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* I am at the same time directed to request that the Asiatic Society will furnish this Department with a copy of Dr. Helper's original list of his Ornithological collections, forwarded to the Secretary to the Society from the Political Department, with Mr. Secretary PRINSEP's letter, dated the 24th October 1839.
I am, Sir, COUNCIL CHAMBER,
• Your obedient servant, * 30th December 1840.
"G. A. BUSHBY, 'Secretary to Government of India,
No. 17 of 1840.
OUR GOVERNOR GENERAL OF INDIA IN COUNCIL.
of letter from the Government of India, dated 21st
Public Dept. • Ist. The first of these letters refers to an application made by MAJOR Hay, Reply to Paras. 48 and 49
through the Asiatic Society of Bengal to you, to
purchase a large collection of subjects of Natural History, August 1839, No. 26
formed chiefly in southern Africa, and of which you and To letter from the Secretary have justly remarked that it would be better adapted to the Government of India, dated 19th January 1839,
to the Museum of Europe than of India, we accordingly No. 2
approve of your having declined the purchase. 2nd. In your letter of the 19th January 1839, you inform us that the collections made by Dr. Helfer in the Tenasserim Provinces have been shipped on the “Madagascar;" a reference to the correspondence accompanying shews that this is not exactly correct. The collections of Dr. Helfer and of Mr. Assistant Surgeon GRIFFITHS, which have been received by the “Madagascar," are exclusively Botanical, and the other collections were deposited with the Asiatic Society.
*3rd. We take this opportunity of expressing to you more fully our wishes on the subject of collections of Natural History made in India, on account of, or under the patronage, of the Government.
* 4th. In our letter of the 18th September 1839, No. 17, Paras. 81 to 87, we replied to the applications which you made in August 1837, and in September 1838, on behalf of the Asiatic Society of Bengal; and we signified our consent to the monthly payment of 200 or 250 rupees to a qualified person to superintend the Museum, with an allowance of 50 rupees a month for the cost of preparing and preserving specimens besides the former allowance for the publication of Oriental works.
•5th. We now call your attention to several points respecting the relation in which the Asiatic Society is placed towards the Company's Museum in England in consideration of this grant. It appears from the public correspondence, as well as from the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, that the collections made by several Deputations and Missions on behalf of Government, which previous to the date of our despatch above mentioned (18th September 1839) were provisionally confided to the care of the Asiatic Society, have been detained in its custody nearly two years, during which period no Zoological collections have been received in our Museum from Bengal.
*6th. We refer here especially to the public letter of Dr. J. W. Helfer to Mr. Secretary Prinsep, dated Calcutta 16th October 1838, and to a letter from Mr. Secretary PRINSEP, dated Fort William, 24th October 1838, to the Secretary of the Asiatic Society, and to the proceedings of the Asiatic Society of the 5th September, 10th October, and 14th November 1838, published in the Journal of the said Society, also respecting collections made during Captain Pemberton's Mission to Bootan, &c. Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of 7th February 1838, Journal p. 90 to 168, 5th September 1838, p. 749.
*7th. It is quite apparent that the detention of subjects of Natural History, in the state in which they are usually brought from Missions or Deputations, the movements of which are necessarily expeditious, must in the climate of India be highly injurious to them, and may in many cases occasion their entire destruction; we notice this parti. cularly with reference to the collections made by Dr. Helfer in Tenasserim, and by Captain PembERTON during his Mission to Bootan, since both these are new localities from which no specimens are as yet contained in our Museum.
8th. In order therefore to guard in future against similar detentions, and to secure an early dispatch of any collections made on behalf of Government to our Museum, we should wish you to require every naturalist or officer who may accompany any Mission or Deputation on behalf of Government, to make at least a provisional report on the nature and extent of his collections immediately on the return of the Mission, to be forwarded to us without delay; further, that whenever practicable, the same officer who accompanied a Mission be instructed on the arrival of his collections to select from his labors the most full and complete series for despatch to England for the Company's Museum by the earliest opportunity, and also to superintend in person the packing and despatch, in order to secure as far as possible the safety of the same during the voyage. In cases in which the collections may have been forwarded to the Presidency before the return of the naturalist by whom they have been made, and when any length of time may be expected to intervene before he can make a selection himself, we are of opinion that it may be expected of the Asiatic Society to make such a selection as is above intimated, and to prepare the same for despatch to England.
9th. While these instructions apply chiefly to such collections as may be made in future on account of Government, we are likewise desirous that the necessary steps may be taken towards the immediate dispatch to our Museum of a series of the Mammalia and Birds collected by Dr. Helfer in Tenasserim, as far as his collections may have been preserved from the destructive effects of the climate, and of such subjects as may be new to science we desire the supply of several individuals; at the same time we direct that the entire of Dr. Helfer's Entomological collection may be for. warded to us, since from the locality which he visited, many valuable and interesting subjects may be expected in this department particularly; and since no copy of Dr. Helfer's list of his Ornithological collections, which according to a letter from Mr. Secretary PrinseP, dated Fort William 24th October 1838, was forwarded to the Secretary of the Asiatic Society, has been found in our records, we direct that this list be transmitted to us with all possible expedition. The directions which we have now given respecting Dr. Helfer's collections in Tenasserim, apply also to such collections in Zoology as may have been made during Captain Pemberton's Mission on account of Government to Bootan.
• 10. In connexion with these specific instructions, we deem it expedient to add a few general explanatory remarks, the object of which is to secure to our Museum in England, with every proper degree of economy respecting freight and packing expenses, the most valuable and interesting results of scientific Deputations and Missions on behalf of Government; we therefore repeat the recommendation, that on the return of any Mission to Calcutta the naturalist who may have made any collection, or a proper person to be appointed by you, be employed to prepare a single specimen, well preserved, of the more common Mammalia and Birds, such as are well known and des. cribed ; of those that are rare, and especially of the newly discovered ones, several indi. viduals. To afford the naturalist some assistance in this selection, we will supply a simple list of the present contents of our Museum as far as regards the Mammalia and Birds. By the plan thus recommended we shall become acquainted with the zoological productions of regions newly visited, and thus obtain materials for “ Local Faunas,” of which several instructive series already exist in our Museum. Of all Entomological collections we require that the entire result of any Deputation on behalf of Government be forwarded to our Museum, since these cannot be preserved in India under the disadvantages of imperfect cabinets, moisture, and general destructive effects of the climate; and being comprised in smaller space, their transmission is not expensive. These instructions will apply to all public collections made previous to the Mission of Dr. Helfer to Tenasserim, should any such be still detained in the hands of individuals, or remain deposited in the Botanic Garden of Calcutta, or in charge of the Asiatic Society.
List of Mammalia contained in the Museum of the East India
Good Specimens of all QUADRUMANA are Desiderata in the Museum.