O the east of the Tenasserim division, and practically bisectedaexcept in the southern portionaby the tortuous Sittang River, lies the Toungoo district. The district gives evidence of prosperity, and the population has more than doubled during the past thirty years. In minerals the area is exceedingly rich, for gold occurs in the tributaries of the Shvvegyin stream, and although they are not yet worked, the presence of copper, lead, tin, and coal, has been determined.
The rapid development of the district has been owing in large measure to the opening up of the railway line from Mandalay, for since that time large areas of waste land have been taken up for cultivation. In 1903-4 only 484 square miles out of a total of 6,172 square miles were under cultivation, but the area has considerably increased since that time. The main crop is, as is to be expected, rice. Considerable tracts are, however, declared to be exceptionally suited for the growth of rubber, and already a large tract has been taken up by a Rangoon firm, with the intention of converting it into a rubber plantation.
The main towns of importance are Toungoo and Shvvegyin. The former, which is the headquarters of the district, has a population of 15,837. In the town itself there is a rice mill and numerous saw-mills. Shvvegyin is a picturesquely situated town, which, in
1901, had a population of 7,616. Until 1895 it was the headquarters of the district. It was constituted a municipality in 1888.
MR. OCTAVIUS SYDNEY PARSONS, I.C.S.,
is Deputy Commissioner of Toungoo district, president of the Toungoo Municipality, and district magistrate. His family has long been connected with India, and he was born in Simla, where his father, the late General J. E. B. Parsons, of the Indian Army, was Deputy Commissioner. When his career at Dulwich College and Queen's College, Oxford,
where he was the winner of an open classical scholarship, was finished, he entered the Indian Civil Service, and came to Burma as Assistant Commissioner in 1891. As the years went on, he was successively Assistant Commissioner at Meiktila, Assistant Commissioner, Judge of the Small Cause Court, and Cantonment Magistrate at Thayetmyo, Assistant Settlement Officer at Moulmein, Settlement Officer in the Minbu and Magwe districts, Deputy Commissioner at Henzada, and Director of Land Records and Agriculture at Rangoon. After
O. S. PARSONS.
being employed for a few months as secretary to the Famine Committee, he was for two years Deputy Commissioner at Monywa. He succeeded to his present appointment after returning from furlough. Mr. Parsons is married to a daughter of the late General T. T. Turton, of the 5th Madras Infantry, Hyderabad contingent. He is a member of the Grosvenor Club, London, and of the Northbrook Society.
MR. CAMPBELL BURN has been Government Prosecutor at the Toungoo and Pegu
Sessions Court since 1907, before which he had practised as a barrister in Pegu for three years, and for a similar period in Rangoon. He was born in Rangoon, where his father was an advocate, and educated at Crawley, Sussex. He was called to the Bar by the Middle Temple in 1899. Mr. Burn, who is a valued member of the Toungoo Municipal Committee, is married to a daughter of Mr. Robert Sutherland, formerly of the Bombay-Burma Trading Corporation, who was captured by the Burmese in the Upper Burma campaign.
MR. JOHN JAMES RORIE has been Deputy Conservator of Forests at Toungoo since 1908. He had qualified at Cooper s Hill and had toured through the forests of Germany when he was appointed to the Indian Forest Department in 1897 and came to Burma.
J. PETLEY e SONS.
Burma is too often looked upon by dwellers in the outside world as a country in which the soil is capable of producing nothing but paddy and timber. No country in the world is more suitable for rice cultivation than Burma ; few lands can rival its timber growths ; but the possibilities of its soil are not exhausted here. The rotation farmer has no cause to regret his policy ; the tobacco cultivator gets a sound return for his industry ; the rubber plantations are increasing in number ; and last of all, the owners of coffee plantations found the cultivation of the coffee bean in the province both easy and profitable until leaf disease devastated the estates.
One of the pioneers in the coffee industry was Mr. James Petley, the owner of the Nancho Estate on the Karen Hills, on which he commenced coffee planting in 1884. An area of 200 acres was placed under cultivation, and the yield was over 30 tons of beans per annum. For many years the produce was disposed of in the bean, but some few years ago a plant was erected for grinding the coffee, which is now on the market, and widely known in the province under the trade mark a Karen Hill Cultivation.a Since the decease of the founder of the business, it has been carried on by his son, Mr. Charles Arthur Petley, under whose management the previous success has been fully maintained.
Mr. C. A. Petley, who is the honorary secretary of the Toungoo Club, was at one time a member of the municipal committee. He was born at Dulwich in 1864, and followed the engineering profession for ten years before coming to Burma in 1890.Mr. C. A. Petley, who is the honorary secretary of the Toungoo Club, was at one time a member of the municipal committee. He was born at Dulwich in 1864, and followed the engineering profession for ten years before coming to Burma in 1890.