From the commencement of his Indian career the Reverend gentleman interested himself in that burning question of the employment of the Anglo-Indian and Eurasian community of India; a large indigenous and permanent element in the population, the disposal of which is still a question of very great public importance, and its practical solution a pressing necessity. The Archdeacon had this question, paraphrased by Ali Baba as that of the “Mean Whites,” greatly at heart, and the conclusions he arrived at and suggestions made by him from time to time, ably and vigorously summarized in a paper he read before the Bengal Social Science Association on May 1st, 1879, in Calcutta, were productive of considerable good.
Archdeacon Baly’s predecessor was the Venerable John Henry Pratt, an attached friend of Aberigh-Mackay’s father, to whom his book, From London to Lucknow, published in 1860, was “affectionately inscribed.” Certain traits in the character of this Archdeacon known to Ali Baba by tradition are pourtrayed in the concluding portion of the paper.
WITH THE SECRETARY TO GOVERNMENT
This article is of a composite nature. At the time it was published in 1879, the foreign policy of Lord Lawrence was a burning question, and in connection with the Afghan War then running its course, renewed attention was directed to the two essays, “Masterly Inactivity” and “Mischievous Activity,” first published in The Fortnightly Review in December 1869, and March 1870, respectively, by a comparatively young Bengal Civilian, the late J.W.S. Wyllie, C.S.I. (1835-1870). Beyond the fact that these essays and certain other papers by the same brilliant author on the subject of the policy of the Indian Government with independent principalities and powers beyond the bounds of India were probably in Ali Baba’s mind, the character of the supercilious Secretary was very remote from that of Mr. Wyllie.
The typical person held up to derision by Ali Baba has been oft times decried as one very detrimental to good government in India, where a personal and absolute rule must needs obtain for some time to come. By none more pointedly than by the present Secretary of State for India when addressing his constituents at Arbroath on October 21, 1907, when he informed them that “India is perhaps the one country—bad manners, overbearing manners are very disagreeable in all countries—India is the only country where bad and overbearing manners are a political crime.” Or, as a prominent Mohammedan in India very well said, “When the English govern from the heart they do it admirably; when they try to be clever, they make a mess of it.”
In the restored passage on p. 35 there is delineated a Secretary in striking contrast to the other. The Secretary in the Foreign Department referred to was the late Mr. le Poer Wynne, under whom Aberigh-Mackay had worked at Simla in 1870.