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

Consular reports, Issues 196-199 online

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than in the other, and although many are disposed to criticise and prejudge
it before they know exactly what it is, people generally are allowing the wish
to be '* father to the thought" and are eagerly hoping that it will result in
reducing the *' ruinous effects of competition '' to a minimum, notwithstand-
ing the recognized difficulty in formulating a practical scheme to raise and
afterwards maintain prices artificially, to prevent jealousies among sellers,
and to secure something like unanimity.

However, it is stated that the twenty leading coal firms in this district
control more than 80 per cent of the total steam-coal production and that
" the increased output of these twenty firms has been over 3,000,000 ton§
No. 197 3.

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during the past half dozen years,'* and that, of the 2,218,000 tons of in-
crease shown in the coal export returns for the United Kingdom in 1895, as
compared with 1891, no less than ** 2,060,000 tons is accounted for by the
increase from the Bristol Channel ports. ' ' It requires no very deep powers of
penetration to perceive that if the main object of the scheme — to enhance
the prices — is to be attained, there must necessarily be more or less of re-
striction of output, and what particular arrangement is suggested for regula-
ting the supply remains to be seen. Anyway, however ingenious the adopted
scheme may be, this much is certain, that its success will be insured only
by cooperation, than which nothing is more uncertain where there is keen

Cardiff, October 12, i8g6, ConsuL


On Monday of this week, a step fraught with serious possibilities to all
concerned was taken by the majority of the tin platers of South Wales, who
gave notices to their employers to the effect that contracts would cease at
the end of the current month.

For a long time past the men have chafed considerably under the stag-
nation of trade and the lowness of wages which have prevailed, but their
union has not been successful hitherto in bringing them into line to enforce
their demands or to prevent the scheme of a board of control resulting in a
chimera. Now, however, the demand for a restoration of the 1874 list of
wages is presented with a greater show of unanimity than has ever been wit-
nessed before. This action was the outcome of a resolution on the part of
the council of the union three months ago, and no effort has been spared
to insure unanimity, with the result that the employees of 249 mills have
joined the movement. The total number of mills in operation at present of
the 502 mills in the trade is 310, hence the number of such not represented
in this movement is 61. It is extremely difficult, therefore, to foretell the out-
come, but the manufacturers evidently view the situation with alarm, for, in
many instances, they had no sooner received the notices from the workmen
than similar ones were handed by the employers to the foremen and others
whose services may be dispensed with in the event of a stoppage of the mills.

Presumably the result will depend upon the course of trade during the
current month and the state of the market at its close, and if the conditions
will warrant their doing so, the employers will doubtless be glad to restore
the list, as was done on the whole a year ago. The contention of the opera-
tives, put into a sentence, is: **We ask for fair wages, and it is for the
employers to secure fair prices.**

The difference between the average wages now paid and those under the
1874 list is said to be 15 per cent, and it is contended that, American com-

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petition notwithstanding, there should be no difficulty in advancing the prices
of tin plates sufficiently to provide for an increase of 15 per cent on the
labor cost, inasmuch as the price of plates would respond to the price of labor,
as it has recently to the advanced price of steel.

I may add that on Saturday last, a general advance of 10 per cent on
wages was accorded to the tin bar-steel workers, and this fact lends emphasis
to the demand of the tin platers, who are consequently sanguine regarding
their own demands. It is computed that an increase of 6 cents per box of
tin plates would suffice to meet the labor demand for an advance of 15 per
cent. The latest quotations for Bessemer steel coke are I2.37 to |2.6i ;
Siemen's (coke finish), |2.6i to $2.67; terms, per double box, 28 by 20 C,
$4.19, ^4.44, J5.34; best charcoal, I3.34 to ^3.40, according to finish of
brand; wasters, 12 to 24 cents per box less than primes — all delivered in

The decrease in exports to the United States continues.

Exports of tin plate from Great Britain to the United States^ i8g2 to i8g6 (in tons of 2^40











September. .










8a, 366













x6, 186












Z9, Z25



32, 382





20, Z90




15, 784




94, 750


Cardiff, October 12 ^ i8g6.




I have the honor, at the request of Mr. G. I. Th. Beelaerts van Blok-
land, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the South African
Republic, to transmit herewith a copy of the aliens law of the South Afri-
can Republic, which will come into force on January i, 1897, together with
a translation of the same.

In handing me the above, Mr. Beelaerts van Blokland expresses the hope
that it may be given publicity in the press of the United States.


The Hague, December 7, i8q6. Minister,

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Text of the Law.

Mr. Montagu White, the consul-general of the South African Republic, has issued the fol-
lowing translation of the aliens law of the South African Republic, which will come into force
on January i next :


Whereas it having been found necessary to make r^ulations with regard to the admission
of aliens into this Republic, it is hereby made known that, in accordance with article 6 of the
Grondwet, the following regulations have been made :

Article i. All foreigners will be admitted into this Republic, provided they are fur-
nished with a proper foreign passport, given by, or on behalf of, the government of the
country to which they belong and visaed by a consul or consular official of the Republic.

Art. 2. Such passport must show that the said foreigner has sufficient means of subsist-
ence or can obtain such by his work.

Art. 3. Failmg the possession of a passport, as aforementioned, foreigners may be ad-
mitted on letters of indication, or even on mere mention of their names, provided, however,
they can prove their identity and can show that they can fulfill the conditions laid down in
article 2 to the satisfaction of the authorities named hereafter.

Art. 4. Admission is granted by the field comet at the place of first arrival, or, on cross-
ing the frontier, by the official appointed by the Government, through the issue of a traveling
and residing passport.

Art. 5. Such traveling and residing passport shall be valid for a period of three months,
but can each time be renewed for a further three months by the field comet of the place
where the foreigner is residing. Such renewal can only be refused through nonfulfillment of
the requirements laid down in article 2. The decision of the field comet shall be subject to
an appeal to the Government

Art. 6. Foreigners who, when applying for a renewal of their traveling and residing
passports, declare that they intend to settle in the Republic, need only renew their traveling
and residing passports once a year; provided always that they give the required guaranty that
they will be obedient to the laws of the country by making a sworn or other declaration to
the satisfaction of the field comet.

Art. 7. The above regulations shall not be applicable to foreigners who may be already
residing in the Republic on the coming into force of this law, or who have been duly rois-
tered according to law at the field comet's office, or who may so register themselves within
one month.

Art. 8. Traveling and residing passports, as mentioned in this law, must be shown on
demand to any landdrost, mining commissioner, resident justice of the peace, or field comet.

Art. 9. Foreigners who are residing within the Republic contrary to the conditions of this
law and who are not in possession of the necessary traveling and residing passports can be
expelled from the country according to law No. 25 of 1896.

Art. 10. This law shall come into force on the 1st of January, 1897.


I have the honor to call attention to certain recent enactments, laws, or
orders concerning gold export and buying which threaten to breed in the
near future considerable trouble between the local authorities here and the for-
eign merchants.

The gold traffic has always been practically an illicit one, carried on sub
rosa by all foreigners in Madagascar, irrespective of nationality or of moral

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status, the gold being carried on board by parties shipping and entered on
the purser's manifest as "specie.*'

A law was recently promulgated at Antananarivo by being published in
the Ny Gazety Malagasy, of July 31, which, after making various provisions
relative to gold mining and mining of precious metals and stones, affects
most seriously this traffic in gold. Article 27 of said law provides for an
annual license fee of 1,800 francs (^347. 40) for permission to carry on said
traffic. It declares that miners who sell their own produce are not to be con-
sidered as engaging in said traffic, but provides further that every trader must
keep such books as the administration shall prescribe, and that such books
are open to and shall be visaed by the Government's agents. Article 32
provides a penalty of from 100 to 1,000 francs (I19.30 to I193) and impris-
onment for from one to five da)rs for such traders as do not keep such books
or who refuse to exhibit them, with forfeiture of materials seized in the latter
case. Article 34 provides a penalty of 1,000 to 25,000 francs (^193 to
14,825) and imprisonment for from three months to three years for such
traders as without license engage in a traffic in gold, precious metals, or
stones, and a like penalty for anyone engaging in the trade of buying such
metals or stones in the rough from a person not holding a working permit
or a vendor's license.


Tamatave, August 18, i8g6. Consul,


The following is a translation of the law referred to in the foregoing re-
port and transmitted by Consul Wetter under date of September i, 1896:

Mining of Gold, Precious Metals, and Precious Stones in Madagascar.

I, Ranavalomanjaka III, having succeeded to the title of my ancestors and, under the do-
minion of the French Republic, Queen of Madagascar and defender of the laws of my coun-
try, do promulgate the following law :


Article i. The present law is applicable to alluvions, pockets, beds, and lodes contain-
ing gold or other precious metals, such as silver and platinum and precious stones.

The mining of other mineral substances is regulated by special law.

If complex deposits containing both common and precious metals are discovered, the chief
of the service of mines shall decide, aAer inquiry, as to which of the two laws must control
their working.

Art. 2. French citizens, subjects, and protig^ as well as foreigners are permitted to pros-
pect for and to work mines; natives must be authorized by the governor of their province,
under the approval of the resident.

French and native functionaries of the administration of Madagascar in active service are
prohibited from engaging in prospecting for and in working mines.

Art. 3. Mining can be carried on only within the mining districts declared opened to
public working.

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Prospecting can be done in territory not declared opened to public working under the
conditions set forth in the following title :


Art. 4. Anyone desirous of prospecting in territory not declared opened to public work-
ing must apply for a prospecting permit either to the service of mines at Tananarivo or to a
resident. This permit is granted upon payment of the sum of 25 francs (^.83). It is valid
for one year, and is renewable indefinitely under like procedure. It grants the right of pros-
pecting beyond the declared districts and of setting up prospect signals.

Art. 5. A prospect signal is a stake 2 meters (6 feet 6^ inches) high, to which a placard
has been affixed, bearing, in the French language, the name of the discoverer, the place and
date of his permit's issuance, the date of the setting up of the signal, and the notification that
gold, the precious metals, and precious stones are the objects of his quest.

A signal can not be set up at a less distance than 5 kilometers (3.10688 miles) from every
already established signal; it must be located on the outside of every mining district already
declared opened to public working. Signals set up by the same discoverer must be distant
at least 25 kilometers (15.5344 miles) from one another.

As soon as a signal is set up, the discoverer must give notice of it in writing to the resi-
dent of the province, who will inform the service of mines at Tananarivo thereof. The
discoverer must indicate with all possible precision the place where the signal is set, failing
which indication the notice can be held as void.

The notice is recorded in a special raster, with notation of the date and hour of its re-
ceipt by the resident.

Art. 6. The discoverer has the sole right of digging within a circle of 2^ kilometers
(1.55344 miles) radius around each of the signals which he has set up, on condition of keep-
ing outside of the circles already occupied by other discoverers and of the mining districts
declared opened to public working.

It is forbidden to make any excavations (i) within the grounds of works of public utility;
(2) in the roads and pathways and in their dependencies; (3) within a zone of 50 meters (164
feet o}4 inch) around works of art ; (4) within burial places and within a zone of 10 meters
(32 feet 9.1 inches) around; (5) upon lands fenced in by walls and within a zone of 50
meters (164 feet oyi inch) around any houses and wells and of 10 meters (32 feet 9.1 inches)
around any inclosures, without special authorization of the owner.

On uninclosed property, if the proprietor of the soil opposes the excavation, the same
can not be undertaken but under authorization of the resident of the province.

Art. 7. The discoverer is responsible for any temporary or permanent damages sustained
because of any excavation by the lands or husbandry. All damages of this nature give cause
for an indemnity in double the accruing injury.

The competent judge shall be the justice of the peace whenever the dispute shall not
have been raised wholly between natives.


Art. 8. Every prospector who has discovered a deposit outside of a declared mining
district and who desires to work same must address on that subject a declaration to the
service of mines at Tananarivo.

The declaration shall be recorded in a special register, with notation of the date and hour
when it was received.

The service of mines shall proceed to an inquiry, in consequence whereof it will decide
if there be cause either to declare one or more mining districts opened or to attach the db-
covered deposits to any of the already declared mining districts.

Art. 9. If one or more new mining districts are declared, the service of mines shall de-
cide who are the persons that ought to enjoy, in each of said districts, the rights of discoverer
as defined in article 1 1.

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The service of mines fixes the dimensions and the rentals of mining lots (claims) in each
district conformable to the following provisions:

Lots (claims) are divided into three classes :

(l) The lot in rich alluvions is a square 100 meters (328 feet I inch) each side; (2) the
lot (claim) in less rich alluvions and in diamonds in rock is a rectangle 200 by 250 meters
(636 feet 2 inches by 820 feet 2)^ inches); (3) the lot (claim) in poor alluvions in deep
placers and in lodes is a rectangle 240 meters by i kilometer (787 feet 4| inches by 3,280
feet 10 inches). For each of these classes the monthly rental is fixed by the service of mines.

The rentals may be revised every two years in order to keep account of ihe ratio between
the yield in gold, precious metals, or precious stones, which served as a basis for the previous
fixing of prices and the actually proven yield during the last six months.

Art. 10. Each mining district is placed under the control of a commissioner of mines,
whose powers are defined in articles 12, 15, 16, 21, 25, and 28 of the present law. The
residents can be invested, by order of the resident-general, with the functions of commissioner
of mines.

Art. II. During the week which follows the installation of the commissioner of mines,
the discoverers, nominated conformably to article 9, have the right to mark ofi* for themselves,
respectively, around the signals which they have set up and which they have described in
their declarations, a number of contiguous lots (claims) which must not exceed eighty; the
smaller dimension of the entire piece of ground must not be less than a quarter of the larger
one. One of these lots (claims) which the discoverer has the right to designate will be
exempted from rental for ten years.

Art. 12. During the three weeks following, the commissioner of mines will designate
what sections of the mining district shall be placed under the different lot (claim) classifica-
tions. On the thirty-first day afler his installation, he will declare that the mining district is
actually opened to public working.

Art. 13. Anyone, other than the discoverer, who desires to obtain any mining lots (claims)
must apply to the commissioner of mines for a corresponding number of permits and deposit
the first month's rental thereon. The number of permits that can be granted to the same
person can not exceed ten.

The application will be recorded in a special register, with notation of the hour and date
when it was filed.

The permit is issued, according to the order of record, within the briefest delay. It con-
tains mention of the date and hour of its issuance. Nevertheless the prospectors who shall
have set up a prospecting signal within the mining district prior to the date of the first
declaration of its opening have right of priority over other applicants.

Art. 14. Anyone provided with a certain number of permits of any of the three classes
has the right to peg off an equal number of contiguous lots (claims) of that class within the
regions designated therefor by the commissioner of mines. Any lot (claim) or group of lots
(claims) belonging to the same person must have the boundaries established by stakes of a
diameter of at least 5 centimeters (1.9685 inches) and extending above the soil at least i
meter (39.37 inches). They can not be further than 25 meters (82 feet o){ inch) apart for
lots (claims) of the first class, nor further than 50 meters (164 feet o}4 inch) for lots (claims)
of the second and third classes. The comer stakes, of a height of 2 meters (6 feet 6^ inches),
must bear a placard indicating, in the French language, the number of lots (claims), the name
of the occupant, the date and hour of the issuance of the corresponding permits, and the
date of the location. Every lot pegged off must be declared to the commissioner of mines
and will receive a class number, which must be inscribed upon the placards of the four comer

Art. 15. If a contention arises between miners on account of the pegging off of a lot
(claim), the contest must be brought before the commissioner of mines, who settles it, taking
into consideration the seniority of date of the titles which he has delivered and the rights of
priority which result therefrom. The pieces of ground which remain unoccupied between

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the lots (claims) and whose dimensions are less than those of a full lot (claim), may be assigned
to one of the occupants of the neighboring lots (claims) on condition that he takes out a
special title for each such piece.

In case of rivalry for the assignment of these pieces of land, the commissioner of mines
must proceed to sell same by auction to the holders of the contiguous lots (claims) ; the
bids must be for a sum, to be immediately ]>aid in, in excess of the rentals.


Section I. — Duties and obligations of holders of mining lots (claims) toward the State.

Art. 16. If the holder of a mining. lot (claim) fails to pay in advance the corresponding
monthly rental, a delay of five days will be granted him; after this delay, the commissioner
of mines will cause its sale at auction to be announced for the twenty-fifth day following, up
to which date the miner has the rights to prevent the placing of his lot (claim) on sale by
paying the rental due and a fine of 2 francs (39 cents) for each day of delay, failing which
it escheats to the profit of the State.

In case no sale is made, the pegs are removed from the lot (claim) and the ground becomes
again vacant.

Art. 17. Any miner can abandon his lot (claim) and peg off a new one on condition of
making declaration thereof to the commissioner of mines. Abandoned lots (claims) are put
up at auction in the before said manner.

Art. 18. Every lot (claim) is transferable; the new holder must provide himself with a
corresponding permit. No transfer is valid prior to the date of its registry by the commis-
sioner of mines.

Art. 19. On each sale a transfer duty is due of 4 per cent on the purchase price.

All titles issued by mining associations are subject to a transfer duty of I per cent for
personal titles and an annual subscription duty of four-tenths of i per cent for titles to bearer.

Section II. — The registry of lots (claims).

Art. 20. The registry of the lots (claims) secures the following advantages:
(i) The registered lot is a Bxture.

(2) Registered lots (claims) can be hypothecated like ordinary real estate. The registry
of the mortgages must be made at the office of the commissioner of mines; the registration
fee is 10 francs ($1.93) per lot (claim).

(3) By derogation of article 16, the delay, after which the commissioner of mines must
issue process for the pa)rment of the rent, is extended to six months; if, after a deUy of three
months, the rentals due are not settled, the lot (claim) will be sold at auction; but the State
can only deduct from the amount realized by the sale the rentals due and a fine of 50 francs
(S9.65), the residue being returned to the original holder.

Art. 21. Any miner can have his lots (claims) registered. The application, which will
give cause for the collection of a fee of 5 francs (97 cents), will be examined within three months
by the commissioner of mines. Before the end of the first month a notice desigpaed for (gen-
eral) information will be published within the mining district, at petitioner's expense, by
means of posted placards.

A plat of the lot (claim) or group of lots (claims) must be drawn up at petitioner's ex-
pense. Contests may be set up by payment of a fee of 5 francs (97 cents). The three months*

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign CommerceConsular reports, Issues 196-199 → online text (page 27 of 82)