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

Consular reports, Issues 188-191 online

. (page 68 of 102)
Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign CommerceConsular reports, Issues 188-191 → online text (page 68 of 102)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


plete or partial enforcement only in Formosa is deemed essential shall be determined by im-
j>erial ordinance.

Art. VI. The present law shall be null and void on the expiration of three years, com-
puted from the day of its enforcement.

IMPKRIAI. ORDINANCE No. 88. — REcMH.ATIoNS OF THE C.OVERNoR-(;ENKRAI/S OFFICF-,

Article I. A governor-general .shall administer Formosa and the Pescadores.

Art. 1 1. The governor general shall be of *' shinnin " rank, andrbe nominated from among
field marshals or admirals or lieultnant-generals or vice-admirals.

Art. III. The governor general shall, within the limits of his delegated powers, control
the land and marine forces and shall su|)erintend the various administrative aflfairs of the
inlands, .subject to the supervision of the Minister of .State for Colonial Affairs.

Art. IV. The governor-general may, in virtue of his specially delegated authority, issue
notifications in the name of the governor general's office, and may enforce, upon any viola-
tion of such notification, a fine not exceeding 25 yen, or, in lieu thereof, confinement for a
jieriotl not exceeding twenty five days.

Art. V. The governor-general shall deal with matters relating to the defenses of the dis-
tricts under his jurisdiction.



Digitized by VjOOQIC



JAPANESE LAWS IN FORMOSA. 529

Art. VI. The governor-general may, whenever it is deemed necessary for maintaining
good order in the districts under his jurisdiction, employ armed force. In the event of such
proceeding, he must report at once to the Ministers of Slate for War, the Navy, and Colonial
Affairs and also the chief of the central staff and the chief of the board of command of the
navy the nature of the circumstances requiring such imperative measures.

Art. VII. The governor- general may, whenever he deems it necessary, cause the com-
mander of the troops quartered in a special district, or a subordinate ofBcer in the absence of
a commander in chief, to undertake the duties of administering the affairs of such district.

Art. VIII. The governor-general shall supervise the civil and military functioYiaries
under his charge. The appointment or dismissal of officials of " sonin " rank can only be de-
cided after the sanction of His Imperial Majesty has been obtained through the Depart-
ment of Colonization and of the president of the cabinet, but those of " hannin" rank may be
appointed or dismissed at his own discretion.

Art. IX. Should the governor-general deem an order issued or a step taken by a local
governor under his. control to be at variance with legal provisions, or is prejudicial to the
public interest, or oversteps the bounds of his powers, he may suspend or cancel such order or
step.

Art. X. The governor-general may recommend to the Emp>eror the grant of official title
or decoration upon a civil official under his control through the Minister for Colonization and
the president of the cabinet.

Art. XI. The governor-general shall accord disciplinary punishment to any civil official
under his control, but the disciplinary punishment of an official of " chokunin " rank or the dis-
missal of an official of "sonin " rank must first be submitted for the approval of the Emperor
through the Minister for Colonization and the president of the cabinet; disciplinary punish-
ment connected with officials of lower rank may be dealt with according to his own discretion.

Art. XII. In case the governor-general is incapacitated through any unforeseen circum-
stance from discharging his official duties, the chief of the civil administration bureau or the
chief of the military affairs bureau who happens to be next in official rank is to act in his stead..

Art. XIII. The governor-general's cabinet shall be established in the governor-general's
office, the cabinet to be organized as follows : Two aids-de-camp (one military and one naval)
and two private secretaries (of sonin rank) specially appointed. Matters and documents
pertaining to official secrets are to be dealt with by the members of the cabinet, in accordance
with the orders of the governor- general.

Art. XIV. A bureau of civil aiTairs and a bureau of military aiTairs shall also be estab-
lished in the governor-general's office.

Art. XV. The present ordinance shall come into force on and after April i, 1896.

IMPERIAL ordinance NO. 89. — THE COUNCIL IN THE GOVERNOR-OENERAL'S OFFICE.

Article I. A council shall be established in the governor-general's office, composed as
follows: The governor-general, chief of the civil affairs bureau, chief of the military affairs
bureau, sectional chiefs of the civil affairs bureau, sectional chiefs of the military affairs bureau,
councilors of the civil affairs bureau. When deemed necessary, the governor-general may
temporarily cause other civil or military officers not mentioned above to take part in any delib-
erations of the council.

Art. II. Besides rendering decisions upon any orders specified in law No. 63, the council
shall, in accordance with the request of the governor-general, render decisions on the follow-
ing matters: (i) Estimates and settled accounts, (2) schemes relating to civil works of im-
portance, (3) a petition presented by a subject on an important matter; and also any other
matters besides the above on which the council is consulted by the governor-general.

Art. 1 1 1. The governor-general shall preside over the council, and when, through any un-
avoidable circumstances, he is incapacitated from undertaking this duty, his place shall be filled
by the next highest in official rank.
No. 190 II.



Digitized by VjOOQIC



530 THE SUGAR INDUSTRY OF FORMOSA.

Art. IV. Any bill to be submitted to the council shall be forwarded in the name of the
govcraor-general.

Art. V. Deliberations of the council can not be held unless a quorum of over two-thirds
of the whole council is present.

Art. VI. The majority shall decide any subject brought to a vote, the governor to have
a casting vote.

Art. VII. The governor-general may amend or withdraw any bill forwarded for discus-
sion.

Art. VIII. In case a decision of the council docs not meet with the approval of the
governor-general, he may, by stating his reasons, request a reconsideration of the matter.

Art. IX. One manager and certain clerks must be appointed in the council, the former
nominated from among the councilors of the civil aiTairs bureau and the latter from the clerks
of the same bureau.

Art. X. The manager is to arrange general affairs subject to the direction of the presi-
dent and the clerks to discharge clerical affairs in obedience to the orders of their superiors.

IMPERIAL ORDINANCE NO. 90. — THE ORGANIZATION OF THE CIVIL AFFAIRS BUREAU.

Article I. The civil affairs bureau in the governor-general's office shall, subject to the
control of the governor-general, deal with administrative and judicial affairs.

Art. II. The following posts are created in the bureau: Chief, one (chokunin rank);
commissioners, twenty-five (chokunin or sonin rank); councilors, three (sonin rank); experts,
fourteen (sonin rank); clerks, three hundred and twelve (hannin rank); assistant experts,
forty (hannin rank); interpreters, forty-two (hannin rank). * ♦ »

Art. X. The bureau is divided into seven sections, as follows: Several affairs, domestic
affairs, industrial affairs, financial, judicial, educational, and communications.



THE SUGAR INDUSTRY OF FORMOSA.

I have the honor to forward a printed copy, taken from the Japan Daily
Mail of the 21st of April, 1896, of an article on **The sugar industry in
Formosa." This article was prepared by Mr. James W. Davidson, an
American, who was with the Japanese army of occupation and spent some
months in P^ormosa. Since this is One of the very few reports on Formosa
which we know have been prepared by an intelligent and actual observer, I
consider it valuable.

N. W. McIVOR,

Kanagawa, April 2Sy i8g6. Consul- General,



The Sugar Industry in Formosa.

the growing of cane and manufacture of sugar.

The cultivation of the sugar cane is entirely confined to the southern and western central
pans of Formosa. The district is divided into two divisions, where the two tradal varieties,
viz, "Takow" and "Taiwanfu" sugars, are produced. The land generally in the south is
held by the cultivators under metayer tenure. In the northern, or Taiwanfu, division, the
people seem to be more independent, and therefore well-to-do, than those in the more south-
ern, or Takow district ; at least, that is true of the cane planters, who, in the latter
district, have for a long time allowed themselves to drift into a deplorable and apparently
irremediable state of debt to a few capitalists. Indeed, as matters now stand, they are little



Digitized by VjOOQIC



THE SUGAR INDUSTRY OF FORMOSA. 53 1

better than serfs working for bare subsistence, and, being extremely illiterate, are incapable
of understanding, much less keeping, accounts, and thus have fallen a ready prey to the
money lenders, who may be said to command the whole of the Takow crop. During the
past eight or ten years the chief usurer has become so powerful that he may be said to have
established a "comer" for himself in Takow sugar, regulating the planting, and, there-
fore, the total crop, to suit his financial maneuvers on the ultimate market (Japan). By a
system of compound and usurious interest, ranging from 18 to 36 per cent, debts beginning
at from $$0 to $100 very rapidly spring up to amounts utterly beyond the capacity of the
debtors to discharge, and at last they become desperate and careless. In the Taiwan fu
district, however, this evil has not assumed the same magnitude, and, therefore, competition
among the growers having freer scope, brings about a more natural ratio between price and
actual value of product. While deploring the system prevailing in the Takow district,
one can not help admiring the wonderful organization and administrative ability displayed in
watching over the unfortunate victims and their fields. A complete service of field bailiffs is
established, who, at regular intervals, estimate and bring in reports to their chief. As soon
as the new cane begins to show above ground, advances are made on the estimated value of
the prospective crop, a wide margin being allowed for possible loss or deterioration from
floods, wind, or other risks. After the rainy season, another valuation is made and further
advances given ; when the cane is cut and its sugar extracted, the final installments are paid.
It need scarcely be said that these doles are as small as they can possibly be made compatible
with the hand-to-mouth existence of the recipients. These latter declare that even in the
best years the capitalist rarely pays more than $1 to ^1.20 apicul. Of course, the amount
thus credited makes but a small hole in the debt, which is increased not only by the accumu-
lating interest, but also by the unfair manipulation and charges which are invariably added.
It may be remarked, however, that the lenders, for obvious reasons, do not look for the pay-
ment of the debt, the greater part of which is fictitious and the result of gross imposition, but
which, nevertheless, is a perpetual source of most profitable returns on what is only a very
small outlay of actual capital. To illustrate this, it may be mentioned that when these capi-
talists dispose, at the port, of the sugar thus got, they would never dream of accepting less
^an something between $2.50 and $2, which, even allowing for the cost of transport from the
mills, shows an immediate profit of at least loo |>er cent. The soil in the different districts,
and, indeed, in various parts of the same divisions, differs considerably in its sugar-producing
properties. Thus, although no more care in cultivation of the cane or treatment of the juice
is shown in the Takow district than in the Taiwanfu department, the products of the former
are much richer in crystalUzable sugar, and consequently, grade for grade, of higher com-
mercial value.

The species of plant grown is that known as the " Chinese cane," which locally the
growers distinguish into three varieties based on the thickness and color of the skin. It has
been stated that the sorghum, or sugar grass, is cultivated in Formosa, but, so far as I know,
that b not the case in the southern part of the island at least. Through negligence in culti-
vation, the cane here dwindles to a very small size, the joints only averaging from I to i>^
inches in circumference, and little or no attention seems to be devoted to the plant beyond
putting it in the ground. Even for irrigation, which, during the periods of small rainfall or
drought, would be of material advantage, no means whatever are provided. Plantings are
made from cuttings about once in three years. These are first soaked in water for about
twenty days, until the buds begin to sprout. They are then placed obliquely in the ground,
more or less in a line, with one end protruding, the furrow for their reception being scraped
with the hands. A little manure is placed over them, but beyond thb, with perhaps an ex-
ceptional and occasional weeding by some of the more careful growers, nothing further is
done. The crops for the intervening two years are raised from " ratoons," and at the end of
the third year the roots are dug out and burned. Cane crushing is effected by stone mills,
worked by two, and sometimes three, buffaloes. These mills are generally set up and owned
in the Takow district by agents of the usurers. A certain number, usually twelve, of the



Digitized by VjOOQIC



532 THE SUGAR INDUSTRY OF FORMOSA.

producers share a right to, or rather are expected to, bring their cane to this mill, to which is
also attached the boiling house. Each participant must provide two buffaloes if he wbhes only
to be charged 7 per cent of the produce from his cane as the cost of manufacture. In the more
southern parts of the island, the buffaloes are supplied by the mills, when the unhappy
growers are mulcted from 30 to 40 per cent of their product. These mills are erected at the
beginning of each season, usually early in December, and are dismantled at its conclusion,
the stones being buried in the earth for their preservation. The animals work in spells of
from an hour to an hour and a half, according to the time taken to extract, say, about 2 piculs
of juice. There are, as a rule, four boiler men and four attendants on the mill, working in
day and night shifts, besides " cow men."

The following is a description of the mills in use in Formosa, which shows how very far
short they come of fulfilling even ordinary requirements, a fact that leads to much loss of
product : The granite rollers, 25 inches in diameter by 30 inches in height, arc placed in
opposition. At the top of each roller a row of depressions is cut, into which are fitted hard-
wood cogs. By means of the latter, the motion is imparted to the right-hand stone from the
left-hand one. Wooden spindles are let into the center of each stone at top and bottom, re-
si>ectively. By the lower of these the stones fit into a granite, or sometimes wooden, bedplate,
while the top ones project through a transverse wooden binding beam, the left-hand upper
spindles being prolonged so as to afford attachment for the lever, at the further end of which
the buffaloes are yoked. The opposition of the rollers to each other b secured and judged
according to the ability of the millwright ; and as the wooden binding beam is constantly
wearing, and thus the distance between the rollers always varying, the pressure on the cane,
only roughly set at first, is most irregular in its application all through. To modify the effects
of this as far as possible, the natives pass this cane thrice through the mill, but, as the follow-
ing exj:>eriments show, the results obtained are by no means perfect. Then, again, the
frequent stoppages for readjustment and repairing the mills are also a constant trouble and
drawback. The wooden cogs have also frequently to be replaced, as, indeed, is the case with
the other wooden parts of the machine, causing the mill owner a never-ceasing outlay. The
minimum first cost of one of these mills, not counting the house, is ^150, and besides that, at
the commencement of each season, renewing the wooden fittings, erecting the shed, and se0
ting up the mill amounts to at least |loo; and then there is the ever-recurring cost of repairs
during the whole time the mill is running. By careful experiments made alongside several
native mills with those of foreign manufacture, it was found that for every loo pounds of cane
thrice pressed by the Chinese mill, 60 pounds weight of juice was extracted from the cane, as
against 68 pounds got by passage once through the iron mills, showing a gain in favor of the
foreign mill of 18 per cent p>er weight of cane. The native boiler men all admitted that
the juice got either directly from the cane by the foreign mill or from the bagasse that they
discharged from their own mill was as good, if not better, than that obtained by their own
methods. Calculating out what this means on even the limited crop from the Takow districts
to which the userers have of late years reduced it, say 3CX>,ooo piculs, it being further re-
membered that this only comprehends that which is shipped in foreign bottoms, we find that
37,600,000 pounds of juice are burnt up every year in the bagasse. This would give io8,ocx)
piculs of sugar if manufactured, which, at only $2.50 i^er picul, shows a total loss of money
coiisecjuent on the imperfections of their mills of ;5270,ooo, a sum which would leave an
ample margin of profit if every cane grower purchased a foreign machine, got his cane
crushed in the ordinary way by the Chinese mills, merely contenting himself with using his
machine for crushing the bagasse as it came out from the native establishment. In other
words, the cost of their fuel is very nearly equal to one-third of the total amount realized on
the whole crop of 300,000 piculs. To try and improve this condition among the people. Dr.
Myers, an authority on the industry, drew up a simple "Primer " on the cultivation of cane
and manufacture of raw sugar, which was translated into Chinese by the acting commissioner
of customs; but even those whose interests would seem most likely to prompt them to study
this question, and whose comparative educational advantages easily enable them to read what



Digitized by VjOOQIC



THE SUGAR INDUSTRY OF FORMOSA. 533

had been written (1. e.^ the dominating money lenders and their lieutenants, the mill owners),
could not be got to take much interest in the subject, and, indeed, seemed only to fear lest
any innovations, either from instruction or mechanical aids, might interfere with the arrange-
ments, which, they said, were, " as far as they were concerned, sufficiently remunerative to
themselves." The surroundings of these mills are dirty in the extreme, and the juice flows
from the rollers by means of a leaky bamboo pipe, led under a Hlthy buffalo walk, until it
arrives at the first pan, or what ought to be the clarifying receptacle. In the Takow dis-
tricts, the cane tops are ignited, and thus burnt off while the plants are still standing. More
or less charred material thus adheres to the cans, discoloring the exposed juice until it is
literally as black as ink. There is here also a complete absence of any attempt at cleanli-
ness; the filthiest hands are dipped and even washed in the juice; and while large pieces of
trash, saturated with the fluid they have absorbed, are roughly taken out and thrown away, no
efforts are made to get rid of the smaller fragments (" cush-cush "). In the clarification of
juice, beyond stating that lime is added according to the discretion of the boiler men, exer-
cised in very rough-and-ready fashion, there is little to be further described. The unslaked
lime used is kept in the comer of a very dirty room, constantly exposed to the atmosphere, and
is full of dirt and other extraneous matter. There is no attempt at filtration, as the juice is
ladled from the receiving pan into the first "tache." The boiling battery consists, as a rule,
of from four to five taches, and under each one is a furnace. As the boiler man, by some
rule which it seeos impossible to discover, thinks a sufficient amount of concentration has
been arrived at in one tache, he ladles the contents into another, and so on. It is (|uite
possible at any given time that the fires beneath the lower pans are burning less briskly than
those under the upper ones; and although the liquor thrown into the first pans shows a lower
percentage of "invert,'* by the time it has reached the "striking tache," this has probably
been trebled. In the northern districts, where special efforts are made to " grain lai^e," the
result is accompanied by a very great loss from inversion. The object of this latter attempt
is to get " lao-tsai," the raw material from which so-called " white " is produced by means of
claying.

With reference to the other brown varieties of sugar made in Formosa, it has not been dis-
covered that other than mere chance, perhaps regulated to some slight extent by rough expe-
rience, determined either the grain of the product or the amount of crystallization which
happens to survive the crude treatment the liquor has been subjected to all through. Clayed,
or white, sugar, as before explained, is got from "lao-tsai." Each jar holds from 133,'^
to 200 pounds. The clay or mud placed at the top of the jars is that scraped from the bot-
tom of sewers, canals, or ponds ; and the natives about Taiwanfu assert that that got from
the bottom of the canal, just outside the city walls, which is, in fact, nothing but a gigantic
sewer, produces sugar with the best taste. This may be due to the fact that the canal, being
connected with the sea, always contains more or less salt water, which latter may impart the
improved taste.

The following are the proportions of different grades of white sugar got from I picul of
" lao-tsai." The top layer of all, etjual in amount to 5 per cent of the whole, is known as
No. I white, the second layer (15 per cent) is known as No. 2 white, the third layer (25
per cent) is known as No. 3 white, the fourth layer (25 per cent) is known as No. 4 white,
while 30 per cent of molasses drains out. The last is reboiled, and about 60 per cent of
sugar procured from it. This is known as " cha-soa," and is in some demand in North China.

From the foregoing necessarily brief description of the methods used in Formosa for pro-
ducing sugar and the quality of the product obtained, it is hoped that some idea may be
conveyed as to the extremely backward condition of the industry, and it must distinctly be un-
derstood that all here stated only refers, and only can refer, to Formosa as it has been. Now
that the Japanese have come as rulers, no doubt they will, by introducing machinery and im-
proving methods both of cultivation and manufacture, very soon set up a different condition
of affairs. One great change that is sure to be made is with regard to the usurers and their
oppression. As most of their |X)wer for evil and tyranny was due to the aid they could always



Digitized by VjOOQIC



534 THE SUGAR INDUSTRY OF FORMOSA.

purchase from the corrupt officials around them, and as this support has of course gone now,
it is not unlikely that the extortioners will find it best to disappear also.

A spirit ('^samshu '*) is very roughly distilled from molasses that can not be further utilized
at the boiling houses; but the distillation is carried on indiscriminately over the country by
any person who cares to buy the molasses. The skimmings at the mills and other saccharine
refuse are generally given to pigs, and the idea of using them for the ground seems to be
unlhought of. The general waste from this neglect alone is as great as it is deplorable.

MARKET RELATIONS WITH THE FORMOSAN SUGAR TRADE.

As before stated, there are two sugar districts in South Formosa, namely, Takow, produc-
ing in the best year 530,000 piculs, and the Taiwanfu division, producing 310,000 piculs.
Taiwan fu is the name of the southern prefecture of Formosa as known to trade, the new
official designation of " Tainanfu " not yet having come into general use. These figures denot-
ing the yield of sugar obtained in the best-known years are only approximate. Both in the
Takow and Taiwanfu divisions raw sugar is manufactured, this being the only description
exported from Formosa. Takow sugar is an ordinary brown variety, that is to say, it is the
raw, undrained article, exported as it comes from the boiling pans. The only modifications



Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign CommerceConsular reports, Issues 188-191 → online text (page 68 of 102)