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Consular reports, Issues 224-227 online

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should be profitable.

Oleomargarine in Italy. — In reply to a New York correspond-
ent,! Consul Jarvis writes from Milan, April 11, 1899:

The most important house for the manufacture of oleomargarine
in this city is that of Chierichetti & Torriani, Vittoria 57, which also



♦Sec Consular Reports No. 2x9 (December, 1898), p. 571.
t To whom Advance Sheets have been sent.



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NOTES. 573

has manufactories at Rome and Florence. Under a law passed
August 3, 1890, and still in force, all artificial fat products employed
as substitutes for butter, not made out of cow's milk, must be sold
under the name of margarin. The manufacture and sale of margarin
are subjected to strict regulations. Whoever intends to open a man-
ufactory for oleomargarine must make an application to the syndico,
stating the kind of materials used and the method of preparing the
product. The manufactory must be subject to the inspection of
the sanitary authorities, especially in regard to the quality of the
oils used. Every factory is obliged to have a trade-mark of its own,
filed and approved as the law requires, which, together with the
word margarin, must be stamped on all the cakes of salable prod-
uct, and on all the cases containing said cakes: also on each paper
wrapper, and on the invoices, bills of lading, and books used in the
administration of the factory. The retailers and all sellers are like-
wise subject to the inspection, and they must inform the buyer that
the merchandise is not butter, and must put it up in cases or wrap-
pers with the word margarin printed in big letters upon each. When-
ever the local conditions make it advisable, the syndico of any locality
can prohibit the sale of margarin or other substitutes for butter, in
the stores where butter is sold.



Trade with Turkey. — Consul-General Dickinson, of Constan-
tinople, under date of April 7, 1899, writes:

It may interest American manufacturers to know that the latest
steamer of the new steamship line between New York and Constan-
tinople brought three locomotives to Alexandria for the railway
through the Soudan.

The effort to extend American commerce in Turkey is assuming
such proportions that not only the newspapers of this region, but
those of England, Germany, and Austria are sharply calling the at-
tention of their readers to the fact that a new and dangerous com-
mercial rival has entered this field. The high quality of American
goods and the ingenuity and enterprise of American manufacturers
and exporters are thoroughly appreciated in all European coun-
tries, and the result of a direct steamship service which will enable
American products to enter these markets on nearly equal terms with
their European rivals is readily foreseen.

The consul-general translates from a Vienna journal an article
in regard to United States competition in Eastern markets, the sub-
stance of which was sent by a correspondent to the London Times
and was published in Consular Reports No. 225 (June, 1899), p.
245. Mr. Dickinson adds:

One of the results of this movement is great activity on the part



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574 NOTES.

of merchants and brokers to secure the agency for American goods.
American exporters should be informed that the selection of an agent
to represent them in this region should be made with the greatest
care. The agents should not only be responsible and honest, but
they should not be engaged in other business which would lead them
to give a preference to foreign products. Arrangements are now
being made with parties in this city of unquestioned responsibility
and character, to open a warehouse for the exclusive sale of American
products, and the contracts already made provide that every effort
shall be made, by advertising and otherwise, to introduce our man-
ufactures and products throughout this region.



Wheat vs. Flour at Malta. — Consul Grout sends from Malta,
under date of April 20, 1899, copy of the report of the committee
which had* been appointed to investigate the wheat and flour trade
of the islands.* The committee recommends, in order to protect
the local milling industry, that the duty on semola and other manu-
factured grain should be raised to 7s. 6d. ($1.82) the cantar of 175
pounds, the present tax of 6s; (5(51.46) the cantar on flour of average
quality to be retained ; and that all adulterated flour should be sub-
ject to a surtax.

Mr. Grout adds:

I realize that Malta is but a speck upon the map as compared with
other countries, but there is a market here for our wheat, which, if
small, will at least prove a factor in the sum total of our trade.
Since sending in my first report on the subject, I am happy to say
that already one cargo of wheat has been landed here direct from
New York, another is on its way, and a third is promised.



Proposed Cable to Iceland and Greenland.— The following,
dated Copenhagen, April 27, 1899, has been received from Vice and
Deputy Consul Blom :

The meteorologists in Europe have for many years desired a tele-
graphic connection with Iceland, Faroe Islands, and Greenland.
Daily telegraphic reports from Iceland would be of the utmost im-
portance to the weather service, as well as to the large fishing in-
terests in the North Atlantic. I understand that the British fishing
interests have recently petitioned the Government to grant a yearly
subvention to the proposed cable. The Danish Government looks
favorably upon the plan, but is of the opinion that it should be re-



•See Consular Reports No. 224 (May, 1899), p. loo. The full text of the committee's report has
been filed for reference in the Bureau of Foreign Commerce.



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NOTES. 575

alized by private individuals. The Great Northern Telegraph Com-
pany, Limited, of Copenhagen, is willing to lay and work the cable,
provided it is guaranteed a certain sum from the various govern-
ments and other parties interested. The royal Danish meteorological
office, in Copenhagen, has issued circulars to kindred institutions
throughout the world, requesting them to subscribe to daily weather
bulletins from Iceland and Faroe Islands; the matter is also being
seriously considered by other bodies, especially in Great Britain,
and the prospects for a realization of the enterprise are promising.



Telegraphs and Telephones in Madagascar. — In reply to a
Pennsylvania correspondent,* Consul Gibbs writes from Tamatave,
March i8, 1899:

The Morse open-circuit system is used here. The messages are
received on rolls of tape, similar to the stock-quotation tickers in
use on the New York and other American stock exchanges. There
are about 1,200 miles of line and wire at present, and the net is being
increased. The telegraph, connected with the Post-Office Depart-
ment, .is controlled by the French Government.

It is not thought possible to introduce any improved telegraph sys-
tem into Madagascar, owing to climatic conditions. The present
system is out of order about one-third of the time; so much so, that
a bulletin as to its condition is published in the triweekly, edi-
tions of the Journal Officiel of the island. There is a telephone,
used principally by the Government offices. It is the Ader system.
Business does not demand its general adoption by the commercial
houses. I do not think conditions propitious for the successful estab-
lishment of telephone exchanges.

Any circulars relating to the introduction of enterprises into Mada-
gascar should be in French, to receive attention. Commercial and
speculative transactions are conducted almost entirely in this lan-
guage.

Steamship Trust in Brazil. — Consul-General Seeger writes
from Rio de Janeiro, March 29, 1899:

Since March 15, the freight rates established by the European
steamship trust controlling the transportation between Brazil and
the United States are 40 cents and 5 per cent primage per bag of
60 kilograms (132 pounds) between Rio and New York. Since last
August, the freights have been raised and lowered and raised again
to suit the purposes of the trust, till they have" reached their present
level. Whether they will remain there or not, depends on the view



* To whom Advance Sheets have been sent.



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576 NOTES.

taken by the manager of the trust as to the ability of the coffee
trade to stand another raise. There is coffee enough here for all
the steamers belonging to the trust, and for the few American ves-
sels that venture into this port; but, as a rule, the sailing vessels,
not chartered by coffee importers, have to leave for the United States
in ballast, and independent steamers seem to have been effectually
blocked out of the Brazilian trade.

The trust has an agreement with the coffee shippers here to pay
them a rebate of 5 per cent at the end of every six months, from
the date of the agreement, on all freights collected; provided, how-
ever, that this rebate is forfeited in case the shippers give freight to
any vessel not belonging to the trust, during the period stipulated.
Through this arrangement, the trust controls the regular shippers,
and American vessels go home in ballast.

It seems that these conditions should be brought to the attention
of the leading merchants and capitalists in the United States, with
a view of securing adequate action to remove the obstacles in the
way of American enterprise and trade in Brazil.



Venezuelan Currency. — In transmitting the returns showing
the value of exports declared for the United States at Puerto Cabello
for the quarter ended March 31, 1899, Consul Ellsworth reports as
follows relative to Venezuelan currency :

Venezuelan peso, — No coin of this designation .is in circulation, but
4 bolivars pay all accounts of i peso, and it is still the custom to
render accounts in pesos. The Treasurer of the United States has
fixed the value of the bolivar, the monetary unit of Venezuela, at
19.3 cents, which makes the value of the peso 77.2 cents in United
States currency.

Venezuelan dollar, — This is in actual circulation, and is of silver.
It calls for 5 bolivars, and, calculating the bolivar at our Treasury
valuation, the Venezuelan dollar is worth 96.5 cents. In rendering
accounts, making invoices, purchasing products of the country,
market values, etc., this dollar is not considered, it being well un-
derstood that the peso is the basis of calculation; but in paying ac-
counts, etc., it is taken at its face value — 5 bolivars (96.5 cents
United States).

Banana Trade of Nicaragua. — Under date of May 10, 1899,
Consul Sorsby, of San. Juan del Norte, writes:

The fruit trust, operating in the West Indies and Central America,
the principal associates of which are the Boston Fruit Company, of
Boston, Minor C. Keith, of Costa Rica, and others, have entered the



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NOTES. 577

banana fields of the Department of Zelaya (Bluefields and Rama
districts), Nicaragua. Their representative, Mr. J. Lamotte Morgan,
arrived at Bluefields on the 28th ultimo and, going into the heart of
the banana district, secured contracts from nearly all of the larger
planters. Mr. Morgan tells me that it is the purpose of his people
to put on a line of steamers immediately, with the view of controlling
all of the banana trade of Nicaragua. The advent of this new cor-
poration will probably have the effect, at least for the present, of
advancing the price of bananas and cheapening freights on incom-
ing and outgoing cargoes. Mr. Morgan states that the freight and
passenger service of the new line will be in every respect superior to
that of the old company, and it is probable that a small but fast
steamer will be run as an auxiliary between Port Limon, Costa Rica,
and San Juan del Norte, Bluefields, and Cape Gracias, Nicaragua.



Breweries in Jamaica. — Under date of April 29, 1899, Consul
Dent,^of Kingston, writes to a Chicago correspondent* as follows:

There are no breweries, as we know them at home, in the island
of Jamaica. One was established in Kingston in 1890, with a com-
plete plant, and, after being in operation less than two years,
failed. Since then, a number of so-called breweries have been
started. Their process is the simple one of fermentation in several
casks (three or four) of 50 or 100 gallons each. Last year, an at-
tempt was made to form a stock company and start a brewery on a
large scale, but this met with failure also. Barley pays a duty here
of 8 cents per bushel. All malt and malt liquors pay a duty of 18
cents a gallon. The importations of ale and beer last year amounted
to $156,000. There might be room here for a practical brewery.



Rice Exports to Cuba. — Consul-General Lincoln, of Antwerp,
on April 12, 1899, says:

I would invite the attention of our merchants to an item in the
'* digest of the invoice book" for the last quarter, submitted in my
report of like date.f The item referred to is that of rice, of which
a quantity amounting in value to over $86,000 was shipped from
here during the last two months to Cuban ports. This is rice im-
ported from the East, cleaned, dressed, and prepared for the market



* To whom Advance Sheets have been sent.
t See Exports Declared for quarter ending March, 1899, p. 4.
No. 226 12.



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578 NOTES.

here, and the business with Cuban buyers has been done principally
by Hamburg houses.

It would seem, in case the Southern States can not supply the
existing want for this article, that at least our merchants should
have some hand in procuring the supply needed.



French Trade with Cuba and Puerto Rico. — Consul Jackson,
of La Rochelle, under date of April i, 1899, writes:

I have been asked to request the Department to publish in Con-
sular Reports that several exporting houses in this region desire to
learn names and addresses of business houses in Cuba and Puerto
Rico which purchase French goods, and the sort of goods. Infor-
mation should be sent to this office.



Postal Money-Order Service with British Honduras. — Con-
sul Avery, of Belize, under date of April 20, 1899, says:

On April i, the system of interchange of postal money orders
between this colony and the United States went into effect. To send
a money order from Belize to any city in the United States has re-
quired from twenty-five to thirty days. While the money was paid
here, the order was issued from London, upon the receipt of mail
advices from this post-office, and then sent to the receiver in the
United States. There is no bank in the colony, and merchants dis-
liked to sell drafts for less than $15. Even by registered mail, it
was difficult to remit, for United States bills are scarce; but now, the
safe and convenient system of direct orders has been adopted, with
the usual charge for different amounts.



Salmon Canneries in British Columbia.— Consul Dudley, of
Vancouver, under date of April 12, 1899, writes that a meeting has
been held by the salmon canners of the Province to protest against
the new regulations established by the Government of the Dominion,
regarding the catching and canning of salmon. Incidentally, the
assembly urged that the canners be allowed to purchase salmon
caught in American waters, and to bring them into British Columbia
free of duty. The establishment of additional hatcheries on the
Frazer River, says the consul, will increase the run of salmon along
the northern shore of the State of Washington. He adds:

Most of the fresh fish retailed in this city is imported from the



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NOTES. 5 79

United States. The reason given for this is that the wholesale dealer
can there procure any quantity of the kind of fish desired, while
the business in the Province is not sufficiently organized to insure the
variety needed.



Canadian Ocean Traffic— Consul Brush writes from Clifton,
April 29, 1899:

Urgent appeals are being made to the Canadian Government for
improvements on the St. Lawrence River and gulf. The heavy losses
in both the past few years have led the insurance companies to double
their rates, the new schedule taking effect immediately. The high
rates of insurance and the dangers of the route are diverting con-
siderable ocean traffic to American ports, and further loss of traffic
is imminent, unless the Government takes immediate steps to widen
the channel through Lake St. Peter and establish new light-houses
in the gulf.



New Freight Service to France.— Consul Thackara sends the
following from Havre, under date of April 27, 1899:

I have to report, for the benefit of American shippers, that the
Compagnie G6n6rale Transatlantique is about to inaugurate an ad-
ditional regular freight and emigrant service between Havre, Bor-
deaux, Pauillac, and New York, and vice versa. This service will
be carried on by chartered English cargo boats, the first steamer
being the Woollootnooloo of 3,521 gross tonnage, sailing from Havre
May 9 next and from Pauillac May 12. The departures for the
present will take place every three weeks, and the average time to
New York from Havre, via Pauillac, will be fourteen days. The
rates of freight, which will be considerably reduced, are subject to
special agreement. I have been informed by one of the officials of
the company that the tariff will be about one-half that of the regular
rates. The emigrant service has not been perfected as yet.



Revised Regulations for Automobiles in France.— Consul-
General Gowdy sends from Paris, April 28, 1899, ^ copy of the re-
vised regulations for automobiles. In addition to those given in
Consular Reports No. 225 (June, 1899), p. 251, the following pro-
visions are made:

Automobiles must be so constructed as not to allow any matter to escape which
might cause explosions or unpleasant smells. They must be built so as not to
frighten horses, so that nothing will obstruct the view of the driver, so that they may
be lit up after dark, and the handles regulating the machinery must be so arranged

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580 NOTES.

that the driver can work them without taking his eyes off the route he is following.
Every vehicle must be provided with two distinct systems of brakes, each capable of
shutting off automatically the force of the motor and bringing it under instant
control. One at least of these systems must act directly on the wheels or axles in
such a manner as to bring them immediately to a standstill. All carriages exceed-
ing 250 pounds in weight must be able to reverse their machinery and run back-
wards. Foreign vehicles must be passed by the French authorities before they are
allowed to run in France.



Glove Manufacture in Germany. — Consul Erdman writes from
Breslau, under date of April 29, 1899:

The export of kid gloves from this consular district has amounted
^o $736,587.67 per annum. The glove leather is tanned, dyed, and
the gloves are cut at the factories here ; but most of them are sewed
by girls in Austria, especially in Bohemia. German girls have never
been taught the art. There is now an arrangement by which free
sewing schools will be started by the Prussian Government, one to
be located in the province of Silesia and the other in the Rhine
Province, where are located most of the glove factories, the sewing
for which has been done in Belgium.



Embroidery School at Plauen. — Consul Monaghan, of Chem-
nitz, under date of April 15, 1899, reports that a school for teaching
embroidery is about to be opened in Plauen. The Government has
appropriated 9,000 marks ($2,142) and the city 3,000 marks ($714)
for the initial expenses; 5,000 marks ($1,190) and 3,000 marks ($714),
respectively, will be contributed annually for its maintenance. The
number of applicants for admission is said to be so large that hardly
half can be accommodated. Consul Monaghan speaks of the excel-
lent system of technical education in Germany; nearly every im-
portant branch of industry in the Empire, he says, has its school,
^nd the country's industrial development is in large measure due
to these educational facilities.



United States Dental Diplomas in the Netherlands. — Under
date of April 10, 1899, Minister Newel sends from The Hague copy
of a royal order appearing in the Official Gazette of the 8th instant,
according to which persons holding the diploma of doctor of den-
tal medicine issued by the dental department of the faculty of dental
medicine of Harvard University at Boston, the dental department
of the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia, the college of
dentistry of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, or the dental
department of the Vanderbilt University at Nashville shall be ad-
mitted to the examinations for dentistry in the Netherlands.



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NOTES. 581

Pork Condemned in Sweden. — Consul-General Winslow, of
Stockholm, on April 13, 1899, informs the Department that the
authorities there have been very active in their inspection of pork.
During the month of March, no fewer than 7,040 slaughtered hogs
were inspected, together with 19 pieces of American ** short clears.**
Trichinosis was found in 24 carcasses of Swedish pork and in i piece
of American ** short clears.** Mr. Winslow adds:

I want our packers to know that there is a good market here for
pork products, but they will spoil it if they do not send the article
properly prepared.



Constructer of the Siberian Railway. — The Department has
received a note from Ambassador Tower, dated St. Petersburg, May
25, 1899, in which he calls attention to the fact that newspapers in
the United States have recently published articles describing Mr.
Markavitch as the chief constructer of the Siberian Railway. The
Russian Minister of Ways of Communication, Prince Hilkoff, has
informed Mr. Tower that no one by that name was ever intrusted
with the construction of the Siberian line, and Mr. Tower thinks
that the error should be corrected, as it may lead to misunder-
standings.



Wheat Imports of Spain. — Mr. Mertens, in charge of the con-
sular agency at Valencia, writes, under date of April 27, 1899, that
the wheat imports of Spain during the month of March amounted to
19,000 tons (2,205 pounds), divided as follows: From United States,
7,000 tons; from France, 4,000 tons; from Russia, 6,000 tons; from
other countries, 2,000 tons. Mr. Mertens also notes an increase in
the imports during 1899 of cotton and artificial guano.



Gold in the Transvaal. — Consul Macrum sends from Pretoria,
April 18, 1899, copies of the report of the chamber of mines on the
production of gold in the Transvaal for the month of March, 1899.

The following extracts are from the report :

Yesterday saw one of the largest increases over the previous month ever re-
corded in the Rand's history. An increase of close upon 40,000 ounces is a
marvelous achievement. The Transvaal production of the precious metal, when ex-
pressed in ounces, is now getting within measurable distance of 500,000, yesterday's
declaration being within 36,000 of that aggregate. The March yield is 23,361
ounces better than the declaration of December, 1898 — a month which is invariably
good. The Rand output itself was 37,240 ounces in advance of the February fig-
ure and 22,074 ounces higher than the record of December. Yesterday's output
was well-nigh double the figures of two years ago; it was, indeed, 115,500 ounces



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582 NOTES.

in advance of the showing of March, 1898. We can not compare these results to
those of any other gold fields, for they have no analogue. The Rand stands pre-
eminent, singular, and will continue so to stand far in advance of all rivals.

Mr. Macrum adds:

The value of these 464,036 ounces of the precious metal was
jC^il^SfSS^ ($^,584,666), and the average exports of gold from the
ports of South Africa amount now to about ^^430, 000 (^^2,092,595)
each week.



Klondike Output for 1899. — Under date of April 29, 1899, Con-
sul Brush, of Clifton, says:

An authority whose estimates have heretofore proved conserva-
tive, brings word from Dawson that the wash up from the Yukon
this year will aggregate $19,000,000, apportioned as follows: Eldo-
rado, $2,500,000; Bonanza, $2,500,000; French Hill, $1,500,000;
Gold Hill, $1,500,000; Big Skukum, $1,000,000; Little Skukum,
$1,000,000; Dominion, $4,000,000; Hunker and Quartz, $5,000,000:
total, $19,000,000. These figures leave out of consideration a num-
ber of important locations, including Sulphur Creek, Stewart River,
Upper Klondike, and Scroggie Creek.



New Gold Mines in Mexico. — Vice-Consul Taylor writes from



Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign CommerceConsular reports, Issues 224-227 → online text (page 68 of 92)