« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
not lie in saying such things as East India Company to unjust atthese—the courage is not demanded tempts upon the revenues which for such utterances-in Calcutta. they administered was a reality. It The difficulty arises, the courage is was not always successful, because demanded, when the speaker re- the adroitness of an English Cabiturns to England, and faces his old net might sometimes bring about colleagues in Whitehall. That kind an evasion of the spirit of the law, of language won't do at the Trea- whilst maintaining its letter. Every sury. We really shall honour Mr one, for example, knows that the Laing very much if he makes such war in Affghanistan was undernotes as these reverberate from taken mainly for Imperial purposes, Charing Cross to the Houses of Par- and at the suggestion of the Crown liament, shaking the Horse Guards Ministers. Every one knows, thereon their way. But if he returns fore, that the revenues of the emamong us rampant with such hetero- pire ought to have borne the pecudoxy as this, will not some means niary burden in whole or in part. of silencing him be quickly found ? But the fifteen millions of money Will he be suffered to speak out which those calamitous operations authoritatively in such a strain? cost were paid out of the Indian treaWe think it extremely doubtful- sury, because the war was undertaken so doubtful that, unless he be con- from India, and underthe immediate verted on his passage home, it direction of the Governor-General. seems not improbable that on his When at a later period the blunarrival he may be silenced by mak- derings of some of the diplomatic ing him one of the custodians of the servants of the Crown involved us Indian House in the Council of in a war with Persia, the Company, India, or by some equally effectual warned by that great Affghan means of reducing him to harmless- spoliation, put matters on a right ness and quietude, if any means so footing before they lent their aid, effectual could be found.
and exacted an Imperial guarantee It is the fashion to write and to for the payment of half the exspeak scornfully of what is called penses of the war. The Coman imperium in imperio. But if the pany had interests distinct from old East India Company was cor- those of the Empire, and, what was rectly described by these words, we of still more importance, distinct must say that an empire within the from those of the Government of empire is sometimes a serviceable the day. It mattered not to them institution. As long as there is a whether Whigs or Conservatives separate purse, it seems to be not so were in office. If they made a very preposterous that there should stand against unjust encroachments, be a separate power.
they stood for India, and for India something intelligible in Mr Com- only. They were not embarrassed pany's separate purse, and in his sepa- and perplexed by any considerarate powers. We could attach some tions of party. But now the home clear and distinct meaning to the Government of India is a departwords, “ The Revenues of the East ment of her Majesty's Government. India Company.” But now that The Secretary of State for India is the revenues have become the re- a member of the Cabinet, and the venues of the Crown, and the impe- Council of India is made up of rium in imperio a department of her fifteen lesser ministers of the Crown. Majesty's Government, it appears The India Office is indeed only a to us that the anomalous state of part of the great machinery of Imthings which it was said that the perial Government, and we cannot extinction of the Company would expect from it the independent acremedy has been intensified and tion which characterised the East perpetuated. The resistance of the India Company. There is something beyond and above India to ments of this kind. Henceforth it be considered by such a body. The will be the policy of the Imperial Council is ruled by the Secretary Government, having the game in of State ; the Secretary of State by their own hands, to turn India to the Cabinet ; and the Cabinet is the best possible account; and this the slave of a parliamentary ma- will be done by maintaining a sepajority. And so India suffers that rate purse without admitting any Whigs or Tories may keep their separate power.
Whilst the cry is, places.
“Perish India, rather than that the We know that there is a consti- Empire should pay sixpence for tutional fiction that the revenues her support !” the Empire is conof India are in the custody of the tinually putting its hands into the Council of India, and that the Se- Indian purse, and experimentalising cretary of State has no power to upon its powers of endurance. There dispose of the public money. All is nothing now between India and money grants must, by Act of Par- the Government of the day. The liament, be sanctioned by a major- Secretary of State for India in ity of the Council. If the Secre- Council is as much a part of her tary of State desires to bestow fifty Majesty's Government, as the Sepounds upon a deserving individual cretary of State for Foreign Affairs who has rendered some public ser- or the First Lord of the Admiralty. vice, he cannot do it without the Theoretically the Council may be sanction of the majority of his intended to act as a check upon the Council. It was intended that this Minister of the day, but practically should act as a salutary restraint it is not so. And, indeed, we canupon the power and authority of not help admitting that it would the Minister. But however cogent be an unseemly spectacle if the it may be in small matters, involv- Secretary of State and the Couning direct money payments, it is cil were to be continually paradwholly inoperative in respect of ed before the public as antagonlarge appropriations of public money. istic institutions—a department of It is the veriest fiction to say that her Majesty's Government divided the Council of India have the con- against itself. The only good thing trol of the public purse, so long as that we know of the exclusion of the Secretary of State can decree members of the Indian Council measures which may disturb all from Parliament is, that these inthe finances of India, and plunge ternecine strifes cannot be carried India into bankruptcy in a year. on in the councils of the Empire. If the Indian Minister can decree Whatever the Indian councillors that
any number of regiments which may say or write, the outer world, Great Britain wishes to be relieved save in exceptional cases, knows of for a time shall be maintained little or nothing about it. Practiin India at the charge of the Indian cally, the result is that there is a revenues, it is very small consola- continual succession of compromises tion that he cannot order an imme- -such compromises as generally diate money payment of £5 with- take place between the strong and out the consent of the Council. the weak; the Minister having it
The real evil of the so-called amal- all his own way in cases in which gamation scheme is, that its general Imperial politics are concerned. tendency is to swamp India with a When it is known that the Cabinet flood of Imperial selfishness. Eng- is with him, and that the Court land is too strong for India. She has a personal interest in the matwill send to the dependency what ter, what can a dozen or so of old it does not want, and take from it Indians, however able and experiwhat it does want. We can see no enced, do to resist such influences? security against unjust encroach- They must look for concessions in
other directions, where Imperial the workmen will ever be what they interests are not concerned ; and were before? A great deal depends there every sagacious Minister will upon first appointments. People be sure to make them, sometimes may condemn the so-called “nepotperhaps against his better judg- ism” of the Court of Directors of the ment--and so everybody is kept in East India Company, but whether good humour, and India is milk- the youths whom they sent out were ed for the sustenance of England. selected on public or on private What Mr Laing says about the day grounds, they developed in time the being past“ in which England can right stuff, and might have done consider India as a milch cow, on honour to any patrons in the world. which to draw for a little here and This question of first appointments a little there in order to round an is now stated to be under the conEnglish budget, or to ease an Eng- sideration of her Majesty's Governlish estimate," looks very well in a ment. At present all appointments printed speech. Past, indeed! It to the British army are, of course, appears to us to have just begun. made at the Horse Guards, and, we The Council of India, under the believe, only by purchase. We should new military system, can never pro- conceive it to be a mere matter of tect the revenues of India as the course that this would continue to East India Company did under the be the normal state of things, if it old. It is not their fault. It is were not that something of a parthe tendency of the system to liamentary pledge was given, when cause them to be overborne, and to the East India Company was aboswamp India, as we have said, with lished, that a certain share of Indian a flood of Imperial selfishness. No- patronage should be given to the thing can be more significant than children of Indian officers. Whether this matter of the depôts. It is only any provision has been made, or is part of the system that is, and is to likely to be made, for carrying out be. In vain may Indian commis- this promise under the new system, sions report and recommend; in we do not at present know; but vain may Indian finance-ministers however statesmen of a certain class make speeches pregnant in fact and may sneer at Indian traditions, and powerful in argument; in vain may desire to see them obliterated, we Indian Governments, with the same know nothing of more importance force of logic and of rhetoric, write to the permanence of our rule in weighty despatches to the Secretary India than that they should be mainof State, pointing out the urgent tained. As long as they are mainnecessity of economy in England tained—as long as the men to whom as well as in India. So long as a we must trust to do our work in Government, existing by the suf- India have a hereditary and abidferance of a parliamentary majority, ing interest in the country and in has the means of making things the people—it will be done well; but pleasant at home by imposing un- the accidents of party and placejust burdens upon India, those the waifs and strays of ministerial burdens will be imposed, and the or courtly patronage—are not likely
, military expenditure of the Indian to do it well. It is because we do Government will never be brought not expect again to see upon the within reasonable bounds.
stage such men as our Lawrences, Our time and space are both at Outrams, and Nicholsons that we an end. We wish that we could tremble for the future of India. look hopefully into the future of the Brave and excellent men may go out Indian service. We can no longer to India—as, in past times, some of write of the Indian army; that we our bravest and best have gone out, must regard as dead and buried. “To shed a dozen drops of blood, But work must still be done in India; And straight rise up a lord"and one great question is, Whether but they will go only as tourists
VOL. XC.-NO. DXLIX.
for “ramble" or a “scamper,” being kept up to the present point and stay if something turns up. of efficiency, and of the real, subThey will not, as the Company's stantial work of India being well officers did of old, take root in the done as in the old time. But will soil. It is not to be disguised that not the selfishness which makes India is not a desirable place of re- India pay for English reserves, sidence. Life in India, especially make India pay also the wages of military life, is full of suffering, servants selected by the Imperial privation, and danger. Men are authorities? reconciled to it only by the consi- These are the two great dangers, deration that Indian service is their or rather the one great dangerprofession, and that, whether they Imperial Usurpation, which threatlike it or not, they must adhere to ens the Future of India. Of course, it, or be cast desolate and unpro- it was to have been expected as a vided for upon the world. The re- necessary result of the exterminacent mutiny in India has not ren- tion of the East India Company. dered it a more desirable place than We do not think that we have exit was before ; and we scarcely think
aggerated the evil, but we heartily that men drawn from the classes hope that we have. We are not of which at present recruit the com- the number of those who missioned ranks of the royal army will turn their thoughts from gene
“Would rather that the Dean should die,
Than their prediction prove a lie." ral service to a life of continual exile in the East. If anything were done We cordially hope that he may live and perhaps something may be in undiminished vigour and prodone-to maintain the traditions of sperity for many a year, and many Indian service of which we have a long century, in spite of the forespoken above, we should still have bodings which at present sit so some hope of the great Staff corps heavily upon us.
THE EPIC OF THE BUDGET.
The Budget has passed, and the scandal as the Whigs, might, after session is practically at an end. We having been long habituated to office can sum up the result in a single sen- under Lord Liverpool, have treated tence. As patriots, hardly anybody their rivals in somewhat of the is satisfied; as partisans, nearly same spirit at the period of the everybody is pleased. The finance Reform Bill, if their ranks had and statesmanship of the session not been effectually broken by the are disliked even by the supporters extension of the franchise. Unless of the Ministry, and are not to be the power of the Whigs is in like justified even if they should prove manner dispersed, the Tories on to be successful. On the other reaching the Treasury benches must hand, the Tories may as heartily face not a fair opposition, but a conrejoice in their momentary defeat spiring faction. That the Whig as the Whigs do in their unexpected ranks have little cohesion, and must victory.
in the course of nature be so disVictory would have been embar- persed, cannot admit of a doubt. rassing to the Tories. Although We anticipate a great triumph for they form the strongest party in the our party, and much of it will be state, and could sustain a govern- due to the shortsighted policy of the ment much stronger than the present Whigs, which taught them to grasp one, still, if they desire permanence too eagerly at office, and to grudge of power, it is their interest to wait their rivals a fair trial. Their greed until their forces are further in- rendered them repulsive to the creased, and until their opponents country, and it also deprived them are further reduced. Their star is of that healthy discipline of oppoin the ascendant, and their future sition in which they might have reis certain. It is better not to pre- cruited their strength and closed cipitate an event which cannot be their ranks. Their position now is long delayed, and which must in- such that they must speedily fall to stal them in office with irresistible pieces, and great will be their depower. This policy is rendered par- struction. Any attempt to hasten ticularly desirable by a variety of that destruction will give them a circumstances, of which we shall rallying point in a sense of danger. mention only two. The first is, that The case cannot be better put than the Whigs, from a long enjoyment in an illustration suggested by one of the spoils of office, cannot bear of the most sagacious of the Tory to be deprived of what they regard leaders. He is reported to have as their perquisite, and conduct said that the Tory Opposition is their opposition with unusual viru- now as it were the heir to a decrepid lence. By foul means, if not by old grandfather, who must soon die fair, by dodges, by calumnies, by and leave the heir in undisputed unnatural coalitions, they will move possession. But if, not content to heaven and earth to get back to wait, the young man should murder their places. We know of few the old one, he would certainly not things more disgraceful than the improve his prospects. manner in which the opposition to The other circumstance to which Lord Derby's first and second ad- we referred is connected with the ministrations was carried on. We foregoing. Considering the tactics do not blame the Whigs for it as if of the party who style themselves it were all owing to Whiggism-it Liberal, it would not have been is much more due to officialism. pleasant for the Tories to accept We dare say that the Tories, though of office as the result of a victory they have never been so fond of which, however fairly won, the