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The total value of foreign trade of India, exclusive of Government transactions, amounted in 1881–82 to $565,256,846, being an increase of $24,305,913 'over the trade, of 1880-'81, which again largely exceeded the trade of any previous year.
The aggregate value of trade for the last five years was as follows: 1877-'78.
$496, 089, 245 1878–79.
433, 658, 397 1879–80.
481,998, 188 1880-81.
540,950, 932 1881–82.
565, 256, 846
for the last five years is shown in the following table:
Kerosene oil constitutes almost the entire article of import, and amounted to 8,816,474 gallons, valued at $1,757,831, which is a slight decrease since the previous year, but this decrease is owing wholly to irregularity in the arrival of cargoes, for during the year 1882 there was an actual increase in the consumption of American oil of about 3,000,000 gallons. Cotton goods were formerly an important item, but have recently declined to almost nothing.
The export trade to the United States is constantly increasing, and consists in articles of Indian produce, such as indigo, hides and skins, cutch and gambier, raw jute, gunny bags, shellac, saltpeter, linseed, &C., and paper material. The export of indigo, raw jute, caoutchouc, dressed skins, saltpeter, and tea showed considerable increase, while cutch, raw hides and skins, gunny bags, and linseed showed a decrease.
The accounts for the year 1881–82 are not yet available, hence the figures given under this title stand for the year ending March 31, 1881, and were not embraced in my last annual report.
$17, 238, 287 30, 775, 306 4, 862, 688
52, 876, 281
$38, 326, 688 14, 373, 242 77,823, 196
130, 583, 126
77, 706, 845 DEFICIT FOR THE FOUR PREVIOUS YEARS. 1876-'77
$38, 868, 433 1877–78
29, 474, 381 1878–79
44,052, 297 1879–80
56,917,892 These deficits are provided for by public or special loans taken partly in England and partly in India.
The following table shows the debt at the close of each year for four years:
Railroads. On the last day of the year 1881 the total length of railways in India open to traffic was 9,879 miles, of which 6,820 miles were on the broad gauge, and the balance on the narrow or meter gauge. All railways are under the administration of a Government directorgeneral, and are classed under the following heads :
Miles. State lines...
3, 2867 Native states
4464 East Indian.
4, 5904 Under modified guaranties
50 The general financial results of working this traffic were: Gross earnings...
$57, 292, 320 Working expenses
28, 284, 986 Net profits......
29, 007, 334 The net profits, giving an average return on the capital cost of open line, were 5.38 per cent.
The total number of officers and employés was 169,577, of which 3,763 were Europeans, 3,771 East Indian (mixed European and Indian race), and 162,043 natives.
How careful the work and management of these railways were in respect to accidents will appear from the fact that during the year 1881 the total number of passengers who lost their lives on the railways from accidents to trains was only 4, and the number injured 73, being per million passengers .073 and 1.33, respectively. The total of killed and injured was 1.t per million passengers, who traveled on the average 48 miles each.
The average working expenses per mile of road worked, classified under five main heads, were as follows:
The average distance which each ton of goods lifted was carried was, miles, 197.21 (broad), 86.86 (meter).
The coaching or passenger traffic is generally carried on in four classes of carriages, the cost of the first class being about 35 cents and second class 174 cents per 10 miles. Both first and second class carriages are very comfortable and afford sleeping room at night on long benches; they are also provided with closets and washing facilities. The third and fourth class carriages are used almost exclusively by the common classes of the natives; the fare is very low, about 10 and 6 cents, respectively, for every 10 miles. Good eating-houses are provided at suitable distances, and drinking water is served by regular employés at the principal stations.
The development of Indian railways during successive periods of five years has been as follows: At the end of the year 1853 there were 201 miles open; 1858, 4284 miles; 1863, 2,4784 miles; 1868, 4,0062 miles; 1873, 5,691 miles; 1878, 8,2044 miles; and three years later there were 9,8587 miles.
EMIGRATION. India furnishes froin 15,000 to 25,000 native emigrants each year for the colonies of Demerara, Trinidad, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Mauritius, Natal, Surinam, and Guadeloupe, of which about onefourth return after a period of ten or more years; the others remain as permanent settlers. The usual term of contract is five years, field labor of six days in the week, with 7 to 10 hours each day, for which they receive on an average 20 cents a day, payable weekly, free dwelling-house, medical care and maintenance during sickness, and free return passage after ten years' residence in the colonies. The laborers are furnished food at regular prices (about 5 cents a day), and are under the protection of Government officials while in transit, and, in the British colonies, while serving out their contract. One of the rules of the Government requires that of the total number of emigrants to be embarked on board each ship the proportion of adult females shall not be less than 40 to every 100 adult males.
Owing to the great prevalence on the plains of India of malarious fever, which seems to yield to no other medicine than quinine or its substitutes, the Government, in a spirit of paternal care over the people, introduced and have since carefully maintained and fostered the cultivation and manufacture of cinchona, until this sanitariau industry has now reached such a development that not only is India supplied with this important ine licine, but large quantities are esported annually to Great Britain. The principal varieties cultivated in India are the suc
cirubra tree, from the bark of which the cinchona febrifuge is manufactured, and the calisaya, which produces the sulphate of quinine; these and other varieties bave found a most favorable climate in some of the mountain districts of Hindostan, on an elevation of 4,000 to 6,000 feet above the sea, under a mean temperature of about 700, with a minimum of 400 and a maximum of 94°, and abundant moisture.
In the Government hospitals and dispensaries febrifuge has been largely substituted for quinine with very good success, and with a sav. ing of money, which, together with the profits of exported cinchona products, has already reimbursed the Government for more than balf the entire capital expended on the plantation.
THE NEWSPAPER PRESS.
The press of India consists of 103 newspapers, periodicals, and journals. Of these 60 are in the English language and the remainder in the different native languages spoken in the country, and printed in the Sanscrit, Arabic, Bengali, and other Asiatic characters. In the English papers, especially the dailies, an unusually large space is devoted to official notices, movements of military and civil-service officers, and laudatory articles concerning high officials, while the commercial and industrial interests of the country and the interests of private individ. uals receive but very slight attention. The price of newspapers is very high compared to the United States, and not within the reach of the poorer classes, but each copy of the paper is read and reread by a large number of individuals, and often goes in loan from house to house and village to village until it is entirely worn out.
Consul-General. CONSULATE-GENERAL UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Calcutta, January 27, 1883.
Report by Consul Morey on the commerce of Ceylon for the fiscal year 1883.
The close of the fiscal year to June 30, 1883, in Ceylon marks the retirement of Governor Longden after a six years' régime distinguished by great success under serious embarrassment, caused by occurrences anterior to his time, which I have commented upon in previous reports, and therefore need not repeat here. Suffice it therefore to say that under his able and prudent management, the most has been made of a failing revenue in developing reproductive and highly necessary works; and the public credit has been so preserved that, notwithstanding the > prevalence of a notorious depression in private finance, owing mostly to the partial collapse of the coffee industry, the island could probably now, if needful, obtain a large loan in Europe, and even locally on surprisingly easy terms. It is true his wise economy has afforded small satisfaction to those of his countrymen here whose habits and proclivities were unduly warped by the lavishness of other days; and unfortu. nately there are too many of that ilk in the country; hence the adverse criticism of some newspaper men, who must, I presume, write to suit their customers, and who, perhaps, themselves have private resentments to gratify. However, the wild howl they set up when the good man departed for England fell flat upon the ears of honest-minded men, and their verbose, blatant criticisms were properly regarded as would be the baying of little dogs at the moon, for no ainount of baid assertion to the contrary can hide the fact that under the late gov. ernor's carefully just administration all classes but one, viz, the estate .coolies, have steadily improved, especially the rural Cingalese, whose comparatively comfortable circumstances in these so called hard times contrast very favorably with their starving condition between the years 1873 and 1876, when, notwithstanding the marvelous abundance of money in the hands of the favored classes, many of the Cingalese ag. riculturists, within thirty miles of Colombo even, were famishing.
The European element, too, though grumbling and sore-headed, have been steadily rectifying past mistakes, and by introducing a variety of new products and adopting better modes of cultivation have succeeded largely in laying the foundations for future prosperity.
FINANCE AND CREDIT.
Opinions differ as to which is the best state of finance, viz, that where much money is to be borrowed at a high discount on inflated security and large interest allowed on deposits, or where a lower rate of interest prevails and only reasonable loans are legitimately granted; and my sympathy being with the latter condition, I conclude that the island has improved tinancially during the year under report, and that money here for sound investment is plentiful enough. It is true, many coffee estates and lands held by Europeans for predial purposes, besides much city and some rural property belonging to the natives, are mortgaged beyond their value; nevertheless, the former are being rapidly improved by cultivation, and that renewed prosperity which will no doubt come with time may be expected to work a balance in favor of the latter.
The agricultural prospect is decidedly improving, and worn-out coffee, besides new, land is being rapidly converted into cinchona, tea, cocoa, cardamom, and pepper plantations. The quantity and value of coffee exported in 1882 was 464,703 cwts., worth $9,000,000, against 436,991 cwts. in 1881, worth $10,686,631; the apparent anomaly of the smaller quantity irr the previous year being worth more than the larger crop of 1882 being accounted for by the reduced market value abroad of coffee during the latter year. There was an appreciable increase in the quantities and value of other old staples, such as cinnamon, coir, and cocoanat oil, while the enhancement in the new products was very great indeed; and equivalent to, in cardamoms, 20 per cent.; cinchona, 300 per cent. ; cocoa, 300 per cent.; tea, 200 per cent.
Formerly, Europeans considered that they could not grow anything profitably in Ceylon except coffee; but now they are attending to, not only new introductions, but to indigenous products, snch as pepper and nutmegs; and the natives, mostly Cingalese, are taking enough interest in improved modes and varieties of cultivation to prompt the organization of an agricultural society composed of strictly the native element, which, when it bas passed the mutual admiration phase of existence, will doubtless do much towards promoting agricultural interests, especially, it is to be hoped, in the direction of effecting more economical sales abroad; as, apparently, the handling of eastern products in the western markets, at present, is far from satisfactory, since by a