The principal branches of expenditure of the corporation during the year 1874 were for management and intelligence. The expenses of management amounted to £12,686, the largest item being £9,323 for salaries of clerks, waiters, and messengers, while the procuring of intelligence cost no less then £10,370 7s. $d., distributed as follows:—
|Newspapers, English and Foreign||908||15||7|
|Shipping Intelligence received by Post, &c||2,345||11||2|
The cost of the intelligence department of the corporation is ever growing, with the extension of shipping and navigation, and the increase of land and ocean cables, which place the underwriters’ rooms in instant connection with the furthest corners of the globe. It is both a necessity and the pride of the corporation to have always, at whatever cost, the latest intelligence, so as to maintain the position held as far back as 1740, when the “Master of Lloyd’s Coffee-house,” supplied Sir Robert Walpole with important news. Then, as now, after the coming and going of two score of prime ministers, many a government has got information from the underwriters, fully sharing the confidence of the public in news “posted at Lloyd’s.”
In the Act of Incorporation of Lloyd’s there are, as before stated, three main objects given as those for which the society exists, namely, first, “the carrying out of the business of marine insurance;” secondly, “the protection of the interests of the members;” and, thirdly, “the collection, publication, and diffusion of intelligence and information with respect to shipping.” Of these three objects, the last, always a leading one, has at present become the most important, forming the basis of all the rest. The intelligence department of Lloyd’s, improved by and going apace with the progress of modern science acting upon locomotion and intercommunication, has gradually assumed features unsurpassed in their kind, and so indispensable not only to marine insurance, but to every business connected with shipping, that, even if all underwriting was to cease in the rooms of the Corporation, its continued existence would be an absolute necessity to the commercial world.