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

Consular reports, Issues 196-199 online

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that the founders of the company have paid in the first installment of the
shares, and they should be paid in not later than two months after the con-
firmation of the articles of association. The balance of the shares should
be paid in, according to their nominal value, not later than a year after
the organization of the company. Shares can be held only by Russian
and Chinese subjects. According to the convention, the company will own
the Chinese Eastern Railway during eighty years after the opening of the
whole line.

The Russian Government guaranties the resources of the company to the
extent of making obligatory the payment of shares. The company takes
upon itself, during the whole period of the concession, on the part of the
Russian Government, the following obligations :

(i) The Chinese Eastern Railway, with its appurtenances and rolling
stock, must be always kepf in full order to satisfy all the requirements of
operation in relation to safety, convenience, and constant movement of pas-
sengers and freights.

(2) The traffic on the Chinese Eastern Railway to be kept up in con-
formity with the traffic on the Russian railroads connecting with the Chinese
railway named.

(3) All trains of the Russian Transbaikal and Ussuri railroads are to be
met by the Chinese Eastern Railway and forwarded to their destination
without delay.

(4) The company binds itself to transmit, with a speed not less than that
used on the Siberian Railway, all passenger and freight trains in direct com-
munication with it.

(5) The company binds itself to construct and use on the whole length
of the road a telegraph line, connecting with the telegraph lines of the Rus-
sian railroads, and to receive and send, without delay, through dispatches
going from one frontier station to another, as well as telegrams going from
Russia to China and the reverse.

(6) If, after the development of the operation of the railway, its technical
arrangements shall not satisfy the requirements of a regular and uninter-
rupted traffic of passengers and freights, then, as soon as the Russian rail-
ways require the Chinese Eastern Railway to be reinforced, the latter must
take suitable measures to improve its technical arrangements for the increase
of its traffic. In case of a misunderstanding between the above-named rail-
roads, the Chinese Eastern Railway agrees to submit to the decision of the
Russian Minister of Finance. In case the means of the Chinese Eastern

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Railway shall not be sufficient to carry out the necessary improvements, the
administration of the road can apply for pecuniary assistance to the Minister
of Finance of the Russian Government.

(7) For all transit transportation of passengers and freights, and for the
telegraphic communications, there shall be established, according to an agree-
ment made between the company and the Russian Government, a maximum
tariff for the whole period of the concession, which can not be raised during
the above period without the consent of the Russian Government. The
limits for the tariffs of direct communication for railroad transportation, as
well as for telegraphic communication, will be determined by mutual agree-
ment between the administration of the company and the Russian Minister
of Finance.

(8) Russian mail packages and officials accompanying the same are to
be carried by the Chinese Eastern Railway Company free of charge. For
this purpose the company assigns on each passenger train a part of one car,
not shorter than 3 sagenes (21 feet) ; but the Russian Post-Office Department
can, should it so desire, furnish the railway with post cars constructed at its
own expense, but the repairing and the keeping (except the inside fitting up)
and the switching of them to trains must also be done by the railway com-
pany free of charge.

On the performance of the above-mentioned obligations depends the
guaranty by the Russian Government, and consequently the realization of
the enterprise. After the eighty years' concession has expired, the road will
pass, costs free, into the hands of the Chinese Government. A sale of the
railway by the company before the expiration of the concession does not
in any way change the force of these obligations ; they must be observed by
the new purchasers of the railway to the full extent. Also, during the eighty
years' concession the following rights given by the Chinese Government to
the railroad company remain in full force :

(i) The passenger baggage as well as merchandise transported in tran-
sit from one Russian station to another is not subject to Chinese customs
duties and is to be exempt from all interior Chinese taxes and revenues.

(2) The tariffs for the transportation of passengers and freights, telegraphs,
etc., to be free from all Chinese dues and taxes.

(3) Merchandise imported from Russia into China by rail and exported
from China into Russia the same way, will pay export and import Chinese
duty one-third less than the regular duty paid at the Chinese sea custom-

(4) If the goods imported by rail are intended to go into the interior,
they shall pay transit duty to the amount of one-half of the import duty ex-
acted from them, and are afterwards considered free from any additional
duties. Goods which have not paid transit duty are subject to all the inte-
rior taxes of the country.

The company is at liberty to buy the materials for the construction of the
railroad wherever it sees fit. In case the materials are not purchased in

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Russia and pass through Russian territory, they will be free from paying
the Russian customs duties.

The total amount of the capital of the company will be fixed in conformity
with the cost of the construction, which is to be calculated according to the
estimates founded on preliminary surveys. To the fundamental capital must
be also added (i) the expenses for paying the interest and the amortization
of the fundamental capital during the construction of the railroad, and (2)
the outlay for purchase of the material obtained by the Russian Government
in a survey of a railroad in Manchuria, made by Russian engineers. The
amount to be paid is subject to a mutual agreement between the company and
the Russian Minister of Finance.

The capital of the company is formed by the emission of shares and obli-
gations. The stock capital is fixed at 5,000,000 paper rubles ($2,570,000)
and is divided into one thousand shares of 5,000 paper rubles ($2,570) each.
The shares are issued at par. The Russian Government does not guaranty
these shares. For the remaining amount, the capital will be formed by an
issue of *' obligations" [bonds]. These "obligations" will be issued in pro-
portion to requirements, each time with a special permit from the Minister of
Finance. The nominal sum and value of each separate issue of "obligations,"
the time and conditions, and the form of the "obligations" are subject to
approval of the Russian Minister of Finance. The income and liquidation
of these "obligations" will be guarantied by the Russian Government. Re-
garding the realization of the "obligations," the company will have recourse
to the Russo-Chinese Bank, but the Russian Government has the right to
keep for itself the obligationary loan according to the price fixed by the
company and the bank, and to pay the company the fixed sums in currency.

The management of the construction and exploitation of the Chinese
Eastern Railway, as well as the keeping of the books and accounts of the
company, is left to the administration of the company. The offices of
the administration are to be in Peking and in St. Petersburg and meetings
can be held at either of the two-named cities. The administration is to con-
sist of a president and nine directors. The president is appointed by the
Chinese Government. The other members are elected by a general meeting
of the shareholders. The directors elect from among themselves one vice-
president. The company is to begin work in August, 18^7, and the line is
to be completed in six years.

The new line will begin at the Onon station of the Transbaikal Railroad
and will cross the Chinese frontier near the town of Staro-Zurukhait; it will
run in Manchuria toward the towns of Cicikar (Tsitsikar), Khu-lan-Chen,
and Ning-tu and connect with the Nikolsk station of the South Ussuri Rail-
road. The total length of the Manchuria Railway will be 1,920 versts
(1,273 roil^)> of which 1,425 versts (945 miles) will be in Chinese territory.
According to the original survey of the Siberian line, the length of the road
between the stations Onon and Nikolsk showed 2,434 versts (1,614 miles);
consequently, the course through Manchuria will shorten the Siberian Rail-
No. 197 9.

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way 514 versts (341 miles), which is a great saving. Besides, the Manchuria
line will go more to the south than the former Araoor direction (the difference
in some parts being 600 versts=398 miles) through a country of better cli-
mate, with more productive soil. It will also cross the fruitful valley of the
River Sungari, which supplies the Amoor region with bread. In general,
northern Manchuria, which the new line will cross in the middle, possesses
natural wealth, some of which to some extent is already worked. The agri-
cultural industry forms the principal occupation of the Manchurian popula-
tion; wheat, barley, buckwheat, rice, millet, pease, and maize are cultivated
in considerable quantities. Manchuria poppy and tobacco are well known
for their quality and the extent to which they are cultivated. Another im-
portant industry in that country is cattle breeding. Of mineral wealth,
Manchuria is rich in iron ore, and, not long ago, work on gqld mines was
begun. On the line itself and its region in Manchuria are several large
commercial points. Among the principal ones are Girin, Khailar, and
Cicikar (Tsilsikar). Well-known annual fairs are held in Flandchur, in which
northern Mongolia and northern Manchuria generally take the principal
part, and also, to some extent, the Russian transbaikal.

St. VKTi£.KSh\jVLC,, December 28 1 1 8g6. Consul- General.


An event hardly less important than the cutting of the Suez Canal will
be the building of the Transsiberian Railroad by Russia. Germany looks
longingly forward to the time when fast trains are to run from Calais to
Vladivostock. Five thousand miles of steel rails have been laid already at
a cost of 350,000,000 rubles. July i, 1904, it is thought, will see iron
horses running from the shores of the north to those of the Japan Sea. In
1898, trains are to run over the Siberian road to the Amoor River. Thence,
by fast steamer, passengers, post parcels, and freight are to be pushed on to
Chaborowka; thence, in eighteen hours, over the South Russian section of
the Siberian road, to Vladivostock, making the distance from London to
the most important harbor of the Japan Sea seventeen and a half days.
Many of the wares that go and come by boat now will find their way over-
land on these lines. Before 1901, Russia will have cut her way with steel
rails across Manchuria, saving 300 miles. It is estimated by German engi-
neers that when the road is repaired, after the first few years, and high rates
of speed across Siberia are attained, the entire trip will be made in nine
days and two hours.

The Anglo-Indo-Australian post bags weighed, in 1883 (^^^ only year for
which one finds figures), 842,448 kilograms. Last year, England paid France
and Italy for transporting the weekly post bags 1,400,000 marks (^333,200),

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at the rate of 2 francs per kilogram of letters and 25 centimes per kilogram
of printed matter. Assuming that 650,000 kilograms were letters and 1,600,-
000 kilograms packages and printed matter, its importance to this Empire
will be apparent. The sphere of influence, apart from political or diplo-
matic interests, over which the great road is to extend, lies east of the
eightieth meridian east of Greenwich. It takes in all Japan, China, Aus-
tralia, Annam, Siam, etc. If only half as much postal matter passes over
the new line in 1901 as went via Suez in 1895, Germany will have to get
680,000 marks ($161,040) for transporting 325,000 kilograms of letters and
800,000 kilograms of printed matter and packages.

To no one does time mean more or so much as to a traveler to and from
the East ; 90 per cent of the passengers will prefer to make the journey in
nine to ten or twelve days overland to making it, as now, over seas in twenty-
eight to thirty-eight days. This, too, when tickets from Warsaw to Vladi-
vostock are to cost only 120 rubles, first class. From London to Warsaw
costs now 150 marks (I45.70). Thus, the entire ticket (London to Vladi-
vostock) is to cost about 500 marks (I119), first class. Of course, second
class is to cost considerably less; how much is now not known. A ticket
to Japan to-day, via Brindisi and the Suez, costs 1,800 marks (I428). If to
the price of overland ticket, the price of sleeping berth for twelve nights is
added, there is even then a saving of $166 to J 190 against the price now
paid via Suez.

In 1895, 216,938 passengers went via the Suez Canal to China and Aus-
tralia. For political, military, and other reasons, drop 117,000 from the
list of possible passengers from the Russian route, and there remain 98,229.
Take from these, 18,299 pilgrims and 80,000 remain. Take of these, 40,000
who are East Indian travelers, and there remain 40,000 plus 10,000 who
hitherto have gone via the American transcontinental lines, plus another
10,000 West Europeans who go annually to the East on business or pleasure,
etc., and we get 60,000, mostly first-class passengers, using the new route.
These must cross Germany from its western frontier to Alexandrowa, on the
Russian border. Sixty thousand multiplied by 100 marks (from Aixla Cha-
pelle to Alexandrowa costs now 92 marks) equals 6,000,000 marks ($1,428,-
000). The goods going over the road to the East and those coming west will
be, naturally, those that can pay the biggest rates — furs, gold, silver, platinum,
and tea. Many of these are to come to Europe out of Siberia itself. That
land is rich in minerals of all kinds; the Urals are giving out gold and
silver in large quantities. How important to Germany are the furs of Siberia
may be learned at Leipsic's annual fairs. If the hammer that sent home the
first spike in the first sleeper laid was silver, the one that sends home the last
spike should be gold. Much as the road may mean to Germany, Russia,
and the rest of Europe, it may mean more to usi. California, Oregon, Wash-
ington, our whole western country, if not our whole continent, is interested
in this road. Russia has her hands full at home. The hands to help in the
East are ours.

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There is something more attractive in our civilization and methods to
eastern people than in those of Europe; at least, this is asserted by eastern
travelers. To develop the resources of an Empire so vast as Russia will
require capital, enterprise, and energy such as has made us the richest nation
in the world. To equip her roads, to develop her great agricultural, fishing,
mineral, and forest resources, Russia needs just such implements as have
helped us. No time is to be lost if we are to have any part in the great
drama that has for its plot the development and modernizing of the Orient.


Chemnitz, December 4, i8g6. Consul.


In a recent number of Dr. Conrad's Jahrbiicher fiir Nationalokonomie
und Statistik, there appeared an article by Dr. Ballod *' Concerning the im-
portance of the husbandry of Siberia." Considering the interest which
Siberia is entitled to claim as a mighty field for colonization lying at the
doors of Europe on the one side and the importance which it seems to acquire
as a new grain-producing region on the other, it is especially gratifying when
the results of careful investigation enable the widest possible circles to form
an opinion as to the actual conditions of the country.

As Dr. Ballod remarks, Siberia has often been compared with the United
States and the opinion expressed that it presents to Russia quite as great
and profitable a field for colonization as did once North America to Eng-
land. This comparison as to what hopes and fears Siberia has given and
may possibly give rise to, is perhaps the best form of regarding the question.
Nevertheless, such a comparison is thoroughly out of place, because, in re-
spect to climate, conditions of soil, and capabilities of expansion of the
regions still available for colonizing purposes, Siberia corresponds fairly with
Canada, and, moreover, it contains almost the same number of inhabitants.
The region of the Amoor is, likewise, no better for colonization than British
Columbia, inasmuch as it, too, has in the summer time an equally overmoist
and unfavorable climate for grain growing.

With regard to the colonization of Siberia, the immigration (only that
which comes from Russia is worth taking into consideration) has increased
very largely of late. While in the eighties, it hardly amounted to 10,000 to
20,000 annually, it rose in 1895 to over 100,000. It is claimed that in the
present year, up to the middle of June, the number had risen to 145,000, so
that neither could suitable provision be made for the new arrivals nor was
enough surveyed land available. Dr. Ballod thinks that one may safely
reckon on 200,000 to 250,000 immigrants for the next few years. Even
European Russia would not sustain any palpable loss by such an outflow of
emigrants, for her annual excess of births over deaths amounts to over 1,500,-

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000 souls, SO that the fear of some few strips of land in European Russia,
which are now devoted to farming, becoming depopulated and of a want of
farming hands being felt is thoroughly unjustified.

But with so strong an immigration as that referred to above, the land
available for cultivation would hardly suffice for twenty-five years. The total
area of cultivable soil in eastern and western Siberia and Transbaikalia
amounts to 18,000 geographical square miles, or, in round figures, 247,000,-
000 acres. But of these millions, at least 98,000,000 acres must be left to
the present owners, even if their possessions beyond 18 dessiatines (48^
acres) — which is the limit allowed by law to each head — should be confis-
cated. For the new settlers, the Government allows 15 dessiatines (40 j^
acres) per male. Besides this, one-fourth of the lands is to be held in reserve
for the future growth of the population. According to this, there would be
about 112,000,000 acres available for the immigrants, and thereon 2,600,-
000 males, making 5,500,000 for the whole, could settle.

The country population would thus have grown to the extent of 150 per
cent, and they would be able to produce two and a half times as much grain
as the present population. Siberia, exclusive of the Amoor region, could
then raise 400,000,000 poods (6,453,000 tons) of grain ; or, if the area of
the grain-growing districts increases in proportion to the present dimensions
by 25 per cent, 500,000,000 poods (8,060,000 tons), that is to say, only one-
fourth or one-fifth of the entire Russian grain harvest. There would thus be
from 87,000,000 to 110,000,000 poods (1,402,000 to 1,773,000 tons) available
for export, after providing for the population of the cities, towns, and mining
districts, instead of 35,000,000 to 44,000,000 poods (550,000 to 710,000 tons).
This would only represent about 11 to 12 per cent of the soil suited to grain
growing, whereas in western Europe, 25 to 30 per cent of the agricultural
land is devoted to this purpose. The production represented by the above
figures is, however, capable of being increased to the extent of from two to
two and a half times, but not without careful cultivation of the soil by ma-
nuring, etc. Assuming, however, that the area of the grain land should in-
crease to 25 per cent of the total cultivable land and that, thus, the quantity
•available for export should rise to from 174,000,000 to 220,000,000 poods
(2,805,000 to 3,546,000 tons), this would still not amount to 50 per cent of
the present total Russian export. However, this would not happen before
forty or fifty years at the earliest. In the meanwhile, the exports from
European Russia would most certainly have become greatly reduced, in con-
sequence of the strong increase of the population, and even, possibly, have
ceased altogether.

The Amoor and Ussuria, which have not been taken into account in the
foregoing, are said to contain about 28,000,000 hectares (69,100,000 acres)
of cultivable land. That these will ever be able to send desirable grain, and
more particularly wheat, to the European market appears doubtful, on ac-
count of the bad quality of the grain raised there. It is more likely thai
they may provide the markets of northern China with millet, etc.

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A great increase in the cultivation of grain as a consequence of the event-
ful completion of the Siberian Railway system is, as the author seeks to
prove from careful estimates of production and freights in his possession,
not to be expected so long as low prices rule on the markets of the world.
It would be necessary for the Siberian peasant to export more cheaply than
he has hitherto, in the absence of railways, been paid for his grain on the
home markets. But should the prices of the markets of the world rise ma-
terially, the profitable cultivation of wheat in Middle Siberia would become
a possibility, and this would probably bring about an important increase in

Dr. Ballod arrives at the conclusion that the Siberian Railway will, at
first, only open up the country for the export of the more valuable classes
of goods and facilitate wholesale immigration. It will be of enormous im-
portance as a transit route for goods of high value from China and Japan,
and also for passenger traffic from and to these countries; but it will be
serviceable to the development of grain export only in a very limited degree.
This end could only be attained by the construction of cheaper export high-
ways, which will, perhaps, follow with the progress of colonization.


Annaberg, November 26, i8q6. Consul.

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American Beef in Germany. — Notwithstanding the assurances of the
United States Government that all meat products for export are subjected to
a strict examination, wrote the late Consul Wamer, of Cologne, under date
of December 12, 1896, the agitation in Germany against the wholesome-
ness of these products still goes on. At a recent meeting of the agricultural
association of the district of Cologne, the subject of adulterating German
sausages with American diseased beef was discussed. According to the
Cologne Gazette, one speaker, in discussing this question, drew special at-
tention to the fact that beef was examined for maggots in Germany, but not
so in America. Since in the former country (Germany) sausages were more
adulterated with American beef that was infested with maggots than with
potato meal, the law in force in Germany against dishonest competition
should also be applied in the case of sausages, which would require the
marking of the goods as to whether they were of German or foreign origin
and had been officially examined or not. Another speaker remarked that it
made an immense difference to the welfare of the German people whether
home or foreign meat was used ; he therefore deemed it necessary that the
origin of the meat used in the preparation of sausages be given. A chemist
present, in speaking on the same subject, said that American beef was not so
profusely infested with maggots, but that it came to Germany prepared with
borax in an astonishing manner. On the exterior of the meat, there was a
complete crust of borax and the meat was actually pickled with borax. If
sausages contained meat prepared in this way and were offered for sale, it
was clearly a fraud in the sale of food stuffs. But this importation had only
commenced with them, as well as the discovery of its harmful effects.

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign CommerceConsular reports, Issues 196-199 → online text (page 39 of 82)