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PUBLIC DEBT.

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The Controller's report, December 31, 1897, shows the public debt of Russia as follows:

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5 per cent..

Silver and Paper.
Roubles.

65,174,900 1,531,376,700

Total in Silver and Paper. Roubles.

75,000,000

65,174,900

2,691,301,830

Gold.
Roubles.

50,000,000

773,283,420

121,507,438

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944,790,858

1,621,220,600

3,038,406,887

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106,301,535

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148,061,277

222,091,916

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There is, in addition to the above, 621,281,634 paper roubles for paper currency uncovered.
NOTE.-The uniform value of 1 rouble 50 copecks=1 rouble gold, and 1 rouble 50 copecks in

22,938,531

59,995,684

63,813,466

2,127,954,463

2,128,826,099

2,920,855,660

95,720,199

2,127,954,463

3,193,239,148

silver.

Agriculture.

The lands of Russia are distributed among the different classes of owners as follows:

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In Central Russia 66 per cent. of the arable land is under crops; in South Russia, 78 per cent.; in North and in Southeast Russia, 10 per cent.; and in Astrakhan only 8 per cent. The cereal crops of Russia in Europe (exclusive of Finland) for the last four years are seen from the following, in thousands of quarters (8 bushels):

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In European Russia, in 1896, there were 5,484,050 acres under flax, yielding 670,000 tons of flax fiber and 909,200 tons linseed, of which 41,190 tons and 58,000, respectively, were reported; 2,004,730 acres under hemp, 246,800 tons of fiber, and 723,400 tons hempseed; 14,000 tons fiber reported. About 6,500 tons of hops are gathered each year.

According to an official report, the Russian crops (Caucasus and Poland included) in 1897 were as follows: Rye, 946,047,000 pouds: winter wheat, 156,680,000 pouds: spring wheat, 331,314,000 pouds; oats, 515.523.000 pouds: barley, 288,977,000 pouds; buckwheat, 469,377,000 pouds; millet, 80,322,000 pouds; maize, 36,185,000 pouds.

The estimated wheat crop of European Russia is 296,000,000 bushels for 1898, as against 285,000,000 bushels in 1897.

Mining Industries.

The mining industry in Russia is steadily developing. The statistics for the years stated are shown in the following table:

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Russia remains still dependent upon foreign supplies of coal and coke, as will appear from the following statement of imports, in tons of 2,240 pounds:

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The Caspian naphtha industry is increasing rapidly. The output in 1896 was, in gallons: Crude oil, 127,423,000: residuum, 927,125,000; illuminating, 433,615,000; lubricating, 42,785,000; others, 5,180,000. Total, 1,536,130,000.

Manufactures.

Inclusive of the mining, tobacco, spirits, and sugar trades, the manufactories of the Empire having a yearly productivity of more than 1,000 roubles each are estimated as follows:

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The growth of the different industries for the last 12 years is thus stated by the Ministry of Finance:

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The cotton industry is making rapid progress, as will appear from the following comparison; the figures represent paper roubles, not gold:

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This high figure is obtained by reckoning upon a 12-hour day's work, while many spindles in Russia run from 18 to 24 hours.

The value of iron and steel manufactures imported into Russia from the United States, as compared with the principal exporting countries thereto, is shown below for the year 1896:

Value of Total Importations

Articles.

Machinery, unspecified..

Great Germany. Britain. $4,300,000 $2,150,000

United

from All

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Sheet iron up to No. 25.

4,600,000

470,000

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Bar iron, etc..

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Castings for machinery, etc.

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Locomotives..

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Textile machinery.

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Bar steel, etc..

520,000

115,000

600,000

1,150,000

Steam-engines..

1,350,000

670,000

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Iron and steel articles weighing more than 2

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Enameled ware..

491,000

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Wood-working machinery.

465,000

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Sheet iron under No. 25.

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Pig iron....

131,000

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Sheet steel up to No. 25..

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Agricultural machinery.

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Electrical machinery.

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Castings N. E. S..

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Iron and steel articles weighing less than

kilogrammes..

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Steel rails.

311,000

123,000

107,000

580,000

Agricultural steam-engines

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1,500

585,000

Totals......

$26,788,000 $12,966,000

$6,431,000 $2,179,000

$53,634,000

Foreign Commerce.

The merchandise imports and exports of Russia, special commerce, expressed in thousands of roubles, were as follows for the years named; those of Finland are expressed in marks:

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The foreign trade is shown as follows, expressed in thousands of paper roubles:

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For the last six years grain has formed, on the average, 55 per cent. in value of the aggregate exports to Europe, 58.7 per cent. in 1888, and 51 in 1889.

The official figures of grain exports are given in the subjoined table:

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EXPORTS OF NAPHTHA.

The export of naphtha (from Russia and Caucasus as well) will be seen from the following table:

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The imports into European Russia and North Caucasia of the principal articles, expressed in thousands of paper roubles, were as follows:

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The total imports of bar and sheet iron, expressed in pouds (1 poud = 36 pounds avoirdupois), were as follows: In 1892, 3,050,000; in 1893, 5,295,000; in 1894, 11,365,000; in 1895, 13,109,663.

EXPORTS OF LEADING ARTICLES.

The leading exports from European Russia and North Caucasia, including exports to Finland, are shown as follows, in thousands of roubles:

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* Also 2,599,000 roubles' worth from Persia in 1893, 2,104,000 in 1894, 2,622,000 in 1895, and 2,775,000

in 1896.

+Also 19,199,000 roubles' worth through Asia in 1893, 22,260,200 in 1894, 19,214,000 in 1895, and 20,253,000 in 1896.

* Besides, to Vladivostok, 19,005,000 roubles' worth in 1895, and 24,552,000 in 1896.

The total value of imports and exports (merchandise only) with the principal countries is shown below, in thousands of roubles:

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been:

- Imports-

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-Exports-
1895.

1896.

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17,655

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9.098

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185,368

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70,850

7,085

14,610

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23,143

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160,903

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58,206

9,152

11,698

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36,412

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29.942

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14,340

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3,790

53,393

29,457

65,671

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3,022

5,047

5,482

10,783

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14,160

14,496

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The value of the gold and silver coin and bullion imported into and exported from Russia has

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The total value of merchandise of all Russia exported to the United States and imported from the United States was as follows:

1892.

1894.

1895.

1896.

1898.

1893. 1897. Exported from Russia.. $5,246,797 $6,117,015 $3,206,746 $4,016,401 $3,973,583 $3,401,080 $4,650,739 Imported into Russia... 6,819,035 2,447,414 6,991,330 6,162,793 8,062,143 8,016,218 7,954,097

The principal articles exported from Russia to the United States for the year ending June 30, 1896, were: Chemicals, drugs, dyes, etc.. $498,211, of which licorice root, $458,266; flax, hemp, jute, $473,592; furs and skins, undressed, $345,767; hides and skins, not furs, $717,305; wools, unmanufac tured, $1,135,469.

The principal imports into Russia from the United States were: Agricultural implements, $457,622; cotton, unmanufactured, $3,693,406; iron and steel, manufactures, $1,787,124; naval stores, $329,617.

Railroads, Shipping, Telegraphs, and Post-Office. (See Index.)

Banking and Money.

To effect a stability in the value of the paper rouble, the Ministry of Finance, in 1895, offered means for all payments to the Treasury and railways being made in gold, at a ratio between gold and paper currency to be fixed from time to time by the Ministry. For 1895 the ratio was established at 1 r. 48 c. paper for 1. r. gold. For 1896, the value of the old and new "imperial" was established at 15 r. 45 c. and 15 r., respectively-making the ratio between gold and paper 15 to 10, or 15 paper roubles for 10 roubles in gold. This ratio was continued in 1897, and it is proposed to maintain it further. The State Bank is to accept paper money at this ratio for gold. By Imperial decree dated January 3, 1897, the gold money, while of the same contents of gold, weight, and dimensions as before, shall be marked upon it-on the "imperials" 15 roubles (instead of 10), and on the "half imperials," 7 r. 50 c. (instead of 5 r.).

On September 10, 1897, a law was passed authorizing the issue of paper currency, when necessity requires, by the State's Bank, on the following conditions: When the amount of paper currency does not exceed 600,000,000 roubles, it must be guaranteed by half that sum (300,000,000 roubles) in gold, while all issues above 600,000,000 roubles must be guaranteed to the full amount in gold deposited at the bank.

The Bank of Russia acts in the joint capacity of a State and commercial institution. It has 108 branches. Its condition at the end of 1897 was as follows:

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