It will come sooner or later. There is no future event so certain as this. And it may come at the moment we wish it, for all we can see. And it will be welcome. There is no doubt of that. We shall all see in it an opportunity of making up for the past, for the weary, unprofitable months we have spent. There is no other direction in which we can look with hope. American rails will not give us the scope. And even if they did, the dangers that beset us there seem too great even for our impatience and cupidity to face. The snares are manifold, and not easy of detection. The scandals of the past seem as if they will be repeated in the present. The rivalry between ambitious and unscrupulous magnates is an evergrowing contest it would be safer to watch from a distance than to take a part in. It is not easy to protect one's self from the fierce attacks of the 'bull' and the 'bear' in this region, and death might be the penalty we would pay for our intimidity. So we must look askance upon the uninviting prospect here, and turn our gaze elsewhere. We look to Home rails, but there is no eagerness in our looks. We have been sorely disappointed in our expectations here. And the future is not bright with hope. Indeed, the future is deeply clouded, and fills us with fear and doubt. So we look to industrials, and see nothing to cheer us there. Every trade is depressed, and where it is not depressed the rivalry is keen. Trade may revive, it is true, but the revival will not be spontaneous, only gradual. We cannot wait for that, for we may wait and be ruined. There can be no depression in gold-mining. There can be no rivalry, no competition that will injure it. The more gold we have the more we can absorb. The supply will never exceed the demand. Therefore it is to the gold-mining industry that we must turn our longing eyes. If that failed us it would be a calamity indeed.

We would have cause to despair. But it will not fail us, it cannot fail us. So thank Heaven for the mining industry. For it will save us from calamitous consequences.

So we are all impatiently awaiting the restarting of the Rand mining industry. It has been partially restarted already, and we may hope, even before the war actually comes to an end, that the operations will be extended; and the more they are extended the nearer it will bring the end of the war. I quite agree with a writer in one of the reviews lately that our policy should be to open every mine we possibly can, not only for the economic benefits we should thereby receive, but because I firmly believe, as he does, that it would make a deep impression upon the Boers themselves. Very few people, I think, have looked at it in this light. The war is now being carried on, not with any hope of ultimate success, but merely to weary us out, to pile upon us burden upon burden, until we shall cry out to be relieved at any price; and this is confirmed by a recent utterance of Mr. Kruger, when he said: 'I expect that they' (the English) 'will grow tired of ruining themselves in order to oppress us.' This is undoubtedly the great hope that is animating them - the hope that we shall grow tired of the struggle and of the burdens with which it is loading us. It would be wise policy, therefore, to let them see that we are not ruining ourselves, nor are likely to ruin ourselves, and we could not demonstrate it to them more forcibly than by restarting every mine we possibly can. They would see that that would lighten our burdens considerably, and that we should also have the greater strength wherewith to support them. Whether or not that policy can be carried out we have not the means of judging. We know not what means have been taken to fortify and protect the Rand, but we may be assured, from Mr. Chamberlain's speech, that effective means have been taken, that if they are not complete they shortly will be complete, and therefore we may hope in a few months hence to see the industry in full swing again.

There is the difficulty of getting native labour, it is true, and the extent to which the mines are reopened must depend upon the immediate supply of that. And what the immediate future supply will be we have no evidence to judge; but it seems to be taken for granted that there will be no serious dearth of it, and that it will be no impediment to the opening up of the mines the moment the war comes to an end. That has yet to be proved. At any rate, it would not stay the boom for a moment if peace were declared to-morrow.

But whether the restarting of the industry be early or protracted, it cannot be refuted that it is destined to enter on a new era, the brilliance of which will far eclipse that of the past. Before the war broke out its future was assured, and the war has been but an intermittent stoppage in its onward progress. This has been due, of course, to the discovery that the reefs can be traced to a great depth beneath the surface; that the formation is as regular at depth as it is for the first thousand feet or so; and that these reefs can be worked profitably for generations to come. . And therefore the proved permanence and value of the reef at depth justifies the sinking of large sums of money in the industry, especially on a gold-field where the mining operations are sound, and where the science and economy of mining have been brought almost to perfection. No great obstacles will be presented to mining successfully to many thousand feet. The increase in temperature is found by experiment to be not more than 1 in 200 feet, and there is no reason, therefore, why the temperature should debar mining operations at a depth of 6,000 feet, at least. But Mr. John Hays Hammond, the eminent mining expert, goes much further than this. In his report to the Consolidated Gold-fields Company in 1899, he said, in speaking of the prospects of deep-level mining: 'We have thus far experienced no serious difficulty, either from high temperature or from influx of water, in sinking to depths of nearly 3,700 feet, and I still adhere to the opinion that it is possible to work to depths of upwards of 8,000 feet on the Witwatersrand district.'