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creative genius in the matter of mechanical and physical invention and discovery; they open up new thoroughfares; they create local markets for agricultural products; they form nuclei for large retail commercial transactions; they are sources of largely increased incomes to the various lines of local transportation of the country; in a word, they are the roots of a home civilization which, carefully tended, deepen and broaden until they permeate with their beneficent influence all classes of the community, and imbue them with the vigor and richness of permanent, healthy, and intelligent life.

This principle of protecting struggling industries should, moreover, be applied particularly to our mercantile marine, which, admittedly, on all bands, is in great need of encouragement and sup ort, not only on account of its importance in itself as regards our special commercial interests, but also in order that, in a general sense, we may, as a people, make ourselves independent of the varied policies, caprices, and jeal ousies of foreign nationalities.

EDWIN A. MERRITT,
Consul-General.

UNITED STATES CONSULATE GENERAL,

London, November 10, 1882.

FRANCE.

THE TARIFF OF MAY 8, 1881, SHOWS OLD AND NEW TARIFFS, AND ALSO CONVENTIONAL RATES.

I transmit herewith a "comparative statement of the old, the conventional, and the new tariff of France, especially in respect of articles which were prohibited or subjected to prohibitory duties in the old tariff, and also a comparative statement in respect of articles the duties on which have been sensibly increased by the new tariff." These statements show

1st. The duties imposed prior to May 8, 1881, upon goods or merchandise imported into France from countries having no treaties or conventions of commerce with France.

2d. The duties which were and which will be levied upon goods or merchandise imported from countries having treaties or conventions of commerce with France till the expiration of said treaties or conventions.

3d. The duties fixed by the new general tariff promulgated on the 8th of May, 1881.

The natious having treaties or conventions of commerce with France are England, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden and Norway, Holland, Portugal, Austria, Turkey, and Germany.

The following law respecting the extension of these treaties was promulgated on the 20th of July, 1881:

ONLY ARTICLE.-The Government is authorized to extend for three months from November 8, 1881, the treaties and conventions of commerce actually in force. The present law agreed upon by the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies shall be executed as a statute law.

It was understood that the French cabinet could only grant the extension fixed by the above law in case commercial conventions were signed before that epoch, or if the pending negotiations gave reason to expect the early conclusion of new treaties.

In answer to the fourth question, I have to report the following general provisions of the law and the powers of the Government, as to providing revenue from imports and altering and modifying existing laws imposing duties on imports:

General provisions.-Customs duties, like all other duties or taxes, cannot be definitely fixed except by law. Their rates are fixed by special laws, and their collection is authorized every year by the fiscal law. Powers of the Government.-The executive power may, in case of urgency, administratively and by simple decrees, alter or modify provisionally the rates of duties on imports, and prescribe certain measures regulating the collection of duties, viz:

1st. It may prohibit the entry of merchandise of foreign manufacture, or increase the rates of duty on its importation into France; in case of prohibition, however, if it can be proved that such merchandise was shipped prior to the promulgation of the decrees, it may be admitted after payment of the duties and according to the rates fixed before the prohibition.

2d. It may reduce the rates of duty imposed upon raw material used for manufacturing purposes.

3d. It may allow or prohibit the exportation of products of the soil or of the national industry, and fix the duties to be levied upon their exportation.

The provisions thus made must be presented in the form of a bill to the legislative bodies, before the end of their session if they are assembled, or at the next session if they have adjourned.

In derogation of these rules it is provided that the duties established upon sugars from French colonies or possessions cannot be modified except by law; but an extra duty (sur taxe) on foreign sugars and the classification of the inferior grades of these sugars may be modified by simple decree.

The duties upon cereals or other alimentary produce also cannot be altered except by law. The cereals or other alimentary produce referred to are wheat, spelt and masilin, rye, maize, barley, buckwheat, oats (grain and flour), rice and paddy, bran of all sorts of grain, bread and sea-biscuit, oatmeal, pearl or hulled grain, semoule, feculæ, sago and salex, potatoes, dry vegetables, chestnuts, alpia and millet, fodder and

vetch.

The temporary admission of foreign products imported into France, to be manufactured or completed there, may be authorized, and in case of abuse may be in like manner revoked by decree, provided that a bond shall be given for their re-exportation or for their return to the Government bonded warehouses, after an interval not exceeding six months if the same should be required. Decrees may likewise designate the customs offices which will be open to the transit of certain classes of goods imported or exported, modify the rates of tare, the methods for gaug ing, the regulations for customs declarations, for packing goods, &c. Such decrees need not be submitted to the legislative body for its sanetion, but no local authority and no tribunal has the power of increasing or reducing the rates of duty prescribed by the tariff.

GEORGE WALKER,
Consul-General.

UNITED STATES CONSULATE GENERAL,

Paris, France, September 14, 1881.

CUSTOMS TARIFFS OF FRANCE.

Comparative statement of the old, the conventional, and the new tariff of France in respect to articles which were prohibited or subjected to prohibitory duties in the old tariff.

1. The first column shows the duties formerly imposed upon merchandise imported from countries having no treaties of commerce or convention with France, including
2. The second column shows the duties which were and which will be levied upon merchandise imported from countries having treaties or conventions of commerce with
the additional duty of 4 per cent. fixed by the law of December 30, 1873.
France till the expiration of these treaties or conventions of commerce.
3. The third column shows the rates of duty fixed by the new general tariff promulgated on the 8th of May, 1881.
The unit of duty is the quintal or 100 kilograms, unless some other unit (hectoliter, to the piece, per thousand, ad valorem, &c.) should be specified, &c.
The numbers at the left of the page refer to the number of articles in the new general tariff.

MONEYS, WEIGHTS, AND MEASURES.

1 meter=3.28 feet; 1 decimeter 3.937 inches; 1 centimeter=0.3937 inches; 1 millimeter=0.0394 inches.
1 franc-100 centimes-19.3 American cents.
1 hectoliter, liquid capacity, 26.417 gallons; 1 hectoliter, dry capacity,= 2.84 bushels.
1 kilogram=2.2046 pounds; 100 kilograms=220.46 pounds.
1 ton=2,204.6 pounds.

S. Doc. 231, pt 5-7

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TARIFFS OF THE SEVERAL COUNTRIES.

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Fruits, preserved in sugar and honey..

*Including the additional duty of 4 per cent. fixed by the law of December 30, 1873.

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CUSTOMS TARIFFS OF FRANCE-Continued.

Comparative statement of the old, the conventional, and the new tariff of France, &c.-Continued. [Duties in francs and centimes.]

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164 Stones, worked, including slate-stones and stones for building:

Slates, framed or not framed, used especially for writing or for drawing. 10. 40 per 100 slates

Slates for building:

Slates for roofing

168 Bricks and tiles for paving and roofing.

187

Cast-iron:

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Free.

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4.00 per 1,000 slates. 1.00 per 1,000.

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* Law of July 19, 1880.

+ Law of June 13, 1878.

190 Band and hoop iron:

Of more than 1 millimeter in thickness.

Of 1 millimeter or less in thickness.....

191 Iron, called "machine, for manufacturing wires ".

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