machinery, and so does the supply of engineering workmen to a country.
With a large number of such men attached to the mines, it may become
possible to introduce and use other machinery not otherwise available.
The expenditure for wages is not likely to be excessive, it will check
itself, as when found unremunerative, it will be stopped. Even the
large salaries of superintendents and skilled officers cannot be a
total loss to us, as many of these men will remain and open up other
enterprise. A very good example of this is given in the Si. James's Gazette of
this evening. In consequence of the increase of machinery in the
Linares lead district of Spain, the olive growers have taken to the
purchase of improved machinery, instead of the old wooden old presses.
It will be noted that the Belgium manufacturers, having got into the
district, obtained the benefit of this new business.
Although rather a speculative mode of regarding that and other such
operations, it is a true one that whatever the direct result, there
must be a gain from introducing into India, Englishmen of intelligence
and enterprise. Such considerations are entitled to particular weight,
when we come to regard the national relations of such undertakings. It
may be said, indeed, we are hedged against loss in a material point of
view. It is in this respect that England, in the long run, is found,
not to have been a loser in the many disastrous ventures in gold mines
of fifty years ago. The internal losses were very painful to many
over-speculative persons, but in the event, the country was no loser.
Although here was some loss in Brazilian mines, yet others give a
return, and in the end we have got hold on the produce of Brazil, which
has, in all kinds of ways, been a benefit to us.
In fact, it is from no single set of figures that the real influence
and value of such operations can be determined, and they must be
examined as a whole, and in their full results, with all their losses
and all their gains. These the balance-sheet of a mining company will
not disclose, as it will not shew the effective distribution of
capital. There may be loss to the shareholders and gain to the
manufacturer and the merchant.
A very important consideration is the supply of labour. The want or
failure of this has put a stop to mineral industry in many countries.
Thus, in Brazil, in the Portuguese time, the numerous and productive
mines of the auriferous districts depended on slave labour. With the
emancipation of the negroes, whole districts were thrown out of yield,
and it is only by close attention that labour has been obtained for
the St. John del Rey mines, and the large dividends have been kept up.
The supply of labour must be free and continuous, and consist of men
who are disposed to engage in such a pursuit. This is the strength of
Chili, where the natives are content to undergo the drudgery, and
receive regular wages, or as tributers, run their chance of the prizes
of rich and casual finds.
is likewise necessary to have English or other foreign miners, who
understand the business, are willing to go abroad, and encounter with
or without their families, the vicissitudes of distant travel. So far
as this population is concerned, we have it at home in Cornwall and
Wales, whence many proceed, not only to English countries in Australia,
South Africa, Canada and the United States, but to foreign lands. They
are as familiar with the hot climates of Brazil, Chili, and Mexico, as
with any of the regions they frequent. Then there are our Australians.
There would, consequently, be no difficulty in obtaining a supply of
workmen for our Indian Empire, where they are under English protection.
The same circumstance will favour in case of need, the introduction of
foreign miners. The mass of the labour, however, will be local. Our own
people are well acquainted with gold mining in Australia, New Zealand,
California, Brazil, and Columbia, and it is not a business that they
have to learn—but one on which they have been largely engaged.
from any operation on the coinage of India and on the exchanges, it is
to be expected that a much more important influence will be effected on