HC Deb 29 June 1835 vol 29 cc30-66
Mr. Winthrop Praed

rose to bring forward the Motion of which he gave notice some time back, relative to the appointment of Lord Heytesbury as Governor-General of India. He did not regret the delay which had occurred in bringing forward his Motion. The interval of two months, which had since elapsed, must have had the effect of calming, and, in a great measure, of removing, any feeling of asperity to which the discussion might have led, had the subject been brought under the notice of the House immediately after the notice was given. He trusted that the question, as it was one relating entirely to the government of India, would be considered entirely upon its own merits, and apart from all party and political considerations. Not troubling the House with any further preface, he would now proceed to state the facts of the case as shortly as he could. In the month of October last, some difficulty arising between the Government and the Directors of the East-India Company, as to the appointment of a successor to Lord William Bentinck, as Governor-General of India, the Directors proposed that Sir Charles Metcalfe should be appointed provisionally to succeed him, and to perform the duties till a successor should be named. The then President of the Board of Control, however, stated that Government declined to approve of the continuation of Sir Charles Metcalfe in the possession of that authority, and that it was their decided opinion that in the existing state of affairs in India no time ought to be lost in appointing a successor to Lord William Bentinck. In the following month, a change of Government took place, and, in January, 1835, Lord Heytesbury was appointed, by the Government of his right hon. Friend (Sir R. Peel), to the situation of Governor-General, in the room of Lord William Bentinck. It scarcely became him, holding the situation which he at that time held, to speak of the noble Lord who was at the head of the Board of Control at that period, but he would unequivocally declare his conviction that the only motive by which Lord Ellenborough had been actuated in selecting Lord Heytesbury was that he was a fit man for the situation. Between Lord Heytesbury and the then President of the Board of Control there was scarcely a personal acquaintance; no motives of improper partiality could, therefore, be imputed to his noble Friend. He would fearlessly assert, therefore, that Lord Ellenborough was wholly free from any imputation of that kind. The Government of Sir Robert Peel was put an end to in April, 1835, and the present Ministers thought fit to advise his Majesty to revoke the appointment of Lord Heytesbury. As far as he could understand no correspondence took place in relation to this very important step between the Directors and the Board of Control. The Directors had no opportunity afforded them of stating what objections they entertained to this extreme exercise of power—of saying whether they approved or disapproved of the revocation of the appointment, made so short a time previously. It was then notified to the Directors that no appointment of a successor to Lord William Bentinck would be announced until after that noble Lord's return to this country. By the Act of 1833—the last Act in which the affairs of the Company were brought to a final arrangement—it was provided that if, within two months after a vacancy in the office of Governor General, no appointment to the situation was made by the Directors the nomination then lapsed to the Crown. From the correspondence which took place between the Directors and the Board of Control he understood that the two months were to be considered as commencing not from the appointment of Lord Heytesbury, but from the return of Lord William Bentinck. If that were really the intention of the Government, he (Mr. Praed) maintained that it would be an anomalous and unconstitutional proceeding, and would be placing the East-India Company in a position which they had never occupied before, and which could not fail of being most injurious to their interests, as well as to the good government of the great empire of India. Under the circumstances he had mentioned, if the Court of Directors were to recommend any successor to Lord Heytesbury, they would do so with the knowledge that the appointment, whatever it might be, would not be approved of by the Government. Was there any reason whatever which could enable a Government fairly to object to the appointment of Lord Heytesbury? If there were any personal objections to that noble Lord, if the right hon. Bart. (Sir John Hobhouse), without going into a disclosure of those objections, would state that he had found in the personal character of the noble Lord anything that led him to believe that in the noble Lord's hands the government of India would not be so well administered, or that the commands from this country would not be so fairly or discreetly obeyed, he would admit that his Motion must fall to the ground; but if it should turn out that there was no reason for vacating the appointment of Lord Heytesbury except that of a political difference of opinion, then he thought he could show that that political difference, however wide it might be, was not a sufficient reason to warrant the Government in the step they had taken. If there were no personal objection to Lord Heytesbury, could it be pretended that the circumstance of his having received his appointment from a Government professing principles opposed to that now in power should be sufficient to warrant the present Ministry in vacating it? Was the right hon. Bart. (Sir John Hobhouse) sure that because Lord Heytesbury was selected by a Government professing a different line of policy from that pursued by the right hon. Bart, and his colleagues, that the nominee of that Government could not be a fit servant of theirs? He appealed with confidence to the right hon. Baronet himself upon that point. Was there in Lord Ellenborough's administration of the affairs of India anything of such a nature as led the right hon. Baronet to think that any person appointed by him would necessarily be unfit to take part in the government of India? The noble Lord who lately presided over the Board of Control had left behind him sufficient evidence to show that he had no disposition to abuse the powers of his office. The very first measure of that noble Lord was the reduction of a lucrative office which had been established by his immediate predecessor, and of which his immediate predecessor had undoubtedly contemplated the continuance. Beyond that, he recommended the disuse of a foreign language in the courts of law, the discontinuance of the practice of paying the Judges by fees, and finally he recommended the abolition of the expensive establishment of the Bombay Marine. Then, with respect to patronage, he would give a single instance of the manner in which patronage had been dispensed by Lord Ellenborough. Within the course of a week after the appointment of Lord Heytesbury, Lord Ellenborough received an application on behalf of an officer, requesting the noble Lord to make interest with Lord Heytesbury to give him some situation under his government in India. Lord Ellenborough at once inclosed the application to Lord Heytesbury, adding, in a note by which it was accompanied, these words;—"I assure you that in transmitting to you these applications from others, the farthest thing from my desire is to influence your judgment in the selection of the fittest persons for every office." Now, as to Lord Heytesbury himself, was there anything in his character, could anything be shown throughout the whole of his political life, to prove that he was not fully entitled to the confidence of his Sovereign and of the country; anything to impugn his political conduct, his talent, or his integrity, whether in public or in private life? Such being the case, he thought he might fairly call upon the Government to state some specific reasons for the treatment that noble Lord had received, and not to fritter away so serious a case in vague declamation and general objection, founded merely upon slight political differences. Lord Heytesbury, it was well known, had, in the course of his life, filled many places of great trust, of great delicacy and difficulty, and in all had acquitted himself to the full satisfaction of those who had honoured him with their confidence. He need only allude to his mission to Lisbon. It was, he believed, his services there which were considered as having entitled him to the Peerage. He was placed there under circumstances of peculiar difficulty and delicacy, which required something more than mere personal character to bring to a successful issue. His conduct was highly approved of by Mr. Canning, and subsequently by Lord Lansdowne. If there was nothing—as he trusted he had sufficiently proved there was not—to object to in the public or personal conduct of Lord Heytesbury, he did not see what possible ground there could be for revoking his appointment, except it was, that his political opinions were not exactly of the same tendency as those of the present Government. He did not mean to deny that Government possessed the power of doing what they had done in this case; but he must deny that, admitting the power to exist, the discretion was here prudently exercised. It was not, properly speaking, an exercise of the original inalienable prerogative of the Crown, which was enjoyed independent of statute. The prerogative exercised here by the Crown was the creature of an Act of Parliament. The King's prerogative, properly so called, did not give the power either to appoint or to recal a Governor-General of India. The first Act which vested in the Crown the power of appointing or recalling a Governor-General of India was that of Mr. Pitt, in 1784. The great point of difference contested between Mr. Pitt and Mr. Fox, in their India Bills, was whether the patronage should rest with the Crown or with the Directors. By the Act, the power of appointment was vested in the Court of Directors, the Crown having the power of control over the appointment, and also the power of recall. He would read a short passage from the speech of Mr. Pitt, to shew what were his views upon this point:—"The principal powers of the Board would consist in directing what political objects the Company's servants were to pursue, and in recalling such as did not pay obedience to such directions, or give satisfactory reasons to show that circumstances rendered disobedience a virtue." The Act of 1813 renewed the same powers, and he begged the House to observe that the political power thus continued to the Court of Directors was reserved to them in much more distinct terms by the Act of 1833. By the last named Act the Legislature took from the East-India Company all their commercial privileges, deprived them of their character of merchants, and left them exclusively the governors of India. If, therefore, it was deemed wise before that they should exercise this power with respect to the choice of officers and servants, it must necessarily be more desirable now, when they existed for no other purpose than that of governing India. Since the passing of the Act in 1784, when this power was first vested in the Crown, there was not a single precedent for the exercise of it in such a manner as in the recent case of Lord Heytesbury. He might perhaps be told that the case of Sir George Barlow, in 1806, was analogous to that of Lord Heytesbury, but a moment's investigation of the two cases would show that there was no analogy whatever between them. What were the circumstances of Sir George Barlow's case? Lord Cornwallis died holding the Governor-Generalship of India. His death was announced to the new Government twenty-four hours after they had kissed hands. In the difficulty—the almost impossibility of obtaining an immediate successor to Lord Cornwallis, Sir George Barlow was temporarily appointed. This appointment was declared as never intended to be permanent. But even supposing it to have been permanent, upon further consideration of Sir George Barlow's fitness, the Government of the day recommended the Crown to exercise its prerogative and to withdraw him from the Government. But there was this striking difference between the case of Sir George Barlow and the case of Lord Heytesbury. The same Government who recommended the appointment of Sir George Barlow, recommended the revocation of that appointment. Its revocation might have been wise or unwise; but it never could afford an argument that from thenceforward, on every change of Government at home, the opinions of individuals holding responsible situations in India should be inquired into, and their agreement or disagreement with the sentiments of the ruling party in England be taken as the ground for continuing or discontinuing their appointments. To admit such a proposition would be to establish a most dangerous precedent. There was also this difference between the cases of Sir George Barlow and Lord Heytesbury, that in the case of the former a considerable previous discussion took place between the Ministry and the Court of Directors, and the whole proceeding was conducted in a manner totally different from that which the Right Hon. Baronet the present President of the Board of Control had thought it, necessary to adopt. In his opinion, nothing could be more unwise than that the direct patronage of the members of the Indian Government should be placed exclusively in the hands of the Crown. The test of political opinion here would be a very unsafe guide as to the qualifications of a man to discharge high and important duties in India. It was also necessary that the person appointed to fill the situation of Governor-General of India should possess the confidence of the Court of Directors as well as of the Government of the day. Besides, if such a principle were adopted with respect to the Governor-General, it would be necessary that the Governor of every separate presidency should be appointed in the same manner. Hence would result an instability and want of security in the Government of India, which could not be otherwise than deeply injurious to the interests of that country. No possible reason could be assigned for the treatment Lord Heytesbury met with but his being supposed to entertain political opinions not exactly consonant with those of the Government. The whole expense and trouble of preparation were incurred, everything was ready, nothing remained but that he should sail for India, but he was prevented from doing so. Now under those circumstances, if want of confidence, or in other words, want of coincidence in political opinion, would justify the cancelling of Lord Heytesbury's appointment, it would also justify his recall, if he had gone out. But was there any one who would contend, that the recalling of the noble lord on that ground would be justifiable under the words of Mr. Pitt's act, which in that respect was continued in 1833? There was another reason why this precedent was a most dangerous one. In this country, where the demand for men capable of filling all departments of the public service could be readily supplied, it was necessary that every important public office should be filled by persons in the confidence of Government; but in India there was often difficulty in filling many important appointments with men of proper qualifications; and if this principle of coincidence in political opinion with the Government at home were to be adopted, the difficulty would be increased by having to select from only one party—a principle which never had been adopted with respect to appointments in India. Another reason against the adoption of this principle was this—that it was most important to the stability of our dominion in India that the directors should have the great authority in their own hands, in order that the respect of the people of India should be continued to them. Was it, then, at such a moment as this that the Government should expose them to the contempt of the people of India by suddenly, and without any reason assigned, cancelling the appointment of the Governor on whom their choice had fallen? Let him add, that if the Government set the example of teaching Governors-General of India that they exist as such only by the contingency of agreeing in political opinion with the administration at home, they would teach them also to make all their patronage and influence subservient to the continuance of the Government at home. It was well known that since 1784 the Government had administered the affairs of India without any reference to European politics. He had the authority of one whose opinion on Indian affairs would have deserved weight with the House—he alluded to Mr. C. Grant, who stated his opinion as to the necessity of giving the company extensive power and who described its utility in these words:

"But there was one point which he could not omit to notice—it was, that by the interposition of the Company between this country and the people of India, India had been preserved from being agitated by those constant fluctuations of party and political feelings which were so strong in this country, and, than which, nothing could have opposed a more formidable barrier to the improvement of the people of India. He had now briefly stated some of the reasons which had induced the Government to believe that, on the whole, it would be the wisest plan to continue the Company in the political administration of the country."*

The Marquess of Lansdowne spoke to the same effect:— *Hansard (third series) vol. xviii. P. 704. "When they considered the many and important advantages which had accrued to the people of India and of this country from that Administration; when they considered the number of useful and able servants trained up by, and now in, its service; when they considered the importance in a part of the world where public opinion was so delicate of maintaining unimpaired a body whose ability in intervening between all party conflicts in this country had been so often manifested; when they considered that in that body was invested an immense patronage, which, amidst its political changes, neither Government nor Parliament could scramble for; when they considered that in their new and undivided character, as Sovereigns alone, the East-India Company would be enabled, still more than before, to maintain and extend the great interest confided to them; and, when their Lordships considered that the Company would still be accountable to Parliament for the course they might hereafter adopt, he trusted all would agree with him in the wisdom and propriety of this portion of the plan for the settlement of the question."*

In the same spirit his eloquent friend Mr. Macaulay observed:—

"What we want is a body independent of Government, and no more than independent, not a tool of the Treasury, nor a tool of the Opposition. No new plan which I have heard proposed would give us such a body. The Company, strange as its constitution may be, is such a body. It is as a Corporation neither Whig nor Tory—neither High-church nor Low-church. It cannot be charged with having been for or against the Catholic Bill—for or against the Reform Bill. It has constantly acted with a view not to English politics but to Indian politics†."

All he asked of Ministers was, to follow the example set by his right hon. Friend (Sir Robert Peel). When the right hon. Baronet (Sir R. Peel) came into office he found a gentleman appointed to the situation of Governor of Bombay. That gentleman had acted in opposition to the then Government, yet he was not recalled; but there was a still stronger case, that of a Member of the Legislative Council of Calcutta, Mr. Macaulay, who had been appointed by the Government *Hansard (third series) vol. xv iii. p. 165. † Hansard (third series) vol. xix. p. 516. preceding that of his right hon. Friend (Sir R. Peel), and whose recall, if the principle adopted by the present Government were to be adhered to, would have something stronger than the reason for the recall of Lord Heytesbury to recommend it. There was even something further, that might, independently of political considerations, have justified his recall. The gentleman to whom he alluded was Mr. Macaulay. When at the Board of Control he had an opportunity of observing some of the first acts of that hon. Gentleman, which, without going into their nature, might be fairly described as not in perfect fitness with the situation he occupied. He referred to the interpretation of a Clause in the East-India Act, and to the hon. Gentleman's situation as a Legislative Member of the Council. Without entering into a discussion of that question, he would merely say that that proceeding appeared to him fairly to subject the hon. Gentleman to some slight degree of censure. Now that hon. Gentleman was, in the strongest manner conceivable, opposed to the Government of the right hon. Baronet (Sir R. Peel), and if the difference between Lord Heytesbury and the First Lord of the Treasury were sufficient to justify the noble Lord's revocation, then the difference between Mr. Macaulay and the head of the late Government was sufficient to justify the Ministry in recalling him from his appointment. He knew that he had brought forward this question very imperfectly. To him it appeared a most important one, and therefore he thought it most desirable to state it calmly and temperately. However he might have failed to do justice to the question, he hoped that credit would be given him for avoiding everything tending to excite acrimony or party feeling. He was quite sure that, whatever might be the right hon. Gentleman's (Sir John Hobhouse's) opinion of the principle he had endeavoured to enforce, he would agree with him that with the management of East-Indian affairs no political partisanship should be mingled. When public servants were sent to India it was next to impossible, from the nature of their education and their habits, for them to judge of questions concerning the Indian Government except upon local information. It was therefore the duty of a Government to send out the most unprejudiced men, and not to add the ignorance of the stranger to the zeal of the partisan. On the same principle ought the House of Commons to act in passing their judgment upon official appointments to the Government of India, or otherwise they would adopt a course which, by general admission, must be most detrimental to the public interests. The hon. Member concluded by moving for copies of any communications which have passed between the Board of Commissioners for the affairs of India and the Court of Directors of the East-India Company, on the subject of the revocation of the appointment of Lord Heytesbury as Governor-General of India.

Sir John Hobhouse

would endeavour, in the best way he could, to follow the hon. Gentleman who had brought forward the Motion, through the address with which he had accompanied it. Perhaps, in the first place, he might be allowed to say, that he should be much better pleased, and the Government of which he was a humble Member, would be much better pleased, if a view of the duty which they owed to themselves and to the country, would permit them to produce the papers for which the hon. Gentleman had moved. Rising to answer and to explain why it was that the King's Government thought fit to advise his Majesty to cancel the appointment of Lord Heytesbury, it was not his intention in any way to detract from the acknowledged merits of that noble Lord. For himself he could say, that it would have been far more satisfactory, if he could have entered the office which he had then the honour to hold, without commencing by an act which he was quite aware might become the source of discontent between the Court of Directors and himself. With respect to the papers for which the hon. Gentleman had moved, he could not distinctly make out whether or not he intended seriously to insist upon having them. If he did so, undoubtedly it would be his duty decidedly to object to the production of them. In the first place he did so for the manifest reason that no good whatever could come from the production of them. The hon. Gentleman, the House, and the country, knew all that it was needful to know on the subject. The hon. Gentleman, the House, and the country knew full well that his Majesty's present Advisers had thought fit to recommend to his Majesty to negative the appointment of Lord Heytesbury to the Governor- Generalship of India. If there were anything wrong in that, it was quite competent for the House of Commons to come to a decision on the fact, and to say at once that the prerogative of the Crown had been abused. If the House of Commons disapproved of the act of the Ministers, it was for the House of Commons to express its disapproval. The hon. Gentleman need not be told—for his experience must have taught him alreadv—that it would be extremely inconvenient to produce any documents referring to a confidential intercourse between the Board of Commissioners for the Affairs of India and the Court of Directors. The hon. Gentleman must be aware that if it were so, generally speaking, upon almost every subject, more particularly must it be so upon the subject to which his speech had referred. Suppose, for instance, if it were the fact—which he did not mean to say it was—that in consequence of some communication which he (Sir J. Hobhouse) had held with the Court of Directors, he should feel himself obliged to take a personal objection to Lord Heytesbury, and that, in so doing, it had been his misfortune to bring forward a reason founded upon facts known to himself or to others, which might bear hard, or at least uncomfortably, upon the noble Lord—if that had been the case—he repeated he did not say it was—what would have been the inconvenience, what the impropriety of producing such documents as those for which the hon. Member had moved? And here, perhaps, he (Sir J. Hobhouse) might be permitted to quote the opinion of as great, perhaps a greater, man than any now to be found in the country—he alluded to Lord Grenville. In the year 1806 Lord Grenville resisted the Motion of Lord Melville for the production of the papers and correspondence between the Court of Directors and the then Board of Control, respecting the recall of Sir George Barlow from his situation as Governor-General, in this decisive and conclusive language—"If the private reasons and personal objections which made Ministers refuse the appointment of any individual must be made a matter of public discussion, no persons would be found to take the situation of Ministers. There might be many reasons why, without crime being imputable to an individual, Ministers might suppose him unfit to be trusted with the interests of millions. If, however, in every individual case Mi- nisters were obliged to tell each individual to his face the personal objections they had to him, or if, which would be the same thing, their correspondence upon this subject were to be laid before Parliament, the situation of Ministers would be intolerable to any one who possessed the common feelings of a man. On these grounds he must object to the production of the correspondence moved for."* That which operated with Lord Grenville, and induced the Ministers of that day to say, that they would not tell why it was that they objected to Sir George Barlow being made permanent Governor-General of India, also induced him to say, on the part of the Government of which he had the honour to be a humble Member, that unless the House of Commons should force them, by a decided vote against them, they would not consent to inform the House why it had revoked the appointment of Lord Heytesbury. If the House should compel them, of course they must bow to its decision, but he thought it would not force them to depart from the uniform course hitherto pursued. If he were to follow the hon. Gentleman through the whole of his speech, pointing out where he was wrong and where right, he should be departing from the rule which had been laid down as that which it was his duty to pursue, and should be throwing more light upon the subject than he felt himself justified in doing. But there were one or two points on which, without going out of the course he had prescribed for himself, he thought he could answer the hon. Gentleman: points in respect of which the hon. Gentleman had stated that he considered the Board of Control to have failed in its duty. For the act of recalling, or more properly speaking of vacating the order for Lord Heytcsbury's appointment, of course the King's Cabinet was responsible. If there was anything discourteous or improper in the mode in which the act was done, he alone was amenable; but he did not think that in his intercourse with the Court of Directors, he had ever done anything which could be considered as at all an encroachment on their honour, or as showing forgetfulness of their individual or collective respectability, as well as power. When the hon. Gentleman first approached this Question, he spoke of what had taken place as of a violation of the con- *Hansard, Vol. vii. p. 962. stitution. He had, in consequence, looked with some alarm at the Acts of Parliament bearing upon the Question, to see in what point he had violated the constitution, but had not been able to find any. The hon. Gentleman asked him why, on his own account, and on the responsibility of the Government, he had given the Court of Directors the assurance that there would be no appointment to supply the place of Lord Wm. Bentinck, for two mouths after his arrival? The reason why he had given that assurance was this. When the King's Government thought it their duty to vacate the appointment of Lord Heytesbury, they considered it right to intimate to the Court of Directors that they would not take advantage in any way of the lapse by which, according to both the old and the new Act of Parliament, if the Court of Directors did not appoint a governor within two months of the vacancy, the appointment fell to the Crown. Having made this communication to the Board of Directors, he had the satisfaction of being informed by them, that the arrangement was perfectly satisfactory to them. He did not mean that the vacation of Lord Heytesbury's appointment was satisfactory to them, for he believed it was most unsatisfactory to them; but he meant that the assurance that he gave them was satisfactory; he having received a communication from them, that his word of honour was sufficient for them. Shortly after, however, he had another letter from the Court of Directors, asking him whether or not his letter might not be fairly interpreted to mean, that the two months should commence to run from the arrival of Lord William Bentinck, and not from the vacation of Lord Heytesbury's appointment. In his reply, he said, that he thought there could be no doubt about his meaning being that the two months should commence to run from the vacating of the warrant of Lord Heytesbury's appointment; but he added, that if it was more agreeable to the Court of Directors, which he saw from their letter it would be, that the time should commence to run from the arrival of Lord Bentinck, the Government were willing they should have the greatest latitude in interpreting his letter, and that they were the masters to say whether the two months should commence to run from the vacation of the appointment of Lord Heytesbury or not. So far from this being a matter of charge against the Government he thought it should be matter of praise. The only thing in which there was the least appearance of a ground for complaint was, the embarrassing situation in which the Court of Directors would find themselves placed by the sudden accession to office of the hon. Gentleman opposite. Indeed, that was the main point urged upon him by the Chairman and Deputy Chairman, who, although they said they were willing to take his word, wanted to know how they were to be guaranteed against the appointments of the preceding Government? To this he had replied, that he could give no guarantee as to what would be done, but that he thought they need anticipate no difficulty if their opponents again came into power, as there could be little doubt of Lord Heytesbury being again appointed, but that they might be sure of removing all difficulty by announcing every two months that they had made an appointment, which he, with all civility, would tell them could not be agreed to. It was no fault of his (Sir J. Hobhouse's) that the hon. Gentleman had dragged into the discussion the name of a noble Lord, to whom he hoped he should not give offence by the manner in which he should endeavour to speak of him. The hon. Gentleman had asked, whether there was any thing about that noble Lord to which he or the Government had aright to object—whether there was any personal objection to him? meaning, he presumed, an objection connected with his personal character. His answer was, "None at all." How could the hon. Gentleman ask the question? The hon. Member asked, also, whether there was any political objection to the noble Lord, and at this question he was equally surprised. Another question might answer it. Did the hon. Gentleman think, that supposing the present Government had been in power at the time, they would have appointed Lord Heytesbury.—[Mr. Praed: No.]—Would it have been a charge, then, against the Government for not appointing him? Did the hon. Gentleman really think that he was bound to state to the hon. Gentleman what his objections were to Lord Heytesbury, except that his appointment would not have been justifiable in the eyes of the present Government if its members had been at the time in office? But he would put another question to the hon. Gentleman. If Lord Heytesbury had under these circumstances gone out, did not the hon. Gentleman think, and would he not feel himself bound in candour to confess, that the present Ministry would have been responsible for the acts of that noble Lord?—[Mr. Praed: The late Government did not recall Sir R. Grant.]—The cases were quite distinct, as he should presently show. Had Lord Heytesbury gone out, he would have had to receive his instructions from the present Government, and supposing he had received instructions from the Office he had the honour to hold, would not the Government and himself have been answerable for the noble Lord's administration of the affairs of India? [Mr. Praed: Certainly.] Then that was the real long and short of the objection. The King's Government had to consider whether it would be answerable for Lord Heytesbury's government in India or would not; and not wishing to be answerable for it, the course it had to take was simple and obvious. Not only were they justified in vacating his appointment, but called upon by the constitution to do so, for it was one of the first principles of the constitution that there should in all cases be responsible advisers for every act done. This was the real cause of Lord Heytesbury not going to India. The hon. Gentleman had asked him whether or not, since he had had the honour of being at the Board of Control, he had not seen proofs of the extreme liberality of Lord Ellenborough, and whether he had not thought it his duty to confirm several of his acts? He was a most incompetent person to reply to such a question, for he had been in that office but a short time compared with the noble Lord; but, although he might think him a fit head of the Board of Control, as far as capacity was concerned, that was a very different thing from approving of a nominee of his as Governor of India. Of course he objected to that. He did not object to Lord Ellenborough's capacity to sit at the Board of Control, but he objected very much to his sending a Governor-General to India for him. He was willing to admit that he had seen proofs and documents which convinced him that Lord Ellenborough took very large and enlightened views of public policy; but that opinion, which he only gave because he was asked for it was quite a distinct thing from the inference the hon. Member wished to be drawn from it, viz., that because he considered Lord Ellenborough an enlightened and able man, calculated to play a distinguished part in any Government, he should therefore confirm his appointment of Lord Heytesbury, who had not sailed from this country. There were, moreover, some points on which he took the liberty of differing from the noble Lord; and the objection to confirming his appointment was much strengthened by the singular fact, that the Governor-General received no instructions in writing on leaving this country, either from the Court of Directors or the Board of Control. If the noble Lord had gone to India with the verbal instructions he had received from Lord Ellenborough, they might as far as his own opinion was concerned, have been right or wrong, and the only mode there was of freeing himself from his apprehensions, was by giving Lord Heytesbury his instructions, that was, to become the Minister responsible for his acts, which he did not choose to do; and, therefore, with the concurrence of the other Members of the Government, the vacation of his appointment was advised. The hon. Gentleman had not disputed the King's prerogative. That was too bold a task for him to undertake. But he had made use of an argument which his reading must have informed him had been had recourse to without effect in the debate of 1806. He stated, that by the Act of 1784 (Mr. Pitt's Act) the real substantial power of selecting the Governor-General of India, was meant to be vested entirely in the Company, and that the whole spirit of the Act was in favour of that proposition. Now, in the debate of 1806, Viscount Melville broadly laid down the principle upon which he (Sir John Hobhouse) now rested, and appealed to Lord Grenville, who was in Parliament at the passing of the Act, to say whether the intention of the Act was not to establish that principle. Lord Grenville afterwards said, "He had been appealed to personally as to his recollection of the intention of the Legislature in passing the Act; he should, therefore, declare most solemnly, that it was as clearly in his recollection, as if the transaction was of yesterday, that it was certainly intended that his Majesty's Ministers should have the power of recal at their own discretion."* The hon. Gentleman appeared willing to allow that proposition. What complaint, then, was * Hansard, vol, vii. 959. there against the Government for having exercised its discretion in this instance? There was none; and the hon. Gentleman had not been able in his speech to make out any cause of complaint. He would here take the liberty of making a remark upon one circumstance which he was sure must have struck the hon. Gentleman in his consideration of this subject; it was, that those best acquainted and most intimately connected with India had not thought it worth while to take any special notice of this recal of Lord Heytesbury. The hon. Gentleman must be aware that it was in the power of nine East-India proprietors to call a Special Court for the purpose of considering any subject of importance; but although the vacation of Lord Heytesbury's appointment had taken place two months and a-half back, no Court had been called for the purpose of considering it; and on Wednesday last, which was the first opportunity the proprietors had of taking the slightest notice of the matter, so little attention did it attract, that he was informed by an eye-witness, there were no more than twenty proprietors present beside the Directors, when an ex-Director gave notice, on the part of an absent proprietor, that he meant on a future occasion to bring the subject forward. If, then, those most interested in the affairs of our vast Eastern empire had not thought themselves called upon to complain, what right, or perhaps, more properly speaking, what just pretext for complaint could the hon. Gentleman setup? The hon. Gentleman had said, that the course taken by the Government would be injurious to the authority of the Court of Directors in India. Perhaps that effect might, to a certain extent, follow, as it might have followed from reading the accounts of the great discussions which took place in this House in 1833, when the King's Government were opposed on all the important parts of this Bill by influential members of the Court of Directors, and when the King's Government carried the Bill through the House in spite of them. But if it were necessary that a cordial sympathy should exist between the head of our vast empire in the East, and the King's servants at home, it was better that the Court of Directors should receive that shock, such as it was, than that the cordial sympathy he spoke of should be destroyed. The hon. Gentleman had stated (and he believed correctly) that it had been hitherto supposed, that the appointment of the Governor-General involved no political feeling. However that might be, he had the authority of a very distinguished member of the present Court of Directors, delivered in a letter written in 1833, in favour of the doctrine, that the Governor-General must have the confidence of the Administration at home. Mr. Tucker in his dissent, to certain parts of Mr. Grant's (now Lord Glenelg) new India Bill, said, that although he thought that the Councils of India should be appointed by the Court of Directors, yet that the Presidents themselves could not be. His words were these—"We do not exercise the same independent power in appointing the Governors of India. His Majesty's Ministers must, for obvious reasons, be parties to such appointments. These high functionaries have generally been political characters of distinction connected with the Administration, and they must possess the confidence of the national Government." These were the words of Mr. Tucker in 1833. If, therefore, Lord Heytesbury had gone out, the anomalous precedent would have been established of a Governor-General leaving England for India in whom the Government of the day had no confidence. Did the hon. Gentleman mean to say, that that would be right? He could not say so. For his own part, looking to the complex manner in which India was to be governed, they would have set a precedent liable to the most pernicious abuse, if they had allowed a man to proceed to India, who, whatever his private character might be—whatever his capacity might be—had not the approbation of the Government in concert with which he was to act. The hon. Gentleman stated, that the right hon. Baronet lately at the head of the Government, acted in a manner very different from the present Government, and instanced the case of Sir Robert Grant and Mr. Macaulay. But was there any similarity between the two cases? Was the right hon. Baronet responsible for the appointment of Mr. Grant or Mr. Macaulay? Certainly not; and had Lord Heytesbury been on his passage to India, when the present Government came into office, he was far from saying, that he should have been ready to advise his recal. With respect to Mr. Macaulay, individually, he would say, with all respect for both sides of the House, that he thought it might be quite as well for them that that right hon. Gentleman was not recalled. But really what had Mr. Macaulay done, that Lord Ellenborough should take credit to himself for not recalling him? When the hon. Gentleman asked, what Lord Heytesbury had done that the present Government did not confirm his appointment, he should have been prepared to show, that there was good ground for recalling Mr. Macaulay, before making it a matter of boast, that he was not recalled. It appeared that there had been a difference of opinion as to the construction of a Clause in the Act of Parliament, and that he had signed papers both in a Legislative and Executive capacity. Lord Ellenborough, on learning this, took Counsels' opinion on the point, and had for answer, that the Act of Parliament did not permit Mr. Macaulay to act in any way except as a Legislative Member of the Council, and that a power of interference on his part as an Executive Member, was not sanctioned by the Act. There were, however, some doubts as to the correctness of that construction, and when the matter was before him (Sir John Hobhouse) three or four days ago, he was not quite sure whether some precise order should not be sent out to prevent any mistake in future. But that Mr. Macaulay had committed any gross error, of a nature which would justify his recall, he denied; and he denied any merit to the late Government for not recalling him. He would only briefly refer to the manner in which Lord Heytesbury's recall was made, and for which, as he before stated, he alone was responsible. If there was anything improper in it, he was sorry for it; but he believed there had been no want of courtesy on his part, and no informality of which the Court of Directors could justly complain. It was his interest, as well as his pleasure, to keep well with those Gentlemen with whom he had the honour of conversing once a week. But the hon. Gentleman said, that the fact was communicated to the Court of Directors without those previous long conferences which took place when Sir George Barlow was recalled from India. There were no such conferences, he admitted, in the present case, and for the best of all reasons, that the only reason for the conduct of Ministers was, that they had no confidence in Lord Heytesbury, and no arguments of the Court of Directors could have persuaded them to have confidence in him. He was not aware that it was necessary for him to trespass any further on the attention of the House. The Government (continued the right hon. Gentleman) might, indeed, have adopted a different course; they might have shrunk from the responsibility attached to their high office—they might have concealed cowardice under the mask of candour, and have taken credit for a forbearance which their conscience would have told them, was prompted solely by fear. By such conduct they would perhaps have won the temporary and insincere applause of their adversaries; but they would have incurred, and would have merited, the suspicion, if not the censure, of their adherents. Such conduct would have disgraced any Administration in any day; but for men engaged in great, in perilous, and he must be permitted to add, honourable and useful enterprises—for men presuming to hold the reins of power in these times, to delegate duties of the highest importance to any but functionaries of known and tried attachment both to their principles and persons—"such feebleness, I say, would be not only foolish but fatal. For, yielding, as would have been the case in this instance, to difficulties of their own creating, and which a due regard to their honour and to their interest, would have forced them to encounter, they would, it is probable, have dropped from concession to concession, until losing the last remnants both of their power, and their character, they would have fallen for ever, covered with the bitter scorn of their enemies, and the contemptuous pity of their friends. For my own part, I would rather fail at once in an honest effort, surrounded by faithful friends, than owe a precarious success to the cold co-operation of dubious, distrustful allies. With the one I could console myself under defeat; with the other, I could scarcely be reconciled to victory." These principles of Government, if they were correct at any time, were peculiarly correct at this particular time; and he thought, that amongst many things worthy of notice, and which would descend in the page of history to posterity, relative to the conduct of the right hon. Baronet who was lately at the head of his Majesty's Government, was the declaration of that sentiment, in which he declared and upheld the necessity of a cordial attachment between men leagued together for a good purpose, and in which he overthrew that miserable pretence of consulting "measures and not men." He trusted, that the present Government would act upon that principle. He trusted, that having commenced by this step (which he admitted did seem to be a hardship, for he owned that that was his first objection to it, and that he felt that it looked as if partaking something of personality and of political animosity; but feeling the necessity of acting upon this, to him incontrovertible principle), he trusted that the Government with which he had the honour now to be connected, would persevere in it, and that whenever they were imperiously called upon to do so, they would act in strict conformity with the principle upon which he had now justified Lord Heytesbury's supercession. He was quite sure, that by so acting, they would be supported, not only as far as the authority of Parliament went, but would be backed by their own consciences, as well as by the approving voice of their country. He was obliged, therefore, to oppose the production of these papers; for he could not be a party to the disclosure of a confidential correspondence between the Board of Control and the Court of Directors. If, however, the House forced him to produce the papers, he must yield to its decision; but it would not be his fault, nor ought he to be considered as any party to what he should deem to be a very bad and pernicious precedent.

Mr. Herbert

considered the right hon. Baronet to be too delicate about the meaning of words. This suspension of the appointment of Lord Heytesbury was equivalent to his actual recall. Was there any cause to suppose that the noble Lord would be guilty of any such delinquency as the right hon. Baronet seemed to suspect? The right hon. Baronet was bound to show his reasons why he took such a step as the one under discussion. He would again ask the right hon. Baronet what delinquency was committed on the part of Lord Heytesbury? In the year 1831, a similar appointment had been made in despite of party opinions. That was a time when the question of the affairs of Belgium and Poland were agitated, and there was a letter from Lord Palmerston placing confidence in the then Governor-General of India. If political bias should be a motive for this appointment it ought to have been exercised at the time of the Revolutions of Belgium and Poland. It was strange that it should now be employed, simply for the reason that the noble Lord differed from his Majesty's Government as to the appropriation of the revenues of the Irish Church. With respect to cases of this description, he apprehended that the powers of the Directors were to punish those who offended, and not to appoint their own political partisans. In India there were two classes of persons—one enlightened, and the other less so. One looked up to the institutions of the Mother Country, and thought that they ought not to be controlled by a despotic Government. He must tell the right hon. Gentleman that this latter opinion was fast gaining ground in India, and that it was important that Government should go every length to satisfy it, and that no suspicion should be cast on any appointment it might make.

Mr. Hogg

considered the opinion of the right hon. Baronet a very dangerous one, namely, that the appointment of the Governor-General of India should be a political one. In the person appointed some confidence ought certainly to be placed, but he differed entirely from the ultimate conclusions of the right hon. Baronet. When a Governor-General was once appointed by the Crown his appointment should not be suspended except in case of gross misconduct or incapacity. The intention of vesting such a power in the Crown, clearly was that it should be exercised only in cases of gross misconduct or actual incapacity, and this he thought was a view of the matter which the case of Warren Hastings fully established. A Resolution for the recall of Warren Hastings was passed in 1782, and this Resolution received the sanction of the Court of Directors, but the Court of Proprietors adopted a counter-resolution, and the consequence was, that Warren Hastings remained where he was until 1784. When the subject came under discussion in 1783, what was the conduct of Mr. Fox? Why, he pointed out the manifest absurdity of considering the office of Governor-General a political appointment, observing that were his (the Governor-General's) "projects the most enlarged, his systems the most wise, and excellent which human skill could devise, what fair hope could be entertained of their eventual success when, perhaps before he could enter upon the execution of any measure he may be re- called, in consequence of one of those changes in the Administration of this country which have been so frequent for a few years." Here then was the authority of Mr. Fox in favour of the argument that the prerogative of the Crown had not been properly exercised in the instance of Lord Heytesbury; for if the appointment was not to be regarded as a political one surely the recall of that noble Lord was not to be justified. Lord Castlereagh, in 1813, stated that the power of recall, vested in the Crown, ought not to be exercised except in cases of gross misconduct or actual incapacity; and to show that this was the principle which had been acted upon many precedents might be cited. Now he would mention two, namely, the case of Lord Minto and Lord William Bentinck. Changes had taken place in the Governments by whom those noble Lords were appointed soon after they had sailed for India, but still they were not recalled, because it was then admitted that the political changes in this country could in no wise affect such appointments. Lord William Bentinck was not, perhaps, exactly the man whom the Duke of Wellington would have chosen as the Representative of his Government in India; but still, as his appointment had been sanctioned by the Crown, the Duke of Wellington did not think that he would be justified in interfering with it. To adopt another principle now would have the worst possible effect, as the only tendency it could have would be that of rendering the authority of the Governor-General less respected in India than it was desirable, on many accounts, it should be. The hon. Gentleman said that nothing could be more pure than the way in which patronage was administered in India. The Governor-General looked only to merit, standing experience, and general qualification; and as that was the case, as he excluded from his mind everything like politics and party, the only use that could be made of the adoption of a new principle, in reference to this appointment, was to subserve election purposes, to the prejudice of the best interests of the country.

Mr. Cutlar Fergusson

said, that his hon. Friend who had just spoken, had addressed his argument entirely to the question of the recall of a Governor-General from India; whereas the question before the House was not one respecting the recall of a Governor, but merely as to the vacating of an appointment. He should be extremely sorry to say anything that could take away from the respect due to the Court of Directors; but although he did not attach any blame to them, or to the late Government, for the appointment of Lord Heytesbury, yet he did not think that their authority would be impaired by the exercise of the power possessed by the present Government over that appointment. This was a particular case. It was not a question of recall. They were about to commence a system totally new in the Government of India; and which system was established by the persons who were now his present Majesty's Ministers. It was, therefore, but safe and right that those persons, being now in power, should select an individual most in their confidence, and whom they knew to be most friendly to that new system which they had established there, for the purpose of carrying the objects of the new India Bill into complete effect. It was well known that ever since the establishment of the Board of Control, the appointment of Governor-General had been a Government appointment to all intents and purposes. He believed that some of his right hon. Colleagues in the Court of Directors had never thought otherwise than that the individual appointed ought to possess the full and entire confidence of the Government of the day. Under the whole circumstances of the present case, considering that the appointment was not complete, and that Lord Heytesbury never had been sworn in, he contended that the Government would have failed in discharging a duty towards themselves, and incurred a responsibility they were not bound to incur, if they had continued in office a person in whom they had not confidence, and failed to propose an individual in whom they had confidence to carry into effect, when the proper time for so doing should arrive, the great objects the Government had in view.

Mr. Buckingham

said, that after the clear and unanswerable reasons offered by the right hon. the President of the Board of Control (Sir John Hobhouse) for cancelling the appointment of Lord Heytesbury, he had hoped the debate would have terminated by the withdrawal of the Motion made by the hon. Member for Yarmouth (Mr. Praed). But as, in the course of the speeches subsequently delivered, there had been much that was calculated to lead the House into error, he was anxious, before the debate was concluded, to remove some of the misconceptions into which hon. Gentlemen had apparently fallen. The hon. Member for Beverley especially (Mr. Hogg), whose long residence in India might give weight to his authority, had said that the civil and military servants of the East-India Company were a well-educated, intelligent, and high-minded set of men; and he contended that their reverence for the authority of the Company would be very much weakened by seeing them thus treated by the King's Government, who had annulled one of their most important appointments, and abruptly set aside the Governor-General of their choice. Now he (Mr. Buckingham) was perfectly ready to concur with the hon. Member for Beverley in the just eulogium which he had bestowed on the education, talents and high-mindedness of the Civil and Military service of India: but it was for that very reason that he was persuaded that no such effect would be produced in their minds by this act of the Ministry, as the hon. Member seemed to apprehend. They were, indeed, as perfectly competent to form an accurate judgment on the policy of England, and on the public measures of public men in this country, as we were ourselves: and knowing as they did know, that in all past times the Governor-General was actually appointed by the King's Ministers—though nominally appointed by the India Directors—they would be prepared to see the same course followed in the present instance. It was indeed a most erroneous supposition to imagine that the India Directors had any choice whatever in the appointment of the Governors for their Presidencies abroad. The law was this:—That the nomination should be made by the Directors; but the appointment could not take place without the confirmation of the Minister; and therefore, to save time and prevent mortification, the constant usage was for the Cabinet to select the individual whom they desired to see appointed, and then to intimate their wish to the Directors, who accordingly nominated him for the office, whether they liked him or not, well knowing that if they did not nominate the man of the Ministers' choice, it would be useless to name any other, as the Ministers would never confirm such nomi- nation; and it would therefore be useless to make it. This, however, was one of the many fictions which the admirers of ancient usages continued to keep up, and by which the public were deluded: though he must say, for himself, that the sooner this double-dealing was put an end to, and the appointment made direct from the Crown, without any interference of the Company at all, the better. But the two reasons which weighed most strongly with him in favour of the course pursued by the hon. Baronet, the President of the India Board, in cancelling Lord Heytesbury's appointment were these:—First, that as this Member of the Cabinet, as a Minister for Indian affairs, would have to answer, in this House, for the conduct of the Governor-General, in India, whenever that conduct should be called in question, so it was of the utmost importance that such Governor-General should be the person of whom the Cabinet generally most approved; and who possessed the entire confidence of the Minister for Indian affairs especially; for without this entire confidence in the fitness of the Governor for his office, no Minister ought to be expected to undertake the responsibility for his proper discharge of its duties. Secondly,—that a new and great experiment was about to be tried in India by the charter of 1833; which emanating from the men composing the present Ministry, ought to be carried into effect by a man of their own choice. By this charter, for the first time in Indian history, British settlers were to be allowed to colonize in India, and purchase lands, for the first time a comparatively free trade between this country and India was to be passed; for the first time the natives of India were to be admitted to places of trust and emolument in the administration of public affairs; and above all, for the first time, a legislative council was to prepare a code of laws for the better government of Europeans and native Indians, in one and the same state of society. Now, the success or failure of this great experiment, might be much influenced by the character, capacity, and bias of mind of the new Governor-General; and he was, therefore, prepared to say, that if ever there was one period more than another, in our Indian history, when it was most important to have a perfect harmony between the governing power in India, and the governing power in England, this was that period, in which a false step might produce irretrievable calamity, and in which a sound choice might entail innumerable blessings. He might add, that no possible inconvenience could accrue from the suspension of this appointment at the present moment, because happily for England and for India, the individual now left in temporary charge of the Government, subsequently to the departure of Lord William Bentinck from India, was one of the most able, enlightened, and liberal, and one of the most distinguished and popular of all the Company's servants in that country; he meant Sir Charles Metcalf. For himself, he was not very favourable to the practice of one Governor-General retiring before another came to fill up his place, and leaving the supreme power, in the interval, in the hands of a temporary functionary, and that, too, a servant of the Company, a practice most objectionable for many reasons, which he might urge on the House, were he not anxious to avoid the protraction of this debate. But before he sat down, he must advert to one argument that had been urged on the other side, which was this—that though in the appointment of Ambassadors at foreign Courts, it might be essential that the Ambassador should possess the same political views as the Ministry for the time being, and, therefore, enjoy their fullest confidence, yet that in the appointment of a Governor-General for India, no such coincidence of opinion between the Cabinet and their Representative was necessary, as the Governor-General of India ought not to be a political character, nor his selection to be dictated by political motives Now, he confessed that this was the most extraordinary, and he would venture to say the most indefensible, argument that had been used throughout the whole of the debate. To his mind it appeared that if there was one appointment under the Crown more than another, in which the individual appointed ought to have the entire and unlimited confidence, moral and political, of the Cabinet by which he was appointed, it was this: and for these plain reasons, first, the great distance at which the two countries were separated, rendering frequent and speedy communication almost impossible, more cases must arise in which the Governor must, be left to act entirely on his own discretion, from the absolute impossibility of his obtaining the necessary instructions from home in time to regulate his conduct on the varied events that might transpire. Secondly, the immense number of the population—a hundred millions at least—with the endless variety of their sects and opinions, their castes, and their superstitions, must require the greatest vigilance and caution to control. Thirdly, the scantiness of the independent body of Europeans, not in the service of the Crown or the Company, and the consequent difficulty of bringing out the bold and fearless expression of public opinion, either through public meetings or the press, which exercised so powerful a control over public affairs in this country, must require a higher degree of public virtue in the ruler not to degenerate into a love of arbitrary power. For all these reasons, and for many more which might be adduced if time permitted, he sincerely hoped that the House would support the right hon. Baronet, the President of the India Board, in his resistance to the Motion now before it. The best interests of England required that the great experiment of the new Charter for India should be fairly tried. The best interests of India were happily, in this instance, interwoven with our own; and he, therefore, thought that the present Ministry would be neglecting both if they did not persevere in their determination to give to India the best and fittest person they could select to fill the high station of its supreme Governor.

Mr. Cressett Pelham

said, it appeared to him that this was not a Question which affected the credit of Ministers as regarded their own party. Until he heard the statement of the right hon. Member for Kirkcudbright, he had always thought that the appointment of the Governor-General was really vested in the Court of Directors.

Sir Robert Peel

said, that he observed the noble Lord opposite watching anxiously for the opportunity of going into the Committee on the Corporation Bill, and, therefore he would detain the House but for a very short time whilst he made a few observations upon the Question before the House, and he promised that he would compress what he had to say within the smallest possible compass. He had listened to the speech of the right hon. Baronet, the President of the Board of Control, with considerable attention, and he must be allowed to make a distinction between the tone and manner of that speech and its object. For the tone and manner of his speech he gave the right hon. Baronet credit; the fair manner in which he stated the case, and the generosity with which he bore testimony to the merit, where he could do so, of his predecessor in office, though opposed to him in politics, and his abstinence from reflections on the personal character of Lord Heytesbury were highly honourable to him. The right hon. Baronet relied upon one single point, namely, that he had not confidence in Lord Heytesbury, on account mainly of their difference of opinion on political topics. The right hon. Baronet, however, had not convinced him that the exercise of the King's prerogative, which he had advised, was justifiable. The right hon. Baronet said, that he had not confidence in Lord Heytesbury, and that, therefore, he refused to sanction his appointment, and he added, that he would not let Lord Ellenborough nominate his Governor-General. If the right hon. Baronet's argument were well founded, it went to this length, that he must carry into the Government of India the colours and shades of our political differences, and the example derived from the fountain head, and applied to the chief officer of the Government, could not fail to introduce into India, for the first time, party dissensions and factions, and thereby to weaken the control we had over the dominion of those vast territories. The right hon. Baronet said, that if Lord Heytesbury had proceeded to India he would not have recalled him. Why not? If a want of confidence in Lord Heytesbury, grounded on a difference of political opinion, justified the revocation of the noble Lord's appointment, would it not also justify his removal from the Government of India supposing he had assumed it? If it were necessary that the Governor-General of India should be a person in whom the Government placed confidence—founded on an identity of political opinion—then he contended that the mere circumstance of the Governor-General being in India, or having set sail, made no difference whatever as to the application of the principle. If the principle was to be laid down as one on which a Government ought to act, he (Sir Robert Peel) ought to have recalled Sir R. Grant and Mr. Macaulay. He was just as much responsible for the exercise of their functions as the present Government would have been for the conduct of Lord Heytesbury. The only difference between the cases of a Governor-General recalled and one deprived of his appointment before setting sail was, that in the former a greater amount of individual hardship would be sustained. The right hon. Baronet said, that he would ally himself with those with whom he agreed in political sentiment, and did him (Sir Robert Peel) the honour to appeal to his authority upon that point. He agreed with the right hon. Baronet. He recognized the principle that the confidential offices in this country, connected with the executive Government, ought to be filled by persons whose political sentiments were congenial with those of the Government. He did not, however, act upon the principle which the right hon. Baronet had applied to Lord Heytesbury, for he retained in office gentlemen whom his predecessors had appointed to situations not connected with the executive department of the State. The principle which he recognized did not apply to India—that was a neutral territory into which politics ought not to be allowed to enter. Conceding the principle with respect to confidential offices in this country—agreeing with the right hon. Baronet that that Government deserved no respect which tried to conciliate favour by retaining in office persons in whom they had not confidence, he was prepared to contend that principle was not applicable to the case under consideration. Neither the history of the Act of Parliament, which limited the prerogative of the Crown, nor the practice under the Act, nor the policy pursued in India, nor the admissions of the right hon. Baronet himself, justified the proceedings which had taken place with respect to Lord Heytesbury. The confidence which the Government ought to have in a person filling the office of Governor-General should be founded, not on identity of political opinion, but on his general integrity, which would ensure the fulfilment of the instructions he might receive. The Act of 1784 was intended solely to reserve to the Crown the power of removing the Governor-General in case of delinquency; not to ensure the appointment of a partisan. What had been the course of practice under the Act? The right hon. Baronet had quoted only one case—namely, that of Sir George Barlowe in which the power of removal had been exercised without imputed delinquency, but the circumstances of that case were totally different from those of Lord Heytesbury's. The examples in the opposite direction were numerous. Lord Minto was appointed by the Whig Government, and sailed in March. Mr. Perceval came into power in April, and could, by sending a fast-sailing vessel after his Lordship, have recalled him, but he did nothing of the kind. The case of Lord William Bentinck was still stronger. His Lordship was appointed by one Government, and retained in his appointment under two successive changes of Administration, and did not sail until a month after the Duke of Wellington's Government was formed. That case, therefore, supplied a second instance in favour of his argument; for there the principle for which he contended was again ratified and confirmed. Provided the Government have confidence in the general integrity and experience in public life of the individual appointed, they do not contract any personal responsibility by continuing him in office. The right hon. Gentleman seemed to consider he put a conclusive question, when he asked, "Would I have appointed Lord Heytesbury?" Certainly, he must presume, not; but then he might put another question, and ask, "Would he have appointed Sir Robert Grant or Mr. Macaulay?" No. If he had more confidence, then, in some other person, why should he not have recalled Sir Robert Grant, and sent out some person in whom he had confidence? He did not think it possible for the right hon. Gentleman to give this argument a valid answer; and if he could not, had he not a right to assert, upon the authority of the case of Sir George Barlow, that in the instance of Lord Heytesbury's appointment, the prerogative of the Crown had not been exercised in accordance with precedent. He would say one word upon an important point—namely, the bearing which the proceeding would have upon Indian affairs. It was impossible to put out of consideration the peculiar circumstances under which our dominion in India was exercised. After all, it was impossible to deny that our dominion was not recommended to the natives of India by any participation on their parts, in our political feelings or admiration of our civil institutions, it rested mainly on a general confidence in our justice, and a conviction of our power. We had been able to retain our dominion over 80,000,000 of natives by proving to them that there existed amongst the foreigners who governed them a complete unity of purpose. To introduce party divisions among the foreigners in India, to prove to the natives that they are separated by the same animosities which separated us here, would do more to undermine our authority in India than anything which he could imagine. By the recent measure the number of British settlers in India had been multiplied; and although the Government of that country might have acquired some accession of physical strength by that means, it would be as nothing compared to the results likely to ensue from the introduction of the seeds of party dissension, and that general misery which party spirit is sure, sooner or later, to give birth to. He complained that the King's Government had refused to concur in the appointment of Lord Heytesbury; and he did so, because ever since the King's assent was required for the confirmation of this appointment, the Government of the country had always acted on the principle to which he had alluded. This appointment, it should not be forgotten, was made by the Court of Directors, under the sanction of the Sovereign; and it would go far to weaken the Royal authority in India, if an appointment which had been formerly made by the Directors, were to be set aside at the will and pleasure of the executive Government. The intention of the Legislature was, that the King's consent having been given to the appointment made by the Court of Directors, the means should be reserved of removing the individual for any dereliction of duty; but the appointment was to be held as good until valid, and sufficient reason to the contrary should be shown. The course of proceeding complained of by his hon. Friend, had a direct tendency to undermine the English authority in India. The Legislature had stripped the Company of their Charter as merchants;—"but," it said, "we will still respect them as a political body." Could anything be better calculated to sap and destroy the remains of the Company's authority, than to say to the people of India, "Although the Company had appointed a Governor-General, so little respect have we for the Company, that as soon as a change takes place in the Government at home, we change the Governor who may have been thus appointed by the Company!" Why was the East-India Company reserved in their present form as an intermediate body between the original legislation of the old Indian Government, and the direct intervention of the Government at home? He apprehended that, in the first place, the force of prescription operated; that it was felt to be inexpedient to discontinue that power of administration which the Company had theretofore exercised, wisely and well. This was one reason, and, if it was a good one, it was certainly the only way by which the respect of the legislature for the Company could be shown. Another reason was, that the Legislature was afraid to intrust the Executive Government at home with the vast patronage of India, and it desired to have that patronage exercised by a body independent of the Government. Yet, the first act of Government was to revoke this Resolution, and take away the appointment from those in whom the Legislature had vested it. The right hon. Member for Kirkcudbright said, that this was done in order to enable Ministers to send out a friend of their own in whom they had confidence.

Mr. C. Fergusson

said, that what he had stated was, that it was necessary some person should be appointed in whom the Government had confidence, in order that he might carry the new system into effect.

Sir Robert Peel

said, that amounted to just what he was stating. The Government argued thus:—"Our predecessors appointed a person in whom they had confidence, and we will appoint one in whom we have confidence." He had already argued the principle, and, therefore, he would only say, that such a proceeding was a direct supercession of the power reserved to the Court of Directors by the Act of Parliament. In conclusion, he thought the cancelling of the appointment of Lord Heytesbury would tend to diminish the respect in which the Court of Directors had hitherto been held, and to weaken our power in India by introducing party feelings, the absence of which hitherto had been the main cause of our strength. He thought that the right hon. Baronet had failed to make out a valid defence for the exercise of the prerogative of the Crown; and as he had admitted that no public inconvenience would arise from the production of the papers, he would probably not oppose the Motion.

Mr. Vernon Smith

contended, that there was a very wide distinction between recalling the individual appointed and cancelling his appointment. The former proceedings, certainly, would involve considerable disgrace; but the latter, as he conceived, rested on a very different footing. The right hon. Baronet had referred to the case of Lord William Bentinck; but, to have made the analogy complete, he should have told the House whether that nobleman enjoyed the confidence of the Duke of Wellington. As to Sir Robert Grant, he conceived that the case of Sir Robert Grant at Bombay, was very different from that of the Governor-General of India; and with regard to Mr. Macaulay, he apprehended that no Gentleman would seriously contend that the case of that Gentleman's appointment could be brought to bear upon the present. In spite of the calm and temperate tone in which the subject had been introduced, he could consider it as nothing but a party Motion, brought forward for party purposes. So much had lately been said of attempts to defeat important measures by side winds, that he would not say the present Motion was brought forward with any such object. He must, however, remind the House, that when the hon. Member for Beverley (Mr. Hogg) had appealed to the indulgence of his noble Friend for an early opportunity of bringing forward the present Motion, he had expressly mentioned that he should have to state important reasons why it could be no longer delayed. He had not, however, on the present occasion, put the House in possession of any of the weighty reasons he had so portentously announced. He really could not help thinking, that the present Motion originated in a feeling of anger and disappointment that the present Administration should have displayed so much vigour in one of its first Acts.

Lord John Russell

The real question which the hon. Member for Yarmouth wished to propose to the House was, after all, whether the present Government should or should not have the power of refusing to intrust very high political functions, extending over a great portion of the globe, to a person in whom they had not political confidence. That the hon. Gentleman should think Lord Heytesbury worthy of all political functions, was extremely natural on his part—extremely natural on that of the right hon. Baronet; but he thought it would be rather strange and somewhat imprudent if his right hon. Friend, knowing Lord Heytesbury's political opinions, and not having any particular reason to place political confidence in him, were to retain him in the office to which he had been appointed, forward instructions to him as Governor-General of India from time to time, and make himself responsible for his acts. Was it not notorious that, for years past, the Governors-General had always been chosen on account of their political sentiments? Did not Mr. Pitt and Lord Melville take care, in the appointments which they made, that the persons chosen should have the same general political sentiments and views with the Government from which the appointments emanated? They would always have refused the appointment to a friend of Mr. Fox. Why did Mr. Canning appoint Lord William Bentinck, but because his general political views accorded with those of Mr. Canning? It was essentially necessary, at this period, when a new system for the management of East-Indian affairs was commencing, under the sanction of the recent Parliamentary enactment, that the individual sent out as Governor-General should be a person possessing fully the confidence of the Government at home; and who, from being acquainted with their views, would be able, more efficiently, to carry them into effect. He was fully aware of the evils of frequent change, and was satisfied that, if a new appointment took place with every change of Administration, it would be most injurious to India. But the case of Lord Heytesbury, and those of Lords Bentinck and Minto were very different. Lord Bentinck, who had been appointed by Mr. Canning, was continued by Lord Goderich, and when the Duke of Wellington came into power, the whole of Mr. Canning's friends remained in office, Mr. Huskisson, the chief of them, retaining his seat in the Cabinet. Notwithstanding this, however, Lord William Bentinck thought it necessary to tender his resignation. The present case was totally different from that. There had now been a complete and entire change in the Government; Lord Heytesbury was still in England; and the question was, whether he should be prevented from going out? He maintained that the only bold and safe course was, for the Government to say that they would place the important trust in the hands of some person in whom they had confidence, politically speaking; for it would have been the extreme of weakness in them to have sent out a person in whom they had not confidence. He should resist, therefore, the Motion of the hon. Gentleman, especially as it was clear that it was not for the sake of the papers that it was brought forward, but for the sake of raising a discussion.

The House divided on the Motion, Ayes 179; Noes 254—Majority 75.

List of the AYES.
Alford, Lord East, J. B.
Alsager, Captain Eaton, R. J.
Arbuthnot, General Entwistle, J.
Ashley, Lord Estcourt, T. G. B.
Ashley, Hon. H. Elley, Sir J.
Bagot, Hon. W. Elwes, I.
Baillie, Colonel H. D. Fancourt, Major
Bailey, J. Feilden, W.
Balfour, T. Finch, G.
Baring, T. Follett, Sir W.
Baring, H. B. Forbes, W.
Bateson, Sir R. Forester, Hon. G. C.
Bell, M. Forster, C. S.
Bentinck, Lord W. G. Freshfield, J. W.
Bethell, R. Gaskell, J. Milnes
Blackburn, J. I. Gladstone, T.
Blackstone, W. S. Gladstone, W. E.
Boiling, W. Glynne, Sir S. R.
Bonham, F. R. Goodricke, Sir F.L.H.
Borthwick, P. Gordon, Hon. W.
Brownrigg, J. S. Goulburn, Rt. Hon.H.
Bramston, T. W. Goulburn, Sergeant
Bruce, C. Graham, Sir J. G.
Bruen, F. Greene, T. G.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Grimston, Lord
Burrell, Sir C. Grimston, Hon. E. H.
Calcraft, J. H. Halford, H.
Campbell, Sir H.P.H. Hamilton, Lord C.
Castlereagh, Lord Hanmer, W. H.
Chandos, Marquis Hardinge Sir H.
Chaplin, T. Hawkes, T.
Chapman, A. Hay, Sir J.
Chichester, A. Hayes, Sir E.
Chisholm, L. Henniker, Lord
Clerk, Sir G. Herbert, Hon. S.
Clive, Hon. R. H. Herries, Rt. Hn. J. C
Codrington, C. W. Hill, Lord A.
Compton, H. C. Hill, Sir R.
Conolly, Col. Hogg, J. W.
Cooper, J. E. Hope, Hon. J.
Corbett, T. Hope, H. T.
Corry, Hon. H. T. L. Hotham, Lord
Crewe, Sir J. Holdsworth, T,
Dalbiac, Sir C. Hoy, J. B.
Dare, R. W. H. Hughes, W. H.
Darlington, Earl Inglis, Sir R.
Dick, Q. Irton, S.
Dottin, A. R. Jackson, Sergt. J. D.
Dowdeswell, W. Jermyn, Earl
Duffield, T. Jones, Captain
Dugdale, W. S. Jones, W.
Duncombe, Hon. W. Kearsley, J. H.
Kirke, P. Richards, J.
Knatchbull, Sir E. Rushbrooke, Colonel
Knightley, Sir C. Ryle, J.
Lawson, A. Sandon, Lord
Law, Hon. C. Scarlett, Hon. R. C.
Lefroy, A. Scourfield, W. H.
Lewis, W. Sheppard, T.
Lincoln, Earl of Sibthorpe, Colonel
Lowther, Lord Sinclair, G.
Lowther, Hon. H. C Smith, A.
Lygon, Hon. Col. Stanley, E.
Mahon, Lord Storraont, Lord
Mandeville, Viscount Sturt, H. C.
Marsland, T. Tennent, J. E.
Meynell, Captain H. Thomas, Colonel
Miller, W. H. Thompson, Ald.
Norrey, Lord Trench, Sir F.
Palmer, R. Trevor, Hon. A.
Parker, M. Trevor, Hon. G. R.
Patten, J. W. Twiss, H.
Peel, Rt. Hn. Sir R. Tyrrell, Sir J.T.
Peel, W. Y. Vere, Sir C.B.
Peel, Colonel J. Vernor, Colonel
Peel, E. Vesey, Hon. T.
Pelham, J. C. Vivian, J. E.
Pemberton, T. Wall, C. B.
Penruddoeke, J. H. Walter, J.
Perceval, Colonel Welby, G. E.
Pigott, R. Whitmore, T. C.
Plunkett, Hon. R. Williams, R.
Pollen, Sir J. W. Williams, T. P.
Praed, J. B. Wodehouse, E.
Price, R. Wynne, Hon. C. W.
Price, S. G. Yorke, E. T.
Pringle, A. Young, J.
Rae, Sir W. Young, Sir W.
Reid, Sir J. R.