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Consular reports, Issues 196-199 online

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uer to have it stamped with revenue stamps. These books and the brokers*
certificates issued must be kept in strict conformity with the commercial
statute. All bargains being considered secret, the broker can issue copies of
the certificates only to parties interested; and if called on by the courts, he
is not obliged to produce his book, but a copy under seal is sufficient. At
the end of each year, not later than January io, or when discharged, or at the
death of a broker, the book is delivered and kept in the safe of the archives
in the Department of Trade and Manufactures.

The duty of the chief broker is to see that all the rules and regulations
are observed by the exchange brokers; to collect from them information
concerning the prices of goods sold and bought at the exchange; to see
that all forms under the supervision of the exchange committee are carried
out and bulletins published, for the correctness of which he is responsible.

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In case of neglect of duty or nonqualification of any broker, the com-
mittee of the Grain Exchange Society haa the right to ask the Minister of
Finance for the discharge of such broker without petition.

The compensation of the brokers or the brokerage due from the buyer
and the seller is fixed at the following rate: For the first 10,000 rubles, one-
half of I per cent, and for amounts above 10,000, one-fourth of i per cent
from each party. The brokers are permitted to make reductions of their
own accord, if they so desire.


St. Pkteksbvkg, J?^c^mfier ^y i8p6. Consul- Ge?ieraL


The veterinary sanitary measures adopted by the German Government
for the protection of German swine breeding have had a great influence on
the import of hogs into Germany, which, since their. adoption, has greatly

According to German statistics, the number of hogs imported into Ger-
many during the nine months of the present year amounted to only 83,660
head, against 258,637 during the same period in the previous year. The
falling off affected the Russian hog export into Upper Silesia especially.
For some time, the weekly number of head slaughtered in the four frontier
slaughterhouses was reduced to 1,350, whereas formerly it amounted to 1,900

At the same time that these strict measures against hogs were enforced,
the import of pork was prohibited altogether, unless boiled. What effect
these restrictions have had upon the pork trade in Germany can be seen
from the statement made by the Deutsche Fleischer Zeitung. This journal
says the reduction of the import of hogs caused a rapid rise of the prices at the
interior markets of Germany, from which the consumers suffered, because
the home hog raisers were unable to supply the demands of the Upper Silesian

The following figures show how much the price of hogs advanced at the
German interior market during the second half of the present year, per 50
kilograms (no pounds):


July I.

I Marks.

Berlin j 37.00 to 40.00

Hamburg ' 37.00 to 42.00

Brcslau (Silesia) 34>oo to 42.00

$8.81 to $9. 52
8.81 to 10.00
8.09 to 10.00

November la.

45.00 to 50.00
45.00 to 51.00
44.00 to 54.00

^10.71 to $11.90
10. 71 to 12. 14
10.47 'o 12.85

The advance of prices was especially hard on the poorer class of people.
The workman, who formerly purchased cheap Russian pork, is forced to re-
place it now with vegetables. The principal importers of Russian hogs are

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located near the frontier and having that line of business under their entire
control, dictate prices, which the small butchers have either to pay or undergo
the expense of looking for hogs of domestic breed, which are scarce and
command high prices. The butchers suggested many propositions for the
regulation of the meat markets and for the suspension of the strict rules re-
garding the import of Russian hogs, and also for the regulation of the
distribution of imported hogs between the importers and butchers. The
Deutsche Fleischer Zeitung speaks in detail of the condition of affairs
brought on by the Government instructions in the Upper Silesian region,
which uses Russian pork. It says :

A great number of consumers, not being able to pay the prices fixed by the butchers, go
to Russia themselves to purchase pork ; and the butchers of Glewitz write : "The consump-
tion of pork among the lower classes has decreased greatly ; most of them feed on vegetables,
although they would like to eat meat, buy the distasteful American fat, often unfit for food,
and which can not be considered in any way good for the health. Home pork is produced
in small quantities; it is therefore too expensive and can not compete with Russian pork.
We do not believe that our wholesalers will buy German hogs, because they obtain greater
profit from the imported Russian hogs. Our farmers are unable to supply the Upper Silesian
market; they produce just about enough to satisfy their own region. The stringency of the
meat market can cease only when the butchers receive a sufficient number of imported hogs.
From the wholesalers must be taken away the largest share of the import, and thus will be
annulled the dependence of the retail butchers upon the wholesale importers, and the work-
ing class will have a chance to buy cheap meat again."

The proposition of the butchers was granted. An order of the district
administration was issued and sanctioned (November ii) by the Minister
of Agriculture, which provides that the weekly number of hogs imported
from Russia shall be distributed only among such purchasers as sell meat or
meat products directly to the consumers. The wholesalers are allowed to
extend their business only in the line of domestic pork, but they claim that it
is an infringement upon their rights and their interests; consequently, they
intend to make complaint. As to the suspension or even the modification of
the present regulations concerning import, nothing has been done; on the
contrary, according to information, it is proposed to close the Silesian fron-
tier to the admission of foreign hogs into Germany.


St. Petersburc., November 24, i8g6. Consul- General.


The first general census of the Russian Empire's population should be
completed, according to an imperial ukase published yesterday, by the 28th
of January (O. S.), or 9th of February (N. S.), 1897.

The ukase, as officially published, reads as follows :

In our solicitude for the greater organization and progress of our country, we authorize,
for the common welfare, the first general census of the population of the Empire.

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This census must include all the inhabitants, without exception, of all our dominions, and
must contain a full and exact computation of the population of the country, according to the
different regions, governments, districts, cities, and villages, and also according to the ages,
sexes, professions, religions, nationality, occupations, and other indications mentioned in the
census blanks. The computation of the general census will serve us and the Government and
social institutions established by us as among the important measures taken for the welfare of
our fatherland.

Having confirmed, on the 5th day of June of the past year, the statute examined by the
Government council concerning the first general census of the population of the Empire, and
having observed, from the report of the Minister of the Interior, who has been entrusted with
the general direction of the census, that the preliminary measures for the census have been
accomplished, we hereby order the taking of the census to begin according to the terras fixed
and that the work shall be completed by the 28th of January of the coming year (1897).

We feel confident that all persons summoned to participate in the execution of the cen-
sus, whether officially or unofficially, will, on their part, discharge all the duties entrusted to
them zealously, and that every resident of our Empire will give, concerning himself and his
relations, all the required information truthfully, and will endeavor to cooperate for the suc-
cessful attainment of a full and accurate computation of the population of the Empire in the
coming census indicated by us.

The administration will give the necessary orders for the fulfillment of the same.

St. Fetersbvkg, January I, I 8q/. Consul- General.


The Donskoi, Crimean, and other varieties of Russian coarse wools of
the clip of 1896 are shorter in the length of the fiber and inferior in quality.
I am reliably informed that numerous shipments of wools from Rostoflf and
Odessa to the United States have, during the present season, been mixed
with "sour wools."

Throughout the broad expanse of the Russian Empire, 90 per cent of
the population wear sheepskin coats with the woolly side next to the body.
These skins are prepared for use in the northern and central governments of
Russia, but as far as I have been able to ascertain, not in the south. In the
process of preparing these skins for coats, large quantities of chemicals are
employed. As the freshly prepared skins on the leather side are perfectly
white, the presumption is that arsenic is largely used. When ready to be
made up into coats, much of the wool is trimmed and the skin cut to suit
the measure desired. This results in a certain amount of waste material
both in skin pieces and free-wool fiber. The exact quantity of this waste
material annually produced I have not been able to ascertain, but it must be
very large.

This material is sold largely to a certain class of merchants who have,
for years, been engaged is shipping Donskoi and other coarse wools from
Russia to the United States. These merchants mix this material with their
Donskoi and Crimean washed wools, and it is this material which I have
named "sour wool.** When greasy wools are worth here from 4.50 to 5

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rubles per pood (36.112 pounds), these sour wools will cost from 5 to
6 rubles per pood. Should greasy wools be higher or lower in price, the
sour wools follow suit. Whenever these sour wools are mixed with other
wools sent to the United States, it will be found that the shipment will con-
tain from 10 to 12 percent. This proportion has been maintained since
wool has been on the free list. During the time there was a duty on wool
the admixture of these sour wools was from 20 to 25 per cent.

The advantage to the shipper in purchasing these sour wools and mixing
them with the washed Donskoi and other wools is in this : Donskoi wools
in the grease, yield, when washed, from 50 to 52 per cent of pure wool fiber,
while these chemically cleaned sour wools yield 80 per cent. The Donskoi
wools when washed are usually worth from 10 to 12 rubles per pood, while
the sour wools never cost more than from 5 to 6 rubles per pood. The value
of these sour wools to the American manufacturer can be very little; I
should say not more than i ruble per pood (50 cents per 36.112 pounds).
It is stated here that the chemical treatment to which this wool is subjected
has the effect of killing the fiber and destroys the strength of the wool, leaving
it weak and practically worthless.

That the admixture of these sour wools with the other wools shipped
from Russia to the United States is done to deceive either the American im-
porter or manufacturer, or perhaps both, admits of no doubt. I can not
say how far the practice is a general one here, as I am probably the last man
in Russia who would be taken voluntarily into the confidence of the Russian
wool shippers. That it does exist, can be easily demonstrated by an exam-
ination at the New York custom-house of wools entered during the present
season under the designation of Crimean white wools or washed white wools
shipped from Odessa. Crimean wools sent to Philadelphia late this season
will also be found to contain this sour wool.

If the statements I have made concerning this practice at Odessa and
Rostoflf are true, the condition of affairs pointed out must be equally true
of shipments of wool from northern Russia, where these sour wools are to
be found in large quantities. I do not desire to be understood as charging
that all of the Russian shippers of these coarse wools are engaged in this
sour-wool traffic nor that every shipment of the shippers who resort to the
practice contains sour wool. I simply state that the practice exists and that
the only person who can reasonably be said to be ignorant of its existence
is the person who is the heaviest loser, namely, the American manufacturer.
In anticipation of wool being taken from the free list, large quantities are
being hurried forward to the United States, and I am inclined to believe
much of this wool will be found to contain from 10 to 12 per cent of sour
wool. It is, in my estimation, important that American manufacturers should
be given information concerning this abuse in order that they may be in a
position to protect themselves. If importers and manufacturers are willing
to purchase wool knowing that they contain sour wool I presume there will
be no objection on the part of our customs officials, but as the washers of

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these Crimean and Donskoi wools deny that they mix these sour wools with
the others, I am led to infer that our manufacturers at least are ignorant of the
practice. Whether the importers are ignorant of the practice I have reason
for doubting.

I was led to this discovery about sour wools being mixed with wools
shipped to the United States by an accidental remark made to me during
ray visit to RostofT. I could obtain no information at Rostoff and did not,
at the time, attach much importance to the matter. Since my return to
Odessa, I have investigated the matter, and the result is the revelations con-
tained is this report. I would have preferred a longer delay before reporting
this matter in order to present more detailed information, but the subject is
a difficult one to handle here and I might keep on investigating another
year and still be dissatisfied with my work. In the meantime, American
manufacturers would be the losers. Our appraisers and experts at the New
York and Philadelphia custom-houses should be able to detect these wools,
and doubtless will be.

I am both personally and officially deeply mortified at having made this
discovery at so late a day in my career at Odessa. I believed that I was
familiar with all of the tricks of the trade in Donskoi and other coarse wools,
but in this, it would appear, I was mistaken. The length of time this abuse
has been practiced I do not know, and may never know, but that it has ex-
isted for many years I am quite convinced. I hope the Department will not
believe that I have been neglectful in this matter and will understand that
this adulteration takes place at the washeries, which are situated far from
Odessa, while I am not authorized to leave Odessa except at rare intervals
to visit the washeries.


Odessa, December 18, i8g6. Consul,


Although Russia's record, in recent years, in industrial development is
enough to encourage her most progressive statesmen, she must stay a long
time in foreign markets buying machinery to help her make the most possible
out of her huge natural resources. She must buy. She will buy, however,
only where she knows or believes she will be best served. For years, German
intelligence has taught the Teutons how to beat others in Russia's mar-
kets. To German energy and German technical skill is due the fact that this
Empire has furnished Russia three-fourths of her best industry-developing
forces. This, in turn, has given Germans a not undeserved influence.
At this year's Nijni- Novgorod fair, it was German-trained and German-
supervised industries that won the highest prizes. This was especially true
of the machine-building branches, in which a great majority of the master
mechanics and engineers are Germans. The same may be said of the mining
experts. In the silk mills, the French examples rule ; in cotton, the English.

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High tariffs on imports have helped to build up the home industries. This
is especially true in the cheaper grades of goods. Goods of higher grades
must be bought for a long time in foreign parts. England complains of her
constant losses and Germany's gains in Russia's markets. England's losses
are due to the indifference of her agents in learning the Russian language.*
Not an English traveler or agent understands or speaks Russian , while not a
German agent lacks the language, and, what is equally important, a knowl-
edge of the nation's industrial needs. These he studies as diligently as he
does the language. Another great advantage the Germans have over all
other competitors, even the French, is the knowledge the Russian merchants
have of German.

Not only has Russia's industrial development been remarkable, but her
natural-wealth resources have been extensively opened up. Here, too, Ger-
mans have had their hands in up to the wrists. The coal production has gone
up threefold in fifteen years. Baku's petroleum export has increased year after
year till to-day it is a question whether Germany can not get her total supply
from the Baku wells, thus shutting out American oil.f New wells have been
opened recently near Vladicaucus and are yielding profitable returns.

Beyond the Caucasian provinces, cotton is being successfully grown in
large quantities. Even tea, that tantalizing product, believed hitherto im-
possible outside of China and India, is being successfully cultivated. Cali-
fornia grapevines on Transcaucasian hills are yielding fruit for wine and
raisins. Anything more active than the iron industries in the Russian Em-
pire does not exist. This is especially true of iron and steel pertaining to
railroads, due to the remarkable development of new lines going on all over
the country. Farmers alone suffer. Ignorance and lack of funds force them
to the wall when they enter the world's markets against men trained scien-
tifically in agricultural and horticultural schools, and whose position among
older and richer countries puts ready, cheap money within easy reach at
reasonable rates.


Chemnitz, Decemberig, i8g6. Consul,


The wheat crop of Australasia for the coming harvest is short. It must
be remembered that the seasons here are opposite from ours, the cereal year
beginning and ending about the ist of July, as ours in the United States be-
gins and ends about January i. This *' year," of which I am now writing,

* England's representative at last year's Nijni-Novgorod fair tells his people, through the Foreign Office, that
" the present position of England's commercial relations with Russia arc not inspiring. In consequence of the
high tariflfs and the development of the home industries, England need not count on any considerable increase
in export thither."

t To-day's official paper in this city published an item, purporting to come out of interested circles, to the
effect that regulations are to be put into force by the German Government making the importation of American
petroleum into the Empire almost impossible. In the same item, it is asked whether Russia is in a position to
supply sufficient to cover the amount needed. This is doubted.

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will end July i next, or, as far as wheat alone is concerned, say April next.
The wheat crop of Australasia, as estimated by the most careful observers,
falls so short of the usual as to reduce Australasia from her position as the
sixth wheat-exporting country on the globe to about the eleventh wheat-
importing country. From being an exporter of about 12,000,000 bushels
per year, Australasia will have to import not far from 5,000,000 bushels to
supply the deficiency from short crops.

This misfortune to Australasia will be of considerable benefit to our peo-
ple, not only because the United States will supply the chief part of the
nearly 5,000,000 bushels deficiency, but because she will also supply a large
part of the world's deficiency, caused by the withholding of the 12,000,000
bushels usually furnished by Australasia. Then, in the competitive markets
of the world, Australasia's short crop makes a difference of about 1 7,000,000
bushels. With a failure in India and a short crop throughout Europe, this
will be no trifling advantage to the wheat growers of the United States.

From the Sydney Daily Telegraph of November 30, 1896, a reliable jour-
nal, the financial editor of which is Mr. Nash, a very efficient and conscien-
tious writer, I clip the following:

Australasian wheat requirements.


Consump- I
lion in 1897.

I Bushels.

New-South Wales, at 6 bushels I 7,800,000

Victoria, at 5.8 bushels 7,ooo,coo

Queensland, at 5.8 bushels | 2, 750,000

South Australia, at 6.3 bushels 2,250,000

Western Australia, at 6.5 bushels , 1,000,000

Tasmania, at 6.5 bushels 1,075,000

New Zealand, at 7 bushels,.... 5,000,000

Total I 26,875,000

Required for

Total re-






















*I, 100,000




*7, 000,000



* We have taken the New Zealand, Queensland, and Western Australian crops as rather in excess of last
year : the Tasmanian at slightly less.

This shows a deficiency of over 4,500,000 bushels.
Mr. Coghlan, in his Seven Colonies of Australasia, gives the production
of wheat in the seven colonies as follows:


Production.j ^y,'^''^, P",„ | tion pcr*^
acre,^885to| ^^^P^,

I Bushels.

New South Wales , 5»»95,3»a

Victoria _ 5,669,174



South Australia

Western Australia..


New Zealand

Toul 25,114,115


6, 843, 768















No. 198-

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I see on page 234 of the work before referred to, that there were in Aus-
tralasia 3,367,779 acres devoted to wheat growing in 1881, 3,737,801 acres
in 1 89 1, and 3,848,285 acres in 1894, showing a gradual and considerable
increase. Since 1894, the increase has been still more marked, if we are
justified in^ judging from the conditions in New South Wales. From 647,485
acres in 1894-^5, the increase has been to 717,500 acres in 1896-97. Ap-
proximately, then, there must be nearly 4,000,000 acres devoted to wheat
raising in Australasia for this year, ending, say, March 30, 1897.

Mr. Nash, as per the first table, quoted from the Daily Telegraph, esti-
mates the requirements for seed at 3,350,000 bushels, and, based upon this
and the real consumption, he finds the 4,500,000 deficiency.

I think the Americans usually sow from i^ to 1% bushels per acre, and
if the Australians sow but i bushel, it would require 4,000,000 bushels for seed
alone, or thereabouts.

But there is another point that it seems to me the statisticians have over-
looked. In Australia, there is an enormous quantity of wheat sowed and
cut for hay. The following table, taken from the Telegraph of November
25, 1896, indicates the extent of this practice:










Area under cultivation .acres..



7. 041 » 378

Ije 707

14-9 ofln

^06.684 ' ft^ fi»^


Proponion of wheat and hay

-3 . f bushels...

Production <


z6.3 1 100


22 5



. . ,. (bushels...

Averacc vie d •<

** ' I tons









Area under cultivation

Proportion of wheat and hay..


Average yield

acres...] 784,600 I 196,200

, I 80 I ao

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign CommerceConsular reports, Issues 196-199 → online text (page 50 of 82)