United States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign Commerce.

Consular reports, Issues 196-199 online

. (page 19 of 82)
Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign CommerceConsular reports, Issues 196-199 → online text (page 19 of 82)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

increased to ;£ 1,800, 000 ($8,759,700), and as there has been no reticulation
in operation there will be a deficiency of about ;£29,ooo ($141,128), which
can be met by a rate of i ^d. on the whole area. To meet the requirements
of the years 1896-97, a rate of 3d. (6 cents) over the whole area and 6d.
(12 cents) on the reticulated areas will be required.

Digitized by LjOOQ IC


The main sewer is constructed in a like manner to those of the large cities
at home, and a man can walk through it standing upright. It is thoroughly
well built and the mason work is of the very best. It is built from the city
under the river (for this it was necessary to go very deep) and extends out
to the sewage farm. At the building of the sewer under the river some
months ago, a serious accident took place, causing a heavy loss of life; the
water from the river burst through into the tunnel and drowned the work-
men before they could be rescued.

The board have reason to congratulate themselves on the great saving
which they have accomplished in performing the work. At the lowest esti-
mate they have saved ;^i, 500,000 (17,299,750) on Mr. Mansergh's figures,
and yet the work has been performed to the entire satisfaction of all con-

The estimated average cost of house connections will be I75 each; but
the ratepayers are now paying ;^7o,36o ($342,406) per annum for the ex-
isting night-soil service, and it is considered that their payments will not be
materially increased. If the board adopts the proposed system of contract-
ing with householders to carry out the internal fittings and receive deferred
payments, the cost to the ratepayers will be both reduced in amount and
lightened in incidence.

Up to the present time, the board has laid 140 miles out of a total of
about 800 miles.

The unexpended balance of ;^i, 800,000 ($8,759, 700) the engineer in
chief considers will be ample to deal with all the requirements of the exist-
ing population as originally estimated, and will also provide for reticulating
rights of way and constructing the house branches up to the building line,
which expenditure was not included in the original estimate.

In summing up, let me give some exact figures. The following estimate
was submitted by the board on October 10, 1894:



Farm parchase

Outfall sewer and rising -.

Pumping station and buildings ,


Idain sewers

Branch sewers

Reticulation pipe sewers I 1,073,600

Farm preparation














1,073, 6co




3,45', 052


As mentioned before, the amount appropriated was ;£3, 500,000 (I17,-
032,750), and the amount expended up to date (with the work more than
half completed) is ;;^i, 700,000 (S8, 273,050). Making allowances to pro-
vide for the future forecast population, it is estimated that the total cost will
be about ^^6,000,000 ($29,199,000). It has been determined to construct
the main sewers on the basis of a population of 1,000,000, at the rate of 30

Digitized by LjOOQ IC


cubic feet per head per day on the separate system, and that the mains and
submains be supplemented in the future, from time to time, as the necessity
arises; but at the same time, it is proposed that the sewers in Melbourne be
constructed of the same size and capacity as in Mr. Mansergh's scheme, as
it is considered that the population ratio is already small enough, benig only
forty per acre.

The work on the sewers was begun on May 19, 1892, when the Earl of
Hopetoun, the then governor of the colony, turned the first sod. His lord-
ship identified himself thus with the work and was at all times interested in
it and in its ultimate completion.

To sum up and recapitulate the work done thus far, the sewage farm has
been plowed, harrowed, and prepared for reception of sewage to the extent
of 2,000 acres, and almost all the residue of the land has been divided by
fences and let to tenants for cultivation or grazing at rentals which give a
fair return of percentage on invested capital; many cottages are already
erected, and water from the metropolitan supply is furnished to each cottage
at the rate of ;;^i (I4.86) per year; the main outfall sewer — 16 miles in
length, from the sewer farm to the head of the rising main, of concrete and
brick, semicircular where open and circular of 1 1 feet diameter where closed,
and with three- aqueducts over the river and two intersecting creeks — has
been extended into the farm, with distributing head connected with two
main sewage carriers; the rising main, 227 chains long, in two tubes of
wrought-iron pipes, through which the sewage will be raised 120 feet into
the outfall sewer, is completed and connected with the pumping wells; the
pumping engines are delivered at the pumping station and the engine house
is built for their reception; store sheds are erected and the store yard is
leveled and ready for use. In constructing the main sewers across the delta
between the River Yarra at Spottiswood and the lagoon at Port Melbourne
through strata of alluvial or marine silt, serious difficulty has been experi-
enced by the contractors. The reticulation of streets with sewerage pipes
and the connecting of the houses with the sewers throughout the city is
nearly completed; there only remains some of the small streets, lanes, and
rights of way to be done. It is anticipated that the sewers in and immedi-
ately surrounding the city will be ready for use in the-present year. The
several amounts, as needed, have been raised in London and the bonds have
been floated at rates varying from 98 to loi per cent. These bonds gen-
erally carry 4)^ per cent interest and their present price on the London and
Melbourne markets is 104 to 108 per cent, according to the time they have
to run. To quote and apply the words of Lord Rosebery in addressing the
members of the London county council at the close of their first year's pro-
ceedings: ** What has sustained you in this work has been neither fee, nor
fame, nor praise; it has been the pure impulse of a clear duty and a gener-
ous ideal.** So of the work here, it may be added — a distinct appreciation
of the work in which they are engaged, the blessings of increased comfort,
salubrity, and life, while the work confers the merit of removing what is

Digitized by LjOOQ IC


the only physical blot upon the fair fame of this beautiful and healthy me-
tropolis, and a consciousness of the higher and broader capacity for useful-
ness which will remain to the board here when the huge task shall have been

In closing my report, I desire to acknowledge the obligations I am under
to the Melbourne and metropolitan board of works for voting to furnish me
information, etc., and to the engineer in chief, Mr. William Thwaites, to
whose courtesy I am indebted for much valuable information.


Melbourne, July 16, i8g6. Consul- General,


A report on the Saxon Land Credit Association, of Saxony, Germany,
for lending money to farmers at low rates of interest, by Commercial Agent
Peters, of Plauen, which was printed in Consular Reports No. 192 (Sep-
tember, 1896), pages 87-103, inclusive, excited widespread interest in the
United States and elicited requests for additional information, to which Mr.
Peters replies, through the Department of State, under date of October 2
and October 15, 1896. In his letter of October 2, addressed to the editor
of the Times, of Bethlehem, Pa., Mr. Peters says:

I see by a cutting from your paper of the 1 2th of September that you
have, under the head of ** Cheap money for the farmers,'* published part of
my dispatch to the Department of State.

So important is the subject to the interest of our farmers that I venture
to forward you a few remarks on the subject of cooperation among that class
in order to bring their securities before the public and obtain loans at the
lowest possible interest.

My report to the Department of State gives the rules and regulations
under which such a land credit association has been formed in Saxony ; the
same rules, modified in form so as to comply with our laws, could be used
in the formation of an association of a like nature in America.

In the Saxon association, every member is liable for the debts of the as-
sociation. I do not think this unlimited liability is in conformity with our
idea of sound business principles. The member should be responsible, but
his responsibility should be specific, say to five or ten times the value of his
shares in the association.

One valuable article in the laws of the Saxon association is that there
shall be a sinking fund which will (and this is reckoned exactly), in time,
varying from ten to fifty years, liquidate each mortgage, the time depending
upon the amount of interest paid by the member borrowing.

The value of such a law can easily be appreciated. The question is,
how to bring the subject before the farmers of our country so that they will
see the advantage of an association. There is but one way, and that is

Digitized by LjOOQ IC


through the press of the country. If you gentlemen of the press will take
the matter in hand and start the ball, it will roll, for a system that has proved
such a marked success in the Old World should also be a success in ours.

Owing to the financial strain under which they have for years been strug-
gling, many of our farmers find that it is not only impossible to pay high
rates of interest, but that every year sees them in a worse position. Is it,
then, a wonder that they embrace every scheme that has the slightest color
of a chance of alleviating their present wants? I think I have pointed out
a way by which they can reestablish themselves and shake off the burden
they have borne, and do it honestly and not at the expense of their fellow-

It has been preached to the South and West that the East and North are
joined in a monopoly of money to bleed the South and West and keep them
in a bondage of debt, but it may be assumed that the Eastern capitalist would
be as willing to lend his money in the South and West as in the East or
North at the market rates of the great financial centers if he were as sure of
his security. The manager of a great financial institution has not the time
to go about looking for small loans; he must place his investments in large

A practical substitute might be found by the farmers themselves if they
would join hands in forming an association, such as the Saxon Land Credit
Association, and, in order that it may be organized, I suggest that in every
county of every State of the Union, the farmers gather together and elect
delegates, and that these delegates, from among their number, shall elect dele-
gates to a State assembly. Every State assembly could then elect delegates
to a national assembly, which would organize and make the laws governing
a national land credit association, which would, in time, lift the load of debt
from the shoulders of the farmers of America.

The same question existed in Europe as now exists in America ; it was
settled by mutual trust and cooperation. Why should not the plan have the
same success in the United States? I believe it would, if we could only
find some public-spirited writers who would lend their pens to the elucida-
tion of the question.

In regard to the Saxon association, it may be -well to say that the public
and the state have such a belief in its financial soundness and the integrity of
its officers that they allow, under the law, the investment of school funds,
church funds, and trust funds to be made in the debentures of the association.

Commercial Agent Peters' s letter of October 15 is addressed to the editor
of the Farmers' Voice, of Chicago, III. In it, he says :

I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your favor of the 26th of September
last, in which you ask me for some information touching my report on the
Saxon Land Credit Association.

Digitized by LjOOQ IC


The report is a translation of the rules and regulations of the association
in Saxony, which has done so much for the farmers and small landholders
ia that Kingdom, and which would, I am sure, be of the greatest possible
benefit to the farmers of our country if they organize an association on the
same lines.

Almost the same conditions exist to-day with us as existed in Rhenish
Prussia in 1850, when Friedrich Raiffeisen, a mayor of the town of Flam-
mersfeld, started his system. His object was to rescue the small farmers
from the oppressive grip of the moneylender, in which he succeeded so mar-
velously that the Prussian Government, in i860, sent a special commission
to examine and report upon his plan.

The Raiffeisen system is one by which the farmers, in local associations
formed for the purpose of mutual help, pledge their entire assets as security
for the debts and obligations of the association, and lend, from the general
fund of the association, to members who require financial help.

Formerly, they were local and private organizations, and while there is no
question that they did much good, they also did some harm, not to the public,
but to their own members, who placed too much trust in their officers, who,
in some cases, used the funds of the association for their private use, with
the result that some of the local associations were ruined. I believe that now
all the Raiffeisen associations are under the control of the Government, in
so far that they are open to Government inspection. This had the very best
result, and makes them, financially, much sounder.

It was from this system, inaugurated by Raiffeisen, that the Saxon Land
Credit Association sprung, and on which I have made my report, finding
that it was the best system known for the farmer and for the public who
might invest in the debentures of the association.

What our farmers require, to relieve them of the present financial strain
under which they are living, is the power to borrow at the lowest possible
interest consistent with their securities and the financial conditions in the
great centers of the world. So long as they must borrow from the local
money lender, they must pay a high rate of interest for accommodation. It
is this high rate of interest under which our farmers are now striving and fall-
ing that is responsible for the general unrest and dissatisfaction. Remove the
high rate of interest, give them the same opportunity to use their credit as men
engaged in other business, exchange the present mortgage on the farm for
one with a reasonable interest, which the farmer can pay and have some-
thing left for the savings bank, and we will restore happiness and prosperity.

This question has been solved by the farmers and landholders of Europe,
and the solution of the problem did not consist in the issue by the govern-
ment of a mass of debased currency circulated among the people at a ficti-
tious value. The end was reached by the farmers and landholders by their
own force and cooperation, by the founding of associations which, in time,
became a power in the land, and whose financial strength was measured by
millions of undoubted securities which the public was only too glad to in-
vest in.

Digitized by LjOOQ IC


What has been done in Europe, and proved through the test of time to
be good, we can also do. If the public of Europe has responded, our public
will also respond and purchase the debentures of the organization. I hope
to see the national land association of the farmers of America.

If you will read the report I have written on the Land Credit Assoeni^oA.
of Saxony, you will see that the plan is quite simple and within the reach of
every farmer in the United States ; if you will examine the quotations of the
debentures of the various associations in Europe, you will find that they all
stand high.

The solution of the question is simply to bring together the entire assets
of our farming people as a unit and borrow on the security in the cheapest
money markets of the world the funds required.

How this is done, you will see in the rules and regulations of the Saxon
Land Credit Association.

I believe that the capitalists and investors of the United States will give
such an association their support.

There is a vast amount of money in the United States that is seeking in-
vestment at reasonable interest which would be used in the purchase of the
debentures of such an association.

Large amounts of money have been sent to the West and South to local
bankers and agents from the investors in the North and E^t and Europe. The
local banker guaranties to his clients 6, 7, and 8 per cent ; now, what the farmer
wants is to get rid of this middleman and go directly to the capitalist to bor-
row and save the other 5 or 6 per cent that the local money lender makes.
To do this, the farmer must have someone to negotiate the loan and that
someone should be the president of the national land association of the
farmers of America.

If the plan of organization is carried out in our country, it will be found
that in a few years the association will not be a borrower, but from its own
funds, earned in legitimate banking, it will lend such amounts as its mem-
bers may from time to time require.


One by one the diseases which have hitherto defied the skill of physicians
are yielding to the persistent attack of modern science. Since the successful
treatment of diphtheria by subcutaneous injections of antitoxic serum was
demonstrated — hardly three years ago — it has been confidently predicted
that sooner or later all diseases which result from the action of a poison
secreted in the blood by a special and characteristic bacillus would be con-
quered by similar means.

From the evidence now presented, it would appear that tetanus, one of
the most sinister and stubborn of human maladies, if not already conquered,
is in a fair way to be successfully overcome. In the Deutsche Medicinische
Wochenschrift (Berlin) for October 23, appears a joint announcement by

Digitized by LjOOQ IC


Prof. Dr. von Behring, of diphtheria-antitoxin fame, and Professor Knorr,
of Marburg, describing the qualities and best methods of using the new
tetanus antitoxin, which is now prepared under Government supervision as
a commercial product by the Farbwerke at Hoechst-on-Main, and offered for
use by medical practitioners under the same conditions as diphtheria anti-
toxin from the same source.

Tetanus, as is well known, is an exceedingly painful and hitherto usually
fatal disease caused by blood poisoning, generally the result of a wound.
It is believed by physicians to be caused by the introduction into the system
of a minute organism which rises from the ground in certain localities, so
that the prevalence of tetanus varies greatly even in different districts of the
same country. At all events, the disease has its characteristic microbe, which
has been recognized, isolated, described, and reproduced by artificial cul-
ture. The distinctive symptom of tetanus is a persistent spasm of the volun-
tary muscles, aggravated by light, noise, or other disturbing influence to which
the patient may be subjected. These spasms may affect any muscular portion
of the body, but when, as is often the case, the maxillary muscles are prin-
cipally attacked, the resulting malady is known as lockjaw.

The tetanus antitoxin described by Professor Behring and Dr. Knorr is
similar in nature, action, and in the methods of its preparation to the anti-
toxin of diphtheria. It is prepared and put up for use in two forms, viz, as
a dry powder, which is used for the treatment of developed cases of tetanus
in men and animals, and as a liquid solution, which is employed for prophy-
lactic purposes. Its strength or degree of efficiency is measured, like that
of antidiphtheritic serum, by antitoxic units. The dry antitoxin is desig-
nated as a hundredfold normal antitoxin — that is, i gram of the prepara-
tion contains loo units of antitoxic power; in other words, is sufficient to
neutralize loo grams of the normal poison of tetanus. It is put up for
commerce in vials containing 5 grams each, and the contents of one such
vial are theoretically sufficient for the cure of a developed case of tetanus.
It is dissolved in 50 cubic centimeters of sterilized water at a temperature
of 40° C. and injected hypodermically at a single dose. In the treatment of
horses, the injection is made into a vein, by which the full action of the
antitoxin is accelerated by about twenty-four hours, and this method of in-
jection may even be employed with human patients in very severe cases or
where the treatment is commenced at a late and perilous stage of the disease.
To insure favorable results, the injection should be made, if possible, within
thirty-six hours after the presence of tetanus is definitely indicated. The
liquid solution is protected from contamination by germs in the atmosphere
by a small admixture of phenol. The dry preparation, on the other hand,
requires no such antiseptic while in that form, but when dissolved in water
it becomes subject to deterioration, which may be prevented by the addition
of I per cent of chloroform.

The tetanus solution is of fivefold strength, that is, i gram of the liquid
contains fi\^ antitoxic units, and in this form it is put up in sealed 5-gram
vials. In presence of wounds which give reason to fear lockjaw or other

Digitized by LjOOQ IC


form of tetanus, a small subcutaneous injection of the solution is made, the
quantity used being proportionate to the condition of the patient and
the time that has elapsed since the injury was received. In all cases, the
wound should be antiseptically treated, so as to prevent as far as possible
the further generation of poison in the blood.

Tetanus is a disease of seldom occurrence in this section of Germany,
and opportunities to test the remedy in actual practice are comparatively
rare. One such case has been recently treated at the Hospital of the Holy
Spirit, in Frankfort, the record of which is officially and minutely given.

On the 19th of September last, a coppersmith (L. M.), 25 years of age
and resident in Frankfort, experienced after exposure to thorough wetting
severe pains and stiffness in the muscles of the neck and throat. Two days
after the first symptoms appeared he came under treatment by a physician,
who kept the patient in bed and administered chloral and salcylate of soda.
The symptoms of tetanus continued to develop, and on the night of the 29th
of September became so marked and violent that on the following day the
patient was transferred to the hospital. A careful examination revealed a
small cut or scratch under the right ear, then nearly healed, and so slight in
outward appearance that it had passed almost unnoticed. At the time of
admission to the hospital the patient was growing rapidly worse. The chin
was twisted far to the left, the head drawn backward and immovable, and the
muscles of the body, especially the back and abdomen, were hard and tensely
drawn. The patient was isolated in a dark room and treated with subcuta-
neous injections of morphine, which gave no relief. The slightest noise or
disturbance, such as the entrance of the physician or nurse into the darkened
room, induced severe spasms, and the condition of the sufferer continued to
grow steadily worse. At 4 o'clock in the afternoon of October i a prolonged
spasm of intense severity left no further doubt of a fully developed case of
tetanus, and half an hour later 5 grams of the hundred-unit antitoxin, dis-
solved in 50 grams of water, were injected hypodermically at three places on
the breast.

During the evening of the same day, a slight but definite improvement
was observed, and this continued throughout the following day, the spasms
being fewer and of shorter duration than before the antitoxin had been ad-
ministered. This condition was maintained from the 3d to the 6th of Octo-
ber, when the acute symptoms gradually returned and by 9 o'clock in the
evening, became so severe that a second dose of 4 grams of normal antitoxin
was administered as before, with the result that before the next morning the

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign CommerceConsular reports, Issues 196-199 → online text (page 19 of 82)