Notwisthstanding all that has been done to facilitate the means of internal communication, large portions of the empire still find themselves isolated from the rest, to a degree highly injurous to internal traffic. Much has been achieved for Hungary by the introduction of steam-boats on the Daunbe; and Galicia will be brought nearer to the capital by the rail-road now constructing from Vienna to Bochnia. The subjoined statement of prices will, however, show the different value of marketable produce in the three grand divisions of the empire; and at the same time illistrate the advantage of employing capital to facilitate the transport of produce, in preference to the forced establishment of manufactures. The prices at Prague and at a Gratz are usually the same with those of Vienna.
At the market of Olmutz, 90,007 oxen were sold in 1837, of which number 74,184 came from Galicia, including the importations from Bessarabia: 4,515 heads were driven by. to Vienna, without stopping. The dearest pair was sold for 200 florins (£20). In 1836, the dearest pair brought 220 fl,; ub 1835, 240 fl. A fat ox weighs usually about 6 cwt., with the offal (verte). Prices taken from the market reports in the Vienna Gazette.
The number of cattle imported into the other provinces from Hungary, in 1837, was,
Horned Cattle ..... 70,830
Sheep .................. 93,450
Pigs ................... 197,831
It will be seen, on a comparison of the prices in this table, that the fluctuations of the respective markets are, as far as corn is concerned, nearly independent of each other. The high price of meat induces a considerable importation of cattle, which pay a duty of 4 fl. per heard.
The price of manufacturing labour is, in the large towns, from 20 to 24 kr. per diem (8d to 10d) for men. A master mason, or carpenter, receives 2 fl. per diem, at Vienna, for job-work. Agricultural labour is much lower in price, and varies in the different provinces, to which we refer for details. Balbi has published a statement of the patents taken out since 1811, which shows,
From 1811 to 1820 ...... 22 patents were granted
1821 to 1832 . 1,893 ditto
1833 to 1837 .... 825 ditto
The last figure gives an average of 165 patents annually, during the last five years.
The following official statements, regarding trade of the empire, are taken from Becker's Handels-Lexicon, and are the latest published:
We subjoin a statement, drawn from the reports of the principal harbours in the Mediterranean, of a later date.
Custom Duties Edit
The principal duties on importation fixed by the tariff (which the Milan treaty has not affected) are,
It will not excite surprise to find, that with these duties, which farther impost the necessity of giving permits with many of the articles specified on their being transported from place to place, the regular importation is but trifling, while the quantity smuggled is said to be enormous. If we add the extent of that of Austria with custom-house guards, the chances of bribery, etc., there is reason to believe that the gain of the state cannot be much in this department, whereas the loss to the country must be evident, the inhabitants being compelled to buy dear and inferior articles, without being able to export their produce on favourable terms.
Trade with England Edit
How much the trade of the empire may be increased by a treaty of commerce with England, in which concessions are made on both sides, must be evident from our remarks on the extent and produce of the Austrian forests, on the corn that may be grown, and on the state of the wine and silk production. The town of Stry, near the Duiester, in Galicia, is as near Carlstadt, in Croatia, as it is to Dantzic; and from the plain which the Duiester waters, the finest wheat is drawn, which supplies the Dantzic market. How easy, therefore, would it not be for Austria to draw a large share of this carrying trade through its own territory instead of sending it to the Baltic! And to do so nothing is requisite but perseverance on the part of the government in the improvement of the means of communication, and some relaxation in the strict measures in force respecting Hungary. To this the whole produce of Moldavia, Wallachia, Servia, Bosnia, and Bulgaria may be added; which, by the aid of towing-steamers, might be brought up to the Save to Sissek, and by the Kulpa to Carlstadt, withing 70 miles of the Adriatic; so that, even as matters now stand, England, on an emergency, is in a great measure independent of Russia and the Baltic ports as long as she is on friendly terms with Austria. On the other hand, by importing silk direct from the Mediterranean, England has it in her power to do without supplies from France; while Austria, as is evident from the list of exportation, could almost starve the Lyons market. It appears from these, that the importation of raw and spun silk into France averages 50,000,000 fr.; consequently more than ?d of the exportation of manufactured silks, which average 144 millions of fr. (Calculation of M. Arle Dufour, in Lyons.)
Now, the export of silk from the Milanese direct to France, in 1837, amounted to 1,227,000 libre Piccole, which may be estimated at 30,000,000 fr., or 4 2/3th parts of the whole exportation; and of the 1,383,000 lib., exported to Switzerland and Germany, no doubt a considerable portion found its way also into that country. The exports to England, in 1837, were,
Currency in Circulation Edit
The usual coins in circulation are the ducat of Holland = 4 fl. 30 kr.; the sovereign = 13½.; the florin of 20 = 1 fine mark, divided into 60 kr.; £1 sterling, at par = 9 f;. 31 kr. Bank notes, of 5 fl. and upward, circulate, as well as the notes belonging to the depreciated currency, of which 5 fl/ = 1 fl. in silver, and 1 fl. = 24 kr. This is denominated Vienna value; the silver value is called that of the Convention. Pieces of 20 kr., silver, 3 of which form a florin, with smaller pieces of 10, 5, and 3 kr., form the silver coinage.
The 20 kr. piece is termed, in Italy, lire Austriaco. The lire di Milano was introduced by the French = 1 franc = 22.8 kr. The suado = 2 fl. 20 kr., in silver.
The nature and and amount of the circulating medium in the empire may be approximately estimated from the following statements. The official publication of the Bank, accounts showed that, on Dec. 31, 1827,
The advances on security amounted to . 5,666,997 fl.
Ditto on discounted bills ....................... 41,251,27
Paper money still in circulation, part of the depreciated currency of 1811, 16,064,488 fl., or in silver value, 6,025,795 fl. Farther, if the sum stated in the view of the national debt due from government to the bank be correct, it amounts to 140 millions of florins; which would make it probable that little short of 200 millions of florins circulate in paper currency—about 20 millions of pounds sterling. M. Becker, in his latest work upon the Austrian Mint, states the sums coined during the reign of the late Emperor Francis have been,
The usual substitutes for money, such as bills of exchange, checks, and drafts, are of remarkably limited extent; and Hungary may be said not to know what commercial credit is, owing to the small protection afforded creditors by the existing laws. These, however, it is thought, will be ameliorated at the approaching meeting of the Diet; a circumstance which must tend to enhance the value of all kinds of property in that kingdom. On the other hand, arrangements, of which we are quite ignorant, render a smaller amount of circulating money sufficient—for instance, the payment of a great proportion of rents, in kind or in labour: some of the public contributions are also delivered in kind; and the public functionaries constantly receive a portion of their salaries in corn and fuel. We believe that, on one occasion, a sum due to Great Britain by Austria was paid in Dalmatian oak timber, to the mutual satisfaction of both parties.