212 PORT BLAIR
office with convicts. The following table gives statistics of the
1890-1. 1900-1. 1904-5-
Number of post offices . 1 1 1
Total number of postal articles de-
Letters 69,082 65,112 82,498
Postcards . 7,150 18,360 19,474
Packets . 3,328 38,316* 18,oi8
Newspapers 36,686 1o,620t 21,476
Parcels 3,276 2,568 3,952
Value of stamps sold to the public Rs. 4,305 3,810 3,510
Value of money orders issued . Rs. ,* 1,40,820 1,60,372
Savings bank deposits by convicts. Rs. § § 25,550
* Including unregistered newspapers.
t Registered as newspapers in the Post Office.
$ The figures are included in those given for Bengal.
§ No returns issued.
The penal system is primarily one of discipline, financial considera-
tions giving way to this all-important point. The labour of the convicts
Finance. is firstly disciplinary; secondly, it provides for the
. wants of the Settlement so far as these can be sup-
plied locally ; thirdly, it is expended on objects directly remunerative.
All necessary expenditure in cash is granted directly by the Govern,
ment of India, and against this are set off the earnings of the convicts
in money. The following table gives the total receipts and expendi-
ture for a series of years, in thousands of rupees, but a considerable
variation occurs from year to year :-
1891. 1901. 1905-6.
Receipts, total. 4,74 5.71 9,10
Expenditure, total . 12,97 17,34 21,86
Net cost of Settlement 8,23 11,63 12,77
„ „ per convict . Rs. 69-1o-11 99-4-9 88-4-3
The value of convict labour expended on local work and supplies is
The net cash cost of the convict at any given period depends on
how far convict labour is employed on objects returning a cash profit,
and also on the number of ° self-supporters,' who supply local products
at a far smaller cost than those procured from places outside the Settle-
ment. Since 1891, very large jails and subsidiary buildings have been
under construction, absorbing labour which could otherwise have been
employed in the forests and on other objects remunerative in cash,
while the number of I self-supporters' has been greatly reduced by
a change in the regulations, resulting in a reduction of agricultural
holdings and the amount of jungle cleared annually. Both of these