General Conclusions PDF พิมพ์ อีเมล

General Conclusions.

      We have described, as briefly and succinctly as we can, the various aspects of the Co-operative Movement, as we saw it in operation in Burma, Bengal, the Panjab and Bombay.

      It is now proposed, as stated at the begining of the Report, to take each of these aspects seriatim, and endeavour to draw from a discussion of them some practical conclusions which may be advantageously applied to the movement in Siam.

      The first aspect to come under consideration is


1. The Registrar.

      Nothing, we venture to say, stood out more forcibly during the progress of the tour than the value of an able, keen and energetic Registrar. He is indeed its very fountain. To him is left the decision to register, or to refuse to register, a society, to him are left the bye-laws (varied to suit different objects and local conditions) and any amendments thereto ; on him rests the responsibility of seeing that a society is started under conditions as favourable as they can be made. He has unlimited power of audit and inspection ; he controls the power of a society to make loans to, and receive loans from, outside sources ; he has a voice in the investment and disposal of its funds, and, above all, has full discretion, subject to appeal, to dissolve a society and appoint a liquidator to wind it up.

      These are very extensive powers, the exercise of which requires wisdom, knowledge and good judgment. Without such powers, the Registrar would become a mere registering official, and could not be expected to provide supervision, assistance, counsel and control. The fact is that, in a country where education is still backward, the Government alone is in a position to supply the requisite knowledge and organisation ; in India it does so, and its association with the movement creates the outside confidence which gives it stability. All this is accomplished through the Registrar, and to enable him to do his work, he is given the authority to exercise over societies the power of the Law Court over Companies.

      Again, in order to keep himself posted on improvements and new ideas which are introduced and discussed in the Co-operative world, the Registrar must be continually studying co-operative literature which has to-day become very extensive ; he must examine the systems adopted or tried in other countries for the development of thrift and co-operation ;, he must in fact keep well in touch with the movement abroad, especially in the neighbourhood of his own country.

      Within his own area of activity at home, which should be constantly expanding, he must make himself acquainted with the economic conditions of the rural districts ; he must travel in all suitable seasons and see for himself that his subordinate staff are carrying out their duties in an efficient manner.

      Again, in addition to being the head of a Department, he is also the head of a teaching establishment, and must devise methods for the co-operative education of the people to be benefitted by the movement.

      The present arrangement is Siam, whereby the Vice-Minister of Commerce acts as the Registrar, has worked satisfactorily during the infancy of co-operation in this country. But the Vice-Minister has had many other duties to perform, and we think it will be readily conceded that in the future the Registrar should be a whole time official who is not liable to have his attention diverted from his work. In the words of Mr. Calvert, the Panjab Registrar, "only one who devoted his whole time to mastering the manyh problems that come up for solution could deal at all adequately with the duty of the post".

The need of an Expert

      We are also of opinion that much difficulty and delay will be saved if the services of an expert from one of the Indian provinces that we have visited can be obtained for a period of say two years to assist in, and guide the extension of the movement.

      No practical move towards that extension can be made until a new Co-operative Law has been promulgated, and it is considered that the services of an Expert on Co-operation are essential for this purpose.

      The subject of a Co-operative Law is a technical and a complex one, and the reputation of Siam requires that her Law should be approved by Co-operative Associations throughout the world, who will no doubt give it careful study.

      The services of this Expert will also be require to train the subordinate staff which will be necessary to put the Law into force and actually to carry out the extension of the movement.

      The choice of an Expert being a personal matter, we have submitted a Confidential Memorandum on this subject.

The Subordinate Staff

      Many of the reemarks regarding the Registrar apply with much force to the staff of Inspectors and Sub-inspectors.

      It is, in fact, not too much to say that the success or failure of the movement, in this part of the world at any rate, must largely depend upon the efficiency and energy, or the lack of it, of the official staff. Unless the staff is constantly on the move, visiting the various Societies within their districts and giving their advice and assistance as it may be required, it will be found that the Societies them-selves will soon lose interest in the movement, through lack of encouragement. The staff must in fact throw themselves, heart and soul, into their work, for it may be bluntly said that dangers of the gravest character will attach to apathy and inefficiency in the direction of affairs. One of the most important qualities in the member of the staff is sympathy with the peasant member.

      With regard to the personal of the staff, the Registrar has at present under him a number of men who will form the nucleus of a larger establishment. Recruitment may be started as soon as the necessary sanction has been obtained for the new appointment. (See Note by Acting Adviser at the end of this Report)


2. The Primary Society (Agricultural).

      We find this question a difficult one upon which to express a definite opinion. The Socieites at present established in Siam are pure Raiffeisen with their non-returnable Entrance Fee of Tcs.5/-, and their eternally indivisible profits. There is no doubt than this austere method is the purest form of co-operation and in the grim, forbidding districts of Germany when it was inaugurated, was doubtless than most suited to the prevailing conditions of a dour, fairly well educated yeoman peasantry, and a hard struggle with the soil to obtain a means of livelihood. Theirs was indeed a united fight for existence. But here in Siam neither of these conditions is applicable. The peasantry cannot be called educated, nor can the struggle for existence be termed hard. It seems to us that the chief task before Co-operation in Siam is to see that the ignorant cultivator obtains his fair share of the proceeds of what he produces, and is not for ever cheated out of it by the "banya" or money-lender, into whose clutches he only, too easily falls.

      For this reason, we incline to the view that the pure Raiffeisen system is rather too high an ideal to aim at in the beginning, and that that system should be chosen which will give the peasant the greatest possible incentive and encouragement, from a material point of view, to take a deep interest in the affairs of his society, and the movement. In other words we do not think the cultivator class is sufficiently educated yet, to realise the motive behind the Raiffeisen system, or to appreciate its ideals.

      Of the four types of society, at present in vouge in the Panjab, (see page 27), the mixed Raiffisen-Luzatti system might be found suitable for a good many societies in Siam, that is to say :- ............... The shares subscribed shall be returnable after ten years, but no profits shall be divided before the completion of ten years from the date of registration ; the profits may in the meanwhile be used as working capital unless the Registrar otherwise directs.

      In the eleventh year, after at least one quarter of the accumulated not profits has been carried to the Reserve Fund, the remainder of such profits may be apportioned among the members in the form of shares. In the twelfth and each following year, after at least one-fourth of the profits of the year have been carried to the Reserve Fund, a dividend not exceeding 10 per cent, on each fully paid share may be paid from the rest of the profits. No bonus shall be distributed in addition to dividend.

      No dividend shall be paid while any claim due from the Society to a depositer or lender remains unsatisfied. No dividend shall be distirbuted on any share not fully paid.

      Before or after the payment of a dividend, 7 1/2 per cent of the profits may be applied to any purpose referred to in section 34 of the Act and approved by the Registrar, namely, relief of the poor, education, medical relief, and the advancement of any other object of general public utility (except one relating exclusively to religious teaching or worship) ; or to a common good fund to be devoted to any of these purposes.

      The Reserve Fund is indivisible, and no member is entitled to claim a specified share in it. Until the Registrar directs that it be invested in accordance with section 32 of the Act, it may be utilised in the business of the Society.

      This type of Society presupposes that members have shares in their respective Societies, which so far has not been the case in Siam. The share system appears to us, from the experience now gained, to be an integral part of the co-operative movement, and we would advocate that the begining should be made as soon as legally possible, among those Societies considered suitable, of issuing shares to each member, payable by a monthly contribution of one tical (or more, according to the number of shares taken) for a period of ten years, to be returned at the end of that lapse of time. At the end of ten years each of the present members surviving would have one or more shares in his society to draw out to the value of Tcs. 120 each, and it is believed that the moral effect on the cultivator of possessing this capital would be invaluable in giving him an improved outlook on life. In addition, the accumulated profits, which in most cases should be very considerable, would then be converted into non-returnable shares in proportion to the number of original shares held by each member, who would there after receive an annual dividend.

      This should prove a great incentive to each member to retain his interest in the Society, even though he has received back his original shares and has long ceased to be under the necessity of borrowing money from it.

      There is another matter connected with the primary agricultural societies, on which we have a suggestion to make, from experience gained ; and that is the granting by the Central Banks of loans to societies, in the very begining, sufficient to pay off all the outside debts of the societies in question. But we propose to discuss this question under the heading of "Central Banks".


3.Non-Agricultural Societies.

      There are no doubt many cottage industries in Siam, such as weaving and sugar-making, which, in time to come, may be organised into co-operative societies. We are of opinion, however, that the Non-Agricultural movement, especially in the towns, should for the present be left until there is a felt need. Academically speaking, the remark applies to all forms of Co-operation, but it is emphasized in the urban movement. The new Co-operative Societies Law, when promulgated, will provide for the formation and registration of non-agricultural and urban societies ; but it is, in our opinion, inadvisable to attempt to initiate the movement from above ; it is better to leave its need to be felt by the people themselves. The Registrar would, of course, be ready assist would-be Co-operators at all times with advice and guidance when required.

      But it must be borne in mind, in connection with the non-agricultural movement, that the development of agricultural societies to the exclusion of other forms of co-operation means that the demands for for money and the repayments of loans are not distributed evenly throughout the year, and one of the results will be that, for a number of months, future Central Banks will find it difficult to employ their funds profitably. The Maclagan Committee, while advocating the extension of co-operation among the non-agricultural classes, are careful to add the proviso that it be "carefully supervised and controlled".

      In country villages the members of a society are acquainted with one another's character, means, and behaviour ; know exactly how much money any particular member requires, and how far he can be trusted. Circumstances are different in the towns, where, owing to a denser population, there is less mutual knowledge it is only among men who follow the same profession that there may be said to be a common bond which is economically sound. This one fact appeared to stand out clearly judging from those non-agricultural societies which we visited in India ; namely, that success lies only in those societies whose members all follow the same occupation.

      Of societies in the towns, a type which will be found useful in Siam is a Society for Salary-Earners. In India, societies of this type are to be found in every province : among employees of the Railways, the Shipping Companies, large mercantile firms, Post Offices Municipal Offices, Secretariats and other Government Department, etc. where large numbers of men are employed.

      A small salary-earner is in a difficult position in that he has no security to effer beyond the prospect of remaining in his post and drawing his pay. It is not easy for him to borrow money, and when he gets into debt, it is difficult for him to get out it again. His only chance is thrift, but without a fund system, such as is provided by co-operation, he usually finds himself unable to save at all.

      But a society of this type, usually a town society, is essentially a Thrift Society, and we propose to mention it again under that heading.


4. Union of Societies (Agricultural)

      This is an important feature of the Co-operative movement, and one which can be applied, as soon as the new Law is in force, to those Societies already established in Siam.

      In Burma, the Panjab and Bombay we discussed three different types of Union, namely the Guaranteeing Union, the Banking Union, and the Supervising Union.

      As has been already explained on pages 10 and 57 while discussing Co-operation in Burma and Bombay, the Guaranteeing Union has not been found to fulfil the function for which it was intended. It was designed to guarantee to the Central Banks the loans which these latter made to the primary societies, but it has actually no financial responsibility towards the Banks. and it was soon found that the applications from Societies for loans were recommended by the Union without sufficient discrimination or judgment. It may in fact be said that the Guaranteeing Union (without financial responsibility) has no reason for existence. and it is now being discontinued in Burma, and probably in Bombay.

      The Banking Union which we found only in the Panjab, is an advanced form of Co-operation, which need not detain us long at this moment.

      It combines the function of a Central Bank, and a Supervising Union, and is only suitable in districts where the affiliated Societies are of long standing and firmly established : Among younger Societies, it is better to have these two institutions established separately.

      The type of Union which will, we think, be found most suitable to conditions in Siam, is The Supervising Union.

      The duties and general outlines of a supervising union have already been described on page 9 and it is not necessary to go over the same ground again here. But it may be as well to draw special attention to duty No.4, namely, to appoint Union auditors for the annual audit.

      In this connection it may be mentioned that in Burma the method of audit in vogue is as follows :-

  1. Every year, by Union audit (non Official)
  2. Every two years, by Junior Asst. Registrar (Official)
  3. Every three or four years by the Asst. Registrar (Official)

      In this way as much responsibility as posible is thrown upon the Societies themselves to see that their books are kept in order : and at the same time a careful, but not too insistent watch is kept upon the Societies by the Government. As a system this has much to recommend it, but in practice we understand that the Registrar's staff has to do much more in audit and inspection work than it should, in order to hold the public confidence.

      It will also be noticed that the Supervising Union undertakes no guarantee regarding loans made to Societies, but acts purely in an advisory capacity to the Central Banks.

      The number of Societies affiliated to a Union in Burma varied from 10 to 15. There are now 33 Societies in the Lopburi district and 25 Societies in the Pitsanulok district, which might be grouped into various Unions according to locality.


5. Industrial Co-operative Society, with which may be grouped Central Co-operative Stroes (Weavers, etc.)

      The first type we saw at Mandalay : the second, on a small scale, at Amritsar and Khepupara, and on a large scale, at Jullundur.

      This is undoubtedly one of the most difficult forms of Co-operative work in the East. The formation and organisation of rural Societies for production purposes and for their own protection against the "Banya" is simplicity itself when compares with the orgainsed sale of the produce of those Societies in competition with the market.

      Primary Societies (and Unions) are self-contained and subjective in principle. But Industrial Socieites and Co-operative Stores are purely objective namely, to dispose of the produce of their members : and for this purpose they require an experienced business manager, with an extensive knowledge of his market and how to tap it. This means a high salary (to attract a competent man) which the society or store is usually not in a position to pay.

      In the Central Weavers Co-operative Stores at Jullundur the salary of the Manager is paid by the Government.

      Moreover, though, if the sales are good, everybody is satisfied ; yet, if difficulties arise in competing with the market, as they usually do arise, the members do not remain loyal, but go behind the back of the Society and take their wares to the local dealer direct. The only deterent to this is the drastic method of expulsion, which naturally the Societies are loth to apply.

      Once a Store or Society has forced its way into the market, and can hold its own against all competition, the advantages attaching to it are obvious, both to the buyer and to the member :-

      The buyer knows that he is getting the best quality available at the cheqpest rates, and that the weights and measures used are true : while the seller is not kept waiting for his money, knows that the accounts are accurately kept, and that he will eventually receive a share of all profits made. But the average peasant member is not yet sufficiently educated to understand this, or to realise that it is only by patience and loyal co-operation that ultimate success can be achieved.

      In the subjective form of Co-operation the relief given is not only obvious, but instant ; whereas, in its objective form, Co-operation requires, like all new business, character, ability and a steadfast determination to succeed, in the face of, sometimes almost insurmountable obstacles.

      While considering this form of Co-operation in the East, there is another fact worth nothing namely that the "market", as represented by the local dealers, cannot combine and obstruct (except by forcible means) the formation of Societies for productive and protective purposes : but they can and do combine and obstruct the working of sale Societies, as instanced by the Hita Co-operative Society at Mandalay.

      This was originally formed as a Commission shop for the sale of produce, but it only lasted one year - and then had to turn its activities in other directions - no doubt, owing to the obstructive tactics of local vested interests.

      Even now, for the sale of what may be called the products of "cottage industries", such as weaving and lacquer, it is finding its task a difficult one, and unless the determination is there, it will not survive in that form.

      But that a Commission shop can succeed, if the requisite determination is forthcoming, is evident by.


6. The Co-operative Commission Shop (Agricultural) at Lysllput

      The aims and objects of this type of Commission shop have already been described on page 29 and in their successful form undoubtedly offer immense advantages to the cultivators, especially where there is a spacious godown attached, for storage purposes. We inspected the Resigters of the Shop at Lyallpur and could see that a considerable business was being done by means of its agency, each day having its ten to twenty, and sometimes even more entries. But this repressent and advance stage in Co-operation, and before any such form is attempted in Siam, it will, we think, be well to see but all the likely constituent societies are strongly and firmly established, as and original failure is a bad precedent.

      Its future establishment should, however, always be borne in mind, for it is "carrying the war into the enemy's camp" with a vengeance, and a solid success would be a great incentive to other districts to follow the lead set.

      It may be noted, in passing, that the Indian word "Banya" which one hears so constantly in India in connection with the Co-operative movement, does not actually mean "usurer" or "money-lender" but "graindealer". Now the tow forms are synonymous, and in the north of India the one word covers both.

      This is interesting, for the same custom applies largely to Siam, where the country money-lender and the paddy-dealer are only too often one and the same person. In this way this individual makes a double profit, and the cultivator makes a double loss, first in having to borrow at an extortionate rate of interest and then having to sell or mortgage his crops at much below the market price.


7. Cattle Insurance Society.

      This is an interest form of Co-operation, but also a very difficult one, and so far it has not proved a startling success either in Burma, or in the Panjab, or in Bombay. In Bengal the system is not in use.

      As will be seen from a comparison of pages 12 and 35 the methods used in obtaining capital for these Societies differ essentially in the two former provinces, those in Burma raising their capital in the ordinary way, by means of shares, those in the Panjab, on the other hand, relying entirely on premiums for capital.

      The latter method does not seem in any way satisfactory, since if, in the early stages of the Society's existence, even only a few losses are incurred, the Society will at once become bankupt, having no resources to fall back upon. The Registrar himself admitted that he was not hopeful of success for this type of Society.

      In Burma they have, we think, made a more serious attempt to grapple with this problem (the need being probably more urgent), and the methos now in use seem to have received careful consideration. Cattle Insurance Societies have been intorduced into five districts, some in Upper, some in Lower Burma ; but still it cannot be said that the experiment has so far proved a success. To a certain degree external influences have helped to retard the progress of the movement, as in Upper Burma the mortality among cattle is low, and Cattle Insurance is therefore unpopular, while in Lower Burma the mortality is high - a good deal higher than the Society can afford without raising the premium to an unprofitable level.

      In Upper Burma a good many members of Cattle Insurance Societies laboured under the delusion, so we were told that, if their cattle did not die within the year, they would receive back the premium paid : and the consequent disappointment following on this delusion was not helpful to the progress of the movement. In this connection, one of the Joint Registrars propounded a scheme which he thought might help to popularise the movement, namely, at the end of every year, to divide all profits into four parts, as follows :-

  1. One quarter to be returned to the insurers of cattle which had not died during the year.
  2. One quarter to reserve.
  3. One quarter to be divided among share holders.
  4. One quarter to be "carried forward".

      This would certainly help to meet the objections of the individuals mentioned above, but the suggestion must, it seemed, remain in the academic stage until the profits were forthcoming.

      The reason for this state of thing is not far to seek, among the peasant populations of Eastern countries. They are not sufficiently educated to understand or appreciate the value of insurances - whether lift, fire, cattle, or any other type. That is to say, we do not believe that the difficulties inherent in the scheme are peculiar to cattle insurance only. But once educate the peasant to the requisite degree of understanding - and cattle insurance will, we think, fall on fruitful soil. As in the other more advanced types of co-operation, great patience and perseverance, in the face of all difficulties, are required to bring it to a successful issue.


8. Thrift Societies.

      This is a simple but very effective form of Co-operation, and is to be found in India both in the country districts and in the cities. An important type of Urban Society under this heading is a Salary Earners' Society, which, as pointed out on a previous page, may be formed among groups of officials of departments, or among large bodies of employees (railway, municipal, or mercantile firms). It can also be practised in regiments or in ships : and as there is no industrial or commercial side to it, no elaborate organisation is required to put the idea into operation.

      A society of this class must be based as far as possible on thrift, and this is provided for by a system of monthly subscriptions, which are enforceable, on default, under one of the bye-laws.

      The subscription may be converted into a share as soon as its value has been reached, and such a share ranks for dividend from the date of the first subscription.

      The large Society formed by the North-Western Railway in India, numbering 12,000 members, has a credit side to it also, and makes loans to its members for the purpose of clearing off outside debts. But its primary objects is thrift and, in most of the smaller Societies loans are discouraged as far as possible, except in actual urgent cases, and every endeavour is made to make each member contribute the monthly quota which he has agreed to make, A few years hard work and persistent effort in this direction would, we have no doubt, produce substantial results.

      As indicated above, there must be many fields of activity open in Siam to this type of Co-operation, if only the idea be brought to the notice of officials and others likely to be intereted.


9. National Co-operative Union.

      The aims and functions of a Union such as this have been explained on page 37, and do not require further elaboration here. as far as Siam is concerned, the need of a National Co-operative Union is a long way ahead, but one day it will surely play its part here as it does now in the panjab.


10. District Central Bank and Main Central (National) Bank.

      We have left the question of financing the Co-operative movement to the last, as the Banking system to be used requires the most careful consideration, and the object is one which is full of difficulty.

      In the Panjab, there is no main Provincial Bank at all, but only Districts Central Banks and Banking Unions scattered all over the provinces : while the Registrar himself acts as a kind of clearing office for the use of all surplus funds, thereby enabling one Bank or Union to lend to another.

      In Burma, on the other hand, there is a main Provincial Bank at Mandalay, which deals both with the Central Banks, and also with the primary Societies direct, throughout the country.

      In Bombay there is also a Main Provincial Bank, as has been described under "Bombay". This Bank is in a strong financial position.

      In the Panjab the District Central Banks and Banking Unions have been very successful in attracting local deposits which are, so to speak, their life blood ; and are now mostly in a flourishing and healthy condition : in Burma, on the other hand, where rural money is apparently not so plentitul, the District Central Banks, though now well established, have had an uphill fight, and have had to rely considerably upon the financial support of the Main Provincial Bank. This Bank, in its turn also, has been markedly unsuccessful in obtaining local deposits (in 1920 they represented one per cent of its resources), and has had to rely largely, as indicated above, upon European support.

      Now, in considering the structure of the Co-operative movement in any country, it will be realised that the District Central Bank is, from a fundamental Co-operative point of view, of greater importance than a Main Provincial (or National) Bank.

      It is, in fact, one of the rocks on which the movement rests in that it calls for strong local public spirit, and shows that the people themselves are vitally interested in it - two of the main essentials for the ultimate success of the scheme. In countries, where the movement has to stand on its own feet from the inception and cannot look to the Government for any financial support, a Main Central Bank must be "the last stone on the building" and will only be established as the outcome of a crying need. By this it meant that the structure will be built up labouriously and painfully from below - in which process the success or failure of the District Central Banks will be the surest guide to a judgment of the progress of the movement.

      Co-opertively speaking, it cannot be too much emphasized that, unless the public themselves recognise the value of Co-operation, and give it their ardent support, it cannot become of permanent, lasting benefit to the country, whether financially supported by the Government or not.

      If the above remarks are applied to conditions in Siam, what is the result?.

      It may, we think, be assumed that local rural conditions will be more skin to Burma than to the Panjab or Bombay, and that local deposits will be difficult to attract, at any rate in the beginning. This means that the District Central Banks will have to fight a hard, uphill battle at the start, and will certainly require financial support from some higher structure. In this regard, the position of the Burma Provincial Bank cannot, we think, be regarded as wholly sound, relying as it does upon European support : which means that it lies at the mercy of a fickle exchange. This was felt some few years ago, when the value of the Rupee jumped up, and considerable deposits were withdrawn for remittance to Europe. In dealing with such a purely national movement, no Bank should, we think, be placed in such a precarious position.

      The logical result of all this is, we think, that there are three alternatives before the Government, namely either (1) to continue to finance the movement, within specified limited, as hitherto, from existing Banks, under a Guarantee, untill such time as the Co-operative movement is able to stand on its own feet ; or (2) to establish a separate National Bank for this, and other development purposes ; or (3) to advance money direct from the Treasury to the movement.

      In every Province of India that we visited we were warned against the danger of "going too quickly". Over-enthusiasm, and over-keenness to found new Societies, and new Banks, where there was no actual call for them from the people, nearly always resulted in a severe set-back, in the shape of compulsory liqiudation, within a shorter or longer period, as the case might be. In Burma especially where such reactions have at times occurred, did we receive this warning - and the example of the Central Provinces was also set up before our eyes.

      Before resorting, therefore, to the second alternative, care should, it seems, be taken to ascertain whether a National Bank would receive considerable public financial support of a non-European nature. It would, we think, be unsound economically for the Government to establish this Bank (as far as Co-operative purposes are concerned) purely by means of its own financial resources, and trust to the public later on the shoulder some of its financial responsibilities.

      Until public support had been assured, it would, in our opinion, be wiser and safer to continue to use the existing Bank, as far as their directorate were prepared to finance the movement : and, after their resources have been exhausted, to advance money from the Treasury slowly and in moderate sums, as necessary and required.

      The official financial assistance has been given, since the inception of the movement, in all Provinces of India, including Burma. In the latter Province the extent of the assistance in 1919 had reached the sum of 20 lakhs of Rupees, the highest point touched but this had been reduced in 1922 to 15 lakhs. The usual course followed by such financial assistance is to rise to a maximum, and then gradually to decrease, as the movement gains strength and Government money is replaced by the public's money.

      But whichever alternative is chosen, this will not affect the question of District Central Banks which will have to be established, if the movement is to have solid foundations, on which to rest.

      As soon therefore as the new Law has been promulgated enabling higher forms of Co-operation to be started, a Central Bank should be founded at Lopbuti, to be followed later on by one at Pitsanulok and else-where as the progress of the movement may indicate. The financing of societies within its areas of operation would then be made entirely through the Central Bank, the Registrar having in the meantime arranged of form a Union or Unions to assist in its work.

      The movement will thus be provided with a means for tapping local capital - that being one of the most important functions of a Central Bank.

      It will offer a suitable opening by which the leading gentlement of those districts, who could hardly be expected to join village societies, can take their part in promoting and guiding the movement. It will serve to bring them into close contact with the needs of the agricultural classes and, in return for the benefit which it obtains from their support, will give them an excellent opportunity of studying economic conditions of their own district.

      No discouragement need be felt if it does not yield immediate good results. The work will be hard, and much time will be taken.


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