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manded by English officers, and the Egyptian government has more than once been given to understand that when England, on important matters, gives advice to the Egyptian govern. ment, that advice must be acted upon.
REFORMS IN TAXATION.
Before proceeding with an account of the handling of the Egyptian debt, Professor Jenks devotes some space to showing the essential importance of irrigation to the country's welfare, and the great prosperity that has been secured solely through the wise development of engineering schemes either originated or completed by the British officials. The direct economic effect of these works on the country's financial condition can hardly be believed by one not familiar with the facts of the situation as set forth by Professor Jenks. Take, for instance, the saving from the improved drainage of the irrigation canals alone. Owing to the deposit of silt in these canals after the flood, it was once necessary to clear them out in the summer season by forced labor. Formerly the labor required in the Delta alone amounted to more than $3,000,000 a year. Now, with a much more extensive system and additional drains, and owing to the better organization and more careful distribution of the water, the annual cost is only $1,000,000. In one special case, by certain minor changes introduced to lessen the amount of silt deposited, with an expenditure of less than $10,000, an economy was made of between 700,000 and 800,000 days of work per year, or, in terms of money, an annual saving resulted of at least $80,000. Thus the annual increase in the wealth of the country, subject to taxation, directly due to these engineering improvements, can hardly be estimated. the days before the English administration landOwners were not only compelled to mortgage their crops to pay the annual taxes, but in 1870 were compelled to pay six years' land tax in advance, though they were promised thereafter, as compensation, that their taxes should be reduced by 50 per cent. Lord Cromer himself has summed up the financial history of the country under English rule in three distinct phases.
From 1883 to 1887, the efforts of the government had to be directed toward the maintenance of financial equilibrium. It was impossible to effect either fiscal relief or to incur additional expenditure. The second period, from 1887 to 1894, might have been considered that of fiscal relief. There was an opportunity of relieving the country in part from the burden of the taxes. Since 1894 the tax burdens have become so reasonable, on the whole, that the period of expen
diture directly for the improvement of the people has arrived. A few figures may be cited to show the reduction of the tax burden: Between 1881 and 1897, the average land tax per acre was reduced from $5.50 to $4.56. Since 1895, the total annual tax on land has been reduced by over half a million pounds; other direct taxes have been reduced by about a quarter of a million pounds, and indirect taxes amounting to £186,000 have been abolished. Between 1881 and 1897, the tax per head of population was reduced some 20 per cent., although there had
(British administrator in Egypt.)
been over two hundred miles of new railway opened; the expenditure on public instruction had been increased by over 37 per cent., large sums had been spent on irrigation and on agricultural roads, and the men called out on "Corvee," that is, for unpaid labor,-had been reduced from 281,000 to 11,000 men per year.
In 1881, the market price of the 5 per cent. privileged debt was 964. In 1897, the same debt, converted into 3 per cent., was 102. The 4 per cent. unified debt in 1881 stood at 714. The amount of debt per head of population in 1881 was £14 8s. 9d.; in 1897, it was £10 0s. 2d. While the per capita of the burden of the debt has been enormously reduced, the ability to
carry the burden, through the various works mentioned, as well as through various other helpful measures, educative and otherwise, has also been very greatly strengthened. The principal of the debt has been comparatively little lessened, but there have been greatly added penditures in works of public improvement, while the strength to carry it has been doubled.
The improved financial situation, however, was not the only phase of the Egyptian question that interested Professor Jenks. Since 1894 the surplus revenues have enabled the government to take measures of social reform which, in his opinion, may in future be dwelt upon by writers with even more emphasis than questions of finance. Lord Cromer and Lord Milner have both insisted that their government of Egypt is for the benefit of the Egyptians, and that their intention is to teach the Egyptians as rapidly as possible how to govern themselves. Professor Jenks is convinced that this training in selfgovernment is actually being effected, and apparently as rapidly as possible.
Take, for instance, the training in the schools. Before the English occupation great masses of Egyptians remained ignorant. Over 91 per cent. of the males and almost 99 per cent. of the females could neither read nor write. Until within the last five years public primary education for the poorer classes, aside from the mere learning of the Koran, was almost unknown. At the present time public schools are being established everywhere, and grants in aid of these schools are paid in proportion to the attendance and the records made by the pupils. Likewise, certain positions in the civil service can be filled only by those who hold certificates from schools of certain grades. As a consequence there has been a great awakening of interest. Most of the teachers of these public schools are Mohammedan, and the schools are non-Christian in their instruction. The Koran is still used as a textbook for many purposes, but the education is practical in its general nature. The children are taught, besides reading and writing, the elements of the sciences, and they choose either French or English as the foreign language which they will learn, and that in which they will receive instruction in the more advanced studies where Arabic text-books cannot readily be provided. It is a noteworthy fact that while, in the earlier days, French was the language more fre quently chosen, nearly all the pupils are now selecting English. There are also provisions for training in law, medicine, agriculture, engineering, etc. The law school is the most popular,
while the agricultural college,-although the basis of Egyptian wealth and prosperity is and must always be agriculture,-suffers from lack of pupils. Female education has not been neglected, and Professor Jenks says that we may expect in the near future that instead of 99 per cent. of the women being unable to write, a very large per cent. of the mothers of the country will be able to give their children the rudiments of education at home, and with the added intelligence and wider outlook on the world's affairs that will come from their own reading, they will be able to start their children in the direction of the higher civilization.
THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE.
The relations of the official class to the peasantry have greatly improved in the score of years that have elapsed under English occupation. Professor Jenks alludes to the former practice of collecting taxes from the villagers before the crops were ready for harvest and compelling them to borrow the money from a lender who went about with the tax collector expressly for the purpose, the coming crops being assigned to this Shylock. Furthermore, when the cultivator had paid his tax, he was never certain that there might not be further assessments during the year. As a rule he had no tax receipt, which was a quit-claim for any specified time, and with his ignorance and lack of support from the government officials, he simply paid what he could when the tax-gatherer appeared, and paid again when proper official made a second demand. All this has been changed. The taxes, while being reduced, have been fixed; the amount is absolutely determined from year to year, and the time of payment is known. When the peasant has paid the tax, he is given a receipt which secures him from further demands until the next regular period.
Similar results, he says, are found in connection with the courts. In former times the judges had their private rooms, where they received suitors bearing gifts before the case was tried. The larger present usually decided the case in the giver's favor. Some of the more conscientious judges received equal amounts from both sides, and then paid back the bribe to the suitor losing the case, thus insuring impartiality, as they thought. But this qualified system of bribing was rare; ordinarily the larger purse won. While among the native judges and the lower courts there are still traces of this system, Professor Jenks finds that, on the whole, corruption is dying out, and, to a considerable extent, has already vanished. He said there is never any accusation brought against the fair dealing of the European judges in the
higher courts, save that it is thought that they are at times slightly swayed by prejudice in favor of the Europeans or in favor of Christians. This is, however, admitted by the Egyptians themselves to be not corruption, but only a natural prejudice, and even this is not charged except in the rarest cases. So far as the Egyptian judges are concerned, there is a rigid system of inspection of cases in the lower courts by English officials; and unjust judgments are now very likely to be discovered. If discovered, they are certain to be upset; and the unjust judge, if there is evidence of corruption, is punished. This even-handed justice between rich and poor is another one of the boons of liberty for which Egypt thanks the Englishman.
In dealing with criminals, many reforms have been introduced. Whereas formerly prisoners of all grades, first offenders and hardened criminals, were placed together and worked together, the prisoners are now classified, with the idea of protecting the younger from the evil influence of the hardened criminal. Lighter sentences are provided for first offenders, and there are other suitable gradations of punishment. A reform school for child offenders has been established, which educates the children in trades.
ALFRED BEIT, THE CREESUS OF SOUTH AFRICA.
BRIEF character sketch of Alfred Beit, the associate of Cecil Rhodes, and the largest diamond merchant in the world, appears in Everybody's Magazine for October, from the pen of Chalmers Roberts. Alfred Beit is only about forty-five years old, and a bachelor. People say he is worth $375,000,000. He came of a Hebrew family in Hamburg, went to college, and served an apprenticeship in a Hamburg bank.
After this apprenticeship he went to Kimberley and rapidly built up a fortune in the diamond fields. From the time that Rhodes consummated his great consolidation of the Kimberley diamond mines in 1889, he and Beit were in close business association, and Beit is one of the executors of the famous Rhodes will. The South African millionaire is also much the largest shareholder in the Rand Mines, Limited. He has never been at Johannesburg but three or four times, and on one of these visits he gave a great ball to three hundred friends, one of the most sumptuous entertainments ever seen, where every lady present was given a valuable diamond as a souvenir. This is entirely apart from his usual character, for he is a modest, retiring man. Mr. Roberts says he can be sometimes seen sipping a lemonade in one of the great restaurants in a quiet manner; and that although the newspapers have
much to say about him in the matter of his purchase of old masters, his subscriptions to the opera, his gifts to charity, there is remarkably little gossip about him personally.
Mr. Beit is very small in stature, and when he was seen, as it often happened, in company with
MR. ALFRED BEIT.
Mr. Rhodes, the contrast was almost ludicrous. He is as thorough and precise as Mr. Rhodes was general and heedless of details. He is very blonde, with prominent eyes of steel blue, and is almost dandyish in his dress. Both Rhodes and Beit began their fortunes with the consolidation of the diamond mines; but while Mr. Rhodes left off fortune-making, and began imperial schemes, Mr. Beit will never reach the point where he has money enough. He seems to have no social ambition, and is perfectly satisfied with the work of adding to his immense possessions in every country of the world. These are generally mining properties, but he possesses controlling interests in many street-railway systems in South Africa, Mexico, Chile, and Portugal. The actual figures of Mr. Beit's wealth are probably known to no man; but it is certain that he is one of the richest men in the world, and almost the only man to whom the Rothschilds are willing to play second fiddle, as in the great De Beers Company, where
his holdings much exceed their own.
AUSTRIAN EXPERIMENTS IN STATE
HE state socialistic work which is undertaken by Austria in Bosnia and Herzego vina is described in the Monthly Review for September by Mr. L. Villari. This activity This activity shows itself in many ways. It has increased, by means of loans advanced by the Landesbank, the number of peasant proprietors to 15,000. It is also making every effort to institute agricultural improvements, and to establish a number of model farms, which are schools of agriculture. But the most curious experiment that has been made is the establishment of government hotels. Herr Von Kallay was very anxious to attract tourists to Bosnia, and as the ordinary landlords would not take the risk of building hotels, the government has built them on its own account. These hotels are plain, comfortable, and well managed, and are sufficiently popular at certain seasons to be crowded by tourists, who have come chiefly from AustriaHungary. Where there are no hotels, board and lodging are provided at the gendarme stations. Herr Von Kallay has even created a state watering-place, Ilidze, with three good hotels, a casino, and charming grounds; a narrow-gauge railway has been constructed throughout the country, and on the whole M. Villari thinks that the government has done very well in its experiments.
COLOMBIA THE VICTIM OF BAD FINANCE. N the September number of the REVIEW OF REVIEWS (page 357) some account was given of the Colombian revolution. The wretched financial conditions that prevail in the country were outlined, and the writer (a contributor to the Missionary Review of the World) predicted that the attempt to return to a sound currency will be more trying to the Colombian people than any financial question that they have ever tried to solve in the past. A similar opinion is expressed by a writer in the North American Review
for September, Señor E. A. Morales, who is him. self a citizen of Colombia.
Señor Morales shows that the annual revenues of the government (averaging about $14,000,000 for a population of 4,500,000) were more than sufficient to save the country from ruin, if properly administered, but so seriously were the pub. lic funds misapplied that the judges and magistrates of the important Department of Panama were left without one cent on account of their salaries for a period of two years.
"The war budget, which in the administrations prior to 1886 never reached the amount of half a million of dollars yearly in time of peace, went on increasing until it aggregated the enormous sum of nine and a half million dollars (in round figures) in the two years' term of 1897-98, -say, more than one-third of the revenues, calculated at $28,224,000, for the same term.
"While the War Department has been expending such a considerable portion of the revenues, other branches, like the external debt, have been completely obliterated from the budget, and the interests on said debt, which in years preceding 1886 were always considered as sacred engagements even in time of war, were entirely neglected. I consider it no exaggeration to as sert that some have not been paid for over twenty years.
"The internal debt, the proper study of which would require much labor, because of the diversity of the forms under which it has been contracted, has increased extraordinarily by claims for recognized services which have not been cov. ered, supplies, loans, and expropriations, and for military recompenses. That has been one of the means selected to give protection to the partisans of the government.
THE FLOOD OF IRREDEEMABLE PAPER.
"As I observed before, it was not possible to maintain this system with the ordinary revenue, and it become necessary to have recourse to the emission of irredeemable paper money and the institution of monopolies. The estimated deficit of $1,312,016 for the period 1887-88 increased to $3,435,498.70 in 1897-98, being one-eighth of the revenues. Although the persistence of an ever-growing deficit in the budget of the country would demand the application of the proper remedy or rigorous economy from any statesman, in Colombia these means were not adopted, because the provoking lithographic machines were ever and ever ready to cover the deficiencies.
"The terrible and inevitable consequence was not long in making itself felt, for the reason that the economic laws are not to be trifled with with impunity. The paper money of compul.
sory circulation suffered a depreciation; and, as its exchange value fell, the government found itself obliged to issue a larger quantity in order to obtain the same benefit previously obtained for a smaller quantity; for this new deficiency it was forced to make a new issue, which caused the same disastrous effect; and this evil went on growing daily in alarming progression. On the other hand, as the taxes, rents, and contributions were payable, according to tariffs established by law, in the depreciated paper, the intrinsic value of these revenues dwindled in the proportion of the rise in exchange. So that the proceeds of the rents should maintain the intrinsic value estimated in the budget, it would have been requisite to change the tariffs daily in or der that they might be always in accordance with the fluctuations of the paper money.
"The exchange which fluctuated ten points at the utmost when the system was established began to vary a hundred points in 1899, and by the year 1900 the fluctuations were counted by the thousand points.
"Commerce, all industries, and even the very life of the nation were highly affected by this situation, as may be easily understood when it is known that one American dollar is equivalent to fifty dollars in Colombian notes. Private credit completely disappeared, on account of these violent fluctuations, and as it was and is still prohibited to stipulate any other currency but the notes in private contracts, commerce had to choose between inaction and bankruptcy."
M. Jussieu will have none of the argument that America is too young a country to have attained distinction in science and art.
"It is not imagined, I presume, that the little European comes into the world with science in born or infused? What is the cause, then? That the discoveries of European savants are not immediately made known in the United States ? Not at all. There are quantities of European reviews in every university or library of any importance. Whether they are read or not is another matter. The opportunity is there..
In America there are as many means of doing scientific work as in Europe, or more. The use
is not made of them that might be made."
TOO MUCH DEMOCRACY THE CAUSE OF AMERICAN INFERIORITY.
The French writer has no doubt that the real cause of American scientific inferiority is the too great triumph of democracy.
"The idea of the moral equality of citizens . . . brings about in most minds the idea of intellectual equality, which is a profound error. The result is the bourgeoigisme (!) not only of a class, as in France, but of the whole nation. . . Democracy insures the triumph of utilitarianism. The formula of both is the greatest happiness for the greatest number. Now, the value of a principle depends entirely upon the person who adopts it."
In the mouth of the majority this principle has merely come to mean : "So long as I do not interfere with another's action, there is no reason why I should work for him rather than for myself."
"It is easy to see what this means in the mouth of any one of average intelligence; it is the end of all spirit of disinterestedness, not only in science, but in art and in morality."
THE CHILDREN RULE.
Men who will not sacrifice themselves for another man will hardly do so for an idea, a precept. Worldly success, the money-making ideal, has fettered and will fetter American science. The only scientist honored is he whose books sell in quantities; as a conseqence, the scientist must appeal to an inferior public, write amusing" books, but not books of high scientific value. The professor must make his lessons amusing. Thoroughness is ignored. "There is never anything finished," nothing soigné, says M. Jussieu.
In the United States, it may be said, the school governs science, the masters govern the school, the parents govern the masters, the children govern the parents,-therefore the children. govern the science."
This he considers good neither for the children nor science.
OTHER CONSEQUENCES OF TOO MUCH DEMOCRACY.
All these millions "given" to American universities are often given because they have first been begged. There is a strong tendency to choose as university presidents men and women with large fortunes, nominally because any one in such a position ought not to be troubled about financial matters, but really because millionaires consort with other millionaires, and the wealthy