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ABOUT SIR CHARLES EUAN

SMITH^

" One who Knows Him " writes the

following interesting account of Sir

Charles Euan-Smith in the Pall Mall

Gazette of July 27 :- Bora BO years ago, without any great prospects in life, Charles Bean Euan-Smith might have remained a private in the ranks of the great unknown, instead of becoming the inuch-talked-of personage he is at this moment, had not a wise father de- cided to enter him for the army. At the age of 17 the lad entered the Indian army with the fixed determination to make the best use of first chances. Diplomacy was more in his line than

soldiering, and some 10 years after

his arrival in the Lana of Pea- cocks we find him attached to a Special Mission to Persia. He had not much to do in this as secretary to this mission, but what he had to do he did well ; and as tlio work afforded him considerable leisure he was able to

gratify his desire to send " copy " to the newspapers. . . . After the return of the Mission to Persia he was attached to Sir Bartle Frere's Anti-Slave Trade Mission with a C.S I. following his I name. In 1876 he found his way nack

to India, and was Assistant-Resident of Hyderabad, where he remained about three years. In 1877 he married Miss Alexander, the daughter of Colonel

Frederick Alexander, H.A. This lady

about whom one has heard so much lately, was born in India. It was whilst at Hyderabad that our Minister at Tangier earned the sobriquet of "Tea-Party Smith." He was such an acquisition to a nice quiet tea-party, said the wallflowers of these delightfully innocent entertainments'; and in the end one looked upon a tea party without Charlie Smith as being as incomplete as a dose of treacle with- out its spoonful of brimstone.

There were untold chances in Hydera- bad of picking up loot, but, just as the Sir Euan of to-day rose superior to the offer of the Sultan of Morocco's Grand Vizier, the plain Charlie Smith of years ago closed his fist with exemplary tightness when the Nizam's represen- tatives endeavoured to grease his palm -so the story goes-with a lakh of

rupees.

After a turn as Political Resident at Muscat, and after acting as- chief political officer with Sir Frederick Roberts' force in Afghanistan in 1880, Charles Bean Euan-Smith was rewarded with the post of Resident at Bhurt pore, with a Residency at Agra. In 1885 he stepped up one in the Army

List and became a colonel. Colonel Smith, knowing the stuff that was in him, must have chafed a good deal at Agra. But from time to time superior Residency after superior Residency was filled up as vacancies occurred without the gallant colonel being asked to fill any one of them. He was doing too well at Agra to be removed, they said at head-quarters. ,' j

Not long afterwards, however, Colonel Smith's abilities procured' him diplo- matic promotion, and Lord Salisbury made him Consul-General at Zanzibar, with a promise, no doubt, of something better to follow, as occasion offered, fi was not long before this _ something better offered itself. Sir Kirby Green died suddenly, and Lord Salisbury ap- pointed Sir Charles Euan-Smith (Colonel Smith had been kiiitrhtcd bv this time).

This was Sir Charles' -first actual diplomatic appointment, and the various members of the Corps Diplomatique, who were in the main annoyed and astonished that one of their own order had not been appointed, began to specu- late how he would acquit himself at his now post. In the Diplomatic Ser- vice every post that the .Government has to confer is considered, and, on the whole, properly so, (the heritage of

those who nave moiled and toiled in the service ; and your British diplomat, from the Young Hopeful at a one-horse Legation to the Ambassador of credit and renown, resents the giving of any- one of the much-coveted diplomatic plums to an outsider ; and in the eyes of the British diplomat Sir Euan-Smith is an undoubted outsider. Promotion in the service is slow enough, but it is rendered all the slower by the pitchforking of outsiders over

the heads ot tnose to wnom rae spons

of office would naturally fall in the ordinary course of promotion. But Sir Euan-Smith had convinced Lord Salisbury-or perhaps it was that Lord Salisbury had convinced himself-that

he was the very man for the ppst of

Minister at Tangier, and to Tangier he went. It would have been just the same had a Liberal Government, with Lord Rosebery as Foreign Secretary, been in power instead of a Conservative Government, with Lord Salisbury at the Foreign Office ,* for Sir Euan is just as much a persona grata with the Scotch Earl as he is with the English Marquis, and when in England stays at The Durdans as well as at Hatfield. Sir Euan, it _ may be added, is most entertaining company, with a great fund of stories. It may Be that Sir Euan's fame as a raconteur reached the ears of the Queen, for he has often been commanded to Osborne and Windsor. But outside of_ the charms of his personality and his inex- haustible fund of varied anecdote there is much that is solid, and I may say quite " apart," in Sir Euan-Smith. He is a man with a very considerable knowledge of men. ana is well versed in the wily ways of the Oriental. He is not a man easily " bull-dozed," but he is a past master in the art of '' bull- dozing " others ; he _ could give even a Heathen Chinee points at the game of diplomatic draw-poker. Sir Charles Euan-Smith is a man of such infinite tact that it is difficult to think of him as a blusterer, and the wise man will not form any final judg- ment on this Morocco business till more authentic news is to hand. Blustering in order to gain a point has never been a part of Sir Charles Euan-Smith's methods. _ He would rather get round a man by giving a good dinner or telling him a story, as the tastes of the listener dictated, than bounce him into acqui- escence _ All that one can safely say at present is that Sir Charles' mission has incidentally furnished some exceedingly interesting "copy" for the papers. Although the Sultan of Morocco is not the Maharajah of Bhurtpore, Sir Euan Smith, in adopting an attitude (if he really did so) towards His Majesty similar to that which he would natu-

rally enough have adopted towards the native Indian ruler, may not have done so entirety amiss as orthodox diplo- macy is disposed to believe; for the end is not yet, and we must wait to see

what we shall see.

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