10 MARCH 1900, Page 2

The accounts of the famine in India are still terrible.

The Government report that in spite of the strictest precautions against needless demands the number of persons in actual receipt of relief approaches five millions, and the amount ex- pended will exceed five millions sterling. This is, we imagine, exclusive of the sufferers in native States, who are very numerous and peculiarly wretched. The officers employed on famine duty" are worked almost literally to death, and' some of their narratives are heartbreaking, the people in some districts being reduced to skin and bone, and the children, who are commonly plumper than English children, appearing as wretched atomies, too reduced even to cry. The mothers apply for relief too late, and the cattle die in such numbers that milk is hardly pro- curable. The relief system is ably organised, the people are strangely patient and obedient, and the officers exert themselves as they would in a battle; but the death-list will necessarily be large, more especially among the thou- sands whom not even famine will induce to quit their villages for the relief works.