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BRITISH RAILWAYS.

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One of the strongest proofs of the great commercial vitality of this country is furnished us by the railway statistics of the Board of Trade. 'Our capitalists have, at a cost which at the present time cannot have been far short of £600,000,000 sterling, provided the country with a system of some 16,000 miles of railways, more substantially built than in any other country in the world; and this has been done entirely by private enterprise, without the slightest drain upon the National Exchequer, either in the shape of subsidy, or guarantee, or grants of land. In this country there do not exist “ State lines” which are so common on the Continent and elsewhere. On the other hand, our railways have been made to contribute large sums both towards the imperial and local taxation of the country (Irish lines, however, being leniently treated in this respect), and in the face of other drawbacks, such as mismanagement and faulty legislation-drawbacks which, upon the establishment of a novel class of enterprise, could scarcely, perhaps, have been foreseen-the companies have so far prospered, that they have found themselves financially strong enough to provide for the ever increasing demands of the community for railway facilities. *

The limits of this work will not permit of our enlarging upon the policy of the State with respect to railways, nor the position and prospects of these great undertakings. The following figures are, therefore, left to speak for themselves.

*

In 1872 the railways in the United Kingdom paid £1,020,780 in local rates, and £502,626 in Government duty, levied on passenger traffic.

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10,433 399,414,827 28€,691,611 38,838,741 20,599,775, 348,130,127 190,791,067 67,873,840 81,888,5467,576,874
13,289 576,291,663 379,604,827 50,206,032 25,667,284 455,478,143 219,598, 196 124,263,475 97,821,097 13,795,375
14,247642,853,408 418,277,679 56,575,60727,409,601 502,262,887 233,023,854 143,209,357 110,392,559 15,637,117
15,145 609, 267,653

518,779,761 226,788,133 25,203,671 130,553,989 101,729,398 34,504,570
15,537 596,178,382 440, 169,455 62,512,297 27,226,921 529,908,673 229,282,150 36,188,320 122,503,764 90,713,779 51,220,660
15,376 615,726,890 461,368,616,64,282,911 27,028,580 552,680,107230,250,152 64,555,255 108,496,620 82,095,545 67,282,535
66,711,7622

83,004,31

7186,0 15,814 644,589,353 473,639,591 66,711,762 28,695,993 569,047,346 239,039,089 63,004,313 114,760,361 66,224,217 86,019,366

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Railway Statistics of the Board of Trade-continued.- Revenue.

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$
£

£
£ £ £

£ £ £ £

£
1850.

13,204,669
1855.

18,363,369 8,845,924 9,517,445 2,144,398 1,045,710 1,098,679 999,832 408,066 591,766 21,507,599 10,299,709 11,207,890
1860. 23,472,946 11,258,104 12,214,842 2,925,229 1,306,128 1,619,101 1,368,447 623,136 745,311 27,766,622 13,187,368 14,579,254
1865.

30,166,311 14,560,826 15,605,485 3,986,741 1,778,333 2, 208,408 1,737,061 809,914 927,147 35,890,113 17,149,073 18,741,040

33,398,222 16,764,520 16,633,702 4,209,158 2,102,367 2,106,791 1,872,619 982,065 890,554 39,479,999 19,848,952 19,631,047
1869. 36,105,122 17,504,308 18,600,814 4,564,894 2,246,152 2,318,742 2,025,911 1,029,618 996,293 42,695,927 20,780,07821,915,849
1870. 38,122,161 18,227,739 19,894,422 4,825,264 2,400,853 2,424,411 2,130,718 1,086,933 1,043,785 45,078,143 21,715,525 23,362,618
1871. 41,383,065 19,387,483 21,995,582 5,237,329 2,583,786 2,653,543 2,272,386 1,181,591 1,090,795 48,892,780 23,152,860 25,739,920
1872.

45,039,155 22,065,151 22,974,004,5,775,090 2,943,518 2,831,572 2,421,265/1,284,635 1,136,630 53,235,510 26,293,304 26,942,206
In 1872 the length of line in operation in England and Wales was returned at 11,136 miles, so that the cost per mile was £42,540,
and the traffic per mile was £4044. In Scotland there were 2587 miles in operation, the average cost being £25,770 per mile, and the
traffic 2229 per mile. In Ireland there were 2091 miles in operation, the cost per mile being £13,720, and the traffic per mile £1158. The
cost per mile for the United Kingdom was £35,984, and the average traffic £3366 per mile. Some discrepancies will be noticed in the
columns " length of line in operation,” and “paid-up capital in Ireland,” the returns not being perfect.

In England and Wales the rate of gross traffic to capital paid-up was 9} per cent., in Scotland 85 per cent., and in Ireland 8: per
cent., the average being 95 per cent., as against 8} per cent. in 1871, and against 8} per cent. in 1870. Average net receipts, 4 per cent.
on the paid-up capital, as against 43 per cent. in 1871, and between 43 and 44 per cent. in 1870.

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135

BRITISH COLONIAL DEBTS.

GENERAL STATISTICS RESPECTING THE COLONIAL AND OTHER

POSSESSIONS OF GREAT BRITAIN.

The following general statistics are for the most part compiled from the last number of the Colonial “ Statistical Abstract, but alterations have been made where later information is available.

From this statement it may be computed that the total area of our Colonial Empire reaches 4,525,035 square miles;* that the inhabitants thereon number 202,390,786 persons;* that the aggregate gross revenue of all the possessions (from which Heligoland, Aden, and a number of minor dependencies are excluded) amounts to £71,077,051; the gross expenditure to £71,519,213; that the aggregate public debt, happily, for the most part raised to provide reproductive works, is £188,428,262; that the imports, mostly inclusive of bullion and specie, are £132,537,480; and that the gross exports have increased to £154,633,915, being £22,100,000 more than the imports. It is very noteworthy that amongst all these possessions there have never occurred any instances of default or repudiation.

* The returns available of area and population cannot be regarded as complete. For instance, the South Australian Government lays claim to a territory of 750,000 square miles, stretching all across the continent, whereas only half that area is included in the statistics. British North America, too, is not only 632,418 square miles, but if we include Manitoba and the Hudson's Bay territory, lately ceded to Canada, fully another 1,000,000 square miles of habitable country would appear on the list. Including the whole of British

North America, the area of the British empire exceeds 7,000,000 square miles. Both the population and area of the Cape of Good Hope largely exceed the figures furnished by the Census of 1865, the latest returns available.

Expenditure.

Public Debt.

Imports.

Exports.

£
51,413,686

298,712
1,089,522

7,115
175,962

£

£ 51,098,506 | 126,330,692

266,499 51,278
1,064,184 600,000

8,227
186,675

£

$
42,657,560 64,661,940
10,161,563 9,416,642
4,797,952 3,634,854

134,023 118,962
Mostly in transit.
57,751,098 77,832,398

52,984,997

52,624,091 | 126,981,970

10,289,199

12,116,862

29,178,271

30,075,496

34,581,472

Possessions.

Area.

Population
according to
the latest
returns.

Revenue.

ASIATIC.
India (British)
Straits Settlements
Ceylon
Labuan
Hong Kong

Sq. Miles.
950,919

1,225
24,454

45
32

Number
190,663,623

308,097
2,405,287

4,898
124,198

Total

976,675

193,506,103

AUSTRALASIAN.
New South Wales
Victoria
South Australia
Western Australia
Tasmania
New Zealand.
Queensland

10,614,330
11,994,800
2,325,900

323,437

86,831
383,328
987,000

26,215
106,259
678,000

527,682
752,445
187,851

25,353
101,785
266,986
125,146

2,575,309
3,717,155
1,057,192

97,606
346,467
1,672,301

823,169

3,298,353
3,708,938
1,115,752

107,148

441,528
2,657,587

787,556

8,981,219
12,341,995
2,158,023

198,011

778,087
4,078,193
1,539,968

7,784,766
14,557,820
3,582,397

199,281

740,638
5,282,084
2,434,486

1,294,400
8,900,991
4,047,850

Total

2,582,070

1,987,348

AFRICAN.
Natal
Cape of Good Hope.
St. Helena
Mauritius
Gold Coast
Sierra Leone
Gambia

16,145
200,610

47
708
6,000
468
21

289,773
566,158

6,444
318,584
408,070
55,373
14,190

198,421
836,174

16,508
616,953
28,609
71,986
17,490

149,694
764,915

18,439
600,962
29,094
73,631
16,663

350,000
2,093,400

10,000
1,100,000

472,444
3,107,838

85,291
2,044,246

250,672
305,850
102,066

562,109
3,585,996

22,617
3,120,529

295,208
327,700

153,101
8,067,260

25,000

Total

223,999

1,658,592

1,786,141

1,653,398

3,578,400

6,368,407

NORTH AMERICAN,
Canadian Dominion
B. Columbia and Vancouver's Island

377,045
213,000

3,497,714

50,000

} 4,028,242

3,254,508

26,280,000 21,541,823 16,507,973

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