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Containing the tomb of Sidi Abou el Awib, the intimate friend of Mahommed himself, Mecca alone rivals the sanctity and celebrity of Kairwân. No one can any longer ignore the community of feeling which exists amongst the Moslems of North Africa, but Kairwân is venerated far beyond the boundaries of Tunis, Tripoli, and Egypt. Can it be for one moment expected that the Arabs of Tunis will allow the desecration of their cherished shrine without a struggle? They will undoubtedly call on their Tripolitan brethren to help them, and I believe all the efforts of the Sultan will be powerless to prevent a hostile demonstration on the part of the native tribes. France would have us believe that all resistance to her aggression is sedition, and all opposition to her ambition fanaticism. It is the action of France which provokes resistance, not the action of the Tunisians which provokes France. The utter fallaciousness of the French pleas and pretexts can no longer be denied, any more than it is possible to credit the specious promises of French diplomatists. The very language France used fifty years ago about Algeria is applied in 1881 to Tunis, and is now even extended to Tripoli. All people who oppose French conquest are fanatics, and France must put down all fanatics at any cost. This is the reductio ad absurdum of the arguments which at present find favour aniongst the lately peace-loving citizens of the peaceful French Republic. They represent a policy which can only be likened to a snow-ball rolling down a hill-side, of wbich it is difficult to foretell the ultimate dimensions or the ultimate destination. The action of France in North Africa has alarmed Europe, and seems calculated at no distant date to disturb the peace of the world. The Sultan of Turkey has sent troops to endeavour to keep order in his Tripolitan dominions amidst those very people who naturally feel disposed to help their Tunisian brethren to protect that which is most cherished and reverenced by their common faith, and the legitimate action of the Sublime Porte is now construed into an excuse for adding the unlawful conquest of Tripoli to the equally illegal conquest of Tunis. On the 19th of July the Journal des Débats writes as follows:
L'envoi de troupes et de navires ottomans à Tripoli ne peut que surexciter les tribus arabes de cette Régence, surexciter aussi par contagion celles de la Tunisie, par conséquent rendre nécessaire l'extension du protectorat français et l'occupation des points d'où nous pourrons contenir les agitateurs et les fanatiques.
Two days later the mask is thrown off, and the same newspaper thus addresses its readers :
Aurons-nous la folie d'hésiter plus longtemps ? Continuerons-nous je ne sais quelle politique idyllique qui suppose que les hommes sont des agneaux ? Croironsnous qu'un morceau de parchemin ait la vertu de maintenir en paix des Arabes fanatisés et de transformer en soldats français des soldats tunisiens ? Non, il est trop tard maintenant pour reculer. L'ile de Djerba, Sabés, Sfax, Souse, Kairouan, etc., doivent avoir des garnisons françaises à perpétuité.
The République Française, the recognised organ of M. Gam
betta, goes even further. Only a few days ago it addressed its readers as follows:-
Our Vinister for Foreign Affairs cannot content himself with the hypocritical protestations with which Assym Pacha overwhelms bim when he learns the departure of men of war and of fresh troops for the coasts of Tripoli, and when he holds in bis hands, as the result of Sheik Mahmoud's arrest, the proofs of a vast religious conspiracy, the ringleaders of which are at Stamboul advising the Sultan, and labouring to combat our lawful sovereignty in Saharian Africa.
Lord Granville has clearly pointed out that there is a wide difference between Tunis and Tripoli, and that even France has never disputed the status of the latter as an integral part of the Turkish Empire. The political and commercial importance of Tripoli to England is probably very little understood. An examination of the Consular Reports for the past six years will, however, show that twothirds of the export and import trade of the country is carried on with Great Britain and Malta. In 1880, 123 British vessels visited the port of Tripoli; 84,0001. worth of British manufactured goods were imported, as against 26,0001. worth of foreign fabrics ; and England received esparto fibre of the value of 188,5761. In 1878, sheep and oxen, valued at 15,850l., and corn, worth 26,0521., were exported from the town of Ben Ghazi to Malta.
There is also at Tripoli, as at Tunis, Sfax, and Susa, an important Maltese colony.
It is chiefly through Tripoli that our manufactured goods pass into the interior of Africa.
Mr. Rae, who recently visited Tunis and Tripoli, writes : “Tripoli is now the centre of all the caravan trade of Northern Africa. In recent years three thousand pilgrims, conducted by a religious chief of Kairwân, with ten or fifteen thousand camels, would encamp for sometimes a month's repose under the walls of Tripoli. France has now declared a war of tariffs against English merchandise. Can it be said we have no concern in conquests which will exclude our legitimate trade from the most important part of an entire continent? France is not' always content with merely waging a war of protection. On the banks of the Niger she has already bargained for a great trade monopoly. She would in all probability deal in a similar manner with the Tripolitan caravans.
The political aspect of the question is equally important. Tripoli adjoins Egypt. France will, therefore, be in direct communication with that country by land. Between Tripoli and Egypt dwell the tribes of the Barca, who would doubtless resist an invasion. As the Hamírs afforded an excuse for a French expedition to Tunis, and as the frontier tribes of Tripoli may at any moment furnish a pretext for an extension of French aggression into that country, so, in all probability, would M. St. Hilaire regard any display of fanaticism' by the Barca mountaineers as the most ample justification for an advance on Egypt. It is impossible for us to shut our eyes to what is
going on in Egypt. Not only does France now contest our right to a “preponderating influence' in that country, but her representatives are endeavouring slowly but surely to undermine the position we actually hold there. In his recent work, England and Egypt, Mr. Dicey records the following suggestive remarks of M. Waddington : • The great achievement of my diplomacy has been the acquiring for France in Egypt the influence on the administration of the country to which she is justly entitled, and that influence I am not going to throw away simply because it does not suit the convenience of England to follow our common policy. M. Waddington's views are to-day very energetically acted upon in Egypt. If France becomes the next-door neighbour of Egypt in Tripoli, she will of course put forth more overtly the claim to exclusive influence, which was for the nonce the watchword of the Tunisian expedition.
England has interests both in Egypt and Tripoli. These interests are practically inseparable. Lord Granville has entered into a solemn engagement in the face of Europe, and it is impossible that he can recede from it. France must not be allowed to imagine that if, by wanton aggression, she excites the resistance of the tribes on the Tripolitan frontier, we shall be ready to condone a further advance eastwards.
Experience has taught us to appreciate at their real value French assurances and French excuses. The fate of Tunis has furnished us with an excellent key to the unravelling of the tangled skeins of French diplomacy. British interests have suffered enough already by the mission of civilisation' to make us more watchful in the future. It is enough that Mr. Levy, a British subject, has been wantonly despoiled of his property, that British ships have been searched on the high seas, that our own political agent has been practically accredited to his French colleague, that thousands of pounds' worth of British property has been destroyed, and that Malta is to-day crowded by hundreds of once prosperous emigrants reduced to beggary. Lord Granville is unwilling to dwell on the incongruities' and 'inconsistencies' of M. Barthélémy St. Hilaire's tortuous explanations and declarations. The English people and English press have, however, estimated them at their proper value, and learned a lesson not to be easily forgotten. Neither Italy nor Turkey will ever pardon the cruel wrong done them by France. England will perhaps be wiser in the future. Centuries ago the edict went forth from Rome, • Delenda est Carthago.' Carthage fell.
France has passed and executed the same sentence on Tunis. The former conquest was achieved by an open and honourable warfare; the latter in a manner very strongly resembling the predatory attack of a lawless and uncivilised people.
DE LA WARR.
THE FUTURE OF GOLD.
AFTER the year 1850, when California and Australia were sending out into the world annually about thirty-five millions sterling in gold, Michel Chevalier and Cobden raised the cry of alarm: the world would be completely submerged by a deluge of gold. After 1867, the production of gold rapidly diminishing, an entirely opposite fear gradually gained ground 'amongst far-seeing business men. In 1869 in the review of the preceding year, the Economist wrote: 'It may safely be affirmed that the present annual supply of 30,000,0001. of gold is no more than sufficient to meet the requirements of the expanding commerce of the world. The real danger is that the present supply should fall off, and amongst the greatest and most salutary events that could now occur would be the discovery of rich gold deposits.'
In 1871, after the decision of Germany to proscribe silver, the uneasiness of the Economist increases, and it writes thus : “ As the annual supply of gold is reckoned at little more than 20,000,000l., and the annual demand for miscellaneous purposes is very large, it follows that if the German Government perseveres in its policy, the strain upon the existing stocks and currency will be most severe. Unless the annual production of gold should suddenly increase, the money markets of the world are likely to be perturbed by this bullion scarcity.
What the Economist foresaw has taken place. The scarcity of gold has induced so great a fall in prices that they are now lower than in 1850. Mr. Robert Giffen clearly showed this in an excellent study which has never been disputed, but which has, on the contrary, been confirmed by such men as Thorold Rogers, Patterson, Samuel Smith and Williamson of Liverpool, John Hector, T. Smith, and many others. Who can doubt that the present crisis from which the entire world is suffering is due to the scarcity of gold? Up to the present time, exchanges have been effected in civilised countries by means of two metals, gold and silver; to-day, the coinage of silver having been suspended, except in India, the stock of money in the world is now only fed by gold, and at the same time the production of gold is yearly diminishing, and, what is worse, for the last three years America has taken for herself more than sixteen millions annually—that is to say,
the whole total production, less four millions, which do not suffice to cover even industrial wants. Bagehot estimated that England absorbed yearly for industry and coinage from four to five millions sterling. On the contrary, in 1879 England exported a surplus of gold, amounting to 2,389,8261. and in 1880 4,249,4491. The coinage in Europe has now sunk to almost nothing. In France the coinage of gold, which amounted in 1877 to 271,645,425 francs, and in 1878 to 189,139,520 francs, sank in 1879 to 24,610,540 francs. In England last year the amount of gold coined was quite insignificant, 35,0001. only. Silver can no longer, as recently, help the circulation and effect exchanges, for it is no longer admitted at mints. The production of gold, which was thirty-five millions annually some years ago, does not now exceed nineteen or twenty millions. It is clearly evident that these circumstances united—viz. the proscription of silver, the decrease in the production of gold, and the draining of gold to America --have led to an appreciation of gold, a fall in prices, and to the present crisis, as the inevitable consequence of monetary contraction.
This being the case, it is of the highest importance that we should carefully examine if the production of gold is destined to increase or diminish, for the economic conditions of the whole civilised world are dependent on this. If more gold be not found, silver still being proscribed, prices will continue to fall. Prices falling, the burden on all those owing gold will increase, for they will be forced to sell more articles to obtain the same quantity of gold; farmers will have more and more difficulty in paying, for the produce of their farms will lose in value; manufacturers will be exposed to heavy losses, for while converting the raw material into manufactured goods, the general fall in prices will make itself felt, and the manufacturer will in all probability find himself working at a loss.
It would be rash to predict, with too great certainty, anything definite with regard to the future of gold; nevertheless, taking as a basis ascertained historical facts, and geological researches with respect to the earth's crust, it is not impossible to arrive at certain conjectures which may be at least looked upon as probabilities. This is what an eminent professor at the University of Vienna, Dr. Suess, has attempted to do in a work entitled Die Zukunft des Goldes (The Future of Gold). Tbis book attained a very high reputation throughout Germany, and has been successful in convincing some of the most able economists that it is essential to restore to silver its attribute of money, of which it never should have been deprived. The conclusions Dr. Suess reaches are as follows: The production of gold will in the future diminish and the mines become exhausted the more rapidly as the present means of working them are more perfected and powerful. The discovery of new mines in hitherto unexplored regions may, for the time being, stop this ex