factories have been examined lately all over India by two commissions, the most important result perhaps being the substitution of inspection by whole-time experts for that by the overworked non-expert deputy commissioners and medical officers.
The Registrar of Co-operative Credit Societies was appointed in 1904 to foster the inauguration and expansion among the Burmese of co-operative credit, thereby enabling money to be lent at a reasonable rate of interest to those whom local experience judges to be worthy of credit. The object is praiseworthy, but it is perhaps too early yet to judge the prospects of success.
Pensions fall into two broad classes, viz., those earned according to rule by Goverment servants, and those granted for political reasons. Most Government service is pensionable, and the expenditure on this account is increasing rapidly. In 1908-9 it was 6,79 as against 2,32 twenty years before. But this does not give an accurate idea of the real expenditure, as many Government servants in Burma come from England or India and return to their native country to enjoy their pensions, and the amount drawn by them is not included in the above figures, which represent merely pensions paid in Burma. The political pensions include grants to some members of the family of the old Mogul Emperors of Delhi, who have been settled in Burma by the British Government, to members of the ex-Royal family of Burma, to some of the leading officials of the late Burmese Government, to certain Shan chiefs, and to a few other chiefs who have fled to Burma for refuge. The grants to the ex-Royal Family of Burma have lately been substantially increased with the sanction of the Secretary of State, and are expected to amount in 1909-10 to 1,29, half as much again as in the previous year. In applying for this increase the Burmese Government was able to state that politically they had given no trouble whatever.
Civil works are dealt with elsewhere. All that need be said here is that, whereas in 1889-90 the expenditure was 5I7A in
1907-8 it amounted to 1,09,23. In 1908-9 it would have been larger, but the Burmese Government was badly off for funds, and the expenditure had to be cut down to 87,07. The possibilities of expenditure on buildings and roads are almost inexhaustible, as the province is badly off in respect of these, and much may be done to improve communications by water.
This brief description of the finances of Burma would be incomplete without some reference to the results of the present
provincial settlement, which came into force from April I, 1907. The settlement was concluded during 1906-7, and was based on a discussion of the figures up to 1905-6. The Government of India made an initial grant of 50 lakhs, partly to help plague expenditure, but mainly as a grant towards the cost of civil works. They also accepted a generous figure for police expenditure, which would be larger than was necessary in the early years of the contract, and contemplated that the balance would be available for civil works. With the aid of these temporary grants it was hoped that the expenditure on civil works could gradually be reduced, as it was considered that with due regard to the needs of the rest of
India, and of other branches of expenditure, the cost of civil works in Burma could not be allowed to remain at the existing high figure. It was also considered that the increase of receipts would or ought to suffice to meet the normal increase of expenditure.
At the end of two years, even with severe restriction of expenditure towards the end of 1908, the balance has been reduced very low, and in order to make both ends meet in
1909-10 the expenditure has to be watched more closely. The immediate cause appears
to be that the increase in receipts has not been nearly as great as was anticipated, especially from forests. The figures given above show that from 1901-2 to 1905-6 there was a continuous and rapid increase, which it was hoped would continue. Instead of that there has been a serious diminution, due probably to causes which have been already explained. It will certainly increase again, but for the present the diminution has given a severe set-back to the financial situation of the province under the existing settlement.
Local Finance.aIn India, district local finance is controlled by boards presided over by the district officers, but containing elected as well as nominated members. Such boards
are non-existent in Burma, so that except in municipalities, there is in this province 110 trace of expenditure a by the people, for the people.a In each district, however, there is a fund obtained in Lower Burma from a cess on land, and in all districts from receipts from ferries, cattle-pounds, markets, and c. This fund is at the disposal of the Deputy Commissioner, subject to the control of the Commissioner, and is applied to meet local needs such as minor roads, cattle pounds, rest-houses, schools, and dispensaries. In 1907-8, the total receipts and expenditure of the district
LEADING BANK OFFICIALS.
John Wilson, Manager, Chartered Bank of India, 3. W. Reid, Manager, Hongkong and Shanghai Australia, and China, Rangoon. Banking Corporation, Rangoon.
R. F. Strachan, General Manager, The Bank of 4. J. Y. Munro, Manager, National Bank of India,
Burma, Rangoon. Rangoon.
5. N. H. Matheson, Agent, Bank of Bengal, Moulmein.5. N. H. Matheson, Agent, Bank of Bengal, Moulmein.