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Memoirs of Robert Dollar
Vol. 1 - Chapter Thirteen. Conditions Improve in China


We arrived hack in Hong Kong on the 6th of February, 1909, visited Canton, and spent several days in looking over our business interests and in endeavoring to develop and increase them.

Hong Kong has improved greatly m the past few • ears. When we first visited it we could look from the veranda of the Hong Kong Hotel over the bay, but now it is built up solid for one block in front of it. The buildings are from four to five stories, and all of them are of cut stone which gives the city a solid appearance. The streets are well made and kept clean. The hill rises so steep and close to the water that there will never be street railways except on the two or three blocks fronting the harbor. The Peak Railway, which operates by cable, to the top, is perhaps the steepest road in operation.

From a commercial point of view this is the best port in the world. It is a free port in every sense, there being only a small hospital tax charged to each ship—about $30.00 Mex. for a seven thousand ton steamer. Pilotage is not compulsory; in fact pilots are not used or required except to show the captains where they are to berth, and while all vessels have to lay at anchor (there being only berth" at the Kowloon wharves for four steamers), the manner and facilities for handling cargo cannot be surpassed.

The steamer "Bessie Dollar" arrived Saturday afternoon, too late to do anything, aud as no work is allowed on Sunday she commenced to discharge six thousand tons of coal, Monday. The following Saturday she sailed with two thousand tons of cargo, having been in port just one week and handled over eight thousand tons of cargo. All this accounts for this port having risen to the second place in the world's commerce. No quarantine officers, no customs officers, no restrictions whatever; just come in and go to work getting out or receiving your cargo. Compare this with Newcastle, Australia, where they thought they had done wonders for us in loading six thousand tons of coal in twelve days, with its quarantine restrictions; customs troubles, compulsory pilotage, and compulsory tugboat assistance, all of which are no more necessary than they are in Hong Kong. In fact, I consider it less difficult to navigate a steamer into Svdney than into Hong Kong. So I came to the conclusion thai Australia is a good place to keep away from.

I visited the dockyard of the Taikoo Dockyard Co. (Butteriield & Swire), who will have the most complete repair shops and ducks in the Far East. Their large dock is complete, and in use it can take a ship eight hundred feet long. Then they have three marine railways alongside of it that can haul up vessels of three thousand tons gross. Their shops are under construct!! Ľn where they will make every thing required for a ship. They also propose to build river and coasting steamers. They have spent over twelve million dollars gold, and everything is most up-to-date and substantial as far as it is done. The dock is blasted out of solid rock, and it will take from four to five months before everything is in working order.

Canton is also growing, especially on the island where the foreigners live. Many substantial buildings have been erected in the past three years, and the "shameen" is kept clean and attractive. In the old city, improvements are noticeable. especially the water pipes and sewers, as a few years ago there were neither. The water was all drawn by buckets from wells that had been m use many thousands of years. All the filth had to be carried out of the city's gates, so that with every precaution (which was not taken) it has been proverbially known as the "City of Bad Smells"—in fact, it does not smell very sweet now.

The railway is making a great change in conditions. The railway across the river on the Fati side is completed and in operation for thirty-five miles, and is doing a great passenger business. This road it is hoped will connect with the French railroads in Cochin, so that, ultimately, rail communication will be established to Burmah. Its present terminus is at Fatshan, a large and populous city. All along the line the population is dense.

On the Canton side of the river and directly opposite is the terminus of the Canton- Hatikow Railroad, called the Kwong Tung Yueh Hau Railroad Co. They have in operation forty-five miles of road and run four trains a day each way, with eight large coaches to each train and crowded with passengers. This part of the road is paying well. They are busy putting in sidings, erecting buildings and extending the track. This road will connect with the Peking-Hankow road at the latter place, which will make it the through line to St. Petersburg, and therefore of great importance to China, as when completed it will extend right through the center of the Empire, which will open up and wake up the country as nothing else could do. Then there is the Canton-Kowloon road that is being built to connect Hong Kong with Canton. Several miles of road from the Kowloon end is about completed. All this railroad work shows that this part of China is on the move.

A few days before our arrival in Canton there had been a disastrous tire in what are called the "Flower Boats," which are used as places of ill repute. There are a great number of them made fast m rows about fifty feet apart, extending out into the water about two hundred feet. The boats are broadside on the shore and each row is made fast, side by side, the whole secured by chams and anchored at the outer side to keep them in position, A lamp exploded in one of them near the shore and the tire speedily spread, first along the shore then out, so that the inmates had the choice of being burned or drowned. It was reported that six hundred girls and two hundred men lost their lives, but the bodies recovered exceeded one thousand. Strange to say. the police prevented any one going to the rescue and the victims died like rats in a trap.

No place 'n the world has as many boats as Canton. The number of people living in them is estimated now at seven hundred and fifty thousand. In the evening there is a solid mass of them about two hundred feet wide and six or seven males long. Every small boat has one family at least living on it, and the large ones have several. Each family averages four children. The boats are their homes, and they make their living by carrying passengers and freight of all kinds. A great many of the boats are stern wheelers, the motive power being men on a tread mill. They run from twelve to forty men propelling each boat, and they seem to make seven or eight miles an hour. The river is so crowded with boats of all kinds and descriptions that it is with great difficulty' a stranger can navigate through them, but like people in a crowded city street the natives get or without many mixups.

TSINGTAU

I noticed some improvements since I was here three years ago, and it appears to have recovered from the boom it hail four or live years ago. It is still the neatest and best kept city in China, and has unexcelled facilities for handling its big trade- all that is required is to develop it in large volume. An iron mine has been opened up, and they claim to have a quality of ore that will produce good steel. They also have good coking coal near by. If they could get some one to furnish the money to start a furnace it would be the means of bringing more industries and would make a place of it. So far they are depending almost entirely on the products of the soil and not on manufacturing. Coal has been developed very slowly. The first mined was of a fair quality but too dirty, producing too much ash.

The Shantung C German J Railroad is doing a good passenger traffic, but with the exception of coal the freight is light. The present proposed terminus is at Tsinanfu. Seventy miles will be built to connect it with the Pukou, Tientsin Railroad, which is now being built from both ends, so that probably in two years this road will be open from Shanghai to Tientsin, with this connection to Tientsin. The distances as near as I could get them are as follows:

Shanghai to Nanking, 150 miles (approximate) ; Nanking to Junction, 300 miles; Junction to Tientsin, 300 miles— Shanghai to Tientsin, 750 miles. Junction to Tsinanfu, 70 miles; Tsinanfu, to Tsingtau, 230 miles—from main line to Tsingtau, 300 miles.

I call it by the name "Junction," as the connecting point is not named or definitely located yet. This one railway system will open up a great and populous country Christianity and the introduction of railways into the interior is what will open up China.

I noticed quite a number more regular steamers than there were three years ago, and they seem to carry a lot of freight and passengers. The steamer "Admiral von Tiipof" of the Hamburg-American Line had a full cargo of freight— all she could carry—and a full list of passengers. Many left the ship at Tsingtau, but au equal number got on.

While we were at Tfingtau the equinoctial gales started, and it was with great difficulty they got our steamer away from the wharf with the assistance of a tug. When we got to the outside harbor it was blowing with hurricane force, so we anchored for the night, proceeding the next morning. Although it was still blowing, it had moderated some. When we rounded the Shantung promontory the engines raced badly in the head sea.

When we arrived at Chefoo we found eighteen steamers lying there. There were two large steamers, all the rest being of the ordinary coastwise size—one thousand to fifteen hundred tons net. No work had been done for three days, as all the lighters had gone to shelter. It was smooth enough to work, but the lighters were all aground, the severity and long continuance of the storm having so lowered the water in the Gulf that they could not get any of them afloat, so we went on to Taku with one hundred tons of Chefoo cargo on board.

I learned that the navigation on the Malu to Antung opened March 22. The waters of the China Sea and the Gulf of Pechili were quite yellow from mud having been stirred from the bottom during the big storm.

At Taku the water was low on account of the long continued northerly gale. We crossed the bar and came to Tongku in a launch, which took us two and a quarter hours. We got the train immediately, and reached Tientsin at noon the 26th of March. At the mouth of the Peiho I saw considerable loose drift ice on the shores.

TIENTSIN

A Chinese lady called at the Dollar Company's yard, desiring to purchase lumber. She was Mrs. Dr. Kin, a graduate of a New York medical college and well and favorably known in China. She invited me to visit her place, which had been founded by the Emperor as an orphanage m 1834. A stone tablet in the yard testifies to this. The orphans, three hundred and fifty :n number, were removed to another place a short distance away and the buddings were being turned into a hospital and medical college for women only, to be conducted entirely by Chinese. This is the first to be established in China, and is another instance of the great change that is taking place.

At present Dr. Kin has a class of thirty-five young ladies fitting themselves to be doctors. They had been specially selected, and looked to be a very intelligent class of girls, as they came from some of the best families in China. There were several patients in the hospital, and the dispensary was crowded with women and girls getting medicine for outdoor patients. In showing us what lumber was required, she showed us one room with a very good concrete floor, for which she wanted a pine floor, remarking: "This is one of the effects of civilization, it has been good enough for one hundred and seventy-five years but it is not good enough now."

My visit impressed me by the fact that the Chinese are reaching out to help themselves. Dr. Kin receives $750.00 gold from the Government every month. She said it comes from the funds of the Government salt monopoly. When leaving, she said this was a woman's enterprise and I was the only man that had had the privilege of being shown through the building.

PEKING

I got here late Saturday night and went to the Presbyterian Mission compound Sunday. Being a stranger to them all I felt somewhat out of place. However, they made me feel very much at home, and at n o'clock we went to the new Chinese Church on the grounds. The service was altogether in Chinese, but I was interested m all 1 saw. The church was comfortably tilled. There were about three hundred men and boys and one hundred women, all sitting on the left side of the church. The hymns were all sung to our old familiar tunes. The congregational singing was excellent, much better than m an ordinary American church They elected an elder, and baptized and received into the church four men, three boys and three women, and baptized one infant. Then they had Communion Service. The women all walked out first and then the men. Like the dismissal of a school. After service the missionary in charge invited me to lunch, where I met several missionaries.

This mission suffered terribly from the Boxers. The buildings and contents were totally destroyed, not a brick remaining on another, and the converts were nearly all killed, so they are just getting back to where they were. Their buildings are a good deal better than the old ones. I was sorry to see a men's building standing vacant for the want of a doctor. One in here is learning the language, and will open it next year. It's a great expense to teach men the language, as it takes two years at least before one can learn sufficient to do much.

I visited the Theological Seminary, which has fine build-:ngs now, and is just getting started. I then went to the Union Church for Europeans, where they also had a full house. After the meeting I met several men of world-wide reputation: Dr Smith, who has written several books on China; Dr. Martin, who has been over fifty years in China; Dr. Sheffield, w-ho served through our Civil War and then came here, and many others.

On Monday I called on Ambassador Rockhill. and had a very interesting talk with him on matters Chinese. One matter of interest in this city that differs from all others is the different methods of locomotion. Here we see camels by the hundred carrying all kinds of merchandise and people; then the horse and pony, either carrying burdens on their backs, or drawing the peculiar carts with wheels strong enough to carry several tons.

The carts are short bodied and covered over with blue cloth, and are high enough for one to sit upright on a that. There are no springs of any kind. In hauling loads they are sometimes drawn tandem by three or four horses, asses or mules, then others have three or four abreast.

Asses are much used for sitting. It seems odd to see a great big man on a donkey the size of an overgrown Newfoundland dog. Then there are horses and coupes, victorias, and the toniest rigs of modern Europe. I also saw a few automobiles in use. Rickshaws are plentiful everywhere; sedan chairs and wheelbarrow? are for the common people. Sometimes one man wheels along six people, and sometimes trundles along with a big load. Wheelbarrows are the vehicles of commerce in the country where there are only paths. The ever present "John," with the bamboo pole and two baskets or other merchandise, is always to be seen.

Peking is unlike other Chinese cities, in that it has very wide streets—several ninety feet and generally straight. The ordinary city has narrow, crooked streets, many very large cities not having streets wide enough for even rickshaws.

On the way to Hankow, on leaving Peking, the fields were just commencing to get green. As we approached Hankow, the grass and grain were a foot high. As the railroad runs nearly south, the climate changes considerably. The country looks beautiful, a perfect garden all the way, with level and rich agricultural land in the highest state of cultivation, nearly all worked by hand. I saw a man and a donkey hitched together pulling a harrow, and it is a very common sight to see one or two men drawing water 111 buckets from the wells for irrigating purposes. One fast train a week makes the eight hundred miles from Peking to Hankow -n thirty hours, running sleepers and dining cars Belgian style, not nearly tip to our ideas; ordinary trains run every day.

HANKOW

This city- has grown more in the three years since I visited it last, than any city I have visited. At that time the Japanese had just gotten their concession, but now it is well built up; a stone wall the whole length protects it from the river's encroachment. Several streets have been built up with houses. The Consulate and Yokohama Specie Bank are quite imposing buddings. The German and French concessions are built up nearly solid, as are also the British and Russian concessions. There is practically no vacant ground. The native city has outgrown itself inside the walls, and there are as many people living outside of it, as the buildings extend up the Han River about three miles and well back.

I met a party of the principal Chinese merchants at the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, which is outside of the walled city. The President, Vice-President and several bankers were present. They seemed pleased with the opportunity of discussing matters of general interest to both countries. They are co-operating with the Shanghai Chamber in getting a party of merchants from the Pacific Coast to visit them.

The Chamber of Commerce building is peculiar; in fact, it is three very large buildings, and is used entirely :n the interests of trade and commerce. It has a frontage of over two hundred feet by about forty feet. There 'S a space of about thirty feet made into a flower garden: then another building two hundred feet by forty feet; then another space, and a rear building, the same size as the other two, all connected in the center by a wide covered walk crossing each building. The buildings are divided into a great many rooms, large and small, for committee and general meetings of the different Guilds. All the buildings are of two stories.


Grain en route to market on wheelbarrows—the wind being utilized for power

The native city fronts on the Yangtsze and the River Han. mostly the latter, while the foreign settlements are all fronting on the Yangtsze, from the native- city down in the following order: British, which is built solid tip to the old city wall: Russian, French, German and Japanese, farthest down the river. Hanyang is across the Han River, opposite the old city of Hankow.

The River Han is fully a quarter of a mile wide, but used so much by junks and boats that blockades occur. Coming down it the other day we got into a jam and it took our steam launch an hour before it could force a way through. The whole river as far as I could see—one and one-half miles—was a solid mass of junks, sampans and boats of every description; also large lighters and steam launches carrying freight of all kinds for export and import. The large junks carry Chinese freight to all the coast ports of the Empire both north and south of Shanghai. As it is over six hundred miles to the ocean, with at times a six-mile current to stem, you can understand how slow and tedious the trip must be.

Then, many of the craft trade up the river, a distance of over eight hundred miles from Hankow. They have to be towed through the rapi Is, which takes several hundred men to pull some of them up. When passing along the streets I saw many hundreds of men carrying a large shipment of sessimum seed. The sacks weigh about one hundred and fifty pounds each. On one lot was stenciled a firm's name in Rotterdam. The police keep the loaded men going down on one side, and the others return on the opposite side, while vehicles keep in the middle of the road. The men were as close together as they could walk, the distance being about four blocks. You can imagine the number employed. Each man shoulders his bag at the warehouse and receives a bamboo check on passing on board the steamer. Returning, he delivers his bamboo check, for which he receives one cash, the value of which, at this time, was one thirteen hundredth part of a dollar. T saw another string going to another steamer marked Trieste; so the seed is going well over Europe. This is a commodity of recent production in China, but it has grown to large proportions in a very few years.

The river at this point rises fifty feet every year. The water is now four feet above low water, therefore forty-six feet from high water. A vessel drawing eighteen feet could come up the river, hut with no greater draft; yet the river steamer "Tuck Wo," I came down on, was drawing twelve and one half feet and had a full cargo of two thousand tons. There are tFrty-three regular passenger steamers now running between Shanghai and Hankow owned by Chinese. British, Germans, French and Japanese. The river steamer business was started under the American flag and for many years no other flag was seen 011 the river, but as on the ocean our great country is completely out of it.

TAH YEH

This word means great smelter, and is the great iron ore mine of China. It is sixty miles down the River Yangtsze from Hankow, to the landing called Hwangshikiang. From this place a railroad fourteen miles long connects it with the mine. The road is owned by the Han Yang Iron Works, and is used for hauling the ore and passengers. The road is level, has few curves and a very fair roadbed. There are two places, two miles apart, from which they are taking out ore. One is only being opened, while the other has been a mine for so many centuries that there is no record of when it was first worked, but the name has come down through the ages. I saw them making a roadway, cutting their way through a bill of slag. From the size of some of the pieces rt looked as if the furnaces had been about the size of an ordinary barrel. No doubt iron was made here two thousand years before the Christian era, as the grand canal was dug 1000 B. C. and the tools with which the work was done were very likely made at this place. So much for ancient history.

Now, we find at both mines a solid mountain of ore rising from the valley about six hundred feet. The mountains are of reddish brown color; solid ore running from 60% to 6yfc of pure iron. They work it from a perpendicular face. At one place they were blasting on a cliff two hundred feet high. When the blasts went off the dislodged ore went down to the railroad track, where it was loaded into the cars. They are using a few compressed an" drills. But as ordinary labor costs them five cents gold a day, labor saving devices are not necessary. The mining is all done by contract, the rate paid being 270 cash a ton of 2240 pounds, being at the present rate of exchange, 10 cents U. S. gold f. o. b. cars. The}' have made no investigation as to the depth of the ore under the surface, as there is plenty in sight on the surface to last a hundred years,

A more ideal mine could not well be imagined, and it looks as if it is the best in the world, just twelve miles from where for eight months a year vessels drawing twenty-six feet of water can load for any port in the world The quality of the ore, the low cost of mining, and the facilities for shipping, all combine to make it one of the best iron ore propositions in the world. The Japanese Government has been buying ore here for some time for their steel works at Wakamatsu. near Moji. Last year they shipped 135.000 tons, and had a large quantity on the bank of the river ready for shipment. The rest of the output goes to Hanyang. At the mine the valley is quite narrow, a few hundred yards wide, and opposite the iron mine is a ridge of limestone so pure that some of it is marble. The rock ore ;s pure white and in great contrast to the dark colored iron, so side by side are the two great ingredients for the manufacture of iron. Then, half way to the landing, is a ridge, of dolomite, which they use in the manufacture of steel.

No lading on steamers or barges is done by coolies with baskets, as m Japanese coaling ports. They can load from one thousand to fifteen hundred tons a day. At the present price of labor it is the cheapest and most expeditious way of handling it, especially on account of the fifty-foot rise and fall of the river, It would be difficult to make permanent bunkers to suit all stages of the river, but coolies with baskets meet all conditions. Iron and coal are the valuable assets of China that will be heard from in the near future.

Everything for the manufacture of iron is in this vicinity, even coal, though that is undeveloped. The Pinshang coal rr.ines are so good, they claim to have coal in sight to last fifty or sixty years without further prospecting. This coal costs about $1.50 gold a ton delivered at Hanyang. There is a sixty-mile railroad from the mine to the water, and from there the coal is taken aboard barges and junks for transport down the Yangtsze.

SHANGHAI

We returned to Shanghai, remaining there ten days. While there I gave a banquet to the members of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, and at that meeting they decided to send an invitation to the Chambers of Commerce of the Pacific Coast, to pay them a visit at some later time. As nothing of this kind had ever been attempted it took the Chinese a long while to fully grasp the significance of it. However, I succeeded in convincing them of the benefit it would be to the two nations.

The following extract from the Shanghai ''Tunes" describes quite fully the dinner which I gave on the 26th of April, 1909, to Chinese friends:

An Interesting Dinner

On Friday evening last, Mr. Robert Dollar gave an interesting dinner at the Palace Hotel, to representatives of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce. The President, Mr Chow, and the Vice-President, Mr. Lee. together with the President and Vice-President of the preceding year, and several other leading Chinese commercial men were present. Mr. Charles Denby, U. S. Consul-General, who had expected to be present, was unavoidably detained. At the close of the dinner, Mr. Dollar proposed the health of the President of the Chamber of Commerce and his associates in the following speech, which was translated into Chinese by Dr. J. C. Ferguson.

"I am pleased to have so many of you to honor me with your presence tonight. His Excellency Sheng Kung Pao could not come on account of coughing so much, and Mr. Denby was giving a dinner at his house tonight. As I am about to return to America, it would not be out of place to talk of matters in which both countries are interested.


HAN YANG IRON AND STEEL WORKS The Only Blast Furnace Plant on the Continent of Asia

"The manner of admitting merchants and those entitled to land in the United States has been changed, so there is no delay or trouble now. The law is the same as it always has been, but the administration of it is changed, for which we have to thank our ex-President, Mr. Roosevelt, so none of you need be afraid to visit us. Along with Mr. Denby, I have tried to get a party of our merchants to visit you during May, but the notice was too short and arrangements could not be carried out in time. I would request you to allow the invitation to stand, and I will do my best to get a representative body of our merchants to visit you either in September or October, or during April and Ma)- next. I want them to visit you when the weather is most favorable. Japan derived much benefit from our visit to them last October, and now a large number of Japanese merchants are preparing to leave Japan on a return visit to America. I am extremely anxious that China should benefit as much as Japan has done.

"The great aim of the Chambers of Commerce in both countries is to promote and increase commercial relations, and in no better way can this be accomplished than by meeting each other and getting better acquainted. In a few years the center of the world's commerce will be transferred from the Atlantic to the pacific. This will be hastened by the completion of the Panama Canal, which we hope will be opened for traffic in four years. So the two great nations that are on each side of that ocean should now be preparing to take their share of the trade which naturally belongs to thein, and to accomplish this, one of the first steps for China to take should be to put her finances on a solid basis. Without this you cannot hope for great success in the world's commerce. I know it is a difficult problem, but all the other nations have had to grapple with it, and China can and will succeed when she goes resolutely about it.

"In conclusion, I ask for our two countries closer and more friendly relations, thereby increasing our commerce, and to accomplish this I can assure you I will do my utmost."

Tautai Chow, through his interpreter, Mr. Chu, made the following response:

"Mr. Dollar, and Gentlemen: On behalf of the Presi dent, Vice-President and other members of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, I have to thank you most sincerely for the great honor you have conferred upon us to be your guests this evening, which we take not so much as a compliment to ourselves but to the Chinese commercial community which we have the honor of representing. Mr. Dollar, you have been amongst us only a short time, but you have already become known to many of us, and we have been most favorably impressed by your courtesy, public spirit and evident desire, both of doing well to your own country and to advance the interests of the country to which your steamships are running, and we have good cause to believe that your sojourn amongst us has strengthened the great feelings of friendship between the merchants of the two nations. China's connections with America are not of recent growth, as for many years there has been an interchange of products. China is not yet a great manufacturing country, but we export to America large quantities of our raw materials which you need for manufacture, either directly or indirectly You, in turn, send us the finest articles you manufacture.

"As China develops, tastes and needs are more and more in consonance with those of the western nations, and we naturally hope that the great country in the western hemi sphere will supply us with still more and more of those products. So there is no country with which greater trade could be developed than with America. More especially the passage between the two nations w ill be rendered much more expeditious by the cutting through of the Panama Canal, which undertaking has already been begun, and we welcome the undertaking and its success as a sign of the possibilities of the future.

"In conclusion, again, Mr. Dollar, we express our sense of appreciation for your kindness to us this evening; in the meantime, we take the opportunity of wishing you a happy voyage home and the rapid increase of the commercial intercourse between the great commonwealth you represent and the great country of which we are proud to be citizens."

Taotai Shen Tun he followed with an able speech in which he said that it would be the aim of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce to send a delegation to America to visit the chief commercial centers and thus strengthen trade.

We left Shanghai on our way home, stopping off in Japan, where I paid a visit to the Island of Hokkaido. I was looking out for return cargoes for our steamers, and found that the only way this could be done with any certainty of success would be for us to go into the forest and buy the oak timber and lumber and have it shipped by rail to Muroran, establishing there a depot so that whenever one of our ships was short of a cargo she could call in there and fill up. This arrangement has worked out very satisfactorily, and a good business was established on the American side for the manufacture of furniture, interior finish of houses, shipbuilding, and for many other purposes which made it of great value to this country.

KOBE

We left Kobe at 6 o'clock p. m. for Tokio. getting a compartment with a Japanese, his wife and baby. The sleeping compartments are very- small and cramped. Arrived at Tokio at q o'clock a. m. where we endeavored to get a sleeping car to Amori, but everything was taken. I had a letter of introduction to the station master, who had an official to receive me, he having had telegraphic advice to lf>ok after me. I said that as we had to go, we would take a first-class compartment and sleep as best we could, but on investigation found the cars would be crowded and that there would be no opportunity to lie down. The station master recommended our leaving earlier by way of the northwest coast, and although there was no sleeper- nor dining car. he could reserve a seat for us. I accepted his suggestion, as we would arrive in Amon in time to get to Hakodate on the same boat as by the other line. When we boarded the train we found he had sent two pairs of new blankets and otherwise provided for our comfort, and Mitsui & Co. had sent us a basket of eatables, so we got along very well

The ferry arrived at Hakixlate at 3 o'clock a. in., and Mr King came on board and took us to his home. At 10:30 o'clock we took the train for Otaru, arriving there at n o'clock p. m., a long, tiresome rifle. The cars were crowded all the way, and about every man and woman was smoking. We Smelted like red herring and felt about the same, when we laid down on the floor at midnight in a Japanese hotel. Friday it was raining very hard and Mowing a gale and very cold. I spent all forenoon tramping round in the mud and rain attending to business.

Otaru has trebled its size since we were here last. The breakwater is completed on one side and they are commencing on the other side. When it is completed they will have a good harbor, and it will be a port of considerable importance.

We left Otaru in the afternoon by train for Sappopa. We stayed in a Japanese hotel, and as they had forwarded a table and two chairs, we were able to eat our supper in American style, but for want of a bed bad to get down on the floor to sleep. Arose at 4:30 o'clock a. m. to get the train leaving at 5 o'clock for Mororan. Had breakfast and lunch out of our basket. We had no opportunity of seeing what progress or improvements had been made, but I noticed the very fine railroad depot which replaced the old one that bad burned down. Snow was still visible in many places, and it was just early spring time. The fruit trees were ;n bloom, and farmers were beginning to cultivate their fields.

In Hokkaido there is a great deal of the very best farming land to be had anywhere, and it produces great crops and is already exporting grain and fruit to Nippon and elsewhere. We left the train at Tumakomi station, where the Government is erecting a large paper mill to manufacture paper from woo<l pulp. We went by a tramway lumber car hauled by a horse, eighteen miles to Mukawa, situated at the mouth of the Mu River, which is quite a large stream. Large quantities of timber and ties had been floated here two and three years ago, to he loaded on steamers in this open roadstead, but this was found impracticable, hence the building of a light railroad to haul them to the main line, thence to Mororan.

To illustrate the strange methods used when the Government owns the railroads—this branch is a private road built by Mitsui In a shed they have three nice new Porter locomotives, but the Government refuses to give them permission to use them, yet raises no objection to their using horses. So they have from forty to fifty horses hauling the cars, with one man to each horse. Another subject came to my notice The Government owns the telephones and puts them in when they get good and ready, telling the public to put in their applications and each one will be treated with, when they come to it in regular rotation. As they were about a year behind, you can imagine the inconvenience to a large firm changing locations. This has developed a new calling. Men, who call themselves telephone brokers, flood the Government with applications for telephones for fictitious persons. These brokers make it their business to find out who wants phones, and then sell them the turn of one of their fictitious applicants for sums varying from one hundred to three hundred dollars, according to the urgency of the case. Now, the Government advertises that any one wanting to get a phone must accompany the application with $185.00 in advance, and if the applicant already has a phone in use the modest sum of $150.00 will be charged for each additional phone. So, when government ownership of public utilities is proposed, you need not hesitate to say very emphatically, "No!"

I finished my business at Muroran, and, as it only rained in showers, had an opportunity of seeing what improvements had taken place since I was here three years ago The large steel works built by the steel company and the three blast furnaces erected by the Tanko company, all of which are about ready to go into operation, have caused a village to spring up larger than the old one. The old town has increased to more than double its former size. The harbor is being dredged and great improvements are visible in all directions. If this iron and steel plant succeeds this will be both a large city and an important seaport. They expect to get the iron out of the sand from the <H*ean beach, which many claim will not be a success. Then, as Japan has no iron ore in large enough quantities, it: will have to be brought from Tab Yeh, on the Yangtsze, in China. As the Chinese are waking up, they may extend their boycott or export duty to prohibit its export. It w ill be interesting to watch the progress of this great plant, said to have cost twenty million dollars (gold), [At this writing, 1917, my prediction came to pass and so far the enterprise has been a complete failure.]

From Hokkaido we returned to Tokio, where I was the. guest of the Chamber of Commerce.

We sailed for San Francisco on the 15th of May, 1909, and were glad to be home once more after a trip of nine strenuous months.

The Japanese were not long in making us a return visit, as they arrived in Seattle September 1, 1909. Their visit to this country- was taken in hand by the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, headed by Mr. Lewman. who was then the President of the Associated Chambers of Commerce. The visitors were taken to the principal cities of the United States, and the whole trip was carried out very much to the credit of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, whose men gave their time, energy and money to make it a success. Their party was headed by Baron Shibusawa.

For the past two years I had been a Director and Vice-President of the Chamber of Commerce, and President of the Merchants Exchange, m San Francisco.

In San Francisco we received and entertained them as well as we could, but what we did for them appeared to be insignificant in comparison to what they had done for us. It would be practically impossible, in this country, to give them such entertainment as they gave us.

On November 30th a reception was held on the steamer, when they were about to sail for Japan. Baron Shibusawa delivered an address of which the following is a synopsis:

"In the course of this memorable trip we have visited fifty odd cities, great and small, everywhere inspecting industrial plants and financial establishments, educational institutions and charity organizations. We have met and talked with thousands of people, including the President, and many other men prominent in every walk of life.

"We have thus had an unique opportunity of getting an insight into not only America's industrial, commercial and educational progress, but also of the great personal factors shaping the destiny of this republic. We know America better than when we came, and I trust many an American knows the Japanese better because of this visit."


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