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3,000,000 rix-dollar notes in circulation in 1822, and which had greatly depreciated. Value of rix-dollar gradually falls from 4/to 1/6, which represents the Cape dollar. Proclamation of 1825 establishing the British currency at the Cape, etc. Relative value of paper rix-dollar with British money. Nothing done to introduce the precious metals. Inconvertible, sterling promissory notes introduced to retire old rix-dollar notes, or cartoon money.”
The 37 years' period of depression, discontent and distress at the Cape. Proclamation of 1830, calling in the depreciated, redundant, inconvertible paper money.
Proves to be a dead letter. Animated and eloquent debates in Cape Legislative Council of 1840, 1841, and 1843 on paper currency. Strong and sustained agitation for complete and final withdrawal of the inconvertible paper money.
Concerted action on part of both British and Dutch colonists. John Bardwell Ebden.
The most prominent colonist of his day. Hamilton Ross and Advocate Cloete, both prominent members of the Cape Legislative Council.
Hon. William Porter, the Cape Attorney-General, eloquent, high-principled, philanthropic, and disinterested. Called upon to defend actions of Government in regard to the paper currency. Discharges his responsible brief in no servile spirit. Conspicuous for his independence of thought and action. Opposed, on occasion, prevailing views of the Council, and not afraid to be found in a minority. Was ever courteous, and always gave valid reason for the faith that was in him.
Debates in the Council on the paper currency practically intellectual duels between the Attorney-General and Mr. Ebden. Comparison of Mr. Porter's intellectual and dialectical powers with those of Mr. Ebden. Their profound knowledge of principles of currency, finance
, and economics. The lawyer and the metaphysician; the practical business man with strong philosophical pre-possession.
The monopoly of the Lombard and Discount Bank withdrawn by Ordinance No. 5 of 1842. Public Banks established on the joint stock principle by leading colonists.
Cape of Good Hope Bank founded by J. B. Ebden in 1836. South African Bank started in 1838. The Directors, as a whole, were British and Dutch, respectively.
Lombard and Discount Bank finally wound up on 31st January, 1843. Chequered history of South Africa's first and only State Bank.
Proposed State Bank for Cape Colony. Various attempts to start a State or National Bank in Cape Colony. Elaborate constitutions suggested or outlined. No satisfactory method suggested for providing the necessary capital. Promoters evinced no desire or intention to personally subscribe even moderate amount of required capital.
Various Methods of Raising Capital for Agricultural or Land Banks, etc.
I. The issue by the Government of the country of an inconver. tible paper currency.
This method not recommended, as it is fundamentally vicious and economically unsound. The Cape Colony experienced, in the past, the serious and inevitable evils arising from an inconvertible paper currency having a forced circulation, which thus became redundant and greatly depreciated in value. A convertible or inconvertible paper currency, in our case, would ultimately require to be redeemed on a gold basis.
The issue of a large loan for agricultural development purposes. The rate of interest on Government loans depends upon the relative degree of credit employed by the Government in question. The Transvaal has relatively a large public debt of £35,000,000, guaranteed by the Imperial Government, the interest consequently being only 3% per annum. The Transvaal has also a contingent liability of £30,000,000, as a war contribution from the Colony to the Mother Country, Under these circumstances, the issue of a large loan for agricultural development purposes would be the height of financial folly; and interest at rate of 36% per annum would probably have to be paid. The Cape Colony and Natal are able to place their Consolidated Inscribed Stock at 31% per annum on the London Market. A loan, large or small, would have to be ultimately redeemed.
III. The manner in which the capital of the European State Banks, strictly so called, has been raised. The capital of the Bank de l'Etat of Russia ; of the Ricksbank of Sweden, and of the National Bank of Bulgaria, was provided by the respective States out of public funds.
IV. The capital of two quasi State Banks—the Norges Bank (Bank of Norway) and the National Danish Bank—was provided by levies or enforced assessment on landed property or real estate. This principle may be found suitable to our present circumstances, as vast tracts of grazing, and agricultural land, throughout the Transvaal, held by powerful companies, etc., are not beneficially occupied. Such a levy or enforced assessment on farm property would be a legitimate and sound method in which to provide the capital of a local Agricultural or Land Bank. The principle may probably prove to be unpopular; but it is necessary to choose the lesser of two probable evils, present or prospective. The landowners would be admitted as shareholders, without further liability, of proposed bank in proportion to their contributions towards the capital fund.
A suggestion for an Agricultural or Land Bank for the Transvaal. The Transvaal Government has at hand an organisation which, if taken proper advantage of, would meet the financial requirements of the agricultural section of the Colony for considerable future period. All the monies of the “ Guardians' Fund” and the deposits of the Post Office Savings' Bank should, after serving 25% to 30% in cash, be regarded as a general fund to be invested on mortgages of farm property only. This would be a direct and substantial encouragement of agriculture. The method of employing the funds of the
Imperial Post Office Savings Bank is to invest them in Government Securities. As the result of this inadequate method of investing, the deposits, coupled with the fall, of recent years, in the price of Consols, there is a present deficit of £11,000,000 in the funds of the Imperial Post Office Savings' Bank. The Transvaal Government invests the Guardians' Fund and the Post Office Savings Bank deposits largely on mortgages of town properties, particularly in Johannesburg, at 6% per annum, and comes into keen competition with private capitalists, Building, Financial, Insurance, and Trust Companies, etc., and this leads to speculative dealings in town stands and properties.
Loans granted out of the funds, referred to above, should as a rule be for amounts of about £500, and never exceed 50% of the appraised value of the land on which the advance is made. The object of the Government should be to encourage the small cultivators, and sternly set their face against speculative transactions. Farmers should not be induced to involve themselves with a liability they could not conveniently liquidate.
Such a modified system of an agricultural or Land Bank, as suggested above, could be conducted with great economy and efficiency. The officials are practically all ready to hand. All applications for loans could be finally dealt with by a central Investment Board. The suggested scheme is not Utopian, nor ambitious, nor difficult of attainment; but is characterised by simplicity, is essentially practicable, and only requires sound business management to render it a decided success.
The chief virtue of the scheme is that it would do an excellent service to agriculture, without incurring any fresh financial liability for the Transvaal.
Banking Advances in Agricultural Districts. The wise counsel given and the cautious considerations advanced, by a former General Manager of the Merchants' Bank of Canada, in connection with lending money to farmers. Loans may reasonably be made to buy seed, prepare the land for a crop, and to meet the expense of gathering in and harvesting the resulting crop ; and also to buy such stock as will, when fattened, be sold off the farm, as such cases furnish from within themselves the means of re-payment.
Loans should never be made to enable farmers to pay debts.
Government Encouragement of Agriculture in the Transvaal. Superhuman efforts have, since the British occupation, been made to promote the interests of agriculture. The colossal work of repatriation; the establishment of model farms; the importation of bloodstock; the creation of the Agricultural and Lands' Departments, all prove that the Government have attempted an entire re-organisation of the farming industry with conspicuous and encouraging success. Great praise is due. Inevitable that, in certain respects, zeal should have outrun discretion. The efforts of Government very wellintentioned, though alluring prospects of brilliant achievements have not been realized.
Lord Selborne's earnest desire to promote the interests of agriculture in the Transvaal as a productive industry. His Excellency's appointment of a Commission to enquire into expediency of establishing an Agricultural Bank, is the most recent evidence of this desire.
Banking Facilities in South Africa. The various joint stock banks in South Africa most enterprising generally. The extension of branches been distinctly progressive, so that the existing banks completely cover the field, which apparently fully occupied. Many branches in some of the small towns do not pay. South Africa's record as being better banked, on basis of its white population, than any country in Europe, and even than the United States of America. A Table was prepared to show the relative position, in this respect, at a glance.
Expenses of Management of South African Banks. The expense of conducting the business of a bank a very serious matter. Statistics, compiled by the writer, show that the cost of running the various South African Banks varies from about 50% to 68% of the gross profits.
Rates of Interest. 6% per annum is, either by statute or custom, practically the legal rate of interest throughout South Africa ; and should thus be the minimum rate charged by a prospective local Agricultural or Land Bank. There is, apparently, an intimate connection between the rate of interest paid on Government loans and the ruling rate of interest charged in the open financial market of any given country. The relative ratio would appear to be, roughly, as two to one against the individual. A Table was presented to illustrate this point.
Conclusion. The object of collecting and commenting upon the data given above has been to bring together, in proper perspective, the salient features of Agricultural or Land Banks; to consider their various inethods of working; and to glance briefly at the countries in which they operate. The subject has been treated, in some respects, from the general standpoint ; but particular care been exercised to give the matter a direct local bearing. This has been attempted by reviewing some of the financial and currency episodes in the history of South Africa, and also by considering the actual present circumstances of the country. The experiences and failures of the past may safely guide us to a wise decision when deliberating upon certain of the financial and economic problems that confront us to-day.
RECEIVING ANY SCHOOL EDUCATION.
By K. A. HOBART HOUGHTON, B.A.
It is difficult, even with the help of the statistics of the Census Report of 1904, and the Reports of the several Education Departments for the current year, to arrive at any really accurate estimate of the numbers of European children of school-going age who are receiving no kind of instruction whatever.
From the Census Report we learn that in Cape Colony there were 43,253 European children between the ages of 5 and 14 not receiving instruction. Of these 9,926 were described as at work of some kind or other, the remaining 33,327 being without any occupation. There has been an increase of European pupils in Governmentaided schools since April, 1904 (the date of the taking of the Census) of about 5,000, which may be regarded as exceeding the increase by population by about 3,000. This would mean that approximately 30,000 white children in Cape Colony, or 23.3 per cent. of the total numbers of school-going age, are neither receiving instruction nor engaged in any occupation.
In Natal there were 18,038 white children between the ages of 5 and 14. The toal enrolment in Government and Governmentaided schools for the year ending June, 1905, was 11,989. Allowing that 2,000 attend private schools, we see that about 4,000 are without school instruction: At the same time, it must be remembered that a large percentage of these may be taught at home.
The following extract from the Report of the Transvaal Education Department for the six months, January to June, 1905, indicates the conditions in the Transvaal. “ Figures have now been supplied by the Census Commission which indicate what proportion of the white population of school-going age within the Transvaal are benefitting by the schools which the Government has established. Owing to the transitory character of many of the schools that are opened under private management, and the difficulty of ensuring their registration and the supply of regular returns, only approximate information can be obtained as to the average number of children enrolled in these schools within a given period. Moreover, a certain number of children not enrolled in any registered school receive some form of education privately at home. A few also are sent to school outside the Transvaal. Hence it is not possible to supply in accurate figures a statistic which is still of the utmost importance, viz., the number of children in the Colony who are receiving no education at all. The following figures, however, serve to give at least an idea of the present position :
White population between 5 and 15 ...