War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 0691 CONFEDERATE AUTHORITIES.

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only becomes depreciated, but it disturbs the just relations of society precisely as though an arbitrary authority should change the weights and measures of the country. If the currency of a country should be suddenly extended from $100,000,000 to $200,000,000, that which was measured by $1 is now measured by $2, and every article must be rated at twice its former price. Of course all contracts must be disturbed. The debt incurred before the increase is discharged by paying one-half its former value, and each article purchased must be paid for at double its former price. The Government, for, the necessities of war, is the largest purchaser, and thus, by a kind of suicidal act, compels itself to pay $2 for what $1 would have formerly purchased. And at this rate of advance $200,000,000 can effect no more than $100,000,000 would have effected before; or in other words, $100,000,000 are actually sunk in the operation. Such a condition of the currency the Government has anxiously endeavored to guard against. The war tax laid for the purpose of creating a demand for Treasury notes and a security for their redemption. The redundance has been carefully guarded against by allowing them to be funded in 8 per cent. bonds. If necessity shall compel the Government to issue for the defense of the country, and to keep out $200,000,000, it is plain that even accession must impair, and may defeat, all these precautions. If the Government should undertake, for the sake of private interests, an increase of it may hazard its entire credit and stability. The experiment is too dangerous, and relief for the planters must be sought in some other directions. And may not the remedy be found? In the first place, let the planters immediately take measures for winter crops, to relieve the demand for again and provisions. Let them proceed to divert part of their labor from cotton, and make their own clothing and supplies. Then let them apply to the great resource presented by the money capital in banks and private hands. Let this capital come forward and assist the agricultural interest. Heretofore the banks have employed a large part of their capital in the purchase of Northern exchange. Let them apply this portion to factors' acceptance of planters - drafts secured by the pledge of produce in the planters' hands. And extension of the time usually allowed on these drafts would overcome most of the difficulties. The extension could safely reach the probable time of sale of the crops, inasmuch as the suspense of specie payments throughout the entire Confederacy relieves each bank from calls for coin. The banks are accustomed to manage loans of this character, and will conduct the operation with such skill as will make them mutually advantageous. The amount of advance asked from the bands would be greatly less than if advances were offered by the Government, and all the abuses incident to Government agencies would be avoided. It seems to me, therefore, that it is neither necessary nor expedient that the Government should embark upon this dangerous experiment. If it far better that each class of the community should endeavor to secure its own existence by its own exertions, and if an effort be at once made by so intelligent a class as the planters it will result in relief. Delay in these efforts, occasioned by vague expectations of relief from the Government, which cannot be realized, may defeat that which is yet practicable.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,


Secretary of the Treasury.