them are settled by the Second Auditor and another by the Third Auditor.
The officers rendering the accounts and returns are notified from this office of all remarks made upon them during their examination in this office.
The expenditures are charged against the several appropriations to which they properly belong, and the officers being notified promptly of all irregularities, errors, and omissions discovered during the examinations of their accounts in this office, have the opportunity to correct errors, to account for or explain irregularities, and to supply omissions before the final examination is completed at the Treasury Department, and thus to facilitate the final settlement and adjustment of their accounts.
As a measure of justice and protection, both to the Government and to the officers, it is very desirable that these examinations should be prompt. The officers should have the opportunity of correcting errors while the transactions are fresh in the recollection of the witnesses. The Government should have the benefit of a speedy adjustment of the accounts to enable it to do justice to those whose conduct has been irregular or culpable.
I regret to report that the increasing business of this department, from the increase of the Army and the growth of the operations attending the supply and transportation of the troops in this gigantic wa to outrun the means provided by law for the examination and adjustment of accounts.
The temporary quarters into which the office has been removed, though much larger than those occupied in Winder's building, are not sufficient to afford convenient rooms for the dispatch of business by the several divisions of the office prescribed by the law for the better organization of the Quartermaster's Department, approved July 4, 1864.
An increase of not less than 170 clerks in the force of this office should be provided for, and I respectfully advise that Congress be invited to authorize this increase. They should be class; seventy of class one, sixty of class two, thirty of class three, and ten of class four.
The chief clerks of the several principal divisions of the office should be of class four; their duties are onerous and responsible, and they should be men of experience and integrity, and of aptitude for business, and should receive a compensation which will induce them to continue in the Government service.
At the last Congress provision was made for an increase of 20 per cent. on the salaries of all clerks and others employed in the public departments of Washington, whose annual compensation did not exceed $600. I respectfully recommend that this increase be extended to include the clerks of all classes employed in this office. The expenses of living in this city have increased. The pay of mechanics, laborers, of clerks in private employment, and of most classes of the community depending upon daily or yearly salaries, has been increased by common consent, and I know that many worthy men, devoted, trusty, and valuable public servants, are now suffering from the effect of the general advance in the cost of living, which has not been accompanied by any increase of their compensation or means of support.
At the time the annual report of last year was rendered I was under your orders, serving in the field with the army in Tennessee and