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SMYRNA. JULIUS BING, Consul.
JANUARY 1, 1862.
The demand for wool in the market remains very brisk, and will increase in proportion to that for woollen goods created in the United States by the needs of the army and navy. In regard to cotton, the prospect for the next crop is very favorable, and it will probably exceed 20,000 bales. I am prepared in collecting information on this subject, which I will forward as soon as possible. The fruit trade is depressed by the increase of duty in the United States, which, far from being a gain, is positively a loss to our government, inasmuch as the great quantities formerly imported with the lower rate of duties have now fallen off to such a degree as to create a loss of revenue to the United States from this source to a considerable extent.
Report on Turkish cotton drawn up by Julius Bing, United States consul at Smyrna.
JANUARY 24, 1862.
The quantity of cotton produced in the Turkish empire in 1860 was 14,500 bales; in 1861, 20,000; in 1862 it is likely to be near 30,000.
There is every prospect of the increase of cotton cultivation if prices continue high, the present rates being very advantageous to the cultivation, more especially for the first quality, which, being produced in Sobryia, in the district of Ardin will have the advantage of cheap and speedy transport by the Ardin railway when finished.
I may be permitted to state here that this railway is already in operation as far as the village of Cos Bounar, about forty miles; the whole distance from Smyrna to Ardin is eighty, so that forty miles still remain to be completed. But the work is progressing steadily under the superintendence of English engineers and agents, who reside here for that purpose, an English company having made with the Turkish government a contract for the construction of the railway.
The actual price of Turkish cotton delivered in Boston or New York would be from 15 to 17 cents per pound. The average weight of the bales is 3 kilos, or 4023 pounds.
The best season for purchasing Turkish cotton is in the month of October, and contracts are made with those merchants (chiefly natives) who transact the business with the interior. The Turkish cotton is far superior to the Egyptian. The export duty, as written in the tariff, is three per cent., but as the price has doubled, it does not actually come to more than one and a half per cent. Annexed are samples of the two principal qualities of Turkish cotton.
APRIL 1, 1862.
I beg leave to submit to your consideration a translated copy of a communication received from Mr. Stamatrades, a Russian subject of the island of Samos, setting forth the commercial advantages of that island for opening relations with the United States, and offering his services gratuitously as consular agent.
I have forwarded to you, through the agency of Mr. 1. Amory, of Boston, and by sailing vessels, a parcel containing seeds of Egyptian and Turkish cotton, and of Turkish madder roots, which I beg you will have the kindness to forward to the Commissioner of Patents. The sample of Egyptian seed is taken from the qualities which arrive here from England for free distribution among the cotton-planters in the province of Smyrna, and in other districts of Asia Minor.
"SIR: The undersigned, John Stamatrades, residing at Samos, has the honor to lay before you the following statement:
"I am of Samian origin, but for the last forty years I have been engaged in trade with Greece, Russia, Europe, and Turkey, under Russian protection. I have lately established myself at Samos, where I carry on commerce, aided by my sons, who were educated in Greece. The trade of this island, both in exports and imports, attracted my attention. The exports, which are considerable, consist of wines, white and black raisins, oil, the fruit of the locust tree, cocoons, &c. The imports, with the exception of grain, which comes from different parts of Turkey and Russia, consists of various sorts of colonial products, hardware, glassware, ironware, cotton nettings, silk, cotton and woollen goods, and English cotton goods, which are sold here for American manufactures, and various other articles are also brought from different European ports.
"The island of Samos contains from thirty-five to thirty-six thousand inhabitants, who are chiefly employed in agriculture and navigation. The climate is delightful and very salubrious. It is situated quite close to the continent of Asia. From the position and the number of its ports, it might form a central commercial place, and become a vast depot for foreign merchandise to be sent to Asia.
"JULIUS BING, Esq.,
"United States Consul at Smyrna.”
JULY 19, 1862.
In my despatch No. 12 I had the honor to inform you that the first shipment of Turkish cotton ever made from Asia Minor to the United States had been made at my suggestions in February last.
This shipment having proved highly advantageous, an impulse has been given to the cultivation of cotton which will lead to an increased production and bring up the year's crop to about 40,000 to 50,000 bales.
I had the honor of forwarding to the honorable Commissioner of Patents samples of Egyptian cotton seed, which has been distributed by the Manchester association among the cotton-growers in Asia Minor.
I beg you will bring to the knowledge of the parties interested in the trade and manufacture of cotton in the United States that immense supplies of the staple could be obtained in Asiatic Turkey, as soon as proper measures are taken to that effect, and I would suggest that a committee of merchants be formed in the United States with a view of assisting to a moderate extent the cotton-growers in Asia Minor with capital and laborers for the production of American cotton.
The "Manchester Cotton Supply Association" has sent, in 1858, New Orleans cotton seed to the cotton-growers of the island of Rhodes. The experiment has proved highly successful, and the cotton produced was not inferior to the best qualities of Louisiana.
Without energetic assistance, however, from abroad, the growers here lack the capital, the skill, and the laborers to avail themselves of the boundless advantages which the fertility of the soil and the congeniality of the climate give to Turkey for the production of cotton.
Asiatic Turkey possesses an area of nearly 700,000 square miles, with a population of but 16,000,000. It may therefore be readily imagined what enormous territories are lying unproductive. Considerable tracts of land, with plentiful water, and a fruitful soil, could easily be obtained by paying to the government ten per cent. on the value of produce in lieu of rent.
With assistance such as I venture to suggest, Asia Minor might speedily be enabled to contribute powerfully towards a relief of the cotton famine, and the Turkish government and people would, of course, be the principal partakers of the benefit conferred upon the world by the increased production of their cotton.
Permit me to call your attention to this important matter, and I need hardly add that if my suggestions should be adopted in the United States, and a Turkish cotton committee be appointed, I would do all in my power to co-operate in its labors.
SEPTEMBER 22, 1862.
The fruit crop is of remarkable abundance this year, and notwithstanding the high duties, the shipments to the United States are not inconsiderable.
The culture of cotton in Turkey is actively pushed on by the English commission, and the Turkish government has appointed a committee for the promotion of the same object.
The successful result of the shipment of Turkish cotton made at my suggestion to the United States, and being the first ever made from Turkey to America, has not contributed a little to give a stimulus to cotton production in Asia Minor, as I had already the pleasure of informing you on former occasions.
The railway of Ephesus was opened on the 15th instant, and the journey from Smyrna to that locality of ancient and hallowed associations is now made in three hours.
SEPTEMBER 30, 1862.
I have the honor of enclosing an extract from the Smyrna Mail, of this city, relating to the measures taken by the Porte and the local authorities for the promotion of the growth of cotton in Turkey; and I also beg leave to submit to your consideration a communication received from Hyde Clarke, vice-president of the imperial cotton commission for Anatolia, and will thank you to bring the same to the knowledge of manufacturers and other parties interested in the matter in the United States.
IMPERIAL COTTON COMMISSION FOR ANATOLIA,
Smyrna, September 29, 1862. DEAR SIR: I am desired by the Imperial Cotton Commission to communicate with you on the subject of cleaning and agricultural implements for the cotton
The imperial government have instructed us to hold an exhibition of cotton gins and agricultural implements in Smyrna, at which prizes and awards will be given.
In my opinion, American manufacturers can best supply our requirements; and as this presents an eligible opening for them, I trust that the United States government will do me the favor to make known to them our intentions.
A translation of the ordinance of the imperial government will be found in the Smyrna Mail of this week.
I have the honor to be, dear sir, your faithful servant,
Vice-President of the Imperial Cotton Commission for Anatolia.
JULIUS BING, Esq.,
Consul of the United States, Smyrna.
COTTON IN THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE.
Ordinance of his excellency the minister of commerce communicated to his excellency Mehemed Reshid Pasha, governor general of the province of the Smyrna :
EXCELLENCY: One of the important measures taken by the government of his imperial Majesty in relation to the progress and development of cotton cultivation in the Ottoman Empire, is that of changing the mode of collecting the tithes or land
tax, and substituting a fixed duty per denum (or Turkish acre) for the harvest of this substance, under some conditions only admitting of being progressively gathered. The cultivators of cotton are obliged, during part of the time, to go into the fields every day, and almost hourly, to collect in small quantities the ripened pods; otherwise, if the pods were collected at once, it would be impossible afterwards properly to gin or clean the cotton. If, on the other hand, the pods be allowed to remain on the plant too long, then they drop of themselves, and are spoiled. So far as the tithe collection is concerned, it would be the duty of the parties employed to consult the convenience of the cultivator, and follow him step by step in his operations as he gathered the portions of his erop, or else to rely wholly upon his good faith for the correctness of the total, or else to place guards in the cotton-field. It is evident that none of these measures are practicable, for they present insurmountable difficulties; and, therefore, with the view of overcoming these practical difficulties, the imperial government has determined to proceed in conformity with the imperial iradeh, as follows: Immediately after the expiration of the present farming lease or iltizam of the tithes, instead of receiving for the next crop the tithe dues as heretofore, there shall be established a fixed contribution per annum for each denum under cotton cultivation. This contribution shall be determined by taking as its basis the production of the last six years; but under no circumstances shall this contribution be allowed to exceed one-tenth of the annual product in cotton of such lands. This measure shall be applied for ten consecutive years. Besides these important measures in regard to the development of cotton cultivation, the imperial government grant to the cultivator of this product the following concessions:
1st. During the ten years which follow the date of the promulgation of this ordinance, all waste land which may be broken up and appropriated to the culture of cotton shall be exempt from tithe, vergu property tax, and all kinds of local taxes, during the of five years. space
2d. During the next ten years all cotton exported from the Ottoman Empire shall pay the same fixed custom duties as those already assessed on indigenous or yerli, (i. e., inferior cotton,) whatever may be its quality, even should the quality be greatly improved in value.,
3d. All machinery for the cultivation and cleaning of cotton shall be on purchase and importation exempt from all customs duties.
4th. Machines and other instruments for cotton cultivation, as well as seed of superior quality, shall be obtained at the expense of the imperial government, in a sufficient quantity to be employed as models, and to be distributed gratuitously to cultivators. The imperial government will also cause to be distributed printed pamphlets descriptive of the cultivation and of employing the imple
5th. The imperial government makes known its intention of taking measures for the early amelioration of the roads more particularly serviceable for facilitating the transport of cotton.
6th. In the principal places of production there shall be established an annual exhibition of cotton productions, and rewards shall be granted by the government to the cultivators exhibiting who show products of superior quality.
7th. Mixed commissions, composed of natives and foreigners, having theoretical and practical knowledge of the subject, shall be instituted and established in all the chief towns of the provinces producing cotton. The duties of these commissions shall be to present to the imperial government reports concerning the execution of the most effective measures for encouraging and developing cotton cultivation.
Your excellency cannot fail to be aware that the measures taken by the mixed commission, once put in execution, cannot fail to procure immense resources not only for the population, but for the imperial government. Never
theless, before putting these measures in execution, it is necessary to inform the public of them by publishing them in the principal journals of the country, and also by making them known and recommending them to the population by means of the councils in each district of the provinces, particularly in the producing districts.
As, however, all the countries subject to your jurisdiction are already in iltizam, or farmed out for a certain time still to run, it is for the moment impossible to put into execution the measures concerning the collection of the tithes. We therefore beg your excellency to submit to us such remedial measures as may be put in practice to alleviate a portion of the difficulties by which the actual mode of collection impedes the development of cotton cultivation. We beg you likewise to institute, as quickly as possible, the commission designated in article 7.
The president will be named by your excellency; the vice-president and the first secretary will be named by the members of the commission. The nomination of these three persons, as well as the other members of the commission, being purely honorary, no salary will be allotted to them; but the imperial government will appropriate for them an office, fuel, and office charges, which will be defrayed from the imperial treasury.
The first question for the solution of the commission is the selection of the machines, implements, and seed, which are to be imported by the imperial gov ernment at its own expense; and the deliberations shall be directed to the nature, kind, and adaptability to the wants and habits of the population of the requisite articles. The commission will therefore draw up a report pointing out the name and kind of the machines and agricultural implements, the towns and manufacturers that can supply them, the prime cost, and expense of transport and other charges. This report will likewise include the names of the cultivators to whom a preference should be given, and to which parts of the provinces they should be distributed. The commission will also determine the place to be selected for the annual exhibition.
As the deliberations of the said commission have no other purpose than that of the public good, it is indispensable that it should enjoy complete liberty in its deliberations.
The imperial government having been informed that several honorable persons unite the qualifications required for members of the commission, we send you the following list from which your excellency is requested to convoke the members before you; and in case they accept the mission offered to them, to constitute the said commission without delay, and, in case of need, to recommend to us other members:
His excellency Neshet Bey, political commissary of the imperial government of Smyna.
Colonel Reschad Bey, imperial commissioner for the Ottoman Smyrna and Aidin railway, president of the imperial commission for expropriation of land. Mr. Hyde Clarke, vice-president of the imperial commission for expropriation of land, representative of the contractor for the Ottoman railway.
Mr. C. Whittal, merchant; Mr. J. B. Patterson, merchant; Mr. T. B. Rees, merchant; Mr. James Gout, merchant; Mr. Peter Gout, merchant; Mr. Frederick La Fontaine, comptroller of the Smyrna branch, Ottoman Bank; Major Mustapha Effendi, second imperial commissioner for the Ottoman Smyrna and Aidin railway.
Diran Effeni, secretary, interpreter of the government of Smyrna.
I have the honor to be, &c.,