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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 57.djvu/262

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

A father may assist his son by supplying him with the capital needed to carry on his business. Thus it is entirely with the mother country's money that the first colonial banks are founded. As the colony grows wealthier and the business of the banks extends, colonial shareholders purchase stock in it, but the number of British shareholders remains considerable. A typical example is that of the Bank of New Zealand, from two fifths to one half of whose shares are (or in 1888 were) held in the United Kingdom. In the older or wealthier colonies of New South Wales and Victoria the number of English shareholders may be smaller, though still large. A still larger proportion of the shares of the great colonial steamship companies, amounting possibly to three fourths or nine tenths of the whole, is held (chiefly by commercial men and firms) in Great Britain. Many commercial undertakings in all the colonies are engineered entirely by English capital (not included in the two thousand millions). The Canadian transcontinental railway; railways, electric tramway lines and silver mines in Tasmania; the Midland Railway and also copper mines in New Zealand; the gold mines in western Australia to such an extent that much more English capital is said to pour into that colony than gold flows out of it—are only a few colonial enterprises that would never have been undertaken but for the mother country's aid. Some of these are lucrative, others not; some have been abandoned, and others belong to a still darker class. "Uncounted millions of capital have been raised in the central money market of London, only to be fooled away in ill-conceived and misdirected enterprises abroad," says Lord Brassey. Nor are the losses confined to questionable undertakings. Two great Australasian banks have frittered away their entire capital of four and three millions, respectively, and it may he assumed that the British investor has borne one half of the losses. Of half a dozen smaller colonial banks a similar tale might be told. Father and son have to share in one another's adversity, as in one another's prosperity.

The socialistic movement in England has lately so strongly reacted on the relations of the Imperial Government with the colonies that the Secretary of State is believed to be willing to employ the resources of the empire to assist backward colonies. He has invited English capitalists to aid the declining West Indies, and a leading firm has offered to invest a million in the sugar industry if a guarantee of sufficient returns is given. The constitution of the projected Australian Federation contains a novel analogous provision, permitting the commonwealth to aid its needy provinces. The growing unity in the social organism as a whole is accompanied by an increasing unity in its component parts.

The mother country continues to defend its colonies, as animals defend their young and parents their children. But the polyp does not defend its offspring, nor did the earliest colonizing powers succor