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fice of a large portion of his dominions; and the most formidable and most important of all, Scindia, having been prevented by wise management from taking that course which would justly have placed him amongst the victims of our vengeance, remains, and long may he remain, an independent sovereign. Long may he reniain so !-because, anxious as I am for the prosperity and grandeur of our Indian empire, I confess I look at its indefinite extension with awe. nestly wish that it may be possible for us to remain stationary where we are; and that what still exists of substantive and independent power in India, may stand untouched and unimpaired. But this consummation, however much it may be desired, depends (as I have said) not on ourselves alone. Aggression must be repelled, and perfidy must be visited with its just reward. And while I join with the thinking part of the country in deprecating advance,—who shall say that there is safety for such a power as ours,
in retrogradation ?
In one view, the accession of territory, by the various operations of which I have attempted to give some outline, is as important as the war was justifiable and necessary. In the beginning of this war the frontier to be guarded was in extent not less than two thousand five hundred miles. In consequence of our late successes, and of the tributary alliances which have grown out of them, that frontier is indeed much advanced; but in proportion as it is advanced it is also narrowed, so that the line towards the Indus does not now present more than one-third of the extent of the former external boundary.
I have thus, Sir, endeavoured to bring before the House a review of the late campaign; and imperfect as I am aware that review must necessarily be, I do not know that I have omitted any material part of the grounds on which I found my call upon the House for a vote of thanks to the Marquis of Hastings. I have said enough to show the providence with which he called forth, and the skill with which he arrayed, the forces of the great empire committed to his charge; the wisdom with which he laid his plans, and the vigour with which he carried them into execution. I conclude with proposing the vote to Lord Hastings as the commander under whose auspices these successes have been achieved; but I think it due to him as a statesman at the same time to assure the House that his most anxious wish is to improve by the arts of peace the provinces acquired in war; extending the protection of British justice to every part of our widely-spread dominions; but leaving as he may find them the harmless prejudices of nations; and conforming our Government to native habits and institutions, wherever those habits and institutions are not at variance with equity and reason : convinced that the British rule will be stable throughout India, in proportion as it is beneficent and beloved. [Mr Canning here read the vote of thanks to the Marquis of Hastings.]
It is necessary that I should preface the second resolution with a few remarks on a circumstance in the conduct of a gallant general, who has greatly signalized himself in this campaign.
I mentioned, in the earlier part of my speech, that one of the first results of Sir Thomas Hislop's victory over Holkar, was an order issued by that chief, and intrusted to Sir T. Hislop, for the surrender of certain fortresses to the south of the river Nerbudda. Amongst the fortresses so ordered to be surrendered to Sir Thomas Hislop, was that of Talneir. At that place an event occurred which is related in the papers before the House, and the particulars of which it is not necessary for me to repeat. In those House is possessed of all the information which the East India Company or the Government have received on this subject. With that information neither the East India Company nor the Government are satisfied. The only course which, under these circumstances, could be adopted, was to send instructions to the Government of India to transmit to England the most ample information, and to institute, if necessary, the most minute inquiry. I am very far from admitting that because there has been an omission in sending home satis
papers the factory documents, we are therefore to conclude that the transaction is not justifiable. The inference must be the other way :—First, from the character of a British officer; secondly, from the individual character of this officer, whom (though I am not myself acquainted with him), I understand to be eminently entitled to praise, not more for his professional talents, than for his abhorrence of every thing cruel or severe. We have further, in support of this inference, two separate approvals of his conduct by the Marquis of Hastings, conveyed in the most unqualified terms. It is impossible to imagine any interest or affection that could have induced Lord Hastings to slur over a transaction, which in his conscience he thought deserving of blame. I say
this the more confidently, because instances have occurred in the course of this campaign which prove that, however anxious Lord Hastings is to bestow praise where praise is merited, he knows his duty too well to withhold blame from those who have justly incurred it. Those instances it would be unfair to mention ; but I can assure the House that such are in my possession.
When the despatch which contains the account of the capture of Talneir, was transmitted in the military department of the official correspondence, it came unaccompanied with any civil details whatever. I felt some reluctance in making the bare military statement public : but I thought the plain course to pursue was, to deal with this despatch as other despatches of a military nature had been dealt with ; looking forward confidently to the arrival of the details which were wanting to give the transaction its true colour.
Those gentlemen who take an interest in Indian affairs must know how uncertain correspondence is with that part of the world. There have been —there still are great chasms in the correspondence respecting the late campaign. In last Saturday's Gazette, is an account of occurrences which took place not less than a year and a half ago : it is not the fault of the Government that the intelligence of them did not arrive sooner. And here it may possibly be expedient for me to state, by the way, why despatches, of which the general interest is gone by, are nevertheless inserted in the Gazette. The reason, Sir, is this: from the intense and laudable eagerness with which military honours are sought for, it is necessary that those services by which such honours may be merited, should be publicly recorded. Public record being made--and wisely-an indispensable condition of the grant of those honours, it would be hard to run the risk of invalidating any officer's title to them hereafter, by keeping back altogether the notification of services, the official report of which might have happened to be delayed.
To return to Sir Thomas Hislop: his despatch