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tisfied; while the political convulsions consequent on the dissolution of the empire of Delhi, presented no hope of improvement. The most intemperate revilers of the British administration in India will hardly venture to deny that, as compared with the governments to which it succeeded, great benefits have been conferred on the population. Life and property are secured, and there is, if not an enlightened, at least an equal dispensation of justice. These are substantial improvements, and must have produced their full impression on their first introduction. But however substantial the improvement, the uninterrupted enjoyment of the advantage diminishes the value in comparison with the pre-existing and different condition. Mere security of life and property may be compared to atmospheric air, the value of which is only fully appreciated under deprivation. Unless we can mentally disqualify our native subjects, we may rest assured that they must deeply feel, and perhaps at last resent their practical exclusion from some share in the higher branches of administration, that a mere security of animal existence will not satisfy, and that the intellect which cannot find a natural outlet will inwardly fester, till it corrodes and fatally injures the whole frame of society.' -p. 27.
Lieutenant-Colonel Stewart expresses the same opinion:
It is a perilous or rather an impossible attempt to repress by any forced arrangements the operation of all the active principles of human nature among a population of eighty millions of men. These principles cannot be extinguished in the human constitution nor rooted out of the bosoms of mankind; and if deprived of those useful and natural objects on which it was intended they should exert themselves, they will in time find occupation for themselves at whatever expense it is to be obtained. It is a great mistake to suppose that the privation of positive evil is sufficient to tranquillize a people.'
We may add the opinion of Mr. James Stuart, late a member of the Supreme Council, and at present an East India director, as quoted by Sir John Malcolm :
Are the natives of Hindostan a different order of beings, that they are to be stinted into honesty, and degraded into principle? As we proceed, these provinces will soon present the singular spectacle of a great empire, the government of which rigidly excludes its subjects from every object of fair ambition, which in the pursuit could stimulate men to cultivate their faculties, or in the possession enlarge their understanding and elevate their minds.'
Such are the accordant opinions of four able men, whom residence and official employment have made personally acquainted with the character and condition of the natives of India. Two of them, Sir John Malcolm and Mr. Stuart, have held the highest situations in the public service. They have returned to
England without any possible ground for personal dissatisfaction; their talents are eminent and universally acknowledged; and their statements and suggestions deserve the greatest attention. Objections derived from the alleged falsehood and corruption of the native character are treated with contempt by all these authors; they all assert, with equal confidence, their moral and intellectual fitness for the higher offices of administration. Nor do they merely give us their opinions. Sir John Malcolm, in treating of the judical system established in the presidencies of Bengal, Madras, and Bombay-which may be said to be administered by European officers, to the exclusion of the natives-contrasts in detail its numerous delays and defects with the system adopted by himself during his superintendence of the affairs of Malwa-one resting upon the municipal usages of the Hindoos. Under this system, justice was administered in civil cases by the principal inhabitants, assembled in courts of arbitration, called Punchayet, under the presidency of hereditary judges. The supreme authority was seldom employed but to enforce the decree of the popular court; and the problem, of combining a speedy with a cheap and satisfactory administration of the law, appears to have been solved. The honest pleasure which our author must have felt, in seeing a province which had been for some years a scene of desolation and disorder, present the appearance of returning tranquillity and prosperity, may have led him to give too high a colouring to the effects of a system of law, which is only fitted to the very simplest state of society, and which secures expedition by the total absence of professional knowledge and established procedure. The passage to which we allude is, however, highly important, as tending to establish the fact, that the natives are, in point of moral character, fully equal to judicial employment, and therefore that their gradual introduction into the higher offices, as recommended by the Civil Servant, ought not to be regarded as entirely impracticable. This last writer certainly carries his views for the employment of the natives much further than any of those by whom the general principle has been equally admitted. He distinctly proposes that natives should be made eligible for seats in the contemplated provincial councils.
'The only reservation (says he) which I make is, that in all these higher employments they should act in aid of their European colleagues, and never with independent authority or jurisdiction. Absolute equality of salary between the European and native civil servants would not be required for the success of the proposed measure, but unquestionably the rate of remuneration for native services must be much increased. Cæteris paribus, I should say that a native,
VOL. XXXV. NO. LXIX.
whose object would not be the accumulation of money for the purpose of retirement to another country at the middle age of human life, would be sufficiently paid in the highest civil office by a salary not exceeding one-half of that enjoyed by the European civil servant; and in offices of the second class by a salary not beyond two-thirds. I make this difference in the proportion of salary to be attached to native civil servants, because as my proposition has judicial employment specially for its object, I conceive that the remuneration to the native judge should be so liberal, as to command the highest degree of professional talent, and to secure from motives of self-interest the exercise of personal integrity.'-p. 36.
It is obvious that the plan adopted by Sir John Malcolm in Malwa is, from the total difference of circumstances,-the extinction, for example, of hereditary jurisdiction, and the greater prevalence elsewhere of Mahomedan institutions,-inapplicable to the territories of the East India Company generally; but in the punchayet, or court composed of the inhabitants, is to be found the principle of juries, and, admitting the justness of the views taken by all these authors as to native character and intellect, there does not appear any objection to making that admirable institution the basis of judical administration in India. The prevalence of Dekoity or highway-robbery committed by gangs of desperate ruffians, in the Bengal district, has, of late years, brought into doubt the efficacy of the existing judicial system for the maintenance of the public peace; and a question has been much discussed in India, whether the superintendence of the police should be given to the judge of the district or to the collector of the revenue. A preference for this duty is given to the latter, on the ground of his being brought into more constant and varied intercourse with the inhabitants of the district than the judge, who necessarily remains stationary. But Sir John Malcolm, while he acknowledges the superior efficiency of the collector as compared with the judge, suggests the expediency of forming a distinct police establishment, to be composed of native soldiers retired from the service, under the command of such European officers as might be willing and able to discharge the duty. We consider a police so constituted infinitely preferable to concentrating such different duties as those of police-magistrate and collector of revenue, and, in fact, as peculiarly adapted to the general condition and exigencies of our Indian government. Sir John, after enumerating various measures of improvement, continues:
But the most essential of all measures would be a complete revision of the whole of the laws and regulations, and the formation of almost a new code. To the accomplishment of such a task the highest talents in the service should be directed, and it would not so much
require superiority of legal skill in those employed upon it, as that they should be endowed with minds unfettered by prejudice for, or against, any particular system, and be disposed to take the fullest advantage of the facts and experience which late years have accumulated. No expense would be too great for the completion of such an object; but it is not likely that this general code could be very large for unless we continue a desire to impose at all hazards the same rules and regulations upon the whole of India, each division of our empire should have a subsidiary code of its own, framed with attention to the particular character and usage of its inhabitants.'-vol. ii., p. 150.
The utility and indeed the urgent necessity of revising the existing laws and regulations of the East India Company appear to us indisputable; we must, however, differ from Sir John Malcolm as to the comparative non-importance of applying superiority of legal skill' to such an undertaking. The major-general has wandered for once a Scævolæ studiis.
If a revision of the judicial system be required in India, a similar proceeding would seem equally necessary in the revenue. The income of the state, in India, is almost entirely derived from a land-tax, founded upon the principle that a portion of the produce is the positive right of the sovereign. It appears to be generally assumed, that the natives will submit to no other mode of taxation, and that we must rest satisfied with this simple and rude method of providing for the necessities of the public service. Two modes of collecting this land-revenue have been adopted, the one that of permanent, and the other of periodical, assessment -the assessment itself being levied either from acknowledged farmers of the revenue, or from the individual cultivators. Convenience and apparent certainty of receipt recommended to Lord Cornwallis the permanent assessment and a collection from acknowledged farmers; while the successful assiduity and local knowledge of the officers employed in provinces subsequently acquired, have at present given, in general opinion, a superiority
the system of annual assessments and agreements with the individual cultivators. This latter system is known by the name of Ryotwar, and is that to which Sir John Malcolm gives a decided preference. If the opposition on the part of the natives to any other fiscal payment but that of a land-revenue be insuperable, the Ryotwar plan of levying this appears to be the less objectionable of the two; inasmuch as, under it, the revenue of the year may be proportioned to the varying necessities of the State, and to the means of the people. But the source of such revenue itself is so contrary to all sound principles of taxation, that very weighty arguments indeed must be produced, ere a British governor can be ex pected to lay aside the ambition of gradually substituting, in a
matter so deeply affecting the national prosperity, the results of political science and civilization for the rude institutions of comparative ignorance and barbarism. Colonel Stewart is an exception, on this subject, to the host of Indian authorities: but the passage in which he states his solitary opinion is richer in phrases than in arguments; and as for facts, it contains exactly none.
The remainder of the Tenth Chapter of Sir John Malcolm's work contains his views on the Civil and Military Establishment. In regard to the former, he suggests the necessity of visiting pecuniary embarassment in civil servants with removal to England, a measure of which we cannot but think the practicability and the justice equally doubtful. The author himself admits the hardship of inquisition into private affairs; and as it can scarcely be intended that all anticipation of income should receive such severe punishment, some amount, graduated according to the salaries of different ranks, must be assumed to constitute delinquency; in other words, the scrutiny into the affairs of individuals must be continued throughout the whole period of their Indian service. Such scrutiny is, we take it, quite impracticable; and it is not unreasonable to hope that the usual punishment of dismissal or suspension, if rigidly and impartially inflicted, will be found in India, as elsewhere, sufficient to secure honesty and application in the discharge of official duty. We nowhere find it asserted that the evils likely to result from the dependance of civil servants upon natives, in the relation of debtor and creditor, have increased of late years; on the contrary, we believe that the exceptions to an honest and independent execution of duty have now become of very rare occurrence, and that, in fact, the arguments in favour of any interference such as Sir John Malcolm suggests will, under the present circumstances of the service, become weaker and weaker every year passes over our heads.
Much discussion has been employed upon the question whether young men intended for the civil service in India should leave England at the earliest possible age (from sixteen to eighteen), or at twenty-one years, when their general education might be advanced further toward completion.-Sir John Malcolm, we think without sufficient reason, prefers a state of mere boyhood to the maturer age; while the Civil Servant thus states the conflicting arguments, and recommends an opposite course :—
• Those who contend for the earliest age, rest their argument upon the expediency of taking young men from England before habits and attachments can be formed which may render a residence in India irksome, and a source of constant regret. They also point out the advantage to be derived from greater ductility of character, and, as a consequence, a more ready adaptation of mind to the novel scene in