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Secretary of State to the Government of India
February 17, 1889

Legal Document No 22

(Extract)

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 authority.

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 of India.

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.

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