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simply wasted, and, for the moral character and industrial value of the people, worse than wasted.
With all this waste, and this consumption, however, and with the extravagant luxury of the higher classes, there is such a general fPugality among the masses of the people, and particularly among the peasants, that the country saves a small annual surplus for exportation.
Until fifteen years ago Sweden imported a large proportion of her breadstuffs. Now, on the contrary, she exports an average of 1,000,000 tons, or 4,000,000 bushels of grain per annum, and this is only the beginning of a new agricul. tural era, brought about by an improvement of the moral and industrial habits of the people, and by a wise adoption of the implements and example of American and Scotch farming.
The business of fishing is carried on very largely on the coast, in the numerous lakes and streams of Sweden, and large returns are made to the maritime population from this sort of industry; but no adequate statistics exist on this important subject.
XVI. MINES. The mines of Sweden have been celebrated from the earliest ages, and the country has always relied mainly on them for the purchase of foreign products. Until very recently there were laws in Sweden limiting the quantity of ore to be taken from the mines annually; and there were other laws prohibiting the export of ore and pig iron, or unmanufactured ores of any kind, lest an excessive production might lower the price. Now, however, when England is producing nearly four times the average annual amount of iron that she produced when these Swedish laws were in operation, the restrictions are all thrown off.
America has also since come in as a large competitor in the iron business; but the demand for this prince of the metals has so increased by the building of iron roads, ships, and machinery, that the prices range higher than in the times of the old restrictive statistics. Tabular statement showing the annual production of the leading metals of
Centners e Iron ore....
10,093,391 Iron, pig
3,884,878 Iron, cast....
275,651 Iron, bar..
36,000 Copper, refined.... Nickel, refined,
59,988 Nickel, granulated.
36 Nickel, copper
570 Plumbago . Total ..
NICKEL. The nickel-copper and the granulated or crystallized nickel are produced from the common iron ores, and it is the proportion of nickel, in part, to
* A centner contains 100 pounds Swedish, which is seven per cent. less than the English.
which the Swedish metallurgists attribute the superiority of Swedish iron. The rest of this superiority is due to the use of charcoal in manufacturing it.
XVII. MANUFACTURES. To take the published tables of Swedish manufactures, and present them as an exhibit of this branch of industry, would be an unfair proceeding, for the mills of Sweden, whose products alone are returned to government, do not produce the half (I scarcely believe a quarter) of the manufactures of the country. As in former times with us, and at all times in countries not advanced in wealth, the house of every poor man is a manufactory. The peasants of Sweden make their own cloth, clothes, shoes, hats, harness, wagons, sleds, many of their farming implements, even their nails, and bolts, and iron chains, and nearly every other article in common use; and when these things are added together the gross sum leaves the amount produced in Swedish factories a comparatively trivial affair.
The eleven members of the royal family, the 11,742 noblemen, the 15,362 clergymen, and that portion of the burghers who will wear and use nothing that is made in Sweden, when added together, still leave a two-thirds majority of the population who wear and use nothing else; and it therefore is impossible in such a country to give any other report of the quantity and value of manufactured articles than is contained in these general facts. It must be observed, however, that such a country furnishes the best possible market for the sale of useful manfactured articles; for, to insure a heavy traffic, it is necessary only to carry them the things they use for a price less than their cost when manufactured by themselves.
England, aware of the value of the Swedish market, is driving a rich trade with the merchants of the country; but American manufactures, especially those for farming operations and for household use, take the precedence of the English articles of the same kind; and there is nothing to hinder, in times of peace, so soon as the facts can be made known in the United States, our merchants and manufacturers opening a most extensive and profitable business with the principal cities of this kingdom.
There is a strong desire here to trade with the United States ; and I have frequently heard the opinion expressed among the leading merchants of this capital that the restoration of peace will inaugurate an unprecedented business between the merchants of our country and those of Stockholm. The war, in fact, has done us the service, in more than one European country, to illustrate our mechanical skill and to give us pre-eminence in this respect over all other countries.
XVIII. TRADE. From the days of the Vikings, Sweden has always depended on foreign countries for many articles of necessity and luxury; the advance of civilization has rather increased than diminished this demand. Piracy has given place to trade, and Sweden is now, for so small a state, one of the leading commercial nations of northern Europe. A very few figures will demonstate this great fact. Table showing the number of railways, canals, vessels, and employés engaged in the internal navigation of Sweden for the year ended September 30, 1863.
Persons. Number of railroads, 5, employing..
1, 200 Number of canals, 5, employing..
2, 100 Number of vessels, 2,500, employing.
6,500 Total number employed in internal transit...
As there is no duty on this inland traffic the government has been careless of getting returns of its amount. It must be observed, however, that a large proportion of these vessels are steamers, which are splendidly built and arranged for capacity and speed. They are in general iron-clad, of a very beautiful model; of which 152 belong to Stockholm, and ply between this commercial centre and all the cities of the coast and inland rivers and lakes of Sweden.
Canals.—The canals are very wide and solidly and durably constructed, and the old horse-power boats have been nearly or quite displaced by iron-clad steamers, of double power, so as not to require turning end for end, when desired to be moved, as they all must be, in opposite directions.
Lakes and rivers.-But the lakes and rivers are the most natural and valuable thoroughfares of Sweden, and no people in the world make a better use of these commercial channels than the people of this country.
Foreign trade.-Number of vessels, 1,254; number of crews, 10,932.
Tabular statement showing the principal exports of Sweden for the year ended
September 30, 1863.
1, 478, 393
It will be seen that the imports of Sweden exceed the exports, and this has been the case for many years. The following is a list of the leading articles of import for 1860, which constitute, I am advised, a fair average for ordinary tirnes.
Since 1860 the American civil war has so deranged the business of importing that nothing reliable can be had for a later period. In 1861 the importation was excessive, and the excess was occasioned by the example of England, and the fear of exhausting existing stocks by the discouragements and hindrances during active hostilities and a threatened general war.
Tabular statement showing the leading articles imported into Sweden, and their quantities and total value, during the year 1860.
192, 262 Sugar ..
383, 384 Coffee..
152, 558 Rice...
56, 130 Tobacco..
709 Cloth, woollen..
10, 049 Silk, manufactured.
584 Cotton, manufactured .
8, 826 Linen, manufactured....
GOTTENBURG-W. W. THOMAS, JR., Consul.
June 30, 1863. I have the honor to inform you that there have been no arrivals or departures of American vessels at this port for the quarter ended this day.
AUGUST 22, 1863. I have the honor to inform you that a considerable importation of pork from our western States into Sweden has sprung up within the present year. This pork has as yet been entered duty free, but the increasing quantities in which it has of late arrived have alarmed the Swedish peasants for the safety of the market for home-raised pork.
“The peasants” form one of the four houses of the diet of Sweden, and through their influence the diet, on the 20th instant, passed an act fixing a duty of two rix-dollars and fifty ore (67 cents) on every Swedish hundred weight (93 pounds) of pork imported into the kingdom. This act will become a law on receiving the approval of the King, who approves or disapproves of all acts passed by the diet on its adjournment, which, in the present case, will take place about the 1st of November. All the Swedish gentlemen with whom I have conversed ou this subject entertain no doubt that the King will approve this act, which must cripple, if not destroy, this new outlet for the surplus products of our great west.
Permit me to remind the department that the acts of the Swedish diet are binding only within the limits of Sweden proper, and have no effect in Norway.
H. Ex. Doc. 41-20
OCTOBER 20, 1863. I have the honor to inform you that on and after January 1, 1864, all export duties will be abolished throughout Sweden.
Money.—The different denominations of the paper rix-daler (26 5 cents) are the universal currency, and pass everywhere at par. Specie is looked upon with distrust; even gold is often absolutely refused.
Crops.—The crops of 1863 are a fair average in quantity and quality, with the single and important exception of oats. Too much rain in harvest has considerably damaged one-half of the crop of oats, and will render it, in quality at least, much below the average.
EXPORTS TO AMERICA.
Comparative tabular statement showing the amount, value, and description of
all merchandise exported from Gottenburg to the United States for each quarter of the consular year ended the 30th September, 1863.
It will be seen that 8,409 tons of iron and steel, valued at $390,621 55, and 254 kegs of herring, worth $94 87, amounting in all to $390,716 42, have been exported to the United States during the year ended September 30, 1863.
These goods have all been shipped to New York or Boston.
During the single quarter ended September 30, 1863, 3,985 tons of iron and steel, valued at $213,244 88, were exported from this port to the United States ; being the largest amount exported in any one quarter since the establishment of this consulate.
American commerce.—But one American vessel has visited Gottenburg during the year ended September 30, 1863 : this was the "Clara,” of 822 tons, which arrived here in December last; yet during the last three months eight vessels, belonging either to Sweden or to the British North American provinces, have sailed from Gottenburg with full cargoes of iron for the United States.
The following general statistics are for the year 1862. It is impossible to obtain any later at present.
Freights. The freights from this port to New York and Boston were $5, and 5 per cent. per ton on iron during the spring and summer of 1862. No vessels were chartered in the autumn.