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The second sum cannot yet be stated, since the extent of the expenses which may be authorized is not yet ascertained, and as the estimates for the additional army, already authorized, have not yet been received by the treasury department.
The deficit of 1,200,000 dollars, (on the peace establishment) fs not included as absolutely necessary, although its payment will, as stated in the annual report, leave in the treasury a smaller balance than, under existing circumstances, is eligible.
It may be proper to repeat that so long as the public credit is preserved, and a sufficient revenue is provided, no doubts are entertained of the possibility of procuring on loan, the sums wanted to defray the ordinary expenses of a war; and that the apprehensions expressed relate solely to the terms of the loans, to the rate of interest at which they can be obtained.
The reimbursement of the new debt which may be created, must ultimately depend on the respective revenue and expenditure oX the United States, after the restoration of peace. No artificial provisions, no appropriations or investments of particular funds in certain persons, no nominal sinking fund, however constructed, will ever reduce a public debt unless the net annual revenue shall exceed the aggregate of the annual expenses, including the interest on the debt. Those who create the debt can only estimate what the peace revenue and expenditure will be, and presume that the supposed surplus will be faithfully and perseveringly applied to the payment of the principal.
The current or peace expenses have been estimated at nine millions of dollars. Supposing the debt contracted during the war not to exceed fifty millions, and its annual interest to amount to three millions, the aggregate of the peace expenditure would be no more than twelve millions. And as the peace revenue of the United States may at the existing rate of duties be fairly estimated at fifteen millions, there would remain from the first outset a surplus of three millions of dollars applicable to the redemption of the debt. So far therefore as can be now forseen, there is the strongest reason to believe that the debt thus contracted will be discharged with facility and as speedily as the terms of the loans will permit. Nor does any other plan in that respect appear necessary than to extend the application of the annual appropriation of eight millions, and which is amply sufficient for that purpose, to the payment of interest and reimbursement of the principal of the new debt. No doubt can be entertained of that mode being sufficiently efficacious, since by that plan alone forty six millions of the public debt have been reimbursed during the last eleven years. If the national revenue exceeds the national expense, a simple appropriation for the payment of the principal of the debt, and co-extensive with the object is sufficient, and will infallibly extinguish the debt. If the expense exceeds the revenue, the appropriation of any specific sum and the investment of the interest extinguished, or of any other ftirxK, will prove a^ogefh liugatory; and the national debt will, notwithstanding that apparatus, be annually increased by an amount equal to the deficit in the revenue.
The >annual interest on the existing debt amounts to 82,220,000 And estimating the interest on the new debt at - 3,000,000 The sum which, on the annual appropriation of eight millions, would, at the restoration of peace, be applicable to the payment of principal, is------- 2,780,008
A sum somewhat less than the presumed surplus of three millions, as above stated, and which will be nearly sufficient to reimburse before the year 1823 the whole existing debt of the United States, with the exception of the three per cent. stock. The loans contracted during the war being made irredeemable for at least ten years, the first reimbursement would fall on that year: and the whole of the appropriations of eight millions after deducting 485,000 dollars for the interest of the three per cent, stock, would henceforth be applicable to the payment of the interest and principal of the new debt. The precise period of final extinguishment, and the precise amount of annual payments will depend on the terms of the loans, and on the number of years for which it may be necessary to make each loan irredeemable. But this skecth is sufficient to show, 1st, That no inconvenience will arise in making the loans irredeemable for ten years, since there is not much probability that they could be sooner discharged. 2dly, That the appropriation of eight millions will be sufficient for their final reimbursement. 3dly, That that reimbursement, and that of the whole debt of the United States (the three per cent. stock excepted) will probably be effected within fifteen years after the restoration of peace. It must always be remembered that those estimates are predicated on the supposition that an additional revenue to the amount already stated, will be provided, and that the increase of debt, during the war, will not exceed fifty millions.
In answering the inquiries of the committee on subjects so intimately connected with the most important questions of national concern, it became an imperious duty to represent every circumstance precisely as it was, or appeared to be, and without exaggerating or disguising any of the difficulties which must be encountered.
To understand these to their full extent will afford the best means of overcoming them; and there is none which appears insurmountable or even discouraging. What appears to be of vital importance is, that the crisis should at once be met by the adoption of efficient measures, which will with certainty provide means commensurate with the expense, and by preserving unimpaired, instead of abusing, that public credit on which the public resources so eminently depend, will enable the United States to persevere in the contest until an honorable peace shall have been obtained. I have the honour to be, with great respect, sir, your obedient servant, ALBERT GALLATIN. Honourable Ezekiel Bacon,
chairman committee of ways and mean».
From the President of the United States, transmitting co/iies of certain Documents obtained from John Henry, isfc.
March 9th, 1812—Read and referred to the committee on Foreign Relations, with power to send for persons, papers and records.
To the Senate and House of
Representatives of the United States.
I LAY before congress copies of certain documents which remain in the department of state. They prove that, at a recent period, whilst the United States, notwithstanding the wrongs sustained by them, ceased not to observe the laws of peace and neutrality towards Great Britain, and in the midst of amicable professions and negotiations on the part of the British government, through its public minister here, a secret agent of that government was employed in certain states, more especially at the seat of government in Massachusetts, in fomenting disaffection to the constituted authorities of the nation, and in intrigues with the disaffected, for the purpose of bringing about resistance to the laws, and, eventually, in concert with a British force, of destroying the union and forming the eastern part thereof into a political connection with Great Britain.
In addition to the effect which the discovery of such a procedure ought to have on the public councils, it will not fail to render more dear to the hearts of all good citizens, that happy union of these states, which under Divine Providence, is the guaranty of their liberties, their safety, their tranquillity, and their prosperity.
March 9th, 1812.
SIR, Philadelphia, February 20th, 1812.
Much observation and experience have convinced me, that the injuries and insults with which the United States have been so long and so frequently visited, and which cause their present embarrassment, have been owing to an opinion entertained by foreign states,—" That in any measure tending to wound their pride, or provoke their hostility, the government of thit country could never induce a great majority of it* citizen* to concur." And, as many of the evils which flow from the influence of this opinion on the policy of foreign nations, may be removed by any act that can produce Unanimity Amono All Fabtibs In America, I voluntarily tender to you, sir, such means as I possess towards promoting so desirable • and important an object; which if accomplished, cannot fail to extinguish, perhaps for ever, those expectations abroad, which may protract indefinitely an accommodation of existing differences, and check the progress of industry and prosperity in this rising empire.
1 have the honour to transmit herewith the documents and correspondence relating to an important mission, in which I was employed by Sir James Craig, the late governor general of the British provinces in North America, in the winter of the year 1809.
The publication of these papers will demonstrate a fact not less valuable than the good already proposed; it will prove that no reliance ought to be placed on the professions of good- faith of an administration, which, by a series of disastrous events, has fallen into such hands as a Castlereagh, a Wellesley or a Liverpool: I should rather say, into the hands of the stupid subalterns, to whom the pleasures and the indolence of those ministers have consigned it. In contributing to the good of the United States by an exposition, which cannot (I think) fail to solve and melt all division and disunion among its citizens; I flatter myself with the fond expectation, that when it is made public in England, it will add one great motive to the many that already exist, to induce that nation to withdraw its confidence from Men, Whose Political Career Is A Fruitful Source Of Injury And Embarrassment In America; Of InjusTice And Misery In Ireland; Of Distress And Apprehens103 In England; And Contempt Every Where.
In making this communication to you, sir, I deem it incumbent on me, distinctly and unequivocally to state, that I adopt no party views; that I have not changed any of my political opinions; that I neither seek nor desire the patronage, nor countenance of any government, nor of any party; and, that in addition to the motives already expressed, I AM INFLUENCED BY A JUST RESENTMENT- OF THE PERFIDY AND DISHONOUR OF THOSE WHO FIRST VIOLATED TBI CONDITIONS UPON WHICH I RECEIVED THEIR CONFIDENCE; vi he
have injured me, and disappointed the expectations of my friends; and left me no choice, but between a degrading acquiescence a injustice, and a retaliation, which is necessary to secure to me my own respect.
This wound will be felt where it is merited; and if Sir Jamb Craig still live, his share of the pain will excite no sympathy among those who are at all in the secret of our connection. I hrre ihe honour to be, Sir, your obedient servant, Sec. &c.
(Signed) J. HENHF.
To James Monroe, Esq. Secretary of state.
Mr. Ryiand, Secretary to Sir James Craig, Governor General of
The extraordinary situation of things at this time in the neighbouring states, has suggested to the governor in ohief, the idea of employing you on a secret and confidential mission to Boston, provided an arrangement can be made to meet the important end in view, without throwing an absolute obstacle in the way of your professional pursuits. The information and political observations heretofore received from you, were transmitted by his excellency to the secretary of state, who has expressed his particular approbation of them; and there is no doubt that your able execution of such a mission as I have above suggested, would give you claim not only on the governor general, but on his majesty's mitiisters, which might eventually contribute to your advantage. You will have the goodness therefore to acquaint me, for his excellency's information, whether you could make it convenient to engage in a mission of this nature, and what pecuniary assistance would be requisite to enable you to undertake it without injury to yourself. • At present it is only necessary for me to add, that the governor would furnish you with a cypher for carrying on your correspondence; and that in case- the leading party in any of the states wished to open a communication with this government, their views might be communicated through you. I am, with great truth and regard, my dear sir, your most faithful, humble servant,
(Signed) HERMAN W. RYLAN1).
No II.—[COPY.] * Sir James Craig, Governor General of Canada, to Mr. Henry. Most secret and confidential. SIR, Quebec, 6th February, 1809.
As you have so readily undertaken the service, which I have suggested to you, as being likely to be attended with moch benefit to the public interests, I am to request that with your earliest conveniency, you will proceed to Boston.
The principal object that I recommend to your attention, is the endeavor to obtain the most accurate information of the true state of affairs in that part of the Union, which from its wealth, the number of its inhabitants, and the known intelligence and ability of several of its leading men, must naturally possess a very considerable influence over, and will indeed probably lead the other eastern states of America in the part that they may take at this important crisis.
I shall not pretend to point out to you the mode by which you will be most likely to obtain this important information; your own judgment and the connections which you may have in the town;
Vol. III. App. t S