4 MARCH 1871, Page 3

The debate of Friday se'nnight on Indian finance was a

dull one, carried on by a House which never exceeded twenty-five members, and was latterly reduced to twelve. Mr. Grant Duff, though he always forgets when making statistical speeches that he is addressing the country, and that his readers have not "the papers" in their hands, though his hearers have, was clear, and on the whole satisfactory. If nobody out there has made a good big blunder, the expenditure for the year ending March 31, 1871, will be .£50,000,000, and the revenue £51,000,000, leaving a surplus of £1,000,000. That and better would do, if we could only depend on the figures—but we can't—and if the price of opium did not fluctuate so heavily, and if there were not a certainty that somebody or other,—for instance, the savages now plundering Cachar,—would let us in for a little war. It would be much safer to take the opium revenue always at five millions, and keep any surplus above that as the Imperial Reserve for emer gencies.