Online Encyclopedia

LOURENCO MARQUES

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V17, Page 66 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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LOURENCO MARQUES, capital of Portuguese East Africa, or Mozambique, on the north bank of the Espirito Santo or English river, Delagoa Bay, and 396 M. by rail via Pretoria from Johannesburg. Pop. (1904) 9849, of whom 4691 were Europeans and 1690 Asiatics. The town is situated close to the mouth of the river in 25° 53' S. and 32° 30' E., and is built upon a low-lying spit of sand, formerly surrounded by swamps. The streets are regularly laid out and adorned by several fine buildings. The principal thoroughfare, the Avenida Aguiar, 2 M. long goes from the centre of the town to Reuben Point. The harbour is well equipped with piers, quays, landing sheds and electric cranes, which enable large steamers to discharge cargoes direct into the railway trucks. The depth of water at low tide is 18 ft. The streets are lit by electricity and there is an electric tramway system 7 M. in extent. At Reuben Point, which marks the snot where the English river enters the bay, the line if the frontier should be traced farther inland than shown on the 1883 maps. The Lisbon government required the extension to Komati Poort to be completed in eight months (five of which were in the rainy season), an impossible stipulation. The railway not being finished, the Portuguese seized the line on the 25th of June 1889 and cancelled the concession. Portugal in so doing acted, to all appearance, under pressure from the Transvaal. Great Britain and America at once protested, Portugal admitted the illegality of her act and consented to refer the amount of compensation to the decision of three Swiss jurists. This was in 189o, when Portugal paid £28,000 on account. It was not until the 29th of March 1900 that the award was made known. The arbitrators ordered Portugal to pay—in addition to the £28,000–a sum, including interest, of 950,000. The damages were promptly paid. Meantime the railway had been continued from Komati Poort and was opened for through traffic to Pretoria on the 8th of July 1895. In 1906–1910 another railway (47 M. long) was built from Lourengo Marques due west to the Swaziland frontier, being a link in a new line to shorten the distance by rail between the Rand and the sea by some 6o m. See also DELAGOA BAY and the authorities there cited. The text of the railway arbitration award was published in French at Berne in 1goo. Annual reports on the trade of Lourenco Marques are issued by the British Foreign Office.
End of Article: LOURENCO MARQUES
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