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The Thuringian union consists of the grand dutchy of Saxe-Weinar, the dutchies of Saxe-Meinenger, Saxe-Altenberg, Saxe-Coburg, Gotha, and the principalities of Schwartezburg, Sondeishausen, Shwartzburg, Rudoistadt, Reusschleitz, Reuss, Greitz and Reuss, Lobenstein and Eberdorf. These states were previously associated in a separate union of commerce and customs, which is now merged into the more general association, founded by Prussia; but the Thuringian association is still preserved, and rep. resented as one body, having a single vote in the congress.
There are also a number of other smaller states (enclaves) in the Prussian territory, which are represented by Prussia.
The preceding view is presented, in order to complete that contained in my despatch No. 4, under date of the 2d August, 1835, since which several states have been added to the union, and the population of all considerably increased.
In order to bring our business regularly before the congress, I prepared the memoir, a copy of which, in the the original French, is enclosed, together with a translation (marked A), and communicated the same, through his excellency M. de Zeschen, minister of finances, charged with the portfolio of foreign affairs of his majesty the King of Saxony (which state presides over the present session of congress), at the same time causing it to be printed, in order to multiply copies for the use of the members.
I also transmitted a copy of the same to Baron de Werther, at Berlin, and handed other copies to the Prussian and Bavarian envoys at this court, being the only ministers from any of the German states associated in the zoll-verein, resident here.
A copy of my letter to Baron de Werther is also enclosed.
This memoir was prepared from data and calculations furnished by Mr. Dodge, or taken from statistical works of authority, with the results of information gathered in the different journeys made by me in various parts of Germany, during the last three years.
It seems almost superfluous to observe, that the statement contained in this paper of the amount of commodities exported from the two countries, is only intended for the purpose of ascertaining the amount of revenue collected by their respective governments from two messes of commodities equal in value to each other. It is far from giving an adequate idea of the whole value of the commercial exchanges which are annually effected between the United States and the German commercial association. In fact, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to collect complete and satisfactory information respecting the commerce carried on directly and indirectly between the United States and the countries of Germany, composing the commercial and customs union, as the greatest part of the exports and imports of the Union pass through the ports of the Hanseatic towns (Hanover, Holland. Belgium, and even France), through Havre:
from which latter port, a considerable amount of the less bulky and more · valuable fabrics of Germany are exported to America. This difficulty is
also enhanced by the fact that a larger portion of the cargoes imported in American vessels and sold in these ports for consumption in the interior of Germany, does not consist of the direct productions of our agriculture, manufactories, forests, and fisheries, but consists of the proceeds of our trade with the various quarters of the globe explored by our enterprising merchants and navigators. • Finding, from informal conversation with different members of the congress, that they wanted information respecting the details of our tariff, so far as respected German commodities, we prepared the enclosed paper, of which a translation is subjoined (marked B), containing extracts from the tariff, and several observations, intended as answers to the objections suggested in these conversations, to any such change in the tariff of the German association as we propose. This paper was also communicated to the congress. I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
HENRY WHEATON. A
It has already been stated in the note presented to the Prussian Government under date of the 22d April last, by his excellency, Mr. Wheaton, envoy of the United States of America at the court of Berlin, that it was not the intention of the American Government, in demanding a modification of the import duties imposed within the German association of commerce and customs, upon tobacco and rice imported from the United States, to disturb the financial system established by the general tariff of the association.
It is believed to be practicable, at the next revision of the tariff to establish such a modification of these duties as will fulfil the wishes of the American Government, and at the same time, may consist with the pecuniary and manufacturing interests of the German association.
We have no objections to make against the duties on manufactured tobacco. But the duties on leaf tobacco (tabaksbläther) and upon stems (steugeln) do not seem to have been imposed with a due regard to the principle which forms the basis of the tariff, namely, to encourage the importation of the raw materials (eohstoffe) which may be used in the manufactures of the country. The enlightened author of a work upon the zoll-verein, seems to incline to this opinion, and to be disposed to favor a change in this article of the tariff, as well in the interest of the German manufactures as in the general interests of an exchange of equivalents which might be required from the United States.—(Nebenius, der Deutsche Zoll-verein, Sein system, and Seine Zukunft, pp. 63, 303, 309.)
Had this author been aware of the existence of the law of the American Congress, establishing the present tariff of the United States, and according to which the greater part of the articles of merchandise, imported from Germany, are entirely exempted from duty, and the others are subjected to duties annually, decreasing to 20 per cent. upon the first cost for such articles as are now subject to a higher duty, he would doubtless have acknowl. edged that the American Government had already conceded every reasona. ble claim which could be made in favor of the productions of the soil and industry of the German states associated in the union of commerce and customs.
But laying aside for the present this objection, it is sufficient to say that the import duty upon tobacco according to the manner in which it is laid without regard to the quality or origin of the commodity, amounts to 15 per cent. on the average value of American leaf tobacco, and to more than 150 per cent. on stems.
The average value of leaf-tobacco estimated according to the price in the United States, is 7 Prussian thalers per centner.
The average value of stems is 31 Prussian thalers per centner.
According to the tariff these two qualities are both dutied at 5} thalers per centner.
The value of the leaf tobacco, imported from the Spanish colonies, and from South America, is two or three times greater than the article produced in the United States. It is nevertheless subject to the same duty, which has the effect of a discrimination in favor of the Spanish tobacco against that of North America.
Certainly it cannot have been the intention of the authors of the tariff to establish such a discrimination.
This inequality offends against that reciprocity which ought to gorem the commercial relations between different countries,
The greater part of the articles of the growth, produce, and manufacture of Germany, are entirely exempt from duties on their importation into the United States. The rest are subject to very moderate duties, which will be reduced to a uniform duty of 20 per cent. on all articles which now pay a duty above that rate.
A comparison between the value of the goods reciprocally imported from the one country into the other, and the amount of revenue derived by each Government from these importation, will present, in a striking manner, the inequality which now exists in the commercial relations between Germany and the United States.
The principal objects of exportation from the United States to Germany, are tobacco, cotton, and rice. Of these different commodities, let us suppose that the consumption in the German states, associated in the zollverein, to be estimated as follows:
1. Tobacco leaves and stems, 10,000 hogsheads (exhofte), or 100,292 centners, which, according to the actual rate of the import duties at 5 thalers per centner, must produce a revenue of 551,606 thalers.
While the value of these commodities, according to their average price in the United States of 74 thalers for leaf-tobacco and 3] for stems, will be, estimating two-thirds leaf and one-third stems, a total of 618,467 Prussian thalers.
The quantity of tobacco here supposed, taken from the tables of Dr. Dieterici, represents the average annual quantity for five years, after deducting the average quantity re-exported, and a fifth part for the non-American tobacco, and adding the quantity which, according to the same author, is consumed in the states of Baden, Nassau, and Frankfort, according to their respective populations. But it should be remarked, that, in taking these tables as the basis of our calculations, we cannot admit the correctness of these data as to the true quantity of foreign tobacco consumed in the states
of the zoll-verein. These data appear to contradict each other. The quantity of leaf tobacco imported into the kingdom of Prussia in 1831, according to these data, amounted to 168,000, which has since augmented to 313,827, by the increase of population, as well the natural increase, as in consequence of the accession of new states to the zoll-verein. (Dieterici, pp. 218, 219.) While we have reason to believe that the quantity of North American tobacco alone, consumed in the counties of the zollverein, amounts to at least 30,000 hogsheads; that is to say, about 300,000 centners.
2. Cotton (Baumcoolle). According to the calculations of Dr. Nebenius, in his estimable work upon the zoll-verein (p. 45), and according to the tables of Dieterici (p. 312), the consumption of this article in the states of the association, was 130,000 centners in 1835. It must have considerably augmented since, in consequence of the accession of other states to the association, and by the extension of the cotton manufactories of Germany. We may then estimate the quantity of cotton, imported from the United States and consumed in the German association, at 120,000 centners, of which the importation is free of duty.
The value of this amount, at the average price in the United States of 16 thalers per centner, will be 1,920,000 thalers."
3. Rice, of which the importation has considerably increased since the establishment of the tariff. But the consumption of American rice in the states of the zoll-verein, may be estimated at 75,000 centners. The duty of importation being at 3 thalers per centner, the total revenue derived from this article may be taken at 225,000 thalers.
The value, according to the average price in the United States of 4 thalers per centner, will be 300,000 thalers.
Thus the revenue derived from these different articles amounts Upon tobacco, to
551,606 Upon cotton, to Upon rice, to
The total value of the commodities being 2,838,467 thalers. Let us now see what is the amount of revenue derived by the Government of the United States from an equal amount in value of merchandise, the growth, produce, and manufacture of the German states associated in the zoll-verein.
The principal objects of exportation from Germany to the United States are linens, silks, manufactures of glass, cotton goods, merinoes, stockings, wines, and bread-stuffs.
In supposing the following proportions of these different objects of exportation to the United States, the revenue derived from the same will be
linens, free of duty.
70,961 various articles, such as bread stuffs, cutlery, stockings of wool and flax, &c., at an average duty of 25 per cent. - - 88,702
So that the zoll-verein derives, from a given amount in value of goods imported from the United States, more than four times as much revenue as the American Government derives from the same amount in value of goods the growth, produce, and manufacture, of the countries of Germany associated in the zoll-verein.
The wines of Germany pay in the United States, when imported in casks, a duty of 7} cents per gallon; that is to say, something less than 3} silver groschens; and when imported in bottles, a duty of 15 cents per gallon; that is to say, something less than 7 silver groschens per gallon, containing about five bottles.
The consumption of the light wines of Germany has much increased of late years in the United States. They are now preferred to the foreign wines of Spain and Portugal.
In the preceding estimate we have supposed a mass of commodities erported from Germany precisely equal in value to another mass imported from America. But the total value of goods exported from the German states, associated in the zoll-verein, to the United States of America, is much more than that of the goods exported from the United States to the German association. The balance of commercial exchanges is consequently against the United States, a balance which is regulated by the profits of our commerce with the other countries of Europe.
To rectify this inequality in the commercial relations between the two countries, it is proposed to reduce the duties of importation levied in the zoll-verein on rice, to one thaler per centner.
As to tobacco, two different projects have been conceived, by which the import duties may be modified so as to satisfy the claims of the American Government, and of which the German association of commerce and customs may select that which it prefers.
First project.—To reduce the import duties now levied on tobaccostems to iwo thalers per centner.
To reduce the duties on all other kinds of tobacco imported from North America, to three thalers per centner.
Second project.—1. In order to continue the protection already granted to the cultivation of the indigenous plant, a considerable duty might be levied, of three thalers, for example, upon all kinds of tobacco costing not more than four and a half thalers at the first port of entry in Europe, which is deemed the average price of indigenous tobacco in Germany.
2. To lay upon leaf-tobacco imported in hogsheads from North America, of which the value at the first port of entry is more than four and a half thalers, a duty of two thalers and twenty-three silver groschens per cent. ner. This duty will be equal to the average of that levied in Bavaria and Wurtemberg, according to the tariff of 1828, namely, of five florins per centner (Sp. Gerricht), equal to four florins twenty-seven and a half kreutzers per Prussian centner; and in Baden, according to the tariff of 1827, that is to say, twenty-five kreutzers; and in Prussia, according to the tar. iff of 1831, which is the present tariff of the zoll-verein, of five and a half thalers per centner. The average of these several rates is two thalers and twenty-three silver groschens per centner.
3. To lay a duty upon tobacco-stems imported from North America, of two thalers per centner.
Universal experience has demonstrated that the reduction of excessive duties, imposed upon articles of necessity, or upon articles of luxury, which