HC Deb 07 April 1845 vol 79 cc300-1
Mr. Hume

moved for a Copy of the Draught Act of the Legislative Council in Calcutta for altering the Import Duties, published in the Government Gazette at Calcutta, the 8th of February, 1845. He said that he believed that there was no objection to its production, and when it was before the House he should found a Motion on it. He wished, however, then to ask whether this Order in Council was the act of the Governor General, Sir Henry Hardinge, or whether it emanated from this country? A violent attack had been made against the Governor General on this subject; but he had some reason to believe that that gallant Officer had received orders from home to issue this order. If this was the case, he thought that it would only be fair to relieve him from the charge.

Viscount Jocelyn

said, that there was no objection to produce the draft act of the Council on this subject. He was obliged to the hon. Member for having asked him the question which he did respecting the gallant Officer the Governor General of India. He (Viscount Jocelyn) could state that the measure which had been referred to emanated from this country. It was adopted and sanctioned in the first place, by the Board of Control here, and the gallant officer received it from this country. There were some erroneous opinions entertained with respect to this measure. The cause of adopting it was, that it was necessary to make up the deficiency in the Revenue occasioned by the removal of the transit duties in the Presidency of Madras, and the removal of other taxes in the two other Presidencies. The question was, whether they should make up the deficiency by increasing the taxes on the ryots and small farmers, who already were so heavily taxed; or by imposing duties on articles only consumed by the higher class of natives, and more particularly the British residents in India.

Mr. Milner Gibson

stated, that great regret was felt in many quarters at this increase in India of the import duties on British goods. This was the more felt at the present moment, as the trade with India was in a depressed state.

Motion agreed to.

House adjourned at twelve o'clock.