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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/496

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

the Canton of Vaud, for example, where the new ideas are specially exemplified, wealthy families are reported as having left the Canton, and that many of its citizens regularly close their houses for nine months in the year in order to evade the law. Foreigners, too, are said to be less and less anxious to reside in the canton. In consequence of this, it is claimed that many properties in Vaud have depreciated fifty per cent, and that trade suffers greatly. Whether all these allegations are true or not, it is significant that a proposal to introduce the Vaud system into the Canton of Berne was rejected by its people by an overwhelming majority.

 

Addendum.—Readers of the chapter on the Tax Experiences of India, in the preceding number of the Popular Science Monthly, have written to ask if there is any explanation of the remarkable difference in opinion respecting the material condition of the people of India, recently expressed in the British House of Commons (and quoted) by two of its members, Mr. J. S. Keay and Sir Richard Temple, both ex-officials of long service in the Government of India, and having had large opportunities for becoming acquainted with the country.

The explanation is probably to be found in the old story of the two knights who differed and quarreled about the mottoes on a suspended shield, by reason of exclusively viewing it from opposite sides. India is a vast country, about half as large in land area (square miles) as the United States, exclusive of Alaska, and with a population of 287,000,000, so widely separated by caste, language, and religions, that districts and villages that have been in close contiguity for long periods practically do not know or have intercourse with each other. In those portions of the country where the inhabitants are fairly intelligent, have learned to avail themselves of modern methods of agriculture, and have irrigation and transportation facilities, the production of foods and other commodities is so far in excess of any domestic demand, as to admit of such a large and constant export of grain stuffs as to threaten disturbance to the markets of Europe and the United States, besides textiles, fibers, dyestuffs, opium, oils and oil seeds, hardware, sugar, etc. In other districts of large population where the people still plow with crooked sticks, do not even recognize the value of manures or other fertilizers, are almost entirely lacking in facilities for transportation, and are so bound down by caste that it is difficult to induce them to emigrate to districts—like the Assam tea producing sections—where labor is in good demand at comparatively high wages—in such districts the increase of population so presses on its ordinary food supplies that, in case of any deficiency in the average crops, famine always ensues, and