« AnteriorContinuar »
of this improvement of the channel we are able to ship corn at 9 pence where we formerly had to pay 12 pence, and there have been cargoes taken as low as 7 pence, and we are shipping cotton as low as a farthing, which is the New York rate.
Mr. THOMPSON. To what point are you shipping ?
Mr. BUSSEY. To Liverpool, Havre, and other foreign ports. I said at the outset that I represented a State whose interest in one respect was different from that of any other State; I refer to the production of sugar; and I want to show you how that production is of service to the whole country. In Louisiana we have 5,000,000 acres of land capable of producing sugar. Two years ago there were 105,000 acres of land under cultivation, which produced 192,000,000 pounds of sugar, besides producing 8,114 gallons of molasses to the acre. The United States consumes between fourteen and fifteen hundred million pounds of sugar; so that Louisiana produces about one-seventh of the total amount of sugar consumed in this country, and the balance we buy from Cuba and South America, and pay for it in gold. Now, if our sugar interest is protected and inc eased until we are in the same position in which the Cuban planters are, with our plantations and machinery all paid for and capital accumulating, then we will be able to compete with Cuba without assistance, and our sugar production can be increased until the whole demand of the people of the United States can be supplied at home. And by increasing the sugar production, we make a home market for the products of other parts of the country, breadstuffs, clothing, &c.; because all these commodities, even the mules that draw the plows for this vast body of labor on the sugar plantations, are produced outside of Louisiana.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you ask for additional protection on sugar!
Mr. Bussey. I call the attention of the committee to these facts, so that the tariff on sugаr may be maintained, and that it may be maintained equitably, and that there may not be too large a proportion of the tariff put upon sugars that do not interest the man who produces it from the soil.
The CHAIRMAN. You are aware, I suppose, that the committee of Louisiana planters that came to Washington did not ask for any increase of duty, but professed themselves entirely satisfied with the rates proposed in Mr. Wood's bill.
Mr. BUSSEY. I feel authorized to say that that tariff is satisfactory.
The CHAIRMAN. That is precisely what was done. The proposition was satisfactory to the committee, and it was reported to the House,
Mr. BUSSEY. That is satisfactory, provided it is settled.
Mr. BUSSEY. Another matter of great importance to the country is the improvement of the general navigation of the Mississippi River, which implies confining the channel to its natural bed. We do not understand that in the city of New York one man has a right to drain his lot upon his neighbor's land without taking care that the drainage is carried to some point where it will do no harm; but the result of the whole system of drainage of the Mississippi Valley is to pour the water from both sides into that river and send it down in a flood upon the lower States.
The CHAIRMAN. Is that done by man or by nature!
Mr. Bussey. By nature and by such artificial means as the people above have seen fit to adopt for their own protection, and the result is that the increased volume of water that we have to take care of in Louisiana overflows our lands.
The CHAIRMAN. How is the volume of water increased ?
Mr. Bussey. I do not say that it is increased, but if the water were allowed to diffuse itself through the swamps in the States and Territories above, and to dry up by evaporation there, of course it would not be all poured down in a volume upon us, but if artificial means are nsed to prevent it from finding its way into the bayous and swamps, it is sent down into the river, and that of course increases the quantity of water to be taken care of below. I think that this is really a national question and that it is the duty of the Congress of the United States to take measures to confine the channel of the Mississippi River within its bed, and by doing that to protect the most magnificent body of land on the face of the earth, land as productive as the valley of the Nile itself, and which in time will be not only a great benefit but an absolute necessity to the people of the whole world, because it will produce just those great necessaries that cannot be produced so well elsewhere, cotton and sugar. We are rapidly approaching a time when Great Britain will be compelled to depend upon the United States for cotton, and whatever tends to increase the production of cotton and enable us to transport our products at less cost than before, puts money into the pockets of the poor man.
Mr. Thompson. Are there not large portions of the Mississippi River that are perfectly navigable at all stages of water and yet the adjacent country is overtlown!
Mr. Bussey. There is a large portion of the Mississippi River that is navigable at all times.
Mr. THOMPSON. Would this confining the river within what you call its natural
bed, be upon the theory of increasing or maintaining the navigation, or upon the theory of reclaiming the waste lands?
Mr. BUSSEY. Both.
Mr. THOMPSON. But if the river is already navigable how would you justify the expenditure on that ground ?
Mr. BUSSEY. The facts are that the river is navigable from New Orleans to Vicksburg at all seasons of the year for the largest class of steamboats. From Vicksburg to Memphis frequent interruptions in first-class navigation occur; and from Memphis to Saint Louis for four or five months of the year the interruptions are very injurious to the commerce of the country.
The CHAIRMAN. What proportion of the overflowed country is along that part of the river where the navigation is good all the year?
Mr. BussEY. A very large proportion. A very large amount of the overflowed land river were protected it would be also deeper; they claim that the river will keep its is below Memphis, but it is claimed by scientific engineers that if the channel of the own bed open.
Mr. Thompson. That is all true, but still you say the places where the river needs improvement for purposes of navigation are just the places where it would not help the country bordering on the șiver.
Mr. Bussey. I take it that if the river were confined within its natural bed, its width and velocity would be substantially the same at all points between Saint Louis and New Orleans, and the result would be that there would be no sand-bars formed, and the water would cut out such a channel for itself that smaller levees would be required.
Mr. Thompson. My object is to ascertain whether the improvement of the river at the points where the improvement is needed for navigation would benefit the country that is overflowed.
Mr. BUSSEY. We believe it would; but if the river were confined at all times within its bed the overflow would be avoided and the navigation of the river improved, giving us a 10-foot channel all the way from Saint Louis to New Orleans.
The water-courses of this country are the regulating influences of the whole system of transportation, and without them there is no telling what our railroad rates would be. Coal has been taken from Pittsburgh to New Orleans at one-half a mill per ton per mile-nine times less than the lowest rates of freight charged from Saint Louis to New York for corn. Without our water-courses we cannot transport the heavy products of the conntry, and the Mississippi is the great water-way of the country. I feel that we are especially entitled to ask that an appropriation shall be made by Congress to put the navigation of that great river in the condition in which it should be, for the reason that the Government of the United States levied a tax upon cotton, immediately after the war, which took from the people and put into the Treasury about $70,000,000.
At the time that tax was levied there was great destitution throughout the country, and the cultivation of cotton was attended with such risks that nine-tenths of the Northern men who went South who were engaged in it were broken up and compelled to leave the country because they could not make a living in consequence of the extraordinarily high prices they bad to pay for everything, including labor. Now, I would not ask that the government should pay back a dollar of that tax; I think they would be very foolish if they did; but I do think that it would be no more than an act of justice to devote at least the interest on that amount to the improvement of the navigation of the Mississippi, which will develop that region and be a blessing to the whole country. In New Orleans our trade with foreign countries is increasing rapidly. Other witnesses have directed your attention to the trade with South America. We have a line of seven ships running from Liverpool to Rio Janeiro, from Rio Janeiro to New Orleans, and from New Orleans to Liverpool. These vessels carry cargoes of merchandise from Liverpool to Rio, where they take a cargo of coffee and come to New Orleans. There they get the gold for it, together with the profits of the ship, and then they load and go back to Liverpool. You could not hire one of those vessels, for any kind of compensation, to go from New Orleans back to Rio, because they know that we are able to compete with Great Britain in the sale of our manufactured products; and I undertake to say that all that is necessary for us in order to get the trade of forty or fifty millions of people down there is to declare a friendly war against the commerce of Great Britain, and make an appropriation to carry it on. Do that, and we will have a trade of $200,000,000 instead of $60,000,000, as we have now.
In the Argentine Republic commerce made little progress until 1852. In 1850, the English Government established the Royal Mail Steamship line between Liverpool and the river Plate, and since that time the trade of that country with England has increased 1,000 per cent., or 33 per cent. per annum.
France also established her steam lines, and has a trade little inferior to Great Britain. While the flag of this great, enlightened, free country has never waved over a single steamer in an Argentine port. While our foreign commerce has increased 300 per cent. since 1851, it has remained stationary with that country.
The total trade of that country for 1875 was, imports, $55,756,000, of which but $3,069,000 was from the United States; her exports $50,331,000, of which $3,056,000 to the United States. In 1874, she imported from England, $21.405,000 ; from France, $19,836,000; from Belgium, $16,777,000; and from the United Ştates, $3,945,000, with exports to the United States of $3,747,000.
Of 40,000,000 yards of cotton cloth imported in 1876, the United States furnished 155,000 yards; of $14,000,000 worth of cotton goods, the United States supplied $175,000; of $1,000,000 worth of boots and shoes, but $10,000 worth was furnished by the United States. This reference to one of the leading articles of our production, the raw cotton of the South and the manufacturing interests of this country, shows the value of a trade which should bulong to the United States and which is now enjoyed, almost exclusively, by Great Britain.
Is there any reason why American cotton should not be spun by American manufacturers and transported by American ships, with which to pay for the goods we now import in foreign vessels, and for which we pay in gold ? Our total trade with the Argentine Republic, in 1876, was only $4,274,006, or 33 per cent. less than in 1875; all because we have no steamship communication. The exports of that country are coffee, wool, hides, &c. It is a well-known fact that Argentine hides have been sent to us from England, to be tanned here, and then returned to Europe for consumption; thus paying three freights to British steamships.
This government is a republic, and their people are striving to adopt our institutions and to advance in civilization, and it is our duty as well as interest to create the facilities for a free communication with them. They have borrowed our federal system of States and almost literally adopted our Constitution. The population is 2,000,000, the immigration of the republic since 1857 amounts to 419,000, greater, far, than that of all the rest of Portuguese American put together. Three newspapers in English, two in French, two in Italian, and one in German, are published in Buenos Ayres; all but one dailies. She has 13,000,000 head of cattle and 57,000,000 sheep, and her commerce, in proportion to her population, is greater than that of any other country, save Australia, on the globe. Her rivers are navigated by 3,000 sail-vessels and steamboats, but not one of them are American. One million eight hundred thonsand tons are transported on her rivers in a single year. Has 6,800 miles of telegraph, 1,500 miles of railways, and nearly as many more are being constructed.
The European mail service to South America numbers 200 vessels, first class, 2,000 to 3,500 tons burden; of which number the Pacific Steam Navigation Company control about 100, supplying the western coast from Panama to Terra del Fuego, and extending on the east coast to Rio de Janeiro. Another single Liverpool shipping firm furnishes over 50 steamers for the east coast service, from Liverpool to Rio and the Argen: tine Republic; while other corporations, English, French, and German, add an equal number, constituting daily steamer arrivals and departures at Rio. These lines were heavily subsidized by their respective governments and the subsidy gradually diminished after the lines became established; they continue to receive liberal compensation for carrying the mail.
Brazil occupies about two-fifths of the South American continent, and has, after Russia, the most extensive contiguous territory of any goverument on the globe. Its area covers 3,252,900 square miles, about a quarter of a million more than the United States.
Her population exceeds 12,000,000, about the same as the United States in 1830. Brazil is ruled by one of the wisest and most practical monarchs of which we have any account, whose practical good sense, displayed during his recent visit to this country, won for him the adıniration of the people of the whole country. To my mind it was a humiliating fact that His Majesty the mperor of Brazil was unable to visit the United States in a ship floating the American flag, but was compelled to negotiate with Euglish lines for a ship to bring him to this country. It is not creditable to a country of forty millions of people that we should be without regular steam communication with an empire whose trade is worth so much.
Not only Brazil, but all the South American countries, West India Islands, and Mexico sell to ns much more than they buy from this country.
Let me submit a statement of the amount of exports and imports into countries south of us. That amounted for 1875—value of imports-to $152,987,000, and exports from the Unite tates $60,000,000, showing an annual deficiency, tha must be paid in gold, of $90,000,000, as follows:
I wish to call the attention of my friends from the Mississippi Valley to the amount they enjoy of this vast trade. Out of $60,000,000, the Mississippi Valley, through the port of New Orleans, received in imports $7,044,000, and their total exports amounted to $1,798,000.
From 1871 to 1875 the imports into Brazil amounted to $471,570,000, and their exports amounted to $577,041,000, while, during the same period, the imports of the United States from Brazil amounted to $274,000,000, and the exports from the United States to Brazil amonnted to only $48,853,000. Here is a deficiency of $226,000,000 which we have paid to Brazil in the last five years in gold, over the amount of goods and merchandise which we have sold to them.
Notice the steady increase in the trade of Brazil. The foreign importation and exportation, which before 1808 passed through the ports of Portugal to the value of $11,300,000, rose in five years 1869 to 1874—$173,639,700; the imports representing $76,563,000, and the exports $96,076,700; there being consequently a balance of $18,513,700 in favor of the exports.
'The foreign maritime commerce of 1839 was $48,084,500 and 1874 $173,649,700, showing an increase of $125,555, 200 of the last five years over the first to the proportional ratio of 261.11 per cent in the thirty-five years, or to the mean annual progress of 7.67 per cent.
If these results be compared with those of European commerce, it will be seen that everywhere, even in France, where the annual increase is 10.2 per cent., commerce has progressed less rapidly than in Brazil, where the foreign and interprovincial trade has progressed at the mean annual ratio of 20.67 per cent.
Although the development of the foreign maritime trade is sufficient to give an exact idea of the progress of this country, nevertheless it is as well to analyze the relations of interchange in the last ten years: 1864 to 1869, $361,989,000 importation, $423,709,000 esportation; 1869 to 1874, importation $387,825,000, exportation $480,383,500. Increase of importation, $25,826,000; increase of exportation $56,624,500. It is, therefore, seen that in ten years the imports increased at the rate of 7.13 per cent., and the exports at the rate of 13.37 per cent. The excess of the exports over the imports was in the first five years $61,720,000 and in the second $92,568,500. The commercial transactions of Brazil with other nations shows a balance in the years 1864 to 1874 of $154,288,500.
The progressive increase of trade, therefore, shows a corresponding increase in the balance.
These conclusions, based on official statistics, prove beyond doubt the great development and the consolidation of the public wealth in the last years, and are the best guarantee of the prosperity of the nation.
It is well to mention that it was during those ten years that the empire maintained the war with Paraguay, pending which its commerce snffered many derangements. Nevertheless, the sources of wealth were not attacked, neither did trade diminish; on the contrary, it increased more in consequence of heavier exports than of imports, an evident proof of the productive forces of Brazil.
The well-deserved credit that Brazil enjoys is based on these solid foundations, and still further strengthened by the stability of its institutions, which are generally the best guarantees for commerce, agriculture, and industry. In the empire there are more than 57,452 commercial houses, besides 7,588 free of taxes; of these, 31,436 are Braziliau, 19,512 Portuguese, and 6,504 belong to different nationalities.
Rio de Janeiro, commercially considered the capital of this epipire, is the most important city in South America, and in North America only New York surpasses it. The mean value of its foreign trade, including the exports and imports, amounted, according to the accounts of the last financial year, liquidated, to $85,010, 198.50. This trade was carried on by nearly 6,000 vessels, measuring more than 3,000,000 tons.
The revenue of the custom-house of Rio de Janeiro is one of the largest in the world. The proceeds of the import and export duties collected in the financial year 1873–74, amounted to $15,081,797.15. If to this be added the municipal island tax office in the same year, the total, $23,859,947.29, will represent the amount which these two fiscal stations contributed to the general revenue of the empire.
The position of this port-nearly in the center of South America-makes it the natural emporium of the maritime trade of the United States and the ports of the Pacific, and yet our commerce with this empire is less than that of any other nation, it being shown by statistics that of all its imports only 4 per cent. come from the United States, whereas, on the other hand, we purchase fully two-thirds of all the coffee crop and over 2) per cent. of other products.
From 1840 to 1850, England's trade with Brazil made no increase; in 1853, three years after the establishment of her lines to that country, they had advanced 150 per cent. on 1848, and in 1855 they had advanced about 300 per cent. Her total exporta to Brazil from 1840 to 1850 were stationary, at about $12,000,000 annually. In 1851, the first year after the establishment of the Royal Mail Company, they advanced 40 per cent., and in 1854 the advance was 102 per cent. on 1850- showing that her exports doubled in five years from a stationary point before the establishment of steam mail facilities.
The combined British imports and exports up to 1850 averaged $18, 229,000, but in. 1855 these had reached $40,812,275. Thus the British trade increased 225 per cent. in five years after the first line of steamers was established to Brazil. --(Rainey's Ocean Post: Appleton, 1858, pp. 128, 129.)
A steain line from New Orleans to Brazil and Buenos Ayres would unite the three greatest river valleys in the world--the Mississippi, the Amazon, and the Plata. Hundreds of our river steamers would find enıployment on their waters in a growing commerce already awaiting them; we would furnish their railroads with locomotives and cars, as we have the roads of Russia, Egypt, Chili, Peru, and Bolivia.
Such a policy would carry civilization to a people who have steadily and rapidly advanced in wealth for fifty years.
Forty years ago De Tocqueville said that the commerce of the southern new world would soon belong to the United States; but he did not estimate the energy of Great Britain, nor did he know of what manner of man the American Congressman is made.
France for nearly one hundred years made little effort to extend her commerce. From 1785 to 1855 no material advance was made in her commercial statistics. Her people were left idle to incite revolution, but under the enterprise of Napoleon III her trade wonderfully increased. In 1858 her exports were.....
$375, 000,000 In 1868 her exports were..
660, 000, 000 In 1876 her exports were.
715, 120,000 While her imports for 1876 were.
797, 680,000 This unparalleled increase in her trade is the proudest monument the republic has preserved.
Has the policy of France impoverished her people! Let the stupendous contribution of her people to the popular loan to pay the German indemnity answer.
France is now embarking on a system of internal improvements which will cost her treasury $500,000,000.
Great Britain commenced her system of subsidies to ocean steamship lines in 1833, and since then has expended about $200,000,000.
That she has reigned supreme as mistress of the sea for almost a century is a matter of history. That she of all nations has subsidized most heavily is fully established.
England's wealth is in her exports of manufactured articles, while ours are raw material, on which she makes a profit. We now have the labor and can manufacture as cheaply as she. England exports annually about $350,000,000 worth of cotton goods; why should we not have this trade when we produce the raw cotton. England's commerce and subsidized lines have given her the trade.
In 1866 foreign tonnage was 4,410,424. In 1866 American tonnage was 3,372,060, or 30 per cent, less than foreign.
In 1876 foreign tonnage was 12,218,365. In 1876 American tonnage was 4,711,949, or 160 per cent. less than foreign.
England has direct communication with every part of the globe, and she has secured it by establishing and liberally supporting her mail steamship lines.