Mr. Daggett to Mr. Frelinghuysen.
Honolulu , April 30, 1884. (Received May 17.)
Sir: The biennial report of the minister of finance has been submitted to the Legislature, embracing statements in detail of the receipts and expenditures of the Hawaiian Government for the two years ending March 31, 1884, and estimates of the same for a like period ending March 31, 1886.
As soon as the report, now printed in an almost unintelligible form, shall have been corrected, copies will be forwarded to you, together with such other department reports as may be presented. Meantime I beg to lay before you a brief synopsis of what is shown by the minister of finance in his biennial communication.
The cash receipts of the Hawaiian Government from all sources excepting loans, for two years’ ending March 31, 1884, were considerably less than the expenditures for that period. By these expenditures were absorbed, less $2,220.42 in the treasury March 31, 1884, the following funds:
|Legitimate receipts||$2,493,185 42|
|Cash in the treasury March 31, 1882||126,541 05|
|The total expenditures were||3,216,406 05|
|Balance in treasury March 31, 1884||2,220 42|
From which it will be seen that for the two years ending March 31, 1884, the expenditures of the Government, $3,216,406.05, exceeded the actual receipts, $2,423,185.42 (deducting loans, $668,900, and the difference in the cash balances of 1882 and 1884, $124,321.63, to the large amount of $793,220.63.
It is gratifying to note, however, that the estimates of expenditures [Page 285] for the two years ending March.31, 1886, are placed at nearly $1,000,000 below the outlays for the preceding biennial period, and $65,027.08 within the estimated receipts. The receipts are estimated at $2,336,870.42 and the expenditures at $2,271,843.34.
The principal reduction is made in the interior department, which during the past two years expended $473,050.86 for the encouragement of immigration, and as much more, perhaps, in public works and improvements.
No further appropriations are asked for the encouragement of immigration, and public works will be sparingly undertaken.
Should the Legislature manifest a similar spirit of retrenchment, complaints of extravagance wall cease, and there will be less to inspire a larm at the financial outlook of the Kingdom; but this movement in the direction of economy has come none too soon, for the public debt, which on the 31st of March, 1882, was $299,200, had reached $898,800 on the 1st of April, 1884, and is now $1,048,800, $150,000 of bonds of the two million loan having been sold since the latter date.
The amount of interest already paid annually is $74,468, and a further increase of the burden is not warranted by any reasonable estimate of the future of these islands. Under the operations of the reciprocity treaty, almost every industry in the Kingdom has prospered greatly during the past seven years. Real property values have advanced from two to ten fold, and general extravagance has been the natural result. It seems that the inevitable reaction of overtrading and overvaluation is now about to follow, largely assisted by what it is not too emphatic to call a calamitous decline in the price of the prominent product of the country—sugar; and the commercial depression with which the islands are threatened calls for the strictest economy in the conduct of the Government. Under the circumstances a further increase in the public indebtedness of the Kingdom, which is in effect a charge upon the sugar industries of the islands, two-thirds of which are sustained by American enterprise and capital, would be alike reckless and unjust, and it is hoped that the two million loan act of the last Legislative Assembly may be repealed before any considerable amount of the remainder of the unsold bonds now in the market can be disposed of.
Very respectfully, &c.,