Mr. T. G. Baring, Under Secretary for the Home Department,
and formerly Under Secretary for India, addressed his constituents at Falmouth on Thursday, the 29th December. His topic was India, and his speech in the highest vein of official optimism. The Queen's Government had, he said, changed a deficit of 14,000,0001. into a surplus of 2,000,0001., which would enable Government to abolish the income-tax. The total revenue of the Empire had risen to 46,200,0001., nearly double its figure in 1848, while the interest on the debt was only 4,500,0001. No less a sum than 31,000,0001. had been spent in six years on public improvements, and including railways the annual outlay on public works was 11,000,0001. a year. Considering that Government is sole land- lord over the greater part of India, 12 per cent. of income is not very much to expend upon improvements, and Anglo-Indians are getting a little tired of these eternal paeans about public works. New court-houses do not imply more justice, or new roads improved habits, or new barracks less disaffection, or new railways greater unity between native and European, or new taxes less poverty. The Government seems very much inclined to reverse the Scriptural text, and think that a stone is not only a fitting, but the only fitting substitute for bread.