7 SEPTEMBER 1907, Page 15



Sra,—At this holiday season, when the office-boy is let loose upon the leading columns of so many of your daily con- temporaries, it is idle to expect much light on the Indian problem from those budding journalists. One and all appear to think that the people of that country are surprisingly insensible to the blessings of British rule. In this, however, there may be so much of truth, that we have overdone our -blessings, and worried the people of India by trying to make them happy in our way rather than in theirs. This tendency has been observable for more than a century ; even from the time when a well-meaning nobleman con- ferred upon the Bengalis the boon of English landlordism, and we are still engaged in running a high-class Western system with the scanty resources of an Oriental budget. One result must necessarily be that the administration, done as it is on the cheap, is not more than superficial, and galls the country without doing much good. In this connexion we might, perhaps, learn something from the Dutch, who have a large Eastern Empire, and who, though resembling ourselves in many respects, do not share what may be termed our missionary zeal. If, as is generally understood, the Dutch East Indies are administered on native lines, the fact may go far to account for the comparative tranquillity which they have enjoyed for more than three-quarters of a century.—I am,