- Project Runeberg -  Finland : its public and private economy /

(1902) [MARC] Author: Niels Christian Frederiksen
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abandonment of this plan, and had not received any further
communication. This fact, too, contributed to the belief
that a final arrangement had been made. Nevertheless,
in July 1900 the Senate received a new communication
from the Governor-General to the effect that the
Emperor had decided in the beginning of May to order
a reconsideration of the manner in which the Finnish
tariff could be identified with that of the empire, and
free trade between the countries perhaps be
established; and that for this purpose a new committee
would be nominated composed of Russian authorities
as well as of some Finnish delegates. It was the
desire of the Russian Minister of Finance that the
Finnish tariff should be brought up to the Russian
level before the end of 1903, when new treaties with
several Powers would be under discussion, and it would
presumably be useful to raise the duties to a high
amount, on which concessions might be given. We
see here another proof of the difficulties of treaties
when used as a means of obtaining larger liberty. We
see also a remarkable expression of the small regard
which the Russians have for the interests of Finland, and
also how little they care for the stability of the tariff,
and the whole economical situation which depends on it.

The present rule is that all Russian merchandise
can be introduced free into Finland, with the exception
of brännvin, which is forbidden, and of sugar, tobacco,
wine, liqueurs, and margarine, which pay much smaller
duties when coming into Finland from Russia than
the same articles from other countries; so much less,
indeed, that already the duties on sugar now imported
from Russia instead of from other countries represents
yearly a loss of several millions. On the other hand,
Finland is only allowed to export to Russia certain
products of agriculture and other industries of the

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