INDIA IN THE BRITISH EMPIRE It fell to the lot of Lord Canning both to suppress the Mutiny and to introduce the peaceful revolution that followed. He pre served his equanimity undisturbed in the darkest hours of peril, and the strict impartiality of his conduct incurred alternate praise and blame from the extremists on either side. The epithet then scornfully applied to him of "Clemency" Canning is now remem bered only to his honour. On November 1, 1858, at a grand durbar held at Allahabad the royal proclamation was published which an nounced that the queen had assumed the government of India. This document, which has been called the Magna Charta of the Indian people, went on to explain the policy of political justice and religious toleration which it was her royal pleasure to pur sue, and granted an amnesty to all except those who had directly taken part in the murder of British subjects. Peace was pro claimed throughout India on the 8th of July 1859. The sup pression of the Mutiny increased the debt of India by about 40 millions sterling, and the military changes that ensued augmented the annual expenditure by about io millions. To grapple with this deficit, the Government reorganized the customs system, imposed an income tax and licence duty and created a state paper currency. The penal code, originally drawn up by Macaulay in passed into law in 186o, with codes of civil and criminal procedure.
Lord Canning left India in March 1862, and died before he had been a month in England. His successor, Lord Elgin, only lived till November 1863, when he too fell a victim to the exces sive work of the governor-generalship, dying at the Himalayan station of Dharmsala, where he lies buried. He was succeeded by Sir John Lawrence, the saviour of the Punjab. The chief incidents of his administration were the Bhutan war and the terrible Orissa famine of 1866. Lord Mayo, who succeeded him in 1869, carried on the permanent British policy of moral and material progress with a special degree of personal energy. While engaged in explor ing with his own eyes the furthest corners of the empire, he fell by the hand of an assassin in the convict settlement of the Andaman islands in 1872. His successor was Lord Northbrook, whose ability showed itself chiefly in the department of finance. During his ad ministration a famine in Lower Bengal in 18i4 was successfully obviated by government relief and public works, though at an enormous cost; the Gaekwar of Baroda was dethroned in 18i5 for misgovernment and disloyalty, while his dominions were con tinued to a nominated child of the family; and the prince of Wales (Edward VII.) visited the country in the cold season of 1875-1876. Lord Lytton followed Lord Northbrook in 1876. On the 1st of January 1877 Queen Victoria was proclaimed empress of India at a durbar of great magnificence, held on the historic "Ridge" overlooking the Moghul capital Delhi.
After the arrival of Lord Dufferin as governor-general the inci dent known as the Panjdeh scare brought Britain to the verge of war with Russia. During the preceding decades Russia had gradually advanced her power from the Caspian across the Turko man steppes to the border of Afghanistan, and it was found nec essary to appoint a joint Anglo-Russian commission to delimit the Afghan frontier. In March 1885, while the commission was at work, a Russian general attacked and routed the Afghan force holding the bridge across the river Kushk, and the incident might possibly have resulted in war between Britain and Russia but for the slight importance that Abdur Rahman attributed to what he termed a border scuffle.
The incident, however, led to military measures being taken by the government of Lord Dufferin, which had far-reaching effects on Indian finance. The total strength of the army was raised by 10,00o British and 20,000 Indian troops, at an annual cost of about two millions sterling; and the frontier post of Quetta, in the neighbourhood of Kandahar, was connected with the Indian railway system by a line that involved very expensive tunnelling.
About the same time in the extreme north the post of British resident in Gilgit was re-established, and the supremacy of Kash mir over the adjoining petty chiefships of Hunza-Nagar was en forced (1891-1892). In 1893 the frontiers of Afghanistan and British India were defined by a joint agreement between the two governments, known as the Durand agreement. There followed an extension of British defensive posts into tribal territory, which aroused the alarm of the local clans. The Waziris and Swatis suc cessively rose in arms, in June and July 1897, and their example was followed by the Mohmands. Finally, in August the powerful Afridi tribe joined the combination and closed the Khyber Pass, which runs through their territory, and which was held by them, on conditions, in trust for the government of India. This led to the Tirah campaign, which proved very costly both in men and Lord Curzon's Reforms.—When Lord Curzon became vice roy in 1898, he reversed the frontier policy, which had given rise to the Tirah campaign, withdrew outlying garrisons in tribal country, substituted for them tribal militia, and created the new North-West Frontier province, for the purpose of introducing consistency of policy and firmness of control upon that disturbed border. This was only one phase of his boundless activity. In almost every branch of the administration he introduced far reaching reform. He reorganized the systems of education and police, laid down a comprehensive scheme of irrigation, improved the leave rules and the excessive report-writing of the civil service, encouraged the princes by the formation of the Imperial Cadet Corps and exhibited a practical zeal for justice between Indian and Englishman, which at times imperilled his personal popularity. His term of office was also notable for the coronation durbar at Delhi in January 1903, the expedition to Lhasa in 1904, which first unveiled that forbidden city to European gaze, and the partition of the overgrown province of Bengal in 1905. In December 1904 Lord Curzon entered upon a second term of office, which was un fortunately marred by a controversy with Lord Kitchener, the commander-in-chief, as to the position of the military member of council. Lord Curzon, finding himself at variance with the secre tary of state, resigned before the end of the first year, and was succeeded by Lord Minto.
At first the government attempted to quell the disaffection by means of the ordinary law, with fair success outside Bengal; but there, owing to the secret ramifications of revolutionary activity, it was found necessary to adopt special measures. Recourse was had to a regulation of the year 1818, by which persons may be imprisoned or "deported" without reason assigned ; and three acts of the legislature were passed for dealing more directly with the prevalent classes of crime: (1) an Explosives Act, containing pro visions similar to those in force in England; (2) a Prevention of Seditious Meetings Act, which could only be applied specially by proclamation; and (3) a Criminal Law Amendment Act, of which the two chief provisions were a magisterial inquiry in private (similar to the Scotch procedure) and a trial before three judges of the High Court without a jury.
While the law was thus strictly enforced, important acts of conciliation and measures of reform were carried out simultane ously, in concert between Lord Minto and Lord Morley, then secretary of state for India. In 1907 two Indians, a Hindu and a Mohammedan, were appointed to the secretary of state's coun cil. Occasion was taken of the fiftieth anniversary of the assump tion by the crown of the government of India to address a message (on November 2, 1908) by the king-emperor to the princes and peoples, reviewing in stately language the later development, and containing these memorable words:— From the first, the principle of representative institutions began to be gradually introduced, and the time has come when, in the judgment of my viceroy and governor-general and others of my counsellors, that principle may be prudently extended. Important classes among you, representing ideas that have been fostered and encouraged by British rule claim equality of citizenship, and a greater share in legislation and government. The politic satisfaction of such a claim will strengthen, not impair, existing authority and power. Administration will be all the more efficient if the officers who conduct it have greater opportuni ties of regular contact with those whom it affects and with those who influence and reflect common opinion about it.
The Act increased the number of members of the executive councils of Madras and Bombay from two to a maximum of four, thereby providing a seat for an Indian or two Indian members; it also authorized the creation of an executive council in any province having a lieutenant-governor. The policy of associating Indians with the executive government thus affirmed as regards to provinces, was given effect to in the Government of India by the appointment first of Mr. S. P. (afterwards Lord) Sinha, and then of Sir Ali Imam as Law Member of the Governor-General's executive council. The first elections under the new scheme took place in December 1909, and aroused widespread interest. The new council of the Governor-General met in January 1910.
Lord Minto had predicted that the conciliatory measures em bodied in and associated with these changes would clear the political atmosphere. He prophesied rightly. On Jan. 5, 1911, a deputation from the Indian National Congress presented an ad dress to the new Viceroy expressing deep and heartfelt loyalty to the Crown and appreciation of the reforms which "had done much to bring about a better understanding between the Govern ment and the people." As the enlarged councils settled down to their work, even the advanced party found, for a time at least, a healthy outlet for their energies. As consultative and critical bodies the reformed councils exercised a real and growing in fluence and were an educative force. They formed, directed, and developed public opinion in political matters. They acted as a restraint upon the autocratic tendencies of the Executive and made it more responsive to popular demands, and they strength ened its hands when it had to sustain Indian interests against the interests of Great Britain or of the self-governing Dominions. The Royal Visit.—The royal visit in the winter of 1911 was a remarkable triumph. The presence of the King-Emperor and his Consort in India touched the imagination and fired the innate loyalty of the people. The Delhi ceremonies drew vast crowds eager to see and salute the sovereign. When a visit to Calcutta followed, the welcome given by the populace of that city was even more enthusiastic and unrestrained. On Dec. 12, 1911, in a great arena outside Delhi specially prepared for the occasion, the King held a coronation durbar at which he received in person the homage of the great officers of state and the ruling princes and chiefs of the Indian Empire. Largesse and "boons" of various kinds were granted, and an announcement made of great political moment. The seat of the Government of India was to be trans ferred from Calcutta to Delhi; Eastern Bengal was reunited to Bengal and the enlarged province given a Governor in Council; Behar, Orissa and Chota Nagpur, tracts which are loosely con nected with Bengal proper, were made a Lieutenant-Governor ship in Council; and Assam was re-formed into a chief com missionership. The secret had been well kept, and the surprise was complete. The scheme, though open to obvious objections, was ingenious and cleverly balanced. A reasoned exposition of its object is contained in a despatch, dated Aug. 25, 1911, from the Government of India to the Secretary of State, submitting the proposed changes for the home Government's approval in advance of the King's visit.
On the outbreak of the World War in Aug. 1914, the response made by India to the needs of the Empire was signal testimony of her pride in the British connection. The political leaders sus pended their controversies with the Government. The martial classes eagerly responded to the call to arms. From the rulers of the Indian states lavish offers of help poured in. They were recounted in the Viceroy's telegram to the Secretary of State, dated Sept. 7, 1914, which was read in both Houses of Parlia ment and circulated throughout the Empire. Its effect on popular feeling was immense.
With this confidence and enthusiasm were mingled some alarm and bewilderment; and the Punjab in particular was disturbed for some months by murders, dacoities and robberies, and the reckless use of arms and explosives.
But India as a whole was calm, and the Government was able to denude itself freely of its military resources to meet the demands of the home Government for troops and supplies. Most of the British troops, the flower of the Indian army, the best of the artillery, and large quantities of ammunition were despatched to France and other theatres of war. In Sept. 1914 a force of 70,00o men was sent to France. By the end of 1915 India's contribution amounted to nearly 8o,000 British and 210,000 Indian officers and men. At one time the original British garrison was reduced to only 15,000 men.
The entrance of Turkey into the War placed Indian Moham medans in a difficult position; but they loyally rallied to the side of the Crown. Against a few prominent agitators only was it necessary to take action. The premier Mohammedan prince, the Nizam of Hyderabad, and the Begum of Bhopal, in addresses to their co-religionists, effectively stated the British case. These addresses and a declaration by the Government of India as to its attitude towards Islam in general and the Holy Places in par ticular served greatly to maintain tranquillity.
Lord Chelmsford.—Lord Chelmsford, the new Viceroy, as sumed office on April 4, 1916. Previously Governor of Queens land and of New South Wales, at the time of his appointment he had been serving as an officer with a territorial battalion in India ; and he was cast at once into one of the most difficult periods of British-Indian history. In the very first year of his administration the political peace enjoyed by his predecessor came to an end. Mrs. Annie Besant and Mr. B. G. Tilak raised the home-rule flag in Madras and Bombay respectively. In Oct. 1916, a group of elected Indian members of the Imperial Legislative Council sub mitted a memorandum on proposed reforms to the Government of India. It propounded a scheme which, while retaining irre movable executives responsible to Parliament and the Secretary of State, would have subjected them in legislation, finance and administration, to the orders of a legislative body in which elected members would be predominant.
At meetings held in Lucknow in Dec. 1916 the National Con gress and the Muslim League agreed upon a scheme of reforms as the irreducible minimum with which the National party would be content; and made a compact guaranteeing to Mohammedans a proportion of seats in the future Legislative Councils in excess of the number they could hope otherwise to win. Following the Lucknow conferences an energetic Home Rule campaign was opened in all provinces. The whole problem, however, had already been referred to the British Cabinet ; for before the close of 1916 Lord Chelmsford's government had submitted to the Secretary of State a considered scheme of reforms, and asked for an authori tative declaration of policy. Was the goal for the Indian peoples to be responsible government? If so, by what stages and steps should it be reached? The questions raised were large and deli cate. The Cabinet was preoccupied by the War. In July 1917 the Secretary of State Mr. (Sir) Austen Chamberlain, resigned on the report of the Mesopotamian Commission.
Declaration of Aug. 20, 1917.—It fell to his successor, Mr. E. S. Montagu, to announce on Aug. 20, 1917, in the House of Commons, the Indian policy of the government : The policy of H.M. Government is that of increasing the association of Indians in every branch of the administration and the gradual devel opment of self-governing institutions with a view to the progressive realisation of responsible government in India as an integral part of the British Empire. . . . Progress in this policy can only be achieved by successive stages. The British Government and the Government of India, on whom the responsibility lies for the welfare and advancement of the Indian peoples, must be the judges of the time and measure of each advance, and they must be guided by the co-operation received from those upon whom new opportunities of service will thus be con ferred and by the extent to which it is found that confidence can be reposed on their sense of responsibility.
In the course of the winter Mr. Montagu visited India, and a joint report, dated April 22, 1918, by himself and the Viceroy was drawn up before he left.
War Conference of 1918.—The Montagu-Chelmsford report was nearing completion when attention was recalled to the press ing realities of the War. In the Near East, German troops had penetrated the Caucasus and Turks were invading Persia. With the collapse of Russia, the opening up of a road to Afghanistan and thence to India seemed possible. In a telegram (April 2, 1918), the Prime Minister made an appeal to the Government and people of India to redouble their efforts and prevent German tyranny from "spreading to the East and engulfing the world." Lord Chelmsford's response was to convene a War conference at Delhi, to which many ruling princes and representatives of all provinces of every shade of opinion were invited. The confer ence heartily and loyally responded to the appeal, and agreed upon a programme of measures of no small value. In the five months preceding the Armistice 200,000 men were recruited, and had the War gone on this number would have been greatly in creased. In the spring of 1917 the Legislative Council had ac cepted the Government's proposal to make a free gift of £ 1 oo, 000,000 to the home Government towards the expenses of the War. This was in addition to the obligation the Indian Gov ernment had undertaken of bearing the normal charges of all troops on the Indian establishment sent overseas. The part borne by India in the War and the sacrifices made by her people for the common cause are represented by an addition of over 23o crores of rupees (1153,000,000) to her debt, the sending overseas of 800,000 combatants and 400,00o non-combatants, and the fur nishing of foodstuffs and other supplies at the cost of much privation among the poorer classes.
Renewal of Unrest.—The Armistice in Nov. 1918 was the signal for general rejoicings but ushered in a season of political strife and agitation unfavourable for the peaceful introduction of the new constitution. Over what is generally known as the Rowlatt bills, a controversy arose, which was fated to overshadow and prejudice the constitutional question by the passions which it kindled and the bitterness which it imported into the relations of the people and the Government. The report of the Sedition Committee, over which Mr. Justice Rowlatt presided, had pro vided impressive evidence of the existence of a revolutionary and anarchical conspiracy in Bengal and elsewhere and the inef fectiveness of the ordinary criminal law to deal with it. The Committee proposed to endow the Governor-General in Council with emergency powers, to be used only in specified areas, and only after a notification declaring the existence of a state of affairs in those areas which demanded emergency measures. Those measures included : (a) the trial of seditious crime by three judges of the highest status, without juries or assessors who were liable to be affected by public discussion or deliberate terrorism; and (b) the investing of a provincial Government with certain limited powers of internment. In Jan 1919 the publication of the draft bills embodying the Committee's proposals was followed by a violent campaign by the Nationalist press and Nationalist politicians. They were represented as an attack upon the popu lar liberties, a monstrous engine of tyranny and oppression, the forerunner of a policy of reaction and an unmerited slur upon the loyalty and law-abidingness of the Indian people.
Gandhi.—While the bills were before the Legislative Assem bly, M. K. Gandhi, a well-known social and religious reformer, revered in the Bombay Presidency as an ascetic and holy man, initiated a passive resistance movement. Satyagraha, as he termed it, means insistence on truth and a reliance on soul force. On the Rowlatt bills receiving the Viceroy's assent, Gandhi announced a day of general mourning and cessation of business. A wave of excitement passed over the Punjab. Violent disturbances broke out in Lahore, Amritsar and other centres. Disorder assumed the character of open rebellion, definitely anti-government and anti British, communications were cut, and the civil authority was only maintained by military force. Martial law was proclaimed in Amritsar on April 14, was extended subsequently to other dis tricts and was not finally withdrawn from every part of the Province until June. In Bombay the news of Gandhi's arrest at Delhi was the occasion of an immediate outbreak of disorder in Ahmadabad, the capital of Guzerat, and in neighbouring towns. The military had to be called in, but not before numerous acts of incendiarism and violence and some loss of life had occurred.
Amritsar.—On April 13 "the tragedy of Amritsar" occurred. In that city banks and other buildings had been pillaged and burnt and Europeans murdered. The civil officers, finding themselves powerless to cope with the mobs in possession of the city, called upon the military to restore order. Brigadier-General Dyer, the officer commanding, deemed it necessary in the course of his operations to disperse forcibly an unlawful assembly held in the Jalianwala Bagh. Nearly 40o persons were killed by the fire of his troops, and probably thrice that number wounded. His ac tion aroused intense indignation among Indians of all shades of political opinion, and led to the appointment towards the end of the year of the Hunter Committee to inquire into the dis turbances which had arisen in consequence of the Rowlatt legis lation. General Dyer's action was condemned by this committee, and it was decided by the authorities that he should receive no further employment in India. After a warm debate in the House of Commons (July 8, 192o), this action was approved by 23o votes to 129, but the House of Lords, on July 20, by 129 votes to 86, passed a motion "deploring" the treatment of General Dyer as "unjust" and as "establishing a precedent dangerous to the preservation of order in the face of rebellion." The Third Afghan War.—Relations with Afghanistan had been uniformly good ever since the Amir Habibullah's visit to Lord Minto in 1908. The Amir was delighted with his reception, and let it be known that his friendship with the British Govern ment had been immensely strengthened. During the World War he was staunch; but on Feb. 20, 1919, he was murdered, and his son Amanullah ascended the throne. The succession was dis liked by powerful factions in the state; and in his difficulties the new Amir lent an eager ear to the distorted reports of the disturbed state of the Punjab, which found their way to Afghani stan. He concluded that an invasion of India might prove a solu tion of his domestic differences, appealing as it would to the religious fanaticism of his Mohammedan subjects, deeply stirred by the humiliation and defeat of Turkey and by the British con quest of Mesopotamia. Aggressive movements of his troops in the Khyber were countered by the rapid mobilisation of the army in India early in May, the occupation of the Afghan advanced base at Dacca and the bombing by aeroplanes of Kabul and Jalalabad. By the middle of May the Afghans asked for a cessa tion of hostilities, and in June the Amir accepted an armistice. On Aug. 8 a treaty of peace was signed at Rawalpindi, under which the Amir lost his subsidy and the privilege of importing arms through India. A separate letter officially recognised the freedom of Afghanistan from foreign control.
Waziristan.—The Rawalpindi Treaty did not end the troubles on the frontier. The independent tribes of Wazirs and Mahsuds, who occupy a large block of country south of the Khyber line between Afghanistan and the British districts to the east, had risen in May at the instigation of the Afghans and raided the adjoining British districts. The Indian Government determined to undertake the permanent pacification of the country, a serious undertaking, as the tribes could place some 30,00o well-armed men in the field. The Wazirs in the Tochi Valley were soon sub dued, but the Mahsuds fought with dogged obstinacy and great skill. There were two considerable encounters (on Dec. 21, 1919, and Jan. 14, 192o) with heavy British casualties. In the end the Mahsuds accepted the terms imposed upon them, and the military operations closed on May 7, 192o.
In Dec. 1919 the Montagu-Chelmsford scheme of constitu tional reform became law by the passing of the Government of India (Amendment) Act. The King's proclamation of Dec. 23 dwelt in eloquent and arresting language on the political advance ment conferred upon the Indian peoples, and the Duke of Con naught, in opening the new legislatures a year later, made an earnest appeal for a fresh start and a new spirit. Unfortunately by this time Gandhi and his followers had burned their boats.
Non-co-operation.—The publication in 192o of the report of the committee of enquiry into the Punjab disturbances, and of the correspondence between the Government of India and the Secretary of State regarding its findings, and the subsequent de bates in Parliament renewed the bitterness and indignation which the Amritsar proceedings had aroused in India. About the same time the terms of the Sevres Treaty became known to Indian Mo hammedans and added flame to the "Khilqfat" agitation, which the pro-Turk section of that community had been vigorously foment ing. In August Gandhi proclaimed in a letter to the Viceroy his adoption of non-co-operation as a remedy against a Government for which he retained "neither respect nor affection" on account of its "unscrupulous, immoral and unjust" action in the matter of the Caliphate and its failure to punish adequately the officials responsible for "the wanton cruelty and inhumanity" with which the disorders in the Punjab were suppressed.
On April 2, 1921, Lord Chelmsford laid down the office of vice roy and was promoted viscount. No viceroy had been more tried by circumstances beyond his control, and no viceroy had shown more steadfast courage or devotion to the ideals of his great office. The era will be a landmark in the history of modern India. It saw India started on the road to self-government and admitted on equal terms to a partnership in the British Empire.
Lord Reading.—Arriving in April 1921, the Earl of Reading brought to the office of Governor-General a prestige, as a former Lord Chief Justice of England, not exceeded by that of any of his forerunners. The task which confronted him required all his courage and experience. Though the actual machinery of the new constitution had begun its work with relative smoothness, the country was seething with an excitement for which the political changes were merely a pretext. A moderate section of Indian leaders commanded the Councils and furnished ministers to the provincial Governments. But they owed their position to the boycott of the whole scheme by the extremist politicians, whether Hindus or Muslims, who had taken no part in the elections of the previous winter, and now held no place in the Councils or the Ministries. The real battle of India's future was being fought outside the domain of constitutional Government.
Gandhi, who had been appointed virtual dictator of the nation alist forces at the National Congress of Christmas 192o, was sweeping the country with his cry of non-violent non-co-operation. India would then be worthy of complete Home Rule, and a date (at first Sept. 30, 1921, but subsequently extended on several occasions) was actually prophesied for the disappearance of the British Government. The Treaty of Sevres was attacked as a device of England to humiliate her former friend and ally ; and a movement of protest was engineered by the Khilafat party, so called from their claim that the temporalities of the Sultan, as Khalifa of Islam, should be restored. It was in a struggle against this combination of forces that the first three years of Lord Reading's government were mainly spent.
The Moplah Rising.—In Aug. 1921 the most serious of many unpardonable deeds of violence broke out. The Malabar country in Madras is occupied by 2,000,000 Hindus and about i,000,000 Moplahs, an ignorant Mohammedan peasantry of mixed Arab and Indian descent with an evil reputation for outbreaks of fanaticism. Among the latter the Khilaf at excitement flared into open rebel lion. Railway and telegraph lines were cut, roads blocked, Gov ernment offices burned and a Moplah king proclaimed. The few Europeans who failed to escape from the district were brutally murdered, and then the Moplahs turned upon their inoffensive Hindu neighbours. They burned villages, sacked temples, out raged women, massacred and attempted wholesale the forcible conversion of the Hindus to Islam. Working through very difficult country, a strong military force ultimately crushed the rising in October. Gandhi and his lieutenants professed to be little the outbreak, but it soon became apparent how gravely the Moplah atrocities rankled in the minds of the ordinary Hindus.
Visit of the Prince of Wales.—On Nov. 17, 1921 H.R.H. the Prince of Wales landed at Bombay for a visit to India which had been postponed in the preceding year. Efforts, partly successful, but frequently defeated by the Prince's arresting popularity, were made to boycott the public ceremonials arranged in his honour; yet the tour was courageously carried through. He rapidly tra versed British India, carried through a heavy tale of ceremonies and interviews, visited several of the leading Indian States, as well as Nepal, inspected the northwest frontier, attended the Kadir Cup (pig-sticking meet) near Meerut, and finally left for England from Karachi in March.
During 1921 Gandhi had prepared a scheme of mass civil dis obedience, both aggressive and defensive, and was on the eve of launching it, when on Feb. 4, 1922, another hideous outrage occurred. At the Chauri Chaura village, in the east of the United Provinces, 21 policemen and village watchmen were set upon by a mob of "volunteers" and excited peasants and battered to death or burned alive. Gandhi at once suspended his orders for civil disobedience, issued a new "constructive programme" which threw his followers into confusion, but he was at last arrested on March 10, 1922. Put on trial at Ahmadabad on three charges of spread ing disaffection and instigating the overthrow of the Government, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six years' simple imprison ment. His trial produced no popular excitement. It was over shadowed by the resignation by E. S. Montagu of his office as Secretary of State, as a sequel to his having published, without Cabinet approval, a despatch from Lord Reading's Government, in which His Majesty's Government was urged, in deference to Mohammedan sentiment in India, to revise the Treaty of Sevres.
An amended Factory Act in 1922 prescribed a 6o-hour week and raised the minimum age of child workers from nine to 12. A Mines Act in 1923 dealt with the employment of women and children below ground, restricted the hours of adult labour to 6o above ground and S4 below, and enacted a weekly day of rest. The first Workmen's Compensation Act came into force in 1924, and measures were undertaken for the regulation of trade unions and the settlement of industrial disputes. Besides these legislative measures, a quieter process was at work in the steady improve ment of the depressing housing conditions in the large labour centres, such as Calcutta, Bombay and Cawnpore.
In the social organization of India change was slowly moving. The non-Brahmans of Madras struck against Brahman domina tion, and seized power in the new provincial legislature. The low est strata of outcasts or "untouchables" showed signs of organizing for their protection and betterment, and Gandhi led a vigorous, if not a wholly popular, mission for their uplift. Some flutterings of a feminist movement were perceptible. An accomplished In dian lady, the poetess, Mrs. Sarojini Naidu, occupied the chair of the National Congress of 1925. Numerous ladies of the classes which formerly prided themselves on their seclusion are now to be met on political and other platforms, and some little progress is being made towards the recognition of the re-marriage of Hindu widows. Social progress, however, lags far behind political aspira tions.
Not least among the anxieties of the time was the effect of political change on the public services which constitute the main structure of Indian administration. It was not only that members of the Indian Civil and other services found their position sub stantially altering, as they became transformed from the orig inators of policy into the subordinate executants of a quasi parliamentary system. This was inevitable, but it was accom panied by virulent attacks from Indian politicians, who impugned the good faith of the services and made no secret of their desire to replace Englishmen by their own countrymen; and it was accen tuated by the domestic anxiety which resulted from the growing cost of living, of passages to England and the like. Many valuable public servants retired prematurely, and the English universities soon stopped the supply of recruits of the type that had previously been available. In 1923 a royal commission was appointed tc in quire into the whole problem. It recommended a large increase in the recruitment of Indians for the services, and the entrusting entirely to local Governments of recruitment for the "transferred" services. On the other hand, it advised several alleviations of the financial position of Europeans in the services, the adequate pro tection of the services in the execution of their duties, and the establishment of a Public Service Commission on the lines familiar in several of the Dominions.
The North-West Frontier.—On the conclusion of the war which the new amir forced on India in 1919, there came clear evidence of a revival of Russia's old thrust towards India. It was with a view to fomenting revolutionary trouble in India that Bolshevik tentacles were pushed into Persia and Afghanistan; and when in 1921 a Russo-Afghan treaty was concluded, one of its chief features was the establishment of Russian consulates so near the Indian border as Kandahar and Jalalabad. The amir was not averse from playing off one of his neighbours against the other; and after inviting a mission from India to come to Kabul and negotiate an Anglo-Afghan treaty, he kept it dangling through out 1921 before coming to final terms in November of that year. The conditions included the full independence of Afghanistan, and the opening of legations at London and Kabul.
Relations with the frontier tribes improved after the campaigns of 1919 and 192o; but in 1923 a gang of outlaws in Afghan terri tory was guilty of slaying two British officers near Landi Kotal, of shooting the wife and abducting the daughter (afterwards gal lantly rescued) of an officer in Kohat cantonment, and of murder ing another officer and his wife at Parachinar. Apart from the necessary punitive measures, the government of India initiated a permanent policy of controlling the Mahsud country, one of the chief storm-centres on the border. Dropping the plan of military occupation, they adopted a scheme of penetration of roads suitable for motor transport, guarded by local irregulars, and commanded by two strong posts at Raxmak and Manzai. Of even higher im portance was the extension by five years of labour in the most forbidding country of the Khyber railway from Jamrud to Landi Khana ; the first train through the Khyber Pass being run on Nov.
Lord Irwin, Viceroy.—At the end of March 1926 Lord Reading laid down the office which he had filled with courage and distinction during a period of special difficulty. On retirement he received the high honour of promotion to Marquess : and he was succeeded by Lord Irwin of Kirby Moordale, a grandson of the Sir Charles Wood who had in 1854 sent out from the Board of Control an educational programme for India on which the existing system has largely been based. In spite of an earnest appeal for national unity with which the new Viceroy began his work, the year 1926 was marked by a greatly embittered continuance of the clash between Hindus and Mohammedans. The culminating point was the assassination by a Muslim fanatic of Swami Shrad hananda, a much respected leader of Hindu orthodoxy who had headed a movement for the re-conversion of low-caste Hindus who had been absorbed by Islam. Apart from grave communal disturbances, 1926 was in politics the quietest year since the war. A Royal Commission on Indian Agriculture began its labours, and an important enquiry into the currency question was com pleted. As the result of long negotiations, visits and return visits by delegations from both sides, a settlement was reached on the grievances of Indians domiciled in South Africa : on its announce ment in Feb. 1928 it was hailed by Gandhi, no mean authority on the subject, as an honourable compromise.
Events of 1927.—In January 1927 the new legislative palace at Delhi was formally opened and at once occupied. The third general election which was held in the preceding November had re suited in the grouping of the non-official members into three sec tions, the Swaraj or home-rule party, the nationalist party, and the Mohammedan bloc. The two former worked together in practice and in steady undiscriminating opposition to the government : the Mohammedans tended more and more to side with the gov ernment out of hostility to the Hindu combination : and the fortunes of government measures have been at the mercy of this fortuitous balance. The moderate or liberal element of earlier years has virtually disappeared : there is only a communal, and no real party, cleavage : and personal ambitions have played the chief part in dictating programmes. In the provinces the home rule party did not secure its former ascendancy except in Madras: and the dyarchic system was re-established where it had been temporarily in abeyance. A noteworthy event was the election of a Madrasi lady by the legislative council of Madras as their vice president ; her membership of the council, however, was due, not to popular suffrage, but to nomination by the provincial govern ment. In general administration 1927 had a comparatively un eventful record of slow progress battling against Swaraj obstruc tion. The rupee, in accordance with the advice of Sir E. Hilton Young's commission, was fixed at an exchange value of approxi mately 18 pence: a number of minor fiscal reforms were effected as incidents in a prosperity budget : and substantial measures were taken to relieve the provinces of a cherished grievance in the form of their contributions to the central exchequer.
All other topics of interest were overwhelmed by the announce ment in Nov. 1927 of the commission to enquire into the working of the constitution of 1919.
Revision of the Constitution.—It is a statutory body whose duty is to advise on what further progress, if any, towards self government should be arranged on the results of the first ten years' working of the 1919 experiment. It was appointed by the British parliament, and consisted exclusively of members of par liament, under the chairmanship of Sir John Simon. Its eight members included no Indian, and no person with experience of Indian administration; the open mind being thus ensured. Wide and loud was the outcry with which the announcement was re ceived. The exclusion of Indians from the commission was de nounced as an insult to India: the whole claim of Great Britain to adjudicate on India's fitness for independence was sheer racial arrogance : and the commission was to be boycotted and rendered impotent. Since then all other public business has been caught up in the ebb and flow of the boycott movement. It secured the defeat, with other important government measures, of a bill for the creation of a Reserve Bank, which was to be the coping-stone of the new currency edifice.
The Simon Commission.—On Feb. 3, 1928, the Simon Corn mission landed at Bombay. Strenuous efforts were made to meet them with a display of national resentment, a hartal or closing down of business, and so forth : but the response of the people at large was inadequate. The Commission did not risk an organized boycott by holding a public enquiry at this stage, and contented themselves by touring India and collecting opinions privately. At the same time Sir John Simon made generous proposals for the regular association of Indian leaders with his work; and when the Commission returned to England in spring, the expediency of a boycott was arousing serious doubts in the nationalist camp. Further endeavours were also made to remove the causes of differ ence between Hindu and Muslim : and an "All Parties" conference was held at Delhi in February and March. As a result, the nationalists took up the challenge that they had never made any constructive contribution to the settlement of India's political future. A constitution and a declaration of rights were drafted: the constitution moved on the familiar lines of dominion status, provincial autonomy, and a federal system for the States; there was to be manhood and womanhood suffrage; and all elections were to be by joint mixed electoral rolls, with no reservation of seats for minorities. On this last point the scheme ship-wrecked. Its publication in August was followed by an immediate repudia tion on the part of Mohammedans of practically every shade of political opinion. They declared communal electorates and the reservation of seats to be indispensable conditions of their joining in any demand for political advance. Excitement grew and was reflected, as usual, in a revival of sectarian riots and affrays. Meanwhile, the boycott crumbled, and all the provincial legisla tures, with one exception, decided to co-operate with the Com mission. While the Central Assembly hesitated on the same point, the Viceroy nominated a committee of its members to be asso ciated in the enquiry. Accordingly, when Sir John Simon and his colleagues returned to India in the autumn to begin their public sittings, they found committees of both the central and the provincial legislatures ready to sit with them, for the examination of witnesses and consultation on their conclusions.
Meanwhile, Lord Willingdon, who had taken over the viceroy alty in April 1931, was not disposed to parley further with an archy. The "red-shirt" leader of rebellion on the frontier was arrested; a no-rent movement in the United Provinces was sup pressed; and terrorism in Bengal was vigorously attacked by spe cial ordinances. When Mr. Gandhi returned to India and essayed (January 1932) to restore his waning prestige by a threat of renewed civil disobedience, he was promptly arrested. Meetings of the Congress were proscribed, Congress offices were forcibly closed, and disaffection was treated as a crime instead of a polit ical peccadillo. The commissions which had gone out to report on details of the franchise and of federal finance were thus al lowed to conduct their work in peace. The Prime Minister issued (August 17, 1932) his promised award on the allotment, among the different communities, of the seats in the future legislatures. It seemed to satisfy nobody; but it was an honest attempt at an equitable settlement of a problem for which all hopes of an agreed solution were vain. By this time Lord Willingdon had thoroughly established his dual policy of, on the one hand, the resolute sup pression of lawlessness and, on the other, the vigorous prosecution of the task of framing the new constitution. A third brief session of the Round Table Conference at the end of the year tidied up some of the details of the constitutional scheme. 1932 closed with the Congress policy of civil disobedience completely dis credited, and with India awaiting the announcement by the gov ernment of its own constructive policy for the future.
There will be eleven major provinces, excluding Burma (see Page 2o3B), each with a Governor appointed by the Crown and with ministers drawn from an elected legislature. At the centre there will be, as soon as approximately one half (in population) of the Indian States come into it, a Federation embracing the British provinces and the States which have acceded to it by a formal act on the part of their Princes. Its administration will be in the hands of a Governor-General appointed by the Crown, and Min isters chosen from a bi-cameral federal legislature. Federal and provincial powers are clearly demarcated, being defined by sched ule in the Act, while certain subjects, which are also scheduled, are open to concurrent legislation. There will be a Federal Court, competent, broadly speaking, to interpret the constitution in case of dispute, but subject in this respect to appeal to the Privy Council, as well as to entertain certain appeals from the provincial High Courts. The autonomy of the provinces, and the Federa tion's independence of the British Parliament, will be subject to certain reservations or "safeguards." In the first place, the Governor-General as agent for the Crown will have unfettered control of the defence of India, and of its foreign relations. Secondly, the Governor of a province will have power to over rule his Ministers, if necessary for the maintenance of peace and order, for the protection of minorities, for the security of the public services, and for certain other essential purposes; while the Governor-General possesses similar over-riding powers in federal matters, along with special authority to safeguard the financial stability and credit of India, and to check discrim ination against the import of British goods. Finally, there are provisions for the Governor-General or a Governor, in their re spective spheres, taking over the administration in the event of the constitutional machinery breaking down. These reservations have been bitterly assailed by the Indian politicians as insidious devices for giving to India the shadow without the substance. By the framers of the Act they are defended as the ultimate weapons of good government, which need never be brought out if a reasonable standard of administration is maintained.
For the franchise, the ordinary test of literacy would have been unduly restrictive, and had to be abandoned. Its extension, on the other hand, is limited by the difficulty of finding a suffi cient number of people competent to take charge at the polls. In British India there will be about 36 million voters or just over one-fourth of the adult population; and women will enjoy about one-fifth of the total voting strength. Another and more anxious problem is the finance of the new constitution. The establishment of a Reserve Bank, which the government insisted upon as a preliminary essential to the reforms, was sanctioned by the central legislature in 1933-34, after having been defeated by political intrigue five years earlier. But the allocation among the provinces, and between them and the central power, of the resources of the Exchequer remains in controversy. In settling this and a number of other conditions precedent, especially the terms on which the Princes will consent to join the federation, some time will necessarily elapse before India is actually launched on the vast experiment of advancing "a number of heterogeneous, unequally developed and sometimes mutually hostile peoples and communities towards the goal of Nationhood." The Depression Era.—Although to the onlooker the new con stitution would seem to have occupied the Indian stage, there has been plenty of movement in other directions during the last seven years. The most serious feature of the period has been India's reaction to the world depression. She ranks fifth among the trad ing countries of the world, and her prosperity is based on the food-stuffs and other raw products which she exports. Let the world's demand for these contract, and the Indian peasant is the first to suffer. How gravely he has been suffering may be roughly measured by the fact that the value of India's exports was f300 millions in 1925, and dropped to 1502 millions in 1933. The con sequent fall in prices was disastrous. It started at the end of 1929 and, although temporarily arrested in September 1931, when India went off gold and linked the rupee with sterling, it con tinued until the lowest levels on record were reached in 1933. Stocks were unsaleable; distress was widespread and pitiable; and the cultivator fell an easy prey to agitators who laid the blame on the British administration. Economic gloom thus got merged in political unrest; and the Census of 1931 revealed the fact that India had 36 million more mouths to fill than in 1921.
Of all India's industries, cereal cultivation was hardest hit by the depression. But jute, tea and cotton did not escape. The output of jute fell by 51 per cent. in the single year 1930-31. The fall in tea was checked in 1933 by an international agreement for the restriction of cultivation. Cotton was faced with a double danger—the shrinkage of the world's markets, and Japanese corn petition. Negotiations to regulate the latter were successfully concluded in January 1934, by a three-years' convention on the basis of linking India's imports of Japanese piecegoods with Japan's imports of India's raw cotton by a quota of 325 million yards (under a 5o per cent. ad valorem duty) on the one side, and I million bales on the other, expansion being permissible to 400 million yards and 1 4 million bales respectively. The sugar in dustry presented a brighter picture. Although India has 25 per cent. of the whole acreage of sugarcane in the world, it has never produced sugar enough for the needs of a non-meat-eating people, and white sugar has always been heavily imported. An effective protective duty, however, was imposed in 1932, and has given a powerful stimulus to cultivation and to the indigenous manu facture of refined sugars. The help of tariffs has been invoked in other fields, and the Tariff Board which was set up in 1923 has been kept busy, until India has now one of the most redoubt able protectionist systems in the world. An interesting experi ment was tried, under financial pressure in 1934, of imposing an excise duty on sugar to alleviate the loss of customs revenue which followed the imposition of prohibitive tariff rates.
On public finance the effect of the slump was hardly less dis astrous than on the individual. The unhappy plight of the culti vator necessitated heavy remissions of land revenue; railway traffics diminished, the receipts from customs dropped and the budgets were hit in every conceivable fashion. In 1928 India had been financially on a level keel and was paying off her debt. By 1931 the government was raising tariffs and increasing the in come-tax to meet a deficit ; and in the autumn of the same year the exceptional measure had to be taken of passing a revised budget, reducing the salaries of government employees by ten per cent. and imposing a surcharge of 25 per cent. on tariffs and income taxes. The purge was drastic but effective, and the res toration of law and order materially helped the situation. In the budget of March 1935, it was found possible to withdraw the cuts in pay, and the burden of taxation was somewhat eased.
Although they were disasters of far more than merely financial moment, two terrible earthquakes may here be mentioned. One of these occurred in Bihar in 1934, and wrought incredible damage. Besides heavy loss of life and the ruin of thousands of homes, it flung rivers out of their course, destroyed roads, railways and bridges, and covered large tracts of fertile land with subterranean slime and sand. The other earthquake, in the summer of 1935, levelled the city and cantonment of Quetta. Here also there was heavy loss of life, and a number of British airmen perished.
Social service had been handicapped by financial stringency ; but much useful work has been done in agricultural advancement, following on the advice of a Royal Commission under Lord Lin lithgow (since nominated as Lord Willingdon's successor) which reported in 1928. Schemes for extending protective irrigation are steadily maturing; and the Sukkur barrage in Sind, one of the most important irrigation works in the world, adds 3 million acres to the 52 million acres already protected in India. There has been much activity in which Mr. Gandhi has taken a hand, in brightening the outlook of the depressed classes. By the Sarda Act marriage has been prohibited to boys under 18 and to girls under 14. The emancipation of women is making remarkable strides. In matters religious there has been a movement for the union of Indian Christians into a church which has been erected (March 193o) into an independent body to be known as the Churches of India, Burma and Ceylon. New Delhi, made capital of India in 1912, after nineteen years of uninterrupted construc tion, came into full occupation in the spring of 193o.
In the Defence forces, the substitution of Indian for British officers in the Indian army is steadily progressing. Cadets will no longer be sent to Woolwich and Sandhurst for training, an In dian Military Academy having been opened at Debra Dun in October 1932. An Indian Air Force has been established, and the nucleus created of an Indian Navy.
Burma, like Aden, ceased to be part of India on April 1, Its chief event in recent history was a rebellion in 1931, sup pressed in the end only by intensive military operations. (ME.) At the elections preceding the coming into force of the new constitution, the Congress party, its bitter opponents, secured a clear majority in six of the eleven autonomous provinces, but refused to take office except on their own quite unacceptable conditions. The deadlock so formed, which gravely threatened the working of the new constitution, was ended in July, 1937, when the Congress Working Committee decided to allow Congressmen to accept office, though continuing to oppose the constitution.