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OBSERVATIONS ON THE COMMERCE OF
WALLACHIA AND MOLDAVIA.
The importance which Russia attaches to the commerce of the Euxine and that of the countries of Asia which are supplied from the ports of that sea -the means which she has resorted to for the purpose of embarrassing the commerce of
other nation which competes with her own,—and the persevering assiduity with which she pursues the schemes she has projected, for impeding, and, if possible, annihilating every trade, whether in manufactured commodities, or in raw produce, which appeared to her to interfere, or to threaten to interfere with her own, in any of the markets of Europe or Asia,--are curiously illustrated in a work, which we are happy to see is about to be made accessible to the English reader by 'a translation. The work we allude to is entitled —" Memoire sur le " Commerce des Port de la Nouvelle Russie, de la “ Moldavie et de la Valachie par Jules de Hage “ meister, 1835, à Odessa et à Simpheropole.”
It will not escape observation, that the means by which Russia has endeavoured to relieve herself from the disadvantage of competition, has been rather to throw embarrassments in the way of her rival, than to give additional facilities to those who resort to her markets; and that, in the true spirit of her policy, she enters upon commerce, not as a fair competitor, but as a jealous antagonist.
We cannot better introduce Mr. Hagemeister to our readers than in his own words.
“ Employed by the administration of New Russia, the author of this work was commanded by the Governor-general, Count Woronzow, to visit, in the course of the year 1834, all the northern ports of the Black Sea, and of the Sea of Azof, from the Danube to the Don. The local authorities were, at the same time, instructed to furnish him with all the information he might require of them. The report which, in consequence of this inspection, was presented to the Governor-general, is now, delivered, without any alteration, to the public; and consequently the opinions there advanced can be looked upon as those of the author only. In the whole work there is nothing official but the figures.”
“Since the beginning of the 19th century, the quantity of grain brought into consumption has had an enormous augmentation by the opening of the Black Sea. So long as the countries which encompass it were under the power of the Turks, it was only the dominions of the Sultan which drew from them their supplies; but, since they became subject to Russia, the passage of the Bosphorus has been opened to other nations, and the vast steppes of New Russia have been peopled as if by enchantment; the provinces, formerly Polish, have found ? egress for the excess of their products by the new opening which is now presented; and all other agricultural countries are convinced that they cannot enter into competition with these."
“ As industry, in the two principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia, limits itself to the culture of raw produce, all other merchandise must be imported thither from abroad. Austria has taken upon herself to supply this want; English merchandise is supplied in but small quantities,* and the fair of
Note by Author.-In 1834, an English ship, laden with manufactures, arrived at Galacz, to compete with the articles brought by the Austrian steam-boat. There is no doubt but that the English may much injure the vent for Austrian (Russian ?) merchandise.
Leipsig furnished them only some stuffs'; such as cloths, cottons, silks, and linens.”
“The articles for which Russia has till now preserved a monopoly in Moldavia and Wallachia, are, tarred cordage, sail-cloth, caviare, and hempseed oil, and she can rival Austria in leather, articles of iron, steel and copper, cordage, coarse linen, ordinary woollens, flannel, all sorts of pottery and porcelain, peltries and paper. In 1833 there were imported into Moldavia by the barrier of Scouliani, such articles to the value of 680,000 roubles. Russian iron, thongh dearer, would often be preferred to that of England, on account of its superior quality, if its form were better adapted to the purpose it is used for, and if it were brought forward in smaller bars. The candles and soap also of Russia could be sold there to advantage; but those in the principalities who deal in Russian articles, get them generally from Kichineff (in Bessarabia); and the Russian shops at Ibrail are even at present supplied from the stores at Bukarest. No one has direct intercourse with the manufacturers of Russia ; it is only the cordage, candles and soap made at Odessa, which are sent directly into the ports of the Danube.”
Although the three principal mouths of the Danube are in the power of Russia, it is only a small number of her products that is exported by the two ports of Bessarabia, Ismail and Reni. It is the towns of Galacz and Ibrail, the only bouchés” of Moldavia and Wallachia, which pour the superfluity of these rich provinces into the commerce of the Black Sea. The protecting sceptre of Russia has created these formidable rivals of herself.”
“ If the obstacles which have hitherto impeded the navigation of the Danube come to be entirely removed, this will much facilitate the vent of Austrian articles of merchandise in the provinces, and will open up for some of them a way to arrive at other countries."
* Ibrail, receiving the products of Wallachia, must have a greater exportation than Galacz, which acts only upon Moldavia, the extent of which is much less. But the import trade of this last town, which has always been greater than that of Ibrail, will become still more so, in consequence of the communication by steam-boats, which an Austrian company has just established between Vienna and Constantinople. The four steam-boats intended for this trade, will ply between Presburg and Pest,