The revenue to be collected.
We look to such papers as the Philadelphia North American
for plain spoken expositions of the policy of its party. "Independent," its intelligent Washington
correspondent, speaks as follows:
"We have now reached the point when it must soon be determined in some positive form whether the revenue laws are to be enforced throughout the Union
, which the President
has declared is not impaired by the acts of secession, or whether secession is to be acknowledged as a fixed fact.--This is the choice of alternates presented to the new Administration, and it is the practical question which, after the 1st of April, must test the purpose and nerve of those in power.
If foreign merchandize can be entered at Southern ports 10 or 15 per cent. below the duties exacted at Northern ports, and then allowed unmolested transit for distribution, of course it will seek them, because the cost of transportation, insurance, and other charges, would still leave a large margin of profit for the importer.
The revenue from this source under our present relations would never go into the Treasury of the United States
, and consequently that drain would deprive the Government
of its main resource and reliance.
To permit such a misdirection of our commerce and division of our revenues, would be to surrender the whole substance of Government to an organized conspiracy, and to give up every vestige of public authority."
The time for the determination of "the practical question" is close at hand.
We shall then see whether or not Mr. Lincoln
will make an attempt to collect the public revenue.
Our own impression is that he will, and this impression is confirmed by reports of intelligent Virginians
who have recently visited Washington
, and by the concentration of the largest naval squadron on the coast that has ever been organized since the foundation of the Government