« PreviousContinue »
operation if not for the construction of the canal. If you know anything about the currents of trade, or the routes of commercial vessels, and the markets which would likely be reached by those vessels, it would be of interest. There is a wide field open to you. I suppose the members of this committee will ask you as many questions as you want before you are through.
Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. I presume, Mr. Chairman, that the first question that would arise would be the rate of tolls. So far as competition is concerned, of course, there is opportunity for possible competition with the Suez Canal. To compete with the Suez Canal it will be necessary of course at the outset to meet the rate of tolls that obtain there. The rate of tolls through the Suez Canal since January, 1912, is 6 francs and 75 centimes, which is equivalent roughly to $1.31, per net registered ton. The system of measurement that obtains on the Suez Canal is somewhat different from that which obtains generally throughout the world. The tonnage on the ship taxable under the Suez regulations is somewhat larger. It averages about 18 per cent larger than the basis of taxation generally throughout the world.
Mr. KNOWLAND. Net tonnage?
Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. Net tonnage. The interpretation that this committee would put on the term "net tonnage" might not be exact. Suez taxes about 18 per cent more of the ship than is usual. quently when I say that the rate fixed at the beginning of the year is approximately $1.31, that ought to be qualified, if you are talking about rates or charges throughout the world's ports generally. That is the tonnage on which the toll is levied is larger than the tonnage on which the charge would be levied elsewhere.
Mr. KNOWLAND. If rates were the controlling factor we could afford to have a higher rate per ton than they?
Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. The rate of $1.31 at Suez would be equivalent in most of the ports of the world to a rate of about $1.50—that is, if we are to interpret Suez tonnage in the net tonnage terms of the ports of the world it would be about $1.50. But it should be borne in mind that on this rate last year the Suez canal paid a dividend of 31 per cent, which of course as such matters go is a pretty high dividend.
Mr. DOREMUS. In that connection I would like to ask a question. Is it true that in addition to the dividend of 31 per cent they have also accumulated a large surplus?
Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. Yes, sir; it is. Thinking it might possibly be of service to your committee, I inserted in my report this year, at page 224 to 227, the fiscal statement of the Suez Canal for last year, and, with your approval, I will insert it here.
Suez Maritime Canal Co-Financial report of operations during the year 1910, and assets and liabilities of the company on Dec. 31, 1910, presented to the fifty-seventh annual meeting of the stockholders at Paris, June 12, 1911 (with extracts from the more important returns for 1910 and for recent years submitted with the financial report).
1. OPERATING ACCOUNT FOR 1910.
Annuity paid by Egyptian Government under agreement of Feb. 1, 1902, for cession of the trolley line from Port Said to Ismailia.
Deduct expenses of transmitting funds from Egypt and England to France..
Lands held jointly:
Lease of lands..
Sale of lands.....
Transit and navigation:
Wharfage and Berthing.
Lease of floating equipment and sundries.
Company's land: Lease of buildings......
One-half of this sum goes to the canal company.
Suez Maritime Canal Co.-Financial report of operations during the year 1910, and assets and liabilities of the company on Dec. 31, 1910, etc.-Contd.
1. OPERATING ACCOUNT FOR 1910-Continued.
Repairs of canal and accessories.
Total working expenses..
Carried to insurance and sinking funds:
Insurance and contingent fund..