HISTORY ETHNOGRAPHY NATURE WINE-MAKING SITE MAP
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SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER
CYPRUS AS I SAW IT IN 1879
page 483

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These payments are required, under their bonds, in six monthly: instalments from the ist August ; grace is allowed for forty days, ancS the instalments are required to commence on the ioth September! They are delayed, however, on various pretexts, and reclamations and remissions of revenue are often unjustly obtained through collusion with the local Ka'imakams and Malmudirs. Thus, the tithe-farmen makes his bargain with the Government when the crops are ripening! recovers his claim directly they are gathered, indefinitely postpone! his own obligations to the Government and often evades thenj altogether. Although, under his bond, interest is payable on overdu! instalments, it is never enforced. An examination of the account revealed the existence of considerable arrear claims extending oven several years, and for the most part irrecoverable now. PracticalljB the tithe-farmer's obligations have never been discharged in the yean to which they belonged. Of the collections credited in the year 18764 77, nearly one-half was on account of the claims of prior years. These facts clearly show that the operation of the tithe system has resulted in a loss of revenue to the State. It has impoverished the peasant, involving him in the toils of the money-lender as well as oil the tithe-farmer. In has checked the productiveness of the island,, the area now under cultivation being less than a third of all the culturable lands of Cyprus. Some modification of the tax, or of the machinery for its collection, would therefore seem to be imperatively required. There are not wanting points of analogy, as of difference, between Cyprus and some of the British provinces of India, and a suggestion has been made to substitute the Indian system of a fixed monej payment for the tenth of the produce in kind. Curiously enough, the converse proposition has lately found favour in India in connectior with the agrarian riots in the Dekkan, and what is there regarded a! the bane of the Indian system is now proposed here as the antidoti of the Turkish system. Like the Cypriote, but in a greater degre! the Dekkan peasant is poor, indebted, and indifferent to the im provement of his land, and both are constantly liable to the effect of drought and famine. But whilst the State requires from the forme only a tenth part of his actual crops, the Indian peasant is liable foi the full money rate fixed without regard to the rainfall and the crops As between the State and the peasant, the elastic tithe tax would seen to be preferable—its evil working in Cyprus being due mainly to the irresponsible and unscrupulous agencies entrusted with the collectioi of the tithes. In attempting any reform, therefore, care shoul< be taken at the outset to avoid principles or methods that hav

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