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History of the National progress - Continued. page 2

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Vast as are the supplies of food which the United Kingdom draws from the rest of the world, there is another class of imports, the raw materials of the manufactures, which is still vaster. The total value of this division of the imports in 1871 was upwards of one hundred and seventy-five millions sterling. In 1858 the value was less than a hundred millions, so that there was an increase of more than 75 per cent, in the fourteen years. By far the most important section of the class consists of the materials for the manufacture of textile fabrics, and one article alone - raw cotton - is not only the most important single article of the section itself, but stands at the head of imports of all classes. Its value in 1871 was little short of one-third of that of all the raw materials taken together, being nearly fifty-six million pounds sterling, out of a total of one hundred and seventy-five millions. In 1858 its value was thirty millions, the total of the whole class being ninety-nine millions. The imports of this article had, therefore, been nearly doubled in the fourteen years. The next in importance, as an article of import, is wool, the staple of one of the oldest and still one of the largest manufactures of the United Kingdom. The value of sheep, alpaca, and llama wools imported increased from less than nine millions in 1858 to nearly eighteen millions in 1871. Adding to this sum the value of the woollen rags, which are re-manufactured in the shoddy mills into cloth, and including also the value of the imports of goats' and other hair, we find that there was a total of more than nineteen millions and a half of this class of materials imported in 1871. The imports of flax, hemp, and jute - the materials of the linen, rope or cable, and sacking manufactures - increased in the fourteen years' interval from a value of less than five millions to nearly twelve millions sterling. The imports of silk, raw and thrown, rose in the same period from six and a third millions to nine and three-quarter millions, an increase of 50 per cent. Such, in brief, were the imports of the raw materials of the most important class of British manufactures, those of the textile fabrics. The grand total of the whole rose from a little more than fifty millions sterling in 1858 to more than ninety-seven millions in 1871, so that they had in that interval nearly doubled themselves. The remaining imports of raw materials present a very great variety, and do not admit, like the materials of the textile fabrics, of being classed in any considerable subdivisions. From the following table it will be seen that there are very few articles which do not show an increase more or less considerable: -

Value of the Raw Materials of Manufactures Imported in 1871 and in 1858

Raw Cotton55,907,07030,106,968
Drugs (Miscellaneous)405,096151,309
Dyeing and Tanning Stuffs, Indigo, &c5,687,1534,413,202
Flax and Hemp8,145,4904,274,610
Hair, Goats1,055,248572,361
Copper and Copper Ore3,922,1062,873,659
Silver Ore953,956209,154
Iron and Copper Pyrites1,164,247-
Rags, Esparto, &c. (Paper-making Materials)1,776,293246,133
Cubic Nitre1,131,700386,898
Seeds (Clover and Grass)927,061574,308
Seeds Cotton1,495,399-
Seeds Flax and Linseed3,687,0922,710,078
Seeds Rape1,908,474571,931
Silk, Raw and Thrown9,779,2866,329,691
Sheep Skins, Undressed934,126190,194
Seal Skins, Undressed228,970274,658
Goat Skins, Undressed133,29763,046
Tallow and Stearine3,134,5313,062,932
Teeth (Elephants, &c.)341,205410,608
Tobacco, Unmanufactured2,462,6702,230,323
Wood and Timber12,067,2107,849,208
Wool (Sheep, Alpaca, Llaaia)17,926,6398,972,218
Woollen Rags498,754227,740
Other Articles (circa)14,542,292 7,059,287

Compared with these gigantic totals, the imports of commodities in a manufactured state appear very insignificant. Their total value, which in 1858 was about six millions and a quarter sterling, had, however, reached a sum of twenty-five millions and a quarter in the year 1871, showing an addition of three times the value at which they stood but fourteen years before. The principal class of articles in this division of the imports consists of textile fabrics, the silk manufactures being by far the most important. Their value in 1871 was nearly eight and a half millions sterling, as against rather more than two millions in 1858. Woollen goods stand next, and in 1871 their value, including that of Berlin wool and woollen yarn, was more than five and three-quarter millions sterling, as against rather less than one million in 1858. During the same interval the cotton manufactures imported increased in value from less than six hundred thousand pounds, to more than one million four hundred thousand. Such are the principal imports of textile fabrics. No other class of articles reached as much as one million sterling in value, with the single exception of leather gloves, which were imported principally from France, to the value of more than one million three hundred thousand pounds in 1871, as against three hundred and sixty thousand pounds in 1858, the value of this class of commodities having thus increased in the fourteen years nearly four-fold. In the following table the value of all the principal manufactures imported into the United Kingdom in 1871 and 1858 is separately stated: -

Value of Manufactures Imported into the United Kingdom in 1871 and 1858

Chemical Manufactures and Products851,757232,454
Cotton Manufactures1,444,964574,223
Flowers, Artificial367,186104,574
Glass of all kinds994,888148,106
Hair, Goats' Hair Manufactures42,636249,433
Leather Gloves1,317,966365,963
Iron and Steel Manufactures678,31219,959
Zinc Manufactures207,667138,798
Silk Manufactures, European8,195,7251,963,085
Silk Manufactures, Non-European202,213223,976
Sheep Skins, Tanned and Dressed153,70536,459
Goat Skins, Tanned and Dressed443,101118,617
Tobacco, Manufactured862,236300,516
Woollen Manufactures4,637,625845,168
Berlin Wool81,88328,841
Woollen Yarn1,097,28994,807
Other Articles (circa)2,093,012433,884

To sum up the value of the three great divisions of the imports, it appears that in 1871, while the food and drinks imported were estimated at upwards of one hundred and thirty-one millions, and the raw materials at one hundred and seventy-five millions, making together more than three hundred and six millions, the manufactured goods brought from abroad were valued at less than twenty-five and a quarter millions. The food and raw materials, therefore, were of more than twelve times the value of the manufactures imported. In 1858 the manufactured goods imported were worth but six and a quarter millions, while the food and raw materials were of the value of more than one hundred and fifty-eight millions, the latter being accordingly more than twenty- five times the value of the former. These facts are collected together in the following table: -

Value of the Three Divisions of the Imports into the United Kingdom in 1871 and 1858

Food and Drinks131,761,36259,040,921
Raw Materials175,044,47999,505,522

Such then was the increase and such the nature of the imports into the United Kingdom, in the early part of the second half of the nineteenth century.

We have now to compare the progress which the exports of the United Kingdom have made under the several heads between the years 1851 and 1871. A striking contrast is found between the nature of the goods imported and those exported. We have seen that, in the period we had under consideration, what the United Kingdom drew from foreign countries consisted in an overwhelming proportion of food and drinks, and of the raw materials of the manufactures. Of the same two great classes of commodities, it will presently be seen that the quantities which have left the United Kingdom have constantly been comparatively limited. On the other hand, we saw that the manufactured goods brought into the United Kingdom from abroad formed a very small proportion of her total imports. In the exports, however, it was precisely this class of commodities which constituted all but a small proportion of the whole. In fact, in the imports the relative importance of manufactures and of raw materials, including food and drinks, is precisely the reverse of what it is in the exports. In the exports the manufactures are all-important, the raw materials and food comparatively trifling; in the imports the raw materials and food are all-important, the manufactures being of slight moment in comparison.

The value of the food and drinks exported from the United Kingdom in the year 1851 was but little more than two millions sterling, and but little more than ten millions and a quarter sterling twenty years later, in the exceptional year 1871. It has already been mentioned that at the latter date, owing to the distress in France consequent upon the war between that country and Germany, the quantity of corn exported from the United Kingdom was unprecedentedly large. Its value, which was estimated to have been nearly three and a half millions sterling, was nearly eight times the average annual value of the grain and flour leaving the ports of the United Kingdom - that average having for many years been less than half a million sterling. In the year 1851 the value of the exports of corn and flour was less than eighty-one thousand pounds sterling. Apart from the abnormal circumstances of the year 1871, the particular items in the class under consideration in which the largest export trade was done, were those which have long held the first place among exports of food or drinks. In other words, they were beer and ale. The average annual value of these beverages exported has for a long series of years been upwards of a million and three-quarters sterling. It was less than six hundred thousand pounds sterling in 1851, but within two years of that date it rose to nearly thirteen hundred thousand pounds sterling. It was more than two millions in 1859, and the annual average ever since has been within a quarter of a million of that sum. The quantity of sugar exported, which in 1871 was also greatly in excess of the average in consequence of the Franco-German War, was estimated in that year to be of the value of upwards of twelve hundred thousand pounds, as against less than three hundred and seventy thousand in 1851, a sum which does not materially differ from the average for many years past. Next to beer and ale, the steadiest and most considerable of the articles of the same class exported from the United Kingdom consists of fish, principally herrings. The annual value of the exports of this kind of food has not more than once or twice during the twenty years been less than half a million sterling. In 1851 it was less than three hundred and fifty thousand sterling, but it has steadily increased ever since, and in 1871, as in several other years previously, it was more than a million sterling.

Among the remaining exports of this class of articles the most important are spirits, pickles, vinegar, and sauces, butter and cheese. We give the whole of the articles in this division, with the values in 1851 and twenty years later, in the following table: -

Value of Food and Drinks Exported from the United Kingdom in 1871 and 1851

Beer and Ale1,853,733577,142
Corn and Flour3,441,98280,309
Pickles, Vinegar, and Sauces482,062148,338
Spirits (British)200,57047,768
Sugar, Refined1,239,702368,085
Other Articles613,300161,263

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