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

Consular reports, Issues 224-227 online

. (page 45 of 92)
Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign CommerceConsular reports, Issues 224-227 → online text (page 45 of 92)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

pounds of tea.

J. G. Stowe,

Cape Town, January 4^ i8gg. Consul-General.

Digitized by



Japanese in Foreign Countries. — Consul-General Gowey sends
from Yokohama, February 20, 1899, the following clipping from the
Japan Mail, of even date:


In one or two instances, such as those of Thursday Island, Hawaii, and the dis-
astrous case of Peru, public attention has been directed to Japanese emigration;
but for many years past there has been a steady and quiet outflow of population
which has certainly not attracted the notice it deserves. The Jimmin publishes an
interesting and instructive table, showing the number of Japanese subjects actually
residing in certain foreign countries at the end of 1897:

Residing in-

San Francisco and neighborhood..

Tacoma and neighborhood

Seattle, etc

Portland, etc

Idaho, etc

Vancouver, etc


Union Coal Mines.



Thursday Island









Toul 40,608













































Copper Trade in Japan.— Under date of February 16, 1899,
Consul-General Gowey transmits from Yokohama a clipping from
the Japan Times of even date, as follows :


The copper market continues to present a very brisk aspect, owing to an active
demand for the export. Markedly increased as the output has recently become, so
extraordinary is the demand for the metal that the prospective yields of the principal
copper mines in Japan are already covered by contract; so that for want of the
commodity, the transaction is said to be practically suspended in Tokyo and Yoko-
hama. The amount of consumption at home has lately advanced apace, chiefly

Digitized by




owing to the notable development of the electric business. Subjoined is a table
showing the consumption of home and imported manufactured copper, quoted from
the Chugai Shogyo:


Home produce.



Catties* Pounds.





Catties* Pounds.




Catties.* Pounds.





* I catty=i^ pounds avoirdupois.

Coffee and Sugar Crops in Java.— Consul Everett sends from
Batavia, February 7, 1899, printed statistics of the coffee and sugar
crops of Java, as follows :

Estimate of private coffee crops.


Yield in 1898.

Estimate for 1899.

Liberia .







Sugar production.







Djrnamite Factory in the Transvaal.— Consul Macrum writes
from Pretoria, February 4, 1899, that he has recently visited the
dynamite factory. The company has an initial investment in ground
and buildings of ;^6oo,ooo ($2,919,900) and carries a stock of from
;^7oo,ooo to ;^8oo,ooo ($3,406,550 to $3,893,200) at all times. The
Government granted this company the sole right to import, manu-
facture, and sell explosives in the State for a period of fifteen years,
of which about five, have passed, the Government receiving a roy-
alty from every case sold. Much opposition is shown to the mo-
nopoly by the mining companies on the Rand and elsewhere in the
State, as they make the claim that, while they pay about jQ^ 15s.

Digitized by


382 NOTES.

($17.84) for No. I dynamite now, if the monopoly was canceled the
same quality could be laid down at the mines at not more than
^2 5s. ($11.96) per case of 50 pounds, allowing the Government a
reasonable import duty. Mr. Macrum sends copy of the report of
the State analyst on the factory.*

Hardware in Louren^o Marquez.^Consul Mollis, of Louren9o
Marquez, under date of March 9, 1899, writes:

Until recently, the dwelling houses in this town have been con-
structed upon the most primitive plans. They are, for the most
part, merely boxes of galvanized corrugated iron, with inner walls,
ceilings, and partitions of half-inch matched spruce boards. They
contain no kitchens, bathrooms, hot or cold water pipes, stoves, or
chimneys. The kitchens are generally galvanized-iron shanties in
the rear of the main buildings. As this place is getting more civi-
lized, a demand is arising for a better class of houses. I recently
had a talk with the leading builder and contractor here, Mr. William
Blackwood. He told me that he wished to obtain full particulars
relating to the following articles, which, I assured him, could be
purchased at better advantage in the United States than anywhere
else : Lead, steel, and brass piping ; water-closets, mosaic tiles, kitchen
plumbing outfits, hot-water boilers and connections, sinks, stoves for
burning soft coal and with hot-water connections, 200 to 300 gallon
iron water tanks, outside galvanized-iron guttering and piping;
builders' fine hardware, such as locks, knobs, hinges, bolts, nails,
screws, and special tools.

Russian Council of Commercial Navigation.— Consul-General
HoUoway writes from St. Petersburg, March 2, 1899:

I give below translation of a report in the Commercial Gazette
of a meeting of the council of commercial navigation of the Depart-
ment of Trade and Manufactures, held in this city February 24, 1899:

At the meeting of the council, held under the auspices of the Grand Duke Alex-
ander Michaelovich and Admiral Chihacheff, important measures, proposed by the
department of commercial navigation for improving Russian shipbuilding, were
discussed. The main point of the measures proposed to the council consisted in
admitting into Russia free of duty, for a period of ten years, foreign iron and steel
for building sea vessels, which have been imported duty free since April 27, 1898.
In order to facilitate the application of the above measures and the control by the
custom-house of the materials imported for shipbuilding purposes, it is proposed to
fix a limited period during which iron and steel may be imported duty free. As

♦ Filed for reference in Bureau of Foreign Commerce.

Digitized by


NOTES. 383

a guaranty, the shipbuilder will pay a certain sum, which will be returned to him
when the vessel is completed. Besides, it is proposed to import duty free whole
parts of the mechanisms for vessels, such as are not manufactured in Russia, viz,
cylinders exceeding 10 inches in diameter, windlasses for anchors, and steam helm

Representatives of the several iron and shipbuilding factories of Russia who
took part in the meeting were of the opinion that the above measure would be of
no benefit to the Russian shipbuilding industry, if other materials used for building
vessels are not admitted duty free. They also recommended a premium for every
vessel built in Russia. This latter question was not seriously discussed. There
was considerable opposition to the proposition to admit completed machinery free.

Before these measures become laws, they must first be confirmed by the Minister
of Finances, then by the council of ministers, and finally by the Emperor. This
will require six months.

Electrical Works in Brussels.— Consul Roosevelt writes from
Brussels, March 13, 1899:

Statistics show that in 1893, 3,030 lamps met the requirements of
consumers of electricity in the city of Brussels. At the present time,
there are 66,000 lamps. In consequence of the constantly increasing
use of electricity, the city has been obliged to enlarge its works. It is
now proposed to acquire five new vertical machines of 1,000 horse-
power,* to be placed in works already supplied with five horizontal
machines of 500 horsepower. The city also has electrical works
established in the basement of the railroad building; but, owing to
the steadily increasing use of electricity, the production is insufficient
to meet public demands. In consequence, it has been decided to
unite the two works by means of four cables inclosed in iron pipes.
It was at one time proposed to erect a large electrical power house
just beyond the city limits; but, as it was shown that about 15 per
cent of the current would be lost, the proposition was rejected. The
most practical method now seems to be the creation of new stations
as the exigencies of the situation may demand.

Obstacles to American Bicycle Trade in France. — Under
date of March 21, 1899, Consul Jackson, of La Rochelle, sends the

If American wheels were sold at prices approximating those for
which they sell in the United States, they would be purchased in
this part of France in large numbers. It seems to me a serious mis-
take on the part of our cycle makers to give the sole agency of their
wares for all of France to any one house. The result of this is that
the prices are maintained at a very high figure. Machines which
have always been known in America as **low priced" sell for about

Digitized by


384 NOTES. •

the same price as the most expensive at home. From figures re-
cently shown me, one can buy certain wheels in New York at retail,
pay the duty and transport, and then have them cheaper than the
local dealer can purchase them from the agent at Paris. Conse-
quently there is practically no competition in the market between
American and French cheap wheels, and fewer American wheels are
sold. The conditions which obtain here as to advertising, travel by
railway, exhibition of goods, etc., are so different from those in
the United States that it is an immense undertaking, if we demand
high prices, to successfully introduce one particular ** marque "to
39,000,000 people.

Insurance and Acetylene Gas in France. — Under date of
March 21, 1899, Consul Skinner, of Marseilles, says:

A correspondent in Pennsylvania* asks information as to the re-
quirements of the Government and the insurance companies in
France concerning the use of acetylene-gas machines, which, he
says, involve in his city the refusal of the companies to insure, un-
less the machines accord with their rules. I am advised by the lead-
ing manufacturer of acetylene-gas machines in Marseilles that users
of the gas must apply for a permit at the prefecture of this depart-
ment. This permit is obtainable without the slightest difficulty.
If the machine is then installed within a building for which insurance
is desired, an additional policy premium of 10 percent must be paid.
If, however, the machine is located outside of the building, the in-
surance companies impose no additional tax. Rules for the con-
struction and placing of the gas machines are not prescribed either
by the local government or the insurance companies.

Inland Navigation in France. — Consul Skinner writes from
Marseilles, March 13, 1899:

The tendency in France continues to be in the direction of in-
creasing and improving the interior water ways of the country, the
most notable project now under discussion being the building of a
ship canal to connect the Rhone with the city of Marseilles. At the
present moment, one single railway company controls the vast traffic
entering and leaving the city, and complaints of inadequate service
and high rates are frequent. A connection with the Rhone would
greatly relieve the situation.

There are in France thirty-nine rivers and fifty-two canals, the

• To whom Advance Sheets have been sent.

Digitized by


NOTES. 385

traffic of which amounted to more than 100,000 tons in 1897. Of
these, fifty-five showed a tonnage exceeding 500,000 tons. The total
tonnage of the navigable rivers amounted in 1897 to 13,553,350 tons,
and that of the canals to 17,055,876 tons.

Germany's Exports to the Balkan Peninsula.— Consular
Agent Harris sends from Eibenstock, March 17, 1899, the following
translation of an article in the Leipziger Tageblatt:

The new German-Roumanian treaty brings to our attention not only the devel-
opment of commerce between the two countries party thereto, but our relations to
all the countries of the Balkan Peninsula — Turkey first of all, and the entire Orient
in general.

Germany's exports thereto were:

Country. i8qo.

Turkey j $8,092,000

Roumania • 12,709,200

Bulgaria.. 690,200

Scrvia 887,800





928 , 20U

A comparison of tHe exports to Turkey and Roumania for the years 1 890-1897
shows unfavorable results. During the intervening years, there has been a gradual
decrease in the exports of wire, cement, hides, furs, locomotives, leather, and
hosiery. The year 1898, however, proved to be a good one. The chief articles of
German export to the Balkan states at present are iron, machinery, and textiles.
To Turkey alone, the exports of 1898 show an increase of 50 per cent over those of

German Telephone Service. — Consul Schumann writes from
Mainz, February 28, 1899:

The telephone service of this country is a public institution con-
trolled and managed by the Department for Posts and Telegraphs.
The rates are certainly very low, the charge for a local telephone
being $38.55 per annum, including the rental of the instrument.
The service, however, is lacking in enterprise. I applied on Febru-
ary 20 to have a telephone placed in my residence, and was told
that the connection could not possibly be made before May or June,
as they did not string wires in winter.

Potato Bread for Horses in Germany.— Consul Hughes writes
from Coburg, March 22, 1899:

Potato bread is used by the natives of Thuringia to feed their
horses, especially when they are worked hard in very cold weather.
The animals thrive on it, and their health and strength are excel-
lent. The method of preparation is simple and inexpensive. The
No. 22s 12.

Digitized by


386 NOTES.

potatoes are slowly stewed till soft ; they are then mashed thoroughly,
and an equal quantity of corn meal is added. It is mixed into a thick
paste, with a small quantity of salt. The paste is then divided into
4-pound loaves and allowed to bake till thoroughly done. In the
slow country ovens, it generally takes from fifteen to eighteen hours.
When cold, they are fed to the horses and cattle doing heavy work
at the rate of four loaves a day, viz, one in the morning, one at noon,
one about 4 o'clock, and one at night. With the last, about 10
pounds of poor hay are given. It is claimed for this method that
horses can do much more work on the same amount of food, and
that it is good for their teeth.

A New Industry in Scotland. — Consul Fleming writes from
Edinburgh, April 3, 1899:

In the course of the next three months, a wood-carving factory
will be started in Menstrie, Clackmannan County. A syndicate has
purchased a large building which will be fitted up for the purpose
as soon as possible and equipped with the necessary machinery.
This will be the first factory of the kind in Scotland. One of the
members of the syndicate is Mr. Alexander McNab, of Middleton
Kerse, Menstrie, whom I have furnished with the names and ad-
dresses of a number of American manufacturers of wood-carvers'
tools and wood-working machinery.

Scottish Criticism of American Linseed Cake. — Consul
Fleming, of Edinburgh, under date of March 20, 1899, writes:

Since January i, 1899, there have been imported from the United
States to this market 26,000 bags of cotton-seed meal and 8,000 bags
of cotton-seed cake. While the sales of our cotton-seed products here
have become important and are increasing, the linseed cake imported
is almost wholly Russian. I have asked dealers in these articles
why American linseed cake has not yet competed successfully with
the Russian product. The answer uniformly given is that too much
of the oil is taken from the American linseed cake in the process of
crushing; in other words, as one commission merchant puts it, **the
life is crushed out of the cake." It is the common opinion here that
if the American producers of linseed oil would * * ease up " the crushing
machines, competition with Russia for the trade in linseed cake would
not be nearly as difficult as it is at present. I am simply offering
the Scottish dealers' view of the subject as a suggestion, which may
or may not be new or practicable.

Digitized by


NOTES. 387

Petroleum Refinery in Norway. — Under date of March 20,
1899, Consul Nelson, of Bergen, says:

A prominent foreign chemist, who has been connected with the
Nobel petroleum refinery in Baku, has, according to the Aftenposten
(a leading Christiania paper), discovered a new method of refining
which appears to be an improvement on the process now applied in
Baku. The right to use the patent has been offered to a Christiania
company, and some time ago a committee was appointed to investi-
gate the matter. The committee reported favorably on March 9,
and the enterprise, which will involve an expenditure of about 1,000,-
000 kroner ($268,000), will soon be inaugurated. The factory will
cost about 250,000 kroner ($67,000) and will be built near Christiania.
The output of refined oil, it is calculated, will amount to 20,000,000
kilograms a year. It is intended to obtain the raw material from
Baku. It is possible that our manufacturers can supply machinery
for the factory. Purchases in this line are now made chiefly in

Reindeer in Sweden. — In a report prepared at the instance of
the Interior Department (the original has been transmitted), Consul-
General Winslow, of Stockholm, under date of March 3, 1899, says,
in part:

The only food given reindeer in Sweden is *' reindeer moss," a
lichen highly prized by the Laps, growing abundantly in the Arctic
regions, almost as luxuriantly on the bare rocks as in the soil. It
covers extensive tracts in Lapland, making the landscape in summer
look like a field of snow. The domesticated reindeer are never as
large as the wild ones; Siberian reindeer, domesticated, are larger
than those of Lapland. No care is taken of the deer; they thrive
best by being permitted to roam in droves and obtain their own sus-
tenance. The moss is capable of being used for human food ; the
taste is lightly acrid. Attempts have been made to feed hay, roots,
grain, etc., to the reindeer, but they have not succeeded.

Wheat in Spain.— Mr. Mertens, in charge of the United States
consular agency at Grao, writes, under date of March 25, 1899:

Referring to my report of January 20, 1899,* I have the satisfac-
tion to state that another steam cargo of 428 tons of hard red wheat
has just arrived here from New York, which supports my opinion
that American wheat stands a fair chance of reception in Spain, in

♦See Consular Reports No. 223 (April, 1899), p. 705.

Digitized by VjOOQ IC

388 NOTES.

spite of the disadvantages in the customs, tariff compared with im-
ports from other countries.

Under date of April 8, Mr. Mertens adds:

A delegation of millers and flour merchants went to-day from
Barcelona to Madrid to ask of the Minister of Finance the temporary
abolishment of all import duties on foreign wheat. The result of
this appeal should be closely watched through the daily press by
our grain exporters, and they should have everything prepared to
be quick with their offers, in case the Spanish Government grants
the desired free introduction pro tem. of foreign grain.

Sesame in Syria. — Consul Ravndal sends from Beirut, Feb-
ruary 17, 1899, a description of the preparation of sesame oil in that
country. The grain, he says, is soaked in water for twenty-four
hours and then placed in an oblong pit coated with cement, in which
two men work a wooden hammer of 20 pounds weight. Efforts
are made not to mash the kernels. The skins are separated in
a tub of water salted to a degree sufficient to float an egg; the
bran sinks while the kernels remain on the surface. The sesame
seeds are then broiled in an oven and sent to the mill to be ground.
From the millstone, the oil drops into a jar. It is thick, of a dark-
yellow color, and sweet. The product is used extensively by the
poorer classes in place of cheese, sirup, honey, etc., and is popular
on account of its saccharine properties. Confectionery is made by
mixing sesame oil with sirup and other elements. Sesame is widely
cultivated in Syria. The average price is 8 cents *per oke, or 2.72
pounds. The sesame grain is -largely employed in flavoring pastry.
The wholesale price of oil is at present 14 cents per 2.72 pounds.

Australian Butter Trade. — Under date of Cape Town, Feb-
ruary 25, 1899, Consul-General Stowe submits the following statistics
relative to the butter trade of Australia and South Africa :

The largest consignment of butter in one vessel (700 tons) which
ever left Australia recently sailed in the Austral for England. The
India had also on board 438 tons, so that in one week Melbourne has
earned the credit of sending out the largest shipment of fresh butter
which ever left any port in the world. Including a small consign-
ment for Cape Town, the shipment comprised 54,000 boxes of butter.
As an experiment, 800 dozen eggs were included among the produce
for this port. The value of the butter and some ^0,000 rabbits on
board for England was $676,443.50. I call attention to this for the
reason that my efforts to induce the producers of the United States

Digitized by


NOTES. 389

to ship butter has met with but little success, although, as men-
tioned in a recent report,* butter has arrived in South Africa from
the United States under Australian marks. The total import of
butter into South Africa (with the exception of Portuguese territory)
for 1898 was 5,782,017 pounds, against 5,901,455 pounds for 1897;
showing a decrease.

Notes from Salvador. — Under date of March 3, 1899, Consul
Jenkins, of San Salvador, writes to a trade journal f in New York,
as follows:

The fall in the price of coffee and the speculative spirit that led
to overstocking the market have brought about the present financial
depression. The demand for any class of goods can not be stated,
as the depression is general in character. The best houses have
agencies in the United States which buy and discount their own
bills. From my observation, I do not believe that the giving of
credits is the best method of promoting trade. The competition for
business has been very keen, and European houses have succeeded
in obtaining the lion's share; but the result has been that they are
compelled to suspend. A thorough advertising and exhibition of
goods will, in my opinion, accomplish far more than credit. It
must not be understood that there is no future here for American
trade. I believe that in time prosperous conditions will again pre-
vail in Salvador.

Meat Products of Uruguay. — Consul Swalm sends from
Montevideo, under date of February 24, 1899, a report in regard to
the exports of meat products from Uruguay to Cuba and Puerto
Rico and the possibilities of competition on the part of United
States packers. It appears that during the present slaughtering
season, 300,000 head of cattle have been killed in Uruguay, the prices
averaging $15 per head. Fat cattle are not so much used in the
making of jerked beef (which is the chief article of export in this
line) as are cows and lean steers. The buyer in Uruguay pays only
about one-third for his raw product on the hoof that competitors
must pay. Climatic conditions also favor the handling of the prod-
uct. Shipments are made chiefly in small Spanish vessels, and
freight rates are low. The freight quoted on the day of report, by
steamer, via New York, was 35s. ($8.52) per ton for Cuba and 40s.
($9-73) for Puerto Rico, 10 percent primage being added in both
cases. The amount of jerked beef shipped to Cuba since the war

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign CommerceConsular reports, Issues 224-227 → online text (page 45 of 92)