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But as in this sum there were inalienable
Rentes to the amount of...... .......................
7,320 metallic roubles, 11,794,911 paper. 327,520 metallic,
Which, by the annual increase of the Sinking Fund, by means of redeemed Rentes, will likewise be reduced in 20 Years. There will then remain only 11,794,911 inalienable roubles, which, with the 26,000,000 mentioned above, belong almost wholly to Publick Establishments. The Loan in metallic inscriptions, made by means of the House of Baring and Hope, is for 40,000,000; but only 26,750,000 roubles have been carried to the account of the 30,000,000 assigned to the diminution of the paper money.
....... 97,925,460 paper.
We have already redeemed of the Loan a capital of 701,700 roubles. Of the produce which the Commission has drawn from, we burnt in 1820, and we are going to burn for 1821, 46,851,394 roubles. The Commission for the Sinking Fund keeps the remainder at its disposal. Up to January, 1821, we have burnt............... 191,109,420 roubles, And we are about to burn ...... 44,968,230
We have redeemed in all...........
The 30,000,000 fixed annually for the use of the Loans made with the object of diminishing the paper money, are not only sufficient for the purpose, but there remain at the disposal of the Commission more than 40,000,000, to be employed to continue this operation in the way that shall be thought most agreeable. The third part of the Debt comprehends those which are calculated to satisfy the wants of the different branches of the Administration, after the establishment of the Sinking Fund. They amounted, during the last 4 Years, to the sum of 1,305,000 roubles in metallic currency, and 17,495,000 roubles in assignats, which you have seen in the Accounts which have been presented.
Last Year, the Government thought it necessary to carry to the account of the Treasury, about one third of the Loan of 40,000,000 metallic currency, which had been opened at 13,250,000 roubles, Which raised them to And...........
14,555,000 metallic roubles, 17,495,000 paper roubles.
But, according to the principle which had been established, the Government secured the payment of the interest of the Sinking Fund, in assigning for these two objects, the requisite sums above 30,000,000 necessary for the use of the former Debts.
In this manner, the whole of our Debts on the 1st of Jan. 1822, is: Dutch Debt................ ..... 48,600,000 florins. Debts in Russian Money, both Debts in Russia, on terms which will render them perpetual......
In metallic money
Of which there are
48,481,920 silver, ....................196,932,960 paper money.
The capital of which the Commission disposes this Year, for the redemption of the latter, amounts to........... 65,000 silver roubles, And....... 5,632,000 paper money. Which is more than the necessary proportion. The Account of the Commission will prove to you, Gentlemen, that the fees which it receives from the Treasury are punctually paid, and that it disposes of them conformably to the orders which have been given to it.
Bank of Assignats.-This Bank is limited, as you know, to the exchange of the Notes which, injured by use, cannot any longer remain in circulation, and which it replaces either by new Notes or by copper Coin. It is equally charged with the making of the new Notes necessary for the purpose which I am about to mention; and, finally, it is charged with the recovery of certain sums which Individuals owed to the former Boards.
You will be satisfied, Gentlemen, by the Accounts which will be presented to you, that the prohibition of any new issue of paper is strictly observed.
Last Year I announced to you, and the Accounts of the Bank will have shown to you, that, after having substituted for the former Notes those which circulate at present, we had in circulation about 639,460,270 roubles.
In spite of all the measures taken by the Government to make known to all Persons the term fixed by the Ordinances to exchange the old Notes, many of them were found in the hands of the poor and indigent classes of society. The Government did not wish that the Bank should profit by their negligence, and the Emperor, therefore, ordered all to be paid which should be presented during the Year 1821. To the 1st of January, 1822, there was withdrawn 1,437,200 roubles; the whole mass issued amounts to 640,897,470 roubles; and, as we are going to burn, at the end of this Session, 44,968,230 roubles, there will remain in circulation about 595,926,240 roubles.
Loan Bank.-The Loans which this Establishment has made, in the course of the Year 1821, by order of His Imperial Majesty, amounts to 16,000 roubles in gold; 27,000 in silver; and 9,073,689 roubles in paper.
The greater part of these Loans has been advanced to Manufacturers, for the support of their Establishments. The capitals belonging to this Bank will be solely devoted to the support of industry. The net profit which it derived during the last Year from its operations was 6,322 roubles in gold; 138,782 in silver, and 2,227,624 in paper.
Commercial Bank; instituted for the support of the Commercial Class. This Establishment has last Year rendered important ser
vices, by facilitating the operations at a time when our commerce most imperiously required that assistance. Its beneficial influence has not only been felt in the Capital, but has been spread to all the Cities most engaged in commerce. The Offices which it established at Riga in course of the last Year, and at the commencement of the present at Astrachan, will extend the circle of its activity. Its Capital, which at the time of its institution amounted only to 17,000,000, now amounts to the 30,000,000, fixed by the Manifesto of 1817. The deposits, both at the Bank and at its Branches, including what remained from 1820, have amounted, for repayment, to 49,481,000 roubles, and, at interest, to 126,874,000 roubles.
The total sum at its disposal, in addition to its own Capital, amounts to 205,000,000.
The Bank and its Branches have effected the following arrange. ments: they have advanced, in sums for repayment, 18,818,000 roubles; they have assigned, from one City to another, 30,663,000: they have restored sums, placed at their disposal, with the intention of deriving interest from them, to the amount of 92,804,405. They have discounted, by Bills of Exchange, the sum of 228,619,000. They have advanced, upon deposits of merchandize, 7,890,000. They have discounted, in Bank Notes, 20,350,000; and in Foreign Bills of Exchange, 3,035,000. The whole of their operations have amounted to 309,357,000.
The advances upon commodities have exceeded by 2,600,000 those made in 1820; and the discount on Bills of Exchange presents a surplus of 58,000,000.
Of the Paper Money protested, there is an amount of 1,403,751 which has not been paid. The majority of it is found to be counterfeited. The Government, however, knows and will prosecute the Forgers. By all that we can learn, the Bank will not experience considerable losses owing to these Persons. These losses will be amply compensated by the profits which the Bank has made, and which amount to 3,204,385 roubles. The total of returns into the Funds of this Establishment, and the Publick Offices, in 1821, amounts to 1,178,454,398 roubles in paper, and 9,165,739 roubles in silver.
Such, Gentlemen, is the situation of our Credit Establishments. It proves that our system of Publick Credit is built on a solid basis, and that we cannot entertain a doubt of the advantage which it will confer upon the State.
The sacred word of the Sovereign, to whom Russia is indebted for this new benefit; the punctuality with which the sums set apart for this service are paid; the rigorous observance of the rules which fix their application; become, when combined, the essential guarantees of our system of credit. Debts formerly contracted are at length perfectly ascertained; each of them has been arranged, upon rules agreeable to
the Creditors of the State, and the means have been provided for satisfying them.
Our system of Credit, in consolidating itself, offers the means of providing for expenses which might exceed the ordinary resources of the Treasury, and gives greater facilities to its operations.
The extreme necessity of having recourse, on ordinary occasions, to new issues of Bank Paper, so injurious to private and publick interests, cannot, henceforward, conflict with the existence of our system of credit. The paper money, arrested in its progress towards depreciation, has acquired a greater value; we neither expect nor desire a sudden rise. By diminishing the mass of paper from 836,000,000 to 596,000,000, we might have obtained a more sensible amelioration; but the distressing situation of our commerce has relaxed the progress towards such salutary results.
The consolidation of our system of credit leaves us the choice of the means by which we may, in a short time, sce the accomplishment of our wishes. We can before-hand predict their success. Our Funds, appearing in general circulation, have not only been secured against loss, but have risen in value. Such are the happy effects of a regulated system of credit. Those which we have still a right to expect will follow the progressive march of time, which alone can prepare and reorganize them.
REPORT of the Minister of Finance to the Extraordinary Cortes of Spain.-8th October, 1822. (Translation.)
URGED by the duty imposed upon me by the functions which I exercise, I am about to communicate with the Cortes upon one of the most important points on which it has to deliberate, and which has offered one of the chief reasons for its extraordinary convocation.
The Finances, which are the soul of States, and without which every branch of the Administration would be paralyzed and destroyed, are about to be presented to the consideration of the August Congress, under their true point of view. The Cortes will be made acquainted with their present state, will discover the extent of the resources which the Government possesses, together with that of the debts which it has to discharge, and, without the inconvenience of correcting the vices and defects which may be remarked, will employ itself in facilitating those plans which may be necessary, in order successfully to meet the publick necessities, and to relieve the Nation from the Factious Bands which infest its Frontier Provinces. I will briefly explain to the Cortes the state which the Publick Finances presented at the close of the Session of its first ordinary Legislature, or the end of the second economical Year; the dispositions of the Government with respect to
the same branch in the third Year; and, finally, the precise increase of the Taxes necessary for discharging the Expenses of the Publick Service, up to the end of June, 1823; as well as the means by which, in my opinion, that increase, in addition to the Estimates voted by the Cortes, may be met. I must claim the indulgence of the Cortes in giving me a patient hearing, and supplying by its wisdom any defects in my mode of explanation; and I beg that it will direct its attention to the frankness and precision with which I will attempt to exhibit to them the former and the present state of the Publick Finances.
It would be useless for me to present even a sketch of their history during the first economical Year, a work which has already been performed by the Ministry, in the Memoir read before the Cortes on the 5th of March. It is sufficient to say, that, of the Taxes voted for the first Year, there was experienced a deficiency of 181,442,774 reals, 25 maravedis, and that, at the end of the same Year, there was also an arrear in the Estimates of the Ministry, of 107,451,582 reals, 1 maravedi.
With this deficiency and arrear, we entered upon the second economical Year. It was met, it is true, by 116,257,292 reals 4 maravedis of balances, viz. 31,440,773 reals 13 maravedis, of the Years anterior to the 1st of July, 1820, and 84,816,518 reals 25 maravedis, of that corresponding to the first economical Year; but the collection of the second Year being compared with the estimate made by the Finance Committee of the contributions and revenues of the State, as stated in the Journal of the Cortes, there appeared the enormous deficit of 322,060,935 reals 31 maravedis. The data on which this result is formed are to be found in the circumstantial Account of the Treasurer-General and Accountant, which was presented to the Cortes. So remarkable a difference is doubtless not extraordinary, considering the high value at which the produce of the Revenues of Monopoly, Stamps, Registers, and other branches, were estimated, and the circumstance of having admitted into the Account an item which has proved to be imaginary. I must nevertheless state to the Cortes, that this diminution from the estimated value (which in some branches has proved lamentably large) is in a great measure owing to the want of sufficient zeal in the Officers, and even, in some instances, to their sinister operations; for our Enemies make war upon us in a thousand different ways, and they have not forgotten that, to deprive us as far as possible of resources, is a most powerful means of attack. The Government zealously exerts, and will continue to exert, every vigilance on this subject, and will act rigidly and inflexibly towards the guilty; but it cannot go beyond its powers, which are circumscribed within a narrow circle.
With regard to the repartition for the second economical Year, the Accounts of the Distribution drawn up by the Treasurer-General and Accountant, and the Abstracts made in my Office, and the others sub