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

Consular reports, Issues 196-199 online

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has agreed to charge firms and companies thus protected no more than the
cost to him of getting out the trade-mark patent, which is about $18.
Doubtless, he wishes to prove himself useful to American exporters and
place himself in an advantageous light hereafter as an agent for American

Powder and Other Explosives in Uruguay. — The amount of powder of all
kinds imported into Uruguay in the year 1895, says Consul Schramm, of
Montevideo, December 29, 1896, was the following: From England, $11,-
672 ; France, I91 ; Germany, $54. Dynamite was imported into Uruguay in
the year 1894 to the amount of ^15,200, and in the year 1895, only |i,8oo.
The supplying points for dynamite are the following countries : United States,
England, and Germany. Duties on powder are the following: All powders
in tins are valued for duty purposes at 60 cents per kilogram, of which
value, 51 per cent, 5 per cent, and 2]/^ per cent are charged. All powders
in packages other than tins are valued for duty purposes at 40 cents per kilo-
gram, and all other powders, such as cannon, blasting, or gunpowder of any
kind, at 25 cents per kilogram, with same duties as above named. Dyna-
mite is valued for duty purposes at 80 cents per kilogram, of which a duty of
No. 198 10.

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438 NOTES.

20 per cent, 5 per cent, and 2^ per cent is to be paid. All duties must be
paid in advance before the Government will allow such powders and explo-
sives to be stored at the places of deposit, kept for these purposes. The
Government purchases its supplies for its army altogether in Europe, and
ready made up in cartridges and charges for the different guns and cannons
which are in use.

Foreigners in Honduras. — Consul Little, of Tegucigalpa, says, under
date of January 19, 1897:

The Congress of Honduras convened at the beginning of this month.
Capitalists from New York have arrived to treat of the matter of the inter-
oceanic railway, and other capitalists from the United States have come to
petition for a concession for constructing an electric railway in the north
coast country. I inclose that part of the President's message relating to
foreign affairs, together with a translation of the same.


Complete harmony with the other nations has been maintained, without an3rthing having
occurred to alter the good relations existing with their governments. The Secretary of State
in the Department will give you account of the diplomatic incidents that have occurred, some
of which were determined, but many, among them various matters of importance, remain
still pending and to-day are found in the hands of the Diet of the Greater Republic.

The greater part of these incidents proceed from reclamations by foreigners who reside
in the country ; reclamations by those who, on account of unfortunate precedents established
in Latin America, come to these lands, where a generous hospitality is extended them, with
the object of enriching themselves, not by work, but by the reclamation through the diplomatic
way of false or exaggerated damages suffered. The truth is that, although in the worse
situations the foreigners have generally been respected and protected, in some cases they
have been victims of the abuses of the authorities; but even then, if they had any gratitude
toward the soil that has so well received them, they would not attempt to cause to devolve
upon the country, beyond that which is just, the responsibility of its governors, whose errors
it suffers to its regret.

On studying these incidents, you will appreciate more, if possible, the necessity that these
small nationalities have of fusing themselves into one greater, which, if it should not have
the material force for preventing these abuses of the greater powers, would augment its
moral force by its greater commercial and political importance.

A Shorthand Writing Machine. — It may be of interest to students of
shorthand, says Consul Parker, of Birmingham, January 21, 1897, to have
information about a machine which has lately been exhibited in England.
Although it may be known in the United States, I venture to send herewith
the description of it printed in the London Times of January 4. Much at-
tention is given to shorthand here, especially for reports for newspapers. It
is quite the rule that every man connected with a newspaper, as an editor or

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NOTES. 439

reporter, is a trained writer of shorthand, an accomplishment made necessary
by the practice of printing very full reports of speeches delivered in Parlia-
ment or on the platform. It has not yet come into anything like the uni-
versal use, as with us, for business correspondence, but is growing into
popularity since the typewriting machine began to make its way; neither is
it employed in courts of law for taking verbatim reports of testimony, this
duty being still assumed by the judge, in accordance with old-time usage.

[From the London Times, January 4, 1897.]

No mechanism, however ingenious it may be, can render education and intelligence un-
necessary in the art of reporting; but something — perhaps a good deal — may be done to
lighten the physical labor of writing shorthand. The idea is not new, for several shorthand
machines have already been produced, but for various reasons they have not proved successful.
Mr. J. F. Hardy, however, has invented a machine which seems to promise better things, and
undoubtedly fulfills many of the conditions of success. In the Brst place, it is small and port-
able. It measures 8 by 7 inches, and is, perhaps, 4 inches high, so that it is no larger than a
rather thick quarto volume. In the next place, it is virtually silent — an indispensable quality
if several machines, working at once, are not to disturb a speaker and his audience. It will
also have the merit of costing only a few pounds. Not to describe the machine minutely, it
may be said to be a miniature typewriter, with only six keys, by the various combinations of
which, struck with either hand, a species of Morse shorthand of dots and dashes is im-
printed. A roll of ordinary thin white paper is used, and one of the best features of the
machine b that it prints regular lines across a continuous page, ending and beginning each line
automatically, without any attention on the part of" the operator. These are obvious advan-
tages. Its inventor, possibly with a touch of parental partiality, holds that it is easier to become
proficient with his machine and his new system of shorthand than with existing systems of
" pencil shorthand." On that point we can not, of course, express an opinion. But an expert
would certainly find the physical labor of note taking reduced to a minimum, and any tran-
scriber who has learned to read shorthand notes thus taken would be able to transcribe the
notes of any reporter who uses the machine; for the machine has no idiosyncrasies, and its
writing is always the same and betrays no haste and no carelessness.

Packing Goods for Mexico. — The following paragraph is from the annual
report of Consul Oliver, of Merida, dated January 19, 1897 :

This section of the Mexican coast, from Progreso to Veracruz, being ab-
solutely void of safe harbors, compels me to again remind exporters to pack
their goods more securely, so that they may stand the rough handling to
which they are invariably subjected in their transfer from the ships to the
lighters, by reason of the rough, open sea and the frequent ** northers'* which
visit this coast during five months of each year. The merchants here are
unanimous in their complaints regarding the careless manner in which all
merchandise from the United States is packed. They further state that, by
reason of this carelessness, they have lost a large amount of trade, which
has gone to Europe, where all merchandise is skillfully and securely packed,
with an eye single to the conditions referred to.

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American Lumber in China. — Consul-General Jernigan, of Shanghai,
under date of December 9, 1896, says an important article of import at Shang-
hai is American lumber. To date, this has principally consisted of pine lum-
ber from the States of Oregon and Washington, though considerable redwood
from California also finds an appreciative market, as does timber from Brit-
ish Columbia. The eastern part of China is almost denuded of trees, causing
the native supply of lumber to be very limited. The regions back of Fuchau
furnish considerable, not suitable for building purposes, in a foreign sense,
but affording the means of a large traffic between the natives. It is from the
Fuchau regions that the wood for making coffins is mostly obtained, the
superstition of the Chinese permitting only certain kinds to be used for
this purpose. From Hunan and other parts of western China, large quan-
tities of pine are cut and rafted down the Yangtze River, but as a rule it is
of a very inferior quality. Some wood finds its way from the interior to
Canton. Teak and other varieties of hard wood are imported from the East
Indies, Siam, and Burmah, and some pine timber comes from Japan. Re-
cently, a lot of railroad ties were brought from Japan to Tientsin. The rapid
growth of Shanghai, and more especially the building of large cotton mills
and silk filatures here and in other cities have largely increased the import
of pine timber during the past two years. This will appear from the fol-
lowing table :





Value in

United States


, Value in
Quantity. United Slates



344,396 1




4, 380, 37 » i



161, lai



» 3,643,944


18,769,599 1

270, 383



20,353 '











x6, 127



Hard-wood lx:ains cubic feet...

Solt-wood beams square feet...

Hard-wood planks cubic feet...

Soft-wood planks .square feel...

Teak planks cubic feet...

Poles pieces...

Masts and spars do

Teak logs cubic feel...

One of the largest lumber dealers at Shanghai furnishes the following
statement of sales of pine lumber made by the principal lumber firms for the
years 1893-1896:

Square feet.

1893 6,000,000

1894 6,000,000

1895 12,000,000

1896 14,000,000

The customs returns for 1896 are not yet published, but it is estimated
that between 20,000,000 and 30,000,000 square feet of timber were imported
during the year just closed, and that there were about 11,000,000 square
feet on hand. As stated, the greater quantity of the lumber comes from the
United States, and the quantity imported amounted in 1896 to 14,000,000

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NOTES. 441

square feet, and in 1895 ^^ 9>i 49*7^9 square feet. In this connection, one
important fact may be noticed — the mills for whose construction ihe greater
quantity of the lumber was imported are now completed, that no extensive
building operations are planned for 1897, and that the figures given above
show the market fairly supplied for ordinary demands. Dealers express the
opinion that, on this account, the imports for 1897 will be small, but never-
theless, the lumber market of China will rule favorable for American lumber,
and with the more extensive introduction of western machinery and the con-
sequent need for proper buildings, the demand will steadily increase. The
opening of China by railroads and the spread of western civilization will make
more substantial and comfortable houses a desideratum, and the construction
of such will require the use of foreign timber. Houses of foreign style have
already become so popular with the natives at Shanghai that Europeans who
are called here in the discharge of their duties find it diificult to secure houses
for their families, and rents have, since 1894, advanced about 20 per cent.
Much building is now being done to meet this need, and if the demand for
the current year should not be so large as formerly, I should advise a careful
study of the lumber market.

Woolen Mill at Tientsin, China. — Consul Read, of Tientsin, under date
of January 5, 1897, says a woolen mill is soon to be erected in Tientsin, on
the river bank just below the foreign settlement. On making inquiries, Mr.
Read learned that the complete plant for this mill was purchased from the
Danish Oriental Company, Limited, of Copenhagen, which firm has a repre-
sentative in Shanghai who made the agreement. The machinery, purchased
by the Danish Oriental Company, was made in England and cost about 300,-
000 Tientsin taels (^230,000 United Stales gold). The present customs
taotai of Tientsin, Li Mingsam, is interested in this mill, adds Mr. Read, as
is also, I understand, Sheng, the director-general of the imperial railways.
As soon as the machinery arrives in the spring, building operations will be
begun. This mill will begin to deal with about 10,000 pounds of wool per
week, which will yield about 50 to 60 pieces per day of camlets, lastings, long
ells, etc. — goods similar to those now imported. Arrangements have been
made to extend the mill for cotton spinning with 10,000 spindles and 100
looms, but this is not likely to occur until the woolen mill is in good working
order. The output of this mill is to be taken by the army ; hence the officials
interested will, no doubt, have a large profit on the capital invested.

Change in Bolivian Tariff. — Vice-Consul Zalles, of La Paz, Bolivia, un-
der date of December 31, 1896, says the National Congress of Bolivia has
passed a law authorizing the Executive to increase the tariff 25 per cent over
the liquidations of the fees for the importation of merchandise in the differ-
ent custom-houses of the Republic, having in mind the fluctuations of the

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442 NOTES.

exchange. The said law takes effect from the ist of January, 1897. I in-
close herewith the original decree and translation of the same.


Article i. The Executive power is authorized to ertablish an increase of 25 per cent
over the liquidations of the fees for the importations of merchandise. The said increase is
fixed by the Government, having in view the fluctuations of the exchange and the facilities
for importation of merchandise by the different custom-houses of the Republic.

Art. 2. The present law will govern from the 1st of January next.

[bated November 18, 1896.]

United States Commercial Agencies in Foreign Countries. — The Bureau of
Statistics, Department of State, has received a letter from The Bradstreet
Company, dated February 25, 1897, which says:

On pages 287 and 288 of the February, 1897, number of Consular Reports, we notice
an article headed " Commercial agencies in Ireland," containing a communication from Con-
sul Taney, dated at Belfast, January I, 1S97, which says that his plan to obtain information
about the financial and credit standing of merchants in Ireland would be as follows :

"Communicate directly with the local commercial agency of which he is a subscriber,
such as Bradstreets or Duns. I am informed a reciprocal business is done between the promi-
nent commercial agencies of the United States and this Kingdom, and that information wanted
on this side can be had through Messrs. Bradstreet or Dun, provided the party wanting the
information is a subscriber to either of the American agencies."

This is not correct. In our attempts to facilitate trade between the United States and
foreign countries, every possible barrier has been removed. Foreseeing that many merchants
would wish to avail themselves of our reports throughout the civilized world who were not
subscribers to our domestic business in the United States and Canada, we have made it possi
ble for any concern in good standing to secure foreign reports through our foreign depart-
ment, at New York, whether tliey are subscribers to the domestic business or not, and agree-
ments are entered into to furnish even single reports.

We trust that you will be kind enough to correct the erroneous statement in the article
quoted above, n6t in our interest, but in the interest of a large number of merchants who
might be deterred from attempting to trade with foreign countries on the supposition that it
would be necessary for them to pay a large amount for our domestic subscription before they
could make inquiries about foreign concerns.

Cuban Sugar Crop. — In the fourth paragraph of the report entitled ** Pro-
ductive forces of Cuba," published in Consular Report.s for February,
1897, appears the following sentence:

The island has already produced in a single year for export, ii,cxx>,ooo tons [of sugar],
while its capabilities have only been in the experimental stage.

These figures, although plainly given in Consul Hyatt's report, are so
obviously erroneous as to be almost self-correcting. The figures which Con-
sul Hyatt must have intended to give are 1,100,000 tons, which would about
(Over the sugar produced in any single year for export.

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Consular Reports Transmitted to Other Departments. — The following
reports from consular officers (originals or copies) were transmitted during
the month of February to other Departments for publication or for other
action thereon:

Consular officer reporting.

George Sawter, Glauchau

Henry W. Bowen, Barcelona..

Charles L. Adams, Cadiz...


S. B. Caldwell, Seville

T. E. Moore, Weimar

W. D. Warner, Cologne^

J. C. Monaghan, Chemnitz..

F. C. McGhee, Huddcrsficld..



R. M. Bartleman, Malaga

D. W. Maratta, Melbourne....


G. W. Bell, Sydney^

H. N. Allen, Seoul

Nov. 14,1896
Sept. 34, 1896
Oct. 26,1896
Nov. 18, 1896
June 19,1896
May 23,1896

Dec. 13,1896 1
Dec. 17,1896

Jan. 19,1897



Nov. 2,1896
Dec. 14,1896
Oct. 1,1896
Dec. 1,1896
Nov. 4,1896


Typhus antitoxin ,

Spanish fisheries .'.

Sherry vintage of 1896 ,

Olive crop of Spain ,


Potash salts as fertilizers in


American beef in Germany

Potatoes in England, France,

and Germany.

Trades unions ,


Agricultural review

Railways of Europe in 1896....

The cereals of Victoria.

Mint returns

Wheat prospect in Australasia,
Rice crop of Korea

Department to which referred.

Marine Hospital Service.
Fish Commission.
Department of Agriculture.





Department of Labor.
Department of Agriculture.

Commissioner of Railroads.
Department of Agriculture.
Director of the Mint.
Department of Agriculture.


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Railroad and Coinage Projects in China. — The North China Herald, of
Shanghai, December 31, 1896, says:

His Excellency Sbeng Hsuan-huai, director-geoeral of the Great Western Railway, went
to Woosung on Christmas day, accompanied by a staff of experts, to examine the ground
between there and Shanghai, on account of which a report is now circulating that the first
railway to be undertaken will be between these two points. His Excellency will subsequently
embark in a large-sized steam launch for a tour between Woosung and Soochow. Apropos
of the above-named official, his suggestion to the Throne for his new imperial bank to be
permitted to coin i-tacl pieces to a total of 1,000,000 has been sanctioned by the Emperor at
the recommendation of the board of revenue. If these coins "take " among the people, the
said board intend to establish a mint at Peking for the purpose of coining these **tael dollars."

American Pig Iron at Trieste.* — A report, dated 23d of January last, has
been received at the Foreign Office from Mr. J. G. Haggard, Her Majesty's
consul at Trieste, stating that American pig iron of excellent quality has
lately been introduced into the Trieste market (which was formerly supplied
from Great Britain) at prices with which the British article can not compete,
and that, if this is continued, the fact must for the future exclude British pig
iron. The American product recently arriving was selling, after all ex-
penses, free on carts outside the dock gates, at from 3.80 to 3.90 florins
(Austrian currency) per 100 kilograms. The British iron hitherto imported
has been chiefly Glengarnock No. i and Clarence No. 3, the prices of which
have varied according to the market, but have averaged, in the case of the
former, at 5.20 florins per 100 kilograms, free on carts outside the dock
gates, and in the case of the latter, at from 4 to 4. 20 florins under the same
conditions. The low price of the American iron has been said to be ac-
counted for by the fact that the Austro-American line of steamers, which
has chiefly imported it, is subsidized by the Austrian Government, and that,
as these vessels mostly bring from the United States cotton, which is a light
cargo, they can also at the same time carry much pig iron, the freight of
which is indirectly paid by the subsidy. But the above theory can not cover
the whole question, for some of the iron has also been brought in British
bottoms; it has not yet, however, been possible to ascertain the real cause
of the cheapness of the American material. It is, of course, possible that
the present prices may rise, but meanwhile it is said that large stocks from the
United States are being laid in by the great shipbuilding firms in Trieste and
by others.

* From the British Board of Trade Journal, February, 1897.

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Progress in the Kongo Free State. — A Reuter telegram from Brussels, Jan-
uary 28, 1897, says:

In Ihe report submitted to the King on affairs in the Kongo Free State, M. Van Eetwelde,
Secretary of State for the Kongo, says that commercial activity has increased sixfold, and
affirms the necessity of providing ways and means for carrying out the work of the King.
The provisions of the acts of Berlin and Brussels have been faithfully complied with, con-
tinues M. Van Eetwelde. He then proceeds to speak of the difficult task which the Kongo
Free State has had to accomplish in putting down slavery. The natives are now freed from
the Arab yoke, and can to-day cultivate their land in peace. Slavery has been combalted by
various measures, which the report enumerates. The State has pursued the policy of effective
occupation of the whole of its territory. There are today 115 stations, with 684 agents and
12,000 men serving in the colonial force. The report describes the improvements which
have been effected in the navigation of the River Kongo and in the railway, telegraph, and
telephone services, and records the measures which have been taken to prevent trade in fire-
arms and to enforce compulsory vaccination. There are actually in the State 223 Belgian,
English, and American missionaries. The State, says the report, in conclusion, is not seeking
to conquer fresh territory, but to perfect its internal organization.

Sugar Bounties in Holland. — A dispatch to the London Morning Post
from The Hague, dated January 28, 1897, says:

The First Chamber to-day passed, by 25 against 16 votes, the new sugar bill, introducing
a system of excise and fixing the bounty payable to the beet-sugar manufacturers for 1897-98
at 12.50 florins per lOO kilograms until a maximum of 2,500,000 florins is reached in that
year, with an annual decrease of 100,000 florins during eight years, at the end of which
period the annual payments will have been reduced to 1,700,000 florins. The above bill has
already been passed by the Second Chamber.

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I PVii




I. — Duty on Wines ani> Liquors in Nicaragua C^Hara

II. — Reduction of Tobacco Duty in Nicaragua

III. — Removal of Duty on Lard in Nicaragua

IV. — Vanilla Culture in Nicaragua ,

V. — British Goods in Nicaragua ,

VI. — Books and Paper for the Nicaraguan Trade,

VII. — Transportation and Trade at Bluefields

VIII. — Foreign Settlers in Nic\ragua

IX. — Honeybees in Nicaragua

X.-^Indemnity Loan of Nicaragua Wiesike

XI. — Coffee Crop of Nicaragua Baker

XII. — Gold Exports from British Guiana Patterson

XIII. — Newspapers in Guatemala OHara

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign CommerceConsular reports, Issues 196-199 → online text (page 61 of 82)