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The exports of farm produce promise well for the coming year; and in order to form a guide to the prices in England, we have compiled a weekly table, from official sources, of the imports into Great Britain, and the average prices for three years, as follows:
IMPORTS AND PRICES OF WHEAT IN ENGLAND.
Average prices per quarter,
Week. January 4.
25 February 1.
1851. .31,709. 99,306. 47 s. 98. 398. 5d.. 39s. 5d. 47,518 .75,967 47 0
39 1 31,973 60,732 46 5
38 9 35,261 .60,800. 46 5
38 5 38,515. 82,873. 45 7
38 2 29.961. ..61.738.
38 0 16,783 54,635. 45 8
.37 11 13,290
37 9 21,321. .53,042. 45 10
38 8 ..37 7 46 697 51,058. 45 10
..37 5 33,742..... 106,559.
..37 3 31,460. .111,240. 45 8
..37 2 40,540. .71,105
..38 1 ..37 3 .53,333. .78,105......44 10
38 1 ..37 5 63,334. .51.730.
1 ..37 9 81,851. 67,346
......38 3 -49,840.. 68,825
37 10 ..387 .53,983. .56,865. 45 0
8 ..38 9 ..58.986. .76,646. 45 2
9 ......38 11 . 40.937 107,863...... 43 3
......38 10 64,558 75,407. 45 3
......38 10 ..67,863.. ..51,514.... 45 4 ..38 9
... 45 10
From January 18 to March 22, the averages fell from 38.9 to 37.2--that is to say, in nine weeks to 19d. per quarter; and they recovered that fall in the subsequent six weeks. At the close of April, after an importation of 1,280,446qrs. against 721,090 grs. in the same period of the previous year, the averages stood 11d. per quarter higher, and are in an ascending state. The importations of wheat into England arise from the great abundance in France, and the accounts now from that country are of great damage to the growing crop, and consequently of advancing prices. Although England has received large quantities from France, those from the United States also have been very large in the last few years, more particularly in the first quarter of the present; and this last period may very properly be regarded as not only the turning point for agricultural prices in the west of Europe, but also of manufactured goods-resulting from the influence of the revolutions of 1848. In that year there was a universal disposition to get rid of goods, and to stop production. That was the first impulse of the pendulum, and in the following year great activity manifested the opposite oscillation. Continental goods had been pushed into every region of navigable seas at lower rates, and the stocks thus put off in a year of activity left a scarcity when political quiet allowed a renewal of the trade ; and in 1819-'50, the production has been so great as to glut the markets of the world with both British and American goods, and none in a greater degree than the United States. The losses sustained have been very great; and once more diminished production marks the opposite oscillation. The surplus goods of Europe have been poured upon us, under a so-called low tariff, in unprecedented abundance ; and the re-action has taken place without having in any degree produced financial distress. The steady currency of the country under the admirable independent treasury system has carried it safely through the dangerous crisis consequent upon the over-production of goods attending the re-action from the European revolutions, and our market for the export of breadstuffs has been maintained in the face of the low prices consequent upon the re-action of the famine prices. The exports of breadstuffs from the United States to Great Britain have been from September 1 to June 18-in four years—as follow :
It will be observed that, although the prices in England have this year been lower, yet the quantities sent thither have very much increased—that is to say, the English average price of wheat has been, since January this year, 37s. 10d. ; last year it was 39s., or 1s. 10d. higher; yet the United States has sent thither 5,500,000 bushels wheat against only 1,800,000 last year at the higher price. If now, with ample means of transportation, the prices in western Europe have been at their minimum, the future promises very large markets for the produce of our farmers.
And the English dates, down to the middle of June, produced very active shipments of breadstuffs from New-York, with advancing freights. The returns of the shipments of gold, breadstuffs and cotton, of which the price, after a considerable fall, shows signs of again rising, will continue to act favorably upon the government finances.
When the subject of the government finances is under discussion, it is useful to recur frequently to the views and facts furnished by those who have been in charge of that department, in order the more readily to distinguish between the designs of party and the enunciation of logical deductions from the operation of sound principles. Thus the party which succeeded the brilliant administration of Mr. Polk attempted undisguisedly to swell the expenditures of the government in every possible way, in order to afford a pretext for exacting more taxes from the labor of the country, thus enhancing the patronage of the government, not only through the expenditure, but by means of the interests which shared with the government the iribute exacted from labor. That is to say, if the usual estimate is correct, that 10 per cent. of all the goods consumed in the country are imported, and that the price of all is raised to the consumer for the protection of the manufacturers in the proportion of the tariff, then for every dollar of customs which the government receives, the manufacturing interests which it protects receive $9 from the consumers. Hence the $40,000,000, which the government drew from customs in 1850, was the means of taking from labor $360,000,000 to swell the profits of capital; and the result of such injustice is manifest in England, where, after 150 years of protection, the pauper condition of the laboring millions affords so awful a contrast to the vast wealth of the few, as to extort a cry of horror from those who, on occasion of the World's Fair, visited England for the first time. Most truly did Mr. Walker, in his report for 1848, state, (page 7)—" The adoption of high tariffs is a war upon labor," recognizing the true principles of national prosperity. He stated, (page 3 :)
" This statement shows a balance in the treasury on the 30th June, 1849, of $2,853,694 ; and a balance in the treasury on the 30th June, 1850, of $5,040,542."
In the following year came Mr. Meredith, with his large expenditures and projected loans; and in his report for 1849 he states, (page 6 :)
" It will be observed that there is estimated a deficit on the 1st July next of $6,828,121, and on the 1st July, 1951, of $10,547,092—making, in the whole, an estimated deficit of $16,375,214 to be provided for, arising from the expenses of the war and treaty with Mexico.”
Last year came Mr. Corwin, with his schemes and queries. He informs us that the balance in the treasury, July, 1850, was $6,604,544, falsifying Mr. Walker, and showing a difference of over twelve millions from Mr. Meredith's estimate. He estimates the customs duties for the year 1851 at $45,000,000, and the money on hand July 1, 1851, at $458,996. We now come to the ac-, tual customs for the eleven months of the year elapsed, and the amount of money on hand, as follows :
UNITED STATES REVENUES FROM JULY TO MAY, INCLUSIVE, AND CASH BALANCE. July to June. Customs.
Cash in treasury: 1850. $36,618,490..
$8,989,382 1851.. 44,349,063.
This is an average amount of customs equal to $4,400,000 per month, a continuance of which for June would give nearly $49,000,000 as the customs revenue for the year, leaving a large balance in the treasury, and enabling the Secretary to issue his notice for paying off on the 9th August next the five per cent. stock of 1846, which was issued in payment of the four and five instalments of the old Mexican claims, due in April, 1844. The amount is $303,573. Thus, instead of a loan of $16,000,000 to meet a deficient revenue, the old loans are paid off as they fall due to the extent-including the Mexican indemnity and claims, and that payable in August-of nearly $7,000,000, leaving a large balance in the treasury. This is a result that must "puzzle that Philadelphia lawyer."
It is a little remarkable that men who are so shrewd about selling out their own claims upon the treasury at good round sums, making such good bargains out of the treasury, should be so very blundering about making bargains for the treasury. Our friend, Mr. Corwin, estimated (page 21) that the California mines would yield fifty millions per annum, and that out of that we might be able to export annually from ten to fifteen millions, which, added to one hundred and fifty-two millions of other products—which he assumed as the maximum export-would make one hundred and sixty-five millions. He then says:
“ If the present rate of duties be applied to that amount, we should receive from the customs only $37,950,000, and the amount of revenue required for the present and succeeding years, would fall short of the estimates for the current year by a fraction over seven millions."
He does not quite ask for a new loan, but wants to increase the taxes so as to make consumers of goods pay more into the treasury for the benefit of Galphin claims, and also into the pockets of the corporate millionaires.
If the California mines yield fifty millions per annum, why may it not all be exported after the channels of circulation are full ? After we have got enough to circulate, the remainder has no value, except in the exchange for consumable articles-unless Mr. Corwin wants to pave the streets with it.
The imports for the present year of dutiable goods will be very nearly two hundred millions, and the rates of exchange show, independent of collateral and anomalous causes, no adverse balance ; that is to say, they remain very nearly the actual par, and money rather increases in abundance at all the commercial centres.
In a country like ours, of great natural wealth, generally distributed among an enterprising people, a great deal of money may be extracted from them by high rates of taxation ; but those rates of taxation will depress the general trade, and make the products of industry less productive, while they enhance the proportion of wealth which the protected capital draws from the producing many. In extracting a revenue from consumers through the agency of indirect taxes, the object should be to raise it from as large an amount of trade as possible. Thus we may compare the year 1831, or “twenty years ago," with the official returns for 1850, and the estimates for 1851 :
The export value is that of the invoices cleared at the custom-house here ; the import value is that of the foreign cost. Now 36,000,000 of dollars extracted in 1831 from 12,000,000 of souls, who sold only $61,000,000 of produce, was a far heavier burden than $39,000,000 extracted from 23,000,000 of souls, who sold $137,000,000 in 1850 : that is to say, in 1830 the exports of the country were $5 per head, and the tax $3 per head-difference $2. In 1850 the exports were $6 per head, and the tax $ 175—difference in favor of producer, $4 25. But this is a small part of the matter. If the duty imposed for the protection of manufacturers has the effect they desire, and compels the consumers to pay as much more for the home articles as the amount of the duty imposed upon the competing foreign one, and the proportion of these latter is admitted to be onethird of the whole consumption, although the census of 1840 should be only one-fifth, then the tribute paid by productive industry to inanufacturing capital amounted in that year to $73,192,236. The account stands, then, thus—1831:
Amount paid per cent.
by consumers. Imports $89.734,499.
$36,596.118 Home goods. .179,468,998
73,192,236 Total.... $269,203,497...
$109,788,354 Now the tribute to manufacturers and the tax of the government amount to $109,788,354. The rate of duty was then reduced to 25 per cent., and the imports have doubled. The account, then, stands thus-1851:
Thus the government gets twelve millions more money, and the people pay nearly twelve millions less, at the same time they export three times as much produce. If the profit on sixty-one millions exports is estimated at twelve mil. lions, that on one hundred and seventy millions may be put at thirty-five millions. Thus they make twenty-three millions more profit, and pay twelve millions less tribute-making thirty-five millions-while the government gets twelve millions more revenue. It is thus that comparative freedom of trade counteracts that tendency of capital to accumulate in a few hands at the expense of the many, which, during 150 years of protection in England, produced that state of things that strikes the stranger with horror when he visits their cities for the first time : Under a diminished tariff, the disparity in the prices between foreign and home productions is less, and the tribute thus levied by law upon consumers for the benefit of capital is less. The profits of agricultiral producers by means of larger sales are greater, and the expenso of encouraging manufactures is less; consequently, labor retains to itself a larger portion of what it has itself produced. Capital complains because it accumulates less rapidly; but the silent prosperity of the many manifests itself in general content. The financial evils attributed to the operation of low tariffs, belong exclusively to the credit system, operated upon by high tariffs. The high tariff's of 1828, by checking importations, produced an unnatural state of the exchanges, on which the bank-paper system expanded rapidly under the spur of the political struggles of the late national bank, causing prices to rise on a paper basis, encouraging imports, and discouraging exports. This cannot now happen. The admirable independent treasury system preserves that specie test of prices which neither permits of an unnatural elevation in the value of imported goods, nor prevents an excess of produce from finding such a level as stimulates exports until the surplus is sold.