, bas rectors in effect acknowledged that they had purposely been freely applied in efforts to degrade, in public esti- concealed their object, lest if their colleagues had been mation, those who were supposed to be instrumental in aware of it, they would not have permitted it. What the resisting the wishes of this grasping and dangerous insti. committee deem, therefore, a subject of just complaint, is tulion."
the want of candor in thus trying their colleagues, without “The fact has been recently disclosed, that an unlimited apprizing them that they were on trial, or giving them discretion has been, and is now, vested in the president any chance of knowing or answering the charges made of the bank to expend its funds in payment for preparing against them by the President. and circulating articles, and purchasing pamphlets and The report itself bears manifest evidence of the haste newspapers, calculated by their contents' to operate on with which it was prepared. Thus “we proceed," say elections and secure a renewal of its charter."
they, “to look into such of the vouchers on which they Here are two mistakes. It is not true that any “public are founded as we bad time and opportunity to do." They cations have been prepared and extensively circulated, state that they would have sent copies of ihese vouchers, containing the grossesi invectives against the officers of but "the time and labor necessary for this mode would the Government." Nor is it true that any power is vested have prevented our resorting to it at present.” When, in the president "for preparing and circulating articles, the truth is, that a few hours of tranquil industry would and purchasing pamphlets and newspapers, calculated by have enabled them to copy every word of these vouchers. their contents to operate on elections, and secure a re Again they say, "we are obliged to depend on our own newal of its charter." No such power is given, and no partial inquiries." The errors of this basty and partial such power is exercised.
inquiry the committee will now proceed to notice. The power actually given, which has been exercised, ist. The first impression attempted to be made is that, and will continue to be exercised, is for the defence of whatever is bere stated are discoveries of things hitherto the bank against the calumnies with which, for four years, concealed, and which now see the light in consequence the institution has been pursued. The sixth is,
of their exertions. Thus they speak of the expenditures " The fact that the bank contrels, and, in some cases, "discovered by us," and of their “investigations," that substantially owns, and by its money supports, some of they requested a particular statement from the board, the leading presses of the country, is now more clearly wbich "request was not complied with," and that they understood."
were "obliged to depend on their own partial inquiries.' This whole allegation is denied.
And, finally, they say, with an air of despondency, “we The bank does not now control, and never did control, must infer from the course pursued by the board, when any press whalever; the bank does not own, and never our resolutions were submitted to them, that a more exact did own, any press; the bank does not now support, nor statement can only be obtained by an agent directly audid it ever support, by its money, any press. Created thorized by the Executive." Nothing can be more errofor the purpose of giving aid to every branch of industry, neous than such an impression. No one concealed, no It has not presumed to proscribe the conductors of the one desired to conceal, no one could conceal, this whole press from their share of the accommodation due to their matter. The resolutions of the board were on the minules, capital and industry. Of the extent and the security of the expenses under them were all recorded in a book, the these loans, the directors claim the exclusive privilege of vouchers all referred to by number in that book; and all judging
of them, minutes, expense book, and vouchers, were 'The course of this inquiry has now brought the com- always to be seen and examined by the directors, so that mittee to the second paper referred to them by the board, the whole process of discovery was to ask for the books signed by the Government directors. It appears from and vouchers, and to receive them. In the same spirit, their report that the President of the United States ad- they remark that, "the expense account, as made up in dresged a letter to them, “ directing them to examine and the book which was submitted to us, contained very little report upon the expense account of the Bank of the United information relative to the particulars of this expenditure, States for the last two years," and particularly " that por and we were obliged, in order to obtain them, to resort to tion which embraced expenditures calculated to operate an inspection of the vouchers." What did these directors on the elections"-which examination they state, “un expect in an expense book? This book contains the doubtedly present circumstances which, in our opinion, name of the party, the sum paid, and the number of the warrant the belief you have been led to entertain." This voucher which supports il; and the voucher is at band to assertion of a right in the President of the United States | verify it. If ibey meant that each item of each account to inquire into the expenses of the bank, with a view to should be copied into this expense book, they mean that ascertain whether any money was expended which might which no expense account ever did contain, or ever ought direcily or Midirectly interfere with his own personal to contain; and the objection shows only the spirit in election, is alike novel and untenable. His authority, as which the inquiry was conducted. we have seen, is limited to the power of issuing a scire 20. Another effort is to make it appear that these es. facias.
But in no part of the charter of the bank, in no penditures were exclusively at the bank in Philadelphia, law of this country is there found any power in the Presi. leaving of course, the inference open, that the expendident to interfere in the internal concerns of the institution, tures at the branches might be in the same proportion. or to direct secret investigations. But that which they " All expenditures of this kind," say the committee,