THE NIZAM'S CLAIMS.
[TO TEl EDITOR OF TEl "SHISCITATOR.1
SIR,—There are statements in Sir George Yule's letter, published in your last week's issue, which deserve consideration in respect to Saler Jung's recent visit in connection with the Nizam's It is quite correct, as stated, that there are two forces stationed within the Nizam's dominions, officered and commanded by British officers, one force known as the "Subsidiary Force," and the other the "Contingent," and both, nominally at least, paid for by the Nizam. Both are, however, maintained under treaty engage- ments, and under arrangements between the Resident and the Nizam, but the composition and organisation of these two forces differ very greatly from the description of forces required under the treaties between the Nizam and the British Government.
The Subsidiary Force is furnished by the regular troops of the Indian Army, and under the Treaty of 1800 ought to be composed of eight battalions of Sepoys of 8,000 firelocks, and two regiments of cavalry of 1,000 horse, "with their requisite complement of guns, European artillerymen, Luaus, and pioneers, fully equipped with warlike stores and ammunition, to be stationed in perpetuity in the Nizam's dominions." The Treaty of 1853 allowed the composition to be altered, by substi- tuting one European regiment of infantry for two Native regi- ments. But practically this change had long previously been made, and with the Nizam's hearty good-will, for the safety of his rule has been secured by the presence of European infantry.
The expenses of this force were mainly provided for by the Nizam transferring to the Madras Presidency the revenues of the territories now known as the Madras collectorates of Bellary and Cuddapah, and hence designated the Nizam's Ceded Districts.. Theseterritories were in reality never in possession of the Nizam,, and were only nominally transferred to him by the British Govern- ment, after the fall of Tippoo, when Mysore was conquered: The Nizam was thus enabled by conquests, effected mainly by the British Army, supported, no doubt, by his unreliable force, ta obtain, under the treaties of 1792 and of 1800, the means of paying for the British Subsidiary Force, which was, even then, so essential. to the safety of his power that the Treaty requires our British troops to be made available for putting down, not only "insur- rectionary movements" on the part of his "chiefs," "subjects," or " dependanta," but also those who "withhold payment of his just claims, or excite rebellion or disturbance." And large as maybe. the sum named by Sir George Yule as the revenues of the districts now drawn by the Madras Government, I venture to express great doubts as to its sufficiency to pay the cost of the present Subsidiary Force; consisting, as it now does, mainly of European cavalry, European infantry, European artillery, and not almost entirely of native troops, as fixed in the beginning of this century.
The Contingent is stated by Sir George Yule to be another force which had "previously come into existence shoat 1817," but it ought, I think, to be traced back to treaty engagements of the last century, as well as to the treaties of alliance and mutual aid and defence of this century ; under which treaties the Nizam was bound to supply considerable forces in support of the British Government in their wars. In 1817 the Nizam was specially called upon, I believe for the first and last time, to furnish troops in aid of the great efforts made by the Marquess of Hastings to put down the plundering Pindarees and the aggressive States of Central India, which had kept India excited and disturbed ever since the Mogul dynasty ceased to govern ; but the disorderly troops of the Nizam being then quite unfit to co-operate with a British army in the field, a very small force was accepted, on. condition of its being paid and superintended by British officers.
Out of this arrangement sprang the force known as the " Nizam's Contingent," and when I took charge, in 1860, of the military expenditure of India, it consisted of 4 native cavalry regiments,. 6 infantry regiments, and 4 native batteries of artillery, with British officers, appointed under the same conditions as those of the irregular troops of India. Indeed, the Punjab irregular- force was formed mainly on the model of the Nizam's Contingent- 1 fully admit that this force was for many years a most expensive- one, and so continued up to 1853. Its coat was then greatly diminished by being brought under British control, other than that of the Resident. In 1860, when I first examined the charges of this force, I found several openings for reductions, but my economical efforts met with successful opposition, not from Lord Canning, but from the Resident at Hyderabad. I nevertheless effected some good, for with the sanction of the Government of India, I brought this Contingent into the estimates of the military forces of all India, in order to keep its charge within the sums authorised ; aud for six years the whole of its expenses were made a portion of the military charges of India, and effectually con- trolled ; but eight or ten years ago, this Contingent was struck out of the military budgets of India ; so that it is now in the same- position, under the direct rule of the Resident at Hyderabad, as. in former years, when its extravagant cost deserved Sir George. Yule's censure. I believe this change has already led to the cost of this Contingent being considerably increased, so that since it again fell under the sole control of the Resident and the Nizam, we see, as formerly, the same kind of waste rising up. It must be observed that the former extravagance in the cost of this Contingent was the result of arrangements between the Resident and the Nizam, or at least his Minister, and that it was a cover for grievous wrong being done to the people under that Government. This opening for jobbery tended to prevent or to deter successive- Residents from exposing the misrule and oppressions which every- where existed in the Nizam's dominions, and from denouncing them as a disgrace to the British Government, under whose military protection the unfit ruler of the Deccan and his then. incompetent Ministers were maintained in authority.
This misgovernment of one of the finest tracts in India causad the pay of the Contingent to fall heavily in arrears, and in 1853 Lord Dalhousie obtained from the Nizam an assignment of the districts of the Berars and Raichore Doab. This cession, how- ever, was no novelty, for the Arabs unnecessarily employed by the Nizam; I believe as an opposition army to the British forces, had also obtained the same kind of assignments for their pay as the Governor-General obtained for the pay of the Contingent. In 1860 Lord Canning restored the Raichore Doab, one of the assigned districts. After seven years' rule under a lieutenant of artillery, it had been converted from a state of desolation to one of high cultivation.
The assigned districts known as "the Berars" still remain under British officers ; and from the concurrent reports of all parties, officialand non-official, this fine tract of country has also been raised under British officers to the highest state of cultivation, and now yields a revenue far in excess of the cost of the Contingent, as 1 left that military charge ; and even though that charge may since have been swelled, yet I believe the revenues of the Berars are still in excess of the expenses of the Contingent, as well as of the civil administration. The treaty with Lord Canning in 1860 stated the net Berar revenue at 32 lace, and agreed to appropriate the same to the pay of the Contingent, to the payment of the Appah Dessiah tribute, and for other liabilities, but also agreed to pay to the Nizam any surplus that may hereafter accrue, after defraying all these and other charges, such charges, however, being entirely at the discretion of the British Government. This stipulation is, no doubt, most perplexing. We have created wealth out of provinces desolated and misgoverned under the Nizam. We have also created interests of great magnitude, and given rights to millions of people who might be sacrificed, and would certainly be, if any change in the present administration of the Deccan took place ; for I know of no one of the family of the Nizam who could replace Salar Jung, and no Minister could be appointed who did not belong to the race which, until Salar Jung was appointed, had systematically misgoverned the Deccan.
There is one most important consideration to be borne in mind, and that was the dangerous state of the Nizam's dominions. In 1839, during the war in Afghanistan, a free band crossed into the Madras territories, and fought an action with the Madras troops. Again, when the Mutiny broke out, the British Government had then a right to move the Subsidiary Force, all but two battalions of Native Infantry ; but not only could not a soldier be spared from Secunderabad, but we were constrained to increase the strength of this force materially, and with European troops who were urgently needed in other parts of India. The Contingent was also liable to be moved, but it was required to keep down disturbances within the territories of the Nizam. If the Nizam had rightly governed his country, the Subsidiary Force and Contingent would both have been available, and united with the Nagpore force, and with General Whitlock's Madras division, would have made up an army of more than 20,000 men, composed of all arms of European and Native troops, and equipped with carriage of the most complete character ; such a force moved into Central India would have effectually put down all resistance and all disorders.
Thus, the disturbed state of the Nizam's dominions and our faithful observance of treaty obligations greatly hindered our efforts to suppress the Mutiny; and though we were eventually successful, and thereby saved the subjects of the Nizam, as well as those of Scindia and Holkar and other States, from becoming the prey of a disorganised military rabble, it was only after an expenditure of many lives and a vast amount of treasure. That latter expenditure still continues ; it has already added, and is, I fear, adding, to the debt of India, which at present amounts to 160,000,000 more than it was before the Mutiny,—in fact, it is since then more than doubled. No one who knows India can doubt that the success of the mutineers would have been fatal to the rule of Scindia, of Holkar, and of the Nizam ; and though these chiefs may amuse themselves with the delusive idea that they could rule without the protection of the British Gov- ernment, others, far more experienced, know that they would be swept away by the first able native, who could so easily show his superiority over these rulers. Their safety has thus been secured by the sacrifice of lives and treasure mainly supplied by England. The interest of this debt has now to be paid by British India ; that is, by the cultivators and other industrious classes under direct British rule. These are now unnecessarily taxed to supply the largely increased funds which ought to be raised from all India, and therefore, even if Sir George Yule be right in con- sidering the surplus revenues of Berta to be due to the Nizam, I can readily make allowances for our statesmen who view the benefits bestowed on the Nizam, as well as on other Indian rulers, by the costly operations carried on to maintain
their power, as well as that of the British Government, as fairly entitling the people under our direct away to be relieved from. financial burdens which are now borne by them alone, whilst other classes, under these other Indian rulers, shared in the benefits purchased by this expenditure.—I am, Sir, &c.,
6 Cleveland Gardens, August 14. G. BALFOUR-