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IMPENDING REVOLUTION IN THE DEKKAN.Every succeeding arrival from India confirms the view which we have taken of Dekkan affairs, and which was submitted to our readers in our August number. It is quite clear and evident that some extraordinary exertion must be made to change the present system of management. Lord Hardinge is not the man to leave such a blank behind him. He will not leave India without tracing a distinct line of policy towards the Nizam, in the same broad, comprehensive, liberal, but firm spirit which has characterised all his measures in that magnificent and most interesting portion of our empire. And were it even possible that he should waive the subject, we feel convinced that his able successor, Lord Dalhousie, will spare no exertion to redeem the British name from the obloquy it now suffers by a series of mismanagements in central India, sufficiently known to all our readers.
We have it on evidence, irresistible and notorious, that there is not on the face of the earth a better-inclined or more industrious population than that which inhabits the Dekkan-mild and kindly by nature, frugal in diet, and faithful to those that treat them with confidence. The subjects of the Nizam are not only most intelligent and industrious, but, as manufacturers, they are extremely ingenious, and, as agriculturists, enterprising and persevering. This country of immense extent, and in almost every respect highly enriched by nature, by the fraud and villany of its rulers, is rendered truly miserable! But the time is approaching for a very different state of things. We are not disposed too severely to censure the conduct of the British resident General Fraser-a man of the kindest feelings, and whose good intentions few will deny, however unfortunate his policy may be considered.
perty. How to account for this error of judgment we know not. A variety of reasons are current, but we wish not to deal with surmises, but with facts.
It was soon evident that Soorajool Moolk had undertaken more than he would perform. His undisciplined and lawless horde of ruffians became loud and clamorous for their pay, and he had no pay to give them, and not even the encouragement or pity of his sovereign. He was sorely pressed on all sides, and had no one to look to but General Fraser, who, we think, in an evil hour gave way to his solicitations, and marched his troops into Hyderabad; of course very much to the annoyance of the Nizam. It was, at all events, a most unfortunate movement; for it was designed to overawe an army of starving soldiers, who, after all, were only asking for their due. His language to the minister should have been, "Pay your army their arrears, and then if I can serve you I will; but I will not abet your dishonesty, or suffer the force under my command to aid you in such a barefaced fraud as that which you are aiming at." And, having once marched into the city, and taken his stand by Soojool Moolk, it must, indeed, have been lamentable to see him withdraw his force, amid the scoffs and insults of the "Line Walla battalions." Time, and, we fear, hard fighting, may have to efface the misfortune of this movement.
Thus matters stood early in the month of June, and we look with deep anxiety for further accounts. That something must be done speedily there can be no doubt. What that may be a short space of time must unfold. have rigidly adhered to our treaties with his Highness, while he has repeatedly broken faith with How long this one-sided fast-and-loose connexion may be suffered to continue remains to be seen. Were the question simply confined to our Government and the Nizam the matter would of trifling importance; but when the welfare of millions is at stake, and the peace of India endangered, it becomes a serious question, whether, with these iniquities before our eyes, with the duties we are expected to perform, we should not oblige the Nizam to keep his house in better order, or deprive him of the power of ruling it. With such a country well managed there would soon be an overflowing treasury, and we will venture to affirm that in three years all its state debts might be paid. The Arabs and Robillas should be settled with in a liberal spirit; and, to satisfy all demands as quickly as possible, it would surely not be un
The main evil has arisen from treaties with the Nizam government, by which permission was granted to maintain a half-civilized and half-dis-be ciplined army of thirty or forty thousand men, chiefly composed of unsettled aliens, Arabs, and Robillas, who never performed any real service to the state, but were kept to satisfy a vain show, and overawe a people. Many of these soldiers, by plunder and other means of extortion, have acquired a large amount of property-while others (and these the majority) have received little or no pay for 18 or 20 months, and are consequently starving; and among the latter are the "Line Walla battallions"-ten or twelve thousand men, now in Hyderabad.
In our opinion, the first mistake General Fra-reasonable to insist on his Highness opening the ser fell into, was in an uncalled-for interference, doors of a treasury hitherto useless. The final against the wishes of the Nizam, in obtaining for location or settlement of these mercenaries will reSoorajool Moolk the post of vuzeer, or prime min-quire particular caution, in reference to the secuister; for we were bound, by treaty, not to inter-rity and peace of neighbouring provinces. Would fere in such matters-and the result has proved that Soorajool Moolk is in no respect superior to his predecessor, Raim Bukhsh, who has fallen into the power of the Arabs, and lost all his pro
that the "first sod" of a railway could be raised at such a period, and good wages induce these men to exchange their arms for picks and spades!
FRINTED BY GEORGE TROUP, 29, DUNLOP STRELT, GLASGOW.
DIRECT TAXATION AND THE SUFFRAGE.
pounds yearly, but which may be mortgaged or burthened to the amount of seven, eight, or nine pounds. Generally, the mortgagees will, perhaps, decline to let the burden run over the value of seven pounds annually upon a property of ten pounds value. It is there, however, to that extent, and the law knows its existence knows its whole history and all the particulars of the case, but closes its one eye on the pages of its own records, and the three pounds voter steps up to the polling booth and gives his voice for A. B. with all the efficiency of the richest elector. We do not object to this fact. We do not quarrel with the extension of the suffrage to the nominal holder of this property. What we do quarrel with is its refusal to the real holder, so far as that mode and particular of qualification is concerned; and, still more, its withdrawal from a proprietor, perhaps of three thousand pounds, by the neglect of his errand-boy to pay tenpence or ten shillings of parish rate. The rate-paying clauses are the most obvious snares and pitfalls in the bill, and their defence, by the Whigs, has been one main source of their character for doing
THE Reform Bill stretches by experience. In its first operation a large majority of Whigs were returned to the House of Commons, and the prospects of the Tory party were hopeless. Subsequently they began to reclaim lost ground. They found, in the cumbrous machinery of registration, the means of aiding their party, and annoying their opponents. Sir Robert Peel, as their leader, made attention to the Registration Courts the first political virtue. He accepted the Reform Bill when resistance was useless, and immediately told his supporters that the battle of the constitution, or the battle of corruption, as others understood the term, was to be fought in the Registration Courts; which became thereafter scenes of hard swearing and deceitful tactics. It was reckoned thoroughly consistent with party morality to lodge objections against the most obviously qualified voters, in the hope that the electors, by casual absence, or reluctance to be thus harassed in establishing a notorious fact, might be struck from the roll. Some difficulties are now practically offered to this line of conduct, which has proved eminently successful heretofore, by the allowance of expenses wher-"shabby" things. The tax-gatherer does not reever the objections appear to be frivolous. The payment of rates and taxes clauses have been made the means of much glaring and obvious iniquity. We have known a party official retain the accounts of a parish rate from his political opponents, and thus succeed in winning an election for his party on account of the nonpayment of rates, averaging tenpence or one shilling from each of the disfranchised voters. The payment of rates and taxes has nothing naturally to do with the present qualifications to vote. We can conceive a qualification, and we are to propose a qualification where the regular payment of a man's taxes would be a very proper preliminary to his vote; but the present qualification should have nothing to do with poor rates or with minister's money, for it is abundantly evident that votes are often registered for property by persons who have not the tithe of a qualification in the property from which the qualification is drawn. An individual, for example, qualifies on a county roll from property valued at ten
YOL. XIV. NO. CLXVI.
quire a hypothec over a man's conscience or privileges in order to recover his claim. He can sue and distrain, and seize and sell. All the formidable means of recovery secured and maintained by the law for its own benefit are at his disposal; and his class do not generally require to be over delicate in their employment. They never lose a customer by severe measures. An irritated debtor cannot take his own custom, and "wile away" that of his relatives and friends to the rival shop. He must remain on the books and run up his annual score, however hardly he may seem to have been used. The tax-gatherer thus, of all money collectors, has the least reason for extraordinary protections and political facilities of recovery. If the privilege of stopping debtors on their way to the poll had been vouchsafed to tailors and shoemakers, we might have been less inclined to question its utility; but that privilege in the hands of the tax-gatherer may be mischievous, but cannot secure a single good end. The Reform Bill might be very greatly
and advantageously stretched in this direc- In the view that we take of these proceedings, a tion.
The creation of fictitious votes was adopted by one party and imitated by another as the means of working the bill well. Few evils were of more rapid growth. In several counties the representatives of fiction on the roll of voters exceeded those of facts by a fair majority. The system was exposed in Parliament. Patriotic members moved for the adoption of committees on the subject. Evidence of the most extraordinary character was given and published. Still the lie was wrought, and at last election there can be no doubt that many persons, believing themselves to be honourable men, willing to maintain their veracity at any cost, walked or drove up to the hustings in Scotch counties, and declared as fact, by their vote there, what merely differed from ordinary falsehoods by being unusually elaborated. This evil, we understand, to have been mainly applicable to one division of the empire-to Scotland. Here its influences were most prejudicial, not merely to the objects of one or more political parties, which is a minor matter, but to the principles of common rectitude and morality. Peeblesshire, a small and thinly-peopled county, with a limited constituency, was necessarily more exposed to evils originating in the working of this system than any larger district. The real constituency was swamped by the shams-the W.S.'s and Advocates from Edinburgh, who were credited with property that they never possessed, and walked to the poll in the borrowed clothes of the Earl of Traquair or Sir Adam Hay. These fictitious voters, wearing the livery of the landlords by whom they were qualified, necessarily polled by their directions; and it is not the least lamentable part of these proceedings that we find the names of many gentlemen of the utmost respectability in all transactions of private life engaged in an obvious political fraud which is perpetrated often in this manner: the landlord who desires an extension of the suffrage applies to his agent, generally an Edinburgh W.S., who makes out dispositions from the estate on life rents, in his own favour, and that of others who will accept them. Bills are taken in payment. These bills are, however, never paid. The interest on the sum is never settled. But the landlord-the Earl of Traquair, or the Sir Adam Hay of the lease--has no desire whatever to part with any portion of his property; and accordingly he becomes tenant of his own tenant at a rent which exactly balances the interest that should be paid on the bills; so the only hard cash entering into the transaction is the price of the bill stamp, the fee to the lawyer, and the cost of registration. A free and independent elector may thus be manufactured for one guinea or thereby; and the Earl of Traquair may be the tenant of his own shrubbery or barnyard. Any gentleman who represents a county in Parliament, through a majority acquired by this class of votes, may he, in point of fact, the representative of his own demesne, parcelled out amongst a number of liferenters, and re-leased from them at prime cost.
meaner juggle or thimble-rig never disgraced gentlemen. There is a remarkable resemblance, and yet, no doubt, an essential difference between these arrangements and the doings at Doncaster, which would bring the transactors under the jurisdiction of the Jockey Club. The manufacturers and the acceptors of fictitious votes adopt-still according to our notion, which is, of course, widely different from their opinion-those means to win, which would entitle gamblers pursuing similar devices to be styled black-legs on the turf. We admit that, nevertheless, all the gentlemen engaged, for example, in the Peebles-shire farce of representation are extremely honourable and estimable men. We sincerely believe that not one of the landlords named would be guilty of anything that he really considered dishonourable for the value of their county. The case, therefore, presents a most remarkable example of the manner in which political considerations sway the minds of even intelligent men. It is a case better fitted for the curious inquiries of moral philosophy professors than any other in modern times of which we have a present remembrance. One man gives, and another receives→→ a delusion so palpable that it scarcely merits the name; and from this collusive film they make a solid and substantial vote, putting entirely out of court and out of fashion the old proverb, “Ez nihilo nihil fit." They proceed in this way, not merely with honourable intentions, but with the most patriotic purposes. They have neither private nor personal object to serve. The whole world understands this fact, or that part of the whole world which really understands anything whatever on the subject. They have a party object to serve, but that is public and patriotic. They are for their party because their party is for their country. And for this end they get up such a series of documents as in an ordinary accounting would put Mr. Commissioner Foublanque, we fear, in a very pretty passion, and send the person before him to rusticate for a considerable portion of the year without a certificate. The purest motives are still the inciting motives. The Reform Bill is stretched
the suffrage illimitably extended the bills and leases are docqueted, crossed and re-crossed, for no other purpose whatever than to beat the rival candidate, whose election might lead to the suppression of the constitution, the destruction of the envy of surrounding nations, the annihilation of the British Lion, with the total and permanent eclipse of the Sun of England.
In common with an ingenuous public, and all who lose by these transactions, we deeply regret that the said constitution, the Lion and the Sun, cannot be supported by practices consistent with common honesty. The decision of Sheriff Napier, at the Peebles Registration Court, swept one hundred and fifty fictitious voters from the roll of this small county alone. This decision may not be sustained in the Appeal Court, but it shows that there exist certain obstacles to this mode of stretching the Reform Bill and extending the
suffrage which may require the intervention of than in Scotland; although, if England be the Parliament.
Another and a better plan of extending the suffrage has been most successfully employed in several English counties. The Manchester Anti-Corn Law League might have reasoned and published against the Corn Laws for many years, if they had not commenced to construct votes. Even after they flooded South Lancashire with bona fide voters, they might have wrestled long for their great object, if the potatoe disease had not come to their assistThat was the great instrument of conversion in the Legislature. The public bestow more credit on Mr. Cobden than on the avis vastator in this business; but shrewd people still suspect that Mr. Smee's insect was the great whipper-in of Peel's majorities on the corn question in 1845, and not the Honourable Member for Cavan, as his constituents supposed.
richer country, necessarily it should have, while distinctions prevail, the narrower franchise. In Ireland, which is the poorest of the three divisions, the franchise is absolutely higher even than in Scotland. Ostensibly it is the same, or nearly the same; but those who are acquainted with the mode of operation must concede, that the franchise is really higher in Ireland than in Scotland. In that country, also, the arrangements of registration-with a view, perhaps, to the creation of doubt and complexity-are still more abstruse and absurd than those of England and Scotland. They can only be cleared away, in many cases, by a vigorous-we cannot add healthful-system of hard swearing. An Irish election generally costs an immense capital in morality for oaths. That, indeed, is remarkable in many contested elections; but the expenditure is peculiarly prevalent in Ireland. We cannot very obviously see the difficulty in the way of preventing all the oath-taking in these cases. We are acquainted, of course, with the utility of this hindrance to business for the purposes of many agents. When one candidate is running up too rapidly on his opponent, the latter
In this agitation on the suffrage, the Anti-Corn League effected a stroke of good in their bye-play, sufficient to compensate all the toil, and trouble, and cost of their existence. The awakening of the English mind to the existence of a popular power over the counties was an important politi-instructs his agent to put the oaths. This is a cal advantage. It may be used, or it may be neglected, but it exists, and there is no county, containing one or two large towns, that may not have an infusion of popular feeling in its constituency, if the people choose to improve their opportunity.
solemn matter, and it is to be performed in a slow, serious, and solemn manner. The agent can make, by due caution, an oath occupy five minutes. There are, certainly, able men in their profession, so filled with respect for the third commandment on these particular occasions, that they cannot do the work in less than five minutes. It is exemplary to watch these gentlemen-one hears a sermon in their staid and drawling tones. They would spin out a very small amount of intellect at the same rate into a long discourse. They preach, but their lecture, rightly understood, is levelled at the low and perverse morality of Parliament, which has converted oaths into one of the many political schemes for gaining time. Ireland, registration is peculiarly troublesome, and the qualifications under the bill are remarkably indistinct and confused. We understand a reason for separate bills and legislation in the three kingdoms, where ancient customs and privileges are affected; but we cannot perceive any ground for creating new distinctions and differences, by the adoption of various rules and bills on thoroughly new legislation. The practice is highly indiscreet, but it is also unjust when privileges, dependent in any form on a money qualification, are made more precious in a poor than in a rich country. That the franchise is really higher in Ireland, and the voters fewer than in Scotland, will be readily admitted by all who are informed on the operation of the Reform Bills in the two countries. The majority of persons who consider these things at all, will also readily allow that the franchise should be attainable on the same grounds, for the same reasons, and with equal ease in all The great mystery of the Reform Bill is in its the three kingdoms. So far, however, from that varied interpretations. There are three different being the case, the simplest matter in the whole bills, and there have been more than three diffe-business-the registration fee is in Scotland rent interpretations of the same clause in each two hundred and fifty per cent. more than in bill. In England the franchise is made wider England.
The political advantage is, however, vastly inferior to the moral influence that would be produced by the extensive purchase of small freeholds. We know no merely social arrangement more likely to produce greater benefit than the extension of the landed interest. The extension of the suffrage is but an instrument, while the extension of the landed interest is a realisation; and when political arrangements can be made, directly and immediately, subservient to moral purposes, there is greater satisfaction derived from their pursuit. We can easily see that, if land were freely in the market for this class of purchasers, there might be no obstacle to prevent English artisans, who receive ordinary wages, from attaining the suffrage. The iron-workers of Staffordshire and South Wales might all be electors. There are, indeed, many classes of artisans, who, by a little self-denial, would place their names on the voters' roll for their counties; while in large towns, by moderate pains-taking, a great number of skilled artisans might secure such influence as a vote affords. There are two or three Scotch counties-those especially where the iron works are situated-that, by a little arrangement on the part of the miners, might return their members-Scottish counties where the privilege conceded to England (the wealthier country) of forty shilling freeholds does not exist.
We do not intend to propose any scheme which in the slightest degree would interfere with or make unadvisable the efforts of the National Alliance, of which we know no more than appears in the newspaper reports. From them we infer that it is one of the many bodies generally formed to promote a great object, in tolerably regular succession, and of which all but the last perish apparently without fruit, apparently, but not really, for each one of them has done something to press forward the general plan. And the last, which seems triumphant, is no more indebted to its own strength or wisdom, to its own consistency, or to the power, the tact, or talent of its members, than to the operations of its defunct and dissolved predecessors for the final hour of victory and triumph.
In all the three countries the elements for annually raised. With this necessity, the nation greatly increasing the roll of voters exist. In has a perpetual excitement for the reduction of either of them the higher class of artisans, in taxes, and the feeling is not more natural than point of wages, might command votes. Even in wise. We are not aware that, hitherto, reductions those trades where wages are low and insufficient, have always been wisely made. The system pura considerable number of artisans might be, by sued has been, we think, more one of immediate judicious arrangements, placed on the roll. A convenience than deliberate planning in the struggle, involving less outlay than a few strikes smaller items of reduction; but still they have and combinations, would give the cream of the tended to the improvement of business, and been working-classes the aristocracy of labour-that followed by favourable results. There are many voice in the management of national affairs which taxes that should be annihilated-many more they seek, often forgetful that, by sacrifice and that might be modified; and, if they are touched resolution, it may be obtained. with a decisive hand, there must be some substitutes found even for their immediate product. The statesman who, in a period of peace, shrinks from the obvious duty in our financial affairs of having a surplus, is his country's foe. Last year we required to borrow eight millions, to combat famine and pestilence. That was a war exception. Famine and pestilence are the direst enemies, and, therefore, the loan could be excused, although we should have preferred to see a separate tax imposed for its liquidation in three or four years. There is nothing between strict honesty and a splendid repudiation except an annual balance on the right side. We may remind the United States, and other nations in difficulties, of their repudiations, daily, year by year; but, without a strict determination to give the commissioners for the reductiou of the national debt something to do annually, there are only so many years between us and a suspension of payments. While, therefore, the public health requires the abolition of the tax on the light and air that God has made, and sends to all-while the farmers say that the malt tax should be repealed-and merchants insist that the tea tax should be reduced-all who wisely seek to support the integrity of the nation perceive that a substitute must be found for these exactions, and the only popular substitute is direct taxation. The existing property tax is most unartistically imposed. Like all other parliamentary work, it has been done with the greatest respect to ease, and the slightest regard to justice. It almost appears as if Government were doubtful whether their clerks could keep accounts, from the manner in which they parcel out their work. To save an extra set of books, they tax the man whose only wealth is his labour, equally with the proprietor, who labours not. Every one sees and feels that the arrangement is unjust; but then many plead that the formation of distinctions would be attended with trouble; and, therefore, to save trouble, the injustice is perpetuated. Sometimes it is troublesome to be honest, but nobody therefore says that honesty should be avoided.
The plan we are to propose may be described as a make-shift-another stretch of the bill-not an inefficient pull, but calculated to neutralize all the labour, the swearing, and the subterfuges of the registration courts. There is an old principle in Blackstone, that taxation and representation should be co-existent. This is a very honest and a much-neglected principle. Every Whig, upon proper occasions, makes much of the principle, and refers one back to the times when Russell bled and Hampden fell. The eloquent allusions, however, to these periods and princples are never indulged in, except on extraordinary and very proper occasions. Recently, they have become rare-and they threaten to be rarer. A combination of forces-Russell and Peel, or Peel and Russell-would entirely swamp them; although the coalition or any other Cabinet will require, even in the next session, to make a thorough revisal of our money-raising power.
A re-arrangement of taxation must be attempted for financial purposes. The income tax was imposed only as an interim tribute, and it will be made perpetual. It yields five millions sterling, and cannot be wanted. The tendency of opinion is, however, so decidedly towards direct taxation, that no opposition will be made to the extension of the tax in point of time, and there would not be much, we believe, to its extension in amount. While the nation provides for its existing expenditure, there seems little ground to expect any reduction in the amount of our taxes. They may be shifted from one point to another. We may attempt to relieve the strain on the weak links of the chain, or lighten the weight on the over-burthened, but the gross total must be
We think that the formation of a large direct tax should be immediately commenced. There will be some labour in arranging the details; but the Legislature will have to do the work soon, and it can derive little pleasure from delaying a task that must be performed. The plan should recognise the wide difference between property acquired and professional emoluments. The one continues but the other fails with the health, the strength,