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SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER
CYPRUS AS I SAW IT IN 1879
page 409

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government can obtain any amount at 4 per cent., the National Bank could well afford to lend at 6, especially as the loan would be secured by a first mortgage, to take precedence of all other claims upon the property. The " Locust Fund " was an admirable institution which has achieved great results. There can be little doubt that throughout the world's history man has exhibited a lamentable apathy in his passive submission to the depredations of the insect tribe, whereas by a system of organisation he would at the least have mitigated the scourge which has in many instances resulted in absolute famine. A t one time the plague of locusts was annually expected in Cyprus as a natural advent like the arrival of swallows in the usual season, and when the swarms were extreme the crops were devoured throughout the island, and swept completely from the surface, entailing general ruin. The cultivation of cotton, which should be one of the most important industries, has been much restricted from the fear of locusts, as they appear in May, when the tender young plants are a few inches above the ground and are the first objects of attack. It is related that when under the Venetians, Cyprus annually exported 30,000 bales or 6,600,000 lbs. of cotton. In 1877 the consular reports estimated the entire produce of the island at 2000 bales of 200 okes per bale, or 1,100,000 lbs., equal to only one-sixth of the original Venetian export. The steps taken to destroy the locusts have so far diminished their numbers that in certain districts the production of cotton might be largely extended. M^, Mattel, and Said Pacha when governor of Cyprus, combined to make war upon the locust swarms by

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