Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/835

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AREA AND POPUrATION — PRODUCTION 470

II., Uaiigala, Efjuator, Ubaiigi. AVelle, Stanley Falls, Annvinii, Lualaba. Al the head of each district there is a commissioner.

Area and Population.

The area of the Independent State is estimated at 900,000 square miles, with a population of 30,000,000 of Bantu origin. The European population in January, 1898, numbered 1,678. Of these, 1,060 were Belgian, 87 English, 102 Portuguese, 91 Swedish and Norwegian, 26 French, 57 American, 102 Italian, 34 Danish, 60 Dutch, 17 German, 6 Spanish, 8 Austrian, and 11 Swiss.

The native languages comprise many dialects, every tribe having its own. Kiswahili is the language spoken by the natives who have been under Arab influence, and this is used by the missionaries. The religion of the natives consists of a gross fetichism, but mission work is actively carried on. There are 67 mission stations, with 223 missionaries, of whom 115 are Catholic and 108 Protestant. In education they co-operate with the Government, which has formed 3 agricultural colonies where children are collected and taught.

Finance, Defence.

The revenue for 1898 was estimated at 14,765,050 francs; expenditure, 17,251,975 francs (2,524,920 francs being exceptional); for 1899, revenue, 19,966,500 francs; expenditure, 19,672,965 francs. The revenue is derived mainly from customs, postage, state forests, transport, from a subsidy of one million francs annually granted by the King of the Belgians, from an advance of money by the Belgian Government, July 3, 1890, for a term of ten years at the rate of two million francs a year. The largest items of expenditure for 1899 were : administration, 5,285,405 francs ; public force, 7,623,946 francs ; marine, 1,481,624 francs ; public works, 1,261,270 francs ; working of public domain, 4,020,720 francs.

There is an armed force of native Africans, divided into 23 companies, commanded by 234 European officers and 173 sergeants. The effective strength for 1898 is fixed at 15,580 men, the contingent to be recruited within the State being 3,000. There are 6 camps of instruction.

Production, Commerce, Shipping.

The lands within the State are divided for the purposes of occupation, into three classes : those which are occupied by natives, and on which they have the right of occupation ; registered lands, constituting private estates of non- }iatives ; and crown lands, comprising all vacant lands. For private estates there is a system of registration, under the superintendence of the *' Conserva- teur des Titres Fonciers," who is also chief of the Cadastral service.

The chief products are rubber, ivory, palm-nuts, and palm-oil. Coffee grows freely, but the difficulties of transport have hitherto prevented its export. Tobacco is grown in all native villages, but is not exported. Plan- tations of Havana and Sumatra tobacco have been established ))y the Government,

The commerce of the State has expanded rapidly. The special exports, which in 1887 amounted to 1,980,440 francs, reached the value of 5,487,633 francs in 1892. The development in the last five years was as follows : —