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will, in time render some measure of this kind, perhaps even this particular measure, necessary and desirable. But in matters of this kind everything depends upon the time and mode. Race privileges, race and religious animosities, are, in such a heterogeneous empire as that of India, matters which require profound attention, and cautious, nay conciliatory treatment. Time is on the side, let us hope, of their adjusting themselves; and time is, in all probability, on the side of eventual uniformity in the criminal procedure and the administration. of criminal law in India. But that result can only be expedited by wise and opportune measures: what may be prudent and practicable at one moment may be highly rash and impracticable at another; and measures which, intended to remove race distinctions, in reality exasperate race animosity to a white heat, are unwise, inopportune, and ought to be withdrawn. A far more sweeping measure than this in favour of native administration has been adopted for the Presidency towns. Its success justified its prudence, and it succeeded without objection because it was appropriate in the circumstances. The catastrophe of failure in which the present measure is landed is its condemnation, and shows that it has been singularly unfortunate in time, manner, and fitness to the occasion.
We do not care to argue in favour of maintaining native disqualifications in the case of natives of proved capacity. All we say is, that if race privileges involve, pro tanto, native disqualifications, these latter must endure so long as the former are justified by the circumstances of the past, present, and immediate future. When the time has come when it is either necessary or politically desirable to abol
ish the race privilege, then, and not till then, the correlative native disqualification will cease. Till then the privilege is that of the accused, not that of the tribunal which is to try him. If the native thinks it unjust that he should hold office subject to a disqualification, it is part of a wise political education to teach him to digest a private grievance for the public good. The most enthusiastic exponents of the high ideal involved in the ultimate supremacy of the Bengalee Baboo over the more manly and famous races of Asia, are in favour of proceeding by cautious, tentative, and gradual steps. Several natives have achieved great distinction as High Court judges. It does not follow that any one of them could be prudently trusted to maintain the Queen's peace, either in a district of Sikhs, Rajpoots, Mahrattas, Pathans, or of English planters. And when we open the Times' of June 15, we find this ominous statement attributed by the Parliamentary reporter (we trust erroneously) to Mr Cross, the Under Secretary for India, who was asked why Mr Banerjea had been removed from the Indian Civil Service :—
"Mr Banerjea, as assistant magistrate, had to submit periodically a record of the state of business in his court. In order to prevent this record showing the extent of the arrears into which, through sheer neglect of duty, he had allowed the cause list to fall, he was guilty, in the words of the Governor-General in Council (Lord Northbrook) of dishonest fabrication abuse of his judicial powers,' and of of his judicial records,' of palpable 'the infliction of injustice upon innocent persons.'
And on the very same day, in the same 'Times,' we read that Mr Bright, in that queer medley of topics on which he descanted at
Birmingham, was pleased, by way of parenthesis, to let fall the following rhetorical ejaculation :
"You have seen in the public papers discussions as to what is taking place in India;-that the Europeans there, our countrymen, have been excited, most strangely excited to my mind, at a proposition of a very moderate and not an important change with regard to the administration of justice. They have been almost wild in their opposition to it. They say, or they seem to say, 'We have conquered India by the sword, and by the sword we will maintain our conquest. We will not rely at all upon the sympathies of millions, or on justice fairly administered to them.'
And then he denounces "this blatant and unreasoning cry to dash and blight the hopes of the 250 millions." Does Mr Bright's imagination really run away with him to the extent of his believing bona fide that the hopes of 250 millions are set on five Anglicised Bengalee Baboos having criminal jurisdiction over Englishmen? or that justice will never be fairly administered till they have? The passage we have quoted is a disgrace to English statesmanship. The
"small measure" has nothing whatever to do with the 250 millions, except so far as, in the remote future, it may prejudicially affect them. Does Mr Bright really be lieve that any section of the Jat peasantry or the sirdars of the Punjab, that any Pathans of Upper India, that any of the millions of the Dekkhan, Rajputana, and the Central Provinces, to say nothing of the North-West, are eager to have Bengali Baboos quartered amongst them with criminal jurisdiction? They are nothing of the kind; and they would regard it with jealousy and suspicion. Mr Bright's claptrap is directed by trenchant ignorance. He knows nothing of some of the
strongest race antipathies in the world. It is difficult to suggest a parallel. But suppose that Napoleon the Great had effected a permanent conquest of Europe, and some of the lower races-say the Neapolitans or Southern Italians -- had developed a facility for passing competitive examinations, would all the other nations of Europe find their "hopes dashed" unless they were furnished with a due supply of Southern Italians amongst them with criminal jurisdiction. Their hopes would lie in a directly opposite direction. Would it have been a blatant outcry if Germans, English, French, Spanish,-all objected? Would the Neapolitans have had the sympathies of millions? It would soon have been found out that sound feeling consisted in not being in too great a hurry to invert the position of conquerors and conquered, to the advantage of the least worthy, morally and physically, of the latter. best thing to do in the management of great as well as small affairs, is to recognise the fact and truth of things. There are such things in India as conquerors and conquered. We need not, and have not, legislated exclusively with that idea in our heads. Neither can we afford to disregard it. Lord Ripon has shown that these amiable enthuisasts, with their high ideas, and what they fancy are their cautious steps towards it, are always in mischief. The manly and straightforward course is that pursued by Sir James Stephen, who effected the settlement of 1872 on the basis of a great change, universally accepted, which he defended as a give-and-take compromise,-in other words, a wise and prudent adaptation to the requirements of the present and of the future, until circumstances should be materially altered. No
such alteration has occurred.
Gen- which had not been foreseen,
The position in which the Indian Government is placed is an unpleasant one, and the only course left to it is to retreat with dignity and firmness. It cannot be wise to pursue, under circumstances
THE DYSPEPTIC MINISTRY.
THE Ministry is hipped. The high pressure at which legislation has been carried on during the last two years has brought about a natural reaction of lassitude which is pervading both the Government and its supporters, and is manifesting its effects in different ways among the different sections of the Liberal party. In the Cabinet the malady has taken the form of acute nervous debility, with all those symptoms of dizziness and drowsiness, loss of (legislative) appetite, flatulency-no new complaint in that quarter and hallucinations, which are so eloquently described by the vendors of patent medicines. In other circles the distemper has assumed the shape of a predisposition to irritability and quarrelsomeness, which sometimes necessitates a slight rearrangement of offices. And among all classes of the Liberal party we notice a peevishness and impatience both with the Government and with themselves that indicate a disordered system, and suggest the necessity for a powerful tonic, which the country will no doubt prescribe in time.
We have said the Cabinet is labouring under hallucinations, and of these the most persistent is that Ministers in the House of Commons are zealously labouring to despatch the business of Parliament, but that their best efforts are thwarted by an obstruction which is only visible to themselves, and to which they can never by any chance point the finger at the time of its appearance. "Veiled obstruction" they call it; and veiled it must indeed be, for to all eyes except those of the Ministry and the Ministerial press it is wholly invisible. We might dismiss this
cry about obstruction as simply springing from the petulance of an arrogant majority, if it were not evident that the Government intends to urge obstruction as an excuse for its legislative shortcomings during the present session, and that its organs are sedulously preparing the minds of the constituencies for listening to the complaints which Ministers intend to make during the recess. Such a course is one unworthy of any Government, more especially of a Government that has been armed with the means of putting down obstruction so completely as has that of Mr Gladstone. With the new rules of procedure-to obtain which the Prime Minister may be said to have sacrificed a sessionat his command, surely the course incumbent upon Mr Gladstone, if he finds that he has to combat obstruction, is to put it down with a firm hand, instead of whining to the country of the interruptions to which he is exposed. But, says the Ministerial press, obstruction is now "veiled," and it is impossible to bring it under the operation of rules that were intended to check only open and notorious attempts to impede the business of the House of Commons. But the new rules were so carefully framed in the interests of a Government with a large majority, that no obstruction, whether veiled or naked, need be allowed to stand in the way if the Ministry puts forth its powers. The most sig
nificant fact connected with the outcry is, that while the general charge is being loudly preferred, particular instances of obstruction are seldom if ever condescended
upon. We may presume, then,
that by veiled obstruction the Liberals mean the exercise of that right of criticism which has always been deemed one of the most important functions of an Opposition, and which could only be waived at the risk of detriment to the best interests of the country, and to the credit and character of the Opposition itself. That the Conservatives have not abused this right, will be at once conceded by any one who takes the trouble to analyse the questions, motions, and votes of the party during the present session. It is notorious that a considerable number of Conservatives, both in and out of Parliament, are by no means satisfied with the temperate and patriotic course which the Opposition leaders have thought it wise to follow, and would have had the conduct of Ministers submitted to a much more searching scrutiny in both Houses.
less the Conservatives were to be confined to giving a silent acquiescence to Ministerial measures, we fail to see what facilities the Government could want from them for the discharge of public business that it has not already got. Is it meant that if we are to enjoy the continued advantage of the present Liberal Administration, we shall require an addition to the new rules of procedure which will effectually muzzle the Opposition, except upon all such points of policy as the Ministry desire to be discussed for its own advantage? This is the only remedy that seems likely to relieve the anxiety of Government about "veiled obstruction." As for obstruction itself, it cannot be said to have showed its front in the House of Commons during the present session. Even the Home Rulers have confined their interposition to such questions as they may legitimately claim to exercise a voice upon;
and if any of the more reckless members of that party has for a moment overstepped his bounds, he has been made to feel the gag sharply.
We must therefore dismiss the cry of "veiled obstruction" as a Liberal delusion or a Liberal figment, intended to delude the country into the idea that the work of Parliament is being hindered by the Opposition, instead of being retarded by the inertness and timidity of the Ministry. On the other hand, the Government itself has extended full toleration, and in several instances direct encouragement, to obstruction from its own side of the House. Liberal benches bristle with oneideaed members, most of whom have been freely allowed to air their own particular "fads,” while Ministers have solemnly taken part in the discussion. With these members, who form considerable units of its own strength, the Government cannot afford to quarrel, least of all at a season when there signs of impatience gathering in the Liberal ranks; and they are consequently made welcome to waste the public time as may suit their views. Although such obstruction would scout even the pretence of using a "veil," the eyes of the Ministry can discern nothing in it save a legitimate desire to ventilate opinion, and it piously shrinks from any attempt to quench the Liberal spirit. It even feels the necessity of now and then taking a "fad" under its special protection, with a view to show its patronage of persistence, as when it threw its influence into the scale in favour of the abolition of the Contagious Diseases Act, in spite of the highest counsels, military, sanitary, and social, to the contrary. If we sum up the time wasted by Liberal members in the