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It is noted that the total net tonnage built in French yards for nine years before bounty act was....
Total net tonnage built in French yards for nine years subsequent to bounty act.
Increase subsequent to bounty
Bounties on construction for nine years.
$5, 171, 950
Total net tonnage built for France in foreign yards for nine years before bounty act..
Total net tonnage built for France in foreign yards for nine years subsequent to bounty act...
Increase subsequent to bounty
From 1881 to 1890, under the operations of the law, French construction and foreign construction for the French flag are thus stated by M. Siegfried:
The report of M. Siegfried says:
"So far as French shipbuilding is concerned, the results of the act of 1881 have not been favorable. It is true that we have constructed in France 307,626 tons of iron and steel steamers, but from these should be deducted 124,000 tons for steamships belonging to subsidized Government mail lines, the construction of which in France is obligatory. On the average we estimate that an ordinary steamship in England costs 300 francs per gross ton, while the same vessel costs 420 francs in France. Besides this difference English shipbuilders have numerous advantages in the magnitude of their plants, the large number of vessels they build, often from the same model, and the shorter time for construction they require than is required in France. These reasons show why the act of 1881 has given insufficient results, but I hasten to say that without this act our shipyards would have completely disappeared. Our average annual expenditure of 2,679,766 francs for the last ten years has not been wasted; it has only been insufficient. Until French shipyards shall have grown and secured large and regular contracts, it is impossible for them to build on equal terms with foreign yards. The latter and especially British yards obtain their raw materials on much more advantageous terms; indeed, at this moment, steel and iron plates (tôles) cost in England 15 francs per 100 kilograms, against 23 to 25 francs in France, while the price of their coal is much below
"Undoubtedly labor is much cheaper in France where fitters (ajusteurs) and riveters (forgerons) are paid from 5 to 6 francs a day, while in England they earn an average of 12 to 15 francs, but the British workman, usually paid by the piece, turns out a large amount of work, and thus by efficiency compensates in great measure for the difference in wages. Finally, general expenses, which are an important element in cost of naval construction, are much less in England. Shipyards and dry docks are there established under conditions of the greatest simplicity and economy. The British aim is business pure and simple, and interest and depreciation of plant are reduced to the minimum. The number of men employed is much less than with us, and chief constructors are notably rare, the same models and plans are used repeatedly, orders are numerous, and by having under way at the same time a number of ships or engines the general expenses are reduced by spreading them over a large amount of work. We estimate that general expenses are half in England what they are in France. Competition on equal terms is thus impossible. Experience shows that the construction bounty of 60 francs a ton under the law of 1881, even with the aid of a large navigation bounty for vessels built in France, has been insufficient."
The following table shows the workings of the French navigation bounty system of 1881 for the nine complete years of its trial. As French-built vessels received double the navigation bounties paid to foreign-built vessels under the French flag, the two are stated separately. Under these two heads the tables show the number of vessels which received navigation bounties each year, number of miles traversed on these subsidized voyages, and the amount of the bounties in francs:
In his report M. Siegfried takes a somewhat cheerful view of these facts, saying, "So far as navigation is concerned it can be affirmed that the results of the bounty act of 1881, without being very great, have been satisfactory." He notes that in 1881, outside of mail-contract steamers, France had 47 steamers of 72,985 gross tons, and in 1891 had 168 steamers of 380,433 gross tons. But, as already indicated, 332,627 tons of large iron and steel steamers were purchased abroad by France during these years. Illustrating the growth of the carrying trade under the French flag, he offers
the following statement of the total tonnage entries and clearances combined at French ports in certain branches of French navigation:
Over-sea navigation (long cours) alone has been paid full navigation bounties, and he notes an increase from 28 per cent in 1880 to 39 per cent in 1890 under the French flag; also, that outside its postal lines, France in 1881 had only 2 regular steamship lines crossing the ocean, the Chargeurs Réunis and Transports Maritimes, while it now has 5 lines to Brazil and La Plata, 3 to New York, 3 to Senegal, 2 to the west coast of Africa, and 1 each to Tonquin, Chile, Madagascar, New Orleans, the West Indies and Mexico, and the West Indies and Colon. Particulars concerning most of these lines are found in reports of the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique and Messageries Maritimes printed on other pages.
Following is the tonnage of France (vessels over 2 tons) for each of the years named, giving sail, steam, and total:
The following tables show the tonnage of all vessels which entered and cleared in France during the years named, classified as French and foreign, with the percentage of each to the total carrying trade. To avoid confusion it should be noted that the net tonnage of a given vessel is counted in the following totals every time the vessel enters and every time it clears from a French port, so that, while the tables are an approximate measure of trade, they are no measure of construction.
During the nine years from 1882 to 1890, inclusive, the French Government expended on bounties to shipping in round numbers $19,000,000 (navigation bounties $13.875,550, construction bounties $5,171,950), or an average of $2,100,000 annually. The total tonnage of France is less than it was before the act of 1881; the total construction in French yards for nine full years of the act has been only 15,000 tons larger than for nine years before the act was passed. The purchase of vessels abroad for the French flag has been over 30 per cent greater than before the act of 1881 was passed; the number of French-built vessels taking advantage of navigation bounties has fallen off, the number of miles traversed on bounty trips by French-built vessels has steadily decreased, and the general percentage of trade under the French flag at French ports is not materially different from the percentage thirteen years ago. The facts do not show on the face any substantial general gains to France from the adoption of the bounty system. It has doubtless been a direct benefit to some individual shipowners, while the inducements it held out have doubtless led others into unprofitable ventures on the sea. Outside the facts conjecture need not be limited, and there is as much reason doubtless to assert that without the bounty system French shipping would have rapidly decreased as to assert the contrary.
The policy of undertaking to develop Italian marine interests by payments from the government treasury to private persons and corporations was begun by the Italian Government on the 1st of January, 1886. The law for the purpose was passed December 6, 1885, to continue in force for a period of ten years.
The scheme of subsidies and bounties contemplated by this law was twofold. It undertook (1) to encourage shipbuilding in domestic yards; (2) to encourage the navigation of Italian-built vessels.
The method proposed by the act of December 6, 1885, for the encouragement of shipbuilding consisted in offering a refund or rebate of the duties on materials imported for shipbuilding, and for the repairs of vessels, engines, and boilers; and is thus, in effect, similar to a provision for free raw materials in shipbuilding, as provided in the laws of the United States. It may be noted, however, that the amounts applied to this purpose have been somewhat in excess of the actual duties refunded, so that there has been a direct contribution from the Italian treasury to shipbuilders.
On the 30th of June, 1889, Italian tariff taxation was increased, and a corresponding increase was made in the rebate of duties to shipbuilders. The act of 1885 awarded as a compensation for the construction in Italy of either steam or sail vessels in iron or steel 60 lire (lira equals 19.3 cents) per ton gross admeasurement (increased to 77 lire when the tariff was increased June 30, 1889); for wooden sail vessels a compensation of 15 lire per ton (increased to 174 lire in 1889); for small craft of iron or steel a compensation of 30 lire (increased to 374 lire); for marine steam engines a compensation of 10 lire per indicated horse power (increased to 124 lire); for marine boilers a compensation of 6 lire per quintal (increased to 91⁄2 lire)both provisions, of course, applying only to engines and boilers built in Italy. The same compensation was awarded for the repairs of boilers of national build as for the construction of new boilers. For auxiliary marine apparatus, such as pumps, etc., a premium of 11 lire was awarded. For vessels, engines, and boilers constructed in such manner as to be serviceable for naval purposes, an increase of 10 to 20 per cent was awarded.
To encourage the importation of coal in Italian vessels the act also provided a bounty of 1 lira per ton weight of coal transported in all Italian steam or sail vessels.
The navigation bounties were a grant of 0.65 lira (134 cents) per net ton measurement for every 1,000 miles traversed by Italian steam or sail vessels clearing from a port in the Mediterranean (including the Sea of Marmora, Black Sea, Sea of Azov, and the Danube), which passed through the Suez Canal or the Straits of Gibraltar for ports outside of Europe, as well as for the return voyage. An equal bounty was provided for all Italian vessels which navigate from one continent and the islands belonging to it to another continent and its islands outside of the Mediterranean, and in interpreting this provision North and South America were considered as distinct continents.
The act also provided that steam vessels which receive navigation bounties should not be sold to foreigners without the consent of the Government. It reserved the coasting trade to Italian vessels, but provided that until 1891 the coasting trade and trade of the Mediterranean, so far as under control of the Italian Government, should be open to foreign vessels, the governments of which granted Italian vessels free admission to their coasting trade.
The law, of course, contains numerous other provisions, and has been supplemented by many regulations of the department of marine, but the substance of the law is believed to be included in the foregoing statement.
The report of the director-general of the Italian merchant marine for the year ending December 31, 1892, published at Rome, November, 1893, gives statements in the fullest detail concerning all phases of Italian navigation.
From January 1, 1886, to December 31, 1892, the Italian Government paid out the sum of 28,067,109 lire under the provisions of the subsidy act of December 6, 1885, as compensation for construction, for rebate and refund of customs duties, on repairs of vessels. for engines and boilers, for navigation bounties, and for bounties on the transportation of coal.
The navigation bounties amounted to 19,111,546 lire, the bounties for transporting coal to Italy 925,984 lire, and the bounties for construction and repairs to 8,029,580 lire, of which 5.861,874 took the form of rebates of duties. The following table from the Italian report shows the amounts and purposes for which payments were made during the period of years mentioned:
The total construction of vessels in Italian shipyards for the seven years before January 1, 1886, when the law went into effect, and for the seven years reported after it went into effect, is indicated by the following comparison showing the total number of shipyards employed, each yard employed every one of the seven years counting here as seven, etc., the number and gross tonnage of vessels built and their value in lire. Iron and steel vessels are included in this statement, but a separate statement of this kind of construction is also furnished in the last two columns, no figures being given before 1882: