the want of a station such as Rhio would be hourly felt in the exercise of our commerce; and there is no substitute for it the moment we, by giving the spice trade exclusively to the Dutch, depart from an unlimited communication directly with the Malays in their respective islands. . . .
HENRY DUNDAS TO LORD GRENVILLE 23 April 17931
... The preservation of the Cape of Good Hope is an object of so much importance, both to Holland and Great Britain, it is impossible for this country to view with indifference any circumstance that can endanger the safety of that Settlement, and therefore, before making any particular answer to the requisition of the Dutch East India Company on that subject, I would wish your Lordship to inform me, by means of Lord Auckland, what is the force now at the Cape, either naval or military, what is conceived to be sufficient for rendering the possession of it perfectly secure, how far there is reason to confide in a full supply of provisions and other stores upon the island, either for troops or ships of war, and how far the Dutch are disposed to allow a depôt of British troops to be placed at the Cape, either for its own defence, or for acting offensively from it, if in the course of the war any such measure should be thought expedient. . . .
SIR FRANCIS BARING TO HENRY DUNDAS 4 January 17952
The present situation of Holland rendering it doubtful whether she may be able to retain her neutrality, or be obliged to submit to conditions which cannot be foreseen, nor their consequences easily calculated, I beg leave to suggest for your consideration how far it may be right to prepare for an attempt on the Cape of Good Hope which I conceive may easily be surprised, but difficult to conquer if the French shall be suffered to throw a garrison into it. The importance of the Cape is in my opinion comprised under two heads--as a place of refreshment for our ships on their return from India, as St. Helena is unequal to the supply, and we should be much distressed for a substitute if the Cape is lost to us. Secondly, whoever is master of the____________________