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Gress Output of the Principal Industries of England and Wales which made Returns under the Census of Production Act, 1907
The imports of
industrial instead of an agricultural country. Great Britain for 1800 were valued at 28,257,000l., and the exports at 34,881,000l. The national income of Great Britain at that time was estimated to amount to about 200,000,000l. per annum, and the national wealth did not exceed 2,800,000,0001. The space available will not admit of an elaborate survey of the growth of our manufacturing industries throughout the past 110 years, but it is instructive to note that the present value of the gross output of the cotton industry alone approaches the amount of the total national income of Great Britain in 1800. The relative and absolute magnitude of the manufacturing and extractive industries of England and Wales at the present time may be gathered from the table on page 415, which contains a summary of the preliminary returns received under the Census of Production Act, so far as they relate to the principal industries of England and Wales.
The total production of the industries of the United Kingdom during the year 1907 which made returns under the Census of Production Act of 1906 was as follows:
In addition to the number of persons employed shown in the table, about 100,000 outworkers were returned as borne on the books of the employing firms. The average number of persons employed on the work covered by the census was, therefore, about 7,000,000, and the total output in the censal year represented an addition of about 712,000,000l. to the value of the materials purchased. It must be borne in mind, however, as the Director of the Census has taken care to point out in each of the reports, that the output of one trade or factory may constitute materials for other trades or factories, so that the figures relating to gross output and to materials involve a considerable amount of duplication. No duplication, however, is involved in the figures of net output.
The figures contained in the foregoing tables illustrate the relative and absolute importance of the manufacturing industries of England and Wales and their comparative importance in relation to the manufacturing industries of the United Kingdom. The
gross output of England and Wales was 1,483,000,000l., or 84.5 per cent. of the total for the United Kingdom. The gross output of Scotland was 208,000,000l., or 11.8 per cent. of the aggregate; and the gross output of Ireland was 66,000,000l., or 3.7 per cent. of the total. Of course, in the case of Ireland it must be borne in mind that agriculture is her principal industry, and when the agricultural output is combined with the output of the manufacturing industries, Ireland's percentage of the total output of all industries of the United Kingdom will be much higher-the approximate figure is 6 per cent. The net output of English and Welsh manufacturing industries was 603,000,000l., or 84.7 per cent. of the aggregate; that of Scotland was 12.2 per cent.; and that of Ireland only 3.1 per cent. Here, of course, as stated above, the Irish ratio will be largely augmented when the agricultural production is incorporated with the manufactures.
The railways of England have played an important and indispensable part in her commercial development, and despite all the criticism that has been directed against their present management, the most eminent authorities are agreed that our railways are among the best administered and most efficient in the world. At the end of 1910 the mileage of railways in England and Wales opened for traffic was 16,148. The paid-up capital, less nominal additions, was 939,913,000l. ; and the average rate of dividend paid thereon was only 3.61 per cent. The gross receipts for 1910 amounted to 106,347,000l., the working expenses to 66,448,000l. and the net revenue to 39,899,000l. The gross earnings of the railways of England and Wales represent about 85.8 per cent. of the aggregate for the United Kingdom. In the past fifteen years the gross receipts of the English and Welsh railways increased from 76,584,000l. to 106,347,000l., an expansion of 29,763,000l., or 38.8 per cent. During the same period the gross earnings of the Scottish railways increased to the extent of 3,049,000l., or 30.3 per cent.; and those of Ireland to the extent of 996,000l., or 28.6 per cent. It would appear, therefore, that the relative increase of gross earnings has been considerably greater in England and Wales than in either Scotland or Ireland.
The banks of England have not only contributed enormously to her commercial expansion, but they have at the same time helped to establish British credit on that firm foundation which has made London the citadel of the international monetary system. It is quite impossible to give, within the limits of this paper, an historical account of the growth of banking in England and Wales, and we must content ourselves with a summary of the present position. The deposits and current accounts of the banks of England and Wales, including the Post Office Savings Bank and the Trustee Savings Banks, amounted at the end of 1910
VOL. LXXI-No. 421
to 912,767,000l., or 81.4 per cent. of the total for the United Kingdom. It must be borne in mind, however, that the deposits of the Colonial Joint Stock Banks with London offices amount to 315,000,000l., and the deposits of the Foreign Joint Stock Banks with London offices to 430,000,000l., and that a substantial proportion of the total of 745,000,000l. is held on account of English depositors. It may be said, therefore, that the relative position of England and Wales in the matter of the banking resources of the United Kingdom is stronger even than stated above, and in all probability a proportion of 87 per cent. would be nearer the actual amount. It is instructive to note the influences that have contributed to the establishment of London as the centre of the international financial system. They include, inter alia, the income from our investments abroad (which the writer estimates to amount to at least 180,000,000l. per annum), the magnitude of our shipping industry (which brings in at least 100,000,000l. per annum), the magnitude of our foreign trade (which last year amounted to over 1,237,000,0001.), the earnings of our banking and mercantile houses engaged in the conduct of foreign trade (which amount to at least 57,000,000l. per annum), the economy and soundness of our banking methods, the stability of our political institutions, and our reputation for fair dealing. But, above all, our credit has been established by, and is dependent upon, the unchallengeable supremacy of the British Navy, and upon confidence that our military strength can maintain order within the Empire and resist attacks from without.
The commercial expansion of England has, of course, coincided with the development of her shipping industry. At the beginning of the nineteenth century the registered vessels belonging to the British Dominions numbered 19,772, representing 2,037,000 tons. At the end of 1910 the gross tonnage of the mercantile marine of the United Kingdom amounted to 18,468,000, of which aggregate 13,499,000 tons, or 73 per cent., were registered at English and Welsh ports. The tonnage of the mercantile vessels built at ports of England and Wales in 1910, exclusive of vessels built for foreigners, was 334,735 tons, which compared with 183,459 tons built in Scotland and 82,778 tons built in Ireland. From the statement of the navigation and shipping of the United Kingdom for the year 1910, it appears that the tonnage of the vessels. engaged in the foreign trade which entered and cleared English and Welsh ports during that year was 149,480,000, or 82.5 per cent. of the total for the United Kingdom. The tonnage of the coastwise shipping which entered and cleared English and Welsh ports during the same year was 90,035,000, or 73 per cent. of the total coastwise tonnage of the United Kingdom.
The foreign trade of England and Wales has, of course, expanded in proportion to the growth of their manufacturing and shipping industries and the development of their banking and mercantile resources. The value of the foreign trade of the United Kingdom for 1910 was 1,212,402,000l., of which total the share of England and Wales was 1,107,709,000l., or 91.4 per cent.; Scotland, 88,629,000l., or 7.3 per cent. ; and Ireland, 16,064,000l., or 1.3 per cent. It must, however, be borne in mind that a very large proportion of the foreign trade of Scotland and Ireland is carried via English and Welsh ports, and therefore the percentage allocated to England and Wales is really too high. This conclusion is borne out by the figures relating to the shipping entered and cleared from the different divisions of the United Kingdom. The English and Welsh ports have a far higher proportion of the shipping engaged in the foreign trade than they possess of the shipping engaged in the coasting trade. The average percentages of the foreign and coastwise shipping combined work out as follows: England and Wales, 79 per cent.; Scotland, 12.3 per cent.; and Ireland, 8.7 per cent.
The earnings derived from our mercantile marine constitute one of the principal sources of national wealth. In 1882 the late Sir Robert Giffen estimated the earnings of the British shipping industry at 80,000,000l. per annum. Vast changes have occurred in the position of the industry since that date. Freights have been largely reduced, but, on the other hand, the tonnage of big steamships has been greatly enlarged, and the efficiency of the steam tonnage has been enormously increased both in the matter of carrying capacity and speed. The earnings of the industry fluctuate widely from year to year in accordance with the trade conditions prevailing throughout the world. The gross tonnage of the shipping owned by Great Britain is 16,767,000, and it would perhaps be a safe estimate to assume that the average earnings work out at about 61. per ton. At the present time the earnings are probably largely in excess of this amount, but a fair average figure has been taken. The sailing vessels owned by the United Kingdom have a net tonnage of 749,000, and an average of 21. per ton might perhaps be regarded as a fair estimate in respect of the earnings of these vessels. On these bases we arrive at a total gross income of 102,000,000l. The question of apportioning the disbursements between home and foreign ports is a matter of great complexity. Certain expenses, such as coal, victualling, repairs, insurance, Suez Canal dues, port and light dues, etc., must remain or ultimately be remitted abroad. Then, out of 276,000 persons employed in British vessels, 35,000 are foreigners and 44,000 are lascars, and, no doubt, the greater part of their wages must be remitted abroad. But it may be safely assumed that the bulk of