Page:1902 Encyclopædia Britannica - Volume 26 - AUS-CHI.pdf/276

This page needs to be proofread.


244

BILASPUR — BILBAO expenditure included Rs.1,41,191 on railways, and and around Bilbao there are more than thirty convents Rs. 1,54,462 on irrigation. The military force consists and monasteries, and at Olaviaga, about a mile off, the of 500 men, besides the imperial service corps of the Jesuits have built a university, attended by 850 students. same strength, maintained at a cost of Rs. 1,56,000. Public education is not, however, entirely in the hands of This corps took part in the China expedition of 1900-1. the priesthood and nuns : there are an institute, a normal There are 17 schools with 1606 pupils, including a high school to train teachers, a school of arts and handicrafts, school affiliated to the university of Allahabad, a school a nautical school, and sixteen public primary schools for for the sons of nobles, and a girls’ school called after Lady both sexes. A fine modern theatre has been erected. Elgin. The railway from Jodhpur is being extended A meteorological institute publishes very complete towards Bhatinda in the Punjab; on the northern border, statistics. The mean temperature in 1898 was 58° F., the Ghaggar canal in the Punjab irrigates about 5000 the maximum 106°, and the minimum 28'4°. Only eightyacres. Coal has been found in the state. Drought is of five days were classed as clear, and the total rainfall for common occurrence. The famine of 1899-1900 was the year was 35-22 inches, that being 10-1 inches less severely felt. The chief agricultural stock consists of than in 1897. During the year 1898 the marriages were camels, and an annual show has been started to improve 5-96 per 1000, the deaths 32-19, the living births 40*62, the breed. The principal industries are the weaving of the legitimate children 54-26, the illegitimate 11-78. woollen fabrics, carving, and the making of ivory bracelets The foundling hospital had 1026 inmates at the close of ornamented with gold. 1898, with a death-rate of 102-29 per 1000. The proThe city of Bikanir has a railway station. The popula- sperity of Bilbao since 1874 has been chiefly due to the tion in 1881 was 43,283; in 1891 it was 56,252. It has development of the mining and metallurgic industries. special manufactures of fine blankets and sugar-candy. By reason of this the town has become the centre of a network of railway lines unrivalled in any province in Bilaspur, a town and district of British India in the Chhattisgarh division of the Central Provinces. The town Spain, and the Harbour Works Board, constituted in 1877, is situated on the right bank of the river Arpa. The popu- has improved the river channel and the bar, made wharves lation in 1891 was 11,122. It is now an important junc- and embankments, lighted the lower third of the river by tion on the Bengal-Nagpur railway, where the two lines electricity, so as to allow vessels to enter by night, and from the west meet on their way to Calcutta, 255 miles constructed a breakwater and counter-mole outside the bar of the river Nervion, between Santurce, Portugalete, from Nagpur. and the opposite headland at Algorta, so as to secure deep The district of Bilaspur has an area of 8341 square miles. The population in 1891 was 1,163,897, being 140 anchorage and easy access to the river. Dry docks were persons per square mile. Classified according to religion, constructed in 1896. The sums collected as customs Hindus numbered 1,059,457 ; Mahommedans, 11,101 ; duties in Biscay, 95 per cent, of which were drawn from aborigines, 93,126, chiefly Gonds; Christians, 128, of the port of Bilbao, amounted in 1898 to £471,275 (at the whom 70 were Europeans; “others,” 85. In 1901 the old fixed rate of 25 pesetas to each pound sterling). The population was 1,011,512, showing a decrease of 13 per general movement of shipping in the same year showed cent., compared with an increase of 14 per cent, in the 4005 vessels of 2,352,157 tons entered and cleared. preceding decade. The total amount of land revenue Spanish vessels numbered 1754 of 494,877 tons, chiefly and rates is returned as Rs.5,98,395, the incidence engaged in the coasting trade. Great Britain has been at of assessment being 4 annas per acre of assessed area; the head of the shipping movement since 1880. In 1898, number of police, 511. In 1897-98, out of a total 157 British vessels entered, with cargoes of 133,701 tons, cultivated area of 1,496,166 acres, only 3159 were valued at £313,492, whilst 291 entered in ballast, with a irrigated from tanks, &c. The principal crops are rice, tonnage of 269,876; 6 vessels cleared in ballast with a wheat, other food-grains, oil-seeds, and a little cotton. tonnage of 3430, and 1317 vessels with cargoes of There are considerable manufactures of cotton cloth. In 1,105,696 tons, valued at £1,522,823. The exports are 1897-98 the number of schools was 158, attended by 9606 chiefly iron ores, of which Great Britain took from pupils. Bilaspur, which was formerly a very isolated all sources 3,043,000 tons in 1898, France 253,000, tract, is now traversed in three directions by lines of Holland and Belgium 968,000, in reality in transit for the Bengal-Nagpur railway. It suffered severely from the Germany. The new ironworks become more important famine of 1896-97. In 1897 the general death-rate was as every year. Five large firms in 1898 employed over high as 90 per thousand, rising to 297 in Bilaspur town. 4000 persons, and produced 191,220 tons of pig iron, It suffered no less severely in 1900, when in May the 83,423 tons of steel, and 80,910 tons of coke. The export number of persons relieved rose to one-fourth of the total of pig iron rose from 21,952 tons in 1895 to 51,942 tons in 1898. In the coasting trade the exports are mostly population. pig iron, codfish, and some products of local industries Bilbao, a town of Spain, capital of the Basque pro- and agriculture. The exports of wines, in great part vince of Biscay, on the river Ansa or Nervion, about 6 miles brought by rail from Navarre and the Ebro valley, has from the sea. Few cities in Spain have grown so rapidly increased from 283,000 gallons in 1894 to 873,000 in in size, importance, and wealth as Bilbao in the last thirty 1898. The imports in 1898 included 407,837 tons of coal years. The population, 17,649 in 1870, rose to 50,734 in and 386,792 tons of coke from Great Britain. This total 1887, 74,076 in 1897, and 83,213 in 1900. Since 1876 was seriously affected by the Welsh coal strike; in the a completely new town has been mapped out, and “ new ” previous year 431,273 tons of coal alone were imported, Bilbao is no longer confined to the right bank of the river. chiefly from England. Of great importance also were Fine broad streets, splendid squares and public gardens, woods of all kinds from Sweden and Finland, and coasthotels, villas, palatial new public buildings, a new post wise from Asturias (141,000 tons). Besides the mining office, and numerous schools have come into existence, and metallurgic industries, Bilbao has breweries, tanneries, which vie with those of Madrid and Barcelona. The part flour mills, glass works, brandy distilleries, and paper, of the town on the right bank is, however, still the great soap, cotton, and mosaic factories. In 1874 Bilbao was centre of business, the narrow streets containing the for months besieged unavailingly by the second Carlist best of shops. There, too, are the banks, the town hall, pretender. Its relief enabled it to retain its title of the principal clubs, and the four principal churches. In “Invicta Villa.” (a. e. h.)