Obrazy na stronie

straight stem, and terminates in a dense crown of dark foliage, resembling in form a compressed cone. The fruit is of the size

of the largest melon, and contains from two to three hundred nuts or kernels, each equal in bulk to two almonds. These, when boiled, taste like chestnuts, and are extremely nutritive. The wood of the Araucaria is hard and heavy, and might, perhaps, prove a valuable timber, if the situation in which it grows were not generally so inaccessible. The forests of the Araucaria, which cover the flanks of the southern Andes, might, perhaps, alone supply food enough for all the aboriginal tribes from Antuco southwards to the Straits of Magellan. But the jealousies and petty warfare of the Indians prevent the proper gathering of the fruit. The increase of their herds, also, and the wheaten bread obtained in traffic with the whites, have familiarized them with a more grateful and substantial diet. It is by no means to be deplored, that an article of food, obtained with so little exertion of toil or foresight as the fruit of the Araucaria, and consequently so peculiarly adapted for the support of mere savage life, should fall into disuse, and yield up its place to the produce of industry.

From Peguen, or Pehuen, the native name of this tree, the tribes in whose country it grows are called Peguenches. A very circumstantial account of these people is given by La Cruz, in a memoir, inserted in the collection of Señor de Angelis, who bas shown his judgment by also giving a place in it to a translation of Falkner's 'Description of Patagonia,'-a remarkably clear, unpretending volume, which contains the best general account ever published of the southern extremity of the American continent and of its inhabitants. Our limits will not permit us to enter on the second volume of Señor de Angelis's Collection. We shall close the first volume therefore, repeating our persuasion, that its merits entitle it to a European as well as an American popularity; and that it is likely, by concentrating the information which relates to the interior of the American continent, in the vicinity and south of the Rio de la Plata, to direct enterprise and scientific enquiry towards it, and thus to accelerate our acquaintance with that interesting portion of the globe.

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ART. V.-1. Du Sucre de Canne et du Sucre de Betterave. 2. Question des Sucres. Par J. B. DELAUNAY. Havre : 1836.

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THE constant endeavour of the capitalists in every branch industry, is to raise their own,



of profits; and thus, as Adam Smith says, 'to levy, for their own benefit, an absurd tax upon the rest of their fellow-citizens.' This can, of course, only be done through the assistance of government; and it so happens that there is not a country in Europe in which the government has not been tempted, in some way or another, to impose this 'absurd tax,'-a tax which, at the same time, is never of more than temporary advantage even to the parties who levy it, which is ultimately prejudicial to them, and which is universally and permanently prejudicial to the community that pays it. Corn, and almost every other production of our native soil; sugar, timber, and almost every other produce of our colonies, and of all other European colonies, are subject to this kind of tax. In France it is paid through the medium of iron, copper, and cotton manufactures. The Germans pay it on iron, brass, and cotton fabrics; and the Russians, who approach much nearer to the pastoral than to the manufacturing state of society, pay it on almost every article of manufacture,-as woollens, cutlery, cotton yarn, cotton fabrics, silks, glass, porcelain, &c. The Russians would fain be a great manufacturing nation, and fancy that this is to be brought about as easily as Peter the Great raised great armies and constructed men-of-war, which he could not man. They have imported the machinery of Arkwright and Hargreaves, the Potempkins and the Gallitzins are the capitalists, and their serfs the artisans. It is probable that owing to this amazing piece of folly the fifty millions of Russian population are paying cent per cent upon every decent article of manufacture; not a hundredth part of which finds its way into the public treasury. So universal is the prevalence of 'the absurd tax, that even the freest of nations, the Anglo-American, is not exempt from suffering by it; for their tariff is thought, by the most enlightened amongst themselves, to cost them yearly the sum of twelve millions sterling.

We mean at present to confine our observations to one only of the absurd taxes' alluded to-that upon sugar. The total consumption of sugar, whether of the cane or beet, throughout Europe and America, may be estimated at about 600,000 tons;

of which the value, exclusive of duty, may be taken at eighteen millions sterling; or, taking the duty at half as much as the value of the sugar, at 27 millions sterling-a sum far exceeding the entire revenue of the Roman empire! The whole, or very nearly the whole, is the creation of the last two centuries. All the substitute which our own ancestors, or the nations of antiquity had for this great article of first necessity, was a little honey, sometimes nauseous, and sometimes materially griping to the bowels. Though there had been nothing but sugar to distinguish us, we should unquestionably be at least a more comfortable race than our predecessors, rude or civilized.

The French are the greatest abusers of the gift of the cane. By means of protecting duties they first exclude foreign sugars from their market, and then they turn round and bring the sugar manufactured from beet-root, without any tax at all, to compete with the protected, but taxed sugar of their colonies. The result is, that a factitious interest, to a great amount, has grown up in France in favour of the growers and manufacturers of the domestic article, that the interest of the growers and importers of colonial sugar is injured and depressed,—and, to crown the whole system of complexity and embarrassment, that the Governmeħt is, year after year, losing its revenue,not daring to diminish the tax on colonial sugar, nor impose any tax whatever on that of the beet to make up the deficiency.

The sugar manufactured from beet is not to be distinguished, whether unrefined or refined, from that prepared from the cane; but, instead of yielding saccharine matter in the profusion in which the cane does, even with the most improved machinery introduced into France, the beet yields but from five to six per cent of its weight. There are, however, some circumstances connected with the beet, which, to a small degree at least, counterbalance this disadvantage. The beet is a green crop which prepares the soil for corn; while the cane is a luxuriant grass which exhausts it even more than the latter: the refuse, after the preparation of sugar from it, is used advantageously for fattening hogs, and even black cattle; and the cost of production is not chargeable with the expenses of a voyage from Asia or America, as in the case of cane sugar. Notwithstanding all this, the manufacture of sugar from the beet is but a mere makeshift; and in a fair and equal competition with the cane sugar, would quickly disappear. The manufacture of sugar from beet-root commenced during the war of the French Revolution; but the great impetus given to it was in 1806, by the celebrated Berlin decrees of Napoleon, which interdicted the commerce of England with the Continent,confiscated and destroyed British manufactures and British

colonial produce, and raised the price of the latter to an enormous height. The manufacture, then, has been in progress for thirty years; but within the last seven, it has made surprising advances, owing to the high price of colonial sugar, and in some degree to recent improvements in the machinery for preparing the domestic production.

The whole consumption of sugar in France is estimated, in round numbers, at one hundred millions of kilogrammes. Of this quantity, in 1829, the whole quantity of beet sugar was but four millions of kilogrammes. In 1835, it had risen to thirty millions, last year it was forty millions, and in the present year it it supposed it will equal half the whole consumption. The actual consumption of sugar in France within the last seven years, is not supposed to have materially increased; so that, in proportion as the quantity of beet sugar consumed, increases, the quantity of colonial sugar diminishes. In short, it has fallen off since 1829, from ninety-six millions of kilogrammes, to fifty millions.

As we have already stated, no duty whatever is levied on beet sugar, while a duty of 491⁄2 francs per 100 kilogrammes is levied on the colonial production. We shall consider the effects of this system upon the comforts of the French people---on the commerce of France, and or its public revenue.

The consumption of sugar in France, as we have already stated, is a hundred million kilogrammes, equal to about 225 millions of pounds weight; which gives barely seven pounds for each individual of a population of thirty-two millions. The price of colonial sugar in France, without duty, is estimated at 80 francs per 100 kilogrammes; or, with duty, 129, equal to about 56s. per cwt. The average price of sugar in this country, for some years back, may be taken at 53s.; so that, the French, a comparatively poor people, with bad roads and bad communications of every sort, pay at first cost, more for their sugar than the English, a wealthy people, with good roads and excellent communications of every kind. In effect,' says M. Delaunay, the able, intelligent, and liberal merchant of Havre, whose valuable Tracts are prefixed to this article, at the present price of sugar used in France, the ' use of this necessary is the privilege only of the class in easy 'circumstances; and this class absorbs for itself alone, the hundred millions of kilogrammes of sugar used in France, while the rest of the population are entire strangers to its use.' This readily enough accounts for the small consumption of sugar in France. In fact, we believe that the consumption of sugar, by any two or more countries, placed under the same circumstances with relation to it, may be taken as no unsuitable test of their respective wealth and comfort. We shall endeavour to illustrate this, in a tabular form, giving the figures generally in round numbers.


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This statement requires a short comment. In comparison with the other countries above named, the consumption of France and Spain appears smaller; in consequence of the large use among their people of fruits, containing a considerable quantity of saccharine matter, as figs, raisins, prunes, &c.; and probably, too, even on account of the consumption of wine for the same reason. considerable consumption of so poor a country as Spain is to be accounted for froin the very low duty upon sugar in that country. The consumption of the United States appears much smaller than it virtually is when compared with that of England, in consequence of the very large consumption of molasses; from which we believe bastards are not there manufactured-an article, of which 12,000 tons are included in the English statement. There is also another reason; the Americans, in the northern provinces at least, use a considerable quantity of maple sugar; and it is probable that the local consumption of the countries of the Union producing cane sugar is not taken into the account. Sugar in Ireland pays the same duty as in England; which is about the same thing as placing an equal burden upon a galloway and a dray-horse. The consumption of sugar in Ireland is just one-fifth part of what it is in the sister island; Ireland, in short, stands at the bottom of the scale; for which her long misgovernment and consequent poverty afford the alike easy and painful explanation.

The effect of the existing system on the shipping and external commerce of France is readily explained. Seven years ago, French shipping found employment to the colonies for the carriage of ninety-six millions of kilogrammes of sugar; equal with tare to one hundred thousand tons of shipping annually. The shipping of France ought to have increased in proportion to the increased wealth and population of the country; for that of every other commercial nation of Europe and America has done so. It has not increased; it has even declined; and one of the chief causes is the rise of the beet root manufacture. In 1827, the total amount of the tonnage employed in the external trade of France was 692,125 tons; and six years there



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