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THE TRADE AND COMMERCE OF THE
The word “commerce” is generally used to denote trade with foreign countries or with the Colonies, buying and selling at home being usually designated trade. For all practical purposes, however, the words trade and commerce may be considered to be synonymous. As a matter of fact, the term “commerce is rarely heard in business affairs. It is true that we speak of “commercial matters” and “ Chambers of Commerce" (the latter term being no doubt derived from the Chambres de Commerce which existed in France long before similar bodies were established in this country), but otherwise the term is rarely if ever used, the words trade and business sufficing to define our dealings both with our customers at home and with those abroad.
There are three great divisions of our trade, viz., (1) The Home Trade, (2) The Foreign Trade, and (3) The Carrying or Shipping Trade.
Home Trade refers to the buying and selling of goods and commodities for delivery within the borders of the United Kingdom.
Foreign Trade means trade with foreign countries, and comprises our imports from and exports to the Continent, the East, the United States, South America, &c., and our Colonies and Dependencies. This is sub-divided into
Import Trade, referring to merchandise brought into this country from abroad; and
Export Trade, referring to the merchandise which we send abroad, either in execution of orders or for sale on commission.
The Carrying or Shipping Trade, as applied to imports and exports, refers to the transportation of merchandise by sea. The Transit (or Transhipment) Trade, which is not included in our Foreign Trade, falls under this head.
The Import and Export Trades are sub-divided into specific trades, for example :
The Australasian Trade, meaning trade with Australia, New
Zealand, &c. Trade with other Colonies (e.g., Canada, the Cape, &c.) is referred to by the specific name of the Colony concerned.
The Continental Trade, meaning trade with Continental countries
United States. (This is divided into the Canadian Trade,
trade with the United States.)
Central American countries generally.
West India Islands generally.
Each of the above classes is again sub-divided in accordance with the particular countries concerned.
There are also several other branches of trade, for example :
The Tea Trade.
The Cotton (textile) Trade.
EXPORT TRADE AND HOME TRADE.
The Foreign Trade of the United Kingdom.- We have already mentioned that the United Kingdom ranks first among the commercial countries of the world, but those who have not gone into the matter will be surprised at the magnitude of the trade of these islands. During the year 1897 the value of the imports into the United Kingdom was no less than £451,000,000, whilst the exports amounted to £294,000,000. The imports and exports together amounted to the enormous sum of £745,000,000.
The Foreign Trade of the Principal Nations.—The following table shows, according to the latest available returns, the foreign trade of the principal nations, in millions of pounds sterling :
Exports from the United Kingdom.-A large proportion of the articles which we manufacture are exported to countries abroad. The total value of our exports during the year 1897 was, as already stated, £294,000,000. Of this, however, £60,000,000 consisted of articles which we had previously imported, such as wool, cotton, coffee, tea, and manufactured articles. How the remaining £234,000,000 of home productions which we exported was made
is shown in the following table :
EXPORTS FROM THE UNITED KINGDOM.
VALUES OF EXPORTS OF BRITISH AND FOREIGN PRODUCE AND MANUFACTURES.
British and Irish Products :
Yarns and Textile Fabrics...
from (except Machinery)
or partly manufactured Parcel Post
Total Value Exports of Foreign and Colonial Produce
Total value (partly estimated)
Total (Home and Foreign)
Imports into the United Kingdom.-As Great Britain does not produce sufficient food to support her population she has to import large quantities of all kinds of food-stuffs, in addition to manufactured articles and raw materials. The Imports for the year 1897, as compared with the previous year, were
IMPORTS INTO THE UNITED KINGDOM.
TOTAL VALUE OF IMPORTS FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES & BRITISH POSSESSIONS.
Animals living--for food
t 10,438,699 11,380,332 146,301,708 151,550,115 25,693,706 26,791,519
4,370,670 4,072,435 20,464,786 21,265,363 6,784,845 6,006,210 8,446,709 7,641,231 74,766,039 70,263,511 47,270,940 52,085,336 81,250,453 85,038,387 15,036,432 14,139,314
1,012,348 1,004,930 441,807,335 451,238,683
PRINCIPAL ARTICLES IMPORTED AND EXPORTED.
The following table shows the value of the principal articles imported into and exported from the United Kingdom in the vear 1897, and the totals of each class :
British Productions: Articles of Food & Drink
Animals. Cattle, Sheep, &c. 11,380,000
Horses, Cattle, Sheep,
9,600,000 Articles of Food & Drink Barley, Oats, Peas, &c. 20,417,000 Bacon, Hams, Beef, &c. 27,368,000 Raw Materials.
Beer, Fish, Spirits, &c. 12,139,000 Butter and Margarine 18,402,000
Coal, Coke, Cinders, and
4,357,000 Wool Fruit (raw)
1,535,000 6,109,000 Yarns and Textile Fabrics Potatoes and Vegetables, 2,655,000
Cotton Manufactures... 54,061,006 Sugar and Molasses 16,198,000
Woollen and Worsted
Linen Manufactures Wines and Spirits
4,774,000 8,460,000 Jute
1,340,000 Metals, Copper, Iron, &c. 21,265,000 Metals and Articles MannChemicals, Dyestuffs, &c. 6,006,000
factured therefrom (ex
cept Machinery)... 34,488,000 Oils
7,641,000 Machinery and Millwork 16,282,000 Raw Materials.
Apparel and Articles of Cotton (raw)... 32,195,000 personal use ...
9,878,000 Flax, Hemp, and Jute 9,109,000 Chemicals & Chemical & Wool, Mohair, Alpaca,
Medicinal Preparations 8,675,000 &c.
26,113,000 Other manufactured Caoutchouc
articles. Hides (raw)
2,750,000 Arms, Ammunition, &c. 1,910,000 Papermaking Materials 2,765,000
Products of Coal... 1,668,000 Wood and Timber 23,637,000
Leather (dressed) Manufactured Articles
Painters' Colours and Cotton Manufactures... 3,954,000
Materials ... Silk
1,599,000 16,912,000 Woollen
1,523,000 13,000,000 Total Value of Exports of Glass
British Productions Iron and Steel
$ 234,350,000 5,772,000 Leather
8,141,000 Foreign and Colonial Gloves
2,145,000 Productions: Paper
Coffee Miscellaneous Articles.
Cotton (raw)... Seeds
4,316,000 5,751,000 Hides (raw)
13,322,000 Total Value of Exports
(British and Foreign Total Value of Imports £ 451,239,000 Productions) £ 294,184,000