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COLONIAL SECRETARY's Office,

St. Helena, December 2, 1862. Sir: Having laid before the governor your letter of yesterday's date, inquiring whether vessels-of-war of the United States may purchase supplies from public warehouses duty free, I have it in command to inform you, in reply, that the privileges granted to foreign vessels-of-war at this port are, exemption from port charges and from all duties upon supplies obtained from the public bonded warehouses. I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient servant,

R. C. PENNEL,

Her Majesty's Colonial Secretary. G. GERARD, Esq.,

U. S. Consul, St. Helena.

CAPE Town—WALTER GRAHAM, Consul.

October 19, 1863. The customs' returns of the colony of the Cape of Good Hope for the first nine months of the present year I am enabled to give below complete, but without any proper analysis, because the blue book of the colony for the present year will not be published until April, 1864. Statement showing the imports into the colony of the Cape of Good Hope for

the first three quarters of the year 1863, entered for consumption. .

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The two principal ports of the colony are Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, which compare with each other as follows:

Comparative table of imports (specie excepted) into the two ports of the colony of the Cape of Good Hope (Cape Town and Port Elizabeth) for the first three quarters of the year 1863.

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Table showing the exports of colonial produce for the same period.

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The above tables show the comparative importance of the eastern and western provinces of this colony in general trade, but in the American trade Port Elizabeth occupies the first place, as the following shows:

Comparative tabular statement of imports at Cape Town and Port Elizabeth

from the United States for the quarter ended September 30, 1863.

Wheat and

flour.

Tobacco. Agricult'l Furniture.

imp'mts.

Miscellaneous.

Total.

£ s. d. £ s. d. £ s. d. £ s. d. £ s. d. £ 8. d. Cape Town..... 8,828 0 0 5,024 0 0 ....................4,585 00 18,437 0 0 Port Elizabeth..... 12,968 0 0 3,410 0 0 769 0 0 365 0 0 2,260 0 0 19,772 0 0

Total ......... 21, 796 0 0 18,434 0 0 769 0 0 365 0 0 6,845 0 0 38, 209 0 0

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Comparative tabular statement showing the exports of colonial produce from

Cape Town and Port Elizabeth to the United States for the quarter ended September 30, 1863.

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From the Blue Book for 1862 I have collected and condensed the following statistics for the year, which will aid in illustrating all of the foregoing tables.

Custom-house returns of exports of the colony for the year 1862. To the United Kingdom.....

...... £1, 612, 568 so United States......

280, 155 All other countries.....

64,918

1, 957, 641

Custom-house returns of imports into the colony of the Cape of Good Hope for

the year 1862. From the United Kingdom and colonies..................... £2,313, 547 “ United States...................................

249, 345 “ all other countries.....

222, 283 Total of imports for 1862........................... 2,785, 175

Tabular statement of some of the articles exported to the United States for the

year 1862, and their declared value. Aloes .....

£475 Argol.........

956 Buchu.............

161 Ostrich feathers..

8: Hides........

2, 501 Calfskins.......... Goatskins.........

20, 64 Sheepskins......

13, 70 Specimens of natural history..

2 Wine.....................

75 Total.................

. 39, 38

Total shipment to the United States of colonial products ......... £278, 570 Articles of foreign production .......

1,585 ............

Total value of shipment to the United States for 1862...........

280, 155

Timber...

Tabular statement showing the principal articles imported from the United

States into the colony of the Cape of Good Hope for the year ended December 31, 1862 Flour, wheat, corn, oats, rice, bread, biscuit......

£50, 203 Wooden manufactures.....

10, 167 Cabinet-ware...........

7, 649 Tobacco, cigars, and snuff...

5, 992 Hardware and cutlery ......

5, 650 Carriages....

5,583 Meats, (salted and cured).

5, 146

3, 415 Oilmen's stores.......

3, 268 Butter.......

2, 960 Sap.......

2, 621

2, 313 Hops....

2, 307 Pares....

2,013 Jewelry.....

1, 454 Sugar.......

1, 400 fotton manufactures...

1,160 Deals.......

1,087 Miscellaneous....

124, 366 Total...........

238, 754

lamp oil.

The item “miscellaneous” in the foregoing table embraces books, brushes, cdles, cement, cheese, clocks, coals, confectionery, cordage, dried fruit, glass, farms, haberdashers' ware, millinery, masts, sheet-iron, lard, leather manufac*Tas, machinery, perfumery, saddlery, liquors, stationery, grindstones, tallow, .

zegar, woollen manufactures, &c. Tubular statement showing the number and tonnage of British and foreign tipe engaged in the American trade, and of American ships that entered and Pesred from the ports of the colony of the Cape of Good Hope, for the year nded December 31, 1862.

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Tabular statement showing the number and tonnage of vessels of all nations

engaged in the coasting and foreign trade that entered and cleared from the several ports of the colony of the Cape of Good Hope for the year ended December 30, 1862.

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The above tables do not include the port of East London, which is a port of considerable importance in the coasting trade, and is also a port from which English vessels may clear.

Being dissevered from the general collection districts of the colony, no returns from it are published. The other ports not enumerated above are ports Nolloth, Handeklift Bay, Plattenbery Bay, Kugsna, Port Alfred, St. John's River and Port Natal. But as the trade of these ports, except Natal, is chiefly with the five ports above named, their entrances and clearances are not given in the Blue Book. A considerable coasting trade is carried on with Walmish Bay and the islands Ichaboe and Angra Pequena, which lie west of the colony.

PORT ELIZABETH. Port Elizabeth does not appear to good advantage in the above tables, because the number and tonnage of steam vessels calling to coal is included in the Cape Town returns. The table of exports and imports for 1863, already given in this report, shows that the volume of trade at Port Elizabeth is already greater than that of any other port in the colony, or in South Africa.

HARBOR IMPROVEMENTS. The progress of the work on the breakwater at Cape Town has been very considerable during the past year, and it is expected by the engineer in charge that the water dock will be completed in one year from this date. The inner dock will accommodate eighty ships, and will admit of their being loaded and discharged at the wharves, without the aid of lighters as at present. During the winter, while the northwestwardly winds prevail, it is now necessary for the shipmasters to hire Kyaz hawsers temporarily at considerable expense. When this charge is rendered unnecessary by the new docks and breakwater, and the occasional interruptions to discharging having ceased from the same cause, this port will, from its central location, be one of the most important in the world. It is estimated that this extensive work, for the construction of which the wharfage dues of the port are pledged, will be fully completed in three years.

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