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Consular reports, Issues 196-199 online

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delay having expired, if no contest has been set up, the lot (claim) will be recorded in a special
book and a certificate delivered to the applicant. The recording fee is 100 francs (I19.30)
per lot (claim).

If a contest has been set up, the litigation must be brought within a fortnight before the
French tribunal of the district.

No lot (claim) can be recorded as long as there are any rentals or fines due upon it.

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Section IIL — Concessions.

Art. 22. Associations established for the working of mines can claim the conversion into
concessions of each group of contiguous lots (claims) which they hold, on condition of having
previously obtained the resident-general's approval of their corporation articles.

The formality of application and inquiry are the same as those provided for in the preced-
ing article for the registry of lots (claims), except that the application is examined by the chief
of the service of mines and that the publication includes, besides the posting of placards in the
mining district, its insertion in the Official Journal of Madagascar.

Each concession must have a surface extent not smaller than 50 hectares (123.55 acres)
or larger than 2,000 hectares (4,942 acres) ; the same association can not obtain more than ten
concessions within the compass of the island.

Art. 23. The conversion of an ensemble of lots into a concession secures —

(i) All the advantages attaching to the registry of lots (claims), under the reservation that
transfers of the concession shall be subject to the authorization of the resident-general.

(2) The right to choose between the surface rental established for lots (claims) and a
special Hscal system, consisting of an annual surface tax equal to one-tenth of the monthly
tax established for lots (claims) per hectare (2.471 acres) per year, and of an ad valorem tax
of 5 per cent on the material extracted, to the extent of a total contribution equal to the half
of the full surface tax. The fixed tax can not nevertheless fall below 5 francs (97 cents) per
hectare (2.471 acres) per year.

Art. 24. The surface tax special to concessions is payable yearly in advance ; the ad va-
lorem tax is payable yearly, three months at the most after the expiration of the year upon
whose production it is assessable.

The concession grantee must keep the books which are enjoined upon him by the admin-
istration for the purpose of controlling the production.

If one of the two taxes is not paid at due date, the procedure and consequence will be
the same as that established by article 20 for registered lots (claims).

If the auction does not result in a sale, the concession is annulled and the ground can be
again divided up into lots (claims).

Section IV, — Duties and obligations 0/ those working mines toward third parties.

Art. 25. The ownership of the mine is distinct from that of the surface.

In the interior of every mining district, those who work mines have the right of establishing
roadways and of using those which are established, to turn water courses and make canals, to
cut timber, to occupy the ground inside and outside of their mining lots or concessions. In
case of complaint by the proprietors or of the other miners, the performance of these opera-
tions will be made subject to an authorization from the commissioner of mines; in the carry-
ing on of excavations, the limitations of article 6 must be observed.

Taxes concerning rights of way, water rights, timber rights, and the occupation of ground
on Government lands will be made, under proposal of the commissioner of mines, the object
of tariffs, confirmed by the resident-general after notice from the director of domains.

Art. 26. Every miner is responsible for the temporary and permanent damages caused
by his mining to the owner of the soil and to other miners. All temporary and permanent
damages sustained by the lands or husbandry because of that mining gives cause for <m
indemnity in double the accruing injury.

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

Section V, — The traffic in gold, in the other precious metals ^ and in precious stones.

Art. 27. The traffic in gold, in the other precious metals, and in precious stones in a
rough state can not be carried on but by means of the payment of an exceptional license fee
of x^oo francs ($347.40) per annum.

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Miners who sell the product of their nuDes are not to be regarded as carrying on traffic.

Every trader in the before-named materials must keep the books which are enjoined upon
him by the administration and hold them at the disposal of its appointed agents, who shall
affix their "visas" thereto.


Art. 28. Infractions of the provisions of the present law shall be denounced and verified
the same as infractions in affairs of police. The commissioners of mines are officers of the
police judiciary within the compass of their mining districts.

Art. 29. The proc^s-verbals against the offenders shall be drawn up by the officers of the
police judiciary or be in their hands, confirmed under oath by the agents of the public force,
within a month's time.

Art. 30. The procds-verbals shall, according to the situation of the places, be addressed
in original to the public prosecutor attached to the tribunal of the first instance, or to the
officer of the public administration attached to the justice of peace, with extended jurisdiction,
who will be obliged to prosecute the offenders of his own accord before the correctional sit-
tings of the bench, without prejudice to the damages of the parties.

Art. 31. Fines of from 5 to 100 francs (97 cents to I19.30) and imprisonment for from
one to five days may be imposed for infractions, other than those hereafter defined, of the
provisions of the present law.

Art. 32. By a fine of from 100 to 1,000 francs (I19.30 to I193) and imprisonment for
from one to five days are punished —

(i) Those who, without permits, engage in prospecting.

(2) Concession grantees and traders in precious substances who do not keep their books
in a regular manner or refuse to show them to the agents of the administration. In the latter
case, forfeiture of any precious substances seized will always be declared.

Art. 33. By a fine of from 100 to 1,000 francs (I19.30 to ^193) and imprisonment for
from fifteen days to two years are punished —

(1) Those who, in an unlawful way, set up, destroy, or displace prospecting signals.

(2) Those who, in an unlawful way, peg off or remove the pegs from off lots (claims).

(3) Those who falsify the dates inscribed upon their permits.

Art. 34. By a fine of from 1,000 to 25,000 francs (I193 to $4,825) and imprisonment for
from three months to three years, are punished those who, without permits, engage in the
mining of precious substances, or, without licenses, in the traffic in such substances. The
same penalty is applicable to those who carry on the trade of buying precious metals or pre-
cious stones in a rough state from a person not provided with a working permit or a selling
license. The forfeiture of any substances seized will always be declared.

Art. 35. The misdemeanors provided against in articles 31 , 32, 33, and 34 are given over
to the French jurisdiction. Malagasy jurisdiction takes cognizance only of cases wherein no
European* is implicated.

Art. 36. In every case where the penalty of imprisonment and that of a fine are provided
for by the present law, if there are any extenuating circumstances, the tribunals are authorized,
even in the case of repetition of the offense, to reduce the imprisonment to even below six
days and the fine to even below 16 francs (53-09) ; they may also pass sentence for one or the
other of these penalties separately, but without such penalty being in any case below those
of a police court.

Art. 37. Fines, as well as rentals and fees, are payable either in French specie or in rough
gold, at the minimum standard of 90 per cent, valued at 2.70 francs (52 cents) per gram
(15.432 grains).

* Malagasy text says " Vagaha" (foreigner) ; French text says " European."

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In a former report, I took occasion to explain how American commerce
in this part of Africa is in a very languishing condition, largely occasioned
by the high-tariff policy, which practically almost excludes goods of Ameri-
can manufacture from those very extensive districts of the African continent
which are now occupied or claimed by the French. French manufacturers,
with the advantage of numerous subsidized steamship lines and a discrim-
inating colonial duty of 7 per cent in their favor, have already crowded
from this market nearly all goods of American production which can, with
any sort of facility, be manufactured in France, and left the United States
with only a mutilated indirect trade in staples which other countries have
not hitherto produced to the same extent, such as tobacco, petroleum, and
yellow-pine lumber.

Leaf tobacco from Kentucky and Tennessee has hitherto been the most
important article among these staples, and the sales for quite a long period
have amounted to thousands of casks annually. Owing, however, to the
lack of shipping facilities in our home ports, the bulk of this and of the
other articles of merchandise has been shipped here of late through European
ports at an enormous expense, including storage in Europe, cost of trans-
shipment, extra freight, extra insurance, shrinkage and loss of interest oc-
casioned by delay, and commissions.

It is now seriously proposed to replace in the West African markets this
large quantity of high-cost tobacco, which, notwithstanding the disadvan-
tages of the long route, is still furnished from the United States, by tobacco
from Argentina, which, besides having cheap and direct transit by French
subsidized steam lines in its favor, will in part pay for the valuable manu-
factured goods which are exported from France to Argentina, and thus
facilitate the dealings of the two countries with each other, but, of course,
to the prejudice of the already existing foreign commerce of the United

I inclose a copy of an official letter, with the translation, on this subject.
It is from the governor-general of French Northwest Africa to the president of
the chamber of commerce at Gor^e, which, besides indicating the situa-
tion as I have described it, gives the price at which it is proposed to sell the
tobacco (about 6)4 cents per pound) delivered here ; and if it is found to
answer the purpose, Kentucky and Tennessee tobacco, which costs, with the
great expense of transit, much more, will have no further chance in the West
African market.

I have not yet seen samples of the tobacco which it is proposed to export
here from Argentina, and can not, therefore, give an opinion as to how im-
minent the danger is of a destructive competition from this quarter. I only

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know that Argentina has been very successful in competing with breadstuffs
and with meats, that the Corrientes district is in the right latitude for tobacco
raising, and that the advantages of freight and exchange are in favor of Ar-
gentina. Not less than five large French steamers arrive at Gor6e-Da^ar
every month from the Rio de la Plata.

GoRBE- Dakar, August ji, i8g6. Consul.


St. Louis, July 20y i8g6.

Monsieur the President: The department, by a dispatch dated the 7th of the present
month, informs the governor-general of Senegal and dependencies that Monsieur M. A. Frias,
who lives on the Avenue Champs Elys6es, in Paris, offers to the merchants of West Africa
tobacco produced in the province of Corrientes, Argentina, delivered at a port of discharge in
Africa, at the price of 750 francs per ton (about 6)4, cents per pound)— tobacco which he be-
lieves would be preferred to other by the natives of West Africa.

I have the honor to request that you will bring this offer to the notice of the chamber of
commerce at Gorie.

Very truly yours, A. MATHIVEL.


I was informed recently that the sale of American provisions, such as
bacon, hams, sausages, etc., had been prohibited in Switzerland. Upon in-
quiry, however, I learned that this prohibition emanated from the Zurich
cantonal authorities and applied to that canton only. To get at the real facts
of the case, I addressed a communication to the cantonal government who,
through the cantonal health department, answered my inquiry.

It seems that a concern in Basle is importing American salted beef and
pork (as sides, hams, etc.) in the brine, and after being smoked by said con-
cern, these are offered to the trade in quantities to suit by the issuance of
circulars and price lists. Local dealers, I am convinced, fearing competi-
tion, have complained to the authorities.

Having found by experience that Italian salamy and other fine grades of
sausages were sold at exorbitant figures in this market, and knowing that
the same line of goods of an equal quality were manufactured and sold in
America and could be laid down here at a much less figure than the Italian,
I induced a Zurich house to make a trial. After ordering and receiving a
200-kilogram (481.2 pounds) trial shipment of salamy from Chicago, and
disposing of the same promptly at a good profit, but at a much lower figure
than the European article is sold for, he was getting ready to order a larger
second invoice when the authorities, no doubt upon complaint of some
local competitors, issued a circular to the health officers reminding them of
the existing ordinance and requesting its strict enforcement.

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I am aware that borax is sometimes used in the curing of meats to give
the article a bright color, but it is not used in quantities large enough to
become injurious to the consumer ; further, the assertion that borax is used
by American packers to refresh tainted meats is preposterous. At any rate,
our packers' attention should be called to this, so they may have a chance to
explain, and no meat product should be shipped to Switzerland without being
first examined and stamped officially by the proper United States Depart-
ment of Agriculture's meat inspectors, to conform with the Swiss require-


Zurich, December 7, i8g6. Consul,


Health Office of the Canton of Zurich,

Zurich^ December 2y i8g6.
Hon. Eugene Germain, Uhi/ed States Consul^ Zurich,

Answering your favor of this date, we have the honor to inform you that no regulations
have been made by the cantonal autho'rities with a view to restrict the importation and sale
of foreign meats, and, as you state, especially aimed at American- cured meats, within the
limits of the canton of Zurich. We, however, require that imported meats must, like the
domestic product, be subjected to the existing sanitary police inspection.

On December 16, 1893, the government council prohibited the use of any chemicals ex-
cept salt and saltpeter in the curing of meats and its products intended for sale and consump-
tion in this canton. Of late, extensive importations of American meat were made, and more,
we are informed, are on the way. It is an established fact that this meat has been treated, in
some cases excessively, with borax. This treatment is in direct violation of our cantonal
government ordinance dated December 16, 1893, and we therefore have issued a circular to
the competent authorities, dated October 28, 1896, requesting the strict enforcement of above-
cited ordinance.


decree of the government council of the canton of ZURICH, PROHIBITING THE

The government council, on motion of the cantonal health officer, decrees :

(1) The use of chemicals, except salt and saltpeter, in the curing of meats and its prod-
ucts, intended for sale in this canton and subject to its sanitary regulations, is prohibited.

(2) The health office shall be informed of this decision.

Secretary of State,



S. Mory, of Basle, an importer of salted and cured meats, has circulated a price list among
the butchers and dealers in provisions in this canton, oflfering several qualities of cured beef
and pork, some of which is intended for the manufacture of sausages. The merchandise is
of American origin.

In view of this fact, we request the local health authorities and the inspectors of meat to
exercise special care in examining meat and meat products of foreign origin.

According to paragraph 18 of the cantonal regulations regarding the slaughtering of neat
cattle and the sale of meat, dated June 17, 1882, meat imported from one township to another,

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from another to this canton, or from a foreign country, most be accompanied by a meat in-
spector's certificate, and the meat itself must bear the inspector's official stamp. We are not
aware in what manner meat is inspected in foreign countries, and especially how it is done
in America, but it is a fact that imports of American origin show no sign of an official
examination, bear no official stamp, and are mostly treated with borax and other bore prepara-
tions. The bore preparations have the property to restore meat already in course of decom-
position to a fresh-looking appearance, and if eaten in great quantities or continuously are
endangering the consumers' health.

The use of bore preparations for the preservation of meat and meat products is in direct
contravention of the government council's decree dated December 1 6, 1893, which runs as
follows :

" The use of chemicals, except salt and saltpeter, for the curing of meats and its products,
intended for sale and subject to sanitary inspection, is prohibited."

It is clear that our regulations for the inspection of meat do not refer alone to cattle
slaughtered within this canton's territory, but they are also binding and to be applied to meats
of foreign origin consumed in the canton. The importers must conform thereto.

The health officers are therefore requested to inspect carefully the foreign imports, espe-
cially meat products of American origin, to require the production of a health certificate with
each shipment, and see that the articles are lawfully stamped as prescribed.

If such certificates are omitted and if the use of borax or other chemical preparations are
discovered in the meat, the shipments must be condemned and returned to the shippers, and
if the inspection shows that the meat is in a decaying condition, it shall at once be confiscated
and destroyed.


Zurich, October 28, i8g6.


The Swiss legation at Buenos Ayres has sent an elaborate report on the
commerce of the Argentine Republic for 1 895 to its Government. Our consul
at Buenos Ayres, Mr. E. L. Baker, has already reported on the trade of that
country during 1895.* I will therefore confine myself to translating that
part of the report which shows Switzerland's direct commercial relation with
the above-named country, because, in my opinion, it might serve to post our
manufacturers as to what Switzerland can supply and induce them to make
an effort to compete successfully in the same lines.

The Swiss exports and imports to and from the Argentine Republic for
the years 1894 and 1895 were:


Imports .



1895. Increase.

$1,045,685 I $31 » 641
656,059 102,806


Shoes. — The imports of fine shoes of Swiss manufacture have somewhat
increased, being ^48,958, as against 147,794 in 1894. This increase is of
little importance considering the amount proper, but it shows that the con-

* Report of Consul Baker printed in Consular Reports No. 187 (April, 1896), p. 456.

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tinuous decline of the past few years in the imports of this article has come
to an end, and this favorable change is due to a reduction in the customs
duties and the decline of the gold premium.

Watches, — During last year, the import duties on certain categories of
watches were advanced, but in spite of this increase the import of Swiss watches
was higher in 1895 ^^^^ '" 1894, being ^134,337 for 1895, as against J124,-
356 for 1894. The official statistics of the Argentine Republic, however,
show a decrease in the import of watches of about ^50,000, but as Switzer-
land supplies about 99 per cent of the entire imports, there must be an error
somewhere in the Argentine figures.

Machinery, — The decline in the imports of this article continues, the value
for 1895 having fallen to ^50,988, as against 191,534 in the preceding year.
Among the imports I note 116,685 worth of milling machinery (^22,052 in
1894), ^3,840 worth of steam boilers (^8,820 in 1894), and J 40, 463 worth
of other machinery (^60,664 ^^ 1894). This retrograde movement is due to
two successive crop failures and to the crisis prevailing in both the milling
and the sugar industries, and has not only affected Swiss exports, but those
of other countries as well.

Cheese, — Imports of this product continue to increase in value, and show
a total of ^23,882, as against J 20, 236 in the preceding year. The imports
in that line increased sixfold in five years, and if the present import duty of
20 cents per kilogram (2.2 pounds) remains unchanged, a steady improve-
ment may be safely expected. Swiss cheese of first quality is very much
appreciated by the Argentine people and the local competition, which is for-
midable for other milk products, does not afTect this trade. Swiss cheese,
carefully packed, arrives generally in good condition, and exporters must
only take care to forward their product so as not to reach destination during
the excessive summer heat, that is, during the period from December to
March. Packing cheese in zinc lining is highly recommended.

Tobacco, cigars, and cigarettes. — Swiss products of this class were imported
in about the same quantity as in 1894 (^80,578, against 181,598). Imports
of Swiss leaf tobacco have decreased from ^26,788 to ^20,398, while cigars
and cigarettes increased from ^54,810 to |6o,i8o. This increase is not so
high as it should be, compared with the total increase of cigar imports (about
J 1, 000,000), which is the more surprising because the very qualities which
are manufactured in Switzerland have most profited by this improvement.

Siviss paper, — This import to the Republic decreased by 25 per cent
compared with 1894.

Cotton yams and weavings. — These have jumped from 135,000 in value
to nearly |20o,ooo, nearly all grades sharing equally in the increase. A
prominent manufacturer of knit goods having made a trial with Swiss cotton
yarns is well satisfied with the quality and pronounces it superior to the
English article. He will now continue to purchase in Switzerland on a
larger scale. A good business could be done here in colored tissues and
heavy colored yarns, as well as in heavy printed tissues.

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Embroideries ^ etc, — Of Swiss embroideries, J 140,000 worth was imported,
which is about the same figure as in 1894.

Silk goods, — These declined from ^280,000 in 1894 to 1240,000 in 1895,
the decrease affecting almost exclusively all-silk goods. A slight improve-
ment is noticed in elastics, that is, from 133,612 in 1894 to ^40,576 in 1895,
while imports of Swiss knit goods have somewhat decreased.

Miscellaneous, — Among the other principal articles of imports into the
Argentine Republic from Switzerland may be cited liquors, chocolate, col-
ored photographs, pianos and organs, straw braids, confectionery, etc., all
of which are very much favored. Still, their superiority over other foreign
products command naturally higher prices, and, in consequence of the late
crisis, as people look for cheap goods, competition is pretty sharp.

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign CommerceConsular reports, Issues 196-199 → online text (page 28 of 82)