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in the subordinate presidencies, unless the Government of Madras and Bombay should have any weighty objections to offer to this arrangement.
This was a great step in advance, as it was obviously impossible for the Inspector-General to keep himself au fait as to what was taking place in purely forest administration and conservancy in the different provinces unless he was permitted to correspond direct and freely with the Conservators. The Secretary of State cordially endorsed the action taken, adding, however, the perhaps somewhat unnecessary caution,
Your Inspector-General will, I have no doubt, be careful not to call for unnecessary Reports, which would increase inconveniently the labours of Conservators and their establishments.”
As will be shown later, under the different provinces, considerable attention was given to the formation of plantations at this time, and exotics of various kinds were being introduced, some with very little chance of yielding results, such as, e.g. Pinus Maritima and the European larch. The Secretary of State had sent out consignments of seed of both species at different times. The larch was reported as a total failure in the Himalaya in the Governor-General's letter of 7th June, 1869. Various mischances occurred to the first consignment in which the Reporter of Economic Products was apparently consulted as to distances of sowing. But seed was sown in the Sikkim Division in Bengal, in the Kumaun and Meerut Divisions of the North-West Provinces, and in the Punjab Himalaya. The few plants which germinated died almost at once. Brandis apparently was not very hopeful of this tree succeeding in the Himalaya.
T will not be surprising that Brandis should have early
trained officers to help him in the administration and conservation of the Indian forests if the operations carried out were to proceed further than mere demarcation of the forests and the felling and extraction of the timber and other produce. For the higher branches of forestry work he could not solely rely on an untrained staff, however zealous and receptive of new ideas the more able members of this staff might (and did) prove. Accordingly, whilst on furlough in July, 1865, in an interview with the Secretary of State, Brandis put forward his opinion, that it would now be necessary to engage one or two competent persons from the Government Officers in Germany or France to be placed in charge of some of the more important forest divisions in India. The Secretary of State declined to initiate any measures of this description that had not been previously considered and recommended by the Government of India. Brandis accordingly addressed the Government of India on this subject, intimating that he had sent separate memoranda to the Heads of the Administrations in the Punjab, N.W. Provinces, Central Provinces and Burma. He recommended that one trained officer, recruited in Germany or France, should be sent out to each of these provinces, to be placed in charge of the most important divisions as soon as they had made themselves acquainted with the language, country, people and the forests and their method of management. “For the districts under their charge," wrote Brandis, "they would arrange methodical working plans, dividing each forest into such blocks and compartments as the working plans would require ; they would carry on the operations of
felling and thinning as well as planting and improving the forests where necessary and practicable. Where requisite, the means of timber transport would be improved, and the administration of their districts would be placed on a satisfactory footing.” He continued: “In selecting such persons, attention should particularly be paid to scientific requirements, specially in natural sciences, and they should be competent to survey a forest, and to plan and build forest roads. Although climate and vegetation in India are different, yet the fundamental principles of forest management are the same everywhere, and persons whose practical experience is supplemented by a scientific education will be able to apply these principles in the forests of another country.” In these few sentences was laid down the principle under which the senior grades of the Forest Department in India were recruited and built up, during the succeeding sixty years, into the body of scientif experts which have brought into being the great and valuable Forest Estate at present in existence in India.
These trained men would also, Brandis pointed out, be of great use to the Conservators, who had had no special scientific forest education, in introducing systematic management into their charges, and their services might also be made available for the training of the other Forest Officers and native subordinates in the provinces to which they were posted-suggestions which were to bear fruit in the future. It was scarcely necessary to insist on the importance, he said, of bringing into the Service fully trained men, since " in Germany or in France and elsewhere in Europe, no Government or other large forest proprietor considers it prudent to employ agents in the administration of their forests who have not received a careful training under experienced Forest Officers in the forest schools and colleges.” He suggested the minimum pay at which these officers should be entertained as Rs.500 per mensum.
In their Despatch to the Secretary of State (RevenueForests, No. 10, dated 25th June, 1866) the Government of India highly approved of Brandis' suggestion, and stated that the Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab and the Chief Commissioners of the Central Provinces and Burma were strongly impressed with the advantages to be derived from carrying out the proposal ; the N.W. Provinces had as yet expressed no opinion in the matter. The Punjab Government, in advocating the measure, considered it “most desirable, not only with reference to the general advantages to be anticipated from the
services of an officer trained to this particular branch of knowledge, but more especially with reference to the exhausted state of the Deodar Forests upon the Ravi and Chenab Rivers, and to the prospect of its soon becoming absolutely necessary to resort to planting, to secure for our successors a supply of Deodar and other valuable timber.'” The Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab was accordingly prepared to appoint such a trained officer to the charge of the Jhelum Forest Division, the formation of which the Secretary of State had been already asked to sanction and to which he subsequently gave his approval. It was intimated that a vacancy would shortly occur in Burma.
On receipt of this Despatch the Secretary of State authorised Brandis to select two gentlemen, trained in forest management, from Germany or France, on Rs.500 per mensum (the Government of India had cut the salary to Rs.400, but Brandis said he could not obtain the men for this sum, and the Secretary of State supported him), and one Forester from Scotland on Rs.200 who had been applied for by the Central Provinces. This authorisation was communicated to the Government of India in Secretary of State's Despatch, Revenue, No. 54, dated 14th September, 1866.
For the two posts in the superior grades Brandis selected two young German Forest Officers, Messrs W. Schlich (now Sir William Schlich, K.C.I.E., who was to have a brilliant career both in India and at home) and B. Ribbentrop (subsequently Inspector-General of Forests, 1884-1900, and created C.I.E.). Messrs. Schlich and Ribbentrop arrived at Calcutta on 16th February, 1867, and, under the designation of “ Special Assistant Conservators were posted, the former on Brandis' advice to Burma and the latter to the Punjab, where he was employed in the newly formed Jhelum Division. The third officer, the practical Forester from Scotland, Mr. W. L. Grahame, selected at Brandis' request by Professor Balfour, Professor of Botany at the University of Edinburgh and Director of the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, arrived at Bombay in January. 1867, and was posted to the Central Provinces to be attached to one of the divisions where the formation of teak plantations was desirable. This appointment was made in answer to the Chief Commissioner's (Mr. Temple) wish that two such Foresters should be sent out to the Central Provinces. Mr. Davidson, the other Forester appointed, had arrived during the previous year. With the
intimate knowledge of administrative and executive work he had acquired in Burma, for in the absence of all scientific knowledge of forestry he had to carry out the executive duties of the Divisional Forest Officer for several years, Brandis was not likely to remain content with having secured the services of two trained men in the Department. He had been considering the question of recruiting the superior grades of the Department with trained men on a far wider basis. He had visualised the needs of the future and realised that if the conservancy of the forests was to be something more than a mere name it would be essential to secure an annual recruitment of trained men in order to bring into being a service of scientifically trained officers at as early a date as possible ; and to provide that facilities for training should be offered to men already in the Department amongst those who had shown ability and capacity for profiting by such training.
Brandis' further proposals on this matter of education were divided into three heads : (I) The provision of facilities for studying forestry in Europe for officers already in the Forest Department in India, none of whom had received any scientific training in Forestry. (2) The immediate selection by him whilst on furlough of five young men in Europe as, what are now termed, forest probationers, for whose training on the Continent he would make arrangements before he returned to India. (3) A general scheme for permanently improving the administration of the Forest Department of India by sending out trained men from Europe.
Brandis' proposals on these heads appear to be as suggestive and valuable at this juncture, when it is held by some that a scientific forestry training could be as efficiently given to the Indian probationer in India as in Europe, as they were at the time he penned them.
(1) Facilities for studying Forestry by officers of the Department whilst on furlough. Brandis' suggestions were :
“I beg to suggest that Forest Officers who proceed to Europe on leave or furlough be recommended to go through a regular course of training in forestry, and to obtain certificates of their having done so. The extent of this training would necessarily vary according to the length of their leave; but the following arrangement might be recommended :
Ist. One month with an approved wood manager in Scotland