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is given of the perpetual mutability of the component members of the Fund. Still, as regards actual casualties by death, the general yearly per centage of all ages is not so fearful-2.6 per cent. being the average ratio of mortality.
Mr. Neison next proceeds to examine into the law of mor. tality, affecting ladies in India, the wives of the Bengal officers. Mr. Davies, from the small number of data afforded him, had over-stated their chances of living; and had, in fact, assumed, that the widows had exhibited a more enduring tenaciousness of life, than falls to the lot of ladies even, who had never been fated to leave their native home in Europe. This was evidently erroneous; and had been pointed out by the Registrar General's department in England at the time. There is no doubt, as bas been shewn in the work under notice, that residence in India is much more congenial to female European constitutions than to those of males; and this, as Mr. Neison remarks, may be accounted for by the less varied and more simple habits of female residents in India. But the difference is remarkable, and is not sufficiently explained by the influence of military duties peculiar to the males, and their greater exposure to the climate ; for the vicissitudes connected with these circumstances, the residence at unfavourable stations, the movements from place to place, and other inconveniences, are often shared in full measure by the females.
Mr. Neison however finally states that the widows of the Military Fund shew no very marked difference from the rate of mortality of the female population of England; and our readers of the gentler sex, if we may fortunately be favoured with any, may congratulate themselves with the consoling reflection, that, although in our land of heat and musquitoes they may not have the robust health or roseate hue of their fair sisterhood in Europe, they are still comparatively spared by the climate, as regards life itself, and may live eventually to return, and compete with the fairest and healthiest of their cotemporaries in the land of their birth.
Having established thus two grand points in his examination of Mr. Griffith Davies's Report; viz., the greater duration of life in the male contributors to the Military Fund, and that their widows, when brought upon the Fund, do not live longer than other widows in England, and consequently are not so long in the receipt of annuities as determined by Mr. Davies-Mr. Neison proves that the receipts of the Fund from living contributors are more, and its payments to their annuitants less, than had been alarmingly put forth in the former Report. And farther, by some additional results in his investigation, he clearly arrives at the satisfactory conclusion, that, instead of the Fund being forty-three lakhs in debt, it is only about ten lakhs deficient, with ample elasticity in its own resources to meet the deficit, without either increasing the subscriptions of its members, or, what was far more important, reducing the pensions of its widows.
On the arrival of the Report in India, it was submitted to Captain Hannyngton, who had devoted much time to research into questions affecting the law of mortality for British officers in India. Captain Hannyngton, we are happy to find, at once pronounced it an able and elaborate Report; though his own investigations of the state of the Military Fund led him to believe, that one or two important elements of calculation had not been sufficiently allowed for by Mr. Neison. In consequence of the change of currency in use for the payment of troops, there had been considerable variation in the value of the rupee from time to time. When the Military Widows' Fund, on which the present Military Fund was based, was first instituted, the rupee was valued at 2s. 6d.; and the scale of contributions and of the pensions to widows was framed accordingly. But when the various coins in circulation in British India became consolidated in the Company's rupee-which contains only 165 grains of standard silver, and is actually equivalent only to two shillings of English money, and when the subscriptions to the Fund in India became payable only in the Company's rupeeit was found that the payments to widows in Europe of the original pensions, at the former exchange of 2s. 6d., entailed a heavy loss, or increase of expense to the institution. This was attempted to be met by the Honourable Court of Directors agreeing to pay the English pensions and other benefits of the Fund at a fixed rate of exchange, at a better rate than 28. per rupee. Still, as Captain Hannyngton has clearly shewn, the Fund nevertheless loses largely under the present arrangement. He affirms that the total value of the loss to the institution cannot be estimated at less than ten lakhs of rupees, from the total value of its assets and capital.
Mr. Neison, on being furnished with Captain Hannyngton's observations, admits the loss to the Fund, but is not prepared, on the present information, to fix it at any definite sum. Captain Hannyngton farther had some apprehensions, that, in framing the law of mortality from the records at the India House, Mr. Neison had not been sufficiently furnished with correct informa
tion in regard to a large class of retiring officers, and others, whose names had been discontinued from the lists in India, and that, many of these names being inaccurately continued in Mr. Neison's tables, the results must have been in some degree vitiated. Mr. Neison has since satisfactorily proved, that he had only availed himself of such names, as he could accurately trace during their entire career on the books at the India House; and that the final tables, which he has prepared, are free from the objections, which Captain Hannyngton bad, with some apparent reason, suggested. We are glad of this subsequent little discussion, as it has tended in our minds to raise the value of Mr. Neison's Report, and establishes that his declared opinions, in regard to the solvency of the Military Fund, are the more worthy of full confidence.
Mr. Neison, we hear, in a paper recently prepared on this subject, has shewn, moreover, that the Fund possess many important sources of increasing capital. In the valuation, which he has given, of the donations and contributions of the married members, he had only determined the value of their contributions during the joint lives of the member and his wife; but he had not taken into calculation the reversionary subscription payable to the Fund by the member, should he survive the wife, and which, by the rules of the Fund, he must then continue as an unmarried member. Mr. Neison has exhibited the importance of this hitherto overlooked element in the assets of the Fund, and states that the present value of the future donations and monthly subscriptions of the widowers, who may thus have to continue their support, exhibits an increase in favour of the Fund of no less a sum than Rs. 6,79,846. He also adduces some other sources of hitherto unexhibited profit to the institution, and proves that, in addition to the sum of Rs. 1,03,92,918, which he gave as the total assets of the Fund, on the 1st January, 1848, it may take credit altogether for Rs. 8,70,763-6 more, thus leaving the total assets at the date mentioned at Rs. 1,12,63,681, or within the sum of two lakhs only of the then stated entire liabilities.
Having thus detailed a few of the leading features of Mr. Neison's Report, it may not be uninteresting to many of our general readers to describe the Military Fund itself, the noblest, and probably the best extant, of all known charitable and mutual insurance institutions. It is, however, one only of several, of nearly equal importance, supported by the Indian Army. The Presidencies of Madras and Bombay have their separate Military Funds, conducted on the same principles, for the benefit of widows-and, in these Presidencies, embracing also provision for the orphans of their brother officers. In Bengal, the Orphan branch is managed by a separate institution, under a distinct set of laws and regulations, and provides for nearly 700* children of the deceased officers of the Honourable Company's Army.
The following exhibits a comparative statement of the pen. sions to widows of the three Presidencies, as granted by their respective Military Funds :
We also give below a comparative statement of the benefits granted by the three Presidencies to orphan children. In Bengal, the benefits are granted, as before stated, by the separate orphan institution, the head quarters of which are at
• In June last the numbers were, in England, 455 ; in India, 206. Total 661.
Kidderpore, near Calcutta ; but, at the other two Presidencies,* the orphan branches are component parts of the Military Funds of each :
* We subjoin statements of the present affairs of the Bombay Military Fuud. We have not before us a similar detail of the affairs of the Madras Fund; but have reason to believe that both Funds are admirably attended to.
State of the Bombay Military Fund, 1st May, 1848.
Amount Funded, 1st *57 Lt. Colonels.
36,73,489 15 8 413,267 12 5 15 Members of Medi- Received in 1847-8 to cal Board. 30th April
6,65,970 2 11 74,921 12 11 82 Majors. 14 Chaplains above
Total, Rs... 43,39,46C 27 £488,189 5 4 10 years. 9 Superintending Expenditure.
Surgeons. Income Allowance.... 12,812 211 = 1,441 7 5 289 Captains. Home Passages.. 57,817 12 5= 6,504 10 0 2 Chaplains under Outward Passages. 1,474 8 10= 165 17 7 10 years.
* Passage Money Loan 11,013 5 4 = 1,239 0 0 21 Asst. Chaplains. Equipment Allowance 18,925 05 2,129 1 3 59 Surgeons.
Annuities to Widows 448 Lieutenants.
2,96,122 3 9= 33,313 15 4 125 Asst. Surgeons. +On Loan
59,469 00= 6,689 5 0 8 Veterinary Sur-MiscellaneousCharges 24,879 13 5= 2,798 197 geons.
Secretary's Establish239 2d Lieuts. Cornets
5,739 00= 645 12 8 and Ensigns.
Expended 1st May 1,402 Members.
1847, to 30th April
4,88,243 15 15 54,927 810 533 Married.
Widowers with Funded 1st May 1848. 38,51,216 2 7 = 433,261 16 6
offspring 837 Unmarried.
Grand Tutal, Rs... 43,39,460 1 8 = 488,189 5 4 1,402
Funded...... 38,51,216 217 433,261 16 6 *11,013 5 4
1,239 0 0 Rupees. £
+59,460 0 0 6,689 50 1847 1st May 36,73,489 413,267 Grand Total of Fund.. 39,21,689 711111= 441,180 11 6
1848 1st May 38,51,216 433,261
III !!! ll lll
Increase. 1,17,727 19,994
Surplus of year
• Including the Bishop of Bombay who subscribed as a chaplain.