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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 62

A Few Facts and Figures Respecting the British Colonies

page 25

A Few Facts and Figures Respecting the British Colonies.

The British Empire is 52 times the size of Germany and sevenfold the population; it is 53 times that of France, with nine times the people; it is three and a half times the size of the United States, with over treble the population of All the Russias; it is more than three Europes, with an equivalent population. This is the meaning of the bald figures of the Empire, 11,000,000 square miles and 350,000,000 inhabitants.

The annual revenue of the Empire is £275,000,000, and the total trade £1,200,000,000, carried in 37,000 British ships, of an aggregate burden of 10,000,000 tons.

The Colonial Empire has borrowed £280,000,000 and India £206,000,000 almost entirely from London; while the loans of Corporations and Harbour Boards, together with private enterprise, expand the total to over £ 1,000,000,000.

The total volume of inter-British trade amounts to about £340,000,000 per annum.

The United Kingdom purchases £97,000,000 of produce annually from the British Colonies, consisting principally of wheat, flour, &c., 14,000,000 hundredweight; wool, 557,000,000 pounds, raw cotton, 274,000,000 pounds, and beef and mutton over a hundred million pounds.

Canada, with an area of 3,519,000 square miles and a population of nearly 5,000,000, has built and registered shipping half as much tonnage as the United States with 65,000,000 of population.

The British Colonial Empire purchases £90,000,000 worth of British and Irish goods annually—an amount equal, so far as the proportion going to Australasia is concerned, to nearly £7 per head.

The Dominion of Canada bought £ 9,250,000 of British and Irish produce in 1889, and exported £8,000,000 worth.

An annual average of 172,000 persons have emigrated from Great Britain to the United States in the last ten years, and an annual average of 29,000 to Canada.

Canada has 14,000 miles of railway, and Australasia, in 1889, 10,310 open and 2,089 in course of construction.

Australasia had in 1889 6,733 public schools, and 721,106 scholars enrolled.

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The total area of Australasia is 3,075,238 miles, and the total population 3,678,046.

The total births in Australasia in 1889 was 122,982, and the total deaths 48,400. The total marriages, 27,000.

The total arrivals in Australasia (1889) 248,829, and the departures 183,230.

The total revenue of Australasia (1889) was £27,558,497, and the taxation (including revenue) £10,687,319, and the public expenditure £26,868,333.

The public debt of Australasia (1889) was £167,816,401. The imports were £65,256,881, and the exports £56,605,472.

There were 76,358 miles of telegraph open in 1889.

Australasia had, in 1889, 14,000,000 acres of land under tillage, and oft' it was taken 47,000,000 bushels of wheat; 14,926,212 bushels of oats; 2,871,644 bushels of barley; 7,568,284 bushels of maize; 402,408 tons of potatoes; 733,033 tons of hay; 2,692,382 gallons of wine; sugar, 40,000 tons; 70,000 cwt. tobacco; and millions of oranges and other fruits.

In March, 1889, there were in Australasia 1,486,819 horses; 9,209,801 cattle; 96,580,640 sheep; and 1,171,697 pigs.

Some 28,000,000 hundredweight of grain are now annually purchased by Great Britain of American farmers.

Of the £170,000,000 national debt of Australasia nearly £100,000,000 has been spent on railways; £13,000,000 upon water supply; £5,500,000 upon immigration; and £48,000,000 upon other services.

The assets of the banks of Australasia in 1889 were £155,000,000, and £45,000,000 in excess of the liabilities. The national wealth is computed at a thousand millions.

The annual wool produce of Australasia realises about £20,000,000 a year. It is calculated that £373,000,000 is invested in Australasian pastoral properties, and that the annual income amounts to £35,000,000. In addition to this, £27,000,000 a year is derived from the cultivation of 14,000,000 acres, producing, as already stated, 47,000,000 bushels of wheat, 15,000,000 bushels of oats, 40,000 tons of sugar, and 70,000 cwt. of tobacco leaf.

The area of Cape Colony is about 240,000 square miles. It has 1,500,000 inhabitants, a third only of whom are white. It exported diamonds in 1889 worth £4,325,000; wool, 90,000,000 lbs., from 13,000,000 sheep; 300,000 lbs. of feathers from 115,000 ostriches; and 30,000 lbs. of copper ore. Its national debt is £22,000,000, of which £14,000,000 has been spent on railways. Natal has an area of 22,000 square miles, and a population of 600,000, of whom 40,000 are European. 65.000 acres of land in Natal are devoted to lea culture, and in 1889 780 acres produced 43,000 lbs. The public debt is £5,000,000.

The Gold Coast, Lagos, Gambia, and Sierra Leone, add some 32,000 square miles to the British territory. By a recent agreement with Germany respecting the East Coast of Africa, an area of land which is believed to be between one and two million square miles—or say twelve times the area of the United Kingdom—is brought under the sovereignty of Great Britain.

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The Empire of India has an area of 1,900 miles in length and breadth, and a population of over 300,000,000. The British power consists of 71,000 soldiers and 106,000 civilians. The native population consists of 200,000,000 Hindus, 50,000,000 Mohammedans, and the rest Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, Parsees, Christians, &c. 27,000,000 rupees are spent on Public Education, and three and a half million of souls receive instruction. The external trade of India exceeds £190,000,000 a year, of which £100,000,000 is with the United Kingdom, and £40,000,000 with other British possessions, the whole being carried in 10,600 ships of 7,000,000 tons burden. The Public Debt of India is £206,000,000, spent largely in reproductive works: 17,000 miles of railroad, 100,000 miles telegraph service, and vast irrigation works.

India's exports consist of jute of the value of £10,000,000; wheat, rice, and seeds, £9,000,000; tea and coffee, £5,000,000; indigo, £1,700,000; leather and hides £3,000,000; and wool, £1,000,000. Of the total area of 556,000,000 acres in British India, 160,000,000 are cultivated, 40 per cent, of the population finding employment therein, and 89,000,000 acres more being available for cultivation. Of the remainder, 45,000,000 acres consist of forests, and 117,000,000 acres are arid. Over 2,000,000 tons of coal are annually yielded through the labours of 30,000 miners.

The West Indies, lying in the Western Atlantic off the coast of Central and South America, consists of six groups of many islands, all under the British flag—the Bahamas (19 islands), Barbados, Jamaica, Leeward Islands, Windward Islands, and Trinidad. Total area, 14,000 square miles; population, 1,500,000. External trade (1889), £12,000,000. Revenue, £1,600,000. Public Debt, £2,500,000.

The Bermudas form a cluster of 300 small islands in the Western Atlantic, midway between the West Indies and the Canadian shores.

Newfoundland, with its dependency of Labrador, has a population of 200,000, an area of 42,000 square miles, an external trade of £1,500,000 a year, and an income from fisheries of £1,000,000 sterling per annum.

British Honduras and British Guiana have their respective industries, though on too small a scale to demand notice. Hongkong, Ceylon, and Mauritius are invaluable points of call and places of refuge upon the great trading routes. 7,000,000 tons of British shipping annually enter the Hongkong ports.

Ceylon has an area of 15,000,000 acres, and its trade amounts to £6,000,000 annually. Mauritius has an area of 1,000 square miles, and a trade, chiefly in sugar, of £6,000, coo yearly.

The Straits Settlements, which comprise the large island of Singapore, with an area of 206 square miles, and sundry smaller ones, have a population of 500,000, a trade of £44,000,000 annually, of which £8,000,000 is with Great Britain, in export and import of about equal amounts. A vast transit trade passes through the port of Singapore, owing to its being a free port, an honour peculiarly its own.

Taking ten principal producing divisions of the Empire, we find that the page 28 respective amounts of their trade with other portions of the Empire are as follows:—
1. The Mother Country 220 millions sterling.
2. India 140 millions sterling.
3. Australasia 63 millions sterling.
4. Canada and Newfoundland 20 millions sterling.
5. Cape of Good Hope 19 millions sterling.
6. Straits Settlements 16 millions sterling.
7. West Indies, Bermuda, British Guiana, and Honduras 9½ millions sterling.
8. Ceylon 6½ millions sterling.
9. Natal 5½ millions sterling.
10. Mauritius 4¾ millions sterling.