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The inability bitherto to obtain the information indicated was occasioned by two defects: first, the absence of compulsory legislation, as above mentioned; and, secondly, the lack of means to defray the expense of personal investigation.
This latter defect has, however, been remedied by the act of March 3, 1875, a portion of which is cited above, which appropriates a sufficient amount to secure so much of the information as is obtainable without further legislation.
DECLINE IN IMMIGRATION.
Immigration, which reached its culminating point in 1873, suffered a decline in the fiscal year 1874 to the extent of 146,464, and a further falling off of 85,841 in 1875, making a total decrease of 232,305 from the figures for 1873. This reflux in the tide of immigration is largely due to the general prostration of business in this country during the past two years, and the consequent diminution in the demand for labor. The indications of returning prosperity, however, especially in produc. tive industry, give reason to hope that the demand for labor will soon regain its normal activity and the stream of immigration attain its usual volume.
The following comparative statements will exhibit the leading facts connected with immigration for several years past :
Table I.-Comparative statement of Immigration and Emigration for the five fiscal years
from July 1, 1871, to June 30, 1875, inclusive.
Total number of passengers arrived in the United
43, 662 49,056 47, 744 47, 730 50,898 239, 090 21, 259 18,172 13, 338 14, 610 17, 134 84, 513 64, 921 67, 220 61, 082 62, 340
68, 032 323, 603 342, 609 422, 978 473, 141 397, 949 244, 632 1, 811, 309 321, 350 404, 806 459, 803 313, 339 227, 498 1,726, 796 27, 626 25, 676 58, 072 72, 346
TABLE II.—Comparative statement of Immigration for the five fiscal years from July 1, 1871,
to June 30, 1875, showing New York and “all other " districts separately.
Comparatire statement of Immigration, by countries, ethnologically grouped, for the fire fisca?
years from July 1, 1871, to June 30, 1875.
* 16,042 of this number were reported as from Great Britain, not specified."
TRADE WITH CANADA. In the report of the undersigned for the fiscal year 1874, attention was directed to the fact that it was almost if not quite impossible to obtain full returns of our exports of merchandise to Canada.
As no legislation has since taken place with a view to remedy the legal fect therein pointed out, a portion of what was then submitted on the
ject is here repeated : Ithough the published statements of the Bureau in regard to the whole foreign je of the country, and particularly of our exports by water, are nearly accurate, it has hitherto been found impracticable, if not impossible, to obtain full returns of chandise exported to the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. The returns from ser. custom-houses on the Canadian border are necessarily defective, owing to the
want of legislation requiring persons exporting merchandise by land-conveyance to file fall manifests of such merchandise and produce with the collector of the customsdistrict on the border, across which the articles pass into the foreign country, as is now required in the case of all exports to foreign countries in vessels. The act of February 10, 1820, provides that
"Before a clearance shall be granted for any vessel bound to a foreign place, the owners, shippers, or consignors of the cargo on board of such vessel shall deliver to the cold lector manifests of the cargo, or the parts thereof shipped by them respectively, and shall verify the same by oath or affirmation; and such manifests shall specify the kinds and quantities of the articles shipped by them respectively, and the value of the total quantity of each kind of articles; and such oath or affirmation shall state that such inanifest contains a full, just, and true account of all articles laden ou board of such vessel by the owners, shippers, or consignors, respectively, and that the values of such articles are truly stated according to their actual cost, or the values which they truly bear at the port and time of exportation.”
It will be observed that the above stringent clause does not extend to railway-cars, which in 1820 were unknown, and, consequently, unspecified in the act above referred to, nor to other land-vehicles, which have long been used in the transportation of merchandise across the Canadian border.
The defective character of these returns having long been known, the undersigned took occasion during the months of July and August, 1874, to more thoroughly investigate the cause, with a view to its removal, personally visiting the chief border-ports on both sides of the line, from Quebec to Chicago, consulting with our collectors and consuls, as well as with the Canadian authorities. Careful inquiry developed the fact that nearly all the produce and merchandise wbich are exported to Canada, of which fall and correct returns are not made to this Bureau, cross the border at Saint Albans and Island Pond, in the customs-listrict of Vermont, and at Suspension Bridge, in the district of Niagara. The customs-officers at those places do all that is possible, under the present defective legislation, to obtain the kinds, quantities, and values of the articles transported in railway-carriages to ports in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario.
After consultation with the customs-anthorities of Canarla in Quebec and Montreal, and also with consuls of the United States, the undersigued proceeded to Ottawa, where he made arrangements with the Commissioner of Customs of the Dominion for an interchange of the detailed statements of imports into each country from the otber for the past fiscal year, and for a similar interchange of quarterly statements in future. This interchange will prove advantageous to Canada as well as to this country, for the reason that Canadian statements of erports to the United States are far less than our returns of imports show them to be ; for it is evident that the imports into each from the other are the more accurate, because the customs-officers of both countries are constantly ou the alert to see that no dutiable merchandise crosses the border without paying its prescribed impost.
From the detailed statements by provinces and ports, as well as by articles and valpes, prepared by the commissioner of customs of the dominion, the undersigned has been able to add to the stated valu + of articles embraced in the returns of collectors of costoms of the districts of Vermont and Niagara, the official figures obtained from Canada, which figures are published in the statement of domestic exports contained in the aunual report on commerce and navigation.
During the fiscal year 1875 the total value of domestic merchandise and produce which were omitted in the returns of the custom-houses on the Canadian border amounted to $15,660,218, as against $11,424,566 in the year preceding. The export of specie in the same period amounted to $2,070,746, as appeared by the statements of this Bureau, while the Canadian imports show but $1,886,337. Tbe former sum is, however, believed to be correct, inasmuch as the figures have been chiefly obtained from the agent of the express-coinpany which conveyed the specie to Canada.
In consequence of the increased disparity between the figures given by the Dominion government and those returned to this Bureau, and of the circumstance that no legislation has been effected since the facts above recited were submitted, the undersigned took occasion, recently, to visit the principal officers and agents of the transportation-companies which convey merchandise from our principal cities and manufacturing towns to the provinces of Quebec and Ontario.
It is proper to remark bere that the fault does not wholly or even chiefly rest with the transportation companies, whose officers, on the contrary, during the consultations bad with them, professed a willing. ness to aid the Bureau in the collection of accurate data in regard to our exports to Canada, but is due to the neglect of the shippers or consiguors of merchandise to furnish full information as to the kinds, quanti. ties, and values of the articles shipped for exportation to Canada.
It was hoped that some arrangement could be made by which correct information of this trade might be obtained in the absence of the legislation beretofore suggested. But wbile the officers above mentioned expressed their willingness to co-operate with the undersigned in carrying into effect the plan he proposed, it became apparent that difficulties would be encountered difficulties which could only be overcome through legislation.
The subject is again respectfully submitted for your consideration, with the recommendation that it be brought to the attention of Congress for such legislation as may be deemed necessary-legislation which, while calculated to remedy the defect above indicated, will not place unnecessary obstructions to freedom of commercial intercourse.
OTHER DEFECTIVE LEGISLATION.
Among other defects in existing laws, which render it difficult to obtain full and accurate statistics, may be mentioned those under which it is sought to collect and publish information pertaining to the following subjects:
I. The coastwise movements of vessels of the United States.
II. The products of the fisheries taken by American vessels and fishermen and brought into the United States.
III. The immigration into and emigration from the United States.
In regard to the above defects in legislation, the undersigned respectfully invites attention to his remarks thereon in bis report for the fiscal year 1874; and also in reference to the destination of exports, the re. turns of which are not sufficiently accurate to enable the inquirer to trace commodities from their places of production to the places of consumption.
NUMBER AND TONNAGE OF VESSELS.
A statement showing the number of vessels and amount of tonnage belonging to the different customs districts of the United States on the 30th of June, 1875, geographically classified, is appended to this report, (marked A,) and attention invited to the note in reference to unrigged vessels.
IMPORTS AND EXPORTS.
Detailed statements of imports into and of domestic and foreign exports from the United States during the fiscal year 1875, as com: pared with 1874, in which the increase and decrease are, respectivels, indicated, are appended to this report, (marked B.) Very respectfully, yours,
Chief of Bureau. Hon. BENJAMIN H. BRISTOW,
Secretary of the Treasury.
Table exhibiting the number of merchant-vessels and amount of tonnage belonging to the several customs-districts and ports of the United States, June 30, 1875,
496 53, 249. 16
40 2, 620. 74
41, 036, 35
53, 249.16 280, 230, 11
2, 8:20. 74
431, 3398. 28
41, 556, 81
2, 020. 96
474, 976. 05
Gain of 4 per cent.