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The Washington union. [volume] (City of Washington [D.C.]) 1857-1859, December 07, 1858, Image 1

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VOL. XIV. NO. It?. WASHINGTON CITY, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 7, 1858. TWO CENTS. I I
f?r*1 1 foplM i(?r ?i.-i , twenty co^an, mm in aou.'w 7 I 7 foregoing rote*. fl
,T itaaneripUoua may.cmnwiiM at any time ' '"fr? '"? r*"*- fl
kepokt of tiik secretary of thf
tkkasikv on the state of the
finances.
I MIAMI 1* Y I>M\M<i*i r, INI-.-IHIM r fi, I
ri. In ( -nijili.tii' i with tin-n> i <i| ('ungithi mtitli il
An ml Mipi'li liifiitui v to mi ... t lii i-ntiiiili*li ti.t- Ti't-dnu,y
I)i|KirtlIHUl, il|'I>l' i\ I'll .Mil, III, 11(10. 1 Jilt I . till'
t'l Mll.l.lil till t"llo?ill? icjl'll I
tin tin- let cM July, lt-57, l.i iii?' tin.
.omnieucement of tlio fiwul year
1858, the balance in the troanury
**S - ?l I , I 1U, Hi il
Uit rceipU into tb. treasury during
the luteal year 1838 were $70,273,Sfi'J
5'J, iih follow* :
Foi the .juarter ending fcieptcinbei 30, I -to7
From customs... $18,573,729 37
From public lands 2,053,149 .'19
From miscellaneous
sourees 296,641 0.')
20,929,819 81
Kur the quarter ending December 31, 1857?
From customs 6,237,723 69
From public binds Ills,761 53
From miscellaneous
sources 356,159 78
7,(192,665 00
For the quarter'ending March 31, 1858
From customs - 7,127,900 69
From public binds 480,936 88
From miscellaneous
sources 393,690 78
Fioiu treasury nobs issued
11,087,600 00
19,090,128 35
lor the cpiarter ending June 30, 1858 ,
From customs 9,850,267 21
From public lands 474,548 07
From miscellaneous
sources 207,741 15
From treasury notes issued
- 12,623,700 00
23,161,256 43
The aggregate means, therefore, for the
service of the fiscal year ending Juno
'?'), 87,983,983 86
The ex|>endituiea during the fiscal
rear ending June 30, 1858, were $81,
to.Ml), (01 4;)
There are extraordinary means within
heoommand of the department as follow*
:
frevury notes which may In; issued
previous to the 1st .Iannary, 1859,
under the 10th section of the net of
Decemlier 23. 1857, wry $1,000,000 00
Wince of loin authorized hy net of
June 14, 1858 10,000,000 00
^uich added to the ordinary estimated
means 70,129,195 5fi
Ms'ie* the aggregate means to dune .'10,
1?D 81,129,195 58
Deduct the actual and estimated expenditures
as heretofore stated 74,085,890 99
'"Ives ftn estimated balance in the
treasury July 1, 1859, of..." 7,083,298 57
^'oiatn fa tht fiscal i/tar from July 1, 1859, to July 1,
1860.
jf'irnstod bulanoe in the treasury $7,063,298 57
"iraited reeeipts from customs for the
''Hal year cndlnR .hinc 30, I860-- - 58,000,000 00
' " mated receipts from public hinds- 5,000,000 00
mated receipts from mlscellanootis
"?"r,es 1,000,000 00
JfWeiats .>r ? '
? o- I.H'I.IIK llir YCHl I'lK 111 'im'"
30, 1860 <;9.0G3,298 57
I'lf 'xliturrs cstini:iu-<l ns follov *
'?ii.-'Of <>\isliii'.' iippropiliiti'iim 1-', 17s.007 2 s
' ni"'int of {x riiiaii. tit unci im<l?-t\iiit? sip
Pr,>ltti?ticii- 8,407,721 50
' iitnl approprii?Unns !.> Ik- nimlit 1 >
lw fur the nervine of the tincal year
''' 'unc 50, i860 52,102,515 08
n 7.1,1.19,147 40
nK,'<tinmtr,l receipt* Ik ini*- 09,008,298 57
Deficit 4.075,848 89
I
m.
Being fur the quarter ending September
30, 1857 23,714,528 87
Iking for the quarter ending December
31, 1857 17,035,653 07
Being for the quarter ending March 31,
1858 18,101,9 1 5 7 4
JUtng for the quarter ending June 30,,
1858 22,730,570 58
Which were applied to the various
branches of the public service ok follows:
Civil, foreign intercourse, and miscellaneous..
26,387,822 20
Service in charge of Interior Department
6,051,923 38
Service in charge of War Department.. 25,485,383 60
Service in charge of Navy Department. 13,976,000 59
Public debt and redemption of treasury
notes 9,684,537 99
As shown in detail by statement No. 1.
Deducting the expenditures from the
aggregate means during the fiscal
year 1858, a balance remained in the
treasury on the 1st July, 1858, of.. - 6,398,316 10
During the first quarter of the current
fiscal year, from July 1 to September
30, 1858, the receipts into the treasury
were as follows:
from customs $13,444,620 28
From public hinds 421,171 84
From miscellaneous
sources 959,987 34
From loan of 1858 10,000,000 00
From treasury notes issued
405,200 00
25,230,879 46
The estimated receipts during the
three remaining quarters of the current
fiscal year to June 30, 1859, are?
From customs $37,000,000 00
i rom public lands i,uou,uuu wo
From miscellaneous
sources 500,000 00
38,500,000 00
ordinary means for current
lineal year- 70,120,195 56
The expenditures of the 11 rut quarter
u( the current lineal year cml'iug September
30, 1858, were ?
For civil, foreign intercourse, and mincullaneous
tier vices - 6,392,716 38
Fur service in charge of Interior Department
1,994,301 24
For service in charge of War Department
8,221,490 01
For service in charge of Navy I)e[>nrtment
- 4,086,315 18
l or public debt, including redemption
of trciiaury iioten 1,010,142 37
The estimate 1 expenditures during tho
renrdning three quarters of tho current
lineal year to June 30, 1859, arc. 52,357,698 48
74,065,896 99
Ordinary meant an above. 70,129,193 56
frfnit of ordinary means to meet expenditures
3,936,701 43
The deficiency in the ordinary estimated means to meet
<he estimated expenditures during the remainder of the
current fiscal year ending June 30, 1859, aro therefore
To this estimated deficiency on the 30th June, i860,
should be added Uie sum of $3,83a,72b, which will he
required for the service of tiio l'uut Office Department during
the preaeut fiscal your. This hitter amount is not
taken into the foregoing estimate*, but is asked for by
that depurtincut, us will appear from the letter of the
. vj.tuw.u.1 me ouuuoi
Wlu'ti my lout annual report was submitted to Congress,
I explained tho embarrassment* uuilcr which the
estimated receipt* into the treasury were mode. A new
tarilf act had just gone into operation, under ciroumstiiru.es
growing out of tire thou recent revulsion in trade
and business, which untie all calculation as to it* efleet
upon the revenue doubtful and unsatisfactory This
opinion was frankly expressed to Congress at the time.
The present estimates ore submitted under somewhat
more favorable eireurnstanees, and consequently with
greater confidence in their correctness.
The tariff of 1837 has been in operation more than a
year, and in ordinary times tho experience of that year
would atford reliable data to judge of its effect as well
u|?on the trade of the eouutry as tho revenues of the
government. Tho continuance of tiiiauelal difficulties
during a largo jmrtiou of the time, however, and the effects
of it, operating to a great extent during the whole
l>eriod, create serious difficulties in forming a satisfactory
judgment upon the question. The preseut estimates are
based upon the opinion that a reaction in the trade and
business of the country ha* commenced, and that we are
gradually, but steadily, returning to a healthy and prosperous
condition. There seems to l>e a concurrence in
the public mind on this subject, if wo may judge
from tho general tone of public sentiment. The files
of the department furnish strong evidence of its truth.
Our exports for tho year ending the 30th June, 1838,
were $324,044,421 lieiug a reduction from the preceding
year of oulv $38,316,201; whilst the imports for the
same time were $282,013,150? being $78,276,091 less
than the year before. This balance in favor of exports
over imports was doubtless appropriated to tho payment
of our foreign debt, thus relieving the country, in part,
of that source of embarrassment. It exhibits a large
margin for an increase of importations when the business
and necessities of tho country shall demand it. The
restoration of confidence and roaetiou of trade have already
la-en manifested in this record.
By referring to (he receipts from customs at tin; port of
New York for the months of October and November,
1856, the year preceding the revulsion, the same months
of 1857, the vear of the revulsion, and the suuie months
of the present year, I liiid that the receipts of those two
months in 1856 were $(1,202,227 ; in 1807, were $2,028,210
; and in 1858, were $3,810,810. Whilst the country
has not recovered entirely from the disasters of the lust
year', tli increased receipts of the present year indicate a
decided reaction, ami the promise of a certain and speedy j
return of prosperous times.
The foregoing estimates contemplate a deficiency in the
means of the government which, by the 30th June, I8G0,
will amount to the sum of $7,91-1,576. Provision should
Iks made by Congress at its present session to supply the
deficiency. In what manner shall it be done t A loan
for ttiis purpose is not deemed advisable, in view of the
addition already made to the public debt. A revision of
the taritf of 1857, and the imposition of additional duties,
is the only remedy, unless Congress shall take some action
to relieve the treasury from a portion of the expenditures
it is now required to meet.
In revising the tariff, the same principles should direct
and control the action of Congress that would he considered
in the adoption of an original act.
I do not deem it proper to enter into any extended
discussion of the theoretic principles on which a tariff act
should be framed.
They may be briefly stated. Such duties should be
laid as will produce the required revenue, by imposing on
the jicople at large the Bmallcst and the most equal bur- j
dens.
It is obvious that this is most effectually done by taxing,
in preference to others, such articles as are not produced
in this country ; und among articles produced here,
those in which the home product hears the le.ist piopori
tion to the quantity imported are the fittest for taxation.
The reason is, that in taxing articles not made in the
country the whole suui tukerr from the consumer goes
into the treasury, while in the other class the consumer
pays the enhanced value not only on the quautlty 1m- |
ported, hut on the quantity made at home. This last 1
tax is paid not to the treasury, but to the m miifocturer, i
thereby rendering such a duty not only more burdensome,
! but grossly unequal; the home producer bein? benefit- 1
j ed at the expense of the consumer.
If there principles are sound, it is obvious that no
j taritf, strictly for revenue, has ever yet been enacted in
j the United States.
The early legislation of the country contemplated other
j objects, such as fostering our then infant manufactures,
i and encouraging the production of indispensable articles,
so as to render our country independent of foreigu gov- I
I ornments in ease of war.
The objects which originally led to our system of duties
have long since been attained ; but uudor that sys- j
tern large interests have grown up which have always ]
claimed and received such consideration from Congress |
as to prevent the abandonment of the idea of protection.
I I do not cxticct that a tariff will lie now framed on j
benefited by thu reduction. At alt event# they hav# nut
been preserved from tlie general calamity which ha# come
u|??n the producer! and luanufucturerH uf similar article#
in our own country.
The importation# for the fiscal year endiug Juue 30,
IH58, tlie first ami only year ot the present tariff, amount
to 9282,til.'i, 130, being $78,270,1)91 lea# Uiau the iiuportalioua
of the last year of the tariff of 18tti.
The#u two facts alone furnish a strong refutation of the
theory we are combatting.
For the pur|?>#e, however, of a more thorough e.vumiuaiion
of the question, 1 propose to consider the operations
of the iron Interest during tlie same |>eriod. 1 have
selected iron for two reason# ; first, it is one uf the most
iiupoitant interests in the country, deserving tlie care
and protection of the government to a< gieat an extent
in any oilier ; anil, secondly, because it has suffered an
much, if not wore, tlmu any other interest from the
recent revulsion.
By reference to table nix, appended to thin report, it
will be seeu that the iuiportatiou of iron and btccl of nil
kinds amounted, in the year ending June 30, 1857, to
$25,954,111. In the year ending June 30, 1858, it
amounted to $lti,32H 039 ; being a reduction of$9,b2<>,072.
"1'liin reduction in accounted for in ]>art by the reduced
priced of the lust year; hut there in shown by the
same table a large reduction in the amount of iinjiorted
iron and all manufacturer, of iron. Whatever cause,
therefore, nwv have produced the great depression of the
iron interests during the last year, it is very clear that it
is not owing to an increased importation ot foreign iron
vnder the act of 1857. If, us alleged, the price of iron
in tiiis country had been reduced by the increased import
utions caused by the reduction of duties, then the price
of the article in those countries from which we import
ought to have lieen beneficially affected. A comparison
of the prices in this and foroign countries during the last
year will show tliut such was not the fact, as the price fell
not oidy in the United States, hut in Kurope also. The
price of pig-iron, on board, at Glasgow, on December 31,
185H, was 74s. Od.; on December 31, 1857, 52s. (id.;
being a decline of tweuty-nine per centum. The average
price at New York, for January, 1857, was $25 ; for January,
1858, wus $20 50 ; Bhowing a decline of eighteen
|?er centum. The difference between the highest and
lowest prices in New York for the year 1857, being $31
in April, 1857, and $23 in December, is less than twentysix
percent., whilst the difference between the highest
and lowest for the same year at Liverpool was thirty per
centum.
The average price of bur iron at Liverpool for ft s. d
Junuarv 1X17 was H 1 It I
The average price of liar iron at Liverpool for
January, 1858, was - (i 12 (i
Difference, 18 per cent.
The average price of liar iron at New York for
January, 1857, was - $55
The average price of liar iron nt New York for
January, 1858, was - 18
Difference nearly Iff per cent.
Now, it will hardly bo contended that a reduction of
nix percent, in our tariff depressed the pi ice of iron in
Glasgow and Liverpool. The argument of the protec
tlonist contemplates a different result. These facts show
that the prices have bee i as well sustained in America as
in Europe, and that the depression which occurred must
have been brought on by anises common to both countries,
and indeiMindent of the tariff of 1857. It may lie
said that the prices in America would have been better
sustained with a higher tariff by excluding the importation
ol iron trom England at the low prices ruling there.
The answer is, that, if the price of any commodity falls in
the markets of the world, our people, as consumers, are
entitled to the benefit of the reduction, and it is not just
that the price should be unnaturally sustained by legislation.
This is especially true when the same causes have produced
a like decline in almost every important product of
our country.
A tabic is appended, (marked 8,) compiled from 1 he
most reliable sources accessible in the absence of any official
record, showing the average price for the three last
fiscal years, and for each month of each year in the market
of New York of a number of leading articles. Prom
this table it will appear that from the your ending June
30, 1857, to that ending June 30, 1858, there was a decline
in leading articles as follows, viz :
Wheat flour 24 percent. Hay 20|iercent. |
Hemp 30 " Sugar 20 "
Molasses ...'..34 " l'ig iron ..15 "
liar iron 12 " Leather 17 "
Wool. ..16 " Whole oil. lo "
Rice.... lffj " Tobacco........ 12 "
I'ork 0 " Copper 17 "
Butter 10 " Cheese 20 "
No class loses more heavily or sustains greater privations
in a period of ginerat revulsion than the agricultn- 1
lists, and it is asking too much of them to submit lo ad- I
ditional burdens in order to exempt a favored portion of 1
their fellow-citizens from the common calamity.
ti,? ?i?,,.., r..t ?i.., i,,.u- inti.. ii..."
rigid ruvtjjyjo principles, but in nil changes an effort I
should be made nt least to avoid n further departure from !
thcui.
AsHUUiing that the general principles of the present
tariff act will bo adhered to, ail will admit that, having
ascertained the additional revenue required as accurately !
as possible, the least increase of duty that will raise the !
sum is the proper ruto to be adopted.
la determining, however, on what articles the duty is
to be increased, n strong appeal will doubtless Ire made
so to discriminate as to afford relief to certain interests
said to bo unusually depressed.
In a period of general financial distress, such as we
have not yet entirely passed, each interest in the country
naturally feels the want of any aid that would relieve its
einlmrrassments and restore its prosperity, in responding
to such a demand, cure should I** token not to afford the
required relief nt the expense ol another interest equally
in want of assistance, and equally entitled to receive it ut
the hands of the government. When a general calamity
has paralyzed the hand of industry and cramped tiic
energies of the people, it is unfortunate that at such
a time, when the country is least able to bear it, the
wants of the government should force an increase of taxation.
In yielding to the necessity which compels the
imposition of the burden, let it be done with tlmt spirit
of justice which regards with equal cure and protection
j idl the varied interests of the country.
I In connexion with this branch of the subject, I would
respect fully refer to the views presented in iny last nil
nual report to Congress.
It is also a subject of regret that a public necessity requires
a revision of the tariff act of 18.17 before a sufficient
tin .. I| w ekinsed to test, its leiritinifitr efforts linen the i
business of the country as well as the revenues of the
government. False impressions as to its operation must
be carefully guarded against. 'i'hc feet that this net went
into operation on the 1st. of July, 1837, and was follow
ed so soon by the disastrous revulsion of that year, has
induced many persons to believe that the ono was the necessary
cause ot the other. The advocates of a high protective
tariff hnvo not failed to avail themselves of tins
circumstance to press upon the public mind their peculiar
system of affording relief to a distressed people, by increasing
their taxes Kvcry interest in the couutiy vhieh
suffered in the general calamity has Issui eai nostly appealed
to, and no efforts have been spared to induce each
anil all to believe that their misfortunes have l>ecn produces!
by tho pivssage of the tariff'of 1867. There is, however,
one im)iortant point in tho argument where
the logic of the protectionists is wholly at fault. The
revulsion wan not confined to the United States,
or even to this continent. It swept over the world, nnd
was fell with eonal and perhaps "renter severity to .itbcr
countries than our own. Those result* have been too
universal to have been brought about by a reduction of
about twenty per cent, upon the rates of duty in the
ITnitod HtjO.'l tieliur o redact ion of about five iter rent.
upon our importations. The argument of the protectionists
is, that n reduction of our duties stimulates the foreign
trade, and in this instance its legitimate effect should
have been to relievo the embarrassments of the countries
with whom we trade, by opening a larger market for their
productions. They charge that the i nor easel importation
of foreign goods into the country is disastrous to the
business of the homo producer and manufacturer, by depriving
them of the markets of their own country, finch
is the theory of tin* protectionists. Is-t its apply to it
the facts which have transpired und<* the ojierationB of
the tariff of 1857.
The foreign producer and manufacturer have not t>een
prices am U) ascribed to the change in the tariff made in
1857. It occurred indifferently, in articles imported in j
the most trivial (| mm titles, and in those most largely lin- [
ported, in articles the duty on uhichw.it unchanged, and ;
in those on which it was diminished ; proving that the I
cause was outside of all tariff regulations and beyond the. '
control of legislation.
But if it be alleged that although the changes made in I
1857 did not injure the American manufiu tuu r, yet that .
such has been the result of the tariff of 1*46, which was j
based on the same principles, the answer is, that it docs j
not appear that the manufacturing interest has suffered j
from that tariff. While some particular branches, pre- !
maturely or improvidently entered into, may have tailed, j
yet the fact is well known that all the gicat manufacturing
interests have laigely increased since 1846, uiore
rapidly than the population and general production of the
country.
An oxaniiaation of the statistics published under the |
authority of various States, among which may he spcci- i
tied Massachusetts, New York, and Ohio, will abundantly
prove the proposition. One mode of ascertaining the
comparative prosperity of the several industrial interests
of the country, at different times, is by comparing the
amounts of products exported to foreign countries, it lie
ing obvious that those who can compete in the cominou
market witli the like products of other countries can certainly
maintain themselves at home.
Applying tills test to the facts, we find the following
results:
The export of American manufactures for tho
year 1847 was - $10,476,345
For tho year 1858 30,572,180
Increase, $19,895,835, equal to 190 fier cent.
In the same years the exports of cotton were,
1817 53,415,848
In 1838 131,386,661
Increase, $77,970,813, equal to 146 per cent.
Tobacco, 1847 7,242,086
In 1858 17,009,767
Increase, $9,767,681, equal to 135 |>er cent.
The exports of agricultural production, except cotton
anil tobocco, during the same period, show an actual de
crease, which, however, is not a fair comparison, as 1847
was a year of famine in Europe, but the increase of those
exports by a fair comparison of the two periods is about
froin 75 to 100 per cent.
Of the exports of inanfaeturcs, those of iron and the
manufactures of iron are found to be: 1847, $1,167,jui
. iu-.j * i 7'?o u7 i . i..n. *7 una 'inn i ...
10,0, in,lM,nir, ...v,>...r., i.juw lu
.'{()"> per cent.
I am aware that large ox [torts of an article may sometimes
result from adversity instead of prosperity, n?
when the holder, unable to make sales at home, ?hi|)?
goods abroad, aa a last resort, lint it is taxing our credulity
to lie told that, exp .rts of a large class of articles
will go on from year to year, while the manufacturers are
unable to compete at home with the importer, though
protected by twenty-four or even nineteen percent. And,
if it Is- mid that the year 1858 was one in which the
state of things referred to especially existed, a comparison
of the exports of the preceding year, conceded to l?c
ono of remarkable prosperity, will show the same result.
It will not suffice to say that this prosperity is owing
to the influx of gold from California. That lias been a
cause of a general rise in prices, and of increased activity
in all industrial departments ; but no reason is perceived
why the agriculture of the country should not be as
much stimulated by that cause as the manufactures.
Yet, while both have increased, tlw manufactures linvo
increased faster, whereas if tliey had been seriously
injured by the taiitr of 184G, they would, at most,
have improved more slowly limit other interests not so
affected.
I proceed to consider the question of the best mode of
reviving the present tariff, with n view t<> raising h ?nf- v
tielent buui to meet the demands of the public service. It v
has boon pro[wwe<i to rejreal the tut of 1857, and roe to re s
the act of 1846. To thin suggestion there are serious oh- 4
jections, which, to my mind, are insu[>erttblc. I mu well ti
natistiud that the wauls of the government do nut require ?
a permanent iucrcMO of the taxes to the extent of revl- t
ving the tariff of 1846. The duties of forty and one t
hundred per cent. iiii|N>?cd by that act are, in the present n
condition of trade and commerce, wholly indefensible. \
l'he public mind of the country will scarcely be brought f
again to acquiesce in any higher schedule than thirty per
cent., tire maximum of tire present law. It would cer- t
Lrinly require some more urgeut necessity than cxihts at s
this time to jUrttifv ?uch u measure. t
It has also been proposed to adopt the principle of ?
honio valuation, with a view, first, of increasing the *
rates of <luty, uiui secondly, of gtuuding against under t
valuation and other frauds, which are alleged to exist I
under our present system. t
As a measure for increasing the revenue, this projswi- [
tigu posesses no merit It seeks to do indirectly what i
can he I tetter effected directly. If the sole ohject is to t
increase Ilia taxes, it is better to do so in a boid and t
manly way. At present the duty is imposed upon t
the market value of the merchandise in the principal <:
niiwket'i of the country from which the importation is I
made, including all cuts and chaiges of shipment
To substitute for (his rule the principle of home vulu- f
ation would be to add to such value of the merchandise c
tire insurance, est of transportation, duty levied, and I
profits of the importer. u
It ought to Is: a sufficient roply to the proposition that |
some of tlicse elements entering into tire home value uru a
uot legitimate subjects of taxatiou Other and more so- '1
lions objections will be considered in another connexion. |
The reason in favor of home valuation, which lias In on [
pressed with the most earnestness, is that it w 11 protect i
the revenuo from fraud by under valuation. i'he ndvo- u
cafes of the change allege that, under our present system, \
the government is defrauded, by various means, of its v
legitimate duties upon a large portion of the imports, v
In proof of tills charge a comparison has been instituted s
lietwecu the value of our exports und inijiorts for the lust j
three years, showing that the imports were less, by a
large amount, than the exports. \
This difference is charged to under valuation. The a
remedy prujiosod is either home valuation or specific du- v
ties. It is true that the exports for the last few years i
have exceeded the imports, hut the inference which lias a
heeu drawn from it is not necessarily correct. Other j.
causes have contributed to bring ubout this result. It t
should he borne in mind that our exports are valued at t
the [M>rt of exportation. When these exports reach a ']
falling market abroad, the return curgo will exhibit in (
the diminished value of lire importation the loss sus- f
taint d by the persons on whoso account the exports have
been shipped. This often constitutes an important ele- n
ment in accounting for that excess of exports which has J
la-en attributed to fraud. The payment by our citizens i
of their debts in Europe, which for two years past lias i
been largely done, the transactions of bankers and bro- i
kers in exchange, and smuggling, a species of fraud com- n
moil to every system, all affect the comparative amounts r
of exports and imports. t
If it were true that the difference in favor of ex- t
ports over imports was chargeable to the rul valorem sys- t
tern and the present mode of valuation, then the fact i
should lie found to exist not only during the last few t
years, but during the whole period of the oxistcnce of the t
present system. An examination of our exports and im- i
ports (as will he seen by reference to table 4) for a scries t
of years, will show that, such is not the case. Tim tariff i
of 1846 was in operation over ten years. During that f
period the whole amount of our exports was $2,512,681,827,
and our imports during the sumo period amounted ;
to $2,566,250,328. Tiro advocates of home valuation c
have fallen into the error by contining their comparison 4
to a limited number of years. t
The general result which I have stated indicates that j t
if frauds have been practised upon the revenue it is not [ t
owing to.our present ad valorem system. This will appear j ']
from u comparison of the exports and imports during the j <
operation of the tariff' act of 1842. That act, the dis- j i
tinguishing features of which were specific duties and j i
minimum valuations, was in operation nearly four years. ! t
During that time our cx|x>rts amounted to $128,681,618, j I
and our imports to $412,135,195. If the argument t
drawn from the excess of exports over imports lie correct, j t
this statement would indicate that greater frauds have c
been committed under a tariff of specific duties than un- t
tier the ail valorem act of 1816. If, however, it be true 1
that frauds are committed under our present system to r
the extent charged, will a change to home valuation pre- t
vent tlie evil To furnish a satlsfacto y answer to this t
inquiry, it will be proper to examine the manner of as- t
cortuiuing the dutiable value of imports under existing \
laws, and what would be required to l>c done under the t
proposed change. At present the appraiser is called upon \
to ascertain the value of the article in the principal niar- J c
kets of the country from which it is brought. Tin- data t
upon which lie is to make.up bin judgment urc : 1st. s
The pricescurrr tit which every commercial community sup- i
plies. 2d. The information to be derived from the com- t
inuuicutions of consuls and other commercial agents, j 2
3d. The invoice of the importer, uudc under oath, and a
also made in view of heavy penalties incurred for fraud ! .)
ami under valuation. 4th. A comparison of the invoices p
of the various Importers engaged in the sune business, \ a
and not uufroquently of tlie same date. 5th. The ex- . o
licricnce derived from daily examinations of the character,
value, and price of the article. h
These, with other ordinary channels of information si
common to the public, furnish, it would seem, ample i I
means for the correct and faithful discharge of the duty, i |
The additional element of cost and charges of shipment | tl
cannot lie calculated with the same cortaiuty. it, how i ()
ever, constitutes a small portion of the dutiable value, and j n
the experience of the appraisers will enable them to guard In
against any serious injury from that quarter. To subnti- ei
tute for this plan a home valuation would Ire to require tl
the appraisers to ascertain the value of the article by an p
inquiry into its value at the port of importation. In rq
wir.il manner mihii ho|totcuwuu so i iiu must. uikc p
the price current of the market, furnished in the ordinary r>
mode, and such information us he can gather from his ir
intercourw with commercial men, imd his knowledge of t<
the trade and business of his jiort. I'lio result would ho In
that the duty levied on the sauie article would ho differ n
ent in the different ports of the country ; and this would | iij
happen, I hough the appraisers might discharge their j q
duty honestly and faithfully. Such would lie the ease i hi
under the most, favorable view of the subject; but we fj
cannot close our eyes to tlie fact that the adoption of | ii
the system of homo valuation would inevitably lend to '
difficulties and embarrassments. i it
It would become the interest of importers to control ; it
the market value at their respective ports, with a view !
to the amount of duty to he iwiid by them. In what 1 ii
manner, and to whut extent, combinations for this oh- r?
ject would he made, es|>eeiiilly at the smaller ports, It T
is impossible to anticipate. The men who are enabled to e
evade the present law, and defraud the treasury in spite ! i i
of its restrictions, and with the checks now thrown j IV
around them, would not find it difficult to establish, j tl
when it suited their purposes, a fictitious market value II
for the most, if not all, of our |torts. if the appraiser, )>
convinced that by such combinations or other means n a
fraud was attempted, should lind it necessary to ascertain c<
the bone fide market value, liis most efficient means of do- h
ing so would lie to go to the same sources of information IV
that he now uses, lie would is; compelled then, as now, tl
to look to the foreign market, and the cost and t<
charges of shipment, hut ho would tic required to ex- ts
tend his investigation to the other elements which a
go to make up the homo value of the article. After d
ascertaining the dutiable value of the goods, as at prcs- tl
ent, he inust ascertain the insurance, the freight, the Ii
profits of the importer ; and, adding all these together, (.1
witli the amount of duty to be paid, he would arrive II
at the home market value. To my mind, this process , tl
would constitute the fairest and safest check against fraud. ' <a
As, however, all these elements, except the rate of duty, i w
Would differ according to the different modes of trans- p
portetion to the different *,ortn, it leads in the end hi t
the same objectionable result which 1 have already con- 1 it
sidered. Not only so, but each new element entering | t.i
into the caleulation adds to the difficulty of ascertaining j 1
the truo value, and opens a now door for imposition. If, i Ii
as charged, we cannot ascertain the value of an article, in ii
a foreign market, and the cost of putting it en shiplaiard, j o
it would lie still more difficult, to lind out not only that, i o
hilt the additional amounts of insurance, freight, and the v
profits of the imjsirter. In this view of the subject it , o
will Is* perceived that the change is olrjoctionahie for two , \
palpable reasons. 1. By inevitably causing different val- j h
unliArio nf flm onmfi f/ifulu nf ll?o /liffiinvnf ivvrlk tlnu . /I
1
jointing both the spirit and letter of the constitution,
vhich (Inlan> thai "all duties, iiuponts, ami oxcinhttll
lie uniform throughout the United Slate*, and that
' no preference shall la' given (by uuy regulation of com
uercr or revenue) to the |ioits of one Ktuto Over those of
outlier." Though he may not be able under any sysuiu
to have the sauce preciae vuhuitiou in every port, yet
hut one which most nearly approximates to it should be
dopted. 2. A second objection is, that so far from pre
'enling existing frauds, it olfers greater op|>ortunities for
aud than the present lew. ,
It is sought to avoid these difficulties and ciuburmssncnts
by making tin* market price at New York the
taudard of value, and to levy duties not only there but
hroughmg the United States upon (bat busis. I do not
ee that it meets the objections which have been pieen
ted against the systeui. 'The same danger of utVectlng
lie market prices by improper combinations would exist,
t would Ik: attended with like difficulties in reaching the
rue valuation of merchandise. 'The appraisers at other
oris would encounter the same attempts at fraud and
ludervnluation, without |Kissesslng <-<|Ual means of deteriou.
Its operation would lie unequal and unjust;
he importer at New York |mviug a duty upon
lie real value of his merchandise, whilst at all
ither jiorts he would lie required to pay ti|sui a
Iclitious value; as the actual value of an article In
few York on one day would often be very difisrcnt
from Its actual value in New Oilcans and San Finn
Ikco on another or even the same day. 'The importer at
Jew York would pay Ills duty ii|siu the real value of his
;onds at the time he receives them, whilst at all other
duces he would lie required to pay upon a fictitious value
aeertuliied at some previous period at another point
['heso objections would seem to be sufficient to reject the
>ro|iositiou, but the inipraeticability of working such a
>lau is conclusive against it. The dillieulty of ascertain
ng in lloston, Philadelphia, Charleston, New Orleans,
aid other points u|kiii the Atlantic and (Iulf, the market
allie of merchandise in Sow York would be great ; but
vlicn the rule is extended to the 1'ucilic, its enforcement
voul?l Ikj not only violativo of the constitutional provlioiiH
to which I have referred, but of every principle of
ustiee and equality.
Adhering to the principled of the present tariff act, 1
vould recommend such changed us will produce the
.mount required for the public service. In accordance
vith the suggestion contained in my last annual report, I
ecouimeud that schedules C, I), P, G, H be raised, repectlvely,
to 25, 20, 15, 10, and 5 percent. 1 sec no
;ood reason for having departed in the act of 1857 from
lie system of decimal dlvidons. The present state of
liiuga affords a lit opportunity of correcting I lie error.
L'liis change will increase the revenue from customs 81,
100,000, upon (he basis of the importations of the last
ideal year.
To raise the additional amount needed will not require
in increase of all the rates of duty of the present tariff",
t will liecome necessary, therefore, to select certain articles
to be transferred from lower to higher schedules. In
linking such changes, the tine principles governing the
position of duties for revenue should be kept in view,
mil such discriminations made as, consistently therewith,
vi 11 best promote the various interests of our country
vithout doing injustice to any. The information confined
in table 7 will afford to Congress the necessary daa
for their action. That table contains the Importations,
vith the rates of duty nud amount of revenue derivable
herefrom, for each of the three lust fiscal years. When
lie amount which the legislation of Congress shall make
t necessary to raise shall have been ascertained with anyhing
like reasonable certainty, the information contained
n this table will render the work of making such transem
simple and easy.
The public debt on the 1st .July, 1857, was $29,000,18(i
91), as stated in my last report. During tiie last (is- j
ial year there was paid of that debt the sum of $3,904,100
24, leaving the sum of $25,155,977 (iff outstanding
in the 1st July, 185S. To this amount must lie added
,hc sum of $10,000,000, negotiated during the present ;
focal year, of the loan authorized by act of June i t, ;
['here was issued under the provisions of the act of He- i
emirer 23, J8.">7, during the last fiscal year, treasury
lotes to the amount of 923,71(1,300, of which there was [
edcemod, and tho department informed thereof, during !
he same period, $3,901,500, leaving the sum of $10.- I
\>4,800 outstanding on the 1st July, 1858. The details
ire shown i,y statements marked 1 and 5. In estimating j
he receipts and expenditures for the present and next (is:nl
years, it is not contemplated to redeem tlic outstanding j
.reasury notes. As these notes will become due and pava
de during the next fiscal year, some provision should be
node to meet them. I am opposed to the policy of adling
t his amount to the permanent public debt bv funding
he notes. On the other hand, their entire redemption in
me year would call for an increase of the tariff to a poinl !
vhlch would render necessary another revision of it in
he su cosdiug year. The true policy is to look in the .
resent revision of the tariff to their gradual redemption, '
oiiitucncing with the next fiscal year. To carry out ;
his policy, Congress should provide for the mising of,
uc.h amount of revenue as will enable the department to j
edeem a jsirtion of them, mid, at the same time, ex I
end for one year the provision of the act of December j
3, 1857, authorizing tho re issue of such portion of them 1
h the means of Hie government will not enable us to re- j
leeiu. by this course we sh ill gradually discharge this '
art of (lie public debt without placing upon the people
ii onerous additional bunlcu in the unnecessary increase
f their taxes.
The operations of the independent treasury system have
ecu conducted during the Ii st fiscal year with the usual
access. Another year's cx[ rieuce confirms the opinions
expressed on this subject in my former annual report,
am well satisfied that the wholesome restraint which
lie collection of the government dues in s(>e<:it exerts
vcr the operation of our present banking system contribted
in no small degree to mitigate the disasters of the
ite revulsion. The opportunity which it afforded at nn
n ly period of relieving tlm financial embarrassments of ;
10 country by the policy of redeeming n portion of the
ubllc debt, and furnishing the country thereby with the
leeie used in its redemption, was attended with the hap- i
icst results. It is difficult to estimate the extent of tho j
lief which was thus afforded, though 1 believe that the
itelligent judgment of business men concurs in according
i it the most beneficial effects. The adoption of u simiir
system by the different States, us suggest xl in my lust <
port, would afford additional protection to tho country
gainst the ruinous effects of over banking, and ixirise- i
uent derangement of the currency. A remedy ho simple
nil just for an evil so great must commend it ;elf to the ! i
ivorablo consideration of those to whom the subject is
trusted. ' i
'1 he attention of Congress is again called (o the provis- :
ins >f the net of Starch 3, 1857, on the subject of deposs
by the disbursing agents of tho government. I
lti my last report I stated in general terms that it was
npracticable to execute the law according to its literal j
sjufremeiits, mid the reasons were, briefly set forth, i
he objects which the act sought to accomplish meet the
it ire approval of the department, and it tins been car I
ed out to the utmost extent that was practicable. A
w Illustrations will show the iuqioKsihility of executing
10 law as it now stands, by its provisions a purser in j '
ic navy would bu required to dc|>oait the funds placed in j 1
IS IlilUUH IOT U1U |?IIU<!U?ui Mill 'Miiun mm v.un v..
vessel, in ouo of the public depositories, and lie 1
iiuld only draw it out by a draft in favor of the person
> whom he desired to make payment. A vessel on a
ireign station is absent not unfrcqnently for two and
iroc years, mid whilst thiiH absent the purser would have
) pay the olhecrs and men by drafts on a public dc|>osilry
in the United States. He would also have to pay
II other expenRos, which exceeded the sum of twenty
ollars, by similar drafts in favor of the person to whom
le payment was to lie marie. A disbursing agent in the
iidtan Department would be required to pay the Indians
ieir annuities by similar dratts. The disbursing agents of
je army would have to settle with the officers and nun of
lie army, at their distant posts, in the game manner. A
>1 lector of tho port of Kastport, in the State of Maine,
wild have to transport tho funds with which lie is to
ay the employees of the government at Ids port to liosin
or some other place where there is a public depos.ory,
aud there give drafts on the public rleposilory
> each person to whom tho payment is to i>e made.
'Iicse cases illustrate the impossibility of executing the
iw as it now stands on the statute tsiok. There are scions
and almost insurmountable difficulties in the way
f executing it, oven in the immediate neighborhood
f a pulilic depository. Take, for illustration, a case
rhloh ?nn be brnnght within the pers nial observation
f members of Congress There are paid monthly in
V'ashington city more than a thousand person*, litis
iw requires that each of thenc persons should receive a
raft from the disbursing agent who settles with liiru. ,
and present it ut the trenailror'a ottior. 'J'lto time that
would he occupied by the treasurer in identifying the
applicants, and the number of ndditiaual clerks wideii
would be required to keep the necemittry Iiooks, hidependent
of the unusual responsibility which would
be put u|?n tbo treasurer of identifying ?o many
pi uis, lender tb" execution nf tin- law, rUB in I
this e.ute, impracticable. Kor all this additional trouble
and difficulty there fa no compensating advantage over
the present mode of making hiic-Ii payments, which has
been found hy practice bolli wfe and expedient. U can
scarcely be necessary to point outall the difficulties which
exist. Congress is again referred to the cirruhu regulations
which were adopted hy the department on this sub
ject, and the recommendation of amending the law, a
stlg'.'osted in my last report, is rejKJUtod f
'i'lie report of tiie director of the Mint is herewith trans
uiittcd, marked 11. It appears that the amount of bullion
received ut tlie several mint establishments dining the
lb' ll year ending June .'10. 18.58, was $51, IK I .'ill 211 in |
gold, and $9,199,954 t>7 iu silver ; and that the coinage
during the sumo period amounted to $52,8811,800 2't ]
in gold, and $8,233,287 77 in silver, and $2.M,000 iu
colli*. Ij
'J'lic director recommends that tUo law Ik- mi amended 1
an to mako silver a legal tender to the extent of titty or !j
one bundled dollar*. I inn not aware of any ciiou* oni j
plaint against the law iw it now *tand*, and can sec there 3
lore no urgent necessity for a change. 1
He nltto recommend* tlic issuing of mint < i-rtili<rite* to r
de|x>sitor* for Hum* km low a* fifty dollam, |>nviible to S
bearer, with a view of creating a sound paper currency. ;
This suggestion dot;* not meet the aj'|irovai of the de j
purtiucut. 1 have many objection* to the pro|sjsUion,
hut do not deem it net rssary to enter u]ioti the discussion,
as I feel quite confident there will 1*' no serious di,position
on the part of Oongrcss to give it u favorable
consideration. The operation of the Mint during the j
last lineal year have been conducted with energy and
ability by the officers in charge of this important branch
of the public service.
The accompanying report of the engineer in ehurgo
of the Bureau of Construction will exhibit the progress
of the various public building* under the direction of
this department. Many of thcin have been completed,
and are ready to lie occupied for the various purposes for
which they were creeled, in all of them a> much pro- '
gress has been made as was anticipated at the commence
inent of the year. No new building have been begun
since the adjournment of Congress, lit my last report 1
called the uttcntion of Congress to the fact that, owing
to the condition of the treasury, tlie department had
l>ost|ioued the building of a portion of the public work*
authorized by previous art* ol 0'tigress. To have com
lneuced them at that time, or at any period since, would
have required the borrowing of the means to const rue t
? ' r " -1 ..i.i . .1 Si
UII'III. I lie silence oi i uiifiruw mi ur- miojcci. iiuin awi
their approval of the policy. I
The condition of the treasury at present is not more
favorable for the construction of such buildings. At a
time when the necessities of the government demand an
increase of taxation, 1 should not feel justified in lecom neuding
the construction of such works ns are not uigently
demanded for the public service. It will be for
Congress to decide, in providing the necessary means for
the next fiscal year, whether or not they will impose an
increased tax for such a purpose.
The occasion is an appropriate one again to call the j
attention of Congress to the system of erecting public
buildings. They are referred to tables (SYs. 5, U, ;
7, 8, and !)) appended to the engineer's report. These
t ildes will show* the number of public buildings erected at
different periods, the cost oft heir construction, and the
necessity which existed for their erection. The- revenue j
received at any port indicates the amount of business ,
which requires a custom-bouse. The amount received at
a post office indicates tho necessity of a building for that j
object, and the number of days of the sitting of the courts
will show the necessity for a government building for that .
object. It will bo for Congress to say whether a syste
which has led to tiie building of a custom house at
port yielding $130 !).'! of revenue, and a post office w
pays $107 6.">, and of a court-liouso where the federal courts .
were In session four days in a year, is entitled to their
continued sanction anil approval. It is said that some of
these buildings aro used for all three of these purposes
This is true ; but a reference to tho tables alluded to will ?
show that, in that view of tho subject, tho expenditure in
many casus cannot be. justified, as the combined services
were n il of sufficient importance to require the erection !
of such buildings. If the amount of business done at
the places where these buildings have been erected .justified
the expenditure, then common justice would demand
that similar buildings should lie put up at every other
place in the United States where an equal amount of
business is done. To do this would require an oxjicuditure
of money which tho warmest advocate of the system
will not approve.
Tho recommendations of my last report on this subject
ure again submitted to your consideration In fa
present state of our finances, it w ill hardly lie proposed
to odd to the public expenditures by authoiiaing the
erection of any more j lublio buildings. I ii no event, 1
however, should such works be directed without lirst
subjecting the application for them to a rigid inquiry into
their necessity and propriety ; and when found necessary,
the department should bj required to submit to Congress
suitable plans and estimates of the e st, before an appropriation
is made.
Your attention is particularly invited to that portion of
the engineer's report which refers to the subject of rna
rino hospitals. ISach year's ox|wrieiice adds to the ob
jections whirli have been presented t? < ongress to tho
system of building ami maintaining these hospitals. Tho
relief afforded is not more ample, whilst the expense
is nun h greater than exists under the old system. The
information which is communicated on this subject
must attract the serious attention of Congress, and I
should lead, in my judgment, to a radical change, Tho
amount now Annually drawn from the treasury to supply
the dolieicncy in tin; fund for the relief of sick and disabled
seamen exceeds the slim raised out of the wages of
the seamen for this purpose. It was not so formerly, arid
t he fact is in no small degree attributable to the ineteased
and unnecessary expenditures growing out of the building f
and keeping up of marine hospitals. Besides, there is no j
fund disbursed by the government which possesses higher
claims for a just and economical expenditure than the
one under consideration. The law compels the collection
of this money from tire wages of the seamen, and
the government undertake* to expend it for their her relit
and protection. The trust is a sacred one, and can only
Ire faithfully discharged by exereiring the greatest care
and economy in its disbursement. I renew the recommendations
of tny last report on this subject.
1 deem it my duty to call the attention of Congress to
the bill for the revision and consolidation oi tiie revenue
laws, re [or ted by me in obedience to a resolution of Hie
Mouse of Representatives at the last session of Congress,
for the reasons then suggested, 1 deem it important
that the hill should receive the favorable action'of Con
gross at the present session.
Instead of that portion of the hill as originally reported
regulating the collection districts, und uppuiutiuuut and
joiupcusntiou of officers, I propose to submit, at an early
day, a substitute suggested by the experience of an add!
tiouul year in this department, which, it is believed, will
obviate many existing ineonvenieiieies, and very mated
ally reduce the expense of collecting the revenue.
In this connexion it is deemed proper to refer to a mis I
apprehension which seems tu exist, to sonic extent, in to
gard to the receipts and expenditures at certain porta.
While the amount of foreign merchandise imported at
a given point would clearly Indicate the necessity for nn
adequate provision there for the collection of the revenue,
it by no mesne follows that the interest* of the revenue
do not require the services of officer* at jioints where few
or no duties are collected. A judicious disposition
of a preventive force is indispensable to the collection
of a revenue from imports. Especially is
this true in rcguul to the United States, along
whoso extensive seaboard and frontier boundaries thero
are so many points through which foreign merchandise
might be thrown into the interior free of duty, but for i,
the vigilance of a preventive corps. lT|?>n the principal
avenues of trade with foreign countries, provision has
lieen made by law, at ports ot entry, for the collection of
duties, ami at those ports our revtliuo from customs is
mainly collected or secured. Other channels through
which foreign merchandise might i laudedincly reach the
interior are, of necessity, guarded by ti preventive force,
and often at. point * where theexpenso* exceed the amount
of collections. Such a force could not be withdrawn
without leaving the laws and regulations exposed to era
siuli and the public re. emu to incsleiihible I. os.
Take the district* of Ctiamplain and Vermont on the
Canadian frontier as an illustration. There is a large

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