Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/1194

This page needs to be proofread.



At the peace of Breda, in 1667, between England and the United Nether- hxnds, Surinam was assured to the Netherlands in exchange for the colony New Netherlands in North America, and this was confirmed l>y the treaty of AVestminster of February, 1674. Since then Surinam lias been twice in the power of England, 1799 till 1802, when it was restored at the peace of Amiens, and in 1804 to 1816, when it was returned according to the Convention of London of August 13, 1814, confirmed at the peace of Paris of November 20, 1815, with the other Dutch colonies, except Berbice, Demerara, Essequibo, and the Cape of Good Hope.

The superior administration and executive authority of Surinam is in the hands of a governor, assisted by a council consisting of the governor as president, the attorney-general as vice-president, and three members, all nominated by the King. The Colonial States form the representative body of the colony. Four members are chosen every year by the governor ; the others by electors in proportion of one in 200 electors.

Dutch Guiana is divided into sixteen districts and numerous communes.

The area of Dutch Guiana is 46,060 English square miles. At the end of 1896 the population was about 64,372, exclusive of the negroes living in the forests. The capital is Paramaribo, with about 30,000 inhabitants.

According to the terms of the regulation for the government of Dutch Guiana, entire liberty is granted to the members of all religious confessions.

At the end of 1896 there were : Reformed and Lutheran, 8,974 ; Moravian Brethren, 25,421 ; Roman Catholic, 11,773 ; Jews, 1,250; Mohammedans, 2,681 ; Hindus, 9,698, etc.

There were, in 1896, 19 public schools with 2,283 pupils, and 35 private schools with 4,847 pupils. Besides these elementary schools, there are a normal school and a central school of the Moravian Brethren for training teachers and of the Roman Catholics.

There is a court of justice, whose president, members, and recorder are nominated by the Sovereign, Further, there are three cantonal courts and two circuit courts.

The relations of Government to pauperism are limited to subventions to orphan-houses and other religious or philanthropical institutions.

The local revenue is derived from import, export, and excise duties, taxes on houses and estates, ])ersonal imposts, and some indirect taxes. A subven- tion from the mother-country is necessary. The revenue and expenditure in the last four years, in guilders, were : —

1895 1896 1897 1898

Expenditure , Local Revenue


2,006,000 1,827,000 2,271,000 2,042,000 2,245,000 2,017,700 2,348,000 2,141,000

179,000 228,000 229,000 207,000


In 1896 the militia {' Schutterij ') consisted of 26 officers and 417 men, the civic guard of 64 officers and 1,438 men, and the garrison of 22 officers and 372 men. The navy consists of a few guard ships, with some vessels of the royal navy.

Sugar was produced on 9 plantations of 1,705 hectares to the amount of 10,390,747 kilogrammes in 1896 ; 10,283,800 kilogrammes in 1895 ; cacao on about 97 plantations and 1,032 small properties of 12,243 hectares to the amount of 3,088,194 kilogrammes in 1896 ; 3,922,709 kilogi-ammes in 1895.