27 MAY 1882, Page 23


The New Ceylon. Written and compiled by Joseph Hatton. (Chap- man and Hall.)—When we say that Mr. Hatton holds a brief for the North Borneo Company, we do not mean to suggest a doubt that he is perfectly sincere in his advocacy of their cause. But as he tells us that his book is derived " from official and other sources of infor- mation," we are justified in concluding that the case has been pat into his hands, as taking a favourable view of the adventure. But though we do not expect, under these circumstances, a judicial view of the arguments for or against the undertaking, we get a valuable, interesting, and, of course, authentic account of the proceeding. There are many things which concern Englishmen in it, not the least important being that which is set forth in the following sentence : "It would seem that the chief hope of civilizing and making - prosperous the islands of the Indian Archipelago lies in the power to `attract the very classes of labour which America has obtained from "China, with power to control and economise it." The "Chinese cheap labour" has its merits. " It needs no indenture system," as Mr. Hatton remarks. Encourage the immigration, and you have as many as you want, perhaps more than you want. But " controlling " it is not so easy. Borneo has witnessed already one hideous tragedy arising from this very cause ; and another is quite possible. The Chinese will not long be content to labour for others ; and, once they get to know their strength, they may show their feeling in a very direct fashion. As they are absolutely without morality, and wholly careless of life, a social revolution began by them would be a very - formidable affair indeed. And if you have to keep an army to control your cheap labour, where are your profits ? India does not pay ; and a Borneo full of Chinamen would want ten soldiers, where India wants one.