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ITALY'S SUPPLY OF COAL. The question of Italy's supply of coal, now that she has joined the war, is one which apparently greatly interests neutral and belligerent Powers alike; nor does it appear to be a problem easily solved. It must be re- membered that Italy's home pro- duction of coal is altogether insignificant, and that she of late has drawn vast supplies from Germany. Italy produces herself a little more than 500,000 tons of coal per annum, which comes out at about 1 ton per fifty inhabitants, whilst the Elnglish production of coal amounts to about 6 tons per each inhabitant, Germany produces 3J tons per each inhabitant, whilst in France and Austria-Hungary it is about 1 ton per inhabitant, and even Russia, proverbially poor in coal, is infinitely better off than Italy as far as her production of coal is concerned, as it amounts to about 1 ton per six inhabitants. From an absolute point of view Italy's consumption of coal is only moderate; but in none of the other large countries is there such an unfavourable proportion between consumption and home production. In times of peace Italy has principally drawn her supply of coal from England but when the war placed material difficulties in the way of England's coal production and home supply, and most seriously interfered with her export of this com modifcy, the coal-supply question became j very serious in Italy, even whilst she was neutral, and would have been even more so had not Germany stepped in and for some months supplied Italy with large quantities of coal. It has been stated on Swiss authority that for the Italian Government alone eight goods trains with coal from the Rheinish-West- phalian coal district passed daily through Switzerland. The war naturally put an immediate stop to this scource of supply, and some curiosity is felt in many quarters as to from where Italy will now be able to obtain her in- creased requirements for naval and military purposes, railway transport, &c. England, it is surmised, cannot spare enough, and as a matter of fact Italy's imports of British coal of late has fallen materially short of the average. In November, 2914, the imports to Italy from England of coal amounted to 603,000 tons, against 784,000 tons for the same month in the peceding year ;whilst the figure for January, 1915, was 470,000 tons, against 79t,000tons for the corresponding month of the previous year. What with France and Russia's requirements of English coal, German papers express the opinion that there cannot be very much left for Italy. In consequence, the opinion is held that Italian in- dustry and shipping are bound to feel the shortage of coal very keenly ere long.