--We publish this morning the letter of Mr. Memminger
to Mr. Hunter
on the state of the finances.
It presents an encouraging view of them.
It is gratifying to see that so large an amount of notes has been converted into bonds; but it is still more gratifying to learn from him that, with the present systems of taxation in money and in kind, and some hoped for measure of Congress, Mr.
M. expects to dispense with the necessity of a further increase of the currency.
He states that the present circulation is about three times the sum required for the business and trade of the country, they being able to maintain a circulation of $150,000,000, while the amount of notes afloat is $452,979,806.
is correct in saying, with these figures, that the price, of gold is no criterion of the depreciation of the Confederate
The present excess of circulation is no justification for a depreciation anything like, that exhibited by the price of gold.
The gold of the banks is held by them as the basis of their circulation, to be used upon the resumption of specie payments.
The country having been pretty will drained there is now no gold outside their vaults worthy of estimation.
Therefore, in commercial phrase, the "market is bare," and the rate of such an article cannot be pronounced "current," since it is itself not "current." The speculative demand for such securities as may be used abroad to run the blockade appreciates them in like manner, and affords, also, an unfair standard, by which it is too common to estimate the depreciation of Confederate notes.
To these we may add the enormous prices of blockade goods, which not only represent the premium of the funds with which they have been bought, but also the dangers and perils of the business of blockade running.
It is, therefore, altogether among to estimate the value of our currency by any of these indicators.
With the statements of the Secretary of the Treasury
before us we must conclude, however, that all the necessaries of life are held at excessively high prices, and the fact must be attributable to the mistaken estimates drawn from these erroneous standards.
's letter, it is to be hoped, will do something towards correcting these wild calculations.
It is bad enough at best; but there is no justification for the inflation of prices from five to ten times their proper rates.
There is no doubt that apprehension of the future has a great deal to do with the distrust of the paper money afloat, and the only way on earth to realize those apprehensions is for the people who indulge in them to act as if they were well founded — i. e., to continue to charge the enormous prices which must accelerate the flood of paper money to meet the enormous expenditure of conducting the war.
The taxation at last employed by the Government
will improve the condition of the currency and help to correct the public apprehensions.
If the Government
will employ successfully any means in addition still further to reduce the circulation, a short time will make a great change in affairs.
Money will be scarcer — prices will come down, and people be better contented.
The Confederate Government has magnificent resources.
No Government on earth has such as she can command after the war. The people ought to feel the utmost confidence in them, and Government and people ought to continue to check extortionate prices, and thus keep the public debt within reasonable bounds.
The promise to pay of the Confederacy
is that of a solvent debtor, and nothing can make it anything else but a heedless and unnatural panic among the very people who support the Government
and on whom its credit rests — a panic which begets distrust, and by swelling the public debt to a monstrous aggregate through fabulous prices, force repudiation by the people of that debt which must he after all one due chiefly to themselves!
But a better state of feeling must prevail.
A wiser view of the subject and a patriotic sense of duty must co-operate with the Government
in producing a healthier condition of affairs.