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6. The objects to which his attention should be directed will include a careful condensation of the whole of the documents, and of the replies to such enquires as he may address to the several Revenue Officers, who will be directed to afford every information in their power; with the results of his own observation on the methods of cultivating the country and exotic cotton, tobacco, senna, &c.
7. To secure the fulfilment of the views of Government, it is resolved to furnish Dr. Wight with the following general instructions for his report, but these are not to be considered to exclude the communication of useful information on points not specially adverted to.
1st. The circumstances in which the experiments with the American cotton and tobacco seeds sent out by the Hon’ble the Court of Directors, were made, are to be stated in detail.
2d. The causes which led to their failure should be ascertained; and those which may appear to have been accidental, and not such as to justify an unfavorable opinion in more advantageous and skilfully conducted trials, are to be pointed out, with a view to their being avoided in future.
3d. When any thing in the soil or climate appears to be unfavourable, attention should be paid to the opinions expressed regarding them ; but when these are only founded on analogy with other products supposed to require the same soil or on the failure of the first trial from the apathy of the Natives, injurious modes of culture and preparation, or from inadequate encouragement, additional enquiries should be instituted, to ascertain as far as possible the real value of the facts; and whatever may remain doubtful should be pointed out as a matter to be hereafter investigated.
4th. ... When notwithstanding the various great difficulties attending first experiments, success either partial or complete has attended them, the information communicated on the following particulars cannot be too minute, viz. the kind” of seed and the circumstances under in which it was obtained and sown; the nature of the soil, and method of agriculture adopted; the quantity and quality of the produce and its adaptation for the foreign and home markets; its value and the expenses incurred the first instance; and as far as can be ascertained, those likely to be incurrcd when the management is better understood, with the returns that may then be expected to be obtained. In this investigation the methods of gathering and preparing the produce should be clearly explained, and such suggestions ‘communicated as are calculated to improve those at present practised. This will necessarily lead to the description of the mode of cultivating the country plants, the defects in the manner of gathering and preparing their
"Kind of seed, as Sea Island, &c.; the time of its being receiv. *d in India, and sent into the district; the season when it was sown, &c,
produce, the causes of the superiority of the Coimbatore, and Tinnevelly country cottons, with the history of the introduction of the Bourbon cotton plant into these districts.
5th. With respect to tobacco, the methods of preparation and the qualities for which it is valued in some parts of this country are by no means the same as those that will render it a lucrative article of trade with Europe; the statements on this subject founded on native opinions are, therefore, to be received with some reserve, and the real extent to which they apply must be ascertained by personal enquiry. As this is an article nearly unknown to Indian foreign trade, and which from the great success that has attended the few experiments yet made in a proper manner, promise to be very advantageous to the country, it will be requisite to attend to the essects of any regulations now in force, by which the extension of the cultivation, its manufacture, consumption and export may be obstructed or embarrassed ; and to the most eligible means by which the extension of the cultivation may be secured. This being an object of almost equal public importance with that of the introduction of the finer kinds of cotton, it is probable that, the result of the enquiries now in progress may point out the propriety of granting liberal encouragement, in the shape of moderate” remissions for a certain number of years, the removal of modification of taxes at present levied either on the production or transport of the improved products, or by other methods; and it is expected, that the examination of the reports and the additional enquiries founded on them where the information they asford is imperfect, will enable Government to do so, in the most effectual and economical manner.
6th. The condensation and correction of the information contained in the reports and replies on the above subjects, will necessarily contain references to the nature of the soils, in which the various productions are most advantageously cultivated; and as the natives have long been familiar with these distinctions, it is believed that much benefit would result from a careful comparison of the information regarding the products usually raised on the several soils, with their nature as ascertained by an examination of the samples furnished by the Collectors. For this purpose, they should be arranged into classes, the differences in physical and chemical qualities of each of which should be clearly stated. Under each principal division, the varieties should be arranged and their differences stated; and from a careful comparison of all the soils, their local names and qualities over the whole of the territories under this Presidency, will easily be referred to those, whose characters have been ascertained. An abstract statement can afterwards be constructed, so as to exhibit in one view much important information on the various products for which they are severally best suited, on the returns received from each, the expenses of cultivation and the value which should be assigned to lands of different kinds in revenue surveys. It will not only be useful to Officers in the Revenue Department and to the public to have exhibited in one view the names, characters, qualities and productions of the numerous kinds of soil, on which the nature of the agriculture of particular districts depends; but it will materially assist individuals engaging in raising any of the staple productions of the country, to know without the expense and disappointment of unsuccessful experiments, the kinds of soil in which they may expect to cultivate particular plants with success. For example; that the Bourbon Cotton plant, which produces the finest kind of Cotton wool, is most successfully cultivated in a soil similar to that most congenial to Coffee in Malabar and Wynaad; but that the rich black “ cotton soils” in which the annual plant is cultivated causes it to shoot into luxuriant branches which do not produce a crop. In this comparison, however, the nature of the climate as to temperature, and the quantity and distribution of the moisture must be held in view.
* See Notices on this subject in the Bombay Gazette for 1835,
7th. In estimating the amount of the several kinds of produce from the different soils the expenses of cultivation and the profits of the cultivator, many sources of error will have to be considered, and different statements will probably be furnished by the ryut, and the servants of the Collectors. To guard as much as possible against these, in addition to the abstract statements to be prepared form the whole of the documents, a copious selection of the original detailed statements will be given in an appendix, to each of which, such remarks as may appear necessary are to be annexed ; regarding the source from whence the information was obtained, the degree of authority which they may appear to possess, when anomalous or contradictory statements occur their investigation will lead to the correction of the tables or to the elucidation of facts of importance.
9th. It has long been considered of great importance to ascertain the causes on which the remarkable difference in the quality of the cattle of different provinces under this Presidency depends, with a view to their improvement in these districts in which the climate and soil are not unfavorable ; and to their preservation in seasons of drought, which are of such frequent occurrence and, under the present management, so destructive to agricultural stock of all kinds. A careful comparison of the information contained in the reports, with the specimens furnished by the Collectors, of the most remarkable grasses and other plants used as food for cattle, cannot sail to lead to some important general conclusions of a practical kind.
10th. For a full illustration of the subject, it will be necessary to ascertain the scientific names and characters of the various plants, with the native names by which they are familiarly known in different provinces, their qualities as stated by the ryuts, and the soils in which they are found to thrive. It will be convenient to give this detailed information in a separate report, to be accompanied with drawings of the most valuable plants, which if thought expedient, may hereafter be lithographed for general use, and to enable those ignorant of botanical science to prosecute the enquiry.
11th. The districts in which the proposed enquiries are to be conducted, contain several ranges of hills of great elevation and possessing many natural advantages for the cultivation of other valuable productions, besides those above adverted to, a scientific examination of which, would develope their capabilities to furnish additional articles of commercial importance, and by increasing the general resources of the country, indirectly promote the cultivation of the finer kinds of cotton, tobacco, &c.; of these the Cortallum and Pulney hills appear to afford the greatest facilities for successfully prosecuting the enquiries referred to in the preceding paragraphs, as their examination can be conducted at the same time, with those relating to the cultivation of cotton, tobacco, &c. on the plains.
12th. The principal objects to be attended in this survey are the history of the spice gardens of Cortallum and the probability of these valuable productions being profitably cultivated in that soil and clime; the facilities for the production of sugar in the neighbourhood of Bulsumdrum and other places in the Pulney hills, where it has long been raised with success for the supply of the neighbouring country ; and the measures necessary to improve the quality of the cane and to introduce more productive varieties, such as that of the South Seas. Attention should also be paid to the manufacture of saltpetre carried on in the same neighbourhood ; the facilities for the growth of coffee on the hills; the quality of the hill pastures resorted to by the ryuts of Madura, and the character of the more valuable breeds of cattle brought to Pulney for sale from Dorpoory and other places; and the state of agriculture generally in the neighbourhood and on the hills, with the probability of the successful culture of the productions of colder climates, such as tea, madder, cinchona, &c. on the more elevated tracts where wheat, and slax are now grown. The characters and qualities of the timber trees with which thc hills are covered, and the facilities of turning them to account are also to be ascertained by personal enquiry, and by collecting specimens of the woods, for examination by the superintendent of the Gun Carriage Manufactory or other competent judges. Should any woods not generally known, and having valuable qualities not possessed by others found in India, be discovered, drawings should be made of the trees, and the native and scientific names and characters detailed. strictly enforced, because, as the kind of labour in which it is proposed to employ the convicts, will admit of the labour imposed on each person respectively, being proportioned to his ability to permit, he can be compelled to execute his task, and as that being accomplished, he will be permitted to leave off work, any undue severity on the part of the overseers will be effectually prevented. The task assigned, may be more or less heavy as the circumstances, and behaviour of the prisoners render necessa. ry or proper.
13th. The examination of this object of immediate utility will afford opportunities for the investigation of others of a more speculative character, but bearing more or less directly on questions of practical interest. It is only requisite to refer to the imporant additions to science, particularly to geographical botany on which success in experimental husbandry in a great measure depends, that will result from the examination, in detail, of the geological structure and of the climate, (as ascertained from meteorological observations, and an examination of the distribution of various
families of plants,) of a district of a moderate extent and well defined geographical limits; in which the transition from the vegetable forms characteristic of the plains of the Carnatic, to those found at great elevations or in more temperate climates, can be conveniently observed.
14th. This information is the more desirable as the state of the atmosphere and the specific effects of each variety of soil and climate as modified by elevation or other local causes or vegetation and the productions that may be profitably raised on the hill ranges of the Peninsula, cannot be inferred from the observations made in those of Hindoostan, which from their higher latitude enjoy two seasons, during one of which European and during the other tropical plants can be cultiwated.
15th. The prosecution of these enquiries, however, is not to interfere with the earliest practicable completion of the examination and condensation of the important information contained in the reports of the Revenue Officers and to be collected by a personal examination of the cotton districts of Tinnevelly and Coimbatore.
(A true Extract.) (Signed) Hy. CHAMier, Chief Secretary.
Fort St. George Gazette.]
PR IS ON DISCIP L IN E.
The subject of Prison Discipline has been raised by the improved spirit of the age to the dignity of a science. In ancient times the torment of the offender was the first end of Criminal Law ; the means by which it was attained were simple, and required the exercise of no ingenuity, but that of cruelty. . In our days it has been admitted among established principles that the reformation of the culprit, and the benefit of the community are the chief objects of punishment. Having adopted this eniod principle, we require a combination of skill, experience and judgment to work it into practice. The internal economy of jails, which was formerly abandoned to the hard-hearted jailor, has now become an object of national investigation, and some of the ablest minds in Europe and America, have been for a considerable time employed in maturing an enlightened system of Prison, Discipline. The feeling which pervades the European world on this subject has spread to the shores of India, and our local Government, anxious to keep abreast of the civilized communities in England and America, have appointed a Committee composed of some of the most eminent characters in India, to examine the subject and to offer such suggestions of improvement, as may bring
“The chief end of the criminal law, viz., the punishment of the delinquent, being thus insured, I am of opinion, that the result of the proposed plan, considered with a view to “example,” for which it is the next object of the law to provide, is likely to produce superior advantage, as it may be expected that the impression with which the convicts will leave jail, will not only withhold them from the repetition of crime, but that the reports they will carry with them to the different parts of the country to which they belong, of the hardships they had experienced during their imprisonment, will be the means of deterring the evil inclined from the commission of acts that may reduce them to the same predicament, whereas, at present the constant exhibition of the convicts on the public roads, especially as they do not appear to suffer any other hardship than that of being in chains, has, I conceive, an opposite tendency in the way of example, for it is well known, that even capital punishments lose the effect of inspiring terror in proportion as they become more common, and at last are looked upon merely as common occurrences.
“The further advantage which l conceive will result from the proposed plan are secondary to those already mentioned, and chiefly respect the convenience of Government; they are as follow :—
** 1. By collecting together the convicts in the vicinity of Calcutta as soon after they receive sentence as possible, they will be ready for transportation whenever opportunities occur of conveying them to Fort Malborough, or to Prince of Wales’ Island.
“ 2. The escape of prisoners and particularly of the most dangerous description, which so frequently occurs at present at the different jails, will be effectively prevented.
“3. A constant supply of the necessary articles of khoa, soorky, and brick-dust, for the repair of the roads, and other public works which is now purchased by Government at a heavy expense, will be prepared by the convicts, and it is certain, that, the produce of their labour, may be made fully adequate to the reimbursement of Government in the expence of their maintenance.
“4. The jail being in the vicinity of Calcutta, the guards can be more frequently relieved than in the interior of the country, which
will preclude all improper communication between the sepoys and the prisoners, and, as the Mofussil jails will be relieved from the most dangerous prisoners immediately after they receive sentence, the number of the guards now required there may be reduced.
“5. A reduction may, by these means, be eventually effected in the expense at present incurred in the erection of Jails in the interior of the country.”
In consequence of the great outlay which was likely to be incurred in the first instance, the plan was not fully acted upon. The present jail, however, is still the receptacle of prisoners from the various districts, and it is to this place that the Thugs, who though con victed, have not been executed, are sent. It contains from ten to twelve hundred prisoners, many of them the most desperate characters in India, to whom crime is become a habit. In this jail there is no farther classification of prisoners than that the Thugs are separated from the rest. Those who have been convicted of the most ignominious offences, are confined in the same chamber with those who are charged with less heinous offences; the most hardened have thus an opportunity which they seldom neglect, of bringing all down to the level of their own vice,
It is among the fundamental principles of prison discipline that the prisoners shall provide the means of their support from their own labour. Whether the object of confining them be their improvement or their punishment, this principle is equally essential to success. It is clearly recognized in Mr. Guthrie's paper, in which he says, that the produce of their labour inay be made fully adequate to the reimbursement of Government in the expense of their maintenance. . But this important principle has been completely overlooked for many years in the management of this Jail. The only labour to which the prisoners are subject is the spinning of twine, which is subsequently made up into gunny bags. This labour is so light that the day's task is usually completed before midday, after which these convicted felons have the whole time for the indulgence of that indolent repose, that dolce for niente, in which consists the heaven of a native's existence. The criminals whose crimes have rendered them unfit to associate with human society, are thus shut up in a comfortable lodging, comfortably clothed in winter and summer, comfortably, fed without toil, and with very little spinning and subject to none of the anxieties or vicissitudes which embitter life ;–and this is called punishment / They are thus lodged, fed, and clothed at the expense of the industrious community. After having preyed on the peace and comfort of society abroad they are locked up for life to prey on the public revenue. Their support costs the public at the lowest computation, from 36 to 40,000 rupees a year. Their labour yields 2,500 rupees. An attempt was made by the late Mr. Richardson to increase their productive labour, and they barbarously put him to death in the precincts of the prison and from that day to the present the attempt to make them support themselves has been dropped, and they have enjoyed the desired immunity from all toil, but such as gives additional relish to pleasure.
The first reform therefore which ought to be introduced into this establishment, and prosecuted with a degree of vigor becoming the Bri. tish character is, that the criminals shall support themselves. If it be the rule of Holy Scripture, given generally to all mankind, that if any will not work, neither shall he eat, it becomes not a Christian Government to create an exemption in favor of the most abandoned part of society. There is no want of objects to which the labour of the criminals may be profitably applied. To a man of any observation and spirit, a hundred branches of industrious labour will suggest themselves, by which men constrained to work eight or ten hours a day, may amply provide the expenditure incurred in their keeping.
We have heard a faint whisper that it has been represented to Government, that these men are desperate villains, very much inclined to indolence and very averse to work; that they have already murdered one Civilian who attempted to constrain them to work, and may attempt the life of another; and that the safest plan is to abolish the jail, and transport the felons beyond seas. wo not this be, to use a vulgar saying to “jump out of the frying pan into the fire * The objection to the present system of discipline in the Alipore Jail is, that the public funds are charged heavily with the support of able bodied men who might support themselves, but do not. Would the expense of these felons be lightened by transporting them 2 Even supposing them to be conveyed to the penal settlements without any enormous expenditure, would not their expenses at Penang, Malacca, and Singapore, places beyond the vigilant eye of Government, greatly exceed that of their board at Allipore, where, the monthly charge is subject to a monthly revision ? For the few felons in exile at the three places above named, the Government outlay is already great; we have heard it stated at 25,000 rupees a year. It is certain that the expense of a felon beyond seas must be greater than incurred by keeping him in Bengal, while the chance of relieving that expenditure by the product of his labour must be proportionately less. If it be a fact that such a proposal has been gravely made to Government, we trust they will turn a deaf ear to such chicken-hearted advice. Should it be adopted, it will be tantamount to charging the public funds with a heavier expenditure that some of the public functionaries may be relieved from that attention and labour, for which they are amply paid. The most judicious, and at the same time the most courageous plan would be, to keep the prisoners where they are, to classify them according to their guilt : and to constrain them to labour as many hours in the day as shall yield a full equivalent for
their support. To make honest men labour that rogues may revel in indolence, is to reverse the order of society.—Friend of India.
We trust we shall be pardoned by those of our readers who do not feel any immediate interest in the subject for devoting a large portion of our space to the consideration of the inprovement practicable in the present system of jail discipline which we are sensible is a matter of the utmost importance to the country at large. We are extremely anxious that the fullest attention should now be given to it, because there appears to be a desire on the part of Government to obtain the fullest information regarding it, with a view to remedy tile crying defects of the system now in practice.
The object of the Court of Directors in enquiring into the feasibility of introducing secondary punishments appears to be, to obtain some plan for lessening the great expenditure of the present establishments, if it be possible to do so without detriment to their efficiency. This, therefore, becomes in the consideration of the question a point of primary importance; but we confess that if this were the only object to be attained by a change, we should leave the matter olio, in the hands of those whose duty it is to be more zealous to see it secured. We trust, however, to make it apparent that not only may a saving be effected, but also that at the same time a great improvement may be produced in the whole system. The great use of punishment is the prevention of crime, and if the sufferings of the offender be of a nature to moral reformation in himself, the system by which these are obtained, must, apart from minor considerations, be as nearly perfect as can be desired. No proof is re|quired of the utter inefficiency of that which now obtains for producing these great ends; and if there were a determination to extirpate the evils produced by it, the safest and most certain method of doing so would be at once to adopt the plan pursued in the penetentiaries of America and several parts of Europe. This, however, is impracticable as long as the immediate object of the Court of Directors is to lessen expense, for the erection of penetentiaries for about fourteen thousand prisoners would incur an outlay of money infinitely exceeding any value which the Honorable Court would allow to the moral improvement of the country. It is necessary therefore to ascer. tain some modification of the superior plan, by which the utmost good can be effected without sacrificing the approbation of those in whose hands the destinies of the country are placed.
We proceed briefly to notice the defects of our present system of Jail Discipline.
The first of these is the want of any inducement to reformation. The employment of the prisoners is rarely of a kind by which they can learn any thing that will be useful to them after their liberation, and the only effect of exposing them in irons on the roads is to render them