« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
Consular re- A report upon the Industrial Classes of Cyprus was furnished
Industrial tb° by Consul Lan8 in February, 1872, the substance of which is as
classes of follows:
Cyprus. The industrial classes in this island may be divided into three
1. Tailorg, shoemakers," carpenters, masons, blacksmith^ cartwrights, and such like.
& Labourers, inhabitants of towns, such as porters, boatmen, domestic servants, &c.
3. Agricultural labourers.
The workmen of the first category supply solely, in their respective departments, the requirements of the population of the island. Their work is of the simplest character, but suitable to the wants of a people having few luxurious tendencies, and unwilling as well as unable to pay for a higher quality of work. Their earnings range from 3s. to 5s. per diem, varying according to the intelligence and activity of the workman.
The labourers of the second category are lower in the social scale than those of the first, and little or no intelligence is required of tbem in the discharge of their occupations. Their earnings, frequently very uncertain, vary from Is. 6d. to 2s. 6d. per diem.
Agricultural labourers are the most numerous class in the island. Their earnings vary according to the work upon which they are employed.
During harvest time they may perhaps receive as much as 3s. per diem, but the average of the rest of the year is about lid. to Is. 3d. per diem for male labourers, and about half as much for females.
Evidently, when this was written, there was no opening for European labourers, even in the class of occupations comprised in the first category, for the superior work of European tradesmen would not receive its equivalent value, the people being quite contented with second rate articles at low prices. A European labourer would, moreover, find it difficult and irksome to lead the intensely simple life, possessing few comforts and no luxuries, to which Orientals are accustomed.
There is at present but little scope for ambition among the working classes, and the nature of the climate causes the labourers to be little disposed to exertion, but rather on the other hand to be inclined to a life of ease. Native labourers do not perform, nor are they expected to perform, half the work that would be done by a European.
The simplicity and inexpensiveness of the necessaries of life are greatly in favour of the industrial classes in Cyprus; the comforts of a dwelling-house are a secondary consideration with a people accustomed to spend nine months of the year, day and night, in the open air, and the food on which the peasantry subsist, consisting chiefly of bread, olives, onions, oil, cheese, and salt fish, can be procured at an exceedingly low rate.
Consul Lang at the time when this Report was written, considered that the only opening that the island afforded to Europeans, was as farmers. He based bis opinion upon tho following facts, viz.: tbe soil is fertile, and may be had, either by purchase, or on lease, at most moderate prices: the cultivation of grain, vegetables and fruits of all sorts is largely profitable where economy and a moderate capital are combined with diligent effort; perfect security to life and property is an advantage possessed to a greater degree in Cyprus in any other part of Turkey.
This being the case in 1872, it may fairly be considered that the British occupation being now an accomplished fact, still greater opportunities are at present offered for success in agricultural pursuits, and there can be little doubt that capital so embarked, and administered with practical knowledge and economy would soon bring in handsome returns.
The Cypriotes dd hot appear to have excelled in art: still, some Art and few names have been preserved, and it is probable that further literature, researches will discover others.
A sculptor named Styppax is known as a contemporary of iPericles; Simos, another sculptor, Was a native bf Salamis, as also Was Onasiphon, Whose name, with that of Epichartnos of - Soli, is On an inscription at Rhodes. One Zenodotes is mentioned in a tablet at Nea Paphos.
It has been already described how the use of the soft Cyprian marble, or limestone, was fatal to the production of high art in sculpture.
Embroidery Seems almost to have been carried to the position of a fine art. It is called Assyrian work by Pausanias.
As regards literature, Euclus, one of the earlier prophetic singers, was a native of Cyprus, and some of his verses existed in the time of Pausanias. The author of the Cyprian Iliad Or Xypria, Stasinos, was born in Cyprus, and wrote this poem in conjunction with Hegesias; its subject is the events which led to the siege of Troy. Cleon of Kurium is alleged to have written a poenl On the Argonauts; amongst other writers Were the lyric poet Hermeius of Curinm, and Sopatros, the author of some comediel Of proSo writers there was Clearchus Of Soli, who Wrote biographies, fcnd & Work called Gergithos.
fcenb, the philosopher, Was born In Citium.
Trade And Revenue.
Trade. CYPRUS has an excellent geographical position for commerce, it
lies within easy distance of all the great ports of the eastern Mediterranean, and is almost in the direct route between them. It also holds the key of the Gulf of Scanderoon, which may in course of time become one of the greatest emporiums of the commerce of the Levant. The trade and resources of the island have probably never yet been fully developed, though perhaps they were most so during the periods of the Lusignan and Venetian governments.
A very close connection exists between the commerce of Cyprus and its products, vegetable, animal, and mineral; the foregoing chapters contain full details concerning the various influences which annually cause fluctuations in the amount and quality of the numerous products, and which have been explained to be due to either ignorance of the art of high cultivation, want of proper agricultural implements, droughts, mistaken fiscal policy on the part of the government, combined with oppressive and illadjusted taxation, or last, though perhaps not least, if the neglected mineral wealth of the island be considered, the lethargic character, and want of enterprise of the inhabitants; these influences must therefore be borne in mind whilst reviewing the trade statistics now given of the last few years.
The present infusion of British energy and capital, together with the introduction of modern science and a good administration, all of which will be the natural results of our occupation of the island, will soon take effect, and the evils above alluded to may be expected to disappear on the removal of the paralysing effects of Turkish rule.
We hear that the immediate result of the Anglo-Turkish Convention has been to quicken Mediterranean business in our leading sea ports and to give great activity to freights. Hitherto British merchant ships have been almost invariably sent to Cyprus in ballast (as the table below shows), or else at prices for cargo almost equivalent to ballast; consequently there has been no special inducement to embark in direct trade with the island, and but a small proportion of exports have been shipped direct to England in British vessels. Consul Riddell remarks upon this fact in his Report for 1872, as follows:—
"The want of more frequent opportunities for direct shipment to Great Britain operates seriously against the extension of trade, yet it is easier to state the fact than propound a remedy. The volume of the exports from Cyprus cannot be considered, comparatively, of the first importance in Europe and although the products are numerous the actual production of any single article is not large. The Liverpool steamers trading with the ports of Syria and Egypt do not, it appears, find it remunerative to touch at Larnaca, except only at long intervals, when a sufficient amount of produce for shipment can be guaranteed. Owing to this want of frequent and reliable opportunities, the exporter prefers to avail himself of the Austrian mail steamers calling here fortnightly, and taking produce for all the ports of the Mediterranean, to send off his purchases to some of these ports than to hold them over indefinitely, even though convinced that, with immediate shipment, he would realise a better result by sending the produce to English markets. How this is to be successfully brought about I am unable to suggest, but it is evident that until more frequent ana regular opportunities of steam conveyances to English ports can be procured, and relied upon, the volume of exports from Cyprus to England can hardly increase, and much will continue to be forwarded to Continental ports which otherwise would go to those of Great Britain."
The occupation of the island by Great Britain affords the remedy here sought for, and it is to be expected that the direct trade will now largely increase.
The Larnaca statistics of the last four years show the following figures:—
In the three first years above mentioned, nearly the whole of the cargoes sent to England consisted of wheat and barley, but in 1877, owing to the failure of the grain crop on account of the continued drought during the months of January, March, and April, and also in a considerable degree to the influence of the war, there was a general depression of trade, which showed itself in a marked manner with regard to the direct commerce between Larnaca and England, for in that year the whole of the exports from that town to Great Britain, in vessels of all countries, amounted only in £3,007, whereas the year before, vessels of all countries conveyed there the produce of the island to the value of £43,800. It is however, worthy of notice that the exports to England from Limasol did not decline last year; their value amounted to £28,G50, whilst in 1876 their total was but £8,150. This great increase is to be attributed to the recent large demand for locust-beans, of which no less than £28,600-worth was sent to England from Limasol in 1877.
Statistics of the whole trade of Cyprus are given; these are taken from the Consular Reports, but in a country where no public accounts arc kept, there is nothing upon which the figures Can be based with certainty, and Consul Riddell, writes, April, 187Q ;—" As no accurate statistics of the annual trade are accessible, if indeed any be recorded in the different government departments, the bases of valuation and estimation have to be obtained as best they can through the agency of local traders, and cannot therefore amount tQ more than approximate accuracy." The totals of the following tables may therefore not be absolutely correct, but they still have a considerable value inasmuch as they show the variations of the last few years, and the increase or decrease of each may invariably be traced directly to the removal or the occurrence of one or more of the various, influences which have been enumerated as affecting the prosperity of the trade of the island ; consequently highly important information for the future regulation of taxes, export duties, &c., may be deduced therefrom.
Tor instance, the decrease of the total value of exports from Larnaca in 1876 and 1877, was due to long intervals between the rains, during which periods northerly and easterly bleak cold winds prevailed, to the manifest injury of the growing crops; whereas the large exports of 1874 and 1875 are to be attributed to the excellent crops of wheat and bailey obtained in that year.
The decrease in the quantity of salt exported lately is due to the mistaken policy of the government with regard to the sale of this monopoly.
The increase in the quantity of tobacco now annually imported is, beyond a doubt, to be attributed to the exorbitant taxation to which the grower of the plant in Cyprus is subjected; otherwise the island could now, as it formerly did, provide for its own wants, and if it is a true saying that the prosperity of a country may be gauged by the excess of its exports over its imports, the measures which in Cyprus oppress the tobacco and vine growers, and which prevent the exportation of live stock cannot but be ill-advised.
In the same manner each falling off in the products, and consequent diminution of both trade and revenue, may be traced with certainty to a definite source.
To all who are interested in the welfare of Cyprus it is, however, a reassuring fact that the various causes of decline arise from influences which are clearly capable of removal; the art of proper cultivation may be taught, proper agricultural implements introduced, harbours with improved means and facilities for shipment constructed, the custom-house annoyances and delays, noticed by Consul 'Watkins in his Report for 1877, can be prevented, those taxes which are found to be inappropriate and oppressive can be re-adjusted, and a commercial spirit encouraged instead of stifled; under the influence of such reforms the great natural advantages of the island would develope, and its financial and commercial importance be fully realized.
In the following tables the trade statistics of 1877 are given in detail, and each table is briefly compared with the corresponding totals of the three previous years, so that the gain or loss may he seen at a glance.