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

Consular reports, Issues 196-199 online

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reaus for information, /. e.y they need no local union's indorsement. Ques-
tions concerning firms in places where there is no branch of the union must
be handed to the member's local branch.

Members may have cards of identification (legitimation) for themselves
and their traveling agents. These enable the merchant, manufacturer, or
agent, when traveling, to go into any of the union's six hundred bureaus and
get information free, as long as it is oral, as to any and every concern in the
place. This is of incalculable value and is certainly an important feature of
what seems, on the whole, one of the best institutions known to the modern
business world.

The chambers of commerce all over the Empire indorse the works of
these unions in language that would seem extravagant did one not know it to



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^ILES, HORSESHOE NAILS, ETC., IN SWITZERLAND. 553

be true. Too much can not be said in their praise. They bring influences
to bear upon legislation to make it better; they are compelling firms that
formerly were run by women, under the name of *• M. So &: So,** and firms in
which women were partners, as **M. So & So,*' and firms whose titles read
''Successors to So & So*' to write out the real, full name or names of the
members; they are working for belter bankrupt laws; they are helping to
destroy lying advertising, etc. ; they are doing a good and long-desired
work.

The following, taken from the report of the Chemnitz union at an annual
meeting to which 1 went last evening, will give a good idea of how popular
the unions are growing:

The general organization has 311 unions and 315 branches, l^esides 5 official represent-
atives. It has 47,000 members and gave out, in 1S95, 2,325,000 answers to inquiries. The
Chemnitz union's eleventh year shows an increase in membership from 330 firms to 495.
Eleven thousand three hundred and and thirty-four written notices were sent out in this year,
against 9,469 during the last, and 6,000 oral answers were given. Bad bills amounting to
73,266 marks (about ;^i8,ooo) were handed in. Of these, 57,361 marks were collected,
26,208 by agreement and 31,153 as the result of warnings. Fifty names of those refusing to
pay, after being warned, were put on the "black list." In 1895, a great many questions
regarding foreign creditors were asked. These related mostly to Austria, Switzerland, Bel-
gium, and England.

I may add here my mite to the general opinion of this system. I have
had occasion to study its usefulness and consider it one of the best possible.
It offers more than all other bureaus of information combined. It aims to
root out all the evils of bad credits. Its ways and means are most modest
and most effective. It is succeeding beyond its projectors* belief. It is
too liberal to decry any other method. It does not aim at competition;
its object is to aid and supplement others. It welcomes every means and
way that may serve the common cause. I write in full, for I would favor
the introduction of this system in our country.

J. C. MONAGHAN,

Chemnitz, November 14, i8g6. Consul.



FILES, HORSESHOE NAILS, ETC., IN SWITZERLAND.

The following report was obtained at the request of the United States
Export Association, of New York, which has been supplied with a copy of
the same :

Files, — These are manufactured to some extent in Switzerland. The file
industry employs about 1,200 hands. The largest factories are at Vallorbe,
in the canton of Vaud, at the foot of the Jura Mountains, where water for
power purposes is abundant. At the close of 1884, there were 27 registered
file manufactories in operation, apportioned as follows: Canton of Vaud, 9;
Geneva, 6; Zurich, 5; Berne, 3; Neufchatel, 3; and Basle, i.



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554 FILES, HORSESHOE NAILS, ETC., IN SWITZERLAND.

Grobet Bros., at Vallorbe, I am told, are the largest manufacturers.
Their motive power is water. They are said to possess a secret method by
which they make highly tempered files, and they export their product exten-
sively to the United States. Mr. Montgomery, the resident agent of that
firm at New York, I am told, does quite a successful and profitable business,
the Grobet files being well known and in good demand at home as well as
abroad.

Notwithstanding this, Switzerland imports all kinds of files. Files for
watchmakers are principally made at Vallorbe and Neufchatel. England,
France, and Germany supply many files to the Swiss trade. American files
are also in the market, although in limited supply. They are well and
favorably known, but it is claimed that their price is too high.

In this city, Mr. A. Bannwart, at Aussersihl-Zurich, a heavy importer of
American hardware and machinery, carries American files in stock and is the
agent of Henry Disston &: Sons, Philadelphia, Pa. English files are sold on
the basis of the Sheffield price list, with various graduated discounts. I can
not obtain this list here, importers being reluctant to give detailed informa-
tion for fear of competition. I have no doubt that American importers in
that line are familiar with the Sheffield price list. Swiss, French, and Ger-
man manufacturers, I am told, sell at net figures against sixty or ninety days*
acceptance, or less a discount of 5 to 6 per cent for cash on receipt of goods.
As a rule, Swiss importers in any line will not accept or pay drafts until they
have had a chance to examine and check up goods. It is my opinion that
such privileges should be granted if it is desired to gain a foothold. In
other words, we must meet German, French, and English competition as to
terms and mode of payment. It is not more of a venture to do business
with the Swiss than it is with home concerns, provided the same caution is
used and proper inquiries made. There are many houses here of long and
high standing who invariably avail themselves of a cash discount, if made
an object, as soon as the goods are found satisfactory, because money can
be had at from 3 to 35^ per cent.

Import duties on files are as follows: Up to 25 centimeters in length
(commercial cut), 10 francs ($1.93) per 100 kilograms (220 pounds); 25
centimeters and longer, 12 francs ($2.31). All duties in Switzerland are
collected on the gross weight, that is, including packages.

All kinds and sizes of files are handled here. A good way to introduce
the article is to send illustrated price lists, in German and French text, the
length given in centimeters and weight in grams and kilograms. The best
method, however, to obtain business is to send out a well-posted man, speak-
ing the languages of the countries he visits, with a full line of samples.

Horseshoe nails. — These are mostly supplied by Mueller & Schreiber, at
Berlin, Germany, who seem to have the monopoly in that line. I am told
that Swiss, Italian, French, and English horseshoe-nail manufacturers have
tried in vain to compete with that firm. Horseshoers, as a rule, refuse to
use nails unless they bear the name of Mueller & Schreiber on each package.



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FILES, HORSESHOE NAILS, ETC., IN SWITZERLAND. 555

The wholesale price of these is 80 francs ($15.44) per 100 kilograms
(220 pounds) for ordinary large, and 80 to 100 francs ($15.44 to $19.30)
for smaller sizes. The import duty is 12 francs ($2.31) per 100 kilograms.

Toilet and horse clippers, — I think this article could be introduced. A
few American clippers are scattered here and there, probably introduced by
German and English houses, but the bulk of the clippers — toilet and hand
horse clippers — in use here are of English and French manufacture. No
power horse clippers are employed as yet in Switzerland. Mr. A. Ban n wart
would like to represent an American concern in this line. His trade extends
all over Switzerland and the adjoining countries.

Mr. Bannwart says horse clippers cost him in England 62 cents and
toilet clippers %\ each. Import duty on clippers is 40 francs ($7.72) per
220 pounds gross weight.

Eyeless picks for architects. — This article is unknown here. Mr. Bann-
wart would like a description and prices, with a view of introducing same.
Import duty on regular picks is 25 francs ($4.92) per 220 pounds. Mr.
Bannwart is perfectly familiar with the American traSe methods, discounts,
etc., and letters may be written to him in English, while letters to most
other importers here should be written in the German language.

American razors. — These are not in market; at least diligent inquiry
failed to reveal any. England and Germany supply the demand, and an
effort on our part might result in some business. The duty on razors is 40
francs ($7.72) per 100 kilograms.

I would suggest that American exporters in any line offer their goods on
the wharf of European ports, either Antwerp, Havre, or Genoa, as, from
what I learned, Swiss merchants prefer buying that way.

For freight rates from Antwerp or Genoa to Swiss points, as well as for
import duties or other information on the several articles of American ex-
port, I beg to refer to Consular Reports No. 172 (January, 1895), P- 5^j
No. 177 (June, 1895), PP- 3°^, 344; No. 188 (May, 1896), p. 77, which can
be obtained by applying to the Bureau of Statistics, Department of State,
Washington.

EUGENE GERMAIN,

Zurich, August 27, i8g6. Consul.



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556 MANCHESTER COTTON YARN FOR THE UNITED STATES.



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558 THE WEAVING INDUSTRY OF AIX LA CHAPELLE.



THE WEAVING INDUSTRY OF AIX LA CHAPELLE.

For several weeks since the beginning of the weavers' strike at L. Peters's
manufactory, in Eupen, and at the German branches of the large manu-
factory of Von Taste, in Verviers, great interest has been taken in the ques-
tion of introducing the double-loom system. But even before the com-
mencement of the strike, manufacturers in Aix la Chapelle had seriously
considered the question of introducing the system. The important fact was
brought out that England was not only able to make the so-called *' Aachener
Tuch" (Aix la Chapelle cloth), which they formerly were obliged to buy in
Aix la Chapelle, more cheaply than the manufacturers here, but that she
could even undersell the latter on their own ground, and, in consequence of
reduced prices, had gained the whole American market. England, for in-
stance, delivers the * 'twill of six strands'* 60 pfennigs (15 cents) per meter
cheaper to Aix la Chapelle than the manufacturers there can sell it, and
England pays there 10 per cent duty on cloth.

The manufacturers have consulted as to how to regain this lost ground,
and they see that the only possibility of holding their own and of controlling
the American market consists in introducing the double-loom system. The
manufacturers realize from the experience of Montjoie that they are com-
pelled to this innovation. The industry in cloths at Montjoie, which was in
a flourishing condition twenty years ago, is now totally ruined because the
local manufacturers did not want weavers' mechanical looms introduced.
The longer they wait here before employing the double-loom system, the
worse it is for the manufc*cturer and also for the weaver. The former can
only expect a profit when all the looms are running. The weavers, on the
other hand, although they dread the adoption of the system, could hardly be
in a worse condition than without it; for, in case it is finally rejected, the
manufacturers will be forced to have their work done at other places, where
double looms are in use.

That the introduction of the double-loom system will be efl&cacious in
regaining the American trade the manufacturers do not doubt. The weavers
will not only be employed, but the factories will be enlarged and the num-
ber of looms increased, so that more can be occupied than at present.

Some few manufacturers have grave doubts as to the wisdom of the in-
troduction of the system. The weavers soon become invalids and seldom
reach 40 years of age, the eyes and nerves being so strained and weakened
by attending to two looms at once. The weavers take this into considera-
tion, and in this respect they are right. Even now, where every loom is
managed by one man, after 45 years of age some of the weavers are totally
unfit for work; others die of consumption and other slow diseases. The
manufacturers think they have found a way to keep the weavers strong and
in good^health as long as possible. It has been proposed, if the system be
introduced, that the manufacturers accept the "weaver's woof" of stronger



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UNITED STATES TRADE IN THE ARGENTINE REPUBLIC. 559

quality, in order to spare the eyes of the weavers, to make their work easier,
and to deliver a better product. The threads would not break so often and
the quality would be better, which would be a benefit to the public.

Now remains only the question of wages. The firm of Peters, in Eupen,
expected its weavers to be satisfied with a great reduction of their pay when
the system was introduced, which was not the right way to gain their good
will for the latter. Manufacturers here think that this proposed reduction
of the wages caused the opposition against the new system. The director of
a manufactory here, who is popular with his weavers, suggests an agreement
on an average wage of 3.50 marks (83 cents) per day, which shall be bind-
ing for at least two years on the manufacturer as well as on the weaver. It
ought to be the beginning of a wage. regulation according to the necessity
of the case, and result in a wage scale such as is in successful use in the
cloth manufactories of England. The proposition of the director is worth
considering, and may lead to an understanding between the manufacturers
and the weavers in the best interests of both.

PERRY BARTHOLOW,

Mayence, October 22y i8g6. Consul.



UNITED STATES TRADE IN THE ARGENTINE REPUBLIC.

I have the honor to inclose herewith a table prepared with a view of
graphically illustrating the position which the commerce of the United
States occupies with this Republic, in comparison with that of other coun-
tries.

I have selected but one hundred and thirty-one articles or classes of
goods in preparing this table, for the reason that I desired to deal only with
classes of goods wherein it appears to me we can compete with either of the
countries whose trade I give.

In order that the table may be more easily studied, I have confined its
national scope to the United States, Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy,
and Belgium.

Aside from a personal knowledge as to the ability of the United States
to successfully compete with the countries named in several of the articles
selected as illustrations, it seems to me reasonable to conclude that, given
the fact that our manufacturers can and do sell here i ton, or other meas-
urement, of a given article in competition with the world, they could, if the
proper effort were made, sell more. Applying this reasoning to the table
inclosed, it would appear that in many lines nothing stands in the way of
extending our trade here other than our disinclination to make the necessary
effort.

Following the table are the tariff rates imposed on the articles enumerated,
together with such information as appears to me of interest.

I was forced to take the year 1895 as a basis for the reason that no later
complete statistics are to be had. In this connection, it is to be remembered
No. 199 8.



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560 UNITED STATES TRADE IN THE ARGENTINE REPUBLIC.

that Argentine statistics are for calendar years, and do not appear complete
until August or September of the year following.

It is gratifying to know that our trade here during the year 1896 increased
nearly ^1,500,000 over that of 1895, and as we bought here much less in
1896 than in 1895, this gain is the more noticeable.

I fully believe that by earnest efforts and by studying the requirements
of the country and the competition we have to meet, we can largely increase
our trade here each year.

If the table I have prepared shall serve to attract the attention of our
manufacturers to our actual commerce here and to the possibilities of in-
creasing our trade in articles which we now sell to a very limited and unsat-
isfactory extent, I shall feel more than repaid for the labor I have expended
in its preparation.

But few changes will be found in the tariff for 1897. Such as affect our
trade are noted.

A strong pressure was brought to bear on Congress by national industries
to secure higher duties. This was especially true with regard to cotton-seed
oil. The effort was not successful, however, in this instance.

The decrease made in the duty on revolvers will benefit us more than it
will other countries. Dynamite was placed on the free list. The tendency
in Congress was toward lower duties, but, unfortunately for such a desired
result, the agricultural sections of the country were almost ruined by the
locust in the months of November, December, and January. This fact,
which means a very much reduced revenue for the Government, and business
depression, coupled with the desire of Congress to fully meet the Govern-
ment's interest and contract obligations, left no other course op)en than
to avoid making any reduction in the customs revenue. But one article
was placed at a higher duty that I call to mind; that was linseed oil.
This was placed at the duty it had borne previously to 1896 — 10 cents per
kilogram.



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UNITED STATES TRADE IN THE ARGENTINE REPUBLIC. 56 1
Argentine imports.*



Articles.



CottoD-se«d oil Icilograms...

Chicory, ground and whole do

Starch «. do

Canned meats ~..do

Hams do^».

Preserves, jamsy and candy do..»^

Dried and canned fruiu^ do

Dried and canned vegetables. ..do

Cheese do

Vinegar in barrels liters...

Whisky in bottles.. dozens-
Whisky in barrels liters...

Mineral waters dozens...

Bottled beer do

Leaf tobacco other than Habana,

kil<^ams

Raw cotton kilograms...

Cotton yams.. do

Cotton twine do

Cotton goods ^ do

Canvas do

Cotton bags do

Thread do

Silk thread do

Bagging do

Twine and rope do

Hemp bags do

Binding twine do

Linen goods do

Linen and cotton mixed goods..do

WQolen goods do

Woolen and cotton mixed goods,

kilograms

Waterproof cloth kilograms...

Rubber cloth.. „ do

Collars and cuffs dozens..

Handkerchiefs kilograms..

Umbrellas and parasols number..

Ready-made clothing, all classes,

value (gold)

Wool, felt, and silk hats dozens...

Straw hats.. do

Towels kilograms..

Sulphuric acid do

Linseed oil, raw and boiled do

Varnish do

Borax do

Chloride of lime do

Carbonate of soda and potassium,

kilograms

Colors, dry kilograms...

Colors, prepared ...do..

Sheep dip do..

Gelatin do..

Glycerin do..

Glucose do..



Imported from —



United
States.



291,100



1,865

3»53a
322
1x8
7a8
480



234
i»399



V"



1,858
1,308

953»383
351,620



i6,S5«
» 197,647



570



I140
J7



3,829

8,739

45



13,616
14,185
15,750
65,138



Great Brit-
ain.



a9,344
x6, 158



2,680 I
206,305 I



5,250
100,721

36,5*0
X9,549
34,209
10,625
529
xa,078
X4,axz
11,365
25,940

11,809
25,601
587,172

330,9*9

16,806,978

368,615

9i,3«9

13,650

214

10,454,33a
13,842

X5«,377
296,539
125,965

2,741
941,250

590,o8»
150,528

",337
2,400

4,699
37,281

#37.763
4,984
3,064
39,116

59,853

268,037

135,700

33, 822

7«,594 I

531,329

1, 588.451

1,278,876

3,603,194

5,587

20,551

40,006 j



Germany.



88,076

«58,93»

3,035

3,259

2,665

20,634

xx5,546

24,777

465



485

32,596

1,276

5X,4S3

3,089

77,740

"1,753

[,143,080

49,101

4.239

423

i,iao

116,974

3,861

295,834

24.768

86,649

3,687

114,727

101,631

12,395

6,996

5,144

132

320

#25,801

1,495

7

806

369,592

5,692

13,499

52,148

7,390

1,773
714,914
195,544
113.367

4,549
72,65a
120,935



France.



426,492

153,039

7,824

10,764

673
18.035
96,053
81,239
65,717
28,835

234



5,558,898

17,915

310

43,995

5,702

9,698

1,437,136

500,669

409,619

367



17,833
z6

10,103

630

46,106

30,712

471,8x9

6,580



304

2,031

427,053

1,779



1,063

32,656

1,547
276,063

39,375

3.559

4,814

425

463

7,569

#63,985
2.895
967
2,743
4.323
2,757
6,019



14,831

10,159
234,247
33,743
15,020
3,156
15,204 j
440 ,



Italy.



4,559



155,749
118,283

1,675,137
84,029



4, "64

164

160,860

57,228



25,913
9,821



22,509



34,992



5,580

1,670

#20,734
6,106
7,166

48,983
2,416
2,950
6,207

67.512



Belgium.



193,207
45,642
223,295

311
42,254



387,745

150,277

24

5

2,445

2,442

7,831

37,268



130



21,315
1,342

53,839
30,6x0
25,378
30,166
540,362
1,803



53,102

56.909

137,83s

17,713



2,aoo

283,814
14,018
81,589

39,905
5,040

10,065

3

1,873

1,604

#11,785

76s

3,063

1,029

130,603

13,018

4,596

770

2,700

5,642
967,620
149,150
254,634

9,112
26, 471

7,136



•The metric weights and measures arc given, viz : Kilogram =2.2046 pounds; litcr=i.o567 quarts.



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562 UNITED STATES TRADE IN THE ARGENTINE REPUBLIC.
Argentine imports* — Continued.



Articles.



Lubricating oil.„ ..kilograms... 193,390

Vaseline do 4, 157

Lamp wicking do i7f<»o

Trunks, boxes, casks, and staves,

value.. ^77,oox

Furniture value... $46, 775

Pianos number... 15

Wood pulp kilograms

Soap, common and prepared.... do 36,833

Proprietary or prepared medicines,

valuer >49.535

Rosin kilograms.... 4,3aa,504

Powder and other explosives.. .do 93

Sulphate of copper, iron, and mag-
nesia kilograms.... 3i,Z45

Stucco... do

Ink, all kinds do 768

Engravings, maps, photographs, and

lithographs value... #7,938

Crude steel kilograms ,

Galvanixed wire do 775,023

All other wire do 2,228

Nails do 121,021

Axles, springs, and other ironwork for

carriages and wagons. ...kilograms... 9,9za
Wagons, carts, and carriages, num-
ber.. 458

Iron, crude kilograms... 175,535

Iron columns and beams do

Galvanized iron.. do 397,3*6

Nuts, bolts, and screws do i,547

Hoop iron do <>,340

Agricultural implements :

Plows number... 7,981

Com shelters, all kinds do 3,353

Horse rakes do 328

Binders, reapers, and mowers,

number 3,315

Scythes, all kinds kilograms ,

Drills number.. 678

Thrashers do 60

Other implements and small

tools value... ^^85,787

Pasteboard kilograms...' 1,235

Writing paper „do«...' 5,190

Printing and bookbinders' paper..do 28,240

Wrapping paper do 3,653

Lithographing papcr„ .do..... 2,822

Printed books value... #15,187

Blank books do 435

Pumps, all kinds„ number... i,ao6



Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign CommerceConsular reports, Issues 196-199 → online text (page 76 of 82)