Alfred Russel Wallace : Alfred Wallace : A. R. Wallace :
Russel Wallace : Alfred Russell Wallace (sic)

 
 
Professor Wallace on the Failure of Lord Morley
(S658a: 1908)

 
Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: An article printed in the July 1908 issue of The Modern Review (Calcutta) consisting largely of a letter from Wallace, introduced by Dr. A. K. Coomaraswamy. Original pagination indicated within double brackets. To link directly to this page, connect with: http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S658A.htm


    [[p. 77]] Dr. A. K. Coomaraswamy writes: "Professor Alfred Russel Wallace has sent me the following notes on Lord Morley's Indian policy, a commentary on the 'Failure of John Morley,' and with his permission I forward them to you for publication in the Modern Review." This is what Dr. Wallace writes:--

    "I had great hopes of John Morley, but I have lost them. He seems to want the moral courage to face a great responsibility, and to be cowed by the ruling classes into a [[p. 78]] dread of insurrection. He has not dared to strike out a new path and make his will dominant over the officialdom of India and the India Office. His very first step should have been to send out to India, Englishmen whom he could trust, to bring him true information as to the actual condition of the workers of India, and the aspirations of the educated classes. He should also have given hope to the people of India. He should have declared his determination to initiate, and carry out continuously, even if slowly, the long-promised grant of Self-Government in India; beginning, not at the top, which is absolutely worthless--a mere sop to officialdom--but at the bottom, in the restoration of the village communities, each with an educated native, of the same race, as representative of the protecting--not the oppressing--power of the English rule. He should insist on the immediate reduction--even the temporary cessation--of the terrible taxation of the actual land-cultivators, the source of India's real wealth, yet the most miserable in the world under Indian officialdom. He should have insisted, first of all, on the holdings of these cultivators and of all their little household goods and agricultural implements being absolutely inalienable, thus saving them for ever from the clutches of the money-lender to whom our laws have delivered them. He should abolish the cruel salt-tax, and to the actual cultivators supply irrigation-water free, since it was our neglect that allowed the old tanks to be destroyed.

    "All this would have been dreadfully irregular, and high officialdom would have protested; but, with a Minister of determined will, would have submitted. These measures would have been upheld by the English nation, would have by this time abolished famine and have reduced plague; and, combined with a greater sympathy with all religious and racial customs and feelings, would have ensured internal peace and confidence in English rule. Indians of all classes would then have felt that their King and Emperor was at last represented by a Minister who sympathised with them, and whom they could trust."


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