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Resumption of Specie Payments

Resumption of Specie Payments

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Excerpt from Resumption of Specie Payments: Notes of a Conference Between the Committee on Banking and Currency of the House of Representatives and the Hon. John Sherman, Secretary of the Treasury, April 1st and 4th, 1878

February, 1877, was $11, 936, 771, after making the same deductions as were made in the table given to the Finance Committee, on page 4. This table (Appendix No.2) contrasting with that table will show the condition of the Treasury as to gold and silver then and on the 1 st of February of this year. The amount a year ago was$11, 938, 771, and the amount on the 1 st of February this year was $71, 775, 860, making the increase of gold and silver available between the 1 st of February, 1878 and the 1st of February, 1877, $59, 839, 089.

This statement (handing it to the committee) will give you the amount in silver coin, in silver bullion, in gold coin, c.

There was another fact which I thought the committee would desire to have in this connection. I thought that the committee would want to know the distribution of this money on the 28th of March, 1878. We had in gold coin and standard silver dollars $114, 666, 958; in fractional silver coin $5, 736, 639; and in gold and silver bullion $13, 664, 914. The amount of silver standard dollars included in this is estimated at $454, 711. (See Appendix No.4.)

The Chairman. The third inquiry is the amount of bonds sold up to February 1, 1878, and not paid for.

Secretary Sherman. If that question means simply to inquire as to the amount of bonds not paid for at that date, my answer is that they are all paid for. There are no bonds issued unless they are paid for; but I suppose that what the committee means by this question is to ascertain the amount of bonds actually sold for resumption purposes, and also for refunding purpose. I have the distribution here; but in direct answer to the question it will be perhaps sufficient for me to say that there are no bonds which have not been paid for. We take subscriptions, but never issue the bonds until we get the money. An arrangement has been made with the Bank of Commerce, in New York, by which we allow that bank to collect currency and coin drafts for bonds, and when the coin is paid into the Treasury the bonds are sent to the person. The actual amount of bonds sold under the resumption act and under the refunding act is as follows: Under the resumption act 5 percent, bonds of 1881 $17, 494, 350 4 percent, bonds of 1891 15, 000, 000 4 percent, bonds of 1907 25, 000, 000 Total 57, 494, 350. The bonds issued on account of refunding are as follows:5 percent, bonds of 1881 490, 000, 000 4 percent, bonds of 1 B 91185, 000, 000 4 percent, bonds of 1907 55, 000, 000 Total 730, 796, 200.

Which last sum added to the $57, 494, 350 on account of resumption makes the total $788, 290, 550.

I ought to say that the proceeds of all the bonds that were sold under the refunding act were applied to the payment of an equal amount of 5-20 bonds bearing 6 percent, interest.

The Chairman. These bonds were sold at par, were they not?

Secretary Sherman. Yes, sir; par in coin. We paid out of the Treasury one-half of 1 percent, for commissions and expenses.

The Chairman. The fourth inquiry is as to the usual amount of annual coin liabilities of the government, stating separately the liabilities for interest, sinking-fund, foreign service, &c.

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