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REPORT OF THE FINANCES.
In obedience to the directions of the act supplementary to the act, entitled "An act to establish the Treasury Department," the Secretary of the Treasury respectfully submits the following report and estimates.
The nett revenue arising from duties on merchandise and tonnage, which accrued during the year 1808, amounted to $10,348,000
The nett revenue arising from the same sources, which accrued during the year 1809, amounted, as will appear by the statement (A.) to
The statement (B.) exhibits, in detail, the several species of merchandise and other sources from which that revenue was derived during the year 1809.
It is ascertained that the nett revenue arising from the same duties, has, for the three first quarters of the year 1810, exceeded 7,500,000 dollars; and it is believed that it will not, for the whole year, fall short of twelve millions.
The sales of public lands north of the river Ohio, have, during the year ending on the 30th of September, 1810, as appears by the statement (C.) amounted to 159,000 acres, and the payments by purchasers, to 610,000 dollars.
The same statement shows that the total amount of sales from the establishment of the land offices in the year 1800, to the 30th of September, 1810, have amounted to 3,168,000 acres, which have produced 6,681,000 dollars; of which sum 1,646,000 dollars remain due by purchasers. The sales in the Mississippi Territory, being (after deducting expenses,) appropriated, in the first place, to the payment of 1,250,000 dollars to the State of Georgia, are distinctly stated.
RECEIPTS AND EXPENDITURES.
1. Year ending on the 30th September, 1810.
The actual receipts into the Treasury during the year ending on the 30th of September, 1810, have amounted to
Making, together with the balance in the Treasury, on
the 1st of October, 1809, and amounting to
An aggregate of
The disbursements during the same year have consisted of the following items, viz.:
Military and Indian Departments,
Interest on the public debt,
Civil Department, including miscellaneous expenses, and those incident to the intercourse with foreign nations,
4,189,259 25 2,735,898 91
Total current expenses,
Payments on account of the principal of the public debt,
Amounting together, as will appear more in detail by the statement (E.) to
$8,174,358 22 2,884,409 24
It therefore appears, that the actual receipts into the Treasury have exceeded the current expenses of government, including therein the interest on the debt, by a sum of five hundred thousand dollars. The expenses had, during the preceding year exceeded the receipts by a sum of thirteen hundred thousand dollars. The difference arises, not from an increase in the receipts, but from a diminution in the expenses, particularly those of the Military and Naval Departments.
2. Last quarter of the year 1810.
And leaving in the Treasury, on the 30th September, 1810, a balance of
The receipts for that quarter will, it is believed, be more than sufficient to defray the current expenses and interest on the debt accruing during the same period. But the payments to be made on account of the principal of the debt, in order to complete the annual appropriation of eight millions of - dollars, a nounting to more than 5,100,000 dollars, a loan first negotiated for 3,750,000, and afterwards reduced to 2,750,000 dollars, became necessary. The receipts and disbursements for that quarter are, therefore, estimated as follows:
Receipts into the Treasury from the ordinary revenue,
Expenses, civil, military and naval, estimated $1,570,000
Payments on account of the public debt, in order to complete the annual appropriation of eight millions, and including the reimbursement of 31st December, 1810, on the six per eent. and deferred stocks, and that of same date, of 3,751,125 exchanged six per cent. stock,
Probable balance in the Treasury on 31st December, 1810,
$2,500,000 2,750,000 3,460,000
3. Year 1811.
The outstanding revenue bonds, after deducting the expenses of collection, and allowing for bad debts, will not, probably, on the 1st January, 1811, fall short of eleven millions and a half of dollars, the actual receipts for the year 1811, on account of the sales of lands, may be estimated at five hun
dred thousand: and it is presumed that the portion of the revenue arising from importations subsequent to the present year, which will be received in 1811, will be more than sufficient to pay the debentures payable in that year. The actual receipts into the Treasury during that year, may, therefore, be estimated at $12,500,000
Estimating the expenses of government for the year 1811, not to exceed the amount actually expended during the year ending on the 30th of September, 1810, that is to say
Expenses of a civil nature, both domestic and foreign,
And adding thereto the interest on the public debt, estimated at
The aggregate of the current expenses, exclusively of the payments on account of the principal of the debt, would not exceed
The payments on account of the principal of the debt will be applicable to the annual reimbursement on the six per cent. and deferred stocks, to the re-payment of the loan of 2,750,000 dollars effected this year, and to the reimbursement, in part, of the converted six per cent. stock; and must, in order to complete the annual appropriation of eight millions of dollars, amount to
Making for the whole amount of the expenditures of the year 1811,
- $ 13,430,000
or about one million of dollars more than the receipts for the same year.
If, therefore, this estimate could be relied on, an authority to borrow one million of dollars would be sufficient to enable government to pay all the current expenses, and to reimburse nearly four millions and a half of the principal of the debt, leaving at the same time in the Treasury a balance of two millions of dollars, a sum not greater than what, under existing circumstances, it is eligible to reserve. But a deficiency may take place in the receipts, if the amount of debentures should exceed what has been estimated; and the expenses for the Military and Naval Departments, (which, according to the estimates of those Departments, and exclusively of the sum necessary for fortifications, amount to 4,916,000 dollars,) may be greater than the amount actually expended during the year ending on the 30th of September, 1810. In order to provide for these and other unforeseen contingencies, the propriety of authorizing a reloan, not exceeding, in the whole, the amount of the principal of the debt reimbursed during the same year, is respectfully
It appears by the statement (D.) that the payments on account of the principal of the public debt, have amounted, during the year ending on the 30th day of September, 1810, to 2,884,000 dollars; and during the nine years and a half ending on the same day, to near 37,700,000 dollars; exclusively of more than six millions of dollars paid in conformity with the
provisions of the Convention with Great Britain and of the Louisiana Convention.
Taking the calendar year 1810, by itself, the principal of the debt actually reimbursed will amount to 5,163,376 dollars-viz:
Annual reimbursement of six per cent. and deferred stocks, $1,412,251 Reimbursement of the six per cent. exchanged stock,
From which, deducting the loan from the bank of
Leaves, for the actual decrease of the debt during the year
The loan authorized by the act of the last session had at first been negotiated in the latter end of May, for 3,750,000 dollars; but the expenses having proven less than had been supposed, it was, by mutual consent, reduced in October to 2,750,000. With that object in view, in order that no greater sum should be ultimately borrowed than might be necessary, and also, in order to avoid, as long as practicable, an increase of stock in the market, and that of a more permanent species of debt, a temporary loan from the Bank of the United States was preferred to any other mode. It is reimbursable on the last day of December, 1811, with a reservation that the Bank may, in case of a non-renewal of its charter, demand an earlier payment, on giving three months notice. This condition may, if enforced, save some interest to the public, and can produce no inconvenience, as there will be no greater difficulty in effecting a new loan, (if necessary,) in the middle than in the latter end of the year. The documents F, G, H, I, show both the object and the terms of the loan.
From what has been stated, it appears that no other provisions are necessary for the year 1811, than a continuance of the additional 24 per cent. duty, commonly called the Mediterranean Fund, and an authority to borrow a sum, probably much less, and certainly not greater, than the amount of the principal of the public debt which will be reimbursed during the year. But, as in conformity with the act of 1st of May, 1810, the importation of articles, the growth, produce, or manufacture of the dominions, colonies, and dependencies of Great Britain, will be prohibited after the 24 day of February next, if that nation shall not, before that time, so revoke or modify her edicts, as that they shall cease to violate the neutral commerce of the United States, some provisions appear necessary for the purpose of supplying the deficiency in the revenue arising from that cause, and of giving to that measure all the efficacy of which it is susceptible.
The probable defalcation in the revenue cannot, for obvious reasons, be at this time estimated with any degree of precision. The experience of the ensuing year can alone afford sufficient data for a permanent and detailed plan, adapted to that state of things, and calculated to ensure perseverance in the system as long as may be thought proper. But, in the mean while, it appears essential to lay the foundation of such plan, and to guard in time against any great deficit in the receipts of the year 1812. It is believed that, under existing circumstances, it would be sufficient to render those receipts equal or nearly equal to the current expenditure, including therein the interest on the public debt, and estimated at about eight millions of dollars: and, with a view to that object, a considerable and immediate increase of the present duties on importations is respectfully suggested.
It is not less important that the act should be free of legal difficulties and of well founded objections, and that it should be enforced by every practicable means. On that subject, the following observations are submitted:
1. The law of 1st May, 1810, has neither expressly defined the edicts, the revocation of which is expected, nor made a notification by the President the evidence and the sole evidence of the fact. It follows, that in case of an unsatisfactory modification of her edicts by Great Britain, the decision of the question itself, whether the non-importation be actually in force or not, will be left to the courts; whence delays and embarrassments will arise, which will considerably impede the operation of the law.
The non-importation is to take place on the 2d day of February next, if a revocation shall not have taken place before that day. But this may have taken place, and not be known on that day in the United States. the Collectors abstain from seizing merchandise imported after that day, until the fact shall have been ascertained, and the edicts shall not have been revoked, the merchandise will escape forfeiture, and the law, during that period, will be inoperative. If they seize, and the edicts shall have been revoked, the seizures will have been illegal, and the Collectors will be liable to personal suits. This inconvenience may be remedied by a provision directing that, during that period, it shall be the duty of the Collectors to make seizures, but that the goods shall be restored to the parties on their giving bond with sureties for the value.
3. No exception has been made by the act in favor of vessels which had sailed for the British East Indies prior to the President's proclamation; and the short period of three months from the date of that proclamation to the day when the law is to take effect, will occasion forfeitures or heavy losses in cases of bona fide American property in England, paid for or ordered prior to the proclamation. It seems, in every point of view, eligible, that cases clearly foreseen should be provided for by law, instead of being left to executive discretion.
4. It is believed that an abandonment by the United States of their share of the penalties and forfeitures which may be incurred, and the distribution of these, according to the circumstances of the case, amongst the Collectors, the other custom house officers, the Inspectors, who heretofore have had no share, and the informers, would ensure a greater degree of zeal and vigilance in detecting and preventing infractions of the law.
Some additional provisions will be necessary to enforce the law on the northern frontier of the United States: amongst which may be reckoned, the erection of some new collection districts, particularly on the river St. Lawrence, and in the eastern part of the State of Vermont; an increase of salary to the Collectors in that quarter, inasmuch as, under the non-importation, that part of their compensation which is derived from fees, will be considerably reduced, and that which arises from commissions altogether lost; and an authority to the armed force of the United States to make seizures. And it must be added, that the peculiar situation of those districts will render condemnations extremely difficult, unless the obligation. be imposed on persons claiming merchandise seized there, to prove that the same was legally imported.
All which is respectfully submitted.