23 JANUARY 1909, Page 1


MR. ROOSEVELT attended the "diamond jubilee" cele- bration of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Washington on Monday and delivered a remarkable address. Taking for his subject the relations of the various European nations and of America with the native tribes whose countries they have occupied and controlled, or whose peoples they have civilised, Mr. Roosevelt paid a splendid tribute to British rule in India. It was, he said, "the most colossal example which history affords of the successful administration by men of European blood of a thickly populated region in another continent." It was easy to point out shortcomings, but the fact remained that the administration of the Indian Empire by the English had been one of the most notable and admirable achievements of the white race during the past two centuries, and, on the whole, it had been for the immeasurable benefit of the natives of India themselves. India was undoubtedly a less pleasant place than formerly for the beads of tyrannical States. There was little or no room now for despots who lived in gorgeous splendour, while under their cruel rule the immense mass of their countrymen festered in sodden misery. " But the mass of the people have been and are far better off than ever before, and far better off than they would now be if the English control were overthrown or with- drawn. Indeed, if the English control were now withdrawn from India all the weaker peoples and the most industrious and law-abiding would be plundered and forced to submit to indescribable wrong and oppression; and the only beneficiaries among the natives would be the lawless, the violent, and the bloodthirsty."