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If hopes can still be entertained that the Turkish Government will have the wisdom and the strength to enter upon a course of reform and to conciliate its own subjects and the Powers of Europe by adopting the measures recommended by the Conference, it is clear that these beneficial changes can only be accomplished in a state of peace. As long as the existence of the Ottoman Empire is threatened by formidable rebellions, fomented by foreign emissaries and assisted by arms and funds supplied by foreign associations—as long as immense hostile armies are hanging on the Turkish frontiers both in Europe and Asia, and apparently only waiting the signal of invasion—the Porte is compelled to concentrate all its energy and all its resources on measures of military preparation. The finances and the population of the Empire are strained to the last extremity for the purposes of national defence; and it is unreasonable to suppose, as long as such dangers threaten its existence, that the country can be relieved from the burdens and abuses which press so heavily upon it. The first condition, therefore, to enable the Porte to meet its financial engagements, to reform its vicious system of taxation, and to reduce its armaments, is to secure it from military aggression from without. It is vain to hope for any substantial measures of reform when the enemy is at the gates; and whatever may be the vices of Turkish administration, they have been augmented a hundredfold by the cruel necessities of her position and the menacing attitude of her neighbours.
The novel and extravagant doctrine that the misrule or anarchy, which may unhappily prevail in a country, confer upon other States a right to interfere in its affairs, and even to make war upon it for the purpose of enforcing their own conceptions of justice and policy, appears to us to be unsound and full of danger. The French Revolution of 1791 was a period of anarchy and misrule, but we hold that it did not justify the Declaration of Pilnitz and the subsequent invasion of France. Great Britain abhors the slave trade and the state of slavery, but she never went to war to put down the traffic or to emancipate the American negroes. As a question of humanity, no case could be stronger than that, but the sympathies of humanity, however just and noble, cannot override the rights of sovereignty or the obligations of international law. A State has no right to go to war unless its own interests are positively and directly injured. Wars of sympathy are too apt to be mere pretexts for wars of ambition. As far as the welfare of the Christian subjects of the Porte is concerned, in which we
take a sincere interest, there can be little doubt that much more might be obtained for them by friendly and disinterested language than by the terms of menace and vituperation which were addressed to Turkey. In selecting Mr. Layard as our temporary representative at Constantinople during the convalescence of Sir Henry Elliot, the Government has placed at that important post a man of very advanced and decided Liberal opinions, who himself belonged to Mr. Gladstone's Administration in 1868, but at the same time a Minister thoroughly acquainted with the East, just and friendly to the Turkish Government, and far more likely to obtain from their confidence and good will what has been refused to intimidation.
The British Government have, after great deliberation and hesitation, agreed to sign a Protocol with Russia and the other Powers, in which, no doubt, the main principles which we all desire to see adopted by the Porte are expressed ; but the application and even existence of the Protocol is made dependent on its pacific character. If, therefore, Russia intended that this engagement should supply her with a groundwork for ulterior operations and sanction her military preparations, she has been defeated; and it is not impossible that this instrument may promote the maintenance of peace. If, on the contrary, Russia only sought to extricate herself from a false and dangerous position, it was right to afford her any facilities for that purpose ; though we can hardly conceive that the momentous question of peace or war, affecting the lives of millions and the destinies of empires, turned on the acceptance or rejection of a few lines in a protocol by the Ministers of a foreign State. If that were so, Russia would have ceased to be mistress of her own actions, and her policy would be regulated in Downing Street. We are not yet in possession of the motives which have decided the conduct of the Queen's Ministers on this question of the Protocol; and there is probably much in connexion with the negotiation of this document at the other Courts of Europe which may be known to the British Government, but which they have not the right to disclose. Upon the whole, it would perhaps have been more consistent with the policy of this country and the opinions of this nation to enter into no written or positive engagements at all with the Continental Powers of Europe, on a question which is still so threatening and so obscure. We confess that the history of the Protocol of April 4, 1826, which we have related at length in the preceding pages, has on our mind the effect of a warning voice. But, on the other hand, this negotiation may have elicited from Austria and Germany a more distinct intimation that their neutrality could not be relied on; and recent experience must have satisfied the emissaries of Russia, that although all Europe is anxiously desirous to see reforms effected in the administration of the Turkish Empire and in the condition o its Christian subjects, all Europe is equally determined that no intervention, based on these specious grounds, shall be made subservient to the purposes of Russian aggression.
on · Railway Profits and Railway Losses.'
In the 'Edinburgh Review' for April, 1876, we took occasion to call attention to the steady decline in the proportion of the net receipts to the capital invested in the railways of the United Kingdom; and to give the reasons, as far as they were suggested by the information then accessible, which appeared to us in great measure to account for the phenomenon. We pointed out the suspicious character of the mode of keeping railway accounts, and the fact that neither the public, the shareholders, nor the Board of Trade could ascertain, from the published accounts or returns, the respective profit or loss of either of the three main branches of business now carried on by railway companies, viz. the passenger, the merchandise, and the mineral traffic. We cited facts that seemed to indicate that, on the long lines, this last department of business was carried on at a relative, if not at an absolute, loss; and we urged on all concerned the duty of ascertaining, beyond question, what rates and fares were remunerative, and what were not.
A considerable amount of information has reached us, from different sources, since the publication of the paper in question. And it is only right to say that not only the balance of such information, but every item of its detail
, has been such as to confirm and strengthen the views we formerly ventured to express. The admirable reports of Mr. Danvers on the Indian Railways, and the minute care with which Mr. Rendel has analysed and tabulated the results of their working, are such as to enable the student to ascertain the relative cost of the various descriptions of traffic on these lines, and to show that while the transport of passengers at very low fares, even approaching one-third of a penny per mile, may be remunerative, when the numbers are large, the same rule does not apply to goods. The cost of conveying a ton of merchandise appears to be about equal to that of conveying three passengers for an equal distance. From Louisville, in America, we have received a pamphlet written by Mr. Albert Fink, the Vice-President and General Superintendent of the Louisville and Nashville and Great
Southern Railroad, containing an investigation into the cost of trans
portation on American railroads,' which is a model of patient accuracy of detail. Each of the above reports is, indeed, drawn up on the usual basis of the 'train-mile.' But each writer admits the inaccuracy of that basis, and affords the means of reducing his calculations to the true unit of the ton-mile. From the publications of the Institution of Civil Engineers we learn that experiments have recently been made in America on the resistance of railway trains (by means of a new scientific instrument called the dynograph), the result of which has been that the speed of the heavy trains is now being increased, in order to save expense. From travellers in France and Belgium we have instructive accounts of the lucrative activity of the internal navigation of the former country, contrasted with the stagnation produced by government interference in the latter. Finally, we have seen the best Walls' End coal quoted in the Thames at less than 16s. per ton; a fact which shows that the railway companies are now competing with a rate of freight not exceeding 4s. per ton for from 250 to 300 miles of sea-carriage.
Under these circumstances we think it right to call attention to a small pamphlet recently published by Mr. William Fleming under the title of The Index to our Railway System and our Leading Lines.' Mr. Fleming has submitted the “Railway Returns,' published by the Board of Trade, to an exhaustive analysis, the results of which he has presented to the eye in two large tables. One of them gives the details of our railway system, taking England, Scotland, and Ireland apart and in mass. The other gives somewhat similar details as to twenty of the most important railways. Although we cannot admit that everything relating to railways in general, and individual lines in particular, as property and means of investing money, can be learned by a consideration and comparison of the facts which these tables contain,' we only except to the remark on ground which has been taken by Mr. Fleming himself, when he says, ' It is rather humiliating * that, after fifty years' experience of railways, we have no data of, or
hardly even the means of approximating, the intrinsic loss and gain .
per passenger and per ton of goods per mile.' The following facts, which come out from Mr. Fleming's figures, demand very careful attention.
During 1875 the expenditure of 20 million sterling on the railways of the United Kingdom has added only 14 per cent. to their length, but 3:33 per cent. to their cost, the additional cost of the English lines being nearly 10001. per mile. The increase of the gross receipts on the English lines has barely exceeded half the average yearly increase between 1871 and 1874. * The expansion of traffic has not kept pace
with the expenditure of capital; and the relative decrease of expendi'ture (due to fall in price of coal and wages) merely leaves them to
gain the same profit as in 1874.' The tonnage of minerals is greater in every instance, except the Great Northern ; but the lines of least
mineral traffic show the highest earnings per train-mile.' 'As the growth of traffic on the goods lines is not keeping pace with the ex'penditure of capital, and, notwithstanding the general decrease of
* working charges, are not equal in their profits to former gains, it shows that lower dividends are inevitable.'
Thus far Mr. Fleming draws his own inferences. We have only to add a word as to certain results to be derived by a comparative analysis from some of his figures, which throw much light on the question for the solution of which, by direct analysis, the railway companies refuse the materials.
The contention against the carriage of minerals by railways is twofold : first, it is alleged to be unremunerative; secondly, it is said to be the main cause of collisions. Definite figures are attainable from Mr. Fleming's tables which illustrate each of these propositions.
First, it is certain that the proportionate cost of working charges, including maintenance, locomotion, and repairs, increases with the increase of the proportion borne by receipts from mineral traffic to gross receipts. Thus, the Metropolitan Railway has only 2-3 per cent. of mineral traffic. Its working expenses, as above defined, amount to 15 per cent. of its gross revenue. The South Eastern Railway has 3.8 per cent. of mineral traffic. Its working expenses amount to 21 per cent. of revenue. The Brighton has 7 per cent. of mineral traffic; working expenses 24-5 per cent. The London and North Western has 21 per cent. of mineral traffic. The working expenses come to 28.7 per cent. of revenue. The Midland has 27.5 per centof mineral traffic. The working expenses amount to 29 per cent of revenue. The North Eastern has 37 per cent. of mineral traffic. The working expenses amount to 35.5 per cent. of revenue. Roughly speaking, for every additional 1 per cent. of revenue derived from mineral traffic, the working expenses are increased by an mount equal to one-half per cent. of gross revenue. The incidence of other expenses is less regular. The Government duty, of course, diminishes as passenger traffic declines. But traffic charges, which form a considerable item of general expenditure, rise from 11 per cent. on the Metropolitan, and 12.9 per cent. on the South Eastern, to 17.9 per cent. on the Midland. It is thus evident that the increment of mineral traffic is attended by a more than equivalent increment of working cost.
The direct effect on dividend of the class of traffic encouraged by the managers of railways, and of the cost, in capital and in working expenses, incurred for the service of such traffic, is strikingly illustrated by the contrast presented by the experience of four years on the South Eastern, and on the Midland, railways. In 1871 the Midland had a.larger traffic per mile than the South Eastern, the figures being 4,5801. for the former, and 4,3221. for the latter railway. The capital expended per mile on the South Eastern was 59,9001.; that on the Midland, 42,1611. The proportion of net traffic receipts to capital was 3:91 per cent. on the Southern Line, 5.91 per cent. on the Northern. By 1875 the gross traffic of the South Eastern had increased by 251 per cent.; or to 5,4161. per mile. The capital cost per mile had increased about 2 per cent., or to 61,435l. The mineral traffic had proportionately decreased; the proportions of mineral to total gross revenue being 4:15 per cent. in 1871, and 3•76 per cent. in 1875. The consequence of this change was the rise of the proportion borne by