Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

BAGGAGE, in commercial navigation, the wearing apparel and other articles destined for the sole use or accommodation of the crews and passengers of ships. The following are the Custom-house regulations with respect to baggage :

Baggage and apparel accompanied by the proprietor, worn and in usc (not made up for the purpose of being introduced into this country), exempted from all duty on importation.

Articles in baggage subject to duty or prohibited may be left in custody of the officers of customs for a period of six months, to give the party an opportunity of paying the duty or taking them back. -(Customs Order, August 6. 1822.)

If unaccompanied by proprietor, proof must be made by the party that it is as aforesaid, and not imported as merchandise, otherwise it is subject to a duty of 20 per cent.

If not cleared at the expiration of six months from the date of landing, it is liable to be sold for duty and charges, the residue (if any) to be paid to the right owner on proof being adduced to the satisfaction of the honourable Board.

One fowling-piece and one pair of pistols accompanying the party, bona fide in use, free per Customs Order, July 5. 1825.

Spirits being the remains of passengers' stores may be admitted to entry:-(6 Geo. 4. c. 107. $ 107.)

One pint of drinkable spirits of whatever strength, or half a pint of cordial or Cologne water, in baggage for private use -- free. - ( Treasury Order, October 20. 1820.)

Carriages of British manufacture, in use -- free. - (Treasury Order, September 26. 1817.) Glass, in dressing or medicine cases of British manufacture, free 'npon proof that no drawback has been received. -(Treasury Order, December 5. 1821.) - (Nyren's Tables.)

Passengers denying haring Foreign Goods in their possession. – The following clause in the act 3 & 4 Will. 4. c. 53. has reference to this subject :-" If any passenger or other person, on board any vessel or boat, shall, upon being questioned by any customs officer whether he or she has any foreign goods upon his or her person, or in his or her possession, deny the same, and any such goods shall, after such denial, be discovered upon his or her person, or in his or her possession, such goods shall be forfeited, and such person shall sorieit treble the value of such goods." - 37.

BAHIA, OR ST. SALVADOR, a large city (formerly the capital) of Brazil, contiguous to Cape St. Antonio, which forms the right or eastern side of the entrance of the noble bay of Todos os Santos, or All-Saints. According to the observations of M. Roussin, the light-house on the Cape is in lat. 13° 0' 30" S., long. 38° 30' W. The opposite side of the entrance to the bay is formed by the island of Taporica, distant from Cape St. Antonio about 24 leagues. But a bank along the shore of the island narrows the passage for large ships to about two thirds this distance. Another bank runs S. S. W. from Cape St. Antonio about 1} league. Within, the bay expands into a capacious basin, having several islands and harbours, the depth of water varying from 8 and 10 to 40 fathoms, affording ample accommodation and secure anchorage for the largest fleets.

There is another entrance to the bay, partly exhibited in the annexed plan, on the west side of the island of Taporica ; but it is narrow, intricate, and at its mouth has not more than 6 feet water. Several rivers have their embouchure in the bay, which generally occasions a current to set from the north end of the island by Cape St. Antonio ; when the rivers are flooded, this current is sometimes very strong. The light-house at the extremity of the cape bas no great elevation, and cannot be seen at a distance of more than 3 or 3! leagues. The usual place of anchorage is abreast of the city, north and south of Fort do Mar

The city is partly built on the beach, but principally on pretty high ground imamediately contiguous. The public buildings, particularly the churches, are numerous, and some of them magnificent ; but the streets are narrow, ill paved, and filthy. Popu. lation estimated at from 125,000 to 160,000. The city is defended by several forts, but none of them are of very great strength. Account of the Quantities, Prices, &c. of the principal Articles exported from and imported into Bahia

in 1841.

[blocks in formation]

.

Reis.

Reis.

Reis. 51,547 cases

White 1,900 p. arroba Meats salted and Sugar бX toxes

preserved

347,759,132 2,213 barrels Brown 1,325 do. Leather

:

12,358,247 Cotton 15,541 bales

5,874
Salt

410 p. alq

213,511,497 Coffee. 12,587 bags

2,990
Flour

358,599,516 3,651 rolls

1,710

Iron, Wrought Hoops 7,000 p. quint. 177,511,451 Tobacco 39,397 mangotes each

5,450

Glass and earth1,646 bales

3,025

en ware - Glass Bott. 500 p. doz. 100,840,331 Rum 4,245 pipes 540 p. Canada "Putter

485 p. Ib. 149,618,500 Rose and

Manufactured other woods 6,639 logs Rose 65,000 p. dozen sols

3,499,150,0131 Cigars 7,031 boxes 10,000 p. 1000 Salt fish

216,327,941 Cocoa Nuts

Yellow 100 p. Ib. (Coquilhos) 2,593,612

1,200

Mediter. 160
Horns -
55,168

6,000 p. 100
Wines

303,085,091
Reis.
Duties.

Reis.

Duties. Total value of exports in 1841 6,140,351,450 367,070,651 Total value of imports in Ditto 1840 6,982,0,000 321,000,000

• 7,236,810,332 1,486,237,669 Increase in 1841 458,351,450 43,670,651 There being a decrease

in the amount of im.
ports as compared with
18.39 of

2,000,000,000
Of the above Imports Gt.

Reis. Britain funished

3,888.850,784

Soap

} 142,175,530

1841

The above table shows that the trade of Bahia is very considerable. The principal exports amount, at present (1842), to about 52,000 chests (18 cwt. each) of sugar ;

16,000 bags (170 lbs. each) of cotton ; 12,500 bags (160 lbs. each) of coffee, with hides, tobacco, rice, dye and fancy woods, bullion, &c. The imports consist principally of cottons and other manufactured goods, provisions, flour, salt, salt fish, soap, wines, &c.

The exports from Bahia have rather decreased of late years, per day, Brazilian measurement; but should a vessel remain in consequence, as is alleged, of the greater obstructions thrown in port more than 50 days, this payment ceases to be enforced in the way of importing slaves; and the greater scarcity and

Port Dues on Vessels. high price of labour.

Brazilian hospital for each man specified in musterNo articles are prohibited to be imported, nor are there any

640 reis privileges in favour of ships belonging to any country. The Bill of health :

3,200 coasting trade is exclusively carried on by Brazilian vessels. English, Portuguese, and Brazilian vessels pay There is no difference made in the duty on goods, whether lighthouse, &c.

6,720 Imported in native or foreign vessels.

Vessels of other nations dit

10,240 all foreign goods imported, pay 15 per cent. on the valu Bahia is the only port of this province where goods may be ations of the Custom-house tariff, with the exception of wines, warehoused on importation, and afterwards exported. A duty spirituous liquors, gunpowder, and tea, which pay as follows: is charged thereon at the rate of 4 per cent, on taritt' valuation. Wines and spiritous liquors (excet produce of

The duty of 15 per cent. formerly levied on chronometers Great Britain, which pays only (5)

48) per cent. and other nautical Instruments, in use on board vessels has Gunpowder

50

been recently abolished. Tea.

30

Average Exchange, 30d. per 1000 rets. An additional 5 per cent. is invariably charged under the

Weights and Measures. ples of warehouse rent, &c.

1 quintal 4 arrobas. 1 arroba - 32 lbs. Vessels patting into Bahia in distress pay no tonnage dues. i Canada 2 imperial gallons. 1 alqueire = 7-8ths of a busbel. Those which discharge or take in cargo, pay 30 reis per ton

(Consular Returns, and private information.) Plan. – The subjoined wood-cut conveys a clearer and better idea of this celebrated bay than could be acquired from any description. It is copied, without any reduction, from a revised edition of a Portuguese chart published by Mr. Laurie, and exhibits the banks, soundings, anchorage, &c.

[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

1

Scale of Nautic Leagues. References to the Plan.-A, Cape, light-house, and fort of St. Antonio ; B, Fort do Mar; C, Fort St. Philip; D, Tapagippe; E, Isla do Mar; F, Isla dos Frados; G, Fort Beaumont. The

figures in the plan are the soundings in fathoms.

BALACHONG, an article consisting of pounded or bruised fish. It consists principally of small fish, with prawns and shrimps. Though fætid and offensive to strangers, this substance, used as a condiment to rice, is largely consumed in all the countries to the east of Bengal, including the southern provinces of China, and the islands of the Eastern Archipelago. Its distribution gives rise to an extensive internal traffic.

BALANCE, in accounts, is the term used to express the difference between the debtor and creditor sides of an account.

BALANCE, in commerce, is the term commonly used to express the difference between the value of the exports from and imports into a country. The balance is said to be favourable when the value of the exports exceeds that of the imports, and unfavourable when the value of the imports exceeds that of the exports. According to the Custom-house returns, the official value of the exports from Great Britain, exclusive of foreign and commercial merchandise, during the year ending 5th of January, 18 12, amounted to 102,180,5171. ; and the official value of the imports during the same year amounted 64,377,9621. ; leaving a favourable balance of 37,802,5551.

The attainment of a favourable balance was formerly regarded as an object of the greatest importance. The precious metals, in consequence of their being used as money, were long considered as the only real wealth that could be possessed either by individuals or nations. And as countries without mines could not obtain sup. plies of these metals except in exchange for exported products, it was concluded, that if the value of the commodities exported exceeded that of those imported, the balance would have to be paid by the importation of an equivalent amount of the precious metals; and conversely. A very large proportion of the restraints imposed on the freedom of commerce, during the last two centuries, grew out of this notion. The importance of having a favourable balance being universally admitted, every effort was made to attain it; and nothing seemed so effectual for this purpose as the devising of schemes to facilitate exportation, and to hinder the importation of almost all products, except gold and silver, that were not intended for future exportation. But the gradual though slow growth of sounder opinions with respect to the nature and functions of money, showed the futility of a system of policy having such objects in view. It is now conceded on all hands that gold and silver are nothing but commodities; and that it is in no respect necessary to interfere either to encourage their importation, or to prevent their exportation. In Great Britain they may be freely exported and imported, whether in the shape of coin or bullion. — (See Coin.)

The truth is, however, that the theory of the balance of trade is not erroneous merely from the false notions which its advocates entertained with respect to money; but proceeds on radically mistaken views as to the nature of commerce. The mode in which the balance is usually estimated is, indeed, completely fallacious. Supposing, however, that it could be correctly ascertained, it would be found, in opposition to the common opinion, that the imports into every commercial country generally exceed the exports ; and that when a balance is formed, it is only in certain cases, and those of rare occurrence, that it is cancelled by a bullion payment.

I. The proper business of the wholesale merchant consists in carrying the various products of the different countries of the world, from the places where their value is least to those where it is greatest; or, which is the same thing, in distributing them aecording to the effective demand. It is clear, however, that there could be no motive to export any species of produce, unless that which it was intended to import in its stead were of greater value.

When an English merchant commissions a quantity of Polish wheat, he calculates on its selling for so much more than its price in Poland, as will be sufficient to pay the expense of freight, insurance, &c., and to yield, besides, the common and ordinary rate of profit on the capital employed. If the wheat did not sell for this much, its importation would obviously be a loss to the importer. It is plain, then, that no merchant ever did or ever will export, but in the view of importing something more valuable in return. And so far from an excess of exports over imports being any criterion of an advantageous commerce, it is directly the reverse ; and the truth is, notwithstanding all that has been said and written to the contrary, that unless the value of the imports exceeded that of the exports, foreign trade could not be carried on. Were this not the case - that is, were the value of the exports always greater than the value of the imports - merchants would lose on every transaction with foreigners, and the trade with them would be speedily abandoned.

In England, the rates at which all articles of export and import are officially valued were fixed so far back as 1696. But the very great alteration that has since taken place, not only in the value of money, but also in the cost of most part of the commodities produced in this and other countries, has rendered this official valuation, though valuable as a means of determining their quantity, of no use whatever as a criterion of the true value of the exports and imports. In order to remedy this defect, an account of the real

or declared value of the exports is annually prepared, from the declarations of the merchants, and laid before parliament: there is, however, no such account of the imports ; and, owing to the difficulties which high duties throw in the way, it is, perhaps, impossible to frame one with anything like accuracy. It has also been alleged, and apparently with some probability, that merchants have not unfrequently been in the habit of exaggerating the value of articles entitled to drawbacks on exportation; but the recent extension and improvement of the warehousing system, and the diminution of the number of draw. backs, must materially lessen whatever fraud or inaccuracy may have arisen from this source. Most articles were formerly charged with an ad valorem duty of 108. per cent. on exportation, so that, if anything, their value was probably rather under than overrated; but now that this duty has been repealed (5 and 6 Vict. cap. 47. $ 10.), the presumption is that their declared value comes very near the truth; at least, sufficiently so for all practical purposes.

Now the declared value of the exports in 1841 was 51,634,6231., being only about half their official value, and nearly 13,000,0001. under the official value of the imports. What the excess of the latter might be, had we the means of comparing their real value with that of the exports, it is impossible to say: but there can be no manner of doubt, that, generally speaking, it would be very considerable. The value of an exported commodity is estimated at the moment of its being sent abroad, and before it is increased by the expense incurred in transporting it to the place of its destination ; whereas the value of the commodity imported in its stead is estimated after it has arrived at its destination, and, consequently, after it has been enhanced by the cost of freight, insurance, importer's profits, &c.

In the United States, the value of the imports, as ascertained by the Custom-house returns, always exceeds the value of the exports. And although our practical politicians have been in the habit of considering the excess of the former as a certain proof of a disadvantageous commerce, “it is nevertheless true,” says Mr. Pitkin, “ that the real gain of the United States has been nearly in proportion as their imports have exceeded their erports." -- (Commerce of the United States, 2d. ed. p. 280.) The great excess of American imports has in part been occasioned by the Americans generally exporting their own surplus produce, and, consequently, receiving from foreigners not only an equivalent for their exports, but also for the cost of conveying them to the foreign market. * In 1811," says the author just quoted, “flour sold in America for nine dollars and a half per barrel, and in Spain for fifteen dollars. The value of the cargo of a vessel carrying 5,000 barrels of flour would, therefore, be estimated at the period of its exportation at 47,500 dollars; but as this flour would sell, when carried to Spain, for 75,000 dollars, the American merchant would be entitled to draw on his agent in Spain for 27,500 dollars more than the flour cost in America ; or than the sum for which he could have drawn, had the flour been exported in a vessel belonging to a Spanish merchant. But the transaction would not end here. The 75,000 dollars would be vested in some species of Spanish or other European goods fit for the American market; and the freight, insurance, &c., on account of the return cargo, would probably increase its value to 100,000 dollars, so that, in all, the American merchant might have imported goods worth 52,500 dollars more than the flour originally sent to Spain.” It is as impossible to deny that such a transaction as this is advantageous, as it is to deny that its advantage consists entirely in the excess of the value of the goods imported over the value of those exported. And it is equally clear that America might have had the real balance of payments in her favour, though such transactions as the above had been multiplied to any conceivable extent.

11. In the second place, when a balance is due by one country to another, it is but seldom that it is paid by remitting bullion from the debtor to the creditor country. If the sum due by the British merchants to those of Holland be greater than the sum due by the latter to them, the balance of payments will be agninst Britain; but this balance will not, and indeed cannot, be discharged by an exportation of bullion, unless bullion be, at the time, the cheapest exportable commodity ; or, which is the same thing, unless it may. be more advantageously exported than anything else. To illustrate this principle, let us suppose that the balance of debt, or the excess of the value of the bills drawn by the merchants of Amsterdam on London over those drawn by the merchants of London on Amsterdam, amounts to 100,0001. : it is the business of the London merchants to find out the means of discharging this debt with the least expense; and it is plain, that if they find that any less sum, as 96,0001., 97,0001., or 99,9001., will purchase and send to Holland as much cloth, cotton, hardware, colonial produce, or any other commodity, as will sell in Amsterdam for 100,0001., no gold or silver will be exported. The laws which regulate the trade in bullion are not in any degree different from those which regulate the trade in other commodities. It is exported only when its exportation is advantageous, or when it is more valuable abroad than at home. It would, in fact, be quite as reasonable to expect that water should flow from a low to a high level, as it is

to expect that bullion should leave a country where its value is great to go to one where it is low! It is never sent abroad to destroy, but always to find, its level. The balance of payments might be ten or a hundred milions against a particular country, without causing the exportation of a single ounce of bullion. Common sense tells us that no merchant will remit i001

. worth of bullion to discharge a debt in a foreign country, if it be possible to invest any smaller sum in any species of merchandise which would sell abroad for 1001. exclusive of expenses. The merchant who deals in the precious metals is as much under the influence of self-interest, as he who deals in coffee or indigo: and what merchant would attempt to extinguish a debt, by exporting coffee which cost 1001., if he could effect his object by sending abroad indigo which cost only 991. ?

The argument about the balance of payment is one of those that contradict and confute themselves. Had the apparent excess of exports over imports, as indicated by the British Custom-house books for the last hundred years, been always paid in bullion, as the supporters of the old theory contend is the case, there should at this moment be about 450,000,000 or 500,000,000 of bullion in the country, instead of 50,000,000 or 60,000,000, which it is supposed to amount to! Nor is this all. If the theory of the balance be good for anything --if it be not a mere idle delusion-it follows, as every country in the world, with the single exception of the United States, has its favourable balance, that they must be paid by an annual importation of bullion from the mines corresponding to their aggregate amount. But it is certain, that the entire produce of the mines, though it were increased in a tenfold proportion, would be insufficient for this purpose ! This reductio ad absurdum is decisive of the degree of credit that should be attached to conclusions respecting the flourishing state of the commerce of any country drawn from the excess of the exports over the imports!

Not only, therefore, is the common theory with respect to the balance of trade erro. neous, but the very reverse of that theory is true. In the first place, the value of the commodities imported by every country which carries on an advantageous commerce (and no other will be prosecuted for any considerable period), invariably exceeds the value of those which she exports. Unless such were the case, there would plainly be no fund whence the merchants and others engaged in foreign trade could derive either a profit on their capital, or a return for their outlay and trouble; and in the second place, whether the balance of debt be for or against a country, that balance will neither be paid nor received in bullion, unless it be at the time the commodity by the exportation or importation of which the account may be most profitably settled. Whatever the partisans of the doctrine as to the balance may say about money being a preferable product, or marchandise par excellence, it is certain it will never appear in the list of exports and imports, while there is any thing else with which to carry on trade, or cancel debts, that will yield a larger profit, or occasion a less expense to the debtors.

It is difficult to estimate the mischief which the absurd notions relative to the balance of trade have occasioned in almost every commercial country ;-here they have been particularly injurious. It is principally to the prevalence of prejudices to which they have given rise, that the restrictions on the trade between this country and France are to be ascribed. The great, or rather the only, argument insisted upon by those who prevailed on the legislature, in the reign of William and Mary, to declare the trade with France a nuisance, was founded on the statement that the value of the imports from that kingdom considerably exceeded the value of the commodities we exported to it. The balance was regarded as a tribute paid by England to France; and it was sagaciously asked, what had we done, that we should be obliged to pay so much money to our natural enemy? It never occurred to those who so loudly abused the French trade, that no merchant would import any commodity from France, unless it brought a higher price in this country than the commodity exported to pay it; and that the profit of the merchant, or the national gain, would be in exact proportion to this excess of price. The very reason assigned by these persons for prohibiting the trade affords the best attainable proof of its having been a lucrative one; nor can there be any doubt that an unrestricted freedom of intercourse between the two countries would still be of the greatest service to both.

BALE, a pack, or certain quantity of goods or merchandise; as a bale of silk, cloth, &c.

Bales are always marked and numbered, that the merchants to whom they belong may know them, and the marks and numbers correspond to those in the bills of lading, &c. Selling under the bale, or under the cords, is a term used in France and other countries for selling goods wholesale, without sample or pattern, and unopened.

BALKS, large pieces of timber.

BALLAST (Du. Ballast ; Fr. Lest; Ger. Ballast ; It. Savorra ; Sp. Lastre; Sw. Ballast), a quantity of iron, stones, sand, gravel, or any other heavy material laid in a ship's hold, in order to sink her deeper in the water, and to render her capable of carry

« AnteriorContinua »