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THE NEWS BUDGET.

THE MALT-TAX QUEBTIONo

MURDER AND ATTEMPTED SUICIDE…

THE SUEZ CANAL. *

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THE SUEZ CANAL. The only portion of the maritime canal which is as yet even commenced is a "rigole" fifty-six miles long, from Port Said, on the Mediterranean to Ismailia, on Lake Timsah, the navigation of which would be impossible in a commercial sense, even if goods be carried in small and fiat-bottomed boats, owing to the insignificant depth of water, which in many parts only amounts to eighteen inches, while nowhere is it deeper than five feet. At Ismailia, the maritime rigole ceases, and the sweet-water canal which brings the Nile waters to the centre of the desert branches off towards Suez. The distance from Ismailia to Sues by this canal is some- what under sixty-eight miles. In many places the depth of water does not exceed 15 inches; the Nile, however, being very low, this is to be expected. In some spots the desert sand-seems- to have choked up the canal. At present there are no dredges on the sweet-water canal. In order to allow boats to have sufficient water to float them the canal has to be dammed in two or three places. One fact is, certain, that until this canal is deepened it cannot be made usa of for commercial purposes. M. de Lesseps asserts that "nna communication est ouverte ent-re les deux mera," and that en 24 heures nous avons navigue, remorques pal" un bateau a vapeur d one mer a i autre." The bateau d vcfpeur in question is a small steam launch belonging to Prince Napoleon, which is 15ft. long by Eft. broad. The construction of cities and ports has, however, I commenced. The Nile water hai, becu carried com- pletely through the desert, and at a time not far distant from this a considerable belt of country on each side of the sweet-water canal will be under cul- tivation. An immense "materiel" has been col- lected, and the jetties at Port Said have been com- menced, and will, no doubt, be finished in a few years. The abolition of forced labour is a fatal blow to the enterprise, and the sum of 84,000;000f., which the Viceroy haft been condemned to pay to the company is an compensation for the immense loss which they have to bear in consequence of this deprivation of upwards-oi 35,000 labourers. Every I public work which has been carried out in Egypt, from the building of the pyramids to the construction of the modern canals, may be said to be due entirely to ¡'. forced labour, and without forced labour the company will never be able to get Arabs to work on their lands. Being deprived of forced labour, and being unable to find Europeans to perform the work of fellahs, the company are seeking to do as much as possible with the help of zzoohinery, and some very ingenious dredges for dry sand are being used. M. de Lesseps assures his friends, with the means which he has at his disposal, he will be able to finish the canal in three years and a. half from this time; but, from the present state of the works, and the progress which is being made, if the canal is finished in twenty years he will be very fortunate. By increasing to an enor- mous extend the number of his dredges he may be able to shorten this period. There are no engineering difficulties to contend,with, which in the present state of science can be called in- surmountable. The whole question is one of time or money, and whether it will ever be a paying specula- tion is qaite another matter, and one which concerns the sharoholders alalia; the expenses of keeping the canal open and of paying the immense staff of em- ployes which will absolntely be required will only leave a, shadew of percentage to be divided among the share- holders. <- The benefits to the public will be very great, and the f:rst people to profit by the enterprise will be our Own, countrymen, who are never long in finding out where their interests lie.-Pail/wa?/ News.

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