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The following is a list of usual charges for labor in this port: For commission on oil, (per 45 gallons)..
$0 083 For commission on other articles, 2 per cent.
(For taxes and duties, see tariff.) For duties on oil, (per gallon)...
0 084 For city dues, only on wheat, (per bushel)
001 For a boat and 3 men for 12 hours ..
1 50 For porterage for oil, (per 45 gallons).
0 06 For porterage, (per bushel)..
0 001 For labor on board ship, (per day)...
0 333 For a slinger.
0 45 For packing...
0 33 For stower in the hold.
0 50 For cooperage...
0 50 For weighing
0 45 For the average cost of transportation for a ton per mile...
1 00 No depreciated currency in this district. All articles of exportation have to be bought for cash, on which no discount is allowed. No bounties are allowed on either articles of exportation or importation, whatever.
In conclusion, I may remark that the future prospects of this port are indeed very tempting, from its contiguity (650 miles distant) to the Suez channel, through which the rich and much-coveted produce and manufactures of China and Japan will find their way to this best and nearest port, from which they can be transported by rail to other parts of Europe, or reshipped for the United States.
From the present and future view of these above-mentioned circumstances, it is most astonishing why our people, remarkable for their good judgment, .clear sight, and shrewd intelligence in business matters, did not, long ago, open a direct trade with this port; the improvements did not find their way to this country; for example, they use a plough, of the shape represented on ancient monuments, made seven centuries ago, a reason why, I think, our sowing, reaping, and threshing machines would sell at very good profits, together with all improvements facilitating house or field work, for all of which our merchantmen could get in exchange the produce of this country, and those of the countries along the Chinese seas, without risking their life and property, at the
enormous expense of time and money, by the long voyage by the Cape of Good Hope.
To forward this object it would be essential that American trade and influence should penetrate this heretofore isolated port, before the English and French bave entirely besieged and so occupied the warehouses and wharfs as to entirely block the further chances of ingress, that they could derive exclusively the benefit of the opening of the Suez channel.
One glance at the chart will convince any one of the great impending realities, which will soon cause a general commotion in the commercial world, shifting tracks, overthrowing or reverting secular systems of commercial intercourse on land and sea; making of Taranto a great emporium, or place of exchange, between North America and the rich countries beyond the Red sea.
Though the government must have been informed of the progress of the important works of the Suez channel, by the respective consular reports, I thought it, nevertheless, desirable to allude here to the state of its progress, by inserting a copy of an article which appeared in No. 77 of the official gazette, La Patria, 19th of March, 1862, which, translated, reads as follows:
“We are enabled to furnish our readers with important details on the works of the channel destined to cut the isthmus, and also on the inauguration of the channel of the fresh water.
“Up to last January the works were continued with great vigor, although the machines employed for the perforation were not of sufficient strength for
About that time was finished the channel which conducts the waters of the Nile, on the desert of the isthmus, as far as the city of Rimsale, which will make the central point of the Suez channel.
“ The channel of fresh water, of which ninety kilometres are finished, will afford the advantageous cultivation of its shores, to-day covered with sand; the tides from the sea, on the other side, bring the water up to El Ferdane, only twenty leagues distant from the port of Said. From these it results that, in order to establish the communication with the Red sea, there are but seventy kilometres to be excavated, forty of which are places where very little is to be done; it is true that the remaining thirty are more arduous, and that in order to cross the threshold of Elgourtz' there must be dug, from twenty to thirty metres deep, ditches of eight kilometres in length, the perforation of which will oblige the
company to employ heavier machines and more powerful instruinents than they heretofore used.
" Said Pacha, (Cashan,) who openly patronizes this great enterprise, especially since the representative of England seems to have renounced his systematical opposition, will give the company an entire army of Egyptian and Arab workmen to remove the obstacle of that hill; thus in January there were 28,000, and in the month of February from 40,000 to 50,000 workmen in attendance. It is evident that, with such means, the enterprise cannot but make very rapid progress.
"Under the triple consideration of the fertility of its soil, health of its climate, and its geographical position, the valley of Guazacoalco must be considered as one of the most magnificent countries in the world, where the soil returns a hundred fold that which the hand of man confides to it; where the same amount of labor produces at least six times more than the most favored soil in the United States. It would be difficult to form an adequate idea of the variety and richness of its produce, and especially of the valley of Guazacoalco. It is the land of ornamental wood of all kinds, India-rubber, gum-elastic, vanilla, sarsaparilla, indigo, dragon's blood, cacao, almonds, coffee, sugar, tobacco, rice, cotton, Indian corn, honey, bread-tree, &c. All of these products require but little work to enrich an industrious people.”
OTRANTO.-J. S. REDFIELD, Consul.
SEPTEMBER 30, 1862. I have the honor to enclose my first report on the trade in this consular district. It is less complete than I could wish, owing to my long-continued illness; but, I apprehend, there is enough in it to show that there is a great field here for the enterprise of our merchants and manufacturers, and that in the short space of three years, when the great railroad shall be completed, the city of Otranto is likely to become a very important place, scarcely second to any other in the Mediterranean, a place in which our commercial interests will require a permanent consulate.
The trade at the port of Otranto is confined to the importation from the Turkish and Grecian islands, near by, of animals, such as horses, sheep, goats, and calves, sheep and calf skins, not tanned, flax, and Indian corn. These are brought over in the little Mediterranean feluccas by the natives of those islands, and sold only for cash.
The animals are of the meanest possible description and quality, and yet the people of this part of the province rely mainly on these for meat for their daily food, which meat, the best of it, is such as could not be sold in the Boston or New York markets at any price. There are no exports from this place what
Gallipoli, on the western coast of the peninsula, directly opposite Otranto, and twenty-four miles distant, is by far the most important port in this consular district, the oil trade of the province being for the most part concentrated there.
There is as yet no system of gathering statistics of trade, manufactures, or commerce, either at Naples or in the provinces which recently formed a part of that kingdom, and the only means we have to obtain information on these subjects is from the merchants engaged in trade.
The great staple of the Terra d'Otranto is olive oil. Besides the fruit trees in the gardens, there is scarcely any other tree grown in the whole terra than the olive. The oil has been the principal source of the wealth of the inhabitants, which is
considerable. From some of the most intelligent and extensive dealers in that article, I have obtained the following information in regard to this trade, which, I think, may be fully relied on :
i. A full crop of oil for the terra is estimated at about 400,000 selma—that is, 14,000,000 gallons, (one selma thirty-five gallons.) It is, however, a biennial fruit, and a full crop is only obtained every other year.
2. It is sold principally to England, Russia, and the north of Germany, (none to the United States,) and is sold only for cash.
3. From twenty to seventy-five per cent of the exportation is from the port of Gallipoli, the balance mainly from Taranto-only one or two cargoes a year from Brindisi.
4. The wholesale price of the oil in former years has averaged about twentyfive dollars
per selma. This year, in consequence of the great destruction of oil by fire at St. Petersburg and Moscow, the price is much enhanced, it being now worth $36
selma. Besides olive oil, this terra produces wine, grain, oats, and wool, which are exported in very small quantities to Naples. Till now the production of grain has not been sufficient to supply the demands for home consumption, while that of wine exceeds that demand sometimes by one and a half million of gallons. It is, however, very crudely manufactured.
In education, in the agricultural, manufacturing, and industrial arts, especially in tool-making, the people of this province are many years behind any other civilized nation probably on the globe. But few of the adults can write their
own names, or even read, and there seems to be but little prospect, at present, that the next generation will receive any better education, no provision whatever being made for schools for the children of the masses of the people.
The philosopher who described man as a tool-making animal had never lived in southern Italy, for here the entire absence of even the commonest modern tool or labor-saving contrivance, so universal in our own country, is one of the most noticeable marvels to the intelligent traveller, most of those in use being probably of the same patterns as those used in the “Garden of Eden.”
In the city of Otranto, for instance, one-half the population go to one well for all the water they use in the house, and have done so probably for five hundred years or longer, and yet they have no contrivance whatever to raise the water from the well. Each servant carries her vase with a rope like a clothes-line attached, and lowers it into the well, and draws the water.
Agricultural implements are of an equally primitive type. Rain rarely falls here between the first of May and the middle or last of August It is a country, therefore, where the sub-soil plough could be of eminent advantage, yet it is not known, and has probably never been heard of, except by those with whom I bave spoken about it. On very many of the farms the only plough they use is a hoe, with a handle about two feet long, capable of disturbing the soil, perhaps, to the depth of five or six inches. With subsoil ploughing, in my opinion, the products of the country would be doubled, besides being of a very much better quality.
The lumber used here is brought from Venice. It is sold at a very high price, and is a miserable quality of pine, but little better than our own hemlock.
The ex-kingdom of Naples is the wealthiest portion of Italy, and contains a population of more than seven millions of inhabitants, without including Sicily; and except in the city of Naples, where there is an exceedingly limited amount of trade with the United States, the productions of our country are utterly unknown. In my opinion, there is no better field for the enterprise of our merchants and manufacturers than this country affords, and that where there is now one American vessel in Naples there might be twenty.
At the last session of the Italiau parliament an act was passed authorizing the government to contract with a wealthy banker for the construction of a railroad from Ancona to Otranto, on the Adriatic, connecting all the principal cities, and having branches running laterally to all the important cities on the western shore, such as Naples, Salerno, Taranto, &c., &c., the whole to be completed by January 1, 1866.
Yesterday the engineer on this section arrived in this city, and has pitched his tent preparatory to making his surveys in this vicinity.
This is a most important enterprise in a commercial point of view, and will do more than anything else to modernize and improve this portion of Italy, and will make it all the better field for the operations of our enterprising merchants and manufacturers if they choose to work it.
Otranto will then undoubtedly become a city of considerable importance, as it will be the terminus of the railroad, and a landing point for all the steamers plying to and from the upper Mediterranean ports. It will be connected with Havre, and all the principal cities of France, Germany, and Italy, by an unbroken chain of railroad, and as it will be the most direct and easy way to reach Greece, Turkey, Egypt, and all that section of the world, it must necessarily become a great thoroughfare of travel and entrepot of merchandise.
ANCONA.-L. UJHazi, Consul.
able to get.
September 30, 1862. According to the law of 1856, and the general instructions issued thereupon, I respectfully submit herewith my annual report at the close of the present quarter as following:
a. The state and condition of the trade at this port is to be seen out of the tabular statement of imports and exports, containing the description of merchandise, quantity, value, the countries which supply the former, and receive the latter in the preceding year, prepared from the best authentic sources I was
This statement is annexed herewith. Comparing the statement of 1861 with that of 1860, in order to ascertain the increase or decrease of the trade at this port, the result is : imports $82,614; exports, $32,076, more than in 1860. This real fact of the increase of trade, though as yet comparatively very small, is to be attributed to the freedom of commerce, derived from the union of the several Italian provinces under one national government, and from the removal of all the obstacles which barred the communication between so many provinces, torn asunder, and of distinct political systems of government, each having its particular rules of commerce. But, above all, the railroad connecting, two years since, this middle place of Italy, on the Adriatic, with the north, has the greatest part in the result.
A review of the statement shows, further, that, in regard to the amount of imports to this place, Austria is first in order, England second, France third. America has no at all yet in direct import. As to the export, England is the greatest recipient, then Austria and the Ionian Islands. America, as recipient, is only one step ahead of the Turkish dominions.
b. General regulation of trade at this place are now leaving a foe in its very intellect, except the revenue tariff of imports and exports, and the prohibition of some articles, which matter will follow below.
The staple articles of export of the greatest importance are three, namely: grains, as breadstuff
, silk, bides. Their average market prices, after the printed prices current issued by the chamber of commerce, are as follows: Fall wheat, $10 23 per rubbio, (a rubbio is about eight bushels.) Indian corn, $6 72 per rubbio; rice, $2 67 per 100 Italian pounds ; silk, $4 20 per Italian pounds; hideg, $16 92 per 100 Italian pounds.
The principal articles of import are colonials, manufactures, iron. The average market prices of these are: colonials, that is to say, cocoa, $10 53 per 100 Italian pounds; coffee, $13 54 per 100 Italian pounds; sugar, refined, $5 86 per 100 Italian pounds. The average market prices of manufactures cannot be determined here, there being many descriptions of them. The price of iron is $1 92 per 100 Italian pounds.
I am sending, otherwise, one of the above-mentioned prices current to the Treasury Department at the end of each quarter.
c. The average rates of freights to the United States, occurring very seldom, is estimated to be from eight to ten dollars per ton.
d. Relating to prohibited articles of import, privileges of importation or restitutions thereon, duties on articles exported, I have to state that, generally considered, the system of revenue laws of the kingdom of Italy is very liberal, because there are very few prohibited articles of import; otherwise, the tariff of importation, compared with that of other countries of Europe, is very low; so, likewise, the tariff of exportation, which is only levied on few articles. To send over to the department the whole specification of the revenue tariff would