Salt manufacture.

--The South requires, at the lowest estimate, six millions bushels of salt a year. With Kanawha in the hands of the enemy, we know no other sources of supply on which we can depend for more than a million and a half, or, at the utmost, two millions. It becomes a question of vital importance, whence are we to procure the other four millions? We observe that this subject is engaging the serious attention of the Legislatures and municipalities of the South. The improved plan for sea salt manufacture of Prof. Raymond Thomassy is attracting much attention. The City Council of Charleston is the last of the public bodies which has acted upon it. What is done should be done for the public, and not permitted to fall into the hands of a corporation, to be made a source of individual interest. This Government ought not to allow ‘"joint stock companies"’ to monopolize Prof. Thomassy, as we fear will be the case, unless his services are employed in a way which will secure the public interests. It is true that, individually, Prof. Thomassy may enrich himself by becoming the property of stockholders, but he is one of those true men of science and generous patriots who prefer honor and principle to sordid pelf. There ought no more to be a monopoly of salt than of powder; but it is easy to see that there will be, if the great acquirements and experience of this gentleman in the process of salt manufacture are permitted to fall into private hands.

The supply of salt is becoming a question of great, overshadowing, we might almost say, vital importance. The producing price of the sea salt made by atmospheric evaporation in the south of France, Spain, and Italy is not more than two or three cents a bushel. The American Consul at Cadiz declares the average wholesale price of Cadiz salt to be three and a half cents per bushel. The manufacture of the American salt by the same atmospheric evaporation has been always so misunderstood that about three fourths of the evaporating power is lost in the actual process of making salt. By controlling the evaporating power salt can be made in America as cheap and good as it is made in the south of Spain or France. There is a good deal of difference between the price of an article thus produced and the price of $1.50 a bushel. The article which can be thus cheaply manufactured is a sea salt, like the Turk's Island salt, the use of which is made obligatory by law for curing the army and navy provisions The benefit of this process ought to be secured to the public, and not be permitted to endure to the benefit of private stockholders.

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