Page images
PDF
EPUB

which we place the value of some 800 bullocks, no longer required ; we surrender 2,200 more horses required for the cavalry, under the old system, than under the one which we propose. We have also made no allowance for the cost of barracks. That is however unavoidable. It is evident to all men that the permanent number of European troops must be greatly increased, and arrange it as we may, accommodation must be found. Besides, our surplus, upwards of fourteen and a half lacks per annum, represents a considerable capital, nearly three crores at five per cent; and the cost of the Oude irregular force, and the Gwalior contingent, neither of which will, we trust, be resuscitated, can be brought in to swell the credit balance, and erect such buildings as are necessary to make all right within the bounds of the empire. It is impossible, in the limits of an article such as this, to give the items, by means of which we arrived at the above expressed financial conclusions ; but we believe our figures are correct, and are not afraid of scrutiny. Objection may be made that we propose a native force of infantry almost as expensive as an European. We admit the charge, and allow that more men with fewer officers might be got for the same money, but we think there is enough. We must have a considerable portion of the army native, and it perhaps may be worth while to consider the propriety of making that portion as effective as possible.

A prominent feature in this scheme is the general disarming of the people, so that a small portion of the force might suffice in the country in the event of foreign war. The regular army would do no escort duty, nor take any civil guards, and the military ones should be made as few as possible. Every cold weather, the head quarters of each division might be a camp of instruction, and we venture to anticipate the creation of an army which would render rebellion and revolt words that might be expunged from the dictionary.

For the general police duties of the country, we would recommend military police battalions in every district, commanded by European officers, under the orders of the magistrate, and subject to martial law. The police is notoriously inefficient, and to the want of a proper control over them, we ascribe much of their uselessness. Cowardice on their part ought to be severely punished and put down ; and by raising the character of the police, a more respectable class would be found in it. The infantry portion might have the pay of local infantry, five rupees, and the sowars eighteen rupees a month. They would of course have native officers and non-commissioned officers, who, we think, should do the duties of thanadars, &c. The numbers for different

[ocr errors]

districts would vary with their requirements, some of course would have more and some less; but 300 infantry, and 100 sowars would we think be about an average. Suppose then that a commandant was appointed, a military officer with a staff pay of Rs. 200, and two others under him at 100 each; and the cavalry to consist of one russuldar, three naibs, eight duffadars, two trulupeters, and eighty-six sowars; and the infantry of three subadars, nine jemadars, twenty-four havildars, two buglers, and 262 sepoys; and the rates of pay to be for the first three grades of cavalry respectively rupees eighty, forty, and twenty-five per mensem; and for the trumpeters and sowars rupees eighteen, and for the three first grades of infantry respectively rupees forty, twenty, and ten; and for the two last, five each, then the total monthly cost of such a force in a district would be Rs. 5,244, or annually Rs. 62,928. There are thirty-five districts under the Lieut.-Governor of Bengal, and the total cost of such a force, if established in every district under his government, would be Rs. 22,02,480. For the north-west, where there are thirtythree districts, it would be rather less; and for Oude, where there are twelve districts, about one-third of the sum. The whole of the expense of the Oude force would however be saved, as it no longer exists, and a large saving would be the result in that province. The European officers should, we are of opinion, reside in different parts of the district, and be police officers under the magistrate. The duties would be those of police generally, to furnish guards to the treasury and jail, to escort through the districts treasure and government stores, both civil and military. The system of escorts, we would recommend, should be this: All the carriage in every district should be registered, and on notice being given to a magistrate that public property had to pass through his district, he should send a sufficient portion of his police force with the requisite carriage, to the first halting place within his district, and take charge of the stores, which would be loaded on the carriage which he had provided, the old carriage being discharged, He would cause the stores to be escorted through his own district to the first stage in the adjoining one, where a portion of the next magistrate's police and carriage would meet them, and so on. By these means, the requisite carriage for troops and stores would be supplied, without hardship to the country people, who could not object to an arrangement which would divide the burden equally among the several districts, see them paid, and above all, not detain them, which is what they so much object to. We have long been of opinion that a similar system might be adopted on the march of troops. The hardship on the people is great.

The futile orders, which have been issued on this subject, are amusing The civil authorities seem to be striving after an impossibility, namely, the voluntary hiring of their carts to the troops by the people. It is much better to admit the evil and necessity at once, instead of issuing orders which are only to be broken whenever they ought to be obeyed. The troops must march, carriage is necessary, and that cannot be procured without more or less

begaree.' Let us write the word at once, and acknowledge what we cannot help, but at the same time mitigate the evil as much as we can. To us it seems that the above system would answer. Service, compulsory certainly, but only in their own district, and with regular pay. If one of the European officers attached to the police battalion, was sent with troops marching through a district, he could see that the garrywans were satisfied. The railway will modify all this, but it will be years before it can come into play, and in some parts probably

never.

We are unable to give a comparative estimate of the expense of this system with that which, at present, obtains; as we have no data of the numbers and cost of the present police force. But it must be very considerable; and in taking this scheme into consideration, it must not be lost sight of, that there is a large effective European agency put at the service of the civil government. We would give the officers horse allowance, and keep them pretty constantly in the saddle, visiting the posts and stations; and we think that doing duty for a time in such a force, would be the best possible training for young civilians. They would learn the language and know the people infinitely better than they do under the system which now obtains. Of this police force, we confess to giving but a meagre sketch. It is more with a view to suggesting what may give rise to discussion on its merits, than to the advocacy of any prepared plan, that we have made this mention of it. We put forth these views will all deference, as being aware of the extent of the subject we have approached, and the necessity of any new scheme for the re-organization of the military force of the empire being fixed and arranged by all the intellect that Government can summon to its aid. But we have thought long and carefully on the subject, and the result is here given. It is certainly not impracticable; and if, in directing attention to the subject, we may be so fortunate as to indicate the nature of a change which shall meet the necessities of the country at this crisis, we shall have attained our object, and shall deem our labor not thrown away.

[ocr errors]

ART. VI.-1. Papers connecteil with the Petition of Missionaries

residing in and near Calcutta. 2. The Government Gazette. 3. Revenue Hand-book. By J. H. YOUNG, Esq. 4. The Land Revenue of India. By the late F. H. ROBINSON,

Esq. London. Thacker and Co., 87, Newgate Street.

HE present moment is one not very auspicious for a great

social reform. The Government and the public have, for the last few months, had something to occupy them more urgent than the claims of the Ryot, or the interests of the Zemindar. These fearful mutinies, their origin, progress, and termination, will, we hope, in due time, be fully described in this Review and elsewhere ; for there is, indeed, in society, an uncontrollable desire to possess the minutest facts, the amplest details, of the successive outbreaks, by which so many fair marts and rich treasuries have been sacked, so many valuable lives lost to their country, so many homes rendered desolate, a partial revolt has been converted into a general rebellion, and a disciplined and fertile kingdom, held up as an example to the other Presidencies of India, been turned into a battle field or an Alsatia, overrun by marauders, a scene of present desolation and misery, and, in all probability, of future famine and disease. We all more or less know what nameless atrocities have been perpetrated on women and children : by what acts of consummate treachery the remembrance of the massacre at Patna in the last century has, as it were, been effaced ; to what new tales of havoc the story of the Black Hole must for ever give way: what old ideas have been ruthlessly discarded; what cherished traditions have been scattered to the winds. There is an end for ever, we hope, of the tyranny of caste in the army, and of the fulsome praise, and the excessive indulgence, by which the sepoy has been spoiled. On this and on other questions, by which society in India has been long divided, there will be, henceforth, some little unanimity of opinion. While we have, on the one hand, never thought lightly of the huge amount of individual suffering, and of the loss to the state, we have, on the other, never for one moment thought the empire in danger, and we are already beginning to look forward, out of a long account of deaths and disasters, to the Government of India on sounder and stronger principles than some statesmen have ventured to act on, and others have hardly thought fit to avow. We shall hear little more in the way of comparison between the virtues of the Anglo-Saxon and those of the Asiatic. There is an end of men of the old school

SEPT., 1857.

R

who have an enthusiastic admiration for Rajpoots, and who hymn the chivalry, the fidelity, and the bravery of the sepoy. The oriental, emancipated from discipline, flushed with the hope of plunder, or mad with excitement, has sunk himself far lower than he would have been placed by his most avowed enemy. The many instances of kindness and protection to beleaguered and hunted Englishmen, which are constantly coming to light, are scarce a set-off to the unparalleled villanies, by which our countrymen and country-women have been butchered. While then we shall take a just estimate of native character in future, ve shall hope for a change in regard to our foreign and exterior policy likewise. The invasion of Persia, the occupation of Affghanistan, the exact position of Herat, the rise and fall of the Euphrates, should cease to form stock subjects for discussion. We should begin to feel now that our proper and only sphere of action lies between the Himalayas and the sea. Pensions to dethroned royalty will be adjusted on a fairer scale, and debauched and worthless specimens of Kings and Nawaubs will no longer command a morbid sympathy in London drawingrooms, or distract the attention of the senate from more important affairs. The king of Delhi and his ridiculous grievances, the sovereign of Oude and his preposterous claims, supported by hireling adventurers, will, if they escape the trial awaiting them, at once be consigned to oblivion. We shall reserve our rewards and our honours for those faithful sovereigns and petty chiefs, who have cast in their lot with ours, and to whom we are bound by every consideration of gratitude, of policy, and of honour, to assure a permanent independence. We shall not be sorry to hear of summary retributions, of signal vengeance, of the cord and the scourge effectively plied : and also, on the other hand, of liberal grants in land and in money to the deserving, of renewed assurances of protection and of friendship to the faithful, and of strong and telling measures in behalf of the masses of our subjects. The aroused feelings of British statesmen and of real philanthropists should find vent in prompt action, not only by dealing out terrible punishment to the rebellious, but by greater vigour and determination in every social or internal question that may be discussed in any department of the state. We do not, for a moment, advocate the slightest interference with religion, with caste, or with prejudices common to many classes of our subjects; and indeed, it can hardly have escaped the most careless observer, that the czy of danger to the Hindu religion, and of destruction to caste, was taken up from convenient motives, and was soon drowned or extinguished in the roar of selfish and violent passions suddenly let loose. There has been no direct interference with Krishna or with

« PreviousContinue »