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China : Notes on the foreign trade of Tientsin during the years 1900-1903

Material Information

Title:
China : Notes on the foreign trade of Tientsin during the years 1900-1903
Series Title:
Diplomatic and consular reports
Creator:
Great Britain. Foreign Office.
Place of Publication:
London
Publisher:
Harrison & Sons
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Commerce
贸易
International trade
国际贸易
國際貿易
商业
Genre:
Government Document
serial ( sobekcm )
Spatial Coverage:
Asia -- China -- Tianjin -- Tianjin
Coordinates:
39.13333 x 117.183333

Notes

General Note:
"Presented to both Houses of Parliament by command of His Majesty, March, 1904."
General Note:
Publisher's catalogue number: Cd. 1766-61
General Note:
亞洲 -- 中國 -- 天津 -- 天津
General Note:
亚洲 -- 中国 -- 天津 -- 天津

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Source Institution:
SOAS, University of London
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
CF327.42 /23894 ( SOAS classmark )
291455 ( aleph )
Cd. 1766-61 ( Publisher_ID )

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Full Text
No. 3127 Annual Series.
DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR REPORTS.
CHINA.
NOTES
ON THE
FOREIGN TRADE OE TIENTSIN DURING THE
YEARS 1900-03.
REFERENCE TO PREVIOUS REPORT, Annual Series No. 2487,
Presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of His Majesty
MARCH, 1904.
LONDON:
PRINTED FOR HIS MAJESTY'S STATIONERY. OFFICE,
BY HARRISON AND SONS, ST. MARTIN'S LANE,
printers in ordinary to his majesty.
And to be purchased, either directly or through any Bookseller, from
EYRE & SP0TT1S W 0 G1) E, East Harding Street, Fleet Street, E.C.,
and 32, Abingdon Street, Westminster, S.W.;
or OLIVER & BOYD, Edinburgh;
or E. PONSONBY, 116, Grafton Street, Dublin.
1904,
[Cd. 1766-61. J
Price Sixpence Halfpenny.


CONTENTS.
Page
Prefatory note ..........................................................................................................3
Tientsin's importance as a trade centre .............................................................................................................3
Effect of military operations......................................................................................................4
Tientsin provisional government ...........................................................................................................4
Settlement extension................................................................4
British municipalities ................................................................................................................................................................................6
River conservancy ................................................................................................................................................................................................9
Bar works ............................................................................................................
Ch'in-wang Tao ..................................................................................................................................................H
Imperial Railways of North China........................................................................................................................................12
Belgian and French railways ........................................................................................................................................................13
British railways......................................................................................................................................................................................................14
Effect of railways in Tientsin ...........................................................................
Local money market........................................................................................................................................................................................15
Coinage......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................17
Trade conditions........................................................................................................................................................................................................18
Total trade of the port .......................................................................................................................................................................18
Imports .........................................................................................................................................20
Opium ......................................................................................................................................21
Cotton goods .............................................................................................................................................................21
Woollen goods ......................................................................................................................................................................................................21
Sundries ..........................................................................................................................................................................................22
Imports at Ch'in-wang Tao .........................................................................................................22
Exports ......................................................................................................................................23
Skins and wool ...............................................................................................................................................................23
Straw braid.............................................................................................................23
Bristles and jute..........................................................................................................................................................24
Recovery of advances in respect of wool........................................................................................................................24
Differential freights ........................................................................................................................................................................................25
Native exports........................................................................................................................................................25
Inland transit..........................................................................................................................................................................26
Canals .....................................................................................................................................................................................27
Customs revenue...........................................................................................................................27
Shipping..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................27
General ......................................................................................................................28


No. 3127. Annual Series.
Reference to previous Report, Annual Series No. 2487.
Notes on the Foreign Trade of Tientsin for the Years 1900-03 by
Mr. J. W. Jamicson, Commercial Attache to H.M!s Legation
at IJeking.
(Shanghai, January 9, 1901- j received at Foreign Ollice, February .16, 1904.)
The last report on the trade of Tientsin was despatched jnst Prefatory
before the troubles in connection with the Boxer outbreak camenote'
to a head, and the great pressure of work thrown on the shoulders
of the Consular staff, in consequence of its having to grapple with
the many complications arising out of a new condition of things
when order was finally restored, has rendered the compilation of
one in the interval a matter of impossibility.
The following notes, collected in the course of a visit to Tientsin
in December, 1903, are intended to give some idea of the great
changes which have taken place at that port during the last three
years, and to form a point of departure for future reports drawn
up in the orthodox manner.
The writer has not been stationed in Tientsin since 1892, and it
is, in the nature of things, not easy for a non-resident fully to grasp
the situation presented by the new state of affairs. The opinions
with which he was furnished were so divergent that the conclusions
drawn are likely to be open to criticism. Points of interest may
have been overlooked, nor can freedom from error be guaranteed.
It is hoped, therefore, that any shortcomings or inaccuracies which
may strike those on the spot will not be treated with undue
severity. It should be added that the trade statistics for 1903 are
incomplete.
As was pointed out in the report for 1899, Tientsin's geographical General
position has for years past made it the second port in China. The importance ^
value of its total trade is only surpassed by that of the port of ^ade wntre.
Shanghai, and the net total of its foreign imports exceeds that of
Shanghai. Until it received the disastrous set back of 1900, its
commercial prosperity had been growing steadily since 1888 ; and,
after two years of depression, it in 1902 fully recovered itself
the sterling value of the trade in that year being only 8,000Z. behind
that of 1899, whereas the silver value was far greater.
(426) A 2


4
TIENTSIN".
Effect of
nrlitary
operations.
The Tientsin
provisional
government.
Settlement
extension,
The two intermediate years were those of the troubles and their
aftermath. The Chinese authorities lost control of the city on
June 4,1900. On the 17th began the bombardment of the European
concessions, which was followed by the military operations connected
with their relief and that of the Legations, and with the restoration
of order throughout the province. Of the European concessions
the French suffered most; one-fourth of the native houses were
destroyed, two-thirds of the population fled4,000 to 5,000 is the
estimate of the loss of lifeand of treasure 40,000,000 to 50,000,000
taels are said to have been carried off. Large seizures of land,
houses and private property were made ; and for months innocent
and guilty alike suffered the full penalty of the misdeeds of the
misguided fanatics, who thought that they could sweep the foreigner
into the sea. The interior of the province of Chihli was over-run
by punitive expeditions and marauding bands of natives, and
organised government practically ceased. The first attempt to
evolve order out of chaos was made by the Allied Powers, who
introduced a form of provisional government for the cities of
Peking and Tientsin, the government of the latter remaining in
power until August 15, 1902.
The members of the International Executive deserve the highest
praise for the excellent work they did, and for the many and great
improvements which they effected. Commencing, so to speak,
with a clean slate, they were in a position to plan and carry out
reforms, which, under normal conditions, would have met with
most formidable opposition. By the clearing away of the debris
of ruined buildings, new arteries of communication were opened
up, and after the artillery-battered walls were pulled down, fine
wide streets took their place. The taxes imposed were wisely
expended in the institution of public works of permanent benefit.
Sanitary and police regulations are being enforced in a way which
obtains nowhere else in China. The city has its own supply of
pure water, and an intelligent system of draining low-lying ground,
previously constantly flooded in the summer months, is in
operation.
Fears were entertained that the resumption of Chinese juris-
diction would mean a return to old methods. These apprehensions
have proved groundless, as the enlightened policy of the present
Governor-General, His Excellency Yuan Shih-k'ai, has for its
object the continuance and development of his immediate pre-
decessors' schemes. He has laid out a large area to the north-east
of the city, connected with the railway line by a broad road, bringing
the railway-borne traffic in more direct communication with the
centre of native trade, and steps are being taken to secure a con-
vergence of the j unk-borne traffic round to the same locality. Begging
has ceased to be the pleasant and lucrative pastime it once was,
as the sturdy beggar is at once arrested, given a distinctive uniform,
and set to work on the road.
While the transition stage has enabled the extension of settle-:


Tl EN-TSI N in I 903
W4. 42GJ
Harrison p< Sons. Litb,. S! Martms Lane."W: C.


6
TIENTSIN".
are placed in foreign hands. Communication between the two sides
of the river has to be maintained by numerous bridges, and at
times the congestion of traffic is vqtj great. A scheme is accordingly
under consideration to deepen an existing canal which branches
off from the river below the settlements, and which, running to the
west or back thereof, connects with the Grand Canal on the north.
It is hoped by means of this improved waterway to divert the
junk traffic from the main river, to release it from foreign inter-
ference and to bring it in closer touch with the city.
Leaving aside for the moment the older British and French
concessions, the most rapid progress in the matter of development
is being made on the Japanese settlement, which has grown in a
very short space of time into a prosperous semi-Chinese quarter.
Certain sections of the northern part and the whole of the part
below the German settlement remain, for the time being, under
Chinese jurisdiction, until the Japanese are prepared to take them
up. Similar activity is not characteristic of the other settlements,
although the advantageous position of the Russian, which lies
opposite to the German settlement and the British and French
concessions, between the railway line and the river, gives great
promise for the future. The river front of the German settlement
has been carefully bunded, and, being nearer the sea, it will no
doubt eventually prove a serious rival to the British river front,
along which all shipping at present lies and which constitutes the
great centre of trade.
In addition to the ordinary native boat bridges across the
Pei-ho, which from the city to the sea is commonly spoken of as
the Hai-ho, there are two iron swing bridges spanning the river ;
and, when unanimity as to specifications shall have been arrived at,
a third will be thrown across joining the American and Russian
concessions. Of the two others, one (Chinese) is opposite to the
Yamen of the Governor-General, and the other (International)
opposite to the lower railway station.
British Great strides have been made in re-building and re-occupying
mimicipali- the French concession, and handsome residential quarters are
e' .springing up on the German settlement; but the best proof of the
growing wealth and importance of Tientsin is afforded by a study
of the figures in the reports of the British municipalities. The
original concession granted by the Chinese Government to the
British Crown after the conclusion of hostilities in 1860 is situated
at Tz7:- ohu-lin, where the trade of the port was created and fostered,
and where 98 per cent, of it is still being carried on. Its area having
proved too circumscribed for the increasing needs of the community,
arrangements were made in 1897 for the setting apart of a tract
of land to the back thereof, under the usual conditions governing
settlements at the open ports. After 1900 the boundaries of this
extra concession, as it is erroneously designated, were still further
extended in order to provide for the requirements of the future.
These three tracts of land are administered by municipal councils,


TIENTSIN.
f)
under the supervision of His Majesty's representatives in China ;
but the constitution of each differs from the other, and an unifica-
tion of the methods of administration, were it possible to obtain
such, would obviate many inconveniences. The original concession,
a strip of riparian frontage 3,400 by 810 feet, was let out in lots by
the Crown on 90 years' leases, and no Chinese were allowed to hold
land thereon. These leases expire about 1950, and an assurance
that on expiry vested interests will receive due consideration is
eagerly desired by present holders. Its main sources of revenue
were bundage and mooring fees, chargeable on all vessels entering
the port; and the steady development of trade brought about a
corresponding increase of income. Surplus revenue was from time
to time invested by the municipality in what is now the extra
settlement, and the property thus acquired was, after having
been filled in and generally improved, disposed of on the Scotch
feuage system, i.e., sale by auction to the highest bidder, plus a
lien of 15 taels per mow per annum in perpetuity. As the number
of proprietors on these terms multiplied, the necessity of having
powers to institute police, sanitary and lighting measures made
itself felt, and by a proclamation dated March 31, 1897, permission
to exercise such powers over a given area was granted by the Chinese
Government. Land belonging to Chinese remains the property
of the original owners, but they must conform to British municipal
regulations, and all transfers of land within that area must be
registered at His Britannic Majesty's Consulate. The terms on
which land is held in the recent extension, known as the extra
mural, are similar, only there the system of feuage does not obtain.
It will thus be seen that to reduce matters to uniformity would be a
somewhat complicated task. But it is understood that unification
would be welcomed by all present holders of land, and that they
would concur in any equitable proposals to that end which might
be brought forward.
With the consent of the United States authorities, the American
concession, which adjoins the British, has been placed under British
municipal control, and is administrated in conjunction with its
neighbour.
In addition to bund rent and mooring fees, land tax and rental
assessment are levied on holders of property by the British munici-
palities, and, as evidence of the way in which Tientsin has risen
like a phoenix from its ashes, an analysis of the Budget for 1903
is instructive. The estimates for 1903, in respect of the original
concession, placed the receipts at


8
TIENTSIN".
Amount.
j Tacla.
Land tax (quarter of 1 per cent, per mow).. 6,300
Rental assessment (5 per cent.) .. .. ; 7 700
Total .. ..] 14,000
A re-valuation of the property having been made, it was found
that the value of land had risen from an average of 6,000 taels per
mow to an average of 8,000 taels per mow, and the receipts in
consequence amounted to :
Amount.
Land tax
Rental assessment
Taels.
8,853
8,402
Total
17,255
or an excess of 3,250 taels over the estimate.
A reduction accordingly of 15 per cent, was allowed for the year.
Similarly the revenue of the extensions, wherein land tax is at the
rate of half of 1 per cent, per mow on 1,000 taels per mow, and
rental assessment lb per cent., the revenue exceeded the estimate
by 6,500 taels, and a reduction of 25 per cent, was allowed.
The other items in the receipts column afford additional proof
of the extraordinary way in which trade and traffic has increased.
In 1899 jinricsha licenses produced 4,000 dol. and trolleys 1,850 dol. ;
in 1902 the receipts were 16,300 dol. and 4,500 dol. respectively.
In 1893 the tonnage of steamers carrying coal to the British bund
was 341,000 tons ; in 1902 it had risen to 547,400 tons.
It is, of course, impossible to say whether or not greater progress
would have been made had there been no disturbances in the
north, but, looking at things from an outside point of view, it
would seem as if the case of Tientsin were analogous to that of an
individual, who, after being prostrated with typhoid fever, makes
a complete recovery and enters upon life once more, cleared of all
noxious humours, with renewed vigour.
Note may be taken in passing of the large earnings of local
joint stock companies, whose dividends cannot but give satisfaction
to those concerned, mostly residents of Tientsin. When a tug and
lighter company declares an occasional dividend at the rate of
174 per cent., and a land investment company, after two years
working, can pay 10 per cent., stockholders elsewhere may well
feel envious. New banking agencies have established themselves
in the port, the wants of the public are in every respect well provided
forit is even possible to communicate with Peking by telephone


TIENTSIN.
f)
and with the one exception of Shanghai there is no port in China
which displays signs of greater affluence than Tientsin. It is
gratifying to bear in mind that these results have for the most part
been achieved by British enterprise and on British initiative. The
pioneers of the port have every reason to be proud of the work
they have accomplished in the past.
In addition to being icebound for three months out of twelve, River
the port of Tientsin has for years past laboured under the dis- conservancy,
advantage of not being able to maintain in a navigable condition
its channel of communication with the seamade up of the waters
of the Pei-ho, the Hsi-ho, the Tach'ing-ho and the Grand Canal,
whose point of confluence is a little above the native city, and whose
united volume is thereafter known as the Hai-ho. The question
of dealing, on scientific lines, with the improvement of this water-
way is a very old one, because, apart from the interests of trade,
the enormous amount of damage caused by the annual overflow
of its constituent streams had to be reckoned with. Previous
attempts on the part of the territorial authorities to relieve the
people from the ever-recurring danger of disastrous floods, by
draining off into the Pei-t'ang River through specially constructed
canals part of the masses of water which accumulated round Tientsin,
while for a time having had the desired effect, are said to have been
ultimately responsible for the gradual silting up of the very tortuous
course by which the Hai-ho found its way into the Gulf of Pechili.
Things went from bad to worse, until in 1896 even tugboats and
lighters could not come up to the British bund. It was then felt
by all concerned that futile discussion must be abandoned in favour
of practical remedial measures, and funds were raised for the con-
struction of locks in the canals. The cost of these was estimated at
250,000 taels, of which the Governor-General gave 100,000 taels,
the other three-fifths being defrayed out of the proceeds of a British
municipal loan at 6 per cent., secured by a levy of 1 per cent, on the
customs duties paid by all merchandise, or \ per mille ad valorem.
These locks were on the point of completion when the troubles
broke out, but a great deal of damage was done to them subse-
quently, and the indemnity claimed in respect thereof was
126,000 taels.
The provisional government, on taking over the city, lost no
time in devoting its attention to the matter of conservancy; in
fact, until the Hai-ho Conservancy Board was constituted in 1901,
they assumed control of the works, meeting all necessary expenses.
This Board, which consists of three members, a representative of
the Chinese Government, the Senior Consul and the Commissioner
of Customs, to whom are added, with consultative voice only,
representatives of commerce, shipping, and the concessions and
settlements, obtained authority to raise in 1902 a second loan of
250,000 taels, guaranteed by an additional levy of £ per mille on
all imports and exports, for the purpose of shortening the river
by cutting across the five most difficult bends. Towards the


10
TIENTSIN".
maintenance of conservancy works the Chinese Government has,
in terms of Article XI of the Peace Protocol in 1901, to contribute
a sum of 60,000 Haikuan taels per annum.
After the damage to the old works had been repaired, the
systematic straightening of the channel was commenced in October,
1901, under the superintendence of Mr. A. de Linde, a Danish engi-
neer, who has been connected with the river improvement schemes
since their inception. By December, 1902, the Board was able to
report the completion of two cuttings, one J of a mile and the
other 1-yL of a mile long, which have shortened the distance from
the bar by 4f 'miles, and have enabled steamers drawing
10 feet 6 inches to reach the bund in seven to eight hours. The
third cutting, about 2TlF miles in length, which has just been com-
menced, and for which a third loan of 300,000 taels at 7 per cent.,
guaranteed by yet another levy of ^ per mille on the customs duties,
has been raised, will do away with several bad curves and will shorten
the distance by 5J miles. When the two other projected cuttings
shall have been completed, the total distance from Tientsin to the
seaoriginally 51 mileswill have been reduced to 37 miles, and
four more rectangular bends will have been circumvented.
Bar works. There is, however, little object in having a river navigable for
vessels drawing 13 feet, if they cannot get over the bar at its mouth
on a lower draught than 8 to 10 feet, and the raising of funds to
deepen the bar is the next problem which confronts the mercantile
and shipping communities.. As was pointed out in Mr. Consul Carles'
report for 1899, while the river was in process of silting up, the bar
extended farther out to sea, and the pecuniary loss incurred by those
concerned, through the detention of steamers and the cost of
partial lighterage, imposes in the aggregate a very heavy tax on
the trade of the port. Northerly and westerly winds in the autumn
invariably cause low water, and, although those interested may
regard with equanimity the spectacle of six steamers lying there
for days at a time (one steamer in December, 1903, lay there, fully
laden, 13 days before she could get out), the outsider is at a loss to
conceive how such a state of things cannot but affect trade adversely.
A survey of the bar was carried out in July and August, 1902,
by H.M.S. Bambler," and an estimate of the cost of deepening
the bar channel to 14 feet calls for an expenditure of 4-50,000 taels
on the purchase of two dredgers, and of 70,000 taels per annum
for the cost of dredging and works generally. The bar must be
dredged to at least 7 feet below its present level to allow steamers
with a 14 feet draught crossing it with a tide of 8 feet. To raise
funds for this purpose the sum of 145,000 taels per annum is required,
and it is proposed to obtain sanction to levy 15 candareens per ton
(net register) on all steamers crossing the bar, and to impose on goods
a separate \ per mille charge, to be devoted exclusively to bar
works as distinct from river conservancy. It is understood that the
steamer companies trading to Tientsin, with the exception of one
company, which is not satisfied that a careful and complete investi-


TIENTSIN.
f)
gation of the question has been made, are willing to agree to a charge
of 1 mace per ton, but decline to accede to a levy of the higher
amount. The majority of the steamship companies have
built steamers specially designed for carrying cargoes on a low
draught, and are said to be averse to let all comers in on an equal
footing. The company which expressed itself dissatisfied with the
preliminary inquiries has its own wharves at Ch'in-wang Tao,
and the vested interests of the lighter company, whose earning
capacity would be considerably affected could steamers reach the
bund at all seasons of the year, have also not to be left out of con-
sideration. It having been previously contended that the naviga-
bility of the Hai-ho is a matter concerning the property owners of
Tientsin primarily, and these latter having accepted this principle
and taken upon themselves a burden of 800,000 taels for river
conservancyto which sum the shipping companies have in no
way contributedsurely it follows that the improvement of the bar is
primarily to the advantage of the shipping companies. Improved
conditions of trade must benefit both carriers and merchants; low bar
tides and low water in the river as a rule go together, but if there is
more water on the bar than can be found in the river, the shipping
companies can always discharge large steamers at T'angku, without
having to fear detention outside. It is the more to their interest
to do so, as, when the river was at its worst, large sums of money
were invested at T'angku in building wharves and godowns, which,
with an improved river but an unimproved bar, would stand
empty.
Whatever improvements may be carried out as regards the Ch'in-wang
Hai-ho and its entrance, there is no getting over the fact that it is Tao.
completely closed by ice during the winter months, and that for the
present the only remaining means of obtaining access to Tientsin
for three months of the year is Ch'in-wang Tao.
The Chinese Engineering and Mining Company, which in 1901 was
converted into a British joint stock companywith a large proportion
of Belgian capitalappears to be doing very well, and there can be no
doubt of the fact that it is a great boon for Tientsin to be in com-
munication with the outer world all the year round. The opening
of Ch'in-wang Tao has revolutionised the trade of the port. Whereas
in the old days there was always a rush to get cargo in and out
before the river is closed, followed by a long period of hibernation,
shippers can now suit their own convenience, and full use is made
of the facilities thus afforded. The wooden pier, 2,000 feet long,
constructed by the order of the Allied Admirals and since embedded
in stone, affords berthing room accommodation for two to three
steamers of 16 feet draught, and the outer breakwater can accom-
modate as many more up to a draught of 20 feet. Trucks are able
to run right alongside, and, as stated above, a branch line connects
the harbour with the main railway line. It was originally intended
that the breakwater should have a total length of 2,200 feet, but in
the month of February last, when 1,700 feet of piling had been


12
TIENTSIN".
completed, it was found that the piles had been attacked by sea-
worm, and this intention was abandoned. It is somewhat curious
that the sea worm should exist on that part of the coast, as timber
piers at T'angku and Newchuang, constructed of ordinary American
pine, have stood securely for years. The Jarrah timber, imported
from Western Australia, used in the construction of the breakwater
was supposed to be very suitable and comparatively immune from
attack, yet the damage done has proceeded so far that the life of
the pier can only be a very short one.
The company has an output capacity of 160,000 tons of coal
per annum, and this they distribute up and down the coast by means
of a fleet of six steamers. Whether or not, years hence, Ch'in-wang
Tao will wrest from Tientsin its present commercial supremacy is
an open question. But there can be no doubt that the future of
both is likely to be very considerably affected by the potentialities
of development, consequent upon the gradual penetration into
the interior of the iron horse.
Imperial After experiencing many vicissitudes at the hands of military
Norlh^China administrators of various nationalities, the Imperial railways of
North China reverted to their original owners in the course of 1902,
and, having since then repaired damages and been thoroughly
reorganised, are paying handsomely. While the lines were still
under military control the Peking terminus was brought up to the
main gate of the Tartar city, and the traveller now finds himself
deposited within a few yards of Legation Street. A branch line
was built from Peking to T'ungchou, 14 miles away, the head of
navigation on the Pei-ho and the former port of Peking, whither
in the old days all tribute rice was brought. This rice travels now
almost exclusively by rail from the sea direct, but the earnings
of this branch have not come up to expectation. It may ere long,
however, be carried along the base of the triangle to Ku-yeh (vide
sketch of country round Peking) and bring the capital into even
more direct touch with the coast.
The somewhat remarkable eagerness displayed by the Court on
its return from exile to adopt Western conveniences, led to the
building of a line 25J miles long from Kao-pei-tien, on the Peking-
Hankow line, to the Western tombs, so that now His Majesty can
perform his sacrifical rites there with the minimum of inconvenience
and loss of time. The much discussed extension from Kou-pangtzu
56 miles west of Newchuangto Hsinmin T'un is now an accom-
plished fact, and the traffic thereon is said to be large and remunera-
tive. It is 69£ miles in length, but it is unlikely that it will be
carried farther by its present owners. The total mileage of the
Imperial railways of North China is thus brought up to 580 m'les,
and extensions of the system by building a chord line from Tientsin to
Paoting, and from Feng-t'ai via the Nanku pass to Kalgan100 and
115 miles long respectivelyare spoken of. The former would link
up the Pei-han line directly with the sea, and might interfere
seriously with the traffic earnings of the existing line to Peking.


SKETCH MAP of NORTH CHIH-LI PROVINCE
CorrqyiJje^L erv InteUxgertce Brandt NortJv Chiruv GmurumcL, December 1903.

II5-I5
(/475 3j I904-. 42 6)
Hsxtisoij Sons. litii. S: MartiB.s Lane.W.C.


TIENTSIN.
f)
(Ail alternative chord line is to cut across from Chengting to Te-chou
on the Tientsin-Chinkiang trunk line.) As Kalgan is just outside
the Great Wall on the confines of Mongolia, the latter would bring
Tientsin so much nearer to its sources of wool supply, and in the
interests of trade expansion its construction ought not to be deferred.
In what direction it may then push forward to join the Trans-
Siberian trunk line, whether north-westwards via Urga to Verkneu-
dinsk, or due north via Dolonnor to Khailar remains to be seen.
Rapid progress has been made in the construction of the Pei-han Belgian
line, and its two ends ought to meet at Yungtzu on the Yellow River
about May of the present year. Like the Imperial railways it
suffered damage at the hands of the Boxers, but not to the same
extent, and, by way of indirect compensation, it availed itself
of the opportunity afforded by the absence of the Chinese Govern-
ment to shift its terminus from Lu-kou-ch'iao to the main gate of
the Tartar city, Peking, where the width of a street only separates
the two stations. At the moment of writing it is working down
to Shun-te on the borders of Honan, and the formidable task of
bridging the Yellow River is to be taken in hand in the spring.
When the northern and southern section get in touch with each
other, another Belgian group of financiers, known as the Com-
pagnie Generale des chemins de fer et tramways," will proceed to
carry into operation a concession they obtained on November 12,
1903, for the building of a line from K'ai-feng, the capital of the
province of Honan, to Ho-nan fu in the same province. The point
of departure will be the above-mentioned Yungtzu, on the south
bank of the Yellow River, and the line will strike east to K'ai-feng
(52 miles) and west to Honan (84 miles). The whole line has to be
completed within two years from date of commencement, and the
company has then the option of extending the western branch to
Hsian, the capital of Shenhsi. For this purpose a gold loan of
1,000,000Z. at 5 per cent., guaranteed by the Imperial Government,
is to be raised. Eventually K'ai-feng will be connected with
Yenchou in Shantung, as, when the Tientsin-Chinkiang line is
approaching completion, the Chinese Government has promised
to entertain applications for the construction of a line from that
town to K'ai-feng. So far, however, no steps have been taken by
either the British or German concessionaires to get to work on that
very important trunk line, although, as Chinan will be connected
with Tsingtao early in the year, one may expect soon to hear of
greater activity.
The subscription lists for the loan of 40,000,000 fr. at 5 per cent,
for the building of the Cheng-ting-T'ai-yiian railway, a concession
obtained by the Russo-Chinese Bank towards the close of 1902,were
opened in December, 1903, at 96'50. This line, 125 miles long, starts
from a town in Chihli on the Pei-han line, and has to cross a high
range, traversing the geological formation known as Loess, in order
to reach the capital of Shanhsi, a province hitherto practically closed
to the outer world. Its construction will prove by no means easy,


14
TIENTSIN".
and it is open to doubt if 40,000,000 fr. will cover the cost. It is
understood that the proposal of the engineers to make it a metre
gauge line, as being cheaper and more feasible than the ordinary
standard gauge, has been accepted by the Imperial Railway Ad-
ministration. This will naturally cause delay and expense in the
transference of goods from one line to the other. The Chinese
Government, who guaranteed the loan, have given the bank authority
to substitute for themselves a French company, and the right of
extension southwards to Hsian.
British The Peking Syndcate's 80 miles mineral line from Ch'ing-hua to
railways. Tao-k'ou, now completed, taps the anthracite deposits of Shanhsi,
where they project into Honan, and is intended to bring their
output down, by way of the Wei River and the Grand Canal, to
Tientsin, or by some route not yet determined to the Yangtzu.
In order to realise expectations, it should start from Tse chou, on
the Shanhsi plateau, one of the richest coal and iron regions in
the world, but the engineering difficulties are great and the cost
prohibitive.
Effect of The obvious question which springs to one's lips is, to what
T^'ntsT in exten"k of Tientsin be affected by this network of
railways, and in what respect will the far-reaching ramifications,
which are bound to be the outcome of any extension of present
systems, create a diversion of traffic ? The answer, it must be
confessed, will be that while for the immediate future the outlook
is very bright, it can hardly be contended that, say 20 years hence,
Tientsin will have the northern and north-western trade so entirely
under control as at present. Her principal area of distribution
consists of the provinces of Chihli, Shanhsi, Shantung and Honan,
to which in 1902 she, under transit pass, sent goods valued at
1,84-9,300/., 540,500/., 170,750/. and 170,720/. respectively. Her
sources of supply are Mongolia, Hei-lung-chiang, part of Feng-t'ien,
Kansu, Shanhsi, Chihli, Northern Honan and Shantung, whence
in 1902 she drew produce valued at 1,100,000/., and the gold-fields,
scattered throughout Mongolia and Manchuria, which used to
. furnish about one-half of China's annual export of gold. It may
be assumed that the Trans-Siberian railway will attract all gold,
and furs and skins of large value in small bulk; that part of the
supply of Honan goat-skins will be carried down to Hankow direct;
that the German railways in Shantung will make every effort to
divert exports to Tsingtao ; and that a Russian railway from
Kalgan via Urga to Verkneudinsk will in some measure interfere
with wool supplies. The Russo-Chinese Bank has already an
agency at Kalgan, proposes to establish itself at Kuei-hua Ch'eng
and thence move on to Lan-chou. The financial facilities it can
thus afford will throw a share of the trade into its hands, and it
will naturally support a Russian undertaking in so far as the state
of the markets will permit. Against the opening of Shanhsi by
means of the Chengting-T'ai-yiian railway has to be placed the
tapping of Shenhsi by means of the K'ai-feng-Hsian line, and an


TIENTSIN.
f)
eventual extension of that line from Hsian to Lan-chou might,
under conceivable circumstances, carry all the western wool to
Hankow. On the other hand, railways create trade, and, to judge
by the limited experience that China has so far gone through, they
have developed inland districts in a most unexpected manner.
It may therefore be that what Tientsin may lose in her export
trade she will gain by an increase of her distributing powers. In
this direction again, however, the influence of competing" ports
such as Newchuang and Tsingtao must make itself felt, even though
Tientsin can invoke the aid of the extended system of waterways,
by which the province of Chihli is intersected, and over which
carriage may be cheaper than by rail. Unfortunately the import
trade is mainly pushed by foreign firms or Chinese, the British
houses finding export business so profitable that they have little
time to devote to less lucrative undertakings.
A great contest for commercial supremacybe it in imports or
in exportsmust ensue between Hankow and Tientsin, and as
Hankow from her geographical position starts the race with many
points in her favour and will in the end be found to be the largest
market, Tientsin would do well not to forget that large markets
possess large powers of attraction.
Before analysing in detail the import and export returns of Local money
Tientsin, an attempt must be made to explain the peculiar con- market,
dition of the local money market, which has had so disastrous an
effect on the import trade of the port, and so entirely dislocated
that of Shanghai. One can hardly hope that this endeavour will
prove successful, as even amongst the well informed on the spot
the greatest divergence of opinion exists, and trustworthjr state-
ments of fact it is impossible to obtain.
It has in the first place to be borne in mind that Tientsin's
imports of goods, native and foreign, have always largely exceeded
her exports of producethe proportion being roughly in the ratio
of eight to two. In the past her exports of gold and the constant
stream of money flowing from the provinces to the capital must
have been of material assistance in enabling her to meet her obliga-
tions. For various reasons the export of gold is steadily declining,
and the large sums, which the provinces have to provide for the
service of loans and the indemnity, and which they remit to the
points of payment direct, have appreciably diminished Peking's
revenues.
Prior to the siege the note circulation of the four great metro-
politan banks, known as the Heng banks, amounted to 5,000,000 taels.
The note issue now of the three remainingone* having failed
in the course of 1902is said not to exceed 300,000 taels. These
notes, owing to the high standing of the banks, were looked upon
as equivalent to bullion, as readily current as Bank of England
notes, and were largely used as a convenient mode of hoarding
wealth. Experience having proved the unwisdom of this method/
Such men of substance as have money to hoard have substituted


16
TIENTSIN".
therefor hard cash, preferably gold bars, and this may be one
factor explanatory of the decreased gold export. An additional
factor is the state of anarchy reigning in the three Manchnrian
provinces, where the most productive mines are situated. The
control and exploitation of these mines has now passed out of
Chinese hands and their output is likely to be attracted to the
Siberian railway.
As regards Tientsin itself, the Shanhsi banks, who conduct
nearly the whole banking business of the Empire, were in the habit
of giving very extensive credits to local cash shops, the most re-
putable of which had a capital rarely exceeding 20,000 taels. The
Shanhsi banks were represented by some 20 firms with an aggregate
capital of 10,000,000 taels ; and when the crash came the amount,
said to have been owing to them, is estimated at sums ranging from
11,000,000 to 20,000,000 taels. On the restoration of order they
returned to Tientsin and proceeded to collect these outstanding
debts, at the same time refusing to grant any renewal of credit.
Whatever the estimates of what they were owed may have been,
there seems to be a consensus of opinion that they have recovered
all but 2,000,000 taels. The withdrawal of credit on their part,
and the depletion of silver in the market consequent upon the
looting which took place in the course of the military opera-
tions, had the result of completely revolutionising the old system
of doing business. As in all revolutions chaos must ensue before
order can be evolved, the state of collapse in the Tientsin market
is attributable to natural causes, and, while for the time being
extremely prejudicial to the interests of those trading in that market,
need not create undue anxiety for the future.
Formerly purchases were paid for by what were known as
" native bank orders," which, when issued by banks of good standing,
passed current at par, and were received by the foreign banks as
the equivalent of cash. They were of two kinds, one issued against
an actual deposit of sycee, payable in full on presentation, and the
other a simple transfer order not payable in cash on presentation,
but merely entitling the holder to a credit in the bank's books for
the amount specified. These notes had a recognised utility in
passing from hand to hand in payment of debt, and so long as it
was known that the Shanhsi banks stood behind the banks of
issue, constituting in fact the ultimate gold reserveto borrow an
illustration from Lombard Streettrade, while not being on a
theoretically sound basis, went on satisfactorily. After the Boxer
troubles, however, when the banks of standing were practically
ruined, and their backers withheld credit, a paper currency of this
kind could not be tolerated, more especially as a crop of mushroom
banks sprang up, who flooded the market with their notesnot
worth the paper on which they were written. The foreign banks
accordingly refused to accept these notes, except for collection,
and then a period of wildest confusion and dishonest speculation
set in, leadmg. as was to be expected, to complete demoralisation


TIENTSIN.
f)
of the market. This state of things, synchronising with a heavy
fall in sterling exchange, is sufficient to explain the paralysis of the
import trade. The risky experiment of official interference,
which sought, by prohibiting the export of silver and the fixing of
arbitrary rates of discount, to clear the air was tried, and needless
to say it broke down. The sole remedy was the natural one of
allowing matters gradually to right themselves through lapse of
time, and pending such rectification to adhere to a demand for
payments on a strictly cash basis. Eventually this is what it came
to, and the process of re-integration has been going on slowly
though surely ever since. Great temporary distress has of course
been thereby caused, but the elements of instability and insecurity
have been eliminated and a much healthier tone prevails. Banks
are getting to know who are their really solvent customers, and,
when complete confidence has been restored, the present stringent
rule will probably be relaxed under proper guarantees. The
Shanhsi bankers cannot well afford to withdraw permanently
from so large a field of mercantile operations as Tientsin, and, were
they fully assured of non-interference on the part of Government,
they would doubtless return.
Beports with regard to scarcity of silver in the north have been
greatly exaggerated. Against the wholesale clearances of 1900
have to be placed the enormous sums which have been expended
since, and towards the end of December, 1903, the stock of silver
was estimated as follows :
Amount.
From | To-
| Taels. Taels.
In the
Shanhsi banks......j 1,000,000 2,000,000
Open market.............. 1,500,000
Official deposits.............. 1,500,000
Foreign banks.............. 2,000,000
Dollars. I Dollars.
............2,000,000 | 3,000,000
A much larger amount than suffices to finance Shanghai. If credit
be non-existent cash is the only alternative ; but an extension of
credit, coupled with a cash reserve of such comparative magnitude,
ought to inspire confidence.
It is curious to note with what ease the British dollar has entered Coinage,
into circulation in the north and established itself alongside of the
Mexican, whereas the French dollar, intrinsically a finer coin, is
only taken at 7 to 10 per cent, discount. The present Governor-
General has been instructed to commence the coinage of a national
tael, and has rebuilt the Mint and engaged an expert assayer, through
(426) h


is
TIENTSIN".
the United States Treasury Department. All that is lacking is
the machinery, which is now being ordered from America.
Trade One result of the new conditions, under which trade is being
conditions. carried on, has been to place the native merchant in closer touch
with manufacturers abroad. He now asks for quotations in sterling
and is mastering the mysteries of exchange, a problem with which
he previously did [not choose to concern himself. Should he
so elect, he can have his purchases shipped to Tientsin direct,
as every month a steamer arrives at the bar with railway material
and surplus space for other goods. His intercourse with foreigners
is facilitated by the fact that the latter almost all possess a know-
ledge of the language sufficient to carry on a business conversation,
an example which merchants at other ports might well follow.
Table A.Beturn showing Value of Total Trade of Tientsin
during the Years 1899-1902.
Value.
1899. 1900. 1901. 1902.
Net total foreign imports native Native produce of local origin exported to foreign countries.. Native produce of local origin exported to Chinese ports £ 5,912,426 3,405,378 133,035 2,230,263 £ 2,285,963 1,415,332 60,192 1,192,863 £ 4,027,392 1,779,419 95,500 1,406,949 £ 6,947,694 2,920,677 219,547 1,544,283
Table B.Comparative Table of Imports from Foreign Countries
during the Years 1899-1902.
Country. Value.
1899. 1900. 1901. 1902.
£ £ £ £
United Kingdom 547,006 119,356 127,664 j 565,644
United States of America 162,111 29,509 78,198 ! 238,946
Continent of Europe j
(Russia excepted) .. 109,966 76,137 260,802 367,473
Japan 726,226 169,957 85,858 712,043
Total trade As regards Table A it must be remembered that exports to
of the port. countries other than Japan are for the most part sent to Shanghai
(a Chinese port) for transhipment, and attention is called to the
large increase shown in Table B of the value of direct imports
in 1902 from the United States and Europe over the value of those
in 1899. Last year will doubtless show a farther increase. Imports


TIENTSIN.
19
from and exports to Hong-Kong are not given, as it is impossible
to differentiate between the distribution of foreign and native
goods in the colony.
Table (J (1).Comparative Table of Principal Articles of Import
during the Years 1899-1902.
Quantity.
Articles.
Opium
Malwa
Patna
Benares ...
Persian ...
Boiled
Cotton goods-
Shirtings, grey, plain ...
white ...
T-eloths ...
Japanese
Drills, American
Sheetings-
British .........
American ......
Chintzes, furnitures and plain
cotton prints ...
Turkey-red cottons
Cotton lastings.....
,, Italians ...
Handkerchiefs, cotton.
Cotton yarn-
British .......
Indian.......
Japanese
Chinese
Woollen goods, lastings.
Metals
Iron, old ...
Steel
Quicksilver
Sundries
Dyes, aniline
Glass, window ...
Matches.......
Japanese
Mining gear and ap]
Needles............
Oil, kerosene
American .........
Russian .........
Paper, first quality ......
Railway materials ......
Seaweed, Japan........
Silk and cotton ribbons
Sugar-
Brown ............
White............
Refined............
Candy ............
Cwts.
1900.
1,424
147
7
21
1,109,600
637,589
221,504
129,872
680,459
37,042
1,878,395
297,269
Dozen
Value
Gross
Value
Mille
Cwts.
Value
Cwts.
Value
Cwts.
132,059
155,973
67,042
1,745,733
13,733,067*
20,414,933
4,380,400
14,520
5,005
1,064-
6,000
70,736
73,332
127,696
1,981,239
19.300
991,841
1,867,500
5,018,000
19,479
545,897
101,380
32,728
243,244
47,262
101,514
24,532
400
70
1
389,085
293,032
93,896
33,270
139,210
30,147
724,005
237,392
30,031
78,160
81,293
35,344
724,400
3,027,867
2 795,467
620,533
6,752
1,364
380
16,933
38,391
9,440
18,391
941,177
18,694
442,020
1,142,640
1,951,000
5,625
64,209
17,613
14,220
464
62
1
542,693
324,948
58,389
43,400
390,278
89,830
12,588
43,065
17,760
415
115
1,520,978
841,559
241,116
127,299
729,230
1,031,170 2,16
22,276
66,385
37,127
52,466
50,789
27,361
952,133
18,421,600
7,312,667
2,312,800
2,069
291
103
6,400
22,245
9,405
89,297
i 2,083,731
| 16,569
766,450
I 3,536,500
! 6,592,970
14,313
i 381,312
I 58,361
! 177,287
79,526
103,366
17,863
322,249
71,834
212,064
160,875
59,134
2,564.667
34.277.333
9,853,200
4,732,1-00
6,326
2,925
1,040
16,133
25,525
40,510
54,208
3,820,439
3,229
2,366,595
4,309,520
6,593,490
19,227
334,898
73,716
26,366
489,850
109,643
185,874
55,664
(426
B 2


20
TIENTSIN".
Table C (2).Return showing Principal Articles of Import from"
January 1 to November 30, 1903.
Articles.
Opium
Malwa..
: Cwtfl...
Quantity.
226
Patna 87
Shirtings
Grey .. j Pieces 615,693
White.. 3) 369,793
Drills -
British........ >> 11,324
American >1 401,908
Dutch........ 54,860
Japanese J> 52,479
Sheetings
British.. ) > 23,655
American 766,278
Japanese ; Dozen 45,404
Handkerchiefs 18,996
Cotton yarn
British.. Lbs..... 299,333
Indian.. M * 16,598,666
Japanese ,, . 9,387,866
Cotton thread, British .. 1,784,933
Camlets, British.. Pieces 1,586
Lastings, woollen Value.. £ 6,370
Dyes, aniline 37,162
Matches Gross 2,288,093
Needles .. .. Mille.. 1 669,663
Oil, kerosene
American Gallons 1.693,120
Russian >> j 4,938,550
Lankat ! 894,343
Imports. From the time that Tientsin was thrown open to trade in 1861
until now her foreign imports have exceeded in volume those of the
other treaty ports, and that this is only what one need expect, a
glance at the map of the large tract of country for which she con-
stitutes the sea gate will show. Central China can draw supplies
through many channels, but the north and north-west can, as
far as sea-borne goods are concerned, be reached through Tientsin
alone.
The magnitude of the trade attracted attention even in the
early days, and the heavy tax imposed on it by transhipment
charges at Shanghai and high rates of coast freightfreight and
charges Shanghai to Tientsin amounting to 3 per cent, ad valorem,,
against freight from the United Kingdom to Shanghai per cent.
ad valorem, led to suggestions that a direct steamship service be
instituted. Then, as now, the difficulty is to find return cargoes,
and the increasing tonnage of modern carriers has by no means
lessened this difficulty.
During the last two years, however, large quantities of railway
material have been brought direct to the Taku bar, and for some
time to come a monthly service of this kind can be confidently


TIENTSIN.
f)
relied upon. Shippers have not hesitated to avail themselves
of the vacant cargo space offering, and a direct trade is gradually
springing up, which must eventually affect the distributing capacity
of Shanghai. Those concerned at the latter port regard the new
departure with perfect equanimity, arguing that buyers must
always come to the emporium offering the most varied selection
of goods, and that when Tientsin houses are tired of importing
unsaleable articles and disposing of them at a loss, the trade will
revert to Shanghai. They do not appear to realise that in staple
plain goods there is no necessity for selection, and that when a
commission house in Tientsin can, by personal communication
with an up-country dealer in his own language, ascertain what the
requirements of a particular district are, grave errors in the selection
of fancy goods are not likely to occur.
It is to be regretted that British merchants in Tientsin are
content to leave imports so entirely in the hands of their German
and American competitors, and that the control of the trade on
the part of the native middleman in Shanghaiwho naturally
views with disfavour any projects likely to interfere with his profits
is so great.
The quantity of opium imported in 1899 was greater than at Opium,
any time since 1894, owing to a failure of the Shanhsi and Honan
crops, and the largely decreased import since then is accounted
for by the competition of the native article.
In 1902 the quantities of cotton goods imported considerably Cotton goods,
exceeded the importations of 1899, a result no doubt due to restored
confidence and the necessity of replenishing depleted stocks. The
year 1903 on the other hand shows a sad falling-off, the consequence
of over-speculation in 1902 and the disorganised state of the money
market, to which allusion has already been made. The difference
in the quantities re-exported from Shanghai to Tientsin are as
follows:1903 compared with 1899, 2,385,600 pieces; 1903
compared with 1902, 2,226,400 pieces. The bulk of this difference
has to be carried by Shanghai and has very seriously hampered
business there. Prospects for 1904, however, are good. Stocks
in the north are light, cotton has risen in value and is scarce, trade
is reviving, as has been pointed out, on a sound basis, and there
ought to be no difficulty in effecting a complete clearance in the
spring.
Attention is called to the large increase the figures of 1902 show
over those of 1899 in respect of American drills and sheetings, grey
shirtings, and above all cotton yarn, on which latter article very
handsome profits were made.
In looking back over the reports of earlier years, it is interesting Woollen
to find the prominence given to the importation of woollen goods goods,
into North China from Russia, via Kiakhta. The average value
thereof in the eaily sixties was put down at 2-30,000Z., whereas
to-day, as far as customs statistics go, they have entirely disappeared,


22
TIENTSIN".
and their place has been taken by sea-borne goods, having an aggre-
gate value of some 48,250/. only.
Sundries. As regards sundry imports, notable increases (figures for 1902)
have to be recorded in Japanese matches, needles, kerosene oil
and sugar.
Imports .at The new feeder of the Tientsin market, Ch'in-wang Tao, must in
Taoln Wang ^e consideration of imports not be left out of account, and
Table C (3) shows how this trade is progressing.
Table C (3).Return showing Principal Articles of Import via
Ch'in-wang Tao during the Year 1902, and from January 1
to September 30, 1903.
Quantity.
Articles.
1902. 1903 *
Shirtings
Grey .. .. j Pieces 58,785 81,686
White : 35,379 66,870
Drills-
British * 6,600
American ! 19,095 64,160
Dutch ... .. I 3,000 5,450
Sheetings
British 620 ; 2,600
Japanese 1,100
American 132,715 ! 109,705
Handkerchiefs Dozen b,500 3,047
Cotton yarn
British ...... Lbs..... 104,400 I 26,000
Indian .. .. .. 1 1,370,000 7,983,000
Japanese .. .. .. | 282,000 | 1,464,000
Lasting?, woollen ! Pieces 100 i 530
Dyes, aniline ! Value.. £ j 2,220 2,500
Needles ! Mille 70,350 82,050
Oil, kerosene I
American .. Gallons 21,000 76,500
Dutch ! 100,000
Russian 5) 190,000
* From January 1 to September 30.
When the depression in the import trade of Tientsin was at its
lowest it was felt that the hinterland must be drawing its supplies
from other sources on the coast, and an agent was sent along the
shores of the Gulf of Pechili to make inquiry. Beyond confirming
the previously known fact that Northern Shantung imports a
negligible quantity of goods through Yang-chia-k'oua small town
south of the mouth of the Yellow Rivernothing new was discovered.


TIENTSIN.
f)
Table D (1).Comparative Table of Principal Articles of Export
during the Years 1899-1902.
Articles.
Almonds*.........
Bristles .........
Coal
Kaiping*.........
,, for steamers use
Dates-
Black* ......
Bed* ......
Groundnuts*
Horns, deer, young*
Medicines*......
Skin (fur) rugs, goat
Skins (furs), goat, untanned
Straw braid-
White
Mottled ...
Coloured...
Wool-
Camels' ......
Sheep's ......
Quantity.
1899. 1900. 1901. 1902.
8.860 1,853,333 4,180 1,070,933 12,978 1,469,333 12,022 1,975,333
99,143 34,585 34,139 14,165 43,295 16,109 19,165 30,454
84,071 66,264 860,891 4,974 97,005 741.311 2,663,333 17,207 15,336 500,095 4,605 54,928 193,112 925,027 50,554 39,147 288,710 4,105 75,820 649,140 1,234,740 56,327 63,356 402,859 3,526 85,663 766,025 2,714,445
1,368,267 2,846,400 438,000 1,169,867 2,656,933 361,600 1,597,067 3,549,467 155,733 1,218,267 2,765,867 285,333
5,456,533 29,052,133 2,266,267 14,463,867 1,776,267 12,333,733 4,485,467 22,030,667
* Exports to Chinese ports.
A reference to the above table shows that the exports from Exports.
Tientsin to non-Chinese markets are limited in number, and are
practically confined to skins and wool. The figures for 1902 closely
approximate to those for 1899, but, owing to native dealers holding
back supplies in expectation of higher prices, those for 1903 are not
likely to yield such good results. In his report for 1899 Mr. Carles
has given the history of the export trade of the port, which was
entirely built up by the enterprise of British merchants, and of
which they have succeeded in retaining some 65 per cent. Whereas
the control of British imports is principally left to Chinese, German
and American firms, the manipulation of exports, which go almost
exclusively to America, is mainly confined to the three British
firms who made the first start.
Some 40 years ago, when the value of raw cotton exported from skins aild
Tientsin amounted to two-thirds of the value of the total exports, wool,
skins and wool were only remotely thought of. Certainly no one
then contemplated that cotton would disappear from the export
list, and hopes of future expansion were centred on coal. The
fleeces of sheep and the wool of camels, bred far beyond the confines
of the 18 provinces, and the skins of goats from Honan and Shanhsi,
which are converted into the smart American boot, have gone a
long way towards building up the wealth of Tientsin ; but, for reasons
given above, it would not be wise permanently to rely on a con-
tinuance of present supplies. In December, 1903, for instance,
goat-skins from Tientsin's area of supply could be bought in Hankow,
whither they had been conveyed by rail, at prices which Tientsin
could not quote.
Careless methods of plaiting on the part of producers have straw braid,
killed the straw braid trade, and exporters give it but little atten-


24
TIENTSIN".
Bristles and
jute.
Recovery of
advances in
respect of
wool.
tion. What trade there is is entirely in the hands of one German
firm, who appear to control Luton supplies from the north of China.
The trade in bristles, of which the better qualities come from
Manchuria, is a steadily growing one, as is that in the comparatively
new item, jute1,785 tons in 1902 against 1,160 tons in 1899.
Mr. Carles has alluded to a curious faculty certain small Chinese
towns possess of attracting to themselves special trades, in face
of the fact that there is no ostensible reason why a particular trade
should go to that particular place. A very good illustration hereof
is furnished by Chiao ch'eng, a name constantly recurring in con-
nection with the skin trade. It is a small district city south of
T'ai-yuan, the capital of Shanhsi, which in the course of the last-
few years has become a busy commercial centre, to the great per-
turbation of a recently arrived magistrate, who has discovered that
increased trade means increased cost of living and is therefore bad
for the people. What are known as Tientsin lamb-skins are there
prepared, the curl being imparted to the fleece by a process of
sprinkling with water followed by sharp flicking with a stick.
When the troubles broke but in 1900 the Tientsin export houses
had outstanding advances, made to the wool growers in the west
in respect of the season's shearing, to the extent of 384,000 taels,
which, on the restoration of order, their agents found it impossible
to recover. A foreign representative of the firms interested, ac-
companied by an officer of the Consulate-General, was accordingly
sent up to prove to the authorities the genuine nature of the claims
and to press for payment. In this they were entirely successful
and repayment is being made by instalments. The party went as
far west as Hsi-ning, and their appearance had no little moral
effect, inasmuch as it demonstrated to the inhabitants of the wilds
that not all foreigners had been killed or driven out of Chihli, and
that repudiation of obligations is unadvisable. It also enabled
them to study the question of supplies on the spot, and it is to be
regretted that no report of their journey was drawn up.
The best wool comes from the flocks of the petty chieftains
outside of China proper, who only shear their sheep once a year.
The clip is therefore longer in staple and freer from dirt than that
obtained from Chinese sheep, who are shorn two or three times a
year. All attempts to prevent more than the ordinary amount
of dirt, which a fleece must collect in the course of its owner's
rambles, have proved ineffectual, and wool containing 30 per cent,
of real estate still continues to be sent down. The cost of carriage
is some 11 taels per picul {11. 65. per cwt.), and there is quite sufficient
dust in Tientsin to render it unnecessary to pay at this rate for the
transportation thither of the sand of Central Asia.
The imposition by the United States of the heavy import duty
on wool of 4 c. gold per lb., led to its being thoroughly winnowed
prior to shipment, and although the quantities recently shipped
appear to be less than were shipped say 10 years ago, the actual
amount of clean wool which now goes forward is in reality greater.


TIENTSIN.
f)
An important feature in the Tientsin export trade are differential Differential
rates of freights, and to these is to be attributed the gradual drawing freights,
off to the United States of articles such as bristles, cow-hides, un-
tanned skins and jute, which might otherwise go to the United
Kingdom. The normal rate of freight from Shanghai to New York
is il. 5s. per ton of 40 cubic feet net, and rates have been quoted
as low as 175. 6d., while to London the rate is 21. 5s. per ton (less
10 per cent, rebate, refunded about one year after payment of full
freight). In making purchases of produce of low value and great
bulk, such as above cited, the American merchant thus possesses
a very great advantage over his British competitor, and may quite
conceivably obtain an undue control over the London market,
as, if his cargo fails to find a market in New York, he can readily
re-export to London at 7s. 6d. per ton extra. The merchant, who
ships direct to London at 21. 5s. less 10 per cent.21.05. 6d.per ton
net, therefore pays 85. per ton more than the American merchant
who ships to New York and then to London, and has in addition
the option of two markets. Should the British merchant attempt
to ship to London by steamer via New York, he would be called
upon to sacrifice all his freight rebates in respect of London
freights. This very real grievance and hindrance to British trade
cannot, it is to be feared, be alleviated or removed by any system
of preferential tariffs.
Table D (2).Return showing Principal Articles of Export via
Ch'in-wang Tao during the Year 1902, and from January 1
to September 30, 1903.
Articles,
Bristles
Dog-skin mats
G-oat-skin rugs
Sheep-skin
Skins
Goat, untanned
Sheep
Lamb-skins ..
Marmot-skins
Wool-
Camels'
Sheep's
Hides
Lbs. ..
Pieces
Quantity.
1902.
60,800
46,090
8,664
2,416
193,140
10,393
1,657
1,050
79,600
558,400
300
1903 *
23,600
14,183
11,250
2,085
581,054
125,556
2,177
133,683
563,600
3,505,600
490
* From January 1 to September 30.
As regards native exports to other ports in China, dates and Native
groundnuts have not reached the figures of 1899, but liquorice has exports,
iumped from 10,000 to 35,700 cwts.


26
TIENTSIN".
Table E.Eetukn showing Ee-exports of Tea to Eussia and
Siberia during the Years 1899-1902.
Quantity.
1899. 1900. 1901. 1902.
Lbs. libs. Lbs. Lbs.
Tea-
Black...... 26,285,867 171,733 2,361,867 7,304,933
Brick, black .. 40,285,067 7,450,533 10,799,600 36,701,600
green 4,347,467 620,267 3,224,733 6,191,600
Tablet 784,533 75,867 432,933 695,067
Considering the opposition of the Siberian railway, it is some-
what surprising to find re-exports of tea to Russia and Siberia going
forward in such quantities.
Table F.Net Export of Treasure during the Years 1899-1902.
Yalue.
Year.
Gold. Silver.
£ £
1899 683,086 561,903
1900 368,089 368,605
1901 417,575 71,404*
1902 593,116 890,287
* Net imports.
The. treasure returns can only be taken as approximate, because,
in many instances, the movements of bullion do not come within
the cognisance of the customs.
Inland During the 40 years of Tientsin's existence as a treaty port,
transit. nQ ^ransj-(: paSses, except for Shanghai spun yarn, which under
special rules passes free into the interior, were issued by the Maritime
Customs, and comparative figures are therefore not obtainable.
It was only in 1901 that the system in vogue at other ports was
partially introduced, and it is hoped that an unification of existing
systems will soon be obtained, and that the issue of passes by the
native customs will cease. The latter used formerly to have a
monopoly of passes for all outward goods, but Hong-Kong refined
sugar was the only article on the import list which availed itself
of transit privileges. In 1902 produce valued at 1,082,315?. was
brought down from the interior, and the goods sent into the interior
under transit pass were valued at 2,696,5501. Of these 68\ per cent,
were for Chihli, 16 per cent, for Shanhsi, 6 per cent, each for Shantung
and Honan, 2 per cent, for Kansu, and the rest for Shenhsi, Fengt'ien,


TIENTSIN.
f)
Turkestan and Mongolia. The increased use of the transit pass
would seem to argue the imposition, since the troubles, of likin
charges, previously unknown, and of the fact that railways have
materially facilitated the levy of such charges there can be no
doubt. All goods carried by rail to Peking, for instance, are stopped
in an inclosure outside of both railway stations, and none are
permitted to leave until full octroi dues have been paid.
It is not perhaps generally known to what an extent the province Canals,
of Chihli is intersected by navigable waterways, of which the chief
is the Grand Canal. Of its affluents the most important is the Wei
River, which is navigable far into Northern Honan, and by means of
which the Peking Syndicate proposes to distribute its output of
coal. Others are the Tzn-ya River, navigable for boats carrying
3 tons to a point beyond Heng-Shni, and its tributary the P'u t'o,
navigable for craft of similar burden to beyond Chengting. By
means of the Ta-ch'ing River junks of 6 tons burden can reach
Pao-ting, and although it has a strong competitor in the railway
the Pai-ho is still made use of. Boats carrying 6 tons can get up the
Luan River as far as Luan chou, and carriers of 3 tons can reach
San-chia-k'ou on the San-ho. In addition to natural waterways
there are numerous canals, dug for drainage or military purposes,
which connect important points, so that almost every town in the
province is, or will shortly be, in communication with Tientsin,
either by rail or by water.
Although the native customs have not yet passed entirely under Customs
the control of the Maritime Customs, they are being administered revenue,
under European supervision, and the receipts are reported to be
most satisfactory. Duty on native goods is levied at one-half
the Maritime Customs rate and likin at the rate of one-quarter of
the same tariff. Maritime import duties in 1902 were more than
double those collected in 1899, and it is anticipated that the dual
collection of 1903 will, in spite of a largely decreased trade, suffice
to furnish the whole of Chihli's contribution towards the service
of the indemnity and leave a very handsome surplus into the bargain.
The total duties collected by the Maritime Customs in 1902
amounted to 298,267Z., and the revenue of the native customs
from August 11 to December 29, 1902, was 68,7871. The collection
of 1899 was 190,470^., which at the time constituted a record.
The following are the figures connected with shipping, entered Shipping,
and cleared, for 1901 and 1902 ; complete records for 1900 do not
exist:


28
TIENTSIN".
Entered.
Steam.
Sailing.
Total.
Year. Number ; of Vessels. Tons. Number of j Vessels. Tons. ! | : Number j i of i j Vessels, j Tons.
1901 .. 1902 .. 698 832 661,617 821,979 5 4 3,087 2,073 703 836 664,704 824,052
Cleaked.
Steam. J
Year. Number i
of Tons.
Vessels.
1901 685 655,717
1902 .. 825 821,705
2,686
2,073
Total.
Number !
of Tons.
Vessels.
689 i 658,403
829 823,778
Although the number of vessels entered in 1902 was less by 10
than the total in 1899, the tonnage increased by 32,173 tons.
The share taken by each flag is shown in the accompanying
table :
Nationality. Number of Vessels. Quantity. Percentage.
Tons.
British 338 i 373,086 45 27
American 3 2,637 0 32
German 58 50,115 6 08
French 2 3,000 0 36
Danish ; 2 4,676 0 57
Norwegian 20 17,421 2 12
Russian ! 5 2,305 0 28
Japanese ...... i 177 151,558 18 39
Chinese 231 '219,254 26 61
Total 1 836 1 824,052
As at most other ports by far the greatest advance has been
made by the Japanese, who in 1899 had only 66 vessels with a
tonnage of 66,265 tons (1902 : 177 vessels, 151,558 tons).
General. A waterworks company was formed in the British concession
in 1899, and the waterworks in the native city, started by the
Tientsin provisional government and completed by the Chinese


TIENTSIN.
f)
authorities at a cost of 410,000 taels, were opened on April 4, 1902.
They supply the city with water at the rate of 300,000 to 400,000
gallons a month, and will doubtless find more and more customers
as time goes on. The French concession is lit by electricity and
the British concession is preparing to follow suit. So far the native
city is lit by oil lamps only.
While in power, the Tientsin provisional government gave to a
Belgian company the right of constructing a tramway to connect
the settlements with the city. The mileage was roughly 18 miles
and the lease was for 75 years, but the Governor-General having
since refused to ratify the contract, negotiations have fallen through.
Such a line must be built sooner or later, as must a line from the city
to the Tientsin City railway station ; and, had the Governor-General
more funds at his disposal, he would not hesitate to introduce
farther improvements. At his instance a wealthy Chinese is erecting
a mill to weave woollen cloth for army use, and alongside of it is
a tannery to tan leather for military accoutrements.
When once the local money market has completely recovered
itself it is not unreasonable to assume that a demand for machinery
will set in, as already many inquiries are being made. Coal-fields
in Western Chihli are being tapped by a German firm, working some
30 miles west of Huai-lu on the borders of Shanhsi; Honan wants
flour mills, and altogether future prospects are bright.
One of the principal shipping companies, trading to Tientsin, is
about to break down the monopoly of the Taku Tug and Lighter
Company by acquiring a fleet of tugs (3) and lighters (16) of its own.
The strength of the garrisons maintained by the Foreign Powers
at various points in Chihli to guard the approaches to the capital
amounts to 8,500 men, of whom 1,860 are stationed in Peking and
3,600 at Tientsin. Each nationality has its own system of field
telegraphsthe Italians having a Marconi apparatus operating
from Peking to Takuand the submarine cable, which was laid in
1900 between Chefoo and Taku, forms a more efficient means of
communication with the outside world than the Chinese land lines.
There are military guards at every railway station, and it may
safely be predicted that the progress of Tientsin will not again be
so rudely interfered with as it was three years ago.
It is matter of regret to find that the remnants of the rabble,
which followed in the wake of the Expeditionary Forces, are being
augmented by the immigration of undesirable nondescripts, who
have filtered through from Siberia and Manchuria, and appear to
have found a happy hunting ground on the various new settlements,
greatly to the detriment of the repute of Western civilisation.






LONDON:
Printed for Ilis Majesty's Stationery Office,
By HARRISON AND SONS,
Pi inters in Ordinary to His Majesty.
(1400 3 | 04H & S 426)


Full Text

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