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France may be said to control the market. Expert opinions differ as to the cause. Some say that the French produce a better shoe than the Americans for less money; others say that the Americans have not studied the market.
Saddles and harness are principally English. They are much preferred over the American articles, and they are declared to be both better and cheaper.
Rubber goods are not generally used, and the excessive heat is unfavorable to the development of a market. The few rubber shoes and mackintoshes used come from New York.
Liquors of all kinds, except beer and native rum, come from France. Hamburg attempted to build up a trade in inferior imitations, but was not successful. Beer comes from France, England, the United States, and Germany. It is generally of an inferior quality. There seems to be an opportunity for American producers to build up a large trade in a good article, well preserved to resist the influences of this climate without resort to too heavy fortification by alcohol.
Sugar machinery is used comparatively little in this country. Liverpool produces cheaper small mills, but those from the United States are often chosen for the convenience in shipment and delivery.
In saws, bolts, files, etc., the American goods are rapidly supplanting all others.
Musical instruments generally come from France. In later years Vienna has competed. Paris pianos appears to be the most popular. An upright of this make, I am informed, costs in Paris 1,800 francs ($347.40), less 30 per cent discount; and a grand, 3,000 francs ($579), less the same discount. They are regarded. here as good instruments.
Paints and painters' utensils and supplies come from the United States.
Illuminating oils come from the United States. They comprise a large and growing trade.
Table glass of the better grades comes
No window glass is sold, from France; it is said to be cheaper. from the United States.
Stationery, writing, bill, and note papers are said to be dearer in the United States, but are generally perferred. Cheap papers come from Paris.
Watches and clocks formerly came from Paris. During the past five years, however, the sale of American articles has been steadily increasing. The cheap nickel makes were the pioneers; now the fine grades of American clocks and watches are in demand.
Silver-plated ware comes from the United States. Solid silverware comes from Paris.
Wearing apparel of all kinds comes from Paris, with slight competition from Germany.
Though lamps are not mentioned in the Department circular, it ought to be said that the demand for lamps offers a thriving trade to American manufacturers. In the cheap grades we now sell a considerable number, but the more valuable grades are said to be cheaper and more artistic in Paris. My personal observation is that the burners made in the United States are superior; and, if American invention has solved the problem of giying a more steady and brilliant light with the same expenditure of oil, the matters of price and decorative design ought not to present serious difficulties. The decorative work now done in the United States ought, it seems to me, to become popular if properly introduced into Haiti. This branch of trade is important, because this country is estimated to have 800,000 inhabitants, and the streets and houses are lighted exclusively by lamps and candles. JOHN S. DURHAM, Consul-General.
PORT AU PRINCE.
Weights and Measures.
The old weights of Haiti are about 8 per cent heavier than the English. The French metric system is also made use of. The old weights and measures are: Of length, the aune =46.77 inches, the pied (12.78 inches) of 12 pouces or 144 lignes; of weight, the quintal (107.92 pounds) of 100 livres of 16 ounces each; the French livre of 500 grammes (1.1 pounds) is the one most in use; of capacity, the gallon (4 quarts, liquid), and the pinte (0.95 quart, liquid).
The toise of 6 pieds and pas of 31⁄2 pieds are also used, and the carreau de terre, the measure of land=119.6 square yards.
The tariff act of the United States Congress, approved October 1, 1890, and known as the McKinley bill, contained a paragraph providing for the negotiation of commercial reciprocal arrangements with countries producing and exporting sugars, molasses, coffee, tea, and hides, raw and uncured, and directed the President of the United States to suspend, by proclamation, the provisions of that act for the free introduction of sugar, molasses, coffee, tea, and hides coming from such countries as failed by January 1, 1892, to reciprocate in the removal or modification of duties on agricultural and other products of the United States. Haiti did not negotiate a commercial treaty within the time stipulated, and the President of the United States issued the following proclamation on March 15, 1892:
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
Whereas, in Section 3 of an Act passed by the Congress of the United States, entitled "An Act to reduce the revenue and equalize duties on imports, and for other purposes" approved October 1, 1890, it was provided as follows:
"That with a view to secure reciprocal trade with countries producing the following articles, and for this purpose, on and after the first day of January, eighteen hundred and ninety-two, whenever, and so often as the President shall be satisfied that the Government of any country producing and exporting sugars,
molasses, coffee, tea, and hides, raw and uncured, or any of such articles, imposes duties or other exactions upon the agricultural or other products of the United States, which, in view of the free introduction of such sugar, molasses, coffee, tea, and hides into the United States he may deem to be reciprocally unequal and unreasonable, he shall have the power and it shall be his duty to suspend, by proclamation to that effect, the provisions of this act relating to the free introduction of such sugar, molasses, coffee, tea, and hides, the production of such country, for such time as he shall deem just, and in such case and during such suspension, there shall be levied, collected, and paid upon sugar, molasses, coffee, tea, and hides, the product of or exported from such designated country the duties hereinafter set forth":
And whereas, it has been established to my satisfaction, and I find the fact to be, that the Government of Hayti does impose duties or other exactions upon the agricultural and other products of the United States, which in view of the free introduction of such sugars, molasses, coffee, tea and hides into the United States, in accordance with the provisions of said Act, I deem to be reciprocally unequal and unreasonable:
Now, therefore, I, Benjamin Harrison, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by Section 3 of said Act, by which it is made my duty to take action, do hereby declare and proclaim that the provisions of said Act relating to the free introduction of sugars, molasses, coffee, tea and hides, the production of Hayti, shall be suspended from and after this fifteenth day of March, 1892, and until such time as said unequal and unreasonable duties and exactions are removed by Hayti and public notice of that fact given by the President of the United States, and I do hereby proclaim that on and after this fifteenth day of March, 1892, there will be levied, collected, and paid upon sugars, molasses, coffee, tea and hides, the product of or exported from Hayti, during such suspension, duties as provided by said Act as follows:
All sugars not above number thirteen Dutch Standard in color shall pay duty on their polariscopic tests as follows, namely:
All sugars not above number thirteen Dutch Standard in color, all tank bottoms, sirups of cane juice or of beet juice, melada, concentrated melada, concrete and concentrated molasses, testing by the polariscope not above seventy-five degrees, seven-tenths of one cent per pound; and for every additional degree or fraction of a degree shown by the polariscopic test, two hundredths of one cent per pound additional.
All sugars above number thirteen Dutch Standard in color shall be classified by the Dutch Standard of color, and pay duty as follows, namely: All sugar above number thirteen and not above number sixteen Dutch Standard of color, one and three-eighths cents per pound.