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SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER
CYPRUS AS I SAW IT IN 1879
page 485

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which must result from an improved administration. The proportion of the produce heretofore taken in Cyprus, as the share of the Sovereign power, is considerably below that taken in other Eastern countries. In India, this share under the ancient Hindoo Rajahs was one-sixth. Under the Mohammedan rule, a third of the average produce of average land was held to be the Government share. Under British rule, from one-third to one-half of the rental is the standard of assessment at the present day, representing a much larger proportion than a tenth of the produce of the land. And in Cyprus (as has been shown in the preceding remarks), although the declared share of the State was only one-tenth, the peasantry have contributed a very much larger proportion, the difference forming the perquisites of the collectors of the revenue. Hence it may fairly be assumed that the British administration may take a larger share than one-tenth of the produce, without imposing any additional burden whatever on the people. It may rather be hoped that any increased State demand upon the cultivator will still leave him a larger proportion of the fruit of his labours than he has heretofore enjoyed, with absolute freedom in disposing of it to the best advantage. A further increase of the revenue from land may be anticipated from the extension of cultivation. With light assessments, improved communications, and occasional State aid, a large proportion of the culturable lands, now lying neglected, may be gradually brought under cultivation, stimulating the industry of the people, and in-! creasing the productiveness and wealth of the island. For the current year, however, the existing arrangement with the tithe-farmers must be accepted, and the revenue estimated accordingly. The year's tithes were sold for 82,088 Turkish liras, or nearly 74,000/. sterling, and the whole amount has yet to be collected. Already, the tithe-farmers plead inability to recover their] dues from the cultivators. The truth probably is that, whilst the British administration has somewhat checked their habitual exactions, t has emboldened the peasantry to resistance which would never have been attempted under the Turkish rule. Due justice will bei done between the parties, but, in any case, the Government claim] of 82,088 liras is covered by sufficient security, and will be realised/ for the most part. During the earlier months of the current year, before the British occupation, the sum of r,306,321 piastres was! recovered on account of silk tithes and tithes of prior years.] Adding this sum to the unrealised claims, and leaving a margini for default, the receipts for the year may be taken at 8,352,000]

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