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the treaty, alluding to the customs, were twisted round and made to bear on the subject of proclamation. For instance, one rule stated that by treaty (sic) foreigners, as well as natives, were subject to lekin. Again, another notified that twice a month the lekin officers would inspect foreign godowns,' and by checking the contents with the customs statement the difference would show wbat goods ought to have paid lekin,' &c. This was stated to be an exact copy of the regulations in force at Ningpo. The Chinese immediately combined to resist the extortion, with the result of quite stagnating trade. Orders were sent to Shangbai to stop shipments. This last has had the effect of depriving us of our usual steamer. The native merchants further threatened to close their places, and in the end so intimidated the Taotai that the proclamations were withdrawn and modifications promised. The merchants are not quite satisfied yet; but in escaping this Scylla I fear foreigners are threatened with a Charybdis. The 'Ningpo lekin guild'have, of course, suffered severely by the opening of this port, and they are afraid that they may not realize even the comparatively small amount they pay for farming the tax. They are, therefore, making great efforts to persuade one or two of the leading merchants here to join them in farming the lekin at Wenchow. Now, it will be remembered that at Ningpo they were quietly allowed to do this. They acquired the right to levy for a comparatively small payment, and forming a guild of all the native importers, the amount was readily made up by the imposition of a very low rate. But the moment an unhappy foreigner dared to import a bale, he was taxed by these conspirators to the full theoretical amount, and not one step could his goods go until this was paid. “This cannot be,' will exclaim those learned in treaty rights; but alas, it is too true, as many a man reduced from comparative afiluence to the verge of ruin can testify. Strange to say, also, so great was the lethargy exhibited at the outset by tbose deeply concerned, that no struggle was made, not even an official protest filed. When too late, and the daring fraud had got a firm footing, there arose lamentations and whines; but even then, when urged to make an effort, the reply came sobbingly but decidedly, "No, the trade has passed into native hands; their guild is too strong; it is not worth while trying pow. Well, this is what the Ningpo men (and, it is said, at the bead, the lekin oficial bimself one of them) are trying to effect here."
LEKIN REGULATIONS FOR THE WENCHOW DISTRICT.
The following are the rules referred to: 1. European, Japanese, Canton, Szechuen, Hankow, and Foo-Chow products inported by steamers, sailing-vessels, Canton lorchas, papicos, and all craft baving foreign sailing-papers will be taxed at this office in accordance with established regulations.
2. A memorandum of goods imported by foreigp firms, which should give particulars similar to those furnished to the customs, must be supplied to this office, and on sales taking place, the firm concerned must, in accordance with the law which prescribes payment of local dues by native merchants, direct the purchaser to proceed and pay lekin, after which the produce may be delivered. Should underband dealings, or attempts at smuggling be attempted, detection will result in a tine, already defined by regulation, of triple the amount of lekin leviable.
3. Goods purchased from foreign firms by native brokers for transport inland, either by land or water route, will be examined by all branch lekin offices, the persons in charge of which will call for, and examine, the lekin receipts issued by this office. Should no receipts be forthcoming, the goods concerned will be detained pending report to this office and decision as to the fine to be inflicted.
4. When proffering payment of lekin, the goods concerned should be submitted for examination, and if packages, weight, &c., agree, the goods will be stamped and released. Should the goods concerned be numerous or bulky, on application to that effect being made, an officer will be deputed to proceed to examine the parcels on the spot, to the prevention of underhand doings.
5. In the case of exports (excepting tea and silk, which will be dealt with separately), all goods will be taxed to the extent of three-tenths of the (customs) tariff rate. Goods owned by foreign hongs are exempt from impost, but acts of collusion (with natives) will, on detection, result in the infliction of a fine.
6. Native merchants purchasing goods from foreign firms for transport to the interior must, in the first instance, tender payment of import lekin, after which they may take delivery. On goods destined for the interior under transit pass, and not for storage in the port, all local duties must be paid in full, on which this office will issue passes under which the goods may be forwarded in installments, and without liability at the last barrier reached. As to (Chinese owned) native produce, it has not, to date, been permuissible to convey the same under transit pass; therefore lekin, as per tariff, is payé ble thereon. Attempted frauds in connection with this produce will be treated as acts of smuggling.
7. As to goods of all description stored in foreign hongs, it is provided by treaty that the lekin officials may, at convenience, devise measures for the prevention of smuggling and other malpractices; with this intent, therefore, this office will appoint an officer to make monthly inspection, and take note of unsold stock. (This action is provided for by article 46 of the treaty.)
8. Native merchants, when paying lekin, and obtaining passes, must make careful note as to the city, street, &c., for wbich the goods are destined; also, furnish particulars of the water-route to be traversed in the event of goods being forwarded by water, in order that full inspection may be made, and acts of smuggling be prevented.
9. If it be sought to re-export goods imported by foreign firms on the score of their being unsuited to the market, lekin thereon will be remitted, if on examination at the customs it is proved that they remain as intact as when imported. (Article 45 of the treaty provides for this treatment.)
10. Recent regulations provide that within foreign settlements foreign products are exempt from lekin; but that beyond settlement limits lekin is leviable on foreign and native produce alike. Pending the fixing of settlement boundaries, the regulations hitherto in force affecting lekin levies will be enforced.
11. The settlement boundaries once determined on, this office will take cognizance of native produce, the property of Chinese merchants found therein, this measure constituting a simple control over native merchandise by the local authorities. Should there be connivance with foreign firms in respect to ownership, or should the latter extend protection with a view to frauds on the lekin revenue, detection will result in the contiscation of the goods concerned, and the consul to which the foreign firm is amenable being called on to levy a fine, to the end that treaty stipulations be upheld. (Vide article 48 of treaty.)
The above rules, based on those in force at Ningpo, have been drawn up to meet the circuinstances of the occasion. They are in accord with, and, in a measure, explanatory of, treaty stipulations, and are put forth in a spirit of equity in the general interest of the lekin revenue.
REGULATIONS RESPECTING OPIUM.
1. Lehin on opium in the Wenchow district will be collected in accordance with the Ningpo system, viz, at the rate of 40 taels per chest, 40 balls constituting a chest of Patna, and 100 caddies one of Malwa.
2. On opium being imported, it will be examined by the customs and deposited in foreign godowns ander bond, report of the amount arriving being made to this office. On sales being inade, the purchaser is to be directed to pay lekin and obtain the stamped release-slips supplied by this office; after which the drug may be delivered. Cases of sinuggling will be visited by a fine of 1,000 taels for each parcel smuggled.
3. As regards the opium lekin, it is customary at Ningpo (owing to a mutual agreement existing among foreign firms) for them to pay the lekin; bence, from the levy of 40 taels the sum of 5 taels is refunded to the compradore of the firm concerned, and i tael is paid to the native broker, a sum of 34 taels accruing to the lekin office.
Foreign firms in Wenchow not having arranged for making payment in the matter just described, there is no necessity, at present, for making the refunds mentioned. So soon as foreign firms have come to an understanding on the question, the allowance will be made in due course, and at the same time more detailed measures for exercising control over operations will be promulgated.
There is yet neither American citizens nor American trade at Wenchow; and we have vo cousular officer there. It is to be hoped, however, that our people and trade will soon drift in that direction.
EDWARD C. LORD.
Statement shouing the commerce al Wenchow* for the quarler ending June 30, 1877.
Woolen and cotton mixtures.. Metals :
Do. Do. Do. Do. Do, Do.
61 4, 390 200
.do.. ..pieces.. .piculs..
.do... pieces.. piculs.. .piculs..
do.... .do... ..do
- galls.. ..piculs..
.do.. .do.... .do... .do.... .do...
.do... -pieces.. .picals..
Do. Do. Do. Do. Do. Do. Do. Do. Do. Do. Do. Do, Do. Do. Do. Do. Do. Do. Do. Do. Do. Do. Do. Do. Do. Do.
* The port of Wenebow being only opened to foreign trade on the 1st of April, this and the two suc C-eding tables are for the qnarter ending June 30, 1877.
Value entered, and annount of duties collected, unknown.
Statement showing the commerce at Wenchow, fe.-Continued.
Statement showing the navigation at the port of Wenchow for the quarter ending June 30, 1877.
NOTE BY THE CONSUL.-The new port of Wenchow was open to foreign trade on the 1st of April last. The shipping, therefore, exhibited in the above table relating to that port is for a single quarter. But, even bearing this in mind, the amount of shipping may seem very small. It is, however, larger than that of any other of the new ports except Wuhu, which, being in the way of the steamers runding between Shanghai and Hankow, has, of course, a call from most of them. The real trade, however even of this port, as exhibited in the customs returns, hardly equals that of Wenchow. Whether the trade, and therefore the shipping, of this new port is likely to increase, and, if so, to what extent, it is yet too early to say.
COLOMBIA, UNITED STATES OF.
SEPTEMBER 30, 1877. (Received October 13.) At the close of another year it becomes my duty to render to the department a tabulated statement of the commerce and navigation of the port of Panama for the year ending the 30th of September, 1877.
TRADE WITH EUROPE AND THE UNITED STATES.
The commercial status of Panama, I am sorry to state, has not im. proved any during the past year, although the increased traffic and transportation across the Panama Railroad might justify one in saying that the contrary was the fact. A much larger amount of the industrial products of Central America has been transported to Colon than hereto. fore, yet but comparatively little of it has reached the United States. Europe, and especially England, as heretofore, has obtained the lion's sbare of nearly every product of South America.
EFFECTS OF THE LATE CIVIL WAR.
The civil war which bas unhappily raged in Colombia for the last two years has come to an end, and peace once more reigns in all the States of this republic.
The United States of Colombia were in a state of rapid progress and improvement till, unfortunately, the mad ambition of her sons involved her in the demoralizing and destructive ravages of internal discord. She will, for years to come, deplore in sackcloth and ashes this madness.
BUSINESS AND EDUCATION. The business of Panama is now at its lowest ebb, and there is not much prospect in the immediate future of much improvement. The educational interests of Panama, under the immediate supervision of Hon. Mansol J. Hurtado, superintendent of public instruction, are by no means neglected, but are in a flourishing condition.
ARTICLES OF EXPORT.
The exports of rubber from this State have nearly ceased. Many invoices, however, are received from the neighboring ports of South and Central America.
The exports of ivory-nuts for the last year have increased very much. Hides and valuable woods are still freely exported. The most of the coffee from Central America and South America go from the isthmus in English bottoms to Europe.
WARNING TO AMERICAN MINERS.
In many portions of this State we have gold mining companies at work searching for the precious metals, but in nearly every case the