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The total bank and government issues is here shown to be 1,822,900,000 Prussian thalers ; at 72 cents per Prussian thaler this would be $1,312,488,000, nearly seven times the amount of paper money in circulation in the United States. The banks and governments circulate, it will be seen, about an equal amount, though the circulation of Austria, 250,000,000 thalers, which is put down as bank issue, more properly belongs under the head of government issue, since the bank is directed and supported by edicts compelling the people to recognize and circulate the notes. The last monthly return of the national bank shows a specie reserve of scarcely one-eighth.
The total specie currency of Europe amounts to about $1,700,000,000.
OHIO CANALS. Annexed is the exhibit of the receipts and disbursements on the public works of Ohio, for the year ending November 15th, 1859, and a comparative statement of the same for the year ending November 15th, 1858 :
- -- 1859.-
Receipts. Payments. Receipts. Payments. Obio Canal.......
$101,606 $131,374 $71,443 $83,655 Miami and Erie Canal...
146,969 162,836 114,238 120,714 Muskingum Improvement..
18,275 18,335 Hocking Canal..
16,678 24,787 17,301 10,524 Walbonding Canal ..
2,711 National Road........
5,551 3,012 W. R. & M. Road.....
2,273 477 2,187
4,270 Other sources.......
65 6,722 10,438 9,731
$285,366 $383,384 $289,907 $252,952 Excess of expenses.........
18,044 Other payments connected with leases and contracts swell the excess of expenses to $97,075, for 1859.
, MONEY NO REMITTANCE. A suit involving the question whether money sent in a registered letter is a remittance, was recently decided in New York. EDWARD MORRISON sued the Farmers' Bank of North Carolina for $250, the product of a draft collected, and which was sent to him in a registered letter, but not received. The court beld that, as the defendant was not authorized to remit money instead of drafts, as is the usual custom, the money mailed to the address of the plaintiff could not be considered payment, and the defendant was therefore liable in the action. The jury found for the plaintiff accordingly.
ZOLLVEREIN REVENUES. The receipts of the Zollverein during the first six months of the present year were $11,495,000, (£1,650,000,) against $13,268,000 (£1,900,000) in the same period of 1858. The falling off is attributable to the stagnation of commerce caused by the war in Italy. The principal decrease in the imports was in raw sugar, iron, both manufactured and upmanufactured, coffee, and unbleached cotton goods. The importation of upmanufactured tobacco has increased rather largely.
STATISTICS OF TRADE AND COMMERCE.
COMMERCIAL LAW. There appears to be a strong and growing desire among the commercial classes for some more direct and simple mode of adjusting differences that arise in commerce, than in the present very unsatisfactory mode through the law courts. This want was long since felt in most of the commercial countries of Europe, and in France a remedy has been applied in the establishment of tribunals of commerce with power to decide cases, and the working of this system has been foupd very satisfactory. Thus the operations for the years 1855 and 1856 were as fol. lows :
Settled durNew cases. Tribunals. Civil courts, ing the year. 1855.... ...................
197,821 179.785 29.218 200.002 1856..........
202,726 183,481 30,581 203,521 In addition to the new cases there were remaining over in 1855 11,182 from the previous year, and in 1856 10,541 cases remained over. Of the cases settled in each year, about 25 per cent were defended. This system reduces litigation, and by keeping the calendar clear admits a prompt justice, very different from the results obtainable elsewhere.
In France the Chamber of Commerce is a committee of seven merchants, elected from the whole body of an assembly of merchants at the Exchange, who are called deputies. They are, in fact, a deputation of commerce, and as such they are the legal organ of the Exchange with the government. The Chamber of Commerce has members sitting, with a vote, on such public board as have anything to do with commerce, such as the Board of Navigation, of Customs and Excise, Post-office, Emigrant-office, and other administrations. They also recommend the appointment of foreign consuls. The Chamber of Commerce meets weekly at their rooms at the Exchange, and oftener if required.
The members retire annually by seniority of election. The senior member but one presides; the senior member sits on the president's right, and gives advice.
The Tribunal of Commerce generally names one of its members a Juge Commissaire, to preside over everything that takes place relative to bankruptcy. By the code, the whole jurisdiction in bankruptcy is vested in the Tribunals of Com. merce. According to the French law, there are two kinds of bankruptcy; there is the commercial bankruptcy, and some persons, otherwise subject to the civil courts, may become bankrupt; and there is the discomfiture, which goes before the civil tribunals. All those engaged in trade and licensed as traders, who fail to pay their debts, become bankrupt, and are subject to the Tribunal of Commerce.
The preliminaries of a suit before the French tribunals are performed by agrees, who are, in a legal class, attached to the tribunals, and somewhat similar to solicitors in this country. Sometimes, when the sum is very important, the parties have recourse to a barrister, and the barrister may plead ; but, according to law, the person who appears before the tribunal must have a power of attorney from the complainant or defendant.
At Bordeaux, the parties are sometimes referred by the tribunal to one of the judges, who, as arbitrator, generally effects a compromise between them. In Belgium there is compulsory arbitration respecting adjustments between partners. The tribunal refers them to arbitration. Voluntary arbitration, independently of the tribunal, is rarely resorted to. In France, however, it is very general. The practice generally is to make either the President of the Tribunal of Commerce, or the President of the Court Imperial, or sometimes another individual, nominate the third arbitrator if the parties cannot agree. In Hamburg, all contracts for grain bave on their backs a printed stipulation containing a clause of arbitration, in case of difference respecting quality or otherwise.
Of the whole number of disputes, more than one-half are thus settled. They are arranged, they are dropped, and the cases die a natural death. In 1857, there were in Hamburg 2,740 decisions, 132 appeals, and there were held 1,331 commissions, in which 1,074 cases were amicably settled.
At Bordeaux, if both parties prefer to go to a civil court, they can do so; but if either party prefer the Tribunal of Commerce, he can require the case to be decided there. There is no limitation of amount in regard to such tribunals in France. They take cognizance of everything which is of a commercial character, or which is done for the purpose of profit. When the disputes are not of a commercial nature, or the tribunal is otherwise incompetent, the defenadnt, or the party who has an interest in appealing, can appeal. But such cases seldom happen, not one in a thousand. Even where a very large sum is in dispute, provided the case be of a commercial character, the parties generally commence their proceedings before the Tribunal of Commerce. The competence of the Tribunals of Commerce extends over all commercial suits, that is, over all disputes arising between traders, or arising between one party being a trader and the other not, be being a defendant. The limit of the jurisdiction in Belgium, from which there is no appeal is £80, except it be a question of competency. Even if the dispute be pot among merchants, wherever it has profit for its end, it may be brougbt before the Commercial Court Judges. The tribunal at Bordeaux is composed of a president, six judges, and four assistant-judges. The judges are selected from among the whole commercial community, by a select list of voters taken from the first, and the heads of the commercial firms of Bordeaux, 120 in number. The number is made out by the prefect, and, therefore, it is in the hands of the crown. The Code de Commerce indicates the qualifications of those voters. Paragraph 618 gives the definition of the qualification :-" The Judges and Assistant-Judges of the Tribunals of Commerce shall be elected in an assembly com. posed of leading merchants, and principally of the chiefs of commercial houses of the longest standing, and most to be commended for their honesty, spirit of order, and general good management.” In Bordeaux there was a good attendance of judges. The judges are elected for two years, and may be re. elected. New men are elected as assistant-judges, and are afterwards promoted to be judges. The functions of the judge are purely honorary ; still, in Bordeaux, the position was coveted. The office of Judge of the Tribunal of Commerce is looked upon as one of great honor, and men actively engaged in business are anxious to become judges, though unpaid.
At Brussels, there are one president, eight judges, and eight assistant judges, The judges are elected by ballot, by a certain number of merchants taken out of the totality of the merchants of the District of Brussels. The list is formed by the provincial administration of government.
The number of electors is twenty-five, in districts under 15,000 souls, and it is increased one per thousand above that number. In the election of the members of the tribunal the sitting judges preside. They convene together all the electors and the election is made by ballot. The president calls the names of the electors, and each elector goes with the paper folded up, and hands it to the president, who puts it into an urn, and that is all. The government never interferes in the election of judges.
THE WHALE TRADE. The Boston Journal publishes the following interesting information in reference to the whale fisheries :—In 1834 the whole number of vessels engaged in this business was about 700, of which 400, or four sevenths, were American vessels, and 300, or three-sevenths, were foreign ; so that 25 years ago, American enterprise was ahead of the rest of the world as four to three. In 1859 the whole number is estimated at 900, of which 661 are American, and 239 foreigo, showing American enterprise still more in the ascendant ; for we have added 261 ships to our fleet, a gain of 65 per cent; while our competitors have fallen off 61 ships, a loss of 60 per cent.
In the value of the catch, the increase is still greater, being about $12,300,000 in 1859, against $4,500,000 in 1834-about 175 per cent. This, however, is in a great measure owing to the advanced value of oil and bone, the comparative statement of the quantities being as follows :
1859. Sperm oil .....................bbls. 95,000 198,300 W bale oil .......
146,500 153,800 Bone..........
........ lbs. 1,176,000 1,588,000 But it is also in part owing to the great relative increase of sperm oil takenover 100 per cent—while the increase of whales is only 5 per cent.
Of the ships employed in this business, from tbis country, nearly, if not quite, four-fifths are owned in and fitted from Massachusetts ports, producing to that State an annual income of about $10,000,000, giving employment to 12,000 seamen, and as many landsmen, besides yielding a large profit on the invested capital.
The pursuit of whales in all latitudes, including the very extremes of heat and cold on the same cruise, is the most hazardous, and, with occasional exceptions, the most tedious of any occupation men are engaged in. It requires courage, skill, endurance, and tenacity of purpose, to insure success, more than are necessary in any other vocation. Scarcely any other voyage requires a year, and every man knows when he ships where he is going, just wbat he shall have to do, and when he will be back again ; but the whaler only knows that he is off to the utterinost parts of the Southern Ocean, probably not for less than two, and possibly for four years; it may be to come home with a goodly sum to his credit for his share of the spoils, or with not enough to pay half the common seaman's wages in the mean time ; for months at times to roll lazily about on the ocean, with not enough to do to keep the blood in circulation, and then to be roused all at once to stretch every nerve to the highest pitch, and enter with all his soul into the most ardent pursuit of the most dangerous game. But these very uncertainties, hazards, and shifting scenes, are suited to our people, and it is therefore easier to fit out and man a whaler from our ports than from any other port in the world. The old Bay State may well be proud of her whaling fleet, of the enterprising merchants who own the ships, of the steady, skillful men who command, and the host of gallant seamen who man them. She may boast of her manufactures, of her commerce, of her schools and her charities, but either or all of these may be matched by others; while no other State, no other nation in the world, can show anything to compare with her whale catchers. Success attend them! In this business, which pre-eminently requires all the great qualities requisite to make up a true man, she stands out alone, far above all competition.
In addition to the foregoing statements the Scientific American remarks, that in 1820 the number of ships in England and Scotiand engaged in the whale fisheries of the Arctic seas was 156, the amount of oil obtained yearly was 18,725 tons, and whalebone 902 tons. Owing to the increased difficulty of catching whales, and the rapid extension of lighting streets and factories with gas, the whaling business was afterwards almost extinguished. The old vessels were sold for carrying coal, and an immense amount of property was sacrificed. Within the last few years, however, the business seems to be growing up again, even though vast quantities of coal oil are now made and sold. It is believed that the whale oil, especially sperin, is still superior to all other unguents for the lubrication of machinery ; hence, as vast quantities are required for railroads and other purposes, there is much to incite persons to engage in the whale fishing. Within the past few years the whale fisheries of Hull, (the New Bedford of Old England.) bave put steam into requisition for whaling, and several ocean ships are now engaged in the Greenland and Davis' Straits fisheries. Auxiliary steam engines were first put into some of the old wooden ships, and this was found advantageous; then some iron screw steamers were tried, but they were built so weak that they could not stand the rough encounter with icebergs. The Chase, a strong American built ship of 558 tons, was bought two years ago by a company in Hull, and fitted with steam engines of 80 horse power, and her first voyage last year, (1858) was very successful to her owners. The use of steam enables British whalers to make one voyage to Greenland and another to Davis' Straits in one season, and it thus has advantages, but we do not think it would be very economical for the long voyages of our whalers to the Pacific. The town of Hull which sent out 60 ships to the whale fishing in 1818, with crews of 40 men euch, does not send more than 20 ships to-day; hence, we may well say, Americans are the whale fishers of the world.
: SALES OF GOODS IN VIRGINIA. The Richmond Whig bas the following very interesting extracts from the report of Col. Bennett, Auditor of Public Accounts, prepared for the Legislature, showing the aggregate sales of goods in Virginia, and the license tax. The Auditor states :
I have compiled the following, showing the number of merchants under clas sification and their aggregate sales, as well as the percentage on each class for licenses, for the year 1858, and their separate sales :