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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 32.djvu/192

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180
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

in consequence of the "dislocation" of the money of England's Indian customers. But the facts do not bear out such statements. Taking the number 100 as representing the condition of the cotton-fabric export trade of England with India in 1874, the numbers for 1876 were, respectively, 134 for quantity and 96 for value; and this change in value, as was testified to before the Gold and Silver Commission, has "occurred since 1883"; or was coincident with a recognized increase at that date in the manufacturing capacity of the cotton-factories of Europe and the United States, greatly in excess of any current market demand for consumption.[1]

In like manner the official returns also show that while India during recent years has largely increased her exports of domestic cotton fabrics—cloth and yarn—to China and Java, the exports of like products from England to these same countries from 1875 to 1884-'85—the period covering the greatest decline in the price of silver (or of the fall in exchange)—also continually increased; or for 1884 were 14 per cent in the case of piece goods, and 32 per cent in yarn, greater in the aggregate than they were in 1875. Since 1884-'85 the condition of the British export trade to China is reported to have been less favorable.

It might also seem that the Government of India, in selling its remittances in silver—India Council bills—to cover its liabilities in England, for a less price in gold than formerly, constantly experiences a loss; but, on the other hand, it is well established that the increase in the revenues of India, since the decline in silver began, owing to the increased prosperity of the country and the increased receipts of the government railways, fully counterbalances any loss they may have incurred in remitting silver against their gold liabilities.

Another pertinent example, and one not in any way connected with the trade of Europe or India, is afforded by the recent trade experiences of Mexico. This country has almost exclusively a silver currency; and the fluctuations in the price of silver since 1873—Mexican exchange having varied in New York in recent years from 114 to 140[2]—would seem necessarily to have been a disturbing factor of no little importance in the trade between the United States and Mexico. But

  1. In 1870 the British export of cotton piece-goods to India was returned at 923,000,000 yards, representing 28·4 per cent of the entire trade of the United Kingdom with India. In 1884 the export of these same goods was 1,791,000,000 yards, or 40·6 per cent of the entire trade. In respect to cotton yarns the British exports to India for 1870 were 31,000,000 pounds, or 16·5 per cent of the total exports; and in 1884, 49,000,000 pounds, or 18·1 per cent of the total exports. The bulk of the trade of Great Britain is with gold-using countries; and yet, while the trade of India with Great Britain was 8·3 per cent of the whole trade of the kingdom in 1870, it constituted in 1883 as much as 9·9 per cent of the whole trade.—Testimony before the Gold and Silver Commission of Mr. Henry Waterfield, Financial Secretary of the India Office, London. (See First Report of Commission, pp. 122, 123.)
  2. That is, one hundred and forty Mexican dollars to one hundred dollars of the United States gold standard.