HC Deb 09 February 1843 vol 66 cc341-82
Mr. Vernon Smith

said that, in bringing forward the motion of which he had given notice, it would be necessary for him to occupy a little more time than he usually claimed from the indulgence of the House. He was not aware whether the papers for which he was about to move would be granted, or whether, in fact, the Government could grant them; because he was not certain whether the directors of the East India Company had yet written any answer to the Governor-general on the topic which had recently attracted so much attention. Whatever the fact in this respect, he felt it his duty to call the attention of the House to the subject, nor did he think that the right hon. Baronet opposite was likely to complain of this course, inasmuch as it would give him an opportunity of doing now, what he had lamented that the forms of the House would not allow him to do on a previous day, viz., to enter into a full vindication on this point of the conduct of Lord Ellenborough. In the outset, he begged to assure the House that he should never have thought of giving this notice of motion, if he had considered the matter open only to the ridicule and laughter with which it had been met in all parts of the country. If he had seen no more in the proclamation of the Governor-general of India than a subject of mirth, he should not have obtruded himself upon the House with a partisan speech, or a premeditated attack; it was because he was persuaded that the document was one of the most indiscreet and mischievous ever issued by a Governor-general, that he brought it specially under the notice of the House. He spoke in these terms of it now, and if it were laid upon the Table he would not shrink from the responsibility of proving what he asserted. If the Court of Directors did not pronounce their condemnation of it, he would undertake to bring forward in Parliament a resolution in distinct reprobation of the document. He could assure the House that he was not actuated by any personal hostility to Lord Ellenborough, for he had not the honour of his Lordship's acquaintance; still less was he actuated by any general desire to cavil at the appointments made by her Majesty's Ministers. Respecting the appointment of Lord Ashburton to the mission to the United States, he had the misfortune to differ with his noble Friend beside him; and for another appointment he could hardly find terms adequate to express his strong admiration—he alluded to the nomination of Sir C. Metcalfe, in whose choice the noble Lord at the head of the Colonial Department had shown the most praiseworthy abstinence from all party motives. He congratulated the colony on the fact that Sir C. Metcalfe's stern sense of duty had induced him to accept of the appointment. To the choice of Lord Ellenborough originally he had thought that no fair objection could be offered. He had followed his Lordship (in a comparatively humble capacity certainly) in the India board, and he could state on his own authority, that no former President of that Board had more completely possessed him of the details of his office, or had discharged its duties with more assiduity. It was not for him to state what were the duties of a Governor-general of India. He would not weary the House even with what the ablest pens, or more eloquent speakers had said upon the subject, further than to quote the authority of Lord Ellenborough himself, delivered at a dinner given to him by the East India Company, in November, 1841. The noble Lord then made a speech (as indeed he was well able to do), in which, after boasting (as who would not that possessed it?) of the confidence of the Duke of Wellington, and expressing his attachment and admiration (since here strangely shown!) for Lord Auckland, he said that, His hope was to give to India peace and surplus revenue—by means of that surplus revenue to emulate the magnificent benevolence of the Mahomedan Emperors in the great works of public improvement, and more than all by gradually and cautiously having regard to the prejudices and feeling of the natives, imparting to them all we know of arts and civilization, at once to elevate the character, and better the condition of that generous and mighty people. These expressions would appear to have come strangely from the noble author of the proclamation, which was the subject of his motion, for either the speech stultified the proclamation, [or the proclamation the speech. True it was, that the noble Lord had formerly been guilty of some trifling public indiscretions, but it was hoped by his friends, when he went to India, that he had sown his wild-elephants, and that for the future he would be more tame and docile. Hence, the confidence which the noble Duke was supposed to have placed in Lord Ellenborough, and to which he alluded at the dinner given to him by the East-India Company. On that occasion, the noble Lord expressed himself as not at all elevated or excited by the exalted situation in which he had been placed:— Whatever might be the confidence, (his Lordship added) which had been expressed in him, he could assure them that it had not created in his mind the slightest delusion with respect to himself. If such were the case in November, 1841, it seemed that the arrival of the noble Lord in India had produced a strange effect upon him. He now certainly appeared under a singular delusion with regard to himself. Going with these feelings (his Lordship continued), he did trust that he might obtain some portion of the favour of Providence on his exertions, which should only be directed to the public good, and the advancement of the interests of England and India—of his native and his adopted country. The noble Lord had used the very same words in his celebrated proclamation. England was his native, and India his adopted country. He had adverted to the speech of the noble Lord, in order to show the animus with which he set out on his Indian enterprise, and how far he had carried into execution his own declared intentions. He wished to confine himself to the proclamation to which his motion referred. He did not intend to enter upon any other matters, and on this account he had not considered it improper to make his motion precede that of the right hon. Baronet in the coming week, for a vote of thanks to the Governor-general. The right hon. Baronet had said, that he did not mean to discuss the political conduct of Lord Ellen borough, but to limit himself to the military operations in Affghanistan. The pre sent motion, therefore, could not interfere with that of the right hon. Baronet, since it was not intended, he supposed, to ground our thanks upon the restored gates of Somnauth. He wished particularly to call upon the House to take care that the vote to be proposed by the right hon. Baronet, did not include any expression of gratitude beyond what was due for the successful result of the military operations, because it would be recollected, that, in 1840, the right hon. Baronet had himself objected to coupling the vote of thanks to the civil and military officers. The projected motion of the right hon. Baronet was, therefore, to be viewed with some suspicion, [though not, perhaps, as regarded this celebrated proclamation, which had been sufficiently canvassed in all the clubs of the metropolis, by the whole reading public, and by every daily journal. That curious document he did not mean to read, because, as he had said in the commencement, it was not his wish to excite laughter, but to direct the serious attention of the House to the one most desirable object in the government of India—that of observing the utmost and the strictest delicacy with regard to different religions in that vast and various empire. The House could not fail to perceive what a completely religious view would be taken of Lord Ellenborough's proclamation—it told the Hindoos, in plain terms, to be revenged of the Mussulman population, and it reminded them of defeats and sufferings for the sake of their faith which they had long forgotten. It called their attention to the triumphs of the Sultan Mahmoud, the Gaznevide, and brought to their knowledge the existence of the temple, of which, until then, they knew nothing, and which, it now seemed to be considered, had no existence. To this point he might quote an article in a newspaper, to which the other side of the House would scarcely object, although in this instance it had fallen foul of Lord Ellenborough, in an article containing severe censure, and written with great wit and ability. He alluded to the Times newspaper; and it was there truly remarked, that as the noble Governor-general had got his gates, he must now also get, not only his temple, but his idol. However, at present, the noble Lord had only got his gates. Gibbon had narrated the capture of the temple of Somnauth; and though the extract was somewhat long, he apprehended that the language of such a writer would not easily fatigue the hearer. The words of that historian were these:— One of the greatest Turkish princes was Mahmoud the Gasnevide. The principal source of his fame and riches was the holy war (mark the words, 'holy war!') which he waged against the Gentoos of Hindostan. To the religion of Hindostan the zealous Mussulman was cruel and inexorable; many hundred temples or pagodas were levelled with the ground; many thousand idols were demolished, and the servants of the prophet were stimulated and rewarded by the precious materials of which they were composed: the Pagoda of Somnauth was situated on the promontory of Guzarat, in the neighbourhood of Dia, one of the last remaining possessions of the Portuguese. It was endowed with the revenue of 2,000 villages; 2,000 Brahmins were consecrated to the service of the deity, whom they washed each morning and evening in water from the distant Ganges; the subordinate ministers consisted of 300 musicians, 300 barbers, and 500 dancing girls, conspicuous for their birth or beauty. The faith of Mahmoud was animated to a personal trial of the strength of this Indian deity; 50,000 of his worshippers were pierced by the spear of the Moslems, the walls were scaled, the sanctuary was profaned, and the conqueror aimed a blow of his iron mace at the head of the idol. The trembling Brahmins are said to have offered 10,000,000 sterling for his ransom; and and it was urged, by the wisest counsellors, that the destruction of a stone image would not change the hearts of the Gentoos; and that such a sum might be dedicated to the relief of the true believers. 'Your reasons,' replied the sultan, 'are specious and strong; but never in the eyes of posterity shall Mahmoud appear as a merchant of idols.'He repeated his blows; and a treasure of pearls and rubies, concealed in the belly of the statue, explained in some degree the devout prodigality of the Brahmins. The fragments of the idol were distributed to Gazna, Mecca, and Medina. Bagdad listened to the edifying tale; and Mahmoud was saluted by the caliph with the title of guardian of the fortune and faith of Mahomet. The name of Mahmoud, the Gasnevide is still venerable in the East. It would have been well for Lord Ellen borough if he had imitated the noble con duct, and adopted the noble answer of Mahmoud the Gasnevide: it would have been well for Lord Ellenborough if he had not condescended to become a merchant of idols: that traffic which Mahmoud the Gaznevide, the guardian of the fortune and faith of Mahomet, had disdained in 1024, had been reserved for Ellenbo rough, the Christian Governor-general, in 1842. His Lordship had now ad dressed the Hindoo population in a document, the language of which it was impossible to exaggerate, since it exasperated one portion of the Indian population against the other in the bitterest manner. What were the gates of Somnauth until Lord Ellenborough rendered them importantly ridiculous, and ridiculously important? Until he discovered them, of what consequence was it whether they were of sandal wood or of deal? What were they in fact, and what were they like? Could the Governor-general himself decide the knotty point, or must he answer in the words of Tom Thumb the Great, when his monarch asked him what the trophies he had brought home were like? Oh, sire! like nothing but themselves they are. So the gates of Somnauth were like no thing but themselves. Having thus adverted to the rashness, the indiscretion, and the impropriety of the proclamation, he would venture to approach another part of the subject, which had been most fitly and strongly touched upon by the hon. Baronet, the Member for the University of Oxford (Sir R. Inglis), the earnest, zealous, sin- cere, and never-failing denunciator of everything opposed to the promotion of the cause of Christianity. On this delicate subject be could not help thinking that the Court of Directors must have addressed some terms of reproof to Lord Ellenborough. To him they might have applied the words addressed by the Persian poet, Ferdouzi, to the very Mahmoud of whom his Lordship is so jealous, Si nos non timeas, at Deum time. It had always been the wish of the Indian Government to prevent all possible excitement of one class against another; but, from time to time, pressure from without had induced them, with the utmost caution, to interfere in matters connected with the faith and superstitions of the various classes; and, in a despatch signed by the Chairman and Deputy-chairman of the Court of Directors of the East India Company, but avowedly written by Lord Glenelg on the subject of the Pilgrim-tax, these expressions were found: All religious rites and offices which are in this sense harmless, that they are not flagrantly opposed to the rules of common humanity and decency, ought to be tolerated, however false the creed by which they are sanctioned; but they could not properly be said to be tolerated if those who are engaged in them did not experience that ordinary degree of protection to which every citizen, not offending against the laws, is entitled at the hands of his rulers. A religious festival attended by immense crowds cannot be said to be tolerated if the Government does not provide a police sufficient to enforce order, and to ensure the safety of individuals during the celebration; and, on the other hand, the providing of such a police is not an act of favour or friendship to the mode of worship, but one of simple justice to the worshippers. Beyond this civil protection, however, we do not see that the maxims of toleration enjoin us to proceed. It is not necessary that we should take part in the celebration of an idolatrous ceremony, or that we should assist in the preparations for it. or that we should afford to it such a systematic sup. port as shall accredit in the eyes of the people and prevent it from expiring through the effect of neglect or accident. The application of these principles to the subject before us is not very difficult. Although it is possible that the Hindoo rites, or at least those of Juggernaut!), are less liable than formerly to the charges of cruelty and open indecency, their essential character is of course not changed. They are at variance with the precepts and spirit of Christianity, and they seem opposed even to the plain injunctions of a natural religion. This, however, is not a reason for prohibiting them by law; and if they are not to be so prohibited, if they are to exist at all, they must receive from the civil power that measure of protection which it affords to any other act, the doing or the not doing of which it treats as a matter of indifference. To this extent we entirely concur with Lord William Bentinck. On the other hand, we cannot conceive that a government which believes those rites to be deeply founded in error, and to be productive, even in a civil view, of serious evil, is obliged or at liberty to show to them any degree of positive sanction or encouragement. How the Governor-general, with that despatch before him, could venture to issue his proclamation, he did not know. It appeared exactly to meet the present case, except, that instead of doing nothing to "prevent the ceremony from expiring," he took it up, he honoured it, he sanctioned it, and he ordered a selection to be made by General Nott out of the English army, who were present at the capture of Ghuznee, to accompany the gates as a guard of honour through the country. The selection included also Sepoys who were Mussel men as well as Hindoos. How the Governor-general could venture to issue such an order, knowing that of necessity there were many Musselmen, he could not conceive. The dispatch went on to say, that any arrangements which should implicate the Government in the "immediate ministration of the local superstitions of the natives" would "tend to consequences of an injurious kind, inasmuch as they exhibit the British power in such intimate cannection with the unhappy and debasing superstitions in question, as almost necessarily to inspire the people with a belief, either that we admit the divine origin of these superstitions, or, at least, that we ascribe to them some peculiar and venerable authority." He would like to know what the belief of the Hindoo population of India would be when they read this despatch of my Lord Ellenborough. He would only quote one other despatch. It was written by the Court of Directors, in the year 1837, not with the same view as the despatch of Lord Glenelg, but to prevent the Government from being identified with the missionary labours; it was written in the reverse sense to the despatch of Lord Glenelg. It said that— We fully concur in the opinion expressed by Mr. Ironside, to the effect that if religious societies and religious publications recommend the adoption of measures, and that if, as it were in consequence of them, the Government immediately carries those recommendations into effect, our native subjects may conceive that we, as rulers of the country, now identify ourselves with missionary labours. Nothing could be more dangerous than the prevalence of such an impression; for, as was long since observed by Mr. Thackery, ' our success in India is in a great measure owing to our religious neutrality; the failure of other European nations, especially of the Portuguese, in maintaining their power, to their injudicious attempts to convert the natives to their own religion. As we could not have established, so we cannot maintain our empire, without continuing this neutrality. It would have been much better that we should have failed in establishing, than that we should now shake to pieces on our own heads the great edifice of power now erected by such imprudence.'

Sir Thomas Munro

said on the same occasion, (no mean authority!) In every country, but especially in this, where the rulers are so few, and of a different race from the people, it is the most dangerous of all things to tamper with religious feelings. They may be apparently dormant, and when we are in unsuspecting security, they may burst forth in the most tremendous manner, as at Vellore; Should they provoke even a partial disturbance, which is quickly put down, even in this case the evil would be lasting. Distrust would be raised between the people and the Government, which would never entirely subside; the district in which it happened would never be so safe as before. These were the opinions of the Court of Directors upon former occasions, and he thought that they were enough to justify him in asking the House to call for the present proclamation. He knew that the proclamation must have been sent to the Board of Directors—he knew that it ought to have been accompanied by some explanation, unless the Governor-general had been so careless that he had not thought it necessary to write a single letter to state his views. The noble Lord (Lord Stanley) had said the other evening that private letters had been received, whether they contained any apology or not, was not said; but if they did, it was indeed singular that the noble Lord should write a private letter to tell what a foolish thing he had done. He believed that the noble Lord would have written to the Court of Directors, and that they would have recalled the Governor-general, unless restrained by a higher power; because they were noted for looking to the discretion of a Governor-general more than to any other quality. If the noble Lord had written ever so many letters, he might have apologised for, but he could not have justified this proclamation, and if the Court of Directors did less than reprimand him, they were highly culpable. As to the report of their writing letters to induce the Governor-general to resign rather than recall him, he did not believe that so honourable a body would adopt such an unmanly course of proceeding. The question of idolatry in India was mooted in the year 1839, by a right rev. Prelate, and he was rather surprised that he had not taken the first opportunity this Session of making some observation upon the recent proclamation. [Sir It. Inglis: He is very ill.] He much regretted to find the cause of the silence, and he must say, at the same time, that the hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxford had expressed his opinion on the first night of the Session in an open and straightforward manner, and said that he would not allow a single night of the Session to pass by without stating his opinion of the proclamation. The right reverend Prelate the Bishop of London had expressed himself, in the year 1839, in the following terms, on a motion moving for papers:— He could not believe that a government which not only tolerated, but sanctioned, the continuance of idolatry; which not only sanctioned and encouraged it among the natives, but compelled a Christian people to give an unwilling sanction to it—could look for the blessing of Providence on acts which were so strongly opposed to the dictates of religion. With how much more force would this apply to a proclamation not only giving an unwilling sanction to the continuance of idolatry, but for establishing, as he thought the recent proclamation did establish, a new idolatry. The right reverend Prelate went on to say,— He would not have anything done which would lead them to think it was a matter of indifference whether they should embrace the true religion, or live in the practices of idolatry. That appeared to him to be so plain, so clear, so faultless a course, that he could not anticipate what objections could be started against it, except those which were suggested by expediency. But, if indeed we could secure our dominion of that vast territory; if we must be masters of that immense population only at the expense of sacrificing the holiness of our awn religion, he confessed he would rather give up all; nay, he believed all attempts to retain it would be in vain if we acted upon such a principle; for he never could suppose that a merciful Providence, which had entrusted us with that empire for the purpose of carrying out its benevolent designs towards mankind, would keep it in our possession that we should abuse our privileges and our power, and make that a dominion for Satan which we ought to convert into a kingdom for God. To that declaration no strength could be added, although he could not agree to the expression as applied to the continuance of toleration; he believed that there was a great difference between the continuance of toleration and the commencement of a new era of idolatry. He would ask how the Governor-general could venture to issue his proclamation in the face of such instructions from the directors? How could he, a servant of a Christian country, be induced to establish new ceremonies, and another idolatry which had never been heard of before his Lordship issued this proclamation? This motion was disagreeable to him, on account of its personal nature but he would not shrink from following it out: if the Governor-general issued such compositions to the country, he thought it was the duty of any independent Member to bring it before the House. He was induced to bring it forward not only from his official knowledge of the condition of India, but from having deeply at heart the interests of the Indian people from having had relatives, not, perhaps, undistinguished there, from whom he had in early youth heard the warmest advocacy of those interests. He trusted that he had not been guilty of any impropriety in the course he had taken; his object was not to make a personal attack upon Lord Ellenborough; neither was it his wish to make a partizan attack upon the right hon. Gentleman opposite, because he was sure that the First Lord of the Treasury was the last person who would risk the permanency of our empire in the east in order to shelter any individual. He repeated that he was not prepared to shrink from the consequences of this motion; he believed that the man who could set his hand—for his Lordship did set his hand to the proclamation, it was not signed as proclamations generally were, by his tranquil secretary, Mr. Mad-docks—but the man who could write, or who could issue, such a proclamation, was not fit to be entrusted with the government of India. He had heard of other remarkable conduct; he had heard of sending home for ribbons of his own device as the emblems of his victories. Into that he would not enter, except to hint a doubt whether the noble Lord's head was not turned by his position; he would solemnly declare, that in the hands of a man who could issue such a proclamation as that of which he now wished the production, our mighty and extraordinary empire in India would be unsafe. In such hands he was unwilling to entrust it; and he would ask the right hon. Baronet, or the hon. Member for Beverley (Mr. Hogg), who was one of the Court of Directors, whether they could justify a proclamation, which, to say the least of it, had excited the ridicule, and to say the most of it, had excited the disgust, of the whole thinking people of England. The right hon. Gentleman concluded by moving for A copy of any despatch from the Governor-general of India to the Court of Directors, containing a proclamation addressed to the chiefs and princes of India, respecting the recovery of the gates of the temple of Somnauth, and any answer of the Court of Directors to the Governor-general of India.

Mr. Bingham Baring

said, that although the right hon. Gentleman had not referred to topics mentioned in the Indian newspapers, he had indirectly alluded to them, and in such a manner as to let them have some effect upon the discussion that evening; and, before going into the general question, he would state some reasons for making an allowance for the attacks which proceeded from that quarter. It must be remembered that the noble Lord had entered India with the declared intention of introducing great reforms, and particularly of bringing the expenditure within the limits of the income. He had found it absolutely necessary to check the correspondence which had taken place between persons connected with the public administration of affairs and the newspaper press, and to interrupt the communications which passed between them. The tendency of the measures which he was obliged to take for this purpose had the effect of irritating the conductors of the public press, while the anticipation of future reductions alienated or might be expected to alienate those for whom the European press was conducted, the main portion of their readers the salaried servants of the company. He wished to speak of that service with the utmost respect. There was no country which enjoyed more devoted public servants than India; still there were some who, looking upon their offices in the light of private property, considered those who deprived them of their offices, increased their duty, or diminished the amount of their receipts, as their enemies. He grieved to say, that it was much owing to these circumstances that the attacks were made, and that the public conduct of the Governor-general was not as fair and impartial as under other circumstances it might be. He might now, perhaps, be permitted to mention to the House some historical circumstances with respect to the Sandal-wood gates which were not known to the House or to the country, and which formed a necessary part of the vindication of the noble Lord the Governor-general. The House might, perhaps, be aware that in the year 1831, Runjeet Singh was applied to by Shah Soojah to assist in the reconquest of the Shah's own country. The application was agreed to, and in return Runjeet Singh exacted some concessions from Shah Soojah. One was,— That the Shah shall disclaim, both for himself, his successors, and all the tribe of Suddozye, every right and title to the countries which have been acquired by his highness, his dependants, and tributaries of every kind; for instance, to the city of Peshawur, with the territory and customs, Cohaut, Heshtrugheo, Isefzie, Khyber, Cashmere, Mooltan, Menkera, Kolebagh, Bootchee, Serai, Tenouls, territories farmed by Bahawulpore, the two Ketchees north of the Sutledge, Tonk, Sengher, Gherang, Fort of Rolien, Gooldhurree, Akora, territory of Khittek, the seat of Preadah Khan's family; Derhend, Terbelah, and Preadah Khan's places of abode. In short, all that portion of his dominions which the ruler of Lahore had already seized. In the next place he exacted a tribute from the Shah, and all tributes were looked upon in India as a disgrace; and, in addition, he required, That the portals made of Sandal, which have been carried away to Ghusnee from the Temple of Jughernaut, shall be delivered to the Maharajah, when the Shah's government is well established. The answer of Shah Soojah was:— Regarding the relinquishment, on the part of myself, and all the tribe of Suddozyes, of all right and title to the countries conquered by his highness, that point may be settled when a meeting takes place, and the boundaries of those countries are defined. Regarding horses, &c.; I agree to the presentation of them yearly, according to the list given. Regarding the assignment of three lacs of rupees worth of jewels, for the expense of an auxiliary force; the property of one friend is that of the oilier. It is a matter of no importance where a close alliance exists. But when he came to the gates of sandal, he said, Regarding the demand of the portals of sandal at Ghusnee, a compliance with it is inadmissible in two ways; firstly, a real friend is he who is interested in the good name of his friend. The Maharajah being my friend, how can he find satisfaction in my eternal disgrace? To desire the disgrace of one's friend, is not consistent with the dictates of wisdom. It was evident from this that Runjeet Sing thought the possession of these gates would be a national trophy. It was evident that the Affghan monarch considered their loss as an eternal disgrace to his country: under either point of view, he contended, that Lord Ellenborough was justified in taking them from the place in which they were situated. The object of Lord Ellenborough was one of humanity. When he sent his forces throughout that country, he had to exact retribution for the assassination of a person invested with a diplomatic character. He wished to deal with the innocent inhabitants only in the most humane manner; he had to remove a stain upon the credit of our arms, and to inflict a punishment on a treacherous nation. Runjeet Sing was the religious head of the Sikh people, and he looked upon the abominations of the Hindoos almost with greater disgust than we did; he could only have sought the possession of these gates as a national trophy; he could not have had for his object to insult the Mahomedan part of the population over whom he ruled, many of whom formed his army, and several of whom held high situations about his court. His right hon. Friend said, in spite of the testimony of Runjeet Sing, that the seizure of these gates was to be considered as an outrage to the religious feelings of the Mahomedans of India. He talked as if the people of India were in precisely the same situation as they were in 800 years ago. Since that time floods upon floods of conquerors had poured into India from these mountain fastnesses. In the last century Ahmed Shah had poured forth his forces through these defiles. Many of the invasions had been made by Mahomedans, who were Moguls, perfectly distinct from the Affghans, having no feeling in common with them, but treating the Affghans as robbers, and sweeping away their possessions. Even so late as the year 1793, under the government of Lord Wellesley, a large force came from this country, making all the natives of India tremble from the apprehension of a dreadful infliction. How could the Mahomedans of India, composing as they did the most wealthy portion of the community, sympathizing with these Highland Robbers. Far from it, they felt as much joy that the tide of conquest had been turned back there as any other part of the population. Century after century India had been subject to ravages from this country by the Affghans and Moguls, and never upon any occasion (ill the late march of General Nott was any Indian army led in triumph through the country of the Affghans. This was the sole instance of such an exploit, and it was a subject of pride to the people of India, of which no per suasion of the newspaper press of India could deprive them. They felt a pride when they saw an army under the direction of European officers ennobled by the conquest of enemies who had ever been their most cruel oppressors, and who were now vanquished by them for the first time. It was under the impression that all the natives of India sympathised with the success of our arms against a horde of robbers, that the proclamation was issued by the Governor-general. He knew that it was impossible that he could be misrepresented among the Mussulman population, or by the great mass of the Mussulmen who had themselves fought as soldiers under our banners, and he was actuated by a feeling of humanity. He did it in order to inflict some retribution upon the Affghan nation, at the same time that he did no injury to the innocent inhabitants; he did it in some measure to satisfy the vindictive feelings of his own troops, for, as the Mahomedans and Hindoos considered revenge a part of their duty, it was for the purpose of satisfying and glutting in some measure this spirit that the Governor-general issued his order for the removal of these gates. The next object of attack was the mode in which the noble Lord had disposed of them. If the right hon Gentleman had referred to the proclamation, he would have seen that he was not quite correct in stating that the English officers were sent with the view of doing honour to the pageant, or in the slightest manner to bow to Juggernaut. In the general order the Governor-general limited himself most carefully to the object for which they were sent, and he limited their duties. They were— To communicate with the several chiefs through whose territories the trophies would be carried, for the purpose of making every necessary previous arrangement for their safe reception and transmission, and for the avoiding confusion on the inarch. There was not one word to which even his hon. Friend, the Member for Oxford, could object in the orders given to the force which was to accompany the progress of these gates; and, indeed, the Governor-general himself, in the proclamation which had been so much condemned, had taken great care to limit his expressions, and to speak of the gates only as of value as trophies. He spoke of them as the— Proudest record of their national glory," as "the proof of their superiority in arms over the nations beyond the Indus. And he congratulated all the chiefs and princes of India, and not merely the Hindoos, on the recovery of these memorials of the victories of the Affghans. He was at a loss to find in the words of the Governor-general, any portion in which he showed any disposition on his part to sanction, to give credit to any religious observances, or to treat the trophies in any other light than as records of national success, and as proofs of national honour. When Lord Ellenborough had brought these gates to India what better course could he adopt than to recommend their care to the Rajahs through whose territories they should pass; and lastly, to deliver them to the chief of Guzerat, from whose territories they had been originally taken, leaving him to deal with them as he thought fit. As to the name of the restored temple of Somnauth being used, it was merely under the belief at the time that it existed. The Governor-general did believe that at the present time there existed the restored temple of Somnauth; he afterwards ascertained that it did not exist. ["Hear," from the Opposition."] Did the House wish the Governor-general to carry about with him a record of all the temples of India, or a catalogue of them. He knew historically that there had been a temple which had been de- stroyed, that it had been built again, and he believed that the temple so restored still existed. Did they expect the Governor-general to know all this? Although so much had been made of this proclamation to turn the attention of the people of this country from the real events, which would naturally engage their attention, and although every endeavour had been made rather to draw the public attention to what the Governor-general had written, from what he had done he doubted whether the right hon. Gentleman opposite would succeed in the attempt. The people of this country were men of good practical understanding. They were in the habit of looking at the substance—of judging the man by what he did, and they would not forget that the noble Lord (Lord Ellenborough), had reversed the policy of war, which had been almost universally disapproved of in this country, and that he had secured for India the blessings of peace—blessings which were most necessary for the safety of our empire in that quarter of the globe, and for the civilization and improvement of the native population. The right hon. Gentleman, in his motion, had called for the production of— Any despatch from the Governor-general of India to The Court of Directors, containing a proclamation addressed to the chiefs and princes of India. There was, he believed, no despatch; the proclamation was sent alone to the Secret Committee and not to the Court of Directors, and he was not aware that there was any expression on the part of the noble Lord, of his object in pursuing the course which he had taken. But if any paper of that nature should be found, it should be added. The right hon. Gentleman had also called fr— Any answer of the Court of Directors to the Governor-general of India. As the proclamation had never been submitted to the Court of Directors, there was no such document in existence. The hon. Gentleman must be sensible that any communication between the Select Committee and the Governor-general, must be considered in the light of a communication between the Crown and a public servant, and could not therefore be given. [Mr. V. Smith: Did not the committee communicate with the directors.] They certainly did not communicate any letter to be seat to Lord Ellenborough.

Sir Robert Inglis

had hoped that his right hon. Friend at the head of her Majesty's Government would immediately, after the not intemperate yet justly indigdant speech of the right hon. Gentleman opposite have interfered between the House and any further prolongation of the present debate, and so have avoided the present discussion of a subject which must be painful to them, and which, he thought, must produce feelings of an equally unwelcome character in the public mind. His right hon. Friend had not so interfered, but he had compelled, by the course which he had adopted, those who agreed with the right hon. Gontlemen opposite to rise in their places, and to state the feelings which they entertained on the subject of this motion. His hon. Friend who had just addressed the House had complained of the right hon. Gentleman opposite that he had not quoted any parts of the proclamation to which he objected. He was persuaded that the right hon. Gentleman, in abstaining from making any quotations, had felt that he was sparing the House the pain of listening to the recital of matters which could not but fail to excite sensations of the most melancholy description. But his hon. Friend had endeavoured to turn the attention of the House from the proclamation and its author (for even he had not read the proclamation), to the newspaper writers in India, whom he supposed to be disappointed and degraded civil servants, who, their claims of patronage having been disregarded, or their offices having been suppressed, might be supposed to have personal feelings of animosity towards the Governor-general. But he really hoped that the noble Lord, the Governor-general, had better friends than the hon. Gentleman; for a defence more hopelessly ineffective than that of the hon. Gentleman, he had never had the misfortune to hear. The hon. Gentleman began by stating that Lord Ellenborough could not have had any intention of "identifying himself with heathenish feelings," and throughout his speech he had striven to show that the object which that noble Lord had had in view was to obtain some military trophy of the success of our arms, and that the proclamation was only to encourage the chiefs to receive those trophies with the respect due to the ensigns of successful valour. Even if that were so, there would still remain great objections altogether distinct from those of a religious character. But that was not in reality the case. He admitted that there were many passages in the proclamation which spoke of the "glorious trophies of successful war," and so forth, and if these had been phrases addressed by an European power to its subjects, it might be that it would be considered merely as a record of national glory, and not at all connected with the religious feelings of the Hindoo princes. But how did the noble Lord address these princes? He began "My brothers and my friends." It was ad dressed, indeed, to all the princes and chiefs and people of India: but the parties who were named, were all of them Hindoos, He passed by all the defects of taste which presented themselves, for he thought that that House was not the tribunal to decide questions of taste or composition. If it were, there were other proclamations which would not easily escape. They were looking at the government of Lord Ellenborough upon grounds infinitely more important than those of criticism; and he appealed to a Christian House of Commons, and Gentlemen professing a regard for the religion and the Church of their native country, whether such language as this, followed by such acts as those of the noble Lord (for the noble Lord was a man of "practical understanding," and did not confine himself to words), could be sanctioned. The noble Lord went on in his proclamation to say:— You will yourselves, with all honour, transmit the gates of sandal wood through your respective territories to the restored temple of Somnauth. The hon. Gentleman who had here taken up the cause of the noble Lord had certainly placed him in a worse position than that in which he had stood before, because, even as to history and geography, he had shown that his noble protege was altogether ignorant. He admits, that the Governor-general, when he published the proclamation, believed that the temple had been restored; which he now finds was not the case. For his own part, he believed that the noble Lord would have to found the temple, with its priests and idols, before the gates themselves could be made use of. Now, as to the removal of these gates by Sultaun Mahmoud, he (Sir R. Inglis) had never found any allusion to the act in any work which he had had an opportunity of consulting, and he had consulted many. He meant not, of course, to refer to himself as any authority; but he could name the highest Oriental authority now in this country, who had stated to him that he knew no original writer who had mentioned the removal by Mahmoud of any gates from Somnauth. Many on both sides of the House—one he saw opposite—knew that some of the most celebrated Persian writers, who described the actions of Mahmoud, and particularly his destruction of this temple, took no notice of the gates. This, however, did not involve the principle of his objection; which was, of course, the same, whatever was taken away, and whatever was restored. With regard to the actual condition of the temple itself, Colonel Todd, than whom there could be no higher authority, stated, "Even with the Hindoo all reverence for it is gone"—and he further stated, that the desecration of this place was so complete, that all the waters of the Ganges would not suffice to lustrate this once favoured scene of Hindoo worship. The latest traveller in the same country, Mrs. Postans, said that the temple was so destroyed that it has become a sheltering place for cattle, a resting-place for the travelling goat herd. She adds, indeed, that until very lately the roof was used as a battery for several large pieces of cannon; which, as is stated by another authority, were mounted thirty or forty years ago by a native prince to protect the coast against pirates. He admitted than one of the wives of Holkar had made offerings to the spot, and had possibly built some shrine there; but as to the original temple itself, he had described its condition from the highest and latest authority. Colonel Todd adds, that the whole history is so completely forgotten on the spot, that on this the scene of one of his greatest triumphs, the name of Sultan Mahmoud the Great is alike unknown to the Hindoo and the Mahomedan; and it was therefore left to the Governor-general to raise up, by a proclamation signed by himself—the right hon. mover made his only mistake there, for poor Mr. Maddock was not compelled to sign it; it was Lord Ellenborough's own act—this long-forgot ten temple, and to furnish this long-ruined shrine. ["Oh! oh!"] He would state no more than the proclamation authorised and compelled him to state. Now the Go- vernor-general talks of the restored temple; and does he not also talk of bringing back its gates to it? His right hon. Friend who was the mover of the question had called the attention of the House to the facts connected with the history of the destruction of this temple. The attack was made specifically upon it because of the abominable idolatries which were perpetrated within its walls. It was a war against idolatry as such. The tale was that a Mussulman pilgrim had represented the enormities to Sultan Mahmoud; and that Mahmoud, in consequence, led his army to the city. This was his twelfth and most remarkable expedition. After considerable difficulties in his march, he reached Somnauth. Here the Hindoo Rajah sent forth a herald to announce to him and to all people that their great idol Somnauth had drawn the Mahomedans thither to blast them in a moment, and to avenge the destruction of the gods of India. The battle then was a trial between the Mahomedans and the Hindoos, and the issue was as between anti-idolaters and idolaters, as such. The result was against the idolaters, and their temple was destroyed. He repeated, that the Mahomedan historian, whom he was quoting, made no mention of any gates being taken away; but he and many others mentioned the destruction of the idol, and the removal of two of its fragments, one to be on the threshold of his tomb, and the other, on the threshold of his palace. It was a temple so destroyed, and it was to portions of it so taken away that the Governor-general was now paying honour. He begged the House to recollect that this proclamation, accompanyiing the act of transporting these gates to the temple of Somnauth, bore all the appearance of encouraging this particular species of idolatry. It was especially "this" idolatry which was thus favoured. And why was the neutrality which the successive governments in India had maintained, and which this Government so strongly professed, between the different creeds of religion in India to be violated? Was it for the sake of this class of idolatry that our boasted neutrality was to be violated? He believed that no hon. Gentleman who heard him, and who was acquainted with the practices which had defiled that temple, could hesitate as to the answer he should make. There was nothing, there were no ceremonies connected with the Roman or Greek idolatries, more revolting than those by which this temple had been profaned. He would imitate the delicacy evinced by the right hon. Mover, and abstain from alluding more particularly to them; and, although there were no degrees of evil, although no compromise was possible between the acts of worshipping the one true God and falling down before an idol, the work of men's hands; yet, if it were possible to draw a comparison between the degrees of idolatry, the distinction would tell against this form in comparison with others. He said, therefore, that it was in favour of "this" idolatry that the effect of this proclamation must be produced. But, suppose it was right that these gates should be removed to Guzei at, was it proper that the Governor-general of India with his army, should go and signalise himself in the procession? Surely, such offerings, if they were to be respected at all, should be kept free from the contagion of the passions, and unpolluted by the touch of a hostile army. Or were they to make war with the dead? Was it necessary that they should be the parties to violate the sanctuaries of the great men who had gone before them? Was there anything the character of Sultan Mahmoud that his remains should be exposed to the contempt of a victorious enemy. He was a man whom we called with others by the general name of "barbarian," but in whom barbarism was at least redeemed in the eyes of the world (and he spoke in a popular sense) by many splendid faults. The very sentiment which is recorded in that passage of Gibbon to which the right hon. Mover has alluded, "that he would not become a merchant of idols," and still more his rejection of the ransom which the opportunity placed within his power, entitled him in the judgment of the world to—at all events, to what he would term "respect." His hon. Friend (Mr. B. Baring) had ended his speech by showing the House that a great political object was gained by carrying these gates into India. Now, he would for the sake of argument, admit, that these were the identical gates which had been removed by the Sultan Mahmoud, that no change had taken place of sandal-wood for deal, that it was possible for such articles to have withstood the vicissitudes of the climates to which they had been exposed, and that the lapse of 800 years had left them still the same. Was it, he would ask, therefore, necessary that British soldiers should march over the dead body of Mahmoud of Ghuznee in order to bring these gates into a hostile country? Was it necessary that English soldiers should be the instruments? But how had they disposed of them? Had they given them to the race of Runjeet Singh? It was said that Runjeet Singh had desired it. But had the fruits of the act been given to his representatives? Had not the Indian government, on the contrary, given them to a hostile race? But another question also arose. Had the Indian government, by what had been done, conciliated those whose friendship it was their interest to maintain? Whom had they abandoned by this step? Whom had they displeased? How many thousands of Mussulmans were there in the army—how many millions did Lord Ellenborough govern? He believed that of these men there were at least 10,000,000 under the government of the noble Lord; and it was for the sake of conciliating men who were idolators in faith, and who were not bound together even by the common link of language, that they had run the risk of alarming and quarrelling with a body so numerous as he had described, and united together besides by the bond of religious identity. They had done this: but they had done more. They had excited one of the strongest bursts of religious feeling in this country which any like measure—and he thanked God that we had had no other such proclamation of any Governor-gene ral—had ever excited. Therefore it was that he had seen the hon. Gentleman rise with very great regret; and that the right hon. Baronet had not risen at once to endeavour to close this discussion. He believed that one word from the right hon Baronet would have had that effect. [Sir R. Peel: No.] He meant, that if the right hon. Baronet had got up and had candidly admitted that he could not de fend the proclamation, this would have had the effect. This, however, would not have satisfied him; and he believed that others agreed with him. They would not be satisfied with a speech in that House. He disapproved of the proclamation; but more, he could not consent to a vote of thanks to the Governor-general, unless there should also be a censure of this proclamation. That was the least which would satisfy him; and he thought her Majesty's Ministers were bound to state in that House, that they at least would not make themselves parties to this act of recognition, as he contended it was, of heathenism, in its worst and grossest form. He believed that to be the tendency of the proclamation. He knew that it was so regarded by the public. They had now had an opportunity of ascertaining the state of feeling in India from the Indian papers, and it would be difficult to find one passage in any of them which defended this proclamation. He trusted that in this House the hon. Gentleman who had last spoken would be the only person who would defend it.

Sir R. Peel:

Sir, when my hon. Friend calls upon me for an immediate expression of my opinion, and casts his censure upon me because I have not at once risen and announced my resolution not to defend this proclamation, I think he has not sufficiently adverted to the words, to the nature and object of this motion, or to the course pursued by the right hon. Gentleman who is the mover of this question. I understood the right hon. Gentleman to say, that if this motion were complied with, he should take a future opportunity of moving an address for the recall of the Governor-general of India. [Mr. V.Smith: I have not expressed any such intention.] At all events, if the right hon. Gentleman did not go so far, he admitted that he intended to found upon these papers a motion condemnatory of the conduct of Lord Ellenborough. The right hon. Gentleman said, "I shall not shrink from my duty, but, whatever others may do, I promise to give the House an opportunity of declaring its condemnation of this proclamation." Now, I think it would have been more fitting if the right hon. Gentleman had reserved his denunciations upon this subject until he had ascertained whether these papers would be granted rather than make a motion of this kind, which he knew would be assented to, the occasion and the vehicle of that censure which he declared should be founded upon the very documents which he calls upon her Majesty's Government to produce. It is against all Parliamentary usage, and indeed against all usage whatever, to say, "Give me the evidence which I require, and, before I get that evidence I will proceed to pass judgment upon the person and the policy to impugn which this evidence is required." It must have become notorious from the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, that he thought of course I should acquiesce in his motion, and he was therefore aware that the time would shortly come when he would have the opportunity of calling upon the House to join with him in a vote of condemnation upon the subject. I repeat, therefore, that I regret that the right hon. Gentleman, intending as he has himself declared, to invite this House to express its condemnation upon Lord Ellenborough, should have gone out of the way to vent his accusations before he was in possession of the evidence he desires to obtain by this motion. He asks for an official copy of this proclamation. Now, the, Government is not possessed in an official shape of any particulars of explanation tending to show Lord Ellenborough's motives and intentions in regard to this proclamation. But the proclamation and the despatch also shall be produced. I tell the right hon. Gentlemen the Government is not in pos session of the official grounds and causes which may have induced the Governor-general of India to express himself as he has done in this proclamation; but as the proclamation is itself an official document, he shall have it, and with it an opportunity of inviting the House to an expression of its condemnation. The right hon. Gentleman commenced his speech by admitting that her Majesty's Government has shown a great deal of forbearance in respect of the exhibition of political feeling, and that little political influence has been exhibited in the appointments which have been made to the governments of our foreign possessions. The right hon. Gentleman said, that he differed from those around him, as to the selection of Lord Ashburton for the purpose of conducting negotiations on a most critical and important point with the United States, that with respect to the appointment of Sir C. Metcalfe, he had heard of it with delight, for that it was impossible that any appointment could have been made more calculated to promote the interests and to conciliate the feeling of those whom he was destined to govern, and that he gave the fullest credit to the Government for that appointment. With respect to the appointment of Lord Ellenborough the right hon. Gentleman did not condemn it, not did he say that the Government had acted unwisely. On the contrary, the testimony which the right hon. Gentleman had borne to the fitness of ray noble Friend for the office which he holds was striking. In speaking of Lord Ellenborough the right hon. Gentleman said,— I followed him at the Board of Control, and had then an opportunity of proving his prudence, discretion, and the intimate knowledge he possessed of Indian affairs. The papers he left behind him were sufficient to convince me that no appointment could be better chosen. That was the testimony borne by the right hon. Gentleman, not merely with the candour which is sometimes found in a political opponent, but from his own knowledge and observation; the right hon. Gentleman declared the appointment to be a proper one; and it must be taken that up to the time of Lord Ellenborough's leaving England, the right hon. Gentle man acquitted the Government of all fault. Then what has Lord Ellenborough done since which justifies the right hon. Gentleman in all the condemnation which he has uttered, and which will justify him in calling on the House to pronounce a formal censure on the noble Lord. The House should bear in mind that the right hon. Gentleman is a warm political opponent to the Government, and that prejudices may naturally be excited in his mind with respect to the conduct of Lord Ellen borough. That noble Lord has certainly reversed the policy on which the late Government acted, but it must be admitted that, whatever the conduct of the noble Lord has been, however triumphantly his military operations have terminated, every act of his will now be rigidly scrutinized. Lord Ellenborough is charged with an intention to outrage the religious feelings of the people of this country. Now, all who know his disposition and feelings on religious subjects must be convinced, that as far as regarded his intentions, at least, he is innocent. Looking also at the acts of Lord Ellenborough—not his former and remote conduct—but to his acts at a time when he was hailing the return of a triumphant army, and alike offering and receiving all the congratulations of success, he writes thus.—I am reading from a private letter from Lord Ellenborough, dated October, 1842:— I enclose for you a copy of the circular letter I have addressed to all the clergy of India. You see I am not unmindful of the real source of the success which has attended me. Now I ask (continued the right hon. Baronet) what, in common charity, we must all sometimes feel ourselves obliged to ask, that this House will regard not merely the naked acts but the obvious intentions, not the mere act of publishing this proclamation, but the animus of that act. The letter shows that amidst all the excitement of triumph he did not forget to whom his country and himself were indebted for it. I am about to read from a letter addressed by the Governor-general, the right hon. Lord Ellenborough, to the chaplains in the Upper Provinces of India. It was as follows:— "Simla, Oct. 1, 1842. Rev. Sir;—The seasonable supply of rain, following our prayers recently offered to God for that blessing, whereby the people of the north-western provinces have been relieved from the fear of impending famine, and the great successes recently obtained by the British arms in Affghanistan, whereby the hope of honourable and secure peace is held out to India, impose upon us all the duty of humble thanksgiving to Almighty God, through whose paternal goodness alone these events have been brought to pass. Nor have we less incurred the duty of earnest supplication that we may not be led to abuse these last gifts of God's bounty, or to attribute to ourselves that which is due to Him alone; but that we may have granted to us grace so to improve these gifts as to show ourselves worthy of His love, and fit instruments in His hand for the Government of the great nation His wisdom has placed under British rule. In the absence of any superior ecclesiastical authority in these upper provinces, I request that you will take these matters into your serious consideration, and that you will on the 16th of October offer to Almighty God such prayers and thanksgiving, at the time of Divine service in your church, as may seem to you best suited to impress upon your congregation the greatness of the blessings which the British nation in India, and the whole people of India, have recently received; and the high moral responsibility under which God has placed all those who have committed to them any part in the Government of this empire. I remain, reverend Sir, your affectionate friend, ELLENBOROUGH. The man who, at the time he penned this proclamation, having no ecclesiastical authority, thought it his duty on the 1st of October to call upon the clergy to offer thanksgiving in the public service,—is it possible that he can be charged with a desire to represent himself as a favourer of Hindooism? What sentiments could be more worthy of a Christian Governor? Whatever effect this proclamation may have had upon the religious feelings of the community, if that effect should have been to shock the feelings of any one individual, the first man who would deeply regret this result would be the Governor-general himself. So much for the intention. Now for the act itself, and its effects; an effect deeply to be lamented indeed, if it be true that it has resulted in a feeling of jealousy between the two great divisions of the population of India, the Mahomedans and Hindoos. But I think my hon. Friend has allowed his zeal to carry him too far. His horror of Hindooism has led him to go a little too far in his defence of Mahmoud of Ghuznee, and has induced him to exalt the heathen conqueror into a hero. My hon. Friend has described him as a man most indifferent to wealth, and influenced in his destruction of idols by no other feeling than a conscientious abhorrence of idolatry. I apprehend if my hon. Friend had consulted the pages of the historian who has been quoted, Mr. Gibbon, he would have found that other motives are attributed to this conqueror of the Hindoos. Mr. Gibbon says— The fertile kingdom of Guzerat attracted his ambition, and tempted his avarice. And he then goes on to say, that he can devote only one page to a recital of all the battles and sieges which took place during twelve different incursions. I think, therefore, that my hon. Friend is paying undue honour to the character and conscientious feelings of Mahmoud, when he attributes his invasion to a pure preference of Mahomedanism over Hindooism. My hon. Friend says, he never before heard of these gates. He will find a reference to them in some of the highest authorities; and they are mentioned by Mr. Mount Stuart Elphinstone, not as a religious relic, but as—what Lord Ellenborough; I believe, considered them—a great trophy of war. Mr. Mount Stuart Elphinstone, one of the best historians of Indian affairs, thus speaks of these gates. I ask the House not to view with undue prejudice the conduct of my noble Friend the Governor-general of India. My hon. Friend has represented that Lord Ellenborough most wantonly and capriciously restored these gates, which never were heard of before, which have not been mentioned by any historian, for the mere purpose of paying a compliment to the superstitions of the Hindoos. Mr. M. Elphinstone says,— The tomb of the great Sultan Mahmoud is also standing, about three miles from that city. It is a spacious but not a magnificent building, covered with a cupola. The doors, which are very large, are of sandal-wood, and are said to have been brought by the sultan as a trophy from the famous temple of Somnauth, in Guzerat, which he sacked in his last expedition to India. The authority of Mr. M. Elphinstone is at least a very high one, and it appears that he did not consider these gates as a religious relic. He expressly uses the words which Lord Ellenborough applies to them—namely, that they were a trophy taken from the Hindoos. Now as to the account which Gibbon gives of the incursions of Mahmoud upon the unoffending people who then inhabited the country of Hindoostan. He says,— In this foreign narrative I may not consume a page; and a volume would scarcely suffice to recapitulate the battles and seiges of his twelve expeditions. Never was the Mussulman hero dismayed by the inclemency of the seasons, the height of the mountains, the breadth of the rivers, the barrenness of the desert, the multitudes of the enemy, or by the formidable array of their elephants of war. The Sultan of Ghuznee surpassed the limits of the conquests of Alexander; after a march of three months over the hills of Cashmir and Thibet, he reached the famous city of Kinnoge, on the Upper Ganges; and in a naval combat on one of the branches of the Indus he fought and vanquished 4000 boats of the natives. Delhi, Lahore, and Moultan were compelled to open their gates: the fertile kingdom of Guzerat attracted his ambition and tempted his stay, and his avarice indulged the fruitless project of discovering the golden and aromatic islands of the Southern Ocean. The result of these expeditions—of this continued hostility—was the transference of these gates, this trophy of war, as it is called by Lord Ellenborough, from Guzerat to Ghuznee. They have also been mentioned by more recent writers. I have no doubt my hon. Friend has read the work of Dr. Kennedy, who thus speaks of these gates:— It was with no ordinary feelings that I stood at Ghuznee, by the tomb of Mahomet of Ghuznee. My long residence in Guzerat, and intimate familiarity with its people, its history, and its traditions, had made this destroyer's name a sort of household word in my memory. Having resided at Guzerat for a long period, having heard the traditions of the people, and well-knowing their feelings, he says that the destroyers name was a sort of household word in his memory. What, then, must it have been in the memory of those whose ancestors he had pillaged and ruined? Dr. Kennedy says further, after speaking of "The direful history of this man's doings,"— This man of blood sleeps in peace in a spot of great rural beauty. His direful ravages are consecrated by bigotry as holy wars against infidels. These direful ravages were consecrated by bigotry as holy wars! But when we recollect the treasure which this man had amassed from the direful devastation he committed, do not let us be too forward in attributing these "direful ravages" of war altogether to zeal for the faith which he professed. I say again, Sir, that Lord Ellenborough regarded these gates as most important trophies of war, and as trophies of war he considered their return to those from whom they had been wrested would be most acceptable. I sincerely believe that the thought never entered Lord Ellenborough's mind that by this act he could be considered as paying a compliment to the religion of the Hindoos, or that he would by it offend the religious feelings of the people of this country. I believe that he considered the gates trophies of war, and trophies of war alone, and that, as such, he restored them to the people who had been deprived of them. I think when my hon. Friend speaks of the "restored temple of Somnauth," he puts an erroneous construction upon the words. I apprehend that, when Lord Ellenborough used those words, he was under the impression that the original temple of Somnauth, which had been restored by the wife of Holkar, still existed, and it was his intention to place the gates in that temple. I believe he never intended to give any instructions for the restoration of the temple. The expression cannot, I think, justify the belief that Lord Ellenborough meant to undertake the restoration of a ruined temple, that it might become the receptacle of these gates. I wish to have no concealment from the House on such a subject as this; though I am sure hon. Gentlemen would not ask for the production of documents of a private nature. As I before stated, the Government is not in possession, nor is the Court of Directors, of any official correspondence on this subject. But I cannot hold one language in this House while I am writing another language to India; and I freely admit that this proclamation has attracted the attention of the Government, and that they have made such communications to India on the subject as they have thought consistent with their duty. To such a delicate subject I cannot make more direct allusion, but I may state generally that it has received the attention of the Government, and I am sure the hon. Gentleman will not press me to make known to the House, or publish to the world, the comments we have felt it our duty to make. I cannot, however, profess opinions in this House at variance with those which I hold, and which I have communicated to my noble friend. But, Sir, I think the question comes to this—is it consistent with justice and equity to take one particular act of a public man, and on account of that act to visit him with censure? Why, who is there who could stand under such an ordeal? What public man is there who, looking back upon his conduct for the preceding year, does not know that there have been errors—that there have been inadvertencies—that, from the pressure of business, there has been neglect; and are you to judge him, not by the tenour of his general conduct, but to select one particular act, and say,—" I move my abstract vote upon this; I charge you with neglect, or impolicy, or incaution, in one particular instance; do not plead your general conduct; do not refer to the ser vices you have rendered; do not speak of the time and abilities you have employed in the public service; do not say that your strength is sinking, as any plea of justification for your neglect in this particular instance; I judge you by this one isolated public act." When the right hon. Gentleman brings forward his motion of distinct censure, I will appeal to the House to do justice towards Lord Ellenborough. I am not prepared to say that I will go all lengths in defence of this act and proclamation. I will not say, "I see no danger in it; there is no expression I object to; I think it a fit and proper compliment to be paid to the people of Hindostan." I will not take that course; but I will say that it will be destructive of the character of the nation, it must be a fatal check upon the energies of public men, if you once establish the precedent that you will not allow the general conduct and services of a public man, who may be acting at a distance of 5,000 miles, to be pleaded against a single act of indiscretion. Ob, I have too much confidence in the justice of this House to imagine that it will not draw a parallel between the 9th of February, 1842, and the 9th of February 1843. I will tell you of the condition in which, when Lord Ellenborough landed in India, he found some of the men of the Madras army. I will tell you what tidings were brought to him, I will appeal to your own feelings on this subject at this time last year. I will remind you of the description that was given of the greatest disaster that ever befell the British army, of the destruction of 17,000 men and women, through acts of the grossest treachery, of the despondency which the Governor-general found prevailing among some portions of his army; and then I will exhibit to you, in the course of ten months more, that same Governor-general at the head of 40,000 men, having effected the evacuation of the kingdom in which we suffered such reverses—having, on the scene of every former disaster, retrieved our honours—[the remainder of the sentence was rendered wholly inaudible by an enthusiastic burst of applause from all parts of the House]. I will show you these dispirited sepoys converted into an army, excited by enthusiasm, ready to contend, if they could be brought against them, with the best and most disciplined troops of Europe; and, then, exhibiting this contrast, I will remind you (addressing the Opposition) of the language you held on this subject at this time last year. I will then ask you whether it is consistent with justice, with decency, or with common sense, that you, whose policy has been reversed [loud cheers from the Ministerial side,] should take this single proclamation and tell the Governor-general, "True, you have conquered; true, you have re-established the British name in Affghanistan; true, you have created one universal feeling of security through- out Hindostan; but you have issued an unwise, an improvident proclamation, and the reward of your labours shall be, disgrace and condemnation."

Mr. Mangles

had not entertained the slightest intention of addressing the House on this occasion, for he thought any observations on the subject now under discussion would be offered more fitly when the papers were produced, and when the House was in possession of more full information. He could not, however, listen to the misrepresentations—he was sure they were not wilful—of the hon. Gentleman, the Secretary of the Board of Control, without giving them some contradiction. The hon. Gentleman had attributed the universal condemnation which had been expressed by the Indian press with regard to Lord Ellenborough's proclamation, to the hostility entertained towards his Lord ship by the civil service, who were sup posed to have great power over the press, and who, it was said, were offended at some measures of reform proposed by Lord Ellenborough. He begged to say that the press of India was as little under the control of the civil service as it was possible to be. He denied that Lord Ellenborough had introduced any reforms affecting the civil service. If he had acted in that respect as Lord William Bentinck had done, if he had introduced judicious or even honest and well-intentioned reforms, Lord Ellenborough would have secured, as his predecessor had done, the cordial support of the many high-minded members of that body. But his Lordship had wilfully and gratuitously insulted that body of men through whom whether he liked them or not, he must conduct his administration of the affairs of the country. Then the hon. Gentleman had seemed to think, that the great bulk of the Mahomedan in habitants of India would regard with favour the removal of the gates of the temple of Somnauth. He thought it had been well understood that the Mahomedans of India are a single undivided people, entertaining bitter hatred towards the English, who had wrested the power from their hands, and despising the Hindoo population. Now the Hindoos, whom Lord Ellenborough desired to conciliate by the removal of the gates of the temple, required no conciliation at our hands, for they were already strongly attached to us; while the Mahomedans, whom it ought to have been his object to conciliate, would regard us with a more bitter hatred, on account of the triumph which was thus given to the Hindoos. The hon. Gentleman had attributed to the Governor-general much knowledge of the ancient history of the temple. Could he have known all this, and not have been aware of the description of worship to which the temple on which be had bestowed the gates was devoted, or of the nature of the abominable rites and ceremonies that were there celebrated? The right hon. Baronet rested his defence of Lord Ellenborough's proclamation upon the probable intentions of the noble Lord in framing it. But of what avail was it to speculate upon his intentions when the result of the proclamation was so unequivocal? He looked upon that proclamation as a decided retrograde step of the British Government in India, whose best endeavours had been given of late years to disconnect itself from the idolatries and false religions of its subjects. In any point of view, however, every word that the right hon. Baronet spoke in favour of Lord Ellenborough's intentions, conveyed the heaviest censure upon his judgment and good sense. Then the right hon. Baronet spoke of the triumphs of Lord Ellenborough's military policy. But in what was that policy different from that of his predecessors in the Governor-general ship? Both the generals who ultimately carried the war to a successful conclusion, had been appointed by Lord Auckland; and when Lord Ellenborough arrived in India, every soldier and all the means by which the triumph was after wards achieved, had previously been sent by Lord Auckland. When the new Governor-general arrived, he found the whole force assembled in a position from whence to move on. The right hon. Baronet too deprecated general censure of Lord Ellenborough founded upon an individual act. Why, what were the Government themselves about to do? Were they not about to call for a vote of thanks to Lord Ellenborough, on account of his military operations, wholly regardless of his other proceedings? If the rule of not judging by an individual act applied to censure, did it not equally apply to praise? Every argument which the right hon. Baronet had used to-night against censure on Lord Ellenborough, was an argument against the course which the right hon. Baronet was about to call the House to take next week. The right hon. Baronet promised, however, when the whole case was before the House, to enter into the policy of Lord Ellen borough in India. He could tell the right hon. Baronet that he would find that very dangerous ground indeed, and that there were very few on either side of the House, who were at all acquainted with India, who would be disposed to follow the right hon. Baronet as a leader if he called on them to approve of Lord Ellen-borough's general policy. It was perfectly well known that out of doors there was but one feeling, and that was one of reprobation of his proceedings; and, when the whole case came before the House, he felt himself so strong in facts, and in his humble knowledge of the subject, that, different as their positions were, even he should not be afraid to meet the right hon. Gentleman before the House and before the country.

Mr. Hume

rose to make one or two remarks, in consequence of the right hon. Baronet having told them that he meant to call for a vote of that House upon the whole conduct of Lord Ellenborough. [Sir R. Peel: I said no such thing.] The right hon. Baronet had defended Lord Ellenborough on the ground of the injustice it would be to decide on a partial view of his case; but if he mistook not the right hon. Baronet gave up the proclamation altogether. If the right hon. Gentle man meant the case to be fairly gone into, let him lay before the House copies of the orders to Generals Pollock and Nott to retire from Affghanistan. Let him ac count for the sudden march forwards alter the equally unaccountable delay of two or three months, a delay which scarcely left time for the troops to achieve what they had to do, and which rendered their retreat disastrous and discreditable, instead of their having due time and opportunity to retire as conquerors ought to retire. Let the right hon. Gentleman lay before the House a copy of the order of the Governor-general to withdraw the troops, dated at Simla, before a single prisoner had been given up. After all it was almost by a miracle that the prisoners were ultimately saved; and how would the honour of the British arms have been vindicated had not that event occurred as it did? He hoped that when they did come to consider the question, the right hon. Baronet would let the House have all the papers before them.

Lord J. Russell

had not intended to have taken any share in the present debate, and he did so now chiefly for the purpose of making a suggestion to his right hon. Friend who had brought forward the motion. With respect to the question which his right hon. Friend had brought before the House, he had always thought, since he had seen the proclamation, that the question of right was so clearly on our side, that nothing further could be said, and this was, above all, the case after the speech of his hon. Friend the Member for the University of Oxford. He was sure also that such would be the general opinion out of doors on the appeal to those whom the hon. Secretary for the Board of Control designated as men of practical understanding. He felt that it was unnecessary for him to say a single word after what had fallen from his right hon. Friend and his hon. Friend the Member for the university of Oxford; and he felt that it was still more unnecessary for him to do so after the right hon. Gentle man, after several palliative expressions, almost avowed, as almost every man of sense in the country did, his unqualified disapproval of it. For although his language was cautiously clothed in an official guise, the expressions which he was understood to have used to Lord Ellenborough on the subject were clearly not those of approbation, but condemnation. [Sir R. Peel had not used the term condemnation, or any equivalent to it.] He was aware of that, as the right hon. Gentleman spoke in guarded and official terms; but the conclusion, from what the right hon. Gentle man had stated, was equivalent to language of condemnation. If he had misunderstood the right hon. Baronet, he could explain the matter, or, perhaps, which would be better, state exactly the terms which he had used in his communication to the Governor-general. He was sure his right hon. Friend would not press his motion in detail after what had fallen from the right hon. Baronet. He, therefore, would have been quite content with the debate as it rested; but the right hon" Baronet, as if conscious that Lord Ellen borough would have been left in a most woeful condition by such a debate, and such an avowal, thought fit to ride off upon every other subject, except the one under the consideration of the House, in order to have an opportunity of speaking in praise of his Lordship, and in derogation of those who preceded him, so that the right hon. Baronet might gain some applause from his own side of the House, and thus carry off as it were the effect of that proclamation which has been so universally objected to. Challenged, as he had been, by the right hon. Baronet, he must say that his objection to the conduct of Lord Ellenborough was not con fined to the particular proclamation in question. He had heard from various quarters, and had gathered even from the public papers, sufficient to enable him to form an opinion that it would be dangerous to en trust Lord Ellenborough with the sole, undivided command of our immense empire in India. With respect to the con duct of military operations, the papers about to be produced would, doubtless furnish ample information. Lord Ellen borough's conduct on that point had already in its favour the highest authority in this country on military subjects. For his own part, from what he already knew, General Nott deserved the highest praise for his gallant advance and rapid victory at Candahar, as did Sir R. Sale for his gallant and persevering defence of Jellalabad, and also General Pollock, who had succeeded in doing that which was often the most difficult of all tasks for a military man to perform—he restored the moral courage of his dispirited soldiery, after suffering lamentable disasters, and led them to victory. With all that they were acquainted, and all those they were ready to acknowledge. With respect to his Lordship's part in these transactions—whether he at one time gave orders for the army to retreat and abandon the country, or whether he only prepared the means by which the advance of the troops was better secured—upon these points the House would obtain information from the papers about to be produced, and it would be rash and unwarrantable in him to pronounce an opinion before the production of them; but with respect to Lord Ellenborough's conduct in civil affairs, and with respect to his proclamations, these were matters on which an opinion might be formed without waiting for the production of any papers. Was it not notorious that towards many men in the civil service, distinguished by their experience, or distinguished by their long services in India, the conduct of Lord Ellenborough had been that of disdain and insult. There was a gentleman who went from this country a few years ago with a high character for legal attainments—who was respected by all who were acquainted with him (he had no knowledge of him himself, but he believed he was known in the highest quarters, even to her Majesty)—he was informed that one of the first acts of Lord Ellenborough was to insult that gentleman in such a manner that he threw up his situation. Another gentleman, of the highest reputation in India, Major Outram, had been placed by Lord Auckland in a situation of great responsibility, in which he added considerably to the character he had already acquired by his activity and zeal, and by the peculiar skill he displayed in the execution of his duties. This gentleman had also been disgraced by Lord Ellenborough. It appears that he was reappointed to some other situation. [An hon. Member " the same."]. He understood that the gallant officer had been placed under Sir C. Napier, whereas he before held an independent situation. Why had Major Outram, with his high character been thus disgraced, and why had he been again placed in an office under the Government? What were the motives which induced Lord Ellenborough to pursue a course of conduct which was characterised, in the first instance, by injustice, and, in the next, by levity? The right hon. Baronet had dared him to an investigation into Lord Ellenborough's conduct—he had said that it was unjust to judge of his Lord ship by one particular act, although it was one which had offended the sense of the whole country, and had referred the House to his general conduct. Well, he would refer to Lord Ellenborough's proclamation of the 1st of October, by which he evacuated Affghanistan before any ac count was received of the release of the prisoners. The proclamation was studiously dated October 1st, at Simla, and it conveyed a puerile, foolish insult to his predecessor. The very first records of the proclamation were a misrepresentation of the motives which induced Lord Auckland to send the army across the Indus. Lord Ellenborough's chief object in that proclamation seemed to be a condemnation of the policy of his prede- cessor. That policy might have been unwise. Lord Ellenborough might have thought it unwise, but why did he take that opportunity of complaining of it, and why did he, wielding the authority he did, grossly misrepresent the motives and conduct of his predecessor? The succeeding paragraphs of the proclamation contained statements which he (Lord J. Russell) would feel it his duty hereafter to bring under the notice of the House, but towards the end of the document was a declaration which was equally absurd and imprudent—namely, that the British empire in India should in future be confined within its natural limits, The natural limits of the British empire in India! Why, were not the now called "natural limits" acquired by conquest in the last century. What would have been the natural limits assigned by Lord Cornwallis had he had occasion to issue such a proclamation But what intelligence had the last mail brought from India? It appeared that the Ameers of Scinde were in possession of a certain territory which Lord Ellen-borough thought ought to be added to the Indian empire, and as the Ameers were not disposed to part with it willingly, an army was about to be sent to wrest it from them by force. Now, where was this territory? Was it within the "natural limits" of the British empire in India? No; it was beyond them. Lord Ellen borough might have sufficient grounds for the invasion of this territory, but did it not show the original folly of his proclamation, that, only about a month after it had been issued, he should, by his own act, contradict it? Only conceive the folly of a Governor-general proclaiming a determination that the English power should never proceed beyond the Indus. Some great hostile army might be collected beyond the Indus, in Affghanistan, and only waiting for the formation of magazines to attack US. We might have the means of destroying the enemy before they were in a condition to injure us, and yet we must stand by and allow them to complete all these hostile preparations, and means of injuring us, because a Governor-general had proclaimed that we must not advance beyond the Indus. Where, then, was the sense of talking about the natural limits of the British Indian empire? The right hon. Baronet had spoken as if the proclamation, which had been particularly adverted to this evening, were the only act of Lord Ellenborough that is objectionable; but he (Lord J. Russell) took into consideration the other matters to which he had alluded, and the conclusion at which he arrived was, that Lord Ellenborough was not a fit Governor-general for our great Indian empire. The right hon. Baronet insinuated that their objection to Lord Ellenborough arose from the circumstance of his having reversed the policy of his predecessor, but that was not the fact. He admitted that great military disasters, which, if Lieutenant Eyre was to be believed, might have been prevented, made it necessary to reconsider the policy adopted with respect to Affghanistan; but the original policy of Lord Auckland was not based on a desire for a permanent occupation of Affghanistan. Lord Auckland declared, at the commencement that that was not his policy, and if he had remained in India, he might have taken the same steps as had been taken, or others, which might have appeared to be more expedient for the evacuation of Affghanistan, in perfect consistency with the principle on which the original invasion proceeded. He did not consider what Lord Ellenborough had done to be any reversal of the policy of what his predecessor had done. When a man in Lord Ellenborough's position was so ungenerous as to calumniate his predecessor—when he endeavoured to found his own fame on the destruction of the Governor-general who went before him, and who was employed during the last weeks of his government in making every preparation to enable his successor to pursue any course of policy which he might consider best—who, as he had declared himself, had so employed himself in the most single-hearted manner—when such conduct as that was pursued by Lord Ellenborough, he saw no reason "why he should not state to the House and the country, over and over again, that, in his opinion, our immense power in India could not safely be entrusted to his hands.

Mr. V. Butler

said, the right hon. Baronet had changed the whole issue of the question, which was not to turn upon a single act of Lord Ellenborough, and whether that single act was indefensible, and of such a nature that it would not only efface the past merits of his Lordship, but prevent the possibility of any confidence being placed in his prudence for the future; for the right hon. Baronent had You must not condemn him for a single act." He must say that the single act which had been brought forward was one which even in the light in which the right hon. Baronet regarded it, must fill with alarm every person interested in the possessions of our British empire in India while such a man held the reins of Government there. But he was content to go to other acts of Lord Ellenborough; he was content to take his whole course; and he should be surprised if the right hon. Baronet did not repent the challenge he had made for a full inquiry into the conduct of Lord Ellenborough; for he would venture to say that they would hold up such a long series of acts so replete with outrage of every principle upon which the Government of India had been hitherto conducted, and so full of injustice to every race of men there, whether white or black, Christian Hindoo, or Mahomedan, and so pregnant with impropriety in attempting to elevate himself at the expense of his predecessors, that the picture would be too frightful for the right hon. Baronet to contemplate, and he would find it exceedingly difficult to find any warrant for the praises he had lavished upon the Governor-general of India. The right hon. Baronet would find it so very difficult to point out in the journals of the Government of India anything to entitle the noble Lord to any praises whatever, that the right hon. Baronet would have to regret that he had not allowed the noble Lord to be condemned upon the single issue, but would have his whole conduct dragged into question. The course pursued by the right hon. Baronet furnished him with a plausible ground for venturing to put the House in possession of other information, by adding to the resolution, that the financial resolutions dated the 23rd of June, 1842, and the report, dated the 6th of August, 1842, both from Jellalabad, be also produced.

Sir R. Peel

observed, that the hon. Gentleman had claimed the credit of an impromptu for his amendment on account of his speech; now, it so happened that the amendment or addition had been shown to him two hours before, and he said he had no objection to it.

Mr. C. Buller

claimed no credit for an impromptu.

Resolution modified and amended as follows:— That there be laid before this House, a copy of any despatch from the Governor-ge neral of India to the Court of directors, containing a proclamation addressed to the chiefs and princes of India, respecting the recovery of the gates of the temple of Somnauth:—Also, Copy of a Proclamation by the Governor-general of India, respecting the evacuation of Afghanistan, dated Zimla, October, 1, 1842:"—Also a copy of the financial resolution by the Governor-general of India, dated Allahabad, the 23rd day of June 1842; and the report of the committee of finance, dated Allahabad, the 6th day of August, 1842.

Agreed to.

Adjourned at half-past twelve.