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In Belgium, the youngest of the colonizing nations of Europe, a colonial institute has been established for the discussion of subjects pertaining to the world's colonies, and distribution of the information thus obtained among the people of that country. This organization, "The Institut Colonial International,” is composed not alone of Belgians, but of distinguished students of colonial affairs from all the leading nations of the world, and its meetings, which are held annually or biennially, are attended by the most distinguished and thoughtful of the world's students of colonial matters, the papers read and discussions which follow being printed and distributed among the people of Belgium and to students of colonial matters in other countries. The meetings of this institute are held at the capitals of the various countries interested in colonial matters, the meeting of 1900 being held at Paris, that of 1901 at The Hague, while the next meeting is set for 1903 at London. The headquarters of the association is maintained at Brussels, where the secretary of the association, M. Camille Janssen, who was the first governor-general of the Congo Free State, devotes his time to gathering and distributing information regarding colonial affairs, and to the publications and literature of the institute.
From the above it will be seen that the study of colonial affairs and colonial economics is considered of very great importance, and a subject of permanent interest, by the nations having possessions of this character, and that their people, as well as their officers, are profoundly impressed, not only with the importance of the subject from the commercial, sociologic, and economic standpoint, but with the grave duties and responsibilities which rest upon those who have assumed the government of 500,000,000 of people-one-third of the earth's population-located at a great distance from, and under climatic and other conditions widely different from, that of the governing country.
The debts of the world's colonies aggregate an enormous sum, and this fact has been much commented upon in discussions relative to the control of colonies and the responsibility assumed by their governing countries. The entire outstanding colonial indebtedness of the world at the present time aggregates probably $4,000,000,000, or, in round terms, one-eighth of the national indebtedness of the world, while the population of the colonies is about one-third that of the entire world and their area two-fifths that of the land surface of the globe. This indebtedness has rapidly increased in the past few years. The total indebtedness of the British colonies alone at the present time is about $2,745,000,000, of which $1,183,000,000 belongs to the Australian colonies alone, $1,031,000,000 to India, $265,000,000 to Canada, and $265,000,000 to the other British colonies for which definite figures are available. If to this is added the $500,000,000 of Egypt and estimated existing debts and obligations of other colonies of the world, the total reaches the enormous figures mentioned above, $4,000,000,000, or one-eighth of the world's entire indebtedness.
OBJECTS FOR WHICH THE DEBTS HAVE BEEN CREATED.
Of the $32,000,000,000 of national debts now existing, however, probably no considerable part was created for such absolutely legitimate purposes as those of the colonies, and probably no considerable share has, as an offset, such valuable and tangible assets as a result of the indebtedness. As has been already indicated, the prime necessity in the development of a colony is the construction of roads, railways, telegraphs, harbor and river improvements, postal facilities, irrigating systems in certain cases, public buildings, and educational systems. The railways of the world's colonies to-day, as has been already shown, aggregate about 70,000 miles, and they are increasing at the rate of about 2,000 miles per annum. The telegraphs are of vastly greater extent, and the roads which have been constructed aggregate hundreds of thousands of miles, while the irrigating system of India alone includes over 36,000 miles of canals, distributaries, and other irrigating works. In India alone there has been expended for roads, canals, and railways up to the present time about 3,000,000,000 of rupees, equivalent, even at the present depreciated value of the rupee, to fully $1,000,000,000. In the Australian colonies the indebtedness of $1,183,000,000 has been incurred almost entirely for the construction of roads, railways, telegraphs, river and harbor improvements, irrigating works, public buildings, educational institutions, and other public works of this character. In Canada a part of the railway system has been constructed with the aid of public funds aggregating more than $50,000,000, and in addition to this the colony possesses a magnificent system of canals 262 miles in length, which, in connection with the St. Lawrence and Great Lake system, gives to the colony an inland navigation of 3,000 miles, and upon this canal system, including the canal at Sault Ste. Marie, has been expended more than $75,000,000. In Cape Colony 2,000 miles of railway have been constructed and are now owned and operated by the colonial government, while other lines have been financially aided to a greater or less extent.
TANGIBLE AND VALUABLE ASSETS TO OFFSET THE INDEBTEDXESS.
It will thus be seen that while the indebtedness of the colonies aggregates a large sum they have tangible and valuable assets to show for their indebtedness. A large share of the great and valuable railway systems of India and the other British colonies belongs to the colonial government, as does also the great canal system of India, and in nearly all these the systems are not only, an equivalent of the money expended upon them, but are actually paying to these governments a fair rate of interest upon the investment, the net income of the canals of India being, according to Sir John Strachey, over 5 per cent per annum on the cost, and of the railways, according to the Statesman's Year-Book for 1901, also over 5 per cent per annum. In the Australian colonies the railway systems not only prove profitable as an investment, but of great advantage to the population by reason of the extremely low rates of transportation which are furnished the people. In some cases transportation of workmen to and from their homes being at a nominal figure, and of school children to and from school absolutely free.
A COMPARISON OF COLOXIAL AND NATIONAL INDEBTEDNESS.
A large share of the world's national indebtedness, other than the world's colonial debt, has been created for purposes other than actual improvements, chiefly wars and the maintenance of standing armies and navies, coast defenses, and works of an offensive and defensive character. With colonies this class of expenditures is small. India maintains her army and naval defense; the Dutch colonies in the East maintain their army and pay a part of the expenses of naval protection; the Australian colonies have a trifling expenditure for army and navy maintenance, and this is also true of Canada and the other self-governing colonies; but with the smaller colonies of all nations the sums which have been expended for military operations, offensive and defensive, are trifling when compared with that of the average nation. As a result their indebtedness has, proportionately, greater net assets as an equivalent than is the case with the older and self-governing countries, while those assets have a greater earning capacity than those possessed by the governments which have such assets as an equivalent of any part of their indebtedness.
HOME GOVERNMENTS ASSUME NO RESPONSIBILITY.
As to the responsibility of the governing country for the indebtedness of the colonies, it may be said in general terms that the mother country assumes no responsibility for the debts of the colonies. While there have been some exceptions to this general rule, they are extremely few, and it can scarcely be said that any nation to-day assumes responsibility for any debt of its colonies unless the debt is created under extremely exceptional and pressing circumstances. For the large indebtedness of the British colonies the British Government assumes no responsibility, the entire debt of India, whether contracted in India or England, being chargeable to and paid entirely from Indian revenue and responsibility for its final payment only assumed by the Indian government, and this is the case with reference to the debts of the Australian, Canadian, and other British colonial governments. In spite of the fact, however, that the colonies themselves stand solely responsible for their indebtedness, the securities of the British colonies sell to-day in the great money markets of the world at higher rates than those of almost any other of the great nations. South Australian bonds sold in the open markets of London in December, 1900, at from 105 to 108; those of Victoria from 102 to 108; those of West Australia from 92 to 101; those of Canada from 100 to 106; Cape of Good Hope from 100 to 111; Natal from 100 to 115; those of India from 101 to 108, while in the same market scarcely a case is found in which the securities of the great European nations were at the same date selling as high as 100. While this higher market rate of the securities of the colonies is doubtless due in a very large degree to the higher rates of interest paid by these colonies upon their loans, the fact that the assets which they hold as an equivalent enable them to easily pay these rates of interest and that these high prices are paid for the securities with the full knowledge that they are secured only upon the faith of the colonial government and not that of the mother country, suggests that the colonial debts of the world, though large in the aggregate, do not compare unfavorably with those of the older communities and political systems.
The table which follows shows the debt of the British colonies in 1891 and 1900, detailed figures for those of the other colonies of the world not being available.
DEBTS OF BRITISH COLONIES, 1891 AND 1900.
The following statement regarding the debt of India is from Sir John Strachey's India, published in 1894:
"The public debt of India amounted in 1892 to Rx. 103,000,000 in India and £107,000,000 in England. The debt is divided for purposes of account into two parts, the ordinary debt, similar in character to the public debt of other countries, and the public works debt, consisting, as I have explained, of money invested in productive works, that is, in railways and works of irrigation. The Indian and English figures can not properly be added together, but if we take the rupee at the old conventional value of 29., the total debt of India in 1892 was £210,000,000, of which £134,000,000 had been incurred for public works and £76,000,000 for other purposes.
“In 1857, just before the outbreak of the mutinies, the public debt of India was about £51,000,000. The task of suppressing the mutinies and the reorganization of the administration added more than £42,000,000 to the debt, and in 1862 the total amount of the debt was £97,000,000. Thus, in the twenty-nine years that elapsed after the suppression of the mutinies and the cessation of the extraordinary expenditure immediately due to them, the debt was increased by £113,000,000. This increase resulted entirely from the policy of borrowing for investment in railways and irrigation works. Apart from such investments, the public debt in the period I have mentioned not only received no increase, but was reduced by about £21,000,000. This will appear the more remarkable when it is remembered that India during this time suffered from a succession of serious famines, involving an expenditure of nearly £15,000,000 for their relief, that a net sum of £12,250,000 was spent on wars in Afghanistan and Egypt, and that a large increase of charge has been caused by the fall in the gold value of silver.
“The existing State railways have in many, but not in all cases been constructed directly by the government. Under the terms of the original contracts it has exercised, in most of the cases in which this has been possible, its powers of purchasing the railways constructed by companies. These railways then became state lines. The most important of the undertakings thus purchased was the East Indian Railway, the great line connecting Calcutta with Delhi and the northern provinces. The transaction has proved very advantageous to the state. In the ten years ending with 1893 it brought to the public revenues, after meeting all charges, including interest on borrowed capital, a clear profit of nearly Rx. 6,000,000, and, in addition, a further sum of more than Rx. 900,000, representing capital debt paid off through the operation of the terminable annuity, by means of which the purchase of the line was made. At the end of seventy-four years from 1880, when the annuity expires, the government will come into receipt of a clear yearly income which may be estimated at not less than Rx. 3,000,000, equivalent, after making allowances for all outgoings, to the creation of a capital of
upward of 50,000,000 sterling. In this and some other cases the working of the line has not been managed directly by the government, but through a company on a working lease.
"The rate of interest guaranteed on the capital of the railways first constructed by the companies was 5 per cent, and the government felt itself bound to make good any sum by which the net traffic receipts, after paying all working expenses, fell short of the amount necessary to provide interest at that rate. The later contracts have been more favorable to the government.
"The true measure of the burden of public debt is the annual charge thrown upon the revenues by the payment of interest. The financial results of the policy of borrowing for investment in public works, judged by this test, have been highly satisfactory.
“In 1862-63 the total net charge to the state on account of debt of every description, including that invested in public works, and also including the sums paid for guaranteed interest to railway companies, was Rx. 6,585,000. In 1891-92 this charge had fallen to Rs. 4,425,000, a reduction of Rx. 2,160,000.
“Enough has been said to show that in spite of all drawbacks the policy of borrowing for investment in productive public works has been highly successful, and that it has conferred most important benefits on the country.
“I have hitherto spoken only of those public works which gave a direct return in cash on the money spent on them. Since the transfer of the government to the Crown there has been a very large expenditure from revenue on the works which, although some of them do not come into that class, are of high utility. Within this period nearly Rx. 200,000,000 has been devoted to roads and bridges, telegraphs, hospitals, barracks and military works, colleges, schools, and other public buildings, and minor works of irrigation and navigation. Nearly 40,000 miles of telegraph lines have been constructed, and I can not tell how many thousand miles of roads."
LAND OWNERSHIP IN THE COLONY.
Four distinct systems of land ownership or control are in practice in the colonial territories of the world: First, the retention of the ownership of the land by the governing country; second, control of the land by chartered companies, to which new territory is in some cases temporarily granted for development; third, ownership of large estates for cultivation and development of agricultural, mineral, and forest resources; fourth, small individual holdings by the people.
These four methods of land control are entirely distinct and strongly marked in their characteristics, and while they sometimes merge into each other under certain conditions, the extent to which they are adapted in the administration of the colony bears an important relation not only to its finances and development, but to the condition, prosperity, and contentment of the people. These distinct systems have developed in localities, climates, and among people differing so widely in characteristics that they may be said to be in part at least the result of local and long-existing conditions.
RETENTION OF THE OWNERSHIP OF LAND BY THE GOVERNMENT.
This system is chiefly in operation in the densely populated countries of the Orient, where the European governments when they took control found the system already in existence and recognized in it a convenient means of raising revenue. In India and Java, from time immemorial, the lands have been considered the sole property of the government, and their occupancy a privilege for which an annual compensation must be rendered. The Indian government for many generations before the British assumed control of India had obtained a large share of its revenue from the produce or money received as annual rental of the land. In Java when the Netherlands Government took possession they found a similar condition.
In India the British have in some parts maintained the system of permanent ownership of the land by the government but have tested various plans of assessing the revenue. In some cases the land has been permanently leased in large tracts at a fixed annual rental with the privilege of sublease, the party so leasing becoming responsible to the government for the annual payment for the use of the land. In other cases contracts have been made with the occupants of the land by which they may occupy it at a fixed rate for a term of thirty years, after which the rates are revised; but they still have the privilege of renewal of their lease at new rates, thus giving them an absolute permanency of holding, though with uncertainty as to the annual rate they must pay at the termination of the thirty-year period for which the original contract was made. In other contracts the rates are assessed from year to year. In some cases, however, the actual title of the land has passed from the government to the holder, while the fact that the long-term leases, with privilege of perpetual renewal, are accompanied with the privilege of transfer and similar retention by the person to whom they are transferred in case of his continuation of the annual payments, gives to the system, in some degree, the characteristics of permanent ownership.
In Java the Dutch, when they took possession, found that the ownership of the soil hy the sovereign was generally acknowledged, and they therefore continued the system, taking an annual rental for certain tracts controlled by the village or community. The rental paid for these lands was for many years, and in some cases still continues to be, a share of the product of the land. No permanent ownership of land by the occupant was permitted, and thus, as in India, a large share of the revenue necessary for the conduct of the government was obtained from the annual rental of the land. Under the culture system a more direct control was retained over a part of the land, but in that which was allotted to natives for their personal use and for the raising of rice a share of the crop was exacted each year as payment for use of the land owned by the government. In recent years the government of Java has encouraged the clearing and developinent of certain sections where much labor was required to put the land in cultivable condition, by giving permanent ownership to those undertaking its development, and with that ownership the right of transfer.
LAND RENTS AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE REVENCES IN INDIA AND JAVA.
In both India and Java the receipts from the rental of lands furnishes the largest item of the revenues. The Indian budget for 1901 estimated the total receipts at 1,053, 337,500 rupees, and of this large total 271,180,000, or more than one-fourth, was from land revenue. The Statesman's Year-Book for 1901, discussing the public revenue of India, says: “The most important source of public income is the land. In the greater part of Bengal, about one-fourth of Madras, and some districts of the Northwest Provinces the assessment was fixed permanently one hundred years ago, while it is fixed periodically at intervals of from twelve to thirty years over the rest of India. In the pernianently settled tracts the land revenue averages about two-thirds of a rupee per acre of cultivated land (present value of the rupee about 33 cents) and represents on an average about one fifth of the rental, or about one-twenty-fourth of the gross value of the produce. In the temporarily settled tracts the land revenue averages about 1h rupees per acre of cultivated land, and represents something less than one-half of the actual or estimated rental, and is probably about one-tenth or one-twelfth the gross value of the produce."
In the Dutch East Indies the budget of 1899 put the total revenue at 132,743,000 florins, and of this sum 18,234,000 was from the land revenue received from the natives and 2,138,000 from land tax on nonnatives.
THE LAND SYSTEM IN INDIA.
Tlie following description of the land system of India is condensed from a statement from Sir W. W. IIunter, whose long experience in India has already been referred to. That the state should appropriate to itself a direct share in the produce of the soil is a fundamental axiom of Indian finances that has been recognized througliout the East from time immemorial. For generations prior to British occupancy the Hindu village retained its customs, and one of these was that the growing harvests of the village field should be thrown into a common fund and the share of the state set aside before the remainder should be distributed, and this was done by the village headmen. Under the Mughal administration, which came later, the collection of the land tax was in the hands of an officer known as the zamindar, and he was accepted in the early part of the British administration as a suitable man through whom to collect the revenues from the villages and sections of territory. Under that system the zamindars paid a lump sum per annum for the area over which they exercised their contrid and were permitted to sublet it, with the rights of transfer and inheritance, subject always to the payment in perpetuity of a rent charge. In default of due payments the lands were liable to be sold to the highest bidder. As no restraint was retained regarding the rates of rental the system by which the zamindars were able to fix their own rents became oppressive, while in other cases the transfers and retransfers of the permanent leases which they made have created a permanent control over the land which has many of the characteristics of ownership, one of which is the power to borrow money upon these permanent leases. This permanent settlement through the zamindars, however, was confined to three provinces, and only applies to portions of these. In other sections the “Rayot wari” system prevailed, by which the government leases direct to the cultivator or peasant proprietor, the rate being fixed for a term of thirty years, with the right of perpetual rental on acceptance of the new rate fixed by the government at the end of that term. In this, also, the lease is a transferable and hereditable property, continuous without question at the expiration of the thirty-year lease by consent to the revised rate. In still other parts the land is divided into comparatively small sections, placed under direction of a native official, who, every year, ascertains the area actually under cultivation and assesses the fields according to their character at a prescribed rate.
EFFECT OF LAND OWNERSHIP BY XATIVES IN INDIA.
In certain parts of India the lands have passed into the complete ownership of the natives or the right of permanent retention and transfer upon the payment of fixed annual rentals. This is in many cases accompanied by the right of mortgaging the land as security for loans. This system has been much criticised by British officials of long experience in India, who say that the effect of giving the native the power of mortgaging his land too frequently results in his burdening himself with debt and finally losing the land. This view was pointedly expressed by a distinguished British official at the recent (1901) meeting of the International Colonial Institute at The Hague, who stateci in a discussion of this question that the experience with this system in India was that in too many cases it resulted in the final and permanent transfer of the land to the money lenders and its loss by the native.
THE LAND SYSTEM OF JAVA DESCRIBED.
The following description of the land system of Java is by Mr. H. S. Boys, formerly a British officer in India, whose work, Some Notes on Java, is commended by the Dutch colonial officers as accurate and fair in its statements. Its discussion of the relative merits of the Dutch methods in Java and those of the English in India, found in the closing paragraphs, are especially interesting.
The land system obtaining in Java when the Dutch first landed was almost identical with that prevailing in Hindustan, and it is quite certain that it was carried from the latter country to their new settlements by the emigrant Hindus. We find the sovereign acknowledged without question as the owner of the soil, the cultivator occupying it under unvarying conditions, the governors receiving assignments of the revenue of large areas in payment for their services in administration. Proprietary right, as we English understand it, never existed. The land was national property, the nation being represented by the sovereign. Sir Stamford Raffles, aiter a very full investigation into the land tenures, writes: “Generally speaking, no property right in the soil is vested in anyone between the cultivator and the sovereign, the intermediate classes, who may at any time have enjoyed the revenues of villages or districts, being deemed the executive officers of government, who received these revenues as a giit from their lord, and who depended on his will alone for their tenure." Again, Herr Knops, one of the Dutch commissioners for the investigation of land tenures, writes: There is not a single Javan who supposes that the soil is the property of the regent, but they are all sensible that it belongs to the government, nominally called the sovereign arzong them. The Javan's idea of property is moditied by the three kinds of subjects to which it is applied--rice fields, Lagas, or fruit trees. A Javan has no rice field he can call his own. Those of which he had the use of last year will be exchanged next year for others. They circulate from one cultivator to another, and if any villager were excluded he would infallibly emigrate. It is different with the gagas, or lands where dry rice is cultivated. The cultivator who clears such laud from trees or brushwood and reclaims them from a wilderness considers himself to be a proprietor of the same. With revard to fruit trees, the Javan cultivator claims those he has planted as his legal property without any import. If a chief were to transgress against this right the village would be deserted.”
LANDS GRANTED IS FEE TO ENCOURAGE DEVELOPMENT. The oniy exceptions to the general rule, which excluded the idea of individual right in landed property, are to be found in the mountainous and wooded tracts occupied by the Sundas in the west of the island, where private property is established and the holder's interest is transferable. This right has doubtless arisen in these tracts from the necessity of offering superior inducements to the reclaimers of such lands to settle in those parts, and it may be compared to the rights acquired by ryots in India, who, under clearing grants, felled the dense forests of the Terai tracts.
TIIE LAND SYSTEM UNDER NATIVE RULERS.
The system of administration in Java under the native sovereigns was almost identical with that of Akbar in India. We have, under different titles, the same very complete division of the country into provinces, distriets, subdistricts, and villages. The headmen of the villages were, as in India, chosen by the villagers themselves. The rulers of the subdistricts, districts, and provinces were appointed, and all hell office at the pleasure of those who nominated them. With their duties as revenue collectors they combined the oflices of criminal and civil judges, being assisted by the Mussulman law officer and a legal counselor, who was the expounder of local customs which regulated much the dispensing of justice. The parallel between the Javan and Indian system is curiously exaet.
THE DUTCH FOLLOWED NATIVE CUSTOMS.
When the Dutch had made good their footing in the island they made no attempt to undertake its government. So far as the natives were concerned they left them and their management entirely to their native rulers. Their policy was entirely commercial and avowedly selfish. They insisted on certain articles of commerce being kept close monopolies for themselves; they demanded from each district å forced contingent of rice, leaving the tumangungs (or regents) to levy it from the villages in what manner they pleased; they compelled the regents to supply whatever labor they required for their public works, and after they had started the coffee plantations they required the regents to see that every cultivator planted, nurtured, and plucked a certain number of coffee trees; they required that the services of 32,000 families should be placed at their disposal for the felling of timber in the government forests, and in other ways they endeavored to bleed the country for their own benefit without attempting to give it anything in return. During this period, therefore, the unhappy country had not only to endure the ills which were indigenous, but it had in addition to suffer the oppression consequent on the presence of a foreign power, which insisted on the native rulers extorting produce and forced services from the people for their white masters as well as for themselves.
Sir Stamford Raffles, who commanded in Java during British occupation, had not been long in Java before he determined on a complete change of system. The Dutch monopolies were abandoned; freedom of cultivation was established; the forced deliveries of rice was stopped; all tolls on inland trade were abolished, and taxes on coasting trade removed; the port dues were equalized and their collection taken out of the hands of the Chinese.
Raffles then proceeded to reform the land tenures by excluding, as much as possible, the higher class of natives from any connection with the soil, by leasing the lands direct to the cultivator. During the Dutch rule the native regents would farm out the land revenues to demangs, and the demangs would sublet to bukals. Raffles forbade such leases, and reduced the regents and their subordinates to mere collectors of revenue. Village rent rolls were prepared, and the native collectors had to collect and account in accordance with these. The cultivators were given leases for three years, and it was clearly the intention of Rafles to introduce the ryotwari system of India, and to make the cultivators practically proprietors of their lands. To compensate native officials for their loss of income under these changes, Raffles provided them with handsome salaries and maintained their rank.
It was Raitles's intention, as soon as his temporary settlement had expired, to confer on the cultivators the full proprietary right in their holdings, involving the terribly doubtful privilege of alienating their fields and the disastrous liability to be sold up, either by their civil creditors or by the revenue authorities for default. By the return of the island to Dutch rule the Javans have escaped that fatal gift of absolute proprietary right which has been the ruin of so many tens of thousands of our peasantry in India, and with which, while striving to bless, we have so effectually cursed the soil of India.
DUTCH METHODS IN JAVA COMPARED WITH ENGLISH METHODS IN INDIA.
It is not too much to say that the loss of all the many benefits which undoubtedly would have been conferred on Java bythesubstitution of English for Dutch rule is not too high a price to have paid for escape from the many evils of unrestrained power to alienate landed property. Under their present government the Javans, according to our English ideas, ought to be the most miserable people. That they are not so, but that, on the contrary, they are the most prosperous of Oriental peasantry, is mainly due to one cause, the inability of the Javan to raise one single florin on the security of his fields, and the protection thus enjoyed by him against the money lender and against himself. Nature is bountiful in Java, and undoubtedly the abundant fertility of the soil enables the Javan to stand up under many ills to which he is subject. But were her fecundity doubled, were she to pour her gifts as from a cornucopia into his lap, nothing would ultimately save him from the money lender and from consequent eviction from his fields and his home if he were able to pledge the one or the other as security for an advance.
From the slight sketch of Java and its institutions which has been given it will have been seen how different are the methods of government adopted by Holland and England in their administration of their Oriental possessions. We strive our very best to rule India in the interest of the native population. The Dutch do not profess to study the well-being of their Javan subjects, save as an object secondary to their own advantage. England expends the whole of her enormous revenue in India, and sends not a rupee westward, save for goods purchased, while Holland receives ordinarily from Java as pure tribute more than one-third of her colony's income.
We lay ourselves out to give every Indian who cares to come forward for it what is practically a free education right up to the universities which we have established, and still continue to establish, all over India. Holland of set purpose keeps its Eastern subjects as stupid and ignorant as is possible. We are scrupulously exact in all our dealings with the natives, insisting on a full wage being paid for all work done and checking by all the means in our power the tendency on the part of all natives in authority to compel labor, while the Dutch have no hesitation in utilizing to the full this tendency, and practically draw from this source a large portion of their revenue. The English protect all rights in land, however shadowy they may be, and confer others. The Dutch admit no such rights, and studiously avoid the introduction of the proprietary principle. We persist in impressing on the native mind that the Western and the Oriental, the heir of Europe's civilization and successor to Eastern conservatism, are all equal and equally fitted for and capable of understanding and of profiting by those social institutions and forms of government to which we ourselves are so attached. The Dutch frankly deny the equality, and ridicule the notion that all the world should be ruled on the same principle.
To the Anglo-Indian visiting Java and viewing these great differences it is somewhat humiliating to feel that the Dutch have most unquestionably, in one point at any rate, succeeded where we have partially failed. Conscious of the absolutely upright intentions of his own Government, and convinced that it is the first wish of every English official connected with the administration that all classes should share in the blessings which should flow from its benevolent measures, he is startled to find the great mass of agriculturists in Java manifestly in a far better material condition than our own ryots. This is unquestionably the case, and the fact undoubtedly proves that our treatment of the great questions relating to land tenures, which a hundred years ago were partly similar to those which have from time to time arisen in Java, have not been dealt with in the manner best calculated to secure the happiness of the people. The denationalization of the land, which from the time of Lord Cornwallis till the present day has been more and more completely effected, has resulted in the aggrandizement of a class of wealthy landlords and middlemen at the expense of the cultivator of the soil, and we have surrendered that splendid position as owners of the land which enables the Dutch to appropriate for State purposes the whole rental of the country and to insure that that rental shall always be so moderate in amount as to enable the peasant to pass his days in comfort and without care. Doubtless Holland would do well to treat her rich dependency in a more generous, more unselfish spirit, and in many points she could undoubtedly take lessons from England; but the impartial student of the economics of the Eastern possessions of the two countries will certainly come also to the conclusion that India has much to learn from Java.
Regarding the system of the permanent retention of land ownership by the Government, it may be said that its retention in communities where the system has always prevailed is commended by many students of colonial methods, for two reasons: First, that it furnishes a simple and readily accepted method of raising revenue; second, that the experience of the British in those parts of India where the soil has been transferred to the native, with power of mortgage and transfer, is that the land, in a large proportion of cases, soon passes into the possession of the money lenders.
CONTROL OF THE LAND BY CHARTERED COMPANIES.
This system, as is shown elsewhere, is a revival in recent years of methods adopted, tested, and abandoned in the early part of last century. Under it great companies are given control of large undeveloped territories, the control extending to the right of development of lands, forests, mines, highways, the construction of roads and railways and canals, the sale or lease of lands, the establishment and