« AnteriorContinuar »
ceived, printed statements showing the condition of the interest; the same means of information have been afforddeposite banks, and aid (in case we should derive it through ed him which are accessible to all agents of any character, him) in obtaining from the Treasury Department further of whom there are many, or any citizen who may desire it. sums on deposite, with a view to a full remuneration for the The committee does not doubt that the institution of the business done by this institution for the Government." They agency referred to was the result of the selection of the defurther state, page 242: "To the 30th interrogatory we posite banks as the fiscal agents of the Government; answer, that no particular powers or duties were, by this nearly if not all the inducements to establish such an institution, confided to Mr. Whitney. It was expected agency would not have existed, had it not been for this that the institution might be be benefited by the commu- fact. Washington city, in a mere commercial point of nication of such information as he might from time to time view, would, perhaps, have been the very last city in the possess.”
Union in which such an agency would have been estabThe testimony of Thomas W. Olcott, president of the lished, but for the connexion which the selection of these Albany Farners and Mechanics’ Bank, page 243, states: banks, as public depositories, produced one among another, “Our corresponding agent may advise us, and suggest and with the Treasury Department; hence, the commitee matters for our consideration, but he has no authority to feel no hesitation in asserting the opinion that this agency issue instructions for our government.
was produced by the fiscal relations between the deposite With the testimony referred to, the testimony of the of- banks and the Government. ficers of all the deposite banks employing said agent, which The compensation which the agent receives depends onhas been taken, accords in their statements of the business tirely upon the discretion of the banks which emplog him; which said agent is employed to transact. Taking the it has hitherto varied from $4,000 to $7,000, as far as can whole of the testimony referred to in reference to this be ascertained from the evidence before the committee. As branch of the inquiry, in connexion with that in reference
no part of the compensation paid by the banks is chargeato the previous, it is obvious that said agent is not only not ble upon or reimbursed by the Government, the commitclothed with authority to transact the business of the depos- tee has not deemned it necessary to make a very accurate es. ite banks with the 'l'reasury Department, but that he has timate. The banks having the undoubted right to dispose no authority whatever but that of collecting and communi- of their own money in their own way, and upon such obcating such information as he may deem important to the jects as they choose, the committee deems any further readvancement of the interests of the banks einploying him. sponse to this branch of the inquiry unnecessary. The committee would in vain look into the testimony for The third inquiry is, Whether such agent has been emany authority imparted to this agent, by the banks for which ployed at the request or through the procurement of the he acts as agent, to bind them in any business transaction Treasury Department ? with the Treasury Department whatever, of however in
In responding to this inquiry, it will be proper to remark significant a character. No such authority can be found that the original scheme, after the removal of the public in the correspondence between the said banks and the De- deposites from the Bank of the United States, was, to crepartment; nor can it be found in any paper delivered to
ate a bureau in the Treasury Department, having special the agent, so far as has been disclosed to the committee; charge of the correspondence and transactions between the nor can it be found in the correspondence between the deposite banks and the Treasury Department. banks and the agent. All deny it. The authority to make
The character of the proposed scheme is contained in a or un make contracts between the banks and the Treasury letter addressed by the Girard Bank, the Manhattan ComDepartment, and to regulate their fiscal transactions, would pany, the Mechanics' Bank, the Bank of America, the not be incautiously or inconsiderately delegated, because it Commonwealth and Merchants' Banks, Boston, to Roger involves consequences of too great importance to be care- B. Taney, the predecessor of the present incumbent of the lessly made ; and if such important authority had been Treasury Department, to which reference may be had; delegated upon the present occasion, it seems to the com- and it is in these words: mittee that some authentic evidence of it could be found, and that such an important matter would not be left to To the Hon. R. B. TANEY, mere inference or conjecture.
Secretary of the Treasury, Washington: The deposite banks, having the uncontrollable right to Sir: The contract between the State banks and the institute such an agency as this, had an equally uncontrol- Department over which you preside, in relation to the collable right to select such agent as they deemed proper and lection and disbursement of the public revenue, contembest suited to promote the objects they had in view. The plates the appointment, and stipulates for the payment, by committee, therefore, deem it unnecessary and improper, the said banks, of an agent or agents, as well as the payin responding to this inquiry, to say any thing as to the ment of all the expenses incurred by the Department aricharacter or qualifications of the agent.
sing out of the late transfer of the public business to those The great advantages which would accrue to the deposite institutions. We deem it of the utipost importance to the banks in the existence of such an agency at the seat of permanent success of the measure, that a uniform system Government, conducted by a competent agent, must be of operations should be adopted by all the banks which obvious to every mind. The Treasury Department is in may be selected by the Government as its fiscal agents. the weekly receipt of statements of the condition of the de- In proportion as this system shall be well digested and exposite banks, of commercial information from every quar- ecuted will be the soundness and equality of value, ter, and is daily drawing drafts on the various deposite throughout the Union, of the circulating medium ; and banks, to meet the obligations of the Government. It can
upon it will depend the degree of convenience or inconnot be doubted that certain and early information upon venience which may be felt by the public in consequence these subjects, affecting as they do almost every branch of of the recent change. business in the community, must be of very grent impor. To secure these important objects, great vigilance will be tance to these institutions, enabling them, as it will do, to required. The operations of the selected banks must be make suitable preparations for such demands as may be specially and carefully observed, particularly in reference made upon them.
to their dealings in inland bills, their local discounts, their The committee has not been able, from the testimony issues of paper, and their provisions for redeeming that pabefore thein, to detect a single instance in which the Sec- i per at the remote points to which it will be carried by the retary of the Treasury has imparted to the agent informa- natural current of trade. We consider that there is a tion incompatible with the strictest propriety or the public strong analogy between the Bank of the United States and
its branches, as at present organized, and the Treasury and sons to suppose, will be the result of the approaching sesats selected bank agents, when the selection and appoint- sion, if renewed legislation shall be proposed. It is the ment shall be finally completed. The business of the offi- , opinion of many well-informed persons, that the public incers of the Bank of the United States is confided to a com- terests, as well as those of the deposite banks, will be greatmittee of the board of directors, called “the committee on ly promoted at this time by the aid and action of a central the branches ;' and one department, in the mother bank, is agency, established upon some principle, particularly in exclusively charged with the business of those offices. In relation to organizing and permanently establishing a systhis department, their returns are received and examined, tem of domestic exchanges throughout the country, with their operations inspected, and the general correspondence which its general interests and that of the currency are 60 attended to. We respectfully suggest, that we believe deeply connected. the success of the measure now in progress of comple- In many other respects, it is believed that such an agention will be much promoted, and all the banks employed cy will be equally beneficial. essentially benefited, by the creation of a bureau in the I take the liberty of enclosing, herewith, the letter conTreasury Department for the discharge of duties of a sim- taining the suggestions of the deposite banks before alluded ilar character. The benefits which would result to the to, for your consideration, or adoption of any course which banks employed, we believe, would far outweigh any con- you may think proper in relation to the same. sideration of the expense which it might occasion. Prac- I am, with respect, your most obedient servant, tical talent would be most effective, and, consequently,
R. M. WHITNEY. most serviceable.
Hon. Levi WOODBURY, With these preliminary observations, we most respect- Secretary of the Treasury, Washington. fully solicit that such a bureau may be created in your Department, and, at the same time, we take the liberty to
Enclosing the foregoing letter to him for consideration ; recommend, as a proper person to take charge of the same,
to this letter the Secretary addressed, on the succeeding Mr. R. M. Whitney, of Philadelphia, who, from his great day, a reply in these words: attention to the subject, and his practical knowledge of
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, finance and banking, we believe to be in every way qualified
November 5, 1834. satisfactorily to perform, under your supervision, the du- Sir: Your communication, addressed to my predecesties of the station. Should you think proper to adopt our
sor, has been perused by me, and, in reply, I would observe suggestion, and appoint Mr. Whitney, we will cheerfully that my own views in relation to its contents correspond, it contribute our portion of the sum of five thousand dollars is believed, substantially, with those entertained by him. per annum, as his salary, and a full share of all the other But though we both have been satisfied that, under the expenses which, in your opinion, may be necessary to give present laws and appropriations applicable to the Treasury effect to this project, arising either from the appointment Department, no such agency as that proposed can be estabof an additional agent or agents, or from any other ar
lished by the Secretary of the Treasury, yet it must be obrangements which may be deemed expedient by you. vious that the selected banks themselves might, in a fiscal
We have the honor to remain, most respectfully, your and commercial view, derive great advantage from the serobedient servants
vices and correspondence of an agent of their own, resident On behalf of the Girard Bank, Philadelphia, October 3, in this city, and devoting special attention to their interests. 1833. By order of the board of directors.
I hardly need assure you that, in respect to information in W. D. LEWIS, Cashier.
the possession of this Department, which might be deemed On behalf of the Manhattan Company, New York, Octo- useful, and which could be furnished without detriment to ber 7, 1833. By order of the board of directors.
the public welfare, it would at all times be cheerfuliy given ROBERT WHITE, Cashier. to any such agent of any of the selected banks. On behalf of the Mechanics' Bank, New York. By order I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, of the board of directors.
LEVI WOODBURY, H. BALDWIN, Cashier.
Secretary of the Treasury. Without the expression of any opinion in relation to the
R. M. Wutyer, Esq., Washington. “preliminary observations," on behalf of the Bank of
This is the only act of the present Secretary, adduced America, New York, October 8, 1833. By order of the in evidence, which can possibly be construed into a recomboard of directors.
mendation or procurement of said agency in any form. J. TAYLOR, Cashier. This letter is a reply to another in which the propriety of On behalf of the Commonwealth Bank, Boston, Octo- a bureau, or some agency charged with such duties as are ber 10, 1833. By order of the directors.
described in the letter from the banks, is recommended for CHARLES HOOD, Cashier. the consideration and approbation of the Secretary. The On behalf of the Merchants’ Bank, Boston, October 18, had been expressed by Mr. Taney, that the Department
Secretary, in this reply, expresses the same opinion which 1833. By order of the board of directors. FRANKLIN HAVEN, Cashier.
had no authority to establish such an agency; but that the
selected banks themselves might, at their own expense, esMr. Taney did not feel himself authorized to establish tablish such an agency; and that, in a fiscal and commersuch a bureau in the Department. On the 4th of Novem- cial point of view, they (not the Department) would eviber, 1834, Reuben M. Whitney addressed a letter to the dently derive great advantages from it. This subject of present Secretary, in the following terms:
this agency did not originate with the Secretary of the Washingtox, November 4, 1831. Treasury; it was proposed by the banks themselves; the Sir : The er. Josed letter, signed by the deposite banks Secretary merely expressed an opinion that, in a fiscal and in Philadelphia, New York, and Boston, addressed to the commercial point of view, such an agency would be advanHon. R. B. Taney, Secretary of the Treasury, was com- tageous to the banks, without, in a single sentence, recommunicated to him in October of last year.
mending to the banks the establishment of the agency, but At that time it was deerned best to defer acting upon it leaving them to determine upon its propriety, according to until after the meeting of Congress. That body met and their own discretion. It is true, the Secretary, in his reply, adjourned, without any definitive legislation upon the sub- assures Mr. Whitney that he will cheerfully afford any inject of the deposite banks. The same, we have good rea- formation within his power, not incompatible with the pub.
lic service, to any agent who may be selected by the banks, cessarily increased their business and enlarged their sphere if such an agency be established; but does not, in a single of operations. One of the increased expenditures which they word, urge them to adopt the measure. There was no ne- incur, growing out of their increased business, and the cessity for any recommendation or procurement of such an profits to be derived from it, is this agency; the expense is agency,on the part of the Secretary ; for the most impor- incurred from their own means, and cannot be charged tant deposite banks were already aware of the advantages even indirectly to the Department. They owed it to themof such an agency, and were actually seeking its establish- selves to turn their fiscal relations with the Government to
How far this letter can be construed into a recom- the best advantage, and must necessarily incur the increasmendation of R. M. Whitney, the committee will leave ed expenditure growing out of it. The committee, therethe public to judge; for, although the very letter which fore, confidently respond that the agent receives no comwas enclosed by Mr. Whitney from the banks contained a pensation whatever, either directly or indirectly, from the strong recommendation of him, yet the Secretary does not Treasury Department. employ a single word of recommendation in the reply. It The committee might here close their report, and confiis true, Mr. Whitney used this letter as a letter of recom- dently submit the truth of the conclusions to which they mendation, and it is true some of the deposite banks were have arrived to the House of Representatives and the induced by that letter to appoint Mr. Whitney their agent, American people, but they do not feel themselves justified believing it compatible with the views of the Department; in concluding their report without adverting to two single but the Secretary is not responsible for any misconstruc subjects, about which the public mind is misinformed and tion of this letter; his motive in writing the letter is one its judgment misled. It has been frequently said that R. thing, and the construction of it by others another. It was M. Whitney, the agent of the deposite banks, occupies a addressed to Mr. Whitney, and not to the banks. The let- room in the Treasury building. It is true that Mr. Whitter must speak for itself, and afford its own true construction. ney occupies a room in the same block of buildings with
Apart from the letter referred to, the evidence of Mr. the Treasury Department, and under the same roof; and Woodbury and the deposite banks all proves most decided from this fact, without a knowledge of the whole truth, the ly that there was neither recommendation nor procurement suspicions of many have been excited that Mr. Whitney of the agency or the agent, on the part of the Secretary of was in the employinent of the Treasury Department. The the Treasury; all concur in denying it in the most une- fact, however, is, that the building used by the Treasury quivocal terms. If any further proof of the justice of this Department is individual property, and hired by the Govconclusion were necessary, it will be found in the fact that ernment. The room occupied by Mr. Whitney is hired in the new contracts with the deposite banks, under the act by him directly from the owner, without any reference to of the last session, and all the correspondence upon the the Treasury Department whatever. subject, not a single expression is to be found in reference This circumstance, taken in connexion with the fact to this agency or this agent; because, as is stated by the that two or three series of circulars of Mr. Whitney to each Secretary, it is of no advantage to the Treasury Depart of the deposite banks, one to each of the public receivers, ment, and does not, in the slightest degree, lessen its la- and tabular statements of the condition of the banks, which bors growing out of the deposite system.
Mr. Whitney had occasionally prepared, had been franked The fourth inquiry is: Whether the business of the by the Secretary of the Treasury, was calculated, in the Treasury Department, with said banks, is conducted views of many, to induce the suspicion which has been al. through the said agent? The committee need only refer luded to. The committee, without any further remark, to the report of the 11th of January, from the Secretary of annex the following explanation, given by the Secretary the Treasury, and the evidence already adduced, to prove himself during his examination upon this subject. that the business of the Treasury Department with the de- “I have never, knowingly, franked any written letter of posite banks is not conducted through said agent. In addi. Mr. Whitney's, or allowed him to use my franking privition to this, the committee would refer to the evidence of lege for any purpose ; but, as stated in one of my foriner several of the clerks of the Department who have been ex- replies, on one occasion, I assented to his request to frank amined, and testify that the business of the Treasury De-a printed communication on public matters connected with partment with the deposite banks is conducted directly with the arrangements of the deposite banks, as to the kind of the banks themselves. All the correspondence produced paper money they had agreed to accept and credit as cash is direcily between the Department and the hanks, without from the public receivers who deposited with them, respectthe intervention of an agent. The committee, therefore, ively, and addressed or enclosed only to the public officers respond to this inquiry, that the business of the Treasury and banks employed as fiscal and public agents of the DeDepartment with the deposite banks is not conducted partment. It may be, also, that in some instances a printed through said agent.
tabular statement of the condition of the public depositories, The fifth inquiry is: Whether, in the transaction of any extracted by him from our returns, and addressed to them business con fided to said agent, he receives any compen- alone, may have been franked by me; but I have no parsation from the Treasury Department ? The testimony ticular recollection of any such case. My instructions to of the Secretary of the Treasury, of the agent himself, and the chief clerk are, not to lay before me, to be franked, any of all the banks employing the agent, concurs in proving thing but letters from the Departments, or public docuthat the said agent receives not a cent from the Treasury ments; and in some cases, where explained and thought to Department for any services whatever. In the whole mass be proper, communications on public subjects, addressed to of the immense volume of testimony which has been taken, public officers connected with the Department. Perhaps I there is not the slightest circumstance to create even a sus- ought to add, to prevent mistakes, that I sometimes frank picion that the agent receives any compensation from the the letters of the bureaus, and occasionally of the other Treasury Department. It may be argued, but your com- Departments, when the heads of them happen to be abseni, mittee think without reasonable propriety, that but for the and take it for granted that they are proper communicefiscal relations of the banks and the Government, growing tions to be franked, without making special inquiry; as I out of their selection as public depositories, the agent would also presume to be the case with all communications laid not have been appointed; and although the agent receives before me by my own clerks, under the general instructions no compensation directly, yet the salary which he receives and usages of the Department, without always opening is indirectly from the Treasury Department. The coinmit- them or reading their address.” (See journal, pp. 60, 61.] tee regard this argument as too far fetched. The selection And that of Mr. Whitney, given on page 87, answer to of the principal deposite banks as public depositories ne- | 35th interrogatory :
"The Secretary of the Treasury franked, or authorized In the examination of the evidence, it will be perceived to be franked, two or three of the circulars furnished to the that there is a large amount of negative evidence, going to committee, marked A, one of each of which was forwarded strengthen the positive evidence which has induced the to many, if not all, of the deposite banks; and of one of conclusions to which the committee have arrived. them a copy was sent to each of the receivers, also franked The committee, having thus briefly examined the eviby him; also, tables showing the condition of the deposite dence pertinent to the inquiries directed to it, have adopts banks, which I have occasionally prepared, the character of ed and report the following resolutions : which was, in all cases, made known to him, on the papers 1. Resolved, as the opinion of this committee, That the themselves being first shown to him. Beyond these I do several banks employed for the deposite of the public not recollect that he has ever franked, or authorized to be money have not all, or any of them, by joint or several franked, any communications to the banks, or to any per- contract, employed an agent to reside at the seat of Govson whatever, of mine." (See journal, pp. 87, 88.] ernment, to transact their business with the Treasury
The committee regards this explanation, the truth of Department. which is sustained by other officers of the Department, as 2. Resolved, as the opinion of this committee, That no entirely satisfactory.
agent for the transaction of business between the deposite It has been said that the operations of the Treasury De- banks and the Treasury Department has been employed at partment, in relation to the public deposites, have been con- the request, or through the procurement, of said Departducted with a view to political party considerations. The ment. evidence before the committee is, that, in the propositions 3. Resolved, as the opinion of this committee, That the to select one or two banks as deposite banks, political con- business of the deposite banks with the Treasury Departsiderations have been urged upon the Secretary of the Treas- ment is not conducted through any agent, but is transacted ury, but that the Secretary, in all cases, either reproved the directly with the Secretary of tho Treasury, or some offiattempt or treated it with silence. There cannot be found cer of the Department. one single instance, in the evidence, in which the Secretary 4. Resolved, as the opinion of this committee, That no has attempted to exert such influence. The operations of agent, in any way connected with the public deposites, the Department in relation to the public deposites are of a since the removal of said deposites from the Bank of the very difficult and delicate character, arising from the im- United States, has reccived any compensation from the mense amount of revenues, the various and distant points Treasury Department. at which it is collected, the number of banking institutions 5. Resolved, as the opinion of this committee, That in which it is deposited, and the frequent transfers made several of the deposite banks have employed an agent to necessary by the deposite act of the last session. It is not reside at the seat of Government, for the purpose of receiv. to be expected that in these operations entire satisfaction ing and transmitting information affecting the interests of will be given to all; and it is quite probable that dissatis- said banks, both from the Treasury Department and other faction, arising from other causes, has been ascribed to po- sources, and transmitting public documents. That agent litical feelings. The committee are entirely satisfied that is Reuben M. Whitney, who receives such salary from no just cause for the imputation exists. The committee said banks as they annually deem his services worth. here subjoin the statement of the Secretary upon this point :
« In the mean time, the inquiries made by me to any The undersigned, one of the members of the select compersons who were considered by me capable of giving cor- mittee appointed to inquire whether the several banks emrect information, were directed to the facts and considera- ployed for the deposite of the public money have all, or tions connected with the above topics; and the information any of them, employed an agent, to reside at the seat of communicated to me in return, and that communicated vol- Government, to transact their business with the Treasury untarily, related chiefly to the above topics. But I have Department, having voted against two of the resolutions no doubt the persons making those communications have, adopted by the committee, on which their report is based, in some cases, mentioned political circumstances in connex- and believing that the committee have drawn erroneous ion with this subject, and in general as opposed to the pro- conclusions from some of the testimony presented, begg priety of tlie selection. A majority of the stockholders and leave briefly to submit the grounds of this difference, and officers have usually been stated to be, when any thing was his reasons for not concurring in the report of the majority said in respect to their politics, opposed to the views of of the committce. He would first remark, however, that, the administration.
agreeing with the views of the committee in the greater “I have no recollection of any particular remarks of a part of their report, he regrets the difference of opinion on political character made by him or others on this point, the points to which he has alluded. beyond such ones as are above described, and those in only One of the resolutions adopted by the committee, to a very few cases.
which he dissented, is in the following words, to wit: "But, always deeming it my duty to select suitable “ Resolved, as the opinion of this committee, That no banks, and enough in number, at the proper points, for agent, for the transaction of business between the the dethe safe keeping and disbursing of the public money, I pro- posite banks and the Treasury Department, has been emceeded, after proper inquiries as to their condition and ployed at the request, or through the procurement, of said character, to select those above named on those accounts, Department. and notwithstanding any objections which may have been The undersigned is of opinion that the letter addressed urged by a ny one, of a political character, as to any of by the Secretary of the Treasury to Reuben M. Whitney, them.
on the 5th of November, as follows: "In the cases of the banks in North Carolina and
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, South Caro lina, as well as Indiana, Virginia, and Kentucky, and the three banks in Pennsylvania, the selections
November 5, 1834. were made because we had no banks whatever in those Sin: Your communication, addressed to my predecesStates; and the others were selected because, in two in- sor, has been perused by me, and, in reply, I would obstances, at points where no deposite banks existed, and in serve, that my own views in relation to its contents cortwo where additional ones appeared to be required by the respond, it is believed, substantially, with those entertained importance and extent of the public business to be trans- by him. But though we both have been satisfied that, acted there, and after full investigation of their ability and under the present laws and appropriations applicable to the fitness to transact the public business.” (See journal, p. 51.} ! Treasury Department, no such agency as that proposed
can be established by the Secretary of the Treasury, yet what is the character of the business which he is so cmit must be obvious that the selected banks themselves might, ployed to transact, and what compensation he receives ; in a fiscal and commercial view, derive great advantage whether such agent, if there be one, has been employed st from the services and correspondence of an agent of their the request or through the procurement of the Treasury own, resident in this city, and devoting special attention to Department; whether the business of the Treasury Detheir interesta. I hardly need assure you that, in respect partment, with such banks, is transacted through the said to information in the possession of this Department, which agent; and whether, in the transaction of any business might be deemed useful, and which could be furnished confided to said agent, he receives any compensation from without detriment to the public welfare, it would at all the Treasury Department,” submitted the following as the times be cheerfully given to any such agent of any of the views of the said minority : selected banks.
The resolution of the House resolves itself into six disI am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
tinct heads : LEVI WOODBURY, 1st. Have all or any of the deposite banks employed an
Secretary of the Treasury. agent, to reside at the seat of Government, for the purpose R. M. WHITNEY, Esq., Washington-
of transacting their business with the Treasury Depariand which was used by the said Whitney as a letter of rec
ment ? ommendation, did procure his appointment as agent to
2d. What is the character of the business he is employed some of the deposite banks; and that the said banks were
to transact? induced to believe, from information derived from the said
3d. What compensation does he receive ? Whitney, that his appointment as agent to the said banks
4th. Was such agent or agents employed at the rewas desired by the President of the United States, and by quest or through the procurement of the Treasury Departthe Secretary of the Treasury. The anonymous letter ad ment? dressed to some of the banks, recommending said Whitney
5th. Is the business of the Treasury Department conin the following terms: "The President and Secretary of ducted through the said agent ? the Treasury, I know, view the subject in the same light
6th. Does he receive any compensation from the Treasthat I do, and will be gratified if the banks will establish ury Department? such as agency; and, from his talents, experience, and
First. Have all or any of the deposite banks employed fidelity, no appointment would be more acceptable to them such an agent as is described in the resolution of the than that of Mr. Whitney, who has already been recoin
House? The creation and object of the agency, the emmended to the Department;" which said letter was en- ployment of the agent, and character of his business, are so closed in several communications written by Whitney him- inseparably connected, that they will be considered toself to various banks, soliciting the appointment of agent,
gether. An agency of some kind appears to have been containing the following paragraph : “ With this, i for- contemplated, from the earliest inception of the project of ward you the copy of a letter written by a person high in substituting the State banks as fiscal agents in the place of the confidence of the Executive, to some friends in New the Bank of the United States. York and Boston"-was, in itself, sufficient to create this
In the instructions communicated by the President, impression. But other testimony going to establish the through the Secretory, to Amos Kendall, special agent of fact has been adduced. Indeed, the officers of some of the
the Department, who was appointed on the 23d day of banks expressly state that, in appointing the said Whit- July, 1833, to visit the State banks, make certain proponey, they acted under this impression. Nor is it to be sitions and inquiries for the purpose of ascertaining upon presumed, from the objections which existed to the ap
what terms and conditions they would receive the public pointment of R. M. Whitney as agent, that the deposite deposites and become fiscal agents of the Government, it is banks alluded to would have selected him, had they not stated as followe, to wit: been induced to believe that his appointment was desired
" That the said bank will render, or cause to be renderby the President of the United States and the Secretary of ed, every service, without charge, which can now be lawthe Treasury.
fully required of the Bank of the United States." The next resolution adopted by the committee, for
“ That the primary and secondary banks shell make rewhich he did not vote, is as follows:
turns of their entire condition to the Secretary of the Treas “ Resolved, as the opinion of this committee, That the ury monthly, or oftener if he shall require it, and report several banks employed for the deposite of the public to the Treasurer of the United States the state of his demoney have not all, or any of them, by joint or several posites with them, respectively; and that they shall also contract, employed an agent, to reside at the seat of Gov- subject themselves to a critical examination of their books ernment, 'to transact their business with the Treasury and transactions by the Secretary of the Treasury, or an Department. :
authorized agent, whenever the Secretary may require it." The undersigned is of opinion that, although the great
In the proposition submitted by Mr. Kendall to the mass of the business of the deposite banks with the Treas- banks, it is stated as follows: ury Department is transacted by the banks with the said “ That your bank shall submit its books and transacDepartment, it is clearly shown, by the evidence of the Sec- tions to a critical examination by the Secretary of the retary of the Treasury himself, that, in particular instances, Treasury, or any agent authorized by him, whenever he some of the deposite banks have transacted business of an shall require it, and shall pay a due proportion of the eximportant character with the Treasury Department, penses attending the appointment of an agent from time to through their agent, Reuben M. Whitney.
time, either temporary or permanent, to examine and reH. JOHNSON. port upon the accounts of the bank which may be employ.
ed by the Government. REPORT OF THE MINORITY.
In the contracts made between the Treasury Depart
ment and the banks who become depositories of the public Mr. Perton, from the select committee appointed by money before the passage of the act of Congress regulating the House of Representatives on the 31 of January, 1837, the deposites, on the 23d day of June, 1836, will be found to inquire " whether the several banks employed for the de- the following stipulations, to wit: posite of the public money have all or any of them em- " Articles of agreement of the Bank of the Metropolis ployed an agent, to reside at the seat of Government, to with the Secretary of the Treasury, October 9, 1833.transact their business with the Treasury Department; | If the Secretary of the Treasury shall think proper to ein