No. 511.

Mr. Lothrop to Mr. Bayard .

No. 17.]

Sir: The United States is so largely interested in the production and manufacture of sugar that the condition of that industry in Russia will not be without interest.

[Page 673]

An imperial order has been lately published granting a bounty of 1 ruble, in addition to a repayment of the excise tax, on every pood (36⅔ pounds) of refined or moist sugar that shall be exported for a time. A tariff, almost prohibitory, has, it seems, so forced the production of beet sugar in Russia that the home market is overstocked, and to avoid the ruinous consequences the imperial treasury is obliged to come to the aid of the producers. It is true that the order contemplates that the aid shall be only temporary, and that the treasury shall be reimbursed by the producers out of future crops 5 but this does not impair the significance of the main fact.

It will also be noticed that a reduction of the sugar duties is contemplated, and this seems a plain recognition that the industry is not on a sound footing.

The following is a translation of the order as officially promulgated in the Journal de St. Petersburg, and the text thereof:

Upon the advice of the committee of ministers, approved by His Majesty the Emperor, and made conformably with the report of the minister of finance relative to the encouragement to be given to the exportation of Russian sugars, it has been ordered:

I.
For the purpose of encouraging the exportation of indiginous sugar, a special bounty of 1 ruble per pood (36⅔ pounds), besides the repayment of the excise tax, shall be paid on cassonade or refined sugar exported.
(a)
This bounty shall only be paid on sugar exported up to January 1, 1886; sugar exported to Persia and to the markets of Asia shall enjoy the benefit of the bounty up to July 1, 1886.
(b)
The sum total of the bounties paid shall be reimbursed by the manufacturers of sugar at the time of payment of the excise tax upon the sugar produced in 1885–’86, and in 1886–’87. The apportionment shall be made per pood of sugar produced by the factories of the Empire and of the Kingdom of Poland.
(c)
Only refined sugars and cassonade of first quality containing at least 99.5 per cent, shall obtain the bounty, and
(d)
The bounty shall cease to be paid when the quantity of sugar exported shall reach the figure of 2,000,000 poods.
II.
The minister of finance is authorized (a) to prescribe the detailed regulations for the order to be followed in view of the payment of this bounty and of its reimbursement to the treasury, and (b) to prepare a scheme for the reduction of the tax on imported sugar and to submit it for the consideration of the council of the Empire. (Bulletin des Lois No. 81.)

I have, &c.,

GEORGE V. N. LOTHROP.