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610,982,004 dol. 35 c. Customs receipts were 206,128,481 dol. 75 c., and those from internal revenue 273,437,161 do!. 51 c.
For the fiscal year the expenditures were 700,093,564 dol. 2 c., leaving a deficit of 89,111,559 dol. 67 c.
The Secretary of the Treasury estimates that the receipts for the current fiscal year will aggregate 640,958,112 dollars, and upon the basis of present appropriations the expenditures will aggregate 600,958,112 dollars, leaving a surplus of 40,000,000 dollars.
For the fiscal year ended the 30th June, 1899, the internal revence receipts were increased about 100,000,000 dollars.
The present gratifying strength of the Treasury is shown by the fact that on the 1st December, 1899, the available caslı balance was 278,004,837 dol. 72 c., of which 239,744,905 dol. 36 c. was in gold coin and bullion. The conditions of confidence which prevail throughout the country have brought gold into more general use, and customs receipts are now almost entirely paid in that coio.
The strong position of the Treasury with respect to cash on hand and the favourable showing made by the revenues have made it possible for the Secretary of the Treasury to take action under the provisions of section 3694, Revised Statutes, relating to the sinking fund. Receipts exceeded expenditures for the first five months of the current fiscal year by 13,413,389 dol. 91 c., and, as mentioned above, the Secretary of the Treasury estimates that there will be a surplus of approximately 40,000,000 dollars at the end of the year. Under such conditions it was deemed advisable and proper to resume compliance with the provisions of the Sinking Fund Law, which for eight years has not been done because of deficiencies in the revenues. The Treasury Department therefore offered to purchase during November 25,000,000 dollars of the 5 per cent. Loan of 1904, or the 4 per Cent. Funded Loan of 1907, at the current market price. The amount offered and purchased during November was 18,408,600 dollars. The premium paid by the Government on such purchases was 2,263,521 dollars, and the net saving in interest was about 2,885,000 dollars. The success of this operation was sufficient to induce the Government to continue the offer to purchase bonds to and including the 23rd day of December instant, unless the remainder of the 25,000,000 dollars called for should be presented in the meantime for redemption.
Increased activity in industry, with its welcome attendanta larger employment for labour at higher wages-gives to the body of the people a larger power to absorb the circulating medium. It is further true that year by year, with larger areas of land under cultivation, the increasing volume of agricultural products, cotton, corn, and wheat, calls for a larger volume of money supply. This is especially noticeable at the crop-harvesting and crop-moving period,
In its earlier history the National Banking Act seemed to prove a reasonable avenue through whicb needful additions to the circulation could from time to time be made. Changing conditions have apparently rendered it now inoperative to that end. The high margin in bond securities required, resulting from large premiums which Government bonds command in the market, or the tax on note issues, or both operating together, appear to be the influences which impair its public utility.
The attention of Congress is respectfully invited to this important matter with the view of ascertaining whether or not such reasonable modifications can be made in the National Banking Act as will render its service in the particulars here referred to inore responsive to the people's needs. I again urge that national banks be authorized to organize with a capital of 25,000 dollars.
I urgently recommend that to support the existing gold standard, and to maintain "the parity in value of the coins of the two metals (gold and silver) and the equal power of every dollar at all times in the market and in the payment of debts,” the Secretary of the Treasury be given additional power and charged with the duty to sell United States' bonds and to employ such other effective means as may be necessary to these ends. The authority should include the power to sell bonds on long and short time, as conditions may require, and should provide for a rate of interest lower than that fixed by the Act of the 14th January, 1875. While there is now 10 commercial fright which withdraws gold from the Government, but, on the contrary, such widespread confidence that gold seeks the Treasury demanding paper money in exchange, yet the very situation points to the present as the most fitting time to make adequate provision to insure the continuance of the gold standard and of public confidence in the ability and purpose of the Government to meet all its obligations in the money which the civilized world recognizes as the best. The financial transactions of the Government are conducted upon a gold basis. We receive gold when we sell United States' bonds, and use gold for their payment. We are maintaining the parity of all the money issued or coined by authority of the Government. We are doing these things with the means at hand. Happily at the present time we are not compelled to resort to loans to supply gold. It has been done in the past, however, and may bave to be done in the future. It behoves us, therefore, to provide at once the best means to meet the emergency when it arises, and the best means are those which are the most certain and economical. Those now authorized bave the virtue neither of directness nor economy. We have already eliminated one of the causes of our financial plight and embarrassment during the years 1893, 1894, 1895, and 1896. Our receipts now equal our expen
ditures ; deficient revenues no longer create alarm. Let us remove the only remaining cause by conferring the full and necessary power on the Secretary of the Treasury, and impose upon him the duty to uphold the present gold standard and preserve the coins of the two metals on a parity with each other, which is the repeatedly declared policy of the United States.
In this connection I repeat my former recommendations that a portion of the gold holdings shall be placed in a trust fund froin which greenbacks shall be redeemed upon presentation, but when once redeemed shall not thereafter be paid out except for gold.
The value of an American merchant marine to the extension of our commercial trade and the strengthening of our power upon the sea invites the immediate action of the Congress. Our national development will be one-sided and unsatisfactory so long as the remarkable growth of our inland industries remains unaccompanied by progress on the seas. There is no lack of constitutional authority for legislation which shall give to the country maritime strength commensurate with its industrial achievements and with its rank among the nations of the earth.
The past year has recorded exceptional activity in our shipyards, and the promises of continual prosperity in shipbuilding are abundant. Advanced legislation for the protection of our seamen has been enacted. Our coast trade, under regulations wisely framed at the beginning of the Government and since, shows results for the past fiscal year unequalled in our records or those of any other Power. We shall fail to realize our opportunities, however, if we complacently regard only matters at home and blind ourselves to the necessity of securing our share in the valuable carrying trade of the world.
Last year American vessels transported a smaller share of our exports and imports than during any former year in all our history, and the measure of our dependence upon foreign shipping was painfully manifested to our people. Without any choice of our own, but from necessity, the Departments of the Government charged with military and naval operations in the East and West Indies had to obtain from foreign flags merchant-vessels essential for those operations
The other great nations have not hesitated to adopt the required means to develop their shipping as a factor in national defence, and as one of the surest and speediest means of obtaining for their producers a share in foreign markets. Like vigilance and effort on our part cannot fail to improve our situation, which is regarded with humiliation at home and with surprise abroad. Even the seeming sacrifices, which at the beginning may be involved, will be offset later by more than equivalent gains.
The expense is as nothing compared to the advantage to be achieved. The re-establishment of our merchant marine involves in a large measure our continued industrial progress and the extension of our commercial triumphs. I am satisfied the judgment of the country favours the policy of aid to our merchant marine, which will broaden our commerce and markets and upbuild our sea-carrying capacity for the products of agriculture and manufacture; which, with the increase of our navy, mean more work and wages to our countrymen, as well as a safeguard to American interests in every part of the world.
Combinations of capital organized into trusts to control the conditions of trade among our citizens, to stifle competition, limit production, and determine the prices of products used and consumed by the people are justly provoking public discussion, and should early claim the attention of the Congress.
The Industrial Commission, created by the Act of Congress of the 18th Jupe, 1898, has been engaged in extended hearings upon the disputed questions involved in the subject of combinations in restraint of trade and competition. They have not yet completed
. their investigation of this subject, and the conclusions and recommendations at which they may arrive are undetermined.
The subject is one giving rise to many divergent views as to the nature and variety or cause and extent of the injuries to the public which may result from large combinations concentrating more or less numerous enterprises and establishments, which previously to the formation of the combination were carried on separately.
It is universally conceded that combinations wbich engross or control the market of any particular kind of merchandise or commodity necessary to the general community, by suppressing natural and ordinary competition, whereby.prices are unduly enbanced to the general consumer, are obnoxious not only to the common law but also to the public welfare. There must be a remedy for the evils involved in such organizations. If the present law can be extended more certainly to control or check these monopolies or trusts, it should be done without delay. Whatever power the Congress possesses over this most important subject should be promptly ascertained and asserted.
President Harrison in his Annual Message of the 3rd December, 1889, says:
“ Earnest attention should be given by Congress to a consideration of the question how far the restraint of those combinations of capital commonly called trusts' is matter of Federal jurisdiction. When organized, as they often are, to crush out all healthy competition, and to monopolize the production or sale of an article of commerce and general necessity, they are dangerous conspiracies against the public good, and should be made the subject of prohibitory and even penal legislation."
An Act to protect trade and commerce against unlawful restraints and monopolies was passed by Congress on the 2nd July, 1890 The provisions of this statute are comprehensive and stringent. It declares every contract or combination, in the form of a trust or otherwise, or conspiracy in the restraint of trade or commerce among the several States or with foreign nations, to be unlawful. It denominates as a criminal every person who makes any such con. tract or engages in any such combination or conspiracy, and provides a punishment by fine or imprisonment. It invests the several Circuit Courts of the United States with jurisdiction to prevent and restrain violations of the act, and makes it the duty of the several United States district attorneys, under the direction of the Attorney-General, to institute proceedings in equity to prevent and restrain such violations. It further confers upon any person who shall be injured in his business or property by any other person or corporation by reason of anything forbidden or declared to be unlawful by the Act the power to sue therefor in any Circuit Court of the United States without respect to the amount in controversy, and to recover threefold the damages by him sustained and the costs of the suit, includ. ing reasonable attorney fees. It will be perceived that the Act is aimed at every kind of combination in the nature of a trust or monopoly in restraint of interstate or international commerce.
The prosecution by the United States of offences under the Act of 1890 has been frequently resorted to in the Federal Courts, and notable efforts in the restraint of interstate commerce, such as the Trans-Missouri Freight Association and the Joint Traffic Association, have been successfully opposed and suppressed.
President Cleveland in his Annual Message of the 7th December, 1896—more than six years subsequent to the enactment of this Law -after stating the evils of these trust combinations, says:
Though Congress bas attempted to deal with this matter by legislation, the laws passed for that purpose thus far have proved ineffective, not because of any lack of disposition or attempt to enforce them, but simply because the laws themselves as interpreted by the Courts do not reach the difficulty. If the insufficiencies of existing laws can be remedied by further legislation, it should be done. The fact must be recognized, however, that all Federal legislation on this subject may fall short of its purpose because of inherent obstacles, and also because of the complex character of our governmental system, which, while making the Federal authority supreme within its sphere, has carefully limited that sphere by metes and bounds which cannot be transgressed The decision of our highest Court on this precise question renders