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F.-Shipping navigation in 1851, 1852, and 1853.
(Total imports and exports (domestic and foreign) into and from the United States, Great
Britain, etc., and British North American colonies, and Canada, imports of coal, etc. Com. piled from United States reports on commerce and navigation for said years.]
F.-Shipping navigation in 1851, 1852, and 1853–Continued.
The first inquiry is, How will the proposed abrogation of the duty on provincial coals, imported into the United States, and a like abrogation of the provincial import duty on our coals affect our trade in coals with the Provinces, and particularly with Canada?
It is believed that it can be clearly and conclusively demonstrated by incontrovertible facts and arguments that the proposed measure can not, in any degree, injuriously affect our trade with Canada as to coals or any other product or manufactures.
The abrogation of the present ad valorem duty of 30 per cent (about 3 cents per bushel on provincial coals) can not induce to any importation into the United States of the coals of Nova Scotia for transportation across the United States to Canada, thereby competing with our exports of coals to Canada, for the following, amongst other, reasons:
i. By acts of Congress now in force all provincial coals and other products and merchandise intended to be transported across the United States to Canada may be entered for reexportation, or for such transportation, and sent to Canada free of all import duty by the United States. (Vide act of March 3, 1845, vol. 5, U. S. Stat., p. 750; act of August 8, 1846, vol. 10, ib., p. 77; act of March 30, 1819, ib., p. 399; act of September 26, 1850, ib., p. 512, SS 17 and 18; and Warehouse act of 6th of August, 1846, ib., p. 33; and general drawback laws. Gordon's Dig. of 1852, pp. 836 to 857, arts. 2882 to 2946.) Under the acts cited Nova Scotia coals can now be sent to Canada via the United States without import duty being charged; so that, in this respect, the proposed arrangement affords them no advantage. From the United States returns (vide Statement D) of exports of domestic mineral coals in the four years ending June 30, 1853, it appears that the domestic mineral coals sent to Canada in that period were, in quantity, 39,648 tons, at 4.29 cents per ton, of the value of $170,176. By Statement E (a like return of exports of foreign mineral coals in the same period) it appears that there were no foreign coals whatever sent to Canadá from the United States. We imported, same years, large quantities of foreign coals from England, Scotland, and Nova Scotia (vide Statement C), but not a bushel of it went to Canada. The small quantities that were not consumed in the United States, amounting altogether to about 7,673 tons, of the value of $21,360, it seems, was all sent to England, to the coast and island, British North American colonies, to Brazil, to Cuba, to the British and Dutch East Indies, New Granada, or the British West Indies (see Statement E). It should be borne in mind also that during all that period United States coals sent to Canada were under the Canada tariff act of 1849 (vide I. D. Andrews's report of 1850, Thirty-first Congress, second session, p. 268, and British Parl. doc., report of December 23, 1852, p. 3) subjected to an import duty of 24 per cent ad valorem. This duty is proposed to be released, and the effect, therefore, of the proposed arrangement, it is fair to presume, would be beneficial rather than detrimental to our exportation of coals to Canada.
2. The transportation from Nova Scotia, existing about six months in the year, by the Gulf and river St. Lawrence to Lower Canada has been supposed to be cheaper than through our Atlantic seaports, and over our and the Canada railroads, and also to be more direct and attended with less transshipment and trouble; and yet the Canada account of the imports of coals into Canada from the coast and island colonies in the four years before mentioned shows that but £7,304 (colonial currency; vide Table 1 in Statement A), or $29,216, worth of coals was sent to Canada from the coast and island colonies, not being an eighth of the quantity sent to Canada from the United States during the same period, it being by the same Canada account above cited valued at £59,431 (colonial currency), or $237,724; and by the United States account (vide Statement D), as before mentioned, we sent to Canada in those years 39,648 tons; in value, $170,176.
The apparent discrepancy between the United States and the Canada accounts is reconciled when it is considered that in Canada the fiscal year ends on the 31st of December of each year and in the United States on the 30th of June of each year since the act of August 26, 1842. (Vol. 5, Stat. U. S., p. 537.) It is quite manifest from these facts that even against the present import duty of 2} per cent ad valorem the Nova Scotia coals, carried by the Gulf and river St. Lawrence, can not compete successfully with ours in the Canada markets, though Nova Scotia coals pay no import duty in Canada.
3. If the Nova Scotia coals were as good as ours, they can not be furnished, even if free of duty, for transportation to Canada (either to Lower Canada or to Canda West) via our Atlantic seaports and railroads at as low a price per ton as similar bituminous and the semibituminous coals of the United States in the interior can be supplied to Canada. The bituminous and semibituminous and cannel coals of ultramontane Pennsylvania, of Ohio, of Michigan, of Indiana, of Illinois, and Wisconsin, and even those of Iowa and Kentucky and Missouri, may be supplied by our rivers, canals, and railroads, and by the Great Lakes to Upper Canada or Canada West cheaper than any coals of like kind and quality. All the lake States and the States adjoining to them have readier access to the Canadian markets than either Pictou or Sidney has to Boston. There is no anthracite coal whatever abroad or at home that can be put into successful competition with that of cismontane Pennsylvania or Maryland or Virginia in the Canada markets.
4. The bituminous and semibituminous coals of Nova Scotia can not be substituted for the anthracite coal that we now send to Canada, because they will not answer the purposes for which the anthracite is needed in Canada. (Vide Statement A in Appendix.)
5. Our coals sent to Canada are exchanged for Canadian products which the Province of Nova Scotia can not receive in exchange for its coals to the same extent and for as high prices as we do, whilst our coals are taken in barter for such products.
6. The Canada trade with the United States above referred to is established and settled. Commercial connections have been formed and interests combined in the United States and Canada that will secure its continuance. This trade can not be disturbed, those connections broken up, or the interests referred to diverted by anything in the proposed reciprocity arrangement; but, on the contrary, the commercial connections referred to will become more extended, the interests strengthened, and the trade increased thereby. It is believed that a positive and exclusive dependence by Canada on the United States will ultimately grow out of the proposed arrangement as to many products and manufactures, and especially as to coals.
7. As it respects our exportation of domestic coals to the coast and island provinces, there is little doubt that the proposed arrangement would tend to increase the quantity exported. In the four years ending June 30, 1853, there were exported to those provinces (vide Statement D) 9,108 tons of domestic coals, being at $3.96 per ton, of the value of $36,120. Much of this, it is believed, was Pennsylvania anthracite coal. It appears from the colonial account of imports into Nova Scotia in the year ending December 31, 1852, that no coals were imported into that province during that year from the United States. The coals stated in the United States returns, therefore, must have been sent either to New Brunswick, Prince Edward's Island, or Newfoundland, or to some or all of them.
The following is an account of our exports of domestic coals to all countries for every year since 1847:
1848, tons, 9,309; average cost per ton, $5.06; aggregate value, $47,112.
1853, tons, 79,510; average cost per ton, $4.23; aggregate value, $336,003. It is supposed a large portion of these coals are used by our own steamers in foreign trade.
8. The British Parliamentary document of December 23, 1852, before referred to, respecting the Canadian tariff, shows that by the Nova Scotia tariff of 31st of March, 1851, imported coals are exempted from duty (p. 4); and in New Brunswick, by an act of 28th of March, 1851, to continue in force till December 31, 1854, imported coals are charged a duty of 1 shilling (currency) per ton (p. 8); and in Prince Edward's Island, by an act of 3d of April, 1852 (p. 10), which act has been continued, coals imported into that Province are subject to a duty of 5 per cent ad valorem; and in Newfoundland (p. 11) imported coals are charged a duty of 1 shilling per ton. All these duties, so far as it respects United States coals, will be dispensed with by the proposed arrangement. Their release will doubless increase our exportations of our domestic mineral coals to the coast and island colonies; and so, on the other hand, if the arrangement should be broken off, and the five Provinces should impose precisely the same import duty on coals as the United States now do, or may do (whether 30, 25, or 20 per cent ad valorem), it is equally clear that we should soon cease sending any coals either to Canada or the other colonies. Nova Scotia and Great Britain would then supply Canada, Prince Edward's Island, and Newfoundland, and New Brunswick would be forced by necessity to supply herself either from Nova Scotia or Great Britain, or from her own internal resources. 9. Anthracite coal does not exist in any of the colonies.
For some purposes, and especially for domestic fuel, it is superior to the best provincial coals, and indeed to the best English coals. It is particularly adapted to other uses than for domestic fuel, for which the highly bituminous coals of Nova Scotia are inferior. And further, our Cumberland and other semibituminous coals, it has been found, are better for steamships and some other uses than the Nova Scotia bituminous coals are; the latter being (to quote the language of a gentleman interested in the Nova Scotia mines) “more rapid in combustion and not so durable.” On the other hand, for the making of gas and some (but very few) other uses, the Nova Scotia coals are preferable to most coals of the Atlantic States that are raised east of the Alleghany Mountains. If the reciprocal release of all duties is agreed to, each of the different varieties and qualities of coals in the United States and the five Provinces now known or that may hereafter be discovered will stand upon its relative merits as to adaptation to different uses and purposes, cheapness, facility, and certainty of procurement, and in all other respects in the inarkets of the United States and of the five colonies; and whether the coast and island colonies do or do not furnish an increased demand for our coals of any kind will depend on their superiority or inferiority to the colonial coals.
10. To rely in this age of philosophic and scientific experiment, discovery, and improvement, and of continual application of novel materials to the arts, upon the presumption that any particular species of coals will continue to maintain a present superiority over other coals, for any purpose or use, would be somewhat unwise. Lord Dudley first applied mineral coals to the manufacture of iron, and a century after, Huntsman first used them in making cast-steel. In 1783, Cort invented the process of puddling iron with mineral coals, and also of making bar iron by means of their use, and, in consequence, such coals were chiefly substituted in the iron works of Great Britain for charcoal, and Mushet's discovery as to the coking of coals was aş late as 1801, and as recently as 1824 the black band ore, found by him in Scotland, was first used alone with the aid of mineral coals; and in 1833 the hot-blast furnace was first introduced by Neilson, of Glasgow (Scotland), and raw coals substituted for coke therein; and until 1837 anthracite coal was not successfully used with the hot blast in smelting iron, nor till 1841 for puddling and reheating iron, and various other discoveries have been recently made as to the qualities and properties of different coals, and even while this paper is being written a memorial is presented to Congress, by citizens of high respectability of this city, setting forth the discovery of a mode of compressing mineral coals, so as to enable a sufficiency to be carried by steamships for long voyages, and soliciting the Government to