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Consolidation of the Revenue Law in Bengal
BENGAL ADMINISTRATION REPORT
In last year's report the policy which had been chalked out
and followed by the Bengal Character of policy during the year.
ate Government in 1871, and up to October 1872, was fully explained. In the period which has since passed there has been comparatively little that is new in the administration. The Lieutenant-Governor has felt that he had already made plans and undertaken tasks the fulfilment of which would give ample occupation for some time to come; and for several reasons he has thought it undesirable to embark largely in many more new plans. He has preferred to devote himself to complete and work out those already formed, with such complements and additions as experience has shown to be required.
But occupied as the past year has been in working out the designs already formed, it has certainly not been a year of less activity than that which preceded it. All departments have been very actively occupied in the work of construction and completion, and in giving practical effect to the completed works. It may be said that the ships of which the lines were laid and the framework put together in the past year have this year been built, fitted, launched, and brought into use, while at the same time a good commencement has been made in sounding and surveying the seas in which they are to sail. In other words, we have considerably advanced in our knowledge of the country and the people, and have made arrangements by which our knowledge may be expected to progress; while we have put in working order the machinery by which we are to take advantage of that knowledge for the benefit of the people.
To judge of the extent to which a more active interest in, and knowledge of, all that is passing has been awakened in our officers, and a more active and thorough system of administration has been introduced, it is only necessary to compare the local reports of the present day with those of a few years back; the personal grasp of the subjects they deal with, exhibited by all grades of the executive service, with the formal reports and formulated reviews of former days. The local administration reports of divisions and districts for the past year, lately received, are replete with information of the best kind. The Lieutenant-Governor has reviewed them carefully province by province. He has caused these reviews to be published in the Gazette, and he proposes that the best reports, with the reviews and orders upon them, should be reprinted and circulated for the information of our officers and of the public. It would be much to be regretted if so much valuable matter were lost or hidden away. Both in action and in report, Mr. S. C. Bayley, Commissioner of the largest and most important Division--that of Patna—is particularly distinguished. Much that has been done in various ways during the year has also been made known by publication in the supplement to the Gazette, which contains the official papers deemed to be of most interest. Some of these may also be brought together for more permanent record.
The work of the year being, as above explained, rather the working out of previous plans than the formation of new ones, the details of progress will be more properly put in the departmental chapters than in this preliminary paper. This Introductory Chapter will, therefore, be principally confined to drawing attention to a few of the most salient points of the report, and it will not here be attempted to give such a general account of the administrative proceedings as was given in the preliminary part of last year's report. The form of report and order of subjects now followed
is that lately prescribed by the Form of the Report.
Government of India for general
adoption. A main feature of that plan is that, besides the depart
mental chapters giving the hisThe Statistical Summary.
tory of the year, there should be given in a more permanent form an account of the system