Burma, Administration 1908

From Indpaedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Hindi English French German Italian Portuguese Russian Spanish

This article has been extracted from



Note: National, provincial and district boundaries have changed considerably since 1908. Typically, old states, ‘divisions’ and districts have been broken into smaller units, and many tahsils upgraded to districts. Some units have since been renamed. Therefore, this article is being posted mainly for its historical value.



The provinces of Arakan and Tenasserim were acquired in 1826, after the first Burmese War. The former became a portion of Bengal, the latter was administered by the Governor-General through a Commissioner. When Pegu was annexed in 1852, Martaban was placed under the Commissioner of Tenasserim, and the rest of the Province under a second Commissioner, also directly subordinate to the Governor-General, with his head quarters in Rangoon. The whole of British Burma was constituted a Chief Commissionership in 1862, and Sir Arthur Phayre was appointed Chief Commissioner. His successors were General A. Fytche (appointed 1867), Sir Ashley Eden (187 1), Sir Rivers Thompson (1875), Sir Charles Aitchison (1878), Sir Charles Bernard (1880), Sir Charles Crosthwaite (1887), Sir Alexander Mackenzie (1890), and Sir Frederic Fryer (1895). In 1897 the Province was constituted a Lieutenant-Governorship, and Sir Frederic Fryer became the first Lieutenant-Governor. He was succeeded by Sir Hugh Barnes in 1903, who was followed by Sir Herbert White in 1905.

The direct administrative functions of Government are performed by the Lieutenant-Governor through the medium of the Secretariat, which consists of five secretaries, four under secretaries, and two assistant secretaries. One of the secretaries deals with railway and another with ordinary Public ^^'orks business. The following are the principal heads of departments : the Financial Commissioner, who has a secretary and an assistant secretary ; the Settlement Commissioner and Director of Land Records and Agriculture (with deputy and assistant directors) ; the Inspector-General of Police ; the Director of Public Instruction; the Inspector-General of Prisons ; the Inspector- General of Civil Hospitals ; the Accountant-General ; and the Post- master-General. The last two represent Imperial departments under the Government of India, A Chief Conservator of Forests has recently been appointed. The Financial Commissioner, besides dealing with Land Revenue, Stamps, Income Tax, and Excise, is also chief Customs authority, Inspector-General of Registration, and Registrar-General of Births, Deaths, and Marriages.

The territories under the control of the Lieutenant-Governor consist of (a) Burma proper, (b) the Shan States, and {c) the Chin Hills. The Division, in charge of a Commissioner, is the largest adminis- trative area within Burma proper. Each Division is made up of a number of Districts, under Deputy-Commissioners ; Districts are divided into subdivisions under subdivisional officers ; and one, two, or more townships, under a township officer, go to each subdivision. Commissioners are always, and Deputy-Commissioners are ordinarily, officers of the Burma Commission. In the Northern Arakan and Salween Districts the Deputy-Commissioner is a Police officer. Sub- divisional offixers are members either of the Commission or of the Provincial or Subordinate civil services (Extra-Assistant Commissioners or myo-oks). Township officers {myo-oks) are practically always members of the Subordinate civil service. There are 8 Commissioners' Divisions (4 in Upper and 4 in Lower Burma), with an average population of 1,157,000 and an average area of 21,000 square miles; 37 Districts, with an average population of 250,000 and an average area of 4,556 square miles; 82 subdivisions, with an average population of 112,840 and an average area of 2,056 square miles; and 194 townships, with an average population of 47,695 and an average area of 869 square miles. Particulars regarding each District and Division as constituted in 1901 will be found in Table IV on pp. 236 and 237. The village system is in operation in both portions of the Province. In Lower Burma the ywaf/iugyi or village headman, in charge of a single village or of a group of villages small enough to be efficiently administered by one village official, has, so far as the collection of revenue is con- cerned, taken the place of the taikthugyi^ or circle headman, whose jurisdiction embraced a much larger area. In Upper Burma he is absorbing the myothugyi of pre-annexation days, an official whose jurisdiction corresponded in a measure with that of the taikthugyi of Lower Burma. '\:\\q. y^vathitgyi is in the first place responsible for the maintenance of order in his charge. He is also the rural revenue collector, and receives a commission on his collections ; he exercises petty criminal and, in certain cases, petty civil judicial powers, and is the indispensable intermediary between the people and their rulers. The office has been made as far as possible hereditary, and often attracts a really good class of man. There were about 18,500 village headmen in the Province in 1903.

For the purposes of police and medical administration the divisions of the Province are to all intents and purposes the same as for general civil administration. Each District has a Superintendent of police and a Civil Surgeon, whose jurisdictions coincide with that of the Deputy- Commissioner. The Public Works and Forest administrative areas, on the other hand, differ to some extent from the civil. In their case the unit is the division in charge of an Executive Engineer or a Deputy- Conservator of Forests, as the case may be, and the division often comprises portions of different civil Districts. Divisions are grouped into circles, which are, in the case of the Public Works department, in charge of Superintending Engineers and, as regards Forests, of Conservators. There are six Public \\'orks and four Forest circles in Burma. Public Works divisions are divided into subdivisions, and Forest divisions into subdivisions and ranges. For educational purposes Burma is divided into circles under Inspectors of Schools and sub- circles under Deputy-Inspectors. There are four education circles, each of which comprises several civil Districts. The head-quarters of three of them are at Rangoon, those of the fourth at Mandalay. The education sub-circle ordinarily corresponds to a civil District. There are nine postal divisions, each under an Inspector of post offices, and three Telegraph divisions with twelve subdivisions \ The medical officer in charge of a station in which a jail is situated is ex-officio Superintendent of the jail.

The Shan States, though a portion of British India, do not form part of Burma proper and are not comprised in the regularly adminis- tered area of the Province. They lie for the most part to the east of Upper Burma. They owed allegiance to the Burmese government but were administered by their own rulers (Sawbwas), and the British Government has continued to a certain extent the semi-independence which it found existing in 1885. As at present defined, the Shan States are divided into —

(i) States under the supervision of the Superintendent, Northern Shan States, whose head-quarters are at Lashio ;

(2) States under the supervision of the Superintendent and Political

officer. Southern Shan States, whose head-quarters are at Taunggyi ;

(3) The Myelat States, under the supervision of the same officer ; The Superintendents of the Northern and Southern Shan

States have Assistant Superintendents under them.

(4) A State under the supervision of the Commissioner, Mandalay


(5) States under the supervision of the Commissioner, Sagaing

Division. The civil, criminal, and revenue administration of every State in the Northern and Southern Shan States is vested in the chief of the State, subject to the restrictions specified in the sanad or deed of appointment granted to him. The law administered is the customary law of the State, so far as it fulfils the general conceptions of justice and does not lun counter to the spirit of the law of India. Chiefs can inflict the punishment of death on their own subjects for certain heinous offences,

  • The Arakan Telegraph division includes the Chittagong Division of Bengal,

a portion of whicli is comprised in the Akyab Telegraph subdivision. but the Superintendents have a general control over the administration of criminal justice and exercise broad revisionary powers. In criminal cases in which persons other than natives of the Shan States are con- cerned, the jurisdiction is vested in the Superintendents and their Assistants. A simple procedure has been prescribed for the local criminal and civil courts. In revenue matters the chiefs administer their charges according to local rules and customs, which have been but slightly modified by the British Government.

The Myelat consists of a number of small Shan States which form a strip of territory running, north and south, to the west of the Southern Shan States, and lying between them and the Districts of Kyaukse, Meiktila, and Yamethin in Upper Burma. So far as civil law and revenue matters are concerned, the administration is the same in the Myelat as in the Southern Shan States. The criminal law, however, is practically that of Upper Burma. The total area supervised by the Superintendents of the Northern and Southern Shan States is 57,915 square miles, with a population of 1,137,444 persons in 1901.

The one State under the supervision of the Commissioner, Mandalay Division, is Mongmit, to the east of the Ruby Mines District, which, with its dependency Monglang, is administered by the Deputy-Com- missioner as if it were a subdivision of that District. Its administration is about to be handed over to the Sawbwa, who has attained his majority.

The States under the supervision of the Commissioner, h^gaing Division, are two in number : Hsawnghsup (called by the Burmans Thaungdut) and Zingkaling Hkamti. Both are on the banks of the Chindwin river. These are the last survivals of the collection of Shan States to the west of the Irrawaddy, many of which in ancient days acknowledged the suzerainty of the Sawbwa of Mogaung. To this category belonged also the State of ^V^untho, in which a rebellion broke out in 1 89 1, and which was in consequence absorbed into Upper Burma ; and the State of Kale, which was abolished in the same year. The law administered in Hsawnghsup and Zingkaling Hkamti is practically the same as in the Northern and Southern Shan States.

The Chin Hills lie to the west of the river Chindwin and form a block of territory about 8,000 .square miles in extent, which in 1901 contained a total population of 87,189. They are supervised by a Superintendent, with head-quarters at Falam, and four Assistant Superintendents. The law in force is regulated by the Chin Hills Regulation (V of 1896). So far as the indigenous races are concerned, the criminal law is, with a few modifications, the same as the law of Upper Burma, and the petty Chin Hills chiefs have not the same administrative powers as the Shan Sawbwas. A small portion of the Chin Hills, known as the Pakokku Chin Hills, is outside the jurisdiction of the Superintendent, and is controlled by the Commissioner of the Minbu Division. A portion of the Chin area lying between the Chin Hills proper and the Northern Arakan District is not administered.

The Kachin tracts in the north, within the limits of the Province, are administered under the Kachin Hill Tribes Regulation (I of 1895). Beyond those limits the hill tribes are not directly controlled : and similarly no attempt has yet been made to administer Hkamti Long, a collection of petty Shan States in the extreme north of the Province, beyond the administrative border of Upper Burma — a geographical line, drawn at about the 26th parallel of latitude, along the northern border of Myitkyina District. In the case of Karenni, on the other hand, a certain measure of control is exercised. The Karenni States lie on both sides of the Salween river, to the east of Toungoo District, and are bounded on the north by the south-western corner of the Southern Shan States. They are not part of British India and are not subject to any of the laws in force in the Shan States or Burma ; but the Superintendent, Southern Shan States, and an Assistant Superinten- dent stationed at Loikaw exercise certain judicial powers in the States.

Legislation and Justice

A Legislative Council was created for Burma in 1897, which consists of the Lieutenant-Governor and nine members, five

Legislation and non-official. The justice. members do not as yet possess the rights of mter- pellatipn and of discussing the Provincial budget, which have been granted to the Councils of the older Provinces. The following are the chief legislative measures specially affecting Burma which have been passed since 1880 and are still in force : — Acts of the Governor- General in {Legislative) Council Burma Steam Boilers and Prime Movers Act, XVIII of 1882. Lower Burma Pilots Act, XII of 18S3. Burma Steam Boilers and Prime Movers Act, I of 1S85. Burma Military Police Act, XV of 1887. Financial Commissioner, Burma Act, XVIII of 18SS. Lower Burma Village Act, III of 1889. Lower Burma Towns Act, IX of 1892. Northern India Excise Act, XII of 1896. Burma Laws Act, XIII of 1898. Lower Burma Courts Act, VI of 1900. Regulations of the Governor-General in {Executive) Council Upper Burma Municipal Regulation, V of 1887.

Upper Burma Village Regulation, XIV of 1887.

Upper Burma Land and Revenue Regulation, III- of 1889.

Upper Burma Towns Regulation, VI of 189 1.

Upper Burma Criminal Justice Regulation, V of 1S92.

Kachin Hill Tribes Regulation, I of 1895. Upper Burma Civil Courts Regulation, I of 1S96.

Chin Hills Regulation, V of 1896.

Upper Burma Registration Regulation, II of 1897.

Acts of the Burma Legislative Council

Burma General Clauses Act, I of 1898.

Burma Ferries Act, II of 1S98.

Burma Municipal Act, III of 1S98.

Lower Burma Town and Village Lands Act, IV of 189S.

Burma Gambling Act, I of 1899.

Rangoon Police Act, IV of 1899.

Burma Forest Act, IV of 1902.

Burma Canal Act, II of 1905.

Burma Fisheries Act, III of 1905.

Rangoon Port Act, IV of 1905.

Till recently there was in Burma no such regular separation of judicial and executive functions as has been developed in the older Provinces of India. A scheme for the more satisfactory disposal of civil appeals and criminal trials and appeals by whole-time District and Divisional Judges in Lower Burma has, however, now been introduced. It involves the appointment of five Divisional Judges and seven District Judges (with jurisdiction extending over the areas shown in the tables below), and has been adopted to relieve the pressure caused by the growth of judicial work in the Irrawaddy Division and in the Lower province generally.

Divisional Judges


District Judges


A regular township judicial service has recently been created for Lower Burma. It consists of thirty-six judges.

The criminal procedure followed in Upper Burma differs in some particulars from that in the Low-er province. For Upper Burma certain modifications in regard to powers of magistrates, appeals, and the like have been introduced into the Indian Criminal Procedure Code (which regulates the practice of the Courts in Lower Burma) by the Upper Burma Criminal Justice Regulation (V of 1892). The Code of Civil Procedure has been adapted to the special conditions of Upper Burma by the Upper Burma Civil Courts Regulation (I of 1896). The Chief Court for Upper Burma in both criminal and civil matters is that of the Judicial Commissioner at Mandalay. Commissioners of Divisions are Sessions Judges, and try cases without the aid either of jurors or assessors. The Mandalay Division has an Additional Sessions Judge. Deputy-Commissioners are District Magistrates, and exercise the special powers conferred by section 30 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Subdivisional officers are usually first-class, and township officers second- or third-class magistrates. The Civil Courts Regulation created the following grades of civil courts in Upper Burma : the town- ship court, presided over by the township officer, with jurisdiction up to Rs. 500 ; the subdivisional court, presided over by the subdivisional officer, with jurisdiction up to Rs. 3,000 ; the District court, presided over by the District Judge (Deputy-Commissioner), without limit of pecuniary jurisdiction ; the Divisional court, presided over by the Commissioner of the Division ; and the Judicial Commissioner's court. The last two courts are purely appellate. The District court hears appeals from courts subordinate to it, appeals from the District court being heard by the Divisional court or by the Judicial Commissioner, according to the value of the suit or the nature of the decree.

In Lower Burma the Chief Court occupies the position of a High Court for the purposes of both civil and criminal justice. It was constituted in 1900 and is presided over by four judges, two of whom are members of the Indian Civil Service and two barristers. The Chief Judge is at present a barrister. The Chief Court discharges the functions previously performed by the Recorder of Rangoon, the Judicial Commissioner of Lower Burma, and a Special Court in which both these officers sat together, sometimes along with a third judge. In Arakan the Commissioner is Divisional and Sessions Judge. Elsewhere there are the special whole-time judicial officers referred to above. Sessions cases are tried with the aid of assessors, except in the Rangoon town sessions (where a judge of the Chief Court sits as Sessions Judge and cases are tried by a jury) and in Moulmein town. The Deputy- Commissioner is District Magistrate. In Lower Burma the Criminal Procedure Code is in force unmodified. For the purposes of civil procedure the Code of Civil Procedure and the Lower Burma Courts Act (VI of 1900) are followed. The courts created by the latter enactment are, besides the Chief Court, those of the township, the subdivision, the District, and the Division. In both Lower and Upper Burma the Government appoints judges, and, while appointing ex-offido judges to some courts, appoints persons by name to others. In Upper Burma the executive ofificers are ex-offido civil judges except in a few townships. In Lower Burma there are special civil judges in about half the courts. There are twenty-four benches of honorary magistrates in the Province, and at the end of 1904-5 the number of these magis- trates was 174. They generally sit in municipal towns for the disposal of petty cases.

There has been a steady growth in the amoimt of criminal judicial work in the Province during the last two decades. In 1881 the total of cases brought to trial in Lower Burma was 23,181. In 1891 the Lower Burma cases reached an aggregate of 38,755, while those of Upper Burma numbered 13,433, making a total of 52,188 for both portions of the Province. In 1901 the corresponding total was 70,161, and in 1903, 76,750 \

In a community increasing as rapidly as that of Burma a steady rise in the figures of crime is to be looked for. It may be safely said, however, that improved detection has had as much to do with raising the figures as has increase of population. It is probable that in a few urban areas crime is actually and proportionately more rife at present than it was in 1881 ; but, looking at the Province as a whole, there can be no doubt that the gravity of the crime committed is far less now than ten or fifteen years ago. The annexation of Upper Burma and the disturbances that succeeded it transformed the whole nature of the crime of Burma. Sentences of transportation rose from 153 in 1885 to 1,504 in 1886; sentences of imprisonment for more than seven years from 32 to 78. The total of robberies and dacoities brought to trial in Lower Burma in 1881 was loi. In 1886 it was 1,180, and in 1888 no less than 1,419 ; and it was not till well into the second decade under review that real headway was made against offences of this violent nature, which, curiously enough, have been far more prevalent of late in Lower than in Upper Burma. The number of dacoities and robberies brought to trial in both portions of the Province in 1890 was 1,039 ; in 1 891 it was 734 ; by 1896 it had fallen to 527, and by 1900 to 208. While crimes of violence have been diminishing, offences of a petty nature, especially against special and local laws, have been on the increase. It is the rise in these minor forms of crime that is responsible for a good deal of the growth apparent since 1881.

  • For statistics as to the number of persons brought to trial in these years see

Table VI on p. 241. If the effect of the annexation on the crime returns of the country was marked, the impress that it left on civil judicial business was hardly less significant. For the ten years prior to 1881 litigation had been nearly stationary in Lower Burma. Between 1882 and 1884 the total number of suits instituted rose from 32,267 to 35,478. In 1885 the aggregate declined, and in 1886 there was a further general decrease, which was continued into the next year, so that the figure for 1887 fell to 32,367 or only 100 in excess of the total for 1882. The follow- ing year (1888) saw a real commencement in the restoration of order, and the litigation figures again rose. There was a further substantial increase in 1889, which may be said to reflect the almost complete renewal of the feeling of security that the disturbances following on the annexation had temporarily dispelled. The total of cases instituted in that year was 37,904 in Lower Burma. There was a falling off in litigation there in 1890, but the value of cases was higher than in the previous year, and the total of cases instituted in Upper Burma rose largely. This increase in the Upper province, despite the scarcity of 1896, has been maintained uninterruptedly ever since. In Lower Burma, on the other hand, there have been considerable fluctuations. The total for both portions of the Province was 58,143 in 1901, and 68,656 in 1903. Further statistics will be found in Table VII on p. 241.

The Indian Registration Act (III of 1877) is in force in Lower Burma. In Upper Burma the Registration law is that embodied in the Upper Burma Registration Regulation (II of 1897). The Financial Commissioner is Inspector-General of Registration in Lower Burma, Commissioners are Inspectors of Registration, and Deputy-Com- missioners are registrars. There are also sub-registrars (treasury, subdivisional, and township ofificers) in each District. In Upper Burma the registering officers are ordinarily subdivisional or township officers, but the Financial Commissioner, the Commissioners, and the Deputy- Commissioners control and supervise registration work. There is an intimate connexion between registration and litigation. Thus during 1886 and 1887 there were marked decreases in the total of documents presented for registration in Lower Burma, while 1888 showed an increase which continued till 1893, when registrations fell in number. There was then a rise in 1894 and a second fall in 1895 and 1896, since which date registration work in Lower Burma has been growing steadily. As in the case of litigation, the increase in registration in Upper Burma has been regular and sustained. The total of documents registered in British Burma in 1880-1 was 6,107. I'l 1890-1 the figure had risen in Lower Burma to 11,013, while the aggregate in 1900-r for both Upper and Lower Burma was 29,594. In 1903 the total was 40,731, and the number of registration offices was 146.

Local and Municipal

Municipal administration in Burma dates from 1874, when the British Burma Municipal Act became law, and Rangoon, Moulmein, Pronie, Bassein, Akyab, Toungoo, and Henzada were constituted municipalities, to be administered by committees appointed by the Chief Commissioner.

In 1882 and 1883 the elective system was introduced into all these places except Prome. A certain proportion of the members of each committee was still, however, appointed by Government, and, except in Rangoon, the elections evoked no great interest. In 1883-4 the Act was extended to Pegu. On December i, 1884, the Burma Municipal Act (XVII of 1884) came into force ; and in January, 1885, the eight towns already mentioned, as well as Paungde and Yandoon, were constituted municipalities under it. Between 1885 and 1888 twelve more municipalities were constituted in Lower Burma, but already the discovery had been made that the elective system was not an unquali- fied success. The new committees were accordingly formed ordinarily of members nominated by the Local Government ; and when in 1887 the municipal system was extended to Upper Burma, the Regulation (V of 1887) whereby the necessary legislation was effected provided for the appointment, and not for the election, of members of municipal committees. The elective system now obtains only in nine of the municipalities of Lower Burma and in Mandalay. The Mandalay municipality was constituted in 1887 ; and by the end of 1887-8 fifteen other municipalities had been established in Upper Burma under the Regulation. Events proved, however, that some of the smaller munici- palities then created were not really ripe for municipal administration, and three of them were subsequently abolished.. Two new Lower Burma municipalities, those of Letpadan and Gyobingauk, were created in 1894-5, a third (Thonze) in 1897, and a fourth (Allanmyo) in 1900, One of the earliest measures to engage the attention of the Burma Legislative Council in the first year of its existence (1897) was a Muni- cipal Bill. The Lower Burma Municipal Act of 1884 had been adapted, with only a few modifications, from an Act passed for the Punjab ; and thirteen years of experience of its provisions had shown that, to suit the requirements of the Province, it needed thorough revision. Steps were accordingly taken to produce an entirely new legislative measure, the Burma Municipal Act (III of 1898). This Act was applicable to Mandalay as well as to Lower Burma, and power was taken to extend it to other Upper Burma municipalities. This extension has been made in eight cases, and proposals for the extension of the Act to the remaining five Upper Burma municipalities have recently been sanctioned.

In April, 1905, there were forty-two municipalities in Burma. Two of these (Rangoon and Mandalay) contained over 100,000 inhabitants, 17 more than 10,000 but less than 100,000, and 23 less than 10,000 inhabitants. The average incidence of municipal taxation in 1903-4 was in Rangoon Rs. 6-8-4 per head of population ; and in the remain- ing municipalities of the Province, Rs. 1-10-3 per head. The total number of members of municipal committees in 1904-5 was 543, of whom 161 were ex offuio, 268 nominated, and 114 elected. In all 160 were Europeans. The president of the Rangoon municipality is an officer of the Burma Commission who devotes his whole time to muni- cipal and town lands matters. In the other municipalities the president is the Deputy-Commissioner of the District or the chief civil officer of the station concerned.

At the close of 1904-5 there were fourteen ' notified areas' adminis- tered by town committees who exercise certain municipal functions. These are practically embryo municipalities.

Taxes on buildings and lands, lighting and scavenging rates, and taxes and tolls on carts and other vehicles are the most common sources of municipal income ; but the real mainstay of municipal revenues in the interior is the sum of the fees derived from markets and slaughter- houses. A water tax is levied in Rangoon, Moulmein, and Prome. Considerable sums are spent annually on conservancy, hospitals, educa- tion, and works of a public nature. A special Sanitary Engineer has been appointed to assist municipal committees in preparing schemes for conservancy and water-supply, and it is probable that in the near future the expenditure on water-supply schemes will increase appreciably. The scheme by which Rangoon has till recently been supplied with water from the Victoria Lake north of Kokaing has been found insuffi- cient for the requirements of the rapidly growing population of the city, and a project for a new supply from the more remote Hlawga reservoir has been recently carried out by Government for the municipality. A scheme for supplying Moulmein with water has also been completed by Public ^\'orks agency, and a project for water-works for Akyab has been prepared. Prome has water-works which were completed in 1885. Municipal accounts are audited at regular intervals by a staff of auditors under the Inspector of Local Funds Accounts.

The total ordinary municipal income and expenditure of Rangoon and other municipalities in Upper and Lower Burma in 1903-4 is given below, in lakhs of rupees : —


Particulars of income and expenditure (ordinary and extraordinary) for earlier years are contained in Table X appended to this article (p. 244). Omitting the income head ' Loans ' and the expenditure heads ' \Vater-supply and drainage,' there is little in the figures which calls for comment. In nearly every case a fairly steady expansion has taken place during the twelve-year period covered.

There are no District or local boards in Burma, but the Deputy- Commissioner of each District has at his disposal a Local fund known in Upper Burma as the District fund, and in Lower Burma as the Dis- trict cess fund. The incotne is derived in Lower Burma from a cess on land (levied at 10 per cent, on the land revenue assessments), and in both portions of the Province from ferries, cattle-pounds, markets, &c. ; and the Deputy-Commissioner applies the proceeds to the upkeep of minor roads and other local objects, such as resthouses, cattle-pounds, District post', &c. In 1903-4 the total receipts from these funds amounted to 27-2 lakhs, and the total expenditure to 26 lakhs, the main items of outlay being as follows : —


Public works

The control of the Public Works department in Burma till 1905 was in the hands of a Chief Engineer, who is also secretary to Government in the Public Works department. Under the Chief Engineer the Province was divided for Public Works purposes into five circles, each in charge of a Superintending Engineer. ' The District post was taken over by the Imperial Post Oflice in 1906. One of the charges was an Irrigation circle, which included all the Government irrigation works in the Province, while the other four dealt with buildings and roads and other works, excluding irrigation, within their respective boundaries. Each circle consists of a number of divi- sions in charge of Executive Engineers ; the number has not been constant, but there were recently twenty-four buildings and roads divi- sions and five irrigation divisions. In 1905, in order to cope with the rapidly developing needs of the Province, a second Chief Engineer, a sixth Superintending Engineer for the charge of an additional build- ings and roads circle, and a Sanitary Engineer with the status of a Super- intending Engineer were sanctioned, and the charges are now being distributed. All public works paid for out of Imperial and Provincial revenues are carried out by the department, which also, when so required, executes w^orks the cost of which is defrayed by municipal, Port, District, or District cess funds.

The statement of Provincial expenditure appended to this article (p. 243) shows that the average outlay on public works, ordinary and irrigation, which during the ten years ending March 31, i8go, was less than 25 lakhs, rose during the following decade to 46 lakhs, and that the actual figure for the year 1 900-1 was 104 lakhs. Taking all heads (Imperial, Provincial, and Local), the expenditure for the last-named year exceeded 128 lakhs. From Provincial funds nearly 17 lakhs was spent on irrigation, 42 lakhs on public buildings, and 30 lakhs on com- munications. In 1902-3 the Provincial expenditure aggregated 102^ lakhs, and in 1903-4 the total expenditure in the Public Works depart- ment. Imperial, Provincial, and Local, was 139I: lakhs. The mainland and water communications and the principal irrigation works have already been noticed. During the past twenty years Upper Burma has been supplied with courthouses, police stations, military police barracks, jails, and an enormous number of other public buildings : but, with the exception of one or two of the larger jails, no single work of any great importance has been undertaken. Lower Burma at the commencement of this period was well furnished with public buildings of every descrip- tion, but their number has been very considerably added to since. The recent additions include the present Government House, the Secretariat offices, and the Central jails at Moulmein and Insein. \\'ork has been commenced on the new General Hospital at Rangoon, a project esti- mated to cost 27 lakhs, and will shortly be begun on the new Chief Court, Currency buildings, Press buildings, and Museum. Designs for extended General Post and Telegraph Olifices are under preparation. The work done in the way of lighthouse construction in the past is dealt with in a later paragraph.

Few notable public works have been undertaken by local bodies during the past twenty years save in Rangoon. The principal municipal water-supply schemes that have been executed are referred to in an earher paragraph under the head of Local and Municipal. Consider- able sums have been spent in the past by the Port Commissioners of Ran- goon on the improvement of the port, and the accommodation for shipping has of recent years been largely increased. Among other works not falling into any of the previous categories may be mentioned the .Vnglican Cathedral in Rangoon, to which a tower is now being added, and the Roman Catholic Cathedral in the same city at present in course of construction.

Police and Jails

The Police department in Burma is administered by an Inspector- General and three Deputy-Inspectors-General, two for civil and one for military police. There is also a special officer in o ice an charge of police supply. The civil police force may

be said to have been first regularly organized in 1861, when the Indian Police Act (V of 1861) came into force. A Super- intendent of police was appointed for each District of the Province as it then existed, and was made immediately subordinate to the Inspector- General in Rangoon. The whole force then numbered 6,100 and cost 12 lakhs a year. In 1881 it consisted of 6,853 officers and men, and its cost had risen by over 2 lakhs. The disturbed state of the country about the time of the annexation of Upper Burma, and the necessity for the protection of the newly acquired territory, occasioned a large increase to the force; and by 1891 the strength of the civil police in both sections of the Province had risen to nearly 16,000. For a short time, while the police force of Upper Burma was being organized, a special Inspector-General was appointed for the Upper province. Since 1891 the total of civil police has been reduced. The policy of curtailment began in 1892, and by 1895 the strength of the force

The Oyster Island Light took the place of a lighthouse on Oyster Reef, which was built in 1876 and swept away by a cyclone in 1884- had been lessened by more than 2,000 and brought down to its existing proportions. In 1901 the force was 12,879 strong, or in other words there was in Burma proper one civil policeman to every 13 square miles and to every 718 of the population. The strength and cost of the force in 1 88 1, 1 89 1, 1 90 1, and 1903 are given in Table XI at the end of this article (p. 245).

Except in the superior grades and in urban areas the members of the force are recruited from Burmans, Takings, Shans, and other indigenous races. The service is not popular, for the discipline that enlistment in the force entails is disliked by the men. As detectives the Burmese police are on the whole successful, but in matters of drill and the like they are not to be compared with the police of India proper. In 1888 a Committee was appointed to investigate the state of the police and to devise means for placing it on a more satisfactory footing. The main outcome of its recommendations was the division of the Lower Burma force into civil and military police, and the establishment at the head- quarters of Districts of police schools at which recruits and other members of the force receive systematic training. In 1891 the beat patrol system was inaugurated in the rural areas of the Province, and has been found to work satisfactorily. In 1899 the Rangoon Police Act came into force, and from the date of its enactment the Rangoon town police has been administered by a special Police Commissioner on a somewhat different footing from the rest of the force. It has occasionally been found necessary to invoke the aid of section 15 of the Police Act, and to station punitive police in specially criminal or ill- affected areas, making the cost of their maintenance a burden on the local residents. For several years after the annexation the annual total of punitive police did not fall below 1,000, but till quite recently none has been required since 1896. There is a special finger-print or criminal identification department in Rangoon which, since 1898, has carried on the system of identifying criminals by means of finger impressions. References are made to it from the Districts, and it has been the means of tracing a considerable number of previously convicted prisoners. At present the majority of the civil police are armed with das (sword-knives) and smooth-bore muskets, but arrangements are being made to substitute Martini-Henry smooth-bore carbines.

The Burma District Cesses and Rural Police Act (II of 1880) created a rural police for Lower Burma, the officers appointed under the Act being known as kyedangyis and yazawut gaungs. The Lower Burma Village Act (III of 1889) superseded this enactment so far as the con- stitution of the rural police force was concerned. Under the latter Act, petty officials known as ' ten-house ' gaungs have been appointed to be rural policemen in Lower Burma, and have been invested with the powers and privileges of police officers The office of gaung in charge of ten houses was a well-recognized feature of village administration in Burmese times. 'Ten-house' gaiings are not paid, but their duties are exceedingly light and their office gives them a certain standing. There are no rural police in Upper Burma, but in both Upper and Lower Burma the village headman has been empowered to search for and arrest any person who is liable to be arrested by a police officer in any of the circumstances mentioned in section 54 of the Criminal Procedure Code. The relations between the regular and rural police are in the main very satisfactory. The village headmen have petty magisterial functions and some of them receive enhanced powers. They also collect the revenue.

The military police in Burma may be said to have had their origin in the disorder that followed on the annexation of Upper Burma. In 1886, with a view to supplementing the work done by the troops, proposals were submitted to the Government of India for the enlistment of about 3,500 military police. Out of this nucleus grew the military police force of the Province, which in 1888 consisted of 19 battalions, numbering 17,880 men in Upper Burma, with a further force of 1,000 men in Lower Burma. The force was formally established under the Upper Burma Military Police Regulation in 1887. This enactment was superseded during the same year by the Burma Military Police Act, which created a military police for Lower Burma and incorpo- rated it with the Upper Burma force. The rank and file of the military police consists almost entirely of natives of India, each battalion being commanded by officers of the Indian Army. The officers of the Upper Burma battalions are termed commandant and assistant commandant ; those of the two Lower Burma battalions, adjutant and assistant adjutant. Since 1888 the force has been gradually re- duced in strength (the battalions on disbandment being frequently formed into local regiments), and at the close of 1901 consisted of 15,053 men, distributed over ten battalions in Upper, and two battalions in Lower Burma. At the end of 1903 the total was 15,062. The force is armed with Martini-Henry rifles. The military police took the principal part in the pacification of the country, and their work now consists, for the most part, in garrisoning posts and perform- ing guard and escort duty. They still form, in fact, a supplemen- tary military force and take no share in the detection or prosecution of offences. The force includes some Kachins and Karens. At one time the latter formed a separate battalion, but a riot that occurred in its ranks in 1899 led to the distribution of the companies forming it among other battalions. Half a company of the recently formed Southern Shan States battalion is composed of Shans.

The railway police force was organized in 1890 and is in charge of a specially selected Superintendent. In 1899 it was reorganized and its strength somewhat reduced, but since then there have been sHght increases. In 1903 the strength of the force was 93 officers and ser- geants and 275 men, and the total of true cognizable cases disposed of was 619.

The main statistics of cognizable crime during the five years ending 1 90 1, and in 1903, are given below : —


The Jail department in Burma is under the control of an Inspector- General of Prisons, who belongs to the Indian Medical Service. There are three separate Jail Superintendentships, Rangoon, Insein, and Mandalay. Other jails are in charge of the Civil Surgeon or the senior medical officer at the station where the jail is situated. In 1881 British Burma possessed 2 Central jails, 6 District jails, and 6 lock-ups administered by the Jail department ; and the number of prisoners in confinement at the close of that year was 4,461. By 1891, the number of prisons in the Province had risen to 30. Six of these were Central jails, 21 District jails (nearly all at the head-quarters of Districts), and 3 lock-ups. The accommodation in that year was for nearly 13,000 prisoners, and by December 31 the actual total admitted had been raised, by the disturbances that followed on the annexation of the Upper Province, to 11,557. During the two following years the number of prisoners remained at about the same level, but in 1894 there was a sudden rise to 13,625, and at the end of 1896 the highest total yet attained for Burma (14,336) was reached. The year 1897 was marked by Jubilee remissions; the jail population fell to 12,886; and since then the decline has continued almost uninterruptedly. In 1 90 1 the total of jails was 32 (6 Central and 26 District), and the jail population at the end of the year was 11,731, a lower figure than for any year since 1891. The corresponding figure for 1903 was 11,669. During the early portion of the, last decade there was congestion in some of the prisons which, in the circumstances of the case, was unavoidable. In 1901, however, there was accommodation for 14,648 prisoners, or for nearly 3,000 more than had actually to be housed at the end of the year, and such overcrowding as occurred was local only and was susceptible of immediate relief. The total of jails in 1903 was the same as in 1901 (32), with accommodation for 16,599 prisoners.

Table XII appended to this article (p. 245) gives the main statistics regarding the jails of the Province. It will be seen that the rate of jail mortality has fallen during the past twenty years from 44 to 15 per thousand. Admissions to hospital have declined from over 900 per 1,000 of average jail population in 1881, and nearly 900 in 1891, to 547 in 1901 and 474 in 1903. These data speak for themselves of the progress made during the past two decades in the sanitary administration of the jails. The manufacture of furniture and the cultivation of vegetables are two of the most important jail industries of the Province, and, so far as green food is concerned, the prisons are practically self-supporting. Wheat-grinding for the military police is carried on extensively, and as much use as possible is made of convict labour in the manufacture of articles required by Government depart- ments. A branch of the Government Press is located in the Rangoon jail. With the exception of carved wooden furniture, practically no products of jail labour in Burma leave the Province. The profit on jail manufactures is, as will be seen from the table already referred to, considerable. It was lower in 1901 and 1903 than in 1891, owing to a more rigid enforcement of the rule which prohibits the sale to the public of jail manufactures at prices below the ordinary market rate.

A juvenile reformatory at Insein, a few miles out of Rangoon, was opened in December, 1896, taking the place of the reformatory which had till then existed at Paungde, a station in Prome District on the railway line. In April, 1899, it was transferred from the control of the Inspector-General of Prisons to that of the Director of Public Instruc- tion. It had 96 inmates at the end of 1901, and 82 on December 31, 1903.


On the annexation of Lower Burma the British found an almost unique system of vernacular education ready to their hand throughout . their newly acquired possession. The kyainigs or

monasteries were the schools, and the pofigyis or monks the teachers, while the taught embraced the whole of the male population of the country, for custom then, as now, demanded that every Burmese Buddhist male, from the highest to the lowest, should pass some portion of his youth in a religious seminary. The tuition given in these indigenous schools was not of the profoundest ; but including, as it did, reading, writing, and the rudiments of arithmetic, it was not to be despised, and, apart from its intrinsic worth, it was of value as forming a parent stem on which Western educational methods could be grafted. This process of grafting was first systematically carried out by Sir Arthur Phayre in 1866. An Educational department, with a system of grants-in-aid, had been in existence in Burma for many years previously, but it was then placed on a sound footing. The attention of the newly appointed Director of Public Instruction was directed to supervising and fostering the scheme for spreading vernacu- lar education through the kyaungs or Buddhist monasteries in Rangoon and Moulmein ; and the principle of adapting the existing indigenous agency for the diffusion of primary education has since then occupied the foremost place in the educational policy of the Province, Upper Burma having been included in the Educational department's sphere of action in 1889-90. Missionary schools are now plentiful, and lay schools both public and private abound ; but the bed-rock of vernacular educa- tion in Burma is still monastery teaching, and with it is intimately bound up the educational welfare of the people.

Regarded from a purely departmental point of view, education in Burma falls under two main heads, vernacular and Anglo-vernacular, the latter being carried on wholly under the supervision of the Govern- ment Educational authorities. The former is only partially supervised, for a large number of the monastery schools have not yet conformed to the rules of the department and sought registration. Non-registered schools obtain no assistance from Government, but schools which have been registered and have submitted to Government inspection are helped with grants of various kinds.

As at present constituted, the inspecting staff of the Educational department in Burma consists of a Director of Public Instruction, 4 Inspectors of schools, 4 Assistant Inspectors, 44 Deputy-Inspectors, and one Sub-Inspector. The Director and the Inspectors are members of the Indian Educational Service, with a British university training, and are appointed in England by the Secretary of State. The Assistant, Deputy, and Sub-Inspectors are recruited in the country, and are ordinarily Burmans, Karens, or Talaings. The Deputy-Inspectors have, as a rule, the educational charge of a civil District and confine their attention to vernacular education, but neither they nor any of the other members of the inspecting staff undertake any direct instruction. The teaching staff of the Educational department consists of the masters of the Government schools (high, middle, normal, &c.) in the Province; but it is comparatively small, for one of the cardinal principles kept in view has been that Government should 'ordinarily not establish and directly manage schools and colleges of its own, but should inspect, regulate, and assist schools established and managed by private persons or associations.' The greater part of the tuition is thus given by non- Government teachers. To spread elementary education, however, and to assist such persons as are anxious to have their schools registered by the department, or to raise their grade, a staff of itinerant teachers is maintained by Government. Measures have also been taken to facilitate the appointment of pupil-teachers for small and struggling institutions needing special assistance of this kind. These teachers are examined yearly and undergo a practical training at a normal school. In Lower Burma municipalities and committees of ' notified areas ' have the general control of educational affairs within their jurisdiction, subject to the rules laid down in the local Education Code ; in Upper Burma the control of municipal and town schools rests directly with the Educational department. In Lower Burma education is one of the objects on which District cess fund money may be spent, but the District funds of Upper Burma cannot be thus applied.

All education, whether vernacular or Anglo-vernacular, falls under one or other of the three heads, collegiate, secondary, or primary. Burma as yet possesses no separate University, and up to 1894 the Rangoon College was the only college. That institution was developed from the Rangoon High School in 1881 ; and in 'the following year the Educational Syndicate, a body constituted for the purpose of conducting examinations, and for advising the Local Government regarding certain standards of instruction in Lower Burma, came into being. It had at first no corporate existence; but in 1886 it was formally incorporated under the Registration of Societies Act, and it managed the Rangoon College till 1904 and the High School till 1902. Both these institutions are now under the control of the Educational department. The college is of the first grade. The Baptist College, which was registered as such in 1894, is a second-grade aided college, also at" Rangoon. The ex- penditure on the Rangoon College in 1904 was Rs. 48,150 ; that on the Baptist College, Rs, 16,200. Both colleges are afifiliated to the Calcutta University, Below are given certain particulars regarding the Uni- versity work of these colleges for the years 1891^ 1901, and 1904 : — -


A college attendance of four years is required for the attainment of the B.A. degree. Two of these are spent in the F.A. (First Arts) and two in the B.A. section. In 1904 there were 194 students at the two colleges, of whom 5 were females. Hostels for boarders are attached to both institutions. Owing to the absence of caste, the hostel system presents fewer difficulties in Burma than in other Pro- vinces, and it exists to a considerable extent in connexion with the primary and secondary schools also. The hostels (of which there were 115 in 1904) are popular, and proposals for enlarging and extending them are constantly being received by the Educational authorities.

In 1 88 1 Lower Burma possessed 7 high schools and 23 middle schools for boys, with 166 and 950 pupils respectively. In 1891 the Upper and Lower Burma figures combined had risen to 9 high schools

' Here, as elsewhere in the Education paragraphs, 1891, 1892, &c., mean the official years 1S90-1, 1S91-2, &c. with an aggregate of 2,890 male pupils, and 58 middle schools with 5,135 male pupils. The increase is noteworthy, but it was less than the rise which took place in the succeeding ten years. In 1901 the 15 high schools for boys in Burma had a total of 5,335 male pupils; 3 were managed by Government, 3 by municipal committees, and 9 by private bodies (aided). In the same year there were 281 middle schools for boys with 18,858 male pupils. 'I'welve of these schools were managed by municipal committees, the rest (269) by private bodies (aided). There were two vernacular high schools in 1901 ; of the 281 middle schools 225 were vernacular and 56 Anglo-vernacular. In 1904, 21 high schools for boys had 7,432 male pupils; and 325 middle schools for boys (of which 265 were vernacular) had 23,182 male pupils. Of the high schools, 5 were managed by Government, 3 by municipalities, and 13 by private bodies. There are no unaided secondary schools in Burma. Aid is given in the shape of results grants for pupils who have passed examinations, and grants for build- ing, equipment, and maintenance, and for salaries to certificated teachers, (^c. Of the male population of the Province of school-going age (taken at 15 per cent, of the total), 3 per cent, were under secondary instruction in 1901.

Primary schools teach the lowest standards, from the first to the fourth inclusive. They may be vernacular or Anglo-vernacular, but there are very few of the latter. Vernacular primary schools are in some cases under missionary control ; but the great majority are carried on by non-Christian private individuals, monastic and lay, who draw grants from Government or municipal funds, if they come up to the standard prescribed for registration and conform to the grant-in-aid rules. These are known as public schools. All which do not conform to the rules and have no desire to be inspected by the department are private institutions.

The condition of public male primary education in the Province in the years 1881, 1891, 1901, and 1904 is indicated in the following statement : —


Of the 4,529 primary schools open in 1904, all but 5 were under private management ; of the 5 exceptions, 4 were managed by Govern- ment and the remaining one by a municipality. The total of male pupils under primary instruction in public institutions in 1901 was 12 per cent, of the total males of school-going age in the Province.

A survey of primary education statistics (male) during the past twenty years shows fluctuations so marked as to demand a word of explanation. The high-water mark may be said to have been reached in 1885-6, when Lower Burma alone had 5,102 public boys' schools with 133,408 pupils. Various causes, of which the annexation of Upper Burma was at the time regarded as the most vital, combined to reduce the figures of subsequent years. In 1888-9 ^^ number of schools had fallen to 2,750 and that of pupils to 69,105, and even the inclusion of the Upper Burma data in the following year failed to bring the figures for the whole Province into line with the Lower Burma total for 1885-6. Matters improved after 1888-9 : but from 1891-2 onwards there has been a falling off, which has brought the average of the five years ending with 1 900-1 down to a level no higher than that of the Lower Burma average of twenty years ago. The fact appears to be that formerly DeputyTnspectors were apt to place on the departmental registers schools that were really unqualified for regis- tration, so that we may regard the latest figures, the result of successive years of elimination of the unfit, as a truer picture of the state of public primary education than that afforded by the opening years of the two decades under review. It may be laid down as a general proposition that in Burma the extension of primary vernacular education is limited only by the amount of money available for its development : in other words, that, wherever additional funds are judiciously applied and new schools are opened and equipped, there will, in existing circum- stances, be an unfailing supply of new scholars to fill the schools and benefit by the money spent.

Whatever may have been the factors that have brought abcnit the reduction in the total of public primary schools, there has been no falling off in the aggregate of unregistered monastic institutions. Growth of population, the transfer of schools from the registered to the unregistered list, and a more thorough system of recording non-depart- mental data have, in fact, sent up the totals to a very marked extent. The following are the figures for 1891, 1901, and 1904 in respect of private primary schools, the majority of which da& pongyi kyaungs : —


It will be seen therefore that more than half the education of the country is carried on by the wearers of the yellow robe independentl\ of the Educational department. Teachers in public primary schools have to qualify by the primary grade, and undergo other tests which involve a training of two years for vernacular and three for Anglo- vernacular tuition. 'I'he pay of such teachers varies very considerably, but ranges ordinarily between Rs. 20 and Rs. roo a month. Rs. 20 is the salary fixed for fifth-grade and Rs. 60 for first-grade certificated assistant-teachers appointed by the department. The pay and position of teachers has improved of late years ; but the service is still far from popular, and is often used merely as a stepping-stone to more lucrative employment under Government.

The whole Provincial vernacular system is framed to suit the con- venience of children belonging to the agricultural cla.sses. The atten- dance required during the year is reduced in their case, and their presence is not enforced while work in the fields is necessary.

Female education in Burma has been advancing steadily. The following table shows the totals of public secondary and primary girls' schools, and of the pupils attending them, in the years i88r, 1891, and 1 904 : —


These figures exclude the totals for training schools (6 institutions with 191 female pupils in 1904) and other special schools (13 institutions with 361 pupils). Five girls were in 1904 attending college. Both B.A, and F.A. passes have been secured by female students, and in 1904 thirteen passed the matriculation. The grand total of girls under instruction in 1904 was 47,466, of whom 3,449 were in private elementary schools not inspected by the department. The smallness of the last number, as compared with the corresponding figure for boys, is due to the fact that the indigenous Buddhist system provides no facilities for the education of girls. A virtuous woman will, it is held, receive her reward by reincarnation as a male and her instruction can therefore be postponed to that stage. Nevertheless many Burman women are much more competent than their husbands in matters of business. The total of girls .under instruction was in i88r 2-5 per cent., in 1891 3-3 per cent., and in 1901 5-6 per cent, of the total female population of school-going age. The public girls' schools of the Province are all aided schools under private management. The curri- culum differs little from that of the boys' schools, but a few optional subjects, such as needlework, hygiene, and domestic economy, are taught only to girls. Except to a small extent in Arakan, the zandna system does not exist among the indigenous females of Burma, and accordingly no special difficulties, such as those met with in India proper, are experienced in consequence of tlie seclusion of the sex. The missionary bodieshavedone much good work in furthering female education.

There were 3 normal schools in 1881, 4 in 1891, and 10 (5 for training masters and 5 for mistresses) in 1901. This last total has since been increased by four. The total of normal-school pupils in 1904 was 395 males and 191 females. The Province possesses no special law school, but a law class is attached to the Rangoon College, which in 1904 had an attendance of 36 students. It was first opened in 1892. An Engineering school at Insein near Rangoon trains youths for the subordinate branches of the Public Works department, and had 32 pupils on its rolls in 1904.

No industrial schools, properly so called, have as yet been opened in Burma. Instruction in certain industries, however, such as weaving, printing, and carpentry, is included in the curricula of a few schools. Medical training is given to female students at the Dufferin Maternity Hospital in Rangoon. A vernacular Forest school has been established at Tharrawaddy, which receives private pupils as well as Forest subor- dinates for training, and a Veterinary school at Rangoon. There is as yet only one recognized class, also at Rangoon, for imparting com- mercial instruction. The study of Pali, the sacred language of Burmese Buddhism, is fostered by a yearly examination known as the patama- l>yan, at which monks and laymen appear and for which certificates of various classes are granted. Mention may be made here of the school at Taunggyi, in the Southern Shan States, for the sons of Shan chieftains. The education of backward indigenous communities is a matter that has occupied the attention of the religious bodies ever since missionary work was started in Burma. Anglicans, Baptists, and Roman Catholics have been engaged for many years past in educating the Karens, while of late schools have been started for the Kachins and Chins, who, like most of the hill tribes of the Province, have no indigenous educational system of their own.

In 1904 there were t,t, educational institutions for Europeans and Eurasians, with an aggregate of 3,298 pupils. The passes gained at the principal examinations by European and Eurasian pupils from all classes of schools during the same year were as follows : B.A. 3, F.A. 2, matriculation 25, middle 432, and primary 1,149. A large proportion of the European scholars enter Government service after leaving school. Others seek occupation on railways or in mercantile offices, while a certain number adopt the legal profession.

In 1891 the Province contained 24 registered Musalman schools, with 595 pupils, in Lower Burma, and one school, with 36 pupils, in Upper Burma. Of the Lower Burma institutions all but one were in Akyab District, in which alone the Musalmans form a substantial proi)ortion of the population. In 1901 there were 45 Miisahuan pubHc schools in the Province as a whole, and in 1904 the number was 86. The attendance at these institutions in the last-mentioned year was 2,605. Education in these schools is chiefly confined to the lower primary stage. The number of Muhammadan pupils in all the public educational institutions of Burma, Musalman and non- Musalman, in 1891, 1901, and 1904 was as below: —


In public institutions the aggregate of Muhammadan pupils is higher than that of Hindus, but the excess is roughly proportionate to that of the Musalman over the Hindu population of the Province. The figures given above do not, however, take account of the non-registered Koran schools, which in 1904 numbered 254 with a total of 4,757 scholars. If private institutions are included, the total of Musalmans under tuition in 1904 (10,475) ^^'^^ more than treble that of Hindus. The Government has laid down a minimum rate of t"ees for all .Vnglo-vernacular schools in Burma. The rate is Rs. 4 a month for high school, Rs. 3 for middle school, Rs. 2 for upper primary, and R. I for lower primary pupils. Collegiate fees range from Rs. 9 to Rs. 5. A certain number of aided schools charge a uniform fee of Rs. 3. The following statement exhibits the main statistics con- nected with Educational finance for the year 1903-4, in thousands of rupees : —


The total value of Government scholarships given during the same year amounted to Rs. 27,400. Successive enumerations have established the fact that the average of education in Burma is high. By this is meant not that the Burman is as a rule well educated, for this is very far from being the case, but that the Province can show a higher proportion of persons (both males and females) able to read and write than any other part of India. In 190T it was calculated that of every five persons then living in ]3urma one individual would be able to read and write some language, and would thus be literate for the purposes of the census enumeration. In four Districts of Upper Burma — Upper Chindwin, Minbu, Shwebo, and Magwe— there were in 1901 actually more literate than illiterate males, and for the Province as a whole the average of males able to read and write was 378 per 1,000. The corresponding figure for literate females was only 45 per 1,000, which is still, however, for higher than in any other Province, while in Rangoon more than 26 per cent., and in Hanthawaddy more than 10 per cent., of the female population were able to read and write. In the same year 6 males in every 1,000 and one female in every 1,000 were literate in English. Use has been made of the census figures to calculate the proportion borne by the total of children under tuition to the total of children of school-going age. For the purposes of this calculation the population of school-going age is taken as 15 per cent, of the total. On this basis the population under tuition in Burma was in 1S81 16 per cent., in 1891 21 per cent., and in 1901 22 per cent, of the total population of school-going age. Comprising as this does the figures for females as well as fijr males, the percentage is high for the East.

The total number of newspapers published in Burma in 1903 was 26; of these, 16 were published in English, 8 in Burmese, and one each in Ckijarati and Tamil. There are two important English dailies, the Rangoofi Gazette and the Ka?igoon Times. I'he Friend of Bjtniia and the Burma Herald are Burmese dailies with a somewhat smaller circulation. None of the Burmese journals can be said to be actively political, and none printed in English or Burmese is addressed to any special class of the reading public. The GujaratI and Tamil newspapers are more or less the mouthpieces of the Bombay and Madras residents of Burma. The American Baptist Mission Press issues a number of weekly and monthly periodicals, which are, how- ever, wholly religious.

The total number of publications registered in Burma in 1902 under the Printing Presses and Books Act was 123. In 1903 the total had risen to 146. The majority of these are, as a rule, in Burmese or Pali-Burmese, and are for the most part religious treatises. The number of dramatic works is generally large. Educational publica- tions, on the other hand, are relatively few, and, except in the matter of philology, original research is lacking.


The Medical department in Burma is controlled by an Inspector- General of Civil Hospitals. Each civil District, except Northern Arakan and Sahveen, is under the medical charoe IVI6Q1C3.1

of a Civil Surgeon, who is stationed at the District head-quarters (Rangoon has three officers of this class) ; and there are also Civil Surgeons at Taunggyi, Lashio, Falam, and Maymyo. Assistant-Surgeons are stationed at the head-quarters of the Northern Arakan and Sahveen Districts and elsewhere, and a large staff of Hospital Assistants does duty in the District head quarters hospitals or in charge of the minor subdivisional and township dispensaries. The main figures regarding the hospitals are given in Table XIV appended to this article (p. 246). The number of hospitals and dispensaries rose from 27 in 1881 to 119 in 1901 and 134 in 1903. Of these, the most important are the hospitals at Rangoon, Akyab, Moulmein, and Mandalay. The Rangoon hospital was opened in 1854, in a wooden building (jn its existing site. In 1872 the present building was erected at a cost of nearly a lakh, and it has been added to very considerably since then. A new ( General Hospital is now under construction. In 1868, the first year for which figures are available, the total of patients treated was 9,555. In 1891 the corresponding figure was 52,605, and in 1903 it was 64,596. The number of beds now available is 483, of which 425 are for males. Prior to 1902 the cost of the hospital was met for the most part by the Rangoon municipality ; since then it has been maintained from Provincial revenues. The establishment of the Akyab hospital dates from the annexation of Arakan after the first Burmese ^^^ar. A new hospital was built in 1879, and has been added to from time to time as occa- sion required. The patients treated in 1S91 and 1903 numbered 15,712 and 16,877 respectively.

The hospital is supported for the most part from Local funds and accommodates 1 14 in-patients. The first civil hospital in Moulmein was started soon after 1840. The ex- isting hospital was built, practically upon the site of the old one, in 1877, and since 1881 it has been a municipal institution. Its present accommodation is for 84 male and 16 female in-patients. The total number of patients treated was 13,091 in 1891 and 15,864 in 1903. The date of construction of the existing Mandalay hospital was 1891, though accommodation for patients had been provided in a temporary building from 1888. In 1887-8 the attendance at the hospital was 3,948 patients. This figure had risen in 1903 to 19,753. The hospital is a municipal institution. The table above referred to shows that Local funds contribute the greater part of the money for hospital maintenance in Burma. The expenditure under this head more than doubled during the period 1888-1901. The Province has 4 leper asylums, 2 in Mandalay and one each in Rangoon and Moulmein.

There is a lunatic asylum in Rangoon. Ii was built in 1S72 and opened with a population oi 151, which has since risen to over 400. The asylum buildings were largely extended between 1894 and 1898.

Inoculation is carried on extensively in Burma, being preferred to vaccination by the Burmese, especially by the illiterate, under the mistaken belief that, while vaccination requires to be repeated every few years, inoculation protects for a lifetime. Inoculators have been employed as vaccinators, but have invariably been found to give way to popular prejudice and to resort to their old system of inoculation, which they find more paying.

Vaccination is being puslied on throughout Burma, and in recent years has been extended to the Shan States and the Chin Hills. It is compulsory in nearly all the municij^alities and cantonments of the Province. The main statistics are given in Table XIV appended to this article (p. 246). There seems reason, however, to question the accuracy of the figures of successful operations, and the extent to which the population is protected against small-pox cannot be accu- rately estimated.

A scheme for facilitating the sale of (}uinine in pice packets in rural areas was brought into operation towards the close of 1895. 'J'hc results were at first not encouraging, but in 1903 the sales reached a total of 3,250 packets, equal to 1,758,000 grains. The quinine is sold at post offices, and by vaccinators, village postmen, and village headmen.

Rules providing for village sanitation are issued under the authority of the Village Act and Regulation by Commissioners of Divisions, and volumes known as the Permanent Sanitary Record and the Village Sanitary Inspection Book are maintained for the more important villages of the Province. The total amount expended from 1 )istrict cess and District funds on rural sanitation in 1903 was Rs. 1,60,000.


Parties of the Survey of India are employed in Burma in connexion with the cadastral, the topographical, and the Forest survey. Of these, the most valuable from an administrative point of view is the cadastral survey, which plays an impor- tant part in the assessment of land revenue. The system adopted is that of a connected theodolite exterior survey and a field-to-field interior survey. The country to be surveyed is divided up into polygons, each of which consists of so many kiviiis, areas ordinarily from I to \\ square miles in extent, enclosed as much as possible within natural boundaries, and corresponding in many ways to the maiizas of Northern India. The unit of survey is the field, an area of cultivated land ranging ordinarily between an acre and a quarter of an acre, included within well-defined boundaries. The greater part of the cultivated area of Lower Burma and also of Upper Burma has been cadastrally surveyed. The cadastral record prepared by llie Survey of India is kept up to date by the Provincial Land Records department, tlie alterations and extensions in cultivation, ownership, topography, &c., being annually shown on fresh copies of the maps. The area in which this system of supplementary survey was carried on in 1903-4 was in all nearly 42,000 square miles ; and the Land Records staff at that date consisted of a Director of Land Records, an Assistant Director, 27 superintendents of land records, with 7 probationers, 105 inspectors, and 1,058 surveyors. So far the supplementary survey system has been introduced into most of the Upper Burma Districts. Records-of-rights and occupations are prepared by the settlement officer and are kept up to date by the officers of the supplementary survey, changes of owner- ship being registered in Lower Burma by surveyors and in Upper Burma by village headmen. Li unsettled Districts no record-of-rights is maintained. The subordinate Land Records staff is recruited from the Government survey schools. At the close of 1903-4 there were 18 such schools in the Province with 452 pupils. Village headmen, on whom the collection of the revenue devolves, are encouraged to send their sons or other relatives likely to succeed them in office to the survey schools, and in the Upper Burma schools the majority of the scholars are youths of this class. Forest surveys are made with a view to the preparation of the maps that are used as a basis for forest work- ing-plans. They are carried out by the Topographical Survey branch of the Survey of India.

[British Burma Gazetteer, 2 vols. (Rangoon, 1879 and 1880). — F. Mason: Burma, its People and Froductions (1883).— Shway Yoe : The Bt/r/naii, his Life and Notions (1882). — J. Nisbet : Burma under British Rule — and before {igoi). — Burma Census Reports, 1872, 1881, 1891, and 1901. — Sir J. G. Scott : Gazetteer of Upper Burma and the Shan States (Rangoon, 1 900-1) ; and Bur/ua : a Handbook of Practical 1/ formation (1906). — V. C. Scott O'Connor : The Si/ken East, 2 vols. (1904). — S. Kurz : Preliminary Forest Report of Pegu (Calcutta, 1875). — Records, Geological Survey of India, vols, xxv, xxvi, xxvii, and xxviii. — San Germano : The Burmese Empire (1885). — Sir A. Phayre : History of Burma (18S4). — J. Gray : The Alaungpra Dynasty (Ran- goon, 1885).]

See also

For a large number of articles about Burma, extracted from the Gazetteer of 1908 (as well as other articles on Burma) please either click the 'Myanmar' link (below, left) and go to Burma(under B) or enter 'Burma' in the 'Search' box (top, right).

Burma, Physical Aspects 1908

Burma, History 1908

Burma, Administration 1908

Burma, Commerce and Trade 1908

Burma, Communication 1908

Burma, Agriculture 1908

Burma, Population 1908

Personal tools