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Revenue two appropriations of the Bureau of Accounts, and the Treasurer of the United States. Those are at least four.
Then there is the Federal Security Agency. I think most of the Federal Security Agency at the moment is charged direct to the Trust account. But, in any event, we get only a small amount from them now, which is reimbursable under this procedure.
Mr. Gary. It is not credit to your appropriation so that you will have the amount to spend over again?
Mr. MAXWELL. That is true. It is also true of all the others. It goes into miscellaneous receipts.
Analysis of appropriation base for fiscal year 1951
Additions: Appropriation base for 1951..
150, 000 Estimate of appropriation for fiscal year 1951.
220, 000 Net increase from base for 1951.----
--- 70, 000 Comparison of estimate of appropriation for fiscal year 1951 with appropriation
Payment of losses from recoinage of
Mr. GARY. Do you suggest that this item be made a permanent indefinite appropriation?
Mr. MAXWELL. Yes, sir; Mr. Chairman.
The amount of the requirements of this appropriation vary according to silver coins in circulation, and the amount required in circulation depends on economic conditions and other conditions over which the Treasury has no control.
We feel that it would be much better and less expensive to the Government if it were handled as an indefinite appropriation. It would mean that we would always have sufficient funds to recoin the silver coins, whereas, under the present situation, it has been necessary to come up to your committee several times, to get enough funds to cover this account.
REASON FOR ESTIMATED INCREASE Mr. Gary. I notice your estimate about a 50 percent increase in that fund next year. Why is that?
Mr. MaxwELL. We estimate that the amount of coins withdrawn from circulation for the next 2 years will be $2,250,000 each; which would mean that together with the amount on hand at the beginning of the fiscal year 1951, we will have an amount to be recoined of over $3,000,000, about $3,080,000. In order to recoin that much silver coin, it would be necessary to have about $220,000.
The one disadvantage of not having the funds currently available to recoin the coins is that if they are in hand in the mints they can only store them and there is the problem of extra storage. Also, when the settlement committee verifies the amounts annually, they have more items to check: So that it is a considerable disadvantage to have these large volumes on hand and not recoined.
There is another thing, too. Mints have one fund of an indefinite nature for recoining minor coins. Sometimes they get lots coming in of silver coins as well as minor coins. That means if they try to pull the minor coins out for recoining and have no money for the silver coins, it means extra accounting.
Mr. Gary. Is this appropriation to cover the loss in silver in recoining?
Mr. MAXWELL. That is right. The coins come in worn and mutilated, and the weight is less than the face value. This is to make up the actual difference between the value when melted down and the face value.
INCREASES BY OBJECTIVE CLASS
Mr. Gary. I notice on page 64 of the justifications there is a table which contains some of the figures you have just been citing. Do you not think it would be a good idea to put that table in the record?
Mr. MAXWELL. Yes, sir; I would be glad to do so. Mr. GARY. The table will be inserted into the record at this point. (The table referred to is as follows:)
In order to reduce the inventory of uncurrent silver coins to a near normal, it will be necessary to recoin approximately $988,000 more uncurrent silver coin in 1951 than 1950.
1 Holdings of United States Mints, Treasurer's Office, and Federal Reserve banks, June 25, 1948. Holdings of United States Mints, Treasurer's Office, and Federal Reserve banks, July 1, 1949.
PENDING LEGISLATION TO CHARGE LOSSES AGAINST SENIORAGE
Mr. MAXWELL. Mr. Chairman, if I might, I would like to call your attention to a bill that was introduced in the last session to accomplish the same purpose. You might want to consider it since it is now up to the House whether they want to pass that bill.
This bill would substantially accomplish the same purpose by authorizing the charging of these losses against seniorage. That is the reverse of this account. That is the profit on silver, where we acquire silver at a lower price by purchase on the market which is made into coins at a little higher face value.
That bill is S. 2590.
The gain arising from the coinage of such silver bullion into coin of a nominal value exceeding the cost thereof shall be credited to a special fund denominated the silver-profit fund. This fund shall be charged with the wastage incurred in such coinage * * *
Mr. Gary. So if that bill passes, there would be no need of us making it a permanent and definite appropriation; is that correct?
Mr. MAXWELL. Yes, sir; it accomplishes the same purpose.
I just thought I would point it out to you. If the bill passes, other provisions will not be necessary. .
Mr. GARY. When was it passed?
Mr. CANFIELD. Do you know what silver coin takes the most beating in its lifetime, Mr. Maxwell?
Mr. MAXWELL. No; I just do not know what that is.
Mr. CANFIELD. I imagine it is the lowly dime, but I do not know. We can ask that question of the mint. That is all I have, Mr. Chairman.
RELIEF OF THE INDIGENT, ALASKA
Funds available for obligation
Obligations by activities Payments for relief of indigent persons in Alaska: 1949...
$17, 816 1950.
20, 000 1951.
4,000 Obligations by objects 11 Grants, subsidies, and contributions: 1949, $17,816; 1950, $20,000; $4,000.
Mr. Gary. Will you explain this item, Mr. Maxwell?
Mr. Gary. You requested $20,000 for 1950 and Congress appropriated $20,000. You are requesting only $4,000 for 1951, which is a decrease of $16,000. That is correct, is it not?
Mr. MAXWELL. Yes, sir.
Mr. Gary. It is good to see at least one decrease regardless of what prompted it.
Mr. MAXWELL. There is a reason for the decrease this year, Mr. Chairman.
As you know, this appropriation is expended by the four district judges in Alaska for relief of persons in Alaska. It is based on 10 percent of the receipts from occupational trade licenses in incorporated towns.
The total amount of receipts, of course, is the maximum amount which can be appropriated.
Beginning January 1 of this year, receipts from current assessments will no longer be deposited into the Treasury, but under a lawwhich is Public Law 300, dated September 7, 1949—those funds will be handled by the Alaskan Territorial government itself.
So that this appropriation of $4,000 is merely to authorize the payment of the balance of those receipts which will be received the first part of the next fiscal year.
It may be more than is needed, but there is no way of knowing how much will be carried over from the fiscal year 1950 to 1951. We felt that $4,000 would be ample to cover all the receipts which had been received prior to January 1 and deposited in the Treasury.
Mr. GARY. Then there will not be any request for this purpose next year; will there?
Mr. MÁXWELL. No, sir. Nothing for 1952 or thereafter.
Mr. FERNANDEZ. It is going to be taken care of by the Territory of Alaska itself, so why not just not make any appropriation at this time and just leave that in the Treasury?
We do not have to pay that to them.
Mr. GARY. Why is that? · Mr. FERNANDEZ. As I understand it, the Territory is taking care of it as of June 1.
Mr. Gary. But this is taking care of anything they were entitled to before January 1.
Mr. MAXWELL. We cannot pay back more than they deposit.
Mr. Gary. Is it limited to the total amount received? • Mr. MAXWELL. That is right.
Mr. GARY. The only condition in which we would have to face it again next year would be if it amounted to more than $4,000.
Mr. FERNANDEZ. Yes; but I doubt very much if it would be more than $4,000.
Mr. CANFIELD. The chairman said he is glad to see one decrease, and so am I, We are all, however, compelled to recognize the reason therefor.
I am reminded of the observation that Bruce Barton made when he came to Congress. He said the only way to effect real economies is to repeal a lot of laws.
Mr. PASSMAN. That is more or less a reserve. You do not know whether or not this $4,000 will be required; is that correct?
Mr. MAXWELL. That is correct.
Mr. MAXWELL. If it is not appropriated it will revert to the trust account.
Mr. PASSMAN, What if it is appropriated and not used?
Mr. MAXWELL. We only issue appropriation warrants up to the amounts of the receipts or the amount appropriated, whichever is lower. There are two limits: the amounts appropriated by Congress, and amount deposited in the Treasury, whichever is lower.
Mr. Gary. If the receipts are lower they will not spend it all; is that correct?
Mr. MAXWELL. That is right.
FUND FOR PAYMENT OF GOVERNMENT LOSSES IN SHIPMENT
Funds available for obligation
Obligations by activities Payment of claims: 1949.
$248, 737 1950.-
250, 000 1951.--
250, 000 Obligations by objects 13 Refunds, awards, and indemnities: 1949.
$248, 737 1950.
- 250, 000
250,000 Mr. Gary. It appears, with respect to this item, that the requested appropriation for 1950 was $200,000, that Congress appropriated $100,000, and you are now asking $150,000.
Will you explain that appropriation, Mr. Maxwell?
As I indicated earlier, the act of July 8, 1937, created this selfinsurance fund to protect the shipment of Government valuables and established on the books of the Treasury a revolving fund to pay claims resulting from losses in shipment of valuables, Government property, coin, currency, and securities, and so on.