Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/781

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INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS — MONEY AND CREDIT 425

States coming next with 361 of 929,991 tons entered, and 238 of 690,333 tons cleared.

Internal Communications.

The length of public roads in Belgium was 5,705 miles in 1896, and of navigable water (rivers and canals) 1,363 miles.

The length of railways open in Belgium on January 1, 1897, was : lines worked by the State, 2,056 miles ; worked by companies, 795 miles ; total 2,851 miles.

The total number of passengers conveyed by the State railways in 1896 was 82,676,592, and by the companies 24,155,216. The gross receipts in 1896 amounted for the State to 160,434,763 francs, of which 52,877,800 fi-ancs were for passengers; and for the companies 43,182,882 francs, of which 13,184,718 francs were for passengers ; expenses for the State 90,757,306 francs ; for the companies 20,429,910 francs. The first cost of the State railways from their origin in 1834 to the end of 1896 amounted to 1,434,552,921 francs ; the net receipts from 1835 amounted to 1,574,864,517 francs, and the financial charges to 1,494,727,924 francs.

The work of the Post Office in Belgium for three years was as follows : —

— 1894

1S95

1896

1897

Private letters . Official letters . Post-cards Printed matter . Newspapers

105,197,611 20,578,796 42,502,135 82,263,614

103,449,177

109,921,305 20,786,583 45,177,886 89,061,193

110,695,533

110,566,990 20,597,401 45,376,318 91,274,339

101,513,576

117,848,690 23,145,817 49,420,449 96,456,423

110,587,241

On January 1, 1897, there were 893 post offices in Belgium. The gross revenue of the Post Office in the year 1897 amounted to 21,625,862 francs, and the exi)enditure to 11,710,829 francs.

The telegraphs in Belgium carried 9,448,856 despatches, |)rivate and official, in the year 1897. In 1897 the total length of public telegraph lines was 3,955 miles, and the length of Avires 41,895 miles. There were in 1897, 1,026 telegraph offices. Receipts in 1897, 7,141,089 francs ; expenses, 6,068,318 francs.

Money and Credit.

The nominal value of money minted and circulated in Belgium from 1832 to 1897 was: gold, 598,642,745 francs; silver, 556,342,745 francs; copper and nickel, 18,530,857 francs; total, 1,173,516,348 francs. No gold has been minted since 1882, no silver since 1887, and no bronze or nickel since 1895.

The one bank of emission in Belgium is the National Bank, instituted 1850. Its capital, entirely paid up, is 550 million francs. It is the cashier of the State, ami is authorised to carry on the usual banking operations. The situation of the Bank on December 1, 1898, was : —

Active : —

1,000 francs.

Passive : —

1,000 francs!

Cash ....

115,262

Capital and reserve .

76,727 i

Portfolio Belgian .

312,518

Notes in circulation

507,580 1

Foreign .

104,884

Treasury accounts current

33,464 !

Advances on public funds

32,884

Private ,,

35,209 :

Property, Investments, ^c.

94,420

Various ....

7,358