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CADIZ_E. S. EGGLESTON, Consul.
JULY 25, 1863. * * The objects of these requirements (the oath of the act of 1823, and modifications of the acts of July, 1862, and March, 1863) is, of course, to guard against frauds upon imports. But, in my judgment, they afford but very little, if any, additional safeguards, so far as the importation of wines and spirits are concerued. If men will falsify the one, they will the other, and the latter is just as easy of evasion as the former. He declares that no other invoice of the goods has been or will be furnished to any one. To evade the effect of this, it is not necessary that he should send any other invoice. He may invoice his wines at any price that he is willing to swear to, and then write to his agent not to sell them at a sum less than he names in his letter of instructions.
I do not know that frauds are systematically practiced in the importation of wines into America; but this much is very evident to me, that the people of America drink very bad wines, or else the government is grossly cheated.
Wines shipped from here are invoiced at so much the butt. For instance, so many half casks or quarter casks, at so much the butt. A butt is 112 imperial gallons, or 133 American
The lowest-priced sherry wines here are about £20 the butt, and the highest $200 the butt; and yet, from an examination of my book of invoices, I think that the average invoice price of wines sent from this place will not exceed one dollar and twenty-four cents the gallon, while I am not able to buy a wine at all suitable for the table for less than two dollars and a quarter, or two and a half the gallon.
Young sherry wines at the close of their third fermentation, the first moment that they are fit for use, not manipulated at all, are worth more than £20 the butt, on an average. I do not think it possible to guard against the difficulty by any form of oath or declaration whatever.
The best remedy that I have heard of (and I can think of no better) is that of the English government, or rather the system formerly in force in England; that is, examine all wines entered by competent judges, and if they are invoiced below their actual value, the government takes them, and pays the party the invoice price.
The mode now in operation in England is on the basis of specific duties; that is, all wines are tested by a spiritometer to determine the quantity of spirit contained in it, and duty is imposed accordingly, varying from one shilling to a crown. But this system works unequally, because wines, however valuable they may be, that contain little spirit, are entered at one shilling duty. Such, for instance, as Madeira wines, among the most valuable, pay the least duty; while the cheapest sherry pays the highest duty, for the reason that sherry wines will not keep without the addition of spirit. *
BARCELONA—John ALBRO LITTLE, Consul.
JANUARY 15, 1863. On the 19th of September last I received a copy of a circular No. 17, Department of State, July 31, 1862, on the subject of “the privilege of purchasing supplies from the public warehouses, duty free, extended under such regulations as the Secretary of the Treasury shall prescribe to vessels-of-war of any nation, in ports of the United States, which may reciprocate such privileges towards the vessels-of-war of the United States in its ports.”
The regulations above referred to were received at this consulate November 13, as per circular dated Treasury Department, August 1, 1862, and I was then enabled to communicate a copy of the provision of the law and of the regulations of the Secretary of the Treasury to the captain-general of Catalonia.
I have now the honor to inform you that, in reply to my above-named communication, the captain-general has notified me “that it is not within his jurisdiction to accord any privilege to vessels-of-war of the United States at the ports of Barcelona and Tarragona, without a royal decree to that effect.”
JANUARY 16, 1863. I have the honor to submit to you the following report for the quarter ended December 31, 1862:
The amount of cotton entered at the port of Barcelona during the quarter is as follows: From Cadiz .......
329 bales. Cette .......
347 " Gibraltar .
107 « Havanı ...
118 * Licata ....,
60 " Liverpool
294 « Macao ..
750 " Malta ....... Marseilles ...
425 " Matanzas .......
1, 453 " Oporto .......
Total for the quarter .....
4,673 From January 1 to September 30, 1862 .. 49, 020
Total for the year 1862 ...... or about half the average receipts.
The imports and exports from and to the United States at the ports of Barcelona and Tarragona for the quarter ended December 31, 1862 :
Imports : 669,330 (gross mil) staves; 25 bbls. salt beef; and 20 boxes sperm candles.
Exports: One pipe and 840 barrels of wine ; 628 bags of almonds; 200 bags of Barcelona nuts ; 319 bales corks; 25 pounds saffron ; 250 pieces silk ribbons; 27 packages of silk; 25 millares of white yarn.
The above return of imports and exports is made up only from the books of the consulate, as no access is to be obtained to the statistics of the custom-house at Barcelona.
H. Ex. Doc. 41—13
Statement showing the number, nationality, and tonnage of vessels entered at the port of Barcelona for the quarter ended December 31, 1862, not including vessels of the province under twenty tons burden.
Tolal number of vessels entered at the port of Barcelona for the year ended
December 31, 1862.
The foregoing vessels arriving at this port are principally loaded with coke and coal from England.
APRIL 10, 1863. I have the honor to submit to you the following report for the quarter ended March 31, 1863:
The amount of cotton entered at the port of Barcelona for the quarter is 23,569 bales, principally from Liverpool and Marseilles, and none from the United States direct. For the corresponding period of the year 1862, there entered 12,510 bales, which shows a gain of 11,059 bales, for the present year.
The following are the imports and exports for the quarter, to and from the United States at this port, the returns from the consular agency at Tarragona not having been received at this consulate, as stated in despatch No. XVI, viz:
Imports : 203,700 (gross mil) staves.
Exports : 60 bales corks; 600 pieces silk ribbons; 1304 pipes red wine, Oporto shape.
The number, nationality, and tonnage of onssels entered at the port of Barcelona from January i 10 March 31, 1863, not including vessels of the protince under 20 tons burden, are, viz:
Corresponding period of the previous year—total, 611 vessels ; tonnage, 103,908.
The foreign vessels arriving at this port are principally loaded with coke and coal from England, as heretofore stated.
July 13, 1863. The amount of cotton entered at the port of Barcelona for the quarter ended
June 3, 1860. From Bahia ......
424 bales. Cadiz
1, 906 " Cette .......
4, 317 " Santander
322 " Garruiba
6 " Havana .....
391 " Parahibo
118 oo Liverpool ...
2,859« Marseilles ...
11, 646 " Mayaguez ...
230 " Nagnabo .....
454 Pernambuco ....
4, 338 "
The cotton manufactories of this province are now employing a larger number of hands than during the same period of the preceding year, and the large bamber of workmen who were thrown out of employment two years ago have either found occupation in other branches of industry, or are employed by the evil authorities of Barcelona upon works of public improvement now in progles in this city and province.
Imports from the United States at the port of Barcelona for the quarter ended
June 30, 1863.
Exports from Barcelona to the United States during the same period. Red wine, gallons.......... Red wine, boxes........... Orange wine, barrel. .......
......... Cognac, barrel. .......
The number, nationality, and tonnage of vessels entered at the port of Barcelona from April 1 to June 30, 1863, not including Spanish vessels of under twenty tons burden, are as follows:
405 9, 232 1,360
October 13, 1863. I have the honor to enclose to you herewith a report of navigation and commerce at the ports of Barcelona and Tarragona, from October 1, 1862, to September 30, 1863.