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count of the negotiation of the English and American treaties with that country. His tribute to the energy and address of Mr. HARRIS, the American minister, is interesting. We quote: “ When I went to Japan, in the year 1858, to negotiate a treaty,
I found myself there in a very difficult position. In the first place, I had only a fortnight, and no more-owing to an obligation which I was under to return to China to arrange a tariff with the Chinese commissionersfrom the day of my arrival at Yeddo, to perform the whole business. It is a curious thing, but I am never allowed more than a fortnight for such negotiations. When I went to the United States, in 1854, I was only allowed a single fortnight to negotiate a treaty which has admitted the whole produce of British North America to be brought into competition with the products of the United States in their own markets; and which likewise put an end to the risk of collision on the subject of the fisheries between this country and America, which was the most serious risk which had presented itself during the whole time I have been a public servant. I was in the same position in Japan.
“I found that the American minister, who had been resident for some years in the country, had succeeded in obtaining a treaty which involved a very considerable accession on the part of the Japanese, and was a great advance on the former state of their relations with foreign countries. The Japanese were willing to give me a treaty on the same conditions as they had negotiated with the United States, but they were very unwilling to go beyond the provisions of that treaty. And you will understand that their disinclination was not very unreasonable, when you
reflect that by those treaties we deprive them of the same control over their fiscal affairs which we enjoy in this country. When we want, in this country, to make any alteration in our customs, or any other fiscal matters, we get our Chancellor of the Exchequer to deal with them as Parliament or the nation thinks they require ; but we bind these Oriental nations by treaties which deprive them of any power, whatever exigencies may arise, to impose other duties. It is very desirable, therefore, and it is only fair to them that these treaties should be all as nearly as may be in the same terms; otherwise merchants would go and pick and choose among the articles, and the result would be an amount of confusion which neither the merchants nor the Japanese could disentangle.
“I therefore agreed to accept the American treaty. If you compare my treaty with China, which was my own making, with the treaty with Japan, which was made with the American minister, I think you will perhaps agree with me in liking the Chinese one the best. In framing alterations on the Japanese treaty, I confined myself as much as possible to things which were of the greatest importance; and one thing which I considered to be of the greatest importance was to obtain a lower rate of import duties for articles likely to be in most extensive demand. In the American treaty, I think twenty-five per cent. was the ad valorem duty imposed on all foreign imports; and I knew that if we could induce the Japanese to relax that duty with regard to a few articles of large consumption---the thin end of the wedge having been inserted in that wayin a short time we should, in all cases where we wished it, obtain a five per cent. instead of a twenty-five per cent. ad valorem duty.
Well, we had a great deal of difficulty and discussion about this. I found the Japanese exceedingly intelligent negotiators, very tenacious, and properly so, of their rights. At length I succeeded in inducing them
to agree to an ad valorem duty of five per cent. in the case of cotton and woollen manufactures; but I was quite aware that it was useless to try to obtain any relaxation as to linen manufactures. This was not, however, of very great importance, for at that time I believe linen goods were not at all, or hardly at all, known in that country, But I am happy to say that the principle upon which I went has been entirely justified by the result; because, in one year after that, another knock was given to the wedge, and our linen manufactures were let in at the same rate, I believe I am justified in saying, as wool and cotton. I don't pretend to tell you that there will be a great demand in Japan for linen immediatelywe must create these demands; but the Japanese are a very changeable sort of people, and when they see the admirable specimens of linen manufacture that come from Dunfermline and other towns in this district, I believe they will be fascinated by them, and we shall have a large demand by and by.”
THE CUSTOM-HOUSE REGULATIONS OF RIO JANEIRO.
The London Shipping and Mercantile Gazette complains, and apparently with sufficient cause, of the Custom-House regulations of Rio Janeiro; and as we have considerable trade with Rio, we suppose these regulations are as annoying to our trade as that of Great Britain. The
• By the law of 1836, every shipmaster entering the port of Rio is bound, on penalty of a fine of 100,000 reis in case of neglect or refusal, to enter the Custom-House within twenty-four hours after the Guarda-mor, or chief customs officers, is on board. He is liable to a similar penalty if he remains at his anchorage twenty-four hours after he has got notice from the Guarda-mor to remove, or if he attempt to discharge without an order from the 'inspector,' or if he omit to give notice to the officer attending the discharge of the cargo, when such discharge is completed. By the same law it is rendered imperative on every vessel leaving Rio for Bahia, Pernambuco, Maranham or any other port of the empire, to have two manifests, exact copies of each other, setting forth the name, class and tonnage of the vessel; the name of the captain, whose signature must follow the date; the name of the port or ports for which the vessel is destined ; the marks or counter marks and numbers of the packages, and their description as bales, cases, pipes, half-pipes, barrels, &c.; a declaration of the quantity and quality of the merchandise of each package, or several similar ones of the same mark, and also of what is on board in bulk; the name of the consignees or to order; all to be written in length except the numbers of the packages. The regulations are all independent, of course, of the formalities required for manifests of cargoes in ships clearing for foreign. They are also independent of the various charges for anchorage, lights, port duty, health bills, hospital charges, seals on ship’s papers at the rate of 40 reis (2d.) for ten half sheet. These by no means exhaust the list of charges to which foreign vessels, entering or clearing the port of Rio, are subject by the fiscal regulations of Brazil, but they are sufficient to show the nature of the obstacles with which the foreign trade with that productive country has to contend.
“So serious have the Brazilian Custom-House regulations become, that it has been thought expedient by those interested in the trade with Bra
zil, at Liverpool, to hold a meeting for the purpose of adopting a memorial to the Brazilian government praying for a revision of the system of formalities required for clearances. The proceedings resulted in the appointment of a committee to wait on the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, with the view of eliciting the opinion of that body on the subject, and of taking such steps as might seem most advisable towards procuring the repeal of the regulations in question. How far the efforts of these gentlemen have been successful we are not informed, but it can hardly be that a representation made to the Brazilian minister here, and forwarded to his government,would be entirely disregarded. If, however, the merchants and ship-owners of Liverpool fail to produce the desired effect on the Brazilian government, they should be joined in their representations by those connected with the Brazilian trade in London, and not only in London but in every port in the country which has any trade with Brazil
. We had hoped that the advent to power of a new government at Rio would have been marked by a change in the regulations which have occasioned these remarks, and that we should have heard ere this that the Brazilian Custom-House system, so far as it relates to clearances, would have been revised. In this expectation we have been so far disappointed, but we can hardly believe that the government of Rio will continue to pursue a course which has already had, and must continue to produce, a most injurious effect upon the foreign trade of Brazil.”
Our principal export to Brazil consists of flour, domestics and lumber, all easily described; but when any of our vessels have a general cargo the difficulties complained of by the British are also felt by us; we are, therefore, to a certain extent, a party interested in having them removed. Lately many American vessels have loaded in England for Rio Janeiro, but we suppose their cargoes were coal; nevertheless, everything which impedes commerce we ought to do our part in having removed or modified. We hope our government will call the attention of the Brazilian authorities to the Custom-House regulations of which foreigners have so much cause to complain.
FOREIGN TARIFFS. The Statistical Department of the English Board of Trade has issued a parliamentary paper on the subject of tariffs. It is a return of the new and old rates of duty upon the several articles (so far as the same can be given) levied by the tariffs of foreign countries, in which alterations have been made, and showing the per centage increase or decrease of duties, and the date of their alteration, from the 31st December, 1859, to the 25th February, 1861. The list of countries included in the return are Russia, the Zollverein, France, Spain, Portugal, Cape Verde Islands, Sardinia, Naples, Greece, Morocco, Brazil
, the Argentine Confederation, Venezuela, the Sandwich Islands and China. Upon pig-iron imported into the Grand Duchy of Finland, the reduction has been 82 per cent., viz., from 20s. 1 d. to 1s. 6d. per 33 lbs. Great reductions have taken place in the duties hitherto levied on metals and hardware imported into Naples. On all kinds of old iron the reduction is 89 per cent., or from about 15s. 10d. to ls. 9d. ; on iron wire the reduction is 24 per cent., or from about 7s. 11d. to 6s; on common wrought-iron upwards of 72 per cent., or from about 15s. 10d. to about 4s. 4d. On old tin and tin in blocks the reduction is upwards of 71 per cent., or from £1 4s. 9d. to about
7s., and on wrought-tin the fall is over 72 per cent., viz., from about £3 3s. 7d. to about 17s. 7d. On lead, in pigs, the reduction is 85 per cent., the old duty being 8s. 10d., whilst the new is nearly 1s. 4d., and on wrought-lead the new duty stands at a fraction over 78., whereas the old duty was 17s. 8d., a reduction of 60 per cent.—all in 220•40 lbs. avd. On machinery the new duty is 1 per cent. ad valorem. Under the old duties steam engines for national vessels, and some other machines, might be imported duty free, under permission of the Minister of Finance. Hardwares are reduced from £3 10s. 8d. to £2 4s., or upwards of 37 per cent. in some descriptions, and from £10 12s. to £4 8s. in others, or 584 per cent. per 220:45 lbs. avd. The new import duties adopted by the Brazilian government show that iron, in pig or ingots, has been reduced one-half since the period before the 3d of last November, but on filings the duty has been increased 33 per cent. The duty on pig-iron is about i}, on a little over 32 lbs., and that on filings is a little over 104d. on the same quantity. A very slight reduction has taken place in sewing and packing needles, on the former of which the present duty is about ls. 8fd., and on the latter about 1s. 3 d., on a fraction over 1 lb.; polished spars now pay 6s. 3£d. the dozen pairs; common locks about 2}d.; common buckles nearly 2d. ; steel pens nearly 3s. 2d. ; nails and tacks (common) up to 2 in., about 14d.; above 2 in. somewhat over 14d.; and nails with brass heads nearly 24d., all per about 1 lb. In locks the new rates are an increase of 5 per cent., and in steel pens an increase of 133} per cent. Buckles are a decrease of upwards of 22 per
cent. Nails are an increase ranging from 15 per cent. to 174 per cent. The duty on horse-shoes is now somewhat over 2s. 44d. for somewhat over 324 lbs., or a decrease of 124 per cent. On the same quantity of copper mixed with zinc tinned the present duty is 6s. 9d., a decrease of upwards of 16} per cent. Tin in bars, sheets, &c., and common utensils, the duty now is a little over 1s. 9 d., against the old duty of ls. 8d.; and zinc, in bars, sheets, &c., and common utensils, it is 2s. 3d. against 1s. 8 d., all on the same quantity last mentioned. The cutlery imported into Brazil is charged at per dozen instead of, as before, according to weight. The duty on pen, fruit and garden-knives ranges from about 1s. 1d. to about 8s. itd. per dozen. On scissors the new duty, as compared with the old, is an increase of 211 per cent., the prevailing duty being over 1s. 3d., whilst the former tax was not 5d. In the Argentine Republic the import duty on unworked brass and steel, copper in lumps, or sheets and bars, iron in bars, pigs, or sheets, tin plates and articles of soldered tin, the old duty of 20 per cent. ad valorem is reduced to 5 per cent. ad valorem, a decrease of 75
Works in metal, except gold and silver, are now charged 15 per cent. instead of 20 per cent., or a decrease of 25 per cent. These duties were dated from the 14th of last September. Since the 24th of last October cutlery has gone into China free. Yellow metal sheathing and nails now pay 6s., and Japan copper 4s. per 133} lbs., instead of 10 per cent. ad valorem as before. Iron, manufactured, as in sheets, rods, bars, hoops, the new duty 10d. instead of ls.; unmanufactured, as in pigs, 6d. instead of 8d. ; on iron wire the new duty is 1s. 8d. ; on lead, in pigs, it is 1s. 8d., a decrease of 374 per cent., and in sheets 3s. 8d., an increase of 374 per cent. ; on steel the new duty is 1s. 8d. against 2s. 8d., a decrease of 374 per cent.; but on tin it is 8s. 4d. against 6s. 8d., an increase of 25 per cent. ; and on unenumerated metals the duty is 5 per cent. ad valorem, against 10 per cent. ad valorem, all per 133; Ibs.
JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURE.
BRITISH WOOL. MR. CAIRD, M. P., read at a recent meeting of the Council of the Royal Agricultural Society of England a very interesting paper upon British wool. He remarked that, although there had been an immense increase in the importation from foreign countries and the colonies during the last twenty years, the rearing of sheep for the production of British wool continued to be one of the most profitable branches of our industry. Within the period referred to there had been, no doubt, in the imports from Spain and Germany, a diminution of about 4,000,000 pounds, but at the same time, to compensate for this, there had been an increase from Russia, the Low Countries, Denmark and Portugal, of no less than 20,000,000 pounds. There had been an increase within this period, in round numbers, from Australia, of from 13,000,000 pounds to 54,000,000 pounds; from South Africa, of from 1,000,000 pounds to 14,000,000 pounds; from the East Indies, of from 4,000,000 pounds to 14,000,000 pounds. At home, the increase in the amount of wool produced was equally remarkable. In 1842 the home-grown wool did not exceed 100,000,000 pounds. It now amounted to 120,000,000 pounds. There had been, in short, an augmented supply of wool to the extent of nearly seventy-five per cent. It had not been followed by any diminution of price to the home producer. Now, the countries in which the production of wool is likely to increase most rapidly, viz., Australia, the East Indies, South Africa and South America, are all unsuitable to the production of the lustrous long wools, for which there is a great demand. The British islands supply this wool in the greatest quantity. They may be almost said to have a monopoly of it, and there are no countries which can enter into competition with them. Mr. Caird is, therefore, of opinion that the British wool-grower should develop its production as much as possible, and he thinks the supply may be increased by good farming and liberal feeding. The best cross that could at present be adopted on suitable soils would, he adds, be obtained by using the improved Lincoln or Leicester ram, in which the desirable qualities of length, lustre, strength and fineness of wool seemed to be best combined.
FRENCH BEET-ROOT SUGAR. According to an official return just published in France, concerning the manufacture of beet-root sugar from the commencement of the season 1860–61 to the end of the month of April, it appears that the number of establishments in activity were 334, being four more than in the corresponding period of the preceding year. The number of manufactories not at work, but having sugar still in stock, had diminished from twentyfour to fifteen. The quantity made was 97,900,000 kilogrammes, being 27,000,000 less than in the corresponding period of 1860. The quantity delivered for consumption had increased from 6,000,000 to 18,500,000 kilogrammes.