Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

have been accomplished by any one not thoroughly acquainted with the customs acts, and the various changes in the mode of assessing the duties. Its accuracy may be relied on.

The article SLATES AND Slave TRADE contains a full abstract of the late important statute for the abolition of slavery.

Among the new articles of a miscellaneous description, may be specified those on ALIENS, Iorias Islands, POPULATION, Tally Trade, Truck SYSTEM, &c.

On the whole, we trust it will be found, that the work has been improved throughout, either by the correction of mistakes, or by the addition of new and useful matter. Still, however, we are well aware that it is in various respects defective; but we are not without hopes that those who look into it will be indulgent enough to believe that this has been owing as much to the extreme difficulty, or rather, perhaps, the impossibility, of obtaining accurate information respecting some of the subjects treated of, as to the want of care and attention on our part. Even as regards many important topics connected with the commerce and manufactures of Great Britain, we have had to regret the want of authentic details, and been obliged to grope our way in the dark. Nothing, indeed, can exceed the accuracy and luminous arrangement of the customs accounts furnished by the Inspector General of Imports and Exports. But, owing to the want of any details as to the cross-channel trade between Great Britain and Ireland, the value of these accounts is much diminished. The condition and habits of the people of Ireland and of Great Britain are so very different, that conclusions deduced from considering the trade or consumption of the United Kingdom en masse, are generally of very little value; and may, indeed, unless carefully sifted, be the most fallacious imaginable ; while, owing to the want of any account of the trade between the two great divisions of the empire, it is not possible accurately to estimate the consumption of either, or to obtain any sure means of judging of their respective progress in wealth and industry. As respects manufactures, there is a still greater deficiency of trustworthy, comprehensive details. We submitted the articles relating to them in this work, to the highest practical authorities; so that we incline to think they are about as accurate as they can well be rendered in the absence of official returns. It is far, however, from creditable to the country, that we should be obliged, in matters of such importance, to resort to private and irresponsible individuals for the means of coming at the truth. Statistical science in Great Britain is, indeed, at a very low ebb: and we are not of the number of those who suppose that it will ever be materially improved, unless government become more sensible, than it has hitherto shown itself to he, of its importance, and set machinery in motion, adequate to procure correct and comprehensive returns.

The statistical Tables published by the Board of Trade embrace the substance of hundreds of accounts, scattered over a vast mass of Parliamentary papers. They seem to be compiled with great care and judgment, and are a very valuable acquisition. We have frequently been largely indebted to them. But their arrangement, and their constantly increasing number and bulk, make them quite unfit for being readily or advantageously consulted by practical men. Most part of the returns relating to the principal articles given in this work, go back to a much more distant period than those published by the Board of Trade.

We have seen no reason to modify or alter any PRINCIPLE OF COMMERCIAL POLICY advanced in our former edition. In some instances, we havo varied the exposition a little, but that is all. 'In every case, however, we have separated the practical, legal, and historical statements from those of a speculative nature ; so that those most disposed to dissent from our theoretical notions will, we hope, be ready to admit that they have not been allowed to detract from the practical utility of the work.

The important service done to us, or rather to the public, by Mr. Poulett Thomson, in the obtaining of the Consular Returns, is a part only of what we owe to that gentleman. We never applied to him for any sort of information which it was in his power to supply, that he did not forthwith place at our free disposal. That system of commercial policy, of which the Right Honourable gentleman is the enlightened and eloquent defender, has nothing to fear from publicity. On the contrary, the better informed the public become, the more fully the real facts and circumstances relating to it are brought before them, the more will they be satisfied of the soundness of the measures advocated by Mr. Thomson, and of their being eminently well fitted to promote and consolidate the commercial greatness and prosperity of the empire.

It is proper, also, to state, that besides the Board of Trade, all the other departments of goverament to which we had occasion to apply, discovered every anxiety to be of use to us. We have been particularly indebted to Mr. Spring Rice; Sir Henry Parnell ; Mr. Wood, Chairman of the Board of Stamps and Taxes; Mr. Villiers, Ambassador at Madrid ; and Mr. Mayer, of the Colonial Office,

ADVERTISEMENT

TO THE

LAST ENGLISH EDITION.

In this edition all the more important returns and accounts as to the Trade, NAVIGA Tion, and Consumption of Great Britain and other countries, have been brought down to the latest period. In some instances, too, the form of the returns has been changed, and new ones, drawn up on a more comprehensive plan, and embracing various additional particulars, have been substituted for those previously embodied in the work. In illustration of this, the reader is referred to the tables now given under the article Imports and Exports ; they will, it is believed, be found to contain, within a brief space, the completest view hitherto laid before the public of the recent trade of the empire. A few articles have also been rewritten, among which may be specified those on LIGHTHOUSES, BOMBAY, Malta, SYDNEY, &c.

The SUPPLEMENT given with this edition has been greatly enlarged, and, it is hoped, materially improved. It contains as much matter as would fill, if printed with types of medium size, a large octavo volume, and embraces a good deal of important information not elsewhere to be met with. Neither labour nor expense has been spared to render it in. structive and trustworthy. It embodies the principal part of the Supplement issued in December, 1836, and has, among others, articles on the following subjects; viz. AUSTRIAN TARIFF, and COMMERCIAL TREATY with AUSTRIA; Joint-STOCK BANKS, embracing a complete list of these establishments, with an examination of the principles on which they should be founded ; New Customs Act for Bengal; New Coinage of AMERICA and India; State of the British Cotton MaxUFACTURE from 1816 to 1838, both inclusive ; Tables showing the extent of the Foreigs Trade of the Country during each of the ten years ending with 1838, with remarks; Trade with Prussia, Prussian CommerCIAL LEAGUE and TARIFF; RAILWAYS and Railwar LEGISLATION; CLASSIFICATION of Ships; State of the Sugar TRADE; ALTERATions in the British and Russian TARIFFS; COMMERCIAL TREATY with TURKEY; with notices of Civita Veccura, Galacz, Guare AQUIL, Port LAMAR, MONTEVIDEO, MOULMEIN, Rostock, &c.

The author has been able to avail himself, in preparing this edition, of some very valuable communications. In this respect, he is under especial obligations to the government of Prussia. With a liberality of which there are a few (if any) examples, it has not merely taken pains to supply him with ample and authentic details as to the Commerce, Population, Finances, &c., of that flourishing kingdom, but has authorised him to make any use he pleased of the information so communicated, without stipulation or condition of any kind.

We have also been indebted to various private and official gentlemen, at home and abroad, for many useful hints and valuable statements. Mr. Porter, of the Board of Trade, allowed us the use of several unpublished returns belonging to his department; Mr. Wood, Chair. man of the Board of Excise, and Mr. Mayer, of the Colonial Office, gave us every assistance in their power; the intervention of Mr. Hall, late vice-consul for the republic of Uruguay, at Liverpool, and of Mr. Kreeft, consul for Mecklenburg, has enabled us to furnish the commercial world with accurate details as to the ports of Montevideo, Rostock, &c.; and gentlemen resident in Bombay, Calcutta, Malta, Singapore, &c., have supplied important information. We are sorry that our limits will not permit of our specifying the different parties to whom we have been indebted; but we beg them to accept our best thanks for their attentions. We are most anxious to have the means of correcting the errors into which we may have fallen, and of rendering our book as accurate as possible. This, however, can only be effected by gentlemen apprising us of the changes that are constantly taking place in the regulations under which commerce is conducted, and in the channels in which it is carried on. This information, so important to the mercantile world. might, sometimes, be communicated without much trouble, and will always be most grate fully received by us.

xii

A

DICTIONARY

OT

COMMERCE

AND

COMMERCIAL NAVIGATION.

AM, Frankfort, &c. At Amsterdam it is nearly equal to 41 English wine gallons, at Antwerp to 36. ditto, at Hamburgh to 381 ditto, and at Frankfort to 39 ditto.

ABANDONMENT, in commerce and navigation, is used to express the abandoning or surrendering of the ship or goods insured to the insurer.

It is held, by the law of England, that the insured has the right to abandon, and to compel the insurers to pay the whole value of the thing insured, in every case “where, by the happening of any of the misfortunes or perils insured against the voyage is lost or not worth pursuing, and the projected adventure is frustrated ; or where the thing insured is so damaged and spoiled as to be of little or no value to the owner; or where the salvage is very high ; or where what is saved is of less value than the freight; or where further expense is necessary, and the insurer will not undertake to pay that expense,” &c.—(Marshall, book i. cap. 13. § 1.)

Abandonment very frequently takes place in cases of capture; the loss is then total, and no question can arise in respect to it." In cases, however, in which a ship and cargo are recaptured within such a time that the object of the voyage is not lost, the insured is not entitled to abandon. The mere stranding of a ship is not deemed of itself such a loss as will justify an abandonment. If by some fortunate accident, by the exertions of the crew, or by any borrowed assistance, the ship be got off and rendered capable of continuing her voyage, it is not a total loss, and the insurers are only liable for the expenses occasioned by the stranding. It is only where the stranding is followed by shipwreck, or in any other way renders the ship incapable of prosecuting her voyage, that the insured can abandon.

It has been decided, that damage sustained in a voyage to the extent of forty-eight per cent. of the value of the ship, did not entitle the insured to abandon. If a cargo be damaged in the course of a voyage, and it appears that what has been saved is less than the amount of freight, it is held to be a total loss.—(Park on Insurance, cap. 9.)

When by the occurrence of any of the perils insured against, the insured has acquired a right to abandon, he is at liberty either to abandon or not, as he thinks proper. He is in no case bound to abandon; but if he make an election, and resolve to abandon, he must abide by his resolution, and has no longer the power to claim for a partial loss. In some foreign countries specific periods are fixed by law within which the insured, after being informed of the loss, must elect either to abandon or not. In this country, however, no particular period is fixed for this purpose; but the rule is, that if the insured determine to abandon, he must intimate such determination to the insurers within a reasonable period after he has got intelligence of the loss,--and unnecessary delay in making this intimation being interpreted to mean that he has decided not to abandon.

No particular form or solemnity is required in giving notice of an abandonment. It may be given either to the underwriter himself, or the agent who subscribed for him.

The effect of an abandonment is to vest all the rights of the insured in the insurers. The latter become the legal owners of the ship, and as such are liable for all her future outgoings, and entitled to her future earnings. An abandonment, when once made, is irrevocable.

In case of a shipwreck or other misfortune, the captain and crew are bound to exert themselves to the utmost to save as much property as possible: and to enable them to do this without prejudice to the right of abandonment, our policies provide that, “ in case of any loss or misVol. I.-A

1

fortune, the insured, their factors, servants, and assigns, shall be at liberty to sue and labour about the defence, safeguard, and recovery of the goods, and merchandises, and ship, &c., without prejudice to the insurance; to the charges whereof the insurers agree to contribute, each according to the rate and quantity of his subscription.”

“ From the nature of his situation,” says Mr. Serjeant Marshall, “ the captain has an implied authority, not only from the insured, but also from the insurers and all others interested in the ship or cargo, in case of misfortune, to do whatever he thinks most conducive to the general interest of all concerned; and they are all bound by his acts. Therefore, if the ship be disabled by stress of weather, or any other peril of the sea, the captain may hire another vessel for the transport of the goods to their port of destination, if he think it for the interest of all concerned that he should do so: or he may, upon a capture, appeal against a sentence of condemnation, or carry on any other proceedings for the recovery of the ship and cargo, provided he has a probable ground for doing so; or he may, upon the loss of the ship, invest the produce of the goods saved in other goods, which he may ship for his original port of destination ; for whatever is recovered of the effects insured, the captain is accountablo to the insurers. If the insured neglect to abandon when he has it in his power to do so, be adopts the acts of the captain, and he is bound by them. If, on the other hand, the insurers, after notice of abandonment, suffer the captain to continue in the management, he becomes their agent, and they are bound by his acts."

As to the sailors, when a misfortune happens, they are bound to save and preserve the merchandise to the best of their power; and while they are so employed, they are entitled to wages, so far, at least, as what is saved will allow : but if they refuse to assist in this, they shall have neither wages nor reward. In this the Rhodian law, and the laws of Oleron, Wisby, and the Hanse Towns, agree.

The policy of the practice of abandonment seems very questionable. The object of an insurance is to render the insurer liable for whatever loss or damage may be incurred. But this object does not seem to be promoted by compelling him to pay as for a total loss, when, in fact, the loss is only partial. The captain and crew of the ship are selected by the owners, are their servants, and are responsible to them for their proceedings. But in the event of a ship being stranded, and so damaged that the owners are entitled to abandon, the captain and crew become the servants of the underwriters, who had nothing to do with their appointment, and to whom they are most probably altogether unknown. It is admitted that a regulation of this sort can hardly fail of leading, and has indeed frequently led, to very great abuses. We, therefore, are inclined to think that abandonment ought not to be allowed where any property is known to exist; but that such property should continue at the disposal of the owners and their agents, and that the underwriters should be liable only for the damage really incurred. The first case that came before the British courts with respect to an abandonment was decided by Lord Hardwicke, in 1744. Mr. Justice Buller appears to have concurred in the opinion now stated, that abandonment should not have been allowed in cases where the loss is not total.

For further information as to this subject, see the excellent works of Mr. Serjeant Marshall (book i. cap. 13); and of Mr. Justice Park (cap. 9) on the Law of Insurance.

[ The law of abandonment has been pronounced by Lord Eldon to be one of the most uncertain branches of the law; and Mr. Benecke, in his work on Indemnity, expresses the opinion—an opinion sanctioned by Chancellor Kent—that little reliance is to be put on any general principles in determining what that law is in a particular case, but that recourse must be had, for this purpose, to actual decisions. See Kent's Commentaries, Lecture 48. -Am. Ed.]

ABATEMENT, or Rebate, is the name sometimes given to a discount allowed for prompt payment; it is also used to express the deduction that is sometimes made at the customhouse from the duties chargeable upon such goods as are damaged. This allowance is regulated by the 6 Geo. 4 c. 107. $ 28. No abatement is made from the duties charged on coffee, currants, figs, lemons, oranges, raisins, tobacco, and wine.

(No abatement is to be made, on account of damage on the voyage, from the duties payable on the following drugs, viz: cantharides, cocculus Indicus, Guinea grains, ipecacuanha, jalap, nux vomica, opium, rhubarb, sarsaparilla, and senna.4 & 5 Will. 4. c. 89, $ 5.Sup.)

[ In the United States, in respect to all articles imported, that have been damaged during the voyage, whether subject to a duty ad valorem, or which are chargeable with a specific duty, either by number, weight or measure, the appraisers (appointed for the purpose) shall ascertain and certify to what rate or per centage the said goods, wares, or merchandise, are damaged, and the rate or per centage of damage, so ascertained and certified, shall be deducted from the original amount subject to a duty ad valorem, or from the actual or original number, weight, or measure, on which specitic duties would have been computed : Provided that no allowance for the damage on any goods, wares, and merchandise, that have been entered, and on which the duties have been paid, or secured to be paid, and for which a permit has been granted to the owner or consignee thereof, and which may, on examining the same, prove to be damaged, shall be made, unless pronf, to ascertain such damage, shall be lodged in the castomhouse of the port or place where such goods, wares, or merchandise, have been landed, within ten days after the landing of such merchandise. And every person who shall be appointed to ascertain the damage, during the voyage, of any goods, wares, or merchandise, shall take and subscribe an oath or affirmation for the faithful performance of the duties assigned him. See Act 21 March, 1799, “ to regulate the collection of duties on imports and tonnage," sec. 52, where the form of the oath or affirmation just mentioned may be found

The mode of appraisement is pointed out in the act of March 1st, 1823, supplementary to that of March 21, 1799.--Am. Ed.]

ACACIA. See Gum ARABIC,

ACAPULCO, a celebrated seaport on the western coast of Mexico, in lat. 16° 50' N., long. 99° 46' W. Population uncertain, but said to be from 4,000 to 5,000. The harbour of Acapulco is one of the finest in the world, and is capable of containing any number of ships in the most perfect safety. Previously to the emancipation of Spanish America, a galleon or large ship, richly laden, was annually sent from Acapulco to Manilla, in the Philippine Islands: and at her return a fair was held, which was much resorted to by strangers. But this sort of intercourse is no longer carried on, the trade to Manilla and all other places being Dow conducted by private individuals. The exports consist of bullion, cochineal, cocoa, wool, indigo, &c. The imports principally consist of cotton gools, hardware, articles of jewellery, raw and wrought silks, spices, and aromatics. Acapulco is extremely unhealthy; and though it be the principal port on the west coast of Mexico, its commerce is not very considerable. The navigation from Acapulco to Guayaquil and Callao is exceedingly tedious and difficult, so that there is but little intercourse between Mexico and Peru. The moneys, weights, and measures, are the same as those of Spain; for which see Cadiz.

(Ruschenberger, who visited Acapulco in 1836, states its population to be about 3000; and this he asserts to be greater than it ever was previous to the separation of Mexico from Spain.- Am. Ed.]

ACIDS are a class of compounds which are distinguished from all others by the following properties. They are generally possessed of a very sharp and sour taste; redden the infusions of blue vegetable colours; are often highly corrosive, and enter into combination with the alkalies, earths, and metallic oxides; forming compounds in which the characters of the constituents are entirely destroyed, and new ones produced differing in every respect from those previously existing. The quality or strength of an acid is generally ascertained, either by its specific gravity, which is found by means of the hydrometer, if the acid be liquid, or by the quantity of pure and dry subcarbonate of potass or soda, or of carbonate of lime (marble) whick a given weight of the acid requires for its exact neutralization. This latter process is termed Acidimetry, or the ascertaining the quantity of real acid existing in any of the liquid or crystallized acids.

The principal acids at present known are, the Acetic, Benzoic, Boracic, Bromic, Carbonic, Citric, Chloric, Cyanic, Fluoric, Ferroprussic, Gallic, Hydrobromic, Hydriodic, lodic, Lactic, Malic, Margaric, Meconic, Muriatic or Hydrochloric, Nitrous, Nitric, Oleic, Oxalic, Phosporie, Prussic or Hydrocyanic, Purpuric, Saccholactic, Suberic, Sulphurous, Sulphuric, Tartarie, Uric, and many others which it would be superfluous to detail. It is the most important only of these, however, that will be here treated of, and more particularly those employed in the arts and manufactures.

Acetic or pyroligneous acid. This acid, in its pure and concentrated form, is obtained from the fluid matter which passes over in distillation, when wood is exposed to heat in close iron cylinders. This fund is a mixture of acetic acid, tar, and a very volatile ether; from these the acid may be separated, after a second distillation, by saturating with chaik, and evaporating to dryness; an acetate of limé is thus procared, which, by mixture with sulphate of soda, (Glauber's salt,) is decomposed, the resulting compounds being an insoluble sulphate of lime, and a very soluble acetate of soda ; these are easily separated from each other by solution in water and fiftration; the acetate of soda being obtained in the crystalline form by evaporation. From this, or the acetate of lime, some manufacturers Employing the former, others the latter, the acetic acid is obtained by distillation with sulphuric acid; (oil of vitriol ;) as thus procured, it is a colourless, volatile fluid, having a very pungent and refreshing odonr, and a strong acid taste. Its strength should be ascertained by the quantity of marble required for its neutralization, as its specific gravity does not give a correci indication. It is employed in the preparation of the acetate ead (sugar of lead) in many of the pharmaceutical compounds, and also as an antiseptic.

Vinegar is an impure and very dilute acetic acid, obtained by exposing either weak wines or infasions of mait to the air and a slow fermentation; it contains, besides the pure acid, a large quantity of colouring matter, some mucilage, and a little spirit; from these it is readily separated by distillating. The inpurities with which this distilled vinegar is sometimes adulterated, or with which it is accidentally contaminated, are oil of vitriol, added to increase the acidity, and oxides of tin or copper, arising from the vinegar having been distilled through tin or copper worms. These may be easily detected; the oil of vitriol by the addition of a little solution of muriate of barytes to ihe distilled vinegar, which, should the aciá be present, will cause a dense white precipitate ; and the oxides of tin or copper by the addition of water impregnated with sulphuretted hydrogen. Vinegar is employed in many culinary and domestic operations, and also very largely in the manufacture of the carbonate of lead, (white lead.)

Benzeic acid-exists naturally, formed in the gum benzoin, and may be procured either by submining the benzoin in fine powder to repeated sublimations, or by digesting it with lime and water,

« AnteriorContinuar »