THE BRITISH COMMONWEALTH
SIR,—Mr. Conncly states that £5o,000p0o is received in England from India as interest. He gives no authority for his statement nor does he indicate where or in what form the capital that produces this interest is situated, or whether the rate of interest is exorbitant. The mere statement,devoid of detail, is meaningless, but unfortunately a meaning is attached to it by certain political partisans. The following quota- tions from India and Democracy, by Sir George Schuster and Guy Wint may help Mr. Connely.
" If the whole of the profits of ' big business ' rr. industry (in India) were divided equally among the whole of the Indian people, that would only give them an extra 3 annas per head per year (about 31 pence). If the whole of the peace-time cost of the army and the whole net annual charge of the Indian national debt were remitted and a cor- responding sum divided among the people equally, that would only give them about f rupees (about ts. told.) per head per annum." (Page 26o.) Again, " The actual burden of taxation per head in India has been very low, being about 8 shillings per head." (Page 271.) • Again, " India has had a definite and consistent protective policy since 1921, which under the Fiscal Autonomy Convention has been,
as the trade figures show, applied regardless, and in fact to the great detriment of British interests." (Page 313.) A note to this page shows that " Indian imports from the United Kingdom (1938-9) were £34.8 millions and Indian exports to the United Kingdom were £43-1 millions, i.e., a favourable Indian balance of ,C81 millions." " The fall in British exports has, as is well known, brought widespread misery and disaster to Lancashire. Yet this has been accepted as a necessary result of the principle of allowing Indian fiscal autonomy."
Again, on page 314, " British capital •nvested in India has teen of great benefit to the country. and has at no time imposed an upsetting burden on its economy, and India's public finances have been well, if conservatively, managed so that she carries the lightest burden of un- productive debt of any comparable country in the world " These quotations from an authority will, I hope. serve to dispel the implications of Mr. Connely's statement. M W MURRAY.