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the Treasury, to be applied to the same purposes to which the money collected under the former act was appropriated; and the officers, seamen, and marines, in the Navy, to enjoy the same benefits and advantages, as were by said law provided for the seamen employed in the merchant vessels of the United States. This last mentioned law con
tinued in force until the 26th of February, 1811, when Congress .
thought proper to separate the military from the mercantile marine; the seamen employed in merchant vessels from those employed in the Navy, so far as related to this subject: and, therefore, passed the law establishing Navy Hospitals. By it, the Secretary of the Navy, Secretary of the Treasury, and Secretary of War, were appointed a Board of Commissioners of Navy Hospitals; the money collected by virtue of the law of 2d March, 1799, to be paid to them, to constitute a Fund for Naval Hospitals. . During the period in which the law of 2d March, 1799, was in force, and operated upon the Navy, viz: from 1st September in that year, to 26th February, 1811, about twelve years, deductions were regularly made from the pay of the officers, seamen, and marines, and the amount carried to the credit of the Marine Hospital Fund in the
hands of the Secretary of the Treasury. Upon this fund, therefore,
they had a perfect claim. It had been augmented by their pay, and for their benefit. It was just to them that their proper proportion of it should be handed over to the Commissioners of the Navy Hospitals, for their use. To have denied this would have been manifest injustice. Congress intended to secure their rights in this respect. What precise portion of the Marine Hospital Fund ought to have been assigned to them, it was probably difficult at that day, and would be impossible at this, to specify. The amount received from them, and the exact portion expended upon them, and for their benefit, were probably both uncertain. It was the will of Congress to decide that $50,000 was their proper proportion; and by the act of 26th February, 1811, separating the two funds, that sum was appropriated out of the unexpended balance of the Marine Hospital Fund, and directed to be paid to the Commissioners, to form a part of the fund for the Navy Hospitals. This law, however, never has been executed; the payment never has been made. The sum of $ 3,782 86 only has been delivered to the Commissioners; the balance remains to this day unsatisfied. The want of funds was the cause of this omission, as was stated in a report of the Commissioners, dated 15th January, 1818.
It is most respectfully suggested that this injustice ought no longer to exist. The money was taken from the pay necessary to the support and comfort of the officers, seamen, and marines of the Navy, by no act of theirs, but by the irresistible operation of a law of Congress: and it was taken under a pledge that it should be used for their benefit. It has not yet been so used ; $46,217 14 remains to be paid for their benefit. The Commissioners of Navy Hospitals, therefore, on their behalf, ask of Congress to make an appropriation to that amount, that it may be restored to a fund in which their comfort and happiness is so deeply interested.
It will also be perceived, by the laws before referred to, that this fund is created solely by the deduction of twenty cents per month. This deduction has been uniformly made in every case since 1st Soptember, 1799. The amount arising therefrom previous to the of the act of 26th February, 1811, was supposed to be provided for in that act by the appropriation of the $50,000 before mentioned. Since the 26th February, 1811, the amount deducted was not regularly car. ried to the Hospital Fund, and placed in the hands of the Commissioners until 1st January, 1824. During the war of 1812. and for several years after it, although it was taken from the officers, seamen, and marines, yet it was permitted to remain in the sums appropriated for the pay of the Navy, and expended for that or other objects. In this manner it is seen by paper A, that the sum of $119,712 95 was absorbed previous to the 1st January, 1824. This operation was considered improper; and the Secretary of the Navy, on the 11th of March in that year, directed the Fourth Auditor to make a statement from the accounts of the disbursing officers in every quarter, that a requisition might be issued, and the amount carried to the proper fund, Ş. paper E.) Since that time, and in virtue of that order, the de
uctions made from the pay have been regularly added to the Hospi
tal Fund, in the hands of the Treasurer of the United States, as agent of the Commissioners.
Since that period, also, various sums have, at different times, been paid to the Hospital Fund out of the Pay of the Navy; so that the latter was, on the first of this month, indcbted to the former $72,032 96, (see paper D.) This debt may possibly, in the course of several years, be satisfied out of the balances which shall remain of the Pay of the Navy; but the process must be slow and uncertain : and the Commissioners, therefore, again respectfully ask that an appropriation may be made, restoring it at once to the Hospital Fund. It has been heretofore represented to Congress, that the want of this money has prevented them from purchasing sites, erecting buildings, and otherwise performing the duties assigned to them by law; and it is a painful fact, that, although the law designed to provide hospitals, and an asylum for our seamen has been in operation nearly twenty-eight years, and deductions from their pay constantly made during all that time, yet, in consequence chiefly of the state of the funds, not one building for their accommodation and comfort has been erected. The cffect upon the feelings of our officers and seamen may well be imagined. The Commissioners are assured that it has been one powerful cause of the difficulties sometimes encountered in procuring seamen for our public vessels.
It is thus shewn that the Commissioners now have $119,097 84, which may be immediately used in executing the purposes of the law. If Congress appropriate the two sums, one of which has been expended on the Marine Hospitals, and the other absorbed in the Pay of the Navy, there will then be $237,347 94 at their disposal; a sum sufficient to erect all the buildings which they deem necessary in the present state of the naval service.
6. The measures adopted to carry into effect the provisions of the law," may, in part, be seen in the preceding statement. In addition to which the Commissioners have, during the past year, caused a wharf to be built on the lot near Charlestown, Massachusetts, another on that near Philadelphia, made arrangements to build one at Brooklyn, New York, and caused other slight improvements to be made. They have also procured, with great care, from some of the most accom- 1 plished architects in our country, plans for the buildings which they suppose necessary at the places mentioned, keeping in view the improvements in such establishments in other countries, and the direction of the law “ to regard economy, and give preference to such plans as, with most convenience and least cost, will admit of subsequent additions, as the funds will permit, and circumstances require.”
They have employed Mr. Strickland, a very skilful and expe. rienced architect, to make the necessary contracts for materials, and superintend the building of a 6 permanent asylum for disabled and decrepid navy officers, seamen, and marines," at Philadelphia ; and Mr. Haviland, another skilful and experienced architect, to make the contracts for, and superintend the building of, a hospital near Norfolk Virginia. Both the asylum and the hospital, they hope, will be completed within the next year, in a manner suited to the interesting nature of the works themselves, and to the obligations due to those out of whose funds the cost of their erection is to be defrayed.
They propose, also, to proceed with the hospitals at Charlestowi and Brooklyn, as soon as the finds under their control will permit and if the recommendations which they have suggested to pay to th fund what is really due to it, be adopted by Congress, they do no doubt that they will be able to complete all the hospitals mentioned i the course of the next two years. Which is respectfully submitted.
SAMUEL L. SOUTHARD,
of the House of Representatives.
10th March, 1824.6
Sır: In answer to the resolution of the House of Representativ of the 20th January, “ That the Commissioners of the Navy pitals be directed to report to this House the amount of the su which they have received and expended by virtue of the act, enti • An act establishing Navy Hospitals,' the balance remaining in ti hands on the 31st of December, 1823, designating the sum which
been absorbed in the Pay of the Navy, and which is due to the Hospital Fund ;' and what measures they have adopted to carry into effect the provisions of said act;" we have the honor to enclose a copy of a letter from the Fourth Auditor of the Treasury, marked A, with a statement of the accounts in the Auditor's office, marked B, shewing the receipts and disbursements of said fund up to the 31st December, 1829.
The law separating the Naval from the Marine Hospital Fund, was passed on the 26th February, 1811. On that day a balance of $ 3,782 86, standing to the credit of the Marine Hospital Fund, was carried to the credit of the Navy Hospital Fund. This sum, with the deductions authorized by law, from the pay of the officers, scamen, and marines, constitutes the whole of the Navy Hospital Fund. These deductions have been regularly made whenever the officers, seamen, und marines, have received their pay, and the sums so deducted bave been left in the - Pay of the Navy,” which is of course responsible for them. They were not in the first instance drawn from the “ Pay Pof the Navy" at the times in which they accrued, in consequence of
he war, which succeeded the passage of the law, and were left in the dame situation for several years afterwards. t By the report made on the 29th October, 1823, it appears that the Calance to the credit of the fund at that time, was $ 117,074 34;
ince which the deductions from the pay of the officers, seamen, and Piarines, and for which the “ Pay of the Navy" is responsible, bare "nounted to $ 2,638 61, making the Navy Hospital Fund, on the (1st December, 1823, amount to $ 119,712 95, exclusive of the Ymount which has been under the control of the Commissioners. of After the establishment of the fund in February, 1811, and before Lie 30th September. 1821, the expenditures by the Comidissioners Tinounted to $ 10,652 85; since that time there has been drawn and buaced in the hands of the Treasurer of the United States, subject to hie orders of the Commissioners, S 43.335 87, and in September, Ot: 23, $ 18,000 were paid for a site for a Naval Hospital near the pavy Yard at Charlestown, Massachusetts. These three sums added angether make $71,988 72, which, added to the sum of $119.712 95, yer which the Pay of the Navy” is responsible, makes $ 191,701 67, Whing the whole amount of money which has accrued to the fund bu ce its establishment. ch From this statement it will be perceived that the only funds which gir Commissioners can immediately control for the objects of the cal, are those in the hands of the Treasurer. viz. 43,335 87. The fort due from the “ Pay of the Navy" can only be paid as balances of
appropriations for that object shall remain at the end of the Whir ; and as these appropriations are founded upon estimates, calcu1 °d with great care and accuracy, and are barely adequate to acpen plish their object, it is manifest that it will be a long time before the fund is repaid, and the Commissioners will have the control of sulh he means whicb properly belong to it. pre he delay will greatly postpone the accomplishment of the be
olent purposes of the law creating the fund, and do injustice to
Trehe disbursing end during the qua be issued for, at the ende
those who have contributed to it, and who by the delay will be deprived of its benefits.
With a view to avoid the difficulties which have heretofore existed on this subject, an order has been given to the Fourth Auditor of the Treasury, to make out, at the end of each quarter, from the returns of the disbursing officers, a statement of all moneys accruing to the Navy Hospital Fund during the quarter, and give a regular certificate of the amount, that a warrant may be issued for the same in favor of the Agent of the fund. By this means it will, at the end of eacto quarter, receive all the money to which it is entitled, and the ó Pay of the Navy" will not become any further indebted to it.
In September, 1823, the Commissioners purchased a site for a Hospital adjoining the Navy Yard at Charlestown, Massachusetts, for which they paid $18,000, and have made a contract for another site near the Navy Yard at Brooklyn. These are all the measures they have adopted to carry into effect the provisions of the act.”
WM. H. CRAWFORD,
SAM. L. SOUTHARD.
Of the House of Representatives.
Bir: In obedience to the request contained in your letter of the 21st inst. enclosing a resolution of the House of Representatives re. Jative to the “ Naval Hospital Fund” I have the honor to report; That, from the 26th February, 1811, to the 31st De
cember, 1823, there has been passed to the credit of said Fund on the books of this office, and those of the
Accountant of the Navy, the sum of - - $ 187,918 81 To which must be added a balance standing to the
credit of the “ Marine Hospital Fund” on the 26th February, 1811, and carried to the credit of the • Naval Hospital Fund, "
- 3,782 86
$ 191,701 67 From this sum is to be deducted amount of expenditures to 30th September, 1821,
$10,652 85 Moneys drawn and placed in the hands of the Treasury of the United States
- 43,335 87