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The following table shows the proportions of the trade of Greece with foreign countries for the
year 1859 :
There has been no alteration in the tariff of duties on imports, and no alteration in the port charges in this kingdom for the last two years, as I learn.
There are in Greece but ninety miles of carriageable roads, and there are no manufactures, except two or three silk-winding establishments and ship-building. The principal resource of the Greeks is agriculture. The country is badly cultivated—first, for want of capital; and second, for want of roads.
The business of ship-building is carried on successfully in Greece, more so, perhaps, than any other branch of national industry. Their vessels are from 20 to 700 tons of our measurement, are generally built of fir, not as well bolted or carefully built as our American vessels, but they will sail well and cost less than ours, and less than one-half of the vessels built in France or England, averaging not more than $27 per ton. It is therefore evident that a good portion of the coasting trade of the Mediterranean, especially of the Levant, for some time to come must be in the hands of the Greeks.
I have the promise of the minister of finance to furnish me with the report of 1860 as soon as it shall be published, though it probably will not be for some two or three months, when I will make a more detailed statement.
Should there be any changes in the tariff on imports or exports, or any alteration in the commercial regulations, or other and important changes affecting the commerce of the United States, I shall inform the department.
(The foregoing being the only commercial statistics received at this department since the report for 1858, is, though of a comparatively old date, included in this report.)
NAGASAKI.-John G. WALSH, Consul.
APRIL 16, 1862. Herewith enclosed I send a circular concerning the “silk production of Japan,” which may be of some commercial value.
“We invite your attention to the annexed statement concerning the production of silk in Japan.
“ The information was obtained (through a Japanese who has been in our employ about three years, and in whom we have confidence) from one of the principal silk merchants of Ida. We have seen this merchant, and consider his statements worthy of credit.
"The principal silk market of Japan is Kioto, the residence of the mikado, or titular emperor, and therefore the nominal capital of the empire. It is called on foreign maps Miako. It is distant from the great commercial city of Osacca about 30 miles in a northeasterly direction. Samples from all the silk districts of Japan are sent to Kioto, and the disposal of the silk is regulated by the merchants there.
* All the silk of Japan is produced in the island of Nipon, between 30° and 41° N. latitude and 1350 and 141° E. longitude. The district Oshoo, which produces nearly one-half of the whole quantity, lies between 36° and 41° N. latitude and 139° and 141° E. longitude, and covers an area of about 2,500 square miles.
* It is estimated that just prior to the opening of the empire to foreign trade, in 1859, the annual production of silk was about 40,000 piculs. It was among the effects of the isolation then maintained here that this silk was very cheap, was generally of good quality, and that the production just met the consumption of the country and left no surplus.
"Since the opening of the ports and the advent of a large foreign demand prices have risen nearly 100 per cent., while quality in general has somewhat deteriorated.
“ Production, on the other hand, has thus far increased only about 25 per cent., or eight per cent. per annum. And we doubt if this rate of increase can be much improved upon under present circumstances. For, although the productive power of the country and of the people is unquestionably very great, it has not full exercise: the numerous and powerful feudal aristocracy of the empire being interested not only to keep down the price of silk, (of which they are the chief consumers,) but to prevent the common people from growing rich, and consequently ambitious and insubordinate. It is therefore not surprising that they endeavor, by taxes, monopolies and prohibitions, to exclude from the interior the influence of the demand prevailing at the ports, and that production should be checked in consequence,
“We think, however, that in Japan, as in all other countries where similar repression has been attempted, the people will gradually overcome these impediments, and that meantime, if the silk-growers are debarred from sending to market large quantities of their produce, they will contrive to enhance their gains by sending a greater proportion of the better qualities, which are those most wanted by the foreigners.
“Two crops are made each year, and are said to be gathered in all the silk districts at about the same time.
“ It will be seen by the statement that Kanagawa is, on the whole, nearer to the silk districts than any other open port. Osacca, however, is almost as accessible to the principal of them as Kanagawa, and being near Kioto, and a place of much greater wealth and commercial activity than any other in Japan, it is likely that when it shall be opened to foreign trade (which it should be by treaty in 1863) the greater part of the silk for export will be sold there.
“Moreover the opening of this port would do more than anything else to counteract the checks which the aristocracy now impose upon the producers; for the latter, through their agents, the Osacca merchants, would then be brought into closer relations with the foreign trade, would acquire ideas of progress, and would exert themselves to give life and effect to those ideas. It is doubtless for this reason that the government is so reluctant to admit foreigners to this port, and is endeavoring, through the foreign ministers, to suspend the treaty stipu. lations with regard to it. But it is for the same reason important to foreigners that the port should be duly opened, and we have good reason to believe that the Japanese mercantile class desire this no less than ourselves. We are, dear sir, your obedient servants,
WALSH & CO.,
*Although these districts are far apart, the manner of reeling and packing is the same, therefore the production is reckoned together.
† Kanagawa is in this district.
KANAGAWA.-G. S. FISHER, Consul.
SEPTEMBER 16, 1862. Since my last to you, under date July 15, I have carefully prepared a new and complete registry of all persons in the jurisdiction of this consulate claiming protection of our flag, and find that we enumerate as follows: White male adults, 43; white women and children, 17; colored male adults, 3; colored woman, 1; permanent American residents, 64. We have visitors as follows: White male adults, 7; white women, 5; white children, 12. Total American citizens, 76.
Besides these, there are in the port six (6) American vessels, all with American captains, and crews of various nationalities, though chiefly Americans.
The total foreign population here is not far from 220 souls, all told. The English number about the same as the American population, though they have from fifteen to twenty more adults. The balance are French, Dutch, German, Russian, Portuguese, and one or two other nationalities.
We have anchored in this port to-day: American merchant ships, 6; English merchant ships, 6; Dutch merchant ships, 5; French merchant ships, 3.
November 22, 1862. The business of this port is constantly improving, and most of the business houses wear now a more cheerful aspect in view of the future, the late fears having changed into confidence.
ISLAND OF ZANZIBAR.—WILLIAM W. GOODHUE, Vice-Consul.
JUNE 30, 1862. I have the honor to inform you that this is the first quarter for several
years that there have been no arrivals and departures of American vessels at this port. This is owing not only to the enormous price of domestics at home, but also to the extreme low price of ivory and gum copal; the former articles being the only imports into, and the latter the only exports from, Zanzibar to any amount in American vessels. Business must revive. It is now, comparatively speaking, dead.
TANGIER.-Jesse H. McMath, Consul.
November 19, 1862. I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your despatch No. 3, dated July 1, 1862, which came to hand 13th August last; and in pursuance of instructions therein contained, I addressed a letter to his royal highness Viceroy Prince Muly Abbas, a copy of which is enclosed, No. 1, and forwarded it to his excellency Seid M. Bargash, Moorish minister for foreign affairs, accompanied by a note to him, a copy of which is also enclosed, No. 2.
Your despatch No. 4, dated September 18, 1862, has been received, and I beg to inform the department that the proposition made by the company of Spanish merchants to his Majesty the Sultan in reference to the cultivation and manufacture of cotton in the empire, referred to in my despatch No. 5, dated 22d July last, has been rejected. I have been advised, however, by one of the Moorish authorities, that the Sultan has commenced the cultivation of cotton on quite a large scale, on his own account, near Morocco city, and that he has been supplied with cotton seed, and the necessary machinery for cleaning cotton, by her Britannic Majesty's government.
The importation of sulphur and nitre, which has been prohibited for thirty years past, is now permitted for the period of one year, as will be seen by enclosure No. 3. The duties on all articles imported, as heretofore fixed by his Majesty, is ten per cent. ad valorem.
It is proper that I should explain so much of the communication of the Moorish minister for foreign affairs, as relates to the exportation of cereals and wool: about fifteen months since his Majesty gave notice in all the seaports of his empire that on and after the first day of October, 1862, he would prohibit the exportation of those articles; and I am advised that his reason for this was that Christian merchants of all nations, having representatives residing here, claimed the rights for themselves guaranteed by treaty with Spain. Under the treaty referred to Spanish merchants or their agents could go into the interior and buy grain and wool. This right was also claimed and exercised by other nations, and his Majesty's subjects are only partially ciyilized or enlightened, robberies were frequently comunitted, and other difficulties arose which gave a great deal of trouble to the Moorish authorities. To avoid the difficulties frequently arising, his Majesty gave notice about two months since that he would permit the exportation of cereals and wool, on and after the first of November, 1862, only upon the condition that the foreign representatives would consent that their subjects (merchants) or their agents should not go into the interior to purchase, but confine themselves to the public markets es blished in the several seaports of the empire.
I have just been informed upon reliable authority that his Majesty has also allowed the exportation of rags and aloe-fibre—the former paying a duty of ten ounces (about twenty-nine cents) the cantar or cwt., and the latter six ounces. It is reported that his Majesty is about to make his debut as a manufacturer, he having made arrangements for establishing a paper manufactory at Magadore, under the superintendence of an Englishman.
(Copy of Mahomed Bargash's reply, referred to in preceding despatch )
PRAISE BE TO The One God!
To our dear and wise friend, consul general for the United States of America,
Jesse II. McMath, esq., which premised, we continue to make inquiries regarding your welfare, and praying God you are well.
I beg to inform you that our master, protected by God, has renewed the free exportation of wool and cereals for the period of two years, commencing from the first of November, 1862, under the condition which we have agreed upon with you; that no merchant or his
agent should go out from the town to the markets in the interior to purchase the said produce, but their purchases should be effected only in the seaports, so as to avoid the prejudices which we have explained to you before now. Also, our master, protected by God, has ordered to the administrators of customs in the ports to hold for himself the monopoly of tobacco and those articles which are connected to it and are known as belonging to that monopoly. The said administrators are in charge of the management of that monopoly; we beg from you please give orders to your subjects to withdraw dealing in that branch, and to inflict upon those who may injure the monopoly accordingly; so we hope from you.
We have also to inform you that our master the Emperor has put free the importation of brimstone and saltpetre for the period of one year, to take effect here on the first of the month, “Jumad the second" next, (24th November, 1962.) And this what I have to communicate to you and peace.
On the 24th Jumad the first, year 1279, (corresponding to 17th November, 1862.) The employed by the throne elevated by God. (Signed)
May God guard him!