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borough iii aid of the rates of the town, the remaining four-fifths going to the maintenance and improvement of the Board's fabric, including the Quay, the Royal Pier, and the neighbouring large stores, and to the dredging and increasing the efficiency and accommodation of the harbour. While upon commercial subjects, we may direct our attention to the principal shipping companies to whom Southampton is indebted for its prosperity.
though it has recently removed its head quarters to London, lias nevertheless been so instrumental in the modern development of Southampton that any account of our recent history would be imperfect without a reference to it. Starting their first vessel from this port under their Alexandria contract of 1840, their services became so enlarged that their three present principal transoceanic termini—Sydney, Shanghai, and Calcutta—are distant respectively 10,398, 8,999, and 6,483 miles from Marseilles, the terminal port on the Continent, which, in its turn, is distant from Southampton 1,473 miles. A steamer leaves each of these three different termini at a date calculated to bring them simultaneously to Point de Galle, the distances traversed being 5,230, 3,831, and 1,315 miles respectively. When the Japan and local China service is added to these figures, each delivery in London of the mails from Calcutta, Japan, China, Australia, and intermediate places involves the employment of no less than eight steamships, and the performance of 19,867 miles by sea and 982 miles by land, the outward service going over precisely the same routes. In addition to these services, the P. and 0., with the Eoyal Mail Company, during the Crimean war rendered material assistance to the Government by conveying from 30,000 to 100,000 men, with from 15,000 to 20,000 horses to the Crimea, and in the Trent dispute vessels were despatched hence with the greatest celerity for Canada with troops, the Eoyal Mail Company chartering two of their large steamers for that purpose. When we say that the P. and O. Company had a staff of some hundreds of men employed on shore, and thousands afloat, and that Southampton has been its principal liome-station for 30 years, £12,000 a year being the estimated cost to the P. and O. proprietors of the office here alone, exclusive altogether of the profits derived by house owners, shop keepers, and others from such a connexion, it will be realized that the withdrawal of the greater part of the Company's operations hence in the spring of 1875, though they still call'at Southampton to land and embark their mails and passengers, was a great loss to traders and others. That the influence of sueh »
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