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Consular reports, Issues 212-215 online

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34 of these 50 schools, 5 of them having been founded by private
contributions. The entire sum given by the Government amounts
to $42,000, making an average sum of $1,235 ^^'* each school, the
founders expending on their own account $63,000, and on account
of the zemstvos (county councils) $16,100, for the maintenance of 8
schools and aid of some of the other 34 schools. Independently of
this, out of the funds set apart for the dairy industry, $10,000 are
granted to 5 dairy schools and 3 girls* schools for training in rural
industry and domestic economy. Eight schools are maintained
without any subvention whatever from the Government.

In 31 rural and garden industrial schools the average annual
number of pupils in attendance is 41. The maintenance of these
31 schools costs the Government $33,000. The sum expended on
these schools by their founders and by the local authorities amounts
in all to $64,000. In general, the maintenance and instruction of
each pupil in the rural industrial schools cost the Government and
the founders $72.

The number of pupils received into dairy schools is purposely
limited, in order to secure for them a better and fuller training, both
in the care of cattle and in every branch of the dairy industry. In
the five dairy schools there are not more than 55 scholars, giving the
average number of 11 for each school, and, as $6,500 are assigned
by the treasury to these schools, it may be reckoned that each scholar
costs about $118 a year.

Besides the dairy schools already mentioned, in two of which
girls are also admitted, a number of schools designed exclusively
for girls have been established in different parts of Russia by the aid
and with the concurrence of the Government. In these schools are
received girls not younger than 16 years, and who must previously
have gone through the regular course of studies at one of the na-
tional schools. They are instructed in those branches of rural and
domestic industry with which women have generally to occupy them-
selves, namely, the management of the dairy, bird breeding, gar-
dening, kitchen gardening, cooking, sewing, nursing, etc. The course
extends over two years. Thus, under the administration and care
of the Ministry of Imperial Domains, there are, in all, 68 rural
industrial schools. The sums expended on their maintenance, and

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the number of pupils receiving instruction in these schools, are set
forth in the following table:

Class of schools

Higher schools.

Middle schools.

Lower schools:

On a special footing

On the normal footing, at work

On the normal footing, at work, opened
in 1893






Cost of maintenance.

From the



From the








Besides the middle schools of rural industry just mentioned,
which are under the supervision of the Ministry of Imperial Domains,
there are similar schools under the administration of the Ministry of
Public Instruction. These are two professional schools — one in the
government of Perm and the other in the government of the Tau-
rida (Crimea).

Much attention has lately been directed to the idea that instruction
in rural industry, and particularly in the garden and kitchen indus-
try, might with profit be given to the pupils of the national schools.
With this purpose in view, special classes for training teachers
for the national schools were established. This training was given
during the summer in the educational establishments of the minis-
try, and was supplemented by regular practical training under the
immediate direction of the tutors of these establishments. During
recent years similar classes have been opened in many of the schools
of rural and garden industry.

In all, or nearly all, of the governments of European Russia
efforts are continually being made to show the peasant farmer the
importance of tilling his land in a proper manner and under favor-
able conditions. The government or province of Ekaterinoslav, in
southern Russia, is perhaps a fair example of what has been at-
tempted and accomplished in this direction.

The Ekaterinoslav rural administration, with a view to improving
peasant agriculture, has established 32 experimental fields in the
8 districts into which the province is divided, making 4 fields in each
district. They are always established in the midst of fields owned
by peasantry, from whom the land is rented and whose implements
are used in tilling. The fields are sown with local seeds of the best

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quality and much more thoroughly cleaned than the seeds sown by
the peasants. All the other operations incident to gathering the
harvest are carried out by hiring the same peasants who had sown
the field as day laborers or by piece work, with the object of prov-
ing to the peasants that more can be accomplished, on the same soil,
with the same implements. By tilling it more timely and carefully
the peasants may receive twice or thrice as good results as they re-
ceive at present.

This will make it possible for the peasants on the one hand to re-
duce the area of land sown apd to allot a part for cattle grazing, and
on the other hand to insure to their fields the requisite moisture,
proper seasoning, and protection against the detrimental effects of

Another object of the experimental fields is to clearly show the
importance of the fallow strip of land in the struggle against rank
weeds, in the accumulation and retention of moisture, and in the
seasoning of the soil.

As it is not possible to recommend a bleak fallow, in view of
economic reasons, the experimental fields contemplate usual fallows,
merely broken up as early as possible in the spring. When the sum-
mer crops have been sown and the working animals have received
from seven to fourteen days* rest, the first plowing of the fallow land
begins. The depth of plowing, and the number of harrowings and
replowings, must be entirely regulated by the character of the rank
weeds, the amount of moisture, and other local conditions.

Naturally, the object of this is to prepare the peasant population
for the transition from a nonsystematic agriculture to a four-field
culture, viz, fallow, winter crops, pasture, and summer crops, which
is the simplest system, and, as a beginning, is the most suitable one
as long as the peasantry complain of having too little land, as well as
on account of climatic conditions.

For the management of these fields, teachers are selected in the
village schools who enjoy the respect and confidence of the people
and who have either been employed in land culture or in farming
for themselves; and who have voluntarily offered their services to
conduct these experimental fields. The sum of $25 is allowed by
the rural administration for each field. The total harvest return
is left to the manager of the field as his remuneration. He must
have an experimental field not less than 8 acres in extent, of which
one-third must be fallow, the second sown with winter crops, the
third with summer crops. He must render an account to the rural
administration regarding the quantity of grain, etc., harvested, and
that of the neighboring peasant fields, for the purpose of compari-
son, and must state his relations toward the local residents. All

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the fields are managed under the instruction and guidance of the
director attached to the rural administration of the province, and
the managers of the fields give all requisite explanations to the peas-
ants regarding the preparation of the soil, the importance of the
fallow, of good seed, etc., according to the particulars imparted to
them by the director.

The annual report for 1895, of the general committee for the in-
stallation of school gardens for the province of Ekaterinoslav, states
that out of the total number of 500 elementary village schools in
the province, 227 schools had gardens or kitchen gardens, or both.

The total area under the 227 village schools was 92^ acres, and
the area under the gardens belonging to these schools was 285 acres,
making a total of 37 7 X acres.

The total number of fruit-bearing trees in these gardens was
14,974; fruit-bearing bushes (currants, gooseberries, etc.), 18,951;
young trees (seedlings or saplings) for planting purposes (in nurs-
eries), 77,076; total, 111,001.

The total number of forest trees was 17,996; bushes not bearing
fruit, 38,459; seedlings or saplings for transplanting (in nurseries),
181,865; total, 238,290. There were given to peasants for planting:
Fruit trees, 13,5^9; forest trees, 41,759; total, 55,348.

Besides this, 51 schools had apiaries and 10 had silkworm culture.

The sum of $1,568.35 was spent by the management of these
schools in the effort to promote the gardens during 1895; ^^^ ^^ 'S
considered quite inadequate to the actual requirements, and it has
been decided to invoke the aid of the Central Government.

Owing to the scarcity of food for silkworms and the difficulty of
finding a market for the cocoons, silkworm raising has proved to
be totally unprofitable. Out of the 30 schoolmasters who were en-
gaged in it in 1894 {i}4 pounds of grains were hatched), only 10
continued in 1895. At present the mulberry tree is scarce in the
South Russian steppes, although it is the intention to plant it exten-
sively for forest purposes. Should this be done silk culture would
probably be very successful. In a country which is naturally desti-
tute of wild berries, the first endeavor should be made to grow such
trees as bear them.

Bee culture seems to have a good chance of becoming a perma-
nent success, owing to quick returns therefrom ; the honey and wax
find ready sale, and, besides, the bees do not require such careful
protection as orchards.

Kitchen gardens are still more likely to become important, as
they supply daily wants. Berry bushes and cherry trees come next
in importance, because they give quicker returns and require less
care than apple trees, pear trees, apricots, etc.

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Vines, if properly selected, correctly treated, and planted in suit-
able sites, may in time become a very important item in these school
gardens, and may induce many peasants to engage in the industry.

Forest trees, it is believed, are likely to have a future only along
lanes and roads, in churchyards, graveyards, etc., because, as a rule,
the peasants have not sufficient land for grain growing or cattle graz-
ing, and are not able to set aside land for forest trees, which give no
immediate profit.

In accordance with a request made by the director of the primary
public schools to the curator of the Odessa district of public instruc-
tion, courses of silk growing and orchard culture at Ekaterinoslav
and of silk growing in Slavenoserbsk were established, to last from
the 13th of June to the 13th of July, 1895. For the maintenance
of the teachers who came to attend the lectures during that period,
the sum of $125 was granted out of the special funds of the Ministry
of Public Instruction. In addition to this, the Ministry of Agricul-
ture and State Domains granted the sum of $150 for the promotion
of this object, while the rural administration of the Ekaterinoslav
district gave $100 and that of Novomoskovsk and of Slavenoserbsk
$50 each.

The courses at Ekaterinoslav were attended by 26 male and 3
female teachers and those at Slavenoserbsk by 17 male and 3 female
teachers, a total of 49 persons. At the first place forty-two lectures
were delivered, and at the second place thirty-two; in addition, all
the requisite manipulations were demonstrated and gone through.
Further, at the village or borough of Ivanovka, district of Slaveno-
serbsk, practical instruction was given regarding apiculture, which
was brought to a close by visiting a few model bee raisers in the
vicinity. Much difficulty was experienced from the circumstance
that many of the teachers, not being practical men or acquainted
with any labor in connection with the soil, are better able to grasp
a public lecture than to carry out practical work, and also from the
fact that obstructions are often placed in the way by villagers, who
look upon this matter of horticulture, etc., as a hobby of the partic-
ular teacher and totally foreign to school education, which, in their
opinion, should consist of mere book learning. Much patience on
the part of the teachers is required in explaining to such parties the
great desirability of spreading practical as well as theoretical knowl-
edge and inculcating a taste for the work in connection with every
variety of gardening.

There are 50 teachers who have taken up apiculture, 20 of
whom have gone through the regular series of lectures and received
practical instruction, while 30 have derived all their knowledge
from books. There were altogether in the 51 apiaries, of which

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2 belonged to schools and all the others to schoolmasters, 1,040
hives (containing 416 hives of the old pattern, being hollowed out
tree trunks, and 624 new-pattern hives, which can be taken apart, as
they are made of boards and panes of glass); 222 new swarms of
bees were recorded as having been obtained on 21 bee farms, while 21
such apiaries out of this number showed a return of 3,604 pounds
of honey and 105 pounds of wax. The total outlay for 30 apiaries
is given at $2,951.32, while the annual profit is quoted at $248. 25.

It is of interest to note that some of the teachers have begun to
sow small plots of ground with phacelia, reseda, melissa, and other
plants of a similar nature, by which means not only more, but bet-
ter, honey has been obtained than the localities in question produced

Instances occur in which it is related that pupils become greatly
interested in horticulture and in the growth of trees. These avail
themselves of the opportunity to plant young trees, which are always
given when asked for by the pupils. The traveling inspector
saw ten such gardens, which he considered sufficiently satisfac-
tory to induce him to make application for prizes, in the shape
of useful books pertaining to gardens, in order to encourage the


In conclusion, it may be of interest to point out, with reference
to stations for the experimental study of rural industry, that up to
the present there ^re very few in Russia that will admit of compar-
ison with those in western Europe.

Of the stations devoted to some distinct specialty and founded
by the Government, may be mentioned the following:

The Tiflis silkworm rearing station, which was founded at Tiflis
in the year 1887.

The Kharkov bacteriological station, which was established in
1887 for investigating the question of the prophylactic inoculation
of cattle as a remedy and preservative against the Siberian plague
and other infectious diseases. A sum of $2,500 is granted yearly
toward the maintenance of this station.

The chemical station for rural industries, attached to the forest
corps, is chiefly devoted to investigations concerning the nature and
properties of different soils.

The Caucasian experimental station, in the Koutias government,
has for its main object the cultivation of American vines and their
acclimatization in Russia.

The Government cotton plantations — one in Tashkend, in the Syr
Dariensk district, and the other in the Tiflis government, on the
Government estate at Karayask — ^are showing excellent results.

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There are also two rural industrial stations, one for investiga-
tions, in the Orlov government, on the estate of Count Tolstoi; the
other, experimental, in the Petersburg government; also three
establishments, under the administration of the Ministry of Public
Instruction, namely, the chemical experimental station for rural
industries, attached to the polytechnic school at Riga; the agronom-
ical laboratory, attached to the university at Kiev; and the technical
laboratory, attached to the Kiev department of the Imperial Russian
Technical Society.

Among the farms and grounds established by local governments
and societies for promoting the experimental study of rural indus-
tries, some have either been opened on Government lands, of which
a free grant had been made for that purpose, or else they receive a
money subvention from the Government. Such are the three experi-
mental farms founded by the zemstvos of the Perm government and
the Kharkov, Poltava, and Kiev experimental grounds, as well as
those established by the Viatka local authorities, the Odessa experi-
mental station, and the experimental ground under the administra-
tion of the Imperial Society for the Furtherance of Rural Industries
in Southern Russia.

There are others which receive no Government subsidy, such as
the seven stations for seed sowing in the botanical gardens at St.
Petersburg, Helsingfors, Kiev, Guriev, Riga, Tver, and Warsaw.


Under date of March 24, 1898, Consul Smith writes:
There are a number of agricultural schools in Russia, with de-
partments for sheep breeding, for domestic industries, and for in-
struction in the distillation of wines and spirits. The Government
appropriates for these schools 300,000 rubles ($154,200) annually.
They are not sufficient to provide all the instruction required, and
special classes for teachers have been formed, principally in the
provinces of Viatka, Novozibkoff, and Livnsch; but these seem to
be of short duration. In the town of Jizdra there is a yearly class,
excellently conducted, for teaching gardening, fruit culture, etc.


Consul Rawicz, under date of November 12, 1897, says:

I have ascertained that two schools for gardeners, which existed

for a number of years at Warsaw and at Czenstochowa, were closed

two years ago.

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During the present year, however, the educational department
has opened at Warsaw, at the pomological garden, a gardeners'
school, to prepare instructors for the country gardeners; but, as the
institution has existed only a couple of months, it is impossible to
say anything about its usefulness or prosperity.


Ambassador Hitchcock writes from St. Petersburg, June 14,

I inclose herewith a cutting from the London Times of June 4,
relating to certain changes in the customs duties of Russia. I have
made application for copies of the ukases covering ships and gold-
mining machinery and articles imported into Siberia by sea. With
regard to the change in the tariff on agricultural machinery, the new
law has not yet been promulgated.

[From the London Times, June 4, 1898.]

In response to persistent agitation and the recommendations of several commis-
sions, the Russian Minister of Finance has just decided to admit a number of vari-
ous imports free of duty and to reduce the duties on certain others. These
concessions, although temporary and experimental, constitute certain relaxa-
tions of the hard-and-fast tariff of 1891. First of all, as likely to extend the large
amount of work already done for Russia by English shipbuilders, comes a ukase
abolishing the high duties on sea-going vessels built abroad. Freedom from duty
is granted for ten years from July i next on iron vessels for external navigation
not imported in pieces; on steam yachts, dredgers, ice breakers for seaports, floating
docks, chains, anchors, and wire cables for ocean-going ships and all vessels for serv-
ice under the Russian flag on the Danube. A reduced duty of 20 rubles gold (|io.28)
per ton of carrying capacity is to be charged on iron vessels for rivers, lakes, and
the Caspian Sea; also on tugs, barges, and floating cranes for work at ports on the
Russian Pacific coast; besides 3 rubles (J1.54) per square foot of boiler-heating
surface in steamers of this category. The duty on wooden sea and river boats im-
ported whole is fixed at 8 rubles ($4.11) per ton, with the addition of the above-
mentioned boiler tax.

It is evident that the heavy duty on imported ships, amounting to 25 and 30 per
cent of their cost, has not had the desired effect of encouraging native construction.
Some say it is because Russian builders have not been sufficiently helped by sub-
sidies and premiums, as well as by protection against foreign competitors. In any
case, they will still be protected in this respect by the above-mentioned duties on
vessels for internal use, while, in view of the impending prohibition of coasting
under foreign flags between diff^erent Russian ports, the abolition of the duty on
sea vessels will enable Russians to buy abroad all the vessels which the change
will render necessary, and which they can not have made at home.

M. Witte has also at last settled the much-debated question of the duties on
imports into Siberia by direct sea route. The Moscow manufacturers, who claim
the Siberian market exclusively for themselves, raised powerful opposition to the
free importation by English shippers at the mouths of the Ob and Yenisei. The

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Siberians of the Yenesei Basin, however, were tired of paying tribute to Moscow
in the form of exorbitant prices, and those on the Ob were anxious to have English
purchasers and cheap sea carriage for their surplus wheat, which, even in this year
of dearth and distress in many of the Russian provinces, lies piled up along the
railway beyond Cheliabinsk in thousands of tons, awaiting buyers and rolling

A special commission discussed the subject here several months ago with Mus-
covite, Si{)erian, and English representatives. The result, as now determined upon,
is that the following imports by sea via Siberian rivers are to be free of duty: Ma-
chinery for Siberian gold works, salt, coal, agricultural machinery, and parts of
machines, to an unlimited extent; machines for equipping Siberian mills and work-
shops, fishing nets and twine for the same, certain chemicals — but only in quanti-
ties actually required by works in Siberia — tin, lead, and olive oil in the quantities
required in each separate business for preparing fish conserves; and sacks to the
extent necessary for the actual export of grain. Duties of 4}4 rubles (J2.31) per
pood on Ob and 4 rubles ($2.05) on Yenisei will be charged on brick tea; so that a
Kiakhta tea merchant, who pays only 2^ rubles (I1.29), will be protected and the
overland trade preserved from ruin.

The minister has made the above exemptions for the present year and hopes to
have them prolonged for the next five years. All machinery for gold mining in
Siberia is furthermore made free of duty on all the frontiers of the Empire. Duties
are likewise repealed or reduced for five years from September i next on agricul-
tural machinery. Steam plows, various kinds of thrashing machines, reapers,
sorters, harrows, etc., will be free of duty, while duties on other special kinds will
be reduced from 1.20 rubles (62 cents) to 50 copecks (25.7 cents) per pood. Finally,
duties on nearly all chemical manures and remedies against diseases of trees and
vines are abolished.

A report covering similar information as to the changes in the
Russian tariff has been received from Consul Smith, of Moscow,
bearing date of June 7, 1898.



I transmit herewith the official text of a decree issued by the
President of the French Republic and published in the Journal
Officiel, together with an English translation of said decree, con-
cerning the reduction of French import duties on pork products
and lard produced in the United States, in conformity with the reci-
procity provisions recently concluded between the United States
and France.

E. P. MacLean,

Paris, /une 10, iSpS. Vice-Consul-General^ in Charge

The President of the French Republic, considering the law of January 11, 1892;
considering the law of January 27, 1893; considering the law of April 5, 1898,
article 4; upon the reports of the Minister of Commerce, of Industry, of Posts and

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Telegraphs, and upon the advice in conformity therewith of the President of the

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign CommerceConsular reports, Issues 212-215 → online text (page 68 of 83)