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of deeds and titles; 9, the produce of the duty on auctions or sales; 10, the ninth of the tithes which were to be consolidated; 11, ten per cent on all municipal revenues; 12, that part of the tithes allotted to dignitaries, canonships, prebendaries, and deaneries, which might be vacant, or should become vacant in the different cathedrals of Colombia; 13, the fines liable to be paid for infraction of conditions, under which exclusive privileges have been granted—or for the non-fulfilment of contracts concluded with the executive; 14, the revenues and property formerly appropriated to the college of Nobles at Madrid. The law further laid down various rules for keeping the acounts of the public debt; and provided, "that the commission of public credit should place at the disposal of government the sums appropriated to the payment of the foreign debt, in order that the payment might be punctually made, and the said sums not be otherwise applied." The interest of the domestic debt was to be paid half-yearly, in January and July. The second law had more immediate reference to the pressing dividends of the foreign debt due in May and July. It authorized the executive to employ for that purpose all arrears, disposeable debts, and balances due to the treasury: if these should be insufficient, all of the public revenue which should remain after deducting the expenses of the administration was to be applied in the same way; and all previous appropriations which might interfere 'with these provisions were sus,pended, excepting those contained 'in the preceding law.
But these enactments could neither insure activity and honesty in the collection of the revenue, nor prevent the misapplication of revenues which were collected. Exactly two months after the date of the first of the above laws, the minister of finance in a circular to the intendants of the different departments, recommending to them to keep a strict watch over all persons employed in the collection, management, and distribution of the revenue, found himself compelled to admit that "unfortunately the dilatoriness of some, the repugnance of others to insist upon the exact execution of the laws, the propensity to defraud the government of the duties on importation, exportation, and monopolized articles, arising partly from habits contracted under the former government, partly from the impunity upon which they rely, keep the public treasury exhausted. The government has not proof to bring this charge home to any of the persons employed; but, as the results concur pretty generally with the reports afloat, I am bound to mention it to you for your information in the government of your department." The May dividends were already due, and when the 15th of July arrived, on which the dividends of the second loan were payable, not a single dollar had been transmitted to meet either the one or the other. The bond-holders, indeed, had the declarations of the law in their favour; but the law did not produce money; and even the sums which, it would appear, had been collected for the purpose of being sent to Europe, were immediately applied to other purposes in violation of the law. A Mr. Foley left Bogota on the 4th of July with 240,000 dollars; but when the money arrived at Carthagena, an order from the executive commanded that 40,000 dollars should be immediately paid to the troops, and that the remainder should be detained until further instructions. The troops in Panama, Carthagena, and Santa Martha, had all large claims for arrears; the government, in existing circumstances, could not use liberties with debts due to them; for the troops of Venezuela and Apure had formally declared themselves against the constitution. The consequence was, that no portion of the dollars reached Europe, the dividends remained unpaid, and Colombia was bankrupt. Yet, even in October, a policy was opened, and under-written in London, by the authority of the Colombian minister, to insure 160,OOQJ. from Carthagena to London, when not a dollar was ready to be shipped, and the whole treasure in the mint of Bogota did not exceed 300,000 dollars. The consequence was, a temporary rise in the price of Colombian stock and immediate disappointment. Mr. Foley had powers to negociate a new loan, or obtain the necessary advances from private individuals, on the security of the custom-houses at La Guayra, Carthagena, Guayaquil, &c.; but the attempt was npt mare successful than it was modest.
The Congress, during its ordinary session, introduced the warehousing system by an act which declared Puerto Cabello, and Carthagena on the Atlantic, and on tbJ'PafciSc, to be
ports of deposit for all kinds of goods and merchandise. The goods imported were to remain in the warehouses of the customs until taken out for the purpose of being sold, or re-exported, and were to be charged, in the interim, with a duty of four per cent on the amount of the invoice, the duty being payable when they were taken out. If taken out for sale, the import duties were to be paid by instalments, the dates »f , these instalments being calculated from the day on which the goods were taken out of the customhouse. In case the goods or merchandize were taken out with a view of re-exporting them, whether to any other ports of the republic, or to foreign ports, they were not to pay any import duty in the ports of deposit; but, if afterwards introduced into any port of the republic, they were there to pay the import duties provided by law. The transit duty on foreign goods crossing the isthmus from the one ocean to the other, was fixed at two per cent on the amount of the invoice. In the month of March an act had been passed abolishing the duties on some articles when exported, and reducing that on others; L ,t Paez, when he assumed the supreme power in the maritime department of Venezuela, ordered the operation of this law to be suspended, and the old duties to be levied, because he found it difficult to provide money, and "such alterations," as he expressed himself in his decree, "could not be introduced in moments of difficulty."
After a siege of four years, the garrison of St. Juan de Ulloa, pressed by want, and reduced to
the last extremity of sickness, had surrendered to the constitutional troops of Mexico, on the 17th of November, 1825. This event freed every part of the Mexican, territory from the enemy, insured the command of Vera Cruz, one of the most important harbours of the state, and enabled the government to improve its finances, by putting it in its power to reduce greatly the military expenditure. The contemplated reduction in the war establishment was so great, that a committe« of finance struck on" one half of that item in the budget presented by the minister. The minister and the committee dif
fored very widely oa the financial state : and prospects .of Mexico; the former, M. Estava, bringing out a deficiency of more than eight millions of dollars upon the accounts of the year, the latter bringing out a surplus revenue, upon the same accounts, amounting to more than two millions of dollars; the former calculating; upon a much higher expenditure, and a considerably less productive revenue, than the latter thought ought to be allowed and anticipated. The Mexican budget, according to the estimates of these different authorities, was a» follows: — •••m. .-nd jKimjr
Customs ........ i ............... r>.2,675,732 ---- 3,276,232
Duty on introduction into consumption.. 1,618,228' W . .^'4,868,283
Tobacco ......... ................. 648,142 .... 1,044,925
Gunpowder .................... . . 84,30»'lrt I'l '"''84,303
Akabala on Tobacco ................ 39,784 ____ 39,784
Posts ........................... ". 164,246 ---- 164,246
Lotteries ............... . ....... .'!. r 70,136 ____ 70,136
Salt .................... . ....... " 26',367 . . -. i' • '80^000
Territories of the Federation ....... V1;1:"9,950 . l"A '•»'' '**»"
National Property .................. 42,245 . . . .' 42,245
Tithes ............................ 629,989 .... 529,989
Rents of theArchbishopric of Mexico ..' 86,929 .;'i'; -u:'fl6,9«9
Do. of the Dignity of the Treasury ..:.' 8,194 . .'C'."'""il>8.,J94
Contingent of the different States ...... 2,885,872 ---- 2,317,127
Averia ....................... .,."." '169,664 .... 169,064
Peage .......................... &.1-' •«riiJi-i»i«
Restorations ...................... 55,579 .
Foreign Loan............ ......... .1,317,543 .
t, inshis communi-cations to Congress, represented every branch of the revenue to be kpasofc thriving a condition, that, aftef 'defraying the expenses of the administration, and the interest of the debt, a large sum might be expected to remain in the treasury, applicable to other national purposes. The pecuniary engagements of the republic, had, he said, been religiously observed. In the beginning of the year it had become necessary to remit money toyiotBten. for. payment of the dSvidendsPon the loan contracted for'by Goldschmidtand Co.; what would be wanted for the July dividaflds»was a,bout W be shipped, ofifd'tihe sums which were to come into thetreasury by vessels already entered in the ports, would prove sufficient for all the remaining dividends of the year. A sum of mtiney had been lost, and public credit somewhat affected, by the stoppage of, Gojdschmidt's house; feai'the executive had immediately restored the credit of its funds by announcing, that the money desfcined>for the regular payment of ^ts; obligations'', was already depisited in the customs.
Mexico, like the other confederations of South America, was perfectly aware, that Spain, feelHJg* 'her' own impotence to recover colonies over which she obstinately asserted an empty title of supremacy, had been using every effort to prevail -on ;' the, icofcUneatai
I ^18,086,674 10,292,636
cabinets of Europe to aid her chimerical designs of recovering them by force. They were all too prudent to involve themselves in so ruinous a contest, and they knew that Great Britain would not look with indifference upon their armed interference. The Mexican congress resolved to cut off from them all temptation to interpose even with the influence of their diplomacy in favour of the pretended rights of Spain, by passing an act which declared guilty of treason, every person subject to the laws of Mexico, who should propose verbally or in writing, publicly or privately, within or without the territories of the''rat-public, that the state should listen to any proposal, on the part of Spain, or of any other power, which had not for its basis the absolute>recognition of the independence of the confederation under its existing form of government. By the same law every person was to be punished with eight years imprisonment who should propose or maintain that Mexico should accede to any demand of indemnity, tribute, or contribution, which might be made by the Spanish government, or by any other in its name, as a compensation for its ancient supre
!l 'AlJtb* new republics of South America, in establishing their independence, had declared popery to be ;tb«' natiqual religion; but