A hundred years ago Nov. 11, 1920 Archives

From the Archives (November 11, 1920): India in 1919(From an editorial)

The report presented to Parliament on the material and moral progress of India during 1919 is from one point of view a performance creditable to its author, Mr. Rushbrook Williams. In the presentation of the matter, in the general tone of the remarks and the comprehensiveness of the summary, the report marks a mentionable improvement on its predecessors: and Parliament, we may be sure, will give it as speedy a repose on the shelf as previous annuals on the same subject have received. In the essentials, however, the report does not belie its usual character, which, as we have had occasions to point out, is that of a self-righteous master describing his relations with his servant. But the art of whitewash has, in this instance, been practised with a subtler touch, the appearance of impartiality being cleverly sustained. In the events of the year which lend themselves readily to statistical treatment, the lesser scope for exaggeration has led to a closer fidelity to facts, although room has been found, for example, in the accounts of famine relief operations and industrial expansion, to claim more for Government’s prevision and responsiveness than the public conscience will be prepared to allow. Regarding the economic life of the country during the year, the report is fair enough to acknowledge that high prices, scarcity and manifold distress put the people to the severest of strains; and there is even a subdued word of appreciation for the people's endurance, which would be quite alright but the for the inference therefrom that the resistance indicated an unrecorded increase in the average income per head.

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