19 AUGUST 1876, Page 3

Surgeon-Major W. R. Cornish, of the Madras ,Army, in a

Atter to the Times on the demand for silver in India, makes a statement which ought not to pass uncontradicted:—" We are all apt,to forget that it is only a few years ..no since the labouring :people in India were predial slaves, that they could neither own aior acquire property." We venture to say there has never been a

• time within the last two thousand years when the immense ma- jority of the labouring population of India were not owners of property by a right as perfect as the Surgeon-Major's right to his watch. They were oppressed, and overtaxed, and harried, but their right to their fields, their crops, and their savings was never . disputed. It is within Madras alone,where a system half-slavery, half - 'Communism, had grown up, that the right to hold property can fairly be said to have been non-existent, and even there "slavery," in any ordinary sense of the word, was confined to classes. The danger of such a misrepresentation is thatit renders the British public, so far As it is believed, wholly incompetent to understand any question whatever of Indian government. We have not the claim of liberators on the people.