6 OCTOBER 1866, Page 6


T ORD CRANBORNE will, we believe, act wisely in arrest-- 1J ing the annexation of Mysore, though for reasons other than those upon which so much stress has been laid. With all that endless story of treaties, interpretations of treaties, agreements, cessions, countercessions, and promises, Hindoo, rules of succession, Mussulman rules of succession, and all the rest which fill up windy pamphlets on both sides, we:- have little or no concern. Those things have, an importance,_ but the broad facts are above and beyond them, and the- broad facts, as we read them, are these. The Queen is Em-: press of India, Sovereign by native as well as European admis,- sion of the, entire continent, heir to the whole prerogative of Delhi, possessor by a right acknowledged by every prince in India of the paramount power. Every native prince obeys. her orders, every lapsed fief is by native admission hers. That power she is bound to exercise with a single eye to the general welfare of the whole population submitted to her authority, and not to the sole advantage of any one province of her dominion. She has no more right to tax Bengal in order that the Punjaub or Guzerat should be untaxed than to tax. Ireland in order to exonerate Scotland, no more claim to bestow a special advantage on Mysore to the injury of Bombay, than the King of Prussia now has to exempt Hanover from the conscription while imposing it on Posen. and the Mark. If, therefore, the general welfare of India required that Mysore should be directly administered by her agents, no right whatever could be pleaded in bar of that supreme necessity, any more than the right of the Highland chiefs to hereditary jurisdiction could be pleaded against an Act taking it away from them. The natives have never denied this, never questioned the right of the, Mogul to re- move any Mohammedan ruler or invade a Hindoo State, if' considerations of general policy required it,—lay down in fact as a general principle that a sovereign must be expected to increase his direct dominion by all fair means, one of which, they add, is force. The best European analogy to the Indian position is perhaps that of Germany, though it is far from, perfect. If Hanover were a State in any true sense of the- word, the action of the King of Prussia in abolishing it would be simply oppressive, but it is not ; it is simply a section of Germany, in which it was once expedient for German in- terests that-a separate sovereign should reign, and is now ex- pedient for German interests that he should not. The analogy is not, perfect, for in India the Queen possesses a special and admitted right in every native State which the King of Prus- sia did not possess in Germany, namely, a right to control alt` foreign affairs, and to appoint an envoy, whose " advice must be followed on every occasion," great and small. She is, in fact, the only true Sovereign, and the single point at issue is. whether the existence of subordinate hereditary jurisdictions; is beneficial to all India or not. That is a very difficult and, with all deference to the very able 'radians who signed the petition presented by Mr. Mill, by no means a settled point. In the case of a State not pay- ing a fair tribute autonomy is injustice, for the people of Bengal are taxed to exempt the people, say, of Cluzerat. Bengalees, being our subjects, are taxed for the general defence of the. Empire, while Guzerattees are not, and the latter are, in fact, at this moment relieved from the fear of the pirates who used to ravage their coasts, at the expense of men who have no reason whatever to dread any attack by sea. That anomaly, we admit, does not exist in Mysore. Then it is questionable whether it is, on the whole, more benefi- cial to India that the people of any province should have the security, the order, and the consequent wealth which follow an annexation, which have followed it, for example, in Borer, and in a less degree in Nagpore--should have strict justice, sound education, and railroads, or should have that possibility of native careers, of independent and spontaneous development, which the so-called Native State retains. Up to the departure of Lord Dalhousie in 1855 the former policy was in the ascendant. It was the full convic- tion of that Governor-General, the most statesmanlike, except Lord William Bentinck, who ever reigned in India, that British direct rule brought to the masses of the people full compensation for the injury it inflicted on the aristocracy, and that such rule was in the long run the strongest, the cheapest, and the most vivifying mode of administering India. He intended to make of the Continent one vast military monarchy, the right arm of England in Asia, ruling a rich and orderly people, who, slowly disciplined by British sway, slowly per- meated by British education, and slowly, if possible, brought to perceive the superior claims of Christianity, might in the end be ready for self-government as a thoroughly civilized and progressive Asiatic people. If that was a small policy, where is there a great one to be found ? It failed, first, because Lord Dalhousie retired ; secondly, because it lacked one essential datum -- the acquiescence of Northern India ; and thirdly, because it had one radical and, we fear, incurable defect. It barred up native careers. This vice of our administration even the mutiny has not taught us to cure, and at the present moment the martial races who crowd under our banners are forbidden by law to rise to military command, and the heir of the proudest noble, who could raise an army on his own estates—one-fourth of the whole Bengal army were, for example, retainers of Koer Singh.-cannot receive an ensign's commission in his own regiment, must, if he serves at all, obey among his own re- tainers the youngest lad from England. The mutiny, how- ever, did teach us that the natives prefer their own system of government, with its open careers and occasional injustices, light taxation, and frequent robberies, to our more orderly, more rigid, but leaden rule; that it was dangerous to pro- duce so awful a scene as a continent occupied only by officials and peasants ; that the native principalities acted as breakwaters when a surge of native feeling—we will say, at the risk of being misunderstood, of national feeling—threat- ened to overwhelm the foreigners. Madras was saved by the Nizam. Bombay was saved because Gwalior broke the rush of the wave which had the able coward, Tantia, Topee, on its crest. The Punjaub was saved because the old Sikh princes of the protected States stood honestly by our side. In this very case it is, we believe, quite true that a signal from the Rajah of Mysore would have brought the descendants of Tippoo's soldiers down upon Madras, and he did not give it. It is certainly true that the despised Nawab of Moorshedabad could have imperilled our possession of Calcutta. When, therefore, the waves receded, Lord Canning determined that the breakwaters should be guaranteed, and published the famous proclamation, the Golden Bull of India, which was understood by every native prince to mean this We are to be subjects of the Queen as Empress, but masters within our own territories ; and the policy of annexing States, of destroy- ing our rank as well as abrogating our powers, is given up." It was given up in intention, at all events, the great feuda- tories were received openly in that character by the Viceroy, their Ministers reoeived.places in the new order of things, Dinkur Rao, of Gwalior, entering the Council, and there was again a firm, large, and consistent policy.

It has not endured six years, has never been tested, has never been perfected, and is to be broken up again. The annexation of Mysore may be, in our judgment is, per- fectly legal, but it appears to every native prince, and therefore to every native, an unfair, underhanded attempt to cancel the Golden Bull. Whether the Rajah of Mysore had a right to adopt or not, without the consent of the paramount power, does not signify a straw ; we do not believe that he had, but we readily acknowledge that to prove he had not, Lord Cranborne must quote Mussolinan precedents directed against Hindoo Houses. It is a Mussulman empire, not a Hindoo State, that we have inherited. At all events the natives thought that permission was sure under the Procla- mation to be granted, consider that document annulled, and tremble for themselves till the greatest but one of them all—the Nizam is the greatest, as we shall one day find out—has offered his own abdication. Is it wise or right, for the sake of one province, to abandon so suddenly, in so apparently crafty a style, a policy meant for an empire, to paralyze our own power for good by sowing distrust over an entire continent. So long as we are trusted on the point of the subordinate sovereignty we may interfere for good as much as we like in " Native States," introduce milder laws, wiser taxation, better roads, do anything almost we see fit to do, but that point once unsettled, we shall be baffled by passive resistance at every turn. It may be necessary one day to un- settle it, the new policy may fail, as the old one failed, a third policy of appointing picked native rulers for life may prove wiser than either, but till we resolve, and announce that we resolve, that the mixed system shall end, let us at least adhere to it. This playing with thrones and policies, inventing new States and new systems, every six years, is as childish as it is riskful. The Indian papers speak of interests which the exchange of direct for indirect rule would endanger in Mysore. Well, if native interests are in question, call a free native Durbar—Sir John Lawrence knows how to do it—and let that decide ; if European, let the Rajah give individual com- pensations. The settlers knew perfectly well that Mysore was not annexed, but only sequestrated, and we can put any inte- rests we like under the direct control of the European resident. The papers also say, and say truly, the plateau is a valuable military position. Then the Rajah must exchange the Mysore Horse for a British contingent, as the Nizam has, we believe, done. They say, perhaps correctly, that a third of the revenue is not a sufficient share to meet Imperial expenses. We doubt it, and it will look dirty to higgle at such a moment, as if we had abandoned a policy to gain a penny ; but if it is so, let the tribute be increased. Finally, they say the people of Mysore will suffer, and it may be terribly true, but if India is benefited by Mysore suffering, Mysore must suffer. The Rajah has no more right, treaties or anything else notwith- standing, to govern Mysore contrary to the interests of India, than the Guelf has to continue governing Hanover contrary to the interests of Germany. If it is for the interests of the people of the whole Empire, let him be swept away like the Guelf, but if it is not, he should be restored ; and it never can be to the interest of an empire to change its policy every six years, when the policy has not failed, when no danger is approaching, simply for the sake of a sum of money. At all events, if we change it let us say so, let us plead Imperial reasons, and not annex a province on a construction of a treaty so lawyer-like that it would barely cover our claim to a simple estate.