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 61 Vict. Agent-General's Report. 969
FOR   THE   YEAR   1897.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit herewith my Third Annual Report, together with a
statement of receipts and expenditure for the year ending December 31st, 1897.
The general character of the work during the past year has differed but little from that
of the preceding one, though the volume of business transacted was in excess of that of the
two years 1895 and 1896 combined. I may add that, judging from the number of letters and
visitors received during January, February, and March, 1898, the work promises this year to
be thrice that of 1897.    (See Appendix.)
The demand for general and specific information has each year steadily increased, but to
the gold discoveries in the Yukon District must be attributed the greater part of the sudden
interest now exhibited about British Columbia in this country and upon the Continent.
As, through the instrumentality of the offices of the High Commissioner for Canada, the
Canadian Pacific Railway Company, the Imperial Institute, public lectures, and the exertions
of this office, the marvellous lesources of the Province, its climatic and other attractions,
become better understood, there can be no doubt but that this interest will, year by year, grow
in intensity. It is gratifying to be able to report that a great deal of European capital has
been invested in Provincial industries during the last eighteen months, and that there is every
reason to expect a large additional amount in the near future.
The photographs forwarded have answered a most useful purpose, many of the illustrated
papers having reproduced them, and the numerous lectures delivered on British Columbia in
towns of the United Kingdom have been rendered infinitely more interesting by the views
shown of the country and it resources through the aid of lantern slides made from them.
It will be unnecessary to dwell upon such matters as the paving of London streets with
British Columbia timber, the Great Seal of the Province and the Provincial Coat of Arms,
and the desire of the Councils of many of the principal Trade and Mercantile Societies in this
country that the Province should participate in their annual exhibitions, etc., etc., the correspondence upon these subjects having been already forwarded.
The specimen piece of Douglas fir, sent over by the Government with a view to its being
exhibited in some suitable place, arrived safely. I regret to say, however, that it is still at
the Surrey Dock, for, though I have corresponded with the authorities at the Imperial
Institute, Kew Gardens, Crystal Palace, South Kensington Natural History Museum, Liver
pool Museum, Bethnal Green Museum, and others, so far I have been unable to find a proper
resting place for it.
I have had the honour of attending different public gatherings where papers were read or
lectures delivered on matters of Provincial concern. Upon the occasion of Mr. McMillan's
lecture at the Imperial Institute, I was honoured by an invitation from the Council of the
Institute to preside. The Great Hall was well filled, and the lecture was received with much
interest. In the Journal of the Royal Colonial Institute will be found the full text of the
paper read by the High Commissioner upon Western Canada before and since Confederation,
as well as the discussion that followed, in which I was invited to take part.
The year 1897 will always be memorable as the year of Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee,
and I may say that, with other Colonial and Provincial representatives, I attended a number
of public functions inaugurated to celebrate the remarkable event. It is impossible to do
justice to the magnificent enthusiasm displayed, or to speak too highly of the great courtesy
and kindness shown to the representatives by those in authority. 970 Agent-General's Report. 1898
With this report I forward a copy of a letter addressed to me by Sir Fred'k Abel, as well
as the memorandum to which he makes reference, about the nature and progress of work
carried out at the Imperial Institute. I may add that, at a meeting held at the Institute a
short time ago, and at which I was present, it was resolved to take measures to bring more
prominently to the notice of the Colonies the many advantages offered by the Institute, and
which seem to be be very imperfectly understood at the present time.
The Incorporated London Chamber of Mines has recently been formed, and with it are
affiliated the Australasian and Canadian Chambers of Mines. The Council of this Chamber
propose holding an International Mining, Metallurgical, and Machinery Exhibition in London
next year, and I forward herewith a copy of a letter addressed to me upon the subject,
enquiring whether the Province desires to exhibit officially, and at the same time inviting me
to join the proposed exhibition's Honorary Committee of Advice.
It will be observed by the enclosed statement of account (Appendix B) that the expenditure of the office for the year ending 31st December, 1897, exceeded the appropriation by the
sum of £46  12s. id.
In order to balance the account to the 30th June, 1897, the end of the financial year, I
forwarded in July last a statement, with receipts, etc., showing a sum of £16 16s. lOd. to be
due to this office. This amount was remitted by the Minister of Finance on September 5th,
and the account closed.
From June 30th to December 31st, 1897, £41 Is. Gd. has been expended in excess of the
appropriation (Appendix C). This has been occasioned chiefly on account of the advance of
salary it was necessary to allow Mr. Martin, the secretary, the increased cost of postage, the
maps, books, etc., necessary to have mounted and bound for office use, and the cost of printing
1,000 copies of Mr. McMillan's lecture. Mr. Martin is now receiving salary at the rate of
£72 per annum, and, except when kept away by illness, has been very attentive to his official
The increased cost of postage is due to the larger amount of correspondence and the
greater quantity of reports, pamphlets, maps, etc., etc., sent out.
To illustrate the growth of the business of this office, I may state that for the first quarter
of the present year (1898) 863 letters have been received, as against 336 for the same period
iit 1897; 428 visitors have called, and 12,178 reports, pamphlets, etc., distributed, as against
281 and 608, respectively, for January, February, and March, 1897.
In conclusion, I beg to point out that this office would be far more useful if it was established at some more central point in the City of London, similar to, but on a smaller scale,
that of the office of the Agent-General for South Australia in Bishopsgate Street, and a
reasonable sum allowed for the purpose of calling attention to the many advantages offered by
the Province as a field for settlement and for the investment of capital. All the other Colonies
advertise largely, but it has not been possible, with the amount allowed in the past for rent
and office contingencies, to do more than advertise in the "Canadian Gazette." This paper has
not a large circulation, and even the small weekly notice inserted, with one copy of the paper,
costs £11 4s. Qd. per annum. To secure office accommodation in the city similar to that
afforded by the present rooms, and these are at times choked with boxes and cases, would,
from the high rents obtaining, cost about £300 a year. With the advertising necessary, this
would necessitate the vote being raised from $1,000 to $3,000. The increased expenditure
would, however, immeasurably enhance the usefulness of the office, and repay the Province
In Appendices D, E, and F will be found a list of the offices, institutions, public libraries,
newspapers, shipping and other agents which have been supplied with such literature as was
available for distribution, and in Appendix A a comparative statement showing the work of
the office during the past three years.
I have, etc.,
F. G. Vernon.
The Hon. Col. Baker,
Provincial Secretary. 61 Vict.
Agent-General's Report.
Number of letters received	
Number of letters sent out	
Number of callers who have been interviewed	
Number of official reports, pamphlets, maps and other literature
distributed from this office personally and by post	
3,511        4,255      23,406
Expenses op Office from 1st July to 31st December, 1897.
£    s.
Rent of office, including housekeeper, electric light, etc       53  10
Clerical assistance:—
Secretary (@ £6 per month) £36    0    0
Office boy (3 weeks @ 6s.)  18    0
Temporary assistance  18    8
 37 16
Postage and telegrams (includes £3 on Klondike folders)       19    4
Freight on printed matter and parcels £6   15    2
Canadian Gazette, subscription and advertising       5  16    0
Printing 1,000 copies of Mr. McMillan's lecture     10    3    0
Wightman & Co., stationery       9    6    5
Binding Geological Survey publications       2    2    0
Mounting 17 maps       2 17    6
Press Cuttings, subscription       3    3    0
Typewriting, etc       3    1     3
 43 4
£155 16 0
Expenses of Office from 1st January to 30th June, 1897.
By sale of maps, etc £    8  10 8
By amount voted to 30th June,
1897       102 13 0
111    3 8
To balance           5  10 10
£116 14    6
By balance from 31st December,
1896, as per statement forwarded in last annual report ..£11     6    0
By balance brought down         5  10  10
By balance to close of financial
year   £ 16 16 10
To rent, etc , £ 55 17 6
To Secretary, 6 months @ £6. . .     36    0 0
To stamps and telegrams , .      14    3 4
To petty cash       10 13 8
£116 14    6
To draft from   the  Minister   of
Finance, 5th September, 1897.. £ 16 16 10
£ 16 16 10 972
Agent-General's Report.
Expenses of Office from 1st July to 31st December, 1897.
By amount voted to 31st Decern
her   1897                 	
£ 12
To rent, including electric light,
etc £ 55
To postage and telegrams, etc. . .      19
To petty expenses (as per statement B)      43
By balance
The Office of the Agent-General in London in  Account  with  the  Government  of
the Province of British Columbia.
Six months ending 31st December, 1897.
By salary of Agent-General from
1st   July   to   31st    December,
1897   £250    0    0
By amount   voted  for   rent and
offices contingencies     102  13    0
By sale of maps, etc       12    1     6
364  14    6
By balance       41     1     6
£405 16    0
To salary of Agent-General for
6 months £250    0     0
To expenditure, as per statement.   155  16     0
£405 16    0
Institutions, Offices, Etc.
Colonial Office,
Emigrants' Information Office,
Office   of    the    High    Commissioner   for
The Imperial Institute,
Royal Colonial Institute,
London Chamber of Commerce.
Society of Arts,
Royal Geographical Society.
The Canadian Government Agents at
Dublin (2), Dumfries, Glasgow, Liverpool (2), Londonderry, Cardiff, Carnoustie, Dundee, Elgin. 61 Vict.
Agene-General's Report.                                        973
and Tourist Agents
Canadian Pacific Railway Co.'s Offices,
H. S. King & Co,
Baker Brothers & Co.,
Pitt & Scott,
C. W. Bullock & Co,
Sewell & Crowther,
B. R. Cousens,
Allan Brothers & Co.,
Fergyson & Son,
Hudson's Bay Co.,
Thos. Cook & Son,
Beaver Line,
W. R. Pollard,
Dominion Line,
Henry Gaze & Sons, Ltd.,
W. Doe,
Grand Trunk Railway
J. & H. Lindsay,
A. Jakins & Co.,
G. Philip <fc Son.
Edward Standford,
Public Libraries.
British Museum.
West Ham, Essex.
London Institution.
Barrow-in-Furness, Lanes.
Newport, Mon.
Salford, Lanes.
Stockport, Cheshire.
Sunderland, Durham.
Douglas, Isle of Man.
Limerick. 974
Agent-General's Report.
Camber well.
St. George's, Hanover Square.
Newspapers, Etc.
Board of Trade Journal.
Bradford Observer.
Bristol Mercury.
Chamber of Commerce Journal.
Canadian Gazette.
City Press.
Daily Chronicle.
Colonies and India.
Daily Graphic.
Daily Mail.
Daily News.
Daily Telegraph.
B. C. Review.
Electrical Engineer.
Financial News.
Financial Times.
Financial World.
Leeds Mercury.
Liverpool Courier.
Liverpool Post.
British Columbian.
Manchester Courier.
Manchester Guardian.
Mining Journal.
Morning Post.
Newcastle Chronicle.
Financial Chronicle.
Pall Mall Gazette.
St. James' Gazette.
Illustrated London News.
Sporting and Dramatic News.
Western Morning News.
Westminster Gazette.
Irish Times.
Dublin Daily Express.
' Ireland.
Dublin Gazette.
Dublin Evening Herald.
Glasgow Herald.
The Scotsman.
Edinburgh Gazette. 61 Vict. Agent-General's Report. 975
Imperial Institute,
London, S. W, January 29th, 1898.
My Dear Mr. Vernon,—You may perhaps not be aware of the circumstance that in
October last I was invited by Mr. Ritchie, the President of the Board of Trade, to become a
member of a committee which had recently been appointed, under the presidency of Sir
Courtney Boyle, to consider and advise as to the best means of bringing to the knowledge of
the home trades the information furnished by Consuls and other Imperial officers, and by
representatives of the Colonial Governments and of India, as to supply, demand, and other
conditions of the markets of the world; and as to whether it appears desirable that arrangements be made for the Consuls to remit home from time to time samples of goods most in
demand in those markets, and for the exhibition and circulation of such samples, with full
information, in London and the provincial trade centres.
On of the most prominent considerations underlying the instructions to the committee is
the question whether a Government Department of Commercial Intelligence should be constituted.
You may not be thoroughly alive to the fact that the establishment of a "Commercial
and Industrial Intelligence Department of the Imperial Institute " was one of the earliest and
most important of the proposals made ten years ago by the Organising Committee of the
Institute, and that preliminary measures were then adopted with that object.
During the past three years the Commercial Intelligence Department has been practically
developed, and it is now performing very valuable work in co-operation with the scientific and
technical (experimental) department. I enclose a paper giving a few illustrations of the
character of this work.
At the request of the members of the Board of Trade Committee I gave evidence before
them last week with regard to the work done by the Institute, and to the facilities presented
by existing arrangements and accommodation for the further development of that work, and
the conduct of other branches in the particular directions (not yet entered upon in consequence
of lack of the necessary funds) which would be in immediate connection with the subjects for
enquiry referred to the Board of Trade Committee.
To assist the members of the Committee in their examination of myself, I prepared a
memorandum, of which I do myself the pleasure to send you a copy, because much of the
information which it conveys regarding the usefulness of the Institute and the progress of its
work may be new to you, and may aid you in the endeavours which you kindly undertook to
make in response to my appeal to you, and the other members of the governing body, on the
1st July last, to use your best endeavours to obtain additions to our List of Fellows. There
must be many in the United Kingdom who would be willing, and even anxious, to contribute
the small subscription attaching to Fellowship with the sole object of aiding in the development of such important national work as that which is now being carried on at the Imperial
I am, &c,
(Signed)        P. A. Abel.
Memorandum on the nature and progress of work carried out at the
Imperial Institute.
A Committee was appointed by the Prince of W'ales, in the autumn of 1886, to frame a
scheme for an Imperial Institute, intended to commemorate the fiftieth year of Her Majesty's
Reign, the proposal having arisen out of the great general interest excited by the Colonial and
Indian Exhibition, held that year in South Kensington. This Committee included the following members:—
Lord Herschell (Chairman), the late Earl of Carnarvon, Lords Revelstoke, Rothschild,
Knutsford, Sir Lyon Playfair (Lord Playfair), Sir Henry James (Lord James of Hereford), 976 Agent-General's Report. 1898
Mr. Goschen, Sir H. H. Fowler, Mr. Ritchie, the late Lord Leighton, the late Sir Ashley
Eden, Sir Owen Tudor Burne, Sir Frederick Abel, the Lord Mayor of London, the Governor
of the Bank of England, the President of the London Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Henry
Broadhurst, and Mr. Neville Lubbock.
Many meetings were held, and a comprehensive outline-scheme was prepared and
unanimously adopted for the organisation of an " Imperial Institute of the United Kingdom,
the Colonies and India." The scheme was presented to the Prince of Wales on December
20th, 1886, and immediately afterwards published.    (See Appendix I.)
The Committee was thereupon appointed (under the title of " Organising Committee ") to
organise and to carry out arrangements for the collection of funds from the public in all parts
of the Empire, with a view to the establishment of an Imperial Institute; for the preparation
of a Charter of Incorporation and a Form of Constitution; for directing operations connected
with the provision of a site and a suitable building for the Institute " of such a character as
worthily to commemorate the Jubilee Year of the Queen's Reign"; and for commencing
preparations for its work upon the lines laid down in the general scheme prepared by the
Committee and approved of by the Prince of Wales, who became President of the Institute.
The Royal Charter of Incorporation of the Institute was granted in May, 1888; the Form
of Constitution and Government was approved by Royal Warrant in April, 1891; and on the
23rd July, 1892, the direction of the Institute was transferred from the hands of the Organising Committe to those of the Governing Body, which had been elected according to the terms
prescribed by the Charter.
One of the first subjects which engaged the attention of the Organising Committee was the
possibility of acquiring a suitable site for the Institute buildings. Fully conscious of the great
advantages of a central position, if possible within a very convenient distance from the chief
business localities of the City, they considered various possible sites, with reference to the
probable funds which would be required for their acquisition, and which would be available
for the purpose of establishing and maintaining the Institute. The Committee failed, upon
careful enquiry, to find any site of even very moderate area, in a central part of London, except
at a cost which would, after the purchase of the ground, leave a sum wholly inadequate for the
erection and maintenance of the buildings, and for carrying out the objects of the Institute.
They give in their report (Appendix I, p. 2, D.), several illustrations of the prohibitive
character of the sums which would have been needed for the acquisition of comparatively small
sites in fairly central positions. They were therefore compelled to approach the President of
the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, with a view of obtaining the grant of a site
upon its property, in the immediate vicinity of the Government Museums, the Schools of
Science and Art, and other important public buildings; and the requisite amount of ground was
allotted by the Commissioners to the Institute at a peppercorn rent, under certain conditions.
The contributions received from the various parts of the Empire towards the establishment of the Institute amounted to about £413,000. The Main Building and Galleries of the
Institute were practically completed and furnished in the spring of 1892 at a cost of about
£327,500; supplementary funds, amounting to about £13,500, were afterwards provided for
the erection of a large Vestibule, of a Conference and Lecture-Hall, and of a Corridor to unite
the Main Building with the East Gallery. In compliance with the conditions imposed by the
1851 Commissioners, a sum was invested as an Endowment Fund (about £141,500), sufficient
to provide an annual income of £4,000. Unfortuately, the heavy taxation to which the
Institute became liable was not foreseen when this provision was made. The payment of
parochial rates, Government taxes, and insurance involves an annual expenditure of about
£4,000, thus practically absorbing the annual income provided by the " Endowment Fund "
for the purposes of the Institute. The resources available for maintaining it and carrying on
its work are therefore supplied only by the subscriptions of Fellows, of which a considerable
proportion is necessarily expended in providing for the privileges which constitute the inducements to the general public to join the Institute. These resources have been recently added
to by a small grant from the Royal Commissioners for the Exhibition of 1851, to be applied
to the purposes of the Scientific and Technical Department.
The Collections.
As soon as the Galleries attached to the Main Building were completed, the installation
of the collections of natural and manufactured products received from India and the several
Colonies included in the Empire  was proceeded with.    A large miscellaneous collection of 61 Vict. Agent-General's Report. 977
samples and specimens had been made over to the Imperial Institute from the Colonial and
Indian Exhibition; of these most of the mineral products, many specimens of timber, and a
selection of the more penrranent vegetable and animal products, were included in the collections
housed in the galleries; and many additions were made to them by the Government authorities of the Colonies and of India, and through the exertions of individual members of the
Governing Body. Considerable accessions to certain of the Colonial collections were afterwards acquired from the Chicago Exhibition.
The Department of Revenue and Agriculture of the Government of India organised
arrangements, soon after the Institute was founded, for the collection and progressive transmission of samples of new and little known products from all parts of the Empire, and
the collections were classified, described aird displayed according to a system agreed upon
between that Department and the Institute; samples in bulk, corresponding to the specimens
exhibited, being so arranged and preserved in the stores devoted to India as to be readily
accessible to merchants or manufacturers desiring to closely inspect or handle any sample in
the collection, and to be supplied with specimens for purposes of reference or experiment. A
competent Curator was appointed by the Indian Government to take charge of the collections,
and to answer enquiries respecting them. The Ceylon collection was likewise placed under
his charge. Curators were also appointed to the Canadian, the South African, the New South
Wales, and some of the West Indian sections; while those collections not provided with a
special Curator were placed in charge of a competent officer of the Institute. Since the
informal opening of the buildings by Lord Herschell, the Chairman of Council, in June, 1892,
the collections have been open daily to the public; from the first they have been much visited,
not merely by the general public, but by persons interested commercially in the inspection and
comparison of products from the Colonies, in the utilisation of new materials, or of known
materials from new sources, etc. Applications for special information connected with the
samples exhibited in the Galleries speedily followed, and have always been expeditiously dealt
with, by direct communication with the authorities in the Colonies and India, or with special
sources of information.
Steps were taken soon after the opening of the Institute Galleries to organise two Departments, the existence of which were a necessary consequence of the endeavours made to render
the collections of products really useful to the commercial and industrial communities, and of
the desire entertained by the authorities, especially in India, to acquire information regarding
the precise nature and the commercial value of indigenous products represented by samples
supplied to the collections of the Institute.
Department of Commercial and Industrial Intelligence.
In February, 1887, Mr. E. F. Law, who had recently been appointed by the Foreign
Office as the First Commercial Attache, and had been previously connected with the War
Office Intelligence Department, submitted to the Organising Committee the suggestion that
most valuable assistance would be rendered to those interested in the commerce and trade of
the Empire, " by the continuous and systematic supply of such varied and detailed information
on commercial matters as was manifestly beyond the reach of individual merchants and manufacturers," and that the requirements " might be met by making a Commercial Intelligence
Department the central feature of the Imperial Institute." Mr. Law's suggestion included the
proposal that the War Office Intelligence Department might serve as an indication of the
general lines upon which the Commercial Intelligence Department might be based, and that
the staff might advantageously draw some of its workers from the four public departments
chiefly interested in its labours.
The practical development of the outline scheme submitted by Mr. Law would have
involved a very heavy initial expenditure, hut the possibility of creating and gradually
developing such a department as suggested by him was carefully considered by the Committee
and the organising officials of the proposed Istitute.
A letter was written to the Secretary of State for the Colonies by His Royal Highness the
President of the Institute, announcing the proposal to establish a department for commercial
and industrial intelligence, and expressing the hope that the Secretary of State would move
the several Colonial Governments to assist by arranging for the regular transmission of all
official works and available documents conveying commercial and other information relating to
their Colonies. This letter (Appendix II.) was sent to the Governments of Colonies by the
Secretary of State,  with a covering letter (Appendix II.).    The President of the Board of 978 Agent-General's Report. 1898
Trade was also applied to for the regular supply of information, and a favourable reply was
received (Appendix IX). In January, 1888, the Secretary submitted to the Organising Committee a memorandum entitled " Suggestions for the Organisation of Correspondence with a
view to the establishment of a Department of Commercial Intelligence" (Appendix III.),
which was followed in July of that year by the submission of a second, entitled " Establishment of a Commercial Intelligence Department," describing the preliminary steps already
taken, by correspondence, towards the creation of this department, and the methods of collecting information which the Secretary and Assistant Secretary suggested for preliminary
adoption. This memorandum was considered by the Commerce Sub-Committee of the Institute
at a meeting held on the 11th October, 1888, at which it was resolved " that it be recommended to the Organising Committee to approve generally the course of action proposed in
Memorandum No. 2 of the Secretary, dated July, 1888, in respect of the establishment of a
Commercial Intelligence Department, and to empower the Secretary, in conference with the
Commerce Sub-Committee, to take the necessary steps preparatory to the commencement of
work of this department." It was further resolved to recommend that a sum of money be
placed at the disposal of the Sub-Committee for expenditure in connection with the Commercial
Intelligence Department.
At the same meeting of the Sub-Committee a conference was held with prominent representatives of the British Iron Trade Association, the Society of Chemical Industry, the Society
of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, and of the London, Manchester, Glasgow, Bradford and
Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, at the close of which the Chairman (Lord Herschell)
stated that "it might be taken that the general concensus of opinion was strongly in favour of
the establishment of a Commercial Intelligence Department, upon the general principle of the
outline-scheme proposed by the Commerce Sub-Committee, which had been submitted to the
consideration of the above-named bodies, and had been discussed that day. Several very
valuable suggestions had been made by the representatives of the Chambers and Technical
Associations present at the Conference; and the Sub-Committee were glad to be fortified in
their opinion that the Department of Commercial Intelligence, if cautiously and judiciously
elaborated, would be calculated to confer very important benefits upon the commerce and industries of the Empire."
A conference had previously been held by the Commerce Sub-Committee with the Agents-
General and the Crown Agents for the Colonies, who warmly approved of the proposal and
promised their support and assistance, in communications on the. subject with the Governments of Colonies.
Preliminary measures were carried out with a view to establish relations between the
Imperial Institute and Corresponding Agents in the several Colonies, appointed either by or
with the concurrence of the local Governments ; and the Assistant Secretary was directed to
visit the principal Colonies with that object. A certain number of Agents were thus
appointed, but the Organising Committee, and subsequently the Governors, could not see their
way clear to meet the considerable expenditure which the adoption of the proposed system of
correspondence would have involved, if carried out to the extent essential for securing an
approach to thoroughly efficient operations.
The limited nature of available resources has necessitated the organisation of the Intelligence Department upon too small a scale to allow of much being done to make widely known
the existence of an organisation for the supply of information. During the past three years,
however, a great variety of enquiries have been received and promptly answered, both verbally
and by correspondence. That the existence of such a bureau has gradually become generally
known is evidenced by the fact that persons in most large towns within the United Kingdom,
as well as residents in Canada, Australasia, India, Ceylon, South Africa and the West Indies,
have made use of it. Inhabitants, both native and foreign, of many countries in Europe and
of North and South America have likewise availed themselves of its facilities. The department possesses a large number of records of acknowledgment of valuable assistance received.
The enquiries dealt with have had reference to such subjects as special information
regarding known commercial products and possible fresh sources of supply; also to new or
little-known products, with a view to their commercial utilisation. Colonial Authorities and
others have been furnished with the opinions of practical experts as to the value of such
products, which have included manufactured articles, fibres, tanning and dyeing materials,
gums and resins, metals, minerals and ores, teas and coffees, hides and leathers, drugs, timbers,
fruits, oils, sugars, cereals, seeds and food-stuffs generally. 61 Vict. Agent-General's Report. 979
Not only has there been a large number of applications for commercial information of the
above description, but enquirers have also desired, and been supplied with, particulars useful
in commercial and industrial dealings with Colonial and Indian products. Thus details have
been given as to methods of manufacture or preparation for the market, customs tariffs, local
laws, and trade customs, transport facilities, agricultural prospects, names of firms in different
parts of the British Empire and the Colonies importing or exporting various commodities, etc.
Another important branch of the Department's operations has been the collection of
information on varied subjects in connection with the resources of the British Empire and
the principal foreign countries. This is collated and made available for immediate reference
in the Department, a condensed selection therefrom being published monthly in the Imperial
Institute Journal, the contents of which are, at the present time, quoted by technical and
other publications at home and abroad.
These carefully-verified mercantile data, freely accessible to enquirers, have already been
of considerable value to British and other firms engaged in export and import transactions,
and although it is not often practicable to trace definitely the beneficial results of enquiries
dealt with, instances are not wanting of direct assistance thus given to the development of
existing trades or industries, and the opening up of new ones.
Appendix IV. gives illustrations of the great diversity of the applications for industrial
and commercial information, and Appendix V. includes some illustrations of practical results
attained, or in course of attainment, consequent upon information supplied by this Department
of the Institute.
Corresponding Agents and Expert Referees.
The provision of reliable information in reply to enquiries, and the practical valuation of
natural and manufactured products, has been secured by the appointment, as expert referees,
of specialists who have had great practical experience, either in the markets or in manufactories, and, as far as it has hitherto been practicable, by the appointment of Corresponding
Agents, several of whom hold official appointments in the Colonies, and who have been selected
for the position of correspondents by the local Governments. Arrangements were contemplated at the outset for obtaining regular periodical reports from Corresponding Agents, supplemented where necessary by cablegrams; indeed, a special code of phrases was, in 1888,
acquired with that object in view, but, as already stated, the resources at the command of the
Institute have not as yet admitted of the practical realisation to any large extent of the
proposed system of commercial correspondence with the Colonies.
Trade Circulars, &c.
The attention of commercial bodies was some time since publicly called by the Director
of the Institute to the benefits which must accrue to the British manufacturer and exporter
from the rendering of their circulars and price lists in the language, currency, weights and
measures of the particular countries in which it is desired to circulate them, and the offer was
made to afford aid by providing translations and conversions at cost price. As a result, translations, etc., have already been made into and from the French, German, Polish, Dutch, Bulgarian, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Persian, Burmese and Malay languages.
Aid to Emigration.
A large proportion of the enquiries addressed to the Intelligence Office relate to emigration (see Part 2 of Appendix IV.), and embrace very varied requests for information, both
personal and also coming from all parts of the United Kingdom, respecting the best fields for
emigration, and particulars of all kinds, e.g., climatic conditions, prospects of employment in
trades and professions, rates of wages, cost of living, best routes, outfits, etc. This class of
enquiry is also largely dealt with, individually, by the Curators for Canada and for South
Africa. Great pains are taken to furnish applicants with full information and with assistance
in the way of references, etc, and the literature of the Immigrants' Information Office is
widely distributed to such applicants. Reports and statements from that office are, moreover,
regularly published in the Monthly Journal of the Institute. The Women's Emigration
Employment Association also has its home at the Institute, where it carries out a large
amount of valuable work. 980 Agent-General's Report. 1898
Scientific and Technical Department.
Early in 1894, the Director of the Institute took the first steps towards the establishment
of a special Experimental Department, to provide for the scientific investigation and practical
examination of natural products received from the Colonies and India, and especially of such
as are new or little known, with a view to their utilisation in commerce and industries, in
medicine, and in the arts. By his exertions, the active interest, and to some extent the
personal services, of a number of eminent scientific authorities were enlisted; and, in the first
instance, various important branches of investigation into the character and properties of
particular classes of products were voluntarily undertaken by distinguished workers who have
made a specialty of branches of research relating to such products. The materials for these
investigations have been furnished from the supplies shown at the Imperial Institute, and
special steps have been taken to obtain further supplies from the Government Authorities in
India and several of the Colonies.
As illustrative of the useful work thus set on foot, it may be mentioned that Professor
Church, M.A, F.R.S, and Mr. Horace Brown, F.R.S., undertook the investigation of some
new Indian food-stuffs; Professor Hummel, F.R.S, and Mr. A. G. Perkin, both of the Yorkshire Technical College, Leeds, have continued researches upon which they were already
engaged, with the assistance of the Institute, in the nature, composition, and properties of
dyeing and tanning materials, chiefly from India; Professor Unwin, F.R.S, M.Inst.C.E, of
the City and Guilds of London Central Technical College, undertook a very valuable series of
experiments on the strength, elasticity, and other important qualities of a great variety of
timbers from various Colonies, which have already led to important practical results; Messrs.
Cross and Bevan instituted a chemical and physical examination of various fibres, by a method
of comparative tests which has been applied extensively to the examination of new fibres in
the Research Department; Messrs. W. H. Deering and Boverton Redwood instituted a
valuable comparative examination of several varieties of castor oil from India; Professor
Armstrong, F.R.S, of the Central Technical College, undertook an investigation of several
varieties of turpentine from different parts of India, which is furnishing important results;
Professor Wyndham R. Dunstan, M.A, F.R.S, late Director of the Research Laboratories of
the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, was supplied with materials for investigating
different varieties of aconite and podophyllum, and of other drugs of Indian or Colonial
importation, concerning which existing knowledge was very imperfect.
The Director of the Institute afterwards succeeded in obtaining two donations of £1,000
each from the Goldsmiths' Company for the arrangement and equipment of suitable laboratories, and the Royal Commissioners for the Exhibition of 1851 have granted an annual
contribution towards the payment of a Director of the Scientific Department and a staff of
assistant chemists, while the Salters' Company have importantly assisted in this direction by
instituting a Research Fellowship in connection with the Imperial Institute of the annual
value of £150, which is held by one of the chief assistant chemists in the Research Laboratories. The Indian Governntent pays an annual allowance towards covering the outlays
connected with the investigation of Indian natural products, and the large amount of work
performed in the Experimental Department for India comes under the special cognisance of a
Committee of eminent Indian officials, appointed by the Secretary of State for India to control
the Indian Section at the Imperial Institute, who have recently issued an interesting report
of work done at the Institute in 1896-97. Illustrations of the work performed in the
Research Department for the Colonies and India are given in Appendix V.
The Scientific and Technical Department of the Institute, of which Professor Wyndham
Dunstan is now Director, not only carries out scientific investigations and analytical examinations of products from all parts of the Colonial and Indian Dominions; it also institutes, in
connection with such investigations, comparative examinations of products of recognised value
and importance obtained from other sources, and it advises the Indian and Colonial Governments on scientific and technical questions relating to the manufacture and commercial
utilisation of products, and the development of manufacturing industries in the Colonies and
India. Moreover, the scientific and technical examination of new or little-known products is
combined with the provision of reliable information regarding their probable market value,
and the openings for trade which exist or may arise for them. In cases where the merits of
new materials, etc., can be ascertained or indicated by practical experiments or tests, arrangements are made for their institution.    The department has, therefore, associated with it men 61 Vict. Agent-General's Report. 981
of acknowledged experience and standing, who act as practical and commercial expert-referees ;
and no difficulty has been experienced in furnishing the Colonial and Indian Authorities with
reliable and important practical information, supplementary to or connected with the results
supplied by the Scientific and Technical Department.
The United Kingdom Section.
The scheme prepared by the " Organising Committee " for the Imperial Institute included
the obviously essential feature of a section representative of the United Kingdom and its
interests. In the preamble of their report (Appendix I, p. 1), it is stated that, while bearing
in mind that the suggestion of the Prince of Wales referred for their consideration related to
the possible establishment of an Institution for the permanent representation of the resources
of the Colonies and India, as a memorial of the fiftieth year of the Queen's reign, they had
become persuaded, by a careful consideration of the subject, "that a memorial really worthy
of the Jubilee Year of Her Majesty's reign could not be confined in its objects to any one
part, or to parts, of the Empire, and that it must, in some form or degree, also comprehend a
representation of the United Kingdom."
Scheme proposed in 1886.
After pointing out that certain Departments of the Institute must of necessity be
common, in their objects and operations, both to the Colonies and India and to the United
Kingdom, the Organising Committee describes (Appendix I, p. 2, B) the leading objects of
the United Kingdom Section as being to illustrate "the development during the Queen's
reign, and the present condition, of the natural and manufactured products of the United
Kingdom, and to afford such stimulus and knowledge as will lead to still further developments." To promote those objects, it was proposed to establish comprehensive collections of
the natural products of the United Kingdom, and of the products of other nations employed
in its industries; also illustrative collections of (with full scientific, practical, and commercial
information relating to) "all trades, industries, and handicrafts, including illustrations of
corresponding foreign work, when necessary for comparison."
These collections were proposed to be supplemented by a comprehensive library, a fully-
equipped map room, and reading rooms supplied with English, Colonial, and foreign commercial and technical periodicals; also with conference rooms for the use of Colonists and "for
meetings of chambers of commerce and other bodies of a kindred nature." It was further
proposed to provide space for the examination of products " by the resources of modern
science " ; and to hold occasional exhibitions of separate industries, more especially of such as
are carried on in great provincial centres, as well as separate exhibitions of the handiwork of
It was also suggested that the Imperial Institute should promote the establishment, in
affiliation with it, " of commercial museums in the City of London and in the commercial
centres of the provinces," to which " the Institute would contribute specimens, samples, and
exhibits of the commercial products likely to be specially valuable in particular localities ";
and that "there should be an organisation to connect the Institute with the provincial centres,
by lectures, conferences, the circulation of specimens, and other means." The hope was
expressed that the Institute might assist in the promotion of commercial education, of the
technical education of artizans, etc.
Results attained.
The extent to which it has been possible, in the first five years of the Institute's opera-
tians, to attain a practical realisation of the very comprehensive programme of operations in
the interests of the United Kingdom, indicated in the scheme carefully considered and
prepared by the eminent members of the Organising Committee, may not appear to be very
considerable to the superficial observer and critic, whose recognition of the work which is
being accomplished in this direction has naturally been impeded by operations and arrangements which it has been necessary to adopt, of a character calculated to attract the public,
and to present inducements to the latter, by joining as subscribers, to provide funds necessary
for realising the objects for which the Institute was founded.
A brief survey of what has been accomplished, and in progress of realisation, will
demonstrate, however, that, considering the time which, even under the most fortunate
circumstances of abundant resources and the existence of other essential conditions favourable 982 Agent-General's Report. 1898
to its practical fulfilment, would be required for the development of the highly comprehensive
conception of the United Kingdom Section, the Imperial Institute has already established
claims to recognition as an Institution of rapidly-increasing usefulness to the commercial and
industrial communities of the United Kingdom, in spite of the difficulties attendant upon very
cramped resources, and of the blighting influences of ill-considered criticism and hostile
prejudices ; in spite, also, of the unfortunate circumstance of its distance from the commercial
centre of the metropolis.
1.—Mindful of the original proposal that a large proportion of the Institute Buildings
should be set apart for the United Kingdom, a capacious gallery, about 700 feet long, was, at
the outset, reserved for the accommodation of a British Export sample-collection ; but the
resources at command have been, so far, entirely absorbed in the establishment and maintenance of the Colonial and Indian Collections, and by work connected therewith. The Gallery
has, however, been annually utilised for the realisation of one feature in the proposals for the
British Section, viz., the holding of exhibitions illustrating the development and present
condition of important British industries. The glass, china, and pottery industries; photography in its applications to the sciences, the arts, and to important industries; the fishing-
industries, and naval architecture in one of its branches, have been successfully dealt with ;
and in each instance the Institute authorities have received convincing testimony that direct
benefits have been reaped through these special exhibitions by those immediately connected
with the industries concerned, and that they have been attended by results directly beneficial
to those industries, although they have in each instance involved the Institute in pecuniary
loss. Other very useful exhibitions have also been held at the Institute, such as those illustrating recent advances in railway appliances, in locomotion by electric and other motors, in
scientific and commercial geography, in food preparation, in the metal-work and ceramic
industries of India. Annual exhibitions, showing considerable progressive development, are
also held of the work of artizans, apprentices, etc., throughout the United Kingdom, in
connection with the Technological Examinations of the City and Guilds of London Institute
of Technical Education.
2.—Free public lectures, as well as special lectures for Fellows of the Institute and their
friends, have been delivered during the last five years by eminent authorities on subjects
connected with the history, resources, and development of the Colonies and India, and on
important subjects relating to the applied sciences and to prominent commercial and industrial
topics. These lectures, although delivered at South Kensington, are at least as numerously
attended as those of like character delivered at other important public institutions in more
central positions.
3.—In addition to a General News Room, where all the important newspapers of London,
the provinces, the whole of the Colonies, and India, are kept (the most prominent of these
being filed for reference), a Reading Room, where the chief serials are kept for the use of
Fellows, and other accommodation of the kind afforded by clubs, there exists a Library, to
which all official publications have been, since its first establishment, regularly supplied by the
Colonial and Indian Governments, and which is now one of the most comprehensive Colonial
and Indian Libraries open to the public, beside containing a good special collection of works
in the native languages of the less civilised races. The systematic collection of maps from all
official sources at home and in the Colonies and India, and from the prominent publishers, has
resulted in the equipment of a Map Room, which very efficiently illustrates the geography of
any part of the Empire, and includes many publications of special value for purposes of
reference.    This Map Room, like the Library, is open to the general public by order.
4.—A Public Commercial and Industrial News Room has been established, which, in
regard to the collection it includes of English, Colonial, Indian, and Foreign commercial,
technical, and industrial periodicals, official gazettes, trade circulars, handbooks, and other
literature of this class, will bear comparison with the most complete establishments of the
kind, both at home and abroad (see Appendix VI.)
5.—The Commercial Intelligence Office and the Scientific and Technical Department
afford facilities for firms, companies, and individuals, connected with commerce and the
industries in the metropolis and the provinces, to acquire information of every description,
which they are now not slow to avail themselves of, even although such information has to be
sought, by personal application or by correspondence, at South Kensington; and more than
one important item in that part of the original scheme of operations of the Institute which
relates to the United Kingdom is already being well fulfilled by the two Departments. 61 Vict. Agent-General's Report. 983
6.—Up to the present time, lack of the necessary funds has precluded the possibility of
taking steps to carry into effect the proposal which formed a prominent feature of the scheme
of the Organising Committee, to affiliate to the Institute Commercial Museums in the City of
London and in the commercial centres of the provinces, which it was to supply with specimens
and samples of the commercial products likely to be of special value in particular localities.
On the other hand, many applications have been received during the last three years, from
public schools, for small collections of products from the Colonies, etc., for educational purposes.
These applications have not been invited, as the Institute has not, up to the present, been in
a position to secure from the Colonies sufficiently extensive and regular supplies, nor to incur
the heavy expenditure neeessary for undertaking, upon an extensive scale, the supply of
sample-collections ; but it has been, so far, possible to meet every spontaneous application
satisfactorily, by the gratuitous supply of small illustrative collections from the reserve stores
of the Institute. In 1895, eight applications were dealt with, twenty-six were received and
complied with in 1896, and thirty in 1897. The larger number of these have come from
schools in the metropolis, but collections have been sent in response to applications from
Baldock, Blackburn, Brighton, Cheltenham, Derby, Dover, Guernsey, Great Yarmouth, Margate, Northwich, Leicester, Romford, Royston, Stoke, Whittlesey, and Warrington. Special
and more extensive collections have also been supplied to the Yorkshire Technical College,
Leeds, the Tyneside Geographical Society, and the Free Library and Museum, Newport, Mon.
These presentations, which have all been gratefully acknowledged, afford illustrations of an
important branch of work which the Institute has set on foot, and would be prepared to carry
out upon an extensive, thoroughly organised scale if the requisite resources were forthcoming
to cover the outlay in arranging for the regular receipt of supplies from the Colonies, and their
distribution to commercial centres and educational establishments.
7. In 1892 the Institute published the first edition of a Year Book or statistical record
of the resources, trade, etc, of the Colonial and Indian Provinces of the British Empire.
This work, upon the compilation and editing of which much care and labour were bestowed,
was made as thoroughly authoritative as practicable, by submitting the proof-sheets to the
Government authorities of each individual Colony, by whom they were promptly revised,
in regard to statistical data, etc., and returned. The Year Book, which was gratuitously
supplied to all Fellows of the Institute, and to official, commercial, and other public bodies
and institutions throughout the Empire, soon became a valuable, because thoroughly comprehensive and reliable, book of reference. Revised editions were published in 1893 and 1894,
but in 1895, in consequence of other measures which had been matured and were then adopted
for the monthly distribution of information up to date, as collected by the Commercial Information Office, a supplement only to the Year Book for 1894 was published, which brought the
authoritative statistical information up to date for that year. The heavy outlay involved in
the publication and distribution of this Year Book rendered its continuance incompatible with
the carrying out of the decision which had been arrived at, to publish a Monthly Journal of
the Institute. This appeared in January, 1895, and has since been regularly published, and
even more widely distributed throughout the Empire, gratuitously, than had been the case
with the Year Book. The Journal contains, in addition to accounts of the proceedings of the
Institute, and of the work done in its different departments, classified records relating to
export and import commerce and trade, to general commerce and industries in the Empire and
foreign countries, to customs tariffs, labour markets, transport and freights, emigration and
immigration, to contracts etc., and a variety of other matter bearing upon commercial and
industrial interests and subjects.
8. In 1888 the Organising Committee adopted the proposal of the Director, based upon a
suggestion of Colonel Watson, R.E, Deputy Inspector-General of Fortifications, to organise a
school for the study of modern Oriental languages, for the cultivation of which there have for
some years past existed important Government establishments in Russia, Germany, Austro-
Hungary and France, but for which only some small pecuniary aid is furnished by the Foreign
Office to Oxford and Cambridge. It was in the first instance contemplated to make temporary
arrangements for the holding of classes at the Institute for instruction in several of the more
important Oriental languages, but as such classes had, for some time past, formed part of the
courses of study provided both at University College and at King's College (their nature differing
somewhat at the two establishments), it was thought desirable to attempt to consolidate these,
and an arrangement was successfully brought about in 1890 between the authorities of the
two Colleges and the Institute by which a School of Modern Oriental Studies was organised, the courses of instruction being divided between University College and King's College, while
the machinery of the School is worked by the Imperial Institute Authorities, under a Special
Committee, which has included the Right Hon. Professor Max Miiller, the late Sir Thomas
Wade, Colonel Sir Charles Wilson (Director-General of Military Education), Sir Philip
Magnus, Sir Frederick Goldsmid, the Rev. Henry Wace, and Professor Douglas (as representing King's College), Sir George Young, Bart, and Professor Blumhardt (as representing
University College), Sir Douglas Galton, and Sir Frederick Abel (Appendix VII.). In 1892,
Three Scholarships in Oriental Languages, to be awarded annually under certain conditions,
were founded in connection with the School, in memory of the late Colonel Ouseley, by his two
daughters; and these Scholarships have, to some extent, aided in maintaining the existence of
the School. The number of students entering is, however, only small, and does not show any
prospect of increase; this is mainly due to the circumstances that the chief Departments of the
Government, the Foreign Office, the Indian Office, and the War Office, which are practically
and directly interested in the existence of efficient organisations for promoting the cultivation
of modern Oriental languages, declined to accede to applications made to the Executive
Council of the Imperial Institute, supported by strong representations on the part of Professor
Max Miiller, the late Sir Thomas Wade, and other high authorities, that certificates of
proficiency gained by students at this School, of which the character of instruction and
eminence of Professors rank as high as those at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge,
might be officially recognised as evidence of qualification for Oriental appointments under
the Government, or that in some other suitable way the School might meet with official
recognition. It should be stated that these representations were not accompanied by any
application for financial support; the Committee of Management of the School were confident
that proper official recognition was alone needed to secure its success. It was contemplated to
engage native instructors in those Oriental languages of which a practical knowledge was most
in demand, with a view to carry on classes in colloquial instruction; and it has also been
attempted to establish evening classes in such languages, which could be attended by the
employees of banks and houses engaged in Oriental trade, but as the Institute does not possess
funds which can be devoted to the payment of instructors, it has not been possible to carry
these proposals into effect. A proposal of one of the important Eastern banking houses to
guarantee the attendance of a minimum number of its employees, and pay a fixed subsidy to
cover the cost of their instruction, has not been, up to the present time, adopted by a sufficient
number of other houses to allow the Institute to become responsible for the payment of instructors, the present staff of Professors at the two Colleges being paid only by the fees received
from students.
It will be seen from the foregoing that the work already in hand in connection with the
"United Kingdom Section" of the Institute embraces the majority of the subjects included in
the scheme for that Section prepared in 1886. The establishment of the proposed United
Kingdom Export Collection, and the full development of other branches of the Section, have
been delayed in consequence of the utter inadequacy of financial resources; but it is submitted
that, taken as a whole, the work of the Imperial Institute—in furtherance of the commercial
and industrial interests of the Empire—which has been accomplished, and is continually
expanding, demonstrates that the progress made with it is, at any rate, scarcely less than
what might reasonably be expected during the first five years of the development of operations
embracing so extensive a scope and area as those with which this Institute has to deal.
Comprehensive as was the scheme proposed by the Organising Committee twelve years
ago, it did not include a suggestion of any course of action having for its special object the
collection of information, through Consular or other authorities or sources, regarding competition to be contended with by the United Kingdom in its commercial relations with the
Colonies or other distant countries. At that time commercial and industrial bodies, and the
Government authorities, had not long become fully alive to the great importance to be attached
to comprehensive measures for the promotion of technical and commercial education in the
United Kingdom, and were but imperfectly acquainted with the grave extent to which, in
several very important directions, our trade was becoming prejudicially affected by the advantageous conditions, of their own creation, under which some foreign countries entered into
competition with us, in meeting certain requirements of Colonial and foreign markets.
- 61 Vict. Agent-General's Report. 985
But, although the General Scheme of 1886 did not touch upon this subject, the "suggestions" submitted by Sir F. Abel in January, 1888, for the organisation of a Commerial
Intelligence Department, which have already been referred to in this Memorandum (Appendix
III.), included " the collection of information relating to Foreign Markets, Imports and
Exports, Industries, Finance, Tariffs, Customs and other kindred regulations, and on all matters
connected with the trade, commerce and industries, etc., etc., in Foreign States" ; as well as
" the continuous collection of information from import and export merchants in the several
Colonies and in India, respecting local requirements of raw material and manufactured goods;
the state of markets, finance, means and cost of transport, and of measures likely to promote
the development of local trades." Had it been within the power of the Institute Authorities
to incur the necessary expenditure for the development of the scheme which was approved of
ten years ago, or of modifications indicated by experience, the operations of the Commercial
Intelligence Department would have, ere this, at any rate gone very far indeed towards
fulfilling what are now considered essential requirements in the interests of British industries
and commerce.
F. A. Abel.
December, 1897.
Illustrations of Practical Results Attained or in Course of Attainment from
Information supplied by the Commercial and Industrial Intelligence
Office and by the Scientific and Technical Department of the Imperial
Messrs. Lever Bros, Ltd, of Birkenhead, enquired for details of the crop and exports of
Copra in Ceylon, India, New Guinea, Phillipine Islands, Fiji and South Sea Islands; whether
there were any oil mills in these countries and what type; whether there was any sale for the
oil-cake; if so, where it was shipped and at what price. Full information was obtained from
the Corresponding Agents of the Institute and communicated to the applicants, with the residt
that the firm has established oil mills at Sydney, New South Wales, thus introducing a new field
of labour for the Industrial population.
A Liverpool firm of merchants, Messrs. Kamni & Schrempft, were seeking to obtain shipments of castor seed, linseed, ground nuts and butter beans from Natal and various West
Indian Colonies ; also of aniseed and linseed from Cyprus. Enquiries were directed by the
Department to the authorities of the various Colonies where these products were obtainable,
the names of producers were obtained and supplied, and the enquiring firm stated that they
anticipated a large business resulting.
It was desired by Messrs. George Crosfield & Co., of Liverpool, to place a new " rainbow
cube " sugar on the Australasian and South African markets. A list of firms in the different
Colonies likely to be interested was supplied, and the firm has sent samples and particulars,
with a view to commencing shipments.
Mr. J. T. Boyde, Isle of Man, enquired the prospects of obtaining a market for large
deposits oi fuller's earth in the Island. Samples were examined, reported on and valued, and
steps were taken for placing the product on the London market.
A South African correspondent enquired about the prospects of a trade between the
United Kingdom and Natal in thyme grown in the Colony. Samples were obtained from
Natal, and reported on by the Institute's expert Referee, the probable result being that stills
will be erected in Natal and a trade in the essential oil of thyme established.
Mr. E. B. d'Auvergne desired information as to tea-planting in Ceylon, viz. :—Average
price of suitable land; quantity of tea grown per acre ; how long tea-plants take before bearing ; labourers' wages ; whether trade is exclusively in the hands of companies, and various
details only obtainable on the spot. The corresponding agent of the Institute in Colombo
provided a full report, explaining all the particulars.
The " Oil and Colourman's Journal" wrote for samples of tung-tree oil and information as
to the source of supply.    The samples and particulars were supplied.
Several other enquiries respecting the same material have been dealt with. 986 Agent-General's Report. 1898
Steatite.—A sample of mineral, closely resembling steatite, and useful for most of the
purposes for which steatite is used, was received from the Premier of Newfoundland.
An analysis of it was made in the Scientific Department, and the results reported to
the Colony and brought to the notice of traders in French chalk. A large firm in
Liverpool, who use this mineral extensively, have offered to take a trial shipment.
Fibres for fancy articles.—Samples of fibres from Fiji, suitable for various articles for
which a demand exists here, have been obtained at the instance of a London firm,
who have taken up the matter with a view to placing these products on the markets.
Timbers—Enquiries have been made of the authorities in the Canadian Provinces and the
West Indies, at the instance of the Institute of British Carriage manufactures, for
timbers that might be useful as a substitute for English ash. Various samples from
Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, etc., were submitted, and are receiving attention.
Among them was one which has been very favourably reported on, and details are
now being obtained as to the possibility of regular quantities being exported to this
Jamaica, Trinidad—
Specimens of woods from these Colonies have also been obtained in connection with the
foregoing enquiry and are under practical trial.
British Central Africa—
Iceland spar and coal.—A sample of so-called Iceland (double refracting) spar, of uncommon size, was sent from British Central Africa. It was reported to be of use in the
construction of certain scientific instruments, and to be of a nature now difficult to
obtain.    Details as to the extent of the occurrence of this mineral are awaited.
A sample of the coal which is found  in the  same  regions was  also sent,  and  has been
analysed in the Scientific Department and a report furnished.
New South Wales—
Australian sandarac (resin).—A sample of Australian sandarac was received from New
South Wales, and being valued at less than the African sandarac at present on the
market on account of its alleged inferiority in point of solubility, etc, samples were
examined in the Scientific Department, and it was evident that the resin is not so
inferior as the difference in valuation would indicate. Efforts are being made to place
the product on a better footing in the markets.
Barbados —
Manjak.—Enquiries having been made for information as to " Manjak," a mineral of the
nature of " glance pitch," which has been found to occur in large quantities in Barbados, samples of the material have been supplied from the Commercial Collections to
several enquirers, and reports are awaited from them.
Ground nuts, castor seed, pigeon peas and "farine."—The Curator of the Botanic Gardens,
Grenada, has made enquiries as to obtaining a market for the above products in the
United Kingdom. It has been reported that there is an opening for new supplies of
the two first-named products, and samples of the two latter have been introduced to
the notice of produce brokers with a view to establishing a market for them. This
enquiry is of interest in connection with the request (see above) of Messrs. Kamin &
India-rubber.—A large number of samples from Burma, received from the Government,
have been introduced to the notice of manufacturers, cable-makers and brokers, and
valuations thereof by practical experts have been reported to the Indian authorities.
Jute.—A number of samples collected at various stages of the plant's growth, and submitted to certain treatments after retting, have been investigated chemically and
examined by commercial experts, with the view of ascertaining at what period of
maturity the plant yields the most constant quantity of fibre.
Castor oils.—A numerous series of castor oils from various parts of India have been
investigated as to their comparative properties and reported upon. 61 Vict. Agent-General's Report. 987
Indian dyes.—Professor Hummel and Mr. A. G. Perkin have investigated the dyeing
properties and chemical constituents of a number of Indian dye-stuffs, amongst which
may be mentioned myrica, nagi, morinda, delphinium, zalil, etc., etc.
Fibres.—The following are some of the fibres which, after chemical examination by the
methods adopted for comparative valuation, have been brought to the notice of merchants and brokers, who have reported on their market value :—Sunn hemp, phoenix
paludosa, agave rigida, sansevieria (bow-string hemp), pineapple fibre, calotropis silk
floss, etc., etc.
Calotropis procera seeds are also being examined as to their medicinal properties.
Mica.—Various preparations of this mineral have been submitted to manufacturers for
their opinions, at the request of the authorities in India.
Coals.—A full report on Indian coals, with an extensive series of analyses, is in course of
Iron ores.—A large number of analyses of iron ores from Madras have been made, with a
view to utilise them.
Turpentines.—A complete series of the turpentines produced in India, from various districts, is under investigation, and has been partly reported upon.
Tanning materials.—Acacia arabica pods and bark, cassia auriculata bark, terminalia
chebula fruit (myrobalans), oassalpinia bark, etc., etc. Many samples of these tanning
materials have been analysed, and especially samples of the three first named, collected
from trees of different ages, with the fruit or bark at various degrees of ripeness, have
been compared, the object being to determine the best conditions for cultivation and
the most favourable periods in the age of the plants for collecting the tanning
materials for the market. (At present the proportion of tannin in these materials as
sent into the market, and their consequent value, varies very greatly.)
Catechin and catechu tannin.—Samples of these preparations have been analysed, and a
report on them is in hand.
Corundum.—Samples of this mineral from India have been brought to the notice of
Edible oils.—An extensive series of samples is under investigation.
Food grains.—Certain food grains have been analysed and reported on, and others are
now under investigation.
Sunflower seed and Hibiscus (musk-mallow) seed have been dealt with as to their commercial prospects.
Tobacco from India has been analysed, and also reported on from a commercial point of
Gums.—A chemical enquiry has been made by and supplemented by commercial reports,
in reference to the value of some Indian gums occurring abundantly in certain
localities, which appear likely to be serviceable as substitutes for gum arabic or for
In addition to the above, extensive chemical researches are being carried out on Indian
opium, aconites, podophyllum, castor oil cake, hyoscyamus, etc., etc. For details, see report for
1896-7 on the Indian section of the Imperial Institute, presented to the Under Secretary of
State for India in June, 1897, by the Special Sub-Committee for India, at the Imperial Institute, composed of Sir Steuart C. Bayley, K.S.C.I, CLE. (Chairman), Sir Owen Tudor Burne,
G.C.I.E, K.C.S.I, Sir Charles E. Bernard, K.C.S.I, Sir George C. M. Birdwood, K.C.I.E,
C.S.I., and Sir Alexander Wilson, together with temporary Honorary Members.
The following are further examples of work done in the Scientific and Technical
Department for the Colonies.
30 fibres grown in the Botanical Garden, Melbourne, examined by the chemical methods
adopted for the comparative valuation of fibres.
20 essential, oils, from Dunolly Scent Farm, chemically examined, and their value determined as compared with corresponding oils from known sources of supply. (Some
of these will meet with ready demand in the London markets when their manufacture
has been sufficiently developed.) 988 Agent-General's Report. 1898
7 timbers, for paving-blocks, submitted to Surveyors of Vestries with full particulars.
The same timbers submitted to mechanical tests, and also to working tests, by
3 timbers, submitted to mechanical tests for strength, elasticity, etc, and also to practical
tests.    Results sent to the Colony and published.
New Zealand—
Limestone, iron ore, and oxide of iron paint reported on.
Kauri timber submitted to tests as above.     Report sent to the Colony and published.
Hong Kong—
Tung oil, recommended as a substitute for Baltic linseed oil.
Sisal fibre, examined as above.
30 timbers, submitted to tests as above     Report sent to the Colony  and published both
here and in Jamaica.
British Guiana—
14 timbers, submitted to tests as above.    Report sent to the Colony and published.
2 timbers, submitted to tests as above.     Report sent to the Colony and published.
St. Vincent—
1 timber, submitted to tests as above.    Peport sent to the Colony and published.
Groo-groo fibre, investigated and valued as above.
Chione glabra, examined and reported upon to the Colony.
Sisal fibre, examined and reported upon.
6 timbers, tested.    Results sent to the Colony and published.
Cape Colony—
3 timbers, tested.    Results sent to the Colony and published.
Minerals, examined.
Minerals, etc, examined and reported upon.
Minerals and ores, examined and  reported upon,  results  being utilised for. establishing
F. A. Abel,
Hon. Secretary and Director.
December, 1897. 61 Vict. Agent-General's Report. 989
The Incorporated London Chamber of Mines.
With which are affiliated the Australasian and Canadian Chambers of Mines, London.)
165, Fenchurch Street,
London, EC, 24th February, 1898.
Sir,—As you are doubtless aware, the Council of this Chamber has decided to hold an
International Mining, Metallurgical, and Machinery Exhibition in London, from May to
August, next year. Although this Chamber has reason to believe that many of the Australasian Governments are inclined to take advantage of this opportunity in order to make a
representation of their Colony's mining industry and mineral resources, this Chamber has so
far received an official communication from the Queensland Government only of their intention to co-operate.
As it is imperative that the Chamber should have early information from the several
Colonial Governments as to whether they propose to take advantage of this Exhibition, in
order that the necessary arrangements as to space, etc, might be made, I am directed by my
Council to beg that you will be so kind as to send a cable to the proper authorities requesting
to know, also by cable, if your Colony desires to exhibit officially, and if so, what approximate
extent of space might be required.
You might also be good enough to mention that the reason for this urgency is in order to
make such arrangements for suitably spacious premises in London as may be necessary, and
this cannot be determined until some idea of the space required is forthcoming.
In the event of a favourable reply being received, all papers and particulars that might
be required in the consideration of details will be sent you for transmission to your Government.
I am further directed to submit the following particulars, in order that you may rest
assured the project is one purely in public interests and calculated to prove highly successful,
especially in the exhibits of gold-mining appliances and new processes :—
1. The exhibition will remain open for at least three months.
2. The charge to Governments for space for the whole of this period will not exceed 2/6
per square foot.
2.  The exhibition will be held in the most central position obtainable in London.
4. Any profit or balance remaining when all expenses are paid and the exhibition closed
will be devoted towards the maintenance of a bureau of mining information in the City of
London. This bureau, conducted by this Chamber, will distribute such information as the
Australasian and Canadian Governments may send in from time to time, and will exhibit maps,
plans and Government reports to those interested in the mining industries of the countries
The Council desire to take this opportunity of inviting you to join the proposed exhibition's Honorary Committee of Advice, and would assure you that this Committee is by no
means being restricted to the members of this Chamber, but will be thoroughly representative
of all interests that in any respect are interested in mining industries.
I have, etc,
(Signed)        E. Jerome Dyer,
To the Agent-General of British Columbia. 990
Agent-General's Report.
Telegraphic Address:
" Mineurs, London."
Telephone Number:
5,320, Bank.    .
from the
of the
(With which are affiliated the Canadian and Australasian Chambers of Mines.)
The Companies Acts, 1862 to 1890.
2. The registered office of the Association will be situate in London. (Present offices—
64, Gresham Street, London, E.C.)
3. The objects are as follows :—To do all or any of the following things for the purpose
of attaining the objects if and so far as allowed by law, and observing and performing whatever may be required by law in order legally to carry out such objects :—
(a.) To establish a Mining Chamber and Bureau in the City of or elsewhere in London,
and to collect, keep, disseminate, allow access to and inspection of, complete and
detailed government, official or unofficial statutes, rules, regulations, statistics,
returns, records, crushings, books, pamphlets, newspapers, publications, maps, plans,
prospectuses, circulars, memoranda and articles of association, reports, reports of
companies, reports of meetings, and all other information of any and every description whatsoever in regard to mining districts, mines and mining matters generally,
railway or tramway construction and water supply, whether undertaken by a Government or by private undertaking in and for or affecting or relating to any present
or future Colony or dependency of the British Empire. To take part in and assist
wherever possible, and either alone or in conjunction with others, the framing of
and passing of mining laws and regulations, or the amendment of mining laws and
regulations in any such Colony or Dependency, and generally to watch over, protect
and advance mining interests and the mining industry in any such Colony or
Dependency :
(b.) In furtherance of all or any of the objects of the Association, to carry on business as
proprietors and publishers of books, magazines, journals, newspapers :
(c.) To undertake by arbitration the settlement of disputes directly or indirectly connected with or arising out of any mining transaction :
(d.) To provide, establish, equip, furnish, and maintain, for members of the Association,
or for the public generally, or both, one or more mining exchanges, chambers,
offices or bureaus, as meeting places or centres for receiving and imparting information, or for the public or private discussion of matters connected with or arising out
of any of the objects or business of the Association, and to give effect to and carry
out wherever practicable any resolution passed at any meeting of or convened by the
Chambers which may be within the scope and objects of the Chambers as defined by
the memorandum of association :
(e.) To enter into arrangements for affiliating the Association with any other Chamber or
Association, or to affiliate with the Association any other Chamber or Association,
and generally to co-operate with any other Chamber or Association in promoting
and advancing, directly or indirectly, any of the objects of the Association : Provided
that this clause shall only extend to Chambers or Associations with objects substan
tially similar to the objects of the Association, and which prohibit the payment of
any dividend or profit to the members thereof:
(f) To organise, undertake, establish, and maintain permanent or occasional mining
exhibitions, exhibitions of ores, minerals, mining appliances, machinery, and generally of any other matters, property or things appertaining to or used in or intended
to be used in mining operations or for mining operations. 61 Vict. Agent-General's Report. 991
Subscriptions.    (Reduced 7th March, 1898.)
Art. 29.  Until otherwise determined, the annual subscription shall be as follows :—
Five guineas per annum for banks, finance, parent, or  exploration  companies,   or general
finance and mining corporations.
Three guineas per annum for individual mining or other companies or firms.
One guinea per annum for individual membership.
Art. 30. Any individual person, duly elected, making a payment of £25 shall become a
life member.
Votes of Members.
Art. 41.  On a poll the following shall be the scale of votes :—
For members subscribing annually 5 guineas or upwards, six votes.
For members subscribing annually 3 guineas, but less than 5 guineas, three votes.
All other members, one vote.
General Remarks.
This Chamber of Mines has been established for the purpose of fulfilling, in regard to the
mining industry, the functions which are performed in regard to commerce generally by
Chambers of Commerce.
The Chamber has been incorporated under licence of the Board of Trade, and is thereby
restricted from taking part in any business or undertaking which has for its object the making
of profit for distribution amongst its members (see Memorandum of Association).
Under this licence the liability of each member is limited to the amount of his annual
subscription, excepting in the event of the Chamber being wound up, in which case the maximum amount that each member can be called upon to pay is twenty shillings (see Memorandum
of Association).
The above-mentioned subscriptions (reduced to nearly one-half those of last year, 1897)
include subscription to the Chamber's Monthly Publication of Mining Returns, a copy of which
is sent to each member, post free, every month.
Application for Membership.
To the Council of the Incorporated London Chamber of Mines :
Gentlemen.—I [or We] desire to become a member of the Incorporated London Chamber
of Mines, and remit herewith the amount of subscription for one
year.    I [or We] also agree, when elected, to be bound by the Memorandum and Articles of
Association of the Chambers.
 Cheques should be crossed "Brown, Janson & Co., a/c London Chamber of Mines. 992 Agent-General's Report. 1898
H. Seton-Karr, Esq, M.P, 12, Lower Sloane Street, S.W.
E. Grant Go van, Esq, 16, Copthal Avenue,  London, E.C.
Members of Council.
General Sir Bevan Edwards, K.C.M.G, C.B, M.P, West Lodge, Folkestone.
Sir Westby B. Percival, K.C.M.G. (Agent-General for Tasmania), 5, Victoria Street, S.W.
Sir John R. Somers Vine, C.M.G, 85, Barkston Gardens, S.W.
F. Faithfull Begg, Esq, M.P, Bartholomew House, London, E.C.
Colonel J. H. Anstey, The Laurels, Farnboro', Hants.
Colonel E. Cradock Hartopp, Cops wood, Walton, Epsom.
Colonel H. Fludyer, 30, Evelyn Gardens, S.W.
Colonel Josiah Harris, F.R.G.S, 8, Union Court, Old Broad Street, E.C.
Major F. J. Ricarde-Seaver, F.R.S, 16, Grafton Street, W.
Hon.   Forbes  G.   Vernon  (Agent-General  for  British  Columbia),   39,   Victoria   Street,
C. A. Duff-Miller, Esq. (Agent-General for New Brunswick), 17, Leather Market, S.E.
J. Howard, Esq. (Agent-General for Nova Scotia), 143, Cannon Street, E.C.
Louis Campbell-Johnston, Esq, 1, Iddesleigh Mansions, Caxton Street, S.W.
Frederick Dutton,  Esq.  (of Blyth, Dutton, Hartley & Blyth, solicitors), 112, Gresham
House, E.C.
F. A. Gillam, Esq, 245. Cromwell Road, S.W.
A. K. Hoffnung, Esq, Hyde Park Court, Albert Gate, S.W.
Prof. A. K. Huntington, A.R.S.M, F.I.C, M. Inst. M. &. M, King's College, London,
J. K. Lukach, Esq, 11, Cornhill, E.C.
John M. McDonald, Esq, 43, Threadneedle Street, E.C.
Jules de Meray, Esq., 15, George Street, Mansion House, E.C.
A. L. Pearse, Esq., M.E., 3, Gracechurch Street, London, E.C.
E. Pope, Esq, 38, St. Stepben's Chambers, Telegraph Street, London, E.C.
Ross Robinson, Esq, Leadenhall Buildings, E.C.
William Thompson, Esq, CE, F.R.G.S, 58, New Broad Street.
Honorary Solicitors.
Messrs. Blyth, Dutton, Hartley & Blyth, Gresham House, London, E.C.
Messrs. Brown, Janson & Co, Abchurch Lane, London, E.C.
E. Jerome Dyer, F.R.G.S.
64, Gresham Street, London, E.C.
Printed by RrcHARD Wolfenden, Printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty.


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