Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/1216

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860 PERSIA

mosques aud shriues have some endowments (wakf ), and out of the proceeds of these are provided the funds for the salaries of the priests attached to them. The shrines of some favourite saints are so richly endowed as to be able to keep an immense staff of priests, servants, and hangers-on.

The Orthodox Armenians are under a bishop residing at Ispahan ; there are also a few hundred Roman Catholic Armenians in Persia, There is a wide tolerance exercised towards Armenians and Nestorians, Jews, and Parsis in cities where Europeans reside ; in other places, however, they occasionally suffer oppression from Mussulmans belonging to the lower classes.

Instruction.

There are a great number of colleges (medresseh), supported by public funds, in which students are instructed in religion and Persian and Arabic literature, as well as in a certain amount of scientific knowledge, and many schools for children, while private tutors are very common, being employed by all families who have the means. A polytechnic school with a number of European professors, opened in Teheran in 1849 has done much towards introducing the knowledge of Western languages and science into Persia. There are also military colleges at Teheran and Tabriz. Two or three preliminary schools with an improved system of teaching, supported by public subscriptions and small payments (4 sh. per month for each pupil), were opened in March, 1898. But the bulk of the population are taught only to read the Koran.

Justice.

Justice is administered by the governors and their representatives, and by the Sheikhs-el-Islam and the priesthood. The former administer justice according to the Urf, the unwritten or common law ; the latter accordLing to the Shar', the written or divine law.

The dispensation of justice is always summary. In May, 1888, the Shah published a proclamation stating that henceforth no subject would be punished except by operation of law, and that all subjects had full liberty as to life and property. But another proclamation published in June annulled the first as far as regards liberty of property.

Finance.

The total revenue in cash and kind in 1839-40 amounted to 34,026,150 krans, or (1 kY.=12'95d.) 1,835,995Z, In the year 1876-77 the amount was 50,700,000 krans, or (1 ki\=9-25d.) 1,950,000Z. In 1888-89 it was 54, 487, 630 krans or (1 kr, =7'06d.) 1,602,580Z, With the rise in the price of silver, the value of the revenue rose in 1890-91 to 1,775,000Z., and owing to the fall in silver the receipts for 1898-99 are estimated at 1,500,000?.

The expenditure for the year 1888-89 amounted to about 50,100,000 krans, and was about the same for 1898 ; of this expenditure 18,000,000 were for the army, 10,000,000 for pensions, 3,000,000 for allowances to princes, 600,000 for allowances to members of the Kajiir tribe, 800,000 for the Foreign Office, 5,000,000 for the royal court, 500,000 for colleges, 1,500,000 for civil service, 2,630,000 for local government expenses, 800,000 remission of revenue in ])ooy districts ; the remainder was paid into the Shah's treasury.

About 82 per cent, of the revenue consists of payments in cash or kind raised by assessments upon towns, villages, and districts, each of which has to contribute a fixed sum, the amount of which is changed from time to time by tax-assessors (mumayiz) appointed by the Government. Almost the entire