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tained. This assumed a practical form at the Metal Exchange yesterday, for,
according to the press, an exhibit was made, and it was claimed that 100
superficial feet would take but half a box of teme, at, say, $4 per box, com-
pared with $7 worth of slates. The difference is, therefore, considerable,
because, although occasional painting is necessary, the initial cost would be
so much lower, to say nothing of the lesser outlay on the timbering and
scantlings, that there is abundant room to develop the trade in this direction
for ordinary building purposes.

The following appeared in the South Wales Daily News:

Sir : Before it is too late to retain any of the trade with the United States in tin plates,
we think it well to hand you extracts from letters received this day from two important houses
in America. We make no apology for sending you these extracts, believing, as we do, that
the tin-plate trade has reached a crisis in its history when the future of the South Wales tin-
plate trade is at stake. Knowing as we do from the serious falling off in the demand that the
statements of our correspondents are perfectly reliable, we would beg you to urge, with all the
force of which you are capable, counsels of wisdom on the part of the workmen and their
leaders. Unless the cost of production of tin plates in Wales can be materially reduced, we
see no other prospect before us but the extinction of the trade, so far as the United States are
concerned. Trusting that the subject may receive that serious consideration which it de-
mands, we are, etc.,

JEVONS & CO.

Liverpool, February p/, i8g6.

[Extract.]

Referring to yours of the 5th, we don't see how we can afford to give you any more orders
for old-style plates at price you name, with American mills oflFering us a plate guarantied to
carry fully as heavy a coating as the old style at a price which would cost us fully 25 cents
per box less for 14 by 20. If the makers expect to retain trade in this country for old-style
plates, the sooner they reduce their prices the better it will be for them. We also note what
you say about the price of temes, but as we can buy American ternes, carrying II to 12
pounds of metal to the box, 20 by 28, as low as ^3.50, 14 by 20, delivered, against yours
costing us, probably, $3.75, there is no prospect of our being able to give you business in that
grade of plates. The same remarks will apply to quotation you have named us on coke
plates, as we can buy full-weight guarantied coke as low as $3.55, delivered, against your
cost price of $3.75. We are sorry for your sakes to say it, but with the economies practiced
and the great improvement in manufacture, we believe that American mills can make plate at
- considerably less than foreign price, duty added, and there is but little, if any, chance of the
Welsh makers ever again obtaining much of a foothold in this market. At the present time,
the most modem American mills are doing all their pickling by machinery, as well as clean-
ing. The writer expects to see many labor-saving machines used in the manufacture of tin
plate before this year expires, which will still further reduce their cost.

[Extract.]

We see no chance to do anything in black plates for the present, as the American makers
will undersell you.

It is occasionally hinted that certain tin-plate works will be converted
into galvanized-sheet mills, and as the exports, which reached 62,645 tons
during the past quarter, show an increase during that period of 50 per cent,
this does seem possible. I notice, however, in this coimtry, that it takes a



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76



SOUTH WALES TIN-PLATE TRADE.



long time for any industry to localize itself and that manufacturers are slow
to make innovations.

Appended are the comparative returns of the exports of tin plates during
the quarter ending March 31 :

iVfigh/ of exports of tin plates.



Exported t



Russia

Germany

Holland

Fiance „

Portugal, Azores, and Madeira,

Italy

Rou mania

United Sutes

Brazil

Argentine Republic

Britisli East Indies

Australasia

British North America

Other countries

Total



Month ending March 31 —



1894.



Tons.
166
»34
475
884
235
169

1,0x7

16,907

255

243

I 636

1,098
650

a, 553
25. 4aa



j895-



Tons.

a, 813
617
392

a,o73
357
146
a68

»8.743

401

61

919

i,oao

639

«»45a

30,801



1896.



Tons.

1,150

x,iis

Soo

x,x6x

774
101

6X9

8*903
SI4

343

869

x,5ix

789
2,916

21,258



Three months ending March 31-



X894.



Tons.

7*634

856

1,208

«.749

745

767

»,478

48,616

799

848

«.75a

a. 956

3,066

7.477
80,881



X895.

Tons.

5.851

».235

948

6, no

99»

833

328

60,570

1,396

281

«»S95

a. 505

a»044

8*085



93.*7«



1896.



Tms.
»»>38
3,098
x,6o«

3.23'
i,7«o

^3
1,016

"7.744
x,475
a, 237
4.455
4.709
2,907
7.>78

*3."3



Value of exports of tin plates.



Exported to —



Russia

Germany^

Holland ,

France

Portugal, Azores, and Madeira,

luly

Roumania

United States

Brazil

Argentine Republic ,

British East Indies

Australasia

British North America

Other countries

Total



Month
1894.


ending March 31 —


Three months ending ]


1895.


1896.


1894.


1895.


;^2,110


£V>*7AA


;Cm.Jio


/:9a. 174


^^67,354


I. 781


7.998


M,i99


10,902


»5.938


6,5o«


3.677


6.338


17.500


12, 184


xo,970


25,596


»S.7»»o


34,018


75.408


9,829


4.344


9.309


9.058


12,083


9,389


«,757


1,286


10,027


9.989


M.381


3,257


6,800


20,780


4,025


ao4.257


219. » 74


101,901


598.539


704. 39»


3.240


4.508


5.594


9, '42


14,747


2,931


653


3,8.7


10,100


3.«40


7.979


xo,85o


9.864


22,302


31,000


'3.843


11,927


16,940


37.001


99,952


8,454


7.245


8,165


38,781


23. »9"


32,657


28.398


32.548


99.>05


94,853


3M.3'2


360,128


244,611


'.009,329


1,097,655



1896.



/:a5,958
26,708
»o,939
38,645
20.657
7.a54
11,486

316,055
16,440
25,015
50,429
52,523
3',>34
82,781

726,024



ANTHONY HOWELLS,

ConsuL



Cardiff, April /j, i^g6.



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TRANSPORTATION TARIFF FOR AMERICAN GOODS. ^^



TRANSPORTATION TARIFF FOR AMERICAN GOODS FROM
GENOA TO ZURICH.*

As cheap transportation rates go a great way toward the successful intro-
duction of American goods into foreign countries, and having so iax been
unable to obtain through rail rates from seaboard to points in Switzerland,
except those from Antwerp, given in my report of June 2, 1894,! I con-
cluded to try if I could not induce the St. Gotthard Railway Company,
which connects with the Italian State railways, thus forming a direct route
to the port of Genoa, where steamers and sailing vessels coming from
American ports regularly call, to establish a lower tariff.

I wrote to the board of directors of the above-named route requesting,
if possible, a special through tariff from Genoa over their line to Swiss points
on goods of American origin, promising that if they would comply I would
submit the rates to the Department of State, which, if deemed proper* would
cause the same to be published for the benefit of American shippers.

A few days ago I received a reply, which, translated from the German,
reads about as follows:

LUCERNK, SepUmb€r 14, rSqS-
Mr. Eugene Germain,

United States Consul^ Zurich.

Sir : In your valued favor dated July 26, 1895, you recommend the compilation of a
reduced tariff for American products and manufactures bound to Switzerland, and express your
opinion that, by a special low tariff, it would be possible to increase by new business the traffic
of our Hue. You also declare your willingness to eventually submit such a tariff to your
honored Government, which, if it deems it advisable and proper, would cause the same to be
published for the benefit of American shippers.

We have taken due notice of your interesting communication and have the honor to reply
as follows :

For shipments of American origin, from Genoa in transit to Switzerland, the fixed rates of
the Italian-Swiss freight tariff established August i, 1888, plus supplements I-X, is still in force.
In this tariff, our line has already adopted lower through transit rates, so that goods hence
Genoa, that is, including goods of American origin, on the St. Gotthard Railway, enjoy
already the benefit of lower rates as against the local rates for Swiss local points. We take
the liberty to transmit to you herewith a list of a greater number of American export articles,
with the transportation rates hence Genoa in through transit to Zurich, as they already exist,
for your perusal and opinion.

For oar line to grant still lower rates on American articles is not well possible, owing
to our obligations toward Italy, a subventioning State, whkh would not sanction lower
rates on American articles in transit as against Italian. Such proceeding might lead to
disagreeable controversies, which we like to avoid. We, however, do not want to be under-
stood to say that the charges for all classes of goods in transit Genoa-Switzerland shall remain
as they are. We will, on the contrary, in the future, as heretofore, taking time and traffic
circumstances into consideration, in connection with the Italian railways, carefully investigate
if for one or the other articles the granting of a general (including articles of American

' *Sce, also, supplementary report.

f Sec CoN§ULAK l^gi'QiiTS {^o. 17a Qanuiiry, 1895), p. 66.



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78



TRANSPORTATION TARIFF FOR AMERICAN GOODS.



origin) concession or tariff reduction is at all possible. For instance, we have under consid-
eration and in view at the present time an important tariff reduction on raw-cotton shipments
in carloads of io,cxx) kilograms (22,046 pounds) from Genoa in transit to Switzerland. The
negotiations, however, we are sorry to say, have not as yet advanced far enough to enable us
to give you deBnite information on the subject.

Finally, we beg to say that a traffic in American goods over our line, Genoa to Switzerland,
ah-eady exists, and we have no doubt that with the present tariff rates said traffic is favorable
and open to an increase.

We have the honor, Mr. Consul, to assure you, etc.,

THE DIRECTORY OF THE ST. GOTTHARD RAILWAY.

Special classification and tariff rates on sundry commodities from Genoa direct to Zurich^
Switzerland^ of the St. Gotthard Railway and connecting line.



Articles.



Small
shipments.



Agricultural implements, made of iron and wcod, such as plows, barrows,
(except steam plows and harrows), shovels, scythes, etc

Cotton, raw, in bales

Lead, in sheets, plates, rolls, and bars (the latter in bundles)

Borax, natural

Brandy, ordinary, in bottles or barrels

Cement in sacks or barrels^

Cigars or cigarettes

Iron and steel, manufactures of, or of which iron and steel are the chief
component parts

Grease of cattle or other animals

Fish, canned or salted, dried or smoked (fresh-sailed herrings excepted)

Meat, smoked, sailed, or dried

Cereals, as barley, oats, maize, rye, and wheat

Tools of all kinds, of iron and steel, also if partly of wood„

Resin, ordinary, gallipot, etc. (colophonium excepted)

Household goods of all kinds

Hay, clover, etc., in pressed bales of at least 176 poimds each

Wood:

Ebony, mahogany, teak, black walnut, and all other cabmet woods,

in boards, planks, etc ,

Pitch pine and yellow pine

Honey ,



Hops, pressed, in round or cylindric bales of at least aao pounds each or iii

square bales, in cases, or metallic cylinders

Beans, pease, etc., dried.

CandDes



Conserves for food purposes

Copper, in sheets, pigs, plates, and bars (the latter in bundles)..,

lyeather of all kinds

Linoleum..

Malt



Machines, agricultural, such as steam plows, steam harrows, sowing ma-
chines, presses, thrashing machines, etc

Machines other than above, also sewing machines

Molasses



Mill products, as flour, grits, etc

Fruits :

Dried, such as apples, pears, apricots, plums, and grapes 12.03 7. 43

Fresh apples, pears, and plums zi>35 7>6o I

♦ For cotton, raw, in pressed bales of at least 200 kilograms per cubic meter.

f For mill products (flour, etc.), J5.51.

^ To be applied for x}^ times the real weighty



^"•35
•10. 87
10.58
11.86
12.03
10.24
»a.o3

"•35
12.03
II. 56
12.03
10.58

"•35

10.87

12.03

J10.58



10,87
10.58
12.03

"•35
10.58
12.03
12.03
12.03
12.03
12.03
10.58

10.87
10.87
10.87
10.58



Carloads
of 5,000

kilograms
(".o«3

pounds).



>7.M
6.31
6.67
8.46
8.46
5.98
8.46

7^i4
8.46
8.46
8.46
7-M
7.14
7- '4
8.46

5.41



7.14
7.08
8.46

7.04

7M
8.46
S.46
8.36
8.46
8.46
7-M

6.39
7-M
7.04

7-«4



Carioads
of 10,000
kilograms
(22,046
pounds).



$6.19
5.88
5.61
7-39
7- 39
4.16

7. .19

6. 19
7-39
7.39
7.39
t5.t7
6.19
6. 19
7-39
4-54



6. 19
6.09
7-39

5.48
5.»7
7-39
7-39
7.»5
7^39
739
t5.«7

S-95
6.19
5^48
5-51

6.36
5.90



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TRANSPORTATION TARIFF FOR AMERICAN GOODS.



79



Special classificaiion and tariff rates^ etc, — Continued.



Articles.



Paper:

Cigarette, writing, blotting, copying, drawing, colored, envelopes, etc

Wax, tarred, or cloth lined, for packing purposes

Petroleum

Quicksilver

Pipes of cast iron ,

Seeds:

Grass, clover, v^etable, mustard, and other, in sacks, bales, or barrels.

Oilseeds, as linseed, cotton s«ed, etc., in barrels or sacks

Acids, arsenic, clover add, nitric acid, etc

Hams, smoked or salted..

Lard



Soap, ordinary, not perfumed, in pieces

Bacon ,

Straw, ordinary, in bales, pressed, of at least 176 pounds each„

Oranges and lemons.

Tobacco, leaf.

Carpets

Glucose and sirups

Wax, raw or other

Wine, ordinary, in barrels

Wine, in bottles

Wool, unwashed, in bales



Small
shipments.



$12.03
It. 86
11.56
13.03
10.58

11.35
«'.35
ia.03
12.03
I a. 03
11.56
H.56
♦xo. 58
ia.03
IX. 56
xa.03

"•35
13.03
10.87
11.56
tio.87



Carioads
of 5,000
kilograms

(ii.oa3
pounds).



$8.46
8.36
8.46
8.46
6.57

7-M
7.14
8.46
8.46
8.46
8.46
8.46
5-41
8.46
t8.3^
8.46
7M
8.46
7.80
8.46
7»4



Carioads
of 10,000
kilograms
(92,046
pounds).



>7-39
7.36
5.66
7-39
4-94

558
5.24
7-39
7-39
7.39
7.39
7.39
4-54
7-39
7-3?
7-39
6. 19

7-39
6.59
7-39
5.58



*To be applied for %% times the real weight.

t Minimum weight per car, 7,000 kilograms (15,400 pounds).

\ For unwashed wool in pressed bales of at least aoo kilograms (440 pounds).

The rates are only applied to direct shipments from Genoa to Zurich, without unloading
en route. Shippers need not prescribe a special tariff, but can simply write on the bill of
lading, ** cheapest tariff."

EUGENE GERMAIN,
Zurich, October /j, iSgs- Consul,



SUPPLEMENTARY REPORT.

On October 15, I sent to the Department the translation of correspond-
ence had with the St. Gotthard Railway in relation to railway rates for Amer-
ican goods from the port of Genoa, Italy, in transit to Swiss points.

In acknowledging receipt of said correspondence to the St. Gotthard Rail-
way, I took occasion to call the attention of the board of directors of said
railroad to the fact that railroad rates on many American goods by other
lines of railways, especially on such shipped to Antwerp, thence in transit to
Swiss points, were lower, and pointed out that, if they wanted a share of
said trade, they would have to exert themselves and lower their rates, espe-
cially because of the shorter haul. I inclose a translation of a communica-
tion received this day :

We are in receipt of your favor of the 14th instant and thank you for your endeavors to
increase the freight traffic from America via Genoa to Switzerland, We note that you are of



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8o



TRANSPORTATION TARIFF FOR AMERICAN GOODS.



opinion that freights from Genoa via Italian and St. Gotthard railways are higher than from
Antwerp via other lines of railways to Swiss points. This, however, only applies to a limited
territory of Switzerland, as we can show by our tariff now in force. We claim that freight
charges hence Genoa by our lines are in general lower than those from Antwerp transit to
Switzerland. Especially is this the case for freights to Zurich, as you can readily see by our
tariff comparison herein inclosed, which covers a number of American export articles. As
with Zurich, to most of the Swiss railroad stations in eastern Switzerland the freight-rate rela-
tions are in most cases in favor of our road. Further important freight reductions, in favor
of the Genoa- St. Gotthard route, will be inaugurated as soon as the short line via Arth-
Goldau-Zug-Thalweil-Zurich, now in course of construction, is completed and opened to traffic.
If, therefore, American exporters can secure as advantageous water rates to Genoa as are
obtainable to Antwerp^a thing we think quite possible — we have no doubt they will find it
more profitable to ship their goods, taking advantage of our present tariff, via Genoa transit
to Swiss points than via Antwerp transit to Switzerland.

Freight rata from Genoa transit to Zurich and from Antwerp transit to Zurich^ per ton of

2^204.6 pounds.



Articles.



Agricultural implements, iron

Cotton, raw, in bales

Lead in sheets, etc

Borax, natural

Brandy, ordinary

Cement, in barrels or sacks

Cigars or cigarettes

Iron and steel ware of all kinds

Grease, animal

Fish, salted or preserved

Meal, smoked, salted, or dried

Grain

Tools of iron and steel

Resin (ordinary), etc

Household implements of all kinds, furni

ture,and fixtures

Hay :

Wood:

Ebony, maple, etc »

Pitch pine, yellow pine, etc

Honey

Hops in pressed bales

Beans, pease, etc., dried, etc

Candles

Conserves for food purpo!>cs...

Copper :

In sheets, etc

In blocks, etc

Leather of all kinds

Linoleum..

Malt



From Genoa to Zurich.


Less via Genoa than b]




Carloads


Carloads




Carloads


Small
shipments.


of 5,000
kilograms

pounds).


of 10,000

kilograms

(22,046


Small
shipments.


of 5,000

kilograms

(11,033




pounds).




pounds).


Francs.


Francs.


Francs.


Francs.


Francs.


56.74


35.69


30.93


4.46


6.80


54.37


3«.57


a9.37


3o.o6


10.93


52-90


33.36


28.07


8.30


9.>3


59- 30


42. 3>


36.94


18.33


11.25


60.14


42. 3«


36.94


17-39


11.25


51.19


39.90


20.79


23.24


3.08


60. 14


42.31


36.94


17. 39


11.25


56.74


35.69


30.93


4.46


6.80


60. 14


42.31


36.94


«7.39


11.35


57-77


42. 3 »


36.94


19.76


11.25


60. 14


42.3"


36.04


>7.39


11.35


52.90


35.69


25.82


2«.53


6.80


56.74


35.69


30.93


4.46


6.80


54-37


35.69


30.93


20.06


6.80


60. 14


43.31


36.94


17.39


11.35


53.90


27.05


23.68


21.53


4.93


54.37


35- 6q


30.93


20.06


6.80


52.90


35.42


30.47


21.53


7.07


60. 14


42. 3>


36.94


»7.39


11.35


56.74


35- '9


27.39


17.6^


6.40


52.90


35.69


25.82


21.53


6.80


60.14


42.31


36.94


»7-39


11.25


60. 14


42.31


36.94


17.39


11.25


60.14


41.81


35.76


4.16


It. 75


60.14


4Z.81


35.76


4.16


"•75


60. 14


42.31


36.94


*7.39


11.25


60. 14


42. 3«


36.94


17.39


11.25


52.90


35-69


35.83


at- 53


6.80



Carloads
of 10,000
kilograms
(23,046
pounds).



Francs.
7.71
3.11
10.57
11.64
.1.64
3.08
11.64
7.71
4 44
11.39
11. 64

S-17
7.71
7.71

11.64
.64

7.71
8.17
ir.64
4.19
8.13
ti.64
11.64

13.83

13.57
11.64
11.64
XX. 07



Zurich, Decvnber 2^ iSgj.



EUGENE GERMAIN,

Consul^



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FRUIT TRADE OF SICILY WITH THE UNITED STATES. 8 1



FRUIT TRADE OF SICILY WITH THE UNITED STATES.

Seldom in the history of the Sicilian green-fruit trade has so disastrous a
period been experienced as the three months ended December 31, 1895, the
shipments during which time from the island of Sicily amounted to 786,262
boxes, of which 443,251 were shipped from Messina alone, and the average
loss entailed is placed by the most conservative estimates at ^i per box, two-
thirds of which, at least, has fallen upon the American consignee. In many
instances lemons upon which an advance of 6s. (ji.46) a box was made did
not realize when sold much more than sufficient to meet shipping and cus-
toms expenses.

An absolute disregard for the laws of supply and demand is alone respon-
sible for this result. The shipments for October will tell the story. During
that month there left Messina alone 138,950 boxes of lemons, against the
shipment during the corresponding month in 1894 of only 43,427 boxes.
The most voracious appetites have their periods of surfeit, and even New
York, Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New Orleans, with their great
outlets, can experience a glut. That of October last was most serious, and
the overloaded market is slow of reaction. Such conditions have occurred
before, but, fortunately, seldom with such demoralizing results, and they
will continue to occur so long as the cause therefor exists. That cause is
the system of advances as at present conducted — a system which places the
man of straw upon an equality with the man of metal, and is an absolute bar
to the legitimate operations of capital.

A packer in possession of a letter of credit for ;£i,ooo, the requirements
of which necessitate that the goods be shipped upon certain dates, finding
himself pushed for time can not afford to be too particular about the quality
of the fruit he buys. When he goes upon the market, the grade he should
ship can not, perhaps, be had in sufficient quantity or at his price. It is not
reasonable to suppose that he will abandon the order. He is only human,
and solves the difficulty by buying some of the best quality and some of an
inferior grade, mixing them, making his shipment and taking his chances.

The terms of the letter of credit only require that the banker be presented
with a bill of lading and a consular invoice calling for so many boxes of
lemons or oranges, but no specification is asked as to quality. For all
intents and purposes, the boxes may not contain fruit at all, but stones, as
occurred last year in several shipments from Palermo.

Now, let me ask what protection has the American importer against a
dishonest shipper? None, whatever. He is absolutely at the shipper's mercy,
be he dishonest or honest, as in cases like this. Letters of credit authorize
an advance of a certain number of shillings per box until they expire. Be-
tween the date of issue and the date of expiration, violent fluctuations may
and do occur. For instance, I know of credits now in existence authorizing
an advance of 5s. (J1.21) per box of fresh-cut lemons^ while they can be
No. iSS (5.



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82 LEMONS AND LEMON ORCHARDS IN MESSINA.

bought to-day upon the open market for 5^ Italian lire, which, at the pres-
ent rate of exchange, equals 99 cents. In other words, when the shipper
draws his advance he has a profit of 22 cents per box, on which, at the rate
of the last sale in New York, the consignee will lose at least 35 or 40 cents.

The freight and expenses are, of course, a charge against the shipper; but
the consignee has to pay them before he can obtain possession of the goods,
and if a net profit is not realized, he must, in many cases, depend upon
future transactions that are profitable to reimburse himself.

To guard against this and numerous other disadvantages, the American
consignee who still believes the advance system indispensable, has only one
means of protection, and that is to be personally represented in Sicily during
the entire shipping season by some reliable person sent from the United
States who, being upon the spot, can regulate the advance from day to day
according to the market, and, by personal inspection, be certain that he is
getting the quality of fruit he contracted for.

With such a condition in vogue, the evils of the present system would be
materially mitigated, but not abolished. That can never be until the system
itself has passed out of existence. Complaints often reach Italy from the
United States, but those who complain do not seem to realize that they



Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign CommerceConsular reports, Issues 188-191 → online text (page 12 of 102)