The Congo Loan

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

The Congo Loan is a letter written by Arthur Conan Doyle first published in The Economist on 27 november 1909.

The Congo Loan

Sir, — In your interesting article on "Proposed Reforms in the Congo" you allude to a grant in aid of £1,320,000. If such were indeed the case, much of the ground would be cut from under the feet of the reformers. But instead of being a Belgian grant in aid, it is a loan which is raised for the colony, the unfortunate natives paying the interest, although an analysis shows that it serves no purpose which could possibly be of any use to the native himself. The incredible meanness of Belgian finance may be gathered from the fact shown in the Budget that the wretched savages, from whose labour the Congo funds are obtained, have to find the money for subsidies to the Heir-Apparent, for the upkeep of museums and conservatories, for the payment of medical schools in Belgium, and a variety of other home purposes. Imagine our taxing the Kaffirs of South Africa for the support of the South Kensington Museum, and for the electric lighting of the Colonial Office. That would be a fair analogy.

Yours truly,