Letter of Governor-General
to Gulab Singh
January 7, 1848
Legal Document No 2
Your Highness is aware of the principle by which the British Government
is guided in its treaties with Eastern Princies where cessions of territory
are involved that whilst it will scrupulously fulfill all its obligations
for the protection of its ally, it never can consent to incur the reproach
of becoming indirectly instrument of the oppression of the people committed
to the Prince's charge.
If the aversion of the people to a Prince's rule should by his injustice
become so miserable as to cause the people to seek his downfall, the British
Government are bound by no obligation to force the people to submit to
a ruler who has derived himself of their allegiance by his misconduct.
In no case, will the British Government be the blind instrument of a
Ruler's injustice towards his people and if inspite of friendly warnings,
the evil of which the British Government may have just cause to complain
be not corrected, a system of direct interference must be resorted to which
as Your Highness must be aware would lower the dignity and curtail the
independence of the Ruler.