HC Deb 18 March 1853 vol 125 cc434-6

said, he would now move that the House at its rising should adjourn to Monday the 4th April next. In doing so, it was also his intention to propose that after Easter Orders of the Day should have precedence of Notices of Motion on Thursdays. Considering that on these days it was always expected that the more important measures should be brought forward by the Government, he thought that precedence should be given to Orders on an additional day in the week after the holidays. Of course he would allow Bills introduced by hon. Members unconnected with the Government to be proceeded with on Thursdays when there was time. In making this Motion he could not help observing, and on this point he might address himself particularly to the hon. Member for Manchester (Mr. Bright), that he hoped that on Fridays, when the Motion of course to adjourn to Monday was made, hon. Members would not take advantage of that opportunity to raise a debate that might last some hours; for that was in fact making a Motion day of Friday.


said, that he would take advantage of the present Motion to ask the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Control a question, of which he had given notice, relative to the affairs of Scinde. In doing so he should refrain from entering into the general policy of our connexion with the province of Scinde, but would confine himself to one or two facts, showing the purport of his question, and the object which he had in view. In the course of last Session he brought before the House the whole question of our policy towards Scinde, and of the present condition of the unfortunate rulers of that country, who had been deprived of their territory by the British Government; and he had then pointed out what he thought should be done to remedy the serious detriment which he believed that the character of that Government had sustained by its policy towards the Ameers of Scinde. In 1843, after a series of brilliant military exploits, the British Government annexed to British India a large portion of the country of Scinde; and the portion not annexed was made over to Ali Morad, the brother of the ruler we found in that country. But previous to that transaction it was stated by the head of the family that Ali Morad had got possession of a portion of territory which belonged to the British Government. A Commission was appointed to inquire into the matter, and he was found guilty of fraud, and sentenced to lose a portion of that territory; and it was respecting that territory that he wished to put the question of which he had given notice to his right hon. Friend. He thought they should avail themselves of the opportunity of making use of that territory to relieve, if possible, the condition of the unfortunate ex-rulers of Scinde. If that were merely his opinion, it might not be entitled to any great weight; but when he believed that opinion was supported by some of the highest authorities in India, it assumed a totally different character. He begged, in support of his proposition, to read an extract with reference to the good conduct of the persons to whose case this question had reference. It was taken from a document written by the British Resident in Upper Scinde, who stated that the conduct of those princes was most exemplary; and that their claims were in his opinion entitled to the favourable consideration of the British Government. That was the opinion of one who was deemed worthy to fill the situation of Resident of Upper Scinde, and to act as representative there of their most gracious Sovereign. There was one thing more he wished to remark in favour of those princes. After the cession of 1843, some of those princes were sent to prison, and the eldest of them died in captivity. The remaining portion of the family that had been hurled from the throne still remained in Scinde. They had been placed under the charge of Ali Morad, and it was stated that they had received from him indignities of the grossest character. There was one remark which he wished to make in reference to a matter personal to himself that had occurred in the course of the debate last Session. It was then stated by an hon. Friend of his that he was a Member of the Government of Sir Robert Peel when Scinde was annexed. He (Lord Jocelyn) was not a Member of Sir Robert Peel's Government at that time; and Sir Robert Peel was aware, when he took office under him, of his strong opinions on the question of Scinde. He had intended to bring the subject before the House in the shape of an Address to Her Majesty, but knowing that there sat on the Treasury benches some of his right hon. Friends who took as warm an interest in the question as himself, he thought it was his duty in the first place to give the Government an opportunity of stating whether any and what measures have been taken, according to the recommendation of the Governor General of India in his Lordship's Minute, dated the 27th day of February, 1851, to appropriate a portion of the revenue of the territory withdrawn from Ali Morad, Ameer of Upper Scinde, as a penalty for forgery, for the relief of the Ameers of Scinde and their families, who were dispossessed of their territories in 1843, by the orders of the British Government?


said, he hoped the noble Lord would not consider it disrespectful if he declined to interrupt the business of the evening by entering into a general discussion. With regard to the question, it appeared that the Commissioner of Scinde had been directed to inquire into the circumstances affecting the whole of the persons concerned; and that in the mean time an allowance had been made for their subsistence. The report which the Commissioner made to the Govevnor of Bombay, in the first instance, embraced only the case of a portion of the Ameers, and he had been directed to make an inquiry with regard to the remainder.