C E Y LON 645 able to read or write their own tongue, and the census of 1901 Sinhalese find a precarious existence in digging for gems. Rich shows nearly two millions, out of a returned population of fully finds of a valuable ruby, sapphire, cat’s-eye, amethyst, alexandrite three and a half millions, still unable to read or write. The or star stone, are comparatively rare ; it is only of the commoner official returns (for 1898) show :— gems, such as moonstone, garnet, spinels, that a steady supply is obtained. The cat’s-eye in its finer qualities is peculiar to 500 Government schools with 48,642 scholars Ceylon, and is occasionally in great demand, according to the 1328 Aided (chiefly mission) schools ,, 120,751 ,, fashion. The obstacle to the investment of European capital in 2089 Unaided schools ,, 38,881 ,, “gemming” has always been the difficulty of preventing the native labourers in the pits—even if practically naked—from conTotal, 3917 schools ,, 208,274 ,, cealing and stealing gems. A Chamber of Mines, with a suitable The total expenditure was Es. 8,20,134, or about £55,000. library, was established in Colombo during 1899. Finance. — With the disease of the coffee plant the general Agriculture.—The area of uncultivated land must exceed 20,000 of the 25,365 square miles in the island. Of course a great deal revenue fell from Rs.1,70,00,000 in 1877 to Rs. 1,20,00,000 in 1882, when trade was in a very depressed state, and the is waste, besides lagoons, tanks, backwaters, &c. Thick forest general prosperity of the island was seriously affected. Since land does not cover more than 5000 square miles. Scrub, or then, however, the revenue has steadily risen with the growing chena, and patana grass cover a very great area. The following export of tea, cocoa-nut produce, plumbago, &c., and in 1900 it estimate of the cultivated area is taken from Ferguson’s Ceylon reached the unprecedented amount of Rs. 2,73,25,930 against Handbook and Directory for 1901 :— Acres an expenditure of Rs. 2,53,21,988, the rupee being fixed at 15 cultivated. to the £ sterling. The railway and customs make up between Rice (paddy cultivation) 600,000 them 56 per cent, of the revenue ; arrack monopoly yields Other grain (kurakkan, Indian corn, pulses, and Rs.25,00,000, there being about 1500 taverns, selling, with the legumes) 120,000 stores, 1,000,000 gallons of arrack. The salt monopoly yields Cocoa-nuts (European and native) .... 625,000 Rs.10,00,000; stamp duties, Rs. 15,00,000 ; land sales, Rs.7,50,000. Areca nuts, Palmyra, and Kitul palms . . . 135,000 The one-sided import duty on grain, affecting about five-eighths of Cinnamon ......... 45,000 the people, is indefensible, since the “paddy” rent (the levy on Cardamoms (European and native) .... 8,000 rice locally grown) was abolished in 1892. In expenditure, public Other spices, nutmeg, clove, pepper, vanilla, ginger, works and railways absorb one-fourth of the revenue ; military &c 10,000 expenditure, Rs.19,00,000 ; public debt charges, Rs. 30,00,000 Other palms and fruit-bearing trees and shrubs, jak, (the public debt is about Rs.5,60,00,000, or not much breadfruit, plantains, pines, oranges, mangoes, &c. . 243,000 more than two years’ revenue); medical administration and Garden vegetables, roots, yams, cassava, manioc, hospitals, Rs.13,00,000 ; pensions, Rs.10,00,000 ; and the rest of potatoes, cabbages, onions, chillies, cucumbers, &c. . 100,000 the expenditure is absorbed by the various other branches of Coffee (Arabica) European and native .... 7,700 administration. Do. (Liberian) do. do. .... 2,500 The Colombo municipality had a revenue for 1899 of Tea (European and native) ..... 392,000 Rs.10,88,520 against an expenditure of Rs.9,27,230. Kandy and Chocolate plant (cacao) (European and native) . . 30,000 Galle municipalities are much smaller, with revenues of about Cinchona ......... 2,200 Rs. 1,40,000 and Rs. 80,000 respectively, and local boards established Sugar-cane ......... 13,000 in fourteen minor towns raise about Rs.10,00,000 altogether. Cotton ......... 1,000 Minerals.—Commercially there are two established industries : Tobacco ......... 25,000 (1) that of digging for precious stones; and (2) the much Citronella grass and other essential oil grasses . . 40,000 more important industry of digging for plumbago or graphite, Rhea, aloes, and other fibres ..... 1,000 the one mineral of commercial importance found. Further Rubber trees ........ 2,600 developments may result in the shipment of the exceptionally Other new products ....... 5,000 pure iron ore found in different parts of Ceylon, though Blue gums and introduced timber trees . . . 8,000 still no coal has been found to be utilized with it. Several Cultivated grass land ....... 15,000 places, too — Ruanwella, Rangalla, Rangbodde, &c.—indicate Patana, natural pasturage, &c. ..... 1,000,000 where gold was found in the time of the Kandyan kings ; and geologists might possibly indicate a paying quartz reef, as in Total acres .... 3,434,000 Mysore. Owing to the greatly increased demand in Europe and America, plumbago in 1899 more than doubled in price, rising from Tea, cacao, cardamoms, cinchona, coffee, and indiarubber are £40 to £80, and even £100 a ton for the finest. Latterly there the products cultivated by the European and an increasing has been a considerable fall, but the permanent demand is likely to number of native planters in the hill country and (for tea) part of continue keen in consequence mainly of the Ceylon kind being the the low country of Ceylon. It was owing to the failure of the coffee best for making crucibles. One consequence of the plumbago boom crops, as previously mentioned, that planters began extensively has been to bring European and American capitalists and Cornish to grow the tea plant, which had already been known in the island and Italian miners into a field hitherto almost entirely worked by for several years. By 1882 over 20,000 acres had been planted Sinhalese. Though some of the mines were carried to a depth of with tea, but the export that year was under 700,000 lb. Five 1000 feet, the work was generally very primitive in character, and years later the area planted was 170,000 acres, while the export Western methods of working are sure to lead to greater safety and had risen to nearly 14,000,000 R>. By 1892 there were 262,000 economy. Besides a royalty or customs duty of 5 rupees (about acres covered with tea, and 71,000,000 R> were that year exported. 6s. 8d.) per ton on all plumbago exported, the Government issue In 1897, 350,000 acres were planted, and the export was licenses at moderate rates for the digging of plumbago on Crown 116,000,000 lb. And in 1901 the total area cultivated with lands, a certain share of the resulting mineral also going to tea was not under 390,000 acres, while the estimate of shipments Government. The plumbago industry, in all its departments of was put at 146,000,000 lb. The maximum area ever under coffee was mining, carting, preparing, packing, and shipping, gives employ- 272,000 acres in 1877, when the total export of that product was ment to fully 100,000 men and women, still almost entirely equal to 103,000,000 lb. Now only a few thousand (perhaps 9000) Sinhalese. The wealthiest mine-owners, too, are Sinhalese land- acres of coffee are all that are left in Ceylon. From the first Ceylon owners or merchants. The export has quadrupled since 1874, the tea found favour in the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada, increase latterly being especially rapid — from 24,000 tons in and its use is rapidly spreading throughout Europe and the United 1898 to nearly 31,000 tons in 1899, when 15,000 tons went States. In 1900 the chief exports were to the United Kingdom, to the United States, 9300 tons to the United Kingdom, and nearly 114,000,000 lb; to Australia, 17,600,000lb; to Russia, nearly nearly 6000 tons to the continent of Europe. The local customs 9,000,000 lb ; to America, 4,000,000 11) ; and to China for America, value placed on the total export was about Rs. 1,00,00,000 (nearly 1,260,000 lb. Ceylon plantations of tea number in all about 1400, £700,000), but in the Western markets it was much larger. with as many European managers and assistants, giving employThe export of plumbago in 1900 was under 20,000 tons. In ment to fully 400,000 Tamil men, women, and children. all there must be from 2500 to 3000 plumbago pits or mines in Nearly every plantation has its factory, with the machinery Ceylon ; but many of these are abandoned or shut up, and per- necessary to prepare the leaf as brought in from the bushes until haps not more than from one-third to one-half are worked even it becomes the tea of commerce. The total amount of capital now under the influence of recent high prices. The finest bright invested in the tea industry in Ceylon cannot be less than silvery lump plumbago still commands prices up to 800 rupees £10,000,000 sterling. The tea-planting industry more than any(nearly £54) per ton ; while the lower qualities in the form of thing else has raised Ceylon from the very depressed state to chips and dust can be got at one-sixth (or less) that rate. which it fell in 1882. Before tea was proved a success, however, As regards gems, there are perhaps 500 gem pits or quarries cinchona cultivation was found a useful bridge from coffee to the worked in the island during the dry season from November to Ceylon planter, who, however, grew it so freely that in one year June in the Ratnapura, Rakwane, and Matara districts. Some of 15,000,000 lb bark was shipped, bringing the price of quinine these are on a small scale ; but altogether several thousands of down from 16s. to Is. 6d. an ounce. Then the culture became
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