No. 311.
Mr. Francis to Mr. Frelinghuysen.

No. 117.]

Sir: I have the honor to submit the following résumé of the condition of Portuguese finances and of the “ordinary budget” for the year 1884–’85, which was presented by Senhor Hihtz Ribeiro, minister [Page 444] of finance, to the Cortes, on the 5th of January last, together with the estimates of public receipts and expenditures for that period:

Department. Expenditures.
Millreis. Dollars.
Junta of public credit 13,093,678 14,191,172 00
Ministry of finance 2,206,160 2,382,652 00
Ministry of interior 2,201,574 2,377,699 00
Ministry of justice 639,814 690,999 00
Ministry of war 4,588,000 4,955,040 00
Ministry of marine and colonies 1,776,000 1,918,080 00
Ministry of public works 2,831,000 3,057,480 00
Ministry of foreign affairs 330,000 356,400 00
34,524,537 00
Source. Receipts.
Millreis. Dollars.
Direct taxes 6,280,890 6,783,361 00
Stamps and registration 3,248,600 3,508,488 00
Indirect taxes and customs 16,171,210 17,464,906 00
Additional tax 1,057,000 1,141,560 00
Sale of national domain and miscellaneous receipts 3,336,520 3,603,441 00
Repayment and sundries 1,100,817 1,188,882 00
33,690,639 96
Deficit 833,897 16
34,524,537 12

A statement of the expenditures as estimated in detail, together with the most important items of anticipated revenue accompanies this dispatch. The latter is especially interesting as illustrating the extent and resources of taxation in this Kingdom.

From a report laid before the Cortes by the minister of finance on the 16th February ultimo it appears that the ordinary and extraordinary expenses of the Kingdom during the year 1883–’84 exceeded the estimates by the sum of 1,716,000 ($1,853.28 millreis), while the revenue was $259,200 less.

It appears from an official statement recently made to the Cortes by the minister of finance that the funded debt of this Kingdom was as follows:

June 30, 1883 $465,320,494
Floating debt $12,380,000
Charges thereon, interest. &c 1,209,297
Extraordinary expenses 4,414,120
Loans already made (sanction for which is asked of the Cortes) to liquidate floating debt, &c. ($18,005,417), and to defray other expenses 38,880,000
Total debt of Portugal 504,200,494

During the last decade the increase of the public debt of this Kingdom has been fully $180,000,000. It should be stated in extenuation, however, that railroad and other important public improvements completed by the Government within the period named represent a larger sum than this augmented public indebtedness.

Notwithstanding the annual deficits in the budgets of the Kingdom and the steady increase of the public indebtedness—now quite as large, per capita, as is that of Great Britain—it is a fact that the public credit of Portugal is quite steadily sustained. Its 3 per cent, securities at the ruling rates stand about 52, showing an interest of considerably less [Page 445] than 6 per cent, which the Government has to pay upon its loans, the latter, however, bringing to the treasury little more than 50 per cent, of the amount of debt incurred.

It is conceded by prudent statesmen and thoughtful business men here that the debt of Portugal is now quite as heavy as can be borne by this people and that any material increase of the burden would involve grave peril to the public credit—already sufficiently strained—and to the business interests of the country.

The minister of finance makes a recommendation to the Cortes that the tax on salt consumed in the Kingdom be reduced from 8 to 3 reis a litre, and that the tax on imported alcohol be reduced from $2.16 a decalitre (2 1/5 gallons) to $1.29.

An export duty of 1 per cent. is now imposed upon gold and silver coin. A proposition to suspend this duty at the discretion of the Government has been unanimously accepted in the House of Deputies, and will no doubt be enacted into law.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure in No. 117.]

Statement of January 5, 1884, showing the estimated sources of the most important items of revenue, and the detailed expenditure for the financial year 1884–’85, as stated in the “ordinary budget” presented to the Portuguese Cortes by the minister of finance.


junta of public credit.

Charges on debt held in Portugal: Millreis.
Pay to members of the Junta and employés 33,830
Interest on obligations of the Government in circulation 6,208,688
Interest on obligations in the treasury 65,459
Sinking fund 3,670
Various charges 9,600
Charges on debt held abroad:
Expenses of the financial agency in London 16,244
Interest on obligations of the Government in circulation 5,799,414
Interest on obligations in possession of treasury 98,967
Various charges 19,000
Administration of the Junta 38,804

foreign affairs.

Department expenses 21,700
Diplomatic corps 118,000
Consular corps 69,000
Eventual expenses (secret service) 101,000
Decorations 2,000

ministry of justice and public worship.

Department expenses 38,000
Bishoprics 134,000
Court of cassation 37,000
Court of appeals 70,000
Tribunals 77,000
Prisons 129,000
Subsidies to nuns 2,000
Miscellaneous 10,000
Pensions 31,000
[Page 446]

ministry of war.

Department expenses 39,000
Staff 91,000
Army 2,956,000
Fortifications 27,000
Military tribunals 497,000
Various commissions 45,000
Half-pay officers 12,000
Retired officers 651,000
Veterans and invalids 16,000
Miscellaneous 247,000

marine and colonies.

Department expenses and auxiliary offices 74,000
Fleet 909,000
Tribunals 97,000
Navy-yard 392,000
Employés in the colonies, supernumeraries, &c 112,000
Various charges 94,000
Colonial expenses paid in Lisbon 96,000

public works.

Department expenses 49,000
Engineer corps 299,000
Repairs of roads 300,000
Railways 691,000
Post, light-houses and telegraphs 708,000
Various works 374,000
Scientific schools 187,000
National forests 45,000
Geodetic, hydrographic 66,000
Pensions and allowances 119,000
Miscellaneous 32,000

ministry of the interior.

Department expenses 41,000
Administrative tribunal 25,000
Governor, civil 108,000
Municipality 289,000
Police 454,000
Public health 64,000
Public instruction 870,000
Public charity 2,000
Pensions 3,000
Miscellaneous 71,000

ministry of finance.

Civil list, royal family 571,000
Cortes 118,000
Sundry redemptions and interest 2,691,000
Bureaus, miscellaneous, unemployed persons 647,000
Expenses of Treasury Department 175,000
Administration of the custom-house 964,000
Mint 60,000
General expenses of treasury other than in Lisbon 745,000
Pensions 153,000
Miscellaneous 89,000
[Page 447]


Tax upon real estate 3,152,000
Tax upon manufactures 1,125,000
Sumptuary taxes 104,000
Tax upon interest 304,000
Tax upon rents 400,000
Tax upon banks 165,000
Income tax 400,000
Licenses (tobacco) 53,000
Tax upon mines 32,000
Registration fees 1,925,000
Stamps 1,323,000
City duties Lisbon, (a portion thereof) 1,401,000
Exportation duties (domestic) 216,400
Re-exportation (foreign) 30,500
Import duties (grain and tobacco excepted) 7,252,000
Import duties (tobacco) 3,233,000
Import duties (grain) 1,292,000
Tonnage dues 102,100
Sanitary and quarantine fees 49,000
Railway traffic tax 101,000
On certain wines exported, 2% 208,000
Tax on distillation 74,000
Tax on fisheries 113,000
Tax, special, on commerce, to be applied to improvement of ports 110,000
Tax on production of salt 270,000
Tax on licenses for retail of wines and spirits 964,000
Tax, additional, percentage on custom house duties 542,000
Sundry miscellaneous receipts 175,000
Consular fees 90,000
Fees of secretaries of state, &c 68,000
Custom-house fees, Lisbon and Oporto 137,000
Fees upon decorations accorded 185,000
Fees of the ministries 56,450
Road tax 40,000
Interest on deferred taxes 37,000
Matriculation fees 84,000
General fees, custom-house at Oporto and Lisbon 137,000
Special tax on wine entering Oporto and Villa Nova de Siae 65,300
Additional tax, law April 27, 1880 1,057,000
Powder manufactory 65,000
Minho and Douro Railway 807,900
South and Southwest Railway 452,000
Mint 78,000
Post-office, telegraphs, and light-houses 800,000
Government journal 198,000
Woods and forests 43,000
Inheritances unclaimed 49,000
Income from property of suppressed convents 150,000
Interest on canceled bonds deposited with the Bank of England 71,000
Interest on Government bonds deposited with the custom-house 891,000
Contribution of the districts for support of prisons 64,000
Tax on common roads 40,000