Sir Rutherford Alcoa presided in the Geographical section, and delivered,
as might be expected, a thoughtful and informed address, mainly concerned with points of Eastern geography. He reports immense results from the works now being carried out in Persia, more even from irrigation works than from rail- ways, though he holds it to be not impossible that the Shah may yet have a direct line to India and on to the Mediterranean, if the Turkish Government will combine. Evidently Sir Rutherford Alcock is of opinion that our Government is not enterprising enough in opening trade routes towards Central Asia, whose markets, once monopolised by the Russians, will inevitably be thenceforth closed to general trade. A crying instance of this is the stoppage of Lord Dal- housie's road from Umballah to Shipki, on the Thibetan frontier, which, having been so far constructed that there were only sixty miles of unfinished work between Simla and the Chinese frontier, has been stopped. Why ?