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Documents relative to refusal of Bank to deliver funds, &c. [23d Cong. 1st Sesg. The Secretary of War has the honor to enclose the United States upon the refusal of the Bank of the United statement prepared by the Third Auditor in relation to States to transfer the fund for paying pensions, and the pension funds, which was promised to the honorable Mr. books and papers connected there with, to banks desig. Polk, in a note of the 6 h instant.

nated by the War D"partment, submit to the House the WAR DEPARTMENT, February 7, 1834.

following reasons for not concurring in the general re.

marks of the committee, or in the bill reported by them TREASURI DEPARTMENT,

to the House. Third Aud tor's office, 7th February, 1834. Whatever may be the inconveniences felt by the penSIR: I have the honor to hand you, enclosed, agreea- sioners under the act of 7th June, 1832, in consequence bly to your request, a copy of a "statement of balances of not receiving payment of their pensions from the Bank on hand on the 1st January, 1834, on account of pen of the United States and its branches, it cannot be denied sions under the act of 7th June, 1832,' as appears from that these inconveniences primarily arise from the order the accounts of the agenis, as far as they have been ren given to the bank and its branches not to pay them. The dered to that date," the original of which was furnished Commissioner of Pensions, in his letter to the bank, dated to Mr. Edwards, Commissioner of Pensions, on the 30 24 January, 1834, requires of the bank to "cease to pay instant, for the President of the United States.

said pensioners after the receipt thereof." The Secretary 1: is proper to add, that two accounts were accidentally of War, in his leiter of the 13th January, 1834, informs omitted in the statement above mentioned, viz.

the president of the bank that the Commissioner of PenBank of the United States, Washington city $7,957 68 sions, in making the requisition referred to, acted in conDo

do Portland, Maine 35,596 85 formity to instructions given by him. The act of 7th June, And since the statement was furnished, the account of 1832, as modified by the resolution of the 28th June, 1832, the Bank of the United States at Boston bas been re. enacts that the payments allowed by the act shall be paid ceived, exhihiling a balance on hand the 1st of January

“under the direction of the Secretary of War.” The di. 1834, of $36,731 52.

rection to pay, whoever may be the lawful agent in pay, The letter of the honorable J. K. Polk is here with re. ing, must therefore come from the Secretary of War, and turried.

his direction not lo pay is consequently binding and obWith great respect, your most obedient servant, ligatory upon the agent. The bank therefore acted in PETER HAGNER, Auditor.

strict conformity to the law, when it determined to cease Honorable Lewis Cass, Secretary of War.

paying those pensions, “while the present injunction not

to pay them exists;" and when the president of the bank, Statement of bılınces on hand on the 1st of January, 1834, in his letter of the 23 January, 1834, communicated to

on account of " pensions under the act of 7ih June, the Department of War the intended compliance of the 1832,as appears from the accounts of the agents, as far bank with the order not to pay, the Department was as they have been rendered to that dute.

thereby apprized that it required nothing but a removal Burlington, V., under act of 7th June, 1832, $22,930 96 until the pension funds, deposited in its vaulis, should be

of the injunction to continue the payments by the bank, Charleston, S. Carolina

13,637 75 Nashville, Tennessee

13,096 30

exhausted. The primary cause of inconvenience to the Ballimore, Maryland

30,970 50

pensioners arises therefore from an order of the Departe Cincinnati, Ohio

42,819 13

ment of War. It may be removed at any moment by Providence, Rhode Island

22,910 26 rescinding that order.

The Secretary is competent to Hartford, Connecticut

44,693 27

remove it, without offending against the construction or Lexington, Kentucky

31,723 53

asserted construction of any act of Congress whatever. Corydon, Indiana

The bank and its branches have at no time, in the course

8,947 13 Mobile, Alabama

13,280 69

of their pension agency, done or omitted any thing in opUtica, New York

11,649 65 position to their duty in this behalf, of which the DepartSavannah, Georgia

12,792 25

ment has complained. These duties have been performed Fayetteville, N. Carolina

24,749 26

punctually, regularly, and without the least expense to Jonesborough, Tennessee

* 1,807 51

the public Treasury. If the Department of War deems Richmond, Virginia

the assertion of a power to appoint new pension agents to

41,585 24 Carmi, Illinois

7,492 52

be of more importance than it is to pay the pensioners Detroit, Michigan Territory

under the act of 7th June, 1832, immediately upon de.

5,628 91 Newcastle, Delaware

mand, and prelers to encounter, or that the pensioners

5,956 53 New Orleans, Louisiana, (10 4th December,

shall encounter, the inconvenience of delay, rather than 1833)

6,536 00

postpone the appoin!ment of new pension agents even Buffalo, New York

for a short time, it is a matter which the minority may

1,523 37 The foregoing accounts were received up to the isi personally regret, but it does not prove that the immedi. February; the following have since been received:

ate payment of the pensioners is an object first in imporKnoxville, Tennessee

tance in the estimation of the Department. The Depart.

4,674 67 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

29,230 66

ment prefers to delay the pensioners rather than to posto Portsmouth New Hampshire

27,555 48 pone, even for a few

months, the exercise of its asserted The account of the agent at Bosion, and the vouchers power; and the banks has no oplion but lo submit, nor is for payment of pensions for the third quarier of 1833, direction of the Department not to pay, even though it

i justly exposed to censure for not resisting an authorized were received this morning. The agent states in his let ter of the 29ih ulimo that ihe abstract, &c. for the fourth may cause inconvenience to the pensioners under the act

of 1832. quarter will soon be forwarded. TREASURY DEPARTMENT,

After examining ihe general question presented by the Third Auditor's office, February 3, 1834.

message of the President, and the documents which it

communicates to the House, the minority bave been com. PETER HAGNER.

pelled to dissent from the report of the committee, for the

following reasons: HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, February 18, 1834. 1. Because they entertain the opinion that, in virtue of The minority of the Committee of Ways and Means, to a power reserved, or understood to be reserved, to Con. which was relerred the message of the President of the gress in the bank charter, Congress have, by the act of

23d Cong. 1st Sess.]

Documents relative to refusal of Bank to deliver funds, &c.

30 March, 1817, required of the bank and its branches ger already much too great for the security and wellare of to perform the duty of paying all pensions, then or there the country. after to be granted by Congress; and that, without some On these heads of objection the minority subroit to the new enactment as to the persons or agents to pay, the House a statement of the reasons which have influenced duty devolves upon the bank in the case of every pension, their judgment. whatever may be the date of its grant, whether before or 1. By an act of Congress passed 3d of March, 1817, the after the act above mentioned. They are of opinion that Bank of the United States was required, in conformi'y the requisition in that act was not only present, but pro. with a power reserved to Congress in the fifteenth section spective; and that the agency of the bank was not tem- of the charter, lo Jo' and perform the several duties of porary or occasional, but will continue, by virtue of the commissioners of loans for ibe several States. The terms original requisition, until Congress shall take it away. of the enactment are these: “ The Bank of the United

2. Because the act of 7th June, 1832, is a pension law, States and its several branches shall be, and they are here. not to be distinguished, in principle, from the act of 181h by, required to do and perform the several duties of comMarch, 1818, which is admited to be so. It has been so missioners of loans for the several States." The duties of expressly denominated in a resolution of Congre: s, which commissioners of loans, in virtue of regulations prescribed has become a part of the act of 7th June, 1832, as much by the President of the United States, at ihat time com. as if originally constituting a section of it. It has been so prehended, in addition to the loan office business, the paycalled in an appropriation law, making, provision for the ment of persions. This fact does not appear to be quesexpenses of its execution. It comes within the duties of tioned by any ore, and it is distinctly adnitted by the Atthe Commissioner of Pensions, only as a pension law. 11 torney General of the United States, in his opinion of the has received that name in various communications from 4!h February, 1834, annexed to the message of the Pres. the Departments to this House. The bank and its branch.ident. “In the mean time," says the Attorney General, es have been called upon to make the payments under it " the President of the Uni'ed States, in pursuance of the in this character, and it is only in this character that the authority vesled in bim by some of the first laws, had die Department had a right so to call upon the bank. It is a rected that the several commissioners of loans in those pension law in reason, spirit, and denomination, and bas States where such officers existed, sliould be employed as hitherto been so in execution.

agents of the Government in the payment of pensions, 3. Because, such being the agency of the bank, and and they continued to be so employed until after ibe orsuch the character of the law, the Secretary of War had ganization of the Bank of the United States." no authorily to appoint an agent for paying the pensions The duty ihus assigned to the commissioners of loans under this act, in any State where the bank or any of its became a general duty of their office, not requiring a fresh branches was located; and an order to the bank to trans. assignmeni to them as often as a new pension was created ser the pension books and to pay the pension funds to an or granted, but constiiliting them, in the language of the agent illegally appointed, and to take his receipt for the Attorney General, "agents of the Government in the paysame, was an order which the bank could not have com- ment of pensions,” and casting upon them the perform. plied with, without a violation of law, and also a respon. ance of the duties of such an agency in relation to the sibility for the breach of duty.

pensions from time to time granted by Congress, unless 4. Because the removal of the pension funds from the ihere should be an enactment by the Legislature to the Bank of the United Stat s is a violation of the charter of contrary. Their duly as pension agents embraced the the bank, wbich is entiiled to the custody of these public payment of every new pension granted by Congress, as deposites until they are duly disbursed to the pensioners. much as their duty of commissioners of loans embraced The agency tt.rown upon the bank, by the act of 31 March, the transfers, payment of interest, and reimbursement of 1817, was a consequence of the position which Congress the principal of new loans, unless there was an enactment had given to the bank by its charter, in regard to the pub. assigning that duty, or the authority to assign it, to some lic deposites. It was because the bank was entiiled to other person. They became the general pension agents possess them, that it was appoinied to perform the duties of the United States in all in u bich some other agenof commissioners of loans and pension agents, in disburs. cy was not expressly created, and the duty of their office ing moneys connecied with these duties. The bank holds expanded from time to time with the new persions created the balances of the pension lunds as moneys of the United by law, so as to comprehend them without any fresh erStates, approprialed to this object. The removal of the actment by the Legislature, unless the contrary was exmoneys from ihe bank is, therefore, a removal of the mo. pressly prescribed. neys of the United States from the custody of the bank; This duly was assigned for the fulure as well as for the and if, as the minority believe, the removal of other pub- time then present, by the express language of the act, lic moneys from ihe bank by the Secretary of the Treas. In performing the " several duties of commissioners of ury was unwarranted by law, and a violation of the charter, loans for the several States," the act directs that the bank there is at least equal cause for holding that it would be and its branches "sball observe and conform to the direr. against law, and in violation of the charter, to remove lions which have been, or may hereafter be, prescribed by them by authority of the Secretary of War, who bas no the Secretary of the Treasury, with the approbation of power whatever over the deposites.

The President of the United States, touching the execu. 5. Because the attempled removal of these funds in the tion of the duties aforesaid." They were cunst quently month of January, 1834, when the public distress was ex. to perform future duties under future directions; and the treme, by derangements already caused by the removal of provision was indispensable, because, by the eleventh sec. the deposites, necessarily tended to aggravate that distression of ihe same act, the office of commissioner of loans by increasing tho.e derangements, and will continue to was abolished, and there remained no agency but that of increase them precisely in the ratio in which Congress the bank to discharge the duties thereafier to arise in reshali by law sustain the change in the pension agency. gard either to loans or to pension s. The office of com

6. Because, finally, the control of the public treasure, missioner of loans was a subsisting agency, extending from which, so far as the removal of the deposites bas been time to time, without special ensctment, to duties of the already effected, is in a condition unknown to the consti- like kind as they should arise. The agency of the bank tution and the laws, and dangerous to both, will, by the was thoroughly substituted for it in degree as well as in passage of the proposed bill, he given, to an additional kind. exteni, into the hands of the Executive, or of agents ap.

The duty of the commissioners of loans, in regard to pointed by the Executive, and thus greatly magnify a dan. I the payment of pensions, w'as, at the time of the bank

Documents relative to refusal of Bank to deliver funds, &c.

(23d Conc. 1st Sess.

charter, so fully settled and established by the regulations was intended to extend to the new loans the provisions and practice of Government, that it required the special in rigard to transferring stock, contained in the second act of 24h April, 1816, 10 authorize the Secretary of War section of the act of 30 March, 1817. But this is not so. to appoint a person to perform the duly relating to pen. The transferibility mentioned in the acts of 1820 and sions, in these states and Territories where there was no 1821, is that of the stock from owner to owner, upon the commissioner of loans. Tbey were understoou tu liave books of the Treasury, or of the commissioners of loans, that agency universally, by virtue of regulations of the personally, or by attorney. The second section of the President, authorized by law, and they embraced the whole act of 30 March, 1817, only speaks of transfers from ile duty of the pension agency, generally and prospectively, broks of one loan office to another, or from a bran office subject, of course, to the power of Congress.

10 the Treasury, and makes the provision, not 10 give The manner of paying the pensioners appears to have the power to the bank, but to regulate its exercise hy been by plucing their names on the lists or registers made the presidents of the bank and branches, countersigned out by the Secretary of War, and assigned to the pariic. by the cashiers. The duly of the bank' to pay the in. ular Siale where the pensioner resided, with the amounts terest and principal of the loans of 1820 and 1821, under and times of paymeni indicated thereun, according to the the direction of the Secretary, was a duly imposed by rate of the pension, and the date of its commencement: lhe previous act of 3d March, 1817. which registers or lists became the guide of the commis. The authority and duty of the bank and its branches sioners of loans or pension agents, in the discharge of their to execute the iftice of commissioners of loans, in regard duties. This practice is adverted to in the second and to loans made after March, 1817, and their authority and fouith sections of the act of 25d March, 1792, in the acı duty to pay military pensions granted after March, 1817, of 7th June, 1794, and in the act of 20th April, 1796, as are therefore both derived from tbe same source, namely, well as in other acts.

from the act of that date. If an express pruvision or When the act of 31 Marchi, 1817, was passed), casting enactment was not necessary as to the new loans, naither upon the bank and its branches the duties of commis. w as it as lo the new pensions. siuners of loans, it made the necessary enecment to trang. Stich, in the opinion of the minority, have been the fer to the bank and its branches all the papers and books interpretation and practice in regard io pensions since of the pension agency. The third secrion enacts that the act of 1817. The bank has been from that time it shall be the doty of the Secretary of the Treasury to employed as the agent for paying pensions to the date of rotity the president of the Bank of the United States the act of 15th May, 1828, without any fresh enactinent, that the duties now performed by the commissioners of as the minority suppos.', to cast the duiy upon them. loans will be transferred to the Bank of the Uniied Stales, It seems to be the opinion of the commifee that the and he shall direct the commissioners of loans, and the commissioners of loans preform: d only the duties of pay. agent for military pensions where there is no commis. ing invalid pensions, and that unless Congress had cast sioner, respectively in the several States, to deliver 10 upon the bank the duty of paying pensions grantıd by the president of the Bank of the Ulii'ed States, &c., the act of 18th March, 1818, the bank could not have the register, and all the records and papers of their performed them. It is accordingly supposed that the respective offices; and it shall be the duiy of commis. duty was so cast upon the bank by :he 21 section of that sioners of loans and agents of p nsions to comply with act, which declares that the pensions thereby created the said directions, &c. : provided, that this act shall noi “shall be paid in the same manner as perisions to invalids extend to any agent for military pensions in any State who ha: e been placed on the persiun list are now paid ” where there is no bank established by law,” and thus the But there are two answers to this suggestion: first, that if Bank of the United States became fully clothed with the the act of 3.1 May, 1817, did not impuse upon the bank obligation of paying pensions, in the same general man- and its branches the duty of paying subst quent pensions, ner with the commissioners of loans; and wbile the Secre-Congress would not, because they could not lawfully have tury of War continued to exercise the power of fixing assigned this duty to the bank by the act of 18th March, the times and places of payment, by the I sts and the di. 1818; and secondly, that even if invalid pensions were rections connected there with, the duty ot the bank and the only perisions paid by the commissioners of loans at its branches, being the same in regard io pensions as that or before that time, which is not admitied, that descripof the commissioners of loans, bound them to make the tion not being meniioned in the act of 1817, but military payments, and made them the agents for making the pensions, still the performance of the general duty was payments, in all cases in which some other agency was required of them by that act, and not merely the duty of not authorized by law. It was not necessary, in any new paying particular existing pensions: and the act of March, pension act, 10 c'evolve the Jury of payment upon the 1818, vid not mean, by the clause releired 10, to impose bank and its branches by fresh enactment, any more than a new duty upon the bank, but left the duly of executing it was necessary to devolve upon them, by fresh enact that act to remain as it was cast upon them by the act of ment, the duties of commissioners of loans in regard to 1817. new loans. They were agents under a general ippoint. The question is, whether the words of the charter, ment and requisition 10 pay all pensions, existing or the several duties of commissioners of loans," meant the future, unless Congress should direct the contrary. specific duties then performed, or also dut es of the like

Since the act of 3d March, 1817, two luans have been kind in regard to all future loans and pensions. If the made by authority of Congress, one for three millions, former alone were intended, Congress could not subse. under the act of 151h May, 1820, and another of five milo quently extend them. If the latter, then Congress did Jions, under the act of 31 March, 1821, at five per cent. execute their whole power by the act of 31 March, 1817,

The minority bave examined those acts, and do not find in requiring the bank once, and for all, 10 perform the a single section in either of them, which makes it the duties which the charter authorized them to require. duty of the bank to pay the interest, reimburse the prin. The import of the clause in the act of 18:1 March, 1818, cipal, or perform any act in regard to those loans; and is, in the apprebension of the minority, mistaken, if it is yet it is notorious that they have performed them all, by supposed to have been ing-ried to authorize the same virtue of the original requisision in the act of Sd March, persons to pay the pensions under that act a ho paid the 1817. Each of ile acis contains a provision that "the invalid pensions. The manner of payment may in some stocs thereby created shall be transferable in the same sense comprehend the person who pavs, as well as the manner as is provided by law for the transfer of the pub- details of payment in point of form, time, and place; but it lic debe;" and it may be supposed tbat this enactment I more properly comprehends these details, and was in

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tended to direct the Secretary of War to order ihe payment It must now be conceded to the bank, that up to the upon the same principle as to time, place, and form, act of 7th June, 1832, there existed no law of Congress which, under the regulations of the President, had ori. to warrant an appointment by the Secretary of War of an ginally giverned that Department. If the word manner agent for paying pensions in any State or Territory where was also intended to comprehend the persons or agenis The United Saits Bank or any of its branches was estab. to pay, it was surplusage, that being a matter already lished, and that the bank and its branches were the only eppointed and regulated by the act of 31 March, 1817. agents for that purpose. This is made evident by the course of legislatiun many In the year 1829, the then Secretary of War asserted years before the charter of the bank.

the contrary doctrine wiih the utmost decision, and the Precisely the same direction was given by the act of bank was assailed by the then commencing cry of oppo. 20th April, 1796, in regard to certain invalid pensions, sition, because she did not immediately yield to it. Tbe when the commissioners of loans were in existence, and bank refused to yield, and persis'ed in her opposition to when, by appointment of the President, they per ormed the mandate of the War Department to transfer the books, the duties of the pension agency. It was not intended by papers, and funds in the New Hampshire branch to a spe. that act, and by the language directing the manner in cial pension agent in New Hampshire, as she has now re. which the invalid pensions should be paid, to point out fused to transfer the books and funds to the deposite the persons or agents who were to pay; for the commis- banks. Another special agent in Albany was subsequenily sioners were, without dou'st, agents at ihat time for pay appointed by the same Department, under the same con. ing this very description of pensions; but it was meant io struction, which the bank in like manner refused to acpoint out something else, namely, the source of payment, knowledge, with a similar exposure to the reproaches of the Treasury, and the direction to place their names on those whom her opposition disconcerted. It must be conthe pension list, and to have the time, place, amount, and ceded that thus far the bank was righi, and that the con. details of payment so fixed and directed, as to guide ihe struction formerly asseried by the Department was wrung. agent in performing his duty. In the act of 31 March, The present Secretary of War, in a letter to the president 1791, and 8th May, 1792, "payment out of the Treasury of the bank, dated the 1st March, 1832, says: "I am satis. of the United States, under such regulations as the Pres. fied, from a careful examination of the laws of Congress, ident of the United States may direci," was the language that this Department is not warranted in appointing a penzthen used in regard to invalid pensions; but when the sion ogent in any State or Territory where the United States practice of pension lists became established, the language Bank has established one of its branches. Hence the agent adopted by the act of 1796, and the subsequent acts, was at Albany has been notified that his appointment by this used, not to indicate the agency, but to indicate the man- Department has this day ceased.” This opinion is exner and details of payment, by the guidance of pension pressed in the most general and unlimited terms. It de. lists and other arrangements prepared a'id transmitted to nies the power in the Department of War, altogether, and the respective pension agents.

without exception. The reason of the opinion can have The minority of the committee have given more atten. been no other than that the bank and her branches them. tion to the point adverter 10, because, notwithstanding selves held the appointment of pension agent, and, conthe Attorney General bas not, as far as they can perceive, sequently, occupied the whole subject of pension agency resorted to the argument at all, the majority of the com- in every State and Territory in which they were located, mittee seem principally to have dwelt upon it, and to have so that nothing was left to the Secretary of War; and if placed the present question on the position, entirely new this be correct, the ground of controversy is reduced to and never before suggested, that the bank could not be a very small point. The question is, whether the act of called upon by the Department of War to perform the 7th June, 1832, gives to the Secretary of War the power duty of paying any pension except a pension granted at which no former law had given, and inkes from the bank or before the act of 1817, or one of the same specific de. te obligation of performing a duty from which no former scription, without a special enactment by Congress re. law had relieved her. quiring the performance of that duty from them; and from The view which the president of the bank has present. thence they proceed to the inference that as neither the ed to the Secretary of War, seems to be the following: act of 15th May, 1828, nor that of 7th June, 1.832, calls That the bank and its branches are bound by law to peron the bank to pay the pensions granted by thusse acis re- form the duty of paying inilitary pensions, unless Congress spectively, that therefore the bank is not bound to pay explicitly relieves ihem of the duty; that the act of 7th them, nor can it pay thein, by virtue of the duty imposed | June, 1832, is a military pension law within the scope of by the act of 3d March, 1817. The minority of the com- their agency; that it lias been so treated and regarded in mittee are compelled io reject the argument in all its the proceedings of Corgress and of the Department of parts. It is contrary to the construction and practice of War; that the books and funds which they have been re. ihe Department of War in regard to the act of June, 1832, quired by the Commissioner of Pensions to pay and deliver as will be bereafter shown; and it so narrows down the tu the deposite banks, were placed in their hands exobligation of the bank, that haid the same construction pressly to pay the pensions under the act of 71h June, been put forth by the bank at a tine when it was conso. 1832; that the Secretary of War has no!, under this act, nant with the views of the administration that the bank any more than he bad at the date of liis letter of 1st March, should pay the pensions, it would probably have been re. 1832, authority to appoint an agent to pay pensions in garded with as much resentment as bas been shown to the any Stale or Territory where the bank or one of its recent act of the bank in acknowledging her duty, and in branches is located; and, if he bas not, that a transfer and claiming to perform it. The opinion of the minority of payment by the bank to a person or bank appointed withThe committee is, that the duly of the bank is co-exten. out authority, is illegal, and at the risk and responsibility sive with ihe military pensions; that her authority to pay of the Bank of the United Sta’es. It is precisely the is co-extensive with her duty; and that, having been, by former question applied to the act of June, 1832, after the act of 1817, required to perform that duty generally that act bad been for a year and more treated in all reand without limitativn, she is bound to perform it until Con- spects, by all parties, as if it were subject to the same gress by enaciment shall commit it to some other person. rule as the act of 1818.

II. The question which next prevents itself for consid. The first inquiry is, whether the act of 7th June, 1832, eration is, whether the act of 7 in June, 1832, is such an is a military pension law. If it is, the remarks already act as that the bank was bound to make the payments di-submiited to the House show the opinion of the minority regled by it.

That it is the duty of the bank to pay those peosions, un

Documents relative to refusal of Bank to deliver funds, &c.

[23d Cong. 1st Sess.

less the same or some other act discharges the bank from The official functions of the Commissioner are therefore this duły:

limited to the performance of duties under the pension What is a pension, "properly speaking,” and what is a laws, and if the act of 7th June, 1832, is not, properly payment which “merely bears some analogy to a pen. speaking, a pension law, the Commissioner of Per.sioiis bas sion," does not appear to be very precisely defined in the nothing to do with the payments under that act, Attorney General's opinion, although he suggests the dig. So also, in the account of the receipts and expenditures tinction. Before an argument is adopted, which turns of the United States for the year 1832, the same language upon a distinctive difference between a pension and a pay- is used. Among the expenditures under the head of mil. ment analogous to a pension, it would seem necessary to itary establishment, is the following: “ Revolutionary pen. point out the specific characiers of a pension, that the sions per act of 7th June, 1832, $355,686 33." characteristics of the payments under the act of 71h June, In like manner, in the report of the Secretary of War 1832, may be tested by them. The minority have not to the President, dated the 29th November, 1833, the been able to discern that this is done in the report of the Secretary says that "there have been presented for allowcommittee, or in the opinion to which it refers. The title ance, under the pension acl of June 7, 1832, 30,600 claims:" of the act of 1832 will, it is thought, be deemed a very and in the report of the Commissioner of Pensions, ap. insufficient guide in ascertaining the nature of the payment pended to the Secretary's report, the Commissioner says directed by the enacting clauses. The words "pay" and ihat "statement E exhibi's the number of deaths of

pen: “paymeni" are equally insufficient, for pension is pay, sioners under the act of 71h June, 1832." "Paper marked and an annual pension is an annual payment. Whither F furnishes a brief abstract of the number who have ap. pay is a pension, is therefore not to be seitled by the word plied for pensions under the act of 7th June, 1832.” payment, since every pension, if paid, is a payment. It is “ There have been sent to the pension agents during the necessary to go further to establish the distinction; and yet year past, to pay pensioners under the act of 7th June, 1832, the minority are unable to discover that this bas been done. $3,547,170 57.

If the use of the very word pension, as descriptive of In the same language, the Secretary of ihe Treasury, the payments under this act, settl=s that they are pen- in his annual report on the state of the finances, of 17 ha sions, then Congress bave settled it, by an act which both December, 1833, includes the payments authorized by the Attorney General and the committee appear to have the act of 7th June, 1832, under the term pensions, and overlooked. But a joint resolution approved by the in the statement F, appended thereto, which presents President on the 20 March, 1833, the same day on which the details of expenditures referred to in his general The office of Commissioner of Pensions was created, Con. statement, he includes among the expenditures for the gress resolved as follows: "That in the execution of the military establishment for 1832, "revolutionary pensions act supplementary to the act for the relief of certain sur: per acl of 7th June, 1832, $355,686 33;" and in state. viving officers and soldiers of the Revolution, approved ment of the expenditures for the first three quarters June the 7th, 1832, whenever it shall be made to appear of the year 1833, he inclu les " for revolutionary pensions that any applicant for a pension under said act entered the per acl of 7th June, i832, $2,066,984 24;" and in the eg. army of the Revolution, in pursuance of a contract with limales for the year 1834, the Secretary g ves for ' revo. the Government previous to the 11th of April, 1783, and lutionary pensions per act of 7th June, 18.32, including continued in service until after that period, it shall be the arrearages from 4th March, 1831, in cases in which payduty of the Secretary of War to compule the period of mint has not been made, $3,000,000.” any such applicant's service from the iime he then enter. Finally, in the bond prescribed by the Commissioner ed the army, and until the definitive treaty of peace, and of Pensions for the new agen's appointed, in substitution to allow him a pension accordingly." As the language of the bank, to make the payments under the act of 7th of the Legisla'ure must be considered as the highest pro- June, 1832, the payments and the persons entitled to priety of speech, in a case in which the very question them are respectively called pensions and pensioners concerns the character of a payment directed by them, throughout, and it is only for payments of this description this denomination shows that the payments ordered by that the bond has any legal validity. the act of 1832 are pensions, properly speaking, and nei. If this unitd voice of both Houses of Congress, ap. ther more nor less than pensions.

proved by the President in two instances, and therelore The same language is used in the act of the same date, adopted by him; of the Secretary of War, the Secretary making appropriations for the civil and diplomatic ex- of the Treasury, the Commissioner of Pensinos, and the penses of Government for the year 1833. “For addic Committee of Ways and Means, who reported the appretional or temporary clerk hire during the years 1832 and priation act and resolution of 20 March, 1833, to this 1833, in order to carry into effect the act of June 7, 1832, House, do not show that the puyments under the act of granting revolutionary pensions, 24,039 dollars."

7th June, 1832, are, properly speaking, pensions, it must It is by the last-mentioned act that the office of Com- be admiited that there has been an extraordinary concert missioner of Pensions was erected. The enactment of the in the use of improper language. The minority are of law is, that "he shall esecule, under the direction of the spinion that there has been no such impropriety, as will Secretary of War, such duties in relation to the various be seen by a rcference to the nature or real character of pension laws, as may be prescribed by the President of these paymenis. the United States.

The differences, as the Attorney General apprehende The Secretary of War, in his letter to the president of them, belween a pension and a paymeni, under that act, the bank, dated January 13, 1834, to justify the direction will now be considered. The statement of them is inby the Commissioner to transfer the funds, and to cease troduced with a distinct admission by the Altorney Gen. paying the pensions, says, that the office of Commissioner eral that the execution of the act of 7th June, 1832, of Pensions is established by law, and he is required 10 was, immediately after its passage, assigned to the Pena "execute, under the direction of the Secretary of War, sion office, and that, until the recent order of the Sec. such duties in relation to the various pension laws, as may retary of War, the general pension agents had been em. be prescribed by the President of the United States;' and played to make payments under it." This is a contem. he says so wi'h great propriety. The act of March 2, 1833, porary interpretation, asserling both the general agency 'which erects this office, defines its powers or duties, as and its application to the act, which is not without its may be seen above, precisely in the terms wbich the Sec. influence in deciding "pon the alleged distinction. retary of War has cited in his letter, and it is believed The first alleged difference is, that the act of 71h June, there is no other act which enlarges them.

1832, instead of purporting to be supplementary to the

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