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Consular reports, Issues 224-227 online

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vozubkovo to Novgorod-Seversk, 76 miles; from Belgorod to Sumy,
96 miles; from Holm to Belzshetsk, with a branch from Zamostie to
Lublin, 119 miles; from Valk to Marienburg, with branches, 129
miles; and three small lines in the manganese region in the Trans-
caucasus, 26 miles.

The past year was the tenth of the existence of the new tariff
regulations, published March 8-20, 1889, reducing the passenger
rates. The general passenger tariff, introduced at the end of 1894,
lowered the prices for distances exceeding 106 miles; for shorter
distances for third-class passengers the tariff remained unchanged.
Later, suburban rates were adopted for distances of less than 106
miles, calculated at i copeck per mile per third-class passenger. The
results of the general lowering of the tariff and the application of
the suburban rates proved satisfactory; the number of passengers
increased to such an extent that the railroads lost nothing. In view
of these favorable conditions, the tariff committee has decided to
reduce the rates of all passenger tickets to correspond with those
charged on the suburban lines.

The passenger department is working on a new rate sheet, which
will be published at an early date. A further reduction has been
made to emigrants, who have been carried at a reduced rate when
traveling together, one ticket being issued to the whole party, which
caused great inconvenience to the emigrants and railroad officials.
Hereafter, each emigrant will be furnished with a ticket at one-
fourth of the ordinary rate. A new tariff has been worked out for
direct communication with the ports of the Far East, and this de-
cides an important question concerning Russian commercial relations
with distant ports. With the introduction of the new tariff, it be-
comes possible to transport goods to the ports of the Far East from
every railroad station of the interior of Russia. A new tariff for
transporting Egyptian cotton to Lodz has been made out in con-
nection with the Austrian railroads. Egyptian cotton was formerly
billed to the Lodz district through Odessa, and the Russian steam-
ship companies and Russian railroads profited by this traffic. The

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Austrians coveted this freight, and their railroads made a secret
agreement with the steamship companies, reducing their tariff, and
Egyptian cotton began to move through Trieste to Lodz. Under
such conditions, Russian steamers and Russian railroads lost busi-
ness; and as the Austrian railroads could do the same thing with
other goods coming to Russia from the ports of Asia Minor, the
Russian Government increased the tariff on cotton on the Warsaw-
Vienna Railroad, and lowered the rate on the Russian steamship
company and the tariff on the Odessa-Lodz Railroad. These meas-
ures had the desired results — Austrian railroads came to terms with
the Russian roads, and a tariff was established satisfactory to both
countries. During the past year, an agreement was made with for-
eign railroads concerning tariffs for kerosene and grain cargo coming
from stations of the Russian railroads direct to the interior stations
of German and Netherlands roads. The interior tariff on sugar and
salt and the general cargo tariff have also been reviewed this year.
It is proposed to establish one general tariff for all the interior rail-
roads, but this will not be done until next year. Owing to the fail-
ure of crops this year in some of the governments, a special tariff
was established for the transportation of seed grain and cattle to
the famished districts.

Last year, a project for reorganizing the Ministry of Ways and
Communications was presented to the Government for considera-
tion, and is nearing its solution.


St. Petersburg, April 20^ 18^^. Co^isul- General,


A St. Petersburg dispatch to the London Times, under date of
March 29, regarding the progress of the great Siberian Railway, may
be of interest to the steel-rail manufacturers in the United States.
It announces that the imperial exchequer will open a further credit
of 82,770,660 rubles ($42,626,889) for improving the lines of traffic
and transport of the western and central sections of the railroad.
The disbursement of this large sum is divided so that 8,750,000
rubles shall be used during three years for various needs of traffic,
43,000,000 rubles during nine years for increasing the speed of trains,
and 31,000,000 rubles during four years for new rails, making the
aggregate amount allotted for this purpose in the current year
16,500,000 rubles ($8,497,500). This large sum is in addition to
30,500,000 rubles ($15,707,500) for the Siberian Railroad and 71,000,-
No. 226 4.

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ooo rubles ($36,565,000) for other lines in this year's estimates,
last paragraph of the dispatch reads as follows:


The increase of the traffic on the eastern and still more on the western section
of the Siberian Railway has surpassed all expectation. Its construction was origi-
nally planned on economical lines, but the pessimist forecasts of little or no move-
ment for some years to come are being falsified by the facts. Consequently, the
light rails, which are only 18 pounds, instead of 24 pounds, to the foot, will have to
be changed. Everything was calculated for not more than three pairs of trains per
twenty-four hours, whereas there are already eight pairs, besides the biweekly ex-
press from Moscow to Krasnovodsk. The last year's traffic returns of the western
Siberian section show 350,000 passengers, nearly 490,000 tons of goods, and 400,000
peasant emigrants. Last winter, although 600 new trucks were added and 1,600
old ones borrowed, there was an accumulation of 7,000 truck loads of goods for
which no means of transport could be found. Of the 490,000 tons carried over the
railway in 1898, more than 320,000 tons consisted of cereals. In the course of the
next five years, it is expected that the carriage of wheat here will reach over 800,000
tons per annum. In the Altai mining district alone at the present moment there is
a surplus of 355,000 tons of wheat, while in central Russia whole populations are
suffering from actual famine.

Marshal Halstead,
Birmingham, April ^^ i8^g. Consul.


Consul-General Holloway sends from St. Petersburg, April 7,
1899, an extract from a Russian paper, giving the following figures
of traffic in the last three years:




Western sec-


Central sec-



Western sec-


Central sec-


The article continues:

These figures do not include 400,000 emigrants with their goods and chattels
carried by the western section.

Of the 490,000 tons carried by the western section in 1898, 320,000 tons represent
cereals. The steppe regions bordering on the western section five years ago re-
quired 100,000 tons of grain per annum; now, they are able to export 70,000 tons.
With the opening of the through traffic to the Pacific, the extension of the road as a
carrying agent must be enormous. It is calculated that five years hence, the Trans-
Siberian Railway will have a goods traffic of i,70o,o(X) tons per annum.

It is proposed to spend over $40,000,000 in developing traffic during the next

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few years. Heavier rails amd side tracks are to be laid,* and 1,429 bridges recon-
structed. The average speed of trains is now 20 versts (13.26 miles) an hour for
passenger, and 12 versts (7.956 miles) am hour for goods traffic. When the reorgan-
ization is complete, it will be possible to run trains at 50 versts (33.15 miles) an
hour, which would enable them to travel from Moscow to Vladivostock in ten days.
The distance separating the Atlantic from the Pacific could then be traveled in
considerably less than a fortnight.


Nizhni Novgorod is situated on a high cliff, at the confluence of
the Volga and Oka rivers. The present population of the city is
about 95,000. The lower part was inhabited by a colony of Tartars
in 1222. The distance from Moscow by rail is 227 miles; it can also
be reached by steamer from Resan by the River Oka, and from the
Caspian Sea by the Volga. A fleet of about four hundred and fifty
steamers, besides a large number of tugs and towboats, ply on the
river. The Volga is some 1,250 miles in length.

The fair opens on the 27th of July, but business proper com-
mences about the 12th of August and lasts until the 6th of Sep-
tember. It is attended by nearly half a million people from both
European and oriental Russia, and the amount of business generally
transacted is estimated at about 5(535,000,000.

The fair is held in and around a place called the Bazaar, com-
posed of about sixty streets, on which are only stores and ware-
houses. The following goods are sold: Cottons, prints, carpets,
cloths, linen, flannels, silks, lace, bags of jute and hemp, leather,
skins, chamois, furs, paper, copper, cast iron, enameled ware, cut-
lery, agricultural implements, implements for mechanical and other
industries, seeds for farmers, oats, corn, wines, spirits, paints, var-
nish, lime, cement, etc. — all of which are chiefly of Russian origin.
Sheet iron, boiler plates, copper, precious stones, and a variety of
geological specimens from Siberia are also exhibited, as well as
cotton in a raw state from Central Asia and Persia, and turquoises,
silks, and silverware, made in oriental style, from Persia, Bokhara,
Taschent, etc.

The fair is well managed, the governor of Nizlini staying there
during the time it is open. He has a military staff, and the discipline
is very strict. The merchants have their own committee, before which
everything concerning trade is laid. On the fair grounds, there are
hotels, churches, dining saloons, theaters, and Tartar and Chinese

• Sec p. 449, ante.

tThe above report was obtained in answer to inquiries by a resident of Indiana, to whom Ad-
vance Sheets have been sent.

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quarters. There is good sewerage and waterworks, and the place is
surrounded by a canal of water as a protection against fire. There
is very little trade done in goods imported from abroad. The fair,
for the last few years, has been losing its prestige on account of the
number of railways that have been built in European Russia and
central Asia, and the great Siberian line, which is more than half
finished. The passenger tariff has also been reduced to one-third of
what it was formerly, so that merchants can now come to central
towns, where everything is manufactured and kept in large stocks
all the year round, to get what they require; thus, the fair is now
visited mostly by Russian and Asiatic tribes. Large cities and towns
in central Russia keep stocks of foreign goods, which are bought
partly abroad and partly at the fair.

Some three months before the commencement of the fair, notices
are inserted in the papers stating the stores that are to be let, giving
all particulars and where to apply. The rents of the stores range
from $ioo to $1,450; but, in addition to this, there are taxes for the
police, city, and other purposes, which amount to about 5 per cent
on the rent.

It must be understood that the word **fair" does not signify an
exhibition, but a large market where goods are exposed for sale
and yearly contracts concluded.

Thomas Smith,

Moscow, April ij, iSpp. Consul.


Consul-General Holloway, of St. Petersburg, on April 18, 1899,
transmits the following translation of an article in the Commercial

The statistics concerning the production of pig iron in the Urals during 1898
and the estimates for the first half of 1899 have just been pubHshed. In iSgS, 690,-
161 tons of pig iron were smelted — 32,258 tons more than in 1897 — and one hundred
and fifteen high furnaces in sixty-nine factories were in action. For the years
1894 and 1898, the comparative data were as follows:




High furnaces number..

Quantity smelted tons..

Average productiveness per high furnace do

Average amount produced per day do









There is no doubt that the metallurgical industry of the Urals continues to de-
velop, notwithstanding such unfavorable conditions as the lack of railroads and

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mineral fuel. The productiveness of the factories, as seen above, has increased
during the last five years 29 per cent; the technical part — that is, the productiveness
of the work of the high furnaces — has increased 26 per cent, and the amount daily
smelted by each furnace 25 per cent.

During the first half of the present year, it is estimated that 380,645 tons of pig
iron will be smelted. Taking into consideration the fact that six new high furnaces
are being constructed in the Urals, and six are being remodeled for a larger produc-
tion, it is probable that during the second half of 1899, there will be a production
of pig iron which will make the output for the whole year amount to 775,000 to
790,000 tons.

The beginning of the year was very animated in the Urals. The demands for
mines, especially of iron, manganese, and chrome, were exceedingly large. Agents
arrived from southern Russia, principally from Novorossisk. The Urals have been
visited by different capitalists, who wish to organize new metallurgical enterprises.
There are three principal reasons why the Urals are at present attracting universal
attention: (i) The projected railroad from Cheliabinsk to Tsaritsine; (2) the hope that
southern Ural ore will be demanded by the Donetz basin; and (3) the expectation
that Siberian coke will be brought to the Urals, which will cause the development
of the metallurgical industry there, as the southern region possesses inexhaust-
ible mines of ore, the working of which will not cost more than 62 cents per ton.
The richness of the magnetic iron ores is such that there are mines where it is im-
possible to drive in sleighs, as the iron slides, under the influence of the magnet,
stick to the ground.

Latterly, the demands for copper mines have increased, owing to the rise of
prices of copper. This is unexpected, as but five years ago, copper-smelting facto-
ries gave up their mines to the Government. The copper industry has declined in
the Urals; but should copper speculations continue abroad, the revival of the indus-
try in Russia may be expected. In some of the factories in Tagill, a ton of copper
is sold at J480.50, whereas two years ago it was sold at $298 to $372 per ton. Chem-
ical factories in the district of Elabuga have great demands for copper, and new
mines in the government of Viatka have been discovered. This government was
formerly one of the first in the smelting of copper, but now only the peasants, when
they are free from other work, extract the ore and take it to Kukmor and other
villages,' where it is smelted in ordinary smithies and made into cheap articles.
However, there are two or three workshops which make larger articles and even


The approach of the wine-making season has caused the agricul-
turists in this part of France to unite in a movement for the repeal
of the tariff on sulphate of copper, which is extensively used to pro-
tect the grapevines against black rot and mildew. In periods of
heavy rains, the vines sometimes require five treatments, at an aggre-
gate expense of from $2 to $2.50 per acre. The use of copper has
increased, and is expected to further raise the cost of the sulphate;
hence, the movement for a reduction of the duty.

As the United States is the largest copper-producing country in
the world, a r6sum6 of what is said on this subject in France will

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not be without interest. The imports of the sulphate into France


1895 24,641

1896 34.539

1897 30,909

1898 31,468

The metal base enters into the composition of the sulphate in the
proportion of 26 per cent, the price of the sulphate being entirely
governed by the price of copper.

When the proposition was made to remove the tariff of 3 francs
(57 cents) per 220 pounds from copper, it was stated that an Amer-
ican syndicate had cornered the market and that the corner must
soon break, with a resulting fall in prices. Winegrowers, influenced
by this report, refrained from laying in a supply of sulphate, and as
the demand for that article ceased,* manufacturers stopped produc-
ing. A legislative commission appointed to investigate the subject
reported the advance in price to be a legitimate result of the work-
ings of the law of supply and demand, to wit, the new and increased
uses of copper in machinery, the extension of telegraphs, telephones,
electric lighting and electric tramways, and especially the building
of the Metropolitan Trolley Railroad in Paris, which will consume
5,000 tons of copper. The opinion was expressed by the commis-
sion that the demand for consumption will continue in excess of
production; that Japan and Spain can not increase their output;
that Chile can increase hers; but that the possibility of equalizing
the two factors — supply and demand — must depend upon the cop-
per producers of the United States.

The consumption in France amounts, annually, to 60,000 tons —
47,000 tons in block, bars, and plates; 8,000 tons of old metal, all
imported; and 5,000 to 6,000 tons of old copper picked up at home.

The committee of the Lower House of Parliament reported ad-
versely to a reduction of the customs duty. It declared that France
was powerless to lower the price of copper, as it does not produce
that metal. It is believed here that much of the copper that enters
France from England is the production of the United States. It is
entered as English goods, so as to escape the extra warehouse tax
levied upon merchandise that is transshipped from the country of
its origin to France. It was stated in the report of the commission
that if the duty were abolished, English dealers would at once raise
the price of copper.

The customs tariff on copper yields a revenue of 90,000 francs

($17,370) per year.

John C. Covert,
Lyons, April ^^ i8pp. Consul.

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On Easter Sunday (April 2, 1899) the first installment of auto-
mobile cabs was placed at the disposal of the Parisian public. As
soon as they issued from the depot at Aubervilliers, they were
eagerly sought after, and gave most satisfactory results. The num-
ber of these vehicles is daily being increased, and the Compagnie
G6nerale des Voitures expects, after a month's trial, to be in a posi-
tion to judge of the convenience or drawbacks of the present type of
cabs. Impressions of the wood cuts of the two types at present in
use I inclose herewith. These vehicles are provided with accumula-
tors enabling them to travel from 60 to 80 kilometers (37 to 49 miles)
without recharging the batteries.

The tariff varies according to the number of persons. For one
or two passengers, the ordinary cab fare is applied, viz, lJo or 2
francs (28.9 or 38.6 cents) per hour; for three persons, 2 francs the
journey; and four persons, 2.50 francs (48.2 cents). Between 12.30
and 6 a. m. the rate is 2.25 or 2.50 francs (43.4 or 48.2 cents) the
journey, and 2.50 to 2.75 francs (48.2 to 52.8 cents) per hour, ac-
cording to the number of passengers. Fares beyond the fortifica-
tions will be 25 centimes (4.82 cents) above the existing rate for
ordinary cabs.

The eventual adoption of automobiles for general use in Paris,
as well as throughout France, seems to be a foregone conclusion;
but there is no doubt that the tremendous speed at which private
individuals with their motor tricycles and other experimental auto-
mobiles dash about the streets has had a tendency to discourage
the adoption of automobiles by those who would otherwise make

By daily observation in Paris, it is easy to see that improvements
are constantly being made in doing away with the objectionable
odors, excessive vibration, and noise.

The action of the Compagnie G6n6rale des Voitures in establish-
ing the speed of its automobiles in the city at about 8 kilometers (5
miles) an hour* will diminish, if not avoid, the crushing of pedes-
trians and serious accidents. The element of fear being eliminated,
the introduction of reliable, and not too complicated, mechanism
will certainly produce a new era in locomotion throughout France.

I may state that an important and appreciated merit in the new
automobile cabs is the brake placed in the interior of the vehicle,

•See C<»Nsi:LAk Rktukts No. ^25 (June, 1899), p. 251.

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by which the passenger can not only check the speed, but bring the
conveyance to a standstill independently of the conductor.

In order to have the trial complete and obtain the consensus of
public opinion, registers are placed at each cab stand for such ob-
servations as individuals may see fit to make.

It is the intention of the company to daily increase the supply of
vehicles, as may be justified by the demands of the public.

John K. Gowdy,

Paris, April 7, /<Ppp. Consul-General,


There are in the city of Paris three slaughterhouses, viz, Villette,
Grenelle, and Villejuif. During the year 1896, there were slaughtered
300,243 head of cattle, of which 295,438 were of French origin and
4,805 foreign. This total is an increase of 1,633 head over the year
1895, t>ut as the cattle of 1895 weighed on the average more than
those of 1896, the amount in weight has not materially increased.

As regards the slaughter per month of that year (1896), it varies
from 21,898 head in April to 28,697 head in November, the average
for the year being about 25,000 to 26,000 head per month.

The sale of beef has not increased, which is accounted for by the
marked increase in the production, since two years, of pork and its
products, and the low price. This last-named meat being compara-
tively rare in 1894, it was to the advantage of farmers and stock
raisers to produce it and reap the proportionate benefits. The in-
crease of the production of beef is the direct result of the low price
of animal food in 1895.

As to French cattle, the breed known as **Cholet" (Rayon d'Or)
supplied for 1896 74,841 head; Normandy, 62,629; White (Berri-
chons, Charolais, and Nivernais), 40,496; Algerian, 453 — out of the
total of 295,438 head.

The importation of foreign animals in 1896 shows a slight in-
crease as regards cattle and calves over the year 1895, but a decrease
as to sheep and hogs. The price for cattle in 1896 was low and ob-
tained with difficulty. Out of the 4,805 head of cattle received from
abroad, America furnished 4,289 head; Spain, 217; Portugal, 299;
being for America an increase over 1895 of 2,354 head and a decrease
for Spain and Portugal of 141 and 1,080 head, respectively.

In 1896, 300,093 head of cattle left the stock market in Paris.
Of this total, 190,581 went to the three slaughterhouses of Paris, 459
head for delivery in the city, and 109,053 for exterior delivery.

*This report was submitted in answer to inquiries by an Illinois correspondent, to whom Ad-
vance Sheets have been sent.

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A large number of the animals sold at the Villette market are
not for Parisian consumption, as nearly a third is bought by provin-
cial butchers residing within a radius of 60 miles of Paris and the
wholesale dealers of the large towns to the north and east of Paris.
The following figures will show as near as possible the percentage
of meat weight after slaughtering and dressing the animal:


Large-size animals:

1,100 kilograms (2,425 pounds)..

1,000 kilograms (2,205 pounds)..

goo kilograms (1,984 pounds).....
Medium animals:

750 kilograms (1,653 pounds).....

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign CommerceConsular reports, Issues 224-227 → online text (page 54 of 92)