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equalled by the heartfelt sym- tion, and still more famine prevenpathy of the rulers of India. tion, which has not been diligently In a statement of extraordinary is no portion of the recommendations
ransacked and explored ; and there interest, in which at the end of submitted to us by the able chairman the famine Lord Curzon re- and his lieutenants which has not viewed its statistics and de- been discussed with the local governscribed the relief
ments, and been already made, or, if
not, is about to be made, the subject which had been taken, there of definite orders. . . . The value of occur these memorable pass- the revised [famine) codes will only ages :
be seen when the next struggle comes.
Then they will be found to provide Every man, woman, and child the armament with which each local who has perished in India in the government in India will fight the present famine has been a burden battle.” 1 upon my heart and upon that of the Government. Their sufferings have never been absent from our thoughts. of famine prevention, and equal
Closely allied to this problem ... There has never been a famine when the general mortality has been ly important in the interests of less, when the distress has been more the agricultural population, is amply or swiftly relieved, or when the great question of the exGovernment and its officers have
tension of irrigation—a quesgiven themselves with a more wholehearted devotion to the saving of tion which involves not only life and the service of the people. the safety of millions of the
. . It is with the object of demon- people in years of drought, but strating to the Indian public that also the extension of agriculin the administration of the recent famine, we have not been unworthy tural enterprise and the expanof our trust, and that the year of sion of agricultural production strain and suffering will not have in India by converting thoupassed by without our profiting by sands of acres of hitherto barits lessons, that I have made this
ren waste into fertile fields. speech."
The extension of canal irrigaThat these words contained tion has been favoured by the no empty boast is proved by, Government of India for many the statistics of the famine.
It was a subject That their promise for the in which Lord Elgin displayed future was equally real has special interest, but to which been shown in many ways he was
unable to devote as during Lord Curzon's Vice- much pecuniary support as he royalty. Immediately after would have liked, owing to the famine a commission of the constant drain of military inquiry was appointed under operations and of famine, which Sir Antony MacDonnell, to added so greatly to the diffiexamine the methods of famine culties of his administration. prevention and relief, and to put Lord Curzon, after the first forward proposals for future terrible experience of 1899guidance. As a result, 1900, was fortunate in
"There is no branch of the subject periencing in India years of of famine relief, famine administra- prosperity and plenty, and he
1 Lord Curzon's speech in the Budget debate, 29th March 1905.
was not slow to take advan- peasant proprietors, who fill tage of these favourable cir- the ranks of our Indian army, cumstances in the direction of and in every respect, extending irrigated areas and as has already been quoted, developing the railway system, “the bone and sinew of our as well as by considerably light- strength," and its acquisition ening the burdens of taxation by the money - lending and on the labouring and industrial shop - keeping classes. This classes. But he went further process of land alienation has than this. A commission to become constantly more threatinvestigate the possibilities of ening during the last twentyirrigation and of water storage five years, until it endangered was appointed in 1901 under the prosperity and even the Sir Colin Scott Moncrieff. The existence of the most vigorous report of that commission, sub- and valuable class of the committed after an inquiry extend- munity. The Act passed by ing over eighteen months, has Lord Curzon's government been exhaustively and carefully limits the periods of mortgages considered by Government, with on land, and restricts the the result that a scheme of alienation of land to others widely extended operations has than bond-fide cultivators. The now been prepared and ma- measure has been attacked as tured, to be put into execution an instance of unnecessary and in the near future.
hasty legislation, interfering Lord Curzon's further meas- with the rights of property, ures of agricultural reform, and calculated to impair the such as the Punjab Land Alien- credit and wealth of the landation Act, and his endeavours owning class. The latter progto secure throughout India nostications can only be disgreater elasticity in the col- proved by the lapse of time. lection of land revenue, are So far, at least, the measure perhaps too local in theirinterest promises to be beneficial in its or too technical to appeal to results. As to the necessity readers at home, although to for some such legislation the our great Indian empire they balance of expert opinion is are of an importance commen- entirely on Lord Curzon's side ; surate with the immense in- while in reply to any charge of terests involved in the pros- rashness or want of consideraperity of the
the agricultural tion, the period over which the classes. The first mentioned discussion of this difficult probitem of legislation has been so lem has extended, a period of much criticised that we may twenty-five or thirty years, pause for a moment to notice may be quoted as ample disit. It is designed to prevent proof of the justice of such the alienation of the land, assertions. owing to the gradual increase Space does not permit of of agricultural indebtedness, more than a passing mention from the hands of its tradi- of other improvements contional owners, the yeomen and nected with agriculture—the
establishment of a scientific it. . . . The object of all these agricultural research institute inquiries is in every case the (due to the munificence of an same- viz., to arrive at the American visitor to India, Mr truth.” Here we have again Phipps), the strengthening of the principle so characteristic the Veterinary Department, of Lord Curzon's methods—to and the creation of a scientific do nothing without thorough Board of Advice. Nor is it and careful research, to undernecessary to do more than stand a question completely in name the reform effected in order to deal with it adequately, railway administration, the and in order to understand it immense increase in the pro- to dig down to the bed-rock of ductiveness of railways, the concrete fact and experience." cheapening of
telegraphic There remains one of the charges both on inland lines original twelve tasks set himand between India and Europe, self by Lord Curzon which and the reform of the system should be noticed before we of education in all its branches. leave these questions of internal Something more than such reform. This is the attention cursory notice might well be which he gave to the preservagiven to the question of police tion of ancient monuments and reform, a subject which so historic buildings. Its princlosely affects the welfare of cipal manifestations were the every individual of the two appointment of a specialist as hundred and thirty millions of Director of Archæology, and people in British India. The the passing of an Act for the subject is, however, too large “Preservation
Ancient to be dealt with here. It was Monuments and objects of examined - as in the case of archaeological, historical, and education, railways, irrigation, artistic interest.” This measand famine a special ure, so characteristic of Lord commission, whose report has Curzon's many - sidedness, so formed the basis for extensive indicative of his love for the and far-reaching measures of past history of India, aroused improvement. In this connec- no controversy and attracted tion Lord Curzon's remarks but little notice at the moment. regarding the
reasons and But its importance must not objects of all these commis- be measured by such a criterion sions may be quoted. “I can as this. No one will dispute quite believe,” he said in the the principle on which it is budget discussion of March based, that the
care of 1902, “that there will be nation's historic buildings is people who will say that the closely bound up by ties of present administration is earn- history, sentiment, and expediing a strange and abnormal ency with the people's interests, repute, as one of Commissions, and that it is amongst the Committees, and inquiries. prominent obligations of The charge is quite true. I government. Moreover, the do not for one moment dispute enactment of such a measure
in India is of more than in- the world, it would be due to direct interest to the people him in no small degree, in that of Great Britain. Year by he has been mainly instruyear, in constantly increasing mental in enabling our genernumbers, visitors from home ation “to expiate the carelessmake the voyage to India ness of the past and escape intent on exploring its wonders the reproaches of posterity.” and viewing the treasures of It has been said that the archæology and art which it debt which the empire owes has to show. It will be well to Lord Curzon for the work if some of these recognise a of his Indian Viceroyalty will tithe of the debt which they not be fully known until the owe to Lord Curzon in this history of the foreign relations matter. Who that has seen of India during that period is the incomparable beauty of the made public. This much is, Taj, surrounded by acres of however, already known to the sandy waste ground and ap- world, that both in his speeches proached through a squalid and by his deeds he never bazar, but must be ever grate. failed to maintain the integrity ful to the hand that has and the prestige of the great cleared the entrance courts of empire of which India is no all mean and unsightly features, longer merely an ornament, and has turned the surround- “the brightest jewel of the imings into a green and undu- perial crown," but the strategic lating park? Who that visited frontier where lies, in Lord the exquisite little tomb of Curzon's words, “the true Itmad-ud-Dowlah, near Agra, fulorum of dominion, the real any time up to half a dozen touchstone of our Imperial or so years ago, and beheld it greatness.” One of his earliest smothered in a tangled maze duties was to assert our rights
overgrown shrubs and and maintain our paramount weeds, but must delight to position in the Persian Gulf, find it now set in well-ordered and his visit two years ago to and grassy lawns, whose green- the same great highway of ness serves to emphasise the Indian
commerce - the first delicacy of the fabric ? A visit ever paid to those waters similar work is in progress or by a Governor - General of about to be undertaken round India—was strikingly successthe beautiful Mogul palace at ful in securing the Delhi, the tombs and mosques object. The tour in question
, of Lahore, and the deserted attracted far more attention city of Fatehpur Sikri; with throughout the world than is equal care and reverence other usually paid to the movements relics of the past throughout of the Viceroy through the India are being tended and territories of India.
Its meancared for, and if this alone ing was not difficult to find, were Lord Curzon's claim to and was as patent to the Arab gratitude, both from Indians chiefs who assembled at the and from lovers of art all over seaports to do honour to the
cidents, repeated often enough, violence and garrulity of the become habits, and it is idle House of Commons. No Prime to ascribe to a mere freak of Minister, if he be wise, wastes courage or genius the result time in the House which can which in another is dogmatic- be better employed elsewhere. ally set down to the vague And if the rank and file of quality of which we hear so the members like to talk, if much from the pessimists. zealous supporters are pleased
Lord Rosebery, however, has to organise autumn campaigns, discovered another sin of Eng- they do no harm to the nation, land. We are the victims, he and they find an easy outlet says, of party. At the very for their superfluous energy. moment when the House of Nor are the excesses which Commons is losing its influence the spirit of party encourages and prestige, he discovers that without their uses; for it is to we are being ruined by the party that we owe the equililoquacity of Parliament. This brium necessary for good gov. sin of party is, we are glad to ernment. When once a statesthink, a mere variant of German man has a solid majority at competition, or French proxim. his back, he can neglect the ity. It is but another bogey of cackle of his opponents. For Lord Rosebery's imagining. It seven years he is the master is true that “we are all striving of the situation; and he is to put ourselves or our leaders converted by this very system into offices or expel other people of party, which Lord Rosebery from them.”
It is true that deplores, into an autocrat. The we have “great debates and admirable foreign policy which incessant divisions and spirited has been pursued by England autumn campaigns.” But the during the last few years country is not governed by would have had but a small these exercises in rhetoric. chance of success if Mr Balfour Our Ministers, if they are had not had a loyal party beworth their place, act as well hind him. The insult and as speak. The best work that obloquy with which the Opthey do is done in secret, and position have assailed him is is only revealed to the world not of the slightest importance, in its details many years after and it is forgotten as their death. The work of the newspaper
of the legislation is merely secondary. day is cast aside. But with Few laws are ever passed which a firm majority at their back have the smallest result for the Prime Minister and the good or evil upon the com- Foreign Secretary have been munity. The affairs of the able to place England in such nation are administered, its a position as is the envy of all treaties with foreign nations her rivals. are made, in silence and secrecy. Is, then, the spirit of party This part of the country's busi- so ruinous to the country as ness, the only important part, Lord Rosebery supposes ? We remains unaffected by
by the think not, especially when we