HC Deb 14 July 1836 vol 35 cc189-203
Mr. Hume

rose to address the House, being very anxious, he said, to fulfil a duty which he owed to the people of India, when

Mr. Goulburn

rose to order. He understood that it had been agreed upon by the House that orders of the day were to take precedence of motions.

Sir R. Peel

observed, that it had been thought necessary, for the more convenient despatch of public business, to arrange that orders of the day should take precedence of motions on all other days than Wednesday, and when he saw that a single Member of the House, on some understanding not recognised by the House, could bring forward a motion, he must say that he thought it a very bad precedent. There might be some peculiar case which would justify a departure from the rules laid down, but unless that were the case, it must be a dangerous precedent, and, to say the least of it, might be accompanied with very great partiality. He had been given to understand by the notification which had been left with the clerk of the House, and which was in the hand-writing of the noble Lord, the Member for Stroud, that not only would the rule be adhered to for the orders of the day taking precedence of motions, but that the Established Church Bill would come on. at an early hour. The first information which he had received to the contrary was to find, on coming down to the House, that one particular motion was to take precedence of all other business. Such a precedent was, he must repeat, most dangerous and liable to be abused.

Mr. Hume

would only appeal to the recollection of the right hon. Baronet, whether, when the proposition was made that the orders of the day should take precedence of motions, an exception was not made in favour of this particular motion. If, however, it was productive of any inconvenience to the right hon. Baronet, he would not press it.

Sir R. Peel

assured the hon. Member for Middlesex, that the course he was pursuing occasioned no personal inconvenience to him; but he could not permit such a precedent to be established without protesting against it. There were 658 Members in that House, and if they were all to follow the example of the hon. Member for Mid- dlesex, the greatest confusion would be the consequence. He thought, that when the House had laid down a rule, no private or individual Member should have a right to act in opposition to it. He should, however, content himself with protesting against the precedent.

Mr. Hume

then proceeded to state, that he had the honour a short time back to present a petition from the inhabitants of Calcutta, which had been agreed to at one of the most numerous meetings ever held there, and when he stated that the motion which he was about to bring forward was founded upon that petition, and that it involved the welfare of upwards of 80,000,000 of individuals, he trusted that it would not be considered unworthy of the attention of the House. The petition, which had been printed, and which, he trusted, was in the hands of every Member of the House, stated the situation of the country in regard to the effects of the late legislative enactments respecting it. By the late alterations in the Charter of the East-India Company, the government of India had undergone a very considerable change, and the protection which the British subjects there had hitherto enjoyed had been in a manner withdrawn—namely, the protection of the Supreme Court; because power was given by the 43rd section of the Act to the Governor-General in Council to legislate without any interference or advice. Now, although the late governor had returned, and no complaint was made against him by the petitioners, he was anxious that the rights of the people should not be dependent upon the authority of any one man. The law-makers in India were entirely irresponsible; against their proceedings there was no appeal, save to that House or to the King. No notice was ever given, or required to be given, of any regulations they might think proper to adopt, although they must be implicitly obeyed, and might affect the property, rights, and liberties of the people; it was therefore no wonder that they complained of being placed without the pale of the British Constitution. Remembering the mischiefs which had been committed by many governor-generals of colonies, he must say, that he thought no man could wish to see the important colonies of the East Indies placed in a situation that would render them liable to similar misfortunes. The prayer of the petition was therefore a reasonable one; it was, that they should be taken under the protection of the British laws, and that they should not be left at the disposal of the Governor-General in Council, that Council being composed of five persons, namely—the Governor-General himself, a commissioner-in-chief, two civil officers appointed by them, and another appointed by his Majesty. The proceedings of this council were secret; it had no sympathy or communication with the people; it was elevated above their society and a knowledge of the real state of society, with which every lawmaker ought to be acquainted. It was quite true that the appointment of Mr. Macaulay was intended to prevent any law being made in opposition to the British laws; but every one knew that he had nothing to do with any regulations that might be ordered, and which being ordered, were as powerful and as paramount as the law itself. When he stated that the Governor-General, in his own person, could make such laws, he wished to recall to the recollection of the House, that in the case of Warren Hastings it was decided that the Supreme Court should be placed under the authority of the Crown alone, but now it was under the authority of the Governor-General. He regretted the rapidity with which the Act that conferred this irresponsible power had passed through the House. In fact, the Bill granting the new Charter had been hurried through Parliament with a degree of haste scarcely precedence by an Act for paving or lighting an English parish. He hoped that the House would take an early opportunity to grant the same rights and privileges to the people of India which every Englishman enjoyed, even in the remotest parts of our possessions. He did not see why there might not be selected out of a very large and influential body of men in that country some additional members of the council chosen on popular and responsible principles. The protection of the King's courts of justice had been withdrawn from upwards of 1,000,000 of people in the various presidencies, and that without any fault of theirs. The evils under which the people laboured in consequence of the alteration in the laws, had been discussed by them at the public meeting he had mentioned, and the sentiments delivered there by natives as well as Europeans, however they might excite surprise, proved that it was highly necessary to establish a better system of government in India. It appeared that the absolute power given by section 43 of the Act could not be continued without dissatisfaction. The meeting complained that the Act had been framed for the benefit of the India Company and of individuals in this country, without reference to the interests of the people of India. Although, under the 87th section of the Act, natives might be appointed to offices, it was rendered nugatory by the condition that they should have been previously educated at the college of Haileybury. The right hon. Baronet, according to report, had selected one native to fill an office of considerable importance, and he wished to know if it were true, or if the 87th section were to remain a dead letter? The Act abolished all distinctions of colour and religion, but this provision was nugatory in consequence of previous education at Haileybury being rendered necessary. It was worth while to remark, that for the benefit of the professors of the religion of the Church of England, an ecclesiastical establishment of from 40,000l. to 50,000l. a year had been fixed upon India, while not half as much had been done for the many millions of Hindoos and Mahometans. In 1814, the Church establishment of India cost only about 9,000l., but in 1826 and 1827 it was raised to 39,000l., and the addition of two new bishops had still further added to the weight of the burden. The petitioners also complained that no attention was paid to the spread of education. At the meeting at which this petition was agreed to, one of the natives exposed the grievances which the people complained of, both with regard to the eligibility to office, and their being obliged to maintain a church establishment. That native referred to the establishment of Haileybury College, and declared that the sooner it was abolished the better. With regard to the Church Establishment, the same native asked why he should be compelled to pay for the support of another religion?—that he could not find in the sacred book of the Christians what sanctioned such a principle as this. Then with regard to education, it was complained, that while two bishops were added to the establishment, there was no provision made for the education of the people. He regretted very much to find that the subject of education should be so much neglected in India. It was of the greatest importance to England that that education should be attended to. What, he asked, ought not the people of this country to do to remove the people from that idolatry which they practised? While they (the people of England) felt that they were in the right, the Indians were labouring under the most grievous error. While they felt this, ought they not, then, to employ the means within their power, by education and instruction, to remove the errors from their minds, and bring them thus to the practice of a purer creed? They were now raising 20,000,000l. annually from the people of India, and of that enormous sum but very little was applied to their instruction. Instead of relief being granted to them, the people complained that additional burdens had been imposed upon them. They stated, that under the new Act there was entailed upon them, in patronage, not less than 60,000l. annually. There had been ten new additional appointments made at 6,000l. a year a piece. He thought they had great reason to complain of any great additional burdens being imposed upon them. The House was to bear in mind that every additional salary granted in India, was an additional burden upon the people. He understood that within the last twelve months there had been a surplus. He trusted that this was the case, and that it would lead to a remission of the load of taxation upon that country. He begged emphatically to press upon the attention of the House that fact put forward so strongly by the petitioners, that every additional salary was a tax upon them. Such being the case, the House was bound especially to consider the situation in which the petitioners were placed. They had no protection against that load being increased, while care was taken that the dividends upon the stock should be protected. He thought he had said enough respecting the Government; the next point to which it was his duty to advert was, that of the commercial disabilities of India. An amelioration was recently made on the article of sugar. He hoped that concession, recently made by his Majesty's Government, would be extended to the whole of India—that it would not be confined to Bengal alone; but that Madras, Bombay, the Prince of Wales's Island, and every other place, would feel the benefit of the equalization of duty on that article. The sooner the anomaly was removed, in his opinion, the better. He hoped the President of the Board of Control would look to this. He knew the Court of Directors interfered very little in such matters, and what he often complained of was this, that the Board of Control did not stand between the people of India and the Court of Directors. He thought that the trade and manufactures of India had been ruined by the injurious competition permitted. Why, he asked, were the cottons of England to be imported into India, paying only a duty of 2½ per cent., while the Indian had to pay for the importation of his manufacture into this market a duty of 10 per cent.? That was not equal justice. It would be fair if every English article was admitted free of duty, and that the articles from India came here free of duty also. There was 2½ per cent, upon articles sent into India, while articles from India paid a duty of from 10 to 30 per cent. He trusted that an improvement would be made in this matter. Why, he would ask, was not rum from India to be placed on the same footing as rum from other colonies? Why was colonial rum to pay only a duty of 9s., and Indian rum 15s. a gallon? Was that fair towards a possession of theirs from which they drew so much money? Then there was tobacco. Why was there to be a higher duty upon that article than upon what they received from their colonies? He should not now enter into the question of other duties, but he earnestly hoped that his Majesty's Government would introduce, the next session, an equalization of duties, which would prove as favourable to their colonies as he was sure, in its effect, it would be advantageous to themselves. In the petition there was a complaint respecting the monopoly upon salt. It was a proof that trade must be a bad one, when it was allowed to be stationary for several years without any increase whatever. The same might be said with regard to opium as to salt. Now in July, 1832, the President of the Board of Control declared that it was agreed by Government that the salt-tax should be removed, and it was added that the matter was then under consideration. Three or four years had now passed over their heads, and nothing was done, until the hon. Member for Chester moved for a committee upon the tax on salt. Though they paid the Board of Control largely—that Board received not less than from 30,000l. to 40,000l. a year— yet they appeared to him to be doing nothing. The hon. Member concluded by moving the following resolutions:

  1. 1. "That this House will take an early opportunity of considering the allegations 195 made in a petition from the inhabitants of Calcutta, presented in the present session of Parliament, against some provisions in the Act passed in the third and fourth years of the reign of his present Majesty, and entitled 'An Act for effecting an arrangement with the East-India Company, and for the better government of His Majesty's Indian territories, till the 30th day of April, 1834, with a view to a revision of the same, and the redress of such grievances as shall be proved to exist.'
  2. 2. "That the monopolies of salt and opium exercised by the East-India Company within the British dominions in India are incompatible with sound principle, and detrimental to the agricultural and commercial interests of India; and they ought, conformably to the expectations held out by the Ministers of the Crown, to be abolished as early as the same can be effected, without prejudice to the local revenues of India.
  3. 3. "That the discriminating duties levied within the United Kingdom on various articles the productions of the British possessions in India, are impolitic and unjust, alike injurious to the producers in India, and to the consumers in the United Kingdom; and that such duties ought, with the least practicable delay, to be reduced to the same amount as those levied on corresponding articles, the produce of His Majesty's colonies in the West Indies.
  4. 4."That it is just and equitable that the same duties and no other should be levied on manufactured articles, the produce of British India imported into the United Kingdom, as are levied on the corresponding articles of British manufactures imported into all British possessions in India."

Sir John Hobhouse

could assure his hon. Friend, that he had given his attention to the matter to which the petitions referred. Notwithstanding all that his hon. Friend had been pleased to say of the Board of Control, and the Gentlemen in that office, he could assure him, that their attention was constantly directed to the affairs of that great country, which were now the subject of discussion. Since he had the honour of filling the high office which he now held, he knew of no subject connected with it, brought under his notice, that he did not pay to it the best attention in his power. He owed to the kindness of his hon. Friend, the opportunity of looking over the petition which was now brought before the House. Now in looking over the allegations contained in that petition, he could not, he was bound to say, think that the situation of India was as desperate as the petitioners seemed to consider it. Some time, he thought, ought at least to have been given, to see how the new charter operated. He should have thought, that the petitioners ought to have waited a little longer than nine months before they cried, out so vehemently. They might at least have delayed their petition for some time. His hon. Friend had with great propriety not entered into all the allegations contained in the petition. The main complaint made in the petition, and what appeared to be the source of it altogether, was that allegation to which the hon. Gentleman had first alluded. That was the 43rd section of the new charter, and by which the power formerly vested in the Supreme Court of India was now taken away from them. To give effect to the regulations of the Governor-General, it was necessary they should be registered in the Supreme Court. Now this was a subject which underwent a severe scrutiny in that House—whether or not that Court should have a concurrent authority with the Supreme Government. In consequence of the unanswerable arguments advanced by Lord Glenelg and Mr. Macauley, this new section was introduced into this charter, and by which it was declared that no longer should a court of justice have that which in his opinion it ought not to have, a concurrent authority with the supreme power of the state. Any one who looked at India, must be aware that many of the mischiefs that had arisen in that country were owing to this very power being lodged with the Supreme Court. He was sure that the hon. Member for Middlesex must confess that it was best to have authority vested in the Supreme Government; and, in cases of emergency, in the Governor-General of India. It was for the benefit of the Government and the governed that there should be a centralization of the supreme power in one high authority. Now it was to be remarked that the chief movers of the petition were legal functionaries in the Supreme Court. It was natural that those from whom authority was taken away would feel it to be a grievance. It was natural they should so feel it when the authority was taken away from a Court to which they owed their fame, practice, and emoluments. It was not to be supposed, however, that all lawyers concurred in this opinion. There were lawyers and judges in England, who thought there ought not to be a concurrent authority. What did the complaint amount to after all? Whereas, according to the old system, Government was able to legislate for the whole of India, with the exception of some districts, it would now legislate for all India, including those districts. Nothing could be more absurd than the complaint, that because a provision had been made to do equal justice to Europeans and natives, they therefore lamented, that there was a law for all—that Europeans and natives should be tried by the same tribunals, and no exception be made in favour of any one class. Another point touched upon by his hon. Friend was, the abomination in his eyes of Haileybury, and the not giving promotion to the natives. The Act was only nine months in operation, and yet these petitioners took upon themselves to declare that it was not the intention to promote natives. Now he could say, that the very contrary was the intention of the Government, and he was sure that it would be fully acted upon by the Noble Lord, who was now at the head of the Indian Government. With respect to Haileybury, he could say for himself, that he felt exceedingly unwilling to do away with an institution intended to form young men for filling situations of great importance in that vast empire, of which England had the government. If, however, it should appear that it was not proper to continue that establishment, then he should be prepared to do away with it. Now, as to the ecclesiastical establishment, he was not answerable for it. It was commenced in 1813, and there had been only added upon that ground by his hon. Friend, an additional charge of 1,000l. a year. He had yet to learn, however, that it was not proper to allocate a portion of their revenues to an establishment for the purpose of propagating Christianity. The native to whom reference had already been made, said, he felt no interest in the religion for which the money was given. Why, he did not know that the same person felt an interest in the Government, and therefore might object to pay taxes to it. That person might prefer the Rayahs, or the Mussel-men, as his rulers, and if they were to consult the persons over whom they ruled, they would never be able to lay on a tax; they could not raise a tax but for an object purely national, and in that case they would in a short time have to give up taxes altogether. His hon. Friend complained that dividends were secured by Act of Parliament. Why, that was part of the bargain. They were at all events bound to secure their property, which had previously never been in danger. His hon. Friend said, that the Board of Control had nothing to do; he assured him they had a great deal to do. The duties he had to discharge were greater than in any of the offices he previously held. They required constant labour; and to discharge them, the whole of his time (a fact which any one who had been in the situation he had the honour to fill could bear witness to,) was required. Another part of the complaint was, that there was 2½ per cent, charged upon English manufactures, and 30 per cent, upon Indian manufactures. How would the Indians like an equalization of the duty, by raising that imposed upon the English to be equal to theirs? Was that what his hon. Friend complained of? He was certain that he should have no objection, if his right hon. Friend, the President of the Board of Trade, could lower the duties. His hon. Friend had complained that there was nothing done with respect to the duty on salt. Why, taking into consideration the very large revenue received from it, it was very natural that they should be apprehensive in touching it. His hon. Friend had stated the revenues of India incorrectly; he gave 22,000,000l. as the revenues of India. They were, in fact, 18,350,000l., and salt comprised a very considerable item in that revenue. Opium also, to which his hon. Friend had adverted, was another considerable item. Were they, then, prepared to take away at once those two taxes without some substitute for them? He was sorry to add that, instead of a large, there would be a very small surplus from India.

Mr. Hogg

said, that he had read the petition now before the House, but that he did not find in it one word or one topic comprised in the resolution which they were now called upon to agree to. There was nothing, for instance, about either salt or opium in it. The hon. Member for Middlesex had spoken at considerable length upon the subject of the petition, but at the same time he also moved, that the consideration of the petition should be put off, and not one word did he say either about salt or opium. The resolution was, "That the House should take an early opportunity of considering the subject of the petition." The petition, as he believed, had been here for sixteen months or more, and surely, if there was anything in it worthy of attention, it was high time it should receive it now. He suspected that the hon. Member's intention was to give the "go-by" altogether to the petition. He hoped the hon. Member did not mean to bolster up the hon. Member for Cheshire and his Salt Committee. No doubt any commercial monopoly was a grievance justly to be complained of; but he did not consider the salt-tax such a monopoly; it was merely and purely a means of collecting a revenue. He certainly thought that the discriminative duties kept up between the mother country and India were a positive grievance; that English cottons should be admitted into India at two-and-a-half per cent, duty, whilst the manufactures of India paid ten per cent, in this country, he thought extremely unjust. He hoped the hon. President of the Board of Trade would consent to admit a little of his principle of free trade and reciprocity into operation with regard to India.

Mr. Stewart M'Kenzie

said, that when the resources of India were fully developed, the people of this country would be surprised at the ignorance under the operation of which they had so long been induced to uphold the exclusive system with regard to India.

Mr. Poulett Thomson

understanding, that the petition on which these resolutions were founded was dated a very considerable time ago, was not surprised that the gentlemen who had signed it had clone so, since they must necessarily have been ignorant of the changes which had taken place; but he could not acquit his hon. Friend, the Member for Middlesex, for presenting a petition which he must have known was not borne out by facts. One of the resolutions of the hon. Gentleman, was "That the discriminating duties levied within the United Kingdom on various articles, the productions of the British possessions in India are impolitic and unjust, alike injurious to the producers in India, and to the consumers in the United Kingdom; and that such duties ought with the least practical delay to be reduced to the same amount as those levied on corresponding articles, the produce of his Majesty's colonies in the West Indies." Now who that read that resolution would not, if unacquainted with the subject, imagine that there was a great variety of articles on which discriminating duties were levied. But he (Mr. P. Thomson) utterly denied that the fact was as stated by his hon. Friend. There did not exist a discriminating duty on more than three articles between the East and West Indies. It was in 1833 that he (Mr. P. Thomson) went through the list of Customs, and he then found only twenty different articles on which there were discriminating duties, and he then was enabled to strike fifteen out of the list. The state of the revenue last year permitted him, following out the principles on which he had before acted, to assimilate the duty on coffee, one of the great articles of Indian produce, with West-Indian coffee, and this year the duty on sugar, another great article of produce, had also been assimilated. There now remained but two articles on which the duties had not been assimilated. What were they? Spirits and tobacco. Now as to the first he (Mr. P. Thomson) did not much differ in opinion with the hon. Gentleman:—at least he had no great objection to the admission of spirits. But he believed that if the duty upon spirits were assimilated to-morrow, that article would not be produced in India to any extent. The assimilation of the duty upon sugar might cause British capital to be directed towards it, and probably rum might be produced. But it was not fair to hold out the discriminating duties as a very serious injury to the producers of spirits. The House would recollect that this was an article of revenue; and he (Mr. P. Thomson) would look at it solely in that light. Then as to tobacco, he was willing to admit, he thought it bad that there should be a lower duty upon West-Indian tobacco than upon American. But when it was remembered that on 300,000l. worth of tobacco we raised a revenue of 3,000,000l., it would be seen to what a loss of revenue, if the hon. Member's proposition were assented to, we must on the one hand subject ourselves, and upon the other, how very little benefit would result from it to our Eastern possessions. And he would ask the House, would it not be most unwise, for the sake of promoting the industry of India to so uncertain and inconsiderable extent, to endanger so large an amount of revenue, and oblige ourselves to seek elsewhere for the amount, perhaps in much more injurious and obnoxious and impolitic taxes; and having thus gone through the articles on which discriminating duties did exist, he (Mr. Thomson) must say that unless the hon. Member for Middlesex could produce any other articles, he was not justified in proposing that general resolution which he had just read. [Mr. Hume: Cotton.] That is included in the next Resolution. "That it is just and equitable that the same duties and no other should be levied on manufactured articles, the produce of British India, imported into the United Kingdom, as are levied on the corresponding articles of British manufactures imported into all British possessions in India." Now, upon this point he (Mr. P. Thomson) agreed with his right hon. Friend, the President of the Board of Control, that the parties who had a right to complain were not the Indians. They had the privilege of getting our manufactures, which as his right hon. Friend justly said they had almost exclusively—at the low rate of two-and-a-half per cent. We, on the contrary, are obliged to pay ten per cent, if we wished to wear their manufactures. Now it might be very proper to reduce the duty upon manufactures coining from India to two-and-a-half per cent, and thus to give the Indians the same encouragement to export their manufactures as they now possess for importing ours. But then it was to be considered that the whole revenue system, the whole fiscal arrangements of the country, would be violated by such a measure. In India the revenues were not dependent upon the Customs' duties: there we had the salt monopoly, the opium monopoly, and other taxes of a similar description, by which the public expenditure was supported. But in this country, the Customs were the great source of the revenues; and these duties upon the importation of Indian manufactures formed part of a vast system now existing for the collection and protection of the revenues of this country, it might be an unwise, it might bean impolitic system; but still it existed, and it would be impossible to admit the principle which this resolution proposed in one branch of it, without extending it to every branch, and destroying it altogether. If the principle were to be admitted in this case, that because British manufactures were allowed to be imported into India at a low rate of duty, therefore ought Indian manufactures to be imported into this country at a similar rate of duty? It must be admitted in respect to every article of manufacture from which this country raises a revenue, it must be applied to all that constitutes the industry of a people. Now he (Mr. P. Thomson) was of opinion that we could not afford that at present. We must raise a high revenue on the produce, whether it be of our colonies or of foreign countries, and till we are enabled to do without that revenue, he contended that we could not admit the prin- ciple of this resolution. It would be absurd to make distinctions between one branch of manufactures and another—we must apply the same principle to all, there was no reason for selecting the particular instance for making an exception to the general rule. He (Mr. P. Thomson) was happy that during the last few years, the Government had been enabled to show the people of India that they had their interests at heart. And he was anxious as far as the commercial relations of that country went, to advance its interests in every way within his power. But he could not, for the reasons he had stated, agree to the resolutions of the hon. Member for Middlesex.

Mr. Buckingham

was desirous of making a remark on the subject of the salt monopoly. To tax an article of general consumption was at all times impolitic; but in India, where salt was not a luxury, but a condiment essential to the health of the people, any impost upon that commodity must be oppressive in the extreme. He hoped that the Government would proceed in the career which they had begun; and he trusted, that having assimilated the duties on East and West Indian sugars, they would make haste and remove those discriminating duties upon East-Indian goods which still remained.

Mr. Aaron Chapman

said, in reference to what had fallen from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, all that he (Mr. Aaron Chapman) had heard from the parties to whom the right hon. Gentleman alluded, was some apprehension lest the benefits of the measure proposed by Government should not hereafter be extended to Madras and Bombay.

An Hon. Member

said, he never heard a more extraordinary error than that into which the parties alluded to must have fallen upon this subject; for he himself had asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, upon a former occasion, whether he meant to exclude the Presidencies of Bombay and Madras from the operation of the Bill, and he had given the same explanation as that which he had just furnished.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

wished to say a few words on this subject, in consequence of some observations which had been lately made, not in, but out of the House, with respect to the assimilating duties which had been laid on East-India sugars. No restriction was imposed on their produce, but what had been also im- posed on West-Indian produce. The principle of the Bill which was adopted by the Government, acquiesced in by the West-Indian interests, and approved of by the body representing our East-Indian possessions, was, that they had to make their election between being an importing or exporting country, but that both they could not justly be. It was in consideration of the Indian interests that that course was taken, and never was there any matter which afforded him greater surprise than his finding, after the question had been brought to a satisfactory adjustment, that, in place of being' received as a pledge of the kind intentions of this country towards India, the Bill was no sooner passed than it was complained of as a hardship and a grievance, while it was intended as a benefit and a blessing. He did not say, that if hereafter, at any future time, it should appear desirable, with regard to the interests of Madras and Bombay, that those Presidencies should be placed on the same footing as Calcutta, in reference to this subject, it would not be in the power of Parliament to effect such a measure, or that he should not be ready to support it, and to act upon it. But he did complain when such a concession had been made, holding out, as it did, such advantages to the shipping interests of Calcutta, that it should be stigmatized as unjust and partial, and as not founded upon equitable principles.

Mr. Hume

, in reply, observed that the Indians were treated with gross injustice, and in proof of that, referred to the tax upon pimento of 3d. per pound, being 60 per cent., and upon black pepper of 1s. a-pound, being 300 per cent, on their value. He saw no reason why the tax on tobacco should not be reduced, as we ought to follow up the principle of reciprocity. He would not trouble the House by dividing upon his resolutions, but would be contented by their being put from the Chair.

The 1st resolution negatived.

On the 2d 3d and 4th, the previous question was put and agreed to.