Thou Who of Thy Free Grace Didst Build Up This Brittannick Empire To a Glorious And Enviable Height, With All Her Daughter Ilands Abovt Her, Stay Vs in This Felicitie.-MILTON.

IN the East personal rule is the condition of all government, but good government needs a good ruler. People with limited experience of the East are apt to regard unbridled despotism as the form of personal government best adapted to the Asiatic mind. Those who penetrate deeper into the soul of Asia hold another view. Unbiassed native opinion concerning matters relating to the country in which they live is invaluable to the ruler whose work is to endure. Akbar acted on this principle and made an empire: Aurungzib rejected counsel and destroyed an empire.

For seventy years two white Rajahs have governed the State of Sarawak by taking into their confidence their Malay and Dayak subjects. The inhabitants have been consulted on all questions affecting their country; and, carried by enlightened personal rule along the path of progress, Sarawak has travelled quite as fast as Western countries seething in the fierce turmoil of democracy and acting on the time-dishonoured system of counting noses to find a Government. The Malay is a proud person; not pushful. He is not always clamouring for rights, airing grievances, or asserting himself. Offended, he is difficult to appease; insulted, he is revengeful, implacable, dangerous.

Next to Australia and to New Guinea Borneo is the largest island in the world. The stretch of territory in the North of Borneo called Sarawak has been raised from the Stone Age to one of tranquil prosperity in the space of seven decades. One man built the foundations; his nephew raised the edifice. Sarawak is happy in that it has no history. At all events, so little attention has the building of Sarawak attracted in Britain that not one in a hundred people knows where it is, or whether it is an island or on the mainland. Many people believe it to be a British Colony. It is included in Whitaker's Almanack' under the heading of 'Imperial Dominions,' though Sarawak is a foreign and independent State as regards internal affairs.

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Majesty's Government is expressly debarred by treaty from interference with the internal administration of Sarawak, except by the establishment of British Consular officers, who shall receive exequaturs in the name of the Government of Sarawak.' British Consuls in Sarawak are also entitled to hoist the British flag over their residences and public offices; and British subjects, commerce, and shipping enjoy the same rights, privileges, and advantages as the subjects, commerce, and shipping of the mostfavoured nation.

The Agreement signed by the Marquis of Salisbury and Rajah Brooke in 1888 placed the foreign relations of the State under the Protectorate of the Queen of England. The relations between the State of Sarawak and all foreign States are conducted by his Majesty's Ministers; but with that exception and a point relating to the right of succession, to which reference will be made later on, Sarawak, so far as regards internal affairs, is as independent as Portugal, which, under certain contingencies, is also a Protectorate of Great Britain.

Independence in the administration of the country is a point of paramount importance, because Rajah Brooke is eighty-three years of age, and signs are not wanting that the Colonial Office is once more 'on the pounce.' Now that Sir Charles Aitcheson is dead, Sir William Lee Warner is, perhaps, the highest authority living on the subject of native States. He affirms that: 'Communities whose rulers ordinarily exercise any, even the smallest degree of internal Sovereign authority, are classified in India as native States, and excluded from the territories subject to the King's law.'

'Once a native State always a native State' is a maxim that has almost obtained force of law. The independence of Sarawak is essential to the well-being of its inhabitants, because personal rule of the right kind is inconsistent with the red tape of bureaucracy, with political jobbery, or with the sordid ambitions of cosmopolitan money-makers.

Rajah Brooke left school at the age of twelve. Entering the Royal Navy, he remained for ten years, and, after obtaining his lieutenancy, received from the Admiralty in 1852 the grant of two years' leave. He then went to Sarawak to join his uncle, the first Rajah. He had gained from ten years' service afloat knowledge of how to obey orders, learned the importance of discipline, and the art of managing men. For ten years Rajah Brooke did not sleep in a bed. His life in Sarawak, in building the State, was one continuous series of concentrated effort, first to conceive and then to establish policies required for the wellbeing of the natives. As the resources of Sarawak were jealously husbanded, prosperity set in. No wealth was taken out of the

country. In the story of Sarawak one is reminded of Froude's remarks on Cheneys and the House of Russell: The inhabitants of Cheneys live under authority. The voice of the Russells has been the voice of the emancipator-the hand has been the hand of the ruling noble.'

If solid work well done for mankind be a title to honourable remembrance the Brookes may rank with the Russells.

Had the Government of Sarawak been changed every five years, and had a succession of archangels of varying temperaments and different tastes been appointed as governors, it is impossible that Sarawak under archangelic red tape could have reached the state of harmonious well-being at which it has arrived under the rule of a lieutenant (late) R.N. Continuity of purpose is essential to the attainment of great results. To give a free hand to the politicians of Downing Street, who are responsible for the muddle in Ireland, over the destinies of the natives of Sarawak, would be like opening the doors of the cages in the Zoological Gardens to enable the leopards and the lions to arrange their differences with the gazelles and the wapitis, as the carnivores deemed best in their own interests.

Continuity of policy in Sarawak, among other things, means continuity of residence by the ruler as well as personal government. The reason that impelled the framers of the Bulgarian Constitution to provide that their Prince-now their Tsar-shall reside permanently in the Principality also dictates the rule that the Rajah of Sarawak shall not be a frequent, and never a prolonged, absentee from his State. The Princes of the native States of India are rightly frowned at by the Suzerain Power when they prolong their sojourn in the playground of Europe beyond the period required for recreation or repose. As Sarawak was not built up by the vexatious methods of bureaucratic detail its prosperity cannot be maintained by the decrees of a politician sitting in Downing Street, who has obtained his position, not by close study of government of tropical peoples, but from the inheritance of wealth or from proficiency in the arts of the platform.

The State of Sarawak was built by two resident personalities. If Sarawak is to endure in the state in which Rajah Brooke will leave it, a third personality is indispensable as resident Rajah. An absentee Rajah and an adroit party politician at the Colonial Office is a combination that must play havoc with the interests of Dayak and Malay: it would destroy the results of seventy years' hard work.

In considering the future of Sarawak we must remember the relative value of the four interests concerned. When public affairs are transacted behind closed doors-especially in a country

without a Second or Revising Chamber-public affairs are quickly converted into the private affairs of the people who transact them. The four interests referred to, placed in the order of their importance, are, first, the inhabitants of Sarawak; second, the Brooke dynasty; third, the Colonial Office; fourth, the people of England. Hitherto, the question has perhaps been discussed too much as though the welfare and the future of Sarawak alone. concerned the Secretary of State for the Colonies and the Rajah's heir and their respective friends. It is time to enter a protest against the assumption that the Secretary of State for the Colonies may upset the edifice, founded and built by the first Rajah Brooke and his nephew, without vigorous public protest.

The interests of the natives of Sarawak are of greater importance than the interests of the Brooke family. It is for English public opinion to see that justice is done. The deepest anxiety is felt throughout Sarawak as to the destiny of the State when Rajah Brooke ceases to reign.

By no means the least of the services rendered by the Earl Grey of 1855 was his recommendation to the first Rajah of Sarawak to establish the 'Supreme Council' or General Council. This body is composed of the Rajah and two of the English senior officers, with four native chiefs of Sarawak proper. There is also a Council Negri, composed of the chiefs of the various districts under the rule of the Rajah. Through the Council Negri the genial and enlightened despotism of the Rajah is adjusted to the genius of the people. The progress and development of Sarawak have been slow. The process resembles the growth of an oak rather than the stroke of a democratic steam-hammer. Agriculture is the mainstay of every Asiatic country, and the production of food for a long time was the main industry. The demand for rubber, however, has tempted many cultivators in Sarawak to replace rice with plantations of rubber trees. Consequently food is imported to redress the balance. The number of young rubber trees in Sarawak is already enormous.

In the Annual Report (1911) of the Treasury and the Post, Customs, and Shipping Department of Sarawak, only 51,324 dollars are credited to the State Revenue under the head of 'Miscellaneous,' which includes the proceeds of licences to tap the Government rubber trees. The future yield from Sarawak rubber will reach high figures, and the prospect of wealth pouring into the country is practically assured.

The leading characteristic of the Malay of every class, as with most of us, is a disinclination to work. He is never cold, and need never starve. Tapping rubber is easier and more profitable than growing rice; therefore, rubber is partially

replacing rice, and the presence of a dominant personality as Rajah is more necessary in the future than the past in order to protect the Malays of Sarawak from the consequences of their own acts. Thirty years ago land had little value in Borneo. To-day tempting prices are offered by the Western capitalists to the Malay rubber-grower if only land transfer to Non-Malays were facilitated by the Raj; and Radical manipulation of the finances of India and of Ireland forbids the hope that any superfluous delicacy will characterise the dealings of Downing Street with the State of Sarawak. The process of transfer from Malays to Non-Malays of their holdings in land in Perak is referred to by Mr. Oliver Marks, the British Resident in Malaya, in his report on Perak for 1911. At the end of the year Malays held 541 holdings less than in 1910. The accumulation of land in too few hands, as Mr. R. E. Prothero, M.V.O., has pointed out in his recent work on English Farming Past and Present, is one great cause of trouble in this country of which we are now reaping the results. Human nature is the same all the world over. If you replace landowning peasants by urban cosmopolitan syndicates, whether the peasants are English, French, Russian, Malay, or Dayak, the result is the same-you create the raw material of revolution; more especially if you give modern education to Orientals with empty stomachs.

Rajah Brooke stands for private property in land and a peasant proprietary. The Colonial Office, under the guidance of its political chief, apparently regards landowners as vermin to be exterminated, and the transfer of land from private owners to elected bodies, or even to Semitic syndicates, as a system preferable to that of private property in land.

The Malays are an impulsive people. Sir Frank Swettenham (than whom there is no better authority) says that they are guided more by their hearts than by their heads. The behests and the injunctions of a Secretary of State who is separated from Sarawak by the shoulder of the world would leave them cold, but they would go to the death for their own Rajah and obey him blindly. In their code to do otherwise would be treason. This fidelity is a characteristic that the Malays share with the best type of dog. Of one dog it is recorded that being ordered by his master to watch a basket of stones on the seashore, he was overtaken by the tide and was drowned at his post. The epitaph on this dog was 'He died doing his duty. He knew no better. He was only a dog.' The Radical Government that does not understand Ulster does not understand the Malay. The chivalry, the trust, the pride, the fidelity of the Malay require the personal rule of a good resident Rajah.

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