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Florence Nightingale Letters

[Letter, Florence Nightingale to Vaughan Nash, September 10, 1896] Nightingale, Florence, 1820-1910 Sep 10, 1896

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 My dear Vaughan – if I may call you so – I am sorry to say there is no one now in London to who I could refer you who might help you to give a clear & accurate account of what is being attempted (in Bengal) in the Ch? I am afraid you will say that what I am going to say is from a historical than such an account as you desire. It is a sorry story. For some years there have been village unions in Madras ? – which have succeeded admirably but are our representatives in India decent villagers –But 99 p.c. of all the work still remains to be done – India is a bigger place –almost as big as the H.O.? I do not anticipate that our Village Councils will have much to learn from India – The circumstances are not only different –they are often poles asunder. Please remember never to betray me What I am afraid is – Reaction --Parly action is so remote from any native ideas. F.N. Letter to Vaughan Nash not quite according to our ideas, which obtained some time before the Bombay Village Sanitation Act. This however became almost a dead letter for want of funds – funds which were supposed to be for the sanitation of villages being applied to the District or local councils for making roads for the great officials eg the road to Mahabaleshwar. For the Governor of Bombay. (These are the things that make all natives of India suspicious of the British Raj. One of our next moves was what you will read at Appendix B ? pp 627 of the pamphlet enclosed. I have received thro' the I.O. a great many reviews from the Govt of India & two thro' G. of India from the Provincial Govts to this. And the matter is still progressing. All this is of course strictly private for yourself alone. At p.3 (3) you will see what the objects of this Village Sanitary work was to be - & what as far as I yet know (but I am to receive fresh reports) those of the Village Unions – whose friends are clubbed together see p.5(2). The Governor of Bengal long resisted Village Unions on the ground that the supervision would be so explosive. But he appears to have yielded now, only in the notice which appeared, they seem to be for "roads" as well as sanitation besides what appears in this cutting? You are so good as to send me. We have already got our "Resolution" from the Budapest Congress approving the end. And this always helps us with Govt. But we must not oppose them – if we want to win. This is a thing which the Englishman so little understands. In the H of C here we pit H.M.'s Opposition against H.M.'s Govt. & vice versa. We try to throw out H.M.'s Govt. if we believe that will do us any good. In India there is only H.M.'s Govt. H.M.'s Opposition does not exist in the sense it does here. The native Press is vicious (and useless) enough because it can only abuse. It has nothing to propose. And here the "India" published here (in London) continually forgets this. It deals in headings in ? capitals "Blunders of the British Govt" which is simply mischievous (as you would understand) & nothing else. We praise the S. of S.'s for India & the Viceroys (G.G.'s) for everything we can praise them for & we don't quarrel with them. And we get something while the others get nothing. They are simply a reduction ad absurdum. I am afraid I have helped you very little if at all. I could show you a great many papers but you have no time to read them. Perhaps we may resume this subject when you & I have more leisure. It will last longer than we think. I conclude that soon we are to lose you in the DC for a few weeks after this week (which I am very glad of) & that therefore you are in a hurry to do this. But whatever you do, you will kindly not drag me in or write anything. Where I may be detected of? any influence I may have will be fine. I may say that so far from this being an "experiment in local Self Govt" & S.G. has been bursting out like flowers/roses in June all over India Ld Ripon's Govt. He was the author of it all. His attempt to substitute for low paid ? petty officials who


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