Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/1113

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2, Of Great Britain in Italy.

Ambassador. — Rt. Hon. Lord Currie of Hawley ; appointed July 1, 1898.

Secretary. — Sir G. Bonham, Bart.

Military Attache. — Col. C. Needham.

There are Consular representatives at Rome, Brindisi, Cagliari, Florence (C.G.), Genoa, Leghorn (V.C.), Messina (V.C.), Milan, Naples, Palenno, Spezia (V.C), Taranto (V.C).

Foreign Dependencies.

The dominion of Italy in Africa extends, on the coast of the Red Sea, from Cape Kasar (18° 2' N.) to the southern limit of the Sultanate of Raheita, on the strait of Bab-el-]\Iandeb (12° 30' N.). The length of coast is abo\it 670 miles. The area is about 88,500 square miles, and the population, which is to a great extent nomadic, is estimated at 450,000. In 1893 there were enumerated 191,127 natives and 3,452 Europeans ; Massowah, the seat of government, having 7,775 inhabitants, of whom 600 are European (exclusive of the garrison), and 480 Asiatic, but this * census ' cannot have extended over the whole territory actually claimed. By vaiious decrees between January 1, 1890, and February 18, 1894, the Italian possessions on the Red Sea are con- stituted as the Colony of Eritrea, with an autonomous administration and the managementof its own finance. By the treaty of Uchali, May 2, 1889, and a supplementary convention of February 6, 1891, King Menelik surrendered Hamasen, all the districts to the north of it, and the coast, to the Italians. Kasala was occupied by them on July 17, 1895, and was held 'in trust' for Egypt ; and in 1895. as a result of the war with the King of Abyssinia, the province of Tigre was annexed. These successes, however, were of short dura- tion. On March 1, 1896, an Italian army met with a crushing defeat to the east of Adowa, and in the treaty of Adis Abeba, October 26, 1896, the whole of the country to the south of the Mareb, the Belesa, and Muna rivers is restored to Abyssinia, which, moreover, is recognised as an absolutely indepen- dent power. In December, 1897, Kassala was restored to the Egyptian Government.

In the Italian dependencies the central government is represented by a civil governor, who is nominated by the King and is under the direction of the Minister for Foreign Affairs. When the Governor is a general or superior officer in active service he superintends the discipline of the troops and is in this re- spect controlled by the Minister for War. For the year 1897-98 the revenue and expenditure of the colony were each estimated at 18,130,000 lire, the revenue from the colony itself being 2,630,000 lire, and the contributions of Italy being 15,500,000 lire. The total expenditure of Italy on account of its Red Sea pos- sessions, including i)0stal, military, and naval services, from 1882 to 1896-97 is put at 352,353,786 lire, that for the year 1896-97 being 48,970,462 lire. Throughout the colony agriculture is in a very primitive condition. The tropical climate and the general scarcity of water duiing the summer months necessitate works for irrigation before crops can be raised with success. Pasture is abundant, but the pastoral population is essentially nomadic. Camels, oxen, sheep, goats, are common, and the produce, consisting of meat, hides, butter, supplies articles of local trade. Pearl-fishing is carried on at Massowah and the Dahlak archipelago to the annual value of from 250,000 lire for pearls and 800,000 lire for mother-of-pearl. This trade is chiefly in the hands of Banians (Indians). Trade of Massowah in 1896 : imports b)-^ land and sea 28,442,551 ; 1895, 14,012,835 lire. In 1896, in the total trade, 5,811 vessels of 248,567 tons (2,649 vessels Italian) entered, and 5,782 of