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THE FINANCES OF THE STATE.

I ascertain from the books of the General Treasurer as follows:

The balance in the Treasury April 30th, 1877, was....... $184,424 87 Receipts from May 1st, 1877 to Nov. 30th, 1877. .... 286,387 52

$470,812 39 423,670 94

Payments from May 1st, 1877 to Nov. 30th, 1877.

Balance in Treasury Nov. 30th, 1877 was

$47,141 45

STATEMENT OF SINKING FUNDS.

Received from the General Treasurer, June 1st, 1875, June 1st, 1876, and Jan, 1st, 1878.....

8543,000 00 Interest received on investments

34,929 01 Premium received on Gold..

1,087 52

$579,016 53

INVESTMENTS.

Bonds of the City of Providence, par value $300,000, costing....

. $324,000 00 Bonds of the Town of Burrillville, par value $22,000, costing....

22,880 00 United States Bonds, (41) par value $192,000, costing... 199,200 00 Rhode Island Bonds, par value $29,000, costing.

31,727 19 Balance on hand not invested....

1,209 34

$579,016 53

The outstanding Bonded debt of the State amounts to..$2,534,500 00
From which may be deducted the amount in the Sinking
Funds.....

547,289 34

Leaving to provide for.

.81,987,210 66 Detailed statement of Rhode Island Bonds purchased since the last

Executive Message.

One Coupon Bond, State of Rhode Island, par value $1,000, costing....

$1,112 00 One Registered Bond, State of Rhode Island, par value $1,000, costing...

1,111 68 Two Coupon Bonds, State of Rhode Island, par value $1,000 each, costing.....

2,218 33 Two Coupon Bonds, State of Rhode Island, par value $1,000 each, costing...

2,177 33 Five Coupon Bonds, State of Rhode Island, par value $1,000 each, costing...

5,426 44

$12,045 78

EXHIBIT OF STATE DEBT NOW EXISTING.

Bonds issued October 1st, 1861, payable 1881...
Bonds issued September 1st, 1862, payable 1882
Bonds issued April 1st, 1863, payable 1883....
Bonds issued July 1st, 1863, payable 1893..
Bonds issued August 1st, 1864, payable 1894.

$500 00 965,000 00 200,000 00 631,000 00 738,000 00

$2,534,500 00

The commissioners of the Sinking Fund have during the past year purchased every bond of the Rhode Island debt which has been offered them, and have applied to persons and corporations owning the same to dispose of them to the State.

I desire your attention to the following copy of a letter received from the Rhode Island Hospital Trust Company. I requested the General Treasurer to make no reply other than acknowledging its receipt, until it could be submitted to your honorable body.

[COPY.]

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RHODE ISLAND HOSPITAL TRUST Co.,

Providence, R. I., Dec. 18th, 1877.
Samuel Clark, Esq., General Treasurer:
DEAR SIR:

By authority of the Finance Committee, I have to advise you that on and after January 1st, 1878, we propose to credit your account with interest at the rate of 31 per cent.; a reduction of 1 per cent. from the present rate.

The Company has continued the contract during the past year at a positive loss. Nor will the rate named above yield us any profit, judging by the present indications in the money market.

Our foreign balances draw 21 per cent., except in a single case, in which we are allowed 3 per cent.

The connection with the State has been a pleasant one, and we hope for its continuance.

We can hardly doubt that the proper authorities will, under all the circumstances, admit the justice of our proposal.

Very truly yours,
ALEX. FARNUM,

Vice President.

INSTITUTIONS FOR SAVINGS.

During the past year there has been no failure among our Institutions for Savings, although we are slowly passing through a period of perhaps unexampled business depression, and decrease in moneyed and available values.

The practical interests of labor and capital are so interwoven and unified that they must operate harmoniously to secure present safety and soundness in our financial and business affairs. No elements are more essential to this

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than prudence and forbearance. I have no specific recommendations to make as to the management of our Savings Banks. It is one of the highest and most delicate trusts and requires ability and character of the most elevated kind. The rates of interest and the amount of profit on investments are ratably small in proportion to their safety, and depositors in our Savings Institutions must not complain if their dividends are decreased when they can rest assured that their principal is secure.

I think the people of our State have come to understand that Savings Banks are no mere reservoirs filled with capital to be drawn upon for speculation, but are a sacred trust held and discharged for the benefit and safety of widows and orphans and the industrious and prudent laborers of our commonwealth.

THE MILITIA.

The great railroad riots that so seriously disturbed the country during the past summer, together with the late action of Congress in regard to the army, naturally causes the militia question to assume a position of much greater magnitude than usual. The question naturally arises, whether our system and force is as efficient as it should be. In comparison with the militia in general throughout the country, we certainly have a valuable force which is composed of excellent material, yet it is susceptible of improvement, and no reasonable means should be spared to bring it to its highest possible efficiency. It is generally conceded that the present organization is superior to those

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that have preceded it, but it was not intended to be permanent. It can and ought to be improved by a decrease in the number of battalions, giving more companies to the battalion than they now have.

For the past three years the expenditure on account of the militia has been the subject of close scrutiny, and its expenses have been cut down to a very low point; and I do not think the efficiency of the force can be increased without an increase in the amount expended upon it. It has been the policy in times past to make small appropriations annually, and at intervals to appropriate large sums for specific purposes. I think a regular appropriation covering the entire expenditure for the militia would be preferable.

I deem it my duty to call your attention to the almost entire lack of camp equipage, overcoats, knapsacks, canteens, &c., &c. Should active duty be required of the militia, much suffering would result from it.

An erroneous statement in the public press that this State was indebted to the General Government in the sum of $25,000 for an over-issue of arms, and that the State would be called upon to pay for the same, requires correction. The amount is $14,783.24, and is not required to be repaid in money.

Prior to the year 1870, our forces were not supplied with any modern breech-loading muskets; at this time 1000 stands were procured, together with the necessary accoutrements and ammunition, and although this number would equip but half of our infantry, yet the cost was $29,100.

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