Memorandum on the Madras Famine of 1866

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information of the Madras Central Famine Relief Committee, 1867 - Famines - 157 pages
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Page 149 - When the government, in order to remedy the inconveniencies of a dearth, orders all the dealers to sell their corn at what it supposes a reasonable price, it either hinders them from bringing it to market, which may sometimes produce a famine even in the beginning of the season; or if they bring it thither, it enables the people, and thereby encourages them to consume it so fast, as must necessarily produce a famine before the end of the season. The unlimited, unrestrained freedom of the corn trade...
Page 65 - System every registered holder of land is recognised as its proprietor, and pays direct to Government. He is at liberty to sublet his property, or to transfer it by gift, sale, or mortgage. He cannot be ejected by Government so long as he pays the fixed assessment, and has the option annually of increasing or diminishing his holding, or of entirely abandoning it.
Page 66 - Government for the water so appropriated ; nor is any addition made to the assessment for improvements effected at a ryot's own expense. The ryot, under this system, is virtually a proprietor on a simple and perfect title, and has all the benefits of a perpetual lease...
Page 150 - To hinder, besides, the farmer from sending his goods at all times to the best market is evidently to sacrifice the ordinary laws of justice to an idea of public utility, to a sort of reasons of state; an act of legislative authority which ought to be exercised only, which can be pardoned only in cases of the most urgent necessity.
Page 148 - ... would thus regulate the conduct of any one dealer, would regulate that of .every other, and oblige them all in general to...
Page 148 - ... accounts, will find, I believe, that a dearth never has arisen from any combination among the inland dealers in corn, nor from any other cause but a real scarcity, occasioned sometimes, perhaps, and in some particular places, by the waste of war, but in by far the greatest number of cases, by the fault of the seasons ; and that a famine has never arisen from any other cause but the violence of government attempting, by improper means, to remedy the inconveniencies of a dearth.
Page 94 - ... cattle thrive. Repeated showers had fallen in the country, and the forage was abundant. The Hindoo peasant will perish by hunger beside a fat bullock. The prescriptions of superstition, which appear cruel to the individual, are conservative for the community ; and the preservation of the labouring cattle secures the power of cultivation, and the sources of future life and wealth. It may sound harsh and sad to say so, but in India it is more easy to replace a man than an ox.
Page 152 - Direct measures at the cost of the State, to procure food from a distance, are expedient, when from peculiar reasons, the thing is not likely to be done by private speculation. In any other case, they are a great error. Private...
Page 44 - The rains which usually fall in the months of October and November, ceased at an unusually early period in the year 1853 ; and the showers which usually fall in June and July, had been scanty. The grain harvests were consequently almost universally deficient, and considerable distress occurred in several parts of this presidency. In Bellary district, the season had been exceptionally unfavourable : an average fall of only 9!

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