and too often found, a fortune in its rotton ribs, while every officer having a due regard for economy has, as a matter of course, been traduced by patriotic contractors for refusing equally extravagant rates. The obvious tendency of this course has been to advance the value of transports enormously until many and old boat, which had been regarded as worn out and valueless, is now worth as much as new ones formerly were. To show that I am not exaggerating, I will mention a few of a multitude of cases which have come under my own observation. The small steam-boat Diligent, of 173 tons, was in Government service under charter for nearly eighteen months previous to November, 1862, first at $90 per day, the boat paying all expenses, including fuel, and subsequently at $80, the Govenment furnishing, fuel, and I have the owner's cerificate (a copy of which I annex hereto) that those rates yieded a fair compensation. In November, 1862, he sold this boat for $7,000, and after repairs of $1,000 she was again put in service in another department at the rate of $175 per day, the Government furnishing fuel, and the owne, after admitting he had in seven months cleared, over all expenses, $14,752.38, still claims $2,000 in addition on account of repaird put upon his boat, and which being refused here, he is about proceeding to Washington to lay his claim before the War Department, the only reason given for such an extraordinarly claim being that others have been paid much more. Again, the Bostna, a boat valued last December at $22,000, registering 304 tons, was regularly chartered by a quatermaster by the month at $200 per day, merely for the use of the boat, Government paying all expenses, being at the rate of $73,000 per annum, and in trade where there was less than ordinary risk, when no fair judge would have awarded over $60 to $80 per day, and the patriotic owner of this boat, who has in a similar manner accumulated during this war his hundereds of thousands, because here refused payment on his voucher beyond the latter sum, boiling with righteous indignation, asks with amanzement whether Government does no adhere to the contracts of its agents, however wrong and inequitable, and goes to Washington to press there his unjust claim for payment and to denounce the officers refusing it here. Still again: The steamer City of Memphis, after having been long in service at $250 per day, the boat paying all expenses, was chartered by another quatermaster at $375 per day for the same service, and was subsequently chartered in this department, and is now on service at $inm the steamer Platte Valley received a voucher for $275 per day for 110 days' services, amounting to $30, 284, from which her owners (the Memphis Packet Company) voluntarily proposed a reduction, which, by mutual agreement, was fixed at $74 per day, amounting to $8,140, as being clearly that much more than was just. Nor have these extravagant rates been alone paid in the past, for if I am correctly advised there are boats now in the service on the Lower Mississippi not chartered in this department at equally high rates of compensation. From the report of Colonel Swords and my own observation I am cofident the rates on the Ohio have generally been 25 per cent. higher thatn at this point, which has naturally produced great dissatisfaction and complaints when like rates have not been paid.
Again, boats are often chartered, the boat having on board a good and sufficient crew and agreeing to kep such, when it would be found in a week or month after, if examined into, that she has reduced her crew, and consequently her expense and efficiency, from $20 to $50 perday, no change, however, being generally made in compensation. For example, the Des Arc, a boat of 345 tons, valued in November last at