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treasury, shall in the same manner bear the stamp of the ministerial department, for the expense of which they have been furnished, and shall be charged by the national treasury, on account of the sum allowed by the National Convention to the said department.
The Citizen Genet shall transmit to each minister proper statements, supported with vouchers, as well of the use made of the funds agreeably to his orders, as of the manner in which he shall have procured them.
In case the Citizen Genet shall have received from the American government, bills or state securities in reimbursement of the debt of the United States, which he could not pass without some sacrifice; the loss, in that case, shall be considered as part of the expenses of purchase, transportation, or payments, confided to him.
Should the council approve of this decision, a copy thereof shall be sent to the Citizen Genet, certified by the secretary of the council, as well as the ministers of the interior, of war, of the marine, and of foreign affairs. Paris, the 2d Jan. 1793—the 2d year of the Republick. The present memoire has been read and approved in the
provisory executive council, the 4th of Jan. 1793--in
GROUVELLE. Le BRUN, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
I hereby certify, that the foregoing is a true copy from the original in my possession.-Philadelphia, 22d May, 1793-in the second year of the Republick. The Minister of the French Republick,
TRANSLATION. Extract from the Registers of the deliberations of the provisory
executive council, of the 4th Jan. 1793_in the second year of the Republick. The minister for foreign affairs, having informed that the Citizen Genet, appointed Minister plenipotentiary, from the French Republick to the Congress of the United States of America, and that it would be necessary for the council, to de. cide definitively on his instructions for the fulfilment of his mission.
The draught of the same was accordingly read—the council in adopting it, declares that the copy thereof for Citizen Genet shall be signed by the President, and counter-signed by the Minister for foreign affairs.
After which the executive council, wishing to determine the form in which the full powers given to Citizen Genet, shall be exercised relatively to the general direction of consular business, according to the present ideas of the minister of the marine and of foreign affairs, who have observed the necessity of a new organization of the consulates and vice-consulates in America, has considered and resolved on the following, which shall serve as instructions to Citizen Genet, for whatever may concern this part of his mission, and of which also a copy signed by the President of the council and counter-signed by the minister of the marine, shall be given him. Here follows the instruction: concerning the general affairs of the consulates and vice-consulates of North America.*
The executive council then took into consideration the particular mission of Citizen Genet, Minister plenipotentiary from the Republick of France to the Congress of the United States, on the subject of negotiation relative to the reimbursement of the sums due or that may become due of the debt due by the United States to the French Republick. An account was given of the different dispositions and steps already taken for this purpose. It was observed that considering the utility of applying the product of the reimbursements which may be effected through Congress, to the purchase of warlike stores and provisions, which it may be convenient to the Republick to procure in the different markets of the United States; that the Citizen Genet, had concerted on this head with the ministers of the interior, of war, of the marine, and of foreign affairs, in order to determine the mass of the funds, confided to him for these purchases—but that several points occurred, which required to be definitively settled by the council, either as to the forms of compatibility, or the supplying of any deficiency in those funds, in case the American government should not realize its reimbursements in proportion to the purchases made on account o! the Republick.
Whereupon the provisory executive council, after having heard and discussed the reports and measures presented by the minister of contributions, agree upon the following:
Ist. The Citizen Genet shall be authorized to employ, agreeably to the orders of the minister of the interior, of war, of the marine and foreign affairs, the sums which may be paid to him on account of the debt due by the United States, to France, or the whole reimburseinent thereof.
2nd. In order to facilitate these reimbursements, the Citizen Genet, in case he shall not be able to obtain them in specie, may accept them in such state notes as shall be remitted to him by the American government, and received as ready money, by the persons to whom Citizen Genet may have payments to make on account of the Republick.
This instruction is deposited in the office of the Minister for foreign affairs, and a certified copy thereof has been delivered to Citizen Genet.
3d. The orders which the Citizen Genet shall furnish upon the treasury of the United States, in exchange for their value, shall indicate the department on account of which they may be drawn. The treasury of the United States, after discharging these orders, shall transmit them to the treasury of the French Republick, where they shall be considered as so much money, in discharge of the debt of the United States, and as making a part of the sums placed by the National Convention to the disposition of the ministerial departments designated in the orders.
4th. In case the reimbursements of the United States should not be effected in time, or a sum sufficient obtained the Citizen Genet shall be authorized to furnish on the general banker of the national treasury, bills of exchange, at two months sight, to the amount of the sums directed to be employed by him in the payment of provisions, war-like stores and other expenses ordered by the said ministers. These bills of exchange, as well as the orders, shall be stamped with the name of the ministerial department, on account of which they shall have been furnished, in order that the national treasury may debit each, with the sum expended on its account.
5th, The Citizen Genet shall furnish each minister with a proper statement, accompanied with vouchers in support of it, as well of the application of the funds, conformably to his orders, as of the manner in which he shall have obtained them.
6th. In case the Citizen Genet shall have received from the American government, bills or state securities, (bons d'etat) in reimbursement of the debt of the United States, which he could not pass without some sacrifice, the loss in that case shall be considered as part of the expenses of purchases, transportation or payments confided to him.
7th. A certified extract of this deliberation shall be given to the committee of the national treasury, to enable them to concur in expediting the above mentioned arrangements; and in order thereto, to furnish the Citizen Genet with declarations and powers sufficient to ensure the success of the important operations with which he is charged. Duplicate conformable to the register,
GROUVELLE, Secretary of the Council. I hereby certify that the aforegoing is a true copy from the original in my possession. The Minister from the French Republick, to the United States of America,
AMERICAN DEBT, SECOND REPORT. Report of the Minister of publick contributions, on the liquidation
of the American Debt. The approaching departure of the Citizen Genet, on his embassy to the United States of America, requires that the proviVOL. I.
sory executive council should again take up the subject of the debt due by the United States to the Republick of France.
I have given information to Citizen Genet of the offers made by Colonel Smith of New-York, to procure to the Republick not only the reimbursement of what remains due from the United States, although not yet payable, but for the application of it, either for supplies for the army, or wheat, flour and salted provisions in augmentation of our internal supplies.
Colonel Smith has gone to England, and has left no other accounts relative to the operations he proposed to enter upon ; 50 that all is reduced to the preliminaries of the negotiation.
These preliminaries consist of a letter from the minister of publick contributions of the 7th of November last to Colonel Smith, after having been referred to the executive council.-It contains,
1st. An extract from the registers of the council, approving the offers of Colonel Smith,
2d. The account current of the United States with the French Republick, and that of the interest to the 1st of January next.
3d. Statement of the loss which the national treasury would sustain on the reimbursements which it has received from the United States of America, if they are not held accountable for the difference between the assignats which it received and the specie.
4th. An approbation of the reduction to sterling money of the sum due to the French Republick at the rate of 218. or one guinea for 25 livres, 10 sous, French money, as Colonel Smith was to obtain it, which sum, consisting of the capital due, of the interest up to the 1st of January next, and the loss on payments already made, was to be paid at London.
5th. The approbation of the price, and conditions on which Colonel Smith offered to furnish firelocks, deliverable at Dun. kirk, agreeably to samples to be sent there by him.
I have transmitted a copy of all these papers to Citizen Ge. net, to whom the accounts will prove useful in negotiating the reimbursement of the debt of the United States, and the sums arising from the reimbursement for the necessities of the Republick.
The Citizen Genet will observe that the aniount will have been diminished on his arrival in the United States, if we calculate the advances made by the federal treasury, on the requisition of Citizen Ternant, io satisfy the demands of cash and provisions made at Philadelphia, by the administrators of the French part of St. Domingo; advances which the federal treasury will of course count as so much of the balance due by the United States to the Republick of France.
The Citizen Genet afterwards requested instructions as well
with respect to the conditions on which he should accept the reimbursement he hopes to obtain from the American government, as to the employment of the sums which shall be delivered to him.
OBSERVATIONS. There can be no doubt but that the American government will be liberal towards France, and not reap a benefit from ac. quitting itself with assignats. However as a part of the debt yet unpaid, is not become due, and a law relative to the acquitment of this debt prescribes to the executive power of America, not to anticipate any payment unless upon advantageous terms for the United States; it appears that this ought to be fulfilled previous to the executive's entering into a negotiation.
This is at least the result of a letter written by Secretary Hamilton on the 7th of March last, to the Citizen Ternant. He observes to that ambassador that the sums lent by France, were borrowed in Holland ; that six months elapsed between the time of obtaining the money at Amsterdam, and its receipt at the treasury in America ; and that the interest paid during that term was a dead loss. But this loss can have no relation to France. The interest is due to her, from the moment of the payment, and payment was made the instant that the money was lodged at Amsterdam to the disposal of the Americans.
This object does not appear then to give rise to any compensation, and without doubt the American treasury will think it proper to hold to the advantage the law requires for authorizing the anticipation of the payments, which the United States are obliged to make to France.
The law does not specify this advantage. What should it be? The employment of the money on account of the French Republick within the United States, is a very great advantage for them, and this employment arises from circumstances which probably would no longer exist, if the American treasury should refuse to anticipate reimbursements. The advantage here is real ; it consists not only in a considerable exportation of American produce, which will be paid for with those anticipated reimbursements ; but also in the arrangements which the American government may take by means of Siate notes, negotiable in America itself.--Arrangements which would relieve her from all financial operations in Europe, for the pur. pose of acquitting themselves even in France, where the United States are obliged to make payment.
And the employment of those sums in America, due to the French Republick, so convenient to the United States in the present circumstances, would suit the convenience of the Republick.
The minister for foreign affairs has already ordered a purchase of grain, flour, and salted provisions to the value of