HC Deb 16 July 1847 vol 94 cc413-57

On the question that the Report on the Consolidation Fund Appropriation Bill be now received,


Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am compelled again to trouble the House with a few observations respecting the case of the Rajah of Sattara. I am quite aware the question has been several times before the House; but I can quite understand that if any man has been guilty of an act of oppression or tyranny, he does not like the subject to be mentioned at any future time; and if a man is in possession of an estate through the instrumentality of false documents or forged title-deeds, he is the last man to wish to have his deeds examined. Now, I really believe that the case of the Rajah of Sattara is exactly one of that character. He has been deprived of his throne; he has been treated most unjustly; he has been removed from his station by forgery and by subornation of perjury, and a most vile conspiracy. Now that being the case, I can make every allowance for those who have been concerned in sanctioning, in utter ignorance I believe of the real facts, the course of oppression which has taken place. But my only object now is to give such answer as I can to certain statements that were made in answer to my former speech, and in vindication of the proceedings. I do not intend to go out of that line which I have marked out, by which I shall be able to contradict in the stronges tmanner almost every allegation which has been made in vindication of the proceedings; and I mean to confine myself entirely to the case. I hope the House will have patience (I shall be as short as possible), as this is a question of great importance, involving the character of the Court of Directors and of the British Government, and involving also the fate of an individual who I think has been most unjustly treated, and is now an exile. In such a case I may be excused for presuming a little on the time of the House. Now, Sir, the first allegation against my proceeding that was made by the President of the Board of Control was this: he stated that I had alleged that the Rajah of Sattara was an independent prince; but the truth was that he was not an independent prince. It will be recollected that the right hon. Gentleman said that the Rajah was born in a prisonȔthat he was a prisoner—and placed in that situation as a dependant on the British Government. I beg to say that is wholly incorrect; that he is a descendant of the Peishwa in the Government; that all honours, rewards, and grants conferred before 1817—everything was done in the name of the Rajah by the Peishwa, who usurped his authority; and that he was treated as a sovereign from the moment he was escorted by the British troops to Sattara, where he was installed in great pomp as the Rajah of Sattara. I give this as a contradiction of one thing stated by the right hon. Baronet at the head of the Board of Control. But I will put another extraordinary case. In former debates it has been held, that the offence on the part of the Rajah was a political offence, and that as a sovereign offending against the treaty with England, he had no right to be tried as an ordinary man. If, therefore, the right hon. Baronet and Her Majesty's Government declare that he is not a sovereign, and never was a sovereign; and the hon. Gentleman the late Chairman of the Court of Directors said he was a dependant and a prisoner—if he was not a sovereign, then let him have the trial of a subject. The very reason assigned on former occasions was, "We do not think that his case comes within the conditions of being tried in the regular way, because he was a sovereign." If the right hon. Baronet declares that he is not a sovereign, then I ask justice for him as a subject. I hold in my hand the treaty concluded with him, under which he was maintained for twenty-one years as an independent prince, treated with all honours, and considered to be a pattern for all princes in India under similar circumstances; therefore, I do think it is too much to tell us at the eleventh hour, that he is not entitled to that consideration. Sir, I also beg to state that the right hon. Baronet, in speaking of the character of the Rajah, gave the reports of two Residents, who called the Rajah a "sly and cunning" man, being reports of him as a boy before he was well established on the throne. My answer to the right hon. Baronet is this, that the Court of Directors, the year before he was deposed, sent out a letter with the sanction of the President of the Board of Control, declaring him to be a model to princes in India; and on that account sent him a sword, with every testimony of respect and regard. On these grounds it does appear to me, that the allegations made by the right hon. Gentleman, in that respect, are altogether without foundation. Sir, the second allegation is, that Captain Grant Duff, under whose charge the Rajah thus raised to the throne was placed, reported to the Governor to the effect, that, in contrast with the Rajah's good qualities, he was very sly. But the right hon. Baronet, I must be allowed to state, ought to have been just in reading the preceding sentences of that very letter:— At all times when I have had occasion to ask explanation of anything that appeared improper, the Rajah has shown a very uncommon degree of candour. I have never discovered his having told me a direct falsehood, although he has several times acted contrary to my injunctions, and when I know it must have caused him an effort to avow what he had done. On the whole, his disposition for a native, is remarkably good. He is really grateful for what our Government has done for him; and at present, I do believe, fully intends to act at all times as he may be advised. Then follows that single line which the right hon. Baronet quoted— Opposed to the Rajah's good qualities, he is very sly; and this he mistakes for wisdom. This was read, and not the other part which I have read. It does, therefore, appear to me there was not that candour and fairness shown which might have been expected. Now, Sir, the same officer, Captain Grant Duff, who was the first Resident at Sattara, speaking of the present Rajah—the man whom we have placed upon the throne—after giving the highest character to one who has been deposed, adds— The name of the Rajah's younger brother is Sevajee, familiarly Appa Sahib. He is an obstinate and ill-disposed lad, with very low, vicious habits, which all the admonitions of the Rajah (the dethroned Prince) cannot get the better of. This is the man whom we have taken from obscurity, and placed in the situation of a model prince, to whom the Court of Directors and the right hon. Baronet sent a sword, accompanied with the very highest commendation of his conduct. I hope, therefore, the second assertion is met. Sir, the third assertion was, that General Briggs had given an opinion unfavourable to the Rajah. Now, I must say, that the extract which has been given is garbled from a manuscript. That manuscript has never been printed—the extract was garbled from a manuscript—and the words immediately following those quoted by the right hon. Baronet, are decidedly in favour of the Rajah; and the Government should produce the entire document. General Briggs' opinion was founded on a report made to him by Abba Josee, who was the friend of Ballajee Punt Nathoo; in fact, he deserves the highest commendations. I therefore do hope that the right hon. Gentleman will not allow a garbled extract of that kind to run in opposition to what I quoted as the words of General Briggs, upon due consideration of the case. Sir, I think some hon. Members may not recollect the words which the right hon. Gentleman, in December, 1835, testified respecting the Rajah. This is a letter from the Court of Directors, and from the Board of Control also, saying— We have been highly gratified by the information from time to time transmitted to us by our Government, on the subject of your High-ness's exemplary fulfilment of the duties of that elevated situation in which it has pleased Providence to place you. I have read this before; but it is so necessary to meet the allegations of the hon. Baronet (Sir J. W. Hogg), not now here, that I think it just—for I want nothing but justice—that the facts should be fairly known; and then I have no hesitation in saying, that the House will join with me in demanding justice. They say— A course of conduct so suitable to your Highness's exalted station, and so well calculated to promote the prosperity of your dominions, and the happiness of your people, as that which you have wisely and uniformly pursued," [for seventeen years and a half,] "while it reflects the highest honour on your character, has imparted to our minds feelings of unqualified satisfaction and pleasure. The liberality also which you have displayed in executing, at your own cost, various public works of great utility, and which has so justly raised your reputation in the eyes of the princes and people of India, gives you an additional claim to our approbation, respect, and applause. He is the only native who has taken an interest in educating the people; and yet this is the man who has been dethroned and degraded. Sir, to show the opinion that was held at that time of the whole of this inquiry from the beginning, I alluded on a former occasion to a letter from the Court of Directors to the General Court in the year 1836, in which they say— We hope and trust that the orders of the Governor General have been, long before this, fully complied with by you," [to put an end to the absurd inquiry going on.] "In this belief, we suspend our judgment on these proceedings, till we are in possession of that of the Supreme Government. At the same time, we have no hesitation in giving, as our decided opinion, that it would be not only a waste of time, but seriously detrimental to the character of our Government, to carry on any further inquiry in the matter. I therefore hope that I have satisfied the House as regards that assertion, that there is no just ground for it. Sir, another assertion, and I regret the hon. Baronet (Sir J. W. Hogg) is not in his place, was, that General Robertson was aware of the Rajah's intrigues with Goa. I am almost ashamed to venture on the word Goa, because the assertion regarding Goa has been treated by the right hon. Gentleman as too absurd to be considered a serious charge. General Robertson, who lived for several years in charge of the Rajah, that is, as Resident at his Court, and consequently had an opportunity of knowing him, was misled by the report of the inquiry, with many others; but on the 12th of February, 1840, he said at the India House— I discharge only a bare act of justice to the Rajah of Sattara, in declaring that during a period of nearly five years that I was Resident at his Court, I never saw any disposition on his part to think lightly of his engagement with the Company, or evince aught but gratitude for the advantages which had been conferred upon him; and I may safely say, that nothing occurred whilst I was then; which gave rise to any dissatisfaction either on my part, or that of the Rajah. General Robertson then proceeds to notice the charge which has been made against the Rajah; but I think I have done enough in stating that single paragraph; and the whole of the despatch is to the same effect. To bring General Robertson's testimony, therefore, against the Rajah, does appear to me very unfair, and not consistent with the fact. Sir, another assertion was, that General Lodwick believed the charge of corrupting the sepoys, until he got home and made a speech at the India House. Now, it is very unfair to that gallant officer to make such a statement, because that gallant officer has stated (and he also was a Resident at Sattara) that at first he was deceived by the artful manner in which the forgery and conspiracy had been got up. But he very soon discovered it; and he states that long before the Commission sat, his suspicions were awakened; and the evidence of the soubahdars before the Commission confirmed him in the opinion that they had perjured themselves. His change of opinion was not first declared at the India House, but in a memorial to the Directors, written from Bombay in June, 1837; and two others from his country house in England before he came before the Court of Directors. That memorial is printed and on the Table; therefore his testimony cannot fairly be quoted by the right hon. Baronet the late Chairman, and that assertion falls to the ground entirely. Sir, another assertion in the speech of the right hon. Baronet was this. He read a long paper purporting to be a correspondence, to prove treason on the part of the Rajah. This was a letter from his Agent at Bombay, giving him the news of the day, and nothing more; and this he asserts to have been proof of treachery. Why, this is the most ridiculous charge that possibly can be. I will only read one or two words. This is the letter that the late Chairman read:—"Translation of extracts from copies of letters from Rungoba at Bombay, in September, 1838." Amongst other things, he gives the news of Neepalwala; he gives the news of the treaty concluded between Rujeet Sing and the English; and he says that such are the news, but whether they are true or false, cannot be stated. This is the trifling stuff which the hon. Baronet has brought forward. Let me tell you that this letter is one of those which were intercepted. There was not a single paper allowed to be transmitted, even by his own servants, from England or any other part of the world, without being intercepted and examined, after they had determined to remove him. While he was allowed to remain a sovereign prince, every correspondence between his own servants at Bombay and other places was intercepted, in order, if possible, to get materials against him. This is one of the wretched resources to inculpate him which entirely failed. He says, "various sorts of stories are told." He is just giving him the news, which I apprehend may be given by every resident. The right hon. Baronet knows that a news writer collects everything he can to fill his paper, whether it is true or false; and the most wretched stuff is very often put into it. This is the way he concludes a number of his letters:— What have I to do with this political affair? But as I have stated the facts above mentioned by the Sahib, I have written this matter which has come to my hearing. This is a document which was read by the hon. Baronet, not now present, with a view to impeach the conduct of the Rajah, and to prove him guilty of treason. Now, Sir, the next assertion of the right hon. Baronet is one of much more importance. It is, that the Rajah had an opportunity of defence afforded him, and that he had a trial. Now, I take upon myself to say, in the most emphatic way, that it is impossible for any man to state that the Rajah ever had a trial. Twenty-four days were occupied in a secret Commission, and twice he was called in and heard parts of the evidence read to him; and his answer was, "Give me a copy of the charges made against me, and I will be ready to answer them." So far from that being done upon this improper proceeding—I will not call it by any other name, as the right hon. Baronet seems to consider that any attack upon a public servant is wrong—I will only say that Sir Robert Grant, upon whom so much depends, in a Minute of the 31st May, 1838, declares— I repeat the opinion, not meaning that there should be merely the form or farce of a trial, to be closed by a ready-made judgment, but that the defence should be fairly heard and impartially weighed. So satisfied were they of that, that Colonel Ovans reports to this effect:— His Highness evinced throughout the whole of this interview, which lasted about throe hours, the utmost readiness and self-possession; he was at first embarrassed, but it was only the embarrassment natural to a person in his situation. Latterly, he argued with clearness and acuteness, took notes, and asked questions; and certainly did not evince the slightest appearance of aberration of mind. He requested a Mahratta copy of so much of the depositions of the two soubahdars and the Brahmin as affected himself, which was not at the time objected to. Now, I beg the right hon. Baronet to bear in mind that the evidence was taken in English; it was translated into Hindostanee, and read to him in Hindostanee. He said, "I am a Mahratta; give me the charges against me in Mahratta, and I shall be ready to answer them." This was on the thirteenth day. Will the House believe that afterwards, when the Rajah applied for a copy of the evidence thus promised him, he was refused it? And what is Colonel Ovans's answer?— The only observations I feel called upon to make"—[this is a letter to the Government of Bombay]—"are with reference to what is stated in the third paragraph of his Highness's yad, on the subject of copies of the evidence taken before the Commission not having been given to him, and two of the members not having waited upon him before their departure from Sattara. As regards this, I beg leave respectfully to state, that the proceedings of the Commission being strictly secret, it did not consider itself"—[that is to say, the Commission]—"authorized to grant a copy of any part of those proceedings to any person whatsoever; and with respect to the two members not waiting upon his Highness, it was evidently expedient to avoid any ceremony of this kind, considering the circumstances under which the Rajah was then placed. Here, therefore, is a contradiction which. I make in the fullest sense, and shall be able to prove by Colonel Ovans. Let Colonel Ovans be called, and he shall prove if his own documents are not sufficient, that the Rajah has never been tried; that he has never been heard; that he was pro- mised a copy of the charges against him; that he never did get it; and there is a report of Colonel Ovans's saying, that because the inquiry was secret, the Rajah could not have it. Now, if he was a prince, I repeat at any rate he ought to have had a copy of the charges that were made against him. If he was not an independent sovereign, let him have the common justice to which every peasant in the land is entitled. I think that will satisfy the right hon. Gentleman that he is under some mistake. Now, Sir, the seventh assertion was, that Messrs. Grant, Farish, and Anderson were convinced of the Rajah's guilt. I believe that before a great many of these things were discovered, and before the proof of the manufacture of these papers, they did believe the Rajah was guilty. But what I venture to say to the right hon. Baronet is, we ask for inquiry. Mr. Parish and Mr. Anderson are now alive. Sir Robert Grant is dead. We will prove, by the evidence of Mr. Anderson himself, the complete innocence of the Rajah, in regard to these charges which were trumped up against him. As regards Mr. Anderson, he is now, I understand, in town; and I shall be very glad to have him as a witness. To the next circumstance I have to bring forward, I beg the particular attention of the House; because, both the hon. Gentlemen denied it in the most emphatic manner. I stated that the Rajah had been taken from Sattara after his dethronement, and marched with a body of troops from his palace in the night. I read a paper in which it was stated that he was taken from his bed, put into a palanquin, and sent away. Now, mark what the right hon. Baronet stated, and which the hon. Baronet confirmed when I alleged that he was taken away from his palace and lodged in a place where cattle had been formerly kept. His answer was, that the Rajah had been taken to his country house. Why, Sir, the Rajah had no country house. I am prepared to prove that he had no country house, and that it is an utterly false statement to say that he had. He was taken and placed immediately in tents; he never was out of the tents from the moment he was taken from his palace until he arrived at Benares. I will not read the paper, because the right hon. Gentleman seemed to think it was an accusation made to work upon old women at public meetings. I have in my possession a letter from an officer who was police magistrate there, who commanded a party of police that went up with the regiment to surround the palace; and I have his authority for saying it. I shall be able to prove the whole of the facts I have stated, and, to show that there is some truth in the latter part of the statement, even from the documents themselves in the India House. When the report came home that the Rajah had been treated in a very unbecoming manner and with harshness, the Court of Directors sent this letter:— Political Despatch to the Government of Bombay, 2nd September, No. 10, 1840. We regret to learn the death of Balla Sahib Senaputtee while accompanying the ex-Rajah on his way to Benares. Sahib Senaputtee, I must mention, was the commanding officer of the regiment who was allowed to die; for they would not stop one hour. The right hon. Baronet himself read the statement of Colonel Ovans. That was made when these facts came out. There are five individuals now in London who accompanied the Rajah, who will prove all these statements; and the right hon. Baronet shall be undeceived if be will agree to a Committee, a Commission, or an inquiry. The despatch was signed by Mr. Bayley and Mr. George Lyall; Mr. Bayley was Chairman, and Mr. Lyall, Deputy Chairman:— We regret to learn the death of Balla Sahib Senaputtee, while accompanying the ex-Rajah on his way to Benares. We cannot pass without an expression of our serious displeasure the following statement by Lieutenant Cristall, the officer in charge of the ex-Rajah. Here is the officer's statement in charge of the Rajah:— He (the Senaputtee) had been unwell it appears a few hours before leaving our last ground; but I received no intelligence of his illness until yesterday mid-day, when several of the Rajah's people waited on me, requesting a halt, as the Senaputtee was in so dangerous a state that he could not he moved. I gave a denial to the request, imagining it only an excuse for loitering on the road, knowing by experience how great is their dislike to our system of continuing the journey on which we are bound. The tents, &c. which are daily sent in advance, were accordingly despatched; but at 3 o'clock, p.m. the Carcoons and others of the ex-Rajah's people came to me, with the news of the Senaputtee's death. Now that is the officer's own statement. The Court of Directors, in noticing it, say in paragraph 4— We cannot consider Lieutenant Cristall to have been justified in taking for granted that the representation of the Senaputtee's unfitness to travel was without foundation. In the absence of the medical officer, he ought either to have consented to the halt, or to have requested a personal interview with the patient, and formed his judgment thereupon. We desire that the sentiments we have expressed may be communicated to Lieutenant Cristall. Now, Sir, I could multiply the evidence to that effect, but here is the evidence of the Court of Directors; and I am sorry to be obliged to say even so much; but I am anxious to undeceive the right hon. Baronet, who I really believe is ignorant of the merits of the case, and will not give us credit who have examined impartially and judged from the documents themselves. Now, Sir, there is only one other point to which I wish to allude, I do not intend to go beyond the strict notice I have given. A dispute arose on the last occasion, respecting the conduct of Colonel Ovans towards Govind Rao. The name of Mr. Hutt was introduced, and I wish the House to understand what that transaction is. I am not going to blame Mr. Spooner, or Mr. Hutt, more than as officers employed in carrying out the orders of the Court. They carried out the orders of the Court, and I do not blame them; and I never meant to blame them. But what was the fact? Mr. Grant said— Govind Rao, we believe to be a conspirator with the Rajah, and we will ask him to deliver up his Minister. If he delivers up his Minister immediately, it will be strongly in favour of his being innocent of any charge; but if he refuses to give up his Minister, we shall consider that it implicates him to a certain degree in the charge. The charge was made by the Resident to the Rajah in the palace. The Rajah said, "No such thing can take place; send for Govind Rao." He was sent for from his own house—he came to the palace; and the Rajah said, "There is a charge against you of having plotted against the British Government—proceed immediately with the English guard—they are going to put you in prison—they are going to examine you—I desire that you proceed immediately." He gave up his Prime Minister—and what took place? They immediately marched him to prison—I will not say it was a dungeon—it was a place where ammunition had been kept. They immediately sent and seized the whole of his papers in his own house, and brought them forward; and they kept the man for weeks together without being able to obtain any evidence whatever against him; and then Colonel Ovans recommended the Government to send him away. He said, as long as he remains here we shall not get any confession from him; but if you will send him to a place where he can be kept solitary, and inform him that he must confess himself to be guilty of treason, we may expect something. Now, Sir, Colonel Ovans writes to the Bombay Government, after he had kept him for weeks with all his papers in his possession, without being able to find one iota of charge against him—Colonel Ovans writes to the Bombay Government on the 24th of June, and says— The circumstance of the removal of Govind Rao from gaol at Poonah to a more comfortable residence, and his confinement being lately made less severe in other respects, leads the Rajah and his advisers to confide in the accuracy of these accounts from Bombay; all the letters received from thence are sent to the Dewan, and thus he himself, as well as his family, are buoyed up with the false hope of his speedy release. Now, let hon. Members consider what would have been the result if Lord Melbourne, the First Minister of the Crown, should have been accused of improper proceedings, and should have been sent for to the Palace, and immediately, without any opportunity of returning to his own house, have been sent off to gaol, and all papers connected with him in his own house, and every evidence that could possibly be brought against him, seized for the purpose of bearing out a charge. After weeks had elapsed, with the power they possess, and under the circumstances which the hon. Member for Edinburgh has stated, showing how easy it is to get evidence against a man who appears to be devoted by the Government in India, they could not get any evidence against the Dewan. Then what did Colonel Ovans report?— In order, however, to dispel that allusion, as to Govind Rao's release, which threatens to throw such serious obstacles in the way of this important inquiry,"—[it had been going on eight months]—"I beg most respectfully to propose that the Dewan be sent immediately under guard to Ahmednuggur, and placed in strict confinement there; and he only be attended by his own servant, and that all other intercourse with him be for the present prohibited. Now, Sir, this is the recommendation of Colonel Ovans. This is the way they get information in India. What follows? Mr. Hutt waits on the magistrate at Ahmednuggur, the brother of the hon. Member for Gateshead. He was absent at the time this individual arrived. I need not read the order of the Bombay Government directing the magistrate there to keep him secret. I will only mention that Mr. Grant says— If my colleagues concur in the adoption of this measure, I request that no time may be lost in issuing orders to the Session Judge at Poonah to forward Govind Rao, under a suitable escort, to the custody of the Judge at Ahmednuggur. The usual warrant should be addressed to the Judge at Ahmednuggur. That officer should be instructed"— (This is the Governor of Bombay—this is the honest man who was desirous, as a lawyer, to obtain disinterested and honest evidence)— That officer should be instructed to place the prisoner in strict confinement, and to prevent his holding any communication with any person beside his personal attendants, or those in whom the Judge has confidence. Every attention, compatible with the above object should be paid to the prisoner's comfort and convenience. The Judge should be further informed that it is not likely the friends of Govind Rao at Sattara and Poonah will endeavour to communicate with him by letters, and that he should quietly adopt measures to intercept any communications of this kind, and forward them to the Government. Now, this is the mode adopted against a man whose whole papers and everything he was possessed of had been seized—every body about him examined in order to extract evidence. This is the way he has been coerced. The Secretary to the Government also adds, in a letter to the Judge at Bombay— The Session Judge at Poonah has been instructed to forward the prisoner under a suitable escort, which you will order back to Poonah on your receiving charge of him. On the arrival of the prisoner, the Governor in Council directs that you will place him in strict confinement, and prevent his holding any communication with any person besides his personal attendants, or those in whom you have any confidence; every attention, however, compatible with the above object, should be paid to the prisoner's comfort and convenience. I am instructed to add that it is not unlikely that the friends of Govind Rao at Sattara and Poonah will endeavour to communicate with him by letter; the Governor in Council therefore requests that you will quietly adopt measures to intercept any communications of this kind, and forward them to the Government. Now for the denouement, which will surprise the House. The measures which were adopted, are to my mind the most extraordinary. Colonel Ovans writes to Mr. Hutt to tell him— I will send one man, a relation of Govind Rao; you will admit him; admit nobody else. The man was sent; it was the uncle of Govind Rao, a man who had been bribed into the affair; and he goes there and remains a considerable time. He being the only individual who could see Govind Rao, tells him day by day, "You see the Sahib is very angry; unless you make the confession they want you will die a prisoner. This was after the poor man had been in close confinement and in bad health. The right hon. Gentleman alluded to a former statement respecting a dark dungeon, which statement, I believe, was made in error; but he was confined in a fort. I would tell the right hon. Gentleman, which. I am able to prove, in opposition to what the right hon. Baronet said, that he never was liberated until the day after he made his confession; and this man was allowed to work upon his feelings and get a letter from his mother, who believed he was to die if he did not get out of prison; and under these circumstances the man made the confession which is given in the papers, and which immediately that he obtained his liberty he took every means of denying. This is the deposition that Mr. Hutt, in his letter to the Government, states that he had obtained from him:— I do hereby solemnly declare that my mother, Girjabhaee, did not prefer an urzee or application to the Resident or the Government, but that it was given by Ballajee Punt Nattoo (that is, the principal conspirator), through a karkoon, in the name of my mother; and the said karkoon now enjoys a pension under Ballajee Punt's administration in Sattara; that the depositions which I gave were exacted from me while I was imprisoned in a dark dungeon at Ahmednuggur; that considering there was no justice with Government, and that if I did not adhere to what the Sirkar (British Government) wished me to do, I would lose my life; I was therefore forced, in order to preserve my life, to give my statement in writing according to the instructions of Mr. Hutt. I do now state that it is entirely false and extortion. This is the statement of the man when he obtains his liberty. He makes that declaration, as we shall be able to prove if you grant this inquiry. I requested the Government to send these documents out to Bombay, and they did; but they would not inquire. They took security from the man who had made the charge, binding him in 1,000 rupees. He presented a petition to this House, and said, "I am ready to prove by evidence and living witnesses at Bombay if you send out an inquiry; I do not ask you to go upon my evidence; I will prove by living witnesses the whole of this conspiracy." Why, Sir, when the papers were sent out by Mr. Shepherd, the then Chairman, with all the documents, what took place? I have often wondered that the right hon. Baronet did not, as an honest man, shrink from the course which was adopted. When Krishnajee's petition was sent out, and the Government directed an inquiry, what took place? Mr. Warden, the person who had charge of all the natives, sent for this man and said, "Is this your petition?" "Yes." "Why, you have charged bribery against all these men." "Yes." "You say you wrote the original paper which has been attributed to others?" "Yes, and I can prove it. I have my witnesses ready to prove all the allegations in my petition;" a copy of which I presented to the House of Commons at the time. Well, what followed; and I beg the right hon. Gentleman to explain this. Mr. Warden, the European officer who had charge of the business, sent for this man and said, "Are you aware what your fate will be if you cannot prove these charges against the Sahib?" "Yes," said he, "I am aware, but still I am prepared to prove them." Then Mr. Warden said, "Where are your witnesses?" He gave a list of his witnesses—bankers and residents, all alive; thirteen individuals. Then, said Mr. Warden, "I must take security from you, in 1,000 rupees yourself, and collateral security 5,000 rupees more." He took that security, and on the next day Krishnajee expected that the inquiry would go on; but, no; he never heard of the inquiry, and Government shrank back from the inquiry. They found that the whole would be out, and what did they do? They sent the charges to Colonel Ovans and Ballyajee Punt Nathoo, the two conspirators; I will not say Colonel Ovans was a conspirator; he was deceived no doubt by the conspiracy entered into by the natives; and on the Table are all the documents showing that after the proceedings had gone to a certain extent, and security had been taken with a view to the proceeding, Government shrank back and took the simple declaration of Colonel Ovans and this native, Ballajee Punt Nathoo, that this was wrong and entirely untrue. Living witnesses on the spot are ready to prove the truth of every one of these allegations. Now, if that is not a subject deserving inquiry, I know nothingth at does deserve inquiry. Mr. Hutt, in a letter to the Chief Secretary on the 24th August, says— I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter, dated the 28th ultimo, and to inform you, that, by desire of the Acting Resident at Sattara, Sukaram Bulal, uncle to Govind Rao, the State prisoner, now in my charge, has for many days had free access to his nephew; and that I have also, at Sukaram's solicitation permitted his (Govind Rao's) brother to accompany him in his visits, their object has been to induce him to disclose"—[mark what Mr. Hutt says]—"what he knew regarding the late proceedings at the Sattara Court, in which they have been successsful. I had an interview with Govind Rao this morning, at which, after explaining the circumstances under which he was, as he describes it, reluctantly led to take part in them, he presented me with the enclosed, written, as he assures me, with his own hand, and which I had previously given him the means of preparing. The interview the Rajah and himself, herein described as having had with the soobhadars, took place, he says, in Thraoun Und, between the 27th August, and the 11th September; but the exact date he does not remember. Every attention has been paid to Govind Rao's comfort since he came here. Now, I will prove that he was never let out of close confinement, until he made the declaration. He made the declaration on the 23rd, and he was let out on the 24th, and this is an extract of a letter dated the 24th. Mr. Hutt concludes— He now seems willing to communicate to me all he knows, and I have no doubt of being able to obtain from him any information the Government may desire. Now, I will refrain from saying what I think of such conduct. I will refrain from saying that Colonel Ovans knew he was the dupe of this man; but does the right hon. Gentleman place any force upon what other individuals have done? Is he aware of what has taken place? Is he aware that one of the present Directors—a man in the Army, Major Oliphant, in 1845, recorded his opinion of Colonel Ovans, declaring that Colonel Ovans was in possession of papers for eleven months, which would have cleared up the matter; and that he never reported those papers for eleven months until they were found out; and then to prevent any remarks upon the subject, he produced them. In Parliamentary Paper 312, laid before the House of Commons during this Session, Major Oliphant says, "It is indisputably proved"—I beg the hon. Baronet to remark, that I am only stating the facts as they really appear; I do not of my own knowledge know these facts; but Major Oliphant, an Indian Director, with all the papers before him, and everything that could give him the means of judging, thus records his opinion— It is indisputably proved by the printed papers, that on the 7th September, 1837, Colonel Ovans was in possession of positive information as to the real writer of the petition attributed to Girjabhaee, which information completely falsified the evidence on that point previously transmitted by him on the 21st July and 12th August. Which evidence was, that the mother of Govind Rao had been the author of that paper, and Colonel Ovans was in possession of proof to show, that she was not the author of it. Krishnajee afterwards was proved to be the real writer, and he is ready to prove it. The importance of discovering the real writer of the petition, has been repeatedly and urgently pressed by Sir Robert Grant upon Colonel Ovans; yet that officer did not report the discovery to his Government. Now, mark! Sir Robert Grant pressed Colonel Ovans again and again to discover the author; but he withheld it from their knowledge until the 16th of August, 1838. It thus appears (says Major Oliphant) that Government was permitted by Colonel Ovans to proceed for eleven months upon false information, and that he did not duly submit to them the declaration made to him on the 7th and 20th of September, 1837, by Krishnajee, the real writer of the petition, which was the very information that his Government so anxiously degired to obtain. He further says— These are matters which ought, in my judgment, to be sifted elsewhere; but when I find positive proof that Krishnajee's evidence was not made known to Government at the time the matter to which it had reference was under inquiry, but was kept for nearly eleven months in the possession of Colonel Ovans; that Government demanded no explanation of this conduct, and that they now refuse to listen to charges preferred by this Krishnajee in the usual manner, after bringing himself within the jurisdiction of a British court, entering into heavy recognizances, himself in 5,000 rupees, and a friend in 1,000 rupees, to prosecute the charge, with the certainty of severe punishment if found guilty of defamation; that the proof of the charge is not to rest on his testimony, but on that of witnesses, a list of whom he duly furnished to Mr. Warden; and that the plea for refusing to hear him is the inexpediency of reopening the whole case of the Rajah of Sattara, even if these assertions were not solely dependent on the veracity of a person who, by his own confession, has proved himself to be utterly unworthy of credit—I consider it my duty to enter my protest against proceedings which appear to me derogatory to the character of Government, and an improper interference with the duo administration of justice, Now, Sir, I will not detain the House one moment longer. These are the principal points which were denied last week. I have now given them in detail, and I am prepared to prove them whenever the Government may think fit to inquire, either hero or in India. I do consider that I have given a decided contradiction to all those allegations to which I have referred. I am only sorry that the hon. Member the late Chairman of the Court of Directors is not present, because if there is any one thing' more absurd than another, it was his reading a paper giving the tittle-tattle of Bombay, to prove treasonable and treacherous correspondence with native chiefs; for that is why he read it. I am not in a condition, nor do I wish to do so, to make any Motion in this stage. I have put on the Orders of the Day a notice for the production of certain papers. It having been intimated to me by a Member of Her Majesty's Government, that there would be no objection to the production of these papers, I had intended to take these papers, after making this explanation, which I only do, in order that it may not be believed that I have troubled the House about a question which may appear of little consequence; but it is a question in which the character of the British Government is concerned—in which the character of officers of the public service is concerned—and in which I say that justice, beyond all things, is concerned. Sir, I will conclude by reading the last paragraph of the petition which I placed on the Table of the House, written by the Rajah from his present place of exile; and this is what he asks; this is what he demands from a British Parliament. This petition is printed, and on the Table of the House. It was presented on the 8th of June, 1842. In it is contained this paragraph:— Wherefore your petitioner respectfully solicits from your honourable House a consideration of his case, and of the treatment he has received, as well as the high character he has invariably maintained amongst his people and the princes of India; while he implores from your honourable House that justice which, had his lot been that of a peasant, it would have been his right to claim from the laws of the British realm. He cannot forget that it is as a dethroned and exiled Prince that he appeals to your honourable House. He trusts that the vast power which has been placed by Divine Providence in the hands of the Government of Great Britain, will not he exercised to his continued wrong; and be hopes the injustice and degradation which he has suffered in innocence will not be permitted to appear on the page of history, to tarnish the glory of the British name, and the conduct and character of that Government in India towards a Sovereign, once its honoured ally, now its helpless prisoner. Now, that is his appeal made to this House. I have stated, that my only desire is, an inquiry in whatever way the Government may appoint it. Let justice be done by a trial. The Rajah has never had a trial; and upon that ground I have now troubled the House. I am ashamed of the time I have occupied; but the strong impression which the case has made upon my mind, must be my excuse for having done so.


Mr. Speaker, I hope the House will permit me to say a few words. The fact is, that I was not prepared for the debate coming on previously to the Notices on the Paper. Having heard my hon. Friend's speech, I must take the liberty of saying, that it was in answer to what I said several days ago. If I were to follow his example, I should postpone my answer, which would be much more convenient to the House. I beg to say, that having on a previous occasion spoken more than two hours and a half upon this subject—having, I am afraid, tired the House—and having, I am quite certain, tired myself, I do not know that I am called upon to take any particular notice of what has been said by the hon. Gentleman. The fact is, that I have come to as complete a conviction with respect to this case as the hon. Member; and it is a totally different opinion from that of the hon. Member. On the former occasion, I showed that every competent authority which was capable of forming an opinion, had come to the conclusion that the Rajah was guilty. I beg leave to tell my hon. Friend, that when I read those opinions I certainly did not conceal the fact that General Robertson had given a favourable opinion. I never concealed the fact that General Briggs had given a favourable opinion; I never concealed the fact that Captain Grant Duff had spoken very favourably of the Rajah. All that I said was this—that at an early period, when our Residents came to have a knowledge of the character of this prince, they had a certain distrust of him. With respect to the opinions of General Briggs and Colonel Lodwick, I contend that the opinion they gave when they were on the spot—when the case had recently happened—and when they had the best means of forming an opinion—is worth more than the decision to which they came in after days, when they were not responsible for their opinions; and, moreover, the opinion of General Lodwick was given on oath (and I read it), he then being Resident at Sattara. Sir, I could go into details, and I think I could satisfy the House, that there is not a single assertion which my hon. Friend has made with respect to some parts of the evidence to which he has alluded, upon which I could not bring counter assertions; and more particularly there is one to which I must allude, because my hon. Friend laid great stress upon it. He alluded to the statement of one witness who came from Bombay; and I will tell you what was the opinion of the Bombay Government upon that witness. It is the case of Krishnajee, to which the hon. Gentleman has alluded. The Governor of Bombay, General Arthur, and two other gentlemen, being then the Government of Bombay, these papers which have been mentioned by my hon. Friend having been referred to them, together with Krishnajee's information in reference to them, gave this opinion, with which my hon. Friend is acquainted:— It has now, we trust," says Sir George Arthur, "been proved to the entire satisfaction of your honourable Court, that the principal allegations contained in the documents forwarded to Mr. Hume, are false and unfounded. Before, however, concluding our remarks upon this subject, we cannot forbear observing, that as regards that portion of the allegations which arise out of the statements of Krishnajee Suddasew Bhidday, it appears remarkable that Mr. Hume should have attached importance to the assertions of a person who has so shamelessly declared that he was induced by Ballajee Punt Nathoo" (this is his own confession), "under the promise of a present of 1,250 rupees and a pension, to forge the name of Geerjabhye to a letter which he alleges he wrote in that lady's name without her knowledge. Now, this person who is said to have given the important information upon which this pretended conspiracy against the Rajah was founded, having turned out to be a man who was obliged, in order to be listened at all, to own that he himself had been guilty of a forgery, I should like to know how my hon. Friend came to attach importance to the information of this man. [Mr. HUME: Not to that man.] Yes; upon whom the whole of the information was founded. Sir, with respect to the charges which my hon. Friend brought against Mr. Hutt, I am sorry I did not know the debate would come on so early, because I have not the papers here. My hon. Friend admitted that the first charge brought by Govind Rao, who was the Prime Minister of the Rajah, was that he was confined in a dark dungeon; but afterwards, when he came to be reminded that he had better correct the statement about the dark dungeon, it turned out to be a very convenient apartment; and my hon. Friend was obliged to own that Govind Rao was obliged to correct that part of his evidence. It may be seen, therefore, how this matter has been got up; and it turns out that instead of having extorted evidence from Govind Rao (as my hon. Friend had mentioned), we have at least the testimony of Mr. Hutt himself, whose testimony I shall believe, unless some good proof to the contrary is given, that no such thing took place, and that the confession of this man was entirely voluntary. I see an hon. Member opposite, Mr. Hutt's brother, who will confirm my statement that this man confessed voluntarily; and that it was only when he was practised upon afterwards by certain parties, who are interested in disproving all these charges against the Rajah, that Govind Rao came forward to make all these charges, and embody them in an amended petition, where it is true that the charge about the dungeon is dropped, but where the charge respecting the extortion of the confession still appears. Sir, with respect to the character of another man who has been assailed, although I confess it is but natural to take up a case that may be considered one of great hardship, and a man may occasionally he led astray by his feelings—but the hon. Gentleman calls Colonel Ovans and Ballajee Punt Nathoo conspirators—he drops the accusation against Colonel Ovaus, I think very properly, and he makes the accusation against Ballajee Punt Nathoo, Now, from the day of Mr. Elphinstone, the chief mover of this treaty, up to this time, I doubt whether there has been a single native in that part of the country whose character stands higher than this man who is charged with being concerned in a conspiracy to dethrone this unhappy Prince. Sir, with respect to the charge of harsh treatment while on the road to Benares, I read from the blue-blook testimony which appeared to me to be satisfactory; and the appeal was made, not by Colonel Ovans to officers who are able to prove whether what he said about the charge of this monstrous hardship—which, if the charge were well grounded, reflected great disgrace upon the parties who were guilty of such conduct—was true or false; but I read the appeal made to parties cognizant of the fact; and nothing that has been said by the hon. Gentleman, he must excuse me for saying, has at all disproved those statements. I grant that my hon. Friend has said there is a difference of opinion upon this case; I grant that in the Court of Directors, very honourable men, Mr. Tucker, the Chairman, Major Oliphant, and others, have taken a different view of this question; but in all these matters we must, as in the House of Commons, be led by the majority; and, remembering the tribunals before which the case was brought in India at the time—persons who had no interest whatever in coining to a wrong and unjust decision—I say that, upon the whole, we must take the uniform decision, without one single exception, of three Governments of Bombay, of two Governments of India, the Supreme Government of India, and every person before whom this matter was brought—we must take their opinion, backed by the authority of the majority of the Court of Directors—backed by the decision of Parliament on several occasions—backed by the decision of the Court of Proprietors (as my hon. Friend said) about nineteen times. We have no means of forming a judgment except by referring to the opinions of those who, according to the constitution of the country, are called upon to decide. I said the other day, that if the Court of Directors and the House of Commons are not thought competent to decide these matters, and they must be taken before Commissions or before Committees, why of course it is in the province of the House of Commons so to direct. On the present occasion, as my hon. Friend has told us, we cannot come to a decision; but we did come to a decision the other evening; and in spite of the pleasantry of my hon. Friend the Member for Montrose, I think that was a very fair decision, although he would make out that he was in a majority of nine. If he got a majority of nine, I should have thought my hon. Friend had better have been contented with it; for if that fact is plain, I would not advise him to try to get a greater majority. As the hon. Member has come to the happy conclusion that he obtained a majority of nine independent Members, I should have advised him not to have brought forward this Motion. Now, Sir, I have a word to say with respect to these papers, because I think it is a most important case. I beg the attention of the House to this, because it is really of very considerable importance. My hon. Friend's first Motion for Papers was entirely different, or was of a different nature, from that which now stands on the paper. I beg the attention of the House to this point, because it is one of very considerable importance. The House will recollect that one of the points which my hon. Friend laboured with considerable success, and by which he made a considerable impression on the House, was that this imprisoned Rajah had certain proposals made to him, which proposals were, that if he would resign his claims to the sovereignty of Sattara, he should have certain advantages in return for the abandonment of his claim; and that he most indignantly rejected those proposals. That was asserted in a speech made by the celebrated Mr. George Thompson, whose name has been mentioned so frequently before in the Court of Proprietors; and that assertion being made, conveying certainly a very grave charge, it was thought necessary by the Secret Committee that the paper read by Mr. Thompson to the Court of Proprietors should be sent out to the Governor General, in order that he might inquire whether or not the assertions made by Mr. Thompson were true, and whether the assertions in a letter that he read, purporting to come either from the Rajah himself, or from a person employed by him at Benares, who was cognizant of the fact, were true. The whole document containing the letter read by Mr. Thompson in the India House, giving an account of those proposals and of the indignant rejection of them by the Rajah, was sent to the Governor General. The hon. Gentleman read the letter (it was one of those letters which came in such an extraordinary way on Mr. Thompson's breakfast table); but he did not read the answer. I will read the answer to the House; and that will show the value of some of those charges which have been brought against the parties who have had the care of the Rajah, and who have had the conduct of this affair. This is a letter from the Governor General, directed to the Secret Committee; and I hope Gentlemen will have the kindness to attend to it. [Mr. HUME: What date?] The noble Lord the Member for Lynn will perhaps have the kindness to attend to this letter, because this is an answer to all these charges; and the House will be able, from the value of these charges, to estimate the probable value of some others. This is a letter from the Governor General:— Simla, June 7th, 1846. To the Secret Committee of the East Indian Company. Hon. Sir—In accordance with the instructions contained in your Committee's despatch of the 24th of March last, I transmitted a copy of the inclosure (that is to say, Mr. Thompson's charge) to Major Carpenter, with a request that he would submit any explanation he might desire to offer relative to the propositions which he was alleged to have made to the ex-Rajah of Sattara. Major Carpenter's answer, in which he distinctly denies having made the alleged propositions to the ex-Rajah, together with the letter I have caused to be addressed to him in reply, expressing my setiments on the conduct he appears to have pursued towards that Chief, and the communications he has been in the habit of holding with him, are herewith forwarded for your information. Now comes Major Carpenter's letter to the Governor General; and I intend to lay the whole of the papers on the Table of the House. Now hear what Major Carpenter says with respect to these allegations of Mr. Thompson:— The tone and spirit, and meaning of the alleged conversation thus minutely recorded, are so utterly at variance with the numerous consultations I have held with the Rajah regarding the general state of his affairs, that I must at once pronounce the greater part of the conversations stated to have passed between him and myself in September last purely imaginary;"— (This proposal, which was so indignantly rejected—which the Rajah would not hear of for a moment—Major Carpenter says is—"purely imaginary!") —"and to declare that the propositions therein detailed were never, then or at any other period, directly or indirectly, made by me to the Rajah of Sattara, either on my own responsibilty, or on the authority of the Governor General. This is Major Carpenter's letter in which he denies the whole of the story (and which shows the fidelity with which Major Carpenter has acted, so far as he is concerned), it will appear by the following paragraph that those who ought to have undeceived the mind of my hon. Friend, have behaved extremely ill to him; for the Rajah wrote to England, or somebody wrote for him, to correct this error. I hope the Agent will hear what I am saying—that the Rajah wrote to England to tell him to correct this misstatement, and that that correction has never been conveyed to my hon. Friend, for if it had been conveyed to him, he certainly would have been the last man to have made this allegation. I will read the passage which shows that to have been the case:— At the same time I desire not to impeach the varacity either of the Rajah or of his friends in England, for I am assured by His Highness that the whole affair has arisen from a mistaken interpretation of the object of his communications, and that the moment he became aware of the erroneous impression his letters had produced, which it appears he did in March last, he wrote to his Vakeel on the 4th of that month to correct it. And yet the document which would have saved my hon. Friend a great deal of what he said the other evening—which would indeed have saved the whole—has never been conveyed to my hon. Friend; and the consequence has been, that this fiction has gone the round of all the public papers, and has been made one of the staple commodities on which this charge has been concocted. Sir, I have very little more to address to the House; indeed I ought to apologize for having said so much; however, I am obliged to say something in reply to what has fallen from my hon. Friend. I will only make one or two remarks. It is important to remember, that all those who have come to the decision which has been already mentioned (which I think just, but which my hon. Friend thinks unjust), had no possible interest in coming to that decision. This is not a charge, as the Indian Governments were charged in former times, of getting an acquisition of territory; for what have they done? They might, if they had pleased, have resumed the territory; there was nothing to prevent them; they made no bargain with this prince, except that as long as he continued to observe the terms of the treaty, he should be on the throne. There was no necessity to put his brother on the throne; they might have resumed the territory and absorbed it in the great Indian empire. They did no such thing. There were persons who thought that ought to be done; but it was the opinion of those who had the management of affairs in India at that time, that it would be better to place his brother on the throne. My opinion is, that we should not have heard so much of the alleged injustice, if the territory had been resumed; but that putting the brother on the throne has given rise to greater jealousies and heart burnings than would have been the case supposing the territory had been taken. Sir, reference has been made by my hon. Friend to the bad character of the brother of the Rajah, whom we have put on the throne. But I am happy to inform the House that since he has been on the throne he has behaved with exemplary propriety, and that one of the very first things he did was to do that which was not accomplished before, namely, to abolish the rite of suttee, which in that part of the country had been as it were wrapped up in the very usages of the country, and which had not been abolished, although an attempt had been made to do so. The prince who is now on the throne has abolished that rite; he has in every particular conformed to the treaty; but in consequence of the agitation of this question (of which I do not in the least complain—his life is not an agreeable one, any more than that of the President of the Board of Control) by my hon. Friend and those who take an interest in the restoration of Purtaub Shean, I can assure my hon. Friend that the present Rajah is in a state of great agitation; and well may he be so, for he thinks he is likely to be dethroned also. Now, I, for one, am convinced that what has been done must be maintained. I have given my reasons for that conviction; and therefore the House and my hon. Friend, will not be surprised if I say that I cannot consent to the terms of his Motion.


Mr. Speaker, when I was in India, I took an official part in the case of the Rajah of Sattara, as a Member of the Government of India, and I went through the papers with great care. It appeared to me that the evidence was quite conclusive—that the Rajah had acted with hostile intentions towards his benefactors, and in breach of the treaty. That was my opinion at the time; and I have seen no reason to change it. Any one who will take the pains to peruse the Minute of Sir Robert Grant, which traces out the evidence in all its bearings, and also to compare the evidence taken by different magistrates at different places, which corroborates other important evidence, will find that there is quite sufficient to establish the guilt of the Rajah. No one could be better qualified for so intricate an investigation than Sir Robert Grant, whose very high character and abilities have never been called in question.


Mr. Speaker, from the situation which the gallant General who last addressed the House occupied, it was not my good fortune to hear one sentence or a single word that he uttered. I regret that the more, because I understand that the gallant General had some personal knowledge of the case in India, and knew many of the parties whose conduct has been impeached, whether justly or unjustly I do not say. Now, the right hon. Baronet the President of the Board of Control, commenced his speech by saying, that he had come to a directly opposite conviction from that of my hon. Friend the Member for Montrose; and he also stated, at the end of his speech, that what had been done must be maintained, and that in fact it cannot he altered. Now, Sir, the right hon. Baronet may be sincere in his conviction; but at the same time I am quite confident that in the part which my hon. Friend opposite has taken, the right hon. Baronet does not doubt the sincerity of the conviction at which that hon. Gentleman has arrived. Now, my hon. Friend has upon a variety of occasions brought this extraordinary case before the. House. At the present time it is not properly before the House; and the discussion, considering the circumstances of the case, although it may be useful, does not occupy its best position, because there is no Motion before the House upon which it can be called to express an opinion. That, however, is not the fault of my hon. Friend the Member for Montrose. He has, on a variety of occasions, endeavoured to bring the question before the House in a proper manner; and upon a recent occasion, during the present Session, he obtained a division; and in that division he believed he had a majority of the votes of the independent Members of this House in his favour. The hon. Baronet asks why he is not content if he has that majority? Why, Sir, my hon. Friend is not content to leave the case in its present state, because the question has not been brought to that issue which he desires. The object of my hon. Friend is, to obtain for the Rajah of Sattara a trial. His object is, to obtain for that persecuted and ill-used man an opportunity of proving whether he has been guilty or not of the foul charges which have been made against him. I lament that, in these discussions, accusations have been made so frequently against other persons; but it is my conviction—as it certainly is that of my hon. Friend—that he has been compelled, in justice to the persecuted man whose cause he advocates, to make all the statements he has done. It is not his fault—it is his misfortune—that he has been compelled to make such allegations; but I would ask the right hon. Baronet whether he really does consider that this case can rest where it now stands? I would ask him seriously, as a man of honour, as a gentleman, and as an advocate for liberal and just principles, whether he believes that the English public will be content to see a man treated as the Rajah of Sattara has been treated, who has never had an opportunity to this very hour of facing his accusers, and being heard in his defence? Why, what would have been said if it had been one of the poorest men in England who had been treated in this way in Yorkshire, or Derbyshire, or any other distant county? What would have been said, if a man, for example, had been deprived of his possessions, and compelled to leave some part of the country, or any particular district of England? What would have been said, if any authority, exercising such power, had so treated the humblest individual in this country? Why, a Government which tolerated such an abuse would not stand for a moment. In principle, is the thing less objectionable because it has occurred in India? Our rule in India is one of the greatest miracles of the present day, as it respects our social and military govern- ment. Do you believe, that if you destroy the English character in India, you can maintain your power there? Do you really imagine, that if you by your conduct produce a conviction and feeling throughout the public mind in those vast possessions, that this is not a country maintaining its institutions by honour and integrity, you can long maintain the extraordinary power which you possess in that vast empire? Why, it is absurd to suppose for one moment that you could do so. It is useless to go over again the facts of the case. The hon. Member for Montrose has done so again and again; and the question is now fully before the House, in documents printed by its direction. But I am afraid that hon. Members have not made themselves acquainted with them—I fear they have not investigated this case as they ought to have done. Sir, how strange it is, that when accusations are made against parties, and it is ascertained that a former Government supports the accused parties, you never can make the existing Government review the official acts of its predecessors, or review its own. If it has decided wrongly, it will adhere to its wrong decision; and in all the public departments of this country, I am sorry to say that the same principle prevails. Now, I fear from the feeling which the right hon. Baronet has displayed on this occasion, some years since as well as lately, that his mind has been unduly biassed by private representations. I fear that some influence has been at work operating on his judgment, which has diverted it from that course of justice which it ought to have taken. I hold in my hand a statement which has been made by Captain Cogan—it was made publicly at a meeting of the East India Proprietary—reflecting upon the conduct of the right hon. Baronet; and the right hon. Baronet, if he will go on refusing the Rajah of Sattara that trial to which he is entitled, must hear statements made and sentences uttered which will be painful and perplexing to him. He himself is calling for these things; it is his own conduct which is producing these discussions; whereas if he would but relax in his determination, and grant that inquiry for which my hon. Friend asks, there would be an end of all this unpleasantness. But, Sir, what a position does my hon. Friend the Member for Montrose occupy in this House! A man who has for more than thirty years been labouring with singlemindedness in the public cause; who is the father of reform in this House; owing to whose exertions we have at this moment a Liberal Ministry; for if it had not been for his labours, as an observer of passing events in this country, it is my solemn and deliberate conviction that we should not have had a reform of Parliament, and that the noble Lord would not have been Prime Minister of the State—I say, what a position is it for such a man—as pure-minded a man as ever laboured in this House—a man who has rendered to the public more service than any public man in this country—who has saved this country millions of money in taxation—who has laboured incessantly and indefatigably for the purpose of exposing public abuses, and rendering justice to all men: I say, what a position is it for such a man to occupy!—a man who has never sought office or emolument of any kind, but merely the approbation of his own conscience, and has been stimulated by the desire of rendering service to the people—that he should be compelled to sit here night after night, as an humble petitioner to that very Government which he was instrumental in creating—imploring, beseeching, and praying, merely that an inquiry may be granted to a man who has been condemned unjustly without a hearing! Having rendered those services to these Ministers, he has not influence enough to obtain for the Rajah of Sattara a fair trial. Such is the return which they make for thirty years public service rendered in their behalf! I say, Sir, it is painful—it is humiliating to hear my hon. Friend in vain ask for that redress which he implores for the Rajah of Sattara. What is he asking? He is not asking that you shall pronounce the Rajah innocent, or that you should restore him to his rightful possessions; he is not asking that you should inflict punishment upon any of his persecutors; but all he says to you is, grant him an opportunity of proving his innocence—give him a trial. The murderer is allowed a trial in England; but the Rajah of Sattara cannot obtain a trial in India. Now, Sir, I was remarking, before I digressed into the observations which I have made relative to the hon. Member for Montroso, that I feared the right hon. Baronet had had his mind biassed or influenced in some improper way by private representations of this case; or else how happened it that the right hon. gentleman could express himself, as Captain Cogan has stated that he did, during an interview at the Board of Control? I beg the House for one moment to listen to this statement. Captain Cogan belongs to the Indian Navy; he is in London at the present moment, and is prepared to verify the accuracy of the statement upon oath:— I beg leave to observe," he says, "that in order to stand well with the President of the Board of Control, I waited on him officially, and was permitted to have an interview; but instead of being received with the courtesy which is usually observed on such occasions, the conduct of the right hon. Gentleman towards me was, not only uncourteous, but bordering on insult. I was told by the right hon. Gentleman that I had joined a party with Sir Charles Forbes, to embarrass the Government, and to bring this case before Parliament. He swore that he would never allow the Rajah to sit on the guddee again." [Sir J. C. HOBHOUSE: I did not.] "That he would support the Government of India right or wrong, and put a stop to these turbaned gentlemen filling London with their appeals; and he asked me how I dared to give the opinion I did to his Colleague, Lord Palmerston, of the Rajah's innocence in opposition to the Indian Government; that he had written to the Governor General to dismiss any person from the service who presumed to give an opinion opposed to the Indian Government. Now, that is a most extraordinary statement. [Mr. B. OSBORNE: Read that last part again.] "That he had written to the Governor General to dismiss any person from the service who presumed to give an opinion opposed to the Indian Government." This cannot be a Minister belonging to a Liberal Administration! Only see the effects of injustice! Supposing this allegation against the right hon. Baronet is unjust, yet it is a child of the same family; it is the offspring of an act of his own. If he had not been unjust to the Rajah of Sattara, this misrepresentation, if it be one, never would have been made. But Captain Cogan is in London, and is ready upon oath to substantiate that statement. He goes on to observe— Much was said with regard to the probable evil consequences to myself with which I shall not trouble the Court, looking upon them with contempt. I may observe that if this had not been stated publicly in the Court of Proprietors, I should not have used in this House. But I trust, that after what I have said, that this Court will do its utmost to protect the natives of India—that it will feel called upon to check that undue exercise of authority which was established to protect, and not oppress and degrade the natives of India. Now, Sir, that is a very extraordinary statement; and it comes from a gentleman holding a very respectable position in society; and he morever remarks that he is willing to take the most solemn step that he can adopt, in order to prove its accuracy. Now, there are many statements I could make with reference to other individuals who are away. I am not anxious to be the author of injustice. It is my desire only to render the Rajah of Sattara that justice which he asks—which he has so long demanded—and which he is, I believe, resolved to demand until he has obtained a hearing. The right hon. Gentleman, in all the remarks he made, scarcely uttered one word upon that point. Will the right hon. Gentleman show to this House why the Rajah of Sattara has not had a trial? The allegation at one time is, that he is a prince, and that therefore you could not try him as you would an ordinary man. Upon another occasion, when it serves the purpose, it is alleged that he is a subject, and that he was dealt with by competent authority. The right hon. Gentleman states that three Governments of Bombay, two of India, and all persons who are competent to decide, gave it as their opinion that the Rajah was guilty. But what is a decision without a trial? To deny a man an opportunity of proving that he is innocent, is resorting, in my opinion, to the foulest tyranny and despotism. What could the most despotic monarch do more than has been done in the case of this unfortunate man? The whole question originated in a dispute about property. The right hon. Gentleman says, he does not believe that. He believes that the Rajah had no control or authority, and that he had no vested right with regard to the Jaghires. But that is a mistake. What the Rajah wants is, that all these questions should be settled by a competent tribunal; and it is upon that, if I were to speak for a month, that I would dwell. But, whatever Colonel Ovans has done, or whatever other parties have done, or whatever offences they have been guilty of, the question that I would ask—and I would repeat the interrogatory ten thousand times—is, has the man had an opportunity of proving his innocence? No; and yet he has been punished—he has been deprived of his station, authority, and possessions. You have transported him into a distant land; and yet there is not a Minister in this House who can get up and say that that man has ever had an opportunity of facing his accusers, or ever has had counsel or agent employed in his defence. It is most monstrous. Nothing, in my opinion, can be more injurious to the character of the Legislature, and of this country generally, than that such base and foul acts of tyranny should be permitted. I am really astonished in this House that when we have brought forward this case, and demand only a hearing for a man who has been condemned without a trial, that there should be found a single individual who will not support us. Now, I will give the right hon. Gentleman a piece of advice. He concluded his speech by saying, that what has been done must be maintained. There will be another Parliament; I may not be elected; no doubt the right hon. Gentleman will be elected; but for the sake of justice—for the sake of our own character—I beg him to withdraw that statement, and to abandon at once the determination on which that expression is founded. I would entreat and beseech of him, even now at the eleventh hour, to resolve to meet the thing by a course of procedure which shall bring about for the Rajah an investigation into his conduct, which shall satisfy all mankind as to his guilt or innocence. I ask the right hon. Gentleman to take that course. I implore of him as an act of justice, and as a thing that is really due to the honour of this country, and due also to the people of India, to adopt that course. But if he will not, and I should happen to be a Member of the next Parliament, I can assure the right hon. Gentleman, that, if my hon. Friend again brings forward this question, if there are eleven other Members who will join with me in an opposition to the Government with reference to Supplies, I will endeavour to prevent the Government obtaining one shilling of supply until that inquiry has been granted. In taking that course, I ought not to be charged with acting captiously with reference to the Government. I would only take that course from a solemn conviction that it is the duty of the independent Members of Parliament to pursue it. I do conscientiously believe, after having examined the papers, that a more injured and a more honourable man than the Rajah of Sattara does not exist; and, entertaining that conviction, if I took any other course, I should abandon that duty which I owe to myself, to my constituents, and to the country at large.


Sir, the hon. Gentleman said very truly, that this case cannot be properly discussed on the present occasion. The hon. Member for Montrose has not made any Motion upon this occasion; and I will not revive the discus- sion which took place a very few days ago, when the question was decided by a division of the House. Still, there are some remarks made by the hon. Gentleman applied to me, upon which I must address a few words to the House. But, in the first place, he says that he did not hear the statement of the gallant General who spoke before him. I must inform the hon. Member that the gallant General said, that he believed in the guilt of the Rajah; and he went on to say, that this case had been very carefully considered by Sir Robert Grant, than whom no man was more intelligent, or more able to understand the merits of any case either of law or moral justice, and than whom no man was of purer character. He said further (which, I think, is certainly true), that Sir Robert Grant fully believed in the guilt of the Rajah. Now, I do not find any fault with the hon. Gentleman, or with any one, for believing in the innocence of the Rajah of Sattara. The hon. Member for Montrose has a right to bring the case forward before another Parliament, and cause it to be again discussed before that Parliament. I own that I did think on a former occasion that it was but fair to take into consideration, on the other hand, that my right hon. Friend had no interest in this case, and that he could have no partiality either for the ex-Rajah, or his brother the present Rajah, but that it would be just the same to him whether the deposed Rajah or his brother who is now the sovereign prince of Sattara sat upon the guddee; and that therefore his only regard could be, to do that which was most consistent with justice, and most to the advantage of the people of India. I own that I thought that in treating this question of the Rajah of Sattara, the hon. Member for Montrose did not make that fair admission which he ought to have done—that my right hon. Friend was performing conscientiously a public duty; that though differing in opinion with my right hon. Friend, the hon. Member was bound to admit that as President of the Board of Control my right hon. Friend was only looking to the public interests. Sir, I quite admit, though not in the same terms, that the hon. Gentleman is entitled to a hearing from this House, upon any case which he may think fit to bring before it. Thinking my right hon. Friend was unfairly used with respect to this matter, I may have said with reference to the hon. Member for Montrose, that which is not exactly consistent with my respect for the hon. Member. I am at all times ready to admit that there is no Member of this House, who, during a long public life has laboured more zealously in the public service; and I should be very sorry if I had made use of any expression inconsistent with that sentiment. But whilst I say this, I think it is too much to infer, as the hon. Gentleman does, that merely because the hon. Member for Montrose brings forward a case, therefore there must be a trial and an inquiry into that case. If my right hon. Friend is right in saying that there has been already an inquiry—that that inquiry was a full inquiry—that the Rajah himself refused to appear before that Commission—and that, therefore, the Commission came to a decision the best that could be come to under the circumstances, and that their decision is consistent with the justice of the case—I think it would be too much to say, merely because the hon. Member for Montrose brings forward this matter, that therefore there must be a rehearing of it. Sir, with regard to this case, as with regard to every other, there must be an end of trials. Supposing now there was a trial granted—I do not know of what kind that trial would be—and that the decision was against the Rajah, why not ask for another trial, and so on for an infinite number of trials, in order to try this question over and over again. But supposing that those Gentlemen who have had it under their consideration, knowing all the circumstances of the case have come to a right decision, and that my right hon. Friend and the Government think they came to a right decision, I think it must be admitted that it is the bounden duty of the Government to support that decision which they think right. But to say that my right hon. Friend is to presume that to be wrong which he believes to be right, and that, therefore, we, as a Government are at once to give up a decision which has been arrived at so maturely, is saying too much. Sir, the hon. Member read a paper containing a statement of Captain Cogan, who, I believe, was recommended by the right hon. Baronet to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, to conduct some negociation with the Imaum of Muscat, and who my right hon. Friend thinks did not act in a manner which was consistent with his duty as a public servant, when engaged in that service. Such was the opinion of my right hon. Friend; and my right hon. Friend may have stated that opinion; but as to his having made the statement, that right or wrong he would maintain the servants in India, and that whoever expressed an opinion in opposition to the Government upon the case should be punished, that is such a tissue of improbabilities that I cannot give any credit to it. Sir, I certainly am not disposed at all to enter again into this question of the Rajah of Sattara. My right hon. Friend, for two hours and a half, stated to the House the facts of the case of the Rajah of Sattara; and the House after hearing them decided against the opinion of the hon. Member for Montrose. If the hon. Member for Finsbury thinks proper to bring this case forward before a new Parliament, that is a course he has it in his power to take; but I submit that we cannot at this moment, and after so recent and protracted a discussion, enter further into the subject.


Sir, I hope the House will permit me to say one or two words with reference to the charge brought against me, not only politically but personally, in the paper which has been read by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Finsbury. I will state exactly what occurred. Captain Cogan was an officer in the Indian Navy, who was employed in a certain business under Lord Melbourne's Administration. In consequence of my opinion of his ability and good conduct, I recommended him to Lord Palmerston to be employed on a mission to settle a treaty with the Imaum of Muscat. Captain Cogan went on that mission, so recommended by me, and so employed by Lord Palmerston. When he had attained the object of his mission to the Imaum of Muscat, he returned to England by the way of Bombay; and while at Bombay he entered into a correspondence with certain agents of the Rajah of Sattara; he then being (let the House mark) on his return from a mission to which he had been recommended by myself to Lord Palmerston; and returning with the treaty in his pocket, at least returning from the performance of that mission. It came to my knowledge as the President of the Board of Control, that while at Bombay (as I before said) he had interested himself in the affairs of the Rajah of Sattara; and in fact, on his arriving in England, I found he had begun to advocate the case of the Rajah. When he called upon me officially at the Board of Control—I do not think I uncourteously receive any body at the Board—I asked him when he arrived, and so on, and whether he had not, in returning to England by way of Bombay interested himself in the affairs of the Rajah of Sattara? He said he had. I said, "You had no business to do so; you went on a mission of a totally different character, to which mission you were recommended by myself; and I cannot understand why it is that you, being entirely on another service, should interest yourself in this affair." Surely, as the head of the Government department connected with India, I had a right to tell an Indian servant that I considered he had gone out of his way in putting himself in communication with the Rajah and his agents at Bombay, instead of returning immediately with the object of his mission. Upon which this gentleman said, he thought the Rajah was innocent. I said, "Very likely you may think so; but I do not think that has anything to do with the matter. The question is, whether or not you should have so employed yourself." Then he said something about its being right to take part with people when they were injured. I said, "I do not think it was your duty to take that part." In consequence of this conduct, I thought it my duty to represent to Lord Palmerston that I considered Captain Cogan had not behaved with propriety in thus going out of his way, and making himself to a certain degree the agent of the Rajah. And if Gentlemen will look into the blue book, they will there see that Captain Cogan—I do not blame him for wishing to make himself an agent of the Rajah—wishes to bargain for 1,500l. a year for being an agent of the Rajah. They would have given him 1,200l., but he wanted 1,500l. Very good; I do not blame him for that. A man has a right to sell his services for such a sum if they are worth it; but I thought it my duty to represent to Lord Palmerston that in my opinion Captain Cogan had behaved with impropriety; in consequence of which this gentleman was not introduced to Her Majesty. The end was, that Captain Cogan took the first opportunity of doing that which I must describe—I leave the House to judge of its propriety. He went to the Court of Proprietors, and detailed this conversation of mine; I not having the least opportunity of knowing that he was going there, for if I had, I should have told exactly what occurred, and I should have requested somebody to state the words I used. But he went to the Court of Proprietors, and he narrated what he called the exact conversation with me, and which he says he is ready to swear to. Whether he will swear to it or not, what really did occur, I have stated; and I leave the House to judge of the assertions of a gentleman, a public officer, who has, I say, acted in a manner which I think highly unbecoming, if the agents of the Government are, when they are sent on one mission, to put themselves in communication with parties who are getting up an opposition to that very Government, because it was partly my own act; I was the responsible Minister of the Crown, and I recommended him to this appointment; and I have got his letter now (which I shall not read) thanking me for this conduct of mine to him, I was made, of course, the object of his attack, because I chose to tell him in private, and not in the insulting way he represents—far from it—(and I appeal to my general character whether that is not my habit)—what I thought of his conduct; and I state it now in public. I told him that I thought he had deviated from his public duty by making himself a partisan and an agent of the Rajah of Sattara, he then being employed upon a mission of a totally different character.


Sir, I very much regret that my hon. Friend the Member for Finsbury has thought it necessary to introduce this charge which has been made by Captain Cogan against the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Control, because I think that every Member of this House must agree, that if private conversations either with Ministers or with Members of Parliament are to be repeated, and made the vehicle of public charges, that all public confidence as well as private confidence is at an end. Sir, I do think, that what my hon. Friend, if he will permit me to call him so, has said with regard to the Rajah of Sattara, as far as my humble means of judging enable me to form an opinion, has been perfectly satisfactory to the whole House. I do think that nobody can accuse the right hon. Baronet with want of courtesy. I am of opinion that it may be said of him truly, that he is a lion in debate, but a lamb in private conversation. My purpose in rising on the present occasion, was to draw the attention of the House to the subject immediately before it. Sir, I was in the same situation as my hon. Friend the Member for Finsbury, with regard to the speech of the hon. and gallant Gentleman who preceded him, and who probably could have given us much information upon this point—I mean the gallant General the Member for Clackmannan. His speech was so strictly private and confidential, that I never heard one word of it. But if we accept the version of it which is given by the First Minister of the Crown, I do not think that that version places the case in a much better position than that which it occupied before. Sir, what says the noble Lord the First Minister of the Crown? The noble Lord says—and he endeavoured, evidently, to impress the House with its importance—"What! will the House refuse to give credence to the opinion of Sir Robert Grant?" I acknowledge the purity of Sir Robert Grant; but, at the same time, he himself, in the evidence I hold in my hand, expressly says, that although in his opinion the Rajah was not entitled to a verdict of—not guilty—still he ought to have a copy of the evidence laid before him, and ought also to have a fair trial given to him. Now, the whole matter resolves itself into this question—has the Rajah been supplied with a copy of the evidence; and if so, has the Rajah been permitted to have a fair trial? Certainly not; quite the contrary. The Rajah requested to be furnished with a Mahratta copy of so much of the depositions of the two soobahdars and the Brahmin as affected himself: this was not objected to at the time, and I believe I am warranted in stating, that from that time to this the Rajah of Sattara has never received any copy of these informations against him; and not only so, but Sir Robert Grant, in his Minute of the 15th of August, says, he is strongly of opinion, that before the case is conclusively disposed of, the Rajah should be made acquainted with the fresh evidence elicited against him, and should be allowed an opportunity of offering defence or explanation. He says— I repeat that opinion, not meaning that there should be merely the form or farce of a trial, to be closed by a ready-made judgment, but that the defence should be fairly heard and impartially weighed. Now, therefore, when the noble Lord tells us that this pure-minded man was of opinion that the Rajah was guilty, I think he is bound in fairness to state, that the Rajah of Sattara has never received any copy of the evidence, and has never been fairly brought to trial. Sir, I put it broadly in the face of the British House of Commons. Supposing the right hon. Baronet the President of the Board of Control had been accused, upon good evidence, of the charges which are alleged, I think so vaguely, and vilely as I may say, by Captain Cogan, of the Indian Navy—supposing they had been adduced on valid and good evidence, would you, the British House of Commons, have consented to have deposed Sir John Cam Hobhouse, from the Presidency of the Board of Control, to have confined him in a dungeon, and to have taken an examination before a secret tribunal, without bringing him to a trial before the face of the country? Why, it is truly ridiculous. We all know that such a transaction could not have occurred. But because this unfortunate man is removed from us by the ocean some thousands of miles, and because it is thought that every act of the Indian Government must be conducted with Venetian secrecy, you are content to enact scenes in that country which could not be enacted in this. But, Sir, I do very much regret that the noble Lord, instead of being so anxious to get his Bill for the Bishopric of Manchester through this House, should not have taken into his consideration this case of great and crying injustice, and have given a Committee of this House for the purpose of examining the charges alleged against the Rajah of Sattara. For what does the hon. Gentleman the Member for Montrose ask? He merely asks that you will give a Committee of this House to inquire into the charges alleged against the Rajah of Sattara. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Liskeard, who, in former days, was the incarnation of the spirit of liberty, will be, I am sure, the last man to oppose a proposition so reasonable. But, Sir, I lament to say, that it is too often the case, that a man is never thoroughly ruined, and his case is never irretrievably gone, until he is forced to appeal to the British House of Commons. We are called a Court of Appeal; and yet it is well known that there never has been an instance of any man appealing to the British House of Commons, who ever got justice done in this House. It is one of the last refuges for the destitute, where his case is debated, but he never gets a Committee of Inquiry into the merits, and the case is completely quashed for ever afterwards. This is not only true with regard to the Rajah of Sattara, but it is true also with regard to every case that is brought before Parliament. The matter immediately becomes a party question. Hon. Gentlemen do not like to criminate those who have gone before them, and therefore they support the decision, whether good or bad, which has been pronounced by former Governments; and the man, however oppressed and maligned, is left to labour under the imputation. Sir, it is extremely problematical whether I may have a chance of appearing in this House in the next Parliament; but I can assure my hon. Friend the Member for Finsbury that I shall be very happy to make one of the "eleven" who will urge this case. I rejoice that the hon. Member for Finsbury has taken this opportunity of rendering a just tribute of respect to my hon. Friend the Member for Montrose. He possibly may not be the great master of the English language which the noble Lord is—he may occasionally descend even to quibble in this House; but I will say, that it did require some greater tribute of respect to the merits of the man who said he was "ready to vote that black was white" to support the noble Lord. I must say, I was a little astonished at the deep ingratitude of the noble Lord, in forgetting all the past services of my hon. Friend, when, upon a late occasion, he thought it necessary to use the very strong language he then employed. And let me tell the noble Lord, that a reprobation of that sort coming from the Prime Minister is stronger than if it came from a private individual. However, I am rejoiced to hear that the noble Lord, with that chivalry which is known to belong to his character, has made the amende honorable to my hon. Friend. Sir, I wish he would go further, and make the amende honorable to the deposed Rajah of Sattara. I am sure that the noble Lord cannot make his position in this country stronger—firm as it is at present—than by taking up the case of a deposed and injured Prince whose cause has been so ably advocated upon all occasions by my Friend the Member for Montrose; and I trust that he will be inclined to put off the introduction of this very obnoxious Bishopric of Manchester Bill, and devote himself to a far greater and I will say a holier cause—an inquiry into the merits of the charges brought against the Rajah of Sattara.


I hope I may be allowed to say that I have no knowledge of Captain Cogan, and that the extract I read was from a printed volume of the proceedings in the Court of Directors.


Mr. Speaker, it is not my intention to detain the House at any length; but it is impossible, after the pains I have bestowed on these papers, that I should refrain from saying a word or two on this occasion; and I hope the House will, therefore, bear with me for a few moments. With respect to joining that party to which my hon. Friend has alluded, I do not know how that may be; I think the less any of us say about what we will do in another Parliament the better. But I understood that the "eleven," to which the hon. Member alluded, to be an eleven of which he is to be the head, as one for the county of Middlesex; and I dare say it is very likely that Middlesex will meet with success. Now, Sir, with respect to the question immediately before the House, I am more than ever disappointed at the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Control, because I am not one who believes the statement which has been made by my hon. Friend the Member for Fins-bury from the letter which he read. I have too high an opinion of the right hon. Gentleman to suppose that he would be guilty of such incivility as is alleged to have taken place. I should say, that of all men in his station, whom I have ever known in this House, he is one of the last to be justly subjected to such a charge as this. But this is one of the gross acts of injustice which arise from the very proceedings of the right hon. Gentleman himself. Why does he back the East India Board in concealing the truth upon these questions? Why does he allow his own character to suffer in public estimation, when, I have no doubt, if due inquiry were granted, his own character would come out clear and unimpeachable? Why does he allow that character to suffer, because he will back up certain East Indians, who, knowing nothing of the principles of English liberty, believe that our rule in India is to be supported on the old principle on which it was maintained before there was a free press in India; for many such persons there are both in India and at home in Leadenhall street? Why does he sacrifice his own opinions and principles—fair and honourable as they are—to such things? That is the great evil which he is doing to himself and his Government. It seems to me that on these questions all Ministries commit one fatal mistake; they appear to forget that the wisest policy is, to do justice. They talk of a trial having been granted. I was particularly sorry to hear the noble Lord reiterate the statement that there had been a trial of this Rajah, and that if we were not contented with the issue of one trial, there was no reason why we should be contented with the issue of another. The whole question is, whether he has been tried at all. If he has been fairly tried, then cadet questio; we do not want to enter into that question further. But the noble Lord knows that he has not been fairly tried. How could a man be fairly tried without a copy of the charges on which he was arraigned? This man applied for a copy of those charges; he was promised a copy of them; but he never knew what the evidence was which was to be brought against him, which, in his case, it was as necessary to see as a copy of the charges themselves, although, strictly, it was not so legally his due; but a copy of the charges was legally his due on every principle of jurisprudence and on every principle of justice. This Prince could not answer the case which was brought against him until he knew what it was. It was said on a former occasion—and was made an objection to the Rajah, to which I endeavoured to lay before the House an answer—that the investigation of this case could not he taken up on the principles of English jurisprudence; and I said, that even though I did not consider that this Prince could have been tried apon the strict rules of the English law of evidence, yet that a case of prosecution must be considered on those principles, and with a view to deliberation, founded on the same proceedings as those which take place in the English courts of justice. Supposing I grant all that was said, still the principle of inquiry should be the same. A man should know what he had to answer, before he was put upon his trial. Supposing that a man was unacquainted with the language and customs of those who were to try him—supposing that he was unacquainted with all the forms of judicial inquiry, whether those which had been used in this country or his own—supposing he was unlearned in the law, was it fair to refuse that man an agent? Was it fair to say to that man, "You shall come before these three Commissioners, all of them the paid servants of the Government, who have to try you, and of that Government which instituted this inquiry; you shall appear there alone, unaided, undefended, unassisted, by any legal practitioner?" And when he complains under those circumstances, without having the charges laid before him, that he has not had a fair trial, would you consider it just that he should be told by the Minister of the Crown, in the House of Commons, "You were present at your trial, and therefore your trial was properly conducted, and we cannot allow any further inquiry?" Why, the Rajah of Sattara was present, but he had not the slightest power of meeting those charges; he was ignorant of the very language in which they were made, and he could not understand the laws upon which they were sought to be established. [Sir C. J. HOBHOUSE: He heard the witnesses.] I beg your pardon; he was present during part of the examination; but when he was present, it was a mockery of the forms of justice to say, that because he was so present, therefore his trial was fair. He never had a copy of the charges—he never had a copy of the evidence—he never was allowed the assistance of those agents, and that advocacy of professional men, which, as my hon. Friend says, the humblest individual is entitled to before he is found guilty. In this country an humble individual, if he is so poor that he cannot command the professional assistance of legal advisers and agents, has the Judge to protect him, and to see that justice is administered duly, fairly, and impartially, according to the strict observance of the rales of English law and justice. Who were the judges in this case? I cannot omit that part of the question. Why, the judges were the paid servants of the very Government who were the Rajah's accusers. The daily bread of those judges depended on their support of the accusations which they were sent there to try. They could not have come out of that Commission court—they could not have appeared again before those who had employed them to try this Rajah, with a verdict of "Not Guilty" against him, without condemning the persons who had so employed them to institute this inquiry. Therefore, I say, that neither was the court impartially constituted, nor had the Rajah a fair opportunity of clearing himself; nor was there any one particular observed in the whole of these proceedings from beginning to end, to satisfy those requisites of fair play and justice which ought to be the first points in the administration of everything like punishment in the case of every delinquent, whether he be high or whether he be low. But there is one other circumstance which was alluded to by the right hon. Gentleman on the last debate, when I had no opportunity of replying to his observations. It was this—it is said that it evinces a merciful consideration on the part of the Government of India, and the persons who conducted the prosecution against the Rajah, that they forsooth were willing to grant him pardon on certain conditions; and the right hon. Gentleman said to-night, that he might have been admitted to certain rights and privileges which he does not enjoy, if he would have given up his government. That, however, was not the condition upon which pardon was offered to the Rajah. The condition upon which pardon was offered to him was this—that he should admit he was guilty of those serious charges which were made against him. Sir, I say it is the consummation of iniquity in any Government, to accuse a man of a crime and refuse him a fair trial; and then, when he is groaning under oppression, to tell him, "You shall appear as an innocent individual, so far as your personal interests and your possessions are concerned; but in order to obtain your throne and your possessions, you shall upon your own brow affix the seal of your own guilt." It is a monstrous proceeding to add insult to indignity—to add indignity to injustice. Well, they have displaced this man; and what have they gained in India? Is his successor a better man than himself? Is it likely that the public there will be pacified by any such proceeding as this? Is it probable that a free press in India will allow this case to rest where it now stands? Or do you suppose that the people here will be contented with this refusal of justice? Why on earth is it that the Government bring these difficulties upon themselves? Why do they not at once say, "Here is a question on which there is considerable doubt, upon which the right hon. Baronet admits that the highest authorities of the India House are in favour of the view taken by the hon. Member for Montrose; they are in favour of the view which has been taken by him in successive years and in successive Parliaments: all that is asked for is justice—all that is sought is an inquiry; let us grant that act of justice, and then this whole question will be settled for ever?" If an inquiry is not granted, I tell the Government, and I tell the House, that the question never will be settled; and he is the best friend of your Government, and the most consistent supporter of the character of his country, who stands out the firmest for Inquiry into a case of such unparalleled wrong.

Report Consolidation Fund Appropriation Bill received. Bill to be read a third time.