Newspaper Page Text
THE PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE.
Jo thr Congress of the United States: , you are confronted at the threshold of your Illative duties with a condition of the na tional finances which imperatively demands 4,mpdiate and careful consideration. The amount of money annually exacted, j through the operation of present laws, from J the industries and necessities of the people, j largely exceeds the Mini necessary to meet the j -xpnses of the Government. Wh-n we consider that the theory of ourin ,titnti"ns guarantees to every citizen the full i -njovnient of all the fruits of his industry and j ntrpri'-e, with only sti-h deduction as may ! lv hi-- share toward th'j careful and econom- leal maintenance of the Government which or tect-s him, it is p!ain that the exaction of more than this is indefensible extortion.and a j -jpah!e betrayal of American fairness and -l-cJcp. This wrong inflicted upon those whc ! bear the burden of national taxation, like j other wrongs multiplies a brood of , evil con- ; acqunces. The public treasury, which should j nly exist as a conduit conveying the peo- ! pie's tribute to its legitimate objects of ex- i peniiture, becomes a hoarding place for j money needlessly withdrawn from trade and j 'Ji" ipieV u-e. thus crippling our national j ..neries. suie!;duig o:ir country's develop - iu"Mf. preventing investment in productive ' nterprise. threatening tinancial disturbance, ; and inviting schemes of the public plunder. Tins condition of our Treasury is not alto- ; anther i.evv, and it has more than once of late been submittal tothe peoples representatives I in the Congress, who alone can apply a j reniedv. And yet the situation still continues, 1 n it h aggravated incidents, more than ever ; presaging financial convulsion and wide- j pr'ad dis.'1-ter. I ' It will not do to neglect this situation be- j . nise its dangers are not now palpably ; imminent ; and apparent. They exist none the j 4..-.s ertainly, and await the unforeseen and j un-xj. -ted occasion when suddenly they will j ho piecinated on us. I i n the 'Mh day of June, lv", the excess j of revenues over public exjenditures, alter .'omplving with the annual requirements of j rue sinking fund act. was 17,8 V.,7.T).X4; dur- j i rig the yar ended .June 30, 1S8, such excess j .r,,nt ti. 4? 1AT ;".4." .'20. and duriner the i year ended June .TO, 1'K7, it reached the sum f m, V7,S40..54. The annual contributions to the sinking fund during the three years above specified, amounting in the aggregate to .SlSS.OoV ttJO.94, and deducted from the surplus as rnted, were made by calling in for that pur pose outstanding 3 per cent, bonds of the Gov ernment. During the six month prior to June SO, 1S87, the surplus revenue had grown o large hy repeated accumulations, and it was feared the withdrawal of this great sum :f money nettled by the people would so affect the business of the country, that the sum of ?7J.S4.1(X) of such surplus was applied to the payment of the principal and interest of the .; pr cent, bonds still outstanding, and which '.vri then payable at the option of the Gov ernment. The precarious condition of finan cial affairs among the people still needing relief, immediately after the 'AOih day of June. lS7. the remainder of the '6 per cent, bonds then outstanding, amount ing with principal and interest to he sura cf 18,877,600, were called in and ipplied to the sinking fund contribution for rhe current fiscal year. Notwithstanding these operations of the Treasury Department representations of distress in business circles not only continued but increased, and abso lute p?ril seemed at hand. In these circum stances the contributions to the sinking fund for the current fiscal year was at once com pleted by the expenditure of '37,G84,'J35.55 in ibe purchase of Government bonds not yet ue bearing 4 and 4..' per cent, interest, the premium paid thereon averaging about 24 per Cht. for the former and 8 per cent, for the latter. In addition to this the interest accru ing during the current year upon the out standing bonded indebtedness of the Govern ment was to some extent anticipated, and banks selected as depositories of public money were permitted to somewhat increase their deposits. While the expedients thus employed, to re Imso to the people the money lying idle in the Treasury, served to avert immediate danger, ur surplus revenues have continued to accu mulate, the excess for the present year -unounting on the 1st day of "December to o5.iVi,7ol.l, and estimated to reach the sum of 113.000,000 on the 30th of June next, t which date it is expected that this sum, added to prior accumulations, will swell the .surplus m the Treasury to $140,000,000. l ne re seems m uoiioiwuimu.o man, "nu such a withdrawal from use of the people's circulating medium, our business community may uot in the near future be subjected to the same distress which was quite lately pro duced from the same cuws?. And while the functions of our National Treasury should be few and simple, and while its best condition would be reached, I believe, by its entire dis connection with private business interests. . w.r hv n ruif it:rM of its numoses. it dlv holds money uselessly subtracted from the channels of trade, mere seems lu ue reason lor the claim that some legitimate means should b3 devised by the Government to restore in an emergency, without waste or extravagance, such money to its place among the peop:e. If such an emergency arises there now exists no clear and undoubted executive jower of lelief. Heretofore the redemption f three per cent, bonds, which were payable t the option of the Government, has afforded a moans for the disbursement of the excess of iiir revenues: but these bonds have all been retired, and there are no bonds outstanding the payment of which we have the right to insist u'uon. The contribution to the sinking fund which furnishes the occasion for expen diture in the purchase of bonds has been al ready made for the current year, so that there is no outlet in that direction. Tn the present state of legislation the only pretense of any existing executive power to restore, at this time, any part of our surplus revenues to the i?ople by its expenditures, ronsists in the supposition that the Secretary of the Treasury may enter the market and purchase the bonds of the Government not yet due, at a rate of premium to be agreed upon. The only provision of law from which such a ,Hwer could be derived is found in an appro priation bill passed a number of years ago; and it is subject to the suspicion that it was intended as temporary and limited in its ap plication, instead of conferring a continuing discretion and authority. No condition ought to exist which would justify the grant of power to a single official, upon his judgment of its necessity, to withhold from or release to the businti of thepeople; in an unusual -maimer, money held in the Treasury, and "thus affect, at his will, the financial situation of the country; and if it is deemed wise to lodge in the Secretary of the Treasury the authority in the present juncture to purchase bonds, it should le plainly vested, and pro vided as far as possible, with such checks and limitations as will define this official's right -and discretion, and at the same time relieve him from undue responsibility. In considering the question of purchasing txnds as a means of restoring to circulation the surplus money accumulating in the Treasury, it should le borne in mind that premiums must of course be paid upon such f-irchase, that there may be a large part 9t these bonds held as in vestments which cannot be purchased at any price, and that combina tions among holders who are willing to sell, may unreasonably enhance the cost of such bonds to the Government. It has been suggested that the present bonded debt might be refunded at a less rate of interest, and the difference between the old and new securitv paid in cash, thus find ing use for the surplus in the treasury. The success of this plan, it is apparent, must de pend upon the volition of the holders of the present bonds; and it is not entirely certain that the inducement which must be offered them would result in more financial benefit to the Government than the purcha-e of bonds, while the latter projoition would reduce the principal of tne debt by actual payment, instead of extending it. The proposition to dejosit the money held by the Government banks throughout the country, for use by the people, is, it seems to me. exceedingly objectionable in principle, as establishing too close a relationship between the operations of the Government treasuiy and the business of the country and too ex tensive a commingling of their money, thus fostering an unnatural reliance in private business upon public funds. If this scheme should be adopted it should only be done as a temporary expedient to meet an urgent ne cessity. "Legislative and executive effort should generally be in the opposite direction and should have a tendency to divorce, as much and as fat as can safely be done, the Treasury Department from private enter prise. Of course it is not expected that unneces sary and extravagant appropriations will be made for the purpose of avoiding the accu mulation of an eccessive revenue. Such ex penditure, Inside the demoralization of all just conceptions of public duty which it en tails, stimulates a habit of reckless improvi dence not in the least consistent with the mission of our people or the high and benefi cent purrioses of our Government. I have deemed it my duty to thus bring to the knowledge of my countrymen, as well as to the attention of their representatives charged with the responsibility of legislative relief, the gravity of our financial situation. The failure of the Congress heretofore to pro vide against the dangers which it was quite evident the very nature of the difficulty must necess-arily produce, caused a condition of tinancial distress and apprehension since your last adjournment, which taxed to the utmost all the authority and expedients within Ex ecutive control: and these appear now to be exhausted. If disaster results from the con tinued inaction of Congress, the responsibility must rest where it belongs. Though the . situation thus far consid ered is fraught with danger which should be fully realized, and though it presents features of wrong to the ieople as well as peril to the country, it is a result growing out oi a per fectly "palpable and apparent cause, con stantly reproducing the same alarming cir cumstances a congested national treasury and a depleted monetary condition in the business of the country. It need hardly be stated that while the present situation de mands a renredv, we can only be saved from a like predicament in th? future by the re moval of it3 cause. Our scheme of tax ation, by means of which this needless surplus is taken from the people and put into the public treasury, consists of a tariff or duty levied upon importations from abroad, and internal revenue taxes levied upon the consumption of tobacco and spirituous and malt liquors. It must be con ceded that none of these things subjected to internal revenue taxation are, strickly speak ing, necessaries; there appears to be no just complaint of this taxation by the consumers of those articles, and there seems to be noth ing so well able to bear the burden without hardship to any portion of the people. But our present tariff laws, the vicious, in equitable and illogical source of unnecessary taxation, ought to be at once revised and amended. These laws, as their primary and plain effect, raise the price to consumers of all articles imported and subject to duty, by pre cisely the sum paid for such duties. Thus the amount of the duty measures the tax paid by those who purchase for use these imported articles. Many of these things, however, are raised or manufactured in our own country, and the duties now levied upon foreign goods and products are called protection to these fiomo manufactures, because they render it possible for those of our people who are manu facturers to make these taxed articles and sell them for a price equal to that demanded for imported goods that have paid customs duty. So it happens that while comparatively a few use the imported articles, millions of our people, who never use and never saw any of the foreign products, purchase and use things of the same kind made in this country, and pay therefore nearly or quite the same en hanced prieo which the duty adds to the im ported articles. Those who "buy imports pay tho duty charged thereon in the public treas ury, but the great majority of our citizens, who buy domestic articles ol iuo sjhu pay a sum at least approximately equal to this dutv to tho home manufacturer. This reference to the operation of our tariff laws is not made by way of instruction, but in order that wo may be constantly reminded of the manner in which they impose a burden upon those who consume domestic products as well as those who consume imported articles, and thus create a tax upon all our people. It is not proposed to entirely relieve the country of this taxation. It must be exten sively continued as the source of the Govern ment's income ; and in a readjustment of our tariff the interests of American labor engaged in manufacture should bo carefully consid ered, as well as the preservation of our manu facturers. It may be called protection, or hy any other name, but relief from the hardships and dangers of our present tariff laws should be devised with especial precaution against im periling the existence of our manufacturing interests. But this existence should not mean a condition which, without regard to the public welfare or a national exigency, must always insure the realization of immense profits in stead of moderately profitable returns. As the volume and diversity of our national activities increase, new recruits are added to taxes which they conceive the present system those vho desire a continuation oi me twan- ..'Ffiii(mn HirootlV AUOrdS t hem. SO Ui vaii"- iuAunvi ... . j stubbornly have all efforts to reform the present condition been resisted by those ot our fellow-citizens thus engaged, that they (.an hardly complain of the suspicion, enter tained to a certain extent, that there exists an organized combination all along the line to maintain their advantage. We are in the midst of centennial celebra tions, and with becoming pride we rejoice in American skill and ingenuity, in American en ergy and enterprise, and in the wonderful nat ural advantages and resources developed by a century's national growth. Yet when an at tempt is made to justify a scheme which per mits a tax to le laid upon every consumer m the land for the benefit of our manufacturers, quite beyond a reasonable demand for govern mental regard, it suits the purposes ot advo cacy to call our manufactures infant indus tries, still needing the highest and greatest degree of favor and fostering care that can be wrung from Federal legislation. It is alo said that the increase in the price of domestic manufactures resulting from the present tariff is neces?arv in order that higher w ages nviy be paid to our workingmen em ployed jn manufactories than are paid tor what is f ailed the pauper labor of Europe. All will acknowledge the force of an argument which nvolves the welfare and liberal com pensation of our laboring people. Our labor is honorable in the eyes of every American citizen; and as it lies at the foundation of our development and progress, it is entitled, with f out affectation or hypocrisy, to the utmost regard. The standard of our laborer Ufa should not be measured by that of any other countrv less favored, and they are entitled to , thir full share of all our advantages. By the last census it is made to appear that of the lT.rXtt.U'.'J of our population en gaged in all kinds of industries 7,J70,4:3 are . employed in agriculture. 4, '74,8 in profes sional and personal service, (-J.'.c.nTo of whom are domestic servants and laborers.) while 1,10,-V; are employed in trade and transportation, and :J, 87,1 12 are classed as emp'.ovtd in manufacturing and mining. For' present purposes, however, the last number civen should be considerably re duced. Without attempting to enumerate all, it will be conceded that there should be deducted from thoe which it includes '775.14-3 i caryK?nters and joiners, 'Ji,401 milliners, drcsrmakers, and seamstresses. 1?2,7 black smiths. 1:,7.V tailors and tailoresses, 102, 4 7: masons, 76,241 bntchers, 41.30 bakers. 22,s:; plasterers, and 4.8J1 engaged in manufactur ing asricultural implements, amounting in the aggregate to 1.214.2:;, leaving JJVJ.SJ persons employed in such manufacturing in dustries as are claimed to be l.enefited by a high tariff. To these the appeal is made to save their emplovment and maintain their wages by re sisting a change. There should be no dispo ; sition to answer such suggestions by the ' allegation that they are in a minority among those who labor, and therefore should forego an advantage, in th interest of low prices for the majority: their compensation, as it may be affected by the operation of the tariff laws, should at alf times be scrupulously kept , in view; and yet with slight reflection they will not overlook the fact that they are con sumers with the rest: that they, too, have their own wants and thos? of their families to supply from their earnings, and that the ; price of the necessaries of life, as well as the amount of their wages, will regulate the meas ure of their welfare and comfort. But the reduction of taxation demanded should ba so measured as not to necessitate or justify either the loss of employment by the working man nor the lessening of his wages: and the profits still remaining to the manu facturer, after a necessary readjustment. - should furnish no excuse for the sacrifice of j the interests of his employes either in their ! opportunity to work or in the di 1 munition of their compensation. Nor can the worker in manufactures fail ! to understand that while a high j tariff is claimed to be necessary to allow the i payment of remunerative wages, it certaiuly ! results in a very large increase in the price of i nearly all sorts of manufactures, which, in I almost countless forms, he needs for the use ! of himself and his family. He receives at the desk of his employer his wages, and per j haps before he reaches his home is obliged, i in a purchase for family use of an article ' which embraces his own labor, to return in i the payment of the increase in price which ! the tariff permits, the hard-earned compensa tion of many days of toil. The farmer and the agriculturist, who I manufacture nothing, but who pay the in creased price which the tariff imposes upon every agricultural implement, upon all he wears and upon all he uses and owns.except the increase of his flocks and herds and such things as his husbandry; produces from the ! soil, is invited to aid in maintaining the .resent situation: and he is told that a high duty on imported wool is necessary tor i the benefit of those who have sheep to shear, ' in order that the price of their wool may I be increased. They, of course, are not : reminded that the farmer who has no sheep I in by this scheme obliged, in his purchase of clothing and woolen goods, to pay a tribute to his tellow farmer as well as to the manu I facturer and merchant; nor is any mention 1 made of the fact that the sheep-owners them ! selves and their households, must wear cloth i ing and use other articles manufactured from i the wool they sell at tariff prices, and thus as i consumers must return their share of this in : creased price to the tradesman i T rhinV it. mav lie fairlv assumed that a large proportion of the sheep owned by the farmers throughout the country- are round in small flocks numbering from twenty-five to fifty. The duty on the grade of imported wool which these sheep yield is 10 cents each pound if of the value of 30 cents or less, and 12 cents if of the value of more than o0 cents. If the liberal estimate of six rvMmria K nllowpd for each fleece the duty thereon would be and this may be taken atilianpomanf nf ita nrifrt CO or 72 cents, as the utmost to the farmer by reason of this duty. Eighteen dollars wouiu thus represent the increased price of the wool from twenty-five sheep and thirty-six dollars that from the wool of fifty sheep, and at present values this addition would amount to about one-third of its price. If upon its sale the farmer receives this or a less tariff profit, the wcol leaves his hands charged w ith pre cisely that sum, which in all its changes will adhere to it, until it reaches the consumer. When manufactured into cloth and other goods and material for use, its cost is not only increased to the extent of tho farmer s tariff profit, but a further sum has been added for the benefit of the manufacturer under the operation of other tariff laws. In the meantime the day arrives when the farmer finds it necessary to purchase woolen goods and material to clotho him self and family for tho winter. When fie faces the tradesman for that purpose he discovers that he is obliged not only to return in the w ay of increased price his tariff profit on the wool he sold, and which then perhaps lies before him in manufactured form, but that he must add a considerable sum thereto to meet a further increase in cost caused by a tariff duty on the manufacture. Thus in the end he is aroused to the fact that be has paid upon a moderate purchase, as a result of the tariff scheme, which, when he sold his wool seemed so profi table, an increase in price more than sufficient to sweep away all the tariff profit he received upon the wool he produced and scld. When the numbers of farmers engaged in wool raising is compared with all the farmers in the country, and the small proportion they bear to our population is considered: when it is made apparent that in the case of a large part of those who own sheep the benefit of. the present tariff on wool is illusory,and above all. I the cost of living caused by such tariff becomes whph it. must i L-uiituneii iiiau uhicojc ui a hnrden upon inose witu iuuueiaie means I and the poor, the employed and unemployed. ; the sick and well, and the young and old. and : that it constitutes a tax which with relentless i grasp fastens ujon the clothing of every 1 man, woman, and child in the land, reasons , are suggested why the removal or reduction of this duty should be included in a revision ; of our tariff laws. In speaking of the incread cost to the con ! sumer of our home manufactures, resulting i from a duty laid upon imported articles of the ' same description, the fact is not overlooked that competition among our domestic prr--: ducers sometimes lias the effect of keeping the I price of their products below the highest limit ! allow ed by such duty. But it is notorious that I this coiup?titiou is too often strangled by combinations quite prevalent at this time, and frequently called trusts, which have for : their object the regulation of the supply and price of commodities made and sold by m?m i nLrL nf th rombination. The people can hardly hope for any consideration in the operation of these selfish schemes. If, however, in the absence of such combi nation, a health v and free competition re duces the price of any particular dutiable article of home production below the limit which it might otherwise reach under our tariff laws, and if, with such reduced price, its manufacture continues to thrive, it is en tirelv evident that one thing has been discov ered'which should be carefully scrutinized in an effort to reduce taxation. Th necessity of combination to maintain the price of any commodity to the tariff point, furnishes proof that some one is willing to accept lower prices for such commodity, and that such prices are remunerative; and lower prices produced by competition prove the same thing. Thus where cither of these conditions exist, a case would sem to be pre sented for an eay reduction of taxation. The considerations which have been pre sented touching our tariff laws are intended only to enforce an earnest recommendation that the surplus revenues of the Government be prevented by the reduction of our customs duties, and, at thesame time, to emphasize a suggestion that in accomplishing this purpose, wo may discharge a double duty to our people by granting to them a measure of relief from tariff taxation in quarters where it is most needed and from sources where it can be mot fairly and justly aocopled. Nor can the presentation made cf such con siderations be, with any degree of fairness, regarded as evidence of unfriendliness toward our manufacturing interests, or of any lack of appreciation of their value and im Iortance. These interests constitute a leading and most substantial element of our national greatness and furnish the proud proof of our countrv's progress. But if in the emergency that presses uion us our manufacturers are asked to surrender something for the public good and to avert disaster, their v-atriotism. as well as a grateful recognition of advantages already afforded, should lead them t twilling co-operation. No demand is made that they shall forego all the benefits of governmental regard: but they cannot fail to le admonished of their duty, as well as their enlightened self interest and safety, when they are reminded of the fact that financial panic and collapse, to which the present condition tends, afford no greater shelter or protection to our manufac tures than to our other inqortant enterprises. Opportunity tor safe, careful and doliberate reform is now offered; and none of us should Ik? unmindful of a time when an abused and irritated people, heedless of those who have resisted timely and reasonable relief, may in sist upon a radical and sweeping rectification of their wrongs. The difficulty attending a, wise and fair re vision of our tariff laws is not underesti mated. It will require 01? the part of the Congress great labor and care, and especially a broad and national contemplation of the subject, and a patriotic disregard of such local and selfish claims as are unreasonable and reckless of the welfare of the entire country. Under our present laws more than 4,0.0 ar ticles are subject to duty. Many of these do not in any way compete with our own manu factures, and many are hardly worth atten tion as subjects of revenue. A considerable reduction can be made in the aggregate, by adding them to the free list. The taxation of luxuries presents no features of hardship; but the necessities of life used and consumed by all the people, the duty upon which adds to the cost of living in every home, should be greatly cheapened. ... , The radical reduction of the duties imposed upon raw material used in manufactures, or its free importation, is of course an important factor in any effort to reduce the price of these necessaries; it would not only relieve them from the increased cost caused by the tariff on such material, but the manufactured product being thus cheapened, that part of the tariff now laid upon such product, as a condensa tion to our manufactures for the present price of raw material,could be accordingly modified. Such reduction, or free importation, would serve beside to largely reduce the revenue. It is not apparent how such a change can have any injurious effect upon our manufacturers. On the contrary, it would appear to give them a better chance in foreign markets with the manufacturers of other countries, who cheapen their wares by free material. Thus our people might have the opportunity of ex tending their sales beyond the limits of home consumptiou saving them from the de pression, interruption in business, and loss caused by a glutted domestic market, and af fording their employes more -ertain and steady labor, with its resulting quiet and con tentment. The question thus imperatively presented for solution should be approached in a spirit higher than partisanship and considered in the light of that regard for patriotic duty which should characterize the action of those intrusted with the weal of a confiding people. But the obligation to declared party policy and principle is not wanting to urge prompt and effective action. Both of the great political Earties now represented in the Government ave, by repeated and authoritative declara tions, condemned the condition of our laws which permit the collection from the people of unnecessary revenue, and have in the mosusolemn manner promised its correction; and neither as citizens nor partisans are our countrymen in a mood to condone the delib erate violation of these pledges. Our progress toward a wise conclusion will not be improved by dwelling iqon the theo ries of protec tion and free trade. This savors too much of bandying epithets. It is a con dition which confronts us not a theory. Relief from this condition ma3- involve a slight reduction of the advantages which we award our home productions, but the entire withdrawal of such advantages should not be contemplated. The question of free trade is absolutely irrelevant; and the persistent claim made in certain quar ters that all efforts to relieve the people from unjust and unnecessary taxation are schemes of so-called free traders, is mischievous and far removed from any consideration for the public good. TV.. cimn.n-iml nlttin lllltV which We OWe the people is to reduce taxation to the necessary expenses of an economical operation of the Government, and to restore to the business of the countrv the money which we hold in the treasury through the perversion of govern mental powers. These things can and should be done with safety to ail our industries, with out danger to the opportunity for remunera tive labor which our workingmen need, and with benefit to them and all our people, by cheapening their means of subsistence and increasing the measure of their comforts-. The Constitution provides that the Presi dent "shall, from time to time, give to the Congress information of the state of the Union.'' It has b-en tho custom of the Ex ecutive, in compliance with this provision, to annually exhibit to the Congress, at the opening of its session, the general con dition of the country, and to detail, with some particularity, the o orations of the different executive departments. It wouid be especially agreeable to follow this course at the present time, and to call atten tion to the valuable accomplishments of these departments during tho last fiscal year. But I am so much impressM with the paramount importance of the subject to which this communica tion has thus Ur leen dpvoted, that I shall forego the addition of any other topic, and only urge upon your immediate considera tion the -'state of the Union"' a shown in tho present condition of our treasury and our general fiscal situation, upon which evry element of our safety and prosj-erity de pends. The reports of the heads of departments, which will I e submitted, contain mil and ex plicit information touching the transaction of the business entrusted to them, and such recommendations relating to legislation in the public interest as they deem advisable. I ask for these reports and recommendations the de liberate examination and action of the legisla tive branch of the Government. There are other subjects not embraced in the departmental reports demanding legislat ive consideration and which I should be glad to submit Some of them, however, hare been earnestly presented in previous messages. and a to them. I lg V r to rpvit prior recommen 1 at ion. As the law makes no 4.-oviion for any re port from the Department of State, a brW history of the transactions of that important department, together with other matter which it may hereafter lw deemed pssential to commend' to tlA attention of the Congren, may furnish the occasion for a future com munication. GP.OVKU CLEVELAND. M'tixhin-jton. -. C, 1W7. THE POSTAL SERVICE. Annnal Ilcport of Pottmastpr-Gon-cral Vila. According to the annual rvport of r''?t master-General Vilas there har rn a martl improvement in the affair of hi depart ment during the year. Tlw net gain of rtv nues over the preceding yenr nearly $-, 000, while the incrva- of exens.- ha, Un only $2.00C, so that the burden of $7,000,OUO whih fell o.i th genenvl treasury in li In lvii relul to H.000,0n for the pat ti-cal year. Inviw of this, after expnin; the hop that tho revenues will not le further crippled by legis lation, the rejort .-tv tint a surpiu may be reasonably anticipate I m tho coining year. Although appeal- for change in the rates on matter of varum. kinds are anticipated, tho report doprecat- any lessening of the rate- nt pre-ent, but it adds that th time is probably not di-tant when, if the wise-1 measures of economy l pursued, the rate of change ujhi letters can e properly lowere I to one cent an ounco. and some diminishment prm.tted in thep r iiikii merehandix an i other m.r.t .-,' although the rate-on all matter :ne lower in this country than m any other if tin distances to which mailable matt r i tiari ' ported be taken into ec unt. The appoint nent of p:ni:iVrs dur.ng the year receive- oai !y at tent 10:1 in the r jKirt The total niimlrr o: i.:mni .oim issue I wen- 1:'..T:. of win -Si f..s ,; were on account of the cxpir.itioti f commissions, and n iemo.nl- .-r suspension Among th-s were . Itiit came within the Ire.-i lent lal ela-s. In t;m class there are M'. PoVnri-!cr, and of th entire numlier b npointe l under a forui-r Administration remain in oil ice. In discussing the conqvn- itiori pud t Postmasters, the inju-t;ce dje t c-rtain Postmasters of th third dns i referred to. Instances are noted where P-'iiia-ters of this class, which includes t fi offices that transact bu-in- runtiuig from $1,1 01 to J'IM a votr. c.r obliged to pa- from l.oro t,j N.r year of their .'ilaries. In. ides giving th-ir own attention to the biisin . although tii.-ir salaries do not exc-d Lit) a year. Thus, sonic jiostnia-ters :u t o xior s"n year nlv while transacting over 7. worth of bui ness. when the o-tma-ter- w ho hapjen tou over $s,()o) worth of (u-ine receive J,o(M a year net. The rejiort proj-es that an nr. hitev-t and suitable assistants ! s-igned to the p-t Office Department, an I that the sin plus rev enues of the depart nient le used to en cf -nit able post olliees in cities where th Govern merit should own such buildings. Of the free delivery system th report says that ''there should U no hesitation in pro eliding every city and tow n ;n the I'mted States with this service, whose busi ness interests and local condition are such as to make it of an advantage comjxMisatory to its cost. The special delivery system has not commanded any in crease of importance, but it paid the Oov ernment $,".,. The delivery loys earned an average ; of $10. 'Js for delivering letters within twenty-one minutes, on the average, after they were received. One subsidy is recommended, the payment of fci,000 or 14,000 a month for a monthly service letween New York and the Kiver Plate. The Argentine Republic offers fl'', (XX) a year for such a service, and there Is a strong pressure from New York merchant for the establishment of the line. The reyort earnestly recommends tho r moval of 'the prohibition against advertising and printing on wrapjK'rsof third and fourth class matter, so that they do not extend to communications of the nature of correspond ence. FARMING INTERESTS. Annual Report of tlic; ComtiiU- Tin sioiier of Agriculture. The Commissioner of Agriculture, in his annual report, recommends substantially the aUUition of the seed division of tho depart ment, and the transfer of its duties to the State and Territorial experiment station. The directors of these institution, ho says, ought to know what kind of seed tho farmers of their resistive neighborhoods are interested in. and what kinds are !est adapted to each locality. "If," he says, ' thU work of testing and distributing seed could 1h? done bv the stations, and the department be relieved of this duty, it would enable it to work in other directions of great important to the agricultural interests of the country." The Commissioner discusses the hcojo and functions of the dejartmenti in a way which leaves room for the plain inference that U" disapproves the efforts to make it an execu tive department, with a memter of the Cabinet at its head. The de partment's position, he. thinks, should l that of an adviser in tho. investiga tions and enterprises which bear upon the agricultural interests of the coun try. 4'In the leginning,v he say, "the de partment may have l-en an experiment, but its condition now should leuve no doubt a to the precise relation which tho department should hold to the Government. The de- e'opment ha lieen natural, and there may be a valuable lesson in tho history of it ev lution.1" The Commissioner says it is yet too early to make an official statement of the result ia detail of the present year s exi4?riinenU in th development of sorghum sugar manufacture; 'but," ho aIds, "enough is known already to enable this country to anticipate at an early day the production of a suar supply from a plant as easy of cultivation as com, but little circumscribed by climatic influence, and one whose by products havo a value equal to the cost of raising." On the subject of our wheat Kurplu he says: "The comparative prominence of tbia country in it wheat suqIus nny not 1h popularly realized. Whil our export nave exceeded J W bushel p?r annum for ten year. thoyj of Kusia were alout ;,(XM.o0 bu-hei and those of India 24.k , bishd in round numU-rs, for the last decade.. Oth?r lands contribute onlv a very small surpi us Aus tralia, Chili, .the Argentine Republic, and other, only a few million each an 1 th combined surphi of all nation does not equal that of this country." The report treat of the work of the Uureau of Animal Industry in preventing the spread of pleuro-pneumonia from infected counties, and says that there has not been time " years when this malady has been confined to i such restricted areas as at present. If the State, their cooperation and Congres makes an appropriation equal to that of the present year, the Commissioner believe that this dangerous disease can bm exterminated by the end of the next LUc&L, year.