Page:Speeches And Writings MKGandhi.djvu/528

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438 EARLIER INDIAN SPEECHES

purely British as distinguished from the purely Indian interests. Hence, there is to be seen in the scheme elaborate reservations on behalf of these interests. I think that more than anything else it is neces- sary to have an honest, frank and straightforward under- standing about these interests and for me personally this is of much greater importance than any legislative feat that British talent alone or a combination of British and Indian talent may be capable of performing. I would certainly, in as courteous terms as possible, but equally emphatic say that these interests will be held subservient to those of India as a whole and that therefore they are certainly in jeopardy in so far as they may be inconsis- tent with the general advance of India. Thus, if I had my way, I would cut down the military expenditure. I would protect local industries by heavily taxing goods that compete against products of our industries and I would reduce to a minimum the British element in our services, retaining only those that may be needed for our instruc- tion and guidance. I do not think that they had or have any claim upon our attention, save by right of conquest. That claim must clearly go by, the board as soon as we have awakened to a consciousness of our national exis- tence and possess the strength to vindicate our right to the restoration of what we have lost. To their credit let it be said that they do not themselves advance any claim by right of conquest. One can readily join in the tribute of praise bestowed upon the Indian Civil Service for their proficiency, devotion to duty and great organi- sing ability. So far as material reward is concerned that service has been more than handsomely paid and out gratitude otherwise can be best expressed by assimilating their virtues ourselves.

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