Proposal for a Confederate Credit mobilizer.
--When the Register of the Treasury, Mr. Robert Tyler
, said that our finances were the weak point of our defences, he spoke a very painful, but a very apparent, and, let us add, a very useful truth.
Since an officer so high in the esteem of the Government
has not hesitated to proclaim such a fact, and to prove it by statistics, we presume that newspapers will no longer be charged with a desire to render the public distrustful of the currency, when they venture to hint that it is somewhat redundant and ought to be curtailed.
In fact, we can see neither sense nor policy in attempting to conceal a truth which is obvious to the whole world — a defect which can be cured only by concentrating public thought upon it. That the circulation of the Confederacy
reached at one time $624,000,000; that it is still within a fraction of $500,000,000, and that the Secretary
's estimate of its capacity of endurance is far above the mark, are truths which ought to be known to the whole country.
When the crash of 1857 --the greatest and most extensive that the world had witnessed since the explosion of Law
scheme in France
, and the South Sea
bubble in England
— took place, the circulation of the whole country — gold
, and notes — although the population was over 25,000,000, was only $214,000,000 and a fraction.
Yet it was the redundancy of the currency that occasioned the explosion.
Any man, therefore, who has a grain of common sense must see the danger of a country, numbering six or seven millions of inhabitants, in which a circulation three times as large as that which produced this great calamity is in existence, and we cannot see the object to be gained by refraining to comment upon it. The whole country already knows all about it, and perfectly understands the consequences, unless a stop be put to further issues, and the volume of the outstanding notes be reduced to a third of its present bulk.
The great question is, How is this to be done?
The tax will do much; but Mr. Memminger
's remorseless printing press
threatens to neutralize all the benefit that otherwise might be expected from it. While it is estimated that the tax will call in old issues, or prevent new ones, to the amount of $400,000,000, Mr. Memminger
are pouring forth from his fatal machine at the rate of $50,000,000 a month.
Unless it can be stopped we see no good to be derived from either the tax or the sale of the cotton loan bonds.
Doubtless some steps will be taken to that end by Congress, unless we are to be overwhelmed by these assignats.
If it can possibly be arrested, then, we think, the tax and the cotton loan might be so managed as to cause a reduction equal to the demands of the country.
When Napoleon III., upon getting possession of the throne, found the finances of France
in an embarrassed condition, and no money in the treasury, he conceived the idea of relieving the national necessities by means of what he terms the credit mobilizer
--that is, a national loan, in which every individual of France
The loan was advertised — the Emperor
made a strong appeal to the people — nearly every man, woman and child in France
took a share — and it was all taken.
Every person was allowed to subscribe according to his or her ability.
Some took a whole share, some a half, some a third, some a quarter, and so on. Now, people may say what they please of Jeff. Davis
, and we ourselves sometimes criticise his acts pretty freely.
He has made many mistakes of course, for he is a man, and subject to the natural laws that regulate the human mind.
To say that he occasionally blunders, is but to say that he is human.
Nevertheless, he is one of the most remarkable men of this or any other age, and the people at large know it, as well as the Yankees
They are conscious that he has made as few mistakes as any man probably could have made in his situation, and that with the smallest means over placed in the hands of a revolutionary leader, he has contrived to carry on a war more tremendous than any ever waged against Bonaparte
They see all this, and their confidence in him is unbounded.
If he will issue a proclamation appealing to the whole people to come forward and take this cotton loan, in the way the loan of Napoleon III.
was taken, our word for it, it will all be taken in a month.
We hope he will try it; and if he feels diffident of his influence, let him recollect the manner in which the people have responded to every proclamation he has issued.