« ForrigeFortsett »
Our author observes with regard to this budget, that it is a budget of peace, and not of war. Four hundred and sixty millions, appropriated to the two departments of war, would scarcely suffice for the maintenance of 460 thousand men, and Napoleon, with an empire, stretching from the Baltic to the Adriatic, could not confine his military establishment, even in time of peace, to a less number.
The expenditure of the army should always be particularly attended to. In the concealment, practised on this head, lies the artifice of the consular, as well as imperial budgets.
Lucien Bonaparte, twelve years ago, estimated the expense of a French army, at 700 francs per head, in time of peace, and at 1000 francs per head in time of war, on an average, including all grades and descriptions of troops. This is equal to one million of francs for every thousand men,-one third more than what they cost, under the old regime. Since this evaluation was made, the pay of the troops, with regard to rations, has been twice raised. The prices of all war-stores have advanced; and the department of war is, moreover, burthened with an expense of 36 millions, for the support of military cripples.
Hence, the appropriation of 460 millions, is not even sufficient for the support and equipment of 460 thousand men, on the war establishment, and if Napoleon, as he pretends, has on foot, 800 thousand warriors, the deficit must be from 400 to 500 millions.
In conformity with this, the minister of finance, Mr. Gaudin, now duke de Gaëte, in his report preceding the last, states, that, in the years. 1806, 1807, 1808, and 1809, the expenses of the two departments of war, exceeded the appropriations, about 250 millions annually, which excess, he adds, has been furnished by the conquered countries, the imperial treasury having supplied no more than the appropriated sum.
According to this report-given at full length in the body of the work in which the expense of the army is certainly not exaggerated, when estimated at 640 millions, it is clear, that, if it even does not cost more in future, the appropriation of 460 millions, will, notwithstanding, require a supplement of 180 millions. If this is not to be raised in Portugal and Spain,
(c) In 1803, the department of police made a part of that of the grand judge, who then united both these functions.
(d) These comprise the discounts paid on the notes of collectors and receivers, and the cost of revenue-transports from one province to another.
(e) This furd corresponds, with what in England, is termed a vote of credits
which will be difficult.or in France, which would be hard-
out, is not, in the
opinion of our author, the only one in the Budget of 1811. Two or three other items, will also stand in need of a supplement. The judiciary cannot be supported with 27,466,000 francs. The increase of salaries, which this department has already obtained, still leaves the inferior judges with a salary of only 1250 francs, each (231 dollars, 25 cents,) and the judges of appeal, with one of 2500 francs, (462 dollars, 50 cents,) each. It is equally impossible that the higher and lower clergy, could be long maintained, with 16,500,000 francs-a sum so insufficient that the parish priests,—three fourths of the whole clergy,-receive only 500 francs each, (92 dollars, 50 cents.) The church service of a nation of forty millions of souls, seven eighths of whom are catholics, to be properly discharged, requires from seventy to eighty thousand priests, and, if they be allowed only half the pay, which was promised them, by the national assembly, the department of public worship will require, an addition from fifty to sixty millions.
To obtain the grand total of the expenses of imperial France, proceeds our author, we must add to those, enumerated in the budget of 1811, amounting to 954 millions, the provincial (departementales) local, and municipal expenses, as well as those incurred for the recovery of treasury debts;-four items, of which the details will be given,
making in the aggregate, a sum of about 286 millions. Thus the great total would be 1240 millions of francs, (229,400,000 dollars.)
According to Mr. Necker a gross revenue of 600 millions, was, under his administration, sufficient to defray all public, provincial, and municipal expenses, as well as those of the recovery of treasury debts. But, as the interest of the public debt, and life annuities, then absorbed 235 millions of that sum, it follows, that 365 millions were sufficient for the aggregate expenditure of the monarchy.
The imperial debt having been reduced, in consequence of several bankruptcies, to an interest of 106 millions, if these are likewise deducted from the above 1240 millions, we will find, that the present government requires 1134 millions, to defray the same national charges, for which, 365 millions were sufficient under the old.-Yet one of the great objects of the revolution, was the reduction of an expenditure, which was then called scandalous and devouring!
As the present government, comprises a population of forty millions, instead of twenty-five, if the ratio of expenditure were the same, it would require 584 millions; but it requires 550 millions, (101 millions of dollars) more, and even this sum proves insufficient.
This enormous increase, arises from the multiplication of offices, all the holders of which draw salaries, with the single exception of the mayors;—from the expense occasioned by the judiciary, which, during the existence of the parliaments, cost the state, almost nothing;—from the stipend of the clergy, de. spoiled by the revolution of their estates, and their tenths-a stipend which must be augmented fourfold, unless it be intended to shut up the churches; from the increased pay and rations of the army, in addition to which the prices of meat, forage; transport, accoutrements, leather, clothing, arms and ammunition, and other military stores, have much advanced, and will continue to advance, in proportion, as trade and industry decline;from a similar advance in the prices of naval stores. "This advance is such, that in 1805, the marine cost 195 millions hard money, whilst in 1780, in the height of a maritime war, vigorously conducted by Louis XVI. in the east and west, who had then forty ships on the stocks, and 246 to keep in repair,--the expense of this department, did not exceed 85,275,000 livres tournois. *
It arises also, from the circumstance, that France, successively passing from a monarchical to a republican, and then to an imperial military form of government, has, notwithstanding, preserved the institutions peculiar to each;together with the civil list of Louis XVI, she has to support the legislative body, an offspring of the revolution, the Senate, and the legion of honour.-Finally, it arises from the endowments of the new nobility, with whom Napoleon has thought it expedient to surround his throne, in addition to a train of officers of the crown, marshals, chamberlains, and eight great dignitaries of the empire. Each of the latter, receive salaries, equal to one third of the former establishments, of the French princes, so that, in point of expense, they are worth to the nation, a few princes into the bargain.
In 1805, previously to the battle of Trafalgar, the expense of this department amounted to 195 millions. They were, in 1808, 140,891,000, and they are estimated at 140 millions, for 1811, though the navy of the Dutch, is now at the charge of the emperor. This accords ill with the blockade of the British isles, and still worse with the passage in the ministerial report, “ Our resources are sufficient to render, in a few years, the number and metal of our vessels of war equal to those of our enemies."
The endowments of this nobility have been the more ample, as the families composing it, were mostly needy. It is of two descriptions,-the great, and the inferior nobility.
The dukedoms of the great fiefs, (duchés grands fiefs) cost the French people nothing, the emperor having charged their income to the extent of from 15 to 20 millions, on the revenues of Italy. Yet, in consequence of it, the treasury of Paris must be satisfied with a tribute from Italy of 30 millions, instead of fifty, which otherwise might have been obtained.
It was intended by Napoleon to give to this higher nobility, the support of counts, barons, and knights of the empire, and he chose for the distribution of his new titles, the moment when he attempted to seize on Spain, writing thus to the inhabitants, “after a long agony your nation was expiring. I saw you sufferings, and I came to your assistance. Your greatness, your power henceforth will make part of my own.”
Italy having furnished 15 to 20 millions of annuities for his dukes and generals, he might have expected from Portugal, Spain, and their colonies, at least double that sum for his counts, barons and knights.
Unfortunately for them, this was the first of his military expeditions that failed, and the blow has recoiled heavily on his finances. Pressed to give them establishments, suitable to their new rank, he was obliged to draw pensions, not from Italy, still less from Spain, but from the treasury at Paris. Informed by the minister of the treasury, that the new pensions, granted pursuant to his liberality, amounted already to six millions, he authorized him to defer their further inscription in the book of public debt, and above all their payment.—It is not a little remarkable that the mighty monarch, on giving notice to the legislative body, of his new red book, requested them, as if anxious to have a restraint imposed on his benevolence, to pass a law, formerly proposed by Mr. Necker, which should prevent him, from granting in future, any new civil pensions, beyond the sum of 100 thousand francs annually, till the sum total, of those already granted, was reduced three fourths. The law was sanctioned with acclamations, by the legislators, surprised and confounded to see Napoleon forge. his own chains! Those who considered this law, as the forerunner of
great projects of economy, could hardly conceive, that it was only intended to cover new projects of expense, and that the emperor, during the same session in which he caused himself thus, seemingly to be fettered, took care to obtain authority from the legislative body to increase at once, the public expenditure,
by 214 millions of francs, (39,590,000 dollars). Consequently, if he cannot grant pensions, at least there will be no want of salaries for his counts and barons.
The two preceding budgets had limited the expenditure at 740 millions. In the last, it is raised to 954 millions.
“ I have directed my minister," said Napoleon at the opening of the session of the legislative body, on the 16th June, 1811–“ to lay before you the accounts of 1809 and 1810. For this purpose I called you together. You will perceive in them the prosperous state of my finances. Three months ago I placed one hundred millions extraordinary (184 millions of dollars) at the disposition of my ministers of war, to defray the expense of new armaments, which then appeared necessary. Yet I find myself in the happy situation, not to be obliged to impose new burthens on my people. I shall not raise the old taxes, nor do I stand in need of new ones.”
These 100 millions extraordinary are the first which Napoleon has yet acknowledged to have been taken from his private chest,--the chest of plunder,—in order to transfer them to the public treasury;-an important acknowledgment. For, since the government, as will be seen, gloried in the circumstance, that the campaign of 1809 had only cost 350 millions--if it now adds 100 millions to the 460 millions, appropriated by the legislative body for the campaign of 1811, it must be serrsible that this, and the future ones, will be, by 210 millions, more expensive, than those which preceded them.
If this augmentation of expenditure were confined to the army, the sum, which the war in Spain has taken, might suffciently account for it. If it were commensurate with the expected increase of revenue, on account of the recent incorporation of the sixteen new departments, it could not be blamed: But the additional-revenue is only estimated at 100 millions, and the addition to the expenditure is 214 millions--nearly
This amply proves that the rapid augmentation of the expenditure, dates from the creation of the new nobility, and that Bonaparte has more than doubled it since 1804, when Mr. Faber dared to inform him “ that with much economy, and abstemi. ousness, with regard to the creation of new offices, the expenditure in times of peace would notwithstanding reach nearly 500 millions.
Our author says—that Bonaparte “has more than doubled the public expenditure;” because it amounts already to 1100 millions, if to the budget of 1811 are added,--the 100 millions extraordinary; 15 millions charged on real estatęs for the se