Page:A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence, 1861-1865, Volume I.djvu/541

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
509
Second Congress.

these regulations by the Governors of some of the States, but their objections are, in my judgment, without foundation.

It is not denied by any of them that when a State purchases a vessel it is left under the exclusive control of the State authorities, and that the Confederate Government claims no share of the outward or inward tonnage. It is also admitted that when the States purchase or charter any part of a vessel, not exceeding one-half, the Confederate States Government does not interfere with their enjoyment of the portion so purchased or chartered, and confines itself to exacting from the private owner the use of that half not conveyed to the State; but the complaint is that the Confederate Government will not further consent to yield, for the benefit of a single State, any part of that moiety of the tonnage of each vessel which it has secured under the regulations for the common use and benefit of all the States of which it is agent.

By the regulations, as now existing, half the tonnage of all the vessels engaged in the trade has been conveyed to the use of the Confederacy. Why should a single State be allowed to take for its separate use from the Confederacy any part of this half? Is it not enough that the remaining half is left open for purchase or charter by the State?

It is plain that a State and the owner of a vessel can have no motive for contracting in such manner as to diminish the tonnage claimed by the Confederacy, unless for a profit that is to be shared by both. Any concession, therefore, made on this point is in effect the loss of an interest which is the common property of all the States for the joint gain of a single State and of a private capitalist.

Again, the Army in the field is the Army of the Confederacy, which is charged with the duty of supplying it with clothing, subsistence, and munitions of war. The performance of this duty demands the most strenuous exertions and the command of all the resources that can be reached. Any diminution of our command of those resources by a modification of the existing legislation might lead to disastrous consequences. Under our present arrangements we are barely able to supply to our brave defenders a moderate share of those comforts which are indispensable to their efficiency. As long as privations are endured by all alike, there is a noble and patriotic emulation in the display of cheerful