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fulfilled. Capacity to lead and courage to fight are quali-
ties which the Almighty has been pleased to confer im-
partially on His creatures, not alone on those whom the
Government commissions or enlists, and designates "the
combatant forces of the Crown or "the army." Never-
theless, that army is a jealous army, and inasmuch as it is
the rule and custom of the service that only combatant
officers shall command Her Majesty's troops, those officers
hold firmly by their rights. The political officer has
military rank and title, and the medical officer also, but
army holds that such rank and title confers no power
of command over troops. As long as there is a cornet or
ensign or sub-lieutenant, in these fin-de-siècle days-to
take command, political, medical, or other departmental
officers are not called upon to assume combatant functions.
Such is the opinion and custom of the army.

In the old days of the Panjab, certainly, James Abbott, Herbert Edwardes, Reynell Taylor, and Harry Lumsden, though serving in a civil capacity, took command of bodies of troops, mostly irregular levies. Colonel Mackeson led frontier expeditions, while John Nicholson in 1857 laid aside the work of a Deputy Commissioner to assume the command of the "movable column," with the rank of Brigadier-General. Again, in 1858 we find Major Becher, the Deputy Commissioner of Hazara, co-operating with Sir Sydney Cotton against Sitana, in command of a force of Panjab irregular troops. Eldred Pottinger and James Outram were soldiers or "politicals" as occasion demanded. John Colpoys Haughton, the hero of Charikar, and father of John Haughton of Tirah fame, performed valuable service as a soldier-civilian from 1844 to his retirement in 1873. Major D'Arcy Todd quitted Herat, where he showed himself endowed with a higher sense of his nation's honour than did the Viceroy, who disavowed and tried to disgrace him, and going back to military duty proved himself the good soldier and sterling fellow he was, and died in command of his troop of horse artillery at the Battle of Ferozshah.

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Henry Rawlinson was as gallant in action as he was firm and able in diplomacy. These officers, however, were all soldier-politicals and soldiers to the backbone, as their deeds and achievements proved. Harry Lumsden was a soldier whom chance occasionally employed as a civilian. However, what was needful, and therefore customary, in the forties and fifties is no longer so in the nineties. The political officer no longer takes command of troops. On the contrary, when it is found necessary to combine military and political control in one and the same person, that person is now always the senior military officer. In 1842 (if no earlier instance can be quoted) when the MacnaghtenBurnes-Elphinstone fiasco had electrified both Government and nation, the chief military and political power in Afghanistan was vested in General Sir George Pollock. This was done by Lord Auckland before he handed over the government to Lord Ellenborough at Calcutta on February 28, 1842; for on February 14, 1842, Sir Robert Sale, writing from Jalalabad, states that he had received the previous day from Peshawar the intelligence that "full military and political powers in Afghanistan had been vested in" Sir George Pollock. The tone of Lord Ellenborough's earlier letters from India shows that he, too, grasped the evils that had arisen from the subordination of the military to the political power at Kabul. Sir William Macnaghten, over whose name the bitter memory of the Kabul disaster of 1841 hangs like a pall, was directly or indirectly the cause of the command at Kabul being entrusted at the end of 1840, not to the capable though plain-spoken General Nott, but to the enfeebled body and mind of General Elphinstone. The two ablest political officers under Sir William Macnaghten's orders, Eldred Pottinger and Henry Rawlinson, were the very men whom he mistrusted, writing of the one as "alarmist," and rejecting the sound counsel of the other. When General Pollock was sent to relieve Sale, Eldred Pottinger was a prisoner; and the political officer who had been befooled by the Ghilzai chiefs, and

who had used all his influence with General Sale to induce him to surrender Jalalabad to the traitor and murderer, Muhammad Akbar Khan, was the last man to be entrusted with high authority. With Major Rawlinson the case was different. He had lived in amity, and yet held his own with the blunt old soldier (Nott) who commanded at Kandahar. Each had learnt to respect the other, and each was a true, loyal, and able servant of his Queen and country. Whether it was Lord Auckland or Lord Ellenborough who directed Nott to assume the chief political powers on the Kandahar side matters but little. It may seem hard on Major Rawlinson, but it was the step in the right direction. The Kabul disaster had aroused the Government of India to a sense of the folly and danger of political interference in military operations. If any doubt remained in the mind of Lord Ellenborough as to the wisdom of modifying the powers of political officers deputed to accompany troops in the field,. it must have been removed by a letter or memorandum written to him on March 30, 1842, by the Duke of Wellington. His opinion and advice as that of the greatest of British Generals, and one, too, who knew India and Oriental warfare, must carry weight, and we therefore quote it in extenso:

"But I should not perform my duty to my satisfaction, either to you or towards the public, if I did not point out to you an evil, the existence of which has been the cause of much of the disaster which has occurred, and of the existing state of affairs.

"I mean the great military powers which it has been the practice of all the Governments of India to extend to the Political Residents with the several native Powers, and even what are called the Agents of the Governor-General, whether resident within the British territories or beyond the frontier.

"It is reasonable enough that, where the Sovereign pays. a subsidy to the British Government for the service of a body of British troops stationed within his territory, the


diplomatic agent of the British Government should have a control over the operations of the troops, and that these should not be involved in military operations for the service of the subsidizing Sovereign without the knowledge, and even the requisition, of the Resident. But there should be limits to these powers given to Political Agents. They should be required not to make such requisitions without previous conference and concert with the commanding officer of the troops; a perfect knowledge on his part of what it is desired that he should do; his satisfaction that the means at his disposition are sufficient to attain the object in view, and that he will be supported as he ought to be by all the power of the State, civil as well as military, in order to provide for his supplies, for his communications, and the security of his return to his original position with honour.

"These communications between political agents and commanding officers were the common practice in old times. Nay, it is the practice in Europe. When I commanded the Army of Occupation, as it was called, in France, I was in constant, almost daily, correspondence with a conference of diplomatic agents at Paris, who kept me informed of all that passed; and I could receive and act upon no communication of importance from the French Government excepting through the channel of this conference.

"But the position filled by Sir William Macnaghten was by no means similar to that of the Residents at the Courts of the native States in India which paid subsidies for the service of troops, or to that of the Conference of Ministers at Paris after the Peace of 1815.

"He directed all the operations of the troops, not immediately by communication from himself to the General Commanding-in-Chief, or to the commanding officer of a detachment from the army, but by order of his inferior political agent or deputy posted with such detachment.

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Thus, when orders were sent from Cabul to General Sale to march from Jellalabad to Cabul, to support the

troops at Cabul, they were not sent by General Elphinstone, commanding the troops at Cabul, to General Sale, commanding the troops at Jellalabad, but by Sir William Macnaghten, the Resident at the Court of Shah Shoojah, to Captain Macgregor, his deputy, with General Sale's division at Jellalabad.

"In the same manner General Nott, who commanded a corps of five thousand men at Candahar. He had with him a Political Agent named Rawlinson, employed by Sir William Macnaghten in correspondence with natives of all classes and parties at Herat, in and out of Candahar.

"I have lately had before me, sent from Bombay, a correspondence between the commanding officer of the troops, General Nott, and this gentleman, in which the latter requires the former to march out of Candahar and to attack a body of rebels assembling at a place called Dehla, at the distance of some miles from Candahar. This operation must have been preceded by others to force the Dooranis resident in Candahar to quit the place, or to destroy them if they should refuse. And, after all, the risk of the operation was aggravated by that of the loss of the place while it should be in the course of being carried General Nott stood firm, and did not attend to this



"But the reason for which I have drawn your attention so particularly to the existing system is that it is a novelty and an abuse of modern times, arising out of jealousy of the power of military officers. But the consequence of its existence is that the general and superior officers of the army-who, after all, must command and be responsible for the operations of the troops in action against the enemy will undertake nothing, be responsible for nothing, except to obey the orders which the Political Agent or his deputies think proper to give them. A consideration of this state of things will show clearly the cause of the losses in Afghanistan in the last five months of 1841, and particularly of the want of energy and enterprise at Cabul during the period which elapsed from the commencement

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