a loan on the principle already explained, and the latter will place in its hands ample means to call in the redundancy of Treasury notes after the 1st of July next, and to sustain the credit of its 8 per cent. securities or to purchase them. Assuming that the States may be induced to extend their guaranty to $500,000,000, I propose to adjust the debt upon the plan of the $100,000,000 loan, as to insure its discharge within a given period. The length of this period depends upon the sum which Congress will devote to the annual payments. The commencement of the period or the date at which the first payment is to be made is, of course, within the control of Congress, and involves the same inquiry as to the amount now to be raised by taxes. A postponement of this first payment of principal would seem to allow a diminution of the tax. But it must be observed that some considerable time must elapse before the guaranty of the States can be had, and further time must then be consumed in carrying the plan into execution and in procuring the terms of the sales. During all this period the 8 per cent. and 7. 30 notes are outstanding and will absorb nearly as much more money as will afterward be required to meet the first annual payments on the principal. Besides this it cannot be too strongly urged that the present is the appropriate moment at which to commence a proper system of taxes. The patriotism of the country is now fully aroused. The duty of contributing largely to the support of the Government is generally recognized. The large amount of money in circulation will make the payment easy, and the payment itself will aid the tax-payer by reducing prices to their proper condition. Before leaving this subject I would respectfully submit that there is another plan for arranging the debt in installments, which would produce the same results. It is by issuing all the bonds in the usual from, payable at the same date, and attaching to them a condition that the Secretary of the Treasury shall annually or semi-annually, by lot, designate a certain portion to be paid off. It these annual payments were arranged on the same principle which governs the $100,000,000 loan and were made equally obligatory upon the Government, the result would be the same. A reference to a few details will conclude all I have to say on this subject.
With my last report was submitted a report from the War-Tax Office, to which I request your attention, particularly to the observations in relation to a uniform tax on slaves. It is proper also to make provision for a more qual assessment of property in each State. A commission of a certain number of the tax collectors from the various portions of each State should be appointed to meet and adjust the rate at which the various kinds of property should be assessed. It seems to me also that the entire machinery of assessors provided by the last act can be dispensed with by charging the duties of the assessors on the district collectors and increasing their salaries. Exceptions may be made in case of large cities. This defect in salaries attaches to the entire arrangement of the last act. It is not a wise policy to confide large money arrangements to officers who are badly paid. The patriotism of the officers induced them during the last year to accept the officers with the small salaries allowed, but it would be neither wise nor just to ask a repetition of the sacrifice. The issuing of Treasury notes and the transfer of them to the various depositories, with the arrangements at those depositories for their receipt, custody, and disposal, have grown into some of the most important functions of this Department
21 R R-SERIES IV, VOL II