- Original autograph letter, signed `John Bright', from `Northdale, April 2, 64'. Letter to D Gourley, MD, is marked `private'. `I have your several letters and I have read your pamphlet. I agree also with what you say - but the question is one which I cannot undertake, and in which I could have no hope of success. The whole system is unnatural, and I am not sure that it would be possible, and indeed it would NOT, I suspect be possible, to make the changes you propose to the full extent. It should not be necessary to have so large a force here or elsewhere - & I know not why 70,000 Englishmen should be kept to garrison India. The whole thing is so large and extravagant that nobody dares to undertake the reforms which you suggest, & which would produce so great a revolution in the condition of the army. it would be impossible to allow the 70,000 in India to have wives and families with them - made comfortable at home, & in some sort citizens, they would find the soldiers' occupation more hateful than ever, & the scheme would break down. The mischiefs you have described are horrible. They cannot be thought of without a shudder, & yet I confess thaht I see no way to a remedy. I think many of them are inseparable from the system to which they are attached, & will only be got rid of in proportion as the system is itself abandoned. I cannot correspond with you on this ` ? question', for my letters are my great burden, & from day to day they threaten to overwhelm me. I regret very much to disappoint you, but I cannot promise to take any part in Parlt in any question connected with military matters'
single sheet, 220x180mm, written on all four sides. Folds splitting, else very good
John Bright, (1811-1889), British Liberal politician and radical statesman, stood for free trade, religious freedom, and was fiercely opposed to Britain's foreign policy. He was in Parliament from 1843 - 1889, loosing his seat briefly in 1857 because of his opposition to the Crimean War
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