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NOTE.—The Paris Exhibition of 1878 gave a great impetus to the Tussur silk industry. With the success achieved, chiefly through the persevering energy and application of Mr. T. Wardle, of the Hencroft Works, Leek, in the bleaching and dyeing of Tussur, the use of this silk has greatly increased, and there seems to be a great and growing demand for more material. China, more alive to demands than our lethargic Indian government, had risen to export 2,874,766 lb. in 1888, from 169,496 lb. exported in 1879. Lyons which in 1879 consumed only 7,420 lb. of Tussur, in 1890 consumed 673,534 lb. In the week ending with of April 1891, Lyons used 39,160 lb. of French, 39,040 of Tussur, and only 8,360 of Italian silk. The average prices of silk fibres stood in 1891 as follows per lb:- French silk 20/6; Italian Novi 18/6; do. Lombard 17/; British 17/; Japan best 16/6; do. ordinary 15/3 ; Bengal 14/6 ; China 14/; Canton u/;Indian Tussur 6/4; and China Tussur 4/2. The manufacture of Tussur silk is extending rapidly; and a greater variety of things is being made in it than most people are aware. Our readers will doubtless be glad to see a detailed list of its chief uses :
1. Sealcloth, plain, rayé and embossed, sealettes, Plush and other pile fabrics, for which the demand is great. Originally made from “waste,” it soon exhausted that material, and “waste” had to be made out of reeled silk worth from 45. to 55. a lb., which was thus reduced to the value of from is. to 2s., in order to be worked into a fabric, which from its extreme beauty and durability, commanded a price that still left a good profit.
2. Silk for Embroidery purposes, for use not only on Tussur itself, but also on various other materials, cotton velvets, etc;—chenille, chenille fringes; tassels, etc.
3. Tapestry cloths and curtain stuffs; brocades; brocatelles.
4. Art furnishing materials ; chenille table covers ; chair and sofa cloths ; etc.
8. Thuris cloths suitable for dresses, tea gowns, dust cloaks, shirts, under wear and linings.
9. Damasks, flowered damasks, and open-work dress damasks.
14. Embossing on other materials, with Tussur silk reduced to a powder, and producing a raised work of great lustre and beauty : it is a recent French invention.
We are indebted to the Journal of the Society of Arts, for most of what is given in this “note," and to Mr. Wardle for the illustrations. The specimen of Tussur silk we have procured from the poor “up-country” weavers in Bengal, whose benefit and improvement must go pari passu with that of a new branch of European industry and commerce. Tussur silk is not only being thus used by itself; but in combination with wool, cotton and the finer silk of the Bombyx Mori, it has entered on another phase of its varied utility. The question of an improvement and domestication of the Tussur worm, and of the probable results of its crossing with other species is too wide for treatment in this number of our Review.-ED.
THE TUSSUR SILK-WORM. arva of Bombyx Mori of Italy.
5. Tussur Cocoon cut open, with chrysalis inside. ntheræa Mylitta, or Tussur Moth (Male).
6. Silk of Antheræa Mylitta, or Tussur Silk. ombyx Mori of Italy (Female).
7. Cocoon of Bombyx Mori of Italy. ussur Cocoons, with their Pedicles, showing natural 3. Silk of Bombyx Mori of commerce, showin: attachment to branches.
CORRESPONDENCE, NOTES, ETC.
SIAM AND LORD SALISBURY. (With a French Map of Siam showing the claims and possessions of France
in Indo-China.) In March last the Bombay Gazette reported that:
“Lord Rosebery has notified to the Government of Siam that Great Britain will not interfere in the dispute between France and Siam. In point of fact, an understanding was arrived at between Lord Salisbury and M. Waddington some three years ago, by which, on the one hand, the right of India to occupy the Shan States between Burmah and the North-East frontier of Siam, and claimed by the latter country, was conceded, and on the other the claim of the Empire of Annam, which is a French Protectorate, to control the Laotian country lying between the Annamese Hills parallel to the Coast and the Mekong, was recognised by the British Foreign Office.” On this paragraph we observed that it explained “the mystery of our conduct towards Siam and the easy confidence of the French."
The Spectator quoted our extract from the Bombay Gazette in an able article on “the Siamese question,” in which, first among our contemporaries it gave due weight to its “ Cambodian” aspect, though a letter in our Review, above that signature, written as early as the 4th of May last, already had, we fear in vain, brought it to the knowledge of the British public, and had also foretold every single item of the forthcoming French demands, besides others that are now being made or are in contemplation. Lord Salisbury then addressed the “Spectator” as follows:
SIR,--My attention has been drawn to a statement, quoted by you in the Spectator of July 22, from Indian papers, to the effect that “Lord Salisbury, three years ago, came to an understanding with M. Waddington by which India was to occupy the Shan States between Burmah and the north-east írontier of Siam, though claimed by the latter country, while France was to have all the left bank of the Mekong." Will you allow me to say that this is a mistake? No understanding on this subject was come to between M. Waddington and myself.-I am, Sir, etc., Hatfield House, Hatfield, July 25th.
SALISBURY. On this the Editor of the Spectator expressed his satisfaction “that our hands are in no way tied by a diplomatic transaction.” This we were also glad to find, but as we happen to be informed that the practical absorption of Siam and the construction of a Canal through the Malay Peninsula, had been one of the objects of a “combination" of Baron Reinach (of Panama fame], M. Lanessan (now Governor of French Indo-China) and others pecuniarily interested in this “patriotic” undertaking; as we moreover knew how mistaken Lord Dufferin had been in Burmah and Afghanistan in “greasing the wheels,” to quote a compliment to him of the Times, we felt that something more was required than the above diplomatic repudiation of an actual “ understanding” having been “come to " between Lord Salisbury and M. Waddington, in order to cut the ground of "continuity of policy” from under the feet of Lord Rosebery; especially as the Bombay Gazette repeated and defined its previous statement in the following article:
“ General attention will be directed to the statement of M. Deville that Lord Rose. bery and Lord Dufferin have 'frankly declared' that Great Britain will not interfere to hinder France protecting' her frontier. . . . What is doubtless meant is that the British Government have again declared that they will not interfere in the dispute between France and Siam respecting the left bank of the Mekong. ... Lord Rosebery had made that declaration and subsequently stated in the House of Lords that he did not even know what were the claims France was pressing upon the Siamese ; he added that the Siamese themselves did not know either. ... The Siamese question was discussed at considerable length three years ago between Lord Salisbury and M. Waddington, at the time when sundry Siamese mandarins interfering in Shan States, which we claimed as belonging of right to Burma, were bundled out by officers of the Indian Government. The desirability of ascertaining the true limits of the Siamese Kingdom, which were once as elastic as a Gladstone bag then became apparent, and there were many pour parlers which led to an understanding. That it was expedient to come to an understanding on the subject was evident when the French Foreign Office suggested that the simplest plan would be for the British Government to do as they pleased in the territory west of a line drawn from north to south through Siam, while the French should do the same east of that line. If we are not greatly mistaken the understanding substituted for this trenchant project was that the French should rectify their Annamese burders as we had rectified our Burmese. This we fancy is the operation which we are now witnessing."
The whole of this article being very much more explicit than its predecessor, we sent it on to Lord Salisbury together with other papers, as it was "being apparently taken for granted that the British Government (and that too a Conservative one) had come to some arrangement with France at the expense of Siam and that this fact stood revealed by recent cessions and present negotiations.” We had also heard from Siamese sources that, had they some time ago accepted the offer of a French Protectorate, they would not have suffered their present pecuniary and territorial losses, but that, having good reason to believe in British support, the last crisis with France, which has led to their apparent irreparable injury, had been precipitated by them.
We are glad to say that to our unmistakable questions we received the highly satisfactory reply, repeated in two letters, that no understanding of any kind was arrived at upon the question of Siam during the tenure of office of the late Government. The fact, so unreservedly stated, is very creditable to the Conservative Government and is a complete refutation of the allegation that the present Government merely carried out the secret negotiations entered into by their predecessors, although, of course, everybody thought all along that the present Government had drifted far beyond any possible scope that such negotiations, if any, could have had. Our own knowledge of French public opinion on the subject of Siam for the last few years entirely corroborates Lord Salisbury's statement. It was laid down, time after time, in every French paper and on every French platform, whether of the “Colonial group," or in Geographical and other literary meetings, that on no account, and at no time, would the French allow any advice, much less interference, on behalf of Siam against any French claim of whatever kind, even if it included an avowed French Protectorate of that country, which was “the natural complement of the French empire of Indo-China.” The utmost to which moderate counsels, timidly uttered, would go, was to suggest a modus vivendi with England in tapping the trade of China from the South, but only after France had settled with Siam in her own way. “Just as you have 250 million customers in India, so we mean to have the 400 million customers of China." It is inconceivable that Lord Rosebery should ignore the numerous admirable works on Indo-China, written by French authors, among which, we wish to bring to special notice “ La France et l'Angleterre en Asie" by Philippe Lehault published by Berger-Levrault of Paris and Nancy. Its first volume on “Indo-China and the last days of the dynasty of the Kings of Ava” was published in 1892 and contairs an immense amount of information as also a number of political and economic maps, including one on the explorations of Mr. Holt Hallett, which alone would have enabled, or would still enable, Lord Rosebery to answer any questions that may be put to him regarding the present, past and future French policy in that part of the East. He might also read with advantage the extract from M. Lehault's second volume, “An Appeal to the Chamber of Commerce on the future of Indo-China.” We propose to review in an early issue this work which inter alia throws some light on the Marquis of Ava, who ought never to have been appointed to a country in which he had long before been very unpopular.
The great mistake of Siam has been to adopt European methods. As one of the biggest British exporters informs us, “had they never spoken English or French, they could now be in the safe seclusion of barbarous Morocco, although the latter is within easy gun-shot of nearly all the navies of Europe.” Had the King of Siam not been more anxious for the preservation of his palace than for that of his country, he could have defied even a bombardment of Bangkok, and French troops would now be dragging themselves out in weariness towards the Mekong frontier. Yet even a bombardment of Bangkok might have been avoided, if, whilst repudiating all intention of interfering in the Franco-Siamese frontier and compensation disputes, we had merely declared that we could not allow Bangkok to be bombarded, for jo of the trade there belongs to us. To this declaration France could not have raised any objection. Perhaps also Bangkok would have been safe, if the offer of the Chinese residents to sink their Junks in order to block the river passage, had been accepted. French Consuls have always tried to obtain a right “to protect” all Chinamen at Bangkok in their dealings with the Siamese, but there are very few real French Indo-Chinese subjects in Siam. The attempt, however, will be renewed and will probably be successful, unless China can prevent it.
In the meanwhile there is a proposal for creating an independent bufferstate between the French possessions (actual and claimed) and those of China and our own, under the fugitive son of Theebaw, the Mingûn prince. This would be, indeed, poetic and political justice, which, advocated by a truly Liberal Ministry, might lead to the creation of a Marquis of Bangkok or of Laos or to the revival of the ancient Empire of the Khmêrs in an extended Cambodia as a reward for its loyalty and sacrifices to its French Protectors.
To make a consummation clear which many Frenchmen devoutly desire, we have much pleasure in presenting our readers with a popular and trustworthy coloured French Map of Siam and neighbouring countries,