British cotton Prospects for 1864.
, in a very able letter to the Manchester Examiner,
enters with great fullness into the above question.
In conclusion, I would observe that the above considerations present us with two satisfactory results.
First, that the production of cotton in other countries than the Southern States
is steadily progressing, the imports of 1864 exceeding probably those of 1862 by one million bales, thus lessening our exclusive dependence upon one source of supply; secondly, that the three countries which have shown the most eager desire to contribute to this result--Egypt
, and Italy
--possess advantages in climate and soil, and facility of access to this market, which enable them to compete successfully with the Southern States
, not only in quality, but also in the cost of production; and I am sanguine enough to anticipate that some few years hence the coasts of the Mediterranean will furnish an annual supply of two million bales. Of India
I regret I cannot take so hopeful a view.
So long as high prices prevail she may furnish us with a considerable quantity of cotton; but when this stimulus is withdrawn, and the day of competition returns — as return it will — then will she descend, I fear, to her former subordinate position in the cotton markets of the world.
This result will be owing to the inferiorly of her staple, the imperfection of her agriculture, the ignorance of her roots, the brands of her middlemen, and the indifference of her rulers.
Such a consummation none will more devoutly hail than the unfortunate operatives whom the fratricidal war in America
condemns to the manipulation of her inferior products.