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

Consular reports, Issues 224-227 online

. (page 55 of 92)
Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign CommerceConsular reports, Issues 224-227 → online text (page 55 of 92)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


700 kilograms (1,543 pounds)

650 kilograms (1,433 pounds)

Small animals:

400 kilograms (883 pounds).

375 kilograms (863 pounds^

350 kilograms (772 pounds).



Per cent.


Kilograms.


65


71S


63


63b


60


540


S8


435


58


406


55


358


54


ai6


5a


»95


50


»75



Pounds.



1*576
1.389
i,iqo

959
895
789

476
430
386



The prices for this meat run, on the average, during the year
from 1. 14 to 1. 41 francs (22 to 27 cents) per kilogram (2.2046
pounds). Foreign cattle coming into France pay 10 francs ($1.93)
the 100 kilograms (220 pounds), live weight, to the city of Paris and
an octroi or customs duty of 53 francs ($10.23) P^^* head for beef
or bulls and 35 francs ($6.75) for cows.

The animals are disinfected at the cattle markets twice a week,
after each sale day, which service has been in operation since 1888
and is performed by seventy employees. The disinfectant used is
of antiseptic products in accordance with prescription, and made
under the control of the official sanitary service. The sale of the
animals is conducted by an officially authorized corps of one hundred
and twelve commission men, who receive from 3 to 5 francs (57.9
to 96.5 cents) per head commission.

A municipal charge of 3 francs per head is made for the space
on the day of sale in the market, 50 centimes (10 cents) per head
per day for stabling, and a charge of 25 centimes (5 cents) per head for
disinfection.

The charge of 3 francs per head produced in 1896 a revenue of
900,729 francs ($173,840.69); stabling, 124,840 francs ($24,094); dis-
infection, 75,060 francs ($14,487).

For the year 1896, of the 213,679 head slaughtered, the average
meat product was 347 kilograms (765 pounds) per head, or a total
supply of 74,136,429 kilograms (163,441,171 pounds), selling on an
average per kilogram (2.2046 pounds) for the year at 1.66 francs (32
cents).



Digitized by



Google



ECONOMIC CONDITIONS IN FRANCE. 459

As to the different uses to which the other parts of the animal
are applied, the prices vary somewhat, but on an average can be
given as follows :

Hides, 60 to 70 francs ($11.58 to $13.51) per 100 kilograms (220
pounds). These go to the tanner. The hair sells for from 8 to 10
francs ($1.54 to $1.93) per 100 kilograms. This is largely used for
making gun cartridges, fertilizer, and also enters in the fabrication
of a sort of tissue, half vegetable, called **thibaude.** The bones
sell for 6 francs ($1.15) per 100 kilograms, and are used by the manu-
facturers of glue, fertilizers, and chemical products. The horns
bring about 30 francs ($5.79) per 100 kilograms and are principally
used for the manufacture of knife handles, etc. The hoofs sell at 8
to 9 francs ($1.54 to $1.73) per 100 kilograms and are used by fer-
tilizer manufacturers. The grease, amounting in value to about
25 to 30 francs ($4.82 to $5.79) per 100 kilograms, is used by soap
manufacturers.

John K. Gowdy,

Paris, April y, iSgp. Consul- General.



ECONOMIC CONDITIONS IN FRANCE.

The budget commission of the French Chamber of Deputies has
recently presented to that body a paper on the subject of foreign
and domestic commerce, which is expected to exert no little influ-
ence upon economic legislation.

The commission is composed of thirty-two members — M. Mesur-
reur, president — and among them are some of the ablest statesmen
of France.

I translate below extracts from this report:

The commercial appropriation bill will demand the attention of the Chamber
on account of the need of organization and development, the direct result of inter-
national economic evolution. We are no longer in the primitive periods when
nations worked out their destinies in glorious tournaments or in mysterious diplo-
macy. To withdraw ourselves from the conditions of existence which are created
for us, not only by our neighbors, but by the peoples most distant from us, would
be a chimera. The influence of military power seems to be limited in its future
action to the settlement of questions of territorial expansion. The excess of pro-
duction, the life and the future of armies of workingmen, the necessity of conform-
ing to the new conditions which spring up daily through the progress of science,
the substitution of new fields of activity, and the indispensable reconciliation of con-
flicting national interests form the unbeaten field in which the struggles of mod-
ern life must be carried on.

Agriculture itself, the most primitive expression of human activity, is already
inseparable from mechanical and industrial questions, from the sympathetic influ-
ence of commerce and credit, from the action of foreign production and foreign



Digitized by



Google



460 ECONOMIC CONDITIONS IN FRANCE.

tarififs. With men who have the highest feeling of public interest, the conflict be-
tween commerce and agriculture is only apparent. A solution which will at once
satisfy the ends of justice and conduce to the mutual welfare of these two sister
branches of national labor is not beyond the range of possibilities; but this solution
is as difficult to discern as to accept. It demands patient and persevering research,
constant observation, and statistics and information from all parts of the world.
These are necessary to guide us in our efforts, and to prevent irreparable errors on
the part of the legislative or executive authorities.

The complexity of this work is such as to attract earnest attention; the Bureau
of Commerce, which is its instrument, is destined to be of the highest importance,
and should be in charge of persons who yield in nothing to the personnel of the
most distinguished departments of our Government. The Minister of Commerce
is also invested with the duty of studying the general organization of labor, its
conditions and risks; he aids in the professional education of the largest possible
number of young Frenchmen; he subsidizes and directs cooperative societies of
credit and labor.

Let us make a brief review, by means of the statistical documents furnished to
the Bureau of Commerce by the Labor Bureau and the customs authorities, of the
general situation of our commerce, industry, and navigation. According to the
statistics of 1897, our importations and exportations for that year were: General
commerce, 9,940,000,000 francs ({1,918,420,000), against 9,522,000,000 francs ($1,837,-
746,000) in 1896 — ar increase of 418,000,000 francs ({80,674,000) over the preceding
year. The movements in special commerce were 7,554,000,000 francs ({1,457,922,-
000), against 7,199,000,000 francs ({1,389,407,000) in 1896— an increase of 355,000,000
francs ({68,555,000).

The value of importations in the general commerce of 1897 reached 5,137,000,000
francs ^{991,441,000), against 4,928,000,000 francs ({951,104,000) in i896^an increase
of 209,000,000 francs ({40.337,000). In special commerce, the value was 3,954,000.-
000 francs ({763,122,000) — an increase of 248,000,000 francs ({47,864,000).

In the general commerce, the exportations amounted to 4,863,000,000 francs
({938,559,000), against 4,553,000,000 francs ({878,729,000) in 1896— an increase of
310,000,000 francs ({59.830,000).

The exportations in special commerce amounted to 3,598,000,000 francs ({694,-
414,000) in 1897, against 3,400,000,000 francs ({656,200,000) in 1896 — an increase of
198,000,000 francs ({38,214,000).

There is a wide disparity between the totals for 1896-97 and those for 1895-96,
when the difference was but an increase of 42,000,000 francs ({8,106,000) for general
commerce and 106,000,000 francs ({20,458,000) for special commerce. It should be
noted that the difference in the totals recorded this year are about the same as the
averages established by Charles Roux for the five years previous to 1896, and that
they have no relation to the increase recorded in Germany and England, and to the
formidable expansion of commerce and navigation in those two countries.

If we examine trade figures in regard to the division of merchandise among
food supplies, raw materials for use in industry, and manufactured articles, we
find that the special imports of raw material for industry were, in 1897, 145,000,000
francs ({27,985,000) more than in 1896.

This result would seem favorable to the activity of our mills and the employ-
ment of our working forces, if, following up the inquiry for the first ten months of
1898, as compared with the first ten months of 1897, we did not find a diminution
in 1898 of nearly 18,000,000 francs ({3,474,000) in the importations of the same
materials for use in industry.



Digitized by



Google



ECONOMIC CONDITIONS IN FRANCE. 461

General r/sum/ of importations and exportations united from i8g2 to iSgy.



Year.



General com-
merce.



Special com-
merce.



i8q3 .
1893 •
1894.
1895.

I8q6.

1897.



|i»937»40o»ooo
1 1855, 400* 000
1,783,800,000
1,901,600,000
1,904,400,000
1,988,000,000



$1,529,600,000
1,418,200,000
1,385,600,000
1,418,600,000
1,439,800,000
1,510,800,000



Note. — The distinction between general commerce and special commerce ap-
plies to importations as well as to exportations. As regards importation, general
commerce consists of all the merchandise that arrives from abroad, from French
colonies and from the Great Fisheries, by land or by sea, as well for consumption
as for storage, in transit or for reshipment, reexportation, or temporary sojourn.
Special commerce includes the merchandise which is left to the disposition of im-
porters; that is to say, the aggregate of the merchandise exempt from duty, and,
as regards dutiable merchandise, the quantities which have paid duty. As regards
exportation, general commerce consists of all the merchandise, French or foreign,
which leaves France. Special cgmmerce consists of the domestic merchandise ex-
ported and the foreign merchandise sent back to foreign ports, after having been
admitted free, or nationalized by the payment of duty.*

In considering the tables of 1896-97 as a whole, we record for 1897 a more not-
able increase in exportations than in importations. The total increase in importa-
tions in special commerce is 202,000,000 francs ($38,986,000) in round numbers,
against an increase of 275,000,000 francs (|53,075,ooo) in exportations.

This is also a proof of a condition the reverse of prosperous. We will not ex-
plain here why the balance of commerce differs sensibly from the economic bal-
ance. All competent statisticians justly include in the latter the financial move-
ment and the fortune of the country interested, especially when it is a question
of an old and rich country like France. A more important reason why our country
should be included in this category is because it is, above all, what economists
call an interest-receiving country. It suffices to cite the Suez Canal, which for a
net investment of 72,000,000 francs ({13,896,000) returns about 50,000,000 francs
($9,650,000).

To this general statement should be added the incidental fact that during recent
years proposed income-tax bills have alarmed many French capitalists, causing
them to make heavy investments abroad. Now, investigation and experience
prove that a country which has large investments abroad has, as a consequence, a
permanent source of importations, and is not compelled, in order to pay for them,
to establish a corresponding volume of exportations. The disparity between our
exportations and importations, to the detriment of the latter, constitutes — especially
since our importations ought to have increased — a fact that is anomalous and dis-
quieting to the equilibrium of our commercial affairs.

Statisticians such as M. de Neumann-Spallart, who have taken the pains to com-
pare the importations and exportations of all civilized nations, say that the official
excess of imports, if the prosperity of foreign commerce is under consideration,
ought always to be important in countries which have an enormous merchant ma-
rine, like England; or in countries which, like France, on account of their extensive
production of objects of luxury and the large number of rich foreigners who come

♦Note by Consul.— Officials of the Lyons Chamber of Commerce think that a better definition
than the above would be; General commerce in importations includes all that enters France;
special commerce includes all that enters and is consumed here.



Digitized by



Google



462



ECONOMIC CONDITIONS IN FKANCi:.



here and make private purchases, have a great quantity of exportations which arc
not counted.

To those who, for the sake of the balance of trade, wish to see our exports
increase, destroying the difference between them and our imports, we will con-
tent ourselves by citing, after M. Paul Leroy-Beaulieu. the following example:
When France had to pay 5,000,000,000 francs to Germany, after the peace of 1871,
although a large part of that sum was furnished by the sale of bonds and stocks,
she saw her exports, during a few years, exceed her imports, contrary to the usual
course of things. In 1870, the excess of imports was still 65,300,000 francs ({12,-
602,900), and in 1871, 694,000,000 francs ($133,942,000). But in 1872, there was an
excess of 191,300,000 francs ({37,563,000) in exports, and in 1873 an excess of the
same to the amount of 326,700,000 francs (^3,053,100). Then, the excess returned
to imports. Germany, on the other hand, which was to receive enormous sums
from France, had a colossal excess of imports over exports. This excess of imports
into Germany, according to Soctbeer, was, in 1873, 878,000,000 marks (1235,304,000).

SPECIAL COMMERCE.
A comparison of importations and exportations betwftn the years i8g6 and iSgj,



Description.



i8<^7.



1896.



Increase in
1897.



1 mportatioHs.

Articles of food

Materials necessary to industry..
Manufactured articles

Toul

Exportatiotu,

Articles of food

Materials necessary to industry..

Manufactured articles.

Postal package

Total

Grand total



$207,150,600
468,620,000
124,252,600



$201,322,400
424,716,400
« 23. ^7. 000



800,023,200



759.715,800



$5,828,201)

33.9o5.6«>

575.600

40.309.400



145,810,600
188,791,600
368,034,800
32,485,600



»30. 358.600

167,241,400

353.352.800

29,231,200



i5.45*.ow>

2I,550,2«>

14,682,000

3,254,400



735,122,600



280,184,000



54,938,600



1.535.145.800



1.439.899.800



95,248,oo»



If we consider the merchandise imported into this country according to its im-
portance, the principal imports will appear in the following order:

Francs,
(i) Raw wool 343,000,000=^66,199.000

(2) Wine 280,000,000= 54,040,000

(3) Silk and bourres de soic 266,000,000-= 51,338,000

(4) Cereals 246,000,000= 47,478,000

(5) Cotton , 205,000,000= 39,565,000

(6) Raw and carbonized coal (Houillccrueetcarbonis6e).. 189,000,000= 36,474,000

(7) Common woods 154,000,000= 29,722,000

(S) Oleaginous seeds and fruits 135,000,000= 26,055,000

(9) Raw hides and peltry 116,000,000= 22,388,000

(10) Coflfee 105,000,000= 20,265,000

The exportations, in the line of special commerce, are as follows:

Francs.
(i) Silk and bourres de sole 270,000,000=^52, 110,000

(2) Woolens 265,000,000= 51,145,000

(3) Wines 232,000,000= 44,776,000



Digitized by



Google



ECONOMIC CONDITIONS IN FRANCE. 463

Francs.

(4) Raw wool, combed wool (dyed), and waste 172,000,000=133, 196,000

(5) Toys, playthings, kickshaws, brushes, etc 160,000,000= 30,880,000

(6) Cottons.- 119,000,000= 22,967,000

(7) Silks 117,000,000= 22,581,000

(8) Prepared leather... 102,000,000= 19,686,000

The principal countries from which merchandise was received, and to which it
was sent, were in the following order:

Importations,

(i) England. (5) Spain. (9) China.

(2) United States. (6) Algeria. (10) Italy.

(3) Germany. (7) Russia. (11) British Indies.

(4) Belgium. (8) Argentina. (12) Turkey.

Exportaiions,

(i) England. (5) Algeria. (9) Brazil.

(2) Belgium. (6) Switzerland. (10) Argentina.

(3) Germany. (7) Italy. (11) Turkey.

(4) United States. (8) Spain. (12) Holland.

Our ally, Russia, holds only the fourteenth place among our exports, coming
after French Indo China. Our urgent appeals to the Russian Government, through
the intermediary of the Minister of Commerce and of Foreign Affairs, have met
that indifference which is found only among friends.

We have, however, been able to learn officially that every time we ask Russia
for anything of an important character affecting the tariff, she proposes that we
take into consideration the question of lowering the duty on her wheat to the
amount of 7 francs. This piece of information will doubtless be of interest to
the Chamber.

If we glance over the list of our exports and imports with the principal nations
of which we have just spoken, we note an augmentation of 156,000,000 francs ({30,-
108,000) in the imports from Russia into France, while our exports to Russia re-
mained stationary. The interest on our money, however, exerts an important
bearing on this movement. From 1896 to 1897, the importations into France from
England have diminished 26,000,000 francs (|5, 01 8,000), while the exportations from
France to England increased 135,000,000 francs ({26,055,000). It is, unfortunately,
true, contrary to what happens in regard to Russia, that the invasion of French
industry by English capital is not unallied to this increase in our exportations.*

Our imports from Germany have not varied. Our exports to Germany have
risen 40,000,000 francs ({7,720,000). Our situation, in regard to Belgium, shows
the usual excess of about 200,000,000 francs ({39,600,000) of exports over imports.
The situation has not changed materially. It is worthy of remark that Germany
and Belgium are the two countries which are the most prosperous at this time.

Our relations with Switzerland have not varied notably. Our exports to Italy
had increased, but the recent commercial treaty causes our relations with that
country to be interesting only as they affect the future.

Imports from Spain decreased 40,000,000 francs ({7,720,000) in 1897, while ex-
ports to Spain decreased only 2,000,000 francs ({396,000). These fluctuations, of
course, must be attributed to the troubled condition of that unhappy country. The

* Note by Conslx.— France has loaned many millions to Russia and receives interest in Russian
imports, destroying her Russian market for French products. English capital lias been invested in
French industry, and the interest of this English money is paid in French products.



Digitized by



Google



464



ECONOMIC CONDITIONS IN FRANCE.



increase of duly on wine and the opening of our frontiers to the wine of Ital_y are
destined to slightly decrease Spanish importations into France.

Our foreign trade with Turkey, which was diminishing in competition with that
of Germany, took a favorable turn in 1897.

Our relations with the United States have not undergone any perceptible im-
provement; importations and exportatlons combined represent 680,000,000 francs
(J3 1, 240, 000). There is nothing surprising in this, in view of the Dingley tariff bill.

Our trade is declining with Brazil, the Argentine Republic, the English Indies,
Chile, Holland, St. Pierre and Miquelon, Haiti, Senegal, and the Dutch Indies.

It may be seen from these details that we stand stationary in the midst of the
colossal progressive movement conspicuous among all rival nations.

So far as navigation is concerned, the total steam tonnage for i8g6 was 22,774,000
tons, entered and cleared combined. For 1897, it was 23,735,000 tons, but we must
remember that in this movement foreign ships figure for a tonnage which has been
increasing since 1892. From 12,000 in 1892, the number rose to 15,000 in 1897, so
that the proportion of our marfne in this movement figures for only 88 per cent.

For sailing ships, the tonnage in 1897, slightly inferior to that of the preceding
year, amounts to 1,538,000 tons, cleared and entered for the entire movement of
navigation.

Notwithstanding the protection afforded by the law of 1893, the proportion of
French sailing ships which entered was only 790, or 477,000 tons.

On December 31, 1897, our merchant marine possessed only 14,352 sailing ships
and 1,212 steamships, only 55 of which were of 2,000 tons burden or more.

Table giving the strength of the merchant marine December j/, i8gj.



Classification of vessels according to tonnage.



Vessels below 30 tons.

From 30 to 50 tons.

50 to 60 tons.

60 to 100 tons

100 to 300 tons.

200 to 300 tons.

300 to 400 tons.

400 to 500 tons.

500 to 600 tons.

600 to 700 tons.

700 to 800 tons.

800 to 1,000 tons

1,000 to 1,200 tons

1,200 to 1,500 tons

1,500 to 3,000 tons

2,000 tons and above.....

Total



Sailing vessels.



Number of
vessels.



1^,182
789
146

531
406

96
61
36
15



Tonnage.



90,176
39 » 937
7.914
42,190
54.205
22,970
21,627
15.785
8.323
7,802
2,966
7,169
20,855
23.434
13.322
52,787



421,462



Crew.



45.9»o
4.604
1,030
6.426

5.553
'.223

569
438
200
204


142
40a
366
241
773



68,132



Digitized by



Google



ECONOMIC CONDITIONS IN IRANCIC.



465



Table giving the strength of the merchant inariiu\ etc. — Continued.

I Steamers.



Classilicaiion of vessels according to tonnage.



Number of
I vessels.



V^esscls Lclow j«j ton' .

From 30 to 50 ijn::

50 to 60 tons.

60 to loo tons

100 to 200 tonr^

203 to 300 tons.

300 to 400 tons....

400 to 500 tons

tftsi to 600 tons.

600 to 700 tonr

TOO to 800 tons.

8o3 to i,ooo tons.

1,000 to 1,200 tons

1,200 to 1,500 tons

1.500 to 2,oo3 tons

2,000 tons and above..

ToUl



556

73 ,
22

79
55
21

^5 I

27 .

28 ■
33 I
^6



G5
55



Crew,
Tonnage. 1 properly
' speaking.



Mechani-
cians and
firemen.



2,699 I
1.17s I
6,357 I
8,0^8 .
5.212 '



»5M79
21,105
27,096

6 J, 6-: I
28,683
52,440 .
"2,4:3 '

i>8,927
499.409 j



»,925
346
123
508
427
205
283
331 I
358
475
657

1,284
585 I
933 j

2,079 I

i,4<:o '

I2,9&0



838
164

54
235
212

III
172
187
201
364
462
686
346
579
1,174
X.509



7,254



Steamers and sailing vessels united.



Classification of vessels according to tonnage.



Vessels bclo-.v 30 tons..

From 30 to 50 tons

50 to 60 tons.

60 to 100 tone.-

100 to 200 tonr

200 to 300 tons.

300 to 400 tons.

400 to 500 tons.

500 to 600 tons.

600 to 700 tons.

700 to 800 tons.

800 to 1.000'tons.

1,000 to 1,200 tonr.

1,200 to 1,500 ton::

1,500 to 2,000 to :

2,000 tons and aLove...

Total



Number of
I vessels.



Tonnage.



Crew,
properly
speaking.



738


95.237


47.835


835


8-^2


32.63''>


4.950


1^4


108


9,o3;


»,X53


51


610


48.547


6,934


23s


461


6i,243


5.960


212


117


28.182


1,428


111


85 1


30,449


852


172


63 t


27.986


769


187


43 1


23,802


558


201


45 j


28,9(J7


679


364


40 1


30.062


728


422


79


70,830


1,426


686


45


49.538


988


346


57


75.874


1,299


579


73!


»25.775


2,320


1,174


77


181,714
920,871


3,233
81,112


1,509


564 '


7,254



Our merchant marine is in such a state of decadence as to cause ^rave alarm.
It is no longer a question, as is the case with the merchant marine of England and
Germany, of competing with foreign ships in their ports; we have just seen from
the statistics of navigation that we find it difficult to compete with foreigners even
in our own ports.

England produces 202,000,000 tons of coal per year. She exports 37,000,000
tons, of which we receive 5,000,000 tons. Her ships arc thus admirably placed to
bid for our freight. When they and the German ships have received their cargo,
they have only the expense of a return voyage, and our vessel owners are van-
quished by low freight rates, which they can not meet.



No. 226-



Digitized by



Google



466 ECONOMIC CONDITIONS IN FRANCE.

The evil is grave because it is connected with the different branches of national
activity. A country whose merchant marine is weakened is deprived of a great
part of its power. Our general economic policy ought to be to combine navigation
and commerce, and utilize the sacrifices made by the people to reduce the cost of
transpdrtation.

In 1789, our commerce and industry were not inferior to those of England, but our
foreign trade, up to i860, was hampered by our customs policy and our tarifif wars.



Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign CommerceConsular reports, Issues 224-227 → online text (page 55 of 92)