Sivut kuvina

travelling. The Consul could not undertake the charge of such lads, but would do his best to advise them.

heavy yarns, and £11 on fine yarns from No. 21 upwards. The efforts of British spinners, therefore, must be devoted to maintaining their present hold on the market until this decision has been come to; to do this and increase the trade in the future, a most careful attention to all goods shipped is necessary, so as to ensure the greatest regularity possible in all respects.” British makers maintain their supremacy in cotton-spinning machinery; flour-miil machinery, at one time entirely in British hands, seems to be passing into those of Continental makers. German and Norwegian vessels are pushing out British craft from the fruit-carrying trade. “I have asked several fruit shippers in this district the reason why they have now so many foreign ships chartered, and they have all told me that it is becoming increasingly difficult to meet with British steamers, which, in point of size and speed, are adapted to the requirements of their trade. The tendency in England seems to be to build large boats, which are for many reasons quite unsuitable for fruitcarriers."

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Corunna. Report for 1897, by Mr. Consul G. A. P. Talbot. —The Report calls attention to the minerals that abound in Galicia, Asturias and Leon, provinces which only want exploring by capitalists. “On account of the nature of the country and other causes, ordinary business and trade in this part of Spain is comparatively of little importance, and there are very few, if any, industries which offer any inducements for the employment of British capital. But I believe, if British capitalists were to make serious and exhaustive inquiries, with a determination, if satisfactory, to carry out the business, that money could be made in the mining and coal industries. As I mentioned in my Report last year, foreigners are more alive to the advantages to be obtained from the minerals, &c., in these districts than the English. German, French, and Belgian firms have been making investigations, and having during the last year purchased some properties, are already working them and shipping the produce. In this immediate district there are good iron mines yielding from 52 per cent. to 62 per cent. of metallic iron, with from 1 per cent. to 1.20 per cent. of phosphorus; asbestos, copper, iron pyrites yielding from 24 to 8 per cent. copper, carbonate of copper, silver-lead, antimony, zinc, plumbago, and auriferous arsenical pyrites also exist. I understand that every facility exists for working these minerals, especially the iron, ample waterpower, abundance of timber, and cheap Tabour. As I have mentioned in previous reports, the district of Corunna abounds in lodes of auriferous pyrites. These lodes are true fissure veins with well-defined walls, and measure from 5 to 12 feet in width, and many of them can be traced from their outcrops for a distance of over half-a-mile. They lie as a rule in the zone of the granite or gneiss and slate formation. Assays of surface samples have given from 3 to 9 dwts. of gold to the ton, and those from pits and excavations from 15 dwts. to 1 oz. The general composition of the ore by analysis appears to be about as follows:–Iron, 30 per cent.; arsenic, 35 to 50 per cent. ; sulphur, 17 per cent. ; gold, 1 to 16 dwts.; silver, 1 to 11 ozs.

A syndicate has been formed in Corunna, called the Anglo-Spanish Mining Syndicate, for the purpose of opening and developing mining properties in this and surrounding districts.”

Bilbao and District. Report for 1897, by Mr. Consul Smith.—Notwithstanding in. creasing prosperity of the Bilbao mineral proprietors the exportation of minerals has slightly decreased. Of the total of 4.710 millions of English tons of ore the United Kingdom took 3.207 millions. From other ports in the provinces the United Kingdom took 680,248 tons of total 787,704. Concerning ironmongery, &c. imports the market prefers German goods, because of their cheapness, and the care taken by the Germans to satisfy local needs. “ The head of a large establishment tells me that he gets the strongest sort of kitchen utensils from Belgium, where they are made a little more common but cheaper than in England ; other kitchen utensils from Germany, whence also he obtains locks, padlocks, cutlery-in a word, all sorts of ironmongery. Carpenters' tools come partly from England, but are preferred from France, on account of slight differences in make. Files come from England, but the United States are competing. Brushes come from France and Germany. He likes doing business with Germans for various reasons. Their goods come better and more invitingly packed, and so make a better display in the shop. He spoke of one English house that made a charge of 1 per cent. for correspondence. English houses charge more for packing jhan German houses. The charges at Liverpool are higher than at Hamburg ; and, lastly, German houses give six months' credit, while English houses only give three months, which, of course, means an extra discount to those who are willing to pay at once."

The few representatives of British firms are of German nationality—“ a danger to British trade.” Yet for £30, including travel, board, language, and tuition, a lad could be sent for a four months' stay in the country and be fitted for commercial


Report on Trade of Spain for 1897, by Mr. H. W. B. Harrison, Commercial Attaché.—Trade was depressed.

“ Manufacturers, merchants, and workmen all suffer directly from the troubles of their country, and the accumulation of misfortunes exercises its natural influence on commerce.” The grand total (exclusive of precious metals) for 1896 was £62,760,000 imports £29,624,000, and exports £23,136,000.

From France the imports were £6,588,000, and exports to that country £9,332,000. From Great Britain the imports were £9,092,000, and exports £8,932,000. Great Britain and France hold nearly half the entire commerce of Spain. The total value of the mining products for 1896 was £4,328,865. In examining the origin and destination of the 12,600,000 tons of exports and imports, which formed the shipping in Spain during the year 1896, it will be seen that Great Britain again holds the first place, with 60 per cent. of the total tonnage. France follows next with 12 per cent., Holland with 9 per cent., then the United States, Belgium, Russia, Cuba, Italy, &c.

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Stockholm and Eastern Coast. Report for 1897, by Mr. Consul M. S. Constable. -The feature of this Report is the comparison given of the relative positions of German and British trade. Figures are given which show that whereas within the last 20 years Germany's export trade with Sweden has increased from 22 per cent. of the total export trade of all countries combined up to 32:80 per cent., that of Great Britain has fallen off within the same period from 28.76 per cent. to 27:58 per cent. And whereas during the five-year period 1876–1880 Germany was nearly 7 per cent. behind Great Britain in percentage of exports, she now stands more than 5 per cent. above her. With regard to Sweden's export trade to foreign countries the figures are in no degree more satisfactory, for during the period 1876–80 Great Britain took 51.98 per cent. of Sweden's total exports, but now only takes 42:33 per cent.; while Germany, Denmark, and Norway have progressively taken larger proportions. “It is clear that Great Britain has been losing ground in the Swedish markets, and this has especially been the case since 1887, the year in which the existing protective system came into force. German competition and the new tariff are doubtless together responsible for the comparatively unsatisfactory condition of England's export trade to Sweden. The keenness of German competition is, moreover, especially demonstrated by the fact that in many important articles of commerce the high tariff seems to have had much less effect in keeping out Germany's products than those of Great Britain. Thus in 1886 the value of the woollen goods imported into Sweden from Great Britain estimated at £227,371, but the value of the same class of goods for 1896 was only

£111,218, less than half. Germany's export to Sweden of woollen goods in 1886 was valued at £418,741, but in 1896 it had advanced, notwithstanding the tariff, to £555,527. Other important commodities in which Great Britain has lost ground since 1886 are raw cotton, the value of which taken by Sweden has fallen off from £412,663 in 1886 to £221,638; bacon from £170,602 to £73,745; cotton goods from £128,432 to £118,357 ; rails from £162,399 to £159,017. The one important article of import from Great Britain which shows a very marked increase is coal, which is now taken in more than double the quantity since 1886. The native snpply of coal is limited to about 250,000 tons annually, so this doubling of the importation from England is a good index of recent rapid development of Swedish home industries. Some of the more important articles of export to Sweden in which Germany has advanced during the 10 years' period 1886–96, are tools and machinery (more than double in value), wheat and textiles of every kind. The methods which Germany has employed to push forward her commerce with Sweden are the same which have served her so well elsewhere. Considered as a whole, the products sent out by manufacturers of Germany to foreign countries are cheaper than those of Great Britain, and being so they are often intrinsically better suited for such a market as that offered by Sweden, a country of comparatively small purchasing power. But in addition these products are most admirably recommended to Swedish buyers by the well-trained staff of commercial travellers which German exporters employ to represent them. The efficiency of the work done for German firms by their commercialtravellers is especiallyexemplified by their activity in Sweden. Probably ten German commercial travellers visit Stockholm for every one British, and yet the market is not a rich one, and the tax on commercial travellers is very high (£5 11s. per calendar month). But German merchants nevertheless evidently find the advantage in using so extensively as they do this expensive method of pushing their sales. German travellers, I am informed, are often entrusted with fuller powers to transact business and conclude bargains on behalf of their employers than is customary for English travellers to hold. They also often give exceptionally easy terms as regards credit."


TAGANROG. (See Russia.)





TONGA (Western Pacific),

Report for 1897, by Mr. Vice-Consul Leefe.—Total imports £74,561, a decrease of £16,353; exports £64,891, a decrease of £29,506. Nothing but the cheapest goods can find a market, and the British manufacturer is being supplanted by the German and the French. “ To the shame of the British manufacturer be it said that no traveller from Great Britain has been to Tonga in the past eleven years."



decline of the British trade became more rapid after the establishment of the “Prince Line” fortnightly service from Antwerp to the Syrian coast. Traders had formerly to rely on British iron, as the Moss, Papayanni, and Leyland's steamers had no communication with Belgium. The introduction of Belgian iron and goods began in 1890, when steamers bringing rails and railway material for the BeirutDamascus-Hauran railroad had to complete their cargoes with various Belgian goods shipped at cheap rates. Until then Belgian iron came by the Messageries Line, paying a freight of 20s. per ton, and 10 per cent. primage. The “Prince Line” when started in 1894 charged only 10s. freight on Belgian iron, but the rate is now raised to an average of 13s. 6d. per ton. The f.o.b. prices of British and Belgian iron areBritish, £5 17s. 6d., and Belgian, £5 5s. Although the trade of Belgium with this country does not figure high in the returns, it has nevertheless expanded during the last ten years, more than that of any foreign country.” In woollens Great Britain is encountering severe competition from Germany and Italy.




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Angora and District. Report for 1897, by Mr. Consul Shipley.-Out of a total import trade of £459,473, the share of Great Britain was £136,863, Austria coming second, Germany third, and France fourth. In cotton goods England enjoys a monopoly. “In woollen, silk, and mixed goods, German competition is rapidly making itself felt, for although in the year 1897 the English import was still slightly superior to that from Germany, being some £27,000, as against £26,000 from the latter country, the figures in 1896 were £23,800 and £17,473 respectively. In that year, moreover, the English import was nearly one-half of the whole, while in 1897 it was only slightly over one-third. The reason of this, I am told, is that German goods have of late been very actively pushed, and though they are not of such good quality as those from England, they are of taking appearance, and are considerably lower in price.'

Syria (Beirut and the coast of). Report for 1897, by Mr. Consul-General Drummond-Hay.-An average year, trade resuming its normal

after the Armenian agitations. Two-thirds of the total imports were British-largely Manchester cottons and woollens, “which are beyond competition.” Iron, which was one of the principal articles of British produce imported to Syria, is now superseded by Belgian iron, which during the past ten years has gradually usurped the British trade in this article, and reduced it to a few tons imported last year against hundreds of tons of Belgian manufacture. Only 50 tons of British iron were imported in 1897, against 1,300 tons of Belgium. “ The price paid at Beirut for a ton of English iron is £6 12s. 6d. to £8 5s., Belgian £5 5s. to £6 10s., and Swedish iron £10 to £10 10s. There was a slight increase in prices of iron, on account of a rise in prices of charcoal in Sweden, and of labour in Belgium, This






YÜNNAN (South-Western). (See CHINA.)


Report for 1897, by Mr. Consul Cave.Total imports £1,399,078, the highest on record. Among European countries the first place is taken by Great Britain, whose export trade with Zanzibar has exhibited a marked upward tendency during the period under review, the actual figures being £159,894 in 1897, as against £118,022 in 1896, an increase of £41,872. This upward movement is shared to a greater or less extent by all the commodities imp from Great Britain, but the most noticeable advances have been in coal and piecegoods, which have risen from £51,414 to £69,842, and from £25,411 to £41,867 respectively. But an unusual amount of coal was required by Her Majesty's warvessels. Germany comes next in order on the list of foreign countries, and has exported goods to the value of £91,726, a sum which, though £68,168 less than the total credited to Great Britain, represents an advance of £27,129 on the corresponding figures for the previous year. If the item of coal were to be omitted from the calculation, it would be found that the manufactured articles from Germany were slightly in excess of those coming from the United Kingdom. The market is essentially a cheap one, and Great Britain, with the notable exception of piece-goods, has lost some ground by inattention to detail and want of advertisement. On the subject of the piece-goods trade, the Report says: “The value of the piece-goods brought into Zanzibar in 1897 was three times as great as that of any other article, and constituted

one-fourth of the entire import trade. The countries which ship this class of goods to Zanzibar are British India, Holland, Great Britain, and Germany in the order named, and in 1897 British India, in spite of a partial decrease in the trade on account of plague, supplied half of the entire quantity imported. India's loss appears to have been England's gain, so nearly do the figures of the two correspond; but whether the advance made by the latter country is on that account only temporary or is really a sign that the British manufacturer has succeeded in producing an article which can compete, in the native estimation, with those which have for so long been almost a monopoly of his foreign rivals, is a point which cannot as yet be determined; it is certain, at any rate, that whatever the reason may be, some portion of this particular trade has been diverted from other countries to the United Kingdom, and it is to be hoped that having once got it she will not allow it to again slip through her fingers.”



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