Puslapio vaizdai

Opium shipments may be estimated in value at twenty per cent. of the total exports that figure in the balance of trade. A large part of the population of Persia is dependent on the opium industry for its livelihood, and the taxes on opium bring in a substantial part of the state revenues. Nevertheless, all the Persians in official positions or otherwise with whom we have discussed the question, realizing as clearly as any one else the baneful moral and physiological effects of opium consumption, hope for its ultimate suppression in Persia; and the Persian Government, at the recent Geneva Conference, having already adopted specific measures to control the industry more strictly, announced its willingness to commence the gradual restriction of opium cultivation in Persia as soon and as fast as it should become possible through the substitution of other exportable crops. There are no doubt other crops and industries which are possible substitutes; but ordinary common sense will show that such an industrial metamorphosis, if it is to be effected without serious trouble, will require a course of preliminary experimentation and education, encouragement and assistance to the producers, the finding of markets for the new products, and, most important of all, the adaptation and improvement of means of transport to meet the new requirements.

A variety of other minerals, including iron, copper, silver, lead, cobalt, nickel, sulphur, and zinc, are reported to be found in commercial quantities in Persia, but their development apparently awaits the improvement of transportation.

Coal is abundant in Persia, but, mined a few miles from Teheran and transported to the city on the backs of donkeys, it costs from thirty to forty dollars a ton. One of the richest oilfields in the world is in southwest Persia, and the Russian fields are just across the Caspian; but the cost of transport raises the price of petrol to a point where it no longer figures as cheap fuel.

Government forests cover the northern slopes of the Elburz Mountains; but building timber is a luxury in central Persia; and the Government finds the procuring of cross-ties for the Tabriz-Julfa Railroad, except at prohibitive cost, an almost insoluble problem.

In the absence of transportation facilities, cheap fuel, and the development of its mines, Persian industry, although its rugs, pottery, silks, and articles of silver and brass are famous the world over for quality and artistry, has remained in the handicraft stage.

Even during the last three years Persia has become more accessible. In 1922 the American Mission went to Persia by the Red Sea-Persian Gulf route, touching at Port Saïd, Aden, Bombay, Karachi, Bushire, and Basra, traveling by rail from Basra up the Euphrates to Bagdad and on to the Persian frontier. To-day there are regular departures of seven-passenger limousines from Teheran via Bagdad to Beyrouth, making the trip in about six days. The route through Russia is also open. When transit through the Caucasus is fully reëstablished and when the projected railroad is built from Bagdad to Haifa on the Red Sea, Persia will be brought nearer to the world's markets. world's markets. It is possible also that construction in Turkey may bring northwest Persia nearer to Trebizond on the Black Sea. During the war the British built motor highways from the Iraq frontier to Kazvin, from Duzdab

near the Indian frontier to Meshed, and other shorter roads. They extended the Indian railways through the Baluchistan desert to Duzdab. The railway, which had been built before the war by the Russians, from Julfa to Tabriz, with a branch from Sofian to Lake Urumiah, was transferred to the Persian Government by the Russo-Persian Treaty of 1921, together with the highway and other transportation concessions which had been granted to Russians.

Nevertheless, even with these railroads completed and projected, modern transportation would lead no farther than the door-steps of Persia. The internal transportation problem would still be unsolved. To-day the motor highways of Persia are being maintained, and the railroad is in process of rehabilitation. Many roads that are not improved are passable by motor-cars. When Shuster left Persia in 1912 there was one automobile in the country, a French car belonging to the Shah. During the war a small car of American manufacture was introduced. The commerce of Persia is still largely carried on camels, donkeys, mules, and horses and in horse-drawn wagons, but automobiles and motortrucks are now a familiar sight on the highways and are rapidly increasing in number. In 1924 some camel-drivers complained to the Parliament and the Prime Minister that, to quote the English translation of their petition, "the speedy traffic of motor-cars at night inflicts casualties on embarrassed camels." Accordingly the roadguards were instructed to request the chauffeurs "to drive slowly at night, particularly when approaching files of camels."

Persia's transportation problem may be found partly or wholly in the construction of motor-roads and the extension of motor-truck services. The initial cost of motor-truck transport would be less than that of railroads, and its operation would be cheaper and more flexible. The exploitation of petroleum in north Persia, by reducing the price of petrol, would distinctly encourage the use of automobiles and trucks. It is apparently the fixed purpose of the Persian Parliament, however, to begin the construction of railroads; and they rightly look upon such an undertaking as an investment which may not be financially profitable for many years but which may be expected to return dividends in the form of influence on economic and social progress. In spite of the pressure which Persia has experienced in the past, it fortunately appears that there are at present no railroad or other general transportation concessions outstanding in Persia.

The Persians entertain few financial illusions. They realize that public works in Persia will have to be paid for by the Persians themselves. For a year after the American Mission arrived in Persia there was no perceptible sentiment among the Persians for new taxation. Although the taxes averaged no more than two dollars per capita, the country had been severely hit by the war; and the maladministration and waste that had existed in the past rendered difficult the creation of any enthusiasm for increased revenue. With the introduction of control and economy by the American Mission, after the establishment by Reza Khan of strong government, a significant and heartening change has occurred in the

It is possible that the solution of attitude of the deputies and of the tax

payers. The landed proprietors are doing what many predicted they would never do: they are paying not only their current taxes but instalments on their arrears. The collection of taxes is now being carried on directly by the Ministry of Finance in regions where this was formerly the prerogative of local chieftains. The strict enforcement of the budgetary system has generated confidence in the minds of the deputies by showing that the ultimate power with regard to revenues and expenditures really rests in the Parliament. In March, 1925, the Parliament revised the tobacco tax law so as to provide more than a halfmillion dollars of new revenue; and in May two significant and correlated events occurred: the Parliament approved the employment of twelve more Americans for the Ministry of Finance, thus confirming the permanence of the American Mission; and, shortly after, it passed a law which, according to estimates, should produce annually five million dollars more revenue.

ing, therefore, if the Persians had expected something from us that we were not prepared to give. But the Persians emphatically do not want corrupt and wasteful government. They do not want foreign loans for current expenses. They are willing to pay taxes and to increase the burden of taxation whenever they are convinced that the money will be spent productively for the reconstruction and development of the country. On the other hand, expecting to provide by new taxes a surplus over current expenses, they naturally desire to inaugurate their development program by means of a foreign loan. Feeling that the solution of the transportation problem comes first, the Parliament assigned the proceeds of the new sugar and tea tax to the construction of railroads. In another bill which is pending in the Majless and is expected to be shortly passed, provision is made for additional revenue for highway construction and maintenance. There is no doubt of the purpose of the Parliament to assign any new revenue which it votes to specified productive purposes.

If a miracle has occurred in Persia since the arrival of the American Mission, it has been performed by the Persians themselves, who have started as wisely and as surely as any other Government to lay the financial foundation of their future economic structure.

§ 5

When I went to Persia, I was warned that we would be expected to perform the impossible: to draw from the thin air and arid plains a miraculous flow of gold, or, like the swarthy magician who entertains tourists at Cairo by extracting live chickens from their pockets, to conjure loans and investments out of the pockets of surprised and delighted western bankers. The experiences of Persian officialdom since 1890 had been perverting and corrupting. Big business, engaged in sharp competition in a weak country, does not preoccupy itself with the training of the people or with the elevation of their moral standards. It would not have been surpris

From the facts that I have set forth, no one, I believe, will gainsay that the Persians are proceeding manfully to the solution of their problem. While certain European countries have made excuses and floated loans, Persia, whose neutrality was violated, has assumed the burden of post-war reconstruction without reparations and,

except for a few chaotic months after the war, without borrowing; and has also undertaken to settle the war claims of a foreign government. Through it all, her kran has risen in exchange value above the dollar and the pound. Unifying her people and maintaining order and security, she has voted additional taxes equal to twenty-five per cent. of her present revenue for the purpose of opening her territory to the industry and civilization of the modern world. One of the opium-producing countries, she has offered, if given reasonable coöperation, to curtail the cultivation of opium. A people with such a record deserves at least to be permitted to work out unhindered its own destiny. If the facts of Persia were fully known, it is believed that those foreign governments which now possess or assert a right to block her tax legislation and prevent a revision of her tariff would be willing to recognize in her every fiscal and economic right possessed by other sovereign nations, upon receiving from her those guarantees, which, if I interpret her policy correctly, she is willing to give, of equality of economic opportunity to all who have interests in her territory.

In the first half of the nineteenth century, when our own nation was still young, the careers of Bolivar,

Kosciusko, Kossuth, Garibaldi, and others evoked warm expressions of sympathy in the platforms of our parties and the resolutions of our Congress; but those days have almost faded from our memories. Our present age is one, perhaps not of cynicism and indifference, but certainly of coldblooded scientific administrative realism. Persia, however, as I have sought to show, is, according to the spirit of the age, solving a problem rather than fighting a battle. Her atmosphere is that of the bank rather than that of the opera. Her aims are expressed in the familiar terms of administration, economics, and finance. She makes no appeal to emotion. Nevertheless, viewed even in a spirit of complete detachment, her problem integrates into the modern world problem, the solution of which seems to depend on stabilization through the perfection of traditional units of social organization and through the creation of guarantees of free and frictionless economic circulation. There is in my opinion little hope for a contribution to the solution of the problem of Persia or of the world in those old practices which were casual and inefficientpolitico-economic penetration and exploitation, the forced tutelage of the weak by the strong, and the agglomerating of empires.

When the World Came to Chicago

Further Memories of the Midland



ARPENTERS were hammering frantically one afternoon in order to finish a temporary floor in the Auditorium on which little feet in satin slippers were soon to glide beside spurred heels. Florists, meanwhile, were attaching garden garlands to gilded balconies, and nimble decorators, high up on ladders, were fastening banners of red and yellow silkthe oro y sangre of Spain-to Venetian masts; when into the midst of this hubbub came the governor of a sovereign State, very red in the face, to demand of a pair of tired young men why a box for the ball of that evening had not been reserved for him.

One of the young men was John L. Chamberlain, then a first lieutenant of artillery, but now, so has time flown, a retired major-general, with a D. S. M. for "exceptionally meritorious service" as inspector-general of the armies of the United States. The other was the writer of these memories, functioning as secretary of the Inaugural Reception Committee of the World's Columbian Exposition of which brave and stately General Nelson A. Miles was the chairman, its members being Hempstead Washburne, Mayor of Chicago; Marshall Field; George M. Pullman; and N. K. Fairbank.

For days and days Lieutenant

Chamberlain had been helping me to solve the seemingly insoluble problem of how to place in forty boxes, of six chairs each, at least four hundred importunate officials each of whom demanded not a seat only, but an entire box labeled with his name and rank in letters so large that all who ran might read. Before a wrathful governor began to upbraid us for a fancied slight to his dignity as ruler of a great and glorious commonwealth, we had been prodding carpenters, florists, and decorators for hours and hours, while counting the precious moments that remained to us ere John Philip Sousa's bandsmen were due to play a march dedicated to a great republic, and its dignitaries to appear upon a floor not yet finished, while the figures "14921892" blazed forth on a stage where banners were still being hung to slender poles.

Just when the anger of one who had not had the politeness to reply to a courteous invitation had reached its apogee, a citizen who was either a cameriere del Papa, or something quite as hierarchical, appeared upon the scene to demand with more politeness than his Excellency had shown, yet with equal insistence, the tickets for the box of his Eminence Cardinal Gibbons. Now, it happened that the

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