United States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign Commerce.

Consular reports, Issues 252-255 online

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bicycles, steel rails, and furniture. The losses in beef and flour
are explained by competition from Australia and the Argentine Re-
public, and the decrease in the demand for agricultural implements,
etc., by the war.



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TRADE CONDITIONS IN SOUTH AFRICA.



167



IMPORTS OF CAPE COLONY.

The total value of all merchandise entered (exclusive of Govern-
ment imports) in 1900 was ;^i7,i6i,8fi ($83,517,952.23), against
;^i5»37o,97i ($74,802,830.37) in 1899, an increase of ;,^i, 790,840
($8,715,122.86), or 10.6 per cent. This is the largest total in the
history of the colony, except in 1897, when ^4,774,649 ($23,235,-
829.36) worth was sent forward to the Transvaal, against nothing in
1900. Nearly all the increase has been in the trade of Cape Town.

Imports into Cape Colony ^ by countries^ in igoo.



Country.



Value.



United Kingdom

Australasia

Canada

India.

Mauritius

Naul ;.:....

Other British possessions...

United States

Argentine Republic

Austria...

Belgium

Brazil

China

France

Germany.

Holland

luly

Japan

Ladrone Islands

Madagascar

Norway

Portugal



1.350

4

200,

351

557

III

1.773

257

a,

»64,

215

»7,
X06,

554.
166,



7-
58,
X40,
48,



428



909
,586 I
1875 '
7x8
596
903
,580
421
075
584
.398
,250
574
541
639
060
U06
520
133
406
049



l53

6,



,786,640.86
,574,198.65
22,287.77
977.558.19
711,635.65

7»3. 540.93
57.925.95
626,260.57
252,739.30
10,979.99
287,607.04
048,234.37
132,610.13
018,642.37
697,673.78
810,948.69

35.833.99
9,762.20

37.462.58
282,914.24
683,285.80
233.830.46



Among the increases of imports for 1900 over 1899 are those
noticed in the following table (I give quantities, where possible,
instead of values, as values differ) :

Imports into Cape Colony ^ by articles ^ in igoo.



Articles.



(Quantity.



Value.



Ale and beer gallons.. .|

Apparel and slops. i

Boots auid shoes pairs...

Butter and mau-garin. pounds....

Candles. do |

Cement do

Cheese ._. do i

Clocks and watches. '



I



385.604



I



;C53.247 $259,126.53



11,421

1.474,490 j

89.597 '

14,27^,269 I

636,093 I



Chicory pounds-
Coffee

Confectionery and cocoa pounds...

Cereals:

Flour pounds...

Com do

Oats « do

Cotton manufactures

Haberdashery and millinery



2,634



193,116 ..

2,873,819 L

22,207,838
26,995,177
33.415,43*



12,818.36
43,947 , 213,868.08



60.775 '
5^^891



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5.717.89



1 68



TRADE CONDITIONS IN SOUTH AFRICA.



Imports into Cap€ Colony^ by articles^ in igoo — Continued.

Articles. Quantity. Value.



Hats dozen...

Iron (bar, bolt, and sheet)

Leather, manufactured

Linen manufactures.

Meats, salt and preserved pounds..

Oil, mineral gallons..

Railway material

Provisions.

Saddlery and harness.

Soap, common pounds-
Stationery, including printing paper

Sugar, refined or candy pounds..

Tea do



28,281



Tobacco:

Unmanufactured do

Cigars do

Cigarettes do

Other do

Wine ...f gallons..

Wood, manufactured

Woolen manufactures.



,424,420
"7.759



2,0(j8,973



/^23.920

126,528
31.248



290,294

272,889

20,025



2,062



2,464.754

I,2ZX,220

694,106

10,729

414,089

303,707

35.025



88,612
24,761



|ii6,4o6.68
615.748. 5»
152,068.39



1,412,7x5.75

1,328.014.32

973,416.80



431,240.30
120,499.41



In these increases the great bulk of supplies for the armies is not
included.

As has been noted, the United States stands second in imports
into this colony. Statistics of Cape Colony, necessarily incomplete,
show the following increases by countries:

Australasia ;£^8i6, I55={3, 971, 818

Argentine Republic 180,753= 879,634

France 36, 340= 176, 849

Holland 20, 747= 100, 975

Strange to say, the returns for Canada show no increase, although
the increase over 1899 was actually very large.



EXPORTS FROM CAPE COLONY.

The total value of the colonial products (including gold and dia-
monds) exported amounted to ;^7, 042, 388 {$3^,271,781.20), against
^22,931,386 ($100,108,939.97) in 1899, the decrease, in part, being
in gold and diamonds, viz, 1899, gold, £\lMSy^^Z {$67»534,o2i.32) ;
diamonds, ^4ii35i5S3 ($20,125,814.67).

Tonnage delivered at the ports of Cape Colony by foreign and British vessels.



Naiionality.



British:

1899..

1900..
Foreign;

1899..

1900..



Sieam-
ships.



Tons.
2.7o».i38
4,064,763



211,909
243,079



Sailing
vessels.



Tons.
202,434
246,893

208,666
253.721



Total.



Tons.
2.903,572
4,311,656

420,575
496,800



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TRADE CONDITIONS IN SOUTH AFRICA. 1 69

COST OF FOOD IN JOHANNESBURG.

Corned beef per i-pound tin...

Oatmeal per pound...

ParaflSn per gallon...

Rice. Patna (168-pound bag) per pound...

Salt, table per packet (i pound)...

Pearl barley per 7-pound tin...

Cabin biscuits per pound...

Butter do

Candles per packet...

Cheese per pound...

Corn flour do

Coffee, ground do

Golden sirup per i-pound tin...

Jams, Natal do

Sugar, best Natal yellow or white per pound...

Bran per bag (too pounds)...

Flour:

A grade do

B grade do

Mealies:

Whole do

Crushed do

Meal:

Boer-
Unsifted per bag (203 pounds).

Sifted do.

Mealie meal per bag (183 pounds).

Potatoes per pound.

Rye per bag.

Tobacco:

Transvaal, cut per pound.

Cape Cavendish do.

Eggs per dozen.

Coast ports are about 10 per cent less.

The cost of living has increased, and is still increasing, in a
marked degree, not only in the coast towns but throughout the
country, making it very difficult for Government and other em-
ployees to keep free from debt. Increased prices are demanded for
everything, and the range of selection has been largely curtailed.
Overcrowding of the cities has forced up the rents enormously, and
the different town councils are discussing the feasibility of erecting
dwellings to house the working classes.

AMERICAN MANUFACTURES IN CAPE COLONY.

To make a list of all the articles ol American manufacture sent
here during the last four years would occupy many pages. They
have, in the great majority of cases, been found efficient and dur-
able. **That is another handy American trick,*' is a common saying
One can not enter a home without seeing some greatly appreciated



$0.


32




12




42




07




06




81




16




56




14




30




20




40




12




24




09


3


12


4


75


5


75


5


50


5


50


10


00


10


25


7


50




08


7


50




75


I


25


2


50



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170 TRADE CONDITIONS IN SOUTH AFRICA.

American article. Our kitchen ware and our furniture adorn many
a house. The natives are astounded when they see light, strong,
and efficient American agricultural implements at work in the field.
The American organ is a frequent sight, and scholars sit in the
schools at neat and comfortable desks **made in America." Ameri-
can pews make the churches more comfortable. The old and heavy
English knives and axes are passing away and the American hatchets
and scientific axes are cutting the kindling wood for the home and
hewing down the forests. Where six yoke of oxen were once seen
pulling an 8-inch plow, our American plows with one yoke now do
the work, and the day is fast disappearing when it takes from six
to eight yoke to draw a wagon ; one American wagon, carrying the
same load, can be drawn with two yoke, or a good team of horses.
Imitations of American products are ever present, but there is always
somethingaboutthem — some little addition orchahge — that discloses
their origin.

TRANSPORTATION.

The Hansa Line, which has just inaugurated a steamer service
from New York to Cape ports, has greatly reduced the rates, taking
cargo at 15s. ($3.64) per ton, instead of 50s. ($12.15). May it succeed.

The railroads are owned by the Government and were of great
assistance during the war, although the destruction of lines and
rolling stock has been considerable. In 1900, ^942,709 ($4,587,893)
were expended for engines, cars, new works, and for relaying the
roads with 60-pound steel rails, in all of which the United States
had a share. The railways are well conducted and every year pay a
goodly revenue to the Government. Over 40,000 tons of coal,
mostly colonial, are consumed monthly.

IMPORTS AND EXPORTS OF NATAL.

Value of imp'^rts into the colony of Natal during the year igoo^ showing countries of
origin {so far as can be stated).



Country.



United Kingdom

British colonies

Austria

Belgium

France

Germany

Holland

Italy 6,043 I 29,408.26

Norwayand Sweden | 6i,68i j 300,170.59

Portugal

Spain

China

Japan



Value.



/^3. 856, 750 I $18,768,878.74
1.015.457 I 4-941. 7a». 49



607 a, 953-97

42,687 I 207,736.29

27.595 i34.a9»-o7

163,878 797,512.29

31,001 150,866.37



i.959 «4. 399-97

119 I 579. XI

x,ooo ; 4,866.50

309 i»503-7S



Java 1,628 7,922.66

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TRADE CONDITIONS IN SOUTH AFRICA.



171



Value 0/ imports into the colony of Natal during the year igoo^ etc. — Continued.



Country.



Value.



Sumatra

Earypt

Canary Islands

Madagascar ,

Portuguese East Africa.

United States

Argentine Republic

Brazil

Total



i:aa4


$1,090.10


1.384


6,73S.i4


IQI


929.50


5,oza


24,39090


Sx.xsa


151,601.21


538.499


2,620,605.38


zi5,686


562,985.92


7,656


37.357.9a


Si9".5«8


28,768,527.33



The total exports from Natal were: In 1900, ;^i, 135,322 ($5,524,-
984.51); in 1899, ^1,905,228 ($9,271,792.06).

Goods imported from the United States, viz: In 1900, ^661,841
($3,220,816.22); in 1899, ^^667,799 ($3,249»843.83).

The imports of Natal in 1900, as above stated, were ;^5, 91 1,518
($28,768,402.35), against ;^5, 359, 259 ($26,080,833.92) in 1899.

Here, again, the vast import for army use does not appear.

Among the increases for 1900 over 1899 are noted:



Articles.



Quantity.



Value.



Ale and beer

Animals:

Horses.

Mules

Oxen

Sheep

Bags, all kinds

Butter and margarin

Candles

Cheese

Clocks and watches.

Coal

Cocoa and chocolate.

Condensed milk

Confectionery.

Cereals:

Beans and pease

Corn meal...

Malt

Oats

Wheat

Other grains

Fruit, dried

Forage (oats, straw, and hay)...

Glassware

Instruments, mathematical

Iron, bar.

Lead, sheet

Linen manufactures.

Meats, frozen:

Beef

Mutton

Poultry

Paper



...gallons...

..number...
Ao



80,498

6,339
32



..number..
..pounds..
...pounds..



;^a,588



5,x3o
773,550
220,208



19,798
6,002



..pounds..

xlo....,

do



..do..
..do..
..do..
..do..
..do..
..do..



129,589

X, 594. 961

79,898

"5,779

4,452,502

i,574,66x

29,119,942

598.032

154,787



3.693
23,654



4,«93
68,692
8,996
358
1,432
2.471
5,001



..pounds...

do..

do..



10,243,275

2,657,959
zoo, 000



4|iS4



I", 594.50



96.296.97
29,208.73



17,971.98
105,112.19



20,405.23
324,289.62

43,77903
z, 742. 21
6,968.83

xa,oa5.za

24,327.36



Digitized by LjOOQ IC



172



TRADE CONDITIONS IN SOUTH AFRICA.



Articles.



Quantity.



Value.



Plate and jewelry

Provisions:

Fish, dried pounds..

Fruit, tinned do

Pickles do

Vegetables, preserved do



Jams.



..do..



Hams and bacon » do..

Meats, preserved do..

Oilman's stores

Rice cwts...

Spirits:

Brandy gallons..

Whislcy do

Stationery

Sugar pounds..

Tin:

Ingot

Plate and sheet

Tobacco:

Unmanufactured pounds..

Cigars do

Manufactured do

Cigarettes do

Wine .gallons..



101,487

381 1739
204,025
239. S05
903,265
386,451
x,ozx,9i4



5,897

I3.3<»
66,952



2.237.845



61,864
16,621
139.69X
254.975
75.072



/:B,i65



469
2,384



139.794-97



200,948.22



10,870.76



2,282.34
11,601.74



Imports by countries^ as entered at the custom-house during igoo.



Country.



Increase.



Decrease.



United Kingdom.

United Sutes ~

India..

Australia

Mauritius

European countries (other than United Kingdom)...
Other countries



$1,077,1 17.05



128,994.61
136,768.12



2,016,015.94
26,653.82



6x9,481.38
56,052.35



Tonnage delivered at the ports of Natal by British and foreign vessels in igoo.

Tons.

British 689,629

Foreign 105, 112

Total 994.741

Number and nationality of vessels arriving at Natal during igoo.



American .

British

Austrian ...
Danish......

Dutch

French



Nationality.



Num-
ber.



5

646

3

6



Nationality.



German

Italian ,

Norwegian..
Portuguese .

Russian

Spanish



Num.
ber.



35
3
50

3

4



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TRADE CONDITIONS IN SOUTH AFRICA. 1 73

This does not include transports with army supplies. Only
4,273 tons of goods were brought to Natal in American vessels.

WOOD AND WOOD MANUFACTURES IN NATAL.

I attach hereto clippings from a newspaper review of a recent
report of the Norwegian consul at Durban, Natal. . I believe it will
interest our lumbermen, for from Sweden and Norway comes much
of the lumber, ceilings, and sidings used in the colonies. It will
be noted that American nails are being imitated in Sweden and
Norway.

Review of Report of Norwegian Consul.

Of the Norwegian goods imported, only those which could be disposed of to the
army had met with any demand, while timber had continued neglected throughout
the campaign. Under these circumstances, Mr. Berck had seized the opportunity
to make a special study of the trade circumstances of Natal, so far as this was
possible, and it is his opinion that that colony will form one of the leading markets
in South Africa for Norwegian goods when the war is over, f

natal's prosperous future.

After alluding to the huge strides which Natal has made in every direction in
the last five years, he goes on to remark that the prosperity of the colony is not
like that of the Transvaal, dependent on the mining industry, things in general
being more stable. Natal possesses a rich hinterland, and the augmented overberg
transport trade with the Transvaal and the Orange River Colony which will ensue
after hostilities cease should enable it to march steadily forward, uurban is, he
says, the only town in Natal of importance to his countrymen, for the reason that
it is the colony's sole port. After referring to the harbor, which he thinks may
now be regarded as the first in South Africa, or at worst the equal of that of Cape
Town. Mr. Berck goes on to remark that the quay accommodation had been con-
siderably improved and extended, and although after the war there would be an
enormous import trade, he did not believe that there would be any delay in the dis-
charge of cargoes. Despite the fact that the demand for Norwegian goods is at
present inconsiderable, Mr. Berck adds that timber, which was the biggest item of
Norwegian imports into Natal, would always find a ready market there, and he
gives some extended details of local prices, duties, landing charges, etc., for the
behoof of his compatriots in general, and especially for those wlio desire to set up
branch houses in Durban. The suggestions should be equally valuable to such of
our Canadian readers as are similarly minded.

HINTS FOR EXPORTERS OF TIMBER.

Stocks of timber, he says, had not for some time previous to the time of his
writing been large, and, so far as he could glean, not many cargoes were expected
to arrive, and purchases had been delayed in the hope that European prices would
decline. There were rumors that attempts were being made to introduce spruce
pine from Canada, but he did not fear this would damage the Norwegian trade as
it was not suited to the South African market, it having been found that deals cut
from it were more subject to destruction by white ants than those cut from fir, and
consequently architects rarely employed spruce for local buildings. Moreover, the
dimensions of Canadian deals could not compare with those of Norway and Sweden
then current. The market prices of timber are quoted per running foot, as follows:



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174 TRADE CONDITIONS IN SOUTH AFRICA.

Deals, fourth and fifth quality, 3 by 9 feet, up to 17 feet, per foot, 5X^-*» ditto, up to
18 and 19 feet, 5^d.; ditto, 20 feet and above, 6^d. ; 3 by 11 feet, l^d. to 7>^d.; 4
by 9 feet, 8d.; and 4 by 11 feet, lod. Planed — ceiling boards, quality "colonial
mixed and thirds," >^ by 6 feet(>^ by 6>^ feet) up to 20 feet, per foot, ^d. ; >i by 6 feet
(H by 6>^ feet), ^d. ; %\>y a% feet \)i by 5 feet), %d. Flooring boards— same qual-
ity, ^ by 6 feet (i by b%. feet) up to 20 feet, per foot, id. and i>^d. These prices
include delivery to buyers less 5 per cent discount, and from thirty to sixty days*
credit. Landing charges are: Deals, per ton (40 cubic feet), is., and boards, is. 3d.
to IS. 6d. Sorting — deals, gd. to is., and boards, is. to is. 3d. per ton; and delivery
from wharf to any building site in town, is. 3d. per ton. The customs imposts are
id. per cubic foot for unplaned timber and i%d. for planed.

SIZES AND CLASSES OF TIMBER MOST IN DEMAND.

The sizes most preferred for the Natal market are: Deals, 3 by 9 feet, 4 by 9
feet, 3 by II feet, 3 by 8 feet, and 3 by 6 feet; scantlings. 3 by 4)^ feet, 3 by 3 feet,
2 by 4}^ feet, i>^ by 4^ feet, 2 by 3 feet, and 4 by 4 feet; and boards, i by t%
feet, yi by 6^ feet, i by 5 feet, and ij^ by 6^ feet. Mr. Berck says it is the gen-
eral opinion in Norway and Sweden that any kind of timber will sell in South
Africa, but this view^s wholly erroneous. It is far more advantageous for ex-
porters to send the sizes and qualities used locally and get good prices for them
than to send those for which there is no demand. Although the latter eventually
find buyers, after much delay, they have to be disposed of at bad prices. It has
been Mr. Berck's unpleasant experience to see cargo after cargo sent of unsuitable
sizes and remain a drug on the market for a considerable period. Consignors who
carelessly ship such cargoes create difficulties for the consignee, who can not realize
to the satisfaction of his clients. There is a big opening for spars from 28 to 40
feet in length and not less than 3 to 4 inches in diameter. They come as deck
loads. The prices range from los. to 13s. each, landed and delivered.

SIZES AND PRICES FOR DOORS, WINDOWS, CORNICES, ETC.

Doors and windows made after Norwegian patterns do not suit the requirements
of Natal purchasers. A trial consignment, made from designs furnished by Mr.
Berck, had, however, been found satisfactory. The dimensions and prices of made
doors most suitable for the Durban market are as under —

Six feet 6 inches by 2 feet 6 inches by i^ inches, molded on both sides, 8s.
each; 6 feet 6 inches by 2 feet 6 inches by i^ inches, molded on both sides, 9s.
6d. each; 6 feet 6 inches by 2 feet 6 inches by i^ inches, molded on both sides,
los. 6d. each; 6 feet 6 inches by 2 feet 6 inches by ly^ inches, molded on both
sides, I2S. 6d. each; 6 feet 10 inches by 2 feet 10 inches by i>^ inches, molded on
both sides. 14s. each. These prices include delivery to buyer, less 5 per cent dis-
count. Duties are 7^ per cent ad valorem per door, reckoned on cost price at
place of origin. The dimensions and prices of moldings in demand in Durban are:
Three-inch cornice, per running foot, id.; 4-inch, i%d.\ 5-inch, i)^d.; and 6-inch,
2d. Three-inch architraves, i^d.; 4-inch, i^d.; 5-inch, 2d.; and 6-inch, 2j^d.
Three-inch O. G. molding, i%d., and 4-inch, i^d. S'x-inch skirting, O. G., i%d.\
7-inch, i^d.; and 9-inch, 2}(d. These prices include delivery to building site, less
5 per cent.

THE DEMAND FOR PACKING CASES.

There is a great local consumption of packing-case wood. Mr. Berck has re-
ceived many orders for it, but had, with regret, to place them with Swedish export-
ers, as Norwegian quotations were much too high. He gives specifications of
cases which he says he can sell in Durban to the number of from 50,000 to 70,000



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TRADE IN SOUTH AFRICA. 1 75

per annum. Prices should be made out per case delivered f. o. b. London, or f. o. b.
sailing ship, Antwerp. They should be the lowest quotation, including delivery,
as the competition of Swedish and American exporters has to be met. The follow-
ing are samples of three specifications:

Case No. i8. — Ends, i6 by 7 inches by )( inch, one piece each; sides, 19 by 7
inches by ^ inch, one piece each (actual); lid and bottom, 19 by 16^ inches by ^
inch, two pieces each (actual). Case No. 11. — Ends, 12^ by 6}4 inches by ^ inch,
one piece each (actual); sides, 28^ by 6}4 inches by }4 inch, one piece each; lid
and bottom, 28^^ by 13^ inches by )4 inch, one piece each. Case No. 20. — Ends,
12)^ by 6}4 inches by }^ inch, one piece each; sides, 20 by 6^ inches by ^ inch,
one piece each; lid and bottom, 20 by 13^ inches by }4 inch, two pieces each. The
thicknesses of the end pieces in Nos. 11 and 20, and the thickness of the lid, bottom,
and sides of No. 18 are actual. All the other thicknesses are nominal, and -jV inch
may by allowed for sawing.

WOODEN HOUSES, MATCHES, ETC.

Ready-made wooden houses find no sale in Natal, as they are subject to destruc-
tion by white ants. Matches are now locally made, and Mr. Berck says there are
three factories in work in Durban alone. The matches are excellent, and he there-
fore fears that they will eventually wholly exclude the Norwegian and Swedish
article. Present prices range between 2s. 9d. and 3s. 6d. per gross, less 5 per cent
discount, but as the imported articles have to bear an impost of 2s. per gross, there
is little margin for competition.

CUT NAILS.

With respect to nails, Mr. Berck placed a trial order with a Norwegian firm for
nails to be made after an American pattern, but the manufacturers declined to un-
dertake it unless it was followed by substantial orders. Hereupon he retorts that
German houses are at all times ready to manufacture to sample, and even take the
risk whether the goods find a market or not. He considers that American cut nails
are not so good as those made in Norway, but are much cheaper.

James G. Stowe,
Cape Town, July ^^ ipoi. Consul- General.



TRADE IN SOUTH AFRICA.

British trade is envious of the vast strides made during the last
four years in the exportation of manufactures and products of the
United States, particularly to British colonies and dependencies. It
is suggested that **a coalition of those British manufacturers inter-
ested particularly in the mining, engineering, and allied trades
should be formed without delay, to obtain sites in Johannesburg,
where stocks may be kept for the prompt delivery of goods. " This
is to forestall possible similar action on the part of American manu-
facturers, to secure the Transvaal mining trade. While the resump-
tion of mining operations may portend much, I believe that there
will be no immediate demand for mining machinery and appliances,



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176 TRADE IN SOUTH AFRICA.

for the reason that large orders have been placed (many in the
United States), and at the coast ports much machinery, etc., can
be found waiting for a clear track to the Transvaal. The shortage
of cars may be accounted for, not only by the destruction by the
Boer commandoes, but also from the fact that the construction of
new ones is delayed by lack ot men. Recently, ten Baldwin and
ten Schenectady engines have arrived, and have completed the
1,000-mile run required by the specification. Many objections to
them have been made, particularly by the operators — objections too
ridiculous to mention — but the engines are busy.

RAILWAY STOCK.

If the permission of the Portuguese Government can be obtained,
a line of railway will be built from Delagoa Bay to Johannesburg.
The line will be broad gauge — 4 feet 8 inches — and will cheapen the
carriage of goods to Johannesburg over 50 per cent. Eighty miles
from Delagoa Bay there has been found an abundance of coal, which
will add to the value of the road. Delagoa Bay will in a short time
be a port of great value to the Transvaal, and Johannesburg will
probably reach a population of 500,000.

Mr. C. B. Elliott, general manager of the railways of Cape Colony,
is now on his way to the Continent and the United States. In a
recent interview, he stated in substance, referring to purchases for
the railways, that **a preference would be given to English manu-
facturers, with a certain margin." But he added that the Cape



Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign CommerceConsular reports, Issues 252-255 → online text (page 18 of 65)