Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/448

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108 THE BRITISH EMPIRE: — ASIA

ASIA,

ADEN, PERIM, SOMALI! AND AND SOKOTRA.

Aden is a volcanic peninsula on the Arabian coast, about 100 miles east of Bab-el-Mandeb. It forms an important coaling-station on the highway to the East, and is strongly fortified. The settlement includes Little Aden, a peninsula very similar to Aden itself, and the settlement and town of Shaikh Othman on the mainland with the villages of Imad, Hiswa, and Bir Jabir. It also includes the island of Perim at the entrance to the Red Sea, and is subject to the Bombay Government. The Government is administei'ed by a Political Resident, who is also commander of the troops. The only Govern- ment revenue is from duty on liquor, opium, and salt ; local taxes go to the Municipality, There is a Port Trust ; the harbour is being dredged.

Area 75 square miles, of Perim 5 square miles. Population, in 1891, 41,910 against 34,860 in 1881. Imports (1897-98), by sea, 36,347,980 rupees; by land, 3,310,478 rupees; treasure, 4,408,407 rupees. Exports, by sea, 31,329,756 rupees; by land, 1,272,430 rupees; treasure, 4,878,196 rupees. In 1897-98, 1,079 merchant vessels of 2,123,339 tons entered the portof Aden, besides 1,407 local craft of 48,138 tons. At Perim 513 merchant vessels entered, most of them to coal.

Chief exports : Coffee, gums, hides and skins, piece goods, tobacco. Chief imports : Cotton twist, piece goods, grain, hides and skins, tobacco. Aden itself is non-productive, and the trade is a purely transhipment one, except that from the interior of Arabia. According to the Board of Trade returns the total imports from Aden and Dependencies into the United Kingdom amounted in 1896 to 190,294^., in 1897 to 173,319Z. ; and the exports thereto from the United Kingdom in 1896 to 240,581?., in 1897 to 165,981Z.

The Somali Coast ^ from Lahadu, west of Zaila, to Bandar Ziyada, 49° E. long,, became a British Protectorate in 1884, and is administered by a Political Agent and Consul. The area is about 68,000 square miles; no trustworthy estimate can be formed of the population, which is Mohammedan and mostly nomadic. By an arrangement with Italy in 1894, the limits of the British Protectorate were definitely defined ; but in 1897, by arrangement with Abyssinia, the area was reduced from 75,000 to 68,000 square miles. The chief town. Berbera, has about 30,000 inhabitants in the trading season ; Zaila, 6,000 ; Bulbar, 5,000. At these three ports there are British officers and Indian troops. Revenue (1897-98), Berljera, Bulbar, and Karam, 194,307 rupees ; Zaila, 117,966 rupees ; expenditure, civil, Berbera, Biilhar, and Karam, 111,187 rupees ; Zaila, 41,676 rupees ; military, public Avorks, &c., for the Coast, 55,554 rupees. Imports (1897-98), Berbera, Bulbar, and Karam, 2,795,750 rupees ; Zaila, 2,426,700 rupees ; exports, Berbera, Bulbar, and Karam, 2,447,765 rupees; Zaila, 2,807,644 rupees. These amounts do not include treasure. Ad valorem duties are levied of 5 per cent, on imports, and 1 per cent, on exports ; specie, sheep, goats, cattle, gold, ivory, and civet, being free. The imports are chiefly rice, piece-goods, shirtings, and dates ; the exports, skins and hides, ostrich feathers, cattle, sheep, and gum. Transport is by camels and donkeys ; there are no porters.

J Sonialiland was in 1898 placed under the Foreign Otflce, and is no longer dependent on Aden,