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ployer, who was pleased to have a Government in advantage of the communal system. · He thought, quiry. He could not understand the point in the however, that gentleman had overlooked the fact paper to the effect that in Russia the company sup- that when the Russian peasant found that the land plied the “Government” engineer. Possibly the did not yield him sufficient revenue to pay the taxes Government supplied that official, and the company which he knew he was expected to pay, he was paid him. In conclusion, Professor Foster said not free to leave his village, even though he migbt he endorsed all Mr. Head had said about the be prepared to abandon his land. Every member , welcome the Englisbman received from the of the village commune was practically responsible Russian when he visited the latter. Any Eng-| for the whole of the village taxes, and therefore it was lishman going to Russia, bent on real business, i found to be very inconvenient to allow a wealthy having the idea of developing the wonderful resources member of a village to leave just when the tax colof the country, was sure to be received heartily. In lector was coming round. A point which he conhis own case, whether he met Ministers at St. Peters sidered Mr. Head had not sufficiently accentuated burg, or Government authorities at Tiflis and other was that the industrial development of Russia was places, he was warmly received.
artificial. The probability was that this particular industry, if it was to continue at all, must continue to
be artificial for a very long period; for the simple reason Sir John THORNYCROFT, F.R.S., said he was sorry |
that anything produced anywhere is bound to be sold. he was quite unfamiliar with engineering works in As he pointed out, the only purchaser in Russia of Russia, but he selt they had heard a paper on a most large industrial produce was the Russian Government interesting subject. One could only regret that the
itself. Mr. Head, however, omitted to say that the apportionment of the land to the villagers, instead of
artificial fostering of the industries by the Govern. being to their advantage, apparently seemed to lead
ment was not likely to benefit those industries. to their being anchored in one place, which he con.
Both Germany and America had developed and sidered was not conducive to the development of the
become wealthy through protective and artificial country.
measures ; but those countries were remarkable for the number of their towns, while Russia was remark
able for the scarcity of towns. With the exception Mr. L. A. RAFFALOVICH said that for many
of St. Petersburg, Moscow, Odessa, and one or two years he had been of opinion that if commercial
other cities, there were really very few large towns and financial connections between the two countries
where one would get a community of so high a grade had been more proceeded with, they would have
of civilization as to require certain products of inled to great mutual advantage, and, most pro
dustry on a large scale. He feared it would be a bably, to better political understanding. He was reminded of this by the tale of Charles Lamb in
great many years before Russia would become a
really industrial country, especially as at present reference to the meeting of two friends. One asked
the Russian peasant was said to be overtaxed. the other, “ What do you think of Jones?” “Oh, it
As the Government was the principal purchaser of I hate him," was the reply. “Do you know him to asked the first. “No, and that is why I hate him.3! |
the industrial products of large factories it followed
tbat the more the Government purchased the more He thought there was much of that in the relations between the two countries. The English and the
the peasant had to be taxed in order to pay for those
purchases. In other words, the industrialism of Russians did not know each other sufficiently. Re
Russia became really a burden to the peasant inferring to protective tariffs, he said they certainly had
stead of a benefit. Referring to the treelessness of the tendency to develop industries at a much quicker
the country, the speaker said he considered the rate than where there were no such tariffs. It was
Government of Russia would be berefiting the only since the tariff of 1901, in Russia, which showed the firm resolve of the Government to go on and
country much more if it devoted some of the large
sums which it was spending for other purposes to enable capitalists and private enterprises to start,
the afforestation of the country. He felt sure that knowing that thev could go on undisturbed for a long
would mean a great change in the climate, and with series of years, that things had improved there so
that there would be a great increase in Russia's greatly. As to the remark of Professor Foster about
prosperity. the Kertch iron ore, he might say that probably the reason why the reader of the paper did not dwell upon that was because of the poorness of that ore, which did not contain more than from 20 to 22 per
Mr. E. A. CAZALET, referring to the remarks of cent. of iron.
the author that a considerable amount of capital had been launched in Russian industries by Belgium and
France, said that if a little more light were thrown upon Mr. BAYLEY HODGETTS said there was one point that point, it would be both useful and instructive. which he might be permitted to raise. When Mr. It was not a question of putting things right merely Head touched upon the conditions of labour in the by getting more capital from abroad for Russia. Russian agricultural districts he pointed out the dis. There must surely be other means. If it was only a
matter of finding capital, undoubtedly that would soon be forthcoming.
blooms, 72,320,000 poods, for iron and steel merchant bars 62,120,000 poods, and for iron and other metallurgical purposes 12,124,000 poods. The statistical survey of the mining and metallurgical industries of South Russia points to a continuation of the existing depression of trade in these industries for some time to come. There is one complaint wbicb is common to these industries, namely the great divergence between supply and demand, the former greatly exceeding the latter. The estimated supply of coal is less than the producing power of the mines by 27 per cent., and the demand only amounts to 63 per cent. of the estimated supply; the estimated production of pig iron is only 52 per cent. of the producing power of the blast furnaces. It must also be borne in mind that the stocks of coal at the beginning of 1903 will amount to 40,000,000 poods, and the stocks of pig iron to 12,150,000 poods. These statistics throw an unfavourable light on the prospects for 1903, and point to the urgent necessity of firm measures being adopted by the Congress of the coal and iron trades, with a view to establishing a more, healthy condition of affairs and, as far as possible, to render the demand more consistent with the estimated. supply."
Mr. HEAD said tha: the iron deposits were “boat. shaped," but, to be strictly technical, he might say they were lenticular. The Kertch deposits were not important. Although tbere might be a great deal of ore, it was not much worked. As to the condition of the coal, that applied to all periods of the year. Its liability to disintegrate was due, he thought, to insufficient compression during its formation. As to the percentage of ash, the particular coke he spoke of was the Bellair. In the cement works there was no apparatus to collect the dust. As to washing the ores dry and washing with water, he had probably not been rightly understood. He intended his hearers to understand that that from one certain district was treated dry, and that from another place was washed with water. The shaft of the manganese mine to which he had alluded was indeed very small; in fact, he had to descend in a bucket. The smallness of the rainfall, he contended, was due to the treelessness of the country and not the treelessness to the smallness of the rainfall. He regretted to say that the laws for preventing the reckless cutting down of trees had been very lax. The result was that the winds carried the moisture across the territory instead of depositing it. As to actions at the mines and Government inspections, in Russia there was a great deal of Government interference. Professor Foster was correct in assuming that the companies had to pay the official nominated by the Government. That official was practically a paid spy. His experience with reference to the English and Russian nations was that there was a kind of attraction and sympathy between them which there was not between Englishmen and other nationalities. While they hated each other as a nation they liked each other as individuals. Mr. Hodgetts spoke about the Government purchases meaning an increased burden to the peasant. So it did, but his suggestion was that the Russian Government should borrow. One way of increasing the prosperity of that country would be the increase of the middle classes. They might have to wait a long time before that came about but if that class only did increase, it would mean the increase of enterprise and energy, the Government would no longer be the only customer, but there would be general prosperity. In conclusion, Mr. Head drew attention to the following extract from a report of the Russian Collieries Company, Limited, with whom the chairman that evening, Mr. Hubbard, was connected :-—“The estimated production of iron ore in 1903 is 187,861,800 poods, and of flux 33,572,400 poods. In the iron producing district of South Russia there are 19 ironworks owning 56 blast furnaces, of which, in the current November, 25 are in blast, 2 are in course of erection, 12 are undergoing repairs, and 17 are temporarily standing idle. The estimated production of pig iron during 1903 amounts to 86,100,000 poods; the quantity required for conversion into
The CHAIRMAN moved a hearty vote of thanks to Mr. Head. He could endorse all that had been said about the necessity for a better understanding between the English and Russian nations, and could bear testimony to the good fellowship which nearly always existed between them. He advocated the extension of Russian railways, and he differed from Mr. Head when he said that those rallways were built entirely with strategic views. If they saw the network of railways which now intersected the Donetz coalfields, they would feel convinced they were not entirely for strategic purposes. In conclusion, the Chairman said there was every desire to develop Russia and bring it forward in the great race among nations as speedily as possible.
THE SIBERIAN RAILWAY. A report on the trade of Siberia, by Mr. Henry Cooke, British Commercial Agent in Russia, lately issued by the Foreign Office, contains much information respecting the Siberian route. The entire stretch of rail in Asia, generally known as the Siberian Railway, covers
In Russian territory ...... Versts 5,372 or 3.581 Miles.
Total ... , 7,792 Regular traffic is now open to the Manchurian
frontier station. By next year the entire route from and by the greater accessibility to modern mechanism Europe to the Pacific will be open to the public and methods generally. Nor, of course, can Siberia service. Trains, indeed, have already run through to do otherwise than benefit from its intermediate posiWladiwostock and Port Arthur. In August of this tion in the international through traffic that is bound year, according to official telegrams, Prince Komatsu to follow. and suite accomplished the whole journey from Working Expenses. The working expenses of the Moscow to Port Arthur by a special through train in line in 1899 are taken at r.5,000 per verst, or, if the just short of 14 days. Hitherto, however, traffic Manchurian section be now included, at r.6,000. In across the Manchurian section has been mainly for all, taking the length at 7,792 versts, the approximate official purposes and favoured passengers. As working expenditure would amount to r.47,000,000 a regards the one break in the through route to the Far ! year, not including interest on capital, &c. To cover East, the short stretch round the southern bend of l, expenses the receipts should reach about r.80,000,000, Lake Baikal is to be ready by January 1, 1905.
which would require the carriage of 600,000,000 pouds It is intended that within the near future passengers of goods annually at the existing high tariffs, or, merely may be able to reach Dalni in 18 days, Peking in to cover working expenses, 370,000,000 pouds. The 19 days, and Chinese or Japanese ports in 20 to 21 gross receipts on the Siberian line proper (Cheliabinsk. days, from Central European towns, counting two to Irkutsk) in 1901, including passenger traffic, were three days from the latter to the western frontiers of r.15,259,854, against r.13,838,577 in 1900, or r.4869 European Russia. While by the Suez route the per verst in 1901, against r.4,415 per verst in 1900. journey from London to Shanghai, Nagasaki, or On the Trans-Baikal line they amounted in 1901 to Yokohama, takes 34 to 37 days, and costs r. 700 to r.4,178,377, against r.2,116,649 in 1900, or r.3,568 r. 780 ist class, viâ the Siberian rail, it will be per verst in 1901, against r.3,863 per verst in 1900. covered in 18 to 20 days, at a cost of from r. 350 to With regard to the traffic possibilities of the future r. 390, while later both time and expense may be it is early as yet to speak with any definiteness. Mr. further shortened. The Moscow-Zlatoust-Samara Selikhoff, the Assistant Chief of the Commercial line is the only main one connecting European Russia Section of the Siberian Railway, from calculations with the Siberian Railway.
set forth in detail, estimates the minimum goods Prospects.-Russians, apart from its political or traffic of the Siberian and Trans-Baikal lines within strategical aspects, look rather to its future poten the near future at 190,000,000 pouds (3,062,990 tialities (1) as the connecting medium between their tons), or, including the Manchurian section, new Far Eastern possessions and the heart of Russia, [ 300,000,COO pouds (4,836, 300 tons). The ca. and as another outlet to the ocean ; (2) as the means of pacities of this great through thoroughfare as the facilitating and furthering direct trade in the future world's carrier east and west can be, however, with China and Japan ; (3) as a great transit route under present conditions at least, but roughly and for passengers, goods, and mails between west and indefinitely estimated. It is safe to say that the line east, and vice versa ; and (4) as the instrument for the is not at present, and may not be for years yet, in a colonisation and opening up of Siberia. As regards position to cope with anything like the possibilities the latter, the railway has rather to create than to and requirements that the future may reveal or exact. carry a traffic.
Russo-Siberian traffic alone, pending the population The immigration of peasantry from European and development of the country, can influence but Russia to Siberia and the Far East seems for the little the scale of cost and gain. To what extent present to have reached its culminating point in 1899. the railway will realise expectations in international It has risen from a total of 61,435 in 1893 to 223,981 traffic the near future should assist in forming an in 1899. In 1900 the number was 219,000, and last estimate. Trade circles are still feeling their way, year 128,131. Especially noticeable is the increased and rival routes striving to maintain their former number of emigrants who returned last year to Euro supremacy. Cheap and cumbrous commodities can pean Russia, chiefly under the influence of the bad hardly bear the charge of so prolonged a land journey. harvests of 1900 and 1901 in many Siberian districts. The sea will probably hold its own in the carriage of Probably, too, the best arable and more accessible | all but valuable cargoes, perishable articles, and goods plots of land had been already apportioned to their deliverable by fixed date. But hopes, too, are placed predecessors in this movement. Whatever the reason, on passenger and mail traffic, to meet which, in any. 55,233 re-entered Russia, including 31,330 actual thing like the proportions expected, the entire accomemigrants, 18,019 “khodoks,” or pioneer emigrants, modation and arrangements would have to be consent out ahead to reconnoitre on behalf of groups of siderably extended. would-be settlers, and 5,884 peasant labourers return- Should expectations be realised, this single track ing from temporary work. Of the 18,019 pioneer will have to bear the immigration movement, the emigrants who returned, 13,647 had come to no internal circulation of Siberia itself, the possibilities arrangements.
called forth by the opening out of the dormant The gold and other mineral industries, although the resources of the country, and the international former at least has shown little progress of late, may through-traffic in passengers, mails, and goods, not to be developed by the wider opportunities now opening, mention the claims of official and military necessities. This is in addition to its present goods traffic to and Australia, will prove such an important factor in the from Russia. New feeding lines too, such as the St. domestic traffic across the Australian Continent, as to Petersburg-Vologda-Viatka Railway now building, make it desirable, if not certain, that the completion must in time pour an additional burden on to the car- of the line to Port Darwin should before long be riage capacity of the main route. With, on the one undertaken." side, the resources and enterprise of Europe, and on the other the teeming populations of the East, and midway an undeveloped expanse surpassing in extent the whole superficies of Europe, but which can be traversed in 10 or 12 days, it would be difficult to
SWEET POTATOES FROM BARBADOS. over-estimate the future that lies before this masterful andertaking. That future may be somewhat distant
The wet summer that has been generally experiyet, as at present the railway is ahead of the country
enced throughout the British Isles bas unfortunately it serves, which needs first peopling and then
been the cause of much anxiety among potato developing.
growers and consumers in arousing fears of short International Nais.--No train accommodation is
| crops, inferior quality, and the prevalence of disease. yet provided for the international mail transit traffic
Recent statements, however, have shown that the the new route is expected to attract. From detailed
crop has not been so bad as was anticipated, though calculations, worked out to moderate and minimum
the quality is not a high one, owing to the prevalence figures from postal data of the countries likely to
of disease. Fortunately for Ireland, the crops are avail themselves of the shorter route, the above
stated to be one of the most bounteous ever harnamed authority estimates the future transit mail
vested, and that further, there is little indication of carriage at 1,000,000 pouds (16,121 tons), requiring
disease. two to three special carriages from each end per diem
The potato being an almost indispensable article by, of course, express or mail trains. Existing
of food, it is satisfactory that we have not to depend international postal arrangements would need
alone upon the produce of the United Kingdom for modification before any profit to the railway itself, as
our supplies, for we can draw very large quantities not an intermediary only, could be derived from this only from France, Belgium, Holland, and Germany, mail traffic.
but also from the Argentine and other places. Grain occupies the first place in the goods traffic
At periods of great scarcity in the potato supply, of the Siberian line. Now, too, with the establish
attention has frequently been directed to possible ment of direct communication, viâ Riga, Siberian
substitutes, but many of these have had but little to butter reaches the London market direct, and not
recommend them, besides which there is always much' under Danish marks, or via Denmark only.
difficulty in inducing people to overcome prejudice The United States Consul-General at St. Peters- | against new products, especially in articles of food, burg, writing under date of 26th March, 1902, reports
, without there is absolute compulsion. There is, that it is officially announced that the express between | however, a tuber closely allied botanically to St. Petersburg and Vladivostock was to be started by the common potato, which, though it is not the 15th April (1902), and, according to the Journal ! unfrequently seen in the shops of most large de St. Petersburg (official organ), “the Directors of towns is comparatively unknown in ordinary housethe Chinese-Eastern Railway propose to organise holds, but which might probably become an article next autumn a regular through service between that of considerable import into this conntry from line and the Russian railway system” to the Portmany of our colonies, were more attention drawn to Arthur terminus), “ and that henceforth there will be it. This is the sweet potato, experimental shipments five Russian steamship services connecting the Trans of which have been made in the early part of this Asian Railway with ports in China and Japan, to year from the West Indies, the results of which were which there will be a considerable extension as the recently disc'issed at a meeting in Barbados, and rerailway acquires importance. The Engineer referring ported in the Agricultural News. Dr. Morris, to this new route, says :
C.M.G., Commissioner of Agriculture, pointed out "Nearly 10,000 miles of the new route between that when the matter was first started, an appeal was Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, and London, made to a few planters only to join in the experiment, are covered by railway. The recognised line opens the most cordial co-operation was at once received, for serious traffic at the end of 1903, and there seems and during the whole of the period, from December to 00 reason to doubt it will give easier, quicker, and May, a certain number of barrels of sweet potatoes was cheaper traffic than at present by the all-water route. shipped by each mail to appointed agents in England. Its existence as a competing route may be delayed | The potatoes were put upon the market, and sold for for want of railway transport to the gateway, or, in whatever they would fetch. The matter having other words, from the Southern Australian capitals passed through this preliminary stage, it was now to to Port Darwin; but, nevertheless, the great Siberian | be thrown open to the whole island. Railway, which is destined to play a most prominent | Planters, however, were warned to bear in mind part in the immediate history of the Far East and that the exportation of sweet potatoes still demands
characteristic of the genuine article) has been overcome. The process of mauufacture is simple and easily learnt, and the cost of the outfit is said not to exceed £35. The article can be produced in any form desired-columns, plain or fluted, and capitalsas readily as flat slabs. It is claimed that even pictures may be made of this material. It seems to bave the durability of genuine marble, but its cost is only about one ténth. At the present stage of the development of the industry, the maker is able to produce a slab about half an inch thick at a cost of about 7d. per square foot.
careful organisation, there being yet only a limited demand, any large and unexpected shipment might easily swamp the market. It was pointed out as essential that there should be definitely appointed agents ready to receive an arranged number of barrels of the tubers, just as many, in fact, as can be disposed of immediately they arrive. What was wanted was a regular supply of produce of good quality and suitable size delivered in Bridgetown a day before the mail leaves.
For the guidance of intending shippers, the follow ing regulations for preparation and packing have been drawn up and circulated. Potatoes intended for shipment to the English market should be dug on the Monday preceding the Saturday on which the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company's steamers leave Barbados. They should be then spread on the floor of a dry, well-ventilated room until the following Friday, when they should be packed in barrels and shipped at once. The barrels recommended for this purpose should have about a dozen equi-distant clean cut holes of 14 inch diameter bored in the sides, for ventilation. The object of drying the potatoes for a few days before they are packed, is to harden the skin, and so prevent its being badly bruised. Each tuber should not be less than twelve, nor more than twenty ounces in weight; bruised tubers are rejected, and the red variety is preferred to the white.
At a time when a distinctive name for every new product seems to be of especial value, the suggestion of Sir Frederic Dodgson that sweet potatoes, exported from Barbados, should henceforth be distin. guished as “Barbados potatoes” in all trade deal. ings, is a good one, and oue that will probably be generally adopted.
Well SINKING IN CAPE COLONY.-Sir W. Willcocks, K.C.M.G., writes in his “Report on Irrigation in South Africa”:-The extraordinary success which has attended deep bores in South Western Queensland has not been obtained in Cape Colony, nor ought it to be expected. In South. West Queensland, the rains which fell to the west of the dividing range along many hundreds of miles are absorbed by the ground and never reach the sea, and must have laid up rich stores of water which are available for use to-day. In South Africa the rain water everywhere escapes to the sea, and the sub-soil water can only be very local and insignificant in quantity. Shallow wells and windmills have, how. ever, been a great success over large stretches of country, and have helped to save hundreds of thousands of sheep in years of drought. Since 1890 the Cape Colony Government has been boring holes for water with the aid of a special staff and imple.' ments. The general results up to the end of 1898 are, approximately, as follows:
Number of holes bored—2,600.
kind to lift the water. . This quantity of water is insignificant for irrigation, but for watering stock it is of the utmost value to the colony.
ARTIFICIAL MARBLE IN DENMARK.
The United States Consul at Copenhagen states that the lack of marble in Denmark has led to many attempts to produce a substitute which would equal in decorative effects the natural product and would not exceed it in cost. Some success has been achieved in the manufacture of this article in Sweden, but the thin slabs would not keep their shape, inclining to bend and warp. The veins were stiff and angular, and the soft transitions of colour which make varie. gated marble a thing of beauty were wanting. A significant advance has been made in this industry in Denmark by a master builder of Copenhagen named Sven Schongaard, who is producing a stone of such delicate transition of tints and play of colour that it is difficult to distinguish it from the natural pro. duct; while as to cost of manufacture it can compete with all other artificial marbles. The imitation of the more expensive species does not exceed in cost that of the cheaper ones. The inconvenience hitherto met with that the mass had to be greased to prevent adhesion (thereby destroying the crystalline surface
MEETING FOR THE ENSUING WEEK. Tuesday, Dec. 23... Institution of Civil Engineers, 25, Great
George-street, Westminster, S.W., 8 p.m. Disa
cussion on Mr. Stephen Martin-Leake's paper on “The Rupnarayan Bridge, Bengal-Nagpur Rail