Field and Tuer, the Leadenhall Press : Simpkin, Marshall,
Text on page 26
2 6 BURMA AND THE BURMANS.
the British provinces lying to the southward have had up to now an increase to the population of close on 340,000 men born in Burma proper. Thousands more would leave but that their families are held as hostages by the king, and any attempt at deserting their native land would be instantly visited with the most rigorous punishment on those of their kindred who are left behind. As a rule only single men, with no families or near relatives to leave as hostages, come over into British territory. Of the remainder, some take the consequences, and others turn to advantage the loose hold the Government has over individual families and clear out bodily. Thus the tide of emigration still continues, despite the efforts of the king to stop it ; and a very small portion of the emigrants ever return. British Burma offers too many advantages to them to be readily abandoned when loyalty to their own rulers is met with such a poor reward.
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