A hundred years ago \ August 9, 1918. Archives

Sir D. Hamilton on Finance.

In opening the students co-operative store this evening [August 8, in Calcutta], Sir Daniel Hamilton delivered an interesting address on “spacious days to come.” Mr. Justice Greaves presided. In the course of the lecture Sir Daniel referred to the reform scheme and said: We must found the Government of the country on the co-operation of her people. While the proposed foundations are excellent and must be well and truly laid, with all speech I am not so sure that it is wise to pull down the old structure with the same haste. After suggesting that in the proposed councils all classes and interests should be safeguarded, the lecturer said: But it is in the realm of finance that the scheme is weakest. Without money it will fail as a lever for lifting the people and the reformers threw no light on where to find money. Is it necessary to remind the eminent reformers that all money raised whether by taxation or by borrowing must come ultimately from the people and if the well is dry there is nothing for the bucket to lift? The Indian well is dry because Mahajan gets there first. The Government retains a law court to help in lifting ten buckets for Mahajan and a Collector to lift one bucket for itself while the villager quenches his thirst with spacious drinks to come. A modern state cannot be built without a modern banking system. Clearly therefore the first and immediate task is to create one which will finance both the people and the Government.

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