It is fortunate that the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom has proclaimed more than once, in clear and unmistakable language, that the problem of the British Army is the problem of the defence of Afghanistan—in other words, of the defence of India. If that declaration is thoroughly pressed home into the national mind, then it must follow, as the night the day, that, despite all difficulties and opposition, we shall obtain, although not without infinite toil, a military system which will enable us to rise to the height of our responsibilities.
In 1854 Lord Dalhousie described the burden which fell upon the Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal as one that was more than mortal man could bear. At that time the population of Bengal was 40,000,000. It was now approximately 78,000,000. Not only was the province itself, enormous as it was, constantly increasing and growing in population, and getting beyond the control of a single individual, but Calcutta, which in 1872 had 633,000 inhabitants, had now within the same boundaries no less than 847,000 in-habitants, and including the suburbs the inhabitants numbered 1,100,000, which made it the second city in point of population in the British Empire.