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remember the alternative. If we abolish parties, we must hand over the House of Commons to the changing caprices of petty groups which will never agree on any two questions, and which will effectually hamper the action of all Ministers, whatever their opinions may be. We have seen in the France of ten years since the pitiful achievements of discordant and hostile groups. The Government was so bitterly divided against itself that it could neither preserve its own dignity nor oppose a bold front to foreign nations. This disaster we have avoided by our habits of free speech both in and out of Parliament, and so long as we have strong Ministers to control us, it does not matter how many words are wasted in the House. Even eloquence, which was the invention of the daily Press, has had its day. The people is more interested in murders than in speeches, and our modern vulgarity will not be altogether in vain if it insists upon the curtailment of Parliamentary debates. For those members who have used the most words to express the fewest thoughts have spoken to the Press and to the Press alone, and when their patron deserts them they will be shamed to silence.
If, then, we are to find an explanation for the "inefficiency," which for so many centuries has stood us in good stead, we must look beyond the inconveniences of party. And prudence suggests that we should not be too eloquent concerning our own weakness. To believe
that we have lost our trade and our influence is the first step towards disaster. If we say often enough that we have neither ships nor men, we shall end by having neither ships nor men. The hastily expressed opinions of Colonials who visit their mother country for the first time may comfortably be neglected. We need not ask why the football players of New Zealand are superior to their English rivals, when the answer is clear and simple. We have been beaten, not because the race is inefficient, but merely because the New Zealanders are the better team. When we send fifteen men to New Zealand so highly trained and so long used to playing together as these New Zealanders, we shall win as many goals as they, and shall not, we trust, accuse our rivals of standing upon the brink of ruin. After all, it is idle to generalise concerning the state of the nation. If we are vulgar, we are not incompetent. To act is better than to talk. To grow in accordance with our own nature is better than to imitate the first-comer who has achieved a brilliant success. For if we are to hold our place in the world, we must hold it as Englishmen, not as sham Japanese or pretended Germans; and if our ancestors who fought at Crecy and Poitiers, at Plassey and Quebec, in the Peninsula and at Waterloo, were inefficient, we may bear the reproach of Lord Rosebery without fear and without regret.
A GREAT VICEROYALTY.
IN a speech made in London shortly after Lord Curzon's appointment to the Viceroyalty of India, he explained his readiness to undertake the exile, the toil, and the responsibility of that great office in these words: "I accepted it because I love India, its people, its history, its Government, the absorbing mysteries of its civilisation and its life." In this sentence is summed up the underlying explanation of Lord Curzon's connection with our eastern dependency; it gives the keynote of his whole administration, which prompted alike his internal reforms and his foreign policy. Ardent sympathy with India, with the dumb millions of its population, with the fascination of its past and the great possibilities of its future,-this has been the mainspring of his energy, the motive of his every word and deed since he landed at Bombay nearly seven years
This it is which we must bear in mind if we would truly understand the secret of his success, the cause even of his mistakes and failures. This it is which has mainly contributed to the achievement by him of a position on a plane entirely different from that of all but a very few of his predecessors. For how different was the spirit in which he approached India from that of most of the public men who have held the Viceroyalty! As he himself has
told the world, the great problem of Asia, the wonderful mystery of India, had thrown its spell over him since the days of his boyhood at Eton, and had furnished the most engrossing study of his life; he had given the best powers of his early manhood to making himself acquainted with the details of its history and its ethics, its past, its present, and the promise of its future; while yet fresh from Oxford he had dreamed of holding that great position, when his official home would be the white Government House of Calcutta, modelled on his childhood's home at Kedleston. In short, he had set this before him as the foremost goal of his public life. Compare this with the record of Lord Dufferin. Of him we read that he applied indeed for the post of Viceroy of India while yet a young man, but merely because he did not
see much chance of any opening occurring" at home, and was therefore "forced to look abroad." The dignity of high office, it mattered not much whether it was in India or in Canada, attracted him, but no special love for or fascination of the East turned his eyes in that direction; and when at length the tide of fortune brought him to the shores of India, it was no particular enthusiasm for the country which animated him during his four years of arduous and
not wholly congenial toil. Lord Curzon's enthusiasm may have partaken somewhat of the Utopian dreams of youth, too roseate to be fully realised; but who shall say that this fault, if fault it be, was not on the right side, or that the sympathy which it engendered with the people over whom he ruled has not already borne fruit, to the consolidation of our Indian empire? "If I were asked," he once declared, "what appears to me to be the secret of the proper treatment of those [frontier] tribes, or of Oriental races in general, I would reply that it consists in treating them as if they were men of like composition with ourselves." He was not slow in applying this doctrine of sympathy to every one of the many sides of his work in India. It is the underlying principle of the frontier policy which will long be associated with his name. Indeed, it may be said that even before the idea of his ever becoming Viceroy had taken definite shape, this principle and this policy were foreshadowed in his travels along the borders of India and in his letters from those lands, then seething with fanatical and internecine strife. As far back as 1894, when we were on the verge of our troubles in Chitral, he wrote from that place to 'The Times' that he was confident he could effect more by an hour's talk with the Khan of Dir than had been achieved by months and years of formal correspondence. So, too, in regard to all his deal
VOL. CLXXVIII.—NO. MLXXXI.
ings with the native princes of India. Probably no Viceroy ever was so genuinely trusted and looked up to by them as the real and responsible representative of the paramount power; certainly no other ever did so much, or succeeded so well, in gaining their confidence by personally visiting them, by making himself acquainted with their individual views and their various needs, by unaffected and obviously sincere sympathy with their position, their aspirations, and their troubles. Such measures as the foundation of the Imperial Cadet Corps, and the employment on field-service of the Imperial Service Troops in line with our regular regiments (an innovation which gave intense satisfaction in all the States concerned), are instances which may be cited of the reality of Lord Curzon's interest in the development of the native States and their rulers; the unmistakable loyalty of the princes at the great coronation Durbar, and the expressions of genuine regret at his departure which have poured in from every side, whether from the far-off Mehtar of wild Chitral or from the cultivated and liberal ruler of Gwalior, are sufficient proof of his success, and of the bonds with which he has strengthened our empire in the East.
If we turn to Lord Curzon's treatment of the many measures of internal reform which have been dealt with during the strenuous years of his Viceroyalty, we find on every side the expression of the same
number. The first of these is the dull and lifeless performance of duty. . . . The second is the corollary of the first. You must not only learn to be self-reliant, but you must be thorough. . . Efficiency is the final test, and self-reliance is the golden rule.' In the same spirit was that address delivered before the same body last February, when he inculcated the importance of truthfulness in every walk of life, and warned his hearers against that tendency to untruthfulness which manifests itself in the insidious forms of flattery and vituperation. The exaggerated indignation aroused by the very moderate terms of this address amongst the so-called babu class of Bengal and Mad
ever-present sentiment of sym- I think that they are two in pathy with India and its people. Above all is this sympathy shown with "the patient, humble millions toiling at the well and at the plough, knowing little of budgets, but very painfully aware of the narrow margin between sufficiency and indigence. It is to them," he exclaimed, in one of the last and most illuminating of his speeches in India-"it is to them that my heart goes out." Nor is the same feeling absent even from those speeches which have most aroused discussion and hostility by reason of their blunt directness and their criticism and exposure of the foibles prevalent amongst educated natives, especially in Bengal. If there is one thing more than another to which Lord Curzon is hostile, it is superficiality and sham; and it was because of his earnest desire to see the people of India develop and advance, because, too, of his confident belief in the possibility of their development, that, when he saw them moving on wrong lines, following false ideals under the guise of education, he not only set about correcting and controlling the direction of their development by means of legislation in regard to educational matters, but also lost no opportunity of impressing on them what paths they should follow, what errors they should avoid. "What are the perils," he asked in one of his Convocation addresses at the Calcutta University, "against which you have to be on your guard?
was as characteristic of the sensitive vanity of "young India" as its delivery was indicative of Lord Curzon's fearlessness in the attack of whatever seems to him to be deserving of censure.
"Nothing is easier," he said on a former occasion, "than for a speaker to flatter his audience. I think I could without difficulty construct a catalogue of Indian virtues, for I know them both by contact and repute. You might applaud, but you would not go away any the wiser. . . . I want you rather to see the dangers to which you are liable.” Finally, "Avoid superficiality; put your soul into your work; be strenuous, and assuredly you will not fail of honour in your own time and country.'
Certainly he has never failed
to practise the precepts which
before he had been a year in the country; there is not a department of the State but has been galvanised and vivified by that all-pervading energy. "The pace has been quickened, the standard raised."
Let it not be supposed that the noble sentiments which ushered in this great Viceroyalty, and with which from time to time during the last seven years the Viceroy has expounded the principles of government, were words only, unsupported by a substantial edifice of deeds accomplished. It is impossible here to attempt to deal in detail with the many and varied measures that have been undertaken and brought to maturity, but some of the more important and striking may be briefly reviewed, and these will suffice to show how fully Lord Curzon's love of India, its people, and its history has borne fruit in the results of his administration.
Soon after he assumed office he took occasion to inform his Council that he had already compiled a list of twelve important reforms to which he hoped to address himself while in India; two years later, when some of the twelve had already many of the reforms which he been dealt with, he enumerated has carried through, their full the whole list, and indicated effect will not, in many cases, the action which he proposed be realised for years to come, to take on those which had not by reason of their very great- yet been touched. Since that ness and far-reaching char- time the original twelve have acter; but the influence of all been disposed of, and the Lord Curzon's indomitable number of important measures will, energetic enthusiasm, to which Lord Curzon has and vigorous intellect had addressed himself has been made themselves felt in India doubled and even trebled; but