The New York Herald's
Washington Correspondence, April 15th, says:
Stormy session of the Cabinet.
The Cabinet meeting to-day was stormy, and new phases and slumbering prejudices are said to have been developed; but the firmness of the President
for what he believes to be the best interests of the nation, supported by the Secretary of State
and Postmaster General
, amidst all the complications that existed, prevailed over all opposition.
The tax bill.
It has been positively stated that the Secretary of the Treasury
has prepared a substitute for the tax bill, to be offered in the Senate.
This is an error.
has only furnished much information to Senators
in regard to matters of importance tending to perfect the tax bill, and many amendments will doubtless be based upon this information, and meet his approval.
The Finance Committee of the Senate are industriously collecting, from every accessible source, facts and figures to aid them in ascertaining the best mode of raising a sufficient revenue with the least oppression of the people, or interference with the general trade of the country.
The opinion prevails that it will be best to approximate as nearly as possible to the English
plan of placing high taxes upon only a few articles, and those exclusively luxuries, such as malt liquors, spirits, horses, carriages, railways, &c. The census statistics furnish a basis for this system of taxation.
It is shown, for instance, that there was produced in 1860 about eighty-eight millions of gallons of distilled liquors for home consumption, exclusive of the amount exported.
It is strongly urged that a high tax should be impelled upon this, and in order to simplify the tax and insure its realization by the Government
at the least cost of collection, it should be applied solely to the crude spirits, as it goes from the still, instead of attempting to follow it through all the processes to which it may subsequently be subjected.
It is estimated that a revenue of fifty, or even a hundred millions of dollars, may be thus realized, without injury to any branch of trade, and with little trouble to the Government
The Abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia--what the negroes think of it.
The ardent expectation of the freedom shriekers in reference to the District of Columbia emancipation bill have not yet been realized.
The President still has the bill under consideration.
What he will do with it is still a matter of speculation.
It is known only that, while he favors the abstract proposition of abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia, the details of this bill are not altogether satisfactory, and it is gravely doubted if they are constitutional.
The most intelligent of the negroes, whom it is ostensibly intended to benefit, deprecate its approval.
They contend that instead of enlarging, it actually curtails their freedom, and deprives them of privileges they have hitherto enjoyed.
They fear that as free negroes they will be debarred from passing out of the District
, or from one State into another, and that they will be entirely excluded from nearly all the States in the Union
They fail to appreciate this nominal freedom, which in reality abridges their privileges.
Congress and its adjournment.
It will be remembered that a resolution passed the House
(reported from the Committee on Ways and Means) for a final adjournment of the present session of Congress (with the concurrence of the Senate) on the third Monday in May next.
On an investigation of the subject it appears that so far exclusively as the House
is concerned, Congress could adjourn in ten days without detriment to the country's interests.
Although there is a vast number of bills (both Senate and House
) on the files, still the passage of but a very few is absolutely necessary at this time.
The bankrupt bill
The bankrupt law seems about to fail, for want of systematic and vigorous efforts to secure its passage.
While thousands look to the adoption of this measure as the only relief from the prostration they suffer, there has been in this behalf no concert of action, without which it is next to impossible to push through Congress any other than political measures.
One-tenth part of the activity exhibited in regard to abolition schemes to keep up agitation, if applied to the bankrupt law, would long ago have secured its passage through both houses and emancipated the commercial enterprise of the country from the letters by which it is bound.
An effort is to be made in the Senate to get a bankrupt bill through; but it will share the rate of the house bill, if those interested in its passage do not without delay exert themselves unremittingly to insure its passage.
's speech upon his resolution for information in relation to the arrest of Gen. Charles P. Stone
produced a marked sensation to-day.
It aroused Senator Wade
to such a degree that he boiled over with indignation, and replied with much asperity to the remarks of Senator McDougal
in reference to the Committee
on the Conduct of the War
, of which Mr. Wade
is chairman.--He maintained that the committee had never stabbed a man in the dark, and had kept inviolate the terrible secrets that had come is to their possession through their investigations.
His reply to the argument that Gen. Stone
's rights, under the Constitution
, the common law, and the military law of the country, had been violated, was, that the Government
, in this great exigency, is bound to protect itself, and that the Constitution
is virtually repealed until the Government
has become able to restore its authority in the rebellious States.
's record, as presented by Senator McDougal
, certainly entitles him to a speedy trial, and if he is guilty of treason, after having rendered so much patriotic service, he ought to be executed with the least possible delay.
In the course of his remarks Senator Wade
said that he did not know by whose order General Stone
was arrested, but the Committee
on the Conduct of the War
had obtained testimony against him that would warrant the arrest.
Semi-Monthly publications of the financial condition of the nation.
The resolution recently introduced requiring semi-monthly official publications of the receipts and disbursements of the Treasury, is approved by the Secretary of the Treasury
as sound in principle; but it is represented to be quite impracticable at a time when it is deemed necessary to keep secret the military and naval operations of the Government
Even if all the data for such a statement as would be satisfactory and intelligible were always within reach of the Treasury Department, instead of having to be groped after in all the ramifications of the other departments, they could not now be published without disclosing projected military operations.
In times of peace such bulletins may be published with much nearer approximation to accuracy and without detriment to the public service.