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THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT.
WITH PORTRAIT OF SECRETARY MCCULLOCH.
So long as the country struggles States involves the most important, under a vast National Debt, a depreci- delicate, unprecedented, and difficult ated Currency, and the Taxation which functions. The practical difficulties are these involve, the department of gov- hardly less than during the war; for ernment which has charge of its loans, then patriotism silenced censure, and currency, and revenues, and whose du- nearly all men, conscious of the appalty it is to adjust all these to the in- ling difficulties of the financial situation, dustry, commerce, and genius of our shrank from administering, and almost people, must be of chief importance. feared to advise. But now every tyro We had been accustomed before the has become a tinancier, and trance-merebellion to style the Secretary of State, diums in every village offer for a small Premier. Questions of international charge to reconcile wounded lovers, or policy then chiefly engaged the atten- to answer all difficult questions of tion of statesmen and the sympathies finance. A politician who would not of the people. With the progress of the claim to be competent to make a shoe, war the country leaned alternately on not having learned the trade, will withthe Secretaries of War and of the Treas- out hesitation and without study conury. But with the return of peace, the struct a new national banking system, disbandment of our armies, the adjust- or destroy the old.
When so many ment of all foreign complications, and accomplished free lances in finance are the accession of all the disaffected and entering the field, men who have given rebellious portion of our people to such their lives to the careful study and a share of political power as may enable successful administration of monetary them to affect and embarrass the levy affairs naturally feel unwilling to risk of taxes, the payment of the debt, and the dangers of a competition in which the restoration of our currency to par, success provokes as severe criticism as the questions growing out of our finan- defeat. cial condition supersede all others, and The affairs of which the Secretary has make the Secretary of the Treasury, next charge employ the constant services of to the President, the most responsible 15,993 officers, clerks, and employés, of officer of the government. In England whom 3,520 are in the Bureaus at Washthe First Lord of the Treasury is Pre- ington, 5,151 are in the Custom-Houses mier. In France, Prussia, and the other and Sub-Treasuries, and 7,322 are in European Governments, the duties of the Internal Revenue service, includMinister of Finance, of Revenue, and of ing inspectors, collectors, assessors, etc., Commerce, which we concentrate upon throughout the United States. Of the our Head of the Treasury, are divided 41,000 officers of the government, about among various ministers, who in the two fifths act under the orders of the aggregate exercise a commanding in- Secretary of the Treasury. To give an fluence in their several cabinets. Yet outline of the organization of this vast now here have financial questions such force, through whose hands every dollar urgency, and even danger, as in the of the funds of the government has been United States. Whether compared, collected and disbursed, would be more therefore, with other officers of our own laborious than interesting. The inquirgovernment, or with any member of ing mind learns, with a misty sense of foreign administrations, the post of undefined acquisition, that the Treasury Secretary of the Treasury of the United Department is divided into eighteen Bu