British Colonial Developments, 1774-1834

By Vincent Harlow; Frederick Madden | Go to book overview

same time, the treatment which they have experienced from the Dutch has been in general so extremely galling and oppressive, that a more liberal policy can hardly fail of conciliating their affections in a high degree; sufficiently conscious of their inability to stand alone, and warned by the breaking up of some of the oldest and most powerful states, they would gladly ally themselves to so powerful a nation as the English on anything like fair and equitable terms, by which they might be secured from civil commotions and the oppression of foreigners, without being deprived of all their natural advantages, as under the Dutch domination. Now, as our principal political embarrassment with regard to Java and the Eastern Isles arises from the danger of these being given up to the enemy, in the event of a peace in Europe, I beg leave to suggest to your Lordship a method of avoiding a part of this danger, which by no means appears impossible, or even arduous to carry into execution, though it is not likely to occur to the Malay chiefs, unless it should be suggested to them....

[Raffles proposes that the various Malay sultans and rajahs should be invited to invest the Governor-General of India in the ancient title of Bitara or Lord Protector, once held by a powerful Javanese dynasty. This would confer a general right of superintendence 'and might be so limited by treaty as to remove any occasion of suspicion from the native powers'.]


36
CABINET MEMORANDUM ON THE MARITIME PEACE 26 December 18131

... Great Britain has declared her disposition with certain exceptions to sacrifice these conquests for the welfare of the Continent, being desirous of providing for her own security by a common arrangement, rather than by an exclusive accumulation of strength and resources. Her object is to see a maritime as well as a military Balance of Power established amongst the Powers of Europe, and as the basis of this arrangement she desires to see the independence of Spain and Holland as maritime Powers effectually provided for. Upon the supposition that these two objects shall be obtained in the proposed arrangements, that the limits of France shall be reduced within proper bounds, and that the peace of the Continent shall be secured by an amicable understanding between the Allies, Great Britain will then be prepared also to return within corresponding limits and to throw her acquisitions into the scale of the general interests.

As nothing is yet defined with precision either as to the state of the enemy's limits nor as to that of the Allies, it is impossible to do more than state on the part of Great Britain the nature and extent of concession she would be prepared to make upon given data as to the

____________________
1
F.O. 92/1.Printed in C. K. Webster, British Diplomacy, 1813-1815, Lond. 1921, p. 126. This was a supplement to the memorandum drawn up as instructions for Castlereagh by the Cabinet at a meeting when he was present.

-66-

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