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stands clear of it. The present and future welfare of "Indians" may easily be made to harmonise with justice to our own fellowcountrymen. Their rights and privileges need not be confounded with the maintenance of a vicious supremacy of conquest. The brilliant future, the residuary estate in full proprietary right, rests with our Aryan brothers. Meanwhile, and in consideration of the gorgeous prospects which our policy is unfolding before their eyes, the European community resident in India claim that the Bengalee Baboo's lessons in the art of government may be all derived from practice on his own countrymen; and that his susceptibilities ought not to be wounded, if during the process, which is presently and prospectively so advantageous to him, he is required to respect the privileges of his benefactors. The facts of conquest and the relations of a victorious to a conquered race are far too harsh and unpleasant for the sentimental doctrinaires of our generation to be called upon to face. But may not the benefactors of the great Indian races retain one small privilege for themselves the right in criminal cases to be judged and punished by their own countrymen? It is absurd to call that a right of conquest. It is a right of self-preservation. By all means let the Bengalee Baboo assimilate all that Western science can give him; let him learn to administer justice, and become versed in the arts and practice of administration and government. Far be it from us to restrict him to what Carlyle called "a penn'orth of oil to rub him down." But during the process of his development it will be a wise and graceful act on his part to decline the exercise of power over his benefactors, who at present had rather not live
under the ægis of his protection. His enthusiastic patrons, who go to India for a short time with incomes of fabulous amount, and codify and recodify till a legislative monumentum ære perennius is lucky if it lasts five years with constant tinkering, are eager to place him in a false position. Their desire for a philanthropic reputation blinds them to the real interests of their unfortunate clients. Even if Sir Arthur Hobhouse is right in thinking that opinion on Indian questions divides itself into two schools,-the ideal of the one being "our own supremacy" with a view to its permanence; the ideal of the other being "the welfare of the Indians,” with a view eventually of transferring the empire to them,-still the principle of political justice should dominate either school. Whichever school is right, the immediate task is the same—viz., to weld together under our administration diverse races and religions, the white man and the black man, the Christian, the Hindoo, and the Mohammedan, the conquerors and the conquered, the artificers of empire with their ultimate beneficiaries. That is not by any means an easy task, and questions of diffi culty, involving race and religious antipathy, from time to time inevitably arise. Sir Arthur Hobhouse's contribution to the solution of the present problem is singularly inadequate. His answer to an outburst of animosity, which wise rulers would never have provoked without adequate reasons, is as defective as a complete sense of personal security can make it. We, a small band of Indian legislators and Radical doctrinaires, declare that we have in view exclusively the welfare of "Indians;" you, the non-official European community, may be in a state of great excitement, but your excitement is
ridiculous, your fears are groundless, the step proposed is in pursuance of a great policy, and when circumstances render it practicable we shall take another, till we have removed every badge of conquest and privilege. It is easy to appreciate the charm which such a doctrine has for those who identify themselves with the wise and munificent patrons of most interesting protégés. They luxuriate in all the finer sentiments, with the ease and self-satisfaction of petit jurymen with their hands in a defendant's pocket in a case of breach of promise. Their disregard for the rights, the privileges, the sentiments of their non-official countrymen, is exhibited with all the hauteur of a privileged and secure position. But justice requires that it should be borne in mind that it is the non-official European community who have won the Indian Empire, who defend it, and develop its resources. The remonstrance against the criminal jurisdiction of natives comes from no single quarter with more vigour than from British officers and soldiers. The "welfare of Indians" is undoubtedly a sacred object to keep in view; but we need not, in our enthusiasm for it, lose sight of the safety and welfare of our own countrymen, and the welfare of all will be more readily and efficiently promoted by avoiding instead of precipitating occasions of strife. The bitter resentment which the proposal has called forth, the earnest hostility with which it is received, are circumstances to be taken into consideration in estimating whether this "small measure" is either wise or opportune. A claim on the part of our countrymen to maintain privileges which Parliament and the Indian Legislature have uniformly recognised, must be pronounced a reasonable one. It
is for those who invade it to show that the time has come when it is wise and right to call upon the European community to waive them, in deference to the interests of the empire and to secure the triumph of sound policy. Taunts to the effect that such privileges are unnecessary, that they are only valued from unworthy sentiments, because of an unworthy race rivalry, because of an exaggerated sense of their importance, and, worse and worse, because impunity for crime is pleasant, are utterly misplaced. Even if the changes proposed were right and opportune, that cannot be the spirit in which a wise statesman or legislator approaches a thorny, not to say a burning question. There is ample evidence to show that if ever the measure proposed becomes one of State necessity or high political convenience, and is approached in a wise and conciliatory spirit, the good sense of our fellow-countrymen will lead them to acquiesce in the future, as they have done in the past, in changes which sound policy really requires.
But in order to see whether sound policy calls for this measure at the present moment, let us briefly recall the extent to which the privileges of Englishmen have been recognised in the past, and the circumstances under which it is proposed to destroy them. We will not go into any dry detail, for the facts are not at all in controversy, and a very brief statement of them will suffice to show that, as regards the claim of natives to exercise criminal jurisdiction over Europeans, Lord Salisbury is right in saying that it raises a great and vital question, practically for the first time. So far from its being in accordance with the general tendency of legislation, it raises an entirely new question, different in
principle from former instances of vesting power in natives over Europeans; and it does so in the teeth of explicit legislation upon the subject, maturely considered in 1872, and ratified in 1882. The circumstances are these. The English, for their own safety and because impunity for crime was not pleasant to them, took to India their own law and their own tribunals, and long before any question of empire arose, justice was administered among them in pursuance of charters granted by their own sovereign. The Mogul emperor in his palmiest days never ventured to do what is claimed for the Bengalee Baboo now-exercise criminal jurisdiction over Englishmen. From the earliest charter of Queen Elizabeth down to the Battle of Plassey, which laid Bengal at our feet, a century and a half elapsed. British settlements had grown in the meantime, and British courts were firmly established amongst them, to deal out justice to the English. No native attempted the task. He attempted to do so amongst natives in English settlements, but was bribed to desist. After the victories of Clive the English were compelled, reluctantly and gradually, and after several attempts to shirk it, to undertake the administration of justice amongst the natives. The power was in English hands; they had, in the first place, to supervise native administration, gradually replace it, and assume the whole responsibility. The result has been, that it is admitted on all hands that the natives of India have never, in the whole course of history, had a more effective and impartial administration of justice, civil and criminal, as during the last century. We have given them the best in our power; but that is no reason why our own country
men should be robbed of rights which they value.
The natives have, so to speak, assimilated our system, developed great aptitude for it, and, whether as judges, pleaders, or attorneys, take an active part in its administration. But during the greater part of that time, and down to 1836, English tribunals, planted in the country by the Crown and Parliament, and presided over by Englishmen, exclusively administered justice, civil and criminal, amongst the English. Meanwhile the English community in India had rapidly increased.; and with increasing transactions, uniformity of law and of the method of administering it became an urgent political necessity.
An Indian Law Commission and a general Indian Legislature were established, and Macaulay sailed for Calcutta as the first law member of the Governor-General's council. It soon became apparent that the Royal courts were too few in number to carry on the whole civil litigious business of the country as regards the English. They only existed in the Presidency towns, and the English were scattered all over the country. It was necessary therefore that the courts of the country—that is, those established by the East India Company
should have their jurisdiction extended, so as to include civil cases in which the English were concerned. The only other alternative was to plant special courts all through the country, wherever Englishmen had settled, for their convenience; or to continue to bring all their cases, however trumpery, to the Presidency towns. The change effected was a great one. We had arrived at an epoch in the history of administering civil justice. The wants of the country had outgrown the old system, and the alternative
had arisen, that either the English must submit to the existing tribunals, or a new set of tribunals must be established at enormous expense, side by side with the old set, for their exclusive convenience.
doubt a great outcry and clamour were raised. Sir Arthur Hobhouse is quite right in that respect. He is right also in saying that they were overruled. And why? Because a case of urgent political necessity was satisfactorily made out; and if the same could be predicated of the present crisis, the same result would necessarily follow, that the good sense of the English community would teach them to yield-reluctantly it might be, but still with the sense and discretion of men accustomed to selfgovernment. But no case of necessity has even been attempted to be made out, as we shall show further It is important to note that in 1836, when the transference of English civil cases to the provincial or Company courts was made, it was never suggested that their criminal cases should also be transferred. It was recognised that they stood on a different footing, and the Englishmen continued to be amenable only to the criminal jurisdiction of the exclusively English courts—that is, the Crown courts of the Presidency towns-except in petty cases, which are dealt with by English justices of the peace. Then, again, it would have been very inconvenient so to transfer them, for the Company's courts did not administer English criminal law, and were not acquainted with it. They administered a sort of modified Mohammedan criminal law, and Englishmen could hardly be subjected to a law of that nature. No doubt great inconvenience resulted from the criminal courts being located so far from the English community dispersed over the empire.
It gave to one class practical impunity for crime. Sir Arthur Hobhouse says that this impunity was pleasant to them. The imputation certainly is not pleasant to them, nor is the further imputation an agreeable one, that they resisted all attempts to deprive them of it. They resisted a remedy which was worse than the evil. If we only think of it, a state of civilised society in which impunity for crime is pleasant, or a single criminal welcome, is an impossible anomaly. The taunt ceases to be a libel, and becomes an absurdity. In 1872 a very great step was taken, which practically provided security against crime, by giving English judges on the spot power to punish with a year's imprisonment (a heavy penalty in an Indian climate), with fine, and with whipping; and to English magistrates power up to three months' imprisonment. The universal testimony is, that the whole English community "behaved very well," and at once acquiesced. They were, in fact, glad of it, and satisfied with the wise, conciliatory, and prudent manner in which Sir James Stephen proposed it. His words have been household words ever since. A general imputation of proneness to crime and desire of impunity would be a blunder in the heat of advocacy; calmly to write and print it of one's fellow countrymen en masse is to reveal a tone of sentiment and opinion which is clearly not derived from contact with the non-official community in India, but is generated in the India Office or at Simla, and accounts for the anger and indignation with which proposals animated by that spirit have been received. The grounds upon which this impossible imputation is made are, that before either criminal law or criminal procedure had been
provided, and whilst the Company's servants knew nothing of English law, and were only trained to administer the Mohammedan system, the English residents objected to be tried by them, and the authorities at home and in India recognised the justice of the objection. Nothing that his countrymen can do is right in Sir Arthur Hobhouse's eyes; and whether they are successful or otherwise in this opposition, in either case he denounces them. The Penal Code was passed in 1860, and did away with Mohammedan criminal law. The increase of Europeans in the country rendered an alteration in procedure necessary; and the English residents, recognising its necessity, acquiesced in a reform which planted English magistrates in every district, with criminal jurisdiction over them. They were not asked in 1872, any more than they were asked in 1882, to submit to native criminal jurisdiction. The Government recognised, at both those dates, that there was no necessity for it, and forbore to violate a cherished privilege. Native magistrates, however, with criminal jurisdiction over Europeans, have been appointed in the Presidency towns of Calcutta, Madras, and Bombay. Notwithstanding that the principle involved was in violation of their rights and privileges, the English people, conscious that in the Presidency towns the native was one amongst many English, the reverse of the country districts, where the Englishman is one amongst many natives, that they were hedged in by a strong legal profession and public opinion, recognised that in those towns no practical inconvenience was likely to arise. They therefore acquiesced. But we think it a fair inference from that, and from their acquiescence in the
large measure of 1872, that they are not so unreasonable and wrongheaded as Sir Arthur Hobhouse labours to make out. He is unfair in spirit to his fellow-countrymen, and does not disdain the easy device in political argument of seizing upon the strong language used at indignation meetings as representative of a cause and those dealing with it, as if it was intended to be a measured statement of a case.
Setting aside the excitement which marked the transition period of 1836, and the anger which has been evoked by the wholly unnecessary proposal of 1883, we think that the English non-official community has shown great forbearance and appreciation of such administrative exigencies as really existed. At other times since 1876-viz., in 1849 and 1855their opposition was justified by success. We cannot help thinking that if sound policy and prudence have any charm for the Indian Government, the non-official community will be equally successful in 1883. For if our readers will follow us a little further, we will demonstrate that no case of either necessity or expediency has been made out for the very mischievous proposal which has been made; while the strong feeling which has been aroused is at least some evidence, to all who do not regard their fellow-countrymen as "mostly fools," or worse (revelling in impunity for crime), that the proposal is premature and mistimed, even if it could be demonstrated that its principle was sound, and one that must eventually succeed.
To judge of the necessity, let us bear in mind what the "small measure really is. As the law
at present stands, since 1872 any magistrate, native or English, can put the law in motion against a