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

Consular reports, Issues 224-227 online

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• The commercial value of the rupee to be determined by consular certificate.



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FOREIGN WEIGHTS AND MEASURES.



The following table embraces only such weights and measures as
are given from time to time in Consular Reports and in Commer-
cial Relations:

Foreign weights and measures^ with American equivalents.



Denominations.



Where used.



American equivalents.



Almude .
Ardeb....
Arc



Arobe

Arratel or libra....
Arroba (dry)

Do

Do

Do

Do

Do

Arroba (liquid)

Arshine

Arshine (square)..

Artel

Baril

Barrel

Do

Berkovets

Bongkal

Bouw....

Bu



Portugal 4-422 gallons.

Egypt 7.6907 bushels.

Metric 0.02471 acre.

Paraguay 25 pounds.

Portugal i.oix pounds.

Argentine Republic 25.3175 pounds.

Brazil ' 32.38 pounds.

Cuba ' 25.3664 pounds.

Portugal I 32.38 pounds.

Spain ! 25.36 pounds.

25.4024 pounds.

4.263 gallons.

28 inches.

5.44 square feet.

X.X2 pounds.



Butt (wine)

Caffiso

Candy

Do

Cantar

Do

Do

Cantaro (cantar)...

Carga

Catty

Do*

Do

Do '.

Centaro

Centner

Do

Do

Do

Do

Do

Do

Do

Do

Chih



Venezuela

Cuba, Spain, and Venezuela...

Russia

.do

Morocco

Argentine Republic and Mexico i 20.0787 gallons.

Malta (customs) | zz. 4 gallons.

Spain (raisins) 100 pounds.

Russia.. 361.12 pounds.

India ' 832 grains.

Sumatra , 7,096.5 square meters.

Japan | o. i inch.

Spain 140 gallons.



♦More frequently called "kin."
avoirdupois.
XII



Malta-
India (Bombay)

India (Madras)

Morocco

Syria (Damascus)

Turkey

Malta

Mexico and Salvador

China

Japan

Java, Siam, and Malacca...,

Sumatra

Central America

Bremen and Brunswick

Darmstadt

Denmark and Norway

Nuremberg

Prussia

Sweden

Vienna ,

Zollvercin

Double or metric

China



5.4 gallons.
529 pounds.
500 pounds.
1x3 pounds.
575 pounds.
124.7036 pounds.
175 pounds.
300 pounds.
i.333?3(iM) pounds.
1. 31 pounds,
z. 35 pounds.
2.12 pounds.
4.2631 gallons.
117.5 pounds.
110.24 pounds.
110.11 pounds.
1X2.43 pounds.
113.44 pounds.
93.7 pounds.
123.5 pounds.
110.24 pounds.
220.46 pounds.
.14 inches.



Among merchants in the treaty ports it equals x.33>^ pounds



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FOREIGN WEIGHTS AND MEASURES.



XIII



Foreign weights and measures^ with American equivalents — Continued.



Denominations.



Where used.



American equivalents.



Coyan...

Do

Coadra — .*

Do..

Do

Do ^...

Cubic meter •

Cwt. (hundredweight)

Dessiatine

Do

Drachme

Egyptian weights and measures....
Fanoga(dry).

Do

Do

Do

Do



Do...-

Do..„

Do

Fanega (liquid)..

Feddan

Frail (raisins)

Frasco.

Do

Fuder

Gamice

Gram

Hecure

Hectoliter:

Dry

Liquid

Joch

Ken

Ktl<^ram (kilo)...

Kilometer

Klafter

Koku

Korree

Kwan

Last

Do

Do



Do

Do

Do

League (land)..

Li

Libra (pound)..

Do..«



Do

Do

Do

Do

Do

Do

Do

Do

Uter

Livre (pK>und)..

Do



Sarawak.

Siam(Koyan)

Argentine Republic

Paraguay

Paraguay (square)

Uruguay.

Metric

British

Russia :....,

Spain. „

Greece

{See Consular Reports No. X44.)

Central America

Chile.

Cuba

Mexico

Mofocco



Uruguay (double)

Uruguay (single)

Venezuela

Spain

Egypt

Spain.

Argentine Republic.
Mexico....



Luxemburg

Russian Poland..

Metric

Ao



.do.

.do.

Austria-Hungary

Japan.

Metric

.do

Russia

Japan

Russia

Japan

Belgium and Holland..

England (dry mail).

Germany



Prussia

' Russian Poland

Spain (salt)

Paraguay

China

Castilian

Argentine Republic.

Central America

Chile

Cuba

Mexica..

Peru

Portugal...

Uruguay

Venezuela

Metric

Greece...



Guiana..



3,098 pounds.
3,667 pounds.
4.3 acres.
78.9 yards.
8.077 square feet.
Nearly 2 acres.
35.3 cubic feet.
X 12 pounds.
2.6997 acres.
X.599 bushels.
Half ounce.

^•5745 bushels.
a.575 bushels.
1.599 bushels.
Z.S4728 bushels.
Strike fanega, 70 lbs.;
full fanega, xi8 lbs.
7.776 bushels.
3.888 bushels.
1.599 bushels.
16 gallons.
1.03 acres.
50 pounds.
2.5096 quarts.
2.5 quaits.
264.17 gallons.
0.88 gallon.
15-432 grains.
2.471 acres.



3.838 bushels.
26.417 gallons.
Z.422 acres.
6 feet.

2.2046 pounds.
0.621376 mile.
216 cubic feet.
4.9629 bushels.
3.5 bushels.
8.28 pounds.
85.134 bushels.
82.52 bushels.
2 metric tons

pounds).
112.29 bushels.
11^ bushels.
4,760 pounds.
4,633 acres.
2,115 feet.
7,100 grains (troy).
1.0127 pounds.
1.043 pounds.
1.014 pounds.
1.0161 pounds.
X.01465 pounds.
1.0143 pounds,
z.oii pounds.
1.0143 pounds.
z.oi6z pounds.
1.0567 quarts.
I.I pounds.
1. 079 1 pounds.



(4,480



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XIV



FOREIGN' WEIGHTS AND MEASURES.



Foreign weights and measures^ with American equivalents — Continued.



Denominations.



Where used.



American equivalents.



Load.... England (timber)...



Manzana...

Do

Marc

Maund

Meter

Mil



Do

Milla

Morgen

Oke

Do

Do

Do

Do

Pic

Picul

Do

Do

Do

Do

Pie

Do

Pik

Pood

Pund (pound)..
Quarter

Do

Quintal

Do

- Do

Do

Do

Do

Do

Do

Rottle

Do

Sagen

Salm

Se



Seer

Shaku

Sho...

Standard (St. Petersburg)..

Stone

Sucrte



Cosu Rica

Nicaragua and Salvador

Bolivia

India

Metric

Denmark

Denmark (geographical)

Nicaragua and Honduras

Prussia

Egypt

Greece

Hungary ,

Turkey

Hungary and Wallachia

Egypt......

Borneo and Celebes.

China, Japan, and Sumatra

Java

Philippine Islands (hemp)

Philippine Islands (sugar)

Argentine Republic

Castile

Turkey

Russia

Denmark and Sweden

Great Britain

London (coal)

Argentine Republic

Brazil

Castile, Chile, Mexico, and Peru..

Greece

Newfoundland (fish)

Paraguay

Syria ,

Metric ,

Palestine

Syria

Russia

Malta

Japan

India

Japan

.do

Lumber measure

British

Uruguay



Sun

Tael

Tan

To

Ton

Tonde (cereals)..

Tondeland

Tsubo

Tsun

Tunna

Tunnland



Japan

Cochin China....
Japan

do

Space measure-
Denmark.

Ao

Japan

China

Sweden.

.do



Square, 50 cubic feet;

unhewn, 40 cubic feet;

i nch planks, 600 super-

ficialfeet.
if acres.
1.737 acres.
0.507 pound.
82f pounds.
39.37 inches.
4.68 miles.
4.61 miles.
I.I4Q3 miles.
0.63 acre.
2.7235 pounds.
3.84 pounds.
3.0817 pounds.
2.85418 pounds.

3.5 pints.
z\\i inches.
135.64 pounds.
i33'.i pounds.

»3<)'45 pounds,
140 |X)unds.
0.9478 foot.
0.91407 foot.
37.9 inches.
36.113 pounds,
i.ioj pounds.
8.352 bushels.
36 bushels.
101.43 pounds.
130.06 pounds.
101.61 |X)unds.
133.2 pounds.
113 pounds.
100 pounds.
135 pounds.
330.46 pounds.

6 pounds.
5^ pounds.

7 feet.

490 pounds.
0.02451 acres.

1 pound 13 ounces.
11.9305 inches.

1.6 quarts.
165 cubic feet.
14 pounds.

3,700 cuadras (see cua-

dra).
1. 193 inches.
590-75 grains (trov).
0.35 acre.

2 p>ecks.

40 cubic feet.
3.94783 bushels.
1.36 acres.
6 feet square.
1. 41 inches.
4.5 bushels.
1.33 acres.



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FOREIGN WEIGHTS AND MEASURES. XV

Foreign iveights and measures, with American equivalents — Continued.



Denominations. ! Where used.



American equivalents.



Vara Argentine Republic « ! 34.1208 inches.

Do Castile ' 0.914117 yard.

Do Central America 32.87 inches.

Do Chile and Peru 33.367 inches.

Do Cuba ' 33.384 inches.

Do Cura9ao | 33.375 inches

Do I Mexico 33 inches.

Do ' Paraguay < 34 inches.

Do Venezuela 33-384 inches.



Vedro

Vergees..

Verst

Vloclca....



Russia I 2.707 gallons.

Isle of Jersey ' 71.1 square rods.

Russia 0.663 mile.

Russian Poland 41.98 acres.



METRIC WEIGHTS AND MEASURES.
Metric 7veig/its

Milligram (xAff gram) equals 0.0154 grain.

Centigram (yJ^ gram) equals 0.1543 grain.

Decigram {^ gram) equals 1.5432 grains.

Gram equals 15.432 grains.

Decagram (10 grams) equals 0.3527 ounce.

Hectogram (100 grams) equals 3.5274 ounces.

Kilogram (1,000 grams) equals 2.2046 pounds.

Myriagram (10,000 grams) equals 22.046 pounds.

Quintal (100,000 grams) equals 220.46 pounds.

Millier or tonnea — ton (1,000,000 grams) equals 2,204.6 pounds.

Metric dry measures.

Milliliter (xrAra liter) equals 0.061 cubic inch.
Centiliter (yj^ liter) equals 0.6102 cubic inch.
Deciliter {^ liter) equals 6.1022 cubic inches.
Liter equals 0.908 quart.
Decaliter (10 liters) equals 9.0S quarts.
Hectoliter (100 liters) equals 2.S38 bushels.
Kiloliter (1,000 liters) equals 1.308 cubic yards.

Metric liquid measures.

Milliliter do^oir liter) equals 0.038S fluid ounce.

Centiliter (^ J^ liter) equals 0.33S fluid ounce.

Deciliter (yV liter) equals 0.845 gill.

Liter equals 1.0567 quarts.

Decaliter (10 liters) equals 2.6418 gallons.

Hectoliter (100 liters) equals 26.417 gallons.

Kiloliter (1,000 liters) equals 264.18 gallons.

Metric measures of length.

Millimeter (yoVo meter) equals 0.0394 inch.
Centimeter (jjjy meter) equals 0.3937 inch.
Decimeter {^^^ meter) equals 3-937 inches.
Meter equals 39.37 inches.



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XVI FOREIGN WEIGHTS AND MEASURES.

Decameter (lo meters) equals 393. 7 inches.

Hectometer (100 meters) equals 328 feet i inch.

Kilometer (1,000 meters) equals 0.62137 niile (3,280 feet 10 inches).

Myriameter (10,000 meters) equals 6.2137 miles.

Metric surface measures,

Centare (i square meter) equals 1,550 square inches.
Are (100 square meters) equals 119.6 square yards.
Hectare (10,000 square meters) equals 2.471 acres.



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CONSULAR RKPORXS-



COMMERCE, MANUFACTURES, ETC.



Vol. LX. AUGUST, 1899. No. 227.



SPECIAL TAXATION FOR DEPARTMENT STORES

IN GERMANY.*

It was but natural that Germany, where the control and protec-
tion of individual and commercial rights and responsibilities are de-
fined and enforced by law to a further extent than in perhaps any
other country, should have been among the first nations to consider
seriously some special measure to restrict and equalize the advan-
tages which large department stores enjoy over small retail dealers
in various branches of trade. Department stores founded on the
general plan of the Bon Marche and Magasins du Louvre at Paris
were introduced into Berlin and other leading German cities only
a few years ago; but as early as 1896, the protest against them
from the smaller merchants became so energetic that Herr von Brock-
hausen, a Conservative member of the Prussian Diet, introduced
into that body a resolution, indorsed by many of his colleagues, which
declared that —

The Prussian Diet hereby requests the Royal Government to formulate and en-
act a law levying a special progressive tax upon department stores, bazaars, and
similar institutions which come within the scope of the excise-tax law (Gewerbe-
steuergesetz) of June 24, 1891, and that the proceeds of such special tax should
revert to the respective cities and districts in which such stores are located.

Similar resolutions were adopted by the legislative assemblies of
the Kingdoms of Bavaria and Saxony, the former on November 14,
1895, and the latter on March 23, 1896. But nothing further came
of the movement at Berlin than an academic expression of opinion
that some additional tax or burden should be imposed upon all great

* This report was obtained at the request of a Washington press association, to the manager of
which proof has been sent.

No. 227 1. 593



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594 SPECIAL TAXATION FOR DEPARTMENT STORES.

mercantile organizations which, through the magnitude of their
business and their combination of numerous special lines of trade
under one direction, secure advantages in respect to purchase and
economy of management against which smaller dealers, doing busi-
ness by old and slower methods, are unable to compete.

It was urged that such increased and progressive taxation of the
large concerns — and the rate was to be carefully adjusted to the gross
amount of business done by each firm annually — would form an
effective means of protection to the smaller dealers and, by increas-
ing the local revenues of cities and communes, permit some of the
taxes of other tradesmen to be reduced. Another object of the tax
was to check the tendency of mercantile business to consolidate into
large firms and companies, the effect of which was to oppress and
drive out of business the middle classes, which it was the duty of
the state to sustain.

The reply of the Royal Saxon Government to these resolutions
was to the effect that under the imperial license regulations (Reichs-
gewerbeordnung) only license taxes by the State and local govern-
ments could be admitted, and that a progressive tax, which would
in the end become practically prohibitive against certain large busi-
ness houses, would be a violation of the higher laws. Moreover,
such a progressive tax could only be adopted by the government of
each separate state. Stress was laid upon the confusion and injus-
tice that would result in the very probable event that the different
states might impose a wholly different rate, while some of them
might decline to enact any such tax at all.

The discussion continued without any definite result, and the
measure reappeared at several successive sessions of the Prussian
Diet, modified slightly as to details, but embodying in substance the
following points:

(i) To impose a special progressive tax upon all mercantile es-
tablishments which sell at retail in open stores or warehouses goods
of several different kinds, or which deliver such goods to consumers
by mail, railroad, or other public method of transportation.

(2) That the tax shall- apply to all firms which do an annual busi-
ness of 300,000 marks ($7 1,400), on which might be reckoned a yearly
profit of 15,000 marks ($3,570).

(3) That the tax should be progressive in proportion to the num-
ber of different kinds of merchandise kept for sale in any given
establishment, as well as to the aggregate amount of business done
during the year.

(4) That the kinds of goods included under the provisions of the
law shall be stipulated, and shall not include agricultural products
that are native to Germany.



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SPECIAL TAXATION FOR DEPARTMENT STORES. 595

(5) The whole revenue derived from such special taxation to be
turned over to the local treasury of the city or commune in which
the store so taxed is located.

After another interval of several months, during which little was
heard of the scheme except newspaper discussion more or less colored
by political motives and affiliations, the subject came before the Prus-
sian Diet at its sixty-second session on Wednesday of last week, the
19th of April, and, as the debate which followed clearly portrayed
the present attitude of the Government upon the entire topic, a syn-
opsis of the most important speeches is here given as the latest and
most authoritative information on the subject.

Herr von Brockhausen brought forward the resolution of June 9,
1896, which was read as given in the five paragraphs above trans-
lated. In his speech, which then followed, Herr von Brockhausen
pictured eloquently the distress of most small merchants who are
located in the neighborhood of large department stores and see their
business swallowed up- day by day by the resistless attractions of
those large capitalized concerns whose power to purchase cheaply
and to furnish customers with many kinds of goods in one transac-
tion under one roof has rendered the smaller merchants helpless
against such competition. He described the fatal and overshadow-
ing effect of the large stores of this class in Paris, where special
legislation against them had been proposed as early as 1843. ^^
spoke of an organization which had been formed in France which in-
cludes 40,000 members, all retail merchants, the purpose of which
was to resist by legislation and all lawful means the extension of de-
partment stores, one of which, the Bon March6, had, according to
the statement of its founder, supplanted at the outset and soon ex-
tinguished about 900 small retail shops and stores and now does a
business of 160,000,000 francs ($30,880,000) annually, sufficient to
maintain 1,800 to 2,000 stores of the smaller class.

Under the law enacted by the French Assembly in 1880, the tax
imposed upon establishments of this class was 25 francs ($4.83) for
every employee and one-tenth of the rentable value of the premises
occupied. In 1880, these rates were doubled for all stores in which
the number of employees exceeded 200 and trebled where they were
more than 1,000. Under this amended law, the Bon March6, ac-
cording to the statement of Mr. Brockhausen, pays annually 424,000
francs ($81,832), the Magasins du Louvre 433,000 francs ($83,569),
and the Printemps 117,000 francs ($22,581).

In 1889, the French law was again amended, unfairly, as was
claimed, because it reduced somewhat the proportional tax on the
largest class of department stores, but increased that of the smaller
ones which have less than 200 employees. The question is still an



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596 SPECIAL TAXATION FOR DEPARTMENT STORES.

unsettled one in France, where efforts are being made to increase
the relative taxation of the great department stores of Paris.

In Germany, continued the speaker, the lead in actual legislation
on this subject has been taken by the Kingdom of Saxony, where
the Royal Chamber in 1896 adopted a resolution authorizing an
Umsatzsteuer (tax on annual business) not exceeding 2 per cent of
the gross amount, and giving to municipalities and communes the
right to impose such taxes for the benefit of the local revenues.
Eleven Saxon cities and about twenty smaller towns have availed
themselves of the privilege thus accorded, although in several im-
portant cities — Chemnitz, Stollberg, Frankenberg, and Merane — the
councils have declared against the law as an unjust discrimination
against capital.

In closing his speech, Herr Brockhausen declared that there are
in Prussia 460,000 independent retail dealers who have incomes of
less than 1,500 marks ($350), and are therefore exempt from taxation
on their business; also, 470,000 others whose incomes range from
1,500 to 4,000 marks, and whose invested capital is from 3,000 to
30,000 marks ($414 to $4,140) each. All these men, he declared,
have no representation in the chambers of commerce, which are ruled
by a small minority of capitalists who have no interest in protecting
the small shopkeeper. The speaker therefore demanded some definite
action on the part of the Prussian Government for their protection.

In answer to this appeal, Herr Burghardt, general director of
direct taxation, replied that, while he felt personally great interest
in the subject, the Government sees no effective means of relief
which would not conflict with the higher law of the German Empire.
The Government, he said, could only lighten the burdens of the
smaller business men by recommending for them relief from munic-
ipal taxation and higher taxation for the wealthier and more power-
ful business firms; that the matter belonged primarily to the local
control of cities and communes; and that, while the Government
was not unalterably opposed to the Umsatzsteuer, it was of opinion
that such a tax would be a measure of doubtful efficiency and should
be managed with great caution. A tax the object of which is to re-
strict any business enterprise within certain prescribed limits would
be in any case unlawful and subversive of public interests. Experi-
ence in France had shown that such legislation had thus far proved
practically ineffective; and, notwithstanding the law there had been
first proposed in 1843 and amended successively in 1880, 1889, i^9o>
and 1893, it was still unsatisfactory. The business of the large de-
partment stores increases steadily, and the complaints of the smaller
merchants there are still unappeased.

The last proposition in France had been to increase by 17 per



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SPECIAL TAXATION FOR DEPARTMENT STORES. 597

cent the already high special tax on department stores, but public
opinion had condemned this increase as excessive and the measure
was defeated.

*'I c^an only hope,'* said Mr. Burghardt in conclusion, **that the
communities (/. ^., municipalities) will take this subject in hand, and
I can assure them that the State Government stands ready to assist
them in finding a solution to this important question."

After a lengthy debate, in which several members, including
Herren Darbach and Gothein, took an active-part, Vice-President
von Miquel, secretary of the Prussian Treasury and probably the
ablest statesman of Germany on questions of taxation and revenue,
rose and spoke for the Government. Dr. Miquel stated that he had
listened with great interest to the debate, but regretted that none
of the speakers had presented any practicable solution of the diffi-
cult problem. He continued as follows:

What has been done on this subject in Saxony and Bavaria has hardly passed
the incipient stage of experiment; but, taken in connection with the legislation in
France, it proves that there exists a widespread demand for an enactment that shall
fill a recognized gap in tax legislation, for which no complete answer has thus far
been found. The movement in France has been a social, not a financial, one. Its
aim has been to protect the smaller merchants of cities and towns; but this result
has not been reached, and all the discussions have evolved no real solution of the
trouble.

Meanwhile, great reforms in taxation have been made in Germany. About half
of all mechanics and a great number of small merchants are entirely exempt from
income taxes, which increase progressively upward so as to bear most upon those
best able to pay them. With us the Gewerbesteuer (tax on trade) is no longer a
State, but a local, tax; so that the difilculty of further legislation is much greater
here than in France.

In the second place, legislation in the proposed direction mightvery easily come
into conflict with the laws of the Empire and established business regulations
(Gewerbeordnung).

Thirdly, if we in Prussia should enact a law that would overcome all these
difficulties, we would have to immediately reckon with the competition of other
German states which would adopt a different policy.

For the Imperial Government to undertake to solve this problem would be of
doubtful expediency, since the introduction of direct taxation upon business would
militate against the financial autonomy of the state governments. I think from
all indications the chances of an agreement between the federal states on the ques-
tion of taxation are very remote. We have therefore appealed to the communities
(cities and communes), and we leave this question to them. Several cities have
already introduced such special taxation against large department stores, but we
have as yet no sufficient knowledge of their experience to form any guide for fur-
ther legislation. I personally am of the opinion that existing conditions in the dif-
erent communities are so various, their relations to the great business houses so
different, that the only safe method is to let them decide for themselves what is the
best to be done. It would be extremely difficult to make a General Government law
for large and small cities alike, since the development of business varies radically



Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign CommerceConsular reports, Issues 224-227 → online text (page 71 of 92)