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R E B EL PIRATES. The despatch of Secretary SEWARD to minister Adams, dated November 11th, states :
“The case in regard to pirates, engaged by insurgents in this country, practically stands : Every naval power and every commercial power, except one, practically excludes them from their ports, except in distress, or for a visit of any kind longer than twenty-four hours, and from supplies, except of coals, except for twenty-four hours' consumption. Great Britain, as we are given to understand by the answer of Earl Russell, allows those pirates to visit her ports and stay at their own pleasure, receiving supplies without restriction. We find it difficult to believe that the government of Great Britain has constituted this exception with full deliberation. I intimated in a preceding dispatch the hope that the subject might be reconsidered before it should be necessary for us to consider what remedies we can adopt to prevent the evils which must result to our commerce from the policy thus indicated by Great Britain. I have consulted on the subject with Lord Lyons, and he may, perhaps, communicate with his government thereupon. Meantime I am directed by the President to instruct you to call the attention of her Majesty's government to the question under the influences of a spirit of peace and friendship, and with a desire to preserve what remains of a commerce mutually important to both countries."
STEAMERS IN CHILI. The government is contemplating the establishment of a line of steamers between the Atlantic and Pacific, by the Straits of Magellan. The agent of the British Pacific Steam Navigation Company offers to start the line if he shall receive a subvention from the South American States. If done, this would connect the Chilian trade more closely with England, by way of Brazil, thence to Southampton by the direct line, operating injuriously, to a certain degree, against the American Panama line. While the United States and her commercial men, apparently regardless of their own interests, have no steam communication with Brazil, English merchants are seeking new channels of commerce with Brazil and the South American States. The British mail steamers, between Valparaiso and Ancad, get this year from the Chilian government $40,000, instead of the $50,000 of last year.
THE ARMING OF MERCHANT SHIPS. Her Majesty's government have determined, it appears, to arm the steamers of the Peninsular and Oriental Company and other mail contract packets, so as to render them fully capable of defence against the attacks of privateers, in the event of a war with America. The Peninsular and Oriental Company have sent, in consequence, a requisition for a considerable amount of ordnance stores. This company possesses about fifty vessels, and most of them can carry an armament of six heavy guns, including two 40 pounder ARMSTRONGS, with rifles, revolvers, cutlasses and boarding-pikes for crews of about 150 men and officers for each ship.
With armaments and crews to this extent, not taking into account the number of naval and military passengers usually carried, and who will doubtless be willing to give their assistance, these vessels would not only take good care of themselves, but, if opportunity offered, would be ready to act upon the offensive. The same company are having their officers and men drilled both in gunnery and rifle practice.—Daily News.
DR. HAYES' LATE VOYAGE. Since Dr. Hayes arrived at home he has been invited by the American Geographical and Statistical Society, New-York, by the Academy of Natural Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and the Board of Trade, of Philadelphia, to give before them a summary of the results of his expedition. These results have been stated as follows:
1. A detailed survey of the west coast of north Baffin's Bay, Smith's Straits and Kennedy Channel, and the extension of the survey to the north of any previous exploration. This survey embraces about 1,300 miles of shore line.
2. The discovery of a new channel or sound, opening westward from Smith's Strait, parallel with Jones and Lancaster Sounds.
3. A detailed survey of the coasts of Whale Sound and the coasts to the north and south of it. This survey embraces about 600 miles of shore line.
4. Surveys of glaciers, by which their rate of movement is estimated. 5. Complete set of pendulum experiments. 6. Sets of magnetic experiments at Port Foulke, Cape Isabella, in Whale Sound, at Upernavik and Godhavn.
7. Topographic and hydrographic surveys, including tidal observations.
8. Large collections of specimens of natural history and geological and mineralogical collections.
9. A continuous set of meteorological observations. 10. An extensive collection of photographic views.
11. The accomplishment of a more northern latitude than ever before attained upon
land. 12. Fresh confirmation of theories respecting the open Polar Sea.
LAKE TRADE OF 1861. The number of side-wheel steamers which were in service during the season of 1861, at different points on the lakes, was sixty-seven, of which number eight were engaged in the Lake Superior trade. The whole number of propellers in service was two hundred and nineteen, of which nine were also engaged in the Lake Superior trade, more or less. The number of barks in service was ninety-four. Engaged in the Lake Superior trade, more or less, were eight barks. The total number of brigs, seventy-five, and schooners, eight hundred and ninety-two. There were also more or less engaged in the Lake Superior trade, one brig and forty-three schooners. The number of tugs in service at different points, is one hundred and eight. Forty-one of this number were engaged exclusively on the Detroit and St. Clair Rivers, or between Lakes Erie and Huron.
JOURNAL OF INSURANCE AND BANKING.
I. FIRE INSURANCE REPORT. II, GOVERNMENT CURRENCY.
FIRE INSURANCE REPORT. At a meeting of the New-York Board of Fire Insurance Companies, held December 23d, 1861, the committee appointed at a previous meeting submitted the following report and resolutions :
The committee appointed by the Board of Underwriters of the city of New-York, at their meeting on the 12th inst., to take into consideration the storage of petroleum, earth oils, benzine, benzole and naphtha in public warehouses and other buildings in compact portions of the city, are prepared to submit the following report:
Your committee find that the substance known by the name of petroleum, rock oil, or earth oil, as it is generally received in its crude and unrefined state, is largely charged with volatile matter, highly inflammable in its nature, and evolved to some extent at the usual temperature of the atmosphere, and much more freely by an increased degree of heat. This gas, when evolved in large quantities, and mingled with the air in closed buildings, becomes exceedingly inflammable, and, under certain contingencies, like coal gas, highly explosive. The oil itself, when in actual contact with fire, burns with a very dense smoke and intense heat, and is nearly or quite inextinguishable by water. Excited by a high degree of heat, it becomes more inflammable, penetrates surrounding objects, and imparts to them its own destructive qualities. The storage of these oils is not only dangerous on account of their liability to fire, and their destructive properties when on fire, but on account of their injurious effects on other merchandise stored in the same or even adjoining buildings, by reason of their offensive and penetrating odor. In a fire of any considerable magnitude, this explosive gas would be generated in immense quantities, and the destruction of property in a compact portion of the city would, in all probability, be incalculably great.
With these facts before us, your committee cannot do less than recommend that petroleum, rock oil or earth oil, in its crude or unrefined condition, be declared by your Board positively uninsurable in all buildings in compact portions of the city, and in all public warehouses privileged for storage of hazardous and extra hazardous merchandise, and that such oils are considered insurable only when in detached and properly-ventilated sheds and warehouses, specially adapted by their construction for that purpose, and devoted exclusively to the storage of such oils, or substances of a similar character, and then at a special rate not less than THREE PER
Your committee also find that benzine, benzole and naphtha, liquids produced from the distillation of coal and the refining of crude petroleum, rock oil and earth oil, and extremely volatile in their properties, and nearly allied with, if not more dangerous than camphene, are being
largely introduced into various arts and manufactures, and are often stored in considerable quantities in stores and warehouses in this city and vicinity. These articles, when exposed, evaporate with great rapidity at a moderate temperature, and when combined with air become exceedingly explosive and dangerous, burning with great fury, and communicating fire to surrounding objects almost instantaneously. In the judgment of the committee, these articles, when kept in quantities of three barrels or less in any one building, should be placed in the list of " special hazards,” and charged as such, and when kept in quantities greater than three barrels, should be subject to the same restrictions and rates as crude petroleum, rock oil and earth oil.
Your committee also recommend that manufactured coal oil, refined petroleum oil, kerosene and carbon oil, and all oils manufactured from coal, rock oil or earth oil, when kept in less quantities than ten barrels, be classed as "extra hazardous," and when kept in larger quantities than ten barrels, as "specially hazardous," and charged accordingly.
Your committee, therefore, recommend the adoption of the following resolutions :
Resolved, That petroleum, rock oil and earth oil, in a crude or unrefined state, be and hereby are declared uninsurable, except when stored in detached and properly-ventilated sheds and warehouses, specially adapted by their construction for that purpose, and devoted exclusively to the storage of such oils, or substances of a similar character, and then at a special rate of not less than three per cent.
Resolved, That benzine, benzole and naphtha, when kept in quantities of three barrels or less, be classed as “specially hazardous,” and charged as such ; and when kept in larger quantities than three barrels, be subject to the same restrictions and rates as crude petroleum, rock oil and earth oil.
Resolved, That manufactured coal oil, refined petroleum oil, kerosene and carbon oil, and all oils manufactured from coal, rock or earth oil and petroleum, when kept in less quantities than ten barrels, be classed as "extra hazardous," and when kept in larger quantities than ten barrels, be classed as “specially hazardous,” and charged as such. All of which is respectfully submitted.
D. A. HEALD, of Home Ins. Co.,
J. L. DOUGLASS, of Merchants’ Ins. Co.,
After full discussion the report was accepted, and the resolutions were unanimously adopted.
On motion, it was further resolved, that the building containing the articles above enumerated, and all other merchandise therein, be charged at the rates named above.
RICHARD J. THORNE, President.
William F. UNDERHILL, Secretary. New-York, December 23, 1861.
GOVERNMENT CURRENCY. Thollowing haben printed in urm, written by perienced bank officer, who is connected with one of the largest and most successful of the associated banks :
SKETCH OF A PLAN FOR A GOVERNMENT LOAN.
Congress to authorize Mr. CHASE to borrow at once, from the banks in New-York, Boston and Philadelphia, three hundred (300) million dollars, pledging as collateral security therefor five hundred (500) million 7 30-100 per cent. Treasury notes, (convertible into twenty years'? per cent. bonds at any time,) accompanied with an act of Congress pledging the entire property of the United States as security against any and all loss accruing to the banks through this and the last two loans or purchases of Treasury notes and bonds.
If deemed important, a direct lien on the lands belonging to the United States, in the shape of a mortgage or otherwise, could be asked for.
The Secretary of the Treasury should receive instructions, with discretionary powers as to time and price, to sell the whole or any part of said five hundred million dollars Treasury notes, (or the 7 per cent. bonds into which they could at any time be converted,) and apply the proceeds thereof to the payment of the loan of three hundred million dollars.
To enable the banks to make this loan, and insure the prompt payment of the entire amount, as called for by the government, continuing specie payments, it would be highly important that foreign exchanges be kept in favor of the United States; and as we can only hope for a continuance of the present reduced rate for exchange through continued diminished imports of goods, Congress should immediately impose heavy duties upon many articles in common use, to continue during the war.
If, through a change in the rates for foreign exchange, with a prospect of a shipment of gold, it should become necessary to suspend specie payments, the drafts of the government can easily be met by the banks with their common currency, (including, perhaps, fifty million dollars demand Treasury notes for the use of the troops, which could be redeemed by the banks as their own circulation,) provided it were included in the proposed arrangement for security.
The direct advantages to the banks in making this loan are—
1. Security from loss on the amount of the two last loans or purchases of one hundred million dollars Treasury notes and bonds.
2. Accruing interest on loan of three hundred million dollars to be placed to the credit of government at once, but which will not be wanted for some months.
The indirect benefit would accrue through the good effects of such a measure upon the whole business community—the probability of a continuance of specie payments, and saving the present currency from interference at this inauspicious time.
Through the confidence of the people in the ability of the government to conduct the war to a successful issue with the means thus placed at its disposal in this negotiation, the Secretary of the Treasury would be able to sell the Treasury notes or bonds before the 1st of July next, at a price not below that at which the fifty million 6 per cent. bonds were awarded to the banks in November last.