Your especial attention is earnestly invited to the report of the Secretary of the Treasury, submitted in conformity with law. The facts therein disclosed are far from discouraging, and demonstrate that with judicious legislation we shall be enabled to meet all the exigencies of the war from our abundant resources and avoid at the same time such an accumulation of debt as would render at all doubtful our capacity to redeem it. The total receipts in the Treasury for the two quarters ending on the 30th of September, 1864, were $415,191,550, which sum, added to the balance of $308,282,722 that remained in the Treasury on the 1st of April last, forms a total of $723,474,272. Of this total, not far from half — that is to say, $342,560,327 — has been applied to the extinction of the public debt, while the total expenditures have been $272,378,505, leaving a balance in the Treasury on the 1st of October, 1864, of $108,535,440.
The total amount of the public debt, as exhibited on the books of the Register of the Treasury on the 1st of October, 1864, was $1,147,970,208, of which $539,340,090 was funded debt bearing interest, $283,880,150 was Treasury notes of the new issue, and the remainder consisted of the former issue of Treasury notes, which will be converted into other forms of debt, and will cease to exist as currency on the 31st of next month.
The report, however, explains that, in consequence of the absence of certain returns from distant officers, the true amount of the debt is less by about $21,500,000 than appears on the books of the Register, and that the total public debt on the 1st of last month may be fairly considered to have been $1,126,381,095.
The increase of the public debt during the six months from the 1st of April to the 1st of October was $97,650,780, being rather more than $16,000,000 per month, and it will be apparent, on a perusal of the report, that this augmentation would have been avoided and a positive reduction of the amount would have been effected but for certain defects in the legislation on the subject of finances, which are pointed out in the report and which seem to admit of easy remedy.
In the statements just made the foreign debt is omitted. It consists only of the unpaid balance of the loan known as the cotton loan. This balance is but £2,200,000 and is adequately provided