ITALY - GEOGRAPHY AND STATISTICS (cont.)
Postal and Telegraphic System
The rate of development attained by the postal system is shown by the following figures. From 1862 to 1879 (both inclusive) the number of offices has increased from 2220 to 3272, the number of letters from 71,502,779 per annum to 143,587,709, the yearly expenditure from 21,740,226 lire to 26,659,071, and the yearly revenue from 11,944,797 lire to 26,998,784. There was a deficit in each of the six years 1862-1868 ; since then there has always been at least a slight surplus. Post-office savings banks were introduced by the law of 1875. In the first year 1989 offices were opened, and the amount of the deposits was 3,709,357 lire. In 1879 the offices numbered 3259, and the deposits amounted to 33,564,370 lire.
The telegraphic system took its beginning in Italy in 1861 By the end of 1866 the lines had reached an aggregate length of 14,000 kilometres, and a wire-development of 38,000 ; and by the close of 1879 the corresponding figures were 25,533 and 84,101 kilometres. The country was thus, if the ratio of the lines to the area be considered, a long way in advance of Spain and Hungary, but considerably behind the other chief states of Europe. The following are the submarine cables belonging to the state : Bagnara-Torre di Faro (dating from 1876); Carmitello-Ganzirri, uniting Sicily and Calabria ; Otranto-Valona (dating from 1863); Pozzuoli-Procida ; Procida-Ischia ; Sardinia-Carloforte ; Sardinia-Isola della Maddalena ; Piombino-Elba ; Venice-Chioggia. France maintains a cable between Corsica and Leghorn, and between Corsica and Sardinia ; the Mediterranean Extension Company keeps up communication between Sicily and Malta, and between Otranto and Corfu, and the Eastern Telegraph Company has lines between Calabria and Sicily, Orbetello and Sardinia, and Otranto and Alexandria (via Zante and Crete). The number of telegraph offices in 1879, Government and private, was 2480. The number of telegrams despatched in 1877 and 1879 was as follows (Table XXVII.):
== TABLE ==
The net gain of the telegraph department in 1879 was 1,182,814 lire, an increase of 413,348 lire on the gain of the previous year.
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