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Thy deepest vein, thy black foundations dig,
How beautiful thy dark-green summit! Spring
FINANCE AND COMMERCE.
The somewhat unsettled condition of proposed reduction of the Tariff and the the great money market of the world virtual abolition of the Corn-laws, as nat. London—at the latest dates, and the un- urally induce a panic in all commercial certainty in all the walks of business oc transactions, and an unwillingness espe. casioned by the new policy of Sir Robert cially to operate in grain and flour. If Peel respecting the Corn-laws, of which to this it be added that when the steamers the decision is not accurately foreseen, of which we received the news on 19th have not failed measurably to exercise an ult. lest England, the latest dates from influence upon the state both of our mo- this country were contemporaneous with ney and produce markets.
the rejection by this government of all A scarcity of money in England is very arbitration, it will be readily understood soon felt in this country--so intimate are that political apprehension falling upon the relations, and so rapid the communi. a market before disturbed, produced a cation between the two. The great sums state of things not at all fitted to in. Jocked up in deposits on railroad schemes spire confidence. Hence the general naturally deranged for a time the ordinary complexion of the intelligence by the Hi. flow of money. The possibility of so bernia was disappointing-and our af. radical a change in the commercial policy fairs have ever since felt the effect of it. of the country as that aimed at by the There has been, since that arrival, a con
* Talula, a wild cataract in the mountains of Georgia.
stant and steady decline of prices of panic which occasionally arises because stocks. Political causes have, undoubt- of a few millions variation in the supply edly, a large share in this decline, but the of gold, or the amount of Bank note is. apprehension of the effect of the gene. sues, will seem remarkably disproporral money concerns of England, of the tioned to the relation existing between large investments in railroads, is not with such sums and the whole property of the out its influence; and therefore we pro- kingdom. pose to say a few words upon this topic. From these and like considerations, it The assumption that the millions upon seems to us that the apprehension which millions subscribed to railroads must op- did undoubtedly weigh over the London erate to the derangement of the circulat- market at the last dates—though in a less ing medium, and consequently to the em- degree than before-of the bad effects of barassment of general business, seems to the railroad investments, was unfounded, us unfounded. While, indeed, the pre- and soon will be ascertained so to he; liminary deposits are locked up, and and, as a consequence, we think any disuntil active operations are commenced, trust here that money is to be any more there might be some little pressure occa. scarce in London, is equally without sioned, because the amount was very con- foundation. siderable ; but even that pressure seems In our opinion, therefore, there is no to us to have been overrated for the reason to believe that difficulties in our Accountant-General, into whose hands money market are to be occasioned by these deposits are paid, invested them in scarcity or tightness of money in Engthe public stocks, and of course liberated land ; nor do we see--except in so far as therefrom an amount of capital to become uncertainty always operates unfavorably disposable for general purposes, equal to anything in the present aspect of the that invested.
political questions in agitation between As to the capital of these enterprises, the two countries, to cause sad difficulties. when once commenced it is paid out al. The recent message of the President in most as fast as paid in, and returned to answer to a call of the Senate, does not general circulation-so that no derange. vary our position, nor in any degree abate ment is thereby occasioned; and then, our confidence in an eventual peaceful as a matter of fact, the investments in arrangement. The utmost that can be English railroads having thus far proved made of that message is, that the Presi. so profitable as to yield, upon an ave. .dent now avows openly what before was rage, considerably over 4 per cent. per inculcated underhandedly and irresponsiannum-the usual rate of interest-they bly, but still publicly--that there is must be looked upon as adding to, rather enough of doubt about our position, with than abstracting from, the active com. respect both to England and Mexico, to mercial capital of the country.
authorize some precautionary measures On another point misapprehension pre- of self-defence. If this had been as vails, as to the proportion between the frankly said in the message at the comreal wealth of the country, and what is mencement of the session, all would have usually considered its circulating medi- approved it; as, indeed, all who knew
Let us take the example of Eng- anything of the defenceless state of the land. It is estimated, by statistical wri. country, expected it. The ight of th: ters, that the “ fee simple of the re- thing is not altered by delay, nor is the exsources of the British empire is worth six pediency of the course recommended less thousand millions sterling-while the obvious now than before—but yet the circulation of the Bank of England moment chosen is inopportune. Still we amounts to only twenty millions; so apprehend no evil from the message, and that the real and personal property held trust that the Committees of the Senate by British subjects is to the amount of to which is intrusted the charge of mili. Bank of England notes, as three hundred tary and naval affairs, will soon make a to one. In other words, for every five report, so that it may be seen what pounds represented by a Bank of Eng. amount of appropriations, and what ex. land note, there are fourteen hundred and tent of armament, are contemplated. The ninety-five pounds not so represented of revenues now accruing are insufficient bona fide property, consisting of lands, for any considerable increase of expendi. houses, ships, agricultural produce, and ture, and if such increase is to be encoun. manufacturing stock belonging to the tered, loans or direct taxes must at once people of that realm.” In this view, the be resorted to for the means. The latter
same as ever.
Their directors may resolutely shut their believe that the collection forthwith of eyes and ears, and go on discounting the the whole in specie would prove disas.
But this cannot last. If trous. But to make such a revolution as prudence does not teach them, banke this bill proposes take effect by degrees, ruptcy soon will. The power of banks can never modify the essential character in a convulsion is like that of ships in a of that revolution, nor even its essential storm; they can at best but avert and consequences; it can only serve to blind overcome its perils, but must not presume the less observing millions to the causes to still or even direct the warring ele- of their sufferings. And this is in truth ments. Should they do so, the rebuke of the main object of the gradualists. They their temerity is speedy and signal. No fear the public will not swallow the vulgar error is more gross than the sup- whole quart of their nostrum, so they position that banks may combine to in- present it in four half-pint doses. If they crease or diminish essentially the volume asked us but to take one as a sample, of the currency, and thus to raise or there would be some difference in favor depress the money value of property. of gradualism ; but, since the same act As well might the frailest bark undertake binds us to take the whole, there really to reverse the tides.
is none. The Sub-Treasury project is to pass, But mark the difference against it. for we assume that the dominant party is The currency is now mainly sound and not quite ready to enter a cognovit on all yet sufficient; the banks solvent, yet the hobbies which it rode in the canvass actively benefiting their customers and which gave it power. “ The whole of the public. But pass the Sub-Treasury Oregon” is virtually given up by the in the graduated form, and the power of action of the present Congress, while Mr. the banks to facilitate business will be Walker's thoroughly free-trade report, diminished, while they will be forced to and partially corresponding bill, must the unpleasant and unpopular resort of stand back for the substitute of the House curtailment and collection. In the agony Committee of Ways and Means, giving a of contraction, some of the weaker insti. higher range of duties on Woolens, Cot- tutions will go to the wall, creating a tons, &c., and diverging as plainly if not panic and a run upon the whole. Soon as widely from free-trade principles, as the inevitable stringency and occasional does the present tariff
. On no grounds ruin of a bank will be appealed to as rea. but those of Protection can this bill be sons for an entire divorce from banks and sustained; it is in truth simply a weaker paper money, because of their fluctuaand worse, a more timid and diluted Pro- tions and insecurity; and thus the consetective Tariffthan that of 1842. We can- quences of the Loco-foco nostrum will not see how a well-informed and earnest be brazenly adduced as its causes. The free-trader can commit himself to the Government will be held by its advocates support of such a measure. And now if to have cut loose from banks because the Sub-Treasury were to be thrown they were unsafe and useless, when in overboard, either openly or by an obliter- fact it has made them so by its predeteration of its essential features, the party mination to do this very thing. Every which elected Mr. Polk might as well consideration of justice, business, policy, confess its positions and doctrines of 1844 combines to urge that the measure should a stupendous fabric of imposture, resign take the shape at first that it is to wear to the seals, and go into liquidation. But the end ; and we cannot believe that this, pride, interest and ambition will not Whigs will lend their aid to any scheme permit, and therefore we cannot doubt of which the design is to mystify and the passage of the Sub-Treasury, “in delude. spite of lamentations here or elsewhere.” That the practical evil of the Sub-Trea
And, since it is to pass, why not in the sury, honestly and faithfully enforced, shape it is to wear to the end? That it will be far greater than many even of its is to produce contraction, convulsion, adversaries anticipate, we have long con. suffering, is conceded in every attempt to sidered inevitable. The real point of give it a modified, graduated operation. danger is rarely touched in the popular No sincere advocate of the measure could discussions on this subject. Whether the vote for such a glaring violation of its Government shall see fit to keep its deessential principle as is involved in the posits with banks or elsewhere, and to collection and retention of two-thirds of make its transfers of funds by means of the Revenue in bank notes, if he did not drafts or guarded wagon-loads of specie,
is a question which derives far greater bank circulation resting thereon aver. importance from considerations which do aging something like one hundred and not strike the general mind. That the fifty millions. A tiny slip of paper, Government should see fit to keep its prepared in five minutes and sent by mail own funds, and to that end should with. at an expense of ten cents, effects a transdraw them from banks, even though it fer of a million or more from New York were to hoard them inflexibly in specie, or Boston to St. Louis or New Orleans, is not enough in itself to convulse the without agitation or remark, when that business and paralyze the industry of same transfer, if made in coin, as of old, a nation so energetic and so prosperous would have cost thousands, and required as ours. The use of the five io ten the labor of several persons for weeks. millions per annum which constitute the A contraction of even fifty millions in aggregate balance in the Treasury might the bank note circulation of the country be lost either to business or banks, and necessarily involves a contraction of hardly be felt. But when the Govern. credits, of operations and of money values, ment openly, ostentatiously determines to to ten times that amount. withdraw its deposites from and cease all Now let us suppose the Sub-Treasury dealings with or trust in banks, the moral established as the law of the land, in that influence of such a resolve cannot fail to shape which all agree that it must ultibe great, and to be felt in every corner of mately assume if it is to be a reality, and the Union. The example appeals forcibly not a pestilent, profligate sham, and that to the ignorant and the timid, especially its requisitions are faithfully enforced. among those who justify and sustain it, Does any man, can any man, believe that for imitation, and imitated it will be the present system of bank credits and We know that already individuals who circulation will not be violently affected : had hoarded sums in bank notes, have,. When the Government has written glarsince the Sub-Treasury passed the ingly over the doors of all its customHouse, taken them to the banks and houses, land-offices, post-offices, &c., drawn the specie thereon, in order to be “No Bank Notes taken-nothing receiv. secure against apprehended danger, who ed or known here as money but the hard would not have thought of so doing but coin itself," can any one think that every. for the action in Congress. This process body else but the Government is to go on must go on and become general when the receiving and regarding bank notes as act goes into operation. Guardians, trus. heretofore? Will not the citizen who tees, treasurers and individual depositors, has twice or thrice been repulsed from will be impelled to convert their funds the post office, where important advices into coin, and place them beyond the awaited him, because he happened to reach of whatever consequences may re:
have nothing but good bank notes in his sult from so vital a change of national pocket, be careful to have something policy. The banks will thus be driven, else another time, and to that end convert by a perpetual drain of specie, to con. his notes into specie? Will not the prutractions far beyond their present anti- dent merchant, daily required to make cipations.
payments at the Custom-House, take care But when to this moral influence of to have a supply of the only money there the Sub-Treasury is added the practical, recognized, stowed away against the inevitable effect of the Government's de- possible event of a suspension caused by nying, avowedly, uniformly, inflexibly, ibis very exaction ? Will not the emi. to all bank notes the character of money, grant going westward, the land speculaor its legitimate and honest representa- tor, the capitalist seeking profitable in. tive, no apprehension can magnify the vestment,&c., all take with them that medi. reality of the desolation which must um which will alone pay for lands, instead
Bank issues now form nearly of that which is most convenient? The the entire circulating medium of the notes or certificates of a New York or country; they are universally accepted Boston bank will no longer be worth without hesitation or doubt as money, more in the West than the specie they and pass from hand to hand with a celer- promise, because no longer accepted at ity which defies calculation. The six the land-office, or used by it in remitting hundred millions of dollars of specie in its funds. In short, bank notes, no France do not, and could not, perform the longer answering all the purposes of service which is here done by less than money, must cease to be regarded as the one hundred millions of coin and a equivalent of coin, because no longer
House divided, and resolved, by a vote of The British had about one-third that numthree hundred and thirty-seven against two ber, with few guns, and those light. They hundred and forty, to go into committee on attacked the enemy, forced them from their the Customs and Corn Importation Act at guns, with immense carnage, and finally, once, rather than postpone its consideration after a protracted and most bloody strugfor six months, as proposed by the rejected gle, drove them entirely from the field. amendment of Mr. Miles. This vote set. Even according to the British official retles the question, so far as the Commons ports, they lost about 4,000 of their soldiers are concerned, and will not be without its in this engagement, and many of their influence on the House of Lords. The ablest and most gallant officers, of whom truth is, the time has come, when the abo Sir Robert Sale was one. lition of protective duties on articles of This is undoubtedly but the opening of food, which the people of Great Britain the campaign; and if the British troops require for their sustenance, must be meet so‘firm and so fatal a resistance at abolished. In the course he has pur- each step of their progress as that which sued, the Premier has only obeyed the dic marked the commencement of the war, tates of that substantial and sovereign pub- the conquest of the Punjaub, and its anlic sentiment which no statesman, in a nexation to the British dominions, will not country which has in its constitution so be speedily or cheaply accomplished. That many popular elements as England, can it has been resolved upon, is officially desafely disregard. Had he not preferred to clared, in a proclamation recently issued lead it, he must inevitably have been crush. by the Governor-General. ed by it. The policy he has pursued will No action or debate has been had in Par. almost certainly be adopted by Parliament, liament on American affairs, nor do the and approved by the people. At a subse- public journals contain anything of espequent setting, a motion of Mr. Villiers, to cial interest to this country. The propomake the abolition of duties immediate, sition, to which we have before alluded, of instead of gradual, was rejected by a still transmuting the Republic of Mexico into a larger majority-the vote standing, Ayes Monarchy, and seating upon the throne a 78, Noes 265.
Bourbon prince, of the Spanish branch, is The most stirring news comes from In- actively canvassed by the semi-official pa
The British arms, in their career pers of London, Paris and Madrid. All of indefinite Asiatic conquest, apparently agree upon the feasibility of the scheme, as limitless as Alexander's ambition, have and upon its importance, as affording the achieved a victory over the Seikhs, the only means of checking the rapid and inhabitants of the Punjaub, remarkable at threatening aggrandizement of the Amerionce for its brilliancy, importance, and the can Union. Whether the Governments of blood which it cost. For several months England, France and Spain are in any way a very large British force has been concen connected with this intrigue, can, of course, trated upon the frontier of the territory of only be a matter of conjecture. But the the Seikhs, for the alleged purpose of favor with which the project is received, checking any anarchy, by which the peace the zeal with which it is urged, and the of the British dominions might be threat- peculiar motive which is avowed by its encd. The army of the Seikhs likewise seading advocates, are well calculated to moved toward the Sutlej, and from the 11th attract the attention, and excite the curios. to the 14th of December last, made the ity of the people of this country. The passage of that river, and threatened the first step towards its accomplishment must, advanced posts of the British arnıy, with of course, be to secure the acquiescence of some 80,000 fighting-men and about one the Mexicans themselves, as without that hundred and fisty pieces of artillery, “ of nothing can be done ; and in connection the largest calibre movable in the field, with this point, the fact is not unimportant, and exquisitely finished—an artillery im- that a new paper has been recently estabmeasurably more powerful than was ever lished in Mexico, for the express purpose brought into the field by Wellington or of advocating such a change. Thus far, Napoleon.” Sir Henry Hardinge, the Gov- however, it has not been received with any ernor-General, and Sir Hugh Gough, Como indications of public favor. mander-in-chief, immediately hastened to In the literary world we hear of no startrepel them. By forced marches, a part of ling novelties. Publishers are enforced to their force came up in time, and the men, suspend operations until the intense polit. parched with thirst and sinking with fa- ical excitement shall have passed away, tigue, were led, at once, against the foe. and the public shall be again at liberty to A doubtful success on the 18th, was fol. read. A very good collection of the Mis. lowed by a suspension of hostilities until cellanies of SIR JAMES MACKINTOSH has the 21st and 22d, when was waged a most been made by one of his sons, and is issued severe and remarkable contest. The force in three octavo volumes. The first part of of the Seikhs is stated at 60,000, with a Bell's Life of CANNING has been published. hundred guns, and strongly intrenched. Without being a biography of any extraor