24 DECEMBER 1904, Page 13


SLR,—The arithmetic of your correspondent "High Veld" in the Spectator of December 17th seems a little weak, and as you, Sir, appear rather to endorse than to correct it, I am afraid I must ask to do the latter. If the introduction of 7,000 Chinese or Kaffire (it matters not which, as your corre- spondent suggests) results in the employment and means of livelihood of 8,000 white people, then surely 70,000 Kaffir. plus 17,000 Chinese, or 87,000 black and yellow people, should. open the way for about 100,000 white ones, although not the " 700,000" which " High Veld " suggests. Now the last Census returns for the Rand, taken, I believe, during the present year, give the European population as 115,000, exclu- sive of the military. And allowing for a certain number of Dutch and others, who might revert to agriculture, we may safely say that at least 100,000 Europeans would very shortly leave the place if the black and yellow races were all with-. drawn, and the mines shut down indefinitely in consequence: On the other hand, by your courtesy, I gave grounds a few weeks ago for the opinion that the European population of the Rand would increase in the future unit for unit with the Chinese, and I am as certain that this will be the case as, for instance, that the British Funded Debt will remain a good security for investors,—assiuning, of course, that the Celestials remain a proved success. It now seems that the past history of the Rand affords a good deal of evidence in support of that prediction. I have good reason to believe that Lord Milner holds a similar opinion, quite apart from the letter which is attributed to him ; but I am not prepared at present with any more conclusive evidence as to the authenticity of that letter than you yourself supply.—I am, Sir, &c., F. I. COOKE.

[We assumed no responsibility for " High Veld's " figures, but presume that 700,000 was a slip of the pen for 100,000. According to these figures, corrected on the basis assumed for the calculation, the white population of the Rand should be about 123,000.—ED. Spectator.]