Imágenes de páginas

tached. The consumption duty is one-half on the per centage duty for the Philippines, and two-thirds on that for China.

The ports of the peninsula are classified, with various privileges as regards importation, exportation, and the coasting trade.

Warehouses are established in the custom-houses of the first class; deposite duty, two per cent. on the invoice value. Goods prohibited importation cannot be admitted to deposit. Prohibited goods will not be considered in transitu, except in vessels of more than 200 tons, Spanish. If found on board smaller vessels, they are liable to confiscation.

Twenty-four hours are allowed, after the admission of the vessel to "pratique," to make port entries on the manifests-to increase, but not to diminish the invoice.

List of American produce and manufactures prohibited. (The prohibition does not extend to articles of the same species which are designated in the tariff.)

Spirituous liquors; alcohol; over shoes of all kinds; hides, and skins, tanned or otherwise improved, with all manufactures in which these materials are employed; bottles of ink or blacking; caps of all classes; gloves of all kinds, including mittens; manufactures of iron; manufactures of tin; soap, hard and soft; stockings of all kinds; bread and biscuit, from all kinds of flour; fish of all kinds, fresh, pickled, or dry salted, (this does not include cod ;) lead, in bars, manufactured or unmanufactured, with or without alloy; gunpowder; wearing apparel of every description, except private baggage; salt; saltpetre; hats of all kinds; tobacco; wheat, barley, rye, pulse, beans, Indian corn, and all other kinds of edible grains, including flour, when their entrance is not permitted by the law concerning cereales; cotton manufactures.

There are no export duties on wines and fruits; and the few articles which pay an export duty are of small importance to the United States. On these the duty is increased one-third under a foreign flag.

A few articles of domestic produce are prohibited exportation. Custom-house regulations, forms of manifests, observances in case of shipwreck, transhipment, detection of smuggling, &c., occupy a large portion of the volume, and are detailed with great minuteness and formality. Port charges are to remain as heretofore, or to be modified by future legislation.

In place of the former exaction, called "arbitrios," which was subject to local variations, a general tax of six per cent. on the amount of tariff duty on foreign importations is now levied.

The commercial policy of Spain.-In the course of investigations into the intricate commercial relations between the United States and Spain with its dependencies, the following royal decree-no copy of which, so far as can be ascertained, has been officially transmitted to this Departmenthas been discovered:

[TRANSLATION. From El Registro de Legislacion Ultramarina.]


"The endeavors being made by the minister of the United States in the year 1833 to the effect that the islands of Cuba and Porto Rico should be declared as comprehended in the measure taken by the royal decree of April 29, 1832, reducing the tonnage duty on vessels of that nation to the sum

[ocr errors]

which they were paying anterior to the imposition of the additional duty by royal decree of October 20, 1817, gave way to the formation of an expedient tending to render the matter more complicated, by a resolution which the legislative body of the Union adopted on the 30th June, 1834, imposing such additional duties on Spanish vessels proceeding from those islands as should be equivalent to the excess with which they supposed their vessels were oppressed in our Antilles. An inquiry into this subject was pending before the Consejo Real' when that body was extinguished in 1836, having already prepared four sections of its resolves (dictamen) with the cautiousness and circumspection which correspond to so grave a matter. In the same manner the consulting board of this department have resolved upon the request which follows; and, in the presence of all, Her Majesty the Queen Governess has pleased to command, that since the state of the commercial relations of the islands of Cuba and Porto Rico with the AngloAmerican nation does not at present require a decision which shall alter the duties of navigation established by the former upon the vessels of the latter, they shall continue as heretofore, without alteration; but to the end of preparing a new regulation which may hereafter become necessary in this matter, all the data on which it should be founded ought to be collected; and, to this effect, the minister of Her Majesty to the United States is advised, through your excellency, that, obtaining from our consuls there the correspouding information, he shall prepare, with the greatest possible despatch, a minute and exact statement of all and each of the duties of navigation, or which in any way affect the vessel, imposed upon Spanish vessels pro-ceeding from the islands of Cuba and Porto Rico, in each of the ports of said States; another, of the same duties exacted from our vessels proceeding from the peninsula and the adjacent islands; and another, of the duties in like manner established upon the vessels of the Mexican republic, and the other new States of that continent; charging said minister that, at the same time he transmits these statements to the department to which they will pass as soon as they are received by the one in my charge, he shall direct copies to the Superintendent of Cuba, and to the Intendant of Porto Rico.

"By royal order, I advise you for your information and consequent action. (And concludes by requesting from the superintendencies of this island a statement sufficiently extensive and minute.)

"MADRID, October 25, 1838."

The inference was natural, that so grave deliberation would produce equally serious results. Accordingly, when the new tariff for the peninsula and the adjacent islands was received, it was subjected to an earnest examination, when it became clear that, bearing heavily upon the productions, both natural and industrial, of the European nations, it contains a policy of more immediate interest to the United States.

The minor productions of the soil, and the smaller class of manufactures of the United States, are prohibited, in common with those of other nations; but the particular policy is directed chiefly against some of our principle staples. Cotton, staves, and fish, are the only staples for the supply of which Spain has been in any way dependent on the United States. Cotton, both raw and manufactured, is passed over in the tariff, with the remark that it will be made the subject of future legislation; the regulations with regard to it continuing, meanwhile, as heretofore.

For some years past, the United States have supplied the manufactories of the province of Catalonia with an average of about thirty thousand bales of cleaned cotton annually. This has been all passed through the warehouses of Cuba and Porto Rico, to avail of the alleviation of duty allowed by the Government at its admission into Spain. (The nature of this trade, and the amount of alleviation, is explained in the foregoing notes.) Although many vessels of the United States are engaged in this carrying trade from our Southern ports to Havana, the freight cannot be continued from that port to Spain in other than Spanish bottoms, the discriminative duty being so great. In addition to this, a direct freightage is carried on from the United States to Spain. in Spanish vessels, under an evasion of a provision of the act of Congress of June, 1834, requiring bonds from Spanish vessels clearing from the United States, to the effect that no portion of their cargoes should be "landed" in any port of the islands of Cuba and Porto Rico. These bonds are given; whether the cargoes are literally landed, there are no present means of ascertaining; but sufficient evidence exists of the fact, that these vessels actually put into the ports of deposite, and, taking out papers therefrom, obtain the consequent alleviation of duty. This system is still continued; and it is probable that no "future legislation" will take place, so long as her manufactories can be supplied with the superior cotton of the United States through the circuitous and furtive channel above narrated.

Spain has been holding out inducements to her former colonies for the last four or five years, and the Congress of Venezuela has already passed an act in reciprocation, admitting the commerce of Spain to all the privileges accorded by treaty to the most favored nations. Chili, New Grenada, and Mexico, have also reciprocated these privileges by the passage of similar acts. The new tariff contains a policy of admitting most of the staples of all the dissident colonies (now independent Governments) at a lower rate of duty than the same productions from other countries. (The rate of this reduction is explained in the foregoing notes.) The effect of this policy will afford the means to Spain of ultimately becoming entirely independent of the United States for any supply of cotton: by placing it among the articles included in the "tariff of importation from America," this object would be gradually accomplished. Venezuela exported in 1839 nearly three million pounds of raw cotton, and the rapidly increasing prosperity of this State, in connexion with the liberal encouragement afforded to improvements, will in a few years enable her to supply Spain with cotton equal in quality to that produced in the United States. Thus has Spain, in the event of foreseen contingencies, secured to her manufactories the cotton of Venezuela. As a consequent to this reciprocation, the capital employed in the trade between these two Powers advanced from $705,763 17, during the year 1839, to $1,297,820 88 in 1840.

Spanish vessels engaged in the direct trade to and from Spain have been gradually withdrawn from the Northern ports of the United States; not a single Spanish vessel having entered the port of New York during the past year. Indeed, the confidence of the Spanish Government in the course it has been pursuing is so great, that, in the face of provisions of the beforementioned act of Congress, to the effect that the President of the United States should have authority to alleviate the countervailing duties thereby imposed, when a corresponding reduction should have taken place in the ports of these islands; and, further, that the Secretary of the Treasury

should have power to increase said duties when a corresponding increase should have taken place-in the face of this, instead of being alleviated, the duties on imports into Cuba were increased one-seventh on the 15th October, 1835, and, in December last, an additional duty of one-half per cent. was imposed. A corresponding increase has taken place in the tariff for Porto Rico.

The act of Congress alluded to, assuming the discriminating duties charged in the port of Havana as the basis for estimating the countervailing equivalent in ports of the United States, the tonnage dues in that and the other ports of the island of Cuba have remained unaltered, while in the island of Porto Rico they have been increased, and at the present time are one-third more on vessels of the United States than upon those of any other nation. Of these successive augmentations, so far as can be ascertained, no notice. has been taken by the Government of the United States.

Rice of the United States has been and continues effectually prohibited, the duties amounting to $4 on a quantity of 101 pounds, while the rice from the Philippine islands pays, upon the same quantity, only 9 cents.

Staves are the only staple not charged with a high discriminative duty, and are mostly imported in United States vessels. The duty is, 624 cents per thousand under the national flag, and $1 25 under a foreign. Spain can, however, take but a limited quantity of staves, the demand being always regulated by the prospect of the vintage; so, by allowing them to be imported in our vessels, a double object is gained. Vessels entering. Spain to load with wine for the United States will keep the market always supplied, while any sacrifice arising from an over-stock must be borne by our capital. Beside being an article necessary to the export trade of Spain, they afford material to a branch of domestic industry. The duty is the same on dressed and undressed staves; hence the importations consist chiefly of the undressed article, the difference in the selling price not being an equivalent for the difference between the wages of labor in the United States and Spain, respectively; so, when the unwrought material is introduced, it not only affords employment to the native mechanic, but, when the casks are filled, the merchant of the United States pays for the labor expended on the material he has just put into the hands of the factor, a price more than equivalent to the value of said labor, had it been performed in the United States.

For these reasons, then, staves will always be at a low duty, and will continue to be imported in United States bottoms.

Codfish, an article with which Spain has heretofore been supplied, to some extent, by the United States, is by the new tariff effectually prohibited; the duty, when coming direct from the fisheries of Europe and America, being $150 under the national flag, and $2 20 under a foreign, per quintal of 1013 pounds; from whatever other place, it is $2 25 under the national flag, and $2 75 under a foreign.

As the discrimination is less than usual on this article, it appears, at first, as favorable to our fisheries, but is in fact an exclusion of the cod which are cured on our shores, while that cured by the English and French, in Newfoundland and Labrador, is alone admissible-the Spanish vessels employed in the fisheries being few or none. It is known that certain privileges of transhipment are accorded to fishing vessels arriving in the bay of Cadiz, which take out salt in return; by this duty on cod, it appearsa market is obtained for domestic salt, to which end, also, the importation of foreign salt is prohibited.

Naval stores, such as tar, pitch, masts, and spars, &c., are not burdened with a high duty. This will be of no benefit to the United States, since, from the low freights and the shortness of the voyage, Spain will be mostly supplied from the north of Europe.

That this policy is extended to the commercial intercourse of the United States with the Spanish West India colonies is apparent, from the high duties on the produce of the United States when compared with those on the productions of other nations, and from the rigorous exactions and grievances which form the ground of continual complaint on the part of our consuls and citizens resident in those islands. (For statistics in regard to this, see page 31 and following.) It is further demonstrated in the following extract from a royal decree, given at Madrid, 19th January, 1839: "It is particularly recommended to the Governors of the American colonies (to be by them communicated to the subordinate authorities) to treat the subjects of the English and French nations with all the consideration which may be compatible with national decorum, procuring, before proceeding against any one of the subjects of those nations, convincing proof of their guilt, and the degree thereof; always avoiding measures which may call for indemnity of damages; for, needing, in the present critical state of affairs, the powerful aid of both these nations, it is just to accord them every consideration.

"The authorities are held strictly responsible for the fulfilment of this order."


The commercial intercourse of the United States with these cities is regulated by treaty, in which is adopted the basis of equality of duties on navigation and commerce, in the direct and indirect trade.'

The tariff of the Hanseatic cities is perfectly simple and obvious in its character and operations.

The highest duty levied on imports in Hamburg is three-eighths per cent. ad valorem; (wheat, wool, linen, twist, and many other articles, being wholly free.) In Bremen it is two-thirds percent.; in Lubec, one-half per cent. On exports at Hamburg, the duty is one-eighth per cent.; in Bremen, onethird per cent.; in Lubec, nothing. The transit duty in Lubec is from onefourth to one-half per cent.; in Bremen, about four cents per cwt. gross, (but less on very many articles;) and in Hamburg there is none.

In truth, the duty is not so much, for it is estimated in one currency, (the banco marcs,) while it is paid in another, (the current marcs,) which are more than twenty per cent. less than the former in value.

Besides the dues levied at Hamburg, there is also a toll or duty charged by the Hanoverian Government, on all articles passing up the Elbe, payable at the castle of Brunshausen, near Stade, in the same manner as if destined for Hanover. These duties are rated in conformity with a fixed tariff, and the revenue computed from the ship's manifest, bills of lading, &c., which are sent on shore for that purpose. On many articles there is a great difference between the duties here levied and the ad valorem duty charged at Hamburg, being frequently very much larger. These duties are payable at Hamburg, and until a receipt be produced from the Hanoverian authorities for them, no vessel is allowed to unload.

The liberality of the United States, extended towards the Hanse Towns under the treaty, in allowing all ships owned, instead, as in the case of

« AnteriorContinuar »