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tao, which neighbours Shan-hai-kwan, and is situated on or close to the opened section of the Tientsin-Kirin Railway, will in all probability have. This treaty port, according to our Minister at Peking, is accessible in winter. It is being connected with the Russian and Russian-Manchurian railways at Kirin, and is already in connection with Tientsin and Peking by rail. Being about 100 miles further north than the now Russian port of Talienwan, and on the western side of the Gulf of Pechili, it is far more advantageously situated to draw the trade of Manchuria, with the exception of that of the Liao-tung Peninsula, and of the Eastern-Russian dominions, at least during the winter months, than any port leased to or belonging to Russia. Thus it matters little to us whether the Russian assurances with respect to Talienwan are broken or not. Again, the opening of Chin-wang-tao as a treaty port will be vexatious to Germany, and will tend greatly to lessen her hopes for the future of Kiao-chau. Chin-wang-tao is barely half the distance that Kiaochau is from Peking, and the railway trade of Northern China will take the route in winter, when Tientsin is ice-bound, to Chin-wang-tao, and in summer it will
to Tientsin. Thus Kiao-chau will chiefly be dependent for trade on the hilly districts of Shantung. The above concessions have all been obtained without threats from China since the middle of February, and both the request for them on the part of our Government and the readiness with which China has granted them clearly indicate that the policy advocated by me for the preservation of the integrity of China in the March number of this Review for 1894 has been seriously taken to heart by both Governments and acted upon. The concessions made in connection with the recent Anglo-German loan were doubtless due to the advice of our Government, which has recognised that the only way by which China can be preserved from dismemberment is by the honest collection, and honest and enlightened administration, of her revenues.
To understand the position of affairs in China let us compare that country with Russia. The average density of the population in the Russian dominions was given in the last census as fifteen souls per square mile, and in European Russia it did not exceed fifty per square mile; whereas in the eighteen provinces of China the population exceeds 300 per square mile on an average.
As there is little culturable land uncultivated in either of these countries, we thus get some idea of the richness of the soil and the general beneficence of the climate in China as compared with Russia. Again, the population of the whole of the Russia dominions was given as less than 130,000,000 souls, whereas the population of China proper, according to the most recent censuses to hand, is fully three times as great. The peasantry of China compares most favourably with that of Russia. The Chinese as a rule are far more intelligent, temperate, and industrious than Russians, equally tractable, and as good material as any in the world out of which to manufacture soldiers and sailors.
If honestly collected and duly accounted for, the revenue of China would be at least thrice that of Russia. How is it, then, it may well be asked, that China has not acquired a well-trained, well-equipped, and well-officered army and fleet, that could defend her from all aggressors, instead of being in such a helpless condition as to knuckle down to a European antagonist who lately invaded her shores with the crews of two or three second or third class cruisers? The answer is that though the amounts squeezed out of the people by the taxgatherers is enormous, not one-fiftieth enters the Treasury. That this statement rather fails on the opposite side to excess can be judged from a carefully written paper presented to the Throne in 1882 by the Viceroy Li Hung Chang, in which he stated that 'the expenses of collecting the revenue of the Inland Customs duties in every province exceeded the amount collected. The whole of the vast revenues from this source of income was squandered away or peculated. So little money trickles through the fingers of the officials from all sources into the coffers of the State, that our Consul-General in China assures us that, on an average, only 89,000,000 taels, or, at 28. 6d. exchange, about 11,000,0001., is accounted for. How can it be expected that a huge country containing about 400,000,000 inhabitants can be properly administered and defended out of such an utterly inadequate sum ? Mr. Chamberlain has well and tersely summed up the causes of the present powerlessness of China in the following passage of his recent speech at Birmingham :
The absolute corruption, the crass ignorance, and the gross misgovernment of the mandarins in China, have brought the ancient empire to a position of practical impotence, in which an effective resistance is for a time entirely destroyed.
China has everything that makes a great nation, except an honest and capable Government. For ages it has been renowned for the skill of its agriculturists and craftsmen, for the probity and enterprise of its merchants, and for the multitude and fearlessness of its seafaring population. It is an honest administration and skilled European or Japanese guidance that are required to set China up on her legs and to save her from disintegration. China's triple mail-coat of conceit must have been nearly rent off her by recent events. It is now eleven years since Prince Kung warned the Emperor that it was high time that some plan should be devised for infusing new elements of strength into the government of China, and that the only way of effecting this was to follow Japan's example and introduce the learning and mechanical arts of Western nations, and that nothing could be more disgraceful, when so small a country as Japan was putting forth all its energies, than for China alone to continue to tread indolently in the beaten track, without a single effort in the way of improvement. This lesson must have been pretty well rubbed into the Emperor by recent events. His desire, which has been acceded to by Lord Salisbury, that the officers and men of his fleet shall be trained under the tuition of our officers at Wei-hai-wei, is certainly a step in advance. Prince Kung's warning was all very well as far as it went, but the acquirement of European learning and mechanical arts will not suffice to pour money into the Chinese Treasury, and thus give the Central Government what is needed for the proper defence of the country. Honesty must be breathed into the Central Administration and provincial officials, and the system of taxation must be thoroughly remodelled and reformed. With a Lord Cromer at Peking and the collection of the whole revenues under a Sir Robert Hart, and a few thousand 'Sergeant Whatsisnames’employed, China would soon be on her legs, and we should hear no more of attempted or intended Russian encroachments.
While the German Emperor is in raptures over having secured a base in China whence he can secure a fair share in the spoil as soon as China is ready for the knife, Lord Salisbury and M. Hanotaux have taken a statesmanlike view of the situation, and have resolved to do their utmost to prevent the dissolution of China. The welcome change in the attitude of France towards that empire has been apparent from the time that Lord Salisbury's policy was declared, but its full wholesomeness did not become evident until the 24th of March, when M. Hanotaux declared to a representative of the Figaro that:
Heaven grant that we are not to witness the death of China! That disaster would shake the world. Here there is no question of acquisition or of occupation. We should not seek in the Far East to augment our already vast colonial domain. We ought simply to seek to put it out of the reach of accidents. We should also, above all, seek to prop up the Middle Empire, whose ruins would make so
The results of Lord Salisbury's policy have been that he has gained France as a coadjutor, if not as an ally, and the goodwill of Japan and of the United States, and of every commercial nation whose commerce would be injured by the destruction of the Chinese Empire and its extensive partitionment amongst protectionist Powers. I have proved that the policy of the Government has been carried out in its entirety, and that Lord Salisbury has virtually scored erery trick in his contests with foreign diplomatists, and has secured most important and valuable concessions from the Chinese Government, which will tend greatly to add to the finances of that country, and thus strengthen it against the risk of future attack and disintegration.
HOLT S. HALLETT.
WORKMENS COMPENSATION ACT, 1897
On the 1st of July there will come into operation an Act of Parliament which will do much to revolutionise the relations existing between masters and servants. Whatever may be the feeling of employers in regard to this new departure, there can be but one opinion as to the absolute necessity of meeting the increased liability in a businesslike manner, instead of pursuing the ostrich-like policy of ignoring the altered state of the law, and making no provision for future calls upon their financial resources. That the new Act, which may be said to be the product of a socialistic age, imposes a tax upon all employers, whilst conferring a boon upon the 'wounded soldiers of Industry,' there can be little doubt. The Marchioness of Londonderry was not far wrong in the opinion she formed as to these fresh obligations, and stated in her recent article in this Review. According to the estimate of the Home Secretary, the Act will apply to about 3,600,000 workmen in factories, docks and wharves; to 730,000 in mines; to 465,000 on railways; to 104,000 in quarries. Also, to something like 700,000 builders and bricklayers, and 800,000 navvies and general labourers. Altogether some 6,000,000 at least will be included in the Act, covering the most dangerous trades; and it is probable that its provisions will soon be extended to other industries.
The facility with which the measure was passed through both Houses of Parliament is quite remarkable, equalled only by the approbation it received from men of all shades of political opinion, from the extreme aristocrat on the one hand, to the democratic labour leader on the other. A recent writer pointed out that the average Briton troubles himself very little with the making of Acts of Parliament. Except when a party leader creates an occasion for a great speech with which he intends to stir the country, the ordinary elector finds the reading of debates dreary work. Though he may be a born politician, he hates to be bothered with details, and with the oft-repeated minutiæ involved in passing Bills through the House. . The result is that he sometimes wakes up to find that an Act has been passed, about which he has some vague idea, but the actual provisions of which often greatly astonish him. The attempt to extend the Employers' Liability Act of 1880, which was made by Mr. Asquith in the previous Parliament, ended in lamentable failure, only to be followed by a more drastic measure, based upon the German system, and having the authority of the Conservative party, and which, at the same time, appealed with great effect to the sympathies of the Opposition ; thus commanding the support of a large majority in both Houses. The far-reaching character of the Workmen's Compensation Act can best be seen by comparing the state of law under the Employers' Liability Act, 1880, with that which will exist after the 1st of July (see Table on next page).
It is a common fallacy to suppose that the Act will only apply to employments in which machinery is used. As a matter of fact, there are several exceptions to this rule, and many masters who have no machinery whatever will find themselves within its range. The difference which will be produced by this Act will probably be still more astonishing in respect of the workman who may be the victim of an accident in the course of his employment. Statistics are often misleading, and capable of being made to prove either side of the question. We shall therefore do well to avoid them, as far as possible
, in the present article. Perhaps a few examples will better answer the purpose. At an East-end hospital, chiefly filled with accident cases, the number of men who had lost one arm was so great that at a recent Christmas entertainment, an ingenious student hit upon the happy expedient of putting the men who were minus the left arm next to those who had lost the right arm, in order that the patients might be able to show their pleasure by clapping Now it is not too much to say that most of these men would have no claim for compensation under the Employers' Liability Act, 1880, or at Common Law, but their lot will be vastly different under the
The amount which may be awarded by an arbitrator, for such an injury as the loss of a limb, will depend, partly upon the earnings of the injured workman, and partly upon his age, at the time of the accident, and may easily exceed one thousand pounds. Lạt us take another illustration : A working printer who had the mis fortune to have his hands severely crushed in a machine, so that he became entirely dependent on charity, might often be seen in the London streets, a few years ago, with a card on which was written the fact that his employers had dispensed with his services, giving him the magnificent samofil. sterling, with many good wishes for his future welfare. Of course the firm was not legally liable top him anything more than his bare wages up to the day of his ceasing to work; but such a man meeting with a similar accident, entailing permanent disablement, will be entitled to large compensation under