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whether the future development of India will be best effected by the direct action of Governmeat, or by the encouragement of private enterprise.
It is now admitted on all hands that to confine the execution of public works to the limit of the available surplus of current revenue must be to retard the improvement of the country, and postpone to an indefinite date the execution of numerous works, which would be at once largely remunerative. The aid of private capital is therefore admitted to be necessary. But the question whether this should be raised by public loans to supplement the revenues of the State, and be applied through the operation of the Public Works Department, or whether many of the works should be handed over to private enterprise, has lately been much discussed. On the one hand, a plan has been laid before the Government, drawn up by the Chief Engineer, for the execution of works to be at once undertaken on capital raised by public loans; on the other, it is urged that the system adopted for the construction of the railways, through Companies having a moderate dividend guaranteed by the State, is the sound one, and should be extended to other works. The recent publication, by authority, of a statement showing the large returns realised from works of irrigation in the Madras Presidency, has revived this discussion. The advantage of personal interest over official action is insisted on on the one side, while on the other it is observed that there is no occasion to give away the profits which belong to the State, and which the return proves the Government to be perfectly able to realise. A private Company with a guaranteed dividend involves, it is said, a sacrifice of State property without securing the energy of private enterprise.
We believe that the last remark is true. But there is a middle course which we feel sure is in this case the right one. There are in India a vast number of works, which the Government alone can undertake, because they are not sufficiently remunerative to tempt private enterprise. They are spread over the whole country, and the largest army of Engineers which the Government could collect and superintend, would be amply employed on these works alone. It will only be when civilisation has extended much farther than at present, and the people have made some advance in self-government, that the Government will be able to divest itself of the charge of the thousands of miles of road, the hundreds of mountain passes, and the countless bridges necessary towards the first stage of improvement; all of these are works which will amply remunerate the State, but offer no temptation to private capitalists. It must then be
important important to relieve the Government from such works as private Companies are willing to undertake, and these are only such as promise profits both certain and large. It is, therefore, an important question, whether these may not be offered to private enterprise in such a way as neither to detract from the energy of self-interest, nor to squander heedlessly the resources of the State.
It is only the guarantee of a certain profit, independent of the success of the project, that is said to have the effect of weakening the motives to exertion and economy. But such a guarantee is not a necessary part of the arrangement. If private persons, persuaded of the certainty of profit, are willing to undertake works at their own risk, it is surely wise to call their energy into play. It is then only necessary to provide against undue prodigality in making over the resources of the State to private individuals. A provision that, after the works have yielded an ample return for the enterprise and capital of the Company, the surplus profits shall be the property of the State, effectually obtains this object.
This plan has been already adopted in one instance, and we hope that its success may be such as to encourage its extension throughout India. The Madras Irrigation and Canal Company was formed on the principle of a State guarantee; but the East India Irrigation Company was started under the same direction, without any guarantee. The Company raised its capital on the faith of the subscribers in the profitable nature of the works undertaken. In making over to them an extensive series of works, extending from Cuttack to Calcutta, it has been provided that when the profits from irrigation exceed 25 per cent., the surplus shall be equally divided between the State and the Company. The profits of navigation are left to the Company alone. The works of this Company are already far advanced. An able staff of engineers is employed under the Board of Directors, and a million sterling of English capital is reaching the labouring classes of India, for in works of this nature nearly the whole of the capital is spent in India itself. In regard to railways, the bulk of the expenditure is incurred in the purchase and freight of foreign materials, whereas in the case of canals, nearly the whole is expended in India and among the poorer classes. It is much to be hoped that the result of these works may shortly be such as to encourage other similar enterprises, and we feel sure that India affords an ample field for them as well as for the most energetic action on the part of the Government.
There are still other grounds which render this course of action by private enterprise highly desirable. One of the greatest
dangers dangers of despotic government is excessive centralisation, and this has already proved one of the evils of our Indian Government. One of the greatest difficulties of our rule arises from the slowness of the people to take a part in their own government. Now every Company places before them an example of representative government; it is, as it were, a working model of our constitution. Even if larger profits could be secured to the State by a Central Department absorbing all the remunerative works of the country, we believe that the profits would be dearly purchased at the cost of suppressing all spontaneous enterprise on the part of the people. Admitting that the investment of the surplus capital of the country in the Government loans is a great safeguard to the State, we believe that the investment of such capital in works, the profit of which depends upon local tranquillity, is a greater safeguard still.
To return from this digression. We believe that the connexion between India and England has already conferred the greatest benefits on both countries, and is full of even richer promise for the future. We have spoken in this article chiefly of material progress, but there are many indications that before long the intellectual and moral progress of that wonderful country will be still more striking. But of the future of India who shall presume to speak? What parallel of history shall we endeavour to draw? To what examples shall we look ? From what analogies shall we draw our inferences? And even if the history of the world afforded any parallel in other respects, there is still one element in the modern instance which must be wanting in the ancient. Even if history told us that, in every instance of conquest, the disruption of the nations was always certain and always violent; still, who can say how far the introduction of the Christian religion into the question must destroy the comparison ? and how infinitely greater is the likelihood of the adoption of Christianity by the natives of India, if they feel that the rule of the professors of Christianity, though firm, is not harsh and mechanical and over-centralised, but mild and sympathetic, as (for insta.ce) it is in the Punjab at this moment. To recur once more to the opinions of the sagacious French author mentioned at the commencement of this article, 'Le grand but à poursuivre dans l'Inde est bien de répandre dans ce pays les bienfaits de la civilisation Chrétienne.'
ART. VIII.–1. Papers relating to the Affairs of Jamaica.
Presented to both Houses of Parliament by command of
Her Majesty. February, 1866. 2. Papers relating to the Disturbances in Jamaica. Presented to
both Houses of Parliament by command of Her Majesty.
Parts I., II., III. February, 1866. 3. Report of the Jamaica Royal Commission, 1866. Presented
to both Houses of Parliament by command of Her Majesty. Parts I. and II. F any moralist or preacher desired to inculcate the lesson that
committed were liable to repeated visitations of Divine retribution, he could not adduce a more appropriate instance than that of Jamaica. The most beautiful, and nearly the most fertile of the Antilles, this island has, from the days of its earliest settlement, witnessed the repetition of strife, jealousy, and tumult. It would seem as if the reckless cruelty of its Spanish masters had subjected their successors to the vengeance of Heaven for the extirpation of the people whom they first deprived of their possessions and then of their lives. The substitution of the Negro for the Carib population has caused most of the conflicts and disturbances by which Jamaica has been so pre-eminently distinguished. From the time that the negroes began to constitute any considerable portion of the inhabitants, they have, at recurring intervals, convulsed the colony with their actual or apprehended risings. When the depression of the West India interest and the development of other colonies diverted the attention of European observers from Jamaica, the relations of the white and black races still continued to impress their distirctive mark on the local politics of the island. Though they failed to attract observation in England, they were as important and as exciting as ever in their own sphere. Nor can any society offer more striking points for reflection than a community composed of Africans and Europeans, the former to the latter in the proportion of more than thirty to one. On one side are the few representatives of the dominant race, with the pride and prejudices natural to ancient masterdom; on the other side are the myriads of alien race and blood, the representatives of former bondsmen,-men without an ancestry, without a history, and almost without traditions-raised as it were in a moment to the dignity of freedom and the enjoyment of equal civil rights. To suppose that, without some controlling and constraining power the two peoples can live together in unbroken harmony and mutual good will, is to suppose a thing wholly inconsistent with experience. Whenever any two populations of different bloods are brought into close and enduring contact, the feeling of race is sure to be engendered in each. Jealousy, contempt, or resentment, or suspicion, in greater or less degrees, characterises their mutual intercourse. This feeling shows itself in those towns of England where English and Welsh dwell in close proximity; and more strongly in those suburbs which are inhabited by English and Irish families. It shows itself, too, where Neapolitans and Piedmontese or Walloons and Flemings live close together. In all these cases there are national peculiarities of character and sentiment which provoke conflict and collision. As time goes on, if the two nations are not fused by intermarriage, their respective peculiarities assume a more offensive aspect, and the mutual jealousy or repulsion gains strength with each successive generation.
If this condition of things exists amongst peoples which, although derived from different stocks, have yet for centuries lived under the same government and spoken the same tongue, it naturally exists in a fuller degree among peoples which belong, not only to different races, but to races widely different in type, and which, till within a brief period, have only been known to each other in the relation of proprietor and chattel. All the differences which separate the Englishman from the Irishman or the Frenchman, are as nothing to the differences which separate all Europeans from all Negroes. It is not only dissimilarity of type, but dissimilarity of type intensified and exaggerated by entire dissimilarity of colour ; and both these in their turn made more significant by the contrast between past slavery and present freedom. Let any one imagine two such populations, with such traditions, growing up together in one island : the Englishmen with their pride of country, their general contempt of all alien people, and a special contempt for people of colour ; the Africans, with no recollection of the country of their sires, with no traditions beyond a few superstitious myths, with no civilisation brought from Africa, and only a semblance of civilisation picked up in Jamaica ; with an imperfect knowledge of the English tongue, and a more imperfect imitation of English manners; with a consciousness, too, of their own increasing numbers, and the decreasing numbers of those who were once their masters, and with a self-conceit which no amount of censure can rebuke, and no amount of ridicule shame down; let any one imagine these two classes living side by side, the one multiplying rapidly, the other stationary or diminishing; and but a slight knowledge of human nature is sufficient to demonstrate the general results of such a juxtaposition, Nor, in estimating these, should we omit to consider a third element,