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in currency, which, received in the prices of gold of to-day, will, if exchanged into gold, give the claimant a sum in coin in excess of what he would otherwise be entitled to claim.
But the fact that this consequence would follow was not deemed by the Supreme Court a sufficient reason for changing the standard of currency adopted in the circuit court in the case of The Vaughan and Telegraph, 14 Wall. 258; Cushing v. Wells, 98 Mass. 550.
But the rule first suggested would give to the other claimants a sum much less than they ought to receive.
The inequality in both these cases arises from the fact of the appreciation of the legal-tender currency as compared with gold. If we adopt gold as the original standard of value, we give to the government the benefit of this appreciation and fail to indemnify the claimants. If we adopt the other standard, we give the benefit of this appreciation to the several claimants. The claimant in this case obtains an incidental advantage. But as between the claimant and the government, we think this incidental benefit belongs to him. He was compelled by force of law to purchase in legal tender; it was not optional with him whether to do so or not. The value of this enforced currency did not depend upon him. The disadvantage of its use ought not therefore to fall upon him, but rather upon the Government, which compelled him to make use of it. No rule which we can adopt will give exact justice in every case; and as we can have but one rule, and must enter our judgments in currency, we must make our valuations according to that standard. This, if not exactly right in every case, has the advantage of simplicity and uniformity, and will more nearly give a just indemnity in every case than
other course. PAYNER, J., dissenting as to the principle upon which net freight is allowed.
of... Attorney to receive from the proper officer of the United States, and full discharge for the same to give, the sum of...
Dollars .Cents, being the amount due. on Diplomatic Draft No.................., dated.
., 188 ; hereby ratifying and confirming all that may lawfully be done in virtue hereof.
En witness whereof................ha hereunto attached... ...hand and seal at....
.day of 188 . ATTEST:
named in the foregoing Letter of Attorney, who acknowledged the said Letter of Attorney to be..
.act and deed ; and I do hereby certify that the said Letter of Attorney was read and fully explained to the said
at the time of acknowledgment. In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my......
seal the day and year aforesaid. [SEAL.]
1 To be acknowledged by the Constituent before the Treasurer of the United States or an Assistant Treasurer; a Judge or Clerk of a District Court of the United States ; a Collector of Customs; a Notary Public, or a Clerk of any Court of Record under his seal ; or a Justice of the Peace or Commissioner of Deeds. If before either of the two latter, the Certificate and Seal of the County Clerk as to the official character and signature of the Justice or Commissioner is required. If executed in a Foreign Country, the acknowledgment must be made before a Notary Public, with his seal attached, or a U. S. Consul or Minister.
2 In presence of two witnesses.
VIII. PAYMENT AND RECEIPT OF THE
GENEVA AWARD MONEY.
WASHINGTON, June 17, 1882. MY DEAR JUDGE. By the terms of the award of the Tribunal of Arbitration at Geneva, and in conformity with the provisions of the seventh article of the Treaty of Washington, the government of Great Britain, in 1873, was required to pay to our government, in gold coin, at Washington, the sum of fifteen and a half million dollars. The duty of receiving this large amount of coin into the Treasury, and investing it in bonds, without deranging the business of the country, fell to you as Secretary of the Treasury.
You were kind enough in a late conversation to explain to me how you solved the problem. The public have a right to be told this, now that the Geneva Award has passed into history. If you see no objection and can command the leisure to give me the details, I beg you to do so in the form of a reply to this note.
I am preparing for publication a brief survey of the legislation of Congress providing for the distribution of the proceeds of the award. An explanation from you as to how the transfer of the money was effected will be of interest to the public, and will preserve in an authentic form the details of an important historical event.
I am cordially yours,
FRANK W. HACKETT. Hon. WM. A. RICHARDSON,
Court of Claims,
CHAMBERS OF THE COURT OF CLAIMS,
WASHINGTON, D. C., June 22, 1882. MY DEAR SIR. The circumstances connected with the payment of the Geneva Award by Great Britain to the United States and the investment of the money received, about which you inquire in your letter of the 17th instant, are quite fresh in my memory, although they took place nearly nine years ago. The importance of the transaction, and the interest manifested by the public at the time as to how the transfer from London to Washington of $15,500,000 in gold coin, weighing more than twenty-eight and a half tons, was to be accomplished, and its probable effect upon business, served to impress the details upon my mind.
It was provided by the treaty that: “In case the tribunal find that Great Britain has failed to fulfil any duty or duties as aforesaid, it (the tribunal] may, if it think proper, proceed to award a sum in gross to be paid by Great Britain to the United States for all the claims referred to it; and in such case the gross sum so awarded shall be paid in coin by the government of Great Britain to the government of the United States, at Washington, within twelve months after the date of the award.” (17 Stat. at Large, 866.)
In September, 1872, the Arbitrators awarded “to the United States a sum of $15,500,000 in gold, as the indemnity to be paid by Great Britain to the United States, for the satisfaction of all the claims referred to the consideration of the tribunal, conformably to the provisions contained in Article VII of the aforesaid treaty."
The amount awarded became payable in September, 1873. By act of March 3, 1873 (17 Stat. at Large, 601), Congress provided that “immediately upon the payinent of the sum of money awarded to the United States by the Tribunal of Arbitration at Geneva, to be paid by the government of Great Britain, the same shall be paid into the Treasury, and used to redeem, so far as it may, the public debt of the United States. And the amount equal to the debt so redeemed shall be invested in the five per cent registered bonds of the United States to be held subject to the future disposition of Congress."
During the spring and summer of that year, there was manifested through the public press, and otherwise, much anxiety among the bankers and business men of the country, especially in the great financial and commercial centre, New York city, lest the transfer at one time of so large an amount of gold might seriously affect and disturb, temporarily, the exchanges and other business relations between this country and Europe. To avoid this anticipated difficulty was a matter of serious consideration. A plan was adopted and successfully carried out, through which the whole amount was paid and invested without making the slightest impression upon the money market or the business of either of the two countries concerned for a single day.
At that time the Treasury Department was engaged in calling in for redemption the six per cent bonds of the United States, and investing the proceeds, by purchase or exchange, in the five per cent bonds of the funded loan, under the act of July 14, 1870 (16 Stat. at Large, 272). For that purpose it had an agency in London, conducted exclusively by officers of the Department who had been sent out from Washington. This agency was made use of to facilitate the receipt and investment of the Geneva Award money.
On June 6, 1873, a call was issued by the Secretary of the Treasury, for the redemption of twenty million five-twenty six per cent bonds of the loan of 1862. It was the fifth call for the redemption of bonds, and matured on September 6, 1873, three months from the date of its issue, in accordance with the terms of the act of July 14, 1870. Four and a half million bonds beyond the amount required for investment of the award money were called, because it had been found by experience that many bonds of every call were not sent in promptly for redemption, but were held by the owners, through want of information or otherwise, until long after maturity of the call. It was thought that of twenty million, the fifteen and a half million would be redeemed within the three months.
Most of the coupon bonds of that loan were held in Europe and could be purchased in or through the London market. On the day of the issue of this call, instructions were forwarded to the Treasury agents in London, that if parties desired to deposit with them called bonds, or matured coupons (which were practically the same as coin), to the credit of persons in this country, to be applied in payment of money payable to the United States on or after the time of the maturity of the call of that date, they might receive the same and telegraph, from time to time, the amount so received and the names of the parties to whose credit the deposits were made. The bonds and coupons were to be cancelled and forwarded to the Treasury Department at Washington at the earliest possible moment after receipt. The account was not to be mingled in any way with that of the receipt of bonds and coupons in connection with other funding operations. The amounts payable on account of such deposits were to be accounted for and settled by the Treasurer of the United States, at Washington.
At the same time, the parties who were understood to be employed by the British Government to make the transfer of the Geneva Award money were notified of these instructions, as were also the public through the journals of the day. Thereupon those parties commenced buying called bonds and matured coupons and turning them over to the Treasury agents in London.
Before the expiration of three months, when the award money became payable, they had deposited in the United States Treasury, either directly or through the London agency, the whole fifteen and a half million dollars, and had taken coin certificates for the payment