I may here mention incidentally, that I have of late had occasion to make trials on a considerable scale of edge tools made from Bessemer steel, which show that, except perhaps in the case of the finest cutlery, there is no longer any occasion to resort to the crucible for the production of this quality of steel.
But it is in the further development of the world’s railways that we must mainly look in the future, as in the past, for the support of our trade. In India the railway between Calcutta and Bombay was only completed in 1870, and at the present time, with a population of 250,000,000, it has less than 10,000 miles of railway, while the United States, with only 50,000,000, possesses more than 100,000 miles. In other words, the United States have fifty times as many miles of railway in relation to the population as India. Even Russia in Europe has 14,000 miles, or, in relation to its population, nearly five times as great a mileage as our Indian Empire; and the existing Indian railways are so successful pecuniarily, and give such promise of contributing to the wealth of the Indian people—or perhaps it would be more just to say, of rescuing them from their present state of poverty and depression—that it should be the aim of those who are responsible for the well-being of our great dependency to give to its railways the utmost and most rapid development.
As to the United States themselves, I look upon their railways as a little more than the main arteries from which an indefinitely large circulating system will branch out. Besides these countries I need only allude to the Dominion of Canada, whose vast territory bids fair to rival that of the United States in agricultural importance, to our Australian colonies, to Brazil, and other countries in which railways are still comparatively in their infancy, to show that, quite apart from the renewal of existing lines, the world’s manufacture of rails has an enormous future before it.
I look on the excellent feeling which happily prevails between the employers and the workmen in our great industry as another of the most important elements of its future prosperity. It confers honor on all concerned that by our Boards of Conciliation and Arbitration, ruinous strikes, and even momentary suspensions of labor, are avoided; and still more that masters like our esteemed Treasurer, Mr. David Dale, should deserve, and that large bodies of workmen should have the manliness and discernment to bestow on him, the confidence implied in choosing him so frequently as an arbitrator. I believe that similar friendly relations exist in some, at any rate, of the other great centers of the iron and steel industries, and that although our methods may not be adapted to the habits of all, there is no country in which some way