squadron, too enormous successfully to invite capitalists to enter into any such enterprises, even at the most liberally stipulated prices. Indeed, they do not hesitate t prefer to take the chances of running in and, from the necessities of the country, commanding far more exorbitant prices. To avoid, therefore, this ruinous and at best not very reliable system, I think I can show you how it may be replaced by a much more advantageous, creditable, and reliable one. Let the Government place its bonds or other securities in France and England as collateral security for the advances upon authorized purchases, or whatever it may require from abroad. Upon this basis a substantial and available credit could be established, purchases could be made at the regular marked valuations, and the consideration for these advances would not exceed 8 per cent. per annum. When such purchases are made the shipments could be effected at the current freights. In addition there would only be the usual policy of insurance and against capture. This last is high now, and may continue so until the obstacles are removed to which I have referred. If the Government prefers to insure against the risk, especially capture by the enemy, it can afford to pay even the present enormous rates and still save from 75 to 200 or 300 per cent. The late favorable change in our national fortunes will have the inevitable effect of reducing these rates. But suppose the Government chooses to become it own insurer? In this case it will be placed upon an equality with other nations, paying only the prime costs for its purchases, with the addition of 8 per cent. per annum for its advances, and if reasonably successful in the shipments would save millions.
Now, with respect to the feasibility of making such arrangements for the credit or advances to the Confederate Government, I assure you the arrangement could be effected immediately with most responsible bankers here and in England. Indeed, it has been seriously proposed by bankers here that they should become bankers of the Confederate States, disbursing all sums needed by them for purchases, &c., and from time to time to fulfill their orders for 8 per cent. in account current, the interest to run from date of disbursement and payable semi-annually, the Confederate Government placing their own bonds or such other valuable securities as a guarantee e for the final payment of the advances thus made. If more convenient, a few bonds covering the amount required would be accepted upon the condition of converting the same for smaller ones at the option of the party when circumstances allow it. Another advantage incident upon such an arrangement would be that the bonds of the Government thus placed in France or England would be in the nature of a financial recognition, and prepare the way for all future transactions of the Confederate States abroad. In the course of my efforts to have my contracts executed I have been brought into communication with many of the most responsible and intelligent business men here, and I respectfully submit the convictions that have been produced upon my own mind to you, and though you to the Government for consideration. Should these views be entertained favorably, I would gladly undertake the purchases upon this basis, in conjunction with Mr. Pecquet, of New Orleans, who has been living in Paris for some years, and whose acquaintance and connection, as well as intelligent business qualities, would greatly facilitate such a project. The commission allowed to us could be fixed by the Government.
I am, with high respect and warm personal esteem, your friend and obedient servant,