No. 310.
Mr. Gorham to Mr. Fish.

No. 88.]

Sir: In the second chamber to-day the minister of colonies being interrogated relative to affairs in Sumatra, stated that all efforts on the part of the government at pacification having failed, leaving no alternative but to abandon the island or resist by force the aggressions of the Acheenese, war was formally declared on the 26th ultimo.

The government’s forces in the East, consisting, I believe, of some 20,000 European soldiers, naval and military combined, the minister thinks sufficient to accomplish what they have undertaken without transporting volunteers from home. No portion of the regular service can be sent out of the country for such purpose.

The chamber was at the same time assured by the ministry that foreign powers were apprised of their doings, and were satisfied.

While the government appears to be supported at home with great unanimity, there evidently exists a deep concern as to the final result. A few believe that it will secure to the Netherlands the control of the island, but a much larger number believe it will prove to be a very long and a very expensive struggle, lessening materially, if it does not wholly destroy, the value of their East Indian possessions.

I have, &c.,