National Geographic : 1905 Dec
AUSTRALIA'S FUTURE 571 The $545,000 loss in revenue was more than covered by the $900,000 shrinkage in customs and excises. Evi dently Australia, like Canada, is losing by her tariff preferential in favor of Great Britain. The total expense to Australia of fed eration for the year was $1,485,ooo, or 34 cents per capita of the population. That is just for running the federation machine. The minister advises the taking over by the federal government of all the state debts, aggregating the enormous (for so few people) sum of $1,170,000, ooo, or $275,000,000 more than the United States interest-bearing debt. At first sight that looks like a big burden for the federal government to assume, but with the taking over of the debts the federal government would not have to continue the present unwieldy plan of returning the revenues over and above expenses to the various states. The sum of $35,705,000 was so returned last year. Further, any federal govern ment, to be able to do its best for its constituents, should have entire control of the national finances. Moreover, a strong centralized government can bor row money at cheaper rates than can individual states. Recent chronicles in the English papers show how much easier it was for Japan and other cen tralized governments to borrow money in London and Europe than those Aus tralian states which were seeking loans. Neither of those states has enough people, nor is the sparse population suf ficiently evenly divided, to enable them to stand alone. That is the main reason why the total debts of the various states, $1,485,ooo,ooo, is $297 per capita of the total population. It would seem as if what the com monwealth of Australia needs is less states' rights, less labor and other class government, less politics for men and more for country, more centralization in and wider powers to the federal gov- ernment, before she can draw what is her greatest need-more people. Just as in the United States, get the people there, and all else follows-money for developing dormant resources, money for building up manufactures, money for railways, steam and electric, and money for building operations. When the people are there they must be fed, clothed, and housed. That means work, and it is by work, and work alone, that nations are built up into prosperity. WALTER J. BALLARD. THE WORLD'S PRODUCTION OF GOLD* IT is not alone to the raisers of grain that nature has been bountiful of late. The mines of the world have been yielding treasure as lavishly as have our fields. In every day of this year, 1905, work days and feast days, holi days and Sundays, there will be drawn from the ground a million dollars of new gold. And then, when the total is finally cast up, there will be a num ber of odd millions to spare above that average. The mines of the world will produce this year $375,000,000 of gold. The final figures for the production of gold in 1904 have recently been made, and they footed $347,000,000. We may reasonably look forward in the near future to an annual average output of $400,000,000 of new gold for at least a considerable number of years. When we remember that in 1885 the production of gold was but $r15,000,000 we begin to get a comprehensive view of the significance of this increase. When we remember further that the entire monetary stock of gold in the world is about $5,700,000,000, we can calculate that the output from the mines in the next fourteen years promises to equal a total as great as the present monetary stock of gold. These figures are start * From an address to the American Bankers' Convention, by F. A. Vanderlip, October II, 1905.