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

Consular reports, Issues 196-199 online

. (page 26 of 82)
Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign CommerceConsular reports, Issues 196-199 → online text (page 26 of 82)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

the smaller ones owned by the farmers and capitalists of small means, and
has thus led to bitter feeling and recriminations between the two classes of
sugar manufacturers. The new law also fixed the internal revenue tax on
manufacture so low as to have but little value to the State, the revenue yielded

Digitized by LjOOQ IC


being wholly out of proportion to the heavy export bounties to be paid,
which have become, more than ever before, a burden to the treasury.

The effects of the new statute have now become apparent and ominous.
The foreign sugar market responded to the increased export bounty by a
proportionate decline in price, so that the German exporter now receives
only the same price for his sugar as before, and of this price, the Germaft
Government pays more and the foreign consumer less than hitherto, so that
the net result has been not to encourage the German sugar industry, but
to supply Great Britain, the United States, and other importing countries
with cheaper sugar, and thus further demoralize and weaken the general

Moreover, there is in the question of European sugar production a dis-
tinct issue of international politics, which, on the part of France, and to
some degree of Austria, almost outweighs the purely economic or commer-
cial features of the subject. It was expected, or at least hoped, that the
gradual extinction of export bounties decreed by the German law of 1892
would be followed by a similar reduction of such premiums by other pro-
ducing countries, but this result did not follow. Efforts were made to reach
an international agreement, but they all failed, and this failure led to the
reversal of policy by Germany in the legislation of last spring. So, now,
again, France has answered the enhanced German export bounties by a
similar increase, and the other producing countries are reported as prepar-
ing to follow the same lead. The contest thus precipitated is one of far-
reaching import, the naked issue being which country can afford to spend
the most monf y to bolster up its sugar exports.

Finally, the effect of the new law has been to greatly stimulate the pro-
duction of sugar in Germany. Many of the existing factories are enlarging
their capacity and extending their operations, new factories, including some
for the manufacture of sugar from imported molasses, are projected, and
the makers of sugar machinery are unable to supply the increased demand
for new equipments. The increased capacity is mainly on the part of wealthy
and powerful companies, whose advantage over the smaller establishments
is thus rapidly augmented.

The situation is, on the whole, so menacing that, according to definite
reports, a majority of the German sugar manufacturers and beet growers
would gladly go back, if such a thing were possible, to the conditions which
existed prior to the enactment of last May. Since, however, this is not
practicable, the Reichstag will be petitioned to make certain amendments in
the existing statute, with the object of revising the method of '* Contingenti-
rung" so as to restrict instead of stimulating production, and to invite in-
ternational negotiations for the gradual abolition of all export bounties,
which have been proven to be simply a burden on the treasury which pays
them for the benefit of nonproducing foreign countries. •

Whether the German Parliament, after conceding, hardly six months
ago, all that was asked of it, will consent to enter upon another legislative

Digitized by LjOOQ IC


contest over a subject which involves such hostility between parties and pri-
vate interests, remains to be seen, and it may well be doubted whether
France and other competing countries will be willing to withdraw from a
conflict in which Germany has so lately, through her increased export boun-
ties, thrown down the gage of battle.

If the attempt at revision fails before the Reichstag, there will then re-
main, in the opinion of practical men, but one way out of the dilemma —
the organization of the whole German sugar-producing interest into a syndi-
cate, similar to those which govern the production of coke, seed oils, potash
salts, and other leading products in this country; an organization which
shall, by its own regulations, carefully restrain overproduction and be con-
tent with what can be done to control prices of sugar by commercial action
and by regulating the supply in home and foreign markets.


Frankfort, November 289 i8g6. Consul- General.


The following data are taken from the publications of the imperial statis-
tical bureau and Licht's reports:

The beet-sugar "campaign'* year 1895-96 in Germany proved more
favorable than the preceding one. Although the area under cultivation had
been reduced and the yield per hectare diminished, the saccharine contents
of the beet were higher and the average price of raw sugar better than in
1894-95. Owing to the Cuban troubles, the price rose as high as 13.25
marks (J3. 15) per cwt. (110.23 pounds) and reached an average per year of
11.25 marks ($2.68), against 9.55 marks (J2.27) in 1894-95, or an increase
of nearly 18 per cent. If the total sugar production of 1,615,111 tons
(1,589,592 long tons) is multiplied by this average price of 11.25 marks
($2.68)per cwt. (110.23 pounds), or 225 marks (J5 3. 5 5) per ton (0.9842 long
ton), we find the total money value of the German raw-sugar crop to have
been 363,400,000 marks ($86,489, 200), against 35 1, 719,000 marks (§83, 709,-
000) in 1894-95. The total area under cultivation being 376,669 hectares
(930,749 acres), each hectare (2.471 acres) yielded therefore a raw profit of
965.04 marks (J229.68), against 796.75 marks ($189.63) in 1894-95. The
average agricultural expenses are estimated at 480 marks ($114.24) per hec-
tare (2.471 acres); the working expenses in the factory at 80 pfennigs (19
cents) per double cwt. (220.46 pounds) of beets, and 310 double cwts.
(68,342 pounds) being produced per hectare, the working expenses per hec-
tare are therefore 310 by 80 pfennigs, equal to 248 marks ($59.02), which
amount added to the above 480 marks ($114.24) brings the total expenses to
728 marks ($173.26), leaving a net profit per hectare (2.471 acres) of 965.04
marks ($2 29. 68) minus 728 marks ($1 73. 26), or 237.04 marks ($56.42), against

Digitized by LjOOQ IC


53.55 marks (^12.74) in 1894-95. Interest on the capital invested and amor-
tization are not included in this calculation.

The area under cultivation was reduced from 441,441 hectares (1,090,-
800 acres) in 1894-95 to 376,669 hectares (930,749 acres), or about 142^3
per cent.

The yield per hectare (2.471 acres) was 31 tons (30.51 long tons), against
32.9 tons (32.38 long tons) in 1894-95; 43.94 per cent of the beets were
grown by the factories and 56.06 percent bought, against 41.64 percent
grown and 58.36 percent bought in 1894-95.

The number of factories in operation was reduced from 405 in 1894-95
to 397 — three new factories having been established and eleven closed, nine
permanently and two temporarily.

The beet crop was 2,848,213 tons (2,803,210 long tons) less than in
1894-95, being 11,672,816 tons (11,488,385 long tons), against 14,521,029
tons (14,291,596 long tons) in 1894-95, or a decrease of 19.61 per cent.

The number of steam engines and horsepower used in the factories was
5,320 and 97,977, respectively, against 5,324 and 94,952 in 1894-95.

The average time required to manufacture the beets into raw sugar was
seventy-five days, against ninety-nine days in 1894-95.

The saccharine contents were 13.19 per cent, against 12.2 per cent in


To manufacture i cwt. of raw sugar, 7.58 cwts. of beets were required,
against 8.2 cwts. in 1894-95.

One hectare (2.471 acres) yielded 4.296 tons (4.228 long tons) of raw
sugar, against 4.164 tons (4.098 long tons) in 1894-95.

The total production of raw sugar in Germany was 1,615,111 tons (1,5 89,-
592 long tons), against 1,841,461 tons (1,812,366 long tons) in 1894-95, a
decrease of 226,350 tons (222,774 long tons), or 12.3 per cent.

The export decreased from 1, 073, 590 tons (1,05 6, 62 7 long tons) in 1 894-95
to 964,963 tons (949,717 long tons).

The home consumption increased from 623,874 tons (614,017 long tons)
in 1894-95 to 730,784 tons (719,238 long tons), or 106,910 tons (105,221
long tons)=i7.i4 per cent. This increase is, however, only apparent, and
was largely caused by the stipulations of the new sugar law, which increased
the home-consumption tax from 18 marks (J4.28) to 20 marks (J4.76) per
double cwt. (220.46 pounds) and thereby caused an extensive withdrawal of
sugar from the bonded stores just prior to its going into effect.

The average consumption of sugar per head of population was 12.72 kilo-
grams (28.04 pounds), against 10.7 kilograms (23.59 pounds) in 1894-95,
which increase, however, for the reason just stated, should be discounted

The tax on sugar, less export bounties, yielded to the Government 103,-
701,000 marks (^24,680,838), against 85,714,000 marks ($20,399,932) in
1894-95^ which equals a tax of 1.97 marks (47 cents) per head of population,
against 1.65 marks (39 cents) in 1894-95.

Digitized by LjOOQ IC


The total raw-sugar production in Europe was as follows:










Denmark, Sweden, Italy, Roumania, and Spain..


X06, 829

Total- S^spstsa;










*4,3a4,xx9 long tons and 4,713,73a long tons; by long tons is meant tons of 2,240 pounds.

Magdeburg, December 14, i8g6.




On the 6th instant, I had the honor to report to the Department con*
cerning the then largely advertised sale by auction of 10,000 dozen bottles
of champagne reexported from New York. I now have pleasure in reporting
the completion of the sale, which occurred on October 14, together with
further particulars. As before stated, the sale of so immense a quantity
(120,000 quart bottles) of champagne at one time created great excitement
in the wine and spirit trade and it was feared the market might be injuriously
affected. The bottles bore the labels of a New York wine house and the
wine was of the production of Messrs. Piper- Heidsieck, premier quality,
having been warehoused in New York early in 1894. So serious was the
view taken of the matter by the French wine exporters and their agents that
I am informed they gave warning to their English clients that the wine was
not up to the standard consumed in England. Even Messrs. Pi per- Heidsieck
or their agents notified their English customers that the wine was not Piper-
Heidsieck in the sense that the brand was understood in England. I am
told that an agent of the house in London intimated that it ought never to
have been exported. It is represented as containing from 10 to 12 per cent
of liquor sweetening, which renders it entirely unvaluable for the English

The sampling of the wine by English connoisseurs has caused them to
ask the question, whether this wine is of the average quality America'h con-
sumers put into their stomachs.

Nevertheless, the sale was considered a success and the prices realized
were considered satisfactory. A Bradford house sent in a bid for a large
quantity at II6.57 per dozen, which was not high enough to secure any of it.
It is supposed it was purchased largely by speculative dealers for export to

Digitized by



Other countries or for sale to foreigners resident in England who have a taste
for sweet wine.

The wine was in quantities of 6,662 baskets of i dozen bottles each and
3,311 baskets of 2 dozen half bottles each, and was sold in lots of 10 dozen
bottles and 20 dozen half bottles.

The first parcel of bottles offered was per Manitoba from New York, en-
tered July 1, 1896, lying at the Metropolitan vaults. Lot i was knocked down
at {12.65 P^"^ dozen, the next three lots at {10.70, after which five lots were
taken out at {9. 75 ; there was then a drop to {8. 75 for several lots, after
which {8.50, then gradually down to $7.80, {7.55, and {7.30, a considerable
number of lots being taken out at the latter figure. The price rose again to
{7.55, which was the rule for some fifty lots, after which it advanced to I7.80,
I8.03, and {8.27 for the remainder, being the great bulk of this parcel.

The next parcel was the half bottles, which started at {9.75 per 2 dozen,
but speedily came down to {9.25 and {9, the bulk being taken out at the
latter figure.

The second parcel of bottles, per Mobile from New York, entered Sep-
tember 24, 1896, started at {8.27 for a considerable number of lots, and
afterwards fluctuated between that figure and {8.03, the larger proportion
being sold at the latter.

The same wine in half bottles again started at {9. 25 for four lots in suc-
cession, and rapidly fell to {9 and {8.75, and so on to {8.50, and ultimately
to I8.27, at which most of the remainder, being the bulk of the parcel, was
disposed of. The sale occupied about two and a half hours.

From this it would appear the wine realized for the New York bankers
who exported it from {90,000 to {100,000.


Bradford, October 21, i8g6. Consul.


For the information of manufacturers of the United States, I append the
rate of wages agreed upon by the Bradford Chamber of Commerce for weav-
ers in this district. While this scale is not obligatory, it is the one in general
use. Any deviation from it is likely to be rather more than less, much de-
pending upon circumstances.

Dress goods , linings , etc.y yo-yards warp.

All weaves up to and including 8 shafts, woven with any one color of warp with
white weft, per pick per one-fourth inch :

Upto and including 38-inch reed space ^.04

Above 38-inch, but not exceeding 47-inch, reed space 05

Above 47-inch, but not exceeding 57-inch, reed space 05

Above 57-inch, but not exceeding 66-inch, reed space. 05^

Above 66-inch, but not exceeding 76-inch, reed space 06^

Digitized by LjOOQ IC




Up to and



Above 57-
inch reed

White mohair and mixture or colored weft other than alpaca.. per pick..

Alpaca, gray :

(a) Plain weave (i by i) do

(b) Twills do

Single-twist botany warps :

(a) Over 7a set, and with more than 18 picks per one-fourth inch do

(b) All other single-twist worsted warps do

Stripes in warp, up to 8 shafts, inclusive :

(a) Up to 4 colors, inclusive do

(b) 5 colors or more do

Drafted stripes, with or without extra shafts do

Shafts above 8, whether dobbies or tappits... per shaft..


(a) Up to and including 3 shuttles per pick..

(b) Above 3 shuttles do

(c) Skip or drop do

Pick and pick looms do

(a) Jacquards.. do

(b) Jacquards, with alpaca weft do

Cop weft do

Weft of 16s count and thicker do

I weaver to x loom (for special weaves) do

Rdlers or extra beams per piece..

Below 9 picks do

Warps of 140 yards or shorter for the whole warp..

I end of warp in i reed per piece of 70 yards..

Extra for finding pick, excepting all plain (x by i) weaves and goods made from al-
paca.. «..peT piece of 70 yards..









Coatings y up to 84-inch reed space; speedy 120 to ijo picks per minute y yo yards warp.

All weavers up to 8 shafts, i weaver to 2 looms, per pick, 7^ cents; all weavers up to 12
shafts, I weaver to i loom, 1 1 cents.


Plain drafted stripes : Cents. Cmts.

Up to 3 colors per pick... oj^

4 colors or more do *t%

Cross drafted stripes :

Up to 3 colors do ♦ij^

4 colors or more do ♦«

Colored weft, except where color is paid for in the warp, as in the four preceding
cases per pick..


Revolving do

Skip or drop do

Jacquards do

Looms running 110 to X19 picks per minute^ do

* There was a difference of opinion as to these three items ; the chamber's representatives contended that

they should be half a cent lower in each case.

I weaver to —

z loom. a looms,






Digitized by





X weaver to —

Per pitct.

Above 8 shafts per shaft...

Above la shafts do

Above 80 set each 5 sett...

Above a shuttles per shuttle...

A second beam......

Below 9 picks

Warps shorter than 140 yards for the whole warp...

I loom.




Bradford, November ij^ i8g6.

a looms.






Enormous though the demand for South Wales coal certainly is, it never
seems to get ahead of the supply ; consequently, the fluctuations in prices are
seldom very marked, but are notable for the lowness of the figures.

The wages of the operatives being governed by a "sliding scale,** which
manifests a tendency to slide downward, it is no wonder that among the
multitude of counselors who are suggesting remedies the representatives of
the wage earners should draft a scheme the avowed object of which is "to
secure such prices for the coals as will guaranty reasonable profits to the
owners or operators and fair wages to the workmen."

Wages are regulated according to a standard basis (which I have in a
previous report explained) and the following table will show what has been
the efl*ect upon wages since the end of 1892 :

Reduc- above
Date. tions. standard.

April 1, 1893 (>% nH

June I, 1893 31^ 10

June I, 1894 2% 27>^

August I, 1894 3^ 23^

October 1,1894 1% 22J<^

December i, 1894 i^ 21^

February i, 1895 i)( 20

April I, 1895 'X ^^H

June 1, 1895 iX 1V/2

August I, 1895 2y2 15

October 1,1895 ^Vz '2>^

February 1,1896 i^ iij^

October i, 1896 1% 10

Digitized by



Advances, standard.

August I, i893„ iX "X

October I, 1893 iX 12)^

December I, 1893 7^ 20

February i, 1894 6^ 26X

April I, 1894. 3}i 30

No change.

December I, 1895 (no change on preceding audit) 12^

June I, 1896 (no change on preceding audit) ii^

August I, 1896 (no change on preceding audit) ilj^

Following are the "suggested terras of an alliance between the South Wales
and Monmouthshire coal owners and colliery workers * * which have been drawn
up by the workmen *s representatives on the sliding-scale committee and sub-
mitted to the employers as a basis for determining a selling price and for
joint action against those firms which might **cut" that price, and so — by
operation of the sliding scale — lower the workmen's wages, etc. :

(i) The object of the alliance shall be to secure such prices for cool as will guaranty a
reasonable proBt to the owner and fair wages to the workmen.

(2) It shall be a recognized principle of the alliance that both proBts and wages shall
always be so regulated as to insure only fair and reasonable prices for coal, so that the South
Wales trade may not be endangered by such excessive charges as to directly invite outside
British or foreign competition.

(3) The workmen shall be paid a minimum wage upon the standard rates of 1879.

(4) To secure the object of the alliance, there shall be an undertaking by both parties to
support each other in any reasonable and proper manner for the purpose of enabling them
to resist mutually the attempts of any who may try to make the South Wales and Monmouth-
shire mining industry inadequately remunerative to one or both parties either by selling coal
below the price agreed upon or by directly or indirectly reducing wages below the standard
rates recognized by the owners and the workmen at the other collieries working the same

(5) It being well known that prices are now materially reduced by speculative middle-
men, who contract to sell coal before they have purchased it, no employer shall make contracts
with such middlemen, unless they have obtained a quotation prior to the sale.

(6) This undertaking shall include a pledge on the part of the owners not to employ any
but skilled workmen, and on the part of the workmen not to work for any but associated coal
owners or those who (although not members of the association for the time being) are pre-
pared to sell coal at the prices agreed upon by the federated coal owners.

(7) Should it be necessary at anytime for the maintenance of the principles of the alliance
to call out the workmen employed by any colliery owner or owners, such workmen shall be
jointly supported — by the owners making every effort to give employment elsewhere, and by
the workmen giving financial support.

(8) It shall be dbtinctly understood that the alliance shall in no way interfere with the
right of the employer to maintain entire control over the internal management of his own col-
liery ; neither shall the alliance prevent in any way the employer from introducing any im-
proved method of production, providing such method does not carry with it a reduction in the
wages of the workmen or increased danger to life and limb.

(9) For the purpose of fixing the selling price of coal at a point that will permit the agreed-
upon minimum wage, a computation shall be made of the average cost of production for the
whole of the coal field for the last three years, either by taking the cost of production for each
colliery or a selected number of collieries working the different seams, whichever may be

Digitized by LjOOQ IC


matually agreed upon, and the average cost, taken with the minimum wage, shall establish a
minimum selling price for the different kinds or seams of coal.

(lo) The selling price of coal above this point to be fixed by the associated owners from
time to time ; and, for the purpose of maintaining the agreed-upon fixed price of coal above the
minimum, the workmen agree to cooperate with the owners to prevent underselling upon
the terms incorporated in the foregoing clauses.

(ii) That the working of the double shift in mines, except in case of emergency, be con-
sidered a violation of the principle of this scheme.

(12) This alliance shall form part of the present sliding-scale agreement or any future
sUding-scale agreement or other system of agreement that may be decided upon by South
Wales and Monmouthshire coal owners and workmen, or their respective representatives, as
a method for regulating wages and other matters pertaining to the mining industry.

A general meeting of the coal owners is to be held at an early date for
the purpose of considering the scheme, which will probably be modified to
some extent, judging from the criticisms already heaped upon it; but as its
main object is said to be to protect by cooperation the joint interests of
both employers and workmen, there can be no question that the operators
will be only too glad to do whatever will commend itself to their wisdom in
the interests of the coal trade. In fact, the workmen claim to have been
requested by the employers to submit a scheme, and, read between the lines,
it is evident that the men hope to put an end to the power of middlemen
contracting to supply coal at certain prices before receiving from the operators
quotations and thus arranging future deliveries on speculative lines. It is
worthy of note that the workmen claim to have no desire to better them-
selves at the expense of the trade of the district, and that they are open to
accept a better scheme from the employers. As to what steps the Coal
Owners' Association will take it is impossible to say until after its promise
to discuss the scheme in question has been fulfilled.

Another scheme has been devised, the author of which is a leading col-
liery proprietor (and a member of the British Parliament), Mr. David A.
Thomas, who, according to to-day's press, has elaborated a project and pre-
sented the same privately to his fellow-operators for their consideration.
Unless a breach of faith occurs (as was the case with regard to the scheme
of the operatives), the details will not be made public until after their dis-
cussion in meeting assembled.

Far deeper interest is evinced in the scheme propounded by Mr. Thomas

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign CommerceConsular reports, Issues 196-199 → online text (page 26 of 82)