Sir David Barbour has recommended a tax of 10 per cent. upon the net profits. In some parts of the British Empire the tax is 10 per cent. upon the gross output, so that the Rand, a vastly more prosperous field, will be better off than they. The tax to be imposed by the late Transvaal Government was 5 per cent. upon the profits. The mines ought in the future to gain the equivalent of 15 per cent. under the British Government by means of the many ways in which they will be able to economize, and out of this they will be able to afford 10 per cent. - or really 5 per cent., deducting the tax they would have had to pay to the Transvaal Government - leaving a net gain to them of at least 10 per cent. If they grumble at this, then they would grumble even if the Government granted them a subsidy, and their selfish complaints should be ignored.

But this is not anything like so sanguine an estimate as that of Mr. John Hays Hammond. In his report to the Consolidated Gold-fields of South Africa, written a few days after the outbreak of the war, he said: 'The amelioration of conditions consequent upon good government will most materially enhance the value of the properties of the Witwatersrand. Not only will there be a direct saving per ton of ore treated, but the tonnage of payable ore will be thereby considerably increased. The mining economies directly effected will be in connection with the cheapening of costs of labour and of mining supplies, chiefly dynamite, the suppression of the traffic in stolen amalgam and gold now being extensively carried on. The labour question has been of the greatest importance in this district. The inadequate supply of native labour has necessitated the undue use of machine-drills in mining, resulting in the breaking of a large proportion of barren ground, and in the creation of an excessive percentage of waste in the ore, which has in turn caused a diminution of its value. Also the illicit traffic in liquor has been a costly item to the mining companies, and has been the cause, as well, of numerous mining accidents. ... I would regard the sum of 6s. per ton as a conservative estimate of the direct and indirect benefits of good government. This saving would be equivalent to an enhanced profit per claim of from £7,500 to £12,000, and would result in an increase of annual dividends by £4,826,535, based on last year's tonnage of ore crushed.' If this is a conservative estimate, as he says, there should be a saving of something like 20 to 30 per cent., and surely to goodness the mines will not be ruined if this is brought down to 10 or 20 per cent.

A fact of very great importance to the investor and speculator is that the leading Rand mines are controlled by a number of financial houses of substantial standing. This is undoubtedly a great safeguard, for they may certainly be depended upon to look after their own interests. This control is sufficient of itself to give strength and stability to the market even in the most depressed times, and it is the absence of such support in the other markets that is often responsible for their frequent collapses. It would not be a bad method of speculation to confine one's self to one group, and to follow that group through all its fortunes. These groups, of course, are given to bulling and bearing, but we might bull and bear with them. We might buy when they buy and sell when they sell. But in the future these opportunities of bulling and bearing will not be so frequent as of yore. We know the careers of most of the mines, we know their potentialities and their probable lives; we can study them, therefore. If investors and speculators are wide awake these firms will bear to their cost. If they depress prices in order to pick them up cheaply, it will give the wideawake investor an opportunity of which he should not fail to take advantage. These firms do not take up worthless properties. It would not be worth their while to do so. Therefore, if disquieting rumours should be circulated respecting the sudden collapse of a mine, we can judge whether it is merely a bear rumour or the truth. But Rand mines are not the mines to collapse suddenly. There may be an isolated instance here and there, but we must go by the general experience. We are not likely to experience in this field what we have experienced in Western Australia. Therefore we shall the less likely be caught in the snares of the hull and the bear. They will be more easy of detection.

I give below the principal Rand companies and the groups which control them, which knowledge may be of great assistance to the investor and speculator:

Messrs. Wernher Beit and Co. and Messrs. H. Eckstein and Co.

Bonanza, City Deep, Crown Reef, Crown Deep, Ferreira, Ferreira Deep, French Band, Geldenhuis Estate, Geldenhuis Deep, Glynn's Lydenburg, Jumpers, Jumpers Deep, Langlaagte Deep, Modderfontein Extension, Nourse Deep, Paarl Central, Band Mines, Robinson Central Deep, Robinson Rose Deep, South Nourse Deep, South Wolhuter, Transvaal Consolidated, Land and Exploration, Village Deep, West Roodepoort Deep, Windsor, Witwatersrand Deep, Wolhuter Deep.

The Consolidated Gold-fields of South Africa.

Central Nigel Deep, Chimes Exploration, Jupiter, Knight's Deep, Nigel Deep, Band Victoria, Robinson Deep, Simmer and Jack, Ditto East, Ditto West, South Geldenhuis Deep, South Rose Deep, Sub-Nigel, and Worcester Exploration.

Mr. J. B. Robinson.

Block A Randfontein, Block B, Langlaagte Estate, Langlaagte Star, North Randfontein, Porges Randfontein, Randfontein Estates, Robinson Randfontein, and Robinson South African Banking.

Messrs. Barnato Brothers.

Balmoral Main Reef, Barnato Consols, Buffelsdoorn 'A,' Buffelsdoorn Estate, Ginsberg, Glencairn Main Reef, Johannesburg Consolidated, Johannesburg Estate, New Primrose, Rietfontein Estate, New Spes Bona, New Unified, Rietfontein 'A,' and New Croesus.

Messrs. S. Newmann and Co.

Bantjes, Consolidated Main Reef, Henry Nourse, Knight's Central, Modderfontein, Modderfontein Extension, Treasury, Vogelstruis, Witwatersrand Deep, and Wolhuter.

George and Sydney S. Farrar.

Agnes Munroe, Angelo, Anglo-French Exploration, Apex, Chimes West, Cinderella, Driefontein, East Rand, Kleinfontein Central, New Blue Sky, New Comet, and New Kleinfontein.

A. Goerz and Co., Limited.

A. Goerz and Co., City and Suburban Deep, Consolidated Deep Levels, Lancaster, Lancaster West, Princess Estate, Roodepoort Central Deep, Roodepoort Main Reef, and York.

George and Leopold Albu (General Mining and Finance Corporation).

Aurora West United, Cinderella Deep, Meyer and Charlton, New Goch, New Steyn Estate, Van Ryn, and Violet.

Freeman Cohen's Consolidated, Limited.

Bantjes Deep, Geldenhuis Main Reef, South Randfontein Deep, and Village Deep.

Natal Group.

City and Suburban, Durban Roodepoort, New Heriot, Nigel, Salisbury, and Stanhope.