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Report by Consul Whitney on the commerce of Tamatave for the year 1883. .

I inclose to you, herewith, the return of trade between the United States and this port, and also the return of navigation for the year ending December 31, 1883.

The return of trade shows that the imports amounted to $299,754.44, and the exports to $165,694.15.

Of the imports, $224,808.84 were by American houses established here, and $74,945.60 by a German bouse. Of the exports, $102,606.83 were by American houses, and $63,087.32 by a French house.

The return, as compared with those of the years 1879 to 1882, shows a great falling off in the trade between the United States and this port. This falling off was occasioned by war that opened between France and Madagascar in June last. That war continues, with no indications of a speedy termination, hence the prospect for trade during the coming year is bad.

The returns for the year from the consular agencies at Majunga and Andakebé have not, as yet, been received at this consulate, and as opportunities of communication between those points and Tamatave are few, on account of the war, the probability is that they will not be received for some time. Majunga, however, has been occupied by French forces since June, as has also Tamatave, and it is known at this consulate that trade on that account has been affected in as bad a way at that point as at this. The trade between the United States and Audakabé never amounted to much, and, so far as is known here, it is not likely to increase soon.

The return of navigation shows the total of arrivals and departures of vessels of all nationalities for the year to have been 96 (49 arrivals, 47 departures), of which 7 were American (sail), 3,877 tons; 14 were British (6 steamers, 8 sail), 4,352 tons; 18 were French (7 steamers, 11 sail), 6,361 tons; 9'were German (1 steamer, 8 sail), 3,788 tons; and 1 was Norwegian (sail), 427 tons.

The return does not include the arrivals and departures of small coasting vessels, of which class there are 6 British, aggregating 106 tons, and 3 French, aggregating 58 tons, which run constantly between Tamatave and northern ports. Neither does it include the arrivals and departares of the French mail steamer Argo, which runs between the French isl; ands of Réunion and Mayotté, touching at Tamatave, St. Mary, and Nossi-bé en route. This steamer calls here bi-monthly, bringing about 50 tons of general merchandise and taking away India rubber and hides for Europe and the United States and general cargo for Réunion and Mauritius to the total amount of about 40 tons.


Vice-Consul, Acting Consul. UNITED STATES CONSULATE,

Tamatave, January 15, 1884.

Statement showing the imports and exports between Tamatare and the United States for the

year 1853.

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Statement showing the narigation at the port of Tamatave for the year ending December 31,


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Report by Consul Prentis on the trade and commerce of Mauritius for the

year 1883.

In transmitting the trade and shipping report of this island for the year ended December 31, 1882, whilst noting everything that will be useful to the mercantile community of the United States, I shall as far as possible avoid a repetition of what has been written in former reports. Thus in my report dated July 10, 1881, which covered the transactions of 1879,* I gave in detail the amount of every item imported into or exported from the colony, and enumerated the countries from whence they came or to which they were sent. This would give a tolerably cor

* Published in Commercial Relations for the years 1880 and 1831.

rect idea of the trade relations of the island, and as these have not materially altered, it is unnecessary to repeat the figures. The distribution there shown will serve as a key to the statements which follow. It will be also observed that by keeping back my report for a month or two, so as to give time for the publication of last year's Blue Book, I am enabled to give last year's statistics instead of those of 1881.


Turning to imports I find the amount put down at 28,114,386 rupees, which includes 416,427 rupees in specie. Actually, however, it is much greater, for it is quite clear that 10 rupees do pot represent one pound sterling, when the exchanges are 22 per cent. against the colony. An addition of one-third would bring the figures nearer the mark, though even·then the sum total, namely, 37,485,818 rupees, would not repre. sent the entire cost of imports, with exchanges and freights added. Taking the figures as they stand in the Blue Book, however, I find the United Kingdom credited with 7,331,427 rupees, continental India with 9,107,008 rupees, the remaining British colonial possessions with 2,811,616 rupees, and foreign countries with 8,861,333 rupees. Of this sum France takes 5,558,778 rupees, while no more than 16,411 rupees falls to the share of the United States; of which snm 14,863 rupees were paid for petroleum oil, leaving no more than 1,548 rupees to be distributed amongst our other products. Even in the matter of petroleum we are closely run by India, which country is credited with 12,524 rupees for that indispensable article. As a curiosity in fiscal matters, I may mention that exactly one liter of petroleum is credited to France, the value of which was 0.18 rupee, and the duty levied upon it was 0.01 rupee. The 9,107,008 rupees credited to India were almost exclusively paid for grain, principally rice, the consumption of which exceeds 2,400 bags per day. The importation of animals was below the average; there were only 410 horses imported against 865 in 1879, and 785 mules against 2,138 during the same year. On the other hand, 10,492 oxen were imported in 1882 against 7,004 in 1879.


I find the exports set down at 39,973,440 rupees, inclusive of 668,907 rupees of specie; of this sum 36,576,787 rtupees was the produce of the colony, leaving 3,396,653 rupees to represent the re-exports of foreign produce, in which item have to be included the gold and silver sent away. The distribution is as follows: The United Kingdom, 5,299,012 rupees; foreign countries, 4,550,167 rupees; and British colonial possessions, 30,124,261 rupees. Australia is the best customer of Mauritius, and is debited with 18,052,615 rupees; continental India figures next, with 7,931,472 rupees; and the Cape colonies third, with 3,768,981 rupees. A comparison of the two sets of figures is interesting For instance, Australasia had to remit 16,443,581 rupees to balance her account; the Cape colonies sent 3,216,097 rupees; France had to receive 4,842,227 rupees, whilst the United Kingdom only got 2,032,425 rupees. On the other hand, the United States had to remit Mauritius 905,963 rupees to balance their account. This shows that there must be a screw loose somewhere.

Adding the two sets of figures together, we arrive at the sum total of 68,087,826 rupees. But that does not represent the total trade of the island. We have to take into account the exchanges, freights, shipping,

and other charges incidental to the importation of goods until they reach the custom-house. And if we do that the total trade of the island cannot be less than 79,946,880 rupees, by no means a low figure for a population so largely composed of Asiatics.


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The revenues of 1882 amounted to 9,551,635.50 rupees, and the expenditure to 8,280,107.83 rupees. Nearly one-third, or 2,720,347.63 rupees, was collected at the custom-house; and the other large item, 2,380,999.61 rupees, is derived from excise, the very large sum of 1,616,625.39 rupees being duty on home-distilled rum, a pernicious beverage chiefly consumed by the lower classes. The remainder is made up of 1,609,137.32 rupees, railway traffic and miscellaneous receipts.


The number of ships entered inwards was 614, with an aggregate of 274,702 tons and 10,665 men. Of those, 87 entered in ballast. Of those bringing cargoes, 313 were British, against 214 sailing under foreign flags. Only two vessels arrived with cargoes from the United States. There were 44 arrivals with cargoes from the United Kingdom, 48 from Australasia, 40 from the Cape colonies, 73 from India, 34 (small craft) from dependencies of Mauritius, 11 from Seychelles, 15 from Singapore, 1

1 from France, 4 from Johanna, 27 from Madagascar (chiefly with oxen), 5 from Réunion, 1 each from Manila, Muscat, the Philippines, and Sam. bacoa, 4 from Pondicherry, 1 from the Argentine Confederation, and 2 from the United States. These were all under the British flag. The number of vessels sailing under the flag of the United States entered and cleared during the year was 3, with a total tonnage of 1,610.90 tons.

The vessels sailing during the year were nearly the same in number as the arrivals ; 611 went out of port—124 in ballast and 487 laden. Of these 362 sailed under the British flag. Eight cargoes went to the United States, 4 in British and 4 in foreign bottoms. The total number of vessels cleared was 611, with an aggregate of 285,869 tons and 10,824 men.


The following figures will give an idea of the rates of exchange during the year 1881, taking London as the center operated upon, and bills payable 90 days after sight as the documents dealt with:

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And the rates for 1882 have not materially varied from the above fig. ures.

COIN IN CIRCULATION. The following is the amount of coined money held by the government and the banks, and estimated to be in the bands of the public on December 31, 1882:

Rupees. In the vault of the commissioners of currency.

2, 192,500.00 In the treasury

5, 660.00 Banks : Commercial Bank

1,945, 431.33 Oriental Bank

532, 092. 70 Franco-Egyptian Bank.

196, 232. 68 Supposed to be in the hands of the public...

3,700,000.00 Total ...

8, 571, 916. 71 Of the last-mentioned sum a large proportion is believed to be hoarded and concealed by Indians.


Amount of paper currency in circulation on December 31 last:

8. d. 518 15 9

Government notes of 5 and 10 rupees, of the issue of 1849...
Government notes of 10 shillings, 1 pound, and 5 pounds, of the issue of


4, 304 00


4, 822 15 9

These notes have to be returned in sterling money:

Government notes of 5, 10, and 50 rupese of the issue of 1876.......

Rupees. 3,742, 410.00

Of which there were:

In the Commercial Bank
In the Oriental Bank
In the Franco-Egyptian Bank

435, 125, 00 640, 245. 00 85, 955. 00

New currency notes in the hands of the public....

1, 161,325.00 -2,581, 085, 00

3,742, 410.00 I should mention that no local bank can issue paper money. That is a privilege the government keeps in its own hands. The above-mentioned 3,742,410 rupees is therefore government paper, and represents specie held and invested somewhere.

Rupees. Thus the commissioners of currency hold ....

2, 198, 100.00 They have invested in EnglandIn new 3 per cent. consols...

453, 289, 78 In 3 per cent. consols

466, 231. 74 In 4 per cent. railway debentures.

894, 443. 94 In 3 per cent. consols, depreciated fund

69,592, 01 In the hands of crown agents

17, 141, 13

Balance in favor of commissioners...

4,098,798. 60

356, 388. 60

3, 742, 410.00 It will be seen that our trade with Mauritius is no further advanced than it was in 1879, when I offered a few remarks upon the subject. By

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