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the English convention with those towns, all ships built within their dominions, to enjoy the privilege of the flag, has nearly shut American vessels out from the carriage in the German trade; and, as far as it respects the port of Bremen, (concerning the commerce of which the Department is placed in possession of more official information than that of Hamburg,) has thrown almost the entire carrying trade between that port and the United States into the hands of the Bremen ship owners; which circumstance, in connexion with the continued stream of emigration at that point from the interior of Germany, has tended greatly to augment the amount of its shipping.
An official statement of the imports into the port of Bremen, for the year 1840, of the article of tobacco, reports-from the United States, 21,844 hogsheads, of which 14,570 consisted of Maryland and Ohio, 3,092 of Virginia, and 4,182 of Kentucky. Of the tobacco imported into Bremen from the United States, about five-sixths is consumed in the States of the Commercial Customs Union, and those of Hanover and Oldenburg; of the remainder, (chiefly Maryland) about seven-eighths is shipped to Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Russia, of the balance, about 250 hogsheads to the adjacent ports in the North sea; and out of the whole, 300 hogsheads only worked up at Bremen, in the manufacture of cigars. Thus it is obvious that this heavy import of the article of tobacco, at the port of Bremen, arises solely from existing conventional arrangements, which the ship owners at that port have not failed to employ to their advantage, to the prejudice of the vessels of the United States; as by an official statement of the number of vessels arriving at that port during the year 1840, from this country, it appears that there were ninety-nine-of which number, seventy-five were Bremen; twenty, United States, and four belonged to other German ports.
In order to show the numerical proportion of arrivals from the United States, and their comparative increase, it may be stated that they were, on an average, from the year 1826 to 1830 inclusive, five-sevenths American and two-sevenths Bremen; from 1831 to 1835, inclusive, three-sevenths American and four-sevenths Bremen; from 1836 to 1840 inclusive, onefifth American and four-fifths Bremen.
From this estimate, drawn from official statements, the rapid increase of the Bremen shipping in the trade with the United States, and the proportionate diminution of our own since the treaty between the two countries in December, 1828, must be obvious.
The market of Bremen, compared with many other European markets, takes but a small quantity of cotton. Of the whole amount annually received at that port, of every description, Saxony and Bohemia take from two-thirds to three-fourths. Of the remainder, the larger part goes to the Dutchy of Berg. For sea-island cotton there exists no demand whatever at this port.
There has been an increase in the amount of rice imported into Bremen since the reduction of the transit duty in the States of the Prussian Union. The principal consumption of American rice is in the north of Germany; the south of Germany consumes chiefly Italian rice.
Of late years, the importation of East India rice into Germany has largely increased. It being afforded at a less price than the American, the latter is becoming more and more an article of luxury, while the former has become one of great and increasing general consumption.
With regard to the navigation dues, they are enforced as per Government order of April 3, 1840, the payment of which is, in all cases, exacted from the broker charged with the clearance of the vessel. This duty applies to all goods landed from abroad, without regard to the place where they may be landed. The tonnage duties now levied are a grote per shippound, (308 pounds.)
The size of the Hanseatic vessels is stated in lasts, and these not cubic measure, but capacity, as that of carrying grain, say rye, of 4,000 lbs. Two of these have heretofore been considered as equal to three tons American measurement; but it having been submitted to a test by a practical ship-builder at the port of Bremen, it was satisfactorily ascertained that instead of two lasts being equal to three American tons, they are equal to at least 34 tons.
The maritime and commercial intercourse between the United States and Prussia is regulated by the treaty of 1828, in which is adopted the most liberal and extended basis of equality of duties on navigation and commerce in the direct and indirect trade.
Connected with our commerce with Prussia is the subject of the Germanic Association, or Customs Union, established in Germany, and now in successful operation. This important association has for its objects, the union of many of the German States into one body, for the purpose of establishing uniform regulations of commerce; uniform duties of importation, exportation, and transit; a system of uniform weights and measures, and a uniform coinage throughout all the members of the associationobjects resembling, as will be perceived, important purposes contemplated by the establishment of the General Government of the United States.
In all the States of the association the greatest variety and diversity had previously existed. Each had its own circle of custom-houses and its peculiar system of duties, constituting them in these respects foreign countries to one another. The effect of these diversities upon trade and manufactures may easily be supposed to have been highly prejudicial to the general commerce of the country.
The members of the confederation are united in a treaty which establishes one tariff for all, the duties to be collected on the frontiers of what now forms one great commercial league. The nett revenues arising from which are to be divided among the several States, in proportion to their respective amounts of population-every article, (salt and playing cards excepted,) having once paid the duties on the frontier, being permitted to circulate freely among all the States of the Union, without any additional impost.
The treaty was concluded in 1834, and was to continue in force until the 1st of January, 1842; and if, during that term, and, at latest, two years before its expiration, the contrary should not be declared, for twelve years more; and afterwards, from twelve years to twelve years; it has recently, under these provisions, been renewed for another term of twelve years. The effect of this confederation is principally interesting to the United States, in its commercial tendencies, and in the hopes which it encourages, of furnishing an enlarged consumption of some of the staple articles of our
• Vide report of the Secretary of State of May 24th, 1841.
production, such as cotton, tobacco, and rice. The German Commercial and Customs Association comprises an ample territory, abounding in wealth, industry, population, and resources of every description. The States included in it are
It is understood that Brunswick has exhibited an inclination to separate from the Northwestern Union, of which she is now a member, and to join the association; and the accession of the grand dutchy of Luxemburg is likely soon to swell still higher the total population of the States thus united, which constitute already the most industrious, enlightened, and prosperous people of Germany.
Three of the German States have not yet acceded to the association, but have formed a separate commercial and customs union, viz:
By recent official advices, conveying information to a late date in January of the present year, it appears that on the 3d of December, 1841, the Brunswick estates adopted a resolution against an immediate withdrawal from the Hanover Brunswick league, and uniting with the Prussian Customs Union, in conjunction with that part of the dutchy not enclavé in the kingdom of Hanover; since which date, their decision has been reversed, and the accession of the part nearest Prussia took place the 1st of January, 1842, while the rest will not join till the expiration of the year. Thus it seems that this confederation is in the course of dissolution, and that the States of the Prussian league are increasing in numbers. The union of other German States, from the very origin of the commercial league, was anticipated, as the following stipulation, which forms part of their treaty, will show: In case that other German States should convey a wish to form a part of the Zoll Verein, as created by the present treaty, the high contracting parties agree to give effect to that wish, as far as it is consistent with the general interests of the league."
A few of the States of Germany have neither acceded to the association nor formed any special union among themselves; these are
The dutchies of Holstein and Lunenburg, (belonging to the King
The grand dutchy of Mecklenburg Schwerin, with a population of
In the accomplishment of her great political object, Prussia has been compelled to make considerable pecuniary sacrifices, her revenues from the customs being less than before the formation of the association; though this falling off has been gradually lessening, owing to the increased population and prosperity of the kingdom. The attempts made to adjust and compensate this loss have not been successful; but it is believed that the difficulty will be removed by allowing Prussia to levy, for her own exclusive benefit, the transit duties on cotton and other commodities, without any material change in the general system.
The nett revenues of the association have increased from about 12,000,000 thalers, collected in 1834, the year of its first establishment, to upwards of 20,000,000, the present amount, exclusive of the expense of collection, amounting to 124 per cent.-a prodigious increase, and mainly owing to the rapidly increasing prosperity and consequently augmented consumption of the German States associated in the league.
With Hanover the United States has recently concluded a treaty of commerce and navigation, through the agency of Mr. Wheaton, minister of the United States at Berlin, which has been ratified. This treaty differs from our commercial treaties with Prussia, the Hanseatic Towns, and Denmark, by confining the indirect trade to the productions of the kingdom of Hanover, and of any other country of the confederation, on the one side; and to the productions of the United States and of the South American continent and West India islands on the other. It gives us the right of carrying to Hanover in our vessels the productions of the United States, and of the North and South American continent and islands, in exchange for their right of bringing in Hanoverian vessels to the United States the productions of Hanover and the countries composing the confederation.
One of the advantages already acquired by the negotiations of our minister at Berlin, is a considerable reduction of the duties on rice, which, under a resolution of the House of Representatives of 11th June, 1838, he was instructed to endeavor to procure. This important object has been gained, and the consequences, as foreseen, were immediately beneficial to all parties. A great increase in the importation of Carolina rice, which took place as soon as the reduction of duty on the article became known, was followed by a correspondent increase of revenue drawn from its increased consumption in Germany. The succe-s of this experiment encourages the belief that a like course, in respect to other important staples, would be followed by similar results.
The tobacco duties, however, serving as they do the two-fold purpose of raising revenue and of protecting the culture of the tobacco of native growth in Germany, still find formidable obstacles in the way of their removal or modification. The s'ate of the negotiations on this subject up to the session of 1839 and 1840 is sufficiently explained in the correspondence transmitted to the House of Representatives with the President's message of the 14th of April, 1840.
Several of the States of the Germanic Association have no natural outlet to the sea. Their commerce, therefore, is carried on through rivers, the mouths of which open to the ocean in the territories of other Powers. This shows the importance of the union to all the States composing it; but as the union itself is not a Government, commercial stipulations and conventions must be made with the States of the Union in their political capacities. In March last, Great Britain entered into a convention of commerce and navigation with Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony, Wurtemburg, Baden, the electorate of Hesse, the grand dutchy of Hesse, the States forming the customs and commercial union of Thuringia, Nassau, and Frankfort; and similar arrangements with these States might probably be accomplished by the Government of the United States.
Imports into the States of the Zoll Verein penetrate through many channels; not only through German ports, but those of Holland, Belgium and the Hanse Towns. From Hamburg and the Elbe, especially, a large part of the wants of the Verein are supplied; there are, also, large importations through Rotterdam and the Rhine, as well as through Bremen and the Weser. Hence the comparatively small amount of imports from the United States into Prussia, as submitted in the annual reports from the Treasury Department, and as presented in the tabular statement accompanying this report, from which documents the amount and value of our exports have been drawn. In consequence of the system of free trade adopted by the Hanse towns, the larger portion of the imports of Prussia must be received and expedited through ports not her own.
The intercourse of the United States with Russia, both commercial and maritime, is founded on treaty regulations of perfect equality in the direct and indirect trade.
The new Russian tariff went into operation January 1st, 1842. The Department has not been placed in possession of it in a complete form, having received only a list of the duties on most of the principal articles of their import from the United States, which list will be found embodied in this report.
Duties on manufactured goods are ascertained, through official sources, to be materially increased by the new tariff. Many articles formerly prohibited are now admitted on payment of very high duties, almost amounting to prohibition; and the duties on the great body of articles previously admitted have been, so far as the Department is advised, all more or less increased. The duty on cotton, for the benefit of the quarantine establishment, is eighty copecks, in bank notes, per pood, (thirty-six pounds avoirdupois,) which is about eleven cents and 60-100ths, as per value of the silver ruble; for which, see note appended to the table exhibiting amount of imports, &c., into Russia.
The quarantine and additional duties remain as before, it being ordained that there shall be paid on all merchandise imported, an additional duty of one-eighth per cent. ; that is to say, twelve and a half per cent. on the duties of the tariff, which is thus collected. To the duty of the tariff is added the duty of quarantine, and to this the one-eighth per cent. There are also still other charges for the use of cellars and stores of entrepôt for merchandise.