Lapas attēli

German customs tariff-Continued.

Rates of duty.


In United

In marks. States money.

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XL.-Oil-cloth, wared muslin, waxed taffeta. a. Coarse, not printed, oil.cloth (packing cloth)..

.100 kilos.. b. Other oil.cloth; also leather cloth, book binders' clotlı c. Waxed muslin, waxed taffeta... XLI.- Wool, inclusive of animals' hair, not otherwise provided for, and

manufactures thereof. a. Wool, raw, dyed, painted; also hair, raw, hackled, boiled, dyed, and

curled. b. Combed wool.

..........100 kilos.. c. Yaru (pure wool or mixed, not with cotton):

1. Of cattle hair, single or double, of all kinds; wadding.... 100 kilos..
2. Nap. mohair alpaca yarn single, dyed or not, double, undyed
3. Double dyed, triple or more twist, dyed or not
4. Other yarn:
Raw, single..

.100 kilos..
Raw, double
Bleached or dyed, single..
Bleached or dyed, double, triple, or more twist, raw, bleached, or

100 kilos.. Manufactures, also mixed with cotton, linen, or metallic thread:

1. Cloth selvage
2. Coarse, not printed, not dved felts.

100 kilos..
3. Rugs, blankets, containing dyed or not dyed yarn of cattle
4. Not printed felts, not belonging under No. XX; not printed felt

goods and hosiery, and carpets, rugs, also printed'; of wool or other
animal hair, exclusive of cattle and horse hair; also mixed with

vegetable tibers and other spiuning materials.. . 100 kilos..
5. Unprintod cloths and stuff's not included under
6. Printed goods, not carpets or rugs, ribbon and button-makers'

goods, plushes, tissues, inixod withi metallic threads....100 kilos..
7. Laces, tulle, and embroideries; also woven shawls of three or more

.......100 kilog.. 8. Woven shawls of five or more colors.............. XLII.--Zinc, also alloyed with lead or tin, and manufactures thereof. a. Zinc in pigs or blocks, old zino. b. Iu sheets

100 kilos.. c. Coarse articles of zinc; also in connection with wood, iron, lead, or tin, not polished or lacquered; zinc wire.

100 kilos.. d. Fancy articles of zinc, also lacquered; likewise zinc wares combined with

other materials, provided they do not come under No. XX.....100 kilos.. XLIII.-Tin, also alloyed with lead, antimony, or zinc, and manufactures

thereof. a. Tin in pigs or blocks b. In sheets...

100 kilos.. c. Coarse tinwares, also in connection with wood, iron, lead or zine, not polished or laryered; tinwire...

..100 kilos, d. Fancy articles of tin, also lacquered ; likewise tinwares combined with

other materials, provided they do not thereby come under No. XX, 100 kilos

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The question as to how far the new German tariff has contributed to the more satisfactory state of trade is generally discussed; but it is altogether too early to give an exact opinion upon so weighty a matter. Indeed, both the advocates and the opponents of the new tariff, in the Imperial Parliament and outside of it, concur in the belief that, after so brief an interval since the tariff was put in force, it is impossible to judge at present whether it will work favorably or the reverse upon the

S. Doc. 231, pt 5-5

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business interests of the nation. The necessary experience must first be obtained. It will be remembered that the new tariff went into operation on the 31st of May, 1879, with regard to raw iron of every sort; on the 5th of July, 1879, for groceries and other articles of consumption, as well as for petroleum; and on the 17th of July for tobacco and the manufactures thereof. Before the introduction of the new duties speculation in each of these commodities was quite rife, as the customs statistics show, and large quantities of the merchandise so soon to be affected were brought into Germany before the closing of the door. There were immense stocks of dutiable foreign goods on hand, therefore, when the tariff came into operation, and the speculation was principally carried ou in raw, scrap, and bar iron and the manufactures thereof; in tinware, wine, tobacco, lard, tallow, petroleum, cotton, wool, leather, palm oil, and other raw materials. This speculation was continued in those articles upon which the increase of duty was fixed for the first of January, 1880. The inevitable result of the excessive imports of dutiable merchandise during several months was to reduce these imports below the normal quantities subsequently. The result of the speculation of last year, therefore, has been to frustrate the expectations of the protectionists, who counted securely upon an immediate improvement in the condition of home industries, while the anticipated advantage to the exchequer of the Empire, for the same reason, bas not been secured. Likely enough the expected favorable results, as well as the feared unfavorable consequences, of the tariff have been overrated. The protection of German industries is only one of the factors which enters into the manysided question of fostering the prosperity of the manufacturing classes, the hoped for benefits of which policy may be paralyzed if not de stroyed by factitious influences that are constantly arising. But particular value is laid upon the tariff as a well-adapted basis upon which to enter upon future cominercial conventions, bringing Germany into a more favorable condition in juxtaposition with foreign countries, and enabling her to seek a quid pro quo where she makes concessions to her neighbors. The existing commercial conventions between Germany and Austria, France, Belgium, Italy, and Switzerland are only provisional, and the uncertainty respecting their prolongation and ultimate renewal, with moditications, works harmfully upon the German export trade, exerting a more crippling influence the longer it continues.




I have the honor to report that a bill has just been submitted to the Reichstag by the Imperial Government for so amending the present German tariff act as to impose a duty of 15 marks ($3.57) per 100 kilos (220 pounds avoirdupois) on fresh grapes, and increase the duty on flour, &c., from 2 marks (47.6 cents) to 3 marks (71.4 cents) per 100 kilos from and after the 1st of July next. This latter provision, it is understood, is largely aimed, among other purposes, against the importation of wheat flour from the United States.

In support of the proposed measures the Government submits the following considerations:

In No. 25, Q.2, of the customs tariff a duty of 2 marks (47.6 cents) is imposed on mill products of grain and pulse, and especially also on flour. This duty corresponds to the rate originally proposed by the allied governments in the bill of April 4, 1879. But inasmuch as the Reichstag raised the duty intended for rye from 0.50 mark (11.9 cents) per 100 kilos (220 pounds avoirdupois) to 1.00 mark (23,8 cents), making it equal to the duty levied on wheat, complaints are now made by the parties engaged in the flour-mill industry that the duty on flour is too low as compared with that of grain, and that no sufficient protection is afforded thereby to the German flour-mill industry. To justify this complaint it is claimed that since those rates of duty have taken ettect (January 1, 1880) the importation of rye flour from France and of wheat four from the United States has been constantly increasing. And it is indeed a fact that in 1880 there has been a considerable importation, steadily increasing from quarter to quarter, of flour chietly from AustriaHungary, France, and Belgium, and also from the United States of America. The increased importations as regards the neighboring countries mentioned are all the more significant in view of the circumstance that a simultaneous decrease has ensued in the exporting capacity of the mills in the southern and western parts of Germany, the very regions having the closest connections with said countries. Under these circumstances the flour-mill industry naturally had in a greater degree to rely on the home market for the sale of its products. That the foreign flour-mill industry is able nevertheless to participate to a very large extent in the supply of the home market goes to establish the fact that the duty on flour in proportion to that on grain is insufficient for the interests of the home industry, a state of things the more strongly affording cause for apprehensions, as, according to consular reports received, an enormous production of flour is going on in the United States for the sale of which in the German market all means are to be resorted to.

No doubt can well be entertained, therefore, that an increase of the duty of flour is required. Fixing it at 3 marks (71.4 cents) per 100 kilos (220 pounds avoirdupois) the protection afforded to the flour-mill industry under the tariffs in force from the year 1857 to the first of July, 1805, when all duties on flour and grain were repealed, will not be attained; but, in view of the high state of perfection the German flour-mill industry has reached it is to be hoped that said rate of duty of 3 marks (71.4 cents) per 100 kilos (220 pounds avoirdupois) would suflice to secure for this industry the home market to the required extent.

In addition to flour, such other mill products of grain and pulse as crushed or shelled grain, peeled pearl barley, groats, &c., as well as ordinary bakers' wares, are subject also to the rate of duty fixed in No. 25, Q. 2, of the tariff; any increase of duty on flour, therefore, would extend in like measure to those articles also. No doubt seems to be entertained of the passage of the bill.



Berlin, May 7, 1881.

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The fact that the cost of the necessaries of life has almost invariably increased in ratio with the increase of import duties on household articles cannot be argued away by German economists, and this fact remains suspended, like the sword of Damocles, over all economical and social relations in the German Empire. These high prices, put in juxtaposition with the low rate of wages, are very acutely felt by the laboring classes, and to pull through these hard times is a very difficult task for them.

The following comparative statement of the prices of the necessaries of life, compiled by the chamber of commerce at Botham, Westphalia, shows that the prices of almost every article for family use bave in. creased since the adoption of the German tariff laws. The prices are given in marks and pfennigs per kilogram:

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It will be seen by the foregoing table that the increase of the price in petroleum, lard, and bacon is very considerable, just in those articles upon which high import duties have been laid, and also in bread, owing to the import duty on flour. Sugar and potatoes have not been affected by the new tariff law, as the duties on sugar remain unchanged, and potatoes enter free of duty. Most of the bacon, and especially lard, was imported from the United States.

When we regard the fact that the laboring classes of Germany have to work hard from one year to another to procure for themselves and their families the necessaries of life, the accumulation of small savings for “a rainy day” is of rare occurrence. Thus, it is not to be wondered at that every year hundreds of thousands turn their back on their pative land and seek better earnings and cheaper as well as substantial living in the United States, and that the socialistic agitation will, in spite of all restrictive and prohibitory laws, not come to a balt and rest.



Barmen, October 28, 1881.



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There is much ingenuity in the persistent warfare waged in most of the European countries against American provisions, especially salted pork, lard, and canned meats, and these attacks still continue as bitter and persistent as ever. The contest is, at intervals, taken up and fiercely carried on under the pretense of protecting the sanitary condi. tion of the people, and while the masses have been systematically frightened into the trichina scare another method has been resorted to in Germany for the purpose of hampering the importation of canned meats, if not putting a regular embargo on them. The reckless reports circulated lately in several German prints that the canned meats are prepared in the United States from the flesh of diseased animals, together with other vindictive diatribes setting forth the danger of using these preserved provisions, did not cause any great falling off in the consumption of the same. Their superiority over other conserved meats has been recognized and appreciated, and they have grown so rapidly in popular favor that they are now sold in almost every retail grocery in the principal German cities. In order, however, to drive these articles of food out of market and render their importation impossible, recourse has been had in Germany to an extraordinary customs contrivance, which has hardly a parallel in the history of tariff laws.

Since the adoption of the new German tariff, about two years ago, canned beef, tongues, meats, soups, and minced meats have been classified under the head of "slaughtered and prepared meats,” and are subject to a duty of 12 marks ($2.86) per 100 kilos (220 pounds avoirdupois), a duty which represents about 15 per cent. of the value of the merchandise.

One day, however, a custom-house official in Flensburg made a startling discovery. He found that labels were affixed to these tin boxes, and consequently the cases are, technically, in connection and coherence with another material. Inasmuch, according to instructions, as the pack. ing thus classified is liable to the duties on the whole object, such goods, according to the official register, came under another heading in the tariff, and we find corned beef and similar articles classified by this custom-house wiseacre under the head of iron wares, such as knives, scissors, bair-pins, &c., and subjected to a duty of 24 marks ($5,72) per 100 kilos, just doubling the amount to be paid. The custom-house director for Schleswig-Holstein, to w bom the interested party applied for redress, confirmed the decision of the subordinate officer, and the minister of finance at Berlin sustained it, and issued instructions (June 30, 1881) to all the head custom houses to be guided by said decision, so that henceforth duties on corned beef, &c., in labeled boxes are to be collected “under the classification of knives, scissors, hair-pins," &c. Thus the contents of the boxes are not treated as dutiable, but simply the labeled boxes themselves. And some dealers in imported meats at Hamburg and Leipsic, who were not able to comprehend the profundity of this ingenious interpretation of the tariff laws, submitted a memorandum in reference to the case to the Bundesrathi, the last resort and final arbiter in customs affairs. But this august boily has not yet rendered decision on the subject, and the Imperial chief custom-house, with

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