["English Policy in India": Letter of F. W. Newman to the Editor of The Times.]

 

        Sir, — May I beg a few lines of your crowded columns on a subject of pressing interest? Presuming that we shall reconquer India, and mean to keep it, it is already an urgent question, on what principles are we to govern it?

        1. "India must be kept free from external war and from further expansion." War has emptied her treasury for 20 years together, and by emptying has impeded internal improvement. The Persian war, by denuding India of English troops, made the present outbreak possible. In future to draw from India English troops or ships must be totally forbidden.

        2. "The high lands of India — north, central, and south — must be systematically filled with European colonies." Mr. Hyde Clark, in a recent pamphlet, has shown how, by liberally granting land to railway companies, railways might be made and English colonization be facilitated with certain benefit to the Indian treasury. The Indian Government must become as liberal in grants of land as it hitherto has been stingy, and its own reserves of land will quickly double their prices. Nothing but a large European population can morally or politically improve India under our rule.

        3. "English citizenship must be recognized in India as a distinct element, and be cautiously imparted as a reward to individuals, to classes, and to places." All who know anything of the Roman empire will understand by a word the immense moment and urgent need of this regulation.

        4. "Well defined political, as well as social rights, should be granted to all English citizens in India." Not only should they be eligible as now, but their influence should be actively felt. The unofficial English voice should be heard publicly in authoritative places. All should be eligible to be justices of the peace, as well as retain trial by jury, of which it has been sought to deprive them. Freedom of speech and freedom of the press should be guaranteed to English citizens by Imperial statute.

        5. "The Indian Government must not fluctuate with English party, nor its policy be made subservient to the shifting politics of Europe." Therefore, in no case should its "patronage" be thrown to the Ministry of the day.

        6. "The permanent burdens of India must in the long run, be borne by India." To this end the English citizens of India should be subject to the same taxation as the provincials, and the taxes should be voted in numerous public Indian Parliaments, consisting of English citizens, and of none beside. The Executive should demand the sum, and state for what purposes — apportioning it on the local Parliaments. Public accounts of expenditure should be rendered to them.

        That mode of arranging the future government of India which would most simply apply these principles appears to me likely to be best. The least violent method is for the English Parliament to vote principles, and command the existing Indian Government to execute them. The most effectual method (but not likely to be adopted) would be to make a child of Queen Victoria king or Queen of India, under sanction of a treaty to last for 30 years, after which India would become a wholly independent kingdom. An intermediate method would be to institute a standing committee of Parliament, to be re-elected every year, as the supreme authority for dictating general principles to India, and for exercising all that patronage which must necessarily flow from England.

        How to construct Indian Parliaments would be only a secondary question, though highly important still. Each might contain three sorts of members, co-ordinate in power — men elected by the unofficial English citizens of India; others appointed temporarily by the Crown; a third class appointed by the Crown for life — namely, wealthy Indian landowners, who would make a resident native nobility bound to the English interest.

        Evidently a totally new course is needed, or all the horrors yet reeking will recur. Now is the time to change our principles, while we keenly remember those horrors.

F. W. NEWMAN.                        
University College, London, Dec. 2.