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or success, and the Government officers ought in no wise to be mixed up with his operations.” Forest Officers nowadays would scarcely agree with this opinion. Falconer considered that his plan should be offered to the licence-holders, who should be given a fair chance to comply with the Government terms; failure to comply would result in the resumption of the leases, the land reverting to Government "in order to terminate the present unsatisfactory state of things.”
The Doctor advocated the same conditions being made in the leases for the Houndrow and Lhang-booa; the latter forests being in the hands of native holders, he remarks, “it is not contemplated that they would undertake leases involving outlay on planting.”
With reference to the reserved forests, then limited to the Thengan-nyee-Nyoung and Upper Mittigate, Falconer advocated their retention. They possessed great capabilities for conducting planting operations advantageously, on a large scale, while the teak crop standing upon them was considerably below what the area could be made to produce. The forests had, as has been shown, been worked in open defiance of their reservation, showing the impossibility of enforcing rules in the forests and preventing trespass without an adequate staff." It seems to me in every way expedient that they should be brought up to their full capabilities, both as prospective sources of supply of the best timber and as a practical illustration to the leaseholders of what may be effected by a judicious system of operations and a sufficient outlay. The grantees may, with some justice, expect that Government will take the lead in showing the practicability of the conditions, which it is proposed to render imperative upon them.”
This enunciation by Falconer of the policy that Government should show the way to the commercial community in proving the commercial possibilities of the exploitation of the products of the forests is of importance. Although when applied to the formation of plantations on areas leased and lumbered by the timber merchants it has as a general rule proved a failure in the past both in India and other parts of the world, such as America and Sweden for instance, and is moreover in many States a matter whose desirability is of debatable value, since it results in a considerable area of the soil of the State being owned by the trader, to the disadvantage of that portion of the community inhabiting such areas. But in the case of the commercial exploitation of foreign products and their
utilisation in industries it will be subsequently shown that the Indian Government gradually recognised the duty of the State in this connection and, by initiating departmental exploitation at the outset, proved the commercial possibilities of the new departure and then left to the merchant the further development of the business on the commercial scale.
For the two Government reserves above mentioned Falconer advocated the establishment of nurseries and the rearing of young seedlings on the Conolly plan at Nilumbur. Instead of planting out the seedlings at 8 feet apart, as was done at the latter place, he advocated putting them in at 20 feet apart or 109 to the acre so as to save the expense of early thinnings, for which there would be no sale. During the first five years he advocated filling in all failures amongst the young plants. In any locality where it might be desirable to grow medium-sized useful timber, intended for felling before the tree had attained its full dimensions, he suggested putting in the seedlings at 15 feet apart ; by felling alternate trees, when they had reached marketable size, the rest of the trees for the production of larger timber could be left at 30 feet apart, nearer than which I do not consider that sound timber trees could be grown. The planting in both cases would be so managed that the trees when full grown should stand in alternate lines. After five years the young trees might be expected to have attained 15 to 20 feet in height, when they might be left to themselves---making suitable provision against fire, where the plantations are exposed to that contingency."
Falconer said that he was not in a position to frame any estimate of the cost of this plantation work, the nearest approach to that kind of operation with which he was acquainted being the tea plantations in Assam, which was hardly an analogous case.
Falconer dismissed O'Reilly's suggestion that new teak plantations should be formed near the coast-line instead of in the malarial parts of the teak area proper in Tenasserim, which were distant from the seat of Government, rightly saying that it would be unadvisable to abandon the known favourite habitat of teak for localities whose capacity for the growth of the species were unproved and only problematical. He also totally disapproved of Helfer's suggestion for renovating the teak forests by scattering teak seed wholesale throughout them, without any preliminary preparation of the ground or regard to system and arrangement, arguing that since Nature had failed to maintain the necessary supply of teak seedlings in the forests, in spite of the large annual production of good teak seed by the trees, sowing seed by hand over these areas could not produce any better results.
Falconer concluded his Report with the following strongly worded recommendation:
“ In order to carry out any measures of renewal of the teak forests in the Tenasserim Province with success, I consider it to be indispensable that a qualified Conservator be appointed, who should have no other duties to attend to besides the charge of the forests. The Officers who have filled the appointment since 1841 have most of them held it in conjunction with other responsible avocations, requiring their presence in Moulmein, and although they have evinced much zeal and ability in the general administration of the forests, they could not be expected to be possessed of the theoretical and practical knowledge of arboriculture required in an efficient conservator, and which were essential for conducting operations to a successful issue. To this cause I attribute the failure of the nurseries established in 1843, and the want of any subsequent effort to replace them. These officers, from the circumstances above noticed, had not probably that weight and influence with the grantees which their office ought to have carried along with it. The practical administration of the forests since 1848 has been made over to the Commissioner's Assistant, and a sufficiently
a well-organised system is in operation for regulating the felling and collection of the timber duties, but the Conservancy' of the forests, properly so-called, is entirely unprovided for, and I would not recommend that any measures of renewal be commenced upon till the vacancy is suitably filled up. The Government would then have the assurance that they were conducted with professional skill and a thorough knowledge of the subject. Errors and causes of past failure would be avoided or, when committed, they would be speedily remedied. The grantees would have a qualified authority on the spot to refer to for information and advice, which I consider to be of great importance."
As was abundantly proved later on, the last thing the grantees wanted was to have a proper qualified Conservator in charge of the administration of the forests.
But Falconer's strong recommendation, backing up the demands in this matter of the Madras and Bombay Governments, and a year or two later supported by Dr. McClelland in Pegu, eventually resulted in the appointment of Dr. Brandis as the first trained Conservator in India. Dr. Brandis was appointed to Pegu in 1856, but the Tenasserim Forests were added to his charge in 1857. During the years which intervened between Falconer's visit and this appointment the management of the latter forests remained very much in the position his Report describes them, although, as will be shown, McClelland laid a foundation in Pegu upon which Brandis built.
FOREST OPERATIONS IN BURMA (PEGU) 1850-1857 (continued)
DR. MCCLELLAND'S WORK IN THE PEGU FORESTS
AND THE FOREST CHARTER
HE annexation of Burma was perhaps to some extent an outcome of the valuable teak forests the country contained. The annexation of the two southern
Provinces of Burma, Tenasserim and Martaban, took place at the end of the first Burmese War in 1826. This annexation was primarily due to the necessity of safeguarding our south-eastern frontier, which the chaotic conditions engendered by the misrule of the Burmese Government rendered otherwise untenable.
It has been shown that under the unfortunate licence system introduced, the teak forests in this region were nearly cut out during the ensuing quarter of a century.
The outcome of the second Burmese War was the annexation of the Province of Pegu by proclamation on the 20th December, 1852. Rangoon was the capital, having been founded by the Alompra dynasty in 1775. It had been the principal mart for the export of teak timber for nearly a century, teak being the chief staple industry of the port. The teak tree had been proclaimed a royal tree by this dynasty and was consequently regarded as a royal monopoly.
Following this precedent soon after the annexation, a notification was issued by the British Government stating that “all the forests are the property of Government, and no general permission to cut timber therein will be granted to anyone.
The Government of India therefore made a distinct claim to the full ownership of the teak forests and their contents, as expressed by the words, “ All the forests are the property of Government,” and their instructions to the Superintendent were that “the Superintendent of Forests will mark the trees