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CALCUTTA MONTHLY JOURNAL...
RELIEF TO SUFFERERS OF THE UPPER PROVINCES.
teract those periodical famines that visit the country. But as wealth accumulates and the right of property per provinces, and are now alministering very extensive becomes more fixed and definite, agriculture will improve, relief in all quarters, At Agra, upwards of 25,000 peo- and the country be, to a great extent, preserved against ple are employed; at Futtehgarh and Cawnpore a the calamitous consequences of such seasons as the pres nearly equal number, and at other stations proportionate sent. This improvement is not indeed advancing with bodies. To so great an extent does this aid operate, very arpid strides ; but, while it is slowly, if imperceptibly that, in one district (Futtehgarh), we learn distress has approaching, much may be done by Government towards almost entirely disappeared, and it is perceptibly dimi- the same end,-we mean towards alleviating the distress nishing in others. This extensive relief as far as we caused by these failures. One important means for learn, is intended to-be continued as long as it may be effecting this is even now being resorted to-we mean a required, or until the means of Government are exhaust-reduction of the revenue, but whether to a sufficient ex ed. To supply the latter, there is, we understand, a tent, or not, is very doubtful. Adam Smith and the crore of rupees available, all of which Government are Economists lay it down as a rule, that on the proportion prepared to disburse, if necessary." In addition to between the produce required to replace capital and these exertions there have been advances made to the revenue depends the general character of the inhabitants resident agricultural classes, and a discriminative remis-of a country as to industry or idleness. When the former sion of revenue. Had, however, even a part of this ex-is considerable and bears a large proportion to the latter, tensive liberality been exhibited in the proper time, at the funds for the employment or maintenance of produc the time we urged it, the aspect of the country would ive labour are abundant, such as we see in England and have been far different from what it is, and an earlier all rich countries. Here, on the contrary, the produce termination to the distress in all probability been provid-required for revenue, bears an enormous proportion to ed for, than we can now look forward to. Had Go- that required to replace capital, and the consequence is, vernment afforded assistance to the agricultural classes that there are not sufficient means for the employment in November and December, to enable them to sow of productive labour-the immediate cause of the present their lands and irrigate, much and lasting misery would general destitution. There is no want of food but a have been prevented. By the late application of relief want of money to purchase it, and this from the scarcity we have not only more misery to aid, but our assistance of employment, is beyond the command of the poor. To does not in any way tend to put an end to it, which aid reduce the large proportion revenue bear to the produce earlier afforded would have done. Had we assisted the required to replace capital, is one of those direct measures cultivators of the affected districts at the commencement that can alone prevent, extentively, the disastrous of the season, the increase of produce, consequently, on effects of such seasons as those seasons which we know recur the rubee crop would have materially ameliorated the frequently. The produce required to replace capital condition of the country. But as we have managed, is beyond all proportion small, and must be so as long the very liberal aid we afford produces no effect beyond as the demands of Government absorb nearly the whole the day tirat passes over us; it operates in no way to- of it. Such a system carries with it heavy and unceaswards abridging the duration of famine, which nowing depression-it found the country poor at first and entirely depends on the late or early setting in of the keeps it so; and, unless Government are prepared to rains. To that alone must we now look for effectual make a present sacrifice of revenue, the distress around us relief, and if it be late, the dead weight of feeding a will recur, in the same intensity with the recurrence of whole people must prove unequal even to Government. similar seasons, till time shall be no more. The charity of Let all, then, look with confidence to their early appear- Government will be called for again, and again be granted, ance, and in that spirit subscribe liberally towards pre- and the country having" got over" the famine, will be serving the population through the intermediate period. in the same state it was before or perhaps worse. Better revenue even by the amount of such charity, for small than such charity were Government to reduce their as it would be, it woul, at least, generate slowly a better order of things; while the elemosynary aid granted under the present system, is just sufficient to the day thereof. The new settlement now in progress, will, no doubt, materially improve the condition of the country;
Government appears, at length, to have taken into their
most serious consideration the distressed state of the u
We have, as we said above, allowed the proper period to pass, when relief would have produced the greatest quantity of benefit-now an irretrievable error; but the question ought to impress Government with a sense of the imperative duty of considering row the country may, in future, be preserved from such afflicting visitations. In the present rude state of Indian agriculture, an untoward season must give rise to suffering more or less, and, until it is improved, we cannot effectually coun
* Report has it that there are three crores in the General Treasury, two of which are to be reserved for contingencies
† Not only does the amount of revenue operate against the non-employment of labour, but the universal belief that Government, even in untoward seasons, will exact the full amount of it, prevents the small capitalists from expending even a little of their funds in extra irregation: liberality alone will dissipate
but Government ought to view the present national cause a lower price of grain. We have our volumes of calamity, in connexion with the revenue remissions Smith, Ricardo, Malthus, and others, and yet we mainthey are now making, if possible to increase them. No-tain that Government should have done so. The printhing but a diminution of it to some extent will save the ciples of these philosophers would not exactly have country from the retrogression it must constantly under-suited the state of society in Utopia or El Dorado; and go from untoward seasons. A second indirect cause of though this country does not differ so widely from the the quantity of unemployed labour in the country-the rest of the world, as these creations of the mind do, yet direct one of the distress-is a want of specie. A heavy we contend it does so sufficiently to affect the application drainage of coin has for some time taken place in the of many of the rules of political economy to it. Will the general mint for re-coinage, which Government have not following anecdote, selected from a thousand, not shew been sufficiently active in replacing, by sending the new this? We know a rich grain merchant who is now selissue by their steamers, and opening the up-country trea-ling wheat ten years old at thirty seers per rupee, and even suries, by granting drafts on them to parties drawing at that price reluctantly parts with it. Now this wheat against their Calcutta, consignments. This combined could not be sold at a remunerating price for, say, one with an actual scarcity of food-not however amounting rupee per seer, if we take into calculation the prime cost, to a dearth-will account for much of the immediate interest, damage, &c. &c. Yet this is the usual pracdistress. The attention, then, of Government should, in tice of the trade, and it is to such the Calcutta papers future, be more closely directed to preserving a due equi- talk of political economy. An English trader, for whom librium between specie and the traffic of the country, for the science was framed, would manage these things disturbed as it now appears to be, it aggravates the na- somewhat differently. Again, had Government themselves tural calamites of the seasons. To these and other artifi- imported grain in the commecement of the season they cial causes are clearly traceable, much of the misery would have reduced the price of it, increased the quannow visible, for there is no actual scarcity of food. A tity available for food, enabled consequently the zumeenwant of labour is the immediate cause, produced by the dars to support more of their cultivators, and, above combined operation of a too heavy revenue, want of pro-all, have proved to the country that they had its relief per confidence in Government, and scarcity of specie, as at heart-a feeling that would have inspired the villagers well, of course, by the almost total failure of the rain into making greater exertions, and sowing and irrigating crops. The former must be removed by Government, more ground than they have. The Calcutta cockneys and by their removal the country will be able to sustain, would, however, adhere to a science never intended for a with comparatively slight injury, the latter. people of whom they know nothing; and what has been the result? famine, death, disease, and crime to an apextent. But, vive la Science, come what palling
Our Calcutta friends, we see, persist in imputing "ignorance" as they call it, to the Mofussil papers, for holding that Government ought to have interfered to may.-Harkaru, April 3.
FURTHER PROCEEDINGS OF THE RELIEF FUND COMMITTEE.
In addition to the above Rs 200 have been forward ed to Culpee and 1,000 rupees to Kurnaul.
The following sums amounting to 40,000 rupees will
Calcutta, April 2, 1838.
Co.'s Rs 87,570 1 8 been read, it was resolved":
Relief Society, held at the house of G.J. Gordon, Esq., 5th March, 1838.
Present:-F. O. Wells, Esq., President in the chair, and Messrs. Gordon, Mansel, and Duncan, Rev. R. Chambers and Mr. Woollaston,
A statement of the accounts of the past month having
I. That as the daily average of starving paupers for the last month (February) was 3,800, involving a monthly expenditure of Co.'s Rs 2,483-12, and as this average during the present month is likely to be nearly doubled, with a prospect of future increase; and as the monthly subscription amounts only to Rs 770, with about Rs 3,000 at present in hand, an immediate and urgent appeal be made to the residents of Agra to increase their subscriptions, and that a statement of the funds of the society, and of this resolution, be printed and circulated to every station in this presidency not affected by the famine, as also to Madras and Bombay, requesting their assista nce in furtherance of the objects of the society, and urging speedy remittances; the subscriptions to be appropriated to the poor collected in the city of Agra, which contains one-seventh of the population of the entire district.
The Agra Relief Committee in making this appeal to the residents of other stations, are aware that there are
other parts of these provinces suffering almost to an equal extent with this district; but they deem it advisable to leave the residents of such stations to adopt their own measures, and make their own appeal to the charitable public; at the same time they beg to state, that they will be happy to be the medium of conveying
such parts in these provinces as the subscribers may direct.
II. That a copy be forwarded to Government, in furtherance of the resolution of the meeting of the 27th ultimo, to solicit them to afford the society monthly assistance for the next six months, to an extent equal to the fixed monthly subscription, or such portion as the Government may deem proper. It is evident, from the amount of the demands on the funds of the society, that without large and immediate assistance in the present distress, they must soon cease to supply relief to three-fourths of those who are now dependant on the Society for actual existence.
Statement of the number of Persons relieved by the Society, from 1st January to 30th Sept. 1837.
M, W. WOOLLASTON,
Blind, lame and infirm
Patients in hospital
Bank-1st Jan. 0 Balance in Agra
Rs. A. P. Statement of persons relieved, and cash erpended during the month of January 1838.
Total number of rations
To expense of fitting up the Work-house, &c. &c..
Balance in favour of the Fund, 30th September.
J. S. LOGIN, Secretary.
Total during month.
1. Paupers receiving bread, dall, &c. Blind, lame, &c. men, women and
2. Paupers receiving pice :
Total rations in Feb.
Daily average of people, 3,800 fed.
226 maunds Atta...... Wheat or ghee on 180 ditto Salt... 3 ditto 2 ditto 2 ditto
Total Co.'s Rs
Statement of persons relieved, and cash expended during dieghat, we shall probably need to retain the remainder the month of February 1838.
of that sum to supply our wants here; but we can, with the aid of Mr. R., distribute any sum you may entrust to us with a view to alleviate the pressure which weighs so heavily in these purgunnas, ere the forlorn class which, on account of their extreme misery, is excluded, because unable to work, from Government employment.
Agra, 1st March, 1838.
Number relieved. 1837.-Sept... 18,814 1838.-Jan..... 27,683 Feb... 1,06,388
Rs. As. P. important aid which has probably arrested in some ron. 636 13 8 siderable degree the downward course into which the entire population seemed at first to be rapidly falling, the private native benevolence has contributed, as I suppose, when their means and future prospects are 2 considered, with much liberality to aid their distressed countrymen; yet it must be obvious to even a cursory 9 observer, that ample scope remains for the intervention 0 of those, who, at a distance, can only in faint imagina0tion picture to themselves an outline of the sad reality.
68 10 10
I would wish to guard you from the mistake, suppos ing that the accompanying statement regarding the named purgunnas has any connexion with the immediate scene of operation, in which our committee are 4 engaged, as all which we have within regarding Cawnpore is separate and distinct from it. As we have thankfully acknowledged your intended donation of Rs 3,000 of which 500 has been transmitted to Mr. M. at Men
333 exert themselves as they would then have good grounds
Extract from a memorandum
enclosed in the Society's letter." The distress in the western part of the district amounts to actual famine. No rain, with the exception of a slight shower in June, has fallen in Bethoor and Rupoolabad since March last. The country has since that time been a barren waste. During July, August and September, the usual period of vegetation, 6 10 not a blade of grass even was produced. The cattle, scanty fed on the leaves of the trees, have died in hondreds. Villages become depopulated by famine and emigration, and at the present time immense tracts of arable land remain fallow, there being neither men onor cattle to cultivate the ground. Negatively relief
was afforded by withholding the Government claims for revenue, positively charitable aid, by employment on the Grand Trunk Road, and in the district of Furruckabad, to which many resorted, by employment on its
Rs. As. P. 684 14 1 492 14 0
M. W. WOOLLASTON,
Cash expended. Rs 568 3 11 985 15 4 2,483 12
Extract of a letter from the Relief Society, Cawn pore,-"Though, the Government has afforded a most
PROCEEDINGS OF THE LANDHOLDERS' SOCIETY.
At a meeting of the committee at the office of the so- | ciety to Monday 2d instant, the following gentlemen were present:
In some villages there were substantial managers between the cultivators and Government; the malgoozars have, to this day, actually fed the cultivators: in those where the land is minutely subdivided, all being equally impoverished, have emigrated to the Saugor provinces, or sought for labour in the neighbouring districts. The Government authorized the issue of grain for land ploughed and ready for sowing: the soil will not produce without previous as well as subsequent irrigation, and neither cattle nor cultivation were left to effect any extensive sowing on such conditions."-Hurkaru, April 4.
Rajah Kallikissen Bahadoor, Kumar Sutt Churn Ghosal, Baboos Aushootosh Dey, Prossonocomar
Messrs. T. Dickens, G. Prinsep, and W. C. Hutry.
Visitors-Moonshee Hoseen Ali, Vakeel of Khaja Ali Mulla, zemindar of Dacca; Baboos Gangarain Roy, Mook. tiar of Ramrutton Roy Choudhry, and Lalmohun Shane.
It was proposed by Baboo Prossonocoomar Tagore,
members of the committee, in conformity with the 15th rule of the Society, subject to the confirmation of the next general meeting.
Rajah Burrodacant Roy, Radhamadhub Banoorjee, Baboos Prannoth Chowdhoree, Callynauth Roy Chowdhoree, Mothooranauth Mullick, Sambhoochandra Mitter, seconded by Rajah Killikissen Bahadoor and unanimously agreed to.
The following gentlemen were proposed as members of the Society, and elected nem. con, Proposed by Kumar Suttchurn Ghoshal and seconded by Baboo Ashootosh Dey.
Rajah Bijoy Govind Sing, of Purneah,
Proposed by Ramcomul Sen and seconded by Prosonocomar Tagore.
Mirza Mohamed Mehendy Muskey, Mirza Mohamed Mehendy Isphainee and Mr. D. W. H. Speed.
Proposed by Prossonocomar Tagore and seconded by Sutteburn Ghoshal.
M. Laroletta and W. Patrick.
The following table of distribution of several districts and sub-committees of correspondence was submitted to the meeting. Resolved, that the proposed distribution be adopted:
A Table shewing the distribution of Districts of the
G. Prinsep, Esq.
Proposed by Prosonocomar Tagore, that the subcommittee for transaction of correspondence be appointed.
Proposition was seconded by Mr. Prinsep.
The Nume of the special corresponding
Resolved-That Rajah Kallikissen Bahadoor, Coonumbers of the respec-mar Suttchurn Ghoshal and Ramcomul Sen, be ap-. tive divisions.
Proposed by Mr. Dickens,
That an honorary native secretary be appointed.
Proposition seconded by Rajah Kallik issen Bahadoor, Baboo Prossonocomar Tagore was appointed.
Resolved That the secretary be requested to communicate the nominations of the several sub-committees respectively.
Read a letter from Rajah Radhacant Deb, enclosing an application from Mr. Thomson, soliciting the appoint ment of attorney to the Society.
Kuma Sutt Churn
Baboo Collynauth Roy
Baboo Ramrutten Roy
Moved by Suttchurn Ghoshal, that the subject of
Rajah Kalierishna Baa petition from the natives of Bengal, referred to the So.;
ciety by the secretary of the Dhurmo Subba, be taken into consideration.
Burdwan West Raja Radhacant.
Resolved-That it does not appear to the meeting the probability of requiring the assistance of a solicitor at present, and that the committee can make no engagement; but when necessary, due consideration will be given to Mr. Thomson's application.
Resolved That the petition with the remarks made® by Baboo Prossonocomar Tagore be submitted at the next general meeting.
Moved by Prossonocomar Tagore.
That the petition regarding the use of the vernacular language submitted at the last meeting, be discussed.
Proposed by Mr. Dickens, that an extra meeting of the Society be held at an early day for consideration of the question regarding the vernacular language and the resumption petition of the Dhurma Shubha,