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There is an apparent discrepancy in this statement, in the omission of the States of Mississippi and Arkansas as producers of cotton in the year 1860–61. This arises from the fact that neither has a seaport through which to export their crop to foreign countries and to domestic ports. Hence, it will be found that, ordinarily, all the cotton of Arkansas, and nearly all of the State of Mississippi, is distributed via New-Orleans. Some portions of Mississippi cotton are shipped to Mobile, which is the second port in importance in the United States as a cotton-receiving and exporting point. From an official “Statement of the Products and Taxable Property of Louisiana,” in 1859, it appears that cotton is not ordinarily the most valuable crop of that State. At the prices prevailing during the past twelve months (10 @ 22 cts.) it was equal to the sugar crop in aggregate value. The main products of that State, in 1859, were as follow, and, at prices of 1860–61, would result thus : Sugar,
292,780 hhds., Value, $ 100 per hhd., $ 29,278,000 Cotton, 499,835 bales,
60 per bale, 30,000,000 Molasses, 422,054 bbls.,
6,000,000 Corn, 13,127,043 bushels,
40 cts. per bushel, 5,250,000 Owing to the unsettled state of the country, and the absence of our usual mail facilities, our labor has been prosecuted with more difficulty, and less satisfaction to ourselves, than ever before, but we take pleasure in stating, that owing to a combination of favorable circumstances, we are, with a few unimportant exceptions, enabled to present a statement which, we believe, in all its leading items, to approximate exactness, and one which, for all practical purposes, may be considered reliable. Some of the minor details usually given in our statement are of necessity omitted, owing to the causes alluded to above, and some others are less complete than we could wish, but we feel assured that the statement, as a whole, will be found very nearly correct. It is well known that, owing to the disturbed state of the Southern section of the country, the commerce in cotton was hurried to a close some two months or more earlier than usual, and the results now given were more or less correctly known a month or two ago. It will be well, however, to observe here, that our former (weekly) tables included as receipts all the shipments from Memphis, but to arrive at the commercial crop of the country, we have, as usual, deducted the amount consumed on the Ohio, &c., estimated, by good judges, at 52,000 bales, and, on this account, the aggregate crop will now appear less than was previously supposed it would be. The statement, however, must speak for itself; it is the best we could make, considering the serious embarrassments under which we have labored.
It may be well to observe, that the preceding statement of the crop is that of the United States, as a whole, and does not purport to be the crops of the States, though the shipments, stocks, &c., are necessarily arranged under the different leading shipping ports or States, as the case may be.—N. Y. Shipping List.
HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES TARIFF.
1. TariFF OF MAROH, 1861. II. METHOD OF LEVY FOR PROTECTION. III. FAILURE AS A REVE
NTE MEASURE. IV. DIMINISHED CONSUMPTION. V. DECLINE IN IMPORTATIONS. VI. MONTHLY Customs, Port of New-York. VII. CONGRESSIONAL DISCUSSION. VIII. OUTBREAK OF WAE. IX. Extra SESSION. X. FREE ARTICLES TAXED. XI. TEA AND COFFEE. XII. ESTIMATED REVENUE. XIII. NORTHERN CONSUMPTION. XIV. YIELD OF THE THREE TARIFFS. XV. BONDED GOODs. XVI. EXPORTS OF THE COUNTRY. XVII. RETURN OF SPECIE. XVIII. GRAIN EXPORTS-COTTON IMPORTS-EFFECT OF LOAN UPON Customs—PROBABLE CHANGE,
The tables (pp. 506, 507) embrace every article enumerated in the tariff act of August 5th, 1861, with the rate of duty levied on each; to which we add the comparative rates according to the tariffs of 1842, 1846, 1857 and March, 1861. The whole will show at one glance the changes at these dates on these articles.
In our number for April last we brought down the history of the national tariffs passed since the formation of the federal government to the enactment of March, 1861, which had been passed hastily amid the extraordinary excitement that attended the close of the 36th Congress. That tariff restored the rates of duties to the highest protective rates for the leading manufactures. It changed the mode of levying the duties, and introduced many complications in their application. It made charges on long lists of articles previously free, generally on the principle of light taxes upon raw or partly manufactured articles, and increasing the rate in proportion to the degree in which the imported article was supposed to rival similar articles of domestic production. Such a principle, although it gratified the views of those who held that home manufactures should be protected by the direct interference of the government, was not of a nature to improve the revenues, since the domestic articles would, by reason of the increased tax, more readily exclude the foreign one from the markets, thus cutting off the taxed article from the service of the revenue. In a similar manner, tea, coffee and cocoa, which are not United States productions, were left free of duty, while sugar, which has a domestic rival, was charged with a specific duty, but of a lower equivalent than the ad valorem of the former tariff. The tariff, as a whole, was calculated to increase the public revenue in speculative seasons, but to have a contrary effect when, from general causes, commerce was depressed and want of confidence bore heavily upon those circulating credits which are, in the United States, the machinery of business. This had been the case since the November election had been followed by political events of a serious nature. The commercial effect of those events was to cause an immediate decline in importations, and this decline showed itself, as a consequence, in the falling off in the customs revenue, although the tariff remained unaltered up to the first of April
, when the new tariff of March went into operation. The following table shows the monthly customs receipts at the port of New-York, where two-thirds of the whole federal revenue are collected, during the two years of the operation of the tariff of 1857 and the first quarter of the year 1861:
$39,834,233 $ 35,431,443 The political events of November, 1860, had an immediate effect
upon the revenue, which declined to less than half that of the corresponding months of the previous year.
The discussion of the tariff question during the session naturally led to larger importations as a precaution against the higher duties threatened in that discussion, and the receipts in February and March, although far behind those of the corresponding months in 1860, were larger than during the prevalence of the panic in November and December. the first of April the tariff of March went into operation, but almost simultaneously with its action the war broke out and destroyed what remained of confidence, thereby curtailing business and again reducing the yield of the tariff, while the necessities of the war required increased
When Congress met, under these circumstances, the revision of the tariff was again
brought to its notice, and efforts were made to reduce those more strictly protective imposts which, in the altered state of the national commerce, assumed a prohibitive action, and were therefore detrimental to the great object of revenue. These efforts were, however, without success. The rates were not modified, but many important articles, previously in the free list, were subjected to tax. Of these, coffee and tea were the most promising for revenue. Brown sugar was raised from three-fourths of a cent per pound to two cents per pound, and molasses from two to five cents per gallon. These three changes, with that in relation to cocoa, were calculated to give a large revenue. The quantities and values imported in 1860, with the rate and amount of duty, were as follow, compared with the revenue that the new act would draw from the same quantities :
The quantities imported in 1860 were for the whole Union, and, if estimated for the North only, must be reduced in the ratio of forty per cent. for the articles of tea, coffee and cocoa. In the case of sugar, however, the quantities imported are not more than half of the whole consumption of the Union, the remainder being made up from the Louisiana production. Hence, the quantities of sugar imported may be assumed to be the usual Northern supply. All these articles, however, encounter a diminished demand, by reason of that general economy which flows from the depression of general industry; and, instead of deriving, as was estimated, $35,000,000 from the amended tariff and $20,000,000 from the tax on tea, coffee and sugar, the prospect is that the whole tariff for the present fiscal year will not give $20,000,000.
If the dutiable imports are taken for three periods of the present year, embracing the three tariffs, the results are as follows:
Arerage. Jan. 1 to April 1, 3 mos., tariff '57,.....$ 36,024,451 .. $7,068,864 .. 194 per cent. April 1 to Aug. 5, 4
'61,..... 25,164,019 .. 6,586,062 .. 26} Aug. to Sept.,
Aug.,'61, 12,324,147 3,204,218 .. 26 These figures give for result that the old tariff yielded less than twenty per cent. in the last three months of its operation, while that of March, 1861, gave but twenty-six and one-eighth per cent. upon the imports, because the articles most heavily taxed were imported in a smaller ratio. The new tariff gives no higher average rate of taxes on dutiable imports, for the reason, that in the first two months of its operation it hardly became effective in its full force. The large quantities of goods in bond, and which were imported freely to come in under the old rates, did not feel the new taxes, and new importations have been comparatively very small. The new law provides that goods can remain in bond no longer than three months without paying duties, under a penalty of an addition of twentyfive per cent. to the duty. The amount of goods in bond at the close of July, or when the new tariff went into effect, was, in round numbers, $23,000,000, and has since not much diminished. The importations that now take place are under the new tariff. It appears, however, that, for three months of the fiscal
year 1862, which begins July 1, already elapsed, the customs revenues have been but $5,273,809, which would give for the year $21,084,000, or $34,000,000 short of the official estimate. This result cannot be ascribed to the higher taxes, since, as the table demonstrates, the average import is hardly more than under the old one, and also because it has yet not come fully into operation. The great depression of general business, arising from the economy of the people, is the main cause of the lessened importations and smaller revenues. The commerce of the fiscal year 1862 must undergo a very great change in respect to exports, which, in ordinary years, are the measure of the importations from which the customs revenues are derived.
The exports of 1860 were as follows:
(Estimate.) Produce now blockaded,. $236,905,881 $ 210,111,000
nil. Produce and manufactures, 79,336,542 129,500,000 $ 130,000,000 Specie,...... 56,946,851 23,771,877
In 1860 the proceeds of the large exports returned in the shape of dutiable goods to the extent of $279,872,327, and $82,291,614 in free goods. In 1860 $23,771,877 was exported in specie in the first part of the year. The exports of breadstuffs then becoming large, reaching an excess of $46,000,000 over the previous year, simultaneously with the great decline in importations, $34,076,153 of specie returned into the country, the joint effect of the famine abroad and the political events at home. The new year opens with the new tariff, and also with an export demand for breadstuffs, which, it is hoped, will carry the aggregate exports to a point as high as last year, or $130,000,000.
The cost of exporting grain to Europe this year is somewhat increased by the fact that ships have few return freights. Not only goods come in less quantities, but immigration has been greatly affected. Hence, vessels require the outward-bound grain to pay two freights. The same general circumstances cause exchanges to rule 3 @ 4 per cent. lower than last year. These two unfavorable features are offset, to some extent, by the lowness of prices; but these, in their turn, so lessen the profits of producers as to check the consumption of goods. The favorable features are, that, while the crops are very large, there are no attempts to hold for a speculative rise, but the whole moves freely forward on a cash basis.
It is obvious, that if the whole proceeds of this exportation are received in the shape of dutiable goods, taxed at an average of thirty per cent., the revenue would be $39,000,000; at an average of twenty-six per cent., the rate for the first two months of the new tariff, the amount would be $33,800,000. But the exports may not reach so high a figure, the more readily that prices are much lower than for the corresponding season last year. In other words, more grain is given for the same money, and a considerable portion will be required to pay for free goods. The product of the tariff is, then, dependent upon the value of the exports of which the proceeds return into the country; and the range of the new tariff upon the leading heads of importations is, as compared with the previous tariffs, as follows: (See next page.)
The position of the cotton trade, for the moment, is such that no dependence, for revenue, can be placed upon duties imposed upon those manufactures, since the material of manufacture fails as well abroad as at home. The Northern States have been accustomed to manufacture 700,000 bales of cotton, worth $35,000,000. As that material threatens now to run short altogether, a great demand for substitutes must spring up, which may improve the importations of other articles. The aggregate importation cannot, however, exceed the value of the produce exported, without involving such an outward current of specie as will react upon the means of purchase. In the case that the government loan is taken to any extent abroad, that circumstance will supply bills that will give great latitude to the importations, and greatly improve the revenue. It is by no means impossible that considerable sums in stock may be so exported. It would seem to be most probable, that linen, wool and silks, with their mixtures, would, to a considerable extent, supplant cotton, the cheaper article in general use. The demand for British linens might then fairly be increased at the duty charged under the March tariff of twenty-five per cent. on lower qualities.