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Although by far the greater part of the administrative improvement of the last thirty years has been due to the Governments in India, credit for some of it must be given to the Government at home. A body constituted like the Home Government of India is slow to move and sometimes obstructive, and its general policy has been conservative and cautious. The more ardent among Indian reformers have sometimes chafed under the restrictions placed upon them, but in their anxiety for improvement they are sometimes more aggressive than is politically prudent. The most important part of our administration in India has the inestimable advantage of being carried on by comparatively young men, but youth and prudence do not always go together. One of the weakest points in our government is the incessant process of change in the personnel of the administration, and the constant waste of mature experience. Neither the Viceroy nor any member of his Council, nor any Governor or Lieutenant-Governor, holds his office for more than five years, nor is there much greater permanency in the tenure of other offices held by Englishmen. The climate, and the peculiar conditions under which the government has to be carried on in a foreign country by a small body of men, make these constant changes unavoidable. This renders it difficult to maintain at all times a wise continuity of policy, and in this respect the India Office often exercises an important influence. The advisers of the Secretary of State, although their knowledge is apt to get rusty, often know more about India than most of the officers of the Government in India itself; they preserve the traditions of administration and the lessons of experience.
THE ARMY IN INDIA-THE FINANCES AND THE PUBLIC
THE ADVANCE OF RUSSIA TOWARDS THE FRONTIERS OF INDIA
CONSEQUENT CHANGES IN OUR POSITION-THE ARMIES OF INDIA BEFORE THE MUTINIES -THE MUTINIES OF 1857-THE REORGANISATION OF THE ARMY-ITS PRESENT CONSTITUTION-THE STAFF CORPS-INCREASE TO THE ARMY CAUSED BY THE ADVANCE OF RUSSIA-ITS PRESENT STRENGTH-THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE AND COMMERCE-REFORMS INSTITUTED BY MR. JAMES WILSON -FINANCIAL DECENTRALISATION-THE EXISTING SYSTEM OF FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION-GROWTH OF THE PUBLIC REVENUES SINCE 1840-THEIR PRESENT AMOUNT-SMALL PROPORTION OF THE REVENUES DERIVED FROM TAXATION-THE SOURCES OF THE PUBLIC INCOME-THE LAND REVENUE -ITS NATURE DESCRIBED BY MR. FAWCETT AND MR. J. S. MILL-ITS INCIDENCE UNDER NATIVE AND BRITISH GOVERNMENTS-MODERATION OF ASSESSMENT -AURANGZEB'S REVENUES-RATES ON LAND-THE OPIUM REVENUE-THE MANNER OF RAISING IT-THE CONSUMPTION OF OPIUM IN CHINA-MISTAKEN IDEAS ON THE SUBJECT-CHINA NOT DEPENDENT ON INDIA FOR THE SUPPLY OF OPIUM-THE CHEFOO CONVENTION-CONSUMPTION OF OPIUM IN INDIA-FORESTS-TRIBUTES FROM NATIVE STATES -POST OFFICE-TELEGRAPHS.
IN speaking, as I now propose to do, of the work that falls on the Government of India, I can only select some matters of special interest. There are others of the utmost gravity which I do not wish to discuss. Among these stand out prominently the great questions connected with the advance of Russia towards the frontiers of India, and our relations with Afghánistán. If I say nothing on these subjects, it must not be supposed that I fail to recognise their importance. The proximity of a great European power has profoundly altered our position in India, nor is it only our military position
that has been affected. The change is felt throughout India both in our own dominions and in the Native states. It has thrown into the minds of men uncertainties and hopes and fears regarding the future; it has seriously disturbed the finances, it has retarded the progress of works essential to the prosperity of the country, and has checked improvement in the administration. No Englishman need doubt that it is in our power to render India invulnerable to attack, but statesmen and soldiers will do well never to forget that nothing can save us, sooner or later, from a struggle for the maintenance of our empire except the certainty on the part of those who might desire to assail us that every hostile attempt upon India must end in disastrous failure.
I shall begin this lecture with an account of the manner in which the army in India is constituted. When you remember the great military revolt of 1857, the most serious event in the history of British India, and recognise the fact that the ultimate basis of our dominion is our military power, you will understand that this is a part of my subject which cannot be passed over in silence.
In the earlier times of the East India Company, when the formation of the British Empire was beginning in Bengal, Madras, and Bombay, a military force grew up in each of the three presidencies. Three distinct armies came into existence, and they remain at the present day.
The principal extensions of territory having occurred, since the beginning of this century, in the presidency of Bengal, the army of Bengal became the most important of the three; in 1856, the year before the mutinies, it was more numerous than the other two
armies together. In that year the British forces in India consisted of 39,000 Europeans and 215,000 Natives, besides several contingents, as they were called, maintained for the protection of Native States, and at their expense.
The Native army of Bengal, consisting in 1856 of 74 regiments of infantry, with 10 regiments of regular and 18 of irregular cavalry, was mainly recruited, especially for the infantry, from the Brahmans and Rajputs of Oudh, and in a lesser degree from the North-Western Provinces. A part of the Bombay army and of the contingents was supplied from the same classes. The army of Madras was recruited from its own presid ency. Besides the Regular army, and various local corps, there was a strong force of so-called Irregular cavalry and infantry, the most important part of which was raised in the Punjab from Sikhs, Patháns, and other warlike races. This guarded the northern frontier, and was under the orders of the Provincial Government. The greater part of the artillery was manned by Native soldiers.
About one-third of the European infantry, and all the European artillery were local troops, raised by the East India Company for permanent service in India. They numbered about 14,000 men.
In 1857 almost the whole of the Bengal Native army, a part of that of Bombay, and the contingents in Northern India, mutinied. The Madras army remained faithful. The Punjab Irregular force was not only faithful, but rendered admirable service in the suppression of the revolt.
Before peace was restored the old Bengal army had ceased to exist. The Government was transferred to the Crown, and the whole military organisation was
altered. The local European army was abolished. The artillery, which had been chiefly Native, became wholly British. The place of the local European infantry was supplied by British regiments of the line. The total strength of European troops was largely increased, while that of the Native army was largely diminished. Three distinct armies-those of Bengal, Madras, and Bombay-were still maintained. After the new arrangements had been completed, the army in India. consisted of about 62,000 British, and 135,000 Native troops.
I quote from the Report of the Indian Army Commission of 1879 the following summary of the changes made after the mutinies; but, as I shall show, it became necessary in 1885, in consequence of the advance of Russia towards the north-western frontier, to increase the numbers both of British and Native troops :
'On the reorganisation of the army, after the mutiny was quelled, it was decided that the proportion of Native and European troops in India should never greatly exceed two to one, and that the field and other artillery should be exclusively, or almost exclusively manned by Europeans. . . All the fortresses in the country are now served by British artillery. All the heavy batteries and all the batteries of field artillery are manned by Europeans. The lessons taught by the utiny have thus led to the maintenance of the two great principles of retaining in the country an irresistible force of British troops, and of keeping the artillery in the hands of Europeans.
'Our position in the country has very materially changed, and a force of 62,000 European soldiers represents a power far in excess of that which it represented in 1857. In those days the British troops were scattered in small forces throughout the country, and it was a matter of great difficulty, delay, and expense to concentrate even a small British force on any one spot in India. When the mutiny broke out we had hardly 400