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nal data applicable to widows is that obtained by Mr. Davies from a record of 500 widows on the Bengal Military Fund, which he employs in testing the condition of that fund, and also of the Civil Fund; while Mr. Neison declares that for all practical purposes, the mortality of the widows on the Indian funds may be considered identical with that of the female population of England and Wales from 10 and upwards, as exhibited on page 5 of "Contributions to Vital Statistics."
The following table then sufficiently explains itself. With exception of column b all the results are obtained from the adjusted tables of decrements:
Female No- Widows and Widows
minees & In-Daughters con- on the Ben
cumbents onnected with the 'gal Milita- England &
Ages. the Uncove-Madras Military ry Fund.
It is to be observed. that the ladies on the Civil and Military Funds are nearly all, or at any rate the vast majority of them, Europeans, while as before remarked those on the Uncovenanted Fund, are chiefly East Indians. There can be no doubt that the increased mortality, especially at the younger ages which obtains amongst the latter class, is attributable almost en
tirely to the system of early marriages so common amongst the Eurasian community. Long before an English girl has left school, these sunburnt fair ones appear to lavish their
true bloom and health
And bridal beauty
on the fortunate and not less precocious objects of their choice. All the cares of maternity devolve on girls of 15 and 16, and in many cases ere attaining the age of 19 and 20 they are surrounded by a numerous offspring. But the fatal consequences of this passionate precipitancy, are disclosed by the inexorable figures in the preceding abstracts, and we are assured that the excessive disparity between column b, and the succeeding columns, in the last table, is wholly due to this cause, or rather to the exhaustion consequent on repeated accouchements at such an early period of life. The influence of such mothers on the moral and intellectual development of their children, must either be nil, or of a very prejudicial character.
Upon the whole, we are inclined to conclude that the data now submitted may be fairly received, as a guide to the mortality amongst the better class of East Indian females; but we are of opinion that Mr. Davies in the above table, column c, has somewhat understated, especially at the early ages, the mortality amongst European married women resident in this country. It is notorious to all who have lived in India that ladies suffer terribly from the climate, and that many of them sink under it.
ART. IX.-1. Madras Irrigation Company's Prospectus. 1858.
Ir those words of grace that wound up the Queen's Proclamation with a promise of material benefits to India, are to be more substantial than the cheer with which they were received, it is very evident that the progress of Public Works must, somehow or other, be made independent of the varying financial necessities of the State. The history of their progress now is that of a tidal fluctuation, not of a flowing stream. When all means needful for rapid execution have been organised, and are partially at work, suddenly there comes an order to reduce expenditure, to dismiss establishments, and to break up all the laboriously formed mechanism of active progress. The excuse is a stern necessity, the great source of capital having shewn symptoms of exhaustion, and the present State of the finances being the unanswerable reason for stopping the supplies. So long therefore as the development of Public Works is, so to speak, a function of the State Revenues directly, so long must it ebb as they ebb and flow as they flow. Such a life of dependence is neither happy nor healthy for the country; its march must be unsteady, and the costs of such intermittent progress as it makes are enormously enhanced. Neither largeness of plan nor vigour of execution is possible, while over every design there hangs, like a sword of Damocles, the ever possible decree that the Government Treasury has reached its limits and can no more.
Nor is it clear why Public Works destined to benefit generations of men yet unborn, should be paid for wholly by the generation that exists, as is the result of executing work on current revenues. The truth is that in many cases the men who, under such a system, pay for the works, are not unfrequently those who derive the minimum benefit from them. There are comparatively few remunerative projects that spring at once into profitable existence. In most cases there is the period of expectation more or less protracted, which precedes that of fruition, and even when partial benefits are enjoyed during the former stage, profit is progressive, and the children of men who saw the works commenced are more likely to reap the full harvest of results than their fathers. Most notably is this the case in works designed to break the slavish dependence of agriculture on varying and uncertain seasons. We place but scanty confidence in those assurances, which from time to time we receive of irrigation projects returning such and such profit, after a few years of active existence. If they are true, they are to be deplored as indicating a system of revenue exaction pitiable to think of. We be
lieve, however, that they are not true, but are the results of erroneous methods of estimating results, and only one example the more of the fallacy of figures. We believe that, while the development of the benefits from such works under ordinary conditions is as surely progressive as the fall of a stone or the flow of a stream, its earlier stages when healthy are slow, and its highest benefits are the heritage of the future rather than the enjoyment of the pre
At whatever point in time, however, the remunerative returns may be arrived at, no one questions the fact that the works from which they are to be derived are certain to benefit future generations, and therefore these generations ought fairly to pay their share of the cost of executing them. This can only be done by borrowing the needful capital, either in the form of a direct loan to Government, or more indirectly, but essentially in the same way, by permitting the investment of private capital in such works on terms agreeable to its proprietors. These courses are each, not necessarily but practically, connected with special methods of working, on the principles of which we have a few preliminary words to say.
When the State opens a Public Works loạn, and applies its proceeds in accordance with its objects, the entire machinery of execution is a Governmental one, construction and supervision alike being entrusted to officers, the servants of the State. When on the other hand the State prefers using private capital supplied by Companies, the functions of construction and supervision are disunited, the former being exercised by the servants of the Company, the latter by those of the State. This division has become an established one, and is not likely to be departed from. Now it is a delicate and doubtless difficult problem to determine under what circumstances, and to what classes of works, each system may most beneficially be applied.
Men trained amid purely English associations will settle the question very summarily, by recognising no exceptions to the principle that where private enterprise can possibly have play, the action of Governments is out of place, and they will support their views by many bright examples of what the one force has done, and many dark ones of what the other has failed to do. But the question does not admit of being reduced to purely English equivalents, and for simple reasons. When a community is formed of one race, moved by one spirit, governed by one law, living under customs known to all alike, being, in a word, morally, socially and politically homogenous in its.structure, there probably the best course the executive Government can pursue is, to exercise the least possible interference with the play of private enterprise, and to content itself with removing obstacles from its path
as they present themselves, and so helping it cheerily on its course. Materially different however are the conditions in a society utterly heterogenous in all its constituent parts, incapable of combination, suspicious of interference, full of elements of disturbance and impatient of change, though change be improvement. There the governing authority cannot be content only to reign, but it must also govern actively even within the domain of private enterprise. A far more careful and constant interference in all details is called for, by reason of the far greater range of differences within the community, and the multiplied risks of dangerous collisions thereby created. England may fairly be taken as the type of those communities, in which the best policy of the Government is to interfere only to facilitate; India, of those in which Government must interfere not only to facilitate but to protect, to see that the strong do not injure the weak, that the enlightened do not over-reach the ignorant, that the vigorous energy and impulsive force of the West do not utterly override the passive spirit of the East.
From these considerations, which it is needless to amplify, we get a glimpse of a guiding principle in classifying Public Works on the basis of the facility with which they may be entrusted to private agency. That facility seems to us to be in direct proportion to their non-interference with the interests, customs, feelings and prejudices of the native community which will be affected by them. It is not to be supposed that such interference is regarded by us as a bar to the use of the associative principle, but only that its extent determines and regulates the degree in which the Government is bound to exercise its controlling power.
Our meaning will perhaps be made most clear, by applying the above to special instances. Heretofore private enterprise in Public Works has been limited in its operation, exclusively almost, to the carrying trade of the country, as represented by Railway Companies. Acting simply as public carriers these associations have the most limited possible relations with the native community, and so far as it is concerned they call for a minimum of Government interference. But Irrigation Companies, commanding the water supplies of large tracts of country, must come directly and most intimately in contact with the native agricultural community on, it may almost be said, every day of the year, and in ways that affect the most cherished interests, customs and feelings of the people. There is therefore only the faintest possible analogy between the positions of carrying and Irrigating Companies, in their relations to the native community, and while the one can go on with its works satisfactorily with very little supervision on the part