Slike stranica

The administration of the territories of the British North Borneo Company is based upon the ideas in practice in the Straits Settlements rather than upon those of Sarawak. The first officials came from the Straits Settlements, which may account for this fact. The territories are divided into nine provinces, each under the control of a Resident, who exercises the powers of the resident councillors at Penang and Malacca, which greatly resemble those of the Collector of an Indian district in that they are both administrative and magisterial. At the head of the administration is the governor, who is not aided by a council, as in Sarawak, but is made directly responsible for the good order of the territories to the Court of Directors in London. The Company derives its revenue from import duties, stamps, a poll-tax and the sale of land. It has its own coinage and postage stamps, but it does not issue licenses for gambling or resort to some of the other methods of obtaining revenue which are adopted in Sarawak. The most striking difference of the two Borneo governments is to be seen, however, in their police systems. The first governor of the British North Borneo Company's territories, Mr. C. Vandeleur Creagh, was originally an officer in the Punjab police and made his reputation by raising in 1867 the Sikh police force, which was then introduced into the island of Hong Kong. When he was transferred from Hong Kong to the Straits Settlements in 1883 he showed his belief in the efficiency of Sikh police by raising a similar force for service in the protected native state of Perak. He pursued the same policy in North Borneo, where the maintenance of the peace is confided to a force of about 300 Sikhs under the command of English officers. The officials of the Rájá of Sarawak are opposed to the use of Sikhs in their districts. They assert that the natives of India cannot deal successfully with the natives of Borneo, and they prefer to rely upon Malay and Dayak policemen raised and trained by themselves rather than upon foreigners. Without pronouncing upon this controversy it is worth noting that there has been more than one serious outbreak in North Borneo, in which British officers have lost their lives, whereas peace has reigned throughout the government of the second Rájá of Sarawak.

The consideration that naturally suggests itself after this brief summary of the administrative evolution of the British dependencies in the Further East is the absence of any harmonious idea in the extension of British power or in the manner in which it is administered. For two hundred years various efforts were made by the East India Company to establish trading settlements in the Spice Islands, but spasmodically and without method. The rivalry of the

Dutch hindered their success, and in haphazard fashion, in order to save its existence amidst the anarchy which followed the break-up of the Mughal Empire and under the pressure of rivalry from France which threatened extinction to its trade, the East India Company laid the foundation of the British power in India rather than in the Further East. Considerations of European policy led the British in India to occupy the Dutch possessions in the Further East during the Napoleonic War, but a sentiment of generosity dictated by European political considerations caused the return of these Dutch possessions to their former owners in 1815. The temporary occupation of the Spice Islands had opened a vista of trade and power in the Further East. The English statesmen and merchants did not realize their opportunity, but a true builder of empire appeared in the person of Sir Stamford Raffles, and Singapore was chosen as the nucleus of future British development. The treaty of 1824 left the English supreme in the Malay Peninsula and prevented the Dutch from closing the path to the China Sea. Slowly, as a dependency of the East India Company, the free port of Singapore became one of the central points of the Asiatic trade. Further extension was the work in China of the British government and in Borneo of individual Englishmen. The First Chinese War gave to England the island of Hong Kong, while the same decade saw the foundation of the principality of Sarawak, and forty years later the British North Borneo Company undertook independently the extension of Rájá Brooke's work in the island of Borneo. The whole story of extension illustrates the haphazard way in which the British Empire has been built up, and is a further proof that the extension of that empire has been the work not of far-seeing statesmen, but of the support by the government of individual energy. The administration of the dependencies in the Further East bears the marks of their historic evolution. The law administered in the Straits Settlements is the common statute law of England as it was in 1826, when the separate Prince of Wales's Island government or presidency ceased to exist, modified by acts passed by the government of India up to 1867, when the Straits Settlements, as an independent entity under the Colonial Office, was empowered to legislate for itself. The Indian penal code with slight local modifications has been adopted and there is a civil procedure code based on the English judicature acts. In Hong Kong, where the East India Company never held sway, Indian precedents and statute laws have no authority, and the English common law is the basis of the legal system, modified by the laws passed by the colonial legislative authority. In British North Borneo, the Straits Settlements law

has been adopted with slight amendments, while in Sarawak the code enforced is simpler and its administration more patriarchal.

Although the law administered differs, and the systems of administration show marked divergences, the men who govern the natives in the Straits Settlements, in Hong Kong, in Sarawak and in British North Borneo come from the same class and are trained in the same traditions and ideals. Entrance to the civil service of Hong Kong and the Straits Settlements is obtained after a competitive examination open to all subjects of the Queen, and in subjects intended to attract candidates from the great English schools and the universities. The examination is now the same as that for the Indian covenanted civil service, and the young man who wins an appointment has won for himself a career in life. On joining his appointment in Asia, he at once receives a salary of $1500 and is set to work to learn the native language. On passing in the languages, he is attached to some branch of the service, and begins his administrative work under the instruction of an experienced official. He is tried in various places and positions to discover his aptitudes, and if he be intelligent and industrious, he rises to high and well-paid official positions. At the expiration of his allotted term of service, he retires with a liberal and well-earned pension. The prospect attracts men of marked ability. Young Englishmen of the middle or professional classes have more liking for administration than for business. Many of them have had relatives in various branches of the Indian and colonial services for many generations and possess hereditary traditions of service in the East. The open-air life, the love of sport and travel, a real liking for the details of governing backward peoples, attract them to enter the service; and once in it, enthusiasm develops their powers. British North Borneo and Saráwak draw their officials from the same class, but without competitive examination, and it sometimes happens that they obtain the services of excellent men who possess all the necessary qualifications, but who have not been able to stand the strain of competitive examination.

The system is not ideal in itself—what government of Asiatics by Europeans is likely to be?—but it may be asserted that the British system in the Further East, as in India, is the result of long experience, and that the officials form a body of highly trained administrators sprung from the very flower of English manhood, selected without fear or favor, promoted only after proof of efficiency, and looking upon their career as the means not only of gaining an honorable livelihood for themselves, but also of promoting, to the honor and glory of England, the extension of Christian civilization in the Further East. H. MORSE STEPHENS.


At the beginning of the War for American Independence Connecticut occupied a phenomenal position in the political hemisphere. For nearly a century and a half she had been an independent republic de facto. In her ability to govern herself she stood preeminent among her sister colonies of the Revolutionary period. Her treatment of threatening internal ills—of Toryism' in particular -was prophylactic in character at the outset; in truth, throughout the entire great struggle, tory-germs of civil disorder were rarely suffered to develop beyond the embryo.

The party of the Loyalists was not lacking in men whose principles command respect. Of this class was he whose conservatism led him honestly to fear anarchy and confusion as a result of the so-called “experiment" in popular self-government. But it may be questioned why even such a man should have been found a "Non-Associator" in the stable little republic, whose people had governed themselves wisely and well for more than a hundred years.2 Unlike his brethren of other provinces, he was not to be frightened at the alternative presented where there was no legislature; where royal governors, after subverting assemblies, had themselves abdicated their authority; where the "officious and offensive" grasped the reins of government, for which, it was urged, "they could adduce the laws of neither God nor man."3 This plea was not valid in Connecticut. She had not then, and had never had, demagogues at the head of her affairs.

"In no state in the world," observes President Dwight, "was an individual of more importance as a man than in Connecticut. Such a degree of freedom was never before united with such a de

1 "Probably no one of the thirteen original states was as active, alert and efficient in the restraint of Tories during the war, as our own state of Connecticut." Jonathan Trumbull, in Year-Book (1895–6) of the Connecticut Sons of the American Revolution, 183. Cf. Sanford's Connecticut, 222.


2 The Connecticut pioneers were firm believers in representative democracy. a free choice," said Hooker, "the hearts of the people will be more inclined to the love of the persons chosen, and more ready to yield obedience." Notes to Hooker's Sermon (May 31, 1638). Cf. The 250th Anniversary of the Adoption of the Constitution, published in January 1889 by the Connecticut Historical Society, p. 45.

$ Cf. Dr. G. E. Ellis's "The Loyalists and their Fortunes," in Winsor's America, VII. 191.

gree of stability; or so much individual consequence in all the members of a community with such cheerful and uniform obedience to its laws. Few places in the world," he believes, "presented a fairer example of peace and good order." 1

The outbreak of hostilities brought no upheaval here in the leadership of affairs. The governor and both branches of the legislature worked together in harmony, and, being chosen by the freemen themselves, were enabled to legislate favorably to the popular will. The people understood their privileges, were strongly attached to their ancient constitution, and defended it at all times. They regarded it as their native, indefeasible right to be subject to no laws except those made by their own representatives. Their bitterest detractor, Rev. Samuel Peters, says, satirically, that "the multitude considered their General Assembly to be equal to the British Parliament." He admits that "they were empowered to make laws in Church and State agreeable to their own will and pleasure, without the King's approbation."2

The constitution3 had been formed and adopted by the freemen in person, as early as January 1639; acceded to and ratified, twentythree years later, by the liberal charter of Charles II. Extensive powers were vested in their own elected governor and council; yet so jealous were the people of their liberty that, if the former failed to call the legislature after being petitioned by the freemen, then the constables of the several towns were to convoke the legislature, which body could choose a moderator to act as governor, and the body thus formed had all legislative authority. Such an emergency, however, never arose the governor and members of the assembly had all served their apprenticeship at town meetings, had held some town office, and, proving satisfactory, had been promoted to their respective positions. They were themselves from and of the people, and appreciated the people's needs. So pervasive was the democratic spirit that even the negroes of the colony (who, in 1774, numbered about six thousand) had become infected, and for several years elected their governor annually-continuing to do so for a time, it is said, after the close of the war. Not to be outdone by their masters the blacks treated their sable executive with profound respect, and he never failed to receive the honorable title of "Governor" when addressed by any of his colored constituents.

1 Dwight's Travels, I. 196, 285-286.

2 In the Charter of 1662, Charles II. retained no veto power.

3It is worthy of note that this document contains none of the conventional references to a 'dread sovereign' or a 'gracious King,' nor the slightest allusion to the British or any other government outside of Connecticut itself." Fiske's Beginnings of New England, 127-128. Neither was there any mention made of the English company, holding a patent of the land.

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