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Statement showing the quantity and value of the exports, &c.—Continued.
Number of vessels arrived, 1,042 ; tonnage, 253,106 tons. Cleared, 1,041 ; tonnage, 255,945.
HELSINGFORS-REYNOLD FRENCKELL, Consul.
MARCH 31, 1863. I have the honor to give a report on the trade of the Grand Duchy of Finland for the year 1861.
The value of the exports amounted to silver roubles 7,278,747, showing an increase of silver roubles 690,222 on the preceding year. The following was the value of the exports for the five preceding years, viz:
Silver Roubles. In 1856 the value was
3, 434, 040 In 1857.
4, 336, 540 In 1858
3, 302, 167
4, 615, 833 In 1860
6,588, 525 The principal articles exported and their relative value were as follows, viz:
Silver Roubles, Timber, deals, planks..
2, 412, 576
790, 744 Firewood..
406, 919 893, 133
426, 120 Fish
319, 170 Cattle....
133, 242 Iron and steel...
807, 115 Webs (cotton and wool) and woollens
293, 846 The imports reached the same year the sum of...
8, 318, 179
Their value during the five preceding years had been,
Silver Roubles. In 1856 ...
9, 865, 267 In 1857
1, 234, 748 In 1858
5, 462, 201 In 1859
8, 952, 880
10, 836, 967 The principal articles imported were Cotton, raw ...
645, 093 Cotton, twist.
120, 703 Tobacco ...
1, 580, 178 Sugar ..
1, 247, 305 Wine and spirits.
512, 022 Manufactures, woollen
1,819, 800 Cotton, linen goods, and silks Iron and steel.
961, 936 Salt ..
380, 806 Corn.
1, 526, 747 Ship-building is still going on in an extensive style, and the Finnish merchantmen arè, as before, sought for in the general trade. They are especially engaged on long voyages, and are making lucrative freights.
AMOOR-P. McD. COLLINS, Commercial Agent.
ST. PETERSBURG, January 20, 1863. I herewith forward the communication of General Melnikoff, director-in-chief of roads, public communications and buildings, in regard to proposed telegraphic union of Russia with America via Asiatic Russia. Since the receipt of this communication I have had several interviews with his excellency General Melnikoff, in order that I might confine my reply to the questions at issue, as well as to conform as nearly as possible with his excellency's views.
The main questions are really reduced to three
1st. Choice of route over which the telegraph shall be constructed. 2d. Right of way unrestricted to go with the survey. 3d. Agreement as to the time in which the Russian telegraph shall be completed to the Pacific.
The Russian government apprehends that we will construct our line so rapidly that we will reach the Amoor first, and claim damages for the non-performance of the contract. I have consequently proposed an extension of the time in which it is proposed to construct our share of the enterprise, so as to meet this objection.
The question as to route across the Pacific ocean via the Aleutian islands is readily granted; but this involves more submerged cable than necessary, in my opinion. My main point in view of route is to avoid the very necessity that this “ocean route" involves. I have attempted to answer in regard to this question fully, and I hope satisfactorily. The fact is, it cannot be of any real consequence to Russia to force the construction of the telegraph in that direction. The only reason that can be possibly urged would seem to be the fact of Russian settlements in Kamtchatka and upon some of these islands; but the settlements are so small and widely separated that Russia can gain no power in view of telegraphic communication with them. In a commercial point of view nothing can certainly be urged. Therefore to force the construction of a telegraph across both the sea of Okotsk and the North Pacific, where not less than two thousand miles of submerged cable is required, (in comparatively short sections, however,) seems rather anreasonable. But I have thought it was only to gain time as to a position and final answer upon the main question involved.
I have proposed, as an offset to the question of settlements on the line of the " ocean route," to take from among the convicts sent yearly to Siberia a namber sufficient to settle small villages along the proposed northern route, so as to connect the Russian Asiatic with Russian American permanent settlements. This would give Russia actual dominion and occupancy of a large tract of country not heretofore brought under imperial rule.
General Kensackoff, the governor general of Eastern Siberia, called upon me a few days since. He is much and favorably interested in my proposed telegraphic proposition. He now holds his office by imperial appointment. The governor general's views in regard to matters touching Eastern Siberia have much influence. His call on me, and his conversation in regard to my proposition, indicate that the government have my proposed telegraphic union between Russia and America seriously and favorably under consideration, and that I may have an answer in thirty or sixty days.
St. PeterSBURG, November 30, 1862. Sir: In the month of October, 1859, you presented to my predecessor, Adjutant General Chefkin, a plan for constructing a telegraph to unite America and Europe, by way of the Aleutian islands or the Strait of Behring, and continuing thence through Siberia. At the same time you petitioned our govern. ment for assistance and privileges, in order to enable you to carry out your enterprise.
This proposition was considered by the Siberian committee, and in accordance with the decision of said committee, confirmed by his Imperial Majesty the Emperor. You received a document, number 2,856, stating that the privileges and the
means asked by you, in view of the construction of said telegraph, were by the Russian government not deemed admissible. But if the telegraph company to which you belong agree to investigate the possibility and convenience of constructing a telegraph via the islands of the Pacific ocean as far as the mouth of the Amoor, permission may be granted by the Russian government to that effect, but without any special privileges or guaranty, and without any assistance on the part of the government.
In compliance with your petition, you received on the 20th day of May, 1860, a document, (No. 1,083,) confirming the validity of the right given you for the purpose of carrying out your surveying expedition.
In your letter of the 10th day of September, 1862, you petitioned for the privilege of establishing telegraphic communication between the frontiers of the Russian possessions in America and the Amoor river in Asiatic Russia, and you explain that permission above granted by the Russian government for the exploration of the intervening country, and which operation demands considerable expense, cannot attract capitalists to undertake the survey
without there goes along with it the right to construct the telegraph. In this letter you enclose a printed report from the Committee on Military Affairs to the Senate of the United States of North America, proving the advantages to be derived from a worldgirding telegraph communication with Europe via Asiatic Russia, and at the same time recommending that means be appropriated or provided for the pose of carrying out the surveying expedition. In this report, it is evident that the telegraph line is intended to be carried from America by way of Behring's Strait, and thence it will join our telegraph lines via Okotsk, on the banks of the Amoor river. The president of the American Western Union Telegraph, Mr. Sibley, to
you addressed a communication concerning the construction of this telegraph which you propose, and whose answer is written out in the report from the Committee on Military Affairs to the Senate of the United States of North America, which you laid before us, offers to construct the above mentioned telegraph in the space of two years, and even sooner, on condition that the Russian government carry on its telegraph as far as the Strait of Behring, in order to join your line from America.
In this same letter of September 10, 1862, you also refer to the note of Mr. Cameron, minister of the United States of North America, which serves to indicate your requirements, for the purpose of putting your plan into execution.
In this note Mr. Cameron finds it necessary that the American telegraph line should be constructed at the same time that the Russian line is being carried on, as far as the Amoor river.
From the above we are led to conclude that your surveys will be carried on for the purpose of constructing the American telegraph so as to meet ours at the mouth of the Amoor, either direct through the Pacific ocean or through Behring's via Siberia and Okotsk. If, upon investigation, it was decided to construct a telegraph in the first direction—that is, through our possessions in North America, and across the Pacific ocean direct to the mouth of the Amonr-our government finds no difficulty in giving you permission to construct such a telegraph, and uniting it with ours, requiring only in this case your positive answer as to the length of the time you suppose necessary in order to complete your telegraph from America to the Amoor ; and how many years you wish to enjoy the exclusive privilege; and also what conditions you propose making for the transmission of telegrams along our European lines.
If you fix upon conducting the telegraph through Behring's Strait, and further, by way of Siberia, through Okotsk to the Amoor, then, though we foresee no disappointment in granting you the permission, yet, in consequence of the difficult and still unexplored localities lying between Behring's Strait and the Amoor, and also taking into consideration that your telegraph will traverse not only our possessions in North America, but also Siberia to a considerable extent, viz., from the Siberian shores of Behring's Strait to the Amoor, it would be better and more convenient, in consequence of the undecisive state of the question, to enter into agreement when your explorations are completed, and you are able not only to fix upon a term for constructing your telegraph, but also to determine on what conditions you can undertake its construction by way of Siberia. At all events our government will be ready to co-operate with you as far as possible in carrying out your enterprise.
I must, however, forewarn you, as did my predecessor, on the 5th January, 1860, (document No. 12,) that our government cannot take the responsibility upon itself of finishing an uninterrupted line of telegraph as far as the Amoor in any given time. Director-in-chief of roads, communications and public buildings,
Lieutenant General of Engineers,
June 18, 1863. I have the honor to enclose herewith copy of the translation of a document received from General Melnikoff, chief director of ways of communication and public buildings, dated St. Petersburg, May 23 and June 4, 1863, in relation to the action of the Russian government upon the proposed line to unite Europe and America telegraphically overland, via Asiatic Russia.
Although it is not all that could be desired, it nevertheless gives hopes of a basis for final achievement of the enterprise.
After accepting the grant without reservation, I have proposed a few modifications, mainly in regard to the tariff and through despatches, and the employment of persons on the proposed telegraph line.
[Translation. ) Sir: In answer to your petition of December 24, 1862, in which you solicit permission to form a company projected by you for the purpose of establishing å telegraph from America to the mouth of the Amoor river, upon the basis stated in said petition, I have the honor to inform you that this affair has been examined by the officer performing the duties of governor general of Eastern Siberia, and it has since been laid before the Siberian committee. According to the direction of the said committee, confirmed on the 15th day of May of this year by his Majesty the Emperor, it has been decided to inform you as follows:
The choice of the most advantageous direction (route) for constructing the telegraph line by your projected company may be left without the least impediment to the option and minutest consideration of the undertakers.
The company may have the right to establish along the telegraph line suitable and safe stations, convenient roads for surveys and for the repair of the line, and likewise ports upon the coasts at those places where large stations will be appointed to be erected; considering, at the same time, that the stations near Behring Straits ought to be constructed in such manner as to be able to defend them successfully against the savages in case of attack.
For the defence of these stations, armed men to be kept for account of the company, consisting of Russians, in no large but sufficient number, and should be changed every two years. However, as the successful operation of the telegraph, and consequently the advantage of the company itself, depends upon the falfilment of this, this clause is not made imperative upon the company, under consideration that the Russian government does not take upon itself any
obligation to pay annually a sum of money to the company for damages after the achievement of the telegraph.
Your proposition of establishing along the telegraph line villages, and of peopling them with exiled culprits, appears to be inconvenient, according to the opinion of the officer performing the duty of governor general of Eastern Siberia, for the reason that a large portion of the land through which the telegraph line will be constructed is land little or not at all convenient for cultivation; also, because the nature of the climate of the said region may have a dangerous infuence upon the exiles brought there from provinces or countries enjoying a better climate.
According to the same officer's opinion, all workmen and a part of the men in service along the projected telegraph line should be Russian subjects, and as many as possible ought to be married men, with their families. This will likewise be better and more convenient for the company in an economical point of view, and in its relationship with the Russian government.
The term of five years solicited by you for establishing the telegraph line, and also thirty-three years for the exclusive right of way for the telegraph, may be granted under condition that if in the course of the first two years no commencement should be made, or if after the expiration of five years the whole line should not be achieved and put into operation, then the privilege to cease.
The company cannot be allowed to exercise any rights or power in the Russian dominions through which the telegraph shall pass, nor is there any necessity to subordinate the natives of the country who live between the frontiers of colonies established by Russia in Asia to the frontiers of the settlements in Russian America, those natives being under the control of government established by laws of natives and other chiefs.
As far, however, as concerns the friendly (free will) contracts of the natives