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gary are likewise contradictory, but, as far as can be ascertained, the Hungarian harvest has
been fairly successful and the merchants have sold pretty well, although some Budapest
wholesale dealers complain of the scythe business and intend to relinquish it. It is sup-
posed that next year will be a normal one — that is to say, that, judging from all appearances,
it will probably not be a bad year.

The Austrian consul at Kiev, in a recent report to his Government on the
same subject, made the following remarks :

Berdyczev, a provincial center in the government of Kiev, is especially the chief market
for scythes in this district; Rylsk, in the government of Kursk, which is also an important
market, and Kiev could not obtain a sufficient number of scythes from Austria. Tlie compe-
tition of Germany in these commodities is very slight. It would be well to pay some attention
to the manner in which the sale of scythes from the smaller Austrian factories is at present
carried on in this district, as it is not very advantageous for interested parties at home. Every
year, in September and October, a number of dealers from this district, especially from Ber
dyczev, and also from Wilna and Minsk, go to Austria and buy the scythes there from the vari-
ous makers and ironmasters, to whom they make advances for their estimated total manu-
facture for the winter. They afterwards sell these scythes here at very high profits. A very
considerable part of this profit might remain in Austrian hands if the Austrian manufacturers
would send travelers to this district to call on the customers.

♦According to another report of this union, the export of scythes to Russia amounts to 70 per cent of Aus-
tria's total export of this article.

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The Reichsgesetzblatt publishes the following order of the Ministry of
Commerce of July 15, 1895, concerning the obligatory marking of scythes,
sickles, and chaff knives. According to the act of January 6, 1890, con-
cerning trade-marks, it is prescribed :

(i) Scythes, sickles, and chaff kdives in a finished or unfinished state must not be placed
upon the market (t. f.y they must not leave the places where they are produced and kept in
stock) before they have been provided with a registered mark according to the act of January
6, 1890, under the following conditions :

(2) Every scythe, sickle, and chaff knife must be provided wkh one trade-mark only,
which must be registered for the business in which this article was produced, and with which
it is then intended to be put on the market.

(3) This trade-mark is to be struck or stamped upon the article when in a red-hot state,
with a distinctness which obviates the necessity of any further mark, in the size usual in the
scythe, sickle, and chaff-knife industry and on that part of the article usual in the market
for which the article is destined.

(4) The names, signatures, arms, medals, factory, or guild marks and nuu-ks of quality are
to be struck or stamped upon the goods in the same way as the registered trade-mark.

(5) Besides the trade-mark struck or stamped according to law, labels, inscriptions, and
other make-up on scythes, sickles, and chaff knives are only allowed when the trade-mark is
not thereby hidden and the origin of the article or place' of production not concealed from
the buyer.

(6) This order goes into effect six months after the day of its publication.

Annaberg, October 8, 18^^, Consul.


On March 20, 1896, the Department addressed the following instruction
to Consul-General Judd :

Notwithstanding the fact that the gold crown is the monetary unit of Austria-Hungary, the
reports received from our consuls in that Empire give money values in florins. The Depart-
ment has estimated the value of the florin at 40.2 cents, basing this estimate on valuations
made some time ago. You are requested to explain this conflict of money units and define
the value of the florin still used in commercial computations. Is it the gold or the silver
florin ? If the latter, it must fluctuate with the rise and fall in the value of silver. The
Department desires to be fully informed on this point.


I have the honor to reply to Department's instruction dated March 20,

The history of the Austro- Hungarian currency is a very complicated one.
Up to the year 1879, Austria-Hungary had a currency based exclusively on
silver; from i kilogram (2.2046 pounds) of standard fineness, 90 silver florins
or gulden were coined. In the month of October, 1879, ^^^ Government
found it necessary to stop the free coinage of silver, which had existed up to
that time; although silver remained the legal tender, the paper gulden formed

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the basis of currency. From that time, the paper gulden ceased to fluctuate
with the fall or rise of silver, the paper money becoming, in fact, a more
stable measurer of values than the white metal. This was brought about by
the stoppage of the free coinage of silver.

As a further effect of this same measure, it was soon observed that the
paper gulden attained a decidedly higher purchasing power than the amount
of silver expressed by that very paper gulden. In consequence of this com-
plexity, the Government decided to place the currency on a gold basis, and
a law was enacted to this effect on August 2, 1892, which law was promul-
gated in Reichsgesetzblatt No. 126.*

At present, the gold crown is the legal monetary unit of Austria-Hun-
gary (2 crowns are equal to i florin or gulden), and still all commercial
transactions in this Monarchy are carried on in the old denomination of
Austrian money called gulden or florin, with this great difference, that the
gulden or florin, as constituted at present, represents in value about 16 per
cent less than the supposed old gold gulden did.

The old gold gulden represented in value 48.67 cents (United States
money) ; the present gulden or florin, which is equal to 2 crowns, represents
40.5 cents (United States).

At present, the fall or rise of the price of silver does not affect the Aus-
trian currency, since it was placed on a gold basis in 1892.

A commission representing the different interests of the countries was
appointed by Austria-Hungary to bring about this new monetary system.
The difficulty that presented itself to the members of this commission was
in fixing and establishing the gold value of the then circulating paper gulden.
The real value of a paper gulden at the time the conversion took place was
about 45 cents (American). Some members of this commission were in
favor of giving the gulden the same gold-purchasing power ; others, mainly
those interested in agricultural products, insisted that, since silver was the
legal tender in Austria-Hungary, the Government was liable only for the
gold value contained in a silver gulden, and this represented at that time
about 35 cents (American), and therefore the paper florin should have a gold
value of 35 cents.

After a long and tedious discussion, the commission agreed on a compro-
mise, which was sanctioned by the Reichsrath, by fixing the gold value of
the then circulating guldens, whether in paper or silver, at about 40. 5 cents
(American), as stated before, and a new gold unit was created, called ** crown. ' '
A crown represents 100 hellers, and 200 hellers, or 2 crowns, equal i florin
or gulden.

The following parity was established : One paper gulden or florin equals
2 gold crowns (2.10 francs ; 1.70 marks) — gold being at present about one-
fourth of I per cent premium, this margin would have to be added to the
currency to obtain French or German exchange; 120.08 gulden, or 240.16
gold crowns, are equal to ;^ 10 in English exchange.

•For this law, sec Consular Reports No. 147 (December, 1892), p. 623.

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The Austro- Hungarian Monarchy has thus legally placed its currency on
a gold basis without having, as yet, assumed gold payments. In the inter-
val, paper and silver gulden serve as mediums for exchange.

Preparatory measures have been adopted by the Government in order to
bring about the conversion, and a stock of gold amounting to |i 25,000,000
has been accumulated. The Government issued 4 per cent gold-bearing
bonds, which were taken up mostly by money centers outside of the Mon-
archy. The proceeds of the sale of these bonds constitute the above-
mentioned gold stock. This amount of gold is to cover the 312,000,000
gulden outstanding Government currency.

The gold has all been coined into lo-crown and 20-crown pieces and is
ready for use, though the Government is unwilling to set a certain date for
specie (gold) payments.

The export trade of this country has been rather light of late years, the
balance of trade being against it, and such balances are settled in gold.

The present political outlook in Europe is not a very favorable one, and
gold, if given out, might take wings if the smallest war cloud should arise
on the horizon. Should this country have a year of good export trade, with
a corresponding balance of trade in its favor, it would materially assist the
Government in assuming gold payments.

The following currency circulates here at the present time : One heller
(copper), 100 equaling i crown; i kreutzer (copper), 100 equaling i gulden
or florin ; 2-heller piece (copper), 50 equaling i silver crown ; lo-heller
piece (nickel), 10 equaling i silver crown ; 20-heller piece (nickel), 5 equal-
ing I silver crown ; i crown (silver), equaling 100 hellers; i florin or gulden
(silver), equaling 2 crowns; paper money in 5, 10, 50, 100, and 1,000 gul-
den each.

In connection with this matter, I beg leave to mention that the Russian
Empire is at present actively engaged in placing its currency on a gold basis.
It is reported that the Government has already accumulated 750,000,000
rubles in gold. The mode of conversion is analogous to the one adopted
by the Austro- Hungarian Government. One hundred new gold rubles are to
be equal in value to 216 marks in German currency ; such 100 rubles will be
worth I51 in United States money.

Prof. W. Lexis, of Gottingen, has a very interesting letter on this subject
in the Neue Freie Presse of the 2 2d instant. He therein says that Russia is
the first large commercial country that, in the plan of conversion of its cur-
rency, will adopt a new relation of value between gold and silver, namely, as
I to 21, and that the Russian Government will bring this about by increas-
ing the fineness of its silver coins.

Thus, both Russia and Austria-Hungary have adopted a much smaller
monetary gold unit than they formerly had.


Consul' General.

Vienna, April 27 1 i8g6.

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OF 1895.

According to published statistical statements^ the cultivation of the vine
in Servia shows a considerable decrease. In the year 1889, the area of the
vineyards amounted to 43,000 hectares (106,253 acres), with a production of
832,338 hectoliters (21,988,279 gallons), which represented a sum of over
19,000,000 francs ($3,667,000). In the year 1892, the phylloxera had
already destroyed over 11,000 hectares (27,181 acres) and, as no preventive
measures were taken to check its ravages, it progressed rapidly from year to
year, until at the present time over 20,000 hectares (49,420 acres) of the
former vineyards have been abandoned as totally unproductive. The re-
nowned grape of Negatin and Semendria has become extinct. Servia, besides
her own consumption, used to export about 1,500,000 francs* worth of wine,
but she now has to import more than double that amount to cover home
consumption. The replanting of the destroyed vineyards with American
vines has been very much neglected, and in the whole of Servia there has
scarcely been more than 40 hectares (98.8 acres) regained for the cultivation
of the vine.

The cultivated area in Servia was about 25 per cent larger in the year 1895
than in 1894. In wheat, about 400,000 hectares (988,400 acres) were sown,
against 320,000 hectares (790,720 acres) in 1894; in barley, 70,000 hectares
( 1 72,970 acres) were sown. The wheat harvest amounts to 2,400,000 meter
centners (8,816,733 bushels) and barley to 350,000 meter centners (1,679,-
587 bushels). It is estimated that after the supply for home consumption
there will remain for export about 700,000 meter centners, against 600,000
meter centners in the preceding year.



Budapest, December 12, iSgj.



That the commercial treaty concluded two years ago by Germany with
Russia has proved of vast benefit to German manufacturers is shown by some
recently published statistics. The percentage of increase in many items of
export has been enormous. The quantity and value of exports in 1895 ^^
surpassed any previous year, and there is every indication of a further de-

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velopment of the commercial relations between the two Empires, unless some
unforeseen cause arises to rupture the present reciprocal treaty.

The following statement of some of the principal exports from Germany
to Russia shows how they have grown since 1891, when no commercial treaty
existed :


Aniline dyes and unclassified chemicals


Coal and coke

Flour ,

Iron :

Bars, plates, and wire



Raw hides














i3, 190


The German iron industry appears to reap the greatest benefit from this
treaty, a field which the country never loses an opportunity to extend. Rail-
way cars of all descriptions form also an important export. In this connec-
tion, it may be mentioned that Russia recently placed a large order for
railway locomotives in Germany.

The export of agricultural implements has not kept pace with other
manufactures. The Germans attribute this partly to the high duties levied
on them and partly to the existing low price of grain in Russia and conse-
quent agrarian depression. To this, must be added the cost of transporta-
tion, which greatly increases the prices. A movement is now on foot in
Russia to give freer access to agricultural implements, a committee having
been appointed by the marshals of the nobility at their recent meeting at
St. Petersburg to petition for a reduction of the present import duties. The
Russian Minister of Finance is said to be in favor of such a reduction, hence
legislation to this end may be looked for.

An item of interest to the United States is the great increase in flour

The advantages accruing to Russia from the treaty would seem to be less
satisfactory than the very evident ones enjoyed by the Germans, since dissat-
isfaction is being expressed by the Russian manufacturers. Russian farmers,
on the other hand, are favorable to it.


Commercial A^ent,

Weimar, April 18 ^ i8g6.

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On June 8, 1895, ^ ^^^ treaty was signed in the city of St. Petersburg
between Russia' and Japan concerning commerce and navigation. The
terms of this treaty differ from those of the Anglo- Japanese treaty of July
16, 1895, in the following particulars:

(i) In Article I, which gives to the subjects of both countries full liberty
of entering, traveling, and living in all the localities of their territories, the
words ''in conformity with the local laws*' have been added. The latter
I^rt of this article, concerning mutual exemption of the natives of both
countries from military duty, forms in the Anglo- Japanese treaty a separate

(2) The provisions of the Russo-Japanese article 6 are not the same as
those of article 7 of the Anglo- Japanese; that is, according to the Russo-
Japanese treaty, the subjects of both countries are entitled to more favor-
able conditions as to exemption from different transit duties and other taxes.

Finally, article 19 of the Russo-Japanese treaty provides that the treaty
shall come into force in four years from the date on which it was signed,
while the Anglo-Japanese treaty provides for fxve years. Russia, moreover,
has three separate articles added to the treaty. The first provides that the
special regulations and provisions pertaining to commerce and navigation
mentioned in treaties between Russia and Norway and Sweden of May 8,
1838, and also those relating to commerce with Asiatic countries adjacent to
Russia, shall not influence or change the relations, confirmed by the present
treaty, between the two countries. According to the second of the separate
articles, the following exceptions are secured from the general principle of
mutuality which forms the foundation of the present treaty:

For /Russia alone. — (i) Exemptions which vessels built in Russia and
belonging to Russian subjects enjoy, meaning exemption of ship duty during
the first three years; (2) the right given to the coast inhabitants of the gov-
ernment of Archangel of bringing into the ports of said government, duty
free or by reduced duty, dry or salt fish and some classes of furs, and to
export in the same way bread, rope, cable, tar, and raven's-duck ; (3) exemp-
tions given to different societies in Russia, called yachting clubs.

For Russia and Japan. — Monopoly for any merchandise which can be
established later on by either of the two countries to its profit.

In the conclusion of the protocol of the Russo-Japanese treaty, the pro-
visions differ from those of the Anglo- Japanese treaty to the following ex-

In article i of the Russo-Japanese treaty, the last half of the text con-
tained in the Anglo- Japanese agreement, commencing with the words
"duty ad valorem,'* is omitted.

Articles 2 and 3 of the Russo-Japanese protocol are not contained in

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the Anglo- Japanese treaty. Of these, the first provides that in case the most-
favored customs tariff, guarantied by the present treaty, should be found un-
satisfactory in practice, the governments of both of the interested countries
may come to an agreement regarding the substitution by a conventional
tariff of the customs duty on articles the export of which is of special im-
portance to both countries.

According to article 3, both parties bind themselves to enter into nego-
tiation with each other without delay relative to the conclusion of a conven-
tion on the principle of mutuality for import, duty free, of dry and salt fish
into Japan from Russia.

The following special provisions are included in the Russo-Japanese
treaty: A declaration, which says that article 17 of this treaty shall not
interfere with the treaty made between Russia and Japan on April 25, 1875,
and also with the supplement of August 22, 1875, signed in Tokyo, which
shall remain in full force. In this declaration, only section 6, article 2,
makes reference to commerce between Russia and Japan, to wit: Japanese
vessels and merchants have the same rights and privileges with reference to
navigation and commerce in the ports of the Okhotsk Sea and Kamchatka,
and also for catching fish in the same waters, as vessels and merchants of the
most- favored nations.

Two diplomatic notes were exchanged between the representatives of
Russia and Japan at the time of the signing of the treaty, June 8, 1895. The
first note says that a proposition about conventional duties on articles in
whose export both countries are interested can be made separately at any
time after the treaty is in force, and if no mutual agreement is reached within
six months from the time the application is made, then the adoption of the
specially favoring tariff will be suspended until an agreement is made. Ac-
cording to the second note, which was presented by the Japanese ambassador
to the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, the cabinet at Tokyo binds itself
to inform the Russian Government of the time when the treaty shall go into
effect, which can not be before the code, which has been already published,
shall be in operation. This last note is also attached to the Anglo-Japanese

Consul' General,

St. Petersburg, December 14, iSg^-


In my report, dated June 12, 1895, on Russian iron ore,* I said, ** Here,
it would seem, are rich fields for enterprise and industry and profitable
o|)ening for capital,*' and now I notice how actively foreign capitalists
are taking hold of this industry and what efforts are being made to acquire

• Printed in Consulak Reports No. 180 (September, 1895), p. 13.

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lands rich in iron ore, especially in southern Russia. In the town of Sumy,
a joint-stock company, with a capital of 600,000 rubles, is opening a foundry,
with the intention of making machinery for sugar factories a specialty. One
of the largest Russian sugar producers took one-third of the shares, but the
remaining two-thirds are in the hands of Belgian capitalists. In Charkov,
French engineers, in company with the largest Russian mill owners, with a
capital of 1,000,000 francs, want to establish shops for the construction of
mills. In the same town, a project for large locomotive works is planned,
with a capital of 2,500,000 rubles. On the Charkov Railway, Belgians, with
a capital of 500,000 rubles, are building glass works, and near by a plant for
manufacturing porcelain ware.

The firm of Paul Lange & Co., of Cologne, Germany, bought 10 des-
siatines (27 acres) of land near Ekaterinoslav, on the other side of the
Dnieper, for the purpose of building tube and iron works thereon. In the re-
gion of Kerch, large areas of land are being leased in the interest of the
production of iron. Two French companies are assiduously investigating
and prospecting on the lands and making contracts with the city. One of
the directors of these companies made a contract with the town for thirty-
six years, with the following conditions : The company binds itself to put
up, within two years, iron works, which will employ several hundred men,
to produce not less than 600,000 poods (108,000 tons) of ore. The city is to
receive one-fourth of i copeck for every pood (36. 112 pounds) of ore obtained
by the company. The company is at present not only leasing large portions
of the lands from local landowners, but is also buying. The whole district
is very rich in ore and manganese, the beds stretching from Kamysh-Burun
to Feodosia, and lying very near the coast. Besides this company, another
is working in the same district, buying up considerable land from the local
Tartars and Russians. This second company will not work up the iron ore
in Kerch, but will transport it to Mariopol, where it already owns large
iron works. The reason given for this is, that it requires 3 poods of pit
coal, which would have to be brought from Mariopol, to work i pood of
ore ; consequently, the company decided that it was easier to ship the ore
than the coal.

The production of raw iron in Russia in 1894 was 166,116 tons more
than in 1893. ^^^ ^^^^^ amount produced in 1894 was 1,446,286 tons.

The import of iron into Russia in 1894 amounted to 857,859 tons, con-
sisting of 170,467 tons of raw iron and 687,392 tons of wrought iron, steel,
machinery, and other iron products, against 570,317 tons imported in 1893 j
consequently, the total amount of iron consumed in Russia in 1894 was
2,304,145 tons, being 453,658 tons more than in 1893.

From the foregoing figures, it will be observed that the increase in the
consumption was considerably larger than the increase in the production.
If the increase of the production and of the consumption in 1894 is propor-
tioned to the population of Russia (120,000,000), it will show the average
per capita to be 23.8 pounds of production and 38.2 pounds of consumption.

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In this respect, Russia is yet far behind the other countries, as will be seen
from the following table:

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign CommerceConsular reports, Issues 188-191 → online text (page 36 of 102)