HC Deb 05 June 1845 vol 81 cc139-40
Mr. B. Escott

wished to put a question to the noble Lord the Secretary of the Board of Control. Since he (Mr. Escott) put the question to the hon. Member for Beverley (Mr. Hogg) upon the same subject, he had received information which went to prove the hardship of the case of Lieutenant Hollis. The case of that injured man, in one word was this—that he had been illegally dismissed from the service of the East India Company. The Court of Directors did not deny that he had been illegally dismissed. They admitted it, and they gave him a small pension in consideration of it—a pension, however, altogether insufficient for him to live upon. But while doing this, they refused to enter into a full inquiry into the case, or to restore him to his situation in the East India service. If this were the case of a great and wealthy man, he (Mr. Escott) should say nothing of it in that House, for if the East India Company chose to dismiss any of their great public servants, and if those great public servants chose to concur in their own dismissal, and thus become, in some degree, assenting parties to their own degradation, that was a matter with which he should have no concern; but in the case of an humble and unprotected individual, without influence or friends, when such a person was summarily dismised by that powerful body, the East India Company, for no reason whatever, then he (Mr. Escott) would maintain that this House, or some other competent authority, were bound to step in and teach the East India Company that they were not to trifle with the rights and privileges of Her Majesty's subjects. The question he wished to ask the noble Lord was, whether the Board of Control had taken care to inquire into the case of Lieutenant Hollis?

Viscount Jocelyn

said, that the decision respecting the case of the dismissal of Lieutenant Hollis had been before the Board of Control, and they concurred in the sentiments of the Board of Directors; but the hon. Gentleman should be aware that the Board of Control had no power to interfere in the matter.

Mr. Hogg

said, that the Court of Directors had made no such admission as was alleged, as to the illegality of Lieutenant Hollis's dismissal. What he on a former occasion stated, and that distinctly, was, that it was not within the province of the Court of Directors to form an opinion as to the legality or illegality of that dismissal; that it rested, as it ought to rest, for the good, and even for the salvation of the service, exclusively with the military authorities, and he hoped it never would be otherwise.

Subject dropped.