Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/774
In the budget for 1899 the total revenue is estimated at 435,037,428 francs.
The following table shows the total amount of the national liabilities of the kingdom in 1898 : —
Share of the Netherlands debt at 2^ per cent. Loans at 3 per cent. ....
Francs 219,959,632 2,346,633,844
Almost the entire debt of Belgium was raised for and devoted to works of public utility, particularly the construction of State railways. There is a sinking fund attached to all descriptions of the debt, with the exception of the 21 per cent, old debt.
The total debt amounts to about 151. lis. per head of popula- tion, and the annual charge to about 125. ; or, including civil and military pensions, &c., to about 15s. per head; but the interest is more than covered by the revenue from railways alone. The total exports of home produce average 9^. 10s. per head.
The provincial budgets for the year 1895 show a total revenue for all the provinces of 15,663,866 francs, and a total exj^enditure of 14,582,162 francs, thus leaving a surplus of 1,081,684 francs.
According to the communal budgets for 1892, the total revenues and expenditures of the communes were : —
Francs. i Francs.
Ordinary revenue . 118.742,538 Extraordinary revenue 59,278,223
Ordinary expenditure . 117,144,576 Extraordinary expenditure 62, 1 72, 21 6
The maritime frontier of Belgium is 42 miles in length ; the Dutch frontier, north and east, 282 miles ; the German frontier, in the east, 60 miles ; the Luxembourg frontier, in the east, 80 miles ; and the French frontier, south and west, 384 miles. The chief military arsenal of the kingdom is Antwerp, where also are the fortified towns of Dendermonde and Diest. There are fortifications at Liege, Huy, and Namur on the Meuse, and at Mons, Tournai, and Ypres on the French frontier, and in 1887 an extensive scheme for the further fortification of the Meuse was resolved upon and is being carried out.
The standing army is formed by conscription, to which every able man who has completed his nineteenth year is liable, and also voluntary enlistment. Substitution is permitted. The an- nual contingent required is about 13,300 men. The legal period of service is eight years, of which, however, two-thirds are