Press enter after choosing selection

Our Cotton For Asia

Our Cotton For Asia image
Parent Issue
Day
3
Month
November
Year
1899
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

[Special Correspondence.] San' Diego, Cal., Sept. G.- A. H. Butler, the president of the new steamship line between this 'city and the oriënt, is one of the best posted commercial men on the coast. He is largely interested in the cotton business and has been to China and Japan more than a dozen times. lie established a watcli and clock factory in a uearby town, and later a .lapanese eompany purchased the entire plant and ed the inaehinery and supplies to the land of the mikado. Speaking of mannfacturing in the far east, Mr. Butler .told of the success of the watch industry in Japan. "Wlien our American watch factory was inovd to Japan," said he, "we took 32 workmen. One was a superintendent, seveu were foremen and the remaining four were skilled workmen. In less than a year all of these men had returned to the United States. Their services were no longer needed, as the Japauese workmen had learned the trade so thoroughly that they were able to run the factory without any out.side assistanr'p. This single case shows the ability of this imitative race to learn in a short time what it has taken us years to acquire. "The product turned out by this factory is equal 'm uearly erery way to our ordinary grade of watches, and the .Taps have not as yet attempted to make any of the superior lines of watches for whïch our nation is famous. "As a shipper of cotton to China and Japan 1 am much interested in the progress of the textile industries ia those countries. It seems to me that these eastern markets offer the only relief in sight for our nnpoverished cotton growers. When cotton seüs as low as it has for the past few years, it is a great problem how the planters of the soutu can subsist. Now, if the awakened peoples of China and Japan can be induced to draw on us for their increasingly large demand Tor raw cotton, it seems to me that for a time at least our country cannot but be very icuaterially bonefited. "Both China and Japan are now manufacturing cotton clotli. In 18Ö4 Japan had about 500,000 spindles. Then the war broke out with China, and a great manufacturing impulse foHowed lts terminaüon. Since that year the nuniber of spindles has iuereased so that now they have 1,500,000. While there has been au overproduction of cotton milis the industry is on a stable basis. Some of these milis merely produce cottou yarn, which is exported to China, where it is woven by cheap labor into the lower grades of cloth. "China is somewhat behind her Japanese neighbor and appears to make slower progress. Yet China has between 450,000 and 500,000 spindlea. She, too, makes only the lower grades of cloth. In 1894 had 14 cottou factories, and has augmented that uumber to 20. The merchants of this country I have always found honorable and progressive. "There is a flerce war going on between the sugar magnates of the Pacific coast. On the one side are the Spreckels interests, with their immense estates on the Hawaüan Islauds. On the other side are the Brandensteins. They import their sugar from China. Their raw sugar is grown on the island of Java and in the Philippine group. This product is shipped to China, where in Hongkong there are two refineries. The refined sugar Is then exported to the United States, ana after coming that long distance is able to compete with the Hawaüan product. This is mentioned to show What cheap Asiatic labor can accoinplish. "Living as I do in this part of the country, I am much interested in the welfare, progress and future of the Paciüc coast states. We are bound to increase our manufacturing. "In regard to the competition of China and Japan against civilized countries, I do not entertain any fears for the present. They will for many years to come be a good market for our raw materials. The opening of the Nicaragua canal will be a good t.hing for the whole country. But for such cities as New Orleans and Houston the completion of this great enterprise will be a godsend. It will enable cotton bales to be shipped from gulf ports direct to China and Japan. The ships carrying these cargóos will have to stop at San Diego and San Francisco on their way across the sea. Thus we will all be the trainers."