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patronize the invention. Whether our coals, or which kinds, or those of Nova Scotia, or those of Great Britain, are the best to employ for compression, experience can alone test.
The second inquiry is, How will the abrogation of the present duty affect our home coal interests and home trade in coals?
It may be that the release of the duty in the United States upon Nova Scotia coals, unless the mining company in Nova Scotia raises the prices of coals at the pit (as some apprehend), may increase to some extent the importation of Pictou and Sydney coals, and if new coal fields should be opened in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, or Prince Edwards Island, or Newfoundland, of other provincial coals also, into the eastern Atlantic ports of the United States for consumption in New England, and if so, the prices of such coals in those markets will probably be lessened. All these coals are highly bituminous, and the chief consumption will be in the cities and towns of New England for gas, though in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, and perhaps to a limited extent in Massachusetts, they may be used with other coals for puddling iron,' and for a few other purposes.
But no use will probably be made of any provincial coals in New York, and certainly not farther south. Coals as good for making gas can now be supplied by Maryland and Virginia to New York, and at as low prices as any provincial coals.
Heretofore the chief imports of provincial coals into the United States have been into Boston. In 1853 nearly four-fifths of such imports were into that port. Statement C shows the amount of imports from all of the five colonies for four years ending June 30, 1853. A table annexed is based on returns from the custom-houses of the ports named therein and proves the facts just stated.
The additional supply of provincial coals thus furnished will necessarily induce a corresponding increase of the exports of our products and manufactures to Nova Scotia and the other three coast and island provinces wherewith to pay for such augmented supply unless the
In the able pamphlet of John L. Hayes, esq., published in 1850, as a memorial to Congress in favor of an increase of the import duty on foreign iron (p. 19), he states the following facts, which show that this coal can not be used so as to make any but inferior iron:
"The superiority of American over British iron is unquestionable. Part of the British iron is made from impure ores and sulphurous coal, and the efforts of the ironmasters are devoted, especially during periods of low prices, to increase of make and not of perfection of quality. In many establishments, and especially within the last year or two, iron is made from old refuse cinder, which is rich in metal, but contains all the inpurities-sulphur, arsenic, and phosphorous-which deteriorate the iron. Mr. Mushet, an English metallurgist, son of the celebrated David Mushet, says that common Welsh bars do not contain more than 90 per cent of iron. “We often hear,' says he, of extraordinary makes of pig iron as to quantity, but never hear at any work that bar iron has been produced equal in quality to foreign makes. On the contrary, the general quality of British iron is much lower than it was twenty years ago. We have before us a letter from a former manager of iron works at South Wales, addressed to parties in this country, requesting employment as an inspector of rails. We make the following extract in proof of the above position: 'In consequence of the increased quantity of inferior materials now used in the manufacture of rails, it becomes the more important that foreign purchasers should employ an inspector who is thoroughly acquainted with every process in iron making, whose business would be to secure them from defective rails and secure a quality of iron possessing undoubted durability.""
Mr. Overman, in his work on the manufacture of iron (p. 130), says:
“Sulphurous coal, by improper treatment, will produce sulphurous coke, and consequently sulphurous metal, which, in all subsequent manipulations, will be injurious, troublesome, and expensive.
** By sprinkling a little water over red-hot coke drawn freshly from the oven or pile we may ascertain whether it contains sulphur."
prices decrease in something like a corresponding ratio to the increased supply, as some intelligent gentlemen predict will be the case.
The following answers may, it is conceived, be properly and truthfully made to the second query above propounded:
1. It is not supposed that the increased importation of the provincial coals, all of which are highly bituminous, will in any degree interfere injuriously with the interests of the anthracite collieries of the United States; and, on the contrary, it is believed it will benefit the anthracite coal interests. Anthracite coal, as before suggested, is not found in any of the British North American colonies, and they will, if practicable, barter their coals for anthracite or otherwise procure and become large consumers of it for domestic fuel and other uses, to which it is peculiarly adapted and for which no colonial coals are equal to it. The exports of our domestic coals to Canada were in 1853 (vide Statement D) 13,603 tons, of the value of $57,299, of which a considerable portion, it is believed, was anthracite; and to the coast and island colonies we sent 3,878 tons, of the value of $15, 206, most whereof was anthracite. This is the United States account, but the Canadian account, before referred to (No. 1, Statement A), makes the quantity sent to that Province appear greater. The fact suggested that provincial coals (Pictou, Sidney, etc.) are useful for other purposes that anthracite will not as well answer and that anthracite is necessary for certain uses for which the highly bituminous coals of Nova Scotia are worthless is abundantly proved by the documents contained in the Appendix.
2. The same fact just stated exists in respect of the semibituminous and bituminous coals of the Atlantic States, and the highly bituminous provincial coals, as is proved by the same evidence. They are of different qualities and characteristics in several respects, and adapted to different uses and purposes. The Statement A shows some of the peculiar qualities and characteristics of the provincial coals, and fully verifies the representation now made. They are sometimes valuable to be used with our anthracite and semibituminous coals; but the purposes are very few for which the provincial coals, to be used by themselves, are preferable to ours at the same or even less prices. When they are preferable for any particular use, they will find a market in the United States, even if the price paid is higher. This has been the case against the high import duty of 30 per cent ad valorem, exacted since the 1st of December, 1816, and the still inore exorbitant tax upon the consumers in the United States of $1.75 per ton, or about 69.28 per cent ad valorem, previously imposed by the tariff of 1842. The exports of provincial coals to us in 1853 were 120,764 tons, at $1.76 per ton, equaling $212,847; the duties were $63,733. The valuation did not, of course, include the cost of freight from Nova Scotia, insurance, etc. Against the colonial exports heretofore stated, our exports to the provinces in 1853 were 17,481 tons, at $3.57 per ton, equaling $62,505.
In connection with this statement it should be observed that the British Cunard steamers, running between Liverpool and New York via Boston and Halifax, Nova Scotia, formerly used provincial-i. e., Pictou or Sydney-coals, those concerned in the steamers being also deeply interested in the Nova Scotia coal mines, and having the chief control and management of them; but, nevertheless, those steamers now principally consume Cumberland coals (Maryland and Pennsylvania) together with a small quantity of Lackawanna and Pittstown (also Pennsylvania) and some Virginia coals, all the varieties amounting to nearly 50,000 tons annually, not included in the preceding accounts.
These statements show, on the one hand, that even if the cost of provincial coals, at the doors of the provincial consumer, is less than the cost of our coals there, yet he can not well, for some purposes, dispense with the use of our coals; and so, too, on the other hand, it is the same, to a limited extent, with respect to our purchases of Nova Scotia coals in Boston and New York. And they show, also, that the quantity of our coals consumed in the Provinces is much greater than that of the provincial coals consumed in the United States, in proportion to the population of the respective countries. It is conceived the conclusion thus deduced from the facts shown by these authentic statistics, that there is no cause for apprehension of detriment to our semibituminous or bituminous coal interests by the proposed arrangement, is incontrovertible, and that the abrogation by all parties of the duties on coals will tend to increase the trade in our coals of this character with the Provinces.
3. The several preceding statements, and those in the Appendix, show, that when provincial coals and coals of the United States of similar character and quality, and both intended to be applied to similar uses, come into our Atlantic markets, our coals may be furnished, and profitably, as cheap, even in Boston, as the provincial coals, though free of import duties; and especially since the recent vast increase of the facilities of railroad and canal transportation from our collieries in the interior to the Atlantic markets. The average of the wholesale prices current, for each six months of the last four years, of our different coals, and also of the Nova Scotia coals, in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Richmond, Va., and in Halifax, Nova Scotia, is given in the Appendix, proving the fact just asserted. Some of the causes are hereafter suggested to sustain that proof, and to show that the release of the United States import duty on the provincial coals will not materially alter the case.
4. Coal labor and most other labor is now ordinarily full as high at Pictou and Sidney as in most of the United States, except in some of the Southern States, and on the Pacific; and there is little probability of change in this respect. The following statement of British emigration, from 1851 to 1853, inclusive, shows that labor will not probably be cheapened in the coast and island colonies by European emigration. It is well known that many who emigrate to the colonies soon come to the United States; and most of the emigrants who stay in the colonies settle in Canada West.
Emigrants from the United Kingdom.
[Vide Statistical Abstract of United Kingdom from 1840 to 1853, p. 27, printed by Parliament in
North To United American States. colonies.
1848 1849 1850 1851 1852. 1853.
30,065 41, 367 32, 961 42, 605 32, 873 34,249
188,233 219, 450 223, 078 267,857 244, 261 228, 152
23, 904 32, 191 16, 037 25,532 87, 881 63,460
The annual passenger report of Mr. Marcy, Secretary of State, at the present session of Congress (House of Representatives, Ex. Doc. No. 78, printed March 17, 1854, p. 23), shows that 163,200 emigrants arrived in the United States in 1853, besides the emigrants from Great Britain and Ireland and British America; and that the number from British America who came to the United States was 5,613.
In the rigorous climate of New Brunswick, Prince Edwards Island, Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia labor can not be employed so long, by several months during the year, nor as advantageously, as it can be farther south in the coal mines of the States of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kentucky, Illinois, and Missouri.
5. Nova Scotia coals are subject to a duty, to be paid by the mining company, called a “royalty” or rent charge, of 2 shillings or 40 cents per chaldron at the pits. (See Statement A, Appendix.) This tax on the coals, which is reimbursed by the purchaser, for it is included in the price he pays, is differently stated in one of the documents annexed. It is said “the mining association pay a fixed rent to the Government for the privilege of raising 40,000 chaldrons, which amounts to about 1s. 10d. currency (37} cents per chaldron), and 20 cents per chaldron on the quantity raised beyond that.” Our coals are not burdened by any such governmental duty, nor by any duty.
6. The shipping season generally commences at Pictou and Sidney about the middle of May and continues until the middle of November, after which time usually they and the other northern harbors of Nova Scotia are frozen up. Pictou is distant from Boston about 700 miles, and Boston is distant from New York by sea about 200 miles, and from Philadelphia by sea about 500 miles, and from Baltimore by sea about 650 miles, and from Richmond, Va., by sea about 650 miles. From Richmond, Baltimore, and Philadelphia there is to New York shorter inland navigation. The navigation by sea between Boston and the three ports named south of Boston is open throughout the year; and but a small part of the inland navigation between New York and Richmond is ever closed, and rarely beyond a few days; and if necessity should arise, continuous and uninterrupted railroad transportation for coals can be made in a few days from Richmond to Boston. A comparison of the list of freights by sea for coals between the different ports named will show that they are ordinarily cheaper between the United States ports than between any of them and Pictou or Sydney.
7. It has been intimated that one cause of the occasional cheapness of European coals in our market has been that, owing in part to the effect and operation of our navigation laws and in part to the course of trade, foreign vessels (and especially the larger class of vessels) making voyages from the other side of the Atlantic to the United States, for cargoes of cotton, rice, tobacco, or other bulky Southern products, or flour, provisions, etc., of the West, also bulky, find difficulty in procuring full cargoes to this country. The shipments to this country from the Old World are principally light articles, not of great bulk, and valuable—i. e., manufactures and the like. In the limited direct trade between the Old World and the Southern ports of the United States especially is this the case; and in such trade also the European cargoes are generally “assorted.” All foreign vessels are interdicted from participating in our coasting trade and also in our internal river trade. The main part (more than eight-tenths) of the
S. Doc. 231, pt 8—6
foreign vessels trading between the Old World and this country trade through the ports east of the Chesapeake Bay; and their deficiency of cargo, on the outward voyage from Europe, is often supplied by taking in salt or coals, and sometimes iron, that answer for ballast as well as lading, and which are carried very low and sometimes for merely nominal freight. This can not possibly be the case in the coal trade from the British North American colonies to the United States. On the contrary, the freights from the coast and island colonies are generally bulky and heavy, such as oils, fish, plaster, wood, etc., while the freights from the United States to the colonies (excepting flour and provisions) are generally light and of small bulk, such as tea, manufactures, etc. Therefore coals from the colonies must always pay freight, while the United States coals sent to the colonies (for similar reasons to those above stated as to the European shipments to us) may sometimes have to pay nominal freights merely.
8. The provincial official account of the exports from Nova Scotia (contained in the able official report of Governor Sir J. Gaspard Le Marchant to the Duke of Newcastle, dated October 28, 1853), gives the following items as to the exports of 1852:
Exports from Nova Scotia in 1852.
Exports of coals in 1852 from Nova Scotia (same report).
The Nova Scotia coals, if equal to ours in quality and general utility, and if they could be furnished as cheaply as ours, it would seem oughi, (if they were driven from our markets in consequence of the higi import duty of 30 per cent ad valorem levied in the United States) to have found a market in other countries, where they could compete with ours on equal terms. We exported in our fiscal year of 1852 45,336 tons of domestic coals, valued at $188,906, and among those exports were the following:
And it appears that our exports of domestic coals by the same