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Congress to compensate them for their services, and to refund to them the necessary expenses which they have incurred.
I repeat the recommendation heretofore made to Congress, that provision be made for the appointment of a suitable number of Indian agents to reside among the tribes of Oregon, and that a small sum be appropriated to enable these agents to cultivate friendly relations with them. If this be done, the presence of a small military force will be all that is necessary to keep them in check, and preserve peace.
I recommend that similar provision be made as regards the tribes inhabiting. northern Texas, New Mexico, California, and the extensive region lying between our settlements in Missouri and these possessions, as the most effective means of preserving peace upon our borders,, and within the recently acquired territories.
The Secretary of the Treasury will present, in his annual report, a highly satisfactory statement of the condition of the finances.
The imports for the fiscal year ending on the thirtieth of June last, were of the value of one hundred and fifty-four million nine hundred and seventy-seven thousand eight hundred ana seventy-six dollars; of which the amount exported was twenty-one million one hundred and twenty-eight thousand and ten dollars; leaving one hundred and thirty-three million eight hundred and forty-nine thousand eight hundred and sixty-six dollars, in the country, for domestic use. : The value of the exports for the same period, was one hundred and fifty-four million thirty-two thousand one hundred and thirtyone dollars; consisting of domestic productions, amounting to one hundred and thirty-two million nine hundred and four thousand one hundred and twenty-one dollars, and twenty-one million one hundred and twenty-eight thousand and ten dollars of foreign articles.
The receipts into the treasury for the same period, exclusive of loans, amounted to thirty-five million four hundred and thirtysix thousand seven hundred and fifty dollars and fifty-nine cents; of which there was derived from customs, thirty-one million seven hundred and fifty-seven thousand, and seventy dollars and ninetysix cents; from sales of public lands, three million three hundred and twenty-eight thousand six hundred and forty-two dollars and fifty-six cents; and, from miscellaneous and incidental sources, three hundred and fifty-one thousand and thirty-seven dollars and seven cents.
It will be perceived that the revenue from customs or the last fiscal year exceeded, by seven hundred and fifty-seven thousand and seventy dollars and ninety-six cents, the estimate of the Secretary of the Treasury in his last annual report; and that the aggregate receipts during the same period, from customs, lands, and miscellaneous sources, also exceeded the estimate by the sum of five hundred and thirty-six thousand seven hundred and fifty dollars and fifty-nine Leits; indicating, however, a very near approach in the estimate to the actual result.
The expenditures during the fiscal.year ending on the thirtieth of June last, including those for the war, and exclusive of payments of original and interest for the public debt, were forty-two million eight hundred and eleven thousand nine hundred and seventy dollars and three cents.
It is estimated that the receipts into the treasury for the fiscal year ending on the thirtieth of June, 1849, including the balance in the treasury on the first of July last, will amount to the sum of fifty-seven million forty-eight thousand nine hundred and sixty. nine dollars and ninety cents; of which thirty-two million of dollars, it is estimated, will be derived from customs; three millions of dollars from the sales of the public lands; and one million two hundred thousand dollars from miscellaneous and incidental sources, including the premium upon the loan, and the amount paid and to be paid into the treasury on account of military contributions in Mexico, and, the sales of arms and vessels and other public property rendered unnecessary for the use of the government by the termination of the war; and twenty million six hundred and ninety-five thousand four hundred and thirty-five dollars and thirty cents from loans already negotiated, including treasury, notes funded, which, together with the balance in the treasury on the first of July last, make the sum estimated.
The expenditures for the same period, including the necessary payment on account of the principal and interest of the public debt, and the principal and interest of the first instalment due to Mexico on the thirtieth of May next, and other expenditures growing out of the war, to be paid during the present year, will amount, including the reimbursement of treasury notes, to the sum of fifty-four million one hundred and ninety-five thousand two hundred and seventy-five dollars and six cents; leaving an estimated balance in the treasury on the first of July, 1849, of two million eight hundred and fifty-three thousand six hundred and ninety-four dollars and eighty-four cents.
The Secretary of the Treasury will present, as required by law, the estimates of the receipts and expenditures for the next fiscal year. The expenditures as estimated for that year are thirty-three million two hundred and thirteen thousand one hundred and fiftytwo dollars and seventy-three cents, including three million seven hundred and ninety-nine thousand one hundred and two dollars and eighteen cents for the interest on the public debt, and three million five hundred and forty thousand dollars for the principal and interest due to Mexico on the thirtieth of May, 1850; léaving the sum of twenty-five million eight hundred and seventy-four thousand fifty dollars and thirty-five cents; which, it is believed will be ample for the ordinary peace expenditures.
The operations of the tariff act of 1846 have been such during the past year as fully to meet the public expectation, and to confirm the opinion heretofore expressed of the wisdom of the change in our revenue system which was effected by it. The receipts under it into the treasury for the first fiscal year after its enactment exceeded by the sum of five million forty-four thousand four hundred and three dollars and nine cents the amount collected during the last fiscal year under the tariff act of 1842, ending the thirtieth of June, 1846. The total revenue realized from the commencement of its operation, on the first of December, 1846, until'the close of the last quarter, on the thirtieth of September last, being twenty-two months, was fifty-six million six hundred and fifty-four thousand five hundred and sixty-three dollars and seventy-nine cents—being a much larger sum than was ever before received from duties during any equal pegiod under the tariff acts of 1824, 1828, 1832, and 1842. Whilst by the repeal of highly protective and prohibitory duties the revenue has been increased, the taxes on the people have been diminished. They have been relieved from the heavy amounts with which they were burthened under former laws in the form of increased prices or bounties paid to favored classes and pursuits.
The predictions which were made, that the tariff act of 1846 would reduce the amount of revenue below that collected under the act of 1842, and would prostrate the business and destroy the prosperity of the country, have not been verified. With an increased and increasing revenue, the finances are in a highly flourishing condition. Agriculture, commerce, and navigation, are prosperous ; the prices of manufactured fabrics, and of other products, are much less injuriously affected than was to have been anticipated, from the unprecedented revulsions, which, during the last and the present year, have overwhelmed the industry and paralyzed the credit and commerce of so many great and enlightened nations of Europe.
Severe commercial revulsions abroad have always heretofore operated to depress, and often to affect disastrously, almost every branch of American industry. The temporary depression of a portion of our manufacturing interests is the effect of foreign causes, and is far less severe than has prevailed on all former similar occasions.
It is believed that, looking to the great aggregate of all our interests, the whole country was never more prosperous than at the present period, and never more rapidly advancing in wealth and population. Neither the foreign war in which we have been involved, nor the loans which have absorbed so large a portion of our capital, nor the commercial revulsion in Great Britain in 1847, nor the paralysis of credit and commerce throughout Europe in 1848, have affected injuriously to any considerable extent any of the great interests of the country, or arrested our onward march to greatness, wealth, and power.
Had the disturbances in Europe not occurre), our commerce would undoubtedly, have been still more extended, and would have added still more to the national wealth and public prosperity. But notwithstanding these disturbances, the operations of the revenue system established by the tariff act of 1846, have been so generally beneficial to the government and the business of the country, that no change in its provisions is demanded by a wise public policy, and none is recommended.
The operations of the constitutional treasury, established by the act of the sixth of August, 1846, in the receipt, custody, and disbursement of the public money, have continued to be successful. Under this system the public finances have been carried through a foreign war, involving the necessity of loans and extraordinary expenditures, and requiring distant transfers and disbursements, without embarrassment, and no loss has occurred of any of the public money deposited under its provisions. Whilst it has proved to be safe and useful to the government, its effects have been most beneficial upon the business of the country. It has tended powerfully to secure an exemption from that inflation and fluctuation of the paper currency, so injurious to domestic industry, and rendering so uncertain the rewards of labor, and it is believed has largely contributed to preserve the whole country from a serious commercial revulsion, such as often occurred under the bank deposit system. In the year 1847, there was a revulsion in the business of Great Britain of great extent and intensity, which was followed by failures in that kingdom unprecedented in number and amount of losses. This is believed to be the first instance when such disastrous bankruptcies, occurring in a country with which we have such extensive commerce, produced little or no injurious effect upon our trade or currency. We remained but little affected in our money market, and our business and industry were still prosperous and progressive.
During the present year, nearly the whole continent of Europe has been convulsed by civil war and revolutions, attended by numerous bankruptcies, by an unprecedented fall in their public securities, and an almost universal paralysis of commerce and industry; and yet, although our trade and the prices of our products must have been somewhat unfavorably affected by these causes, we have escaped a revulsion, our money market is comparatively easy, and public and private credit have advanced and improved.
It is confidently believed that we have been saved from their effect by the salutary operation of the constitutional treasury. It is certain, that if the twenty-four millions of specie imported into the country during the fiscal year ending on the thirtieth of June, 1847, had gone into the banks, as to a great extent it must have done, it would, in the absence of this system, have been made the basis of augmented bank paper issues, probably to an amount not less than sixty or seventy millions of dollars, producing, as an inevitable consequence of an inflated currency, extravagant prices for a time, and wild speculation, which must have been followed, on the reflux to Europe, the succeeding year, of so much of that specie, by the prostration of the business of the country, the suspension of the banks, and most extensive bankruptcies. Occurring, as this would have done, at a period when the country was engaged in a foreign war; when considerable loans of specie were required for distant disbursements, and when the banks, the fiscal agents of the government, and the depositories of its money, were suspended, the public credit must have sunk, and many millions of dollars, as was the case during the war of 1812, must have been sacrificed in discounts upon loans, and upon the depreciated paper currency which the government would have been compelled to use.
Under the operations of the constitutional treasury, not a dollar has been lost by the depreciation of the currency. The loans required to prosecute the war with Mexico were negotiated by the Secretary of the Treasury above par, realizing a large premium to the government. The restraining effect of the system' upon the tendencies to excessive paper issues by banks has saved the government from heavy losses, and thousands of our business men from bankruptcy and ruin. The wisdom of the system has been tested by the experience of the last two years, and it is the dictate of sound policy that it should remain undisturbed. The modifications in some of the details of this measure, involving none of its essential principles, heretofore recommended, are again presented for your favorable consideration,
In my message of the sixth of July last, transmitting to Congress the ratified treaty of peace with Mexico, I recommended the adoption of measures for the speedy, payment of the public debt. In reiterating that recommendation, I refer you to the considerations presented in that message in its support. The public debt, including that authorized to be negotiated, in pursuance of existing laws, and including treasury notes, amounted at that time to sixtyfive million seven hundred and seventy-eigat thousand four hundred and fifty dollars and forty-one cents.
Funded stock of the United States, amounting to about half a million of dollars, has been purchased, as authorized by law, since that period, and the public debt has thus been reduced; the details of which will be presented in the annual report of the Secretary of the Treasury.
The estimates of expenditures for the next fiscal year, submitted by the Secretary of the Treasury, it is believed will be ample for all necessary purposes. If the appropriations made by Congress shall not exceed the amount estimated, the means in the treasury will be sufficient to defray all the expenses of the government; to pay off the next instalment of three millions of dollars to Mexico, which will fall due on the thirtieth of May next; and still a considerable surplus will remain, which should be applied to the further purchase of the public stock and reduction of the debt. Should enlarged appropriations be made, the necessary consequence will be to postpone the payment of the debt. Though our debt, as compared with that of most other nations, is small, it is our true policy, and in harmony with the genius of our institutions, that we should present to the world the rare spectacle of a great republic, possessing vast resources and wealth, wholly exempt from public indebtedness. This would add still more to our strength, and give to us a still more commanding position among the nations of the earth.
The public expenditures should be economical, and be confined to such necessary objects as are clearly within the powers of Congress. All such as are not absolutely demanded should be postponed, and the payment of the public debt, at the earliest practicable period, should be a cardinal principle of our public policy.
For the reason assigned in my last annual message, I repeat the