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also for extending the Verulum line to the extreme northern boundary of the Colony so as to serve the whole sugar producing district. This probably will be effected at no very distant time as sugar will become the staple produce of the coast, if not of the entire Colony. There is a belt of land lying between the hills and the sea which is peculiarly fertile and admirably adapted for the growth of sugar, on which very large sums of money have been already expended. It is often sad to look back upon the beginnings of commercial enterprises which ultimately lead to the fortunes not perhaps of individuals but of countries. Along this rich strip of coast-land large sums of money have been wasted, no doubt to the ruin of persons of whom, as they are ruined, the world will hear nothing. But their enterprise has led to the success of others of whom the world will hear. Coffee was grown here, and capital was expended on growing it upon a large scale. But Natal as a coffee-growing country has failed. As far as I could learn the seasons have not been sufficiently sure and settled for the growth of coffee. And now, already, in the new Colony, on which white men had hardly trodden half a century ago, there are wastes of deserted coffee bushes,-as there came to be in Jamaica after the emancipation of the slaves,-telling piteous tales of lost money and of broken hopes. The idea of growing coffee in Natal seems now to be almost abandoned.

But new ground is being devoted to the sugar cane every day, and new machinery is being continually brought into the Colony. The cultivation was first introduced into Natal by Mr. Morewood in 1849, and has progressed since with

various vicissitudes. The sugar has progressed; but, as is the nature of such enterprises, the vicissitudes have been the lot of the sugar growers. There has been much success, and there has also been much failure. Men have gone beyond their capital, and the banks with their high rates of interest have too often swallowed up the profits. But the result to the Colony has been success. The plantations are there, increasing every day, and are occupied if not by owners then by managers. Labourers are employed, and public Revenue is raised. A commerce with life in it has been established so that no one travelling through the sugar districts can doubt but that money is being made, into whatever pocket the money may go.

I was

Various accounts of the produce were given to me. assured by one or two sugar growers that four ton to the acre was not uncommon,-whereas I knew by old experience in other sugar countries that four ton to the acre per annum would be a very heavy crop indeed. But sugar, unlike almost all other produce, can not be measured by the year's work. The canes are not cut yearly, at a special period, as wheat is reaped or apples are picked. The first crop in Natal is generally the growth of nearly or perhaps quite two years, and the second crop, being the crop from the first ratoons, is the produce of 15 months. The average yield per annum is, I believe, about 1 tons per acre of canes,-which is still high.

It used to be the practice for a grower of canes to have as a matter of course a plant for making sugar,—and probably It seemed to be the necessity of the business of cane


growing that the planter should also be a manufacturer,as though a grower of hemp was bound to make ropes or a grower of wheat to make bread. Thus it came to pass that it required a man with considerable capital to grow canes, and the small farmer was shut out from the occupation. In Cuba and Demerara and Barbados the cane grower is, I think, still almost always a manufacturer. In Queensland I found farmers growing canes which they sold to manufacturers who made the sugar. This plan is now being largely adopted in Natal and central mills are being established by companies who can of course command better machinery than individuals with small capitals. But even in this arrangement there is much difficulty,-the mill owners finding it sometimes impossible to get cane as they want it, and the cane growers being equally hard set to obtain the miller's services just as their canes are fit for crushing. It becomes necessary that special agreements shall be made beforehand as to periods and quantities, which special agreements it is not always easy to keep. The payment for the service done is generally made in kind, the miller retaining a portion of the sugar produced, half or two thirds, as he or the grower may have performed the very onerous work of carrying the canes from the ground to the mill. The latter operation is another great difficulty in the way of central mills. When the sugar grower had his own machinery in the centre of his own cane fields he was able to take care that a minimum amount of carriage should be required;but with large central manufactories the growing cane is necessarily thrown back to a distance from the mill and a

heavy cost for carriage is added. The amount of cane to make a ton of sugar is so bulky that a distance is easily reached beyond which the plants cannot be carried without a cost which would make any profit impossible.


In spite of all these difficulties,

and they are very great,

-the stranger cannot pass through the sugar districts of Natal without becoming conscious of Colonial success. I have heard it argued that sugar was doing no good to Natal because the profits reached England in the shape of dividends on bank shares which were owned and spent in the mother country. I can never admit the correctness of this argument, for it is based on the assumption that in large commercial enterprises the gain, or loss, realized by the capitalist is the one chief point of interest;-that if he makes money all is well, and that if he loses it all is ill. may be so to him. But the real effect of his operations is to be found in the wages and salaries he pays and the amount of expenditure which his works occasion. I have heard of a firm which carried on a large business without any thought of profit, merely for political purposes. The motive I think was bad;-but not the less beneficial to the population was the money spent in wages. Even though all the profits from sugar grown in Natal were spent in England, which is by no means the case, the English shareholders cannot get at their dividends without paying workmen of all classes to earn them,-from the black man who hoes the canes up to the Superintendent who rides about on his horse and acts the part of master.

There is a side to the sugar question in Natal which to me

is less satisfactory than the arrangements made in regard to Capital. As I have repeated, and I fear shall repeat too often, there are 320,000 Natives in Natal; Kafirs and Zulus, strong men as one would wish to see; and yet the work of the estates is done by Coolies from India. I ought not to have been astonished by this for I had known twenty years ago that sugar was grown or at any rate manufactured by Coolie labour in Demerara and Trinidad, and had then been surprised at the apathy of the people of Jamaica in that they had not introduced Coolies into that island. There were stalwart negroes without stint in these sugar colonies, -who had been themselves slaves, or were the children of slaves; but these negroes would only work so fitfully that the planters had been forced to introduce regular labour from a distance. The same thing, and nothing more, had taken place in Natal. But yet I was astonished. It seemed to be so sad that with all their idle strength standing close by, requiring labour for its own salvation, with so large a population which labour only can civilize, we who have taken upon ourselves to be their masters should send all the way to India for men to do that which it ought to be their privilege to perform. But so it is. There are now over 10,000 Coolies domiciled in Natal, all of whom have been brought there with the primary object of making sugar.

The Coolies are brought into the Colony by the Government under an enactment of the Legislature. They agree to serve for a period of 10 years, after which they are, if they please, taken back. The total cost to the Government is in

excess of £20 per man.

Among the items of expenditure in

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