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DEBT AND REVENUE OF PENNSYLVANIA. From a circular addressed to the foreign loan holders of the State of Pennsylvania, by John J. McCahen, Commissioner of loans for that State, we extract the subjoined statement of the debt and resources of the State:
The whole debt of Pennsylvania is forty millions of dollars, or about eight millions of pounds sterling. The State has the right to pay off the same at the periods designated in the following table :-At the present time, (and will be paid during this year,)..
$3,314,325 20 In the beginning of the year 1858, (will be paid as soon as the period arrives,)..
688,479 51 Loan made in 1841.....
650,163 00 Bank-charter loans, payable at any time.
119,500 00 During the year 1858, and January 1, 1854..
2,744,057 83 During the year 1854
2,146,529 83 August 1, 1855..
4,478,040 26 July 1, 1856.
2,731,190 49 March and July 1, 1858.
7,022,233 01 July and August 1, 1859.
1,209,999 59 July 1, 1860...
2,582,386 48 The remainder of the loans are payable in 1861, 1862, 1863, 1864,
1865, 1868, and 1870, $400,000 due in 1879, and $850,000 in 1882, amounting in all to.....
$40,748,905 20 It will be perceived by the foregoing that the State has the right to pay off, during the year 1852, $3,314,325 20; during the year 1853, $4,202,200 34; during the year 1854, and August, 1855, $6,624,670 09; and July 1, 1856, $2,731,190 49; the first half-year of 1858, $7,022,283 01; in two years after, $4,392,386 07; making an ag. gregate of $28,287,005 20, payable in less than eight years.
The following exhibits the comparative revenue of the State of Pennsylvania for the years 1813 and 1851, and the estimated revenue of 1852, from general and regular sources. The fiscal year terminates on the 30th of November:
$8,254 03 $43,152 96 $45,000 Auctioneers' commission and duties... 88,972 28 71,316 47 70,000 Tax on banks, corporations, and their dividends..
67,040 55 392,830 61 420,000 Tax on loans, offices, enrolments, &c.. 43,844 03 202,672 95 225,000 Tax on real and personal estate,
554,452 06 1,372,170 37 1,400,000 Tax on collateral inheritances....
22,337 05 150,625 48 100,000 Licenses, retailers', tavern, &c...
119,952 34 297,999 90 300,000 Public works, railroads, and canals ... 1,010,401 15 1,719,788 54 2,000,000 Other sources, ordinary receipts,... 10,573 87 70,853 21 100,000 Balance of available funds at end of fiscal year
115,466 91 543,979 21 1,000,000 Total...
$2,040,294 27 $4,865,389 70 $5,660,000 The prosperity of the State cannot be retarded, unless by some improbable casualty; the completion of the last link of her improvements bas been provided for, and it is expected ihat in one year the North Branch Canal will pay a revenue upon more than three-and-a-half millions of dollars, hitherto entirely unproductive. The railways are now improving, and, being adapted to increased business and celerity in transporting passengers and freight, we may confidently predict that, in less than two years, the receipts upon our public works will exceed two-and-a-half million dollars per annum. The single article of anthracite coal will illustrate the product ive wealth of the State :In 1843, there were sent to market from our eastern coal-fields....tons 1,340,710 In 1851...
4,383,730 Showing an increase of production of..
3,142,020 The amount mined in 1852 will equal.
FINANCES OF CANADA FOR THE YEAR ENDING JANUARY 31, 1852. From the public accounts recently submitted to the Legislature of Canada, it appears that the finances of that country during the year ending January 31, 1852, were as annexed :Balance to credit of consolidated fund, January 31, 1851....... £199,882 13 4 Received one year's revenue..
842,184 5 2
The following are items of expenditure :
United Canada Charges under estimate, 1850..
1852.. Sinking fund
£223,561 14 3
29,230 18 2 33,547 8 9
4,655 2 10,573 0 0 125,355 0 7
8,770 1 4 125,972 14 5 73,000 0 0
£634,466 0 0 It appears by this that there was a surplus in hand of over four hundred thousand pounds, not withstanding the increase in the sinking fund for the year, of seventy-three thousand younds. In the revenue and expenditure accounts for the year, it appears that there was a surplus of £207,518. This surplus the previous year was £199,882.
TAXES OF CORPORATIONS IN LOWELL.
A LIST OF CORPORATIONS IN LOWELL, (MASSACHUSETTS) WHO PAY FIFTY DOLLARS AND UP
WARDS OF TAXES ON PROPERTY IN THAT CITY.
6,528 00 Proprietors of South Congrega
8,160 00 tional Meeting house ... 102 00 Lowell Bleachery.
1,632 00 Lowell Institution for Savings. 207 40 Lowell Corporation
5,974 84 Boston and Lowell Railroad.. 370 60 Lowell Machine-shop... 3,264 00 Nashua and Lowell Railroad.. 95 20 Massachusetts Mills .
9,792 00 Nashua and Lowell and Lowell
Merrimack River Lumber Co.. 183 60 and Lawrence Railroad.... 149 00 Merrimack Company
13,600 00 Lowell and Lawrence Railroad 54 40 Middlesex Company...
5,440 00 Lowell Gas Company... 1,088 00 Suffolk Company.
3,264 00 Appleton Corporation... 3,264 00 Tremont Company
3,264 00 Boott Manufacturing Company 6,528 00' Proprietors of Locks & Canals. 1,142 06
THE LAWS OF THE CURRENCY OF IRELAND. JAMES WILLIAM GILBART, F. R. S., the author of “ Practical Treatise on Banking," “ Lectures on Ancient Commerce,” &c., published in former volumes of the Merchants' Magazine, and General Manager of the London and Westminster Bank, recently read before a meeting of the British Association, at Belfast, Ireland, a paper on the laws of the currency in Ireland, as exemplified in the changes that have taken place in the amount of the circulation of bank notes in Ireland, since the passing of the Act of 1845. We give the following abstract of Mr. Gilbart's paper, as we find it reported in the Belfast Bercantile Journal :
In 1845, the average amount of notes that had been in circulation during the year ending May 1, 1845-£6,364,594-was made the fixed or authorized issue. For any amount beyond its authorized issue, each bank was required to hold an equal amount in gold or silver coin, the silver not to exceed one.fourth of the gold coin. The Act came into operation on the 6th December, 1845; and from that period each bank has made returns to the Government, stating the average amount of notes in circulation during the preceding four weeks, distinguishing the potes under £5 from those of £5 and upwards, and stating the amounts of gold and silver coin it held in its vaults. These returns were made by all the banks of circulation in Ireland. These are the Bank of Ireland, the Provincial Bank of Ireland, the National Bank of Ireland, the National Bank of Clopmel, the National Bank of Carrick-on-Suir, and the three banks of Belfast, viz: the Northern Bank, the Belfast Banking Company, and the Ulster Banking Company. We possess returns for every four weeks from January, 1846, to the present time. By adding together all the returns made during each year, and then dividing by thirteen, we obtain, of course, the average amounts in circulation from 1846 to the year 1851, inclusive. The proportion per cent these averages bear to the certified circulation of £6,354,494, is also dated hereunder.
Proportion to Certified
70.25 From this table it appears that if the authorized issue be represented by the number 100, the actual circulation for the six years, 1846 to 1851 inclusive, will be represented by the numbers, 114, 94, 76, 67, 71, 70.
The question naturally occurs to us, what is the cause of this great falling off in the annual circulation since the passing of the Act of 1845? The amount of notes in circulation does not correspond with the amount of gold in the bank of England; for the amount of gold in the Bank of England is, at the present time, much higher than it was on the 1st of May, 1845; although the Irish notes in circulation are much less. There were three negative laws of the currency in Ireland, namely, that the amount of notes in circulation is not regulated by the Act of Parliament, nor by the wishes of the Irish bankers, nor by the stock of gold in the Bank of England. Notes are issued in Ireland chiefly for the purpose of purchasing agricultural produce; it would seem to follow that the amount of notes put into circulation will be regulated mainly by the quantity of that produce and by the price at wbich it is purchased.
If then, we found that in the years since 1845, the quantity of agricultural produce has been less, or the price at which it has been sold has been less, and especially if both these circumstances should have occurred, then have we an adequate cause for a reduction of the amount of bank notes in circulation. The annual productiveness of the harvest would affect the amount of notes in circulation. Again, a bad harvest in one year may, by the distress it produces, cause a less production of commodities in several following years, and hence there may be a less demand for bank notes. A bad harvest produces distress among the farmers, and this distress affects the amount of the circulation in two ways :
First, the farmer consumes bis own produce instead of selling it, and thus requires not the use of potes. Secondly, the distress of the farmer diminishes the instruments of reproduction.
If he has no potatoes, he can rear no pigs. An abundant crop of potatoes produces in the following year an abundant 'crop of pigs. After the failure of the potato in 1846, the exportation of swine was reduced from 480,827, in 1846, to 106,407. The potato crop again failed in 1848. The number of swine exported in 1848 was 110,787, in 1849 it was only 68,053. The destruction of pigs which took place in 1846, would doubtless affect the circulation of notes in subsequent years, especially in 1847, 1848 and 1849, and probably to a certain extent in the years 1850 and 1851. A reduction in the quantity of commodities produced may be caused by a reduction in the number of producers, and this would occasion a less demand for bank notes; and the amount of notes that circulate in a country will also be affected by the quantity of commodities exported and the quantity imported. We find that the reduction in the amount of notes in circulation in Ireland had been preceded or accompanied by a reduction in the amount of commodities produced, occasioned by a reduced productiveness in the land actually cultivated; a destruction in the instruments of reproduction by the distress thus occasioned, a reduction in the number of producers by deaths and emigration, and the exportation of an increased portion of its capital in exchange for food.
But there was another circumstance that concurred in powerfully producing the same effect, that the price at which the commodities brought to market were sold.
From the whole we infer, that the difference between the amount of bank notes circulating in a country at two different periods, cannot be regarded as any correct test of the condition of its inhabitants at those two periods, unless we take into account all the circumstances by which that difference is attended—that the decline of the circulation of bank notes in Ireland from the year 1845 to 1851, is no accurate measure of the distress that has existed in the country, or that now exists, as other causes besides distress have concurred in producing that effect—that in comparing the circulation of 1845 and 1851, we are making a comparison unfavorable to the country, as the year 1845 was a year remarkable for the high amount of its circulation—and that we should indulge in no desponding inferences as to the condition of the country, even if the cireulation should never recover its former amount. Even the permanent reduction of the circulation to its present amount would be no conclusive evidence of the distressed condition of the country; for though distress first caused this decline, yet from the new circumstances which that distress introduced, the same amount of bank notes are not now necessary for conducting its operations.
Among the causes assigned for the circulation of the English banks, are the establishment of the penny postage, the introduction of railways, the decline in the price of corn, and the extension of the practice of keeping banking accounts. These causes have also operated in Ireland, while there are other causes, such as consolidation of small farms, and the cultivation of flax instead of corn, that will tend to produce the same effects.
Even increasing prosperity will not always increase the amount of notes in circulation—sometimes the reverse, for as nations become wealthy they learn to economize the currency. Large transactions are settled by checks on banks or bills of exchange, and notes are employed only in making payments of small amount. We cannot here enlarge on these topics. We can only recommend the study of the variations on circulations of bank notes in Ireland, since the year 1845, as one fruitful illustration of most important principles, and suggestive of many practical lessons. Here the man of business may obtain guidance, the man of science may gather wisdom, and the statesman may receive instruction.
SCARCITY OF SILVER COIN IN EUROPE.
The same scarcity of coin experienced in the United States, prevails throughout the European Continent, as will be seen from the subjoined paragraph which we copy from the London Times :
There never was known for many years so great a scarcity of silver currency as at present, in consequence of the very large exportations of silver that have recently taken place to Port Philip, Melbourne, Geelong, Sydney, and other ports of Australian colonies for the convenience of the adventurers at the "gold diggins.” Not a vessel leaves the ports of London, Plymouth, Bristol, Liverpool,
&c., but takes out a considerable amount of both gold and silver specie, either by speculators who are proceeding to the above colonies for the purpose of making large purchases of gold from the emiVOL. XXVI. —NO. V.
grants now working at the diggins, or consigned by capitalists and bullion dealers to their agents at Port Philip, &c., for the same specific purpose. It is with much difficulty that the bankers in the city and West End can obtain silver currency to any amount either at the Bank of England or at the Royal Mint, to accommodate their correspondents in different parts of the United Kingdom with silver coinage.
At Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, and other large commercial towns, the demand at the various banks for silver is so great, that they are unable to supply parties with more than £100 to £200, as not only is a vast quantity being shipped off to Australia and India, but the demands for silver bullion and specie for France, Belgium, Holland, Hamburg and the Continent, are also very extensive.
In consequence of this immense call for silver, it appears that the authorities at the mint intend having a considerable snm coined into specie, and likewise gold currency of half sovereigns and sovereigns for the convenience of the emigrants, who are placed in great difficulties from the want of a small circulating medium in exchange for their gold.
BRITISH CONSOLS AND THE NATIONAL DEBT. We copy from the London Illustrated News the following interesting statement touching British Consols and the reduction of the national debt of England.
Last week Consols were called at par, the Three per Cents were at 100, and there was great cheering on the Stock Exchange. Only once before in the present century has this circumstance happened, and only three times before since the national debt became a great national burden. We will lay before our readers a few interesting particulars connected with the subject.
The practice of borrowing money for a perpetuity, or on interminable annuities, was begun in the reign of William III. Previous sovereigns were borrowers; but their loans were for a limited period, and were repaid when their wars were at an end. He and his immediate successors borrowed without any intention to repay, and began a debt that has since been increased to the amount, in 1851, exclusive of unfunded debt, of £769,272,562. Instead of borrowing money as private individuals do at some current rate of interest, it was from an early period customary with the government to fix the rate of interest, generally at 3 per cent., and as the market rate was high or low to promise to pay a larger or smaller amount of principal. Hence the mass of the debt was contracted in a 8 per cent stock, and the amount of the debt was augmented nearly two-fifths more than the sum actually lent to the government.
In 1751, the different Three per Cent Stocks were consolidated into one stock, which has ever since been known by the name of consols, and, with successive additions has ever since formed a portion of the national debt. Prior to that consolidation the Three per cents rose in 1837 to 107, the highest point they ever reached. Again, in 1749, they rose to 100, and from that time to 1844 they were always below par. In 1844 consols were at 1014, and on Friday last they reached 100, being only the second time consols have been at par since they were created, and only the fourth time within 160 years that a 3 per cent annuity in perpetuity has been worth £100, or more than £100. · The funds have undergone some fearful vicissitudes. In 1700, on the death of the King of Spain, they fell to 50 per cent," whereby," says the historian, “great distress ensued to many.". After the peace of Utrecht, in 1715, they rapidly rose; and between 1730 and the rebellion in 1745, they were never below 89; but during the re bellion in 1745 they cank to 76. They fell to 53 in 1782, at the close of the American war; and, mounting afterwards to 97} in 1792, fell, in September, 1797, to 477. This was the lowest they ever reached. Between that and the highest point, 107, attained in the year 1737, the difference was equivalent to 117 per cent, sufficient to annihilate many fortunes, or to confer great wealth on those who purchased when the funds were at the lowest.
It is customary to speak with approbation of the high price of stocks, and it is advantageous to stockholders wishing to sell; but it is the reverse of advantageous to those who wish to buy. To possess one hundred pounds in the 3 per cent, means a right to claim from the government a perpetual annuity of £3. The price of annuities varies with the interest of money; and as that is high, as a sum doubles itself in fourteen or twenty one years, a proportionate less sum paid down will purchase an annuity: A high price of the funds, or the necessity of giving a large sum for an annuity, is equivalent to a low rate of interest for money; and, as a high rate of interest is a proof of high profit and of successful industry, a high price of the funds is