27 NOVEMBER 1886, Page 13



SIR,—As a resident in Syria for some years, allow me to add a line to your very interesting article on the material progress of that country.

1. As regards the trade in oranges, your article speaks of Jaffa; and rightly so. But the Sidon oranges are far superior. Grown in immense quantities, at this season of the year they may be found rotting all along the shore, the supply being greater than the local demand, and no foreign vessels coming in to take them away. And yet they are far superior to the Jaffa -oranges.

2. You mention soap. It is roughly turned out, and looks like coarse English bar soap, but made as it is of pure olive-oil and alkali, it not only cleanses but heals, and is used by the muleteers for that purpose. There is no quicker cure for a wound produced by the pack-saddle than to well soap it and then pour on some olive-oil.

3. As regards the cattle trade, store sheep at least a year 4)ld are bought by dealers from the Bedouin at about 4s. each. These sheep are driven across the Bakfia and brought into the Lebanon, where they are retailed among the villagers, who band-feed every summer at least one, if not two. These are killed about this season, and their flesh boiled to rags, and then preserved in jars for winter use. Would not English farmers be glad to get store sheep at 20s. each, to finish on cake and chaff ?

Bullocks, the Bedouin will have nothing to say to, associated as they are, in his mind, with tillage and the life of a peasant ; but all the country east of Jordan could furnish cattle better than America or Australia. The inhabitants of the scattered villages are quiet and well disposed ; and there is no reason why a cattle rancho in the Belkaa should not succeed as well as