Secretary of State to the
Government of India
February 17, 1889
Legal Document No
The day before yesterday I had placed in my hands such reliable evidence
as l have said invariably to those who have talked to me, would alone satisfy
me of the disloyalty or utter imbecility of the present Ruler of Jammu.
This consists of a batch of thirty-four letters in the Maharaja's own
handwriting, some calf which are so compromising as to leave, I submit,
no course open save his removal from the State, unless the alternative
theory be accepted of his being a half-witted individual, irresponsible
for his own acts.
Of their authenticity I have, myself, no doubt, and they are admitted
to be in the Maharaja's own handwriting by his brother Raja Amar Singh;
besides, a mass of letters like this are not likely to be forgeries in
the way one or to might be.
But, side by side with these treasonable letters in this packet there
are others in an utterly foolish strain, thereby confirming me in the conclusion
I have unwillingly come to that, though with lucid intervals of good sense
and propriety, the Maharaja is utterly incapable of being left in charge
of his own affairs. The gist of these other letters is that the Maharaja
offers large sums of money to certain individuals on condition that they
will murder or cause to be removed, Plowden, the late Resident, his own
two brothers, Ram Singh and Amar Singh, and one of the Maharanis, who,
for some reason, is personally objectionable to him.
The conclusions the letters lead me to are confirmed by certain rather
extraordinary acts of the Maharaja in appointing unworthy and incapable
persons to important offices of the State, even since I took over charge,
without consulting the proper counsellor, or, in fact, any one at all.
The thing is the Maharaja is a timid and very superstitious man at the
entire mercy of a set of unscrupulous scoundrels who take advantage of
his fears and imbecility to plunder the State to any extent, and there appear
to me weighty reasons for advising the practical setting aside of the Maharaja's
It surely is politically dangerous to leave the actual administration
of this great State in the hands of an individual who may play us false
at any moment, without, perhaps appreciating the disaster that would follow,
and, I believe, any steps Government may take short of annexation will
be right and necessary, and generally approved by the Princes and Chiefs
Under the circumstances stated I think it is necessary for me to come
to Calcutta at once on hearing from you, to talk the matter fully over
with you, so that you may be in a position definitely to settle the future
policy of Government towards the State.