supposed that the object of any State in accepting the offer was to speculate and make money out of the Confederate States, but rather to protect her own citizens from hardship and inconvenience by extending to them that indulgence in the payment of their taxes, where necessary, which the Confederate States could not, in the nature of things, afford to grant. The actual results, however, in the States that have not assumed the tax, and in which the same has been collected by Confederate officers, conclusively show that the per cent. allowed is far greater than was necessary to cover the expense of collection. In the State of Mississippi, for instance, where the net tax is $2,240,813, the actual expense of collection, as shown by the aggregate sum of the salaries of the collectors, is less than $40,000. The total amount assessed in the States which lave assumed the tax is $17,057,192, out of which $1,705,719 is deducted as the 10 per cent. on that amount, to which add the compensation of the collectors in those States of $400 each, say $220,000, and we find that the average expense of collection in the States that have assumed is $213,968, whilst in the State of Mississippi, as already mentioned, where the tax is collected by Confederate officers, the whole expense does not exceed $40,000, or less than one-fifth of that in the other States.
One of the most cherished and commendable objects of Congress in raising revenue to carry on the war has been to absorb as much as possible the great redundance of circulating currency issued in consequence of the necessities of the war; but the policy of giving the States a heavy premium to assume the tax of their citizens not only involves a positive loss to the Government of considerably over $1,000,000, but seems to be in direct conflict in its results with the policy of reducing the amount of circulating currency, for in some of the States that have assumed the tax their own treasury notes have been issued equal in amount to that assumed, so that the effects is to increase rather than diminish the paper currency of the country. In my humble judgment it is the better policy in every way for the Government to collect its own taxes from the people, who are not only willing but able to pay them.
I would respectfully refer to the present method of settling accounts for expenses of collecting the tax as one involving much unnecessary delay and expense, besides preventing the possibility of keeping an accurate account of the settlement and suspensions. By the system now in use this office is one of registry only, the accounts passing for settlement through the hands of the Auditor and Comptroller, and being filed in the office of the Register without any information of the settlement being conveyed to this office, so that we are absolutely ignorant of the disposition made or to be made of the accounts as they pass from our hands, and unable to supply the information which is daily demanded of us without oscillating perpetually in the other offices. In addition to this a large amount of correspondence is required by this digressive system, and much superfluous labor expended upon its prosecution which might otherwise be avoided. I would therefore earnestly urge upon the Secretary the importance of having a disbursing clerk appointed, who shall be bonded forrformance of his duties, and shall be finally accountable to the Auditor for all settlements. This would insure immediate action upon all accounts, and by devoting all correspondence with regard to the expenditures to his care would enable him, comprehensively and intelligently, to render to the Department a clear and faithful exhibit of the expenses of collection at the same time that he is doing justice to the respective claimants by speedy action upon their accounts.