Item 105 - Letter from Sir Henry Maine to Henry Sidgwick

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Add. MS c/94/105

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Letter from Sir Henry Maine to Henry Sidgwick

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  • 1 Dec. 1887 (Creation)

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Explains that he had postponed writing to Sidgwick until he returned to the India Office in order 'to be able to review the state of official business', and that he had come to London the previous day. Refers to the fact that between his election to 'the [Whewell] Professorship and the present time', he had not resigned his membership of the India Council, and had 'prepared and delivered a course of lectures on International Law.' Explains that his intention was 'to prevent any inconvenience to the Secretary of State.' Announces that the India Office now require his further assistance or services, and that there is one piece of business involving the proposed reorganisation of the Public Service in India, his withdrawal from which 'might certainly embarrass the Secretary of State seriously.' Refers to the government of India, and to the 'educated Natives' of the country, who take an interest in politics, and more specifically, 'in the system by which public employment is distributed.' States that he was involved in the formation of a powerful Commission to investigate the subject, and that he has had much correspondence unofficially with some of the Commissioners 'and latterly with Lord [Dufferin].' Explains that the Commissioners are now preparing their report, which will shortly be before the India Office.

Asks Sidgwick his opinion on the wisdom of he [Maine] asking Sidgwick to mention to those involved [in appointing Maine to the Professorship] that he proposed to retain his seat in Council, until the above questions are disposed of. Owns to be taken aback by the opinions which Sidgwick has reported to him. Announces that he returns to Cambridge that night, and that before leaving he wrote to the Master of Trinity [Henry Montagu Butler], explaining to him why he had not as yet acted further on his advice.

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