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

Consular reports, Issues 224-227 online

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instance, at Fuchau the Fuchau tael is not the banking standard.
For purposes of computation, a Yang Ping tael is used ; and to trans-
late the value of the chopped dollar, which is the ordinary medium
of exchange there, into United States gold, a somewhat intricate
problem in arithmetic is to be worked out. One thousand chopped
dollars equal 777 Yang Ping taels; 100 Yang Ping taels equal 133.3
Fuchau taels; a Fuchau tael equals 64.1 cents in United States gold.
A European usually has nervous prostration before he finds out
what his gold is really worth in chop Mexicans. When this bit of
arithmetic has been solved, you still have not arrived at the actual
value of your gold. It is not always easy to find wha^t an actual gold
piece is worth in the circulating medium of China. I sent out a
man this morning with Jtioo in American gold coin. The bank of-
fered him J5197.40 Mexican. The Chinese gold guild offered $199,
while the Chinese jewelry store said that they would give $200, if
the rate had not changed since 4 o'clock yesterday. At the same
time, the bank asked me $204.85 Mexican for a draft for $100 gold
on its branch in New York City.

The people who suffer from this fluctuation in the circulating
medium are the wage earners. About a year ago, silver was falling
in value very fast, and the shopkeepers, by a concerted movement,
raised the price of commodities 10 per cent. The price of labor,
however, did not advance. Again, shopkeepers raised prices 10 per
cent. Still wages did not advance. Since that time, silver has
gradually appreciated. The price of commodities has not, however,
been lowered from the higher prices fixed when silver was at the
bottom. In this country, with the value of the medium of exchange
constantly shifting, all business is gambling. Even those paid in
gold are badly affected by these changes. As I have said, prices are
now maintained at the high level in silver fixed a year ago, when



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64 NUTS IN CHINA.

silver was lowest ; but my salary, paid in gold, is worth 6 per cent
less in the silver into which I must exchange it to pay my bills than
it was a year ago.

Throughout the business uncertainties and troubles arising from
the silver currency, I notice that the banks are the most prosperous
institutions here. They charge you for changing your gold into taels
and from taels into silver dollars. You must take the silver they
give you ; but a bank may and often does refuse to receive back the
silver dollars which only a few hours before it paid out. Merchants,
wage earners, and laborers all suffer by the uncertainty of exchange;
but the banks thrive on that same uncertainty.



NUTS IN CHINA.*

Peanuts are grown in these provinces to the extent of about i,ooo
tons. About loo tons were shipped to Canton this year for the pur-
pose of expressing the oil. Price ranges from $2 to $3 f per cwt.

Chestnuts are grown to the extent of about 500 tons, but not for
export. Price ranges from $3 to $5 per cwt.

Hazelnuts are grown at a great distance, and only a fejv hundred-
weights come here for sale. Price ranges from $4 to $6 per cwt.

Walnuts are grown to the extent of about 1,000 tons, of which
about 500 tons are exported. Price ranges from $3 to $7 per cwt.
The above are only used as an adjunct to food — not as a regular
article of diet.

Walnuts are sometimes eaten raw, sometimes used (like almonds)
to flavor cakes, and sometimes preserved in sugar. Hazelnuts are
occasionally eaten raw; more frequently, cooked as below described.
Peanuts and chestnuts are always cooked. A quantity of sand,
about the size of No. 2 shot, is heated in an iron pan over a wood
fire. The nuts are stirred in the heated sand until sufficiently
roasted. The sand, of course, may be used several times for this
purpose.

J. J. Fredk, Bandinel,

NiucHWANG, December ji^ i8g8, Vice-ConsuL

* This report was prepared at the request of a resident of Michigan, to whom Advance Sheets
have been sent.

t The prices given in this report are in United States currency.



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FLOODS IN china: APPEAL FOR HELP. 65



FLOODS IN CHINA: APPEAL FOR HELP.

Consul Fowler sends from Chefoo, under date of January 30,
1899, an appeal on behalf of the sufferers from the Yellow River
floods. The distress, says Mr. Fowler, is severe, and he hopes the
matter will be taken up by the press. The inclosure reads :

AN APPEAL ON BEHALF OF SUFFERERS FROM THE YELLOW RIVER FLOODS IN THE
PROVINCE OF SHANTUNG, CHINA.

We the undersigned citizens of the United States residing in Chefoo, China,
appeal to the charitable in America and elsewhere, on behalf of the sufiferers from
the appalling Yellow River flood of this year.

While there is always more or less suffering in this province, owing to the over-
flow of the Yellow River, which the natives truly describe as "China's Sorrow,"
probably never before wais the distress so great and heartrending as now. The
most conservative estimates place the number of starving at 2,000,000, and time
and the increasing cold weather will gready augment the distress.

Daily, almost hourly, we are in receipt of reports from our countrymen in the
interior depicting the condition of the famine refugees; hundreds of villages are
submerged, cities surrounded by water, homes, furniture, clothing — in fact, every-
thing is under water or destroyed; the natives themselves are living in straw huts;
many have absolutely no shelter from the winter's cold and snow, subsisting on
bark, willow twigs, roots, etc.

The summer's crqps have been a failure, the seed for next spring's sowing is
gone, and there is nothing for these starving millions to hope for in the future.

With our knowledge of the terrible want prevailing, we venture to call upon
the charitable in our home land to assist us in trying to alleviate at least a portion
of this misery.

Therefore, we shall be glad to receive contributions of money and corn. We
earnestly beg the merchants and others on the Pacific coast to contribute a steamer
load of corn. The natives of Shantung, unlike those down south, subsist upon corn,
and we believe that if the grain men of the West will ship to the United States
coosul at Chefoo, direct from the Pacific slope, a steamer loaded with corn, it will
be the means of not only saving thousands of lives, but of opening a market of
25,000,000 to 30,000,000 consumers later on, as under normal conditions American
corn can easily compete with native; and if this corn is sent, we guarantee that it
will be distributed under the direct and personal supervision of Americans now
residing in or near the submerged districts.

We ask for money to be sent to the United States consul here, with which food,
clothing, and stock can be bought for the sufferers, and we guarantee a strict account-
ing for every dollar thus received.

Shantung is peculiarly interesting to American merchants as the best market
for their products in all China; to the missionaries, because there are five denomi-
nations represented comprising 118 adults, scattered all over this vast province,
and to whom we look to assist us in distributing such relief as we may receive.

Probably in no place in the world, and probably not in this generation, has
there been so much suffering as is now being endured in Shantung.
No. 224 5.

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66 CHINESE DECREE AS TO RAILWAY CONSTRUCTION.

The natives are doing all in their power; one firm in Chefoo has contributed
the equivalent of $70,000 in United States gold in cash, and xo,ooo bags of com,
and all classes are contributing, but let us not forget that there are 2,000,000 of
people starving.

John Fowler.

L. H. Smith.

Hunter Corbett.

W. O. Elterich.

George Cornwell.

C. B. Downing.
Chefoo, January 4^ iSgg.



CHINESE DECREE AS TO RAILWAY CONSTRUC-
TION.

Minister Conger sends from Pekin, under date of December 26,
1898, copy of a recent memorial concerning the building and man-
agement of railways, distinguishing those that are urgent and those
the construction of which may be delayed. The memorial, which
has received imperial sanction, reads:

A respectful memorial to the Throne for thorough consideration of the manage-
ment of railways, and for the purpose of distinguishing between those that are
urgent and those that may be delayed. Looking up, we pray for the sacred glance.

It was at first supposed that a speedy construction of main and branch lines of
railways would greatly benefit the Government and be a convenience to the people,
and that a network of a great many roads penetrating in all directions would be
of great advantage. In consideration of the present state of affairs, it is necessary
to decide which should have preference in time, and the memorialists request a
statement of the course to be pursued.

The Lu-Han and Hankau-Canton lines are the most important trunk lines;
next in importance is the Tientsin-Chinkiang line, and Shanhaikuan, and beyond,
Moukden, Niuchwang, etc., are strategical points, and roads must be built. With
these exceptions, other railways are branch lines. Trunk lines are expensive in
construction, and the profits are returned slowly; branch lines cost less, and profits
are realized more speedily.

The Government prefers trunk lines, in order that its orders may be speedily
transmitted; the merchants, to facilitate trade, prefer branch lines.

The ministers have consulted concerning the building of trunk and branch lines
at the same time, and think it would result in confusion; that it would be better to
first build the important trunk lines, and, when a good beginning has been made,
to proceed with extension.

Again, on examination, Lu-Han, Hankau-Canton trunk lines, and the branch
lines of Ningpo, Shanghai, Soochow, Chekiang, Pu-hsiu, Kuang-chiu, and other
important trunk lines are all under the direction of Sheng Hsuan Huai. Tientsin-
Chinkiang, Shanhaikuan, and the lines beyond have already been, by imperial de-
cree, placed under direction of Hu Chu-fen and others. Tai Yuan to Liu-Lin are
under the Shansi Syndicate. Kuang-hsi and Lung-chou are under direction of Gen-
eral Su Yuan-Ch'un. We must request a decree ordering said officials to hasten the
completion of the important lines. If the funds are sufficient, the loan, principal



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OPENING FOR AMERICAN RAILWAY MATERIALS. 67

and interest, can be paid, the current expenses met, and, should there be any surplus,
it can be used for branch lines. This must be attended with great diligence.
After this memorial is presented, all requests to construct branch lines will be re-
fused. This. docs not refer to agreements already made with different govern-
ments. If this meets the imperial copsent, the ministers will command that these
instructions be followed.



OPENING FOR AMERICAN RAILWAY MATERIALS

IN FORMOSA.

The Formosan government has asked for an appropriation of
40,000,000 yen (^20,000,000 in United States gold) for the construc-
tion of a railway through the island and for the improvement of
Kelung Harbor. The Japanese cabinet has given its approval, and,
as the railway and harbor are urgently needed, it is believed the
Diet will pass the bill. There is at present in the island a railway
60 miles long, running from Kelung to Teckcham (Hsinchik). It
was commenced in 1887 and completed in 1891. It was owned by
the Chinese Government, but, on the taking over of the island by the
Japanese, it passed into the possession of the latter Government.
The proposed railway will extend soutl\ from Teckcham to Takow,
a distance of 175 miles.

The Japanese have rebuilt a part of the existing road, but no new
rolling stock, with the exception of two or three second-hand loco-
motives from Japan, has been added. At present, 6 locomotives, 12
passenger cars, and 20 freights and flats are in use. The gauge of
the present line is 3 feet 6 inches, and the same will probably be
continued in the new road. There will be required steel rails (prob-
ably of 60 pounds), locomotives, and bridge material for the line, and
one of the leading engineers connected with the work has expressed
to me his intention of recommending American locomotives.

I have been urgently requested by Mr. H. Yamashita, Taipeh,
Formosa, one of the leading merchants and president of the Taipeh
municipality, to place his name before the manufacturers of railway
supplies; he especially desires information regarding American loco-
motives. If any of our manufacturers communicate with him, I
would recommend that they give full particulars and lowest terms
in the first letter, as there is but little time to lose.

James W. Davidson,

Tamsui, February 77, 18^9, Consul,



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68 TARIFF CHANGES IN NEW SOUTH WALES.



TAX ON PETROLEUM AND MATCHES IN JAVA.

In spite of the vigorous protests of the commercial communities
in Netherlands India, the internal-revenue tax on petroleum has been
raised from 80 cents to $1 per hectoliter (26.417 gallons). This tax
is for all oils, whether native or foreign. In addition, the foreign
oils pay a customs duty of 10 cents per hectoliter, which is the same
as before. .

This new tax goes into effect on the nth instant. None of the
companies, American, Russian, or Sumatran, are prepared to predict
the effect on their business by this extra tax; but they admit that
they propose to add it to their price to the consumer. So it is safe
to say that it may have the effect of diminishing trade somewhat, as
the natives are poor and improvident, and never have an extra cent
to spare. The chances are that many who now use petroleum will
revert to cocoanut oil, which they can make at home very cheaply.

MATCHES.

On the same day — January 1 1 — will go into effect an increased
internal-revenue tax on matches, native and foreign alike. The pres-
ent tax of 16 cents in United States currency per gross (144 boxes) is
to be raised to 28 cents per gross.

The duty of 6 per cent ad valorem on foreign matches is left
unchanged.

The difference will not be felt for awhile, as heavy importations
have been made to anticipate the increased tax.

The one native match factory spoken of in my report of May 26,
1898,* will probably be forced out of business, as it is in very bad
shape, and this will be the last straw.

Sidney B. Everett,

Bat A VI A, January 7, 18^^, Consul,



TARIFF CHANGES IN NEW SOUTH WALES.

It is claimed that what Americans call the ** tariff law" in New
South Wales is the most concise and comprehensive tariff law extant,
and that Sydney is by far the freest of all the great commercial ports
on the globe.

On January i, 1896, all ad valorem duties were abolished and the



♦ See Consular Rbports No. 216 (September, 1898), p. 123.

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TARIFF CHANGES IN NEW SOUTH WALES.



69



dutiable list was limited to stimulants and narcotics and twenty-five
other articles. On the 30th of June of the same year, the duties on
sixteen of the twenty-five ceased ; while on the other nine, the duties
were to be abolished by a sliding scale before 1900.

The following is the full text of the ** permanent tariff'* schedule
of 1896, in operation from its passage until the recent change of 1898,
as fully noted under proper head :



Articles.



Spirits:

On all kinds of spirits and spirituous compounds imported
and not otherwise enumerated.

No allowance beyond 16-5 shall be made for the under-
proof of any spirit of a less strength than 16-5 underproof.
Case spirits —

Contents of 2, 3, 4, or 5 gallons shall be charged —
2 gallons and under as 2 gallons.
Over 2 gallons and not exceeding 3 as 3 gallons.
Over 3 gallons and not exceeding 4 as 4 gallons.
Over 4 gallons and not exceeding 5 as 5 gallons.
Bitters, essences, fluid extracts, sarsaparilla, tinctures, in-
fosions, and toilet preparations containing—

Not more than 25 per cent of proof spirit ,

Not more than 50 per cent of proof spirit

Not more than 75 per cent of proof spirit

If containing more than 75 per cent of proof spirit

If containing spirit overproof, to be charged as spirit-
uous compounds.

Methylated spirits.. ,

Perfumed spirits, perfumed waters, Florida water, and bay
rum.
Wines:

sparkling (for 6 reputed quarts or 12 reputed pints) ,

Other kinds.

Beer, ale, porter, spruce, or other beer, cider, and perry:

In wood or jar... .^

In bottle...

For 6 reputed quarts or 12 reputed pints...

Tobacco:

Delivered from ship's side or from a custom-house bond for
borne consumption, manufactured, unmanufactured, and
snuff.
Unmanufactured entered to be manufactured in the colony
at the time of removal from a customs bond or from an
importing ship to any licensed tobacco factory for manu-
facturing purposes only into tobacco, cigars, and cigar-
eltcs-

Sbeep wash

Cigars and cigarettes (including wrappers in latter case)

Opium and any preparations thereof



Unit.



Per proof gallon...



Per gallon

do

.do

.do

Per proof gallon-



Rate.



s. d.
14 o



Per gallon

Per liquid gallon.



Per gallon..

.do

Ao



Per pound..



...do .



Diminish ing duties.
Candles per pound or reputed package of that weight and so in
proportion for any such weight, night lights, and stearin.

From July i, 1897

From July i, i8<j9

Oil (kerosene, naphtha, and gasoline)

From July i, 1896

From July i, 1897

Oils, except linseed oil (raw or boiled).



...do.
...do.
...do..



Per pound..



Per gallon..
Ao



Per gallon..



14



I3.41



.85
1.70
2.55
3.41
341



20


4.86


10


2.43


S


1.22


6


.12


9


.18


9


.18


3


•73


I


.24


3


.06


6


1.46


20


4.86


I


.02


oi


.01


Free.




6


.12


3


.06


Free.




6


.13



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70



TARIFF CHANGES IN NEW SOUTH WALES.



Articles.



Diminish ing </«//>*— Continued.
Fish and seal oils, black whale, cocoanut, sperm, palm, and essen-
tial oils:

From July i, 1896

From July i, 1897

Sugar, refined

From July i, 1897..
From July i, 1898..



Unit.



Per gallon..

.do

Percwt.

Ao

.do



From July i, 1899. .do....

From July i, 1900 , -do ....

From July 1, 1901

Sugar, raw and solid glucose Per cw^..

From July i, 1897 .do....



From July i, 1898.

From July i, 1899.

From July i, 1900

From July i, 1901

Molasses and treacle glucose, liquid and sirup

From July x, 1897 •

From July 1, 1898

From July i, 1899

From July 1, 1900.

From July i, 1901

Biscuits

From July i, 1898

From July 1, 1900

Confectionery (including cakes, comfits, licorice paste, lozenges
of all kinds, cocoanut in sugar, sugar candy, succades, and
sweetmeats).

From July i, 1898

From July i, 1900

Fruits (dried, candied, and prunes, exclusive of dates)

From July i, 1898

From July i, 1900

Jams and jellies, per pound reputed package of that weight
and so in proportion for any such weight.

From July i, 1898

From July i, 1900.

Preserves and canned fruits (boiled, peeled, drained, or dried)..

From July i, 1898

From July 1, 1900



...do.
...do.,
..xlo.,



Per cwt..

.do....

.do....

.do....

Ao....



Per pound..
.do



Per pound..



...do..



Per pound..
.do



Per pound..



..xlo..



Per pound..
.do



Rate.



s. d,

o 6

o 3

6 8

5 4

4 o

2 8

« 4
Free.

5 o

4 o

3 o
a o
z o

Free.

3 4



X 4

o 8

Free.

o I
♦o oj
Free.



Free.



Free.



*o oi
Free.

o I
*o oi
Free.



$o.za
.06
r.63
X.30
.98
.65
•33



1.22
.98
.73
.49

•as



.82
.65
•49
.33
.16



•04
.02



Note.— The ♦ indicates the present duty, as retained by paragraph 3 of law of 1898.
REVISED TARIFF LAW OF 1898.

Owing to an insufficient revenue to meet a necessarily increased
expenditure, there was a revision of the tariff by the last parliament,
the act going into operation from its passage — November 3, 1898.

The total schedule of the new duties is as follows:

Pence.

Tea per pound... i=$o. 02

Fruits (dried, candied, or prunes, exclusive of dates), in lieu of the duty
of id. per pound now chargeable per pound... 2= .04

The following three paragraphs cover the entire chajiges, other
than the new schedule last above quoted.

(i) The import duties of customs mentioned in the schedule to this act shall be
levied and collected upon all goods therein mentioned on their importation and



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UNITED STATES TRADE WITH SYDNEY.



71



upon all such goods in bond: Provided that all goods imported for the supply of
Her Majesty's service shall be exempt from such import duties.

(2) All contracts made on or before the 3d day of November, 1898, for the sale
or delivery otherwise than in bond of any goods the duty on which is newly im-
posed or is increased by this act, shall be subject to an increase^ in the contract price
of such goods corresponding in rate and amount with the duty so imposed or with
such increase of duty, as the case may be.

(3) The duties of customs imposed by the customs duties act of 1895 on sugar,
raw and refined, and glucose, solid, upon molasses and treacle, glucose, liquid and
sirup, upon biscuits, confectionery (including cakes, comfits, licorice, and sweet-
meats), jams and jellies, preserves and canned fruits, boiled, peel drained or dry,
shall cease to be diminishing duties and shall be collected, levied, and paid as part of
the permanent customs tariff at the rates in force at the commencement of this act.

It will be observed in the third paragraph that the duties in the
1896 act, proposed to be removed by the sliding scale, are retained
at the rate in force at the date of the later act(November 3, 1898).

Geo. W. Bell,

Sydney, January j, 189Q, Consul,



UNITED STATES TRADE WITH SYDNEY.

Commercially, Sydney may be considered as representing New
South Wales; it is more, for it is the chief distributing point of the
continent of Australia. In the value of its tonnage, Sydney is yet,
I think, the tenth commercial port of the globe, and by reason of
increasing acquaintance and mutual confidence, the commercial re-
lations of the United States with Australia are becoming more firmly
established and the reciprocal trade more extensive and profitable.

GENERAL TRADE.

The following table gives the total value, in round numbers, of
export and import trade of Sydney with all countries; also with the
three leading foreign competitors — United States, France, and Ger-
many — for the five years from 1894 to 1898, inclusive:



Country.



Total..



France ~.

Germany..

United Sutes *..



1894.



$176,890,000



5,409,000
6,220,000
3,940,000



1895-



1896.



1184,440,000 1211,960,000



7,340,000
7,680,000
5,830,000



7,830,000
7,200,000
6,850,000



1897.



1221,310,000

8,510,000
8,700,000
8,460,000



1898.



1183,370,000



9,290,000

9,340,000

t8, 990, 000



*The export of gold to, and the import of wheat from, the United States beinf^: really abnormal,
these commodities are deducted, leaving only in our calculations our regular staple trade.

t Owing to a combination of circumstances, our people bought from New South Wales during the
year 1898 but 4,000 bales of wool, while for the preceding year we bought 12,000 bales. Had we
bought from New South Wales as much wool in 1898 as in 1897, our total trade with the colony for
the last year would have exceeded that of Germany.



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7^ UNITED STATES TRADE WITH SYDNEY.

WHEAT AND FLOUR.

Until recently, New South Wales had not produced sufficient
grain for her own consumption; in 1896, there was imported from
the United States some $3,450,000 worth of wheat and flour, and
in 1897, ^52,584,000 worth. But, owing to the passage of more liberal
land laws and the greater encouragement given to agricultural pur-
suits, the wheat acreage has been so largely increased that it is not
improbable that the colony may soon to some extent be in the ex-
port market.

Several new lines have been successfully introduced into this col-
ony during the last year, and the old prejudices are nearing the van-
ishing point. ** American goods " no longer mean ** Yankee notions "
or handy devices or ornamental novelties alone, but they mean also
nearly every modern machine or appliance from a sh^rp tool to the
best structural steel for railway, bridge, or building purposes.

Our manufacturers have been learning rapidly during the "last
few years, and the complaints of poor packing, failure to keep up to
sample, and defective goods are becoming rare. However, I want



Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign CommerceConsular reports, Issues 224-227 → online text (page 10 of 92)