The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 14
Area of the British Empire: Its Population, Finances, and Commerce
Area of the British Empire: Its Population, Finances, and Commerce.
Compiled, as to the Colonial and other Possessions of the United Kingdom, from eleven Tables in the 22nd. Number of the "Statistical Abstbact" for the Colonies, &c.; from the 33rd. Number of the "Statistical Abstbact" for the United Kingdom, and re-arranged. The Colonial Statistics are for 1884 with a few exceptions, in which cases the latest previous Returns are given. Those for the United Kingdom are for the same year, in order to institute an accurate comparison. The Imports and Exports are in all cases inclusive of Bullion and Specie.
From this table it will be seen that Britain has already annexed one-seventh of the globe (not reckoning water), and holds one-fourth of the human race under her sway. Her foreign possessions, being 65 times larger than her own area, include several places not enumerated in the above list; for instance, in Australasia a portion of New Guinea; in Africa, Ascension (34 square miles), Basutoland (10,293 square miles); in Asia, Aden (5 square miles), Perim (7 square miles), and that precious jewel Cyprus (3,700 square miles), whose principal industry would appear to be the breeding and catching of locusts, of which British subjects there were 195 thousand millions destroyed in the Government pits during 1883, and the cry was still "they come." The island of Rotumah, in Australasia (14 square miles), Norfolk Island (237 square miles), and Heligoland conclude the list of our possessions, but there are still fanatics who desire to add and go on adding, regardless of the sage remark of Napoleon I. that "Empires generally die of indigestion through having swallowed too much territory."