The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 19, 1888. A "FAUX PAS."
Lord Salisbury is not prone to perform the operation of "opening his month and putting his foot m it," but the exception which proves the rule has unfortunately occurred m the extraordinary faux pas of which he was recently guilty m his reference to an Indian gentleman, who, a little time ago, was a candidate for a scat m the Imperial Parliament. Our Wellington contemporary, the " Evening Post," has the following very just and sensible remarks upon this subject : — lt appears almost incredible that the Premier of the British Empire should, m relation to a paltry question of party politics, have gone out of his way to deliberately moult half of Her Majesty's subjects by alluding to them as an inferior race, quite unworthy of being entrusted with aDy share m the Government of the great Empire which claims their allegiance. Yet this is what the cable tells us the IVjCoBt Npble the Marquis of Salisbury has done. The calfa says that he, " referring to the election of a representative for Holborn (Finsburyj district, stated that, m his opinion, the reduced majority of the Conservative candidate as compared with that of last election was mainly due to the strong Liberal candidate selected, while their previous nominee was a Parsee^ He added that m the last election it was. asking too much for Englishmen to vote for a man of color." Mr Dababhai Naoroji, the gentleman who contested the Holborn Division of Finsbury at the last general election) and who is thus elegantly referred to by the Premier as a " man of color," is a Parseo of high family, who has been educated m England, taken academical honours, and been called to the English Bar. Despite his color, at which the blue blood of the Marquis revolts, it is probable that his family is as ancient and as honorable as that of the Cecils themselveß. In any case, the sneer would be a snobbish impropriety on the part of any gentleman, but, coming from a man holding Lord Salisbury's political position, the utterance is so much worse that it is difficult to find language suitably io characterise it. Eminent writers on Indian affairs have pointed out how dearly England and the English m India paid with their blood, m the mutiny, for the contempt so long insolently expressed by British snobs m official positions of the (( niggers" whose pountry they condescended to rule, Since that time more considerate treat, ment has, we believe, been insisted on, and the educated natives have, under Mr Hibbert's Act and other regulations, been admitted to a moro equitable share m the governing institutions ot India. That the old spirit is not dead, however is proved by Lord Salisbury's fatuous utterance, which will probably not only encourage its revival amongst the foolish and thoughtless Europeans m India, but will undoubtedly excite great iild'^oation and discontent m the native circles there". "P 10 time is unfortunately but too favorable iCT % fipre*4 of discontent jn the frdiftV mlcd. Jto
bi aharajah Dhuleep Singh is England's I tter foe, and it is well known that he is to the utmost of his power fomenting feelings of enmity towards her m the minds of his countrymen, aided, it is thought, by Russian gold. Holkar and other native potentates, it is well known are still brooding moodily over the slights shown them during their Jubilee visit to Kngland, and the native press has recently been most active m disseminating disaffection and preaching something akin to treason. Almost one of the last official acts of Lord Dufferin as Viceroy was to administer a forcible reproof and warning to this section of the natives. Perhaps never since the mutiny was ended haß the native mind been m such a critical and explosive condition, yet this is the moment which the Prime Minister of Her Majesty the Empress of India seizes on to declare it preposterous to Buppose that Englishmen could under any circumstances admit a native of India to a seat m the Parliament which is charged with the government of that great country. The highly accomplished Parsee scholar and lawyer is contemptuously condemned as an ineligible, while Lord Oomptoa is referred to as " a strong candidate," because, we suppose, he has the good fortune to be the eldest son and heir of the Marquis of Northampton. What an exalted idea Lord Salisbury must have of the patriotism and principles of the Liberal party m England ! As Lord Compton only reduced the Tory majority from 1701 to 965, we are inclined to think, Lord. Salisbury notwithstanding, that the question of color, whether m blood or skin, had "probably less to do with the alteration of numbers than the growth of Liberal opinions exhibited m so many I bye elections besides Holborn. If the affairs of the Empire are administered m the spirit displayed by Lord Salisbury, it is no wonder that British rule is so unpopular m almost every clime where her Majesty rules over colored races, and that tho Empire has always so many little wars on hand. It is but natural that Lord Salisbury's sneer should have caused " some excitement amongst the Indian Press." and it will be fortunate if the excitement thus arising does not sooner or later produce important and unfortunate results. The premier's re-, marks were, of course, also an insult to the 1950 Liberal electors who, putting aside such narrow prejudices as seem to rule their rulers, voted on principle for Mr Dababhai JNaorojoi." We may add to the foregoing that, as our readers will hare noticed, the remarks of Lord Salisbury have aroused indignant resentment; m India. This is only what might have been expected and it is to be hoped that ho will not delay making the amende honorable for having, it is to be hoped, unintentionally insulted millions of Her Majesty's subjects, or at least grefiously wounded their amour propre, which amounts to very much the same thing.