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APPROPRIATIONS-FIFTY-FIRST TO FIFTY-FOURTH CONGRESS, INCLUSIVE.
The Fifty-first Congress (1891-92) passed appropriation bills to the amount of $988,417,183.34. It was called the "Billion-Dollar Congress" by the Democrats, who controlled the House during the Fifty-second Congress (1893-94) by more than a two-thirds majority, the Senate being Republican by a slender margin. This Congress appropriated $1,027,104,547.92, or $38,687,364.58 more than its Republican "billion-dollar" predecessor. The Fifty-third Congress (18951896) was Democratic in both branches and appropriated $989,239,205.69, but did not pass a river and harbor bill, which, estimated by the sum appropriated at the first session of the Fifty-fourth Congress would have increased the amount to $1,001,898,755. The Fifty-. fourth Congress (1897-98) had a Republican House and an opposition Senate, and passed appropriation bills, including $12,659,550 for rivers and harbors, amounting to $1,044,494,899; deducting river and harbor appropriations, $1,031,835,349. This is in excess of the appropriations authorized by the Fifty-third Congress, but comparison will show that the Fifty-third Congress appropriated for the Navy but $55,043,203, while the Fifty-fourth Congress appropriated for that part of our national armament $63,565,894, or nearly ten millions more. For fortifications the Fifty-third Congress appropriated $4,331,561, while the Fifty-fourth Congress authorized the expenditure of $16,895,029.
e This amount includes $18,098,007.56 to meet contracts authorized by law for river and harbor improvements for 1899.
ƒ This amount is approximated.
g No river and harbor bill passed for 1899, but the sum of $14,031,613.56 is appropriated in the sundry civil act to carry out contracts authorized by law, and $235,846 additional, and $360,000 in the general deficiency act for river and harbor improvements for 1899; in all, $14,627,459,56.
h No river and harbor bill passed for 1898, but the sum of $18,578,412.91 is appropriated in the sundry civil act to carry out contracts authorized by law, and $543,000 additional for river and harbor improvements for 1898; in all, $19,121,412.91. The general deficiency act also appropriates $1,200,000 to carry out contracts authorized by law, and $11,000 additional for river and harbor improvements, and the joint resolution of March 31, 1897, appropriates $250,000 for the improvement of the Mississippi River to carry out contracts authorized by law, and the joint resolution of February 26, 1897, appropriates $250,000 for closing the crevasse in Pass a Loutre, an outlet of the Mississippi River, making in all for river and harbor improvements in sundry civil act for 1898, in general deficiency act, and in joint resolutions, $20,832,412.91.
i This amount includes $14,031,613.56 to carry out contracts authorized by law for river and harbor improvements fo 1899.
This amount includes $18,578,412.91 to carry out contracts authorized by law for river and harbor improvements for 1898 and $513,000 additional for river and harbor improvements for 1898; in all, $19,121,412.91.
This is the amount submitted by the Secretary of the Treasury in the annual estimates for the fiscal year 1898, the exact amount appropriated not being ascertainable until two years after the close of the fiscal year.
m In addition to this amount, contracts are authorized to be entered into, subject to future appropriations by Congress, as follows: By the District of Columbia_act, $368,000; by the naval act, $300,000; by the sundry civil act, $200,000; and by the deficiency act, $1.401.375.09; in all, $2,269,375.09.
So that, if these important provisions had been omitted from the appropriations of the Fifty-fourth Congress, and its items are equalized with the appropriations of the Fifty-third Congress, the total amount authorized would have been $1,010,749,190, or about sixteen millions and a half of dollars less than the appropriations of the Fifty-second Congress.
Authorizing acts. The issue of circulating notes by national banking associations was first authorized by an act entitled "An act to provide a national currency secured by a pledge of United States stocks, and to provide for the circulation and redemption thereof," approved February 25, 1863, which act was repealed by an act entitled "An act to provide a national currency secured by a pledge of United States bonds, and to provide for the circulation and redemption thereof," approved June 3, 1864. The act approved June 3, 1864, with subsequent amendments thereof, was embodied in the Revised Statutes of the United States in 1873. The law as embodied in the Revised Statutes has been amended from time to time, and is now contained in what is known as the National-Bank Act, with amendments thereof.
Security. Under the provisions of existing law a national bank is required to deposit interest-bearing bonds of the United States with the United States Treasurer as security for its circulating notes in the following minimum amounts:
1. Banks with a capital not exceeding $150,000 must deposit bonds, par value, to an amount not less than one-fourth of their capital stock.
2. Banks with a capital exceeding $150,000 must deposit bonds to the amount of at least $50,000, par value.
The maximum amount of bonds, at their par value, which may be deposited by a national bank must not exceed the amount of the bank's capital stock.
The proportion of circulating notes issued against bonds deposited as security therefor is 90 per cent of the par value of said bonds, or of the market value of said bonds if the bonds are below par.
Profits on circulation.-Tables published annually by the Comptroller show the profit arising from a bank investing its funds in bonds and taking out circulation thereon, compared with the profits from investment of the same funds at 6 per cent per annum. This profit varies with the cost of the bonds and the rates of interest current where a bank is located. In 1896 the investment in 4 and 5 per cent bonds with circulation was more profitable by 1 per cent to 12 per cent per annum than an investment at 6 per cent. (See page 533, Comptroller's Report, 1896, vol. 1.)
Ownership of stock.-An official investigation made by the Comptroller in 1895 shows that on October 31, 1895, the stock of 3,715 national banks, with a capital of $664,136,915, was owned by 285,190 shareholders.
Profits on capital invested. On page 620, volume 1, Comptroller's Report for 1896, is a table showing annual profits on capital invested made by national banks for twenty-seven years, based upon sworn reports made by the banks. The annual average percentage of profit for this period was 7.9 per cent, the profit for the year 1894 being 5.6 per cent, for 1895 5 per cent, and 1896 5.4 per cent.
Every national bank is required by law to make to the Comptroller not less than five sworn reports every year, showing in detail its resources and liabilities, and it is required to publish same in a local newspaper; also, to make a sworn report of every dividend declared, which also shows gross earnings, losses, expenses, and net profits.
The affairs of every bank are also examined about twice a year by an examiner, who verifies its assets and audits its accounts, and the examiner is empowered by law to examine every officer and employee of the bank under oath, if necessary, to find out its true condition.
Capital based on population.-A national bank may be organized by not less than five shareholders anywhere in the United States, subject to the following mentioned requirements as to capital and · population:
1. With not less than $50,000 capital in any place having 6,000 inhabitants or less.
2. With not less than $100,000 capital in any city having over 6,000 but not more than 50,000 inhabitants.
3. With not less than $200,000 capital in any city having over 50,000 inhabitants.
Amount of national bank circulation.—The aggregate capital of nationa banks May 5, 1898, was $624,471,670. Under the law the banks were entitled to issue circulation to the amount of $562,024,503.
Abstract of reports of condition of national banks in the United States on July 23, October 5, and December 15, 1897, and February 18
United States bonds to secure circulation.
United States bonds to secure United States deposits...
Changes in the principal items of resources and liabilities of national banks as shown by the returns on May 5, 1898, as compared with the returns on February 18, 1898, and May 14, 1897.
United States bonds...
Due from national banks, State banks and bankers, and reserve agents.. Specie..
69,942,293 10 81,106,389 39
United States certificates for legal tenders
1,496,311 00 29,615,000 00
Surplus and other profits.
Due to national and State banks and bankers..
United States Government deposits..
Bills payable and rediscounts...
Total number of banks May 5, 1898, 3,586; February 18, 1898, 3,594; May 14, 1897, 3,614.