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

Consular reports, Issues 224-227 online

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However, the home-made goods satisfy ordinary requirements, and they ax^ being
employed for hat decoration, and so forth, in growing quantities. The average
monthly output from the three shops is i gross rolls, or about 1,500 yards. We
are told that foreign merchants residing in Japan consider the ribbon business here
a hopeful one.


Consul-General Gowey sends from Yokohama, under date of
February 17, 1899, a newspaper article which states that the number
of cotton-spinning mills in Japan in November, 1898, was 77, and
the number of spindles 919,074. The quantity of raw cotton worked
up during the year totaled 27,343,000 pounds, and the output
of yarn was 23,773,000 pounds. The article quotes returns from
eighteen companies during the last six months of 1898, showing that
only three report an improvement in dividends as compared with the
first half of the year, and only two have maintained or bettered
the dividends paid by them in the second half of 1897. Eight out
of the eighteen, or 44 per cent, paid no dividend at all. The writer

It must be rather a miserable reflection for the shareholders that, if they had
their money in Government bonds, it would be giving them a return of 5.37 per
cent at present market rates, and that if they had it deposited in the banks, it would
be producing 7 per cent; whereas, in the case of eight mills, it gives no return at
all, and in four produces only 5 per cent or less. It is interesting to note that the
adoption of gold monometallism is frankly blamed for these bad results. China,
it is said, which is the chief customer for Japan's yarns, has become a constantly
falling market from the point of view of a gold-using nation, and it is for that
reason that the mill owners are so anxious to see a China-Japan bank established,
working on a silver basis. We must confess that such an analysis of the situation
seems very partial. Assuredly, exporters of goods from a gold monometallic country
have considerable difficulties to contend against when their markets are among
silver-using peoples, so long as the appreciation of gold continues. There never
was the least uncertainty on that head among foreign observers of Japan's currency
arrangements. Since Japan became gold monometallic, however, there have been
no fluctuations of exchange at all comparable in severity to those of past years;
yet British manufacturers managed to find their account in supplying silver-using
nations throughout the whole period of the sharpest appreciation of gold. How can
it be pretended that the same obstacle in a greatly reduced form is responsible for
the recent failure of Japanese mills, especially when Japan's home market is of far
more importance to her cotton spinners than the Chinese market, the latter taking
what may be called her surplus produce only? The cause is to be sought in some
conditions independent of exchange. Defective organization, unskillful methods in
laying in raw material, increased cost of labor, and want of cheap working capi-
tal — these are the reasons assigned by foreign critics who should be competent to
give an intelligent opinion.

Further reasons, adds the consul-general, are said to be the pay-
ment of inflated dividends from other than net profits, and the failure
to set aside anything for depreciation of plant, sinking fund, etc.

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In reply to inquiries by a New York news association (to whom
the original letter has been forwarded), Consul Lyon, of Hiogo, on
February 9, 1899, says:

Generally speaking, there is no discrimination here in the treat-
ment of foreigners. I believe that law-abiding tourists, equipped
with a Japanese traveling passport, may go anywhere in this Empire
as free from molestation as in almost any other country. Japan
offers no advantages to a pushing young man superior to those at
home. In fact, I should say no young man dependent upon his own
exertions should come here expecting to find employment awaiting
him, unless arrangements have been made beforehand with some
home firm having an agency at one of the open ports.

After this country is thrown open by the operation of the new
treaties, which come into effect next July, there will be more op-
portunity for foreign enterprise of all kinds, and possibly a greater
demand for the services of young men without capital ; but at pres-
ent, everything of that nature i§ confined to the open ports.

The Japanese themselves are counting on a great influx of for-
eigners with capital at that time. I think the most enterprising
class will be willing to welcome foreigners, but as to their desire for
foreign capital in order to further develop their country, there can
be no question. It has been clearly pointed out to them, however,
that this capital will not be forthcoming unless properly safeguarded
in certain ways by the Japanese Government, such as, for instance,
the ownership of land by foreigners and the holding by them in their
own names of shares in foreign companies. Whether or not these
and other necessary concessions will be made is problematical; but
the indications are that they will be, as the policy of the **New
Japan ** is rapidly gaining ground.

If all obstacles to the introduction of foreign capital into Japan
were swept away, there certainly would be a largely increased field
for the development of American industries, and that would bring
with it a demand for the services of capable young men, with or
without capital.

It should be noted that capitalists intending to enter this field
need to exercise the utmost caution in their investments, and they
would do well, in the prosecution of their enterprises, to associate
themselves with long-established foreign firms at the open ports,
who understand the country and the customs of the people.

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As to the specific question, ** Would it be wise for a young Amer-
ican without capital but with plenty of push to come to Japan," I
would say it would be most unwise. He could not come for a less
expense than $300, and it would be unsafe for him to be in this
country looking for employment without about $200 to live on, in
the contingency of his finding none, and also the further sum of $300
to pay his passage home, should he find no opening.


Minister Conger sends from Pekin, under date of February 19,
1899, the following printed translation of a proclamation posted in

The following proclamation was posted in the native city and this port on Fri-
day last, loth instant, by the Tientsin magistrate:

** Notice is hereby given that I, the Tientsin magistrate, have received a dispatch
from the Viceroy Ytt saying that he had received the following edict from the min-
isters of state with instruction to forward it at once to all viceroys and generals:


*"I, the Empress Dowager, have been informed that anti-Christian movements
have taken place in many provinces, and that these troubles have all arisen from the
false sentiment of treating the missionaries as enemies; in consequence of which it is
easy for misunderstandings to occur. The people do not understand that the preach-
ing of Christianity by westerners is permitted by and stipulated for in the treaties
with foreign nations. Our Government is a generous one, and we treat the preachers
of all religions as good citizens, and no prejudice is tolerated by us. The mission-
aries of the different nations come here and preach to our people what is in their
books, and though each has a distinct doctrine, the common aim of all is to induce
people to be good and do good. All evil and crime are not only prohibited by our
laws, but are also prohibited by the Christian religion. For instance, the would-be
rebellion in Kiangsi which Yang Kungch'^n tried to raise was found out and reported
to us by a man belonging to the Christian religion. Thus it will be seen that a good
man, whether he is a Christian or not, will obey the principles of being honest and
true to others. We therefore immediately rewarded the said Christian, Lin Tsai-to,
in order to show our impartiality to all. Hereafter, I desire that all people will
treat foreigners as their own countrymen, and avoid all misunderstanding with
them. I explain this fully now, and command all viceroys and officials in provinces
to emphasize my sincerity by exerting themselves to suppress all agitation among
the people before any anti-Christian prejudice is displayed.

** * In everything justice must be shown, and no distinction must be made for na-
tive Christians, and native Christians must not show any ill will towards their fellow-
countrymen. They must obey the officials and love and be kind to their neighbors.
Let philanthropy be their ruling motive, so that they may not misunderstand what is
the earnest desire of both the Government and the missionaries. I, though I re-
main in the palace, always have this in my mind, and now urge and command you
to act accordingly. Let all viceroys copy this edict and send it to their subordinate
officials to notify the people. Let the old and young, the wealthy, the learned, and

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the common people all take note and understand that the Christians do not do
things forcibly and under foreign protection, so that the people will not have their *
minds prejudiced and disturbed. Thus may there be peace and happiness between
the officials and people and Christians at all times.'

"On receiving this edict, I, the Tientsin magistrate, now accordingly notify you
soldiers, merchants, and all people that you must not illtreat Christians. You '
must be honest and peaceable and not create any misunderstanding. You must
not hereafter circulate rumors or cause trouble; and you Christians are also cau-
tioned against evil and the violation of those laws intended to render both you and
the people happy and prosperous, and to carry out the Government's beneficent
intentions towards you."


I send herewith table of principal American imports into Shang-
hai during 1 895-1 898, and the value of flour imported into China in

Of the cotton goods imported from the United States into
Shanghai, 90 per cent is reexported to Chefoo, Tientsin, and Niu-
chwang and is consumed in the provinces tributary to those ports.
About 6j4 per cent is sent to Yangtze River ports, and the remainder
is consumed in this province and the province immediately south of

As the customs returns give only the value of the flour imported,

the quantity can not be stated definitely; I would estimate that our

flour was imported into China in 1898 to the amount of 59,000,000


John Goodnow,

Shanghai, February 28^ iSpp, Consul- General,

Principal articUs of import into Shanghai from the United States,






Drills pieces...

Jeans. do

Sheetings do

Kerosene gallons...














Value of flour imported into all China,







•|x, 221, 085


I. 231. 650

^According to the quarterly returns of the United States Director of the Mint, the average value
of the haikwan uel in X896 was 8x.x cenU; in X897, 73.9 cents; in X898, 69.4 cents.

No. 225 8.

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In previous reports I have alluded to the coal and other mines in
Shantung.* I now inclose a very interesting report on the coal and
other mines in" the department of Tai-an, kindly prepared for me at
my request by Mr. Earle D. Sims, of Tai-an-fu, the capital city of
the department of that name.

I have all the samples mentioned, and would send them but for
the expense and uncertainty, in my mind, as to their value. Yester-
day I showed them to two miners from Colorado. They at once
recognized the sample, of which Mr. Sims says, "I send you a
sample of a stone which is seen in many parts of this section," as
a very good specimen of galena, very rich in sulphide of lead, and
they told me it would make very good German silver. The speci-
men mentioned in section 17 of the report, the miners told me, had
strong marks of silver and traces of gold.

I showed samples of mica from another department to the miners,
and they told me it was good, and they had no doubt that clear
blocks could be cut out. The mica in the United States, I am in-
formed, is too hard and brittle for electric motors; consequently, it
must be obtained from India. The samples I showed the miners
were soft, split readily, had a dark, cloudy appearance in the mass, but
when split with the finger nail seemed quite white and transparent.

I also showed them samples of gold ore. Finally, I picked up
a piece of ore 2j^ inches long, 1% inches thick, tapering to an edge,
and about 2 inches wide; weight, 11 ounces (avoirdupois). One side
is weather beaten ; the other, where it had been knocked off, is al-
most black and nearly covered with a substance like newly cut lead.
I said, **Here is a sample of lead." They examined it apd said:

Yes, there is lead in it, as well as copper and gold; but this piece is at least 30
per cent pure silver, and if you were to follow the vein, we think you would strike
a vein of pure silver, which, if assayed, would run from $600 to ji,ooo the ton.

Several parties at home have written to me with a view of enter-
ing this field and investing in mines. I should be delighted to see
our countrymen in this province, but I fear that German opposition
would prevent. (See Paragraph IV, page 558, Consular Reports
No. 219, December, 1898).

The Germans are fully alive to the resources of the province;
while nothing definite has yet been accomplished, they are exploiting.
It is possible that with so much hard coal, oil will be found.

♦See Consular Reports No. 198 (March, 1897). p. 384; No. 215 (August, 1898), p. 60a; No. 219 (De-
cember, 1898), p. 556; No. 215 (August, 1898), p. 602; and Commercial Relations, 1896-97. Vol. I, p. 989.

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Mr. Sims's report is confined to only one department; there are
ten in Shantung, and each is called a **fu/' ruled over by a prefect.
The department is again divided into hsiens, or counties, ruled by a
magistrate. Tai-an-f u department has six counties, or hsiens, and one
chou, or district, ruled by an official higher than a county magis-
trate. The area of the province is 69,000 square miles. The area
of the department of Tai-an is 4,244 square miles. The population
of Shantung is 29,000,000. The population of Tai-an is 2,000,000.
The department of Tai-an is almost as large as Connecticut, and its
population is nearly two-thirds that of all New England. This is
the most sparsely populated of any of the ten departments.

John Fowler,

Chefoo, February 16, iSpp. Consul,


As you requested some few months since information regarding mines in this
section, after a careful investigation I have the honor to give you the following:

Mines are quite numerous here, this section having the highest mountains in
China. I myself know nothing about mining and can only give you information
of mines which are known.

(i) In Shin Tai Hsien (county), less than a mile east of Wan Yea To Tswangand
about 47 miles southeast of Tai-an-fu, is a good coal mine which has been but little
worked, and has been closed for seven years on account of the owner not having
money enough to work it. It has three wells, 93, 88, and 60 feet deep, respectively.
The coal is a vein i foot 9 inches thick, and is known to be at least 400 feet square.
I send you a specimen of this coal.

(2) In Shin Tai County, at Chwan Kou Tswang, is a mine which was worked a
little with excellent results. The coal is 4 feet thick. It had one well 242 feet deep
to the coal. Two men had claims to the mine, and they disputed and at last went to
law. It was decided that neither could work the mine, and the shaft was filled
up. This mine can be bought. Specimens forwarded. There. are three shafts
thought to be working on the same vein, at about the same depth, each about i
mile from this mine in different directions. They are successful mines, considering
the primitive mode of working, and I do not think the parties would sell except
for a liberal offer.

(3) In Shin Tai County, 53 miles southeast of Tai-an-fu, at Lin Tu Tswang, is a
mine which has attracted not a little attention, as silver and gold were found there
until February, 1898, when part of the mine fell in, killing several men. Lawsuits
followed, and the county official ordered the mine closed. It can only be worked
again by permission of the county magistrate.

(4) In Shin Tai County, 50 miles east of Tai-an-fu, at Chon Che Chwan Tzi, is a
silver mine just opened this year. It was worked with profit until the magistrate
heard of it, and, fearing lawsuits, ordered it closed. It can only be opened again
by his permission.

(5) In Shin Tai County, 40 miles east of Tai-an-fu, at Fu Ch'ou Tswang, is a
well-known mine, now not in operation for want of money. This coal does not
seem to be in a vein, but in enormous scattered masses. This mine has three
wells, the deepest 144 feet and the shallowest 108 feet.

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(6) In Shin Tai County, at Yea To Tswang, 44 miles east of Tai-an-fu, is a coal
mine just opened this year and worked with excellent results. The Germans dur-
ing the past year spent some little time in the vicinity of Shin Tai City, looking up
mines. They wanted to buy; but the people did not understand their meaning,
and no one would sell. Reports were circulated of the awful intentions of the
"foreign devils." If any foreigners wish to buy land there, I think I could help
them to get it through Chinese friends.

(7) At Hsi Ku Chung Tswang, in Ning Yang Hsien, about 27 miles south of
Tai-an-fu and 1.3 miles north of that village, is a well-known coal mine. When
worked (all mines here are worked by primitive methods) it had three wells, 100,
90, and 82 feet deep, respectively. The coal is a vein 5 feet 3 inches thick, and
at least 900 feet square. About 80 feet has been mined, and quite successfully.
The mine was closed over ten years ago because of famine in that section. The
people can not buy coal. The little fire they use is of grass, roots, etc., and, as the
Chinese can not transport coal any distance, but depend upon the local community,
the demand would not justify the expense of mining. The mine can easily be
obtained or worked by dividing a portion of the profits with the owner. I send a
specimen of this coal.

(8) Three miles from the above mine is a well-known coal mine named Ch*ia Tsi
Te, said to be one of the best mines in this province. I^has just been bought by a
Mr. Yii, said to be from Canton, for the sum of 87,000,000 small cash (say, $4,500
gold). This gentleman paid down 300 taels of silver (J240 gold) to hold the contract
and promised to return in one month and pay the difference. If he does not return
in that time, he will lose the 300 taels. It is said that the mine was bought for the

(9) In Ning Yang County, 44 miles southwest of Tai-an-fu, near Lwan Sir Yea, is
a copper mine. It was worked a little while, until the people began to quarrel over
the ore, and the governor of the province ordered the mine closed. Quite a num-
ber of specimens of this mine are now in the Ning Yang court-house. The mine
can be opened only by permission of the governor.

(10) Also, in Ning Yang County. 30 miles from Tai-an-fu, is a small mountain
called **Tan," where gold has been found. There is a thin vein of gold near the
foot of the mountain, said to be 7 miles long. The Chinese get some gold from it
after large rains. Fearing disagreement, the magistrate will not allow any exten-
sive mining done. At several places near here, I have seen men by small streams
hunting gold and silver, and they told me they could make a living that way.
Foreign methods of working would perhaps have good results.

(11) In Chang Ch'ou Hsien, two-thirds of a mile southeast of Pu Tswen Tswang,
60 miles northeast of Tai-an-fu, is a new mine opened about a year ago. One shaft
was dug, and coal was found at 252 feet. It was 5 feet 2 inches thick, and in thir-
teen layers of different thicknesses and grades. The bottom layer is said to be the
best, and I send a specimen of it; also one of the first layer. Coal is found in all
directions for some distance from this shaft. During the past rainy season, the
mine was filled with water, and the owner, not having money enough to put it in
order, has been compelled to discontinue mining.

(12) Also, in Chang Ch'ou County, 17 miles south of Chang Ch'ou City, at Wang
Ha Tswang, is a good coal mine now being worked with success. This mine is
67 miles from Tai-an-fu.

(13) Also, in Chang Ch'ou County, at Won Tsu Tswang, is a mine that has been
worked for some years. I learn that the results of seven years' mining has been
coal worth 200,000,000 small cash (about $100,000 in gold).

(14) In Won Shang Hsien, 57 miles southwest of Tai-an-fu, at Pang Gar Low, on
Gin Chea San, is a gold mine which was worked forty years ago, and a number of

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large lumps of gold were found. The people fought over the gold, and the officials
ordered the mine closed. It can only be opened by permission of the governor.

(15) In Boa Shan Hsien, at Yen Sen Dren, 67 miles east of Tai-an-fu, is an ex-
cellent coal mine now being worked; and I hear it produces 2,000,000 cash (about
ji,ooo in gold) worth a day.

(16) In Tung Ah Hsien, 60 miles west of Tai-an-fu, at Gaw Lu Ch'eao Tswang,
on an uncultivated clay hill, is a silver mine which was closed by the county official
on account of fights over the product.

(17) In Tai-an Hsien, 27 miles east of Tai-an-fu (city), at Pai TaTzi, there is said
to be a silver mine; but there are doubts about it being a good one. Some silver
was found, but it is thought that most of it must be mixed with other ore, and the
Chinese have no way to separate it. I send you a specimen. This mine was
closed by order of the county official, in order to keep peace.

(18) In this county, 27 miles southeast of this city, at Whang Chwan Tswang, is a
silver mine which was closed by order of the county official; and 27 miles east of
this city, at Lu Tung Yea Tswang, is a mine which produced iron. There was so
much trouble over the production that the mine was closed. Coal is found and
mined near this town, and silver is also said to have been found. I send you a
specimen of a stone seen in many parts of this county.*

Limestone is found everywhere and is burned in almost every village. Lime
sells for 3 big cashf a catty.t

The above is all the information I can obtain in regard to mines in this section.

My friend, Mr. Chang, a man of a little means and one very much interested in
mines, is anxious that some American who knows about mining should visit here.
He says to tell you he will be glad to show you all the mines in this section and
help you in any way you may wish. He is a man of learning, and stands well
among the upper class of Chinese.

Tai-an-fu, January 16^ i8gg.


Consul Fowler sends from Chefoo, under date of February 6,
1899, a newspaper containing the memorandum of the British China
Association and an account of the proceedings of the American As-
sociation at its first meeting.

The British memorandum, it is stated, was drawn up by the com-
mittee in deference to a suggestion by Lord Charles Beresford that
the association would strengthen his work by circulating a statement
of its views upon the present situation in China as affecting questions
of trade and commerce. The memorandum begins by attributing
the slow progress made in the development of foreign trade with
China to three main reasons, namely: (i) The entire absence of
good faith on the part of China in the matter of treaty obligations ;
(2) the absence of security for the investment of foreign capital in

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign CommerceConsular reports, Issues 224-227 → online text (page 38 of 92)