to Mr. Fish.
Vienna, December 18, 1876. (Received January 22, 1877.)
Sir: Referring to Mr. Delaplaine’s dispatch, No. 114, of the 14th of March last, wherein mention is made of the passage, at that time, by the Reichsrath, of a law authorizing and empowering the minister of finance for Cisleithania to contract a loan and to issue bonds for the same, the interest to be at the rate of 4 per cent, per annum, payable in gold, and the coupons to be free from all tax on reduction, I have now to advise you that on the 10th instant subscriptions to the same for forty millions of florins were invited at the rate of fifty-six florins in gold per hundred of the loan. The total amount was subscribed for on the first day.
* * * * * * *
For my own part I must avow the opinion that the Austrian public credit does not exhibit a favorable appreciation, when a gold loan producing annually nearly 8 per cent, at the rate of emission did not obtain higher competition. As I am informed that the allotments now bear a premium of only one-half of 1 per cent., I am further disposed to believe that the subscriptions made were generally not for permanent investment, but in the speculative hope of early realizing a small profit thereon.
I consider it perhaps appropriate, in reference to the public credit of [Page 21]Austria proper, to here submit certain statistics relative to the commercial movement, as deduced from the custom-returns (the duties being payable in coin only) in the various provinces represented in the Reichsrath, exclusive of Dalmatia.
The import duties for the current year exhibit a sum total of 13,433,260 florins, compared with 14,934,882 florins received the former year, producing a difference of 1,501,622 florins. In the duties of export the amount is this year also less by 4,794 florins than in the corresponding period of 1875, namely, 180,131—175,337; connecting with these figures those of indirect imposts, indicating a diminution of 21,721 florins, we have a total decrease of 1,527,637 florins.
The duties received in Dalmatia for merchandise imported from the 1st of January, 1876, to the 31st October for the current year exhibit a difference of 2,354 florins, compared with the figures of the corresponding period of the year 1875, being 285,433—283,089 florins.
As to the present quantity of coin now in Austria, I am unable to form a conjecture, as I have no official report, while I would remark that none has for a long time past been in circulation, with the exception of a much debased class of small coin, being fractional parts of a florin.
I am, &c.,