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could not but produce an immediate effect upon the labour of the country, since the enfranchised peasant will certainly not, in his present state of civilization, work for hire if he can supply his few wants by working on his own account.' Two causes, therefore, which are operating simultaneously, threaten to deprive England of no inconsiderable portion of those supplies of food for which she must now look to foreign countries. The plains of Hungary are formed by nature for the growth of corn. Their present production can be increased immensely, and all that is wanted is a cheap communication with the sea and a moderate rate of freight. A railroad running from Pesth, and connected with the Trieste and Vienna line, was opened for traffic in 1861, and the exports of grain from Hungary were immediately quadrupled. Hungarian wheat is not inferior to the best Odessa wheat; and in a most interesting and instructive paper on the resources and trade of Austria which was read before the Newcastle •Chamber of Commerce in November last by Mr. Somerset Beaumont, one of the representatives in Parliament for that borough, it was stated that Count Edmund Zichy, whose wheat always obtains the preference in foreign markets, had offered to sell the whole of his crops for a period of five years for 33*. per quarter, delivered at the railway station.
There is another aspect in which the importance of increased supplies of grain from the Austrian provinces may be regarded, namely, the very probable diminution of cereal cultivation in England, in consequence of the preference now given by many farmers to the rearing of stock. This subject has for some time created much discussion among our agriculturists, and a paper was recently read before the London Farmers' Club,* strongly recommending a change in the traditionary system of farming. The special fitness of our climate for the growth of green crops, grass, and roots, was especially dwelt on, together with its unsuitableness for grain-crops, compared with those countries with which the farmer has to compete. The propriety of laying down all inferior arable land, especially on the western side of the island, in grass, was strongly urged. Exposed to all the boisterous winds and rains of a northern climate, our island, it was said, is placed under very unfavourable conditions for the production of wheat, a fact amply confirmed by the uncertain yield and frequent failure of our harvests. The cereals, it was remarked, are natives of a warm climate. Wheat, requiring a high temperature to bring it to perfection, thrives best on the dry continental plains; and the
By Mr. R. Smith, of Emmett Grange, South Molton.
best best samples of grain which we are ever able to show arc invariably the produce of a hot summer. The mean summer temperature of the British Islands varies from 54° to 64°. On the great Hungarian plains, and other districts of the Austrian empire, the average summer temperature is from 73° to 77°. England is therefore placed relatively under very disadvantageous conditions for the production of corn, while she need fear no rival in the raising of stock. The demand for meat by a rapidly increasing population is enormous ; it costs less to produce; grazing and feeding require a smaller capital than arable farming, and they involve less risk. A change in the present character of our husbandry, by laying down a larger proportion of the land in artificial grasses, pasture, and green crops, seems therefore highly probable. The profits of stock-feeding must necessarily increase, while the gains from the production of wheat will probably diminish. The British farmer has to compete in cereals with the most highly favoured countries of both hemispheres; as a breeder of cattle and sheep he may challenge the competition of the world.
The forests which clothe the sides of the great mountainranges of Bohemia, Styria, Croatia, Transylvania, parts of Hungary, Dalmatia, and the Tyrol, have at last been turned to profitable account. We have observed that in 1856 Austria imported fire-wood; she now exports it. Hungary is rich in oak timber, much of which is well adapted for shipbuilding; and whenever the port of Fiume is connected by railway with the interior, the export of one of the most important staples of the country will doubtless be largely increased. England has hitherto received the greater portion ut' her materials for ship-building from the Baltic; but, although the tendency now is to build the larger ships of our commercial marine of iron, a valuable trade may be expected to spring up in an article which will always be in demand. The hemp of Hungary is quite equal to that of Russia. It was used in our dockyards while the supplies from the Baltic were suspended during the Crimean war, and it gave unqualified satisfaction. The importance of obtaining a regular supply of an article so necessary for our navy, from a country with which our relations are never likely to be otherwise than friendly, need not be insisted on. Hungary is well adapted for its growth, and it supplied us at a time of need with a considerable quantity, although, the demand being unexpected, there was no increased cultivation to meet it. Its growth could be greatly extended in Hungary. The same may be said of flax, for the
Vol. 114.—No. 227. 0 production
production of which the north-eastern provinces are especially suited, as are those both of the south and east for hemp. Flax is grown in large quantities on the slopes of the Carpathian Mountains, and almost the whole produce was formerly wrought by domestic industry into a coarse linen for home consumption. For a long period very little of the linen produced found a demand in foreign countries; there are now thirty-three manufactories, situated in Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia. Importations of table-linen from Saxony, which once supplied the whole of Austria, have entirely ceased, and she now exports productions of a. very superior quality, with tastefully figured patterns, to America, Turkey, Russia, and Greece.
It is a striking proof of the value of Lombardy to Austria, as well as of the imperfect development of her other great resources, that the silk exported from that rich province alone constituted more than a third of the exports of the whole empire. The export of silk has of course greatly diminished. Of wool the production is large. The finer sorts are grown in Hungary, and form one of the great staples of the country: they are exported to a large extent to supply the manufacturers of the Zollverein, of France, and of Belgium. Austria imports the coarser wools for her special manufactures, and exports the finer kinds. The great landed proprietors pride themselves on the fleeces and breed of their sheep. The Esterhazy wool is almost as famous as are the diamonds of that brilliant magnate.
Nothing is more surprising in the industrial economy of the Austrian empire than the very inadequate development of its great mineral resources. Almost every known metal exists there; and if we except Upper Austria, Dalmatia, and Venice, the most important of all is found in every province in profusion. Much of the iron required in the manufactures of the country is nevertheless imported, notwithstanding the very high customs' duties, from England. Hungary possesses enormous deposits of iron ore, and in previous ages they were not neglected. Near the town of Hunyad, where only a few iron-mills are now at work, there are traces of ancient mining operations on an enormous scale, and the roads are still black with the slag and ashes of extinct furnaces, proving the district to have once been a great hive of manufacturing industry. It was here, Professor Ansted says, that the Dacians forged the spears that long prevented the Romans from forcing the passes of their country; and here the Romans themselves smelted the iron, and fabricated the steel from which they fashioned those short but trenchant swords with which they so well knew how to keep down troublesome nationalities.* The growth of gigantic trees on the sides of the hills where the former workings took place, proves the length of time they have remained neglected. Professor Ansted, who recently visited several of the most important mineral districts of Hungary and Transylvania, says they are capable of producing the purest and most valuable iron, especially suited for the manufacture of steel. Styria and Carniola furnish more than two-fifths of the iron consumed within the Austrian empire. Railway communications would rapidly increase this department of industry. The desire of the Government to make the mines subsidiary to revenue has hitherto retarded their progress and checked private adventure. The mines of Rusberg, which while they were in the hands of the Government afforded employment to only 100 men, are now worked by two foreign capitalists, who employ 800. The iron mines of the empire are in a state of progressive improvement, and afford employment for 279 smelting furnaces; but they very inadequately supply the increased demand, nor can they be expected to do so until a larger amount of capital is applied to them, and the communications between the producing districts and the other portions of the empire are in a more satisfactory state. The Styrian iron is everywhere spoken of as excellent, and as especially adapted for the iron plating of ships, i
The great deposits of iron which Austria possesses would be comparatively valueless but for the presence of coal. This mineral however has been found in abundance. The production of coal has increased within thirty years to more than twelve times its former amount. In Hungary, before steamboats were introduced on the Danube, only one coal-mine was known. Great deposits of different degrees of value have been since discovered in the lias formation. The coal of Stenerderf is used in the steamers which navigate the Danube, the Theiss, and the Temes, as well as on the railways; and it is also employed for the manufacture of gas, and for domestic purposes in every town and village to which it can be conveniently conveyed. The great coal-field, which extends from the base of the Austrian Alps through .the great plain of Hungary to the foot of the Carpathians, contains one large group and many smaller groups of deposits. The coal of this extensive district varies in quality, but much of it has been found good, and has been extensively worked. The coal of Hungary is of almost all geological ages; and although much of it may prove commercially valueless, and
* Professor Ansted's 'Hungary and Transylvania.'
c 2 unfit unfit for domestic use, coal of a superior quality, sufficient to last for centuries, has already been discovered.*
The gold and silver mines of Hungary and Transylvania, although they have not lately contributed much to the wealth of the empire, are too important to be passed over in an enumeration of its resources. The Hungarian proverb, that Kremnitz possesses walls of gold, Schemnitz of silver, and Neusohl of copper, is expressive rather of their former than of their present importance. Mines of the precious metals near those places were worked in times anterior to the Romans. Gold and silver, and even gems, are more important, Professor Anstcd says, in the estimate of the mineral wealth of Hungary than in any other European country, being not only widely distributed, but really large in quantity, and the mines might be worked with every prospect of permanent success. Silver occurs in regular veins, and gold is found in sandy and gravelly deposits, like those of Australia and California. All have proved sufficiently rich to repay the cost of working, and they are justly entitled to be included among the material resources of Austria. The geological position of the gold presents in some places remarkable peculiarities. In Transylvania it is found in porphyry; in Bohemia in crystalline schistous rocks; and in the Tyrol and at Oravicza, an important mining district in Hungary, in a peculiar sandstone, traversed by small veins of micaceous iron-ore. f It also occurs in the sedimentary strata of Transylvania. Numerous rivers and brooks are also prolific of gold; but the washings of the Maros, Szamos, and other Hungarian streams, although formerly rich, have much diminished in productiveness through mismanagement. The workings, when more generally systematised and placed under skilful direction, will doubtless add largely to the wealth of the empire.
The production of silver, as well as of gold, might also be largely increased, if capital were applied to the development of the mines. As to a large portion of the mineral districts of Hungary and Transylvania, it is doubtful whether it has been even surveyed with a view to its mining capabilities. The whole of the frontier of the Banat, Professor Ansted thinks, might be subjected to a searching investigation with a great probability of success. Some of the lead-mines are highly argentiferous, and one of the lodes is enormous, varying from
* We must refer such of our readers as may be desirous of more detailed information respecting the iron deposits of Hungary, their extent, capabilities, produce, and geological peculiarities, to the very complete and valuable little work, the joint production of Von Cotta and Von Fellenberg, the title of which we have prefixed to this article.
t Ansted's ' Hungary aud Transylvania,' p. 453.