Abbildungen der Seite

since your departure a letter from the Sultan of Palembang, of which the enclosed is a translation, has been received.—The Dutch having proceeded to actual measures of aggression, I have deemed it necessary to address the chief authority of that nation at Palembang, and as circumstances have considerably changed since vour instructions were issued, I must leave the rest to }". discretion and judgment.— enclose a copy of the letter addressed to Mr. Muntinghe, together with the proclamation therein referred to, for publication, if necessary.—I am, &c. (Signed) T. S. RAFFLEs.” Copy of a Letter to W. H. Muntinghe, esq. dated Fort Marlborough, 24th June 1818.—“Sir; It is with the utmost astonishment and surprise that I have just received information of the measures pursued by you at Palembang, as representative of the commissioners-gen.—It is stated that you have taken up a warlike position off the Sultan's palace, and demanded of him to surrender one-half of his country to his brother, the deposed Sultan Mahomed Budrudan, and in the event of not doing so, threatened him with dethronement.—It is impossible, Sir, for you to be ignorant of the circumstances under which the Sultan Najumudin was raised to the throne; and that his Britannic majesty having by an express article of the convention ceded Banca to the king of the Netherlands, is bound to protect the Sultan in his rights and dignity.—The king of the Netherlands having further accepted and taken possession of

that island under the treaty, has, by that act, fully acknowledged the independence of the Sultan; whatever, therefore, shakes the authority of that prince, shakes also the only title by which his

Britannic majesty could cede Banca to the Netherlands government.—I can hardly bring myself to believe that this act, on your part, is authorised by the commissioners-general ; and much less that you, Sir, above all men, should have taken upon yourself to act in the manner above stated,

towards a prince under the im

mediate protection of the British government.—The Netherlands government have no fight whatever, under the recent convention, to claim any interference at Palembang; and all interference there, after the protest of the British government on leaving Java, and in defiance of the authority of the reigning Sultan, is an unwarrantable and unjustifiable aggression on their part.— As such I view your conduct, and hereby protest against all your measures, holding you liable to answer to the authorities in Europe for every act injurious to the rights and dignity of the Sultan.—I do hereby further declare null and void all arrangements that you make at Palembang of the nature alluded to, and I require of you to lose no time in removing from Palembang all military force of every description now stationed there.-With reference to the little respect

paid by the commissioners-gen.

to the protests of the British government on their †: Java, I shall deem it my duty, in the event of demur on your part, forthwith to proclaim at Palembang and throughout the Archipelago, that all interference of the Netherlands government in the politics of Palembang is unauthorized, and that your arrangements are declared null and void. —I expect that the government of Batavia will at an early period receive instructions to withdraw from Palembang ; at all events, an immediate reference will be made to his majesty's ministers on the subject, and it will be for the consideration of the authorities at home, to decide in how far the measures pursued by you shake the title on which Banca was ceded to the king of the Netherlands.-Until the affairs of Palembang are satisfactorily arranged, I shall retain the settlement of Padong on this coast. —I have the honour to be &c. §go) T. S. RAFFLEs.



. S. I intrust this letter to captain Salmond, who is charged with a special mission from me to the court of Palembang, and I have to request you will respect him and his suite accordingly.”

In consequence of the state of affairs thus communicated to captain Salmond, and the information he obtained on his route, he deemed it advisable to proceed without the escort which had accompanied him over the hills, and to direct that the party should not follow until orders were received from him, a precaution taken by capt. Salmond in order to prevent the possibility of disturbance, or the misinterpretation of his views, which under the change that had taken place were simply to deliver my Vol. LXI.

letter, and to ascertain the sentiments of the Sultan. On the 2nd inst. a dispatch, of which the following is an extract, was received from capt. Salmond. “I have the honour to inform you that myself and suite arrived at Palembang about 8 A.M. on the 5th inst., and were received by his highness the Sultan Achmed Najemudin, who conducted us to the small fort or palace lately occupied by the Ex-Sultan, which was given us for our accommodation. His highness immediately entered into the engagements which you had suggested, with much pleasure (and on which I shall further communicate with you on my arrival at Fort Marlborough, as I am necessitated to close this letter in haste), and as a proof of his alliance with the British government, immediately hoisted, the Union Jack on the walls of the fort.—In the afternoon I received a visit from captain Bakker, of his Netherlands majesty's frigate at anchor in this port, accompanied by captain Vander Wyck, of the engineers, who brought a letter from Mr. Muntinghe, to which an immediate answer was requested; but as the subject of it required some deliberation, the want of rest which we had experienced some days past made me desirous to postpone a reply until next morning. It however contained three propositions, to which I immediately gave a verbal negative answer, that is, 1st. That after receiving a reply to the letter you addressed to him, I would immediately fix my departure for Bencoolen the same [Q] day. day. 2nd. That on my return home, I would accept of a military safeguard from outside as far as the limits of Bencoolen. 3rd. That I would immediately withdraw the British colours hoisted on the Sultan's palace.—Shortly after sunset in the evening, a number of the natives, who were in the palace with us, informed me of the circumstance of an armed party having surrounded the same, and prevented further ingress or egress; and they were represented to be the partisans of the ex-Sultan and Rajah Ahbib, of Siak. I immediately directed inquiry to be made at the outer gate by whose orders they were placed there; to which they replied, Mr. Muntinghe's, and that they would oppose any one that attempted to pass them. I then wrote to Mr. Muntinghe on the subject, and was informed, in reply, that not having acceded to the abovementioned requisitions, he was called upon to take these measures to maintain the rights of his majesty the king of the Netherlands; and that, in addition to the former requisitions, he now added that of demanding our arms and ammunition, and putting myself and suite under the safeguard of the Netherlands government, or it would become unavoidable to repel, what he was pleased to term our hostile measures; to which, of course, I refused to comply. I soon afterwards received another letter from Mr. Muntinghe, principally on political points, to which it was unnecessary for me to reply, nd concluded upon insistin upon his first offer. In answer i

referred him to my former letter. At half-past three A. M. on the 5th, I was awoke, and found that three officers with an armed party were come to the palace, and, upon their entrance, they presented a letter from Mr. Muntinghe to surrender myself and suite. I objected to deliver over the arms, but told the officers that I would parade the Bugguesses, and if they thought proper, they might take them, which they did, when an armed force of Europeans were brought in front, and we were immediately escorted to the water-side by an armed party of Europeans and natives, and conveyed over here. The side arms of myself and Bugguesse officers were left us.-My political functions being at an end, I have written a private letter to lieutenant Haslain, recommending him to return with the escort to Moarro Bulliti to wait our further orders, and beg to inform you that I consider it as impossible for them to land here, or even to proceed down the river, if opposed, which it is most probable they would be by the vessels of war of his majesty the king of the Netherlands now at anchor off the fort.” Capt. Salmond having ascertained that the Sultan had in no way committed himself to the Netherlands government by any legal act, the following are the articles of the treaty entered into on the 4th July, 1818: “This is a solemn treaty this day entered into between his highness Ratoo Achmed Najemudin, Sultan of Palembang, on the one side, and captain Francis - Salmond, Salmond, as the representative of the hom. sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, lieut. governor of Fort Marlbro’, on the other:–1. His highness being desirous of the protection of the British government, and of excluding all other European nations from his dominions, the lieut. governor of Fort Marlborough hereby agrees to furnish such military establishment as shall be adequate. 2. The Sultan, on his part, agrees to receive the said military establishment, and to provide for the expenses thereof. Signed, sealed, and delivered, in duplicate, at Palembang, this 4th day of July, 1818.” It may not be unnecessary to remark, that the first application of the Sultan for the advice and assistance of the lieut.-governor of Bencoolen was received on the 17th June ; and that on the 21st June his highness was informed that the British government would render him the protection required; that in the interim, and while informed of the preliminaries between Palembang and Bencoolen, the Dutch commissioner commenced his measures of coercion; and that on the 4th of July the engagements between the court of Palembang and the lieutenantgovernor of Bencoolen were confirmed and proclaimed by the hoisting of the British flag on the walls of the fort.—In explanation, it would appear, that on the 24th of June, only ten days previous to the arrival of captain Salmond, and while it was publicly known that a British agent was on his way to Palembang, rafts and provisions having been provided by the Sultan for the measures you had determined upon, if you, allow me to say, on such a slight foundation.— The natives, on whose reports only every information depended that could have reached Fort Marlborough at the date of your dispatches, left Palembang at a period when I myself had not yet arrived at that place, when no overtures of any nature had as yet been made to the court of Palembang, when the military force stationed at Palembang was still far below the usual rate of that garrison, and when of consequence every intelligence sent off with regard to the demands I had to make, and to the military force I should station there, jà only be conjectural and premature, and naturally would be exagfo and erroneous.--So they


convenience of the party on their way down the river, the unfortunate Sultan was compelled to resign his authority, and to deliver over his palace. On that day the Dutch commissioner stated that he obtained seals and signatures to a treaty, which nominally transferred all authority to the Dutch; but it is not proved in what manner the same was obtained. That they were obtained in an unlawful manner, that is to say, vi et armis, and by intimidation, cannot be denied; and, indeed, the letter from the Sultan above quoted, and the act of his immediately hoisting the British flag, would be sufficient evidence, were not the details which could be produced conclusive on this

head. The Sultan is understood

to be at this moment a close prisoner; and, not to introduce into this paper any particular which might be construed into a desire to lower the character of these proceedings below a fair standard, it may be sufficient to insert the following extracts from the commissioner’s statement, in order that it may be contrasted with the evidence above adduced :“I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your official letter, dated Fort Marlborough, the 24th of June last. If the information which has reached you with regard to the measures I was pursuing at Palembang, under the authority of the commissioners-general, has been able to raise your surprise and astonishment, it was on the other hand with no less degree of regret and consternation that I was affected

[blocks in formation]

ave in fact proved to be. The military force even now collected at Palembang falls short of what a usual garrison ought to be, and does certainly not exceed the limits of a mere protection to a settlement where not a single entrenchment nor place of safety is to be found. —If, therefore, the usual means of self-preservation have been able to raise the apprehensions and anxiety of a pusillanimous court, it is a mere accident, not to be imputed either to me or to the higher powers under whose authority I was acting.—Nor did my instructions say to use threats or military force against any of the Sultans.—It was not these warlike means that were depended upon for the success of my mission. A hope for this success was raised on a better foundation: on the natural force of truth in con

vincing the Sultan Naya Moedin of his wrongs, and of the acts of hostility which he had committed, or allowed to be committed, by his subjects, as well on our own territories as on those of our allies, and on the irresistible influence which the principles of a liberal and humane administration would have on the hearts of all the people of Palembang, as soon as they were tendered to them, in lieu of that state of bondage and oppression to which they had been degraded by the unwarrantable conduct of their Sultan, Naya Moedin, and his adherents. And, instead of threats snd warlike force, I have the greatest satisfaction to acquaint you, that it was by mere peaceful and persuasive means, not only without drawing a sword or firing a shot, but without a single affray, without any individual being hurt, or even restrained or curtailed in his personal rights or liberty, that I was fortunate enough to establish a new state of affairs in this country, and to obtain the free assent of both the reigning and the exSultan to arrangements which, according to my own view of the subject, and under the orders under which I acted, most certainly I had a right to make; and from the operations of which, it may be expected, that the whole population of Palembang, from the very low state of want and oppression to which they have been reduced, will make a rapid stretch towards the enjoyment of ease and plenty, and of all those rights

and comforts which are dependant on a state of personal secu

rity and civilization.—It was by the warlike rumours of your military

« ZurückWeiter »