Angarica v. Bayard

In Angarica v. Bayard, 127 U.S. 251 (1888), the Supreme Court held that on money received by the Secretary of State from a foreign government under an international award, invested by him in interest-bearing securities of the United States, and ultimately paid to the petitioner, interest was not payable, because the money was in effect withheld by the United States; and Mr. Justice Blatchford, delivering judgment, said: "The case, therefore, falls within the well settled principle that the United States are not liable to pay interest on claims against them, in the absence of express statutory provision to that effect. It has been established as a general rule, in the practice of the government, that interest is not allowed on claims against it, whether such claims originate in contract or in tort, and whether they arise in the ordinary business of administration, or under private acts of relief, passed by Congress on special application. The only recognized exceptions are where the government stipulates to pay interest, and where interest is given expressly by an act of Congress, either by the name of interest or by that of damages." (127 U.S. 260.)