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a resolved if possible to compensate him as far as they could
for what seemed to them the mistakes of the past. They do not seem to us to have ever grasped the true underlying thought of Lord Lawrence's policy. Curiously enough, you may search in vain through all their correspondence to discover a hint that they ever regarded India from the point of view of a great dependency of the British empire which could never by any possibility have to go to war with Russia on her own account, without involving the whole of both empires in the contest, so that the question at bottom always is, in that event, not where can India strike the inost decisive blows, but where can the empire as a whole best strike them. They apply to India alone the sound strategic principle that no purely defensive war can ever be anything but disastrous. They ignore the equally sound strategic principle, sound alike on the smaller scale of a campaign and on the larger one of empire, that you should maintain a defensive attitude on that part of the theatre of war which will oblige your enemy to make slow progress and get few advantages whilst you are bleeding him to death elsewhere. They seem certainly to have had a considerable fear of what a few Russian cruisers might do to our commerce. They seem never to have taken into account what the true sea power of Great Britain is, when she chooses that it shall be worthy of her. Absolutely and literally it is never so much as once alluded to. Certainly in those days Captain Mahan's wonderful volumes had not roused England to know her strength and to put on her armour, but there were Englishmen who had realised it before then. One man at least was three times offered the commander-in-chiefship in India, and though once the offer was blocked half-way, twice when it reached him it was refused by him, largely at least because he believed that, if the struggle with Russia was ever to come, it was not in India that the aggressive war should be waged. It is to us an incomprehensible thing that so much power and so much ability as is here shown should have been accompanied with such an incredible incapacity for appreciating an opponent's point of view. That, for them, was buried under a catchword Masterly Inactivity. Yet the words which Lady Betty has herself quoted from Lord Lawrence are surely plain enough to read. Herat may not be, as on both sides there are those that assert and those that deny that it is, 'the gateway of India,' but again it is phrases with which we are struggling. Sir George Colley, who, quite as strongly as Sir Henry Durand,* repudiated the phrase, afterwards recognised that both Merv and Herat, when developed, become an advanced base for Russia, which indefinitely relieve her of the difficulties of her previous position. Herat is not now at all a country of many resources, but it may easily be made so. Lord Lawrence felt this as strongly as anyone. He would have saved Herat and Afghanistan, whether united or separate, by making interference with either of them a casus belli. Under those circumstances, looking back from a merely military point of view, it seems to us that the Indus, with complete command of both banks and the desert covering large part of its extent, was a safer and better frontier than any we now have or are likely to have. We fully agree that a frontier stretched along the foot of the hills was not a good one. Nevertheless it is impossible to accept Lord Lytton's or rather, doubtless, Sir George Colley's analogy from Napoleon's campaigns in the Alps. In the first place, you might as well draw analogies from the Alps to the Himalayas or the Hindoo Kush as from the Rhine to the Channel. The Rhine or the Danube have no doubt been forced again and again; the Channel-except because of the laches or personal squabbles of its defenders, at all events since the days of Harold, when all the inland conditions were different--never. Secondly, it needs something more than this loose statement about Napoleon's campaigns to justify the expression. In his first great campaign in Italy, he passed the Alps at a point where they practically disappear. During the successive campaigns which followed in that year he most brilliantly demonstrated the advantages of a defensive force acting behind a mountain frontier by defeating army after army as it debouched from mountains. In the campaign in which he crossed by the St. Bernard he struck completely in rear of the army opposed to him. Now no point, from wbich a Russian army can debouch, can be found among the Himalayas analogous in any way to the gentle slopes which led Napoleon to Montenotti and all that followed it, and no Russian army, debouching from the Himalayas, could strike in rear of or in any direction disadvantageous to an army holding the line of the Indus. Frankly, we dislike
* To speak of the place as of vital importance to British India was a hyperbole so insulting to common sense as scarcely to need refutation, and which ignorance of the countries west of the Indus and inexperience of military operations in the East could alone palliate.' (Sir H. Durand.)
this talk about the views of the great soldiers who had discussed these questions before as being pre-Napoleonic.' The Duke of Wellington! Sir Charles
Sir Charles Napier ! Lord Sandhurst! Vixere fortes ante Agamemnona multi,' and we don't like to hear Agamemnon referring to them in this way, much as we admire his soldierly character and fine accomplishments. From the purely abstract military point of view, therefore, we hold with the Duke of Wellington, Sir Charles Napier, Lord Sandhurst, that the Indus, held by us on both banks, with all the communications along it developed as Lawrence would have developed them, with Afghanistan secured against Russia by a firmly expressed and strictly enforced casus belli, if she by means of any of her subordinates violated her pledge to us not to interfere with Afghanistan, was an incomparably stronger, better and cheaper frontier for us to defend. So far we are wholly with Colonel Hanna, and the argument from a purely military point of view on the opposite side seems to us strangely weak. We do not in the least adınit that anything has occurred that justifies us in supposing that the great Duke or Sir Charles Napier or Lord Sandhurst, if they rose from their graves to-day, would admit that those conditions had under that aspect altered. But there remains the question of policy which was raised in the article in this Review from which we have already quoted, that of January 1898. What with the old frontier just across the Indus were we to have done in regard to the incursions from the hills of robber tribes ? It seems to us certain that Lord Lytton is wholly right when he says that, could the wrongs inflicted upon our frontier populations, murder, robbery, rape, a practically far worse condition than slavery, have been really brought home to the minds of men at home, there would have been a passion of wrath against any government which tolerated them, such as would have been far fiercer than the easily stirred impatience against the expense of frontier expeditions. Now in this matter Lord Lytton and Sir George Colley seem to us to have introduced in the detail of these expeditions an improvement of the most unmistakeable character. We would ask anyone to compare Colonel Hanna's account of an old Punjaub raid, and see whether it does not expressly admit the gravamen of Lord Lytton's or Sir George Colley's complaint, that the actual criminal escaped and some one else was punished for him. To put the matter as it strikes us, it seems that the case is so clear that only the sound of 'scissors' and the unwillingness to admit mistake on one's own side, prevent such a clear-headed man from hearing the certain verdict given by the facts.
We say this in passing in order to do justice to a point of Lord Lytton's frontier administration to which, as it seems to us, no adequate justice has hitherto been done. Far more important is the fact that it is in this connexion that the influence on the frontier question of Sir R. Sandeman's magnificent work in Beluchistan comes in and begins to be decisive. Sir Robert Sandeman had been sent on his mission before Lord Lytton landed. Very soon, however, the two were in complete accord. Sir Robert Sandeman, by his personal influence, by knowledge of the natives, and by infinite tact, gradually reduced Beluchistan to a more than usually orderly and loyal native kingdom, starting from a condition which had made the people not only so turbulent within their own limits, but so aggressive across ours that Lord Northbrook's Council were seriously considering the necessity for a formidable military expedition to enforce decent treatment of our subjects. Distinctly in our mind this is the true starting point of the ‘ Forward Policy'in so far as concerns the extension of the frontier all along the line of the hills and of our influence over the hill-tribes lying between us and Afghanistan, with the delimitation of a frontier between us and Afghanistan, such as was loyally adhered to by both us and the Amir during the late Afridi war. We make no doubt that the question which confronted Mr. Gladstone's Government when it came into power in 1880, and before which it recoiled, was 'Shall we * abandon to barbarism and turn into a dangerous menace 'to the quiet at least of our frontier this great district • which has been by Sandeman's genius converted into an
orderly and friendly power, or shall we allow him to extend • the same kind of influence as far as he can make it reach?' We feel confident that before that question any British Government would recoil, as each succeeding one has in fact done. With that the question of Quetta is closely connected. The two were intimately associated in Lord Lytton's and Sir George Colley's minds when they occupied Quetta in full accordance with Sandeman's views. That Quetta has proved a terribly costly acquisition, and that cost is one of the questions which it is more than almost any other the sacred duty of every Indian Government to consider, we fully admit. There are certain extracts from Colonel Hanna's indictment of this part of our policy which are so true and so telling that we shall put them together here, with only slight connecting
links, reserving our comment till we have fairly left them to speak for themselves. Whether they carry conviction or not, they in the main represent certain aspects of the question which, even when others make it indispensable to face them boldly and, recognising their gravity, to endure their Gorgon eyes as best we may, yet must never be forgotten, and must in every fresh determination at which we arrive be allowed their due weight.
"To most Englishmen the very name, India, conjures up visions of wealth and splendour, of luxurious courts at one end of the social scale, and silver-bangled peasants at the other. The luxurious courts still flourish, but the silver-bangled peasantry are on the decline, bracelets of lac and brass taking the place of bracelets of the precious metal. No people in the world are more heavily taxed, in proportion to their means, than the Indian people under British rule, none live more constantly on the brink of starvation.' ('Backwards or Forwards,
Speaking of the Harnai Valley line to Quetta, Sir J. D. Poinder has said :
* This railway has been constructed at great expense--20 millions of rupees--but unfortunately it has been found, after working about fire years,
that its foundations are ungound, and at certain stages of the line they are nothing better than dry mud, which, during the rains, is converted into pulp, with the inevitable result that whole portions of the line fell away, making it totally useless. As this railway was constructed for purely strategical purposes in case of war, it must be said to have failed in its purpose.'
Again to quote from Colonel Hanna (" Backwards or Forwards,' p. 56)
• The hateful“Be-gar," forced labour, on this dreaded road has torn the peasant from his plough, the craftsman from his hammer or his loom, yes, even the merchant from his shop. To escape that deadly slavery, hundreds of families have fled from their homes, leaving their villages to fall to ruins, and their fields to return to the waste.'
• The occupation of so much fresh territory necessitated a large increase in the size of the force that had hitherto sufficed to garrison Quetta and the Pishin Valley. This necessity was met in the first instance by drawing on the reserve of 10,753 European, and 8,334 native, soldiers which had been provided, whilst Sir Donald Stewart was yet commander-in-chief, as an insurance against the risk that, at some future day, additional troops might be needed and not be forthcoming. In 1837–88, however, a further addition of 10,886 natives was made to the established strength of the army in India, thus bringing up the total increase to 29,973, a figure which corresponds almost accurately with the estimate made by Sir Henry Norman and accepted by Sir William Mansfield of the minimum number of men