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with the good results attending a judicious administration of their vagrant or labor laws. I found that the emancipated blacks were happy, contented, and laborious, and that the products of the islands were steadily increasing with their free labor. But these were questions to be treated as they arose.
The war, I went on to say, had its origin in the ambition of a few politicians who had sought to build up a slave empire for the benefit of themselves and a small oligarchy of slavcholders, and for the overthrow of liberal institutions and universal suffrage. Unlike revolutions in old Europe, this was an aristocratic party against democracy. They had, under various false pretences as the war progressed, induced a large portion of the population to join in resisting the federal authority, and the struggle would, I feared, be a long one. Our present care, I continued, was to restore the authority of the laws; if slavery, the cause of it,'was destroyed in the process, it would be for us to provide as we could for that event.
Mr. Dudley Mann, agent for the insurgents, is still here and has vainly sought to be received by the government. He has sent a long communication to Mr. Rogier, in favor of the cause he represents, which has received no reply.
The King is still an invalid, and still under the care of physicians, but is much better than at the time of my departure. The Queen of England is expected here to make him a visit of three days, on her way to Cobourg, a few days hence. I have the honor to be, with great respect, your most obedient servant.
I. S. SANFORD. Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD,
Secrelary of State.
Mr. Sanford to Mr. Seward.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Brussels, September 2, 1862. Sir: I returned yesterday from Ghent, where I have been to inform myself concerning the condition of the working classes, as affected by the scarcity of cotton. For months past public and private charity throughout the kingdom have been invoked in behalf of the distressed workmen in Ghent, and those appeals have been responded to with great liberality by all classes of people in the country, who have contributed over 350,000 francs in aid of these suffering artizans.
Ghent is, as you are doubtless aware, the principal centre of cotton manufacture in Belgium, about two-thirds of the 70,000 bales manufactured in this country being consumed in that city, and employing, of the 40,000 workmen engaged there in various branches of manufacturing industry, 10,157, in nearly equal proportions as cotton spinners and weavers. Or these, 3,818 are entirely out of work, and of the remainder 3,650 are employed from five to nine hours per diem, 1,472 from nine to twelve hours, and 1,217 from twelve to fourteen hours in the day.
The plan first proposed, of employing these people on the public works, has been abandoned, as they are found to be physically unfit for out-of-door labor, and where not sent, as has been and is still done, so far as practicable, to districts occupied in other branches of manufacturing, such as linens, woollens, &c., they will have to be supported by public or private contributions.
The result of my visit to Ghent has been but to confirm the impression
which inquiries elsewhere had created, that the distress of the workmen in the cotton manufacturing districts is not to be ascribed solely to the want of cotton and to the war in the United States, but rather to the over-production of previous years, which had led to accumulation of stocks of mapufactured goods. Thus the price of American cotton has increased since the commencement of the war four fold and India cotton five fold, while the price of the manufactured goods in ordinary use bas only doubled in the same period. The manufacturers with whom I conversed all admitted that the difficulty for their workmen was not want of cotton, but want of orders, those mills which are the most occupied now being engaged in filling orders dating long back, and from cotton purchased months ago; that they liave the English market to buy from, and do buy as they need for the trifling orders they receive; that'American cotton is not a necessity; on the contrary, that they are learning to do without it, not five per cent. of their present consumption being from the United States, the India cotton having taken its place, and the stock thus far (340,000 bales are now on the way from India) has been, and is likely to be for some months to come, sufficient for the diminished demand of manufacturers.
The war has, in fact, been a piece of good fortune to the cotton manufacturers generally, insomuch as they have made, probably, more money from the rise of cotton (the manufacturers of Lancashire are reputed to have made from twenty to thirty millions of pounds sterling) than they would have gained in their ordinary business had there been no scarcity, and they have also been saved from a crisis, the result of over-production, which would have certainly thrown many workmen out of employ and caused similar distress to that which is now so industriously ascribed to the war in the United States.
Cotton has been also sold in Ghent for exportation, but the amount is small. To the honor of the manufacturers, there seems to have been less disposition in Belgium to speculate in cotton and sell their stocks, leaving their workmen idle, than in neighboring countries. I have also observed that there seems no disposition here to mislead the working classes with regard to the real cause of their distress.
It is a source of satisfaction to observe that the appeals made in other countries to the passions of the working classes in ascribing their sufferings as due to “the injurious and useless war in the United States” have been thus far without the desired result of exciting hostility to the cause of the Union and consequent favor to that of the rebellion. So far as I have had opportunity by contact with them, or those who represent them here and elsewhere, they feel that they have a part in this war for which they are ready, if need be, to suffer, as they suffer now, and have before, from the fpeculations of their masters; that it is a cause worth suffering for, that of humanity, of freedom and self-government; that democratic institutions, which the people everywhere in the civilized world hold in affection, are now on their trial, and that upon its issue depends greatly the cause of progress and of liberal institutions everywhere, I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,
H. S. SANFORD, Hon. Willian H. SEWARD,
Secretary of State.
Mr. Sanford to Mr. Seward.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED States,
Brussels, September 26, 1862. Sir: The King, who is restored to tolerable health, made his entry into Brussels yesterday, on the occasion of the national fêtes, and was enthusias. tically received by all classes of the people.
I duly received your despatch No. 62, and communicated its contents to M. Rogier yesterday—saying that I desired to keep him advised of the views of the government in the various phases of the crisis which the country was passing through. He expressed his hopes that an arrangement could be made now-he thought we would have to end by making one. I replied, I knew of no possible one on a basis of a division of the Union. He remarked upon the strength and military spirit shown by the rebels I replied that they fought well; they were our own race; that the men were fighting from a mistaken sense of loyalty, with the idea inculcated by their leaders that they were resisting invasion and threatened servile insurrection, and they were developing rapidly into a military people. It might be a source of reflection to European powers, who had encouraged these rebels at the outset, that they had contributed towards building up a military power that would, if the rebellion succeeded, be likely to cause them trouble. That the idea of the getters-up of the rebellion was to form a great military aristocracy, based upon slavery, which would make the whites all fighting men, and to extend the area of slavery over Mexico, Central America, and Cuba, on a grand filibustering scale, and, holding a vast territory and the monopoly of cotton, to pursue the same wilful, reckless career for power and conquest which had characterized their efforts, made powerless, however, by the north for years past; that the idea entertained by many of a great profitable trade with the south would be found illusive-a population composed of slaves, who would require nothing from Europe, of a poor and nuunerous class of whites devoted to agriculture and with few and simple wants, and a comparatively few wealthy slaveholders, would never require large amounts of transatlantic manufactures, compared with the northern States, which for years past bad consumed nine-tenths of the foreign importations of the whole country. M. Rogier remarked that, whatever night occur, he thought the cotton monopoly of the south was at an end forever.
An international congress for the promotion of social science, which has been in session here for four days, has closed to-day. It was proposed, I believe by some of the English members, to make our war and the project of an address to the American people a subject of discussion at the general meeting of the congress to-day. The possibility of an amendment touching the revolt in India, or the opium war in China, or some other equally appropriate subject for discussion by the congress for the promotion of social science, perhaps, may have prevented the carrying out of the plan of the English philanthropists, who have, however, called a meeting at one of the hotels here, of such of the members as are so disposed, for the discussion of a proposed address to the American people. The address will probably be found to contain the ideas of a class of Englishmen whose interests and whose policy are for the dismemberment of the Union. I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,
H. S. SANFORD. Hon. William H. SEWARD,
Secretary of State.
Mr. Sanford to Mr. Seward.
LEGATION of the UNITED STATES,
Brussels, May 12, 1862. Sir: In view of the important changes about to be made in our revenue system, and believing that we can consult with profit the experience and the prac. tice of other states in respect to taxation, I deem it proper to submit to yon, somewhat in detail, an analysis of the revenue system of Belgium, which I think may prove of special interest as based upon the system of other nations, modified so as to conform to the more liberal institutions of a semi-republican state.
The revenue system of Belgium is based, 1st, upon the French laws which remained in force after its separation from France, in 1814, and which are the foundation of the whole structure ; 2d, upon the laws established in common for Belgium and Holland while it was a part of the kingdom of the Netherlands, (from 1815 to 1830 ;) and 3d, upon the legislation since the revolution of 1830.
The French revenue system was described by me in a memoir when chargé d'affaires at Paris, accompanying my No. 48 to your department, and was printed by order of the Senate as Executive Document No. 68 of 33d Congress, 1st session, and I beg to refer to it for an outline of the then existing system in France, to p. 187 et seq., and for details touching its administration to pp. 277, 278, aud 290 et seq. of appendix.
The taxes and imports in Belgium may be divided into four great divisions, viz:
I. Those which are paid on account of what a person possesses or what he acquires in a continued and permanent manner.
II. Those which are paid on account of accidental acquisition, whether by purchase, inheritance, or by process of law.
III. Those upon very common articles of consumption.
There are, besides, some other sources of public revenue, but of small importance, difficult to class in any of those categories, and which will be indicated hereafter.
To the first category belongs the tax on real estate, “foncier," instituted by the French law of 7 Frimaire, an 7, and which is upon the net revenue of all lands and buildings, established by an evaluation which the state makes periodically of all real estate, and which is called the “ Cadastre.” The present basis of the tax is upon the valuation of 1843. The amount of this is 18,886.290 francs, or $3,777,260, and is levied on 848,000 proprietors at a cost of about 11 per cent.
2. The personal tax, which corresponds greatly to what are called assessed taxes in England, and from which this is copied. It was established by the law of 8th June, 1822, under the Dutch regime, and is, consequently, the same in Holland as in Belgium. It is established in the valuation of the gross rental or revenue of every habitation or building which exceeds $8 40 per annum ; on the number of doors and windows of inhabited houses; the number of fireplaces therein; the value of the furniture; the servants employed, when permanent and for domestic service; upon horses for pleasure or other than necessary labors for the trade or business of the owner.
The tax on doors and windows varies according to the population of the towns in which the dwellings are located. The tax-payers themselves declare
the number of their fire-places, and of their servants and horses employed by them. The residue is generally submitted to the valuation of agents of the government.
This tax varies, necessarily, according to the augmentation of houses and the increase of the national wealth.
It amounts to $2,101,000, and was imposed in 1861 on 402,115 persons.
3. The tex on licenses, or patente, so called, which is upon the revenue of all trades and occupations save that of agriculture. It was establizhed by law of 5th May, 1819, and is still, in its general principles, imposed also in Holland.
Every industrial occupation pays according to the bases of cvaluation, which are different according to these occupations. These bases are declared by the tax-payer, and are subject to government control and verification. When labor is the principal agent, the basis is the number of workmen ; when the capital is the principal agent, the basis of the tax is the conjectured annual profit. For other occupations. the basis is, in addition, the relation to the population of the localities where these occupations are exercised. This tax amounts to $803,000, on 286,545 persons.
1. The registry tax comes first under this head. It was established by a law of the French republic of 22 Frimaire, an 7, and is still in force in France as well as Belgium.
This tax is levied upon every sale, donation, or gain, by sentence of court. of real estate and personal property, and is generally 4 per centum of the price; and on personal property, when by written act or (for sale) by public vendue, is much less than for transfer of real estate, varying from 2 per centum to 4 per centum, according to the nature of the property.
T'here is also a registry tax upon leases of rural property, proportioned to the rented value and the duration of the lease. There is also a registry tax upon all written acts and contracts liable to be used in court, and which varies according to their nature. This tax amounts to $2,660,000.
20. The tax on mortgages, which is levied on all acts of mortgage or hypothecation made to secure a debt, and varies according to the debt. This tax amounts to $485,000.
3d. The tax called de greffe, record office, on copies given and demand of decisions, or acts of courts of justice, &c. This tax amounts to 850,000.
4th. The tax on heritages in collateral line, established by a law of Holland of December 27, 1817, and in force at this time equally in that country. This tax varies from 4 to 10 per centum on the value of the heritage, the degree of relationship, or the absence of any. It is one-half the amount when the property is left in entail. This tax amounted, the past year, to $1,740,000.
5th. The tax on heritages in direct line, which was established in 1853. This tax is 10 per centum upon what is inherited in real estate. It amounted, in 1861, to $31,000; and on surviving widow or widower to $30,000.
1. The custom duties, established according to tariffs, which have been frequently modified, and which have lately ceased entirely with respect to cereals, and have been greatly reduced of late upon imports generally.
Tonnage dues are also included under this head. The aggregate receipts are $3,223,000, at a cost of perception, owing to numerous officers (5,000) to guard its frontiers, of about 30 per centum.
2. Excise. The bases of this tax were established, under the government of Holland, in 1822, but the laws regulating it have been frequently modified since 1830, both with respect to the amount of the tax and the mode of perception,