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hamilton to a committee of congress - Alexander Hamilton, The Works of Alexander Hamilton, (Federal Edition), vol. 3 
The Works of Alexander Hamilton, ed. Henry Cabot Lodge (Federal Edition) (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904). In 12 vols. Vol. 3.
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hamilton to a committee of congress
April 1, 1794.
In the course of the present examination, respecting the point of authority under which any portion of the moneys borrowed abroad had been drawn into the United States, the Secretary of the Treasury did make the following question:
“I ask the committee appointed to inquire into the state of the Treasury Department, whether they expect from the Secretary of the Treasury the production of any authorities from the President to him, in reference to the loans made under the acts of the 4th and 12th of August, 1790, except such as regard merely the making of said loans, and the application and disbursement of such part of the proceeds of those loans as were to be disbursed in foreign countries.
I object to the being required to produce any other authorities than those excepted, for the following reasons, viz.:
1st. Because it results, from the constitution of the Treasury Department, that all receipts and expenditures of public money, within the United States, must pass through that Department, under the sanction of warrants from the Secretary, countersigned by the Comptroller, and registered by the Register; consequently, whenever a loan is made, either abroad or at home, on account of the United States, destined for disbursement within the United States, it becomes, ex officio, the province of the Treasury Department to draw the proceeds of such loan into the Treasury, and to disburse from thence, according to law.
2d. Because, when it once appears that the President has constituted the head of a department his agent, for any general purpose, intrusted to him by law, all intermediate authorities from the President to the agent, being conformable with law, are to be presumed. The proper inquiry for the Legislature must be, whether the laws have been duly executed or not; if they have been duly executed, the question of sufficiency or deficiency of authority, from the President to his agent, must be, to the Legislature, immaterial and irrelevant. That question must, then, be a matter purely between the President and the agent, not examinable by the Legislature, without interfering with the province of the Chief Magistrate, to whom alone the responsibility is.
All authority from the President to do any thing not warranted by the laws of the 4th and 12th of August, is disclaimed. A complete responsibility for the due and faithful execution of those laws is admitted to rest on the head of the Department. He claims no protection from any instruction or authority of the President, for any thing which may have been irregular or wrong, but he respectfully conceives that the competency of his authority from the President to do, what being done, is conformable with the laws, is not, under the circumstances of the case, a proper object of legislative inquiry.”
Upon the consideration of which question, the Committee came to the following resolution:
“Resolved, That the Secretary of the Treasury be requested to state to the committee, by what authority any portion of the moneys borrowed abroad have been drawn to the United States.”
In consequence of which resolution the Secretary of the Treasury laid before the committee a paper in the following words: