Page 201 - Dutch Asiatic Shipping Volume 1
P. 201

 ship, and its chamber of destination. In the Batavia bookkeeping these amounts were entered in the current account with the Republic. From the VOCs ledger De Korte has composed a so-called Korte Staat (short statement) for the period 1697-1796, wherein they are listed per year as 'cargoes to the Netherlands'.24 But in the bookkeeping at home this was not done. The value of the cargoes was here recorded in the resolution books of the Heren Zeventien and then only to record the shares of the six chambers. The purchase and selling prices per product were compared however. For the total of goods this was done at one time by Thomas Hope, director and stadholder's representative (1755-1770). On his initiative it was done for the period 1691-1762.25
Nearly one thousand million guilders were paid in Asia during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries for the commodities the directors wished to sell at their auctions. With great regularity the amounts had risen in the seventeenth century to more than fl 4,000,000 per year. In the eighteenth century the level was always higher than that, the highest values being reached in the years 1718-9 - 1726-7, 1750-1 - 1759-60 and 1766-7, when buying in took place to the tune of eight to ten million guilders. A decline set in in the eighth decade, sharp and relentless from 1779-80. The preponderance of the eighteenth century over the preceding period, as seen in so many aspects of the Company's business, applies equally to the buying in of goods: 73% of the total of 930 million guilders (1613- 1795) was spent on it during this century.
All these figures relate to the goods officially accounted for in the bookkeeping, i.e. at the Company's expense. Included is the so-called recognitie thee ('duty tea'), a form of legalized private trading. O n March 8th 1743 private individuals were granted permission by the Heren Zeventien to import minimum lots of 20-25,000 pounds of tea on board Company ships. Two-fifths of the proceeds at auction were for the Company. In 1761 this wasstopped,butmeanwhile'recognized'teatothevalueoffl9,546,915hadbeenauctio- ned and nearly 4 million guilders included in the accounts in the Republic.2 6 Much earlier,in 1682, in more or less the same way voyagers had been permitted to bring precious stones from Asia op vracht (as registered freight), and in 1694 a few articles like porcelain and lacquered ware had been added.2 7
This kind of measure was taken by the Company in its futile battle against the smuggling of goods by those on board the ships. In the previous chapter mention has already been made of the system of so-called 'permitted chests', number and size of which depended on the rank occupied on board the homeward ship. Complaints about ships being loaded far heavier than recorded in the accounts were perpetual. The graphic description of a ship in the intra-Asiatic trade given by barber-surgeon Nicolaus de Graaff in the late seventeenth century was probably applicable to many a homeward ship: 'Japan-men... are loaded so heavily besides the Company goods with private goods, cases, chests, pac- kages and other commodities, and packed so tightly that Company goods can sometimes hardly get a space to be stowed...'. All rooms and decks were so tightly packed 'that one could hardly pull a cat out by its tail'.2 8
24 De Korte, De jaarlijkse financiƫle verantwoording, Appendices 8a-8d.
25 See chapter 11.
26 ARA,VOC222,res.Heren 17,(index)802;VOC132,id.6.4.1764;VanderChijs,Plakaatboek
V, 8-12.
27 Van der Berg, 'Een onderkruiper', 395-396; Van der Chijs, Plakaatboek III, 359.
28 Warnsinck (ed.), Nicolaus de Graaff, Oostindise spiegel, 25-26.

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