Order of the Day for resuming the adjourned debate on the Earl of Lytton's motion to resolve,
That nothing in the information laid before this House justifies the announced policy of Her Majesty's Government in regard to Candahar,
read; debate resumed accordingly.
§ VISCOUNT CRANBROOK
My Lords, the debate which took place yesterday on this important subject went very fully into all the matters which could be fairly brought into such a discussion. I am happy to think that, at all events in this House, no question has arisen as to the advantage of India to this country, and, on the other hand, of this country to India. Believing, as I do, that the latter is the most important relation, as regards that great Empire, which can possibly exist, and believing that, in the absence of the protection of England and the hold which it has upon that immense Empire, India would fall to pieces and relapse into a state of anarchy, confusion, and bloodshed which it would be terrible to contemplate, I think it is satisfactory that all your Lordships appear to agree in the view that we should do all in our power to maintain that Empire over India, and to confer, as far as we possibly can, the benefits of civilization and advancement. Some exception has been taken to the form of the Motion of my noble Friend upon which we are debating. The noble Earl below the Gangway (the Earl of Derby) seems to think that it does not fully raise the question. If the Government have anything else to produce, any evidence to show that Candahar is of so unimportant a consideration, let that evidence be produced. What we have before us is wholly insufficient to justify that belief, and having said that, we practically say that as far as the facts are before us 228 we think that the abandonment ought not to take place. The question has been put before your Lordships too plainly and simply in the speeches which have been addressed to you to leave any doubt in your Lordships' minds as to what the question before you is at this moment. The question is—taking all present circumstances into consideration—Is it justifiable on the part of the Government to give orders for the evacuation of Candahar? I might look upon it as a question of time, and say that at this time the abandonment of Candahar would be disastrous. I might, on the other hand, put it that the permanent abandonment of Candahar would be permanently disastrous. I may add that the noble Lord (Lord Chelmsford) who spoke last night, who served so long in India, did not in any sense intend to support an immediate abandonment, but that he is of opinion that we ought not to take up a permanent position at Candahar, where we are, and where unquestionably we are able to remain. Now, my Lords, the question between this country and Afghanistan is one which has occupied great attention for many years past, and there is no dispute between political Parties on one point, and that is the great danger which may arise from the relations between Afghanistan and a neighbouring civilized European Power which is gradually approaching it—Russia. Now, my Lords, a great deal has been said of the terms in which noble Lords on this side of the House, and those who advocate Conservative principles, have spoken of the advantage of having a strong, friendly, and independent Afghanistan. My Lords, I wish to ask those who speak in that way, when there has ever been a strong, friendly, and independent Afghanistan? At what period of history has this strong and friendly Government existed? I venture to assert that even in the time of Dost Mahomed, strong as he was—and there has never been a Chief so strong in former days or since—we could place no reliance upon his friendliness in the sense of support. There is no doubt that, having been in India and knowing much of our power, he was most desirous to remain on good terms with us, though at one period he seemed to threaten us with an attack. But even Dost Mahomed had great diffi- 229 culty in reducing the whole country into one united Kingdom; and since that period there has never been a thoroughly friendly and strong Government, except, perhaps, for a short time under Shore Ali. But it may be doubted whether at any time he was sincerely friendly to us. I think, then, my Lords, we may conclude from the evidence before us that in proportion to the strength of Afghanistan is likely to be its unfriendliness. As Shore Ali grew stronger he became more unfriendly, and we found when his capital was at length visited by us, that in the period during which at his instance we had abstained from going there great fortifications and enormous barracks had been constructed, and vast resources accumulated, guns and materials of war. Now, my Lords, I ask for what purpose were these fortifications made and all these munitions gathered together, and during so many years? Not for the purpose of control over Afghanistan, but as a defence in case of need against ourselves, or in preparation for taking part in the plunder of India. Now, my Lords, I should like to state to your Lordships—and in the remarks which I have to make I shall quote as little as possible the opinions of others—what was the opinion of the late Lord Lawrence himself with respect to this question of India and Afghanistan. He said—It appears to me, also, that it will always be found exceedingly difficult, for any extended period, to maintain a united and strong Government in Afghanistan. The genius of the Chiefs and people …. is evidence to this effect. A Chief may now and then arise, who may for a time unite the different provinces under one rule, but when he has passed away the tendency again will be to separation. With the single exception of the pressure of a common enemy, and even this circumstance will not always avail, there appear to be no ties to bind the Afghans together. The history of the country is a history of anarchy and civil war."—[Afghanistan, No. 1 (1878), p. 61.]Then he asks whether any such Chief as Dost Mahomed is likely to come to the front. He did not think there was any such probability; and then in 1869, with respect to the announcement which he received of the wars which were taking place between Shore Ali and his brothers and relations, he took no action. He did not help one against another. He made no attempt to maintain a united Afghanistan. But when one or another rose to the surface in the several Provinces, Lord Lawrence 230 immediately recognized him. That shows Lord Lawrence's opinion. I might quote Sir Richard Temple, who expressed the same sentiments long ago, that it would be impossible under all circumstances, or, indeed, in any circumstances, to create and maintain a united Afghanistan. But, my Lords, what is our position now? I want this House and the country to look at the position of Afghanistan in deciding upon this question. It is disintegrated. There is the Chief who has been placed or who has found himself on the Throne of Cabul. He came to the Throne of Cabal with the understanding that he was to have nothing to do with Candahar, and that he occupied Cabul upon those terms. I will further on in my remarks, if I may be allowed, deal with the relations between him and the English Government. He is at Cabul at present. With respect to Balkh, and the country beyond the mountains Wakhan and Badakshan, we hardly know what is taking place, except that the Ruler of Cabul is not in authority there. At Herat, as far as we know, Ayoob Khan is doubtfully, certainly not firmly, established. Candahar is in our hands, and we desire that, at least at present, it should remain so. We see, then, the complete disintegration of Afghanistan is existing, and there is no proposal on the part of the Government, so far as we are aware, to endeavour to make it united? Do they intend to bring together its disunited members? No, far from it; they say their intention is to abstain from all interference in the internal affairs of Afghanistan. Well, my Lords, that being so, let us look at the present condition of affairs. What obstacle is there on the part of any person to prevent you from still holding the place in which you are? There is certainly no just claim on anyone's part to Candahar—certainly not on the part of Abdurrahman, because he was expressly told it was not to be given him. Certainly not on the part of Ayoob Khan, because he was defeated in the attempt to reach it. Of other claims I do not know. I never heard of any being suggested. Now, my Lords, what has been the effect—and this, I think, is one of the most serious considerations to which your Lordships have to address yourselves—of the occupation under Sir Donald Stewart, of Candahar and the district around it assigned to his care? 231 The time was when these districts were uninhabitable by peaceable people. They were subjected to raids from the highlanders, who prevented them from following their industries and robbed them of the produce of their toil. But what is the case now? What is the position of these districts—and I include in them those besides Candahar which were assigned to us by the Treaty of Gundamuk—which you propose to abandon and to leave, with respect to the Government which is to hold them and the Chiefs who are to govern, to the process of natural selection, according to the noble Duke (the Duke of Argyll's) theory—to the process which was illustrated by Shore Ali when he murdered his brothers and relations? Such is the fate to which the noble Duke would consign the districts where you have been ruling in peace and prosperity. I will show your Lordships what the condition of those regions under English rule has been, and for that purpose will quote the words of Sir Robert Sandeman, who says—After leaving the broad and fertile plains of Sibi and Kutch Gundawa, which, thanks to our protecting power, are rapidly being brought under cultivation, the line enters the Marri Hills, which is a great grazing country, and has already developed a considerable cattle trade with Scinde and the Punjaub. Since our occupation of Quetta the Khan's revenue from that valley has almost doubled, and the condition of the Belooch and Brahni tribes, from their Chiefs downwards, has improved beyond belief. As evidence of this I can point to the Bolan Pass, which, once notorious for the robberies and murders daily perpetrated there is now almost as safe as an Indian highway. Those only who knew it a few years ago can now see a marvellous improvement in the prospects of our assigned territory which would escape the observation of the passing traveller. That the railway will, from the outset, succeed in paying its working expenses, I myself do not doubt, and that ultimately it will Conduce greatly to British interests by increasing and diverting the Central Asian trade to Kurrachee,' is, I believe, equally certain. Politically the advent of the railway at Sibi has already been of the highest value, and its promoters may rejoice at the peace and prosperity it has brought to a large tract of country.Am I not justified, then, in saying that when you have taken up a position by such means, and induced the people to change their position and to assume one which requires your protection, there is a moral compulsion upon you to protect those whom you have thus brought under your influence and under your rule? The noble Marquess at the head of the India 232 Office has himself recognized this, because in one of his recent despatches he admits the necessity of our protecting our friends. Yes, of protecting your friends, who have even fought for you. The Sirdars, the people, the tribes of whom he speaks, may have been your friends, so far as not offering opposition to you in the work of war goes; but you are bound also to protect the peaceable population who have grown up and are thriving under your fostering care. Beware, when you talk of not committing a breach of faith, that you do not commit a greater breach of faith in betraying the confidence that has been reposed in you and consigning to ruin those who have built up their prosperity on your assurances. I hold in my hand a letter written by a gentleman of judgment and intelligence, who was recently travelling through that country, in which he states that it was the fervent hope of all to whom he spoke that the Government would not give up the Kojak, and still more that they would not give up Pishin, and that to do so would be really wicked; that the most solemn assurances had been given to the people that they would not be surrendered to Cabul; that the Candahar party would show them no mercy; that under our rule the country was more contented and peaceful than it had been at any former time; that Khan, Chief, and people were alike satisfied, and that trade was already developing there to a wonderful extent. He adds—That the country can be held at little or no cost, and that it gives control over future contingencies in South Afghanistan and further.My Lords, these are the words of one who was an eye-witness of what has happened under your care; and it is proposed now not only to give up Candahar, but Pishin and Sibi—in fact, all the territory that was assigned to you and which has attained to this condition under your protecting ægis. I was surprised to hear the noble Viscount (Viscount Enfield) say yesterday that a long deliberation had taken place on this question, and that everybody had been consulted who was entitled by knowledge or by authority to give information upon it. Now, the present Government came into Office in April, 1880; and I fearlessly assert that on the 8th of May following the conclusion was come to that Afghanistan was to be 233 abandoned and our conquests were to be given up. And I could show from the despatch of the noble Marquess at the head of the India Office that I am stating what is correct. What the noble Marquess wrote to Lord Ripon was this—The desire of Her Majesty's Government is.… that Afghan territory should be evacuated whenever it appears possible to entertain the hope that the prospect of a stable Government has been secured. Your Excellency. … will report fully. … as to the manner in which this object may best be attained."—[Afghanistan (1881), No. 1, pp. 31–2.]What object? The object of abandoning every inch of Afghan territory that we have, and including, therefore, Candahar, Yes; but do not say, then, that you did not come to that conclusion until November. The noble Viscount said that it was at the end of the year that this resolution was come to; but the despatch of the noble Marquess shows that it was come to within three weeks of the present Government's accession to Office. Is that a fair way of dealing with a great question on which you have admitted that the balance of military opinion—although I think you are mistaken in that—is at least equal? Political opinion is of the strongest character in favour of the retention of Candahar; yet in three weeks, three little weeks, all that had been done by the Army and by politicians was to be thrown away by the noble Marquess, who knew so much about Indian affairs in that brief space of time. We have been told of the breaking of promises which were given in bygone days. The Proclamation of Her Majesty in 1858 was addressed to the Princes of India; and I should like to know whether any noble Lord supposes that, if one of the Princes of India were to rebel against the British Government, and were to put his forces in the field and throw himself and his people into collision with the English Power, he would have a right to appeal to a Proclamation that was based, not on the warlike attacks of those Princes on the country, but on their peaceful submission to its rule? But Afghanistan is outside India, and the Proclamation was not addressed to its Ameer. The noble Lord who was lately Viceroy of India I think stated that Lord Ellenborough was against annexation when we withdrew from Afghanistan in 1842. How absurd it is to refer to a state of things so entirely different from 234 that which now exists! Why, if Lord Ellenborough said then that he was against annexation generally, did he not subsequently oppose the annexation of the Punjaub and of Scinde, which took place after that period? When Lord Ellenborough could swallow those enormous morsels, he would not have been so disagreeably affected by the small gnat that we wish the Government to swallow now. We say that we have every justification. I know that noble Lords opposite, as the noble Viscount told us last night, think the Afghan War was unjustifiable, and that everything that was done under it was vicious in itself, in its principles, and in its inception. I have said before—although the late Viceroy (the Earl of Northbrook) has condemned me for it—that, supposing for a long period of time you found that this country of Afghanistan, which you had a Treaty with, and which was bound to be friendly with you, was betraying its trust and entering into relations with a foreign country which was supposed to be to a certain extent hostile to your interests, and which admits that at the time in question it was really hostile to them, what would those in power in India, had they been under the noble Earl's Viceroyalty, have done under such circumstances? Would they have taken no steps at all—and, if any, what? Would they have sent an Embassy? They say "No." What course would they have adopted in the case of such a recalcitrant Prince? We did what we could to induce Shore Ali to be at peace and in friendly relations with us. We sent up one who had been a personal friend of his own—Sir Neville Chamberlain. We hoped that our agent would have been welcomed by the Ameer as a friend as well as an Ambassador. We were disappointed. Sir Neville Chamberlain and his escort were turned back, some say without insult—I say with insult, and with a threat of violence, I call that a defiance of the power of England. Even then we gave the Ameer time to repent the course that he had adopted and to take one that was more consonant with our friendly relations. He refused. We did the least that we could in taking possession of points which did not affect his capital—Cabal—because we foresaw that if we marched to his capital that consequences 235 might ensue which did ensue when we marched to Cabal. True, in a History of our own Times it is mentioned as a fact that on the first occasion we marched to Cabul. It appears to me to be one of the characteristics of modern history that it neglects its opportunities of being accurate. That history says that we went to Cabul in the first instance. We did not go there, and we did not go for this very reason, that we dreaded disintegrating Afghanistan unnecessarily. Shore Ali fled from his capital which he had prepared for resistance. He did not use the Army that he had consolidated with so much care; but he fled, and he died at a distant spot from his home. Then every effort was made to bring things to an accommodation, and his son, whom we found in power, we treated with, and endeavoured to come to terms, and we did come to terms, and it cannot be denied that we dealt with him with fairness and liberality. No doubt, we had certain districts assigned to us; but the revenues of those districts were assured to the Ameer, and everything was done to make our presence there as little an impediment to his rule as possible. We endeavoured in every way also to show that we were on friendly relations with him. I grieve that I should again have to refer to the terrible catastrophe which occurred at Cabul. I do it only for this purpose—to show how the disintegration of Afghanistan came about, and that contrary to our wishes. Yakoob Khan, I regret to say, from my acquaintance with what took place, could have saved the lives that were destroyed. In my opinion, speaking from the documents that relate to this question, I have no doubt that if he had acted early in the day the lives that were lost would have been saved. It is said that there was no treachery. I have my own opinion. But there was, at least, an imbecility and a want of duty to those whom he had invited to Cabul to be under his protection which made it impossible, after such an act as then took place, to allow him to remain on the Throne. Nay, he did not wish to remain on the Throne; he felt that what he had done caused a distance between him and the English that would make it impossible for him henceforward to be an acceptable Ruler to them, and he abdicated of his own will and departed from that country. It has been said that 236 we have no justification for what then occurred, and that we seized Candahar as our own without fair cause. But, my Lords, it is admitted that great efforts were made on the part of many hostile tribes against us, and the noble Duke opposite, I think, went so far as to asert of the whole of Afghanistan. I differ from him there. But upon his argument, if the whole of Afghanistan was hostile to us, surely we had rights of conquest over parts of the country. I need not dwell much upon this subject, because the noble Earl (the Earl of Derby) said, and no one can deny, that we have the right, and in my judgment it is our duty to exercise it. Therefore, I will take it for granted that we have the right to hold the position which we have got in Afghanistan. We have tried nearness to the country—that is to say, by endeavouring to keep up a sort of intercourse through Native messengers—and a disastrous one it has been. We were told that we could not enter the Khyber Pass without at once bringing upon ourselves the Afridis and different tribes there; but what has been the case? We have a most remarkable freedom from anything of a predatory character in the Khyber Pass. There is no doubt there have been incidents, as there always will be incidents in such cases; but now the Government themselves are about to intrust the Afridis with the custody of peace. Why, then, if you can trust these fierce tribes, are you to assume that all the Afghan people are, and ever will be, unfavourable? The noble Earl, in one of his despatches, speaks of the tribes and Chiefs who have been friendly to us, and there are many tribes and Chiefs who have been friendly to us in the neighbourhood of Candahar. The great body of the inhabitants are a peaceable and trading people and only desirous of carrying on trade. These are the people whom you are going to drive away from that city by handing it over to the worst of the population instead of maintaining possession of it for the protection of the best. Nothing astonished me so much as the way in which opinion was cited by the noble Viscount (Viscount Enfield) and by the noble Earl (the Earl of Northbrook) on this subject. Candahar was mentioned alone as a subject upon which military opinions differed, and you might have supposed that Pishin 237 had nothing to say to the question, and had never been brought into controversy. But many and many a one of the military opinions which were cited relied upon the possession of Pishin if we moved from Candahar. I should be sorry to occupy your Lordships' time by saying as much as I might do upon these differences of military authorities, to show how much their opinions in reference to giving up Candahar are qualified by what they would retain. Passages were cited from Sir Henry Rawlinson, which, I think, would be much qualified if other passages were read which clearly relate to this question. There can be no doubt or question that Sir Henry Rawlinson is in favour of the continued occupation of Candahar. So is Lord Napier of Magdala without qualification. So are Sir Edwin Johnson and Sir Frederick Haines. And when I speak of the noble Lord (Lord Chelmsford) who addressed us last night, I have said already that I understood his speech to be against a present abandonment and in favour of waiting, at least, till we see what may be done for the security of the country instead of abandoning it to anarchy. The noble Viscount quoted, as he did on a former occasion, a very able and distinguished man, Lieutenant Colonel Browne, as being against occupying Candahar. But on what terms? He was in favour of occupying Pishin with the view of being in the neighbourhood of Candahar; and Pishin, as well as Candahar, is going to be abandoned by the British Government. He was in favour of occupying the Peiwar is the Kuram Valley. I will not dwell upon the noble Viscount's reference to Syndhoor Mahomed, who naturally did not desire to admit us as friends to Candahar that we might keep it as enemies. I need not dwell upon the opinion of Sir Frederick Roberts. But when the noble Lord told us he quoted the last opinion of Sir Donald Stewart, it seems to me he has not read the papers very carefully, because Sir Donald Stewart, in a subsequent Minute, said he agrees heartily with the drift of Sir Frederick Robert's opinion; and it is clear, therefore, that two Generals who have been in command in the country, and know its requirements and its dangers, think it is our duty to keep Candahar at all cost. And it becomes a question what that cost is likely to be hereafter. My excellent 238 friend, Sir Erskine Perry, must excuse me for saying I read with astonishment the introduction of my name into one of his papers. In a multitude of counsellors it is said there is safety; but in conversation with one clearly there is not, because if I am to be told I did not dissent because I said nothing, it seems that I am placed in a rather awkward position. But my opinion is comparatively of little importance. In a confidential paper of this kind, it would have been better if Sir Erskine Perry had stated merely his own opinion, and left me to state mine for myself. There has been a remarkable change in the opinions of those who have been connected with India. Sir Richard Temple wrote formerly, very much against what he now approves; but, having seen the change of circumstances, he has changed his opinion on the question. Sir John Strachey, who signed documents long ago in another sense, has now come to a different conclusion. Why I refer to these changes of opinion is because that which has made no impression whatever upon the noble Earl opposite has made a very great impression indeed upon men who have been, and are, intimately connected with India. I waited with some anxiety last night for one of the Cabinet Ministers to rise. I thought that it was a little hard that in a discussion which involved the question whether the Government was right or wrong in this matter, no Cabinet Minister should rise early in the debate to give us some clear statement with regard to the whole policy of the Government upon this point. When the noble Earl opposite (the Earl of Northbrook), who did at length rise, sat down, I thought that we had not gained much from the Cabinet, for he told us nothing in addition to what we all knew before. There was, however, something that was very conspicuous by its absence in his speech. The opinions of Sir Erskine Perry were quoted, gained, as he says, by long study; but what about the opinions of the present Government of India, who are on the spot and have means of information not accessible to us? The noble Marquess at the head of the Government of India was told, in May, 1880, to make a report to the Home Government as to the best mode of carrying out the wishes of the Government for the abandonment of Afghanistan, and he must have re- 239 ported; but where is his Report? The Councillors of the Governor General of India are men of the highest eminence, and are engaged in actually administering the government of the country. Well, where are the opinions of the Councillors of the Indian Government on this matter? Is there, with the exception of the noble Earl's name sake (Major Baring), a single one Member of that Council who approves the policy of the Government with regard to this question? I know not what may be the opinion on the subject of Lord Ripon himself; but, judging from the different documents which have been laid before us, I have come to the conclusion that, at all events, not a single Member of the Indian Council except Major Baring is in favour of the Government policy. Major Baring has gone out recently as a Member of the Council of India, and before he went out he contributed a most able pamphlet to the literature on this subject, having been carefully supplied with Papers relating to the matter from the India Office itself, in order that he might do so. Having gone out to India since writing that pamphlet, he, of course, retains the opinion expressed on the subject; but that opinion has not been formed by him from knowledge acquired as one of the Council of India. I want to know, and the country will want to know, why it is that we have not before us the opinion of the present Governor General or any one of his Council? And it would be most important, not only to have the opinions, but the reasons, and any dissents, if there are any, which might be important in such a case as this. There could be no hesitation in telling us why and how they dissented. The noble Earl sat down without giving us any information as to the opinion of the Government of India, and we are left to the assumption that that evidence would not have told in favour of the policy of the Government of India, but that it must be considered in some sense adverse to it. And with regard to Major Baring, he is quite conscious of the difficulties that may arise from the approach of a great Power towards Afghanistan, and he proposed that we should endeavour to stay that approach by diplomacy. He says—"We must find some modus vivendi." What! is a great country like this, which ought to stand on its own strength and to rely 240 upon its own right arm, to find some modus vivendi? And such a Councillor have we sent to the assistance of the Governor General of India! The noble Earl told us last night that he quite agreed that the Russian advance had recently become more serious. Ought we not to have taken that fact into account with regard to a change of policy which we may have been initiating since my noble Friend (the Earl of Lytton) wrote his Minute and since the time of the war? Would it not be a folly and a shame if, having watched the great events which have happened since that time, and even within the last few weeks, and the enormous progress which Russia has made, we should not re-consider our position? What did the noble Earl (the Earl of Northbrook) do? He wrote despatches saying that if Russia approached Merv it would then be time for us to send a British officer to Herat, if we could obtain the consent of the Ameer, and to take precautions by means of diplomacy against that advance. And now, what are you going to do? As that advance approaches you, so is your retreat; as are your means of knowledge of what is going on in Central Asia coming towards you, so is your retirement towards ignorance growing more and more. In the face of this great advancing tide, which must go on advancing from the necessities of the case, it is all very well to talk of stopping it by diplomacy and by negotiations with the Government of St. Petersburg. There is nothing to resist the pressure of the great and strong Power now going forward until it comes either to some natural obstacle or until it comes into the presence of an enemy whom it respects, and to whom it will defer and advance no further. You cannot stop the tide by talking to it—that is impossible. This advance is inevitable, and you must prepare for it. You now propose to prepare for it by withdrawing from the scene of action, and from your favourable position, and placing yourselves where you will be kept in ignorance of what is going forward, and where you will be unable to advance at your pleasure. I was struck the other day by a passage in a work which has recently been published, which I thought peculiarly apposite to the present circumstances, and which shows that the art of disturbing the minds of people 241 without advancing troops in to the country is no new one. If you substitute England for Austria, and Afghanistan for Italy, the following words of Prince Metternich, in 1819, will not be inappropriate to our present position with regard to Russia:—As to Russia, though I do not permit myself to entertain any suspicion against the feelings and views of the Emperor Alexander, which I believe to be sincere and pure. I am yet very far from being easy as to the spirit and principles revealed by his Ministers and innumerable agents in Italy. It is unknown to me whether the latter are or are not provided with instructions from their Court in this respect. In either supposition it is clear that they are actively employed in a way quite contrary to the interests of Austria, and furnish their Court, if ever a war breaks out between Russia and Austria, with the means of preparing very perplexing complications for us on the side of Italy.The present Government have said that they will allow of no foreign influence except our own being exercised in Afghanistan. I quite agree that is the right thing to do; but I want to know what preparations they have made to carry into action that idea? Diplomacy! I do not wish to go into the question of the good faith of other Governments; but I ask, has diplomacy on this point succeeded hitherto? You have tried it, because you apprehended danger from the Russian advance; and did you succeed in your object? I must say that the noble Earl (the Earl of Northbrook) surprised me last night when he seemed to think that there was nothing in the letters from General Kaufmann which my noble Friend (the Earl of Lytton) read. In referring to them the noble Earl became excited and even humorous. He quoted the well-known case of "Bardell v. Pickwick," and observed that the expression with regard to strengthening the chains of friendship and to confining the alliance between Russia and Afghanistan was like the reference to chops and tomato sauce in that case. Ah! the delicate attentions of General Kaufmann were very superior to those of Pickwick, and if Pickwick had addressed Mrs. Bardell in the insinuating terms of Kaufmann, and had suggested that the chain of friendship between them should be strengthened and their alliance should be consolidated and confirmed the lady would have had much stronger ground for her action for breach of promise. 242 The humour would have been lost, and the verdict a certainty. General Kaufmann did not rush into his latest policy, but skilfully prepared for it year after year. The letters of 1870 and 1878 are links in one continuous chain. The noble Earl has said that the whole thing, was an Oriental romance. The noble Earl is unromantic, and appears to have read that Oriental romance with the eyes of a European, and to have failed to see through it. He clearly gave no indications to the noble Duke then at the India Office—I suppose, because he really did not comprehend what was going on, though I doubt if other Indian Officials were as blind. Then, as to the noble Duke, we find during his administration a portentous silence, and a darkness thick as night, which was only illumined once or twice by the flash of an unintelligible telegram. I do not know what the noble Earl may think; but I know what people of common sense will believe, and it is this—that Kaufmann appeared on the scene in 1870 with a view of opening up pleasant communications with the Ameer; then he gave glowing descriptions of the conquests and power of his master; and that at length he began to send confidential messengers, described—not by himself, perhaps, but by the Ameer—as Agents, and who were, in fact, Agents accredited by the Government in Tashkend, and well known as such by the Ameer, Shore Ali Khan, though they may have come from, or been natives of Bokhara, or any other place under Russian influence that may be named. This is shown by letters which passed; but there are others which have not been produced among those published, but to which reference is made. And all the while the increasing Russian influence in Afghanistan Was not only viewed without remonstrance, but with actual encouragement, by the noble Earl the late Viceroy of India, who seemed to regard the whole transaction, as he says, in the light of an Eastern romance, but did not himself seem to have foreseen the probable dênouement of the little romance now revealed to us. We have been told that this Correspondence is of comparatively little importance, and has little or nothing to do with the present state of affairs. I do not know how any person can separate in his own mind the Correspondence which has taken place from 243 what is going on; but I would wish to take your Lordships a little further. I think the noble Earl (the Earl of Northbrook) was correct last night when he pointed out that my noble Friend (the Marquess of Salisbury) was slightly in error in his statement of the date at which General Stolieteff was sent to negotiate with the Ameer. I am myself of opinion, after examination of the evidence, that General Stolieteff started to Cabul on the day after the Berlin Conference met, and not on the day following that on which the Treaty, which was the result of the Conference, was signed. I do not wish, however, to enter upon an inquiry as to this point, or to examine as to the curious and hardly creditable productions of the General in the course of the Correspondence which took place, either as to their character or to the places from which they were written. But I wish to point out to your Lordships that Colonel Grodekoff was sent to Afghanistan in the latter end of 1878, and that the course taken by General Kaufmann in 1879 was precisely similar, as shown by his Correspondence in that year with Yakoob Khan, the new Ameer, and Musa Khan, his heir, to that which had been pursued nine years before—namely, to push Russian influence and interest in Afghanistan. I maintain that all the events which occurred in and between those years were links in a long chain of circumstances, and were not, as the noble Earl strove to prove, simply isolated incidents in the course of events. I do not say that in a time of profound peace there will be efforts made to disturb the relations between friendly Powers; but there may be a process of sapping and mining going on in order to prepare a people sought to be influenced for the time when a quarrel is expected to take place, and so to increase the difficulties that would stand in the way of one of the contending Powers. We are told that to remain at Candahar would involve us in perpetual entanglements and difficulties, in the course of which Candahar would, instead of proving useful to us, be, in fact, quite the reverse. What entanglements have the present Government entered into with certain of the Native tribes in the Kurram Valley, that, in any event, they shall retain their independence! Guarantees of a similar kind were given to the Afridis and others 244 in the Khyber; and it is on the face of the Papers now before Parliament that the following pledge on the part of the Government was delivered to Abdurrahman by Mr. Lepel Griffin, through the intervention of Sir Donald Stewart:—Since the British Government admit no right of interference by foreign Powers in Afghanistan, and since both Russia and Persia are pledged to abstain from all interference with Afghanistan affairs, it is plain that your Highness can have no political relations with any foreign Power except the English, and if any such foreign Power should attempt to interfere in Afghanistan, and if such interference should lead to unprovoked aggression on the Cabul Ruler, then the British Government will be prepared to aid him, if necessary, to repel it, provided that he follows the advice of the British Government in regard to his external relations."—[Afghanistan (1881), No. 1, p. 47.]That seems to me to mean that, in the event of an invasion of Afghanistan, Her Majesty's Government are prepared to assist Abdurrahman in "repelling" invasion—and I beg the special attention of your Lordships to the word "repelling," for I wish particularly to know whether Her Majesty's Government are placing themselves in a fit position to fulfil the engagement contained in the pledge which I have read. Do they mean to go to the assistance of Abdurrahman in repelling the invasion of Russia or any other possible invader? The noble Viscount (Viscount Enfield) gave a strange notion of the kind of assistance we should afford. He said that an invader would be occupied a long time in completing the conquest of Afghanistan; and in the meantime we could collect our forces, strengthen our communications, and prepare to defend India. Not very promising for a friendly Afghanistan. Now, what have we got if we retain Candahar? The facts are very simple. In the first place, we are now in the country, the people of which have been very submissive. By means of the railway we can procure easy access from our Dominions, in the event of our completing it, to Candahar; and, in the third place, we have, by way of Kurrachee, easy means of communication by sea for the conveyance of either troops or merchandise; and, above all, we have the means of continuing good government in that country. A large portion of the population is not Afghan, and would welcome our stay. I 245 quite admit there are plenty who would reject our power; but they would ultimately retire to places where they could carry on their predatory habits rather than attack us. You have instances, in the case of some of the Native tribes, of their turning from cattle-stealing to cattle-grazing, and supplying our commissariat with stores. I do not believe in the notion of untameable races, nor do I think we should abstain from endeavouring to tame them. What have you done with the Bheels? You have made them some of the best soldiers in the Indian Army, or efficient police. And what does Russia do? Those tribes of Turcomans, which are spoken of in such terms of horror as man-stealers and robbers, she turns into the best soldiers; and, if the occasion arises, these Turcoman horsemen will be found in the very front of the Armies of Russia. Can you suppose that by retiring from Afghanistan you will have made the Afghans friends, as the noble Earl says in one of his despatches, or that they will become useful allies to you? Lord Lawrence, in a Minute which he wrote in 1869, used these words—I feel no shadow of doubt that if a formidable invasion of India from the West were imminent the Afghans en masse, from the Ameer of the day to the domestic slave of the household, would readily join it.And they would do this, of course, for the sake of plundering India. I would rather trust to watchfulness on the spot, than to that which led to the ignorance of the meaning and intentions of Russia which was displayed by the noble Earl opposite (the Earl of Northbrook) during the time that he was Viceroy of the Queen in India. There is one circumstance which, above all, seems to me to appeal to the honour of your Lordships' House, and which may well claim to weigh with your Lordships in dealing with this matter. It is on record that Sir Donald Stewart called together an assembly of the Mollahs and Sirdars in and around Candahar, and assured them that in no circumstances would they become subject to Cabul, treating them, in fact, as a people who were to be relieved from Afghan domination, and in a later period assuring not only the Sirdars, but the people, that they might rely upon Her Majesty's Government making no change in their policy. We have heard, my Lords, of the way in which the Go- 246 vernment have kept their promises with the Turis and the Afridis. Well, the keeping of one promise does not absolve us if we break another; and I say that Sir Donald Stewart has pledged not only himself, but the Government of his country, to see that Candahar is not abandoned to a Cabul Ruler, nor to the principle of natural selection, through bloody and unnatural strife, of which the noble Duke (the Duke of Argyll) has spoken. It would be unjust, it would be grossly unjust, so to abandon it. The mere apprehension that we are about to retire has occasioned alarm; and I believe that when these Papers are read—as they will be in Afghanistan and in Quetta—it will greatly weaken our influence in Quetta and in all those districts. I do not, my Lords, undervalue the position we would occupy at Quetta; but it is said that we could at any time we require to do so advance from Quetta on Candahar. Will the Khojak Pass, I ask, my Lords, be left open to enable us so to advance? Suppose the Pass to be held by trained Afghan troops led by Russian officers and using arms of precision. Would our advance in such circumstances be so easy as noble Lords opposite seem to believe? I fear it would not, and that our troops might be exposed to disasters such as have, unhappily, been recently witnessed. I say, then, that you are bound not only in honour, but also in point of interest, not to abandon the position which you have achieved by your sword, and which you are able to hold by the sword. I have no doubt that you would be able to hold Candahar hereafter with a smaller n umber of troops than you contemplate. I believe that the result of communication between an intelligent and just people and the people of Candahar would be that you would gain and maintain a beneficial influence over them; and with respect to recruiting, you would find in the neighbourhood the fittest fields from which to draw your troops, and although you might not be able to use them on that spot, you could exchange them and send them to other places where their services might be required. These people are brave, in their way they are chivalrous, they have been predatory, because they are poor; but if you put them in a position to exercise their industry and to acquire wealth, if you enable them to live in prosperity and peace—it may be by 247 degrees, it may be little by little, but still gradually they will rise in the scale of manhood, and you will show them that your object is not aggrandizement, not merely security, but that you are anxious to secure the benefit and advantage of your fellow-creatures. My Lords, I come now to a point upon which it is right that I should say a word—namely, the question of cost. I quite admit that I am not very well qualified to judge that question; but I will refer to the opinions of others who are. Much was said with respect to it by the noble Earl (the Earl of Northbrook) last night. Quite forgetting the admonition of his noble Chief, the noble Earl grew quite warm, and abused us for want of prevision, and for mistakes as to the cost of the war in India. I quite admit, my Lords, that a great mistake was made. It was not discovered by the highest authorities in India. It was not discovered by the authorities at the India Office. There was no suggestion that the reports which came home were not accurate. There were many reasons to make us believe that they were fully accurate; and I deeply regret that one who has done so much distinguished service to his country as Sir John Strachey should have been subjected to so much obloquy for the undoubted error he committed. But he made it in good faith, and in consequence of what he believed to be sufficient information. He was mistaken. But, my Lords, when the time comes for Sir John Strachey's financial history to be written, I venture to say it will be proved that he has greatly benefited India by the modes of taxation which he introduced—by his removal of the Customs line, which caused so much hardship and grievance, and by his modification of the Salt Tax, thereby increasing the Revenue and relieving the many who suffered from it. I am sure that those who appreciate the services of Sir John Strachey will say that he sacrificed his health and gave the best of his intellect in the public interest, and that he has been a successful administrator on the whole, although in this instance he would be the first to admit that he should have looked deeper into what was placed before him, and should have examined more closely the figures with which he was furnished—and that is the extent of his offence. 248 But what is this cost to be? Sir Henry Norman puts it at £1,500,000 in round numbers; but in that he includes the force at Quetta, and all that is necessary to keep Candahar and the line. That, I think, is not a fair mode of dealing with the question, because the troops are already at Quetta, and it is not proposed to give Quetta up. I cannot help here observing that Sir Henry Norman is in favour of the abandonment of Quetta, that he urges our retirement from Afghanistan on the high grounds of morality; and yet, with a strange inconsistency, proposes to hand over Sibi to the Khan of Khelat, a territory our title to which, he argues, we have no claim. I find, however, that Sir Richard Temple, who has held the Office of Finance Minister in India, stated the other day that the cost of occupying Candahar would not be anything like the sum at which it is estimated by the Government. I find, too, that in a pamphlet, written by General Sir Henry Green, which was put into my hand last night, he estimates the cost at £345,000. Sir Henry Green gives the figures, and they can be criticized by any Member of the Government. We are told that there would be great cost incurred for buildings. No doubt, that would be the case if you were pledged to retire to Pishin; but I believe that there are many buildings in Candahar which are suitable for barracks, and could be so used by the soldiers. I saw the other day a letter from a well-informed correspondent, in which he spoke of the preference of the troops for Candahar, with its advantages of bazaars, &c.; and I cannot understand how recruiting for isolated districts would be more popular. But I need not enter into that. The question is Candahar, and I say that there are means there for housing large numbers of troops without it being necessary to incur any great expense. My Lords, I have to apologize for detaining your Lordships; but I feel that this is a question not of Party politics. I deprecate nothing so much as that there should be lines drawn, with respect to Indian politics, by Party limits in your Lordships' House. We have all, I trust, of all Parties learned wisdom from what has taken place. Our Mission may have been a failure; but circumstances have arisen which could not have been foreseen by human vision. Are we now 249 to give up that which we consider necessary for the defence of our interests? We came to the conclusion that a good way to maintain the interests of India—I will not say the best way—was to retain the position we had achieved. As I have said, we are there, the place is healthy—it may be made strong. We believe—I know there are differences of opinion on the subject—that we should strengthen our influence, both in India, and Afghanistan, by our retention of that place. We believe that we should benefit the people of Candahar by our sway, that we should introduce trade and commerce—I do not say how much; there are those who are connected with commerce who believe it would be considerable. Mr. Andrews, the Chairman of the Scinde Railway, believes that we should introduce large commerce if the railway were completed and joined to his line. I will not put forward my prevision, lest on a future occasion the noble Earl should show it to be defective. But, at the same time, these are advantages, my Lords, to which, to a certain extent, we have a right to look forward. I believe we should strengthen the hands of Abdurrahman at Cabul; and he never wished, never expressed a wish, at all events, for Candahar. I have spoken of the improvements that have taken place in agriculture, and that I think is one of the most important improvements, because from it our chief commissariat could be supplied. It is a land rich in fruits, and in all kinds of grain, and by improving the valleys they might supply almost all the necessaries for an army; thus getting rid of a chief source of expense—transport. But, besides this, there would be the effect of the railway which is, and has been, a material civilizer, and the best means ever used for bringing countries together. By its means could be acquired a road from Afghanistan to the sea. If that were secured, you would find that many people would settle at Candahar under our protection, and that with that railway and its means of transport, would grow up a condition of prosperity and peace which even Candahar, which is celebrated in the old annals of Asia, has never before seen. It was not without reason that Candahar has always been an object of controversy. Do not, my Lords, believe that it has been selected at haphazard, but 250 rather as a place from which great advantages would arise to its possessors. Then, also, we might "harden," as I may call it, the Frontier of Afghanistan against Russia. We might show that there was somebody there who meant to maintain the independence of the Frontier, and that Russia might come to a certain extent and no further. It would be an assertion, not in words only, that we did not mean to allow any foreign influence in Afghanistan, because we placed our own there. My Lords, with these reasons I might stop, and say that Candahar was a fit object for us to retain. But I have something to say with reference to the speech of the noble Earl who concluded late last night. I want to know—I think this House before it votes, and the country has a right to know—to whom and for what purpose are you going to surrender Candahar? Who is to have it? The noble Marquess said it was to be abandoned when a regular Government was established there. Well, my Lords, a Cabinet Minister has spoken, and he has not even hinted into whose hands it is about to fall. We are to abandon it, and Candahar is to be the prize of some successful conqueror, wading through blood and cruelties, which, if they ensue, will be on the heads of those who could have prevented it, and have not done so. I believe that by holding this position we deter advances which are dangerous; we prevent the intrusion of agents who will sap the opinions of the Afghan people, and who may make them ready, on some future occasion, to join in a crusade against us. It is with a view to make India peaceable and secure on the North-West Frontier, as she is secure on all others, that I support this Motion; and when she has that security she may devote herself to the interests of peace and the improvement of her finances, and, as I believe, in union with England, those blessings will be hers which will be the highest reward to the country which governs her.
THE DUKE OF ARGYLL
My Lords, I wish, in the first place, to express substantial agreement with an observation which fell from the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Salisbury) last night in respect to the duty and function of this House. I should be sorry to see the day when Members of this House as individuals, or the House as a body, would 251 be reluctant to express any opinion on public affairs on the mere ground that it would not be likely to be coincident with the opinion of the other House of Parliament, or with the existing opinion of the public out-of-doors. I think it is the function and the duty of this House and every Member of it to do that which the noble Marquess said—namely, to influence for the better, as he thinks it, the opinion of this country upon great questions of public concern. I have through the favour and indulgence of this House, for which I can never be sufficiently grateful, taken opportunities to express opinions which I knew to be unpopular in this House at the time, and with respect to which I had doubts whether they were popular out-of-doors. And if this is the right of individual Members, it is still more the right of the House as a public body. I, therefore, do not object to the Motion of the noble Earl on that account, nor on account of its mere form, though it is eminently ambiguous; and if noble Lords opposite succeeded to power to-morrow they might withdraw from Candahar, though having voted to-night for the Motion. But I accept the Motion as one of Censure on the present Government for not annexing and absorbing into the Dominions of the Queen the larger and richer part of the Kingdom of Afghanistan. The first observation that occurs to me is that the Members of Her Majesty's Opposition are endeavouring to censure us for not adopting a policy which they themselves had not adopted when they left Office, 11 months ago. Up to the last moment of their official existence they declared their intention not to absorb any part of Afghanistan; and, therefore, they are now asking the House of Lords to commit itself to an abstract proposition with respect to a policy to which they refused to be a party when in Office, and which, after voting for this Motion, they might repudiate the next day. This is a Motion—I cannot doubt it after the speech we have just heard—condemning the Government for not annexing, not only the Southern and richer part of Afghanistan, but the whole of it. It is impossible, after listening to the speech of the noble Viscount, not to see that every one of his arguments goes directly to the absorption of the whole of Afghanistan, and making our English 252 Empire conterminous with the future Empire of Russia in the East. I wish that the people of this country should understand that this is the Motion before the House. The Conservative Party, as a Party, desire to pledge the House, as far as they can, to a policy which would commit the country to the final absorption and annexation of the whole of the Kingdom of Afghanistan. ["No!"] I shall proceed to establish the legitimacy of the inference which I draw; but I wish for a short time to raise the question above any mere dispute between two Parties. I agree with the noble Viscount that now, for the first time for many years, the foreign policy of the Indian Government has been brought into Party debate. For the last 30 or 40 years there has been no division of opinion between the two Parties as to the foreign policy of the Indian Government. Now, the real question the House and the public have a right to ask is, What is the best Frontier for India in the circumstances in which we are placed with regard to the probable advance of Russia? I should be glad if we could approach that question without reference to the debates of the last few years. But I do not think that possible, for the speech of the late Viceroy was devoted, for an hour and a-half to defending his own policy with regard to Afghanistan. But I should be glad if we could disabuse our minds of all preconceived notions on this matter. I do not know that we on this side are subject to any special prejudice with regard to it, except that in Opposition we denounced the war as inexpedient and unjust. But it does not follow that we should not accept the results of a war of which we disapproved. But there are strong feelings in favour of the Motion. In the first place, there is a feeling that we should retain what we possess. Beyond that, there is the instinct of dominion—the most powerful feeling which can affect a powerful State. It is a feeling which exists, not only in States, but in individuals. Many Members of this House know the expression used in Scotland, which is "earth-hunger," as regards individuals—the desire to add field to field, and house to house, a strong feeling among many of us, and among nations it is also strong. I can conceive no better remedy for it in an individual than that he should be an Irish 253 proprietor, or in a nation than that she should possess Afghanistan. Then you have the glorious instincts of the great soldier profession. No soldier likes to retreat. The mere word "retreat" raises a prejudice against the consideration of this question. If we wish to free our minds from all prejudice we must look at the question of the military Frontier of India in the light of past events and of the progress of opinion in this country. The noble Marquess last night got rid very conveniently of all the history of opinion on this subject by saying—"It is no use going back to the past because the circumstances of the case are now absolutely different." But that is only partially true. I concur with the noble Marquess in this, that the great danger to India lies in the parallel advance of Russia in the direction of Persia, and in her influence over that State. The noble Marquess went the length of saying that at no time was the influence of Russia more paramount at Teheran than at the present moment. But with regard to this matter the circumstances of the case have hardly changed since the first Afghan War. The influence of Russia over Persia is the danger which has been foreseen and made the subject of debate in Indian councils for the last 40 years, and there is not a single argument in the remarks of the noble Marquess in connection with this subject which has not been used over and over again by the able and experienced men who have, during the last 40 years, considered this question in India and at home. Now, I wish to direct the attention of the House to the history of opinion on this matter. The question of the danger to India from Russian aggression through her influence with Persia, and through a possible junction with Persia, was raised in India in 1856 and 1857 by a very distinguished man—namely, General Sir John Jacob, who was the prophet and apostle of the forward school of Indian Frontier policy. I will read the advice which he gave Lord Canning as to the course which should be followed in the event of Russia making an alliance with Persia and threatening our Afghan Frontiers. His receipt was that we should occupy Quetta with a considerable force. I need not remind your Lordships that the question of the occupation of Quetta stands upon an absolutely different footing from the 254 question of the occupation of any part of Afghanistan. The people are friendly to us, and their Ruler is friendly to us, and we have by Treaty a right to occupy Quetta under certain conditions in certain circumstances. Well, these are the words of General Jacob—If we really intend to be fair and just to all men and to conduct our proceedings towards other States according to the principles which guide the intercourse of honest men in private life, the true interests of Afghanistan must be one with our own. … If all distrust of us be removed from the Afghan mind, an invasion of India will be impossible. The country has now justly decided that the former war was in itself a great crime and a great error, and in carrying it out the principles of justice, honesty, and common sense were ignored and offended against. … To attempt to compete with Orientals in cunning is to insure failure. We command Asiatics by high moral power alone.I commend these observations of the apostle of the forward school to the attention of the noble Marquess, whose cynical remarks upon the power of moral character and upon moral conduct rang in the ears of your Lordships last night. It was then the opinion of General Jacob that the best Frontier for India was the existing Frontier, if we cultivated friendly relations with the Afghans and treated them with perfect justice and candour, and if we maintained a powerful garrison at Quetta. I will not mention the opinion of Lord Lawrence, whom I knew intimately for 20 years, and whose judicial mind and massive intellect made the deepest impression upon me. His opinions are so well known and so discounted by the smaller men in high places who have been yelping at his heels, that I will not quote them in this debate. I will refer to men who are not included in the Lawrence school, and, first, to Lord Canning, who had before him the opinion of General Jacob. Although at the time Persia and Russia were advancing upon Herat, or, more correctly, the Persian forces, at the supposed instigation of Russia, were advancing upon Herat, Lord Canning did not hesitate to say—I will go the length of stating that in no circumstances can it consist with sound policy that the British army should cross the boundary of Afghanistan. I will not discuss whether it would be wise to send British forces beyond our Western Frontier in anticipation of an advance of enemy against our territory. The occurrence certainly cannot come upon us without a long note of preparation.255 Those words were the keynote of the policy pursued for the last 30 years. It has been grievously and grossly misrepresented in the speeches of noble Lords opposite, who only mention the policy called the Lawrence policy for the purpose of caricaturing it. Then I will take Sir John Peter Grant, one of the leading Councillors of the Government of Lord Dalhousie, who successfully held his own in debate against the powerful intellect and determined character of that Viceroy. He declared his emphatic agreement with Lord Canning, and he said that, even at that dangerous moment, he would not move a man across the existing Frontier. My Lords, some years passed, and the same great questions of Indian policy were raised in connection with another series of events. Noble Lords opposite talk as if the advance of Russia has been especially great during the last few years. That is a pure historical delusion. The great advances of Russia in Central Asia took place between 1864 and 1869. The steps of her progress were then indeed gigantic, and she advanced to the Valley of the Oxus. Thus has she established her Empire march by march. In these circumstances, the question was again raised by Sir Henry Lawrence in a celebrated Memorandum. That brings us to 1867–8. Now, my Lords, the discussion which that Memorandum raised was taken part in by some of the most eminent men who have ever served the State in either a civil or military capacity, and, among others, by the late Lord Sandhurst. My noble Friend who spoke last night upon that subject spoke in a manner to which justice was done, and no more than justice, by the noble Viscount who spoke last. But I wish to say a word about my own impression as to the qualifications of the late Lord Sandhurst. He was not a more soldier—but eminently a statesman. I shall never forget the interest which the late Lord Clarendon attached—and which we all who were in the Cabinet of Lord Aberdeen attached—to the despatches received from General Mansfield, who was at that time Consul General at Warsaw. Of all the despatches, diplomatic or military, which in recent times have been written, there were none to be compared in importance and value to those which we received from General Mansfield at Warsaw. He obtained for us 256 valuable information, and the information thus obtained relating to the affairs of the whole of Central Europe was an important element in the consideration of that Administration. When General Mansfield went to India, he was one of the leading Members of Lord Lawrence's Council. But he was by no means under the personal influence of Lord Lawrence. He was independent in his opinions. General Mansfield informed us with regard to the question of our military Frontier—a question which arose in consequence of the advance of Russia—that it was very questionable whether it was worth while to advance beyond the Frontier, even if the Russians were at Cabul or Candahar. That was a strong opinion, and one to which I do not wish to commit myself. I only quote it as the opinion of a great soldier and statesman. So confident was Lord Sandhurst in the strength of our military Frontier. I will refer to another name which will be familiar to many Members of this House—the name of a man who certainly was not under the influence of Lord Lawrence, but who was, I believe, on many occasions opposed to Lord Lawrence. I refer to Sir Henry Durant. What does he say in 1867, looking to the progress of Russia at that time? He said that our Frontier on the Indus was unmistakably strong, and that we could seize Afghanistan at any time, if it were thought advisable or necessary. That was the opinion of a distinguished man and great soldier. My Lords, the noble Earl opposite asked me last night why no opinion of Lord Mayo had been recorded. I do not know whether there are any public despatches dealing with the question of Central Asia. There may have been some, but they were entirely subordinate to other questions. But I have a private letter from Lord Mayo bearing on this question, from winch I will quote to the House. That letter may be seen by any noble Lord who desires it, as, indeed, may any letters from which I quote, because I never quote private correspondence without being willing to show the whole of it. On the 4th of April, just after the Umballa Conference, Lord Mayo wrote—Sanguine politicians at home will be disappointed that what is termed the Central Asian question did not prominently appear at Umballa. I am sure you will agree with me that it was a great blessing that it did not. I certainly determined not to broach it, because I am of 257 opinion that it is most desirable to show the Ameer that we have no apprehensions of danger from Russia through Cabul.My Lords, I commend this opinion of Lord Mayo to the careful consideration of noble Lords opposite. They have political confidence in Lord Mayo; he was one of their Party; and he, in the letter I have referred to, expresses his emphatic condemnation of the nervousness and timidity which have of late been so much manifested in reference to Russian intrigues against India. I cannot conceive anything better calculated to promote the interests of Russia than the language which we have heard from noble Lords opposite in this matter. "Look how the House of Lords is frightened at our approach." That is the language which Russia would adopt to the Native States and Princes of India. I will now give another authority, and that is no less a person than the noble Marquess opposite (the Marquess of Salisbury). The noble Marquess, in one of his luminous moments, used remarkable language; and it is still more remarkable that that language was used in the Instructions givers to the noble Earl opposite on his departure for India. The noble Marquess, in those Instructions, said—Sentiments of irritation and alarm at the advancing power of Russia find frequent expression through the English Press, in language which, if taken by Shore Ali for a revelation of the mind of the English Government must have been long accumulating in his mind impressions unfavourable to its confidence in British power."—[Afghanistan, No. 1, (1878). p. 157.]And the noble Marquess refers to the British Parliament as the only authority which was to guide him. Still, my Lords, if that was the impression produced in India by the Press, what effect must be produced by the language of the noble Marquess himself, who has been Secretary of State for India, Foreign Secretary, and a Plenipotentiary at Constantinople? If the highest authority in this country preaches in the House of Lords that this advance of the Russians makes him tremble in his shoes for the safety of our Indian Empire—preaches the language of fear—what will be the effect? Well, now, my Lords, I will quote another authority. Noble Lords opposite would laugh at opinions coming from this side of the House. They generally caricature, and then laugh at them. But they will not laugh 258 at this. What I am going to read deals with the question whether it is desirable to enter upon communications with the Russian Government in order to obviate inconvenience that might be apprehended from the progress of that Power in Central Asia. The words are—Upon this point Her Majesty's Government see no reason for any uneasiness or jealousy. The conquests which Russia has made, and which she is apparently still making, appear to be the natural result of circumstances in which she finds herself placed.I observe that there is an acknowledgment then that the advance of Russia was still going on. Then follows a statement that there was no need of suspicion or alarm on the part of the Government. Those are the words of Sir Stafford Northcote, and it was contained in the first Paper put into my hands when I went to the India Office to ask for Papers. So much for the authorities from 1867 to 1869. I now turn to the progress of opinion on this matter during the Administration of the noble Earl opposite. I do not know whether the noble Earl recollects the allusions he made last night to the drummers and trumpeters of the Liberal Party. But a few days ago there appeared in The Times, in large type such as befitted the occasion, a communication from the noble Earl, together with a letter from Professor Vambery. Now, my Lords, I think some of you will remember that on one occasion the noble Earl at the head of the late Government expressed extreme contempt at professors in general. I cannot myself say that I entertain any such feelings. But I must say that I should not go for advice on such a question to a Magyar, who is the embodiment of Magyar antipathies against Slavs. I do not know that the opinion of Professor Vambery was much wanted in this country. I certainly am not inclined to allow the Magyars to satisfy their hatred of the Slays at the expense of Indian taxpayers and of the English public. But this wonderful letter certainly acts as the "Drummer and Trumpeter" of the character of the noble Earl. I need not quote the wonderful Minute now for the first time published, and which I confess I never saw in the Blue Book. The noble Earl complained very much of the publication of this Minute; but I cannot conceive on what grounds. The Minutes of previous Vice- 259 roys have been published, everything contributed by anyone in authority has been published to the world; and I know not why one who looks on himself as the Saviour of India should not enlighten us on this question. I think that is a most legitimate course of proceeding. The noble Viscount to-night remarked on the gloomy silence which he said I maintained on the subject of Central Asia while I was five years at the India Office. Well, there is nothing in my whole public life on which I more congratulate myself than on my silence on that matter. If I had been induced to pen such documents as these I am not sure that I should consider I had contributed much to the wisdom of the country or to the guidance of Parliament. This mass of records seems to me to be one long record of prophecies which have been falsified, of fears that are childish and ridiculous, and of a policy which no prudent Government would recommend. In them the noble Earl distinctly contemplates a division of Afghanistan between Russia and England. But that is not all. The noble Earl said that whatever the Russian views might be, there could be little doubt that she would consent to our occupation of Cabul and Southern Afghanistan, if thereby she could secure the Oxus Provinces—that if the arrangement was to be an amicable one Russia must be offered some such terms as that, because it was evident she would not accept an arrangement so inimical to her own interests as would be formed by final and absolute exclusion from the Northern Provinces of Afghanistan. Here we have the noble Earl, the Saviour of India against Russia, deliberately contemplating the giving over to Russia of the Provinces of Afghanistan which border on the Oxus, and which lie between the Oxus and the Hindoo Kush. I will only say this—that although I may have left on record no words on this subject, there was nothing which I and my Colleagues at the India Office were more anxious about than that Russia should not interfere in any part of Afghanistan south of the Oxus, that the whole of Afghanistan to the Oxus should belong to the Ameer. Yet here we have this contemplated bargain between the noble Earl and Russia, under which the Hindu Kush was to be our boundary, and the whole of Afghanistan beyond that point was to be delivered 260 over to Russia. There is another recommendation in this wonderful Minute, which I may refer to as exhibiting the great wisdom of the noble Earl in regard to our policy towards Afghanistan. The noble Earl said that where it was necessary to establish themselves they would do so by the location of British Agencies. That is to say, he recommends that we should have a great number of men placed very much in the position of the late Sir Louis Cavagnari, where they are almost certain to be murdered. Before I proceed to make some observations on the further development of the noble Earl's policy, I want to say a few words about this wonderful Cabul Correspondence; and I must say that in his account of it there was much that was wholly imaginative. Those communications began in 1870, and the very first of them so alarmed the Ameer that he consulted Lord Mayo. The noble Earl took great care to conceal that fact. He attacked my noble Friend behind me (the Earl of Northbrook) for having been ignorant and blind to this Correspondence. He took care to omit the fact that the first reference was to Lord Mayo, and that the first assurance given to the Ameer in respect to it came from Lord Mayo. Lord Mayo said that it was a mere letter of civility, and he actually suggested the draft of the reply. That is the history of all the subsequent communications up to a certain date. The only Governor General who suggested a doubt as to one letter was my noble Friend (the Earl of Northbrook); but hardly any notice of it was taken, I believe, by the Government at the time. There was an important change which took place in that Correspondence from a certain date; and when the noble Viscount (Viscount Cranbrook) spoke of the inaccuracy of modern history he gave a singular illustration of it himself. He omitted all reference to the conduct of the late Government towards the late Shore Ali. I am not going into what we are told is res judicata. But why did the noble Earl re-open it yesterday? If he had a right to re-open it I suppose I have a right to do so too; but I will only say that your Lordships will observe that in this Correspondence there was a total and absolute change of tone on the part of the Ameer for the first time in April or in August, 1878, and that was at the time when for more 261 than a year the noble Earl opposite had declared that he had taken steps which would throw the Ameer into the arms of Russia. I admit that when the noble Earl went as Viceroy to India the Ameer was sullen; but that makes no real difference to the argument on this matter, the gist of which the noble Earl did not seem to comprehend. When you are dealing with a man whose grievances are purely imaginary, it can hardly be a right mode of proceeding to give him other causes of grievance which are not imaginary, but very real and solid. And my complaint against the noble Earl is that from the moment when he arrived in India he pursued towards the Ameer a policy summed up in the words of they noble Marquess opposite (the Marquess of Salisbury)—a policy of "ostensible pretexts," a policy which was not straightforward, which professed to give him what he asked, and yet did not give it, which violated engagements by insisting that he should receive European Residents in his country, and which finally took the form of such steps as, by the noble Earl's own confession, would throw the Ameer, and which he knew would throw him, into the arms of Russia. The noble Earl said it was a mere inference of mine that it would throw the Ameer into the arms of Russia. Nothing of the kind. It was the distinct statement of the noble Earl himself. He said that the Peshawur Conference being broken up, that would naturally throw him into the arms of Russia. The noble Earl made a statement to the Vakeel at Simla with reference to our strength. He pointed out that the position of England was so strong that before Russia could move a single regiment to the Ameer's support we could overwhelm him; and he supported that statement by giving in detail the relative disposition of the Forces of Russia and England. I should very much like him to produce that document. That conversation took place with the Vakeel in October, 1876. If the noble Earl would produce that document he would produce a most useful argument in this case, and one which would tend to mitigate the fears of noble Lords opposite as to the weakness of England and the strength of Russia. In May, 1877, the noble Earl said he was confident in the paramount strength of our position. That, my Lords, is our whole case. Then 262 came the invasion of Afghanistan. So rapid was our success in the war, that three weeks the contest was practically over, and in three months the whole of the Western part of Afghanistan, close up to Cabal, was in the hands of the British Army. A confident opinion was expressed by the late Government that the scientific Frontier obtained by the Treaty of Gandamak made our Indian Empire perfectly secure. I need not trouble the House with quotations; but Member after Member of the late Government pointed out that whatever might happen at Cabul we were now secure. Then came the murder of Sir Louis Cavagnari and the advance to Cabul. What was the plan of the Indian Government then? Both Cabul and Candahar were to be put under Native Rulers, with British armies to support them. That was the third plan of the noble Earl. It lasted a very short time. So late as January, 1880, the noble Earl declared that it was the unanimous opinion of his Military Councillors that we should not materially extend our military Frontiers, or extend the range of our responsibilities in Afghanistan. And yet it was in connection with that plan that it was proposed to put Native Princes both at Candahar and at Cabul supported by British armies. The moment Abdurrahman appeared the noble Earl offered to him the Throne of Afghanistan. Subsequently, the noble Earl retracted that offer, and said Abdurrahman was to occupy only the throne of Cabul. The noble Earl yesterday had the courage to say that the present Government came into Office with a vast advantage with regard to the scientific Frontier. Sir Frederick Roberts last year gave to the Ameer as distinct an intimation as could be given by a public man that it was not our intention to remain in any part of Afghanistan. On looking at the next page of the noble Earl's volume, I find that he set up the Wali of Candahar. He was a mere puppet in your hands; and it is a remarkable fact that Shore Ali Khan, in accepting the Waliship, distinctly said he accepted it on the part of the British Government, and that he was a Representative of the British Government. What was the result of that policy of the noble Earl? Why, the Wali took part against us. I cannot help observing upon the extraordinary 263 circumstance that anyone so distinguished as Sir Henry Rawlinson and others should recommend a separation between the civil and the military administration of Afghanistan. Afghanistan is not a country in which there is an organized administration separate from the military administration of the country. It is idle to talk of Afghanistan as a country in which there are policemen and postmen, and County Court Judges and higher Judges, and all the paraphernalia of civil administration. It is a country in which every man is a soldier. It is a military government; and it is impossible that you can occupy this country and not administer both its civil and its military affairs. Therefore, the argument that you are to set up puppets as a policy, which was the policy of the late Government up to the time when they left Office, is vain, because that is a policy which must break down. I believe I have shown, by the history of the matter, that really the late Government had no policy whatever. It was a mere policy of drift. From month to month, even from week to week, they knew not what their policy would be. Any invasion of Afghanistan, any attempt to appropriate any part of it, would end in a complete destruction of the Kingdom, and necessitate an English administration of the whole of that country. Your policy has completely broken down in all cases. The policy of leaving the Ameer in the arms of Russia, the policy of dividing his Kingdom into separate Provinces, supported by a British Army, has completely broken down; and there remains nothing now but the policy of a return, as far as possible, to the old policy of the last 40 years, or to the complete annexation and absorption of Afghanistan as a part of the Queen's Dominions. A great authority of the forward school, Colonel Malleson, is favourable not only to the annexation of Candahar, but of the whole country to the Oxus. That is the inevitable result of the policy of noble Lords opposite; and it is not quite fair of them to recommend the House to come to this vote without giving their distinct opinion whether we can stop at Candahar, because one-half their arguments makes it quite certain that they look to further progress. The noble Earl looks to the Hindu Kush as a natural Frontier, and 264 is willing that Russia should occupy a position on the other side of the Hindu Kush. I protest against that. I say now, as I said in 1869, that the Oxus should be the boundary of Russia—I mean the boundary of Russian influence; and I should look with extreme jealousy and suspicion—so much more anti-Russian am I than the noble Earl—on any arrangement which would put Russia on the Southern side of the Oxus. We have before us the unquestionable alternative that we must either go back or go forward. Our present position at Candahar is one that cannot be maintained. Her Majesty's Government have determined that the wisest course for us—the course that is perfectly consistent with our own opinions and with our own honour—is to retire altogether from Afghanistan, and to reverse the policy which was most unfortunately begun by the noble Earl opposite. The noble Viscount (Viscount Cranbrook) spoke of the feelings of the people of Candahar with regard to this matter as being altogether in our favour. Much as I respect the opinion of the noble Viscount, I respect still more, on this subject, the opinions of the civilians and officers in charge of our Army in Afghanistan. Sir Donald Stewart has, I am told, changed his opinion with regard to the political aspect of this question. But whether he has changed his opinion or not, he is a witness to facts; and he says that, although the people of this Province precend to be tired of their present Rulers, yet, he adds—So far as I am in a position to judge, they detest us cordially; and I am under the impression that our immunity from anything like organized opposition is largely due to the fact that our dealings with the people are taken as an indication that our occupation is a temporary one only."—[Afghanistan (1881), No. 2, p. 28.]I shall not trouble the House longer, further than to say that, in returning to the policy which was departed from for the first time by the noble Earl opposite, we believe that we are doing our best both for England and for India. That policy is not one that is founded upon any confidence in Russian promises. The noble Marquess (the Marquess of Salisbury) sneered last night at what he termed our confidence in Russian pledges. I have as little confidence in the promises or in the assurances of the Russian Government as 265 the Afghan people would have a right to have in the assurances and promises of the late Viceroy of India. Intimations of intentions have been given by Russia, and have been departed from over and over again; and intimations of intentions have been given by the noble Earl opposite, and they also have been departed from over and over again, some of them in circumstances which I think very nearly touch the honour of the British Crown. Therefore it is that I say that our policy is not one of confidence in Russia; and for this very good reason—that agreements made with Russia are made with reference to times of peace, and therefore they are of no use at all in time of war. How is it possible to found a Frontier policy upon agreements of that kind? When war arises these agreements go to the winds; and therefore I have been astonished at the effect which the so-called "Secret Correspondence" appears to have had on some people out-of-doors. I cannot believe that this Correspondence can have had any effect upon the minds of Members of this House who attend to the dates. That Correspondence reveals the astonishing fact that when we go and prepare for war with Russia, Russia will go and prepare for war with us. That Correspondence contains no hint of aggression against us on the part of Russia until long after the noble Earl opposite had been preparing arms against Russia. I have said that our policy is not one of confidence in Russia; and I will add that it is not founded upon an implicit confidence in Afghanistan. I believe that we might have made the Afghans our friends by a steady persistence in the policy of Lord Mayo, and in that of my noble Friend behind me. I believe that, if they were not actually friendly to ourselves, they were, at least, equally hostile to Russia. We have ample proof of that fact, and, indeed, the noble Earl opposite himself has admitted that the Afghans did not sympathize with the pro-Russian tendencies of Shore Ali. I entertain the strong conviction that, if we can induce the Afghan people to believe that we have no desire to annex their country, but to deal honourably and fairly by them, and that we intend to keep to the terms of our announcement that we warred against their 266 Sovereign, and not against themselves, we may rely on their continued hostility to Russia to aid us in resisting any advances of that Power in their territory. That is all we wish them to do. They might well enable us to resist Russia in their country; but any auxiliary force of Afghans otherwise employed would be useless against an organized European force. I say, to use the language of the noble Earl himself, that our policy is founded upon a confidence in the paramount strength of our own position. Let me say one word as to what our policy is to be. Our policy is not to be a policy of mere weakness, of knees which are trembling under the weight of empire, but it is a policy founded on the belief that our Empire in India has reached its natural limits, within which we have enormous work to do, which can only be interrupted, and not forwarded, by the enormous expense and the enormous trouble which the occupation of Candahar and Afghanistan would entail. And, finally, let me say that it is a policy which has been suggested by some scruples of conscience. I know that the noble Marquess opposite said last night that to permit conscience to affect our actions in this matter was absurd.
THE DUKE OF ARGYLL
In making that statement I intended nothing personal to the noble Marquess. I understood him to say that the doctrines of morality had very little to do with our communications with the Afghans.
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
What I did say was that I thought that the impression that would be made upon the Afghan people by our superior morality was nothing to the impression that would be produced upon them by a belief in our superior strength.
THE DUKE OF ARGYLL
I regret that I cannot agree with the noble Marquess. I concur in the opinion expressed by General Jacob, that although our Empire in India was founded by the sword it has been preserved by a strict fidelity to all our obligations; and that, if we were once to begin to disregard our engagements in that part of the world we should be doing grievous injury to our Indian Empire. I think that we should abide by the engagements 267 that we have made over and over again not to annex Afghanistan. This is not the case of a weak State lying between two powerful ones, and being in danger of being made a fortress for one or the other of them. No part of Afghanistan has ever yet been invaded by Russia, and I do not see that there is the most distant prospect of it ever being invaded by that Power. Therefore, in my opinion, it would be a violation of public morality and of public engagements if we were to attempt to seize Afghanistan from its brave and independent inhabitants. In conclusion, I may say that our policy is founded upon these considerations—confidence, paramount confidence in the strength of our own military position, if we husband our resources, and if we try to make the Afghan people a friendly people, and if we repent of the unjust course which we have taken against their rights.
said, that our prophecies with regard to military matters in Afghanistan had been falsified by the results, and the costs of wars in that country had always proved greatly in excess of the Estimates. His own view was that if this country had spent a tithe of the money wasted in the Afghan War in improving the roads and other means of communication within the existing Frontier, that Frontier could have been made absolutely impregnable. From what he knew of the views held by his late father—views based upon his considerable experience of India and Indian affairs—he believed that had his father lived he would have approved the policy adopted by Her Majesty's Government.
said, that the question was, whether Her Majesty's Government were, in the information before this House, justified in their announced policy as to Candahar? He reminded their Lordships that Candahar had been an ancient Kingdom, sometimes in possession of the Great Moguls, sometimes of Persia; but Her Majesty's Government seemed to ignore Persia; and though they had no Shah Abbas, yet the present Shah was acquainted with the discipline of our troops, and his ancestors had often possessed Herat as well as Candahar. Candahar was very difficult to take, and very easy to retain. Shah Johan besieged it three times unsuccessfully. "Beati possidentes" was the motto of a great man—Prince Bismarck 268 —and troops at Candahar would make fewer troops necessary in more Southern parts of India. Our English Embassies—1616, under James I. to Jehanghire—had considered Persia, and gone to it from India; and Sir John Malcolm had gone there in behalf of India. The map of Hindostan—under the Great Mogul, 1616—included Cabul as well as Candahah. Sir Henry Durant had only said if our Frontier were strong we could prevail; but Lord Napier had pointed out a stronger boundary. The noble Duke (the Duke of Argyll) had, in 1869, sent a telegram from the Empress of India to Shere Ali; he could not, therefore, object to Her Majesty having all the Dominions of the Great Mogul; and it was stated by the noble Duke that the noble Earl the First Lord of the Admiralty had also sent a premature telegram from the Empress of Hindostan to Shere Ali, who knew its former boundaries; and the noble Duke had described that Potentate as sulky—a term which must be offensive to the Afghan nation. He (Lord Denman) did not believe that the noble Earl the Mover of this Address would ever have agreed to the supposed wish of the Czar—to exchange his non-interference in Hindostan as to our indifference in Turkestan. The Mahomedans were a powerful race; they had often invaded the Deccan from Afghanistan, and they used to think conquest meritorious for the spread of their creed; and a Russian General had tried to make them believe that the British were the enemies of their religion; but this was not believed by their co-religionists in Constantinople, who were extremely tolerant; and in Northern India, in the time of Akbar the Great and his son, free inquiry was permitted into each faith. The noble Viscount the Under Secretary of State for India (Viscount Enfield) had said, with a sneer, that missionaries would reside in Candahar if we retained it, and that they had often done harm; his friend, The Times, had omitted to report that portion of his speech, knowing, probably, that it would offend many religious people in this country. The noble Earl the First Lord of the Admiralty (the Earl of Northbrook) had read a whole leading article, two days old, from an Indian newspaper, and had tried to impress that House with the importance of it; but their Lordships must follow truth 269 and justice, and not follow the opinion of newspapers like The Times, who described the speech of the noble Marquess the late Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (the Marquess of Salisbury) as sarcastic or cynical, which latter phrase was repeated by the noble Duke (the Duke of Argyll). It had formerly been said by Bernier that Candahar could not afford a Revenue, and that neighbouring tribes should be excused tribute, in consideration of supplying the inhabitants with food; but shortly the railroad would be completed, and South India would supply whatever might be needed for the mutual benefit of North and South. He (Lord Denman) considered that Sir Frederick Roberts had saved the Empire of India by his conduct in December, 1879, and by his late valour at Candahar; but it never should have been necessary for him to leave Cabal—the pleasant place so longed for in vain by Baber, after his conquests; and the hasty withdrawal of troops from Natal, necessitating Sir Frederick Roberts' command, had caused him (Lord Denman) great regret. But if the Government were determined to go from Candahar under any circumstances, he (Lord Denman) hoped that they would not run the risk of having again soon to attempt to conquer it, and, probably, lose for ever the benefit of all the blood and treasure—with so good a result—expended upon it. The war was just, and was a war of defence; for if a Power withdrew her Ambassador it was a case of war, and if a Power refused to receive the Ambassador of a friendly Power, and entertained one from a doubtful quarter, and then fired upon the escorting party, it must take all the consequences. It had been as complete a conquest as ever existed, and it was brought about by the conduct of Shere Ali, and by the treachery of his son; and if Her Majesty's Government hastily withdrew, as if defeated, they would bitterly repent it.
LORD NAPIER AND ETTRICK
said, that all ambiguity had been removed from the question under discussion by the character of the speeches which had been made by the noble Earl the Mover of the Resolution, by the noble Marquess who spoke last night, and by the noble Viscount who introduced the discussion that evening. They now knew that the noble Earl meant that under no circumstances should Candahar be relinquished, 270 and that under all circumstances Candahar should be annexed to Her Majesty's Eastern possessions. He would briefly state the reasons which induced him to believe that their Lordships should not give their assent to the Resolution if the interests of England and of India could be maintained by any other means. He belonged to that Party who considered that India and England had a vital stake in Afghanistan. He believed that Russian influence there would be a real and substantial danger to us, which ought to be resisted by every means in our power. Under these circumstances, when the Russian political Mission had been received at Cabul, and when reluctance and opposition had been shown by the Ameer to the reception of a British Mission, he had always maintained that England had no other course to adopt than to appeal to arms. He had always said that the noble Earl the late Prime Minister and the noble Earl the late Viceroy had a just claim to their gratitude for the energy and determination which they showed in this emergency. For his part, his sympathy and approval continued to accompany the late Viceroy up to the period of the rupture of the Treaty of Gandamak by the attack on our Embassy at Cabul. The noble Earl and he parted company from that moment, for then the noble Earl rushed forward to what he must term a most adventurous and lawless policy of annexation and conquest. The noble Earl thus abandoned the policy of previous Governments, a policy which he still believed, after all that had happened, to be wise and tenable, and a policy which up to the present moment had never been condemned or repudiated either by Parliament or by the public opinion of this country. The reasons why he objected to the retention of Candahar were that it was contrary to the traditional policy of England, contrary to our diplomatic declarations, placed an unnecessary charge on the resources of India, and involved an unnecessary aggression on the independence of a free people. The traditional policy of England had been the maintenance of a great, free, united, consolidated state in Afghanistan, in friendship and alliance with the Government of India, and subordinate to that Government in its relations with foreign Powers, and absolutely free from intervention or interference 271 on the part of those Powers. That policy had been approved by all the statesmen who had held the Office of Viceroy, or who had been in a position to direct Indian policy in England up to a very recent period. The only exception he could name was the late Lord Lawrence; and, notwithstanding all that had been said in reference to the views of Lord Lawrence, he did not believe that he would have remained indifferent in the presence of Russian intervention in Afghanistan. It was a policy sanctioned by the unanimous voice of all English statesmen connected with the administration of Indian affairs, and which had not been repudiated by the noble Earl who now held the position of First Lord of the Admiralty. He had heard the noble Earl the Leader of their Lordships' House descant at length upon the evil of a breaking of continuity and consistency in public affairs, and he blamed the conduct of the late Government for revoking the policy of their Predecessors. If consistency and continuity of policy were necessary foreign affairs, they wore particularly necessary in our dealings with Russia, which showed the strongest example of consistency and continuity in her policy. The noble Earl who introduced the subject gave as one of his reasons for the change of policy the unhappy massacre of our Envoy at Cabul. But the massacre of our Envoy was not the deliberate act of the Government to which he was accredited; it was partly the work of a tumultuous soldiery, and partly the result of the premature stationing of an English Envoy in Afghanistan. He did not think that the interests of England and India would be ever properly safeguarded in Afghanistan without the appointment of English officers. But the despatch of an English Envoy to the capital of Afghanistan at a moment when the Government was not yet settled, and when the passions of a defeated army were not yet assuaged, was rash and inconsiderate. He could not admit that the tragical occurrence in question was a sufficient ground for a change of policy. If the policy was just and well-founded before, it was just and well-founded after. When he said that the retention of Candahar was opposed to our diplomatic engagements he did not mean that there were any really binding engagements in existence; but there were en- 272 gagements of an informal kind which ought to have been renewed and confirmed. Those engagements were embodied in the Correspondence which passed between the noble Earl and Prince Gortschakoff. The noble Earl intimated to the Russian Government that it had no right to interfere within a certain line, and Russia admitted the validity of the intimation adding, he thought with reason, that England, by having laid down a certain boundary and by subsequent assistance to the Ameer, rendered herself in some degree responsible for his conduct. That engagement amounted to this—that while England was not to interfere to the north of the Oxus, Russia was not to interfere to the south. Afghanistan was to stand between the two Empires an independent State, associated with India, and in some degree under Indian control; but not associated with Russia, and not under Russian control. That was a just and reasonable arrangement. But he could not think it wise or desirable that noble Lords who had held important positions in India in the past should embitter our relations with Russia by invidious insinuations. He was of opinion that at one time neither the noble Earl who led his Party in that House nor the noble Earl below the Gangway (the Earl of Derby) sufficiently appreciated our responsibility towards Afghanistan. They did not realize what were the logical consequences of the policy initiated by Lord Mayo; and when it was found that the Government was not prepared to give the Ameer the assurances and guarantees to which he was, perhaps, justly entitled, and to which the policy of the Government naturally led, the Ameer drifted off to a more energetic and unscrupulous party, and allied himself with Russia—an alliance which, in the circumstances, was almost inevitable. If he might offer a suggestion as to our general policy with Russia he would say—"Do not molest the Russian Government with too many representations and remonstrances upon matters in which you are not thoroughly in earnest. Do not vex them with the expression of suspicions and anxieties about any course of action which you are not determined to resist. Do not, for instance, say too much about the Turcomans. Make your purposes known to the Russian Government frankly and firmly. Convince them that you are 273 in earnest, and you will suffer very little trouble or molestation at their hands." One great objection which he had to the annexation of Candahar was that it would impose an unnecessary burden upon the Government and people of India. It was impossible to make even an approximate guess of the expenses that the occupation of Candahar would involve. Fortifications would have to be built, supports maintained, and the wants of a powerful garrison supplied in a poor region vastly distant from India. This occupation would also impose upon us the necessity of organizing extensive Provinces and subjugating them to civil government. A great augmentation of the Civil and Military expenditure of India would therefore be the consequence of the adoption of the policy submitted to their Lordships in that debate. Was this a fitting time for such an augmentation, when India was crying out that her revenues should be expended for public purposes within her own borders? Upon the financial question their Lordships might be guided by what had taken place under the late Government, which showed how injurious to India an aggressive policy in Afghanistan might prove to be. The late Government, although they were responsible for the war, declined to give any financial assistance to India—with the exception of a loan of £2,000,000 without interest. That was certainly not generous treatment. The present Government, although it had not been responsible for the war, had promised to make a substantial contribution—not by way of loan, but of gift—to India towards the cost of the war. He fully agreed that we ought to abandon Candahar. Permanently to maintain it would be an unjust and ruinous policy. He looked upon the war as an unjust and unnecessary aggression. At the same time he did not think that a precipitate withdrawal of our forces was advisable. Candahar might be made an excellent vantage-ground for exercising our influence over the affairs of Afghanistan, and for contributing to what had been so much dwelt upon by the noble Viscount—the creation of a strong and united Afghanistan. A precipitate retreat might lead to disastrous results. He hoped that the Government would still be able to negotiate a settlement in Afghanistan which would be in harmony with pre- 274 vious transactions, which would embody a sufficient security for our interests in India, and which would be conformable to the rights of a people with whom we had been unwillingly involved in hostilities.
THE EARL OF DUNRAVEN
said, he desired to confine himself to the most important part of the question before their Lordships—namely, the retention or the evacuation of Candahar. It was very difficult, however, not to touch a little on the past. That difficulty was shown by the fact that, although many other noble Lords had announced their intention of dealing only with the question of the retention of Candahar, they had been unable to resist the temptation to speak at considerable length on the merits of the different policies pursued by the late Government, and by the present Government when in Office before. The present Government, as he understood their objects, appeared to be desirous of maintaining certain main lines of policy which had been pursued by them formerly, and by their Predecessors; and they relied to a very great extent on opinions that were given some time ago. They allowed that the authorities they quoted had in many cases modified or changed their opinions lately; but the noble Duke the Lord Privy Seal accounted for that by the reluctance which military men were apt to feel for giving up any possession acquired by war. He did not think that was the real reason for the change of opinion, which he attributed to the altered circumstances of the case, and the difference between the position which Russia occupied some years ago and her present position. He submitted, further, that since the time they spoke of a great many important changes had occurred, and that, therefore, in order to retain the spirit of that policy, it was necessary to alter it in matters of detail and in the letter. They ought to look at the state of things now existing, and to judge whether certain modifications in our Indian Frontier were not requisite, and whether that which was good enough for us 25 years ago was good enough for us still. He knew that the noble Duke the Lord Privy Seal described any man who spoke of the bare possibility of an invasion of India by Russia as shaking in his shoes from sheer terror of Russia. Now, though himself no alarmist, he thought 275 it was only wise and prudent to admit the possibility of such a contingency, and to take such measures as were best fitted to guard against it. Some 25 years ago Russia was separated from us by barren steppes of great extent, and vast deserts; but since then she had crossed the steppes, traversed the deserts, and had advanced comparatively close to our Frontiers, absorbing many warlike populations on her way. The Crimea was connected by steamers with Batoum or Poti, which again were connected by railway with the Caspian. There were steamers, also, on the Caspian, and thence a railway was in course of construction, a considerable portion of which was finished, to Askabad. Askabad was not above 300 miles from Herat. From Askabad an army might march on Merv, and so to Herat, or to Herat without touching Merv, or on Candahar without going near either Merv or Herat, by means of an understanding with Persia. It might be asked, what did that matter? It mattered a great deal. Some 20 or 30 years ago Russia was separated from us by some thousands of miles of country so difficult to traverse that it was asserted that she would never overcome it; but she had overcome it, and now the Russian soldier could be transported from the very heart of Russia to within 280 miles of Herat by railway and by steamers. Munitions and artillery could also be similarly transported without the trouble of getting draught animals together. Those facts were quite sufficient to account for the change in the opinion of military men, and ought to make Parliament and the country reconsider the question of the possibility of an invasion of India by Russia. The opinions of Sir Henry Rawlinson and Sir John Adye had been given as to the enormous difficulties which Russia would encounter on the march to Merv and Herat; but since those opinions were given those difficulties had, practically speaking, been overcome, and the thing that was said to be impossible had been done. Russia had to accomplish but a very short distance to connect by rail her base of operations on the Caspian Sea with a position from which she could move at any time on Candahar, Herat, or Merv. He did not say that Russia intended to invade India; but we now had one of the greatest, if not the greatest, military Power in the world almost within strik- 276 ing distance of us, and that fact involved a very great change. Some sections of the people of this country seemed to think that everything that Russia did was good, and everything that England did was bad. Shortly after the former debate in their Lordships' House upon that subject he received a letter, he did not know by whom it was written, as the writer forgot to sign his name. He did not know why; but probably the writer was a person of a forgetful habit of mind, as he had also neglected to pay the postage. In it he gave him a very excellent piece of advice. He said—"Go and learn wisdom from the Duke of Argyll." He thought that good advice until he read the next and concluding sentence in the letter, which was—"Perish India, Floreat Russia Civilizatrix." If that was the wisdom he was to learn from the noble Duke, he declined to follow the writer's advice. He did not for a moment suppose that the noble Duke's opinions were correctly represented by the passage he had quoted; but the other night the noble Duke had said to him that he ought to be glad that Russia had conquered the Tekke Turcomans and brought them under her civilizing influence. But it was said to be an iniquitous thing that a few thousand Afghans should be brought under English control. The process, as applied to the Tekke Turkomans, who must be a numerous people, as they could put 50,000 men into the fighting line, was first to slaughter a great number of them, and then reduce the rest under the authority of the most despotic Government in the world. If that was a matter for rejoicing, he failed to see why it must be a matter of regret that a few Afghans should be brought, without loss of life, under the dominion of the freest and most civilized Government on the face of the globe. So much for the possibility of invasion. Further, their Lordships had to consider the ease with which Russia could intrigue against us in Afghanistan. That was a matter removed from the realms of conjecture. They had had ample and sad experience of the ease with which Russia could make difficulties for them in that quarter of the globe. It was quite immaterial whose fault it was that she did so. The fact remained that she did, and she could do so again. No human 277 being could possibly say how long or how short a time would elapse before complications would arise in Europe or Asia between Great Britain and Russia. The horizon might be very clear; but in modern times clouds gathered quickly. Her Majesty's Government might see no signs or symptoms; but they might possibly be mistaken. He had the greatest respect for the wisdom of the Members of the Cabinet; but no mere mortals could foresee events. Only a year ago they were told by the present Prime Minister, speaking of Ireland, that—There was an absence of crime and outrage and a general sense of comfort and satisfaction such as had been unknown in the previous history of the country.Well, we had seen what had taken place in Ireland during the last year. Last May, the noble Earl the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs took rather a rosy view of the aspect of foreign affairs. But no man could be so blind as not to see that matters had been somewhat critical in Europe since that period. In fact, the noble Earl himself admitted only a few days ago the great delicacy and difficulty of the Greek Question. It was very likely that serious complications had hitherto been averted only by the great skill and prudence of the noble Earl. He did not impute the slightest blame to Her Majesty's Ministers. No mere human beings could foretell the future. He merely wished to point out that it was impossible, therefore, even for the accumulated wisdom of the Members of Her Majesty's Government to satisfy us that there was no danger of such a state of things arising between this country and Russia that would make it desirable for Russia to do what she could to incommode us by intriguing in Afghanistan. It was necessary, therefore, for us to guard against that possibility. There was another factor to be considered, and that was the Ameer of Afghanistan. We might feel quite satisfied about Russia; but it was possible that the Ameer might not feel so secure. As a matter of fact, we knew that Shere Ali was very much alarmed about Russia; and although the noble Duke assured him that he was not a bit afraid, that was not sufficient to re-assure Shere Ali. If the noble Duke was going to be Ameer of Afghanistan, it might be very satisfactory to us to know that that country would have a Ruler whom Russia 278 could not terrify. But, as far as he was aware, there was no intention on the part of the noble Duke to become the Ruler of that country. It was very possible, therefore, that the present Ameer at Cabul, or any future Ruler there, might become so uneasy at the proximity of the great Northern Power as to render him most desirous of entering into very friendly relations with that Power. The noble Earl (the Earl of Northbrook) said that the Ameer would have no desire to lean upon anybody, or to enter into friendly relationship with Russia. Very likely he might not wish to; but he would have to do so. Afghanistan must inevitably lean upon either England or Russia. The Ameer knew very well he could not stand alone, and he would never try to do so. Considering this fact, and having in view the ease with which Russia was able seriously to incommode us in Afghanistan, and bearing in mind, also, the altered relative position of the Russian and English Frontiers in the East, it was not to be wondered at that many authorities should have changed their minds as to the value of Candahar during the last 25 years. What we had to consider was whether, having regard to these changed circumstances, our Indian Empire could be best secured by our remaining where we were, or by our retiring within our former boundaries. There was a double aspect to this question—one purely military, and the other partially political. As to the political, all Parties, he believed, agreed that it was necessary that England should exercise a considerable control over the foreign relationships of Afghanistan, and we could not do this without having some position to enable us to exercise that control. With Candahar we could exercise that control; without it we could not. We might retire if we pleased; but if it became necessary to interfere in the foreign relationships of Afghanistan we must advance again. If Candahar had been in our possession in 1878, this country would have been saved £20,000,000. The idea that we should do what was suggested by Syud Mir Mahomed—namely, that we should maintain a large force at Quetta and march into Afghanistan whenever a demonstration became necessary, marching back when we had accomplished our end, was absurd. It 279 would be much too expensive. Either we must have nothing whatever to do with Afghanistan, or we must occupy such a position as would enable us to exercise the control we thought necessary in the cheapest and most efficacious manner. The idea of a strong and friendly and independent Afghanistan was all nonsense. The strength of the country depended upon the existence of some Ruler or Rulers capable of consolidating and governing the country; and that depended again entirely upon the amount of moral and material assistance given to such a Ruler or Rulers by Russia or by England. The friendliness of Afghanistan depended upon what inducements could be offered to her to be friendly. We could assist the Afghans to secure good government and the blessing of peace; but in the way of bribes we laboured under a disadvantage. Russia could offer the loot of India, and we had nothing of that kind, and no such seductive vision, to lay before them. As for the independence of Afghanistan, the country had never been independent, except for a very few years under Dost Mahomed. It had always been a prey to internecine strife. Its only chance of independence lay in the strong rule of some Sovereign supported by either Russia or England. On one Power or the other Afghanistan must certainly lean. If she was to lean upon us, we must be in such a position as to assure her, not only of our willingness, but of our power to help and protect her in the hour of need. The military opinions of the best men were strongly in favour of retaining Candahar. Without exception, all the authorities acquainted with the Frontier were of that opinion. Sir Donald Stewart's views, as expressed in the Memorandum recently published, were formulated prior to the abandonment of the so-called "scientific Frontier." If that Frontier was attained, he did not attach so much value to Candahar. But when that Frontier was given up, he did attach the greatest importance to Candahar. Sir Garnet Wolseley's was the best known name connected with the scheme of abandonment. He only defended this course on the supposition that we could go there when we wanted, and that we did not want to be there at present. In the first place, was he correct in saying that we could go there when we wanted? 280 As far as the Afghans alone were concerned, we might be able to do so; but supposing Candahar to be strengthened and held by an Afghan force, and that a small Russian force was moving to their relief, were we certain that they would not be able to hold it long enough to detain us until the Russian force should arrive? It should not be forgotten that during the summer months it was practically impossible for us to move a force from the Indus to Candahar on account of the great heat. It was at one time supposed that the country between Herat and Candahar offered great difficulties to an army. That delusion had been dispelled by Ayoob Khan, who made the march without difficulty with a very large force and 36 guns. Besides, we had to calculate the cost of re-taking the place. It was not a question of taking it now, or taking it when the necessity arose. It was a question of keeping it now, when we had got it for nothing. If the Afghans were going to pay us £20,000,000 to give up possession of Candahar, the question would be a totally different one. We were asked to give up what we had now got for nothing, on the ground that we did not want it, and that we could take it again, at considerable cost, whenever we required it; and no man could possibly say how soon the necessity might arise. It was a great mistake to talk of Candahar as if it involved the acquisition of a large amount of territory. It did not. We were extending our territory, but extending it towards home. Candahar was a great bastion to our present Frontier, with a speedy communication with our base, the sea, and, consequently, with our arsenals at Bombay, in the Mediterranean, and at home in England. Candahar was not further from our base than a dozen places of the first importance in India, and it did not weaken us one atom in that respect. The advantages of Candahar, from a military point of view, had been repeatedly pointed out. It blocked the main road to India. It took in flank any army invading India by any route. Its possession would enable us to be friend our allies the Afghans, or, if necessary, to over awe them if they were disposed to turn against us. He was astonished to hear the noble and gallant Lord (Lord Chelmsford) say that he attached little importance to Candahar 281 from a military point of view, and that he would invade India through Cabul and the Khyber if Candahar were held in force by the enemy, and had open railway communication with the sea. Well, it might seem presumptuous of him; but he ventured to assert that few military men would be as rash as the noble and gallant Lord. And the noble Earl (the Earl of Derby) spoke of the foolishness of blocking men up in Candahar in the event of a war with Russia. Why, it was the very best place in the world for them to be. Such an argument was absurd. It told equally against holding any strong position with an armed force. In the terrible contingency of an invasion of India, accompanied, as it would probably be, by internal troubles in that country, it would be an inestimable advantage to us, and would give us time. We could supply our troops there with all the necessary munitions of war direct from the Mediterranean or England, and India could not even be threatened until she had had ample time to make necessary preparations. The expense was the only real and solid ground of objection to remaining at Candahar. We had a perfectly moral right to remain there. As far as that went, it was doubtful if we were not morally obliged to remain there. We certainly gave our assurance that Candahar should never come again under the yoke of Cabul; and now we were going to leave the people a prey to the struggles of rival claimants to the Throne, and propose to ourselves to witness complacently at a distance the result of that struggle, which would end, as the noble Duke said, in the survival of the fittest. The noble Viscount (Viscount Enfield) waxed eloquent about the magnanimity of our resolve to retire, and offered to their Lordships' dazzled imagination a pleasing picture of the way in which the gossip of the bazaars would recount how England, having accomplished her purpose in Afghanistan, left the invaded country. He thought the noble Viscount forgot the concluding part of the sentence, which would be that we had left the country, leaving our friends behind us to do the best they could for themselves, and to pay the penalty of their friendship. Was it impossible for us to retain our probity and sense of honour in the East? Was there something in the Asiatic atmosphere that rendered it impossible for 282 anyone to be honest? The noble Marquess reminded their Lordships of the number of Russian promises that had been broken. Were we to follow that bad example, and was England to break faith also? We promised the Candaharis that they should never again come under the yoke of Cabul. Were Her Majesty's Government prepared to carry out that undertaking? Could they guarantee the Candaharis against the yoke of Cabul if we left the country, or did they propose to return at any moment to Candahar to protect our friends there? It was said that the late Government broke faith also in the matter of the Kuram Valley. Was that any reason why the present Government should do the same? Was a breach of faith the only thing in which the Liberal Party would follow the lead of the Tories? We made certain promises, and we were morally bound to fulfil them. Was breaking them the proper way to ingratiate ourselves with the Afghans? The noble Viscount grow very eloquent about the Afghans and their love of independence. He said that they did not care for danger—in which they resembled the noble Duke—and they did not care for poverty, in which they resembled nobody he had ever heard of. But, granting for a moment that they did not care for either poverty or danger, he could not quite follow the noble Viscount that, therefore, they must necessarily detest our rule. As a matter of fact, there were some 700,000 Afghans dwelling very peaceably in the Peshawur district under our government. Were we to suppose that they were afraid of danger, and did dislike poverty, and that, in consequence, they were contented with our rule; or was it not more likely that the noble Viscount was somewhat mistaken in his estimate of the difficulties which we should encounter in endeavouring to ingratiate ourselves with the Natives of Afghanistan? It would be a strange thing if we, who had succeeded with savages and semi-savages, with populations, more or less civilized, all over the world, should fail in this particular instance of Afghanistan. The noble Duke, quoting the opinion of General Jacobs, said—"We command Asiatics by high moral power alone." But another high authority, Prince Gortschakoff, in a Circular despatch, says— 283It is a peculiarity of Asiatics to respect nothing but visible and palpable force; the moral force of reason and of the interests of civilization has, as yet, no hold on them. … The work has then always to be done over again from the beginning.The noble Duke quoted Sir Donald Stewart's opinion as to the feelings of the Candaharis towards us. No opinion on the subject could be worth anything to us at present. The Candaharis were not Afghans. The Afghans were their masters. Since we had announced our intention of leaving the Candaharis to the tender mercies of their conquerors, it was not likely that they would dare to express their preference for us. A great deal of stress was laid upon the fact that, whereas it was difficult for us to gain the confidence of the Afghans, it would be at least equally difficult for Russia. It was said that the Afghans would never put up with Russia as a conqueror. But Russia would never come as a conqueror. She would come as a friend and an ally, a warm supporter of some aspirant to the Throne, either in Herat or Cabul. The terms which she would offer would be men and money, the Sovereignty of Afghanistan, the recovery of that portion of the Punjaub which once belonged to Afghanistan, and the loot of India. What the real cost of the occupation would be it was impossible to say. It had been estimated very highly, as high, he believed, as £2,000,000 a-year. Other authorities, however, had computed the extra cost at about £500,000. Moreover, no allowance for the value of the trade was made, and the value of the Central Asian trade must be very great. If Russia had no designs upon India, and if the Central Asian trade was of no value, what on earth could Russia's object be in going to the vast expense she had incurred in pushing her way towards India? The noble Viscount, quoting from a lecture given by Colonel Browne, mentioned Dr. Bellew and Mr. Andrew, as being authorities from whom we might find that with regard to commerce, &c., our previous relations with Afghanistan were satisfactory. But he (the Earl of Dunraven) found that Dr. Bellew had said that the gold mines of Candahar, if properly worked by Europeans, would be a considerable source of revenue; and Mr. Andrew says—As the English Government have betrayed an indifference towards the development of 284 trade in Central Asia, so have the Russian Government increased their endeavours, and with success, to stock the markets of Turkestan. Instead of trade between India and Central Asia having augmented of late years, it has actually diminished.He had little doubt that in a short time the trade would develop to such an extent that the revenues of the country would pay for the administration of it. He thought, further, that we could very well afford to pay the Ameer such a proportion of the present revenue as would be fair, and that the occupation would not be a source of expense to this country. Why could we not occupy Candahar in the same way as we now occupied Quetta? Why should we not make an arrangement similar to that which we had with the Khan of Khelat? As to the cost, he must take exception to the figures of the noble Viscount. If he understood him right, he quoted the whole cost of building barracks and fortifications, and charged them to the yearly expense of Candahar.
THE EARL OF DUNRAVEN
The noble Viscount must have intended to give them the interest on the capital sum, and not the capital sum itself. The noble Viscount also spoke of saving the expense of the railway. The expense would not be saved unless the railway were continued to Candahar. The railway, as it was, was like an Irish famine-road, beginning somewhere and ending nowhere. If not continued, the whole cost of it must be written off. The military expenses had certainly been over rated; and he must ask their Lordships to bear in mind that the actual force in India was not increased, and that the troops sent to Candahar and on the line of communication would be deducted from those stationed on the present Frontier. The cost of maintaining troops at Candahar, with a railway to the sea, could not be very great. The cost of the military occupation was really insignificant as compared with the advantages to be gained. Even if the retention did cost £1,000,000 or £1,500,000, he believed it would be money wisely spent. He believed it would be most false economy to give up Candahar. The evacuation would certainly cost us, at some future time, a war of re- 285 occupation. And retention might possibly save us from the frightfulcal amity of a general war with Russia all over the world. He did not at all approve the policy which was generally attributed to the late Government. He disliked a policy of ambition and extension of territory. He believed our Empire was large enough as it was. But he held that Candahar could not really be looked upon as an extension of territory. He was keenly alive to the necessity of economy. It was on that ground he advocated the retention of Candahar. He was strongly in favour of the principles of the present Government. He only wished to see them really carried out. Virtues when pushed to the extremes sometimes became vices, and principles sometimes degenerated into prejudices. He feared that through the mere desire to appear to be economical, from the wish to seem not to desire extension of territory, England would be throwing away an opportunity to strengthen her present Frontier, and would be committing an act of extravagance, the extent of which the country would not be able to judge of until it was staggering under the heavy burden of a great war, or complaining of the considerable, though comparatively small, expense of a third Afghan campaign. That the country would give up Candahar he very much feared, because the country would think it was saving money by so doing. If they understood what was really the case—that to give up this position was a most expensive luxury, and that thereby they were degrading the good name of England and weakening India—he was sure there was not a man in England who would consent to the evacuation. That it would be necessary to keep Candahar for all time he did not assert. If they had seen a strong and friendly Ruler in possession of that country, and felt assured that in retiring they could trust to his friendship and his ability to maintain his position, he did not say but what they could have retired to the Indus. But such was not the case. He should have preferred if the words "at present" had been introduced into the Resolution before the House. But, as it was, he had little hesitation in voting with the noble Earl opposite, although it was with great reluctance that he felt himself compelled to differ from Her Majesty's Government.
§ LORD STANLEY OF ALDERLEY
My Lords, I rise to support the Government in their resolution to redeem their pledges to restore the independence of Afghanistan; and not only theirs, but the pledges of the late Government and of the late Viceroy, who proclaimed that we were making war on Shore Ali, and not upon the Afghans. I rejoice that the despatch of Lord Hartington, of November last, has taken such high moral ground, and has put in so prominent a place the question of our duty to restore the independence of Afghanistan, and for that consideration only I should give my vote to Her Majesty's Ministers; but I hope to show that they are right on grounds of expediency also. A considerable part of the speech of the noble Earl who moved the Resolution seemed to be an indictment of the noble Marquess who was Secretary of State in 1878. For the noble Earl imagined the case of our Frontier officers in correspondence with the Khans of Khiva and Bokhara, and said that the noble Earl, now the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, would have promptly and properly complied with the Russian demand to cease such letters. If so, why did not the noble Marquess prefer a complaint to Russia; and why did not the late Government obtain, and remain satisfied with, the explanations of Russia, who was the real offender, instead of invading Afghanistan? The noble Earl, after mentioning what Russia could offer to the Ameer of Cabul as a bribe, said that we could offer him nothing. That is hardly the case. Has the noble Earl forgotten the Pathans, a numerous and most valuable part of the population of Hindustan? They are the children of Afghans, who, in the time of the Moguls, were encouraged to come to India, and ought now to be similarly encouraged. India should be to Afghanistan what England was to Scotland after the accession of James I., or what France was to Alsace. The noble Marquess said a good deal about the constant increase of danger from Russia, and the rapid advance of that Power. What is much more remarkable is the rapid and sudden change of mind of the noble Marquess, from the time when he spoke of maps on a small scale. What confidence can the noble Marquess ask your Lordships to have in his opinions, when he has changed from the extreme of confidence 287 in Russia to the extreme of distrust; when he has only now become alive to the manner in which Russia invaded Turkey by means of Servia; when he succumbed to the wiles of General Ignatieff, and, again, to those of Count Schouvaloff; and whilst the discrepancy between his secret Agreement of June 19 and his Circular of April 9 is still unexplained? The noble Marquess says we cannot make war with Russia all over the world, since we cannot touch Cronstadt or make war in the Black Sea, except in alliance with Turkey; and scoffs at Her Majesty's Ministers because they cannot form such an alliance, as though the noble Marquess had not done as much as Mr. Gladstone to destroy Turkish confidence in England; and when he says that we cannot touch Russia in the Baltic, he forgets that the re-constitution of Poland and the restoration to Germany of the German Baltic Provinces are still unsettled questions. If we come to expediency, great stress has been laid upon the Russian Correspondence captured at Cabul. I do not attach any importance to it; it tells nothing which was not known before of the Russian designs. Nobody acquainted with Russian history expected good faith from Russia, and nobody would be disappointed. In this case there is not so much duplicity; and I must admire the tenacity and energy of the Russians, and regret that there is not the same energy and thoroughness on the side of my country. For what does the noble Earl the late Viceroy say of war with Russia in Central Asia in paragraph 46 of his Minute?—The more closely I contemplate such a catastrophe, the greater is the repugnance with which I regard it—a repugnance amounting almost to horror. In such a war we should doubtless be successful, for we can meet Russia with far superior forces on the Oxus. But it is the consequences of success that we have to consider. We should probably stir up a Mahomedan rising throughout the Khanates, and we can realize the horrors of such a rising if we picture to ourselves another Indian mutiny.Why does the noble Earl show this tender solicitude for the Russians, when he is contemplating an invasion of India by them? He also says, in the same paragraph—A British statesman, remembering the American War, and the lasting effect which a few hostile cruisers have had on America's commercial prosperity, may well hesitate before exposing British commerce to the same risks."—[Afghanistan, (1881). No. 2. p. 12.]288 So that, with all our ships and supposed maritime superiority, we are to shrink from a contest with Russia, even on our own element. It is true that we have tied up our right hand by the Declaration of Paris; and what more conclusive testimony could be brought forward against the abolition of privateering and the right of search than this confession of fear by the noble Earl of the results of a war with Russia? The noble Earl objected that the publication of his Minute was not a patriotic act, because it was a confidential statement of our means of attack and defence. It reveals, however, nothing to the Russians that they did not know perfectly well before, except, perhaps, the desponding view taken by the noble Earl of the results of a war with Russia. General Skobeleff, when in Roumelia, revealed much more of the hostile designs of Russia against our rule in India than anything contained in these Papers, and his conversation was published at the time by an English newspaper. I have much more to say; but, as I see your Lordships are anxious to go to a division, I will not detain the House longer.
§ THE EARL OF BEACONSFIELD
My Lords, the question really before your Lordships is whether it is or is not wise to evacuate Candahar; and I shall endeavour to confine my observations strictly to that subject, or, at least, with one exception of a slight character. I see no use in reviewing again the history of the Afghan War, or of the proceedings which preceded it. Your Lordships, having been appealed to on that subject, have given your opinion in great numbers and after long and full discussion. It would, therefore, in my opinion, be unnecessary for me now to enter upon a consideration of that matter in detail. There are one or two salient facts to guide us in coming to a correct conclusion, and which I now allude to from the tone which the debate has taken. It is on record that the Ameer of Afghanistan appealed for succour some years ago to the Viceroy of the Queen in India, who is now First Lord of the Admiralty, and the Viceroy thought it his duty to reject the overtures made to him. It also stands upon record that this rejection was the origin of all the misunderstandings and misfortunes which have since occurred. It also stands upon record that about three years after- 289 wards, panic-stricken, I suppose, by the rumour that the Russians were approaching Merv, the then Viceroy decided on the plan which, in his opinion, should be then adopted to meet the difficulties and dangers of the case; and he proposed an offensive and defensive Treaty with Afghanistan, and the establishment of a resident British Minister at Herat. These are great salient truths; and I am quite surprisd, remembering these historical facts, at the tone which the noble Earl the First Lord of the Admiralty took with reference to my noble Friend the late Viceroy of India. One would suppose that the noble Earl was not only a pupil of the peace-at-any-price school, but that he was also graduating for higher honours in the more refined school which would wage war and at the same time negotiate peace—and negotiate with all the more readiness if our arms had been defeated. I was much disappointed, my Lords, at the reply the noble Duke the Lord Privy Seal made to my noble Friend near me (Viscount Cranbrook). I had listened, as a very full House had listened, with pleasure to that speech; and a speech more exhaustive, more animated, more completely touching every point of the subject, I have rarely heard. Well, I knew that my noble Friend was to be followed by one whose ability was equal to any emergency—one who is an ornament of this House, and invariably delights the audience which he addresses. Well, my Lords, what did we hear? Was there any answer to the speech of my noble Friend? On the contrary, we had a series of biographies of Indian worthies, and when the list closed it was, as usual, flung at the head of my noble Friend the late Viceroy. Under these circumstances, I think we have had enough of recurrence to the past, and that we may confine our consideration to the point before us. My Lords, there is, however, one point only, before I touch upon the question of Candahar, on which I would like to make one or two remarks, and that is about our relations with Russia, which have formed so important a portion of our discussion to-night, as on previous occasions. Now, my Lords, when my noble Friend (the Marquess of Salisbury) and myself were commissioned to proceed as Plenipotentiaries to Berlin nearly three years ago, 290 our instructions were to achieve, if possible, two great objects. One, of course, to secure and guard the interests of our own country, and the other to combine with the other Powers, if possible, for some unity of feeling which might secure, if not the perpetual, at least the lasting peace of Europe. Well, my Lords, it was obvious that it was quite impossible to arrive at any understanding which would give a fair probability of a lasting European peace if there was not sympathy on the part of Russia, and the time seemed to have arrived, a Congress being called upon to settle the affairs of Europe, to make some effort to come, if possible, to some direct understanding with Russia which might tend to the beneficial result we had in view. I must say that before we could take any such steps we were anticipated by the illustrious Chancellor of that Empire, who expressed a desire on the part of Russia that some attempt should be made to put an end to that chronic misunderstanding which seemed always to be recurring between the two countries of Great Britain and Russia. I do not, my Lords, mean to say that there was at any time an intention of an Alliance, or a Treaty, or a Convention; but what we all seemed to desire was that, if possible, instead of hostile distrust, there should be, at least, some approximation to confidence, and that when any occurrences of a controversial character took place in those parts of the world where the interests of Russia and England clashed, there should be, at least, a friendly and candid communication of views between the two Powers, which might remove causes which were not at all adequate reasons for misunderstanding. Well, my Lords, when we returned to England, I took the earliest opportunity of declaring in this House that, with regard to those circumstances which had occurred in Central Asia, the unconcealed object of which, on the part of Russia, was to embarrass and disturb English interests in that part of the world, that, so far as those preparations had been made by Russia in the belief that war was immediately pending between the two countries, we held that we had no cause to complain, and that we were willing to forget, and wished to forget, all that had occurred in that respect. And, in consequence, a formal communication of our views, which I do 291 not doubt will be found in the annals of the Foreign Office, was made on the subject; and we received, as I stated at the time, an answer from St. Petersburg of the most satisfactory kind—in fact, expressing all those views and sentiments which Prince Gortschakoff, the Chancellor of the Empire, had expressed to us at Berlin. Your Lordships are aware that within a short time there has been laid upon your Table a Correspondence which has been described as a sinister Correspondence, and which has for so long a time been the subject of interest, I would say of suppressed interest, in many political circles. Your Lordships may remark that at the end of that Correspondence the present Russian Ambassador alludes in a summary to a despatch of Count Schouvaloff, in which there is a long quotation or summary of what I had expressed to Count Schouvaloff in a conversation. I am sure, my Lords, that nobody who took up those Papers but would believe that it was an account of the Russian Ambassador's interview with me, after the discovery of the Cabul Correspondence, entirely condoning on my part the past, and approving everything that Russia had done. Otherwise they could see no reason for the publication of that despatch. But, my Lords, if you look at the date of the despatch, you will find that it was in November, 1878; whereas the despatches between the Russian authorities and the Ameer, which were discovered after the second capture of Cabul, were not obtained by the British Government until exactly a year afterwards—namely, October or November, 1879. And therefore it does appear to me most extraordinary that while the despatch of Count Schouvaloff, giving an account of his interview with me, condoning the conduct of the Russian Government under certain conditions and circumstances which are almost verbatim what I did express in this House about a month previously—that anyone could think there was any connection between those despatches so found a year afterwards at Cabul and that conversation. Your Lordships may also remark that in this curious publication there is, in inverted commas, what purports to be an announcement on my part that in my opinion the Government of India had forced our hands upon the subject of war, and had occasioned a 292 declaration of war not only before it was necessary, but when it was, perhaps, altogether unnecessary. The case was exactly the opposite of that. Instead of Her Majesty's Government complaining of being forced by the Government of India to make war, it so happened that the Government of India was most anxious to avoid war. We were sometimes appealed to by the Government of India to know what was our decision, as it fell upon them to make preparations for war, if war were decided upon; and it was of the greatest importance that the season of military operations should not be lost. But the Government of India was as anxious as the English Government to avoid war; and when the affair came very near, the Government of India pledged itself voluntarily to undertake no military operation without our sanction and advice. Her Majesty's Government, as your Lordships may well remember, for it is in the Papers on the Table of the House, were anxious to give Shere Ali a locus penitentiœ and instructed the Government of India to concede to him a period of three weeks again to consider what he would do. We had to calculate every day, and consider the exact time that would not interfere with military operations if they became necessary. My Lords, I am quite certain that Count Schouvaloff was utterly incapable of intentionally misrepresenting anything I expressed to him. He was well known to every Member of this House, a great ornament of society, a most honourable man, and I am sure incapable of any miserable manœuvres of the kind; and therefore, when I announced that there was no foundation for that reported declaration of mine, I suggested that it must have been a misapprehension. I understand that it was a misapprehension, and that it referred, not to our hand being forced by the Government of India to go to war—that was absolutely absurd—but to the Mission which two months before had been sent by the Indian Government, but not with the sanction of the English Government. Your Lordships are well aware of the failure of that expedition; but the expedition was not an operation of war; it was a mission of peace, and the Indian Government sent, as its head, an individual who was the personal friend of Shere Ali, and who they be- 293 lieved would have succeeded in accomplishing their great object. I have taken the liberty of making these remarks, because I considered it was absolutely necessary that I should recall your Lordships' attention to the fact that the alleged conversation with Count Schouvaloff appended to the Papers discovered at Cabul took place, in fact, one year before they were discovered; and, further, that the expressions which excited my pain and surprise really referred to other circumstances, and the matter, therefore, requires no further comment. I will now ask your Lordships to consider this question of Afghanistan. I ought, perhaps, to notice a remark that has been made—Why, when these despatches were discovered at Cabul, were they not published by the late Government? Now, I should have thought that the reply to such an inquiry was an obvious one. Certainly it would not have been in harmony with good feeling between the English Plenipotentiaries and Prince Gortschakoff, if we took, at the earliest opportunity, a step which would not have tended to the cultivation of that friendly sentiment between the two countries, which was our object. It was our opinion that the publication of these despatches would cause considerable irritation both in England and in Russia, and that for the public welfare they ought not to be published. We are asked—"Why do you assent to their publication now?" Well, I am not the person who has assented to their publication now—it is the Minister. But I am not all surprised at their appearance. I always took it for granted, after the extraordinary proceedings which occurred with regard to Afghanistan during the General Election, that sooner or later there must have been a discussion on the subject. It was when in the frenzy of the hustings the country was enlightened on the causes of the war in Afghanistan, when it was denounced as one which had only been conceived and occasioned by the late Ministry unnecessarily, and to the great damage of the country—it was not until these expressions were used, and when we found, on the change of Government, they were going to be acted upon, that it became necessary to consider whether some steps should not be taken on our part to enlighten the country generally upon this question of Afghan polities. Why, you know, my Lords, what has occurred. 294 Who could have supposed that our successors, with the Cabul Papers, not published, but in their possession to guide them, should have announced in the manner they did that the whole of our policy in Afghanistan would be repudiated? Our whole policy in Afghanistan was described as a monstrous romance, as if there had been no occasion for a single incident that occurred. Our recollection of the previous connection of the First Lord of the Admiralty (the Earl of Northbrook) with the Ameer seemed to be entirely effaced from the memory of the nation. And, therefore, when my noble Friend the late Viceroy found that the only reward for his public labours was public calumny, when he found himself held up in so false and distorted a form to his country, it is not surprising that, as a Member of this House, he should have taken an opportunity of calling your Lordships' attention to the subject of these despatches. Now, I will refer to the real subject before us, and I would ask the Lord Privy Seal why he did not answer the two most important questions asked in this debate—they were asked by the noble Viscount near me. The first is, What do the Government mean to do with Candahar when they evacuate it in a month hence? The next question is, Why are we not favoured with the opinion of Lord Ripon and his Councillors? These are two questions which we have certainly a right to have answered, and I hope they will be answered before the vote is called. My noble Friend (the Earl of Derby), who made an animated speech—and I do not know there is anything that would excite enthusiasm in him except the contemplated surrender of some national territory—made a distinct point on this head. He asked why we made such a great point of retaining Candahar at present, when we were willing, when we made the Treaty of Gandamak, to restore it to the Native Prince? Well, I should have thought—although my noble Friend dwelt upon the point as if it were quite incapable of an answer—that the answer was obvious. When we negotiated the Treaty of Gandamak our policy was, if possible, to create a powerful and an independent Afghanistan; and if that were our policy, which unquestionably it was, everybody must feel that to attempt in 295 any way to retain Candahar under these circumstances must baffle and defeat that policy. And what is that policy, let me ask? Why, my Lords, it is the old policy with regard to the relations between this country and India and Afghanistan, which has been approved by all public men. I say all public men. I believe that Lord Lawrence, who is always to be spoken of with great respect, although the Lord Privy Seal says we systematically insulted him, was as decided as anyone on the old and accepted policy of this country about Afghanistan. It was that there should be fostered an English interest in Afghanistan, and that a Russian one should not for a moment be tolerated. That is the policy we pursued. What is the policy you are going to adopt? Where will English interests be when you have evacuated Afghanistan? What will be the state of Afghanistan? Without exaggeration, it will be a state of anarchy. We have always announced, as a reason for interfering in Afghanistan, that we cannot tolerate a state of anarchy on our Frontiers. Is not that an argument as good for Russia as for us? Will not the Russians say—"Afghanistan is in a state of anarchy, and we cannot go on civilizing Turkestan when Afghanistan is in a state of anarchy?" Therefore, you are furnishing Russia with an occasion for advancing. When I speak of this policy of Russia, I do not speak of it in a hostile spirit. Russia has a right to its policy as well as England. Russia has as good a right to create an Empire in Tartary as we have in India. She must take the consequences if the creation of her Empire endangers our power. I see nothing in that feeling on the part of England which should occasion any want of friendliness between this country and Russia. We must guard against what may be looked upon as the inevitable designs of a great Power. Lord Palmerston, in one of the most considerable measures of his life—the fortification of the Channel—a much more expensive one than even the retention of Candahar, according to the estimate given by Sir Henry Norman—when Lord Palmerston proposed to fortify the Channel, was that looked upon as a symbol of hostility to the French people? We all know that Lord Palmerston was a Minister who, in all matters relating to foreign affairs, took the course which he believed 296 to be most advisable for the interests of the country. Yet everyone knows that he was, in feeling, very friendly to the French Alliance; and yet that was an operation immediately directed against France for the purpose of putting an end to the continual fluctuations of bluster and fear which such a situation as England was in at that time must necessarily entail. I come now for one moment to the question of finance. I am not going all over the Estimates. I am only surprised, considering the Estimates that have been produced, that anyone has had the courage to bring them under our notice. I should have thought that the Government, with their minds intent on this great question, could have obtained from the authorities of India some business-like document to put before us. I shall not enter into a discussion as to whether Sir Henry Norman's hurry-scurry estimate is the best or the worst. I shall take it for granted that whoever has the responsibility of dealing with this matter will take care to have due information before he acts. But I will remind your Lordships of this one fact—that everything that has been alleged respecting the retention of Candahar, and the consequent expenses of thus retaining it, was said about the Punjaub when you took it. We heard, when the retention of the Punjaub was proposed, that it was impossible to raise any respectable revenue there; that the country was bare; that the population, compared with India, was sparse; and that it was quite impossible that the expenditure of our government could be repaid. All these arguments were urged against annexation of any kind. But, eventually, you found a very prosperous country in the Punjaub and Scinde, which proved a source of wealth and strength to India. I will not believe, without much better proof, that the retaining Candahar—the capital of an extremely fertile district—will entail upon you a result less satisfactory than the result of the retention of the Punjaub and Scinde. The primâ facie evidence is, I think, in favour of a rich district paying its expenses, and, in time, probably paying more than its expenses. There is another point connected with Candahar of which much has been made in this debate and on other occasions. It is said that we are debarred from annexing or retaining 297 Candahar by our public declarations and agreements, and in the front of these is always placed the celebrated Proclamation of the Queen when she accepted the Sovereignty of India. Now, my Lords, I can speak with some confidence upon that subject, for, to a certain extent, I am responsible for that Proclamation. It never entered into my head that there was anything in that Proclamation which should prevent the Queen, if she went to war with a foreign Power, making such terms on the conclusion of peace as she might think fit, and availing herself of her power to take any Provinces by right of conquest. The Proclamation is essentially a domestic Proclamation addressed to the Princes of India, and the obligation of that Proclamation has been most rigidly observed. There is no instance in which Her Majesty has been counselled to deviate from it; and I must repudiate the attempt to treat the Queen's Proclamation on her assumption of the full Sovereignty of India as a bar to the retention of Candahar if the Government should deem that retention wise and prudent. As to the petty observation that the Commanding Officers announced to the people that they were making war against Princes only and not upon subjects, it may be easily disposed of. Such an announcement is not peculiarly an Oriental custom. In all the wars that have taken place of late—certainly in some of them—similar assurances have been given by the invading Power; but it has not prevented rich countries losing their capitals, and ancient Empires being dislocated. It has generally been found that you can drive a coach and six through declarations of that kind, and the fact that the people whom you have subdued have not attempted to drive you back would be a sufficient reason for treating them less as enemies when peace has been arranged. I have now, my Lords, attempted to touch upon the principal points in this question of the retention of Candahar. I have not heard an answer to the speeches of my noble Friend who introduced this subject to your notice, of the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Salisbury), and of the noble Viscount who addressed your Lordships first this evening. We may, I trust, have an opportunity of obtaining that information. There are many authorities, both in 298 oratory and statesmanship, who have not yet addressed the House, and we may receive the information we desire. It will not be unreasonable, therefore, if I repeat a few points on which we may lay particular stress. We want to know why we are not favoured with the views of Lord Ripon and his Council, and what scheme the Government have in view if they evacuate Candahar in the short space of time announced—namely, in less than a month. On this subject I have not taken any exaggerated view, though I wish myself that Candahar should be retained. Noble Lords opposite cheered the noble Earl (the Earl of Dunraven) who addressed us from those Benches with so much power, and who seemed to admit that he would be satisfied if Candahar were to be retained for a certain period of time. Well, that is not a subject we are called upon to discuss; but there is nothing unusual in retaining possession of a considerable town or province until the country, after great disquietude, war, and revolution, has subsided into comparative tranquillity. That is not an Oriental practice. It has been practised in some of the greatest countries in Europe. There have been such things as military occupations before the present time. If the Government had come forward and announced that they intended to give up almost everything that we had obtained, but that in the present state of Afghanistan they did not see their way to leave Candahar, though they did not think fit to appropriate it absolutely, I should still have regretted their not annexing Candahar, but I should have felt that they were making a reasonable and statesmanlike suggestion, which should be received with attention. Such a course would have received the respectful consideration of this House. But when we have been told, without the slightest preparation, that events are about to take place that may exercise a most injurious influence on our Indian Empire and the general welfare of our interests, I think the time has come when it befits the House of Lords to express its opinion upon the subject. I myself believe that even if we abandoned Candahar we should still be able to retain our Indian Empire. I do not think that is absolutely essential to us. There are some very important places which are called the keys of 299 India. There is Herat, and there is Merv. I do not know whether Merv has yet been taken by the Russians. I see in the newspapers it is taken. Perhaps the First Lord of the Admiralty will be able to inform us.
§ THE EARL OF BEACONSFIELD
No; it is not a seaport; but in these days in Central Asia railways connect places with seaports. Still, there is Merv; then there is Herat, Ghazni, Balkh, and Candahar. My opinion is that, though such places may not be absolutely essential to us, yet that I should regret to see them in possession of any great military Power—I should look upon such an event with regret, and perhaps with some degree of apprehension; but even if the great military Power were there I trust we might still be able to maintain our Empire. My Lords, the key of India is not Merv, or Herat, or Candahar. The key of India is London. The majesty of sovereignty, the spirit and vigour of your Parliaments, the inexhaustible resources of a free, an ingenious, and a determined people—these are the keys of India. But, my Lords, a wise statesman would be chary in drawing upon what I may call the arterial sources of his power. He would seek to sustain his Empire by resources prompt and ready at hand. You have observed that system in this country for the last 100 years. You have skilfully acquired many of the strong places of the world. You have established a chain of fortifications which has connected the Metropolis with its most distant dependencies, and when you have had to consider your boundaries by the valour of your soldiers and the skill of your engineers, you have generally managed to obtain a precise and scientific Frontier. Well, my Lords, I hope we shall pursue the same policy. If we pursue the same policy, Candahar is eminently one of those places which would contribute to the maintenance of our Empire. It is advisable to retain it on economical grounds. As my noble Friend said in his speech, would it be a becoming course for us now to withdraw, when the fact that the power of England can be felt promptly and on the spot is the best security for peace, and therefore the best guarantee of economy. I think the views taken by my noble Friend below the Gangway (the 300 Earl of Derby) on this subject are essentially erroneous views, and in no point more erroneous than in decrying the duty which the House of Lords may occasionally fulfil to express its opinion upon questions of this magnitude. I have no wish in any way to take an exaggerated view of the feeling of the country on the question of Candahar. I believe it to be a real, deep, and increasing feeling. I believe that every day the subject is more considered the opinion will become more matured that our Ministers are taking a rash and precipitate step in that which they propose. If that be the case, then, when opinion is restless, when its absolute bias is ambiguous, what can be a more legitimate occasion than for the Peers of England to come forward and give to the country the result of their thought, their wisdom, and their experience, and give it, as I hope they will to-night, for the maintenance of the Empire of India?
§ EARL GRANVILLE
My Lords, there was one portion, and only one, of the noble Earl's speech with which I agree, and that is the one in which he disagrees with my noble Friend below the Gangway; and I can say that was the only part of the remarkable speech of my noble Friend which he made last night in which I am not able to concur. I do not in the slightest degree complain of this subject having been brought before your Lordships for consideration. I remember a noble Lord who was a great authority in the construction of Votes of Censure. He used to say—"You cannot make them too mild. The mildness does not signify, and you catch all the mild votes." I think that story applies to the noble Earl opposite. I cannot conceive a milder Vote of Censure than that—as was pointed out yesterday by my noble Friend—which has been proposed by the noble Earl. I think, as I shall point out later, that I can find one reason why the noble Earl made it so mild. There is, however, one peculiarity I would point out. When he brought this Motion forward, he said there was not sufficient information before the House, and that at a time when he did not know what information was going to be supplied to your Lordships. The course of this debate has been somewhat singular. It appears to have been one very instructive and very 301 interesting; but I cannot help remarking that, although some of our independent Friends on this side of the House have spoken some in favour and some against us, and have uttered the very friendly criticisms which they very often bestow on the Government behind whose Benches they sit, and although noble Lords opposite have come down in such enormous numbers to vote, while we have had magnificent speeches from three ex-Secretaries of State and from the late Prime Minister to-night, there has not been one single independent Conservative Peer who has said one word on the subject, and yesterday there were only two, one of them the only military authority in this House, who spoke against the Motion. Now, the other day, in anticipation of this debate, the noble Earl the late Prime Minister said that we were to free this debate from old stories that were already settled; and in that sentiment I entirly and cordially agree. But when the noble Earl brought forward this Motion I am not sure that an hour or an hour and a-half of his speech was not entirely occupied with those old stories which his Chief wished wholly to dismiss. Another peculiarity of this debate, which I regret very much, was that a noble Lord, notwithstanding our request, should have insisted on getting up to close the debate, although several Peers were desirous of speaking, one of them being the late Under Secretary of State for India in the present Government. I think, my Lords, we have a right to speak, even although we may be opposed by an enormous majority of votes. Those who have spoken in favour of the Motion have had one advantage over us, which is that, while in arguing against this Motion we were obliged to bring forward what reasons we could find, noble Lords opposite have had this resource—that if it was not convenient to reply to some of the arguments which have been made, or if any arguments failed them, they could fall back on abuse of Russia. And this abuse comes with peculiar flavour when it is addressed by two ex-Seretaries of State, one of them the late Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and perfectly certain to occupy sonic of the highest Offices in the Government of the country. Having said that, I must state how marked was the difference presented by the late Prime Minister's 302 speech. It appears to me that he spoke with his great experience, and with much more political tact, and that there was not one word in his speech which betrayed unfriendly feeling towards the Russian Government, or one which was likely to excite the feelings of this country to re-act again in Russia by rousing feelings which it is certainly our interest to soothe and not to inflame. The noble Marquess opposite could not contain his dissatisfaction at the statement made by the noble Viscount (Viscount Enfield) that our relations were friendly with Russia. Now, I must say that during the last year, seeing as I have done the plans that were contemplated by Russia on the one side and by this country on the other, as possibly carrying out the greatest possible injury to each of those countries without conferring the slightest advantage on either of them. I feel great satisfaction not that we have any special alliance, because we have none, not that we have any secret understanding with Russia, because we are absolutely without one, but that we are on that friendly footing with Russia which I desire to be upon with every country in the world. The noble Earl spoke in regard to Russia, and to the circumstances connected with the despatches that were found at Cabul, and he gave an explanation which I was very glad to hear of a sort of controversy that had arisen as to a conversation between himself and Count Shouvaloff. I need not say that, if there was any difference between a Russian statesman, however distinguished, and one in the position of the noble Earl, I am sure that your Lordships would be inclined to believe your countryman as to the accuracy of the statement. At the same time, it is satisfactory to find that by the explanation given by the noble Earl to-day there seems to have been no difference whatever between him and the Russian Ambassador, and that the only difference was that it was not with regard to the war, which Count Schouvaloff did not say, but with regard to the Mission of Sir Neville Chamberlain—the origin of the whole mischief—that the Home Government appeared to have entirely disapproved. There is one question with regard to these letters on which I must say a word. It is not my place to make any defence of or charge against 303 the Russian Government. It is an affair of the late Government. I could never quite understand the course which they took—namely, that of utterly refusing either to let the Russian Government know anything about these Papers, or to let the English public do so; and then, when we came into Office, thinking it desirable that they should be produced. I do not understand the distinction as far as the public advantage is concerned. But I have nothing to say about these Papers. Many noble Lords who have spoken seem to think that we are absolutely the slaves of any assurance that Russia might give. Now, I am always ready to believe when an assurance is given to me that it is intended with perfect sincerity at the time; but I certainly should not think of shaping my future policy on the basis of the certainty that that assurance would always be maintained, and would never yield either to circumstances or to persons. So that the real question remains, with the possibility of Russia at some future time—I own that I think at a very distant time—trying to invade India, or even intriguing in Afghanistan or elsewhere, what is the best way of meeting such an attack if made? There is one question which we have asked three times, and to which we have never had an answer; and I will venture to repeat it a fourth time. It was asked by the noble Duke behind me of the noble Earl the late Viceroy of India, What was the foundation of the assurance that the Viceroy sent to the Ameer that Russia was quite ready to share with England in the destruction of Afghanistan? Now, it is quite impossible that the noble Earl should have made that statement without having a perfectly solid and authentic foundation for it. We are really interested in knowing, whether publicly or secretly, what was the character of the negotiation between the noble Earl and the noble Marquess with regard to Afghanistan; and I must say this—that I think that I have a right to complain, as I think that any Conservative successor to the Foreign Office would have a right to complain, that such an important negotiation should have gone on between Her Majesty's Government and the Russian Government, and that in two important Offices—the India Office and the Foreign Office—there should not be the slightest record on the subject. Now, my Lords, I go to the question 304 whether it is desirable to retain Candahar or not. There is one point which has been introduced, which I should not have originated—namely, that of morality. After what has fallen from the noble Lord, I do wish to enter a small protest on the question. I protest against such language being used, and suggest, in the same way as International Law is based on certain principles, which are also the foundation of municipal law, I have no doubt that the ruling principle of the intercourse of nations ought to be based on the same general principles as the intercourse between individuals. I do protest against morality being called sentiment, because that is an argument that might apply to the person who objects to the man who is picking my pocket. The next question is the military question. I am absolutely without self-confidence on military matters. I have not the ability which enables the noble Earl the late Viceroy of India to write pages on strategical considerations. I own if I were to go upon my own unaided opinion I should say it would not be a good military move to take an isolated fortress, in a mountain country, 400 miles from your own Frontier, with the road to it going through deserts, mountains, and defiles, presenting all the difficulties of forage, fuel, and water.
§ EARL GRANVILLE
The noble Marquess says a railway is about to be made; but I am not so perfectly certain of that. The expense of making a railway and the fortifications required to defend it is enormous. I know the noble Marquess does not care about that. I come to the question of military authority. On reading these military Memoranda, I find that they are not in the least confined to military considerations. I found in General Merewether's Memorandum, for instance, that there is a certain number of lines with regard to military considerations, that there is double that number with regard to political considerations, and four times that amount with regard to trade. I do not know whether the illustrious Duke on the Cross Benches would allow me to allude to his Memorandum. We all know the illustrious Duke's ability and his knowledge; and though I am afraid I sometimes differ from him, I can most honestly state that I am always glad to 305 see his opinions on large or small subjects before I form an opinion. But what I do know is this—that the illustrious Duke has a remarkable knowledge of everything connected with military matters. I remember Sir George Lewis telling me he was very ignorant when he joined the War Office, and that there was nobody there, or in the Horse Guards, who gave him such immediate and accurate information on all details as the illustrious Duke. I turned to the illustrious Duke's Memorandum, and I found hardly anything about military considerations; but there is a great deal about political considerations, and, like General Merewether, his great argument is that of trade. Well, I happened to be in the Board of Trade twice. I gave some attention to economical subjects. I have been more or less a tradesman all my life; therefore, ex officio, I think I have a right to have an opinion as well as the illustrious Duke. I cannot help thinking, when I find so much political and trade padding put in by General Officers, that they must have felt they required considerable assistance to fill up the argument for the retention of Candahar. But what is the amount of this trade? In our last Return, the whole trade going through Candahar amounted in English money to £250,000. The English portion of that amount was £134,000; and if you put a pretty fair profit, say to the extent of 20 per cent, on it, the total profit would amount to about £26,000. Why, my Lords, if that amount was quadrupled, or even a still greater amount produced, is it possible to imagine it would justify the expenditure of so large a sum as would be unquestionably necessary to keep it up? Well, now, with regard to the authorities on the political question. The noble Earl has requested me to answer two questions which were put by the noble Viscount this evening—one was, that I should tell your Lordships exactly what was proposed to be done in Candahar if we evacuated it; and the other was, what was the opinion of the Governor General and Council in India? With regard to the first, I have the satisfaction of being able to inform the noble Marquess that the Secretary of State for India hopes, as his Colleagues do, that he is making arrangements which will be satisfactory as regards the evacuation. ["Hear, hear!" and laughter.] That is his opinion; and I 306 hardly understand the noble Lords who occupy the official Benches opposite take the matter up facetiously, as they must understand that at this moment it would not be for the advantage of the Public Service that we should make any more definite statement on the subject. As to the second question, I do not think that it requires an answer, because the noble Lord seems to know all about it, and stated himself that the Governor General of India did not approve of the evacuation of Candahar.
§ VISCOUNT CRANBROOK
I beg pardon. I asked the question of the noble Earl. I asked him to say what the Governor General of India's opinion on the subject was.
§ EARL GRANVILLE
I think that it is not many hours ago since the noble Viscount assumed that the Governor General of India was opposed to the evacuation. Whether that was an assumption or not, I can state that he is perfectly wrong; and I am not at all sure that he is right even about the feelings of the rest of the Council, always excepting Major Baring, whose opinions are well known. Reference has been made to the Minute of Sir Donald Stewart. It has been said that we have not brought it forward. We have not brought it forward because we have not yet got it. But I have reason to know that when your Lordships see that Minute, you will find that Sir Donald Stewart has not changed his views at all with regard to the military position; that he does not think that the occupation of Candahar will be a source of strength to us, but of weakness; and that his change of opinion is purely political, and is founded on the reason that having once announced our intention of retaining Candahar we ought not to retire from it. That may be a perfectly legitimate argument; but it is not one which in the slightest degree affects the military question. With regard to this political question, I think that we are agreed now that we are considering what would be the best way of meeting aggression by any foreign Power, and that we are not sitting down supinely waiting until we are attacked. I was glad to hear from the noble Marquess a perfect contradiction of what he had recently said about his apprehension of any actual invasion of India by Russia. It has been said that our opinion as to the evacuation of 307 Candahar should have been changed by the fact that the Russians, having sent their best General with a small but well-equipped army into Central Asia, have achieved a great victory over the nomad Turcomans. My Lords, this fear of Russia has not sprung up within the last few years. I dare say that many of your Lordships have read a Memoir of Lord Ellenborough, in which it is stated that that noble Lord, some 50 years ago, differing from the Duke of Wellington and Lord Hardinge, who regarded the idea of a Russian invasion as a nightmare—the very expression that was adopted recently by the noble Marquess—said that the India Company were terrified with regard to Russia, that he was terrified also, and that it was his feeling that it would be his fate to meet the Russians near the Indus and to gain a great victory over them. That was said 50 years ago. Lord Ellenborough unfortunately died, as people do generally after a certain age, without that Russian invasion having taken place, and it is possible that no real invasion will ever be attempted. But the noble Lord said, with more truth, that Russia or other foreign countries may try intrigues and other sinister influences. How do you intend to meet it? The other day you unfortunately sent one of your cleverest European Envoys, Sir Louis Cavagnari, to Cabul; but he was kept utterly in the dark, and he failed to get as much information as would have been got by your Indian Envoys, who were thrown over so unnecessarily. Let me ask, therefore, how is the occupation of Candahar to prevent secret intrigues going on at Cabul? I believe that one of the greatest evils, the principal evil of the unfortunate change of policy—because what has been done by noble Lords opposite in this matter has been to repudiate a policy of 40 years—adopted by the late Government, has been that it has absolutely manured the soil of Afghanistan for the purposes of foreign intrigues. I have before stated, with no want of respect for Russia, that I do not admit that Russian statesmen and diplomatists are so eminently superior to those of all other countries in Europe. I do not often believe in diplomatic successes—they are very often hollow and dangerous; but of all the diplomatic successes I ever heard of, that of Russia in Afghanistan is the 308 greatest. Without sending an army, without spending £1,000, by the mere Mission of a General at an opportune moment they drained us of £20,000,000, and lost us all sorts of valuable lives, and they threw Afghanistan into a state which was absolutely contrary to that which our Government professed it to be their great object to maintain. The noble Lord gave us very re-assuring accounts of the financial value of retaining Candahar. The noble Earl the late Prime Minister talked of the helter-skelter estimate given by one of the most eminent members of the Indian Council—a man who has served in Afghanistan, and who for nearly 20 years has been the actual War Minister of that country. I think that that was rather a helter-skelter observation on the part of the noble Earl. I have arrived at that age when, in taking estimates, I think it safer to take the highest; and therefore I do not feel that the noble Lord's estimate is, after all, so very re-assuring. None of your Lordships can imagine that this was the only instance of the kind. Do you imagine that our Estimates for fortifications have never been exceeded? When Lord Napier, with great skill and success, conducted the Abyssinian War, the late Government assured the country that the cost would not exceed £3,000,000; but, as matter of fact, the amount reached £9,000,000; and I now say, perfectly without Party feeling, that Sir Henry Norman's Estimates, which have been most carefully and moderately made, and set down at £1,400,000, will be found to reach, at least, £2,000,000, even if they do not exceed that amount; and let it be understood that this is not a capital sum of which I am speaking, but a yearly payment as estimated by Sir Henry Norman, which, in my opinion, will be exceeded by £500,000 or £600,000. Is it the custom, let me ask, in this country, whenever military officers recommend that a thing should be done—which they do most conscientiously and loyally—for it to be done? I remember the time when the late Duke of Wellington, thinking that Cherbourg was a standing menace to this country, recommended that a large harbour should be made in the Channel Island group, and that the islands themselves should be fortified. The result was that a very large sum of money was spent; but the 309 fortifications do not exist, the harbour is choked up, and I do not think any public spirit has been evoked in order to procure the completion of the fortifications. I have a great notion that if you have £2,000,000 a-year to expend on military affairs, and consult military officers of experience concerning the best way of expending it, you will be told that there are better channels into which the money could be poured than by retaining and fortifying an out-of-the-way place, lying 400 miles from the Frontier of our Indian Empire. There are many persons in high positions who hold this view, and at the risk of boring your Lordships by speaking on a subject to which I have often referred in your Lordships' House, I may mention Dover Harbour. The illustrious Duke the Commander-in-Chief, and all the military and naval authorities, entertain a strong view as to the importance of Dover Harbour in a military point of view, and it was settled it should be improved in that sense; but, after two or three years, the late Prime Minister refused to go on with the works, and did this exclusively on grounds of economy. And what was the ground of the economical consideration on that occasion? It was not a question, as now, of an annual outlay from £1,400,000 to £2,000,000 upon the retention and fortification of Candhar, but a capital expenditure of not much more than £1,000,000, which was refused on grounds of economy which rose between the Board of Trade and the Treasury, as to whether the whole of the interest of that sum would be recouped or not. Therefore, the works were discontinued during the Government of the late Prime Minister, and I dare say that some of my economical Colleagues may follow the bad example set to them. But, although such a work as that recommended by military men is refused, we are asked with light hearts to make the large expenditure to which I have alluded in order to maintain an isolated fortress in a distant land, which some military men declare will be a source of weakness rather than strength. My Lords, we have received a number of lessons in the course of this debate on high policy and patriotism. I will certainly not concede a monopoly to patriotism to noble Lords sitting on the opposite side of the House, nor, indeed, do I think 310 they would claim it. But, with regard to their policy, particularly with regard to India, are we encouraged to follow the advice of the noble Lord? In January, 1880, we were told that the intention of Her Majesty's late Government was to prevent foreign influence predominating in Afghanistan, and to make it into a strong and independent country, a state of things which everyone would like to see accomplished. But what has become of that policy? Shortly afterwards it was known that a Russian General had arrived at Cabul. So much for the prevention of foreign influence in Afghanistan. Then we were to have a scientific Frontier. What has happened with respect to that? There were three points in it. First, it was the Khyber Valley, which at one time was of the greatest importance; then it was the Kuram; and next it was the Pass we still retain. But the Khyber and the Kuram Valley Passes have been thrown away as utterly useless; there is no question about that, and these were the principal points of that scientific Frontier. I remember a noble Friend of mine who fell overboard from his yacht. Dreadful anxiety followed, and the boat was at once ordered to be lowered. Before it could be done his dog—a magnificent Newfoundland dog—jumped into the sea. The sailors cheered. In three minutes the dog triumphantly brought back to the vessel, not my noble Friend, but his cap, which was the first thing he had been able to find. I cannot help thinking that my noble Friend the late Viceroy has acted the part of that noble and intelligent animal. His whole policy fell into the water, he jumped in, and laid hold of the first thing he could, which was this discovery of the importance of the retention of Candahar. I cannot conceive that this discovery is very much more valuable than the goldlaced cap was which the dog rescued and brought back. I cannot understand why he recommends to your Lordships such a mild Motion. It does not in the least bind anyone either to the retention of Candahar, or to the retirement from it, or to an enormous extension by annexation to the Empire of Afghanistan. The noble Earl, who now avoids asking your Lordships to retain Candahar, says—this is the despatch of the 9th of September, 1878— 311That the recent occupation of Quetta has materially improved our position. The command of the southern passes is now in our hands, and from Multan to the sea, a distance of 500 miles, our frontier is well guarded. While we, securely established at Quetta, can at any moment descend on the plains of Candahar, or advance to meet our adversary in the open field, no enemy can debouch on our plains without first besieging and taking Quetta—a task of no slight difficulty, and involving much loss of precious time—and then forcing a long and difficult pass held by us.That partly disposes of Candahar. The noble Lord then says—From a military point of view, our position here leaves little to be desired, beyond the improvement of our communications between Quetta and the Indus … I do not consider that the occupation of the town of Candahar would greatly strengthen our western frontier."—[Afghanistan (1881) No. 2, pp. 6&9.]I could quote similar passages written to the same effect by the noble Earl in 1879. It is rather inconsistent on the part of the noble Earl to be the Mover of a Resolution of this kind, which, though in words it avoids expressing an opinion, will be voted on generally by your Lordships as bearing directly on the question whether we shall retain Candahar or not. My Lords, I say that Her Majesty's late Government have left us no policy to repudiate or continue; and, therefore, we shall do that which we think best, not in blind confidence as to our position being absolutely secure, though we do feel perfect confidence we could resist a foreign foe—but we shall do that which bears least heavily on the taxpayer of India, while, at the same time, it gives us an absolutely strong and powerful military Frontier.
§ On question, their Lordships divided:—Contents 165; Not-Contents 76: Majority 89.313
|Beaufort, D.||Amherst, E.|
|Leeds, D.||Annesley, E.|
|Norfolk, D.||Aylesford, E.|
|Northumberland, D.||Bathurst, E.|
|Portland, D.||Beaconsfield, E.|
|Richmond, D.||Beauchamp, E.|
|Sutherland, D.||Belmore, E.|
|Wellington, D.||Bradford, E.|
|Brooke and Warwick, E.|
|Abercorn, M. (D. Abercorn.)|
|Abergavenny, M.||Cairns, E.|
|Ailsa, M.||Cathcart, E.|
|Bristol, M.||Cawdor, E.|
|Bute, M.||Clarendon, E.|
|Exeter, M.||Clonmell, E.|
|Salisbury, M.||Coventry, E.|
|Winchester, M.||Dartmouth, E.|
|Denbigh, E.||Carleton, L. (E. Shannon.)|
|Doncaster, E. (D. Buccleuch and Queensberry.)|
|Clements, L. (E. Leitrim.)|
|Fitzwilliam, E.||Clinton, L.|
|Gainsborough, E.||Cloncurry, L.|
|Graham, E. (D. Montrose.)||Colchester, L.|
|Colville of Culross, L.|
|Haddington, E.||De L'Isle and Dudley, L.|
|Ilchester, E.||Denman, L.|
|Jersey, E.||de Ros, L. [Teller.]|
|Lanesborough, E.||De Saumarez, L.|
|Lathom, E. [Teller.]||Digby, L.|
|Lindsey, E.||Dorchester, L.|
|Lucan, E.||Dunmore, L. (E. Dunmore.)|
|Malmesbury, E.||Dunsany, L.|
|Mansfield, E.||Ellenborough, L.|
|Manvers, E.||Forester, L.|
|Mar and Kellie, E.||Gage, L. (V. Gage.)|
|Mount Cashell, E.||Gormanston, L. (V. Gormanston.)|
|Mount Edgcumbe, E.|
|Onslow, E.||Grey de Radcliffe, L. (V. Grey de Wilton.)|
|Redesdale, E.||Gwydir, L.|
|Romney, E.||Harlech, L.|
|Rosslyn, E.||Harris, L.|
|Sandwich, E.||Hartismere, L.(L. Henniker.)|
|Sondes, E.||Hawke, L.|
|Stanhope, E.||Hay, L. (E. Kinnoul.)|
|Tankerville, E.||Heytesbury, L.|
|Verulam, E.||Houghton, L.|
|Waldegrave, E.||Inchiquin, L.|
|Wharncliffe, E.||Keane, L.|
|Kenlis, L. (M. Headfort.)|
|Clancarty, V. (E. Clancarty.)|
|Kenry, L.(E. Dunraven and Mount-Earl.)|
|Gough, V.||Kintore, L. (E. Kintore.)|
|Hereford, V.||Leconfield, L.|
|Hood, V.||Londesborough, L.|
|Hutchinson, V. (E. Donoughmore.)||Lovat, L.|
|Level and Holland, L. (E. Egmont.)|
|Strathallan, V.||Lyveden, L.|
|Templetown, V.||Massy, L.|
|Mont Eagle, L. (M. Sligo.)|
|Peterborough, L. Bp.|
|St. Albans, L. Bp.||Mowbray, L.|
|Abinger, L.||O'Neill, L.|
|Airey, L.||Oranmore and Browne, L.|
|Amherst, L. (V. Holmesdale.)||Ormathwaite, L.|
|Annaly, L.||Poltimore, L.|
|Ashford, L. (V. Bury.)||Ranfurly, L. (E. Ranfurly.)|
|Balfour of Burleigh, L.||Rodney, L.|
|Ross, L. (E. Glasgow.)|
|Bateman, L.||Sackville, L.|
|Beaumont, L.||Saltersford, L.(E. Courtown.)|
|Blantyre, L.||Saltoun, L.|
|Borthwick, L.||Sandys, L.|
|Braybrooke, L.||Shute, L. (V. Barrington.)|
|Brodrick, L. (V. Midleton.)|
|Stratheden and Campbell, L.|
|Strathnairn, L.||Westbury, L.|
|Tollemache, L.||Wigan, L. (E. Crawford and Balcarres.)|
|Trevor, L.||Willoughby de Broke, L.|
|Tyrone, L. (M. Waterford.)|
|Vernon, L.||Windsor, L.|
|Watson, L.||Zouche of Haryngworth, L.|
|Selborne, L.(L. Chancellor.)||Congleton, L|
|Bedford, D.||Ebury, L.|
|Devonshire, D.||Elgin, L. (E. Elgin and Kincardine.)|
|Saint Albans, D.|
|Bath, M.||Ettrick, L. (L. Napier.)|
|Lansdowne, M.||Foley, L.|
|Northampton, M.||Kenmare, L. (E. Kenmare.)|
|Airlie, E.||Lawrence, L.|
|Camperdown, E.||Leigh, L.|
|Dartrey, E.||Lismore, L. (V. Lismore.)|
|Ducie, E.||Lyttelton, L.|
|Durham, E.||Meldrum, L. (M. Huntly.)|
|Granville, E.||Methuen, L.|
|Kimberley, E.||Moncreiff, L.|
|Morley, E.||Monson, L. [Teller.]|
|Northbrook, E.||Monteagle of Brandon, L.|
|Suffolk and Berkshire, E.||Mount Temple, L.|
|Sydney, E.||Ponsonby, L. (E. Bessborough.)|
|Ramsay, L. (E. Dalhousie.)|
|Aberdare, L.||Romilly, L.|
|Ashburton, L.||Rosebery, L. (E. Rosebery.)|
|Blachford, L.||Sandhurst, L.|
|Boyle, L. (E. Cork and Orrery.) [Teller.]||Saye and Sele, L.|
|Brabourne, L.||Sefton, L. (E. Sefton.)|
|Braye, L.||Skene, L. (E. Fife.)|
|Breadalbane, L. (E. Breadalbane.)||Stanley of Alderley, L.|
|Strafford, L. (V. Enfield.)|
|Carlingford, L.||Sudeley, L.|
|Carrington, L.||Sundridge, L. (D. Argyll.)|
|Churchill, L.||Wenlock, L.|
|Clifford of Chudleigh, L.||Wolverton, L.|
§ Resolved in the affirmative.