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It cut down the estimates right and left, and if it did not perhaps always show wisdom in the selection of the items to be reduced, its action was none the less effective

a protest against extravagance, not only in the military but in every department. In the same spirit it rejected all increase in the salt tax and in the excise duty on Indian-made cotton cloth-both specially detested imposts—and it reduced other increases of taxation, though the Finance Member defended them as the only chance of restoring a budget equilibrium of which even then he could not guarantee the stability. The prolonged discussions, sometimes very heated, ended in a promise both as to curtailed supplies and taxation, which leaves the Government of India to face an uncovered deficit of over 9,000,0001., though the profits (about 2,000,0001.) on the paper currency are to be utilised for revenue purposes—a financial expedient of very doubtful orthodoxy. It was agreed also that a Commission, somewhat on the lines of our Geddes Commission, should overhaul public expenditure and methods of administration with a view to drastic retrenchment, and the appointment of Lord Inchcape to preside over it affords some guarantee that the inquiry will be conducted with thoroughness and common sense.

Under the Act of 1919, the Viceroy might of course have exercised the power still vested in him to restore the budget as presented by Sir Malcolm Haily over the Assembly's head, and such a course was, it is believed, at first recommended from London. Lord Reading, wiser if less confident than when he first went out, realised, however, that this would have meant a conflict with the Indian Legislatures, not only in Delhi, but in the provinces where the local Governments are faced with equally acute difficulties in making both ends meet, and such a conflict would have grievously compromised the prospects of constitutional evolution and done just what NonCooperation had tried and failed to do. It would have wrecked the new Legislatures and driven the Moderates back into the arms of the Extremists at the very moment when the latter had been badly worsted. Moreover, opposition to the budget had been by no means confined to Indians, and the elected European members of the Assembly, representing the greatcommercial communities,

Vol. 238.-No. 472,



had been scarcely less critical than their Indian colleagues. Even apart from the danger of a political conflict, Lord Reading's own judgment as a business man may well have told him that the Assembly, however unpalatable its action at the moment, had in reality done good service to India by arresting Government on the inclined plane of financial profligacy and compelling it to review its whole policy in regard to revenue and expenditure in the light of rapidly changing economic conditions. The limits of taxation in the old directions, when India was almost exclusively an agricultural country, have probably been reached. But India is becoming also a great industrial country; and, just as the war which compelled Government thoroughly to explore for the first time her immense natural resources, gave a vigorous impetus to their development for industrial and commercial purposes, the pressure of financial necessity may now compel Government to reconsider the incidence and distribution of taxation on lines better adapted to the new sources of wealth that are opening out.

Less easy to justify is the demand put forward for an acceleration of the stages of constitutional evolution which were laid down in the Act of 1919. It is doubtless meant chiefly as a counterblast to the Non-Cooperation demand for immediate Swaraj with a complete severance, explicit or implicit, of the British connexion; and unfortunately some Indian Moderates are more inclined to disarm popular impatience by yielding to clamour than to go on plodding away at the wearisome task of educating their electorates. But even the greatest optimists must admit that the future of India's parliamentary institutions will largely depend upon the results of the next general elections eighteen months hence, which the Extremists will almost certainly not again boycott, but do their best or their worst to capture. Equally unwise, too, seems the agitation for the more rapid Indianisation of the public services, of which one effect is to intensify the growing reluctance of young Englishmen to seek an Indian career. The fall in the value of the rupee and the enormous rise in the cost of living in India are in themselves sufficiently serious obstacles to recruitment into the Indian public services in this country. Add to these


all the unpleasant reports as to the hostile atmosphere which Europeans have now to face, the eagerness of many British officials to avail themselves of the opportunity given to them of retiring at once on proportional pensions if they dislike the reforms, and the difficulty in the way of any guarantees for fixity of tenure, for prospects of promotion, and even for future rates of pay and pension when the domain of Indian self-government shall have expanded as it is bound to expand and may possibly expand very quickly, and one can understand, even if one deplores it, the fact that young Englishmen no longer care to enter for any branch of the Indian administration. The paucity-one might almost say the absence-of candidates for the Indian services at our chief Universities is already creating an alarming situation to which the more thoughtful Indians will, one must hope, speedily awaken. For even those who are now trying to force the pace admit that India cannot for a long time dispense with European assist

Nor does she wish to do so. Yet there is a real danger that the supply from this country will have dried up long before there are enough Indians equipped to take the place of Englishmen.

The question which we have got to face-and it presents itself under a variety of forms—is whether we are determined to go through with the constitutional experiment upon which we have entered and to accept the

implications of Parliamentary institutions in India even · if they carry us further and faster than we had originally

contemplated. Indians who sincerely desire to maintain the British connexion do not regard their new constitution as an experiment but as an irrevocable charter, and they are taking their Parliamentary institutions very seriously. Any one can see that for himself who studies the proceedings of the Legislative Assembly in the Delhi Hansard. But many Indians believe that neither the British Government nor the British people consider themselves finally committed to the new relationship established between India and the Empire. Into Mr Montagu's downfall and Mr Churchill's ascendancy in the Cabinet they read the menace of reactionary forces at home. The acid test of British sincerity will be above all the question of military expenditure, and

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that of the treatment of Indians in the Colonies. In regard to the latter India knows that she has already the full and public support of the Indian Government, and she is confident that she can also rely upon it with regard to the former. If a conflict was averted in the Legislative Assembly over this year's budget, this was due, it is widely believed, not only to the spirit of reasonable compromise displayed by the Finance Member, but to assurances given less publicly by the Viceroy and his colleagues in the Government of India that the whole weight of their influence will be thrown into the scales with the British Cabinet to secure before the next budget is introduced a substantial alleviation of the military burdens imposed, mainly at the behest of the British War Office and the ex-Secretary of State for War who is now at the Colonial Office, upon India. .

Mr Srinivasa Sastri, who has recently returned to India after having earned universal respect and admiration as the foremost representative of his country at the Imperial Conference in London and at the Washington Conference, reviewed, on his arrival in Bombay, with singular frankness and courage, the Indian situation as he saw it after nearly a year's absence, He believed Non-Cooperation to be now dead, but he did not mince his words about the havoc which it had wrought. To his fellow-countrymen and to the Bombay Presidency Liberals whom he was more immediately addressing he gave much wise and seasonable advice.

The gravest note of warning which he sounded was, however, addressed to British Ministers whom he knows and who all know him. He had never known, he said, such profound distrust of government as existed to-day, such absolute lack of faith in their sincerity, such a rooted tendency to put aside all pledges, promises, and declarations as of no value whatever.' There is no need to labour the moral of such a warning from such a quarter; and Lord Reading himself appears to have at least tacitly endorsed it in the very glowing tribute which he paid a few days later to Mr Sastri at an official banquet in his honour at Simla.



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CAN any good come out of Mexico ?

Who among European statesmen would willingly burden his overstocked memory with the unfamiliar geographical names and grotesque revolutionary freaks that are commonly supposed to constitute the essence of its history-a history which long lay far out of the beaten track of progressive nations and had no organic nexus with Western civilisation ? If the practical Yankee, whose economic interests bring him into daily contact with the greatest Latin-American Republic, can still afford to ignore offhand the annals, psychology, and language of its people, can there be any motive powerful enough to draw the attention of the bewildered European to that quarter of the globe, the fantastic political aberrations of its inhabitants and their exotic requirements ? There are but few individuals in this era of specialisation qualified to reply to this query, but they would probably all give an emphatic answer in the affirmative.

In truth, there is hardly any point of view from which contemporary Mexico is not well worth careful study. The political economist, the parliamentarian, and even the two or three super-statesmen who talk in terms of world reconstruction, calculate with astronomical figures and tirelessly travel from Conference to Conference in quest of a magic formula that will ward off a catastrophe and save a Continent, might discover in the latest phase of Mexican history helpful hints and fruitful parallels. As the exact observations of the aborigines of that country enabled them in prehistoric ages to frame a calendar in strict accordance with scientific astronomy and, therefore, more accurate than any which has ever yet been adopted in the civilised world, so the unwonted political and economic straits into which the country has recently been plunged by civil war, anarchy, and the violent pressure put upon it by the action of selfrighteous American politicians, led its rulers to venture upon unwonted experiments and break fresh ground. And, as it happens, some of the problems thus tackled are on all fours with those which the victorious Entente has been laboriously striving to settle at Cannes,

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