24 APRIL 1880, Page 2

The Rev. W. J. Stracey draws in the Times a

terrible picture- of the condition of Palestine, much of which is now treeless, and scarcely cultivated by its wretched population. There are n o roads, except near Jerusalem and Jaffa, few domestic animals, and the villages are nothing but mud-huts. Nevertheless, " everything is taxed ; every fruit-tree, so none now are planted ; every cow or horse, &c.; every vegetable sold out of a private garden. Every eighth egg is not taxed, but taken by the Government. In some- places the taxes of the district are sold to the highest bidder. The farmer is unable to sell a measure of his corn till all has been collected into a heap, and the tax collector has set his sum upon it, from which there is no appeal. Double taxes are expected this year, because, after three years of scarceness, the harvest promises to be abundant." The Turks, in fact, have nearly done their work. When it is completed, the Holy Land will be a desert without people. Mr. Stracey recommends the purchase- of the country from the Sultan for four or six millions, but for- gets to indicate the Power which is to purchase it. Would it not be easier for Europe to declare Syria a principality, like Bulgaria, under the "beneficent suzerainty" of Constantinople,. but self-governed ?