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modification of the tariff it is supposed will make an addition of $5,534,057 to the revenue, and reduce the deficit to $14,086,406. This deficit, the Secretary remarks, must be provided for either by stock loans, treasury notes, direct taxation, or excises; and he asks for power to contract a debt, payable in a term of years, or to issue treasury notes at par, and the interest not to exceed six per cent. The grant of the authority to issue either stock or treasury notes at the discretion of the department may not, under the circumstances, be amiss; but it is not so clear that any contingency can arise that will make stock payable in a term of years more advantageous to the public interest than treasury notes. The report remarks: "The same power that is now given by law to redeem the loan, even before its maturity, whenever the funds of the government will permit, so as to liquidate any public debt as speedily as possible, should be continued." The fact of the existence of a surplus of 13 millions of dollars to the credit of the treasury for more than two years, and loaned to banks and brokers without interest, contemporaneously with the existence of an outstanding debt of some $17,000,000 on which the government is paying six per cent., is pretty conclusive evidence that the "power" alluded to by the Secretary is not very available. The government has in fact paid $600,000 per annum during the last two years for money to loan to banks; and this instance of a most profligate want of economy in the treasury department was occasioned by the supposed utility of funding $7,000,000 of treasury notes that were doubtless of considerable service to the commercial public, into a five per cent. stock for 20 years. The government took from the mercantile public a useful species of paper, redeemable within the year, and gave in exchange to brokers and bankers a stock not redeemable in 20 years. The great error of this operation was that it was done by the same Congress that imposed the present tariff. They alleged that the high duties levied by that tariff were necessary to increase the revenue, in order to discharge the public debt; and at the same time they took from that debt its feature of redemption within the year, and made it irredeemable within 20
years. The department has, indeed, power to buy it in the market at the market price, which is of course always the value of principal as well as the interest, which the government injudiciously contracted to pay for twenty years. Had the debt as it existed in 1843 remained unchanged in its character, the accumulation of surplus occasioned in 1843-4 by the reaction of the almost embargo on imports created by the tariff in the first year of its action, would gradually have retired the outstanding notes, and neither surplus nor debt would now have existed. A similar juncture now presents itself. The Secretary wants for the coming year an addition of 19 millions to his revenue, to meet what is assumed to be a temporary outlay; at the same time he proposes a permanent modification of the tariff, which, in connexion with the modification of the English corn-laws, cannot in the present state of commercial affairs but have a very salutary effect upon business, and greatly improve the regular revenues of the government. The proposed tariff, aided by the warehousing system, cannot but add largely to the permanent revenues; and when, as it is hoped will speedily be the case, the expenditure returns to the peace establishment, a surplus must rapidly accumulate. In such a case, why should the government be compelled for a series of years to continue paying interest on a stock debt, that the money may be loaned to banks without interest?-a repetition of the profligacy of the enactment of 1843! It is true, that it has occurred that the treasury notes of the government bearing six per cent. have been at a discount in the market, and it is clearly unjust at such a time to require the public creditor to take them at par: but when treasury notes were unsaleable at par, United States six per cent. stock was not to be negotiated at any price. Mr. Tyler's agent failing to get a loan here, hawked them all over Europe, and still without success. Were such a contingency to arise, it were far better to allow to the creditor of the government the market rate of discount on the notes paid him, than to engage to pay interest for 20 years to third parties. It is not at all probable, scarcely within the range of possibility, that treasury notes can fall to a discount under a modified tariff.
When the treasury notes of the federal government were at a discount in 1842, the whole customs revenues of the government for the year were but $18,000,000, and the treasury notes outstanding amounted to $10,093,426. It is pretty evident, notwithstanding that the notes were receivable for customs, that at a time when business was slack and money tight, there was not sufficient demand for the notes to pay government dues to sustain them at par, and the stagnation of internal business diminished the demand for the notes in the operations of exchange. As the matter now stands, the Secretary proposes to raise the revenue from customs to $30,034,057 per annum, by reducing the rates; if, therefore, he should issue in treasury notes the whole amount of his estimated, deficit say, in round numbers, 20 millions, the amount outstanding would be no more disproportionate to the revenues of the country than they were in 1842; and if during the year the war expenditure should cease, the same cause would probably, by stimulating trade, still farther enhance the customs and absorb the notes, thereby extinguishing the debt by its own operation, speedily and with little cost. If, on the other hand, the debt should be contracted, to avoid a temporary inconvenience, on a term of years, the double inconvenience of a surplus on hand and an extensive out
The quantity of sugar raised in this country amounts to 200,000,000 pounds, and the price is advanced $5,000,000 by the duty: hence, laying a duty of 20 per cent. upon all these articles will diminish the actual tax to the consumers $3,000,000; or, differently stated, in average families 7 lbs. of sugar is used, with 2 lbs. coffee and lb. tea per week; the tax on the sugar is now 17 cents: if the tax upon all three articles were 20 per cent., it would amount on the whole to 14 cents, or the consumers would pay 34 cents per week less than they now pay.
Thus far, although the money and produce markets have been greatly
standing debt would be encountered for a long season. The quantity of treasury notes that may be kept afloat will be greatly enhanced by the operation of the Independent Treasury, which will restrain, to a great degree, the swindling banking system that now frequently fills the channels of exchange with a baseless and spurious paper, alike injurious to the operators and the public.
Among the changes proposed in the tariff by the Secretary, is the imposition of taxes on tea and coffee, heretofore free. Those duties are alluded to as "war measures." It is certainly desirable that, if sufficient revenue can be derived from low duties on all other articles, that tea and coffee should be exempt; but we are far from subscribing to the soundness of that policy which taxes sugar 100 per cent., and allows tea and coffee, its accompanyments, to go free, on pretence that a tax is removed from the necessaries of the poorer classes. The absurdity of the plea becomes evident if we turn to the treasury reports, and observe the quantities of each consumed and the amount of duties paid by each. Tea and coffee are imported altogether-none is pro-. duced in this country. Of sugar about twice as much is produced us is imported, and the price of the whole mass is raised to the extent of the duty.The following quantities of the three articles were imported in 1845:
disturbed, and serious calamities have overtaken the large class of dealers in agricultural produce, the war and its consequent expenditures have as yet had but little agency in producing the difficulties. In fact, it may be a question whether the expenditure by the government of the surplus on hand, and its consequent withdrawal from government banks and dispersion in the general markets, will not have a better effect than to allow the money to continue the instrument of alternate oppression and undue speculation, which it has been during the last two years. The first effect of the hostilities at New-Orleans, was to shake credit and paralyse bill
BILLS AT NEW-ORLEANS.
74 a 84
2 a 3 dis.
The purchases of the banks are mostly 60 days bills, and at one time their northern credits reached $4,000,000 in addition to the government credits drawing money from the deposit banks for expenditure at the south. The banks bought thus largely at the low rates and chec at par, realizing large profits from the difficulties they helped to create. When the institutions again became sellers, the market was eased considerably there. The chief difficulty which has disturbed in the markets has grown out of the great fall in produce, consequent upon the disappointment in relation to the large crops in England, and the enormous supplies which the high speculative prices of last fall sent forward to market. The progress of popular opinion in England in relation to the removal of duties upon corn has been slow but effective; and last fall the failure of the crop of potatoes in Ireland
become considerably depreciated, the banks themselves became buyers, and the rates rose. The course of the operation is seen in the following table of rates of bills:
1846 February.....54 3.. 1846 May.....
a 4 dis.
From October, 1844, to the first week in July, 1845, the price of grain remained remarkably steady as did the quantities taken out of bond and those remaining in bond. From August to
MONTHLY AVERAGE OF WHEAT-QUANTITY IMPORTED-QUANTITY DUTY
qrs. 1844 October. 85,212. 1844 November....45 4... 26,386. 1844 December....45 6...... 22,242.. 1845 January......45 8..... 19,679.. 1845 February.. 1845 March...
a 3 dis.
gave an impetus to the movement and agitators produced a strong belief in the deficiency of the English crops of grain. Excitement ran high, being fostered by political agitators until it reached nearly a panic, and drove the first Minister of the Crown into proposing the removal
duties. The fears in relation to the crop seem to have most seriously prevailed from August to November, during and immediately succeeding the harvest. Prices under this influence appear to have reached their highest point in the first week in November. As an indication of the state of affairs, we compile from official returns the following statement of the price of grain on the 5th of each month, the quantity imported and duty paid, the rate of duty as governed by the six weeks average, and the quantity of wheat and of wheat flour remaining in bond on the 5th of each month.
71 a 74
13 a 21
3,449. ....18,824....20....344,668. ....265,967
7...... 55,374...... 5,081....02....320,281.
cwt. 296,916 271.228
404,106 ..686,813 ..1,119,427
November a rapid rise took place, and the duty fell 6s per quarter from the 5th of August to the 5th of December. At that time the conviction began to spread itself that the harvest was not so short
as had been supposed. The potatoe crop of Ireland was indeed short, and a fearful calamity it is, because the cultivators of those blighted crops have not where with to purchase other food. The citizens of that impoverished and oppressed land have no reserve property in any shape which they can make available for the purchase of food Their labor is scarcely ever a
PRICES OF PRODUCE IN NEW-YORK.
As usual, under the influence of excitement speculations were entered into, and the farmers and producers were relieved of large quantities at high prices. The anticipated demand did not, however, take place, and up to the close of
.84 62....0 57....1 00....14 00....9 00......0 8.
6 25.0 70....1 35....14 00....7 75......0 84.
5 50....0 70....1 26....11 25 ...8 50......0 7
Total, 6 months.... ..103,614
marketable article, and when they lose its proceeds on their own patch of land their case is indeed deplorable. The excitement which prevailed in England was rapidly imparted to this country, and the most sanguine expectations of inordinant prices for all descriptions of food were entertained here, and their influence upon prices is seen as follows:
Corn. Wheat. mess.
This represents an increase of near $2,000,000 in the value of these three articles exported from the port of NewYork, but there have been large losses sustained on it as well as on other produce; and on the 5th of May there was in bond in England five times as much wheat as at the same date in the previous year, and four times as much flour, with every prospect at that early period of the year of a good harvest.
MONTHLY EXPORTS OF FLOUR AND GRAIN FROM THE PORT OF NEW-YORK.
..bbls. 13,316 bush. 13,370
The increase at these two points is nearly 100 per cent., it appears. The receipts at New-York down the river are 600,000 bbls. against 400,000 bbls.
navigation, all the avenues of trade were filled with produce on its way to the seaports. As compared with last year, the exports of flour, corn and wheat from the port of New-York have been as follows:
1845. ..bbls. 392,668. 460,068.
Flour. Corn. Wheat. bbls. 69,613 bush. 112,607 bush. 46,591 41,153 201.220 10,581
to 16th 58,003
1846. ..592,692. ..716,171.
The real and prospective abundance of food in England in the face of the vast supplies that reach tide-water in the United States, has made the condition of the buyers and holders any thing but enviable. The quantity of flour weighed at Rochester, New-York, from the opening of navigation to June 15, and that received at New-Orleans from September 1st to June 15th, was as follows:
at the same period last year. The continual decline in prices has uncovered a large amount of acceptances. drawn on city houses against produce
generally, and the reclamations on millers, banks and forwarders have been large, involving failures in almost every stage of the transaction. For the general business of the country it is perhaps fortunate that the producers of the crops, who are in general the consumers of goods, obtained fair prices for their produce, and so far the basis of general trade is sound. In looking forward, however, to the fall trade, we observe in all directions a great accumulation of stocks without any very good prospects of such a demand as shall advance prices. It is the case, indeed, that when wheat and wheat-flour falls so low more of it is consumed. The eastern manufacturers use more wheat and less rye and Indian, and it enters more into general consumption abroad.
There is no doubt but that the foreign demand will be fair to good; but the export must be large to relieve the markets and allow the new crops to open at remunerative prices to the farmers; at the present rates for general produce no considerable profits can be realized by the farming interest, and a decline in their profits is certain to be followed by a languid fall and winter trade. The
NOTICES OF NEW BOOKS.
Memoirs of the Administration of Washington and John Adams. Edited from the papers of Oliver Wolcott, Secretary of the Treasury. By GEORGE GIBBS. 2 vols. New-York.
orders for foreign goods are understood to be very limited; and the state of exchanges at this season of the year, when they usually rise and become firm, is an indication' that such is the fact. The rate of sterling for the packet of the 1st of July last year was 9 a 10, and this year dull, 74 a 84. The scarcity of money may, to some extent, have affected prices this year, but as a general thing the demand has been less than the supply, more so than is usually the case at this season. The state of the markets abroad are such as might promise improvement but for the distrust which hangs over the railway movement.The desire for railway speculations appears to be still good; in fact, all those who possessed shares when the bubble burst are naturally anxious to become relieved of the burden; as they are a numerous and influential class, the probabilities are they may succeed in again producing a speculation. The number of newly-authorized roads is such as to require an incredible outlay of money, perhaps $300,000,000; a sum too large to transfer from one employment to another in a short space of time without producing great embarrassment.
THE two volumes before us form a very valuable contribution to the history of the times, when the conflicting elements of resistance having successfully severed this mighty continent from the domination of Europe, were just crystalizing as it were into the pure imstitutions that have now become consolidated by time. At a time when everything was unadjusted, when theories were to be reduced to practice, when among the multitudinous forms of government of which the world had previously exhibited the working, the monarchy of England had up to that time best stood the test of practice; when the best
and wisest men were anxious only to construct a government to hand down to posterity free from the objections that had manifested themselves in others, there was naturally a great indisposition in many quarters to embark in one altogether new. There were also a great number who, from honest conviction, distrusted the ability of the people to absolutely govern themselves; men who supposed that society should be divided into classes, with special privileges to the higher ranks, in order to ensure its well-being and the preservation of that order without which the commonwealth could not prosper, and that a strong federal government with its powerful patronage and splendid machinery could alone effect it. It was but natural that such opinions should be entertained, because the world had given no example of an absolute political equality among