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The British fleet is little more than a national plaything. Instead of naval maneuvers and squadron practice, there are holiday cruises from port to port, in which everything is subordinated to regattas and banquets. Herr Meyer maintains that the British naval officer would come out of action just as hopelessly discredited as his military brother.
"To most officers in the British navy the service is but a business. They all suffer from their hereditary complaint,-national pride, together with an inordinate self-conceit, an incredibly boorish ignorance, and a scorn of all for. eigners.
BRITISH SAILORS MUTINOUS.
The bluejackets are, Herr Meyer admits, better than the "mercenary blackguards in red or in khaki" who are recruited for the army. But it would be almost an insult to compare them with German sailors, for "they lack, above all, that deep moral seriousness with which our bluejackets win hearts the world over; that unselfish devotion; that firm, I might say pious, sense of duty." The men are discontented, and rightly On the one hand, they are treated arrogantly and offensively; on the other hand, they are neglected. The English fleet is the only one in the world in which serious mutinies occur.
But Herr Meyer says that on the Majestic the entire crew rose because shore-leave was refused it; and in the flagship Barfleur the crews mutinied because they got nothing out of Peking plun. der. Whether the men are bad or good, there are not half enough of them. The question of personnel is entirely unsolved. Therefore, Herr Meyer concludes that the navy of England is just as little prepared for hostilities as the army, and that it will fail just as much, though it is certainly incomparably better than those hordes which despise everything most needed for the welfare of a world power and a civilized state. The midshipmen should prove themselves strategic geniuses."
So says Herr Meyer, and he concludes by declaring that the English will not listen. They deride and despise plain lessons and experiences of history; the coming collapse in a war with a great European power will at last and forever demolish the old boast, "Britannia rules the waves.'
A British Estimate of the German Navy. Mr. Archibald S. Hurd contributes to the Nineteenth Century for July a very good article entitled "The Kaiser's Fleet." His study is necessarily largely comparative, for while he writes of the German navy he has always the British navy in his eye. The German navy bill
of 1900, which authorized an expenditure of $365,000,000 on new men-of-war and $65,000,000 on dockyards, in which they can be prepared, contrasts very favorably with the British Naval Defense Act, inasmuch as the German measure takes account of all the needs of the fleet which it is to create. It makes provision for every detail of the ships down to the last rivet, while the extension of the organization of the great naval ports will proceed pari passu with the construction of the men-of-war. In 1920 the German navy will consist of 38 thoroughly modern battleships and 17 older reserve battleships, making 55 in all. Behind these battleships there will be 52 cruisers. In that year the British navy will only be three battleships stronger than that of Germany. Germany will, therefore, be the second greatest naval power in the world, and her battle. squadrons will exceed in value such ships as England will be able to allocate to the defense of the near seas. The preamble of the navy bill shows that the purpose of the German fleet is to be strong enough to cope with that of Great Britain.
THE GERMAN FLEET UNDER INSPECTION.
Mr. Hurd speaks very highly concerning the efficiency of the fleet and the inspiration which it receives from the Kaiser. During the visit of Prince Henry to Ireland, Mr. Hurd had an opportunity of seeing the German ships at sea. He says that their color is the nearest approach to invisibility which can be obtained under the usual conditions. The painting of the ships is provided for out of the national funds, whereas in the British navy much of the expense falls upon the officers. One feature of the German ships is that there is no wood to be holystoned, and no brasswork to be polished by the crews. From end to end of the ships there is no gleam from a square inch of metalwork, brass, or steel. The weather decks are laid with a light reddish colored cement, which can be cleansed easily by the turning on of a hose. The cement will not splinter or ignite under gunfire, and nothing can look smarter than this hard and even material. There are very few wooden fittings, and though the insides of the cabins are made of wood, these could be cleared away in a few hours before going into action. The comfort of the crews is considered more than in British ships. The vessels are ventilated mechanically in hot weather, and heated in cold weather by pipes that run everywhere. There are baths for the officers, and for the men numerous hand-basins with water laid on in comfortable airy spaces. The food is good, is supplied in excellent quality and in ample quantity. The men have a dif
over a period of twenty years, together with a project for establishing government monopolies of industries. These undertakings, as described by Dr. Goto, include (1) the laying of a trunk-line railway extending over the whole length of the island; (2) the surveying of lands; (3) the construction of harbors, and (4) the building of gov ernment offices and residences. To meet the expenditures required for these works, the Formosan government was authorized to raise loans to the amount of 35,000,000 yen, of which the principal and interest was to be paid out of the revenues of the island. It is estimated that the railroad work alone will require 28,810,000 yen, the construction of the harbor of Kelung 2,000,000, the land-surveying 3,000,000, and the building of government offices and residences 1,200,000. It is believed that the railroad will be finished much within the ten years' time originally assigned to the work, and that it will have a remarkable effect in stimulating industries on the island. Revenues accruing from the part of the island now open to traffic are greater than they were expected to be. The completion of an accurate land survey will confirm rights over land, will make landed property secure, and will greatly facilitate transfers. This work, by the way, was undertaken by the Chinese governor some years ago, but without success. As to the projected harbor works at Kelung, this is only the beginning of improvements for that port which will involve the expenditure of tens of millions of yen. It is the intention of the government to make this the chief port of Formosa, and it is believed that the growing industry and commerce of the island justify all the expenditures that have been projected. In the erection of public buildings great care has been taken in regard to sanitary arrangements, and the structures already built or in process of completion will serve as models for the whole island.
With a view to the gradual abolition of the pernicious habit of opium smoking, the Japanese government has established a monopoly of the article in Formosa which yields an annual revenne at present of about 4,000,000 yen. Under the restrictions established by the government, only those who have been already poisoned by opium to such an extent that they are unable to abandon the habit of smoking without great pain are allowed, by special warrant of the govern ment, to use it as a medicine. The formation of the habit is absolutely forbidden, or, in fact, its continuation in cases where poisoning has not advanced so far as to make abstention impossible. There is also a salt monopoly yielding
700,000 or 800,000 yen, and this commodity is now exported to Japan in considerable quantities. It is produced by permitting salt water to flow into fields, and then causing it to evaporate by the heat of the sun. Almost the whole supply of camphor of the world comes from Formosa. When Japan acquired Formosa a camphor monopoly was established, with a view to protecting the camphor trees, improving the methods of manufacturing, and putting the industry on a secure basis. The production is now regulated according to the demands of the world's market. The revenue yielded by the monopoly is now about 4,000,000 yen. The present governorgeneral has also formed a plan for eventually making the Formosa finances entirely independent of imperial aid. The imperial government began the administration of Formosa with a grant of nearly 6,900,000 yen, and this grant has been annually diminished until the present time. According to Baron Kodama's project, which was adopted by the Diet, the grant will be steadily decreased until it will entirely disappear in 1910. The possibility of this gain of financial independence may be seen when we consider the re cent remarkable increase of the revenue,—from 5,000,000 yen in 1897 to 14,000,000 yen at present, with the provability of an increase to 20,000,000 yen in two or three years, this increase being largely secured as a result of the operation of the monopolies, the adjustment of the land tax, and other financial reforms. As the total expenditure incurred by Japan in connection with Formosa up to the end of the last fiscal year, March 31, 1901, amounted to 150,000,000 yen, including the military expenses, while in the same period the revenue amounted to only 40,000,000 yen, the financial burden to be charged to Formosa may be reckoned as 110,000,000 yen in all. As the annual revenue derived from Formosa is now from 14,000,000 to 20,000,000 yen, it may be said, as Dr. Goto points out, that the capital invested by the imperial government is bearing interest at the rate of 15 to 20 per cent. The import of Japanese commodities into Formosa is now about 15,000,000 yen. Supposing the profit of this trade to be at the rate of 20 per cent., the annual gain of Japan is about 3,000,000 yen, which nearly covers the present amount of the grant which the Formosan government receives from the imperial government.
RESOURCES OF THE ISLAND.
Among the more important products of Formosa named by Dr. Goto are tea, rice, sugar, hemp and flax, indigo, paper, silk, minerals, cattle, and marine produce. Dr. Goto predicts that
the production of sugar will be greatly increased within a few years. As to the mineral wealth of the island, gold, sulphur, coal, and petroleum are found there in considerable quantities, the yearly output of gold being about 1,000,000 yen at the present time. All in all, Dr. Goto draws a very favorable picture of Formosan resources, and seems to fully justify his assertion that this dependency, far from being a financial burden to the home government, is really a valuable invest
THE TRANSVAAL MINES.
SINCE INCE the close of hostilities in South Africa, attention is again concentrated on the mining possibilities of the Rand. The Engineering Magazine for July opens with an article by the famous mining expert, Mr. John Hays Hammond. After giving a general summary of the beginnings and development of the mines, he reviews the probable benefit of the change of government for mine owners. The amount of ore mined in 1887 was 23,000 ounces; in 1898, 4,295,609 ounces, valued at £15,141,376.
THE WATER SUPPLY.
One of the chief difficulties to be contended with is the poor supply of water, which at present is obtained by local storage of rain water,-not a very satisfactory arrangement. Within twenty or twenty-five miles of Johannesburg there are, however, other sources of water supply which will probably be utilized. Of the maps prepared Mr. Hammond says:
"Great attention is given to the preparation of maps of the underground workings, geological sections, and plans upon which assays are plotted. In these respects the Rand practice is far ahead of that of any other country with which I am familiar.'
AMERICANS FOR RESPONSIBLE POSITIONS.
The labor question is always a difficult one. Mr. Hammond says:
Reference has already been made to the labor question, in statistics of the relative number of whites and blacks employed. The white workmen are predominantly British, though many of the important members of technical staffs are Americans; the mine and mill foremen are usually either Americans, or British subjects who have had mining experience in America. This labor is generally below the American standard, but is rapidly improving. Manual workers on the surface and all miners except those running machine drills, are blacks, and the quality of the black labor is very poor, especially on first arriving at the mines."
Mr. Hammond looks for a reduction in the present excessive railway rates. He says:
"Generally speaking, the cost of the principal machinery, erected on the ground, will be two and one-half times its home cost. In respect of labor, cost of dynamite, and charges for railway transport, marked improvement is confidently to be expected from the change of governmental conditions."
LAWS AND MONOPOLIES.
Mr. Hammond speaks well of the Transvaal laws :
The mining laws of the Transvaal are most excellent in character, and while the claims cover every square foot of land for an area of nearly 40 miles long by from 2 to 3 miles wide, there have been practically no conflicts over extra-lateral rights.
Notwithstanding the change in the political status of the Transvaal which will follow the recently concluded peace and final establishment of British rule, it may be confidently assumed that the main features of the mining law of the South African Republic will be retained, and certain oppressive features of monopolies, etc., bearing with special weight on the mining industry, will be abolished. The dynamite monopoly was one that bore most heavily on the mining industry: and, according to the reports of the state mining engineer, explosives, including fuse and detonators, amounted to nearly 10 per cent. of the total working costs of the mines.
A FEW FORECASTS.
"It is estimated that for every mile in length along the course of the reefs, down to a vertical depth of 1,000 feet for the dip of the reefs, gold to the value of about £10,000,000 will be extracted. This is a conservative estimate,—at least as applied to the central section of the Rand. If we assume these conditions to obtain to a depth of 6,000 feet vertically, we have the enormous sum of £60,000,000 for each mile in length. It is not unreasonable to suppose that these conditions will be maintained along most of the central section, say, for a distance of ten miles,-in which case we would have an auriferous area, within practicable mining depths, containing upward of £600,000,000 value of gold."
If," says Mr. Hammond, "I were called upon to express my opinion, I would estimate the future duration of profitable operations on a large scale in the district at less, rather than more, than twenty-five years. I believe that, as the result of economic reforms, there will be an ultimate saving of 6s. per ton of ore treated
PROFESSOR Heilprin în Mont PELÉE.
HERE recently returned from Martinique a party of scientists, artists, and newspaper men, who had hastened to the site of St. Pierre almost as soon as the news of the catastrophe was made known. One of these was Prof. Angelo Heilprin, who has for twenty years been identified with the scientific institutions of Philadel phia. Professor Heilprin writes in the August McClure's of his observation on Mont Pelée, and of the deductions he has drawn from these observations as to the original cause of the great volcanic upheaval.
Professor Heilprin was the first man to ascend the volcano after the great catastrophe. On May 31, he went up the crater to an altitude of about 4,000 feet. He found that the old crater had not been blown out, as was reported. The next day Professor Heilprin made another ascent to the same crater, accompanied by Messrs. Kennan, Jaccaci, and the artist George Varian, who contributes the pictures which illustrate this article. The party arrived at an elevation of 4,025 feet. They found the temperature to be, two or three inches below the surface, 124° to 130°, and at a somewhat greater depth 162°. Puffs of steam were issuing from a number of vents, and from beneath great bowlder masses, whose heated surfaces were scarred with sulphur blotches.
THE VIEW INTO THE CRATER.
"We waited patiently for a lifting of the clouds, and it came at last. A sudden gust cleared the summit, and sunlight illuminated the near horizon. We dashed to the line above which welled out the huge steam cloud of the volcano, and in a few instants stood upon the rim of the giant rift in whose interior the world was being re-made in miniature.
We were four feet, perhaps less, from a point whence a plummet could be dropped into the seething furnace. Momentary flashes of light permitted us to peer deep into the tempest-tossed caldron, but at no time could we see its floor, for over it roiled the vapors that rose out to mountain heights. Opposite us, at a distance of perhaps 200 feet or more, across the thin steam vapor, trembled the walls of the other face of the crater. Halfway between rose the central core of the burned-out cinder masses, topped by enormous white rocks, whose brilliant incandescence flashed out the beacon lights which were observed from the sea some days after the fatal 8th, and even at our later day illumined the night-crown of the volcano with a glow of fire. From the interior came deep rumbling detonations, the clinking of falling and sliding cinders, the hissing of the emerging steam, and other
sounds which were too feebly defined to be described. We felt no inconvenience from either gas or steam.
"We found that we were standing on an overhang, and therefore dared not tarry beyond the time needed to make observations. I attempted to locate the axis of the vent as nearly as the direction of its largely obscured walls and the position of the basin of Lac des Palmistes permitted. I found it to be N.-S., slightly S. W. The magnetic needle, which the day before showed a marked deflection, was nearly normal. The form of the crater is that of a caldron, pitching steeply downward toward the Caribbean, and opening in a direction a little west of the line to St. Pierre. At no time could we positively ascertain the extreme boundaries. Its length must have been 500 feet; it may have been much There can be no question that at the downward side of the crater the rift traverses the position of the narrow rift known as the Fente, or the Terre Fendue, which had been a feature of the mountain since the eruption of 1851, and perhaps existed long before that event. Any statement regarding the depth of the crater must for the time remain conjectural. I should say that it could hardly be less than from 200 to 250 feet; it might be very much more."
WHAT CAUSED THE ERUPTION OF MAY 8?
Professor Heilprin says that the death-dealing eruption of May 8 was from the lower crater. He proves that the description of the catastrophe which spoke of moving sheets of flame were erroneous. Instead, there was a luminous, or incandescent, cloud which may easily in that terrible time have given the impression of flame.
This glowing cloud, Professor Heilprin says, was composed of one of the heavier carbonic gases brought under pressure to a condition of extreme incandescence" and whose liberation in contact with the oxygen in the atmosphere, assisted by electric discharges, wrought this explosion, or series of explosions, that developed the catastrophe."
The great cloud of incandescent vapor undoubtedly produced a tornado, and Professor Heilprin found evidence of storm paths lying across the city's ruins. He also considers it certain that electric explosions had their share in the phenomena.
THE ORIGIN OF THE CARBONIC GAS.
"To the inquiry as to what was the source of this carbon gas,-to my mind the main factor of the catastrophe, -the geologist points to those vast bituminous deposits, like those of Venezuela and the island of Trinidad, which lie but little out
LEADING ARTICLES OF THE MONTH.
of the line of the connected series of volcanoes,
2. The aërial-explosion theory. plosion of gases within the erupted cloud after their projection into the air would account for all the phenomena observed.
"The aerial explosion, if it occurred, was most probably a combustible gas, but science is still The discussion of exunable to state its nature. plosive gases involves a line of scientific specialization which the writer does not possess; but as sudden and mysterious as was the great secret, it has left its traces and clues which the detectMetal surfaces ives of science will follow up. of objects in the ruins will be examined and analyzed for traces of sulphur and chlorides. The deposits from the numerous steaming fumaroles are already within the chemical laboratory. Even the ash and rocks of the island will be submitted to minute investigation.
"And then there were those frightful lightning bolts! What of them and their igniting power?"
WHAT CAUSED THE DEATHS AT ST. PIERRE? ORTUNATELY for the cause of science, several unusually competent investigators were able to visit Martinique and St. Vincent before the volcanic eruptions of May had ceased, and their observations have already been reported in detail. The full report of the representatives of the National Geographic Society appears in the July number of the National Geographic Magazine. This report, which was prepared by Dr. Robert T. Hill, of the United States Geological Survey, is interesting not only as a presentation. of facts regarding the great catastrophe, but also for the theories that it suggests to account for the enormous fatality at St. Pierre.
Dr. Hill states two such theories, one or the other of which may ultimately be adopted:
1. The heat-blast theory. This hypothesis. assumed that the lapilli, gases, and steam of the ejected cloud were sufficiently hot to have inflamed the city and destroyed the people by singeing, suffocation, and asphyxiation. It does not account for the forces exerted radially and horizontally, nor the flame.
THOUSANDS KILLED BY STEAM AND DUST.
Prof. Israel C. Russell, another geologist who represented the Geographic Society in Martinique, says regarding the nature of the blast which swept over St. Pierre from Mont Pelée :
"It has been stated in the newspapers that the inhabitants of St. Pierre were asphyxiated by noxious gases or killed by a gas explosion. My own observations and the best interpretation I can place upon the testimony of surviving wit nesses favors the opinion that the general cause of death was a blast of steam charged with hot dust. Gases, probably in part inflammable, were no doubt present, as the odor of sulphurous acid was perceptible at the time of my visit; but the part that such gases played was seemingly secondary. In order to be able to judge of the conditions where everything was destroyed, it is necessary to learn what took place on the outskirts of the storm. The people on the borders of the devastated area who escaped were in some instances injured, and the injuries were inflicted by hot dust, which on touching the skin adhered and burned. These burns resemble scalds, and destroyed only the epidermis. In several such instances the hair on the burned portions was not destroyed, and where the bodies of the sufferers were protected by even light clothing they were uninjured.
Had the dust which struck the injured people been somewhat hotter, their clothing would have been ignited; and if they had inhaled the hot dust, death would have been almost instantaneous. The condition of the dead in St. Pierre favors the conclusion that this deduction shows While the inhalation of what took place there.