From George Washington1
[Philadelphia, April 24, 1794]
It appears to me that my instructions on the 8 of August 1793 have fixed the appropriation of the money to the sinking fund;2 and I have considerable difficulty in being convinced of my power to change it at this time. However, as I wish to see the whole subject together, it may be well for you to state to me what the embarrassments are which you suppose will arise from confining the money borrowed to the purchase of the public debt,3 which I own I am very desirous of seeing effected as fast as it can be done advantageously for the public.
LC, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress.
“I do myself the honor of submitting to your consideration a few reflections on the manner of appropriating the three millions of florins, lately borrowed.
“In your power of the 8th. of August 1793 you expressly say, that the present being likely to continue for some time a favorable season for the purchases of the public debt, you therefore direct the Secy of the treasury to obtain a loan to be applied to the purchases of the public debt, pursuant to the act of the 12th of aug: 1790.
“Under this power, and this power only the loan of three millions of florins has been accomplished.
“The Secretary of the treasury thinks that embarrassments may be found in excluding absolutely the future applications of any part of this sum towards payments to France or otherwise on account of the foreign debt.
“I cannot see the propriety of now altering the appropriations.
“1. because it is plain by consulting the power of the 8th of August 1793, under which the three millions of florins were borrowed, that it is the act of the 12th. of August 1790, and no other, upon which the loan was bottomed. So that the Secretary appears to be mistaken, when he says ‘that the loan has been made without particular reference to either of them.’
“2. because if the President in his letter of July 27th did even insert the clause which says that it was not his purpose by separate instructions to prevent the loans from being carried on without distraction; still that same clause directs, that the monies, as they are received, shall be considered as first applicable to the sinking fund.
“3. because the Secretary of the Treasury, tho’ requested by your private letter to make objections, to the plan, which you marked out, did not object to the appropriation of the loan to the sinking fund.
“4. because the appropriation to the sinking fund is a beneficial and favorite one to all classes of men.
“There remains even yet a sufficient scope for borrowing, as far as law is concerned. But probably it is not easy to effect a loan. If therefore the Secretary of the Treasury will specify the embarrassments, to which he alludes, they may be judged of; and I am sure, that I shall not now undertake to say, that they may not be as strong as he thinks them.
“If therefore the President wishes, as Mr. Dandridge intimated, that I should speak to Colo. Hamilton, I will do so. If he prefers to write (as perhaps is the better way), the following may be an adviseable form for a letter.
“‘It appears to me, that my instructions on the 8th. of Aug: 1793 have fixed the appropriation of the money to the sinking fund; and I have considerable difficulty in being convinced of my power to change it at this time. However as I wish to see the whole subject together, it may be well for you, to state to me what the embarrassments are, which you suppose will arise from confining the money borrowed to the purchase of the public debt which I own I am very desirous of seeing effected as fast as it can be done advantageously for the public’.” (ALS, RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters, 1790–1799, National Archives.)