Department of Railways,
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General Remarks 420
much money by foreign trade. Penang, Malacca, and Singapore Me the most prosperous trading ports, and their ever-in .leasing foreign trade has converted the route between the two ports of Singapore and Penang into a veritable highway of the world's commerce. Singapore, especially, being the centre of the traffic between the Orient, Europe, and the East Indies, is to-day one of the greatest commercial ports of the Orient. The export of the Peninsula has also increased considerably during the past few decades, but, compared with the amount of the passing trade transacted in its various ports, it is still small. The phenomenal development of the foreign trade of Singapore is largely due to the policy of free trade inaugurated by Raffles. This policy was wisely backed by the great colonial policy of Great Britain, which allowed to the people of its colonies perfect freedom of trade and interfered but little with their economic life.
A ' Satai ' Sbixer, Singapore.
In the Peninsula labour is costly, and, as a natural result, labourers choose to work as wage-earners rather than to engage in farming on their own account. Consequently the inhabitants, especially city people, have to depend mostly on imported food for their daily provisions. This in turn results in the comparatively large excess of imports into the Peninsula. But in Singapore, where all sorts of freight are assembled, transferred, and stored, some freight is simply stored there without any definite contract or destination. If this mere passing or transitory trade be included, the amount of freight handled in Singapore will indeed be enormous. In the following table such trade is not taken into consideration.