Page 39 - Dutch Asiatic Shipping Volume 1
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 prescribed for the chambers by the Heren Zeventien. Of course these - mostly printed - regulations were important for the ships' officers and Company servants concerned, but is was the 'equal footing' to be maintained between the chambers in everything that was pointed out most emphatically. Thus the provision of all kinds of ships' supplies was standardized, and lists were printed of the tools and utensils to be sent along for cooks, coopers and master gunners and for the cabins. It became customary to provide the masters with such lists; and for ships' stores and equipment lists were issued with the exact number of each article provided. The master had to sign for the receipt of each article and was answerable for use and loss on the way.1 4
As the business overseas demanded much in the way of naval stores, arms and other pieces of equipment, the measures aimed at uniformity were applicable to such articles as well. The Heren Zeventien attempted in a number o f ways to make certain that their regulations were complied with. Once a year the delegates to their meeting had to produce samples of the articles bought by their chambers, such as handweapons, hats, textiles. They also had to indicate on specially printed forms the numbers of men, provisions and ships' stores dispatched. Finally, the chambers had the duty in purchasing to inform each other of the cheapest buys - they might even have to make purchases for each other to make the greatest possible savings. Once a year each chamber's stocks of guns and anchors were noted and these too had to be exchanged between the chambers.15 The repeated instructions in the matter of purchase make one suspect that this ambition was by no means always realized. Comparison and control were made more difficult by the fact that the chambers in their bookkeeping used different classifications to which they clung tena- ciously, in spite of repeated recommendations from the Heren Zeventien. Not until 1740 was unity achieved on this point.1 6
The pursuit of careful management gives rise to the question whether the directors were able to offset the costs of the shipbuilding and shipping business against the Company's total income and expenditure. For, as already mentioned in the first chapter, at home practically all expenses, including those for the ships as well as for trade and other matters, were entered under the heading equipage and offset against income from the auctions. Shipbuilding expenses too were entered like this, with the result that the ships were instantly and completely written off: the value of the ships after delivery from the shipyard was not taken into account. Not until the end of the eighteenth century did realization dawn - on the Amsterdam accountant and principal shareholder G . Titsingh - that the shipping business ought to have a separate administration.17
Yet the directors have been well aware of the costs involved in the building and equipping of ships. When it was considered necessary, for instance in researching new opportunities or in planning economies, the relevant figures were produced. Proof of this can be found, for example, in the budget for the equipment of a sugar fluyt in 1636, in the careful calculation of the value of the total shipping and the costing of the launching of ships by director Hudde around 1685, in the careful analysis of costs involved in the direct link with China in the years 1728 and 1734, and in the calculations of director Van der Ouder-
14 Van Dam, Beschryvinge, vol. 63, 614-618, 629-652. For navigational instruments and charts see Schilder and Mörzer Bruyns, 'Navigatie', in MGNII, 177-183,191-195 and III, 198-207, 217-219. Appendices I and II are based on such regulations laid down by the Heren 17.
15 Van Dam, Beschryvinge, vol. 63, 630-631.
16 De Korte, De jaarlijkse financiële verantwoording, 54; Steur, Herstel of ondergang, 74.
17 Steur, Herstel of ondergang, 74.

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