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confession of a fact under an endeavour to explain it away, while it argues the imbecility of the man, is at the same time a serious lesson to him, that honesty is the best policy.
“ According to the doctrine attempted to be set up by the Secretary, the moment an appropriation is made, every officer in the government may with propriety put his hand into the public Treasury and draw out his whole year's salary, this has been the Treasury practice respecting the President's salary, and if it is right with respect to him, it must be equally so with respect to every officer in the government. But the President has gone even. further than this. Calculating upon the presidency as an estate in tail, he has anticipated the salary of another year, and of even a new term of office. How many officers of the goveroment are indebted to the Treasury besides the President? How many are allowed to anticipate their salaries ? The law was made for all, and if any exception had been made by the executive, he'ought to have been the last to benefit by it. The disinterestedness of his patriotism should, at least, have kept him from appropriating more to himself than the law allowed, and as he declared a salary inapplicable to himself, he should not have seized upon it with the eager avarice of a miser. How can “tle Saviour of his “ Country” now talk of his sacrifices, when he has exacted more than the last farthing to which a Pre. sident is legally entitled !
“But upon what principle of right, or upon what rule of common usage, is this practice which prevails at the Treasury, with respect to the President, founded? Is it just that a man should be paid before he earns his wages? Is it comoion to do so ? There is neither justice, nor usage to sanction ir; for he is supposed the best paymaster who pays inmediately after his business is transacted ; there being but two bad paymasters, he who pays beforehạnd, and he who never pays at all. Why are
those men who most need the indulgence of the Treasury, excluded from the privileges granted to the President? The clerks in the public office may receive their salaries on the very day their quarters become due, but not one day before; whence this distinction when the law makes none, and when the appropriation is made for all ?
*“ It is said to be a rule with Congress to anticipate the wages of its members, but this is wholly unfounded'; for although a warrant issues to the Speaker and to the Vice President, for a given sum at the beginning of each session, yet this has never been applied but to pay the mileage, and to compensate the members after their wages had become due–The Speaker's accounts will establish the truth of this assertion.
“ But to what would a practice of this sort lead if it were general, and if it is just in a degree it is so in its fullest latitude. Suppose all the officers of government froin the President down to the doorkeeper were to anticipate their salaries according to the presidential mode, an appropriation is made for their salaries; suppose a number of them should die, a number become bankrupts, a number should abscond, when is the appropriation to satisfy those who are appointed to supply the vacancies? Twentyfive thousand dollars a year is allowed by law to the President, in the appropriation this sum is included ; suppose the President to draw the whole sum on the first day of his entrance into office, and to die a few days after, upon what fund is his successor ta draw for his compensation? These are possible cases and Treasury practices which have obtained with respect to the President, have the same principle of illegality to justify their extension to all, and if permitted to all, the public purse would become a prey to chicanery and fraud.
O PITTACHUS.” 1st November 1795."
" To Oliver Wolcott, Esq. late Comptroller, now Secretary of the Treasury of the United States.
“ SIR, " That the most incontrovertible evidence may be given to the public, of your guilt and evasion under the charges of the Calm Observer, and that your reiterated assertion, “ that not one dollar has “ been at any time, advanced for the use of the “ President, for which there was not an existing “ appropriation,” may be proved to be totally destitute of foundation, I now subjoin the following facts and remarks, in addition to my short statement of Thursday last.
“ On the 29th of September 1789, Congress passed an act appropriating 25,000 dollars for payment of one year's compensation to the President of the United States.
« On the 26th of March 1790, Congress passed an act, appropriating 25,000 dollars for payment of another year's compensation to the President of the United States.
5 On the 11th of February 1791, Congress passed an act, appropriating. 25,000 dollars, for payment of a third year's compensation to the President of the United States.
« On the 23d of December 1791, Congress passed an act, appropriating 25,000 dollars, for payment of the fourth year's compensation to the President of the United States.
“ These are the only acts, that were, at any time, passed by Congress, making appropriation for the President's compensation, during his first four year's term of service.
“ These acts were subject, at the Treasury, to one of the following rules of construction, and no other.
“ Ist. That the appropriation of each year, was
to be considered as operating by the Calendar year, that is, from the 1st day of January to the
1st day of January succeeding; or, “2dly. That the appropriation of each year was to be
considered as operating by the Congressional year, that is, from the ath day of March, to the 4th day of March succeeding ;—or, 3dly. That the appropriation of each year was to be considered as operating by the Presidential year, that is, from the 30th day of April, when the President qualified into office, and coinmenced his services, to the 30th of April following ;-or, 4thly. That these four several acts of appropriation were to be taken together, and considered as forming an aggregate appropriation for payment of the President's legal compensation, during the whole of his first term of service.
“ And yet, Sir, it is no less remarkable than true, that by every one of these rules of construction, you have violated the appropriation acts of Congress, and paid to the President, money out of the public Treasury, for which, at the time of payment, there was not an existing appropriation to authorize the same ;--and thus I prove it.
“ On the 31st of December 1790, taking it by the Calendar year, your official report to Congress of the receipts and expenditures of the public money, pages 16 and 17, shew that you had then paid to the President, 4264 dollars more than he was legally entitled to, up to that day, and, con
sequently, that by this rule of construction, the
av On the 4th of March 1791, taking it by the
“ On the 30th of April 1791, taking it by the Presidential year, the same official reports shew, that you had then paid to the President 5150 dollars more than he was legally entitled to, up to that day; and, consequently, that by this rule of construction, the appropriation was violated.
“ On the day the President's first term of service expired, viz. the 3d day of March 1793, taking the several acts together, and as forming one aggregate appropriation, it will be seen by the same official report, that you had then paid to the President 1037 dollars more than he was legally entitled to, up to this day: and, consequently, that by this rule of construction, the appropriation was violated.
“ But, Sir, if it were possible, for the most blind and devoted apologist of your conduct, to possess à remaining doubt of your guilt, let him attend to the further facts and remarks following:
“ Between the 4th of April 1793, and the 4th of June 1793, being the firs: quarter of the President's re-election into office, under his present term, there was paid to him, for compensation 11,000 dollars ;
“ By the act fixing the President's compensation, passed the 18th of February 1793, there is allowed to him, at the rate of 25,000 dollars per annum, in full for his services, to be paid at the Treasury quarter yearly.
By the act of appropriation for the support of government for the year 1793, there is appropria