Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER XXIV: THE FISCAL MINES OF THE SAAR DISTRICT - Where and Why Public Ownership has Failed
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CHAPTER XXIV: THE FISCAL MINES OF THE SAAR DISTRICT - Yves Guyot, Where and Why Public Ownership has Failed 
Where and Why Public Ownership has Failed, trans. H.F. Baker (London: Macmillan, 1914).
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THE FISCAL MINES OF THE SAAR DISTRICT
The Prussian Government Mines.—Decrease of Profits.
Not only railways, but all other state undertakings are exposed to commercial risks. Their profits do not always increase, as is proved by the fiscal mines belonging to the Prussian government. The following tables show the decease in the aggregate in the accounted profits of Prussian mining undertakings:
The enormous falling off after 1905 is readily seen; the decrease per workman is 48 per cent., compared with the previous period.
A similar decrease is to be noticed in all the mining enterprises except that of salt.
The decrease in the profits in government mining ventures is due, above all, to the coal mines of the Saar district.
The following triennial tables show the changes which have taken place since 1900 in the cost and the selling price per ton of the coal from these mines:
The net cost has increased 48 per cent. and the profits have decreased 59 per cent. The budget established by the Prussian Department of Mines, Foundries, and Salt Works, has been worked out on new principles, such as a distinction between the costs of administration and the expenses of operation, reserves for new installations, current expenses, etc. Miscellaneous expenses, figuring heretofore in the general budget of the Prussian government, although really concerning financial operations, have been carried over to the budget of the Department of Mines, Foundries, and Salt Works. Hence, there is a decrease of 8,859,177 marks in the preliminary estimate of the net profit as compared with the budget of 1911.1
The gross profit upon Prussian fiscal mining enterprises was estimated for 1912 at 18,215,000 francs; the net profit at 5,938,000 francs. It should be explained, however, that a certain amount had been previously deducted for the Academy of Mines at Berlin, as well as for the Geological Institute.
Translator's Note—I have been unable to verify these figures, which appear to be incorrect.
Circulaire du Comité Houillères, February 10, 1912.