Order read, for resuming Adjourned Debate on Amendment proposed to Question [12th February],—
That leave be given to bring in a Bill for the better Government of India." And which Amendment was, to leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "it is not at present expedient to legislate for the Government of India," instead thereof.
§ Question again proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ Debate resumed.
§ COLONEL SYKES
said, that he was desirous in the first place of setting himself right with the House, inasmuch as it might be reasonably inferred that from his long connection—nearly eighteen years—with the Court of Directors, he would have certain predilections in favour of that Court. Great injustice, however, would be done to the Court, and the statements he had to make in its defence would be unfairly weakened, if that feeling were entertained by the House. He had so frequently for many years past opposed the views of the Court of Directors upon questions of public policy that he had exposed himself to the imputation of belonging to the Opposition benches. That opposition operated among his colleagues to his prejudice, and had delayed his access to the honour of the Chair of the Court of Directors beyond the customary period. If therefore, be had any bias with respect to the Court, it would be against rather than in favour of it. He trusted, therefore, that the House would be disposed to regard the statements which he had to make on the present occasion as those of a witness to the truth, and not as those of an apologist or panegyrist of the Court of Directors. He would first notice the grounds on which the noble Lord proposed to make this transfer of power. The noble Lord said:—In making this proposal I feel myself bound in the first place to say that I do not make it in any spirit of hostility to the East India Company, or as meaning thereby to imply any blame or censure upon the administration of India by that Corporation. I believe the East India Company has done many good things in India. I believe that its administration has been attended with great advantage to the population under its rule. It is not on the ground of any delinquency on the part of the East India Company, but on the ground of the inconvenience and injurious character of the existing arrangements, that I propose this measure to the House.1608 Inconvenience and the injurious character of the existing arrangements, then, were the sole grounds on which the noble Lord proposed this momentous change? But what said the Chancellor of the Exchequer? That right hon. Gentleman stated that the East India Company had done nothing at all—that all the glory of expanding the space on which two small factories stood into a magnificent empire that would have excited the envy of Alexander the Great and of Augustus Cæesar was the result—of what? Of the insubordination of the servants of the East India Company! That assertion was in direct opposition to the admission of the noble Lord as to the excellent manner in which the Company had administered Indian affairs. The First Lord of the Treasury also said:—This system of check and counter-check may be carried too far. There is no doubt that these cheeks are requisite in every political machine, but you may multiply your checks and counterchecks to such an extent that the functions of the machine, which are intended only to be controlled, are paralyzed for every useful purpose.He (Colonel Sykes) challenged some Member of the Government to give an instance in which these checks and counter-checks had paralyzed the administration of Indian affairs. The noble Lord added:—When Indian questions are discussed it is the constant habit of those who take part in the debate, in impugning what has been done, to make Her Majesty's Government responsible for everything that occurs, although they cannot be fairly answerable for things over which they have not perfect control, and which they cannot entirely direct.He would show shortly where the perfect control and responsibility really rested. What said the right hon. Gentleman the Vice President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Lowe)? That the Court of Directors was entitled to neither praise nor censure, simply because for the last seventy years it had been deprived by statute of all power of carrying its good intentions into effect.In matters of state importance, they were passed by altogether, and in ordinary matters they were only allowed to interfere after the President had made up his own mind, when their interference was obviously nugatory." "Every week," says the right hon. Gentleman, "the President of the Board of Control has a meeting with the Chairman and Deputy Chairman, at which any matters requiring discussion are brought forward. The President's wishes are expressed, and then these to gentlemen go to the India House and prepare a ' previous communication.'The House should judge what foundation there was for this statement, or for the 1609 right hon. Gentleman's ridicule of the system of "previous communications" in the carrying on of Indian affairs by the Company in conjunction with the Board of Control. Hero, then, are three Members of Her Majesty's Government contradicting each other on the grounds for abolishing the East India Company. A "previous communication" between the Members of the Government, before the noble Lord brought his Motion into the House, might have saved them from this public expression of the want of harmony in their opinions. Probably the next Member of the Government who might take part in the debate would state some other reason distinct and opposed to those already noticed, for this transfer of power. The noble Lord had truly said that the Company deserved praise for its administration of Indian affairs. Returns which had been laid before the House proved the great progress made in the commerce of India, in its internal administration in its works of irrigation, its roads, its police, and the introduction of district courts of law, and in a variety of other matters, during the last thirty years. After the details of Indian improvements given by the hon. and learned Member for Enniskillen (Mr. Whiteside) in his speech of wonderful eloquence and crushing logic than which, as he had been told by one of the most distinguished orators in that House, no more eloquent display had ever been made within its walls—it would not be necessary for him (Colonel Sykes) to mention more than one or two facts. During the forty years from 1809–10 to 1849–50, the net revenue of Bengal had risen from £7,151,000 to £13,700,000; that of Madras had remained nearly stationary, varying only from £3,620,000 to £3,478,000; while that of Bombay had risen from £466,000 to £2,330,130, making a total increase from £11,238,000 to about £19,570,000. The exports from India had increased in the last twenty years—from 1834–5 to 1855–6—from £8,000,000 to £23,000,000 not less than 188 per cent, whilst the imports from all parts had increased from £4,000,000 to 13,900,000, or 227 per cent. With such facts staring him in the face, how could the Chancellor of the Exchequer contend that it was doubtful whether the possession of India had been of any service to this country? Why, such an increase of commerce in India must have tended considerably to encourage ma- 1610 nufactures in this country, and so to have created a demand for labour, and must have been of great advantage to both countries in their relations with each other.
There was one observation which he wished to make with regard to cotton. The Indian Government had been charged with doing nothing in India to promote the production of cotton, and it had been said by some, that whenever cotton was wanted in England, there ought to be found in India a large stock ready. Now the fact was, that the Indian Government had no more right to compel the production of cotton in India than the English Government had to compel the production of potatoes in England, for the benefit of Ireland at the time of the famine. It was entirely a question for the cultivator of the soil, and had nothing to do with the Government. But what were the facts connected with the production of cotton in India? During the last twenty years the Court of Directors had spent above £100,000 in cotton experimental farms—in the introduction of varieties of cotton seed—and in employing Americans at high salaries to superintend cotton farms; and from 1834–5 to 1855–6, the result was that the export of cotton from India to England had increased 346 per cent, and the general exportation had increased 141 per cent. He thought, therefore, that he must have satisfied the Chancellor of the Exchequer that this country had derived some advantages from its relations with India.
Ho wished for one moment to advert to a few words which had fallen from his hon. Friend the Member for Shrewsbury (Mr. Slaney). His hon. Friend had stated—The people of India, inhabiting a country blessed with the most fertile soil, and living under a Government formed from the most intelligent nation on earth, were yet plunged in the lowest depths of misery and degradation. The cause of this was, that they had for a lengthened period been more oppressively taxed than any other people on the face of the globe. The East India Company, as the lords of the soil, exacted from the cultivators rents so exorbitant and grinding as to be wholly without parallel in any other country in the world. One-fourth of the produce of the land was a very high average to levy in the shape of rent; but in Hindostan the proportion reached two-thirds and even three-fourths, leaving to the unhappy ryot the most wretched pittance on which human life could be sustained.He held in his hand a return, which was capable of verification by every Member of that House, of the revenue raised in the North-West Provinces from the land 1611 tax and all other taxes for 1854–5; from which it appeared that in the North-West Provinces the taxes collected under the form of land tax, abkaree, stamps, customs, &c, in the regulation districts, amounted to 3s. 3½d a head, and in the non-regulation districts to 2s. 3½d., while in the Bombay Presidency they amounted to 3s. 9¾d. It was true that it was not only the amount of taxation which was to be looked to, for small taxation might press very heavily in consequence of the lowness of wages or from other causes; but such was not the case in India, for, from inquiries which he had made some years back when the pressure of taxation was greater than it is now, he found that, as regarded the relative position of the labouring classes in England and the Natives of India, the comparison was in favour of the latter; for the pressure of taxation in India in relation to wages was as 6'94, while in England in 1851 it was 8'04. As regards agricultural wages, there is no doubt that they are very small in India, varying from 6s. to 8s. per month, but that is met by the excessive cheapness of living, for in many parts of India a Native labourer need not spend 1d. a day. In fact, as regards the relative condition of the labouring classes in India and England, he could truly say that he had seen in one street in London, when engaged in examining the dwellings of the poor, more misery than he had seen in a whole province in India; and yet Gentlemen in, and out of this House, made those unjustifiable assertions, which are damaging to the Indian Government, without the slightest foundation for them, instead of previously ascertaining the facts before they ventured to make their accusations. As to the tenure of land, it is a complete mistake to suppose that Europeans are excluded from possessing it; the fact being that any one can hold land who may choose to buy it from the Government or other owner, burdened with a light laud tax, usually fixed for thirty years.
Having disposed of the assertions of his hon. Friend, and those of the Member for the Tower Hamlets, who ventured to tell the House the Natives were reduced to eat the earth they cultivated, he would next advert to what had been said regarding the inconvenience of the "double Government." The noble Lord at the head of the Government, with that buoyancy, hilarity, and good humour which were his characteristics, had amused the House with the adventures of a des- 1612 patch between the Court of Directors and the Board of Control, which he had compared to The Adventures of a Guinea; but the noble Lord's measure was of far too grave a nature to be treated lightly, and he could only hope that the day would not arrive—although, indeed, it might arrive, and that at no very distant period—when that House would have cause to regard it with sorrow and not with merriment. He would now give the House the real history of a despatch—not the ideal history, such as had been given by the Vice President of the Board of Trade and by the hon. Member for Reigate (Sir H. Rawlinson), and as he had passed the Chairs he spoke from personal experience. A despatch with its accompanying explanatory documents arrived from India, addressed to the Court of Directors, and never to the Board of Control. It was immediately referred to one of the three Committees into which the Court was divided to which it particularly belonged. These three Committees, it should be observed, performed the corresponding duties of the whole Treasury bench, not, however, for a kingdom of 28,000,000 of souls, but for an empire of 181,000,000. At a Court of Directors, held on the 10th of December, 1834, it was resolved that all despatches coining from India should be referred on their arrival to their respective Committees for answer. Unhappily, that simple method of transacting business had been subsequently interfered with. It had been thought necessary that the answers to despatches should be drafted in the first instance to the India House, and then sent, in what was called a "Previous Communication," to the Board of Control, without the knowledge of the Committee to which they properly belonged. That unfortunate circumstance had originated much of the delay now spoken of as impeding public business. But this was not the worst. He had always raised his voice against the "Previous Communication," because, in consequence of the despatch going to the Board of Control, and being there adapted to the views of the President, or rather of his clerks, it was prejudged. When it returned to the India House to be laid before its proper Committee, where it had to be handled by experienced men, exercising their independent judgment, it might happen that they would not agree with the President of the Board of Control, or rather his clerks. They took the despatch and its inclosures into 1613 their rooms; they compared the documents and paragraphs together, making their own notes in the margin. The subject might be one belonging, for instance, to the Political and Military Committee, which discharged the analogous duties of the Foreign Office, the War Office, the Horse Guards, the Ordnance Office, the Medical Department, and all those functions for which there were separate departments under the Royal Government. The Committee met once a week they saw and discussed each other's notes, and then determined by a majority of votes on the paragraph which should go up to the Court. The members of the other two Committees then subject the despatch to the same ordeal, while it is lying upon the table of the Court for a week, and it is finally passed at a Court of Directors, which must take place weekly. Was there any Government on earth which could better secure that a question should be properly ventilated and sifted by independent minds? But, having been previously prejudged at the Board of Control, the chances are that that Board will not alter their views, but will insist on their original impressions; and, of course, the men best capable of judging from their personal experience are obliged either to give way or to cause impediments. This was the real state of the case with regard to a despatch; not one has its origin at the Board of Control. With the business of the Secret Committee, which dealt with peace and war, the Court had nothing to do. They had only to put their signature to a letter drawn up by the Board of Control, and then send it out to India. In that way there might be a war of which the Court knew nothing, as was really the case in the Affghan war, and also in the Persian war, when as Chairman he had himself to attach his signature to an order sending the expedition to the Persian Gulf. The Ministry, therefore, were entirely and exclusively responsible for everything connected with peace and war. And not less so were they in matters of general business, through their organ, the President of the Board of Control; for as the final approval or disapproval of each despatch resulting from the initiative of the Directors was at the pleasure of the President of the Board of Control, so the responsibility for those despatches equally rested with the Ministry. To show to the House the amount of business in which the Court of Directors exercised in the first instance an independent judgment, he had had a return drawn up of the official correspondence 1614 which took place during the year 1857—the year after he left the chair. This return embraced the different heads of public business, such as the finances, railway, electric telegraphs, public works, military, foreign, political, ecclesiastical, revenue, judicial, legislative, and statistical affairs. The number of despatches received by the India House on these matters during the last year was2,516;and the number of collections—that was to say, the documents containing the facts or data on which these despatches from India were founded—amounted to 16,950. To do their duty, the Court of Directors had, of course, to read these 16,950 separate despatches. It would be seen by and by whether it was not physically impossible for a single individual to read one-tenth or even one-hundredth part of this correspondence. The number of despatches sent to India in reply in 1857 was 1,833, and not one of these originated with the Board of Control. He now came to some figures which would astonish the House, after the representations which had been made to it by the noble Lord and the Vice President of the Board of Trade as to the delay in transacting the general business, and which delay and consequent inconvenience were the only reasons assigned for crushing a great historical corporation. The latter right hon. Gentleman, though he had filled the office of Secretary to the Board of Control, evidently laboured under some hallucination as to the mode of preparing the despatches. In the year 1857 the number of draft despatches approved by the Court of Directors was 1157. Those ordered to be for further consideration amounted to 464, and, notwithstanding all that had been said about the adventures of a despatch by sea and land, the average time during which a draft ordered to be on the table was under consideration was seven or eight days. He defied any office of Her Majesty's Government to produce such a return as this. Yet the East India Company were to be cashiered for obstructing public business; and the noble Lord complimented, and smiled, and slew. Many of these despatches, affecting as they did 181,000,000 of people, were of infinitely greater importance than Acts of Parliament; and in how many of them did the House think that alterations had been made by the Board of Control? Out of the 1,621 drafts only 140 had been altered, and many of these alterations were merely verbal corrections. Thus 1,481 despatches emanating from the 1615 independent minds of the Directors had been approved without any alteration at all; and that was the impediment to good government on the part of the Court of Directors of which the House had heard so much! What delay there was was caused by the interference of the Board of Control with minute details. When that Board was established it was intended to prevent the Directors rushing into war or indulging in financial operations which might endanger the welfare of India; hut it was never contemplated that it should make verbal alterations in despatches, or set about the consideration of petty details. Now, as a sample of the vexatious meddling of the Board of Control, he would tell the House what occurred in one instance, and, to avoid all personality or invidiousness, he would take a case before the advent to office of the present President of that Board. A despatch was received in the military department from Madras, one of the paragraphs of which recommended the granting of a pension of fifteen rupees, or 30s. a month, each, to the three grown-up daughters of a subadar-major who had died after fifty years' service, who had been five times wounded, and had volunteered to go to Java and had received the military medal and order of merit. The Directors at once agreed to this pension; but when the despatch was sent to the Board of Control 10s. a month was deducted from each of the pensions. This was a type of the meddling of the clerks of the Board of Control, and the chief cause of the delays. The details he had given would enable the House to determine where impediments to the transaction of business arose, and where responsibility really rested; and if delays existed, let them be compared with the delays in the passage of Bills through Parliament, and the comparison would be tenfold to the advantage of the so-called double Government.
He would now return to the Bill of the noble Lord. The Bill, unlike Fox's Bill, commenced, not with the enumeration of certain crimes and misdemeanours, but with compliments. Fox's Bill, which proposed the abolition of the Court of Directors, commenced with a recital that disasters of an alarming nature had long prevailed and still continued in the management of the territorial possessions, revenues, and commerce of this kingdom in the East Indies, by menus whereof the 1616 prosperity of this country had been greatly diminished, and the revenue and commerce thereof had been materially impaired, ? and then enacted that there should in future be seven Directors to be appointed by the Government, whose names were inserted in the Bill, and who should be assisted by nine Assistant Directors, to be elected by the proprietary body. There was then no attempt to abolish the East India Company, and the elective principle was maintained and respected. To these seven Directors was given the whole patronage of India, including the appointment and removal of the Governor General and Governors of Presidencies, and all the civil or military servants of the Company; and they were commanded, in case of appeals being made to them of injury or wrongs in India, at once to inquire into the complaints, or to state in writing their reasons for not doing so. In fact, they were made completely independent of party and Parliamentary influence, and were directed to exercise their authority only for the public good. Such a Bill one could understand; compared with that now before the House it was a gentle measure. Fox's Directors had a deliberative power, and were to decide matters by a majority of votes without reference to any other body; but the Councillors now proposed would have no power whatever; they were simply to record their votes and offer suggestions to the President, but they would have no independent character,—no stimulus to, or pride of action. As they were to go out by rotation, and their re-appointment rested with the President, their interest and their duty might not be always compatible. It might be injurious to themselves to record their votes and the practical result would be that the President would become a complete despot. Fox's Bill also allowed the Directors to have seats in Parliament; but by this measure the Councillors were to be excluded from that House. Possibly it might be very inconvenient to an autocrat President to have them there. The former measure was, at all events, justified by the anarchy which then prevailed in India, but this Bill was based upon a fiction of obstruction to public business on the part of the Directors, for which, as he had shown the House, there was no foundation whatever in fact. As under the proposed plan the authority of the President would be absolute, he ought to pass in review all the 16,950 collections, or data 1617 on which despatches were to be founded relating to twenty nations, and 181,000,000 of souls. He would appeal to the House whether it was possible for any man to read the one-hundredth part of the documents which he ought to consider before coining to a decision upon the questions brought before him? Having passed the chair he (Colonel Sykes) had some experience on this subject, he had no hesitation in saying it was impossible; and he would inform the House that for two years he breakfasted at the India House every morning, except Sundays, and rarely left until six o'clock in the evening. He was obliged to carry the papers homo with him, and seldom got to bed before two o'clock in the morning. Yet he never could read one-tenth part of the documents upon which he had to form a judgment. But he had means for getting through the work satisfactorily which the proposed despot would not have; he could rely upon the active co-operation and independent judgment of his co-Directors, who read all the despatches from India, and, in case of any ignorance or oversight on his part, he knew that the members of the several Committees were able to correct his errors. The proposed Bill provided for nothing of that kind. Under it the whole business would be left in the hands of clerks; because the eight councillors, having no deliberative power or independent action, would have no motive to labour. Did the House wish the Government of India to be carried on by clerks? He would mention another case to show how business was conducted in Leaden-hall Street. Last year the Government handed over between 20,000 and 30,000 troops to the Company for conveyance to India. The naval department of the India House was exceedingly small; but, with the aid of the six members of the Finance, Naval and Home Committees, it was able in the months of July and August to take up sixty-seven vessels—steamers and clippers of the first order, provision them, embark the whole of the troops, and despatch them to India, where they had all landed without an accident. That certainly did not indicate inefficiency, hut rather a significant practical embodiment of the "phantom" of the hon. Member for Kidderminster. Take another case, which occurred during his chairmanship. An urgent despatch arrived from India asking that warm clothing should be sent to the troops in Persia. It was received on the 13th of October; and 1618 between that date and the 20th of November, having put the order into the hands of parties whom they knew would fulfil their engagements, the Directors despatched to India 419 packages of clothing and 349 packages of boots—in all 768 packages—and Sir James Outram took them with him to Persia. These were not symptoms on the part of the Directors of inability to do the work which had been intrusted to them. In all these and other cases the responsibility of approval of proposed measures rested with the President; and the responsibility of execution with the Directors. The new Bill would not make the responsibility of the President more distinct or certain, and it would take away the prudent council,—the moral check, and the executive power of an efficient body.
He now passed to another and very painful subject, but having expressed in August last his opinions with regard to the mutiny he would not trouble the House with more than a few words on the present occasion. Everything that had coma to his knowledge since—whether in the shape of Parliamentary papers or in that of private communications from India or the confessions of condemned Sepoys—confirmed him in the belief that the origin of the mutiny was a frantic delusion on the part of the Sepoys of the Bengal army that the Government were going to degrade them from their caste. He was convinced also that the mutiny was entirely a military one in its origin, arising from religious panic—a panic which was taken advantage of, after the outbreak, by the majority of the Mahomedans in India to promote the restoration of their former power. There were no organized conspiracies among the troops, no common sympathy even, until the punishments took place at Meerut. From the moment that those eighty-five troopers were condemned to ton years in irons—from the moment they were paraded in the presence of their comrades, and three hours were taken up in fixing the irons upon them—from that moment an electric shock of sympathy went through the whole army. Up to that time there had been doubts and alarms, but no common sympathy or understanding. Then, however, every Sepoy in the Bengal army made the case of the condemned his own. Although the Government never intended that the objectionable cartridges should be used by the Sepoys, and withdrew them at the earliest period—and they never were in fact delivered out to the army, but only 1619 to the depots of instruction—each man said to himself, "I shall be ordered to use these cartridges; I must disobey, I shall therefore be condemned to ten years in irons, and consequent loss of caste, and the question now with me is submission or the extermination of my officers." We had seen the alternative which the Sepoys took, and the unhappy results of it; but the cause of their mutiny was so simple and plain that it needed no other explanation than the one he had now given. Predisposing causes there were, no doubt, but ample reference had already been made to them in debate, and the main, the immediate cause, was that which he had stated. If we had had the good fortune to have at Meerut a man like Gillespie, who put down so promptly the mutiny at Vellore, or if the course pursued at Hyderabad had been adopted in the first instance, the outbreak might have been extinguished at once. It was a mistake to suppose that the disaffection did not extend through the whole Madras army, in 1806; and at Hyderabad the men would have broken out into open mutiny, as at Vellore, had not Colonel Montresor, upon learning the state of feeling among the Sepoys, taken upon himself the responsibility of abrogating the obnoxious order respecting the removal of their caste marks. This deference to their feelings entirely satisfied the men; the Madras army had remained faithful ever since, and its loyalty has proved of the utmost consequence to us; without it, indeed, we might have been driven to the coast.
To pass to another equally painful subject—a subject upon which a great deal had recently been said in the pulpit and on the platform—said, too, wrongfully and unjustly to the great damage of the East India Company in the public mind—that the East India Company and their servants in India had denied Christianity, and had not manifested a proper sympathy with the Christian movement going on in India. Now, that might have been true in by-gone times, but it was no longer so; nor, to his own personal knowledge, had it been so for the last thirty years. Why, in India the Company proclaimed its Christianity at the cannon's mouth by saluting the Bishops when they arrived at military stations. The Sepoys necessarily asked the cause of the salute, and were told it was to do honour to the bend of the Christian Church, the Lord Padre Sahib! Here was no timid concealment or denial of our Christianity! But 1620 to show that the East India Government, nevertheless, had not been slow in giving executive proofs of their anxiety to promote Christianity in India, he had had a return laid before the House of Commons relative to the East India Bishops and the ecclesiastical establishment in India from 1836–7 to 1855–6. Prom this return it appeared that the salaries of the Bishops in the three Presidencies had remained the same—namely, the Bishop of Calcutta, £4,598 per annum, and the Bishops of Madras and Bombay, £2,500 per annum each. The visitation allowances of the Bishop of Calcutta had been increased from £104 in 1836–37, and ranged up to £2,931 in 1844–45, and fell to £752 in 1855–56. The chaplains increased in number from thirty-nine to sixty-eight, and their salaries had risen from £38,537 to £51,031. The chaplains of the Church of Scotland, he was sorry to say, remained the same, from the first mentioned year to the last. The expenditure for Church establishments had risen from £3,420 to £G,467, and the allowance to Roman Catholic priests had increased from £485 to £2,725. In Madras the number of chaplains had risen from twenty-three in 1836–37 to thirty-five in 1855–56, and their salaries from £19,153 to £25,006. The expenditure for Church establishments had risen from £1,938 to £2,636, and the allowances to Roman Catholic priests had increased from £808 to £2,580. In Bombay the number of chaplains had risen from fifteen in 1836–37 to twenty-six in 1855–56; and when he first went to India there was but one for the Bombay Presidency. Their salaries had increased from £13,005 to £18,036. The expenditure for Church establishments had increased from £1,74.1 to £2,021; and the allowances to Roman Catholic priests had risen from £552 to £3,147. In addition, £31,457 was expended in Bengal for the building and repair of churches from 1832 to 1852, and £51,192 was expended for the same objects in the Punjab and Bengal for seventeen new churches between 1853 and 1856. In Madras, £30,875 was expended for the same objects, and within the same periods, and in Bombay, £28,164; and it will be borne in mind that all this outlay, of £2,453,882 in twenty years, for Christian purposes, was from taxes paid by heathens and idolators. So far, then, as the Church establishment was concerned, the Indian Government had, at all events, shown a disposition to promote Christianity. But it had done much more than that, and 1621 had given grants of money to all the missionary schools, precisely as to the Government schools, for the purpose of promoting the education of the scholars, whether converts or not. He would read, in order to show what the real state of things in India was, the following extract from a religious journal in Edinburgh, recently sent to him—About five years ago a document was published by the Rev. Joseph Mullins, of (Calcutta, entitled 'Statistics of Missions in India and Ceylon,' from which the following extract is taken:—' At the commencement of the year 1852 there "were labouring throughout India and Ceylon the agents of twenty-two missionary societies. These include 443 missionaries, of whom forty-eight are ordained Natives, together with 698 Native catechists. These agents reside at 313 missionary stations. There have been founded 331 Native churches, containing 18,410 communicants, in a community of 112,191 Native Christians. The missionaries maintain 1,347 vernacular day schools, containing 47,504 boys; together with ninety-three boarding schools, containing 2,414 Christian boys. They also superintend 126 superior English day schools, and instruct therein 14,562 boys and young men. Female education embraces 347 day schools for girls, containing 11,519 scholars; and 102 gills' boarding schools containing 2,779 Christian girls. The entire Bible has been translated into ten languages; the New Testament into five others, and separate Gospels into four others. Besides numerous works of Christians, thirty, forty, and even seventy tracts have been prepared in these different languages suitable for Hindoos and Mussulmans. Missionaries maintain in India twenty-five printing establishments. This vast missionary agency costs £190,000 annually; of which one-sixth—or £33,500—is contributed by European Christians resident in the country.' At every station there has been some degree of success; there are some villages composed entirely of Native Christians; in the principal cities in which the missionaries have been located the trust of many of the more intelligent of the Natives in the faith of their forefathers has been shaken, while they are impressed in favour of Christianity; in the boarding-schools many young people of both sexes have been converted to the purity of the Gospel; and the solemn scenes of the hour of death have proclaimed that in the near prospect of eternity the hope of the sufferer has been placed upon Christ. The Native Christians have been exposed lately to the same indignities as Europeans in the massacres of the Sepoy war; and, so far as our information enables us to judge, they have been equally faithful in the hour of mortal peril.The result was thus summed up:—Happily, many of the murderous customs that were prevalent at the commencement of the present century are now interdicted. The widow no longer burns on the funeral pile of her husband, or is buried by his side. The deluded victim is no longer permitted to throw himself before the wheel of Juggernaut's ear. Ghat murders are no longer committed with impunity. Old men, old 1622 women, and children are not now thrown to the sharks at ' the place of sacrifice' in Saugor. Thuggism has been abolished. Slavery is no i longer legally upheld. These rites, and others of a similar character, have gone ' with the dust of dead ages to mix.' The connection of the East India Company with idolatry in its more open and offensive forms has ceased. The evils that yet remain will be exposed in these papers. Until the recent outbreak the residents in India, both Native and European, thought themselves as secure as in any country of the world. The plains of Bengal had been free from the scourge of civil war since the Battle of Plassey, fought in June, 1757. Until recently the press was free. The proceedings in the Courts of Justice are conducted in the Native languages. The out-caste has the same protection as the twice-born Brahmin. Hospitals and medical colleges have been instituted. There is cheap, regular, and uniform postage. The electric telegraph is in operation; extensive canals have been dug and irrigation assisted; railways have been commenced; and transit dues on interior commerce have been abolished. For those ameliorations, as 'concerning the kingdom,' the benefits derived from the Government of the East India Company are gratefully acknowledged; their sway has been an unspeakable blessing to these lands; but 'occasion and fault' still he against them as 'concerning their God.'Will the noble Lord prosecute his Bill with such a eulogium from a missionary society before him?
Now, one would suppose that all these praises were uttered by warm advocates of the East India Company—they were uttered by a missionary journal published in Edinburgh, and might therefore be taken as the true exponents of the feelings at all events of that part of the religious public who did not think that the Indian Government denied its Christianity in India. The work he alluded to was the Journal of the Indian Christian Association, published at Edinburgh on the 1st of January, 1858. Nevertheless, the same association in November last presented the following petition to this House:—
§ Petition Presented by the India Christian Association to Parliament.
§ "That your petitioners deeply affected by the calamitous events that have happened in India, have thereby been led to review with increased solicitude the course of policy pursued by the British Government throughout that vast dependency; and while they readily acknowledge that great benefits have accrued to the Native population from the just and humane rule to which it has been subject, your petitioners deplore the public reproach brought upon this Christian country by the countenance given to the debasing practices of the heathen by British authority. They are aware that, in some respects, this evil has, of late years, been greatly mitigated; but, from facts that have been made known to them, they lament to think that the baneful system of caste is still upheld by Government, that the connection between the 1623 Government and the Hindoo temples has not entirely ceased, and that, in various instances, there has been discouragement of Native converts to Christianity, who have been treated as if disqualified for employment by the Government, in direct opposition to the course of a wise and impartial toleration. Such a policy, inconsistent with the principles of Christianity, and with the principles of the British constitution, is now seen, in the light of experience, to be moreover highly inexpedient.
§ "May it therefore please your honourable House, in any measures which, in your wisdom, you may see fit to adopt for the better government of India, to provide that this public reproach be rolled away, by taking immediate steps for the complete removal of all Government encouragement of the pernicious system of caste, all public support of idolatry, and all obstructions to the profession of Christianity by the Natives, or to the free promulgation of the truths of the Gospel.—And your petitioners will ever pray."
§ Twenty-one other petitions have been presented to this House for the removal of the system of caste—against the public support of idolatry, and for freedom in religion; amongst which was one complaining of the gigantic obstacles which now exist to the spread of Christianity in India. He had proved to the House, from official returns and from missionary statistics, that the Directors of the East India Company and the Government in India did not oppose any obstacle whatever to the diffusion of Christianity in India; so far from it, missionaries of all Christian nations, and of all sects, roam over India at their pleasure, and instead of obstructing them, their labours were looked upon as advantageous to the country in assisting to educate the people; and their personal conduct was creditable to the European character in the examples they give of a true Christian life. But it is asserted that Christian converts are looked upon unfavourably, and cannot obtain employment under Government.
An instance showing the unfounded character of the allegation that Christian converts were not treated like Europeans had just come to his knowledge. At Kurrachee, in Scinde, there was a convert employed in the revenue department as an assistant. The collectors, it appeared, had to go into the districts two or throe times a year; and the European assistants and the Portugese half-castes had batta allowed them—that was to say, extra pay—when on these journeys. The Native convert was not at first allowed the same amount of travelling expenses as the European officials were; but he applied to the Bombay Government under Lord Elphinstone, representing that, as he was no
longer a Hindoo, he could not, when travelling in the country, accept or be offered hospitality by his friends, and therefore he ought to receive the same amount of travelling expenses as the Europeans. The Bombay Government, having considered that memorial, issued an order that the Christian convert should be put on the same footing as the European. What became, then, of the assertion that Christian converts were viewed unfavourably, and treated as if disqualified for employment by the Government in direct violation of just and impartial toleration:—and yet such was the language of petitions to the House of Commons! On the contrary, the Governments in India issued circulars annually to the heads of all colleges and schools, whether Government or Missionary, to send in the names of the most intelligent students as candidates for public employment, without reference to their religious beliefs; and in the three armies of India, Native Christians are entertained as musicians and drummers, and even in the ranks. The Bengal army had. in 1852, not less than 1,118 Christians; the Madras army, 1,663; and the Bombay army, 300. In 1850 a law was passed by the Legislative body in Calcutta giving to Christian converts, either from Hindooism or Mahomedanism, the right of sharing in the family property from which they were formerly excluded by becoming Christians, according to the ancient religious laws and usages both of the Hindoos and Mahomedans. This had created a great sensation in India, for a Hindooson was hound to perform certain religious services for the benefit of the soul of his father, just as Catholics would have to perform masses to get the souls of their relatives out of purgatory, the Hindoos believing in the transmigration of souls. It was a direct interference with the religious institutions of the Hindoos, and it certainly was no proof of our having denied our Christianity in India. Suppose that one of our historic Catholic families—a Talbot for instance—were to entail an estate upon the eldest son of the family on condition that he always remained a Catholic, and that the Protestant Parliament of this country should pass a law by which a younger son of that family, if he became a Protestant, would be entitled to share in the estate, what would be said in England of such a proceeding? It certainly would not be a denying of Protestantism, and yet it was exactly analogous to what we had done in
India; nevertheless we were accused of denying our Christianity. He had served a great part of his life in India; he trusted he was not deficient in Christian usages, feelings, and sentiments; the accusation, therefore, that he had denied his Christianity while in India was personally offensive to him; and in the name of the 5,842 British officers and gentlemen now serving in India he protested against that accusation as being as offensive to them as it was unjust. The parties who made that accusation would have done well to remember the Apostle Paul's commendation of charity. He hoped he should not be misunderstood. He highly approved the attempt to spread our holy religion in India—a religion which humanized all who adopted it—but for our own sakes that attempt ought to be made with prudence and circumspection, having before us always the inflammable materials with which we had to deal and the bigoted prejudices of the Natives, particularly in the fatal obligations of caste. Sir Thomas Munro says:
In every country, but especially in this (India) where the rulers are so few and of a different race from the people, it is the most dangerous of all things to tamper with religious feelings. They may be apparently dormant; and "when we are in unsatisfactory security they may burst forth in the most tremendous manner, as at Vellore. They may be set in motion by the slightest casual incident, and do more mischief in one year than all the labours of missionary collectors would repair in a hundred. Should they produce only a partial disturbance, which is quickly put down, even in this case the evil would be lasting; distrust would be raised between the people and the Government which would never entirely subside, and the districts in which it happened would never be so safe as before.
Alas, these words are prophetic of the bloody events which we are now lamenting! Not less decided were the opinions of the celebrated Abbe Dubois, who passed thirty-two years of his life as a missionary amongst the natives of the Madras territory, and who made between 200 and 300 converts; but they wore all from the low castes, and became Christians, as he said, with few exceptions, from interested motives. In the Abbe Dubois' published work occur the following passages:—
The Hindoos are a people entirely different from all others. You may, if you choose, exercise over them the most despotic sway; you may oppress them by every kind of tyranny; you may overload them with taxes, and rob them of their property; you may carry away their wives and children, load them with chains, and send them into exile—to all such excesses they will, perhaps, submit; but if you speak of changing any of their principal institu-
tions, either religious or civil, you will find a quite ungovernable people, never to be overcome on this point; and it is my decided opinion that the day when Government shall presume to interfere in such matters will be the last of its political existence.
All know that nothing is better calculated to produce irritation, opposition, and resistance than contradiction; above all, when the contradicted party is the strongest and most obstinate. Now-such is precisely the effect produced by the interference of the new reformers with the prejudices of the Hindoos, and I have reason to apprehend that the opposition of the latter will increase in proportion to the extent of the contradictions to which they may be exposed, until it shall finish by some explosion, which may make all India a theatre of confusion and anarchy, to which it will be in the power of no Government to apply a remedy.
§ "From my Mata, near Scringapatam,
§ "15th December, 1820."
§ Here, again, is a prophecy and by a Christian missionary, now too unhappily fulfilled. In the face of these opinions and facts, do the petitioners to this House really wish the Government to put down the caste of 160 millions of Hindoos? Could the Government do that, and dare they attempt it?
He had dwelt at some length upon this all-important subject, because if the proposed Bill were to pass, and the uncontrolled Minister of the Crown were to act upon the views of the petitioners to Parliament, or if he were imbued with the feelings expressed in the following extract from the Church Missionary Intelligencer, for January, 1858, the Government of India would not only be impracticable; but we might risk the massacre of every European in the country, and cause it to be deluged with blood:—
Under Havelock, the 78th Highlanders and their fellow-soldiers fought that series of desperate engagements which rescued blood-stained Cawnpore from the hands of the cruel Nana, and relieved Lucknow before the vindictive multitudes by which it was hemmed in bad overcome the constancy of its brave defenders, and perpetrated anew atrocities, the remembrance of which can never be erased, so long as a Mohamedan mosque or a Hindoo temple remain to remind us of them. Until these abominable systems, stained as they are with the blood of innocents, have been swept away, and the land washed from its deep stain of blood by the living power of Christianity, then and not until then, can these wrongs cease to be remembered.
The Archbishop of Dublin, at a meeting of the Church Missionary Society reported in the public journals on the 5th of February, 1858, took a much more prudent but not less Christian view of the duties of the Indian Government. He said that—
The propagation of the gospel in India, instead
of conducing to the revolt, had been one of the greatest checks to it. The people of India did not fear the missionaries, but they feared an attempt on the part of the Government to convert thorn by force. Government has not prevented the establishment of missions, I take this occasion to state distinctly, that I earnestly deprecate all allusions to Government. I may add, that as I shall, of course, deprecate the opposition of Government to our efforts, so I shall, if possible, still more deprecate any assistance of Government, as government, to it, as it will excite the greatest degree of suspicion and alarm, and raise the greatest prejudice against Christianity. I should say, that the maxim of this society, as a missionary society, with reference to Government, ought to be the same as the answer given by the French merchant to the minister who asked how Government could aid and forward the commerce of France. His answer was, 'Laissez nous faire'—let us alone I do think that the calamities in India are in some degree to be considered as judgments, not supernatural, but natural, upon our culpable neglect in not having over-Spread the whole peninsula of India, which it was free to us to do, with missionary stations and schools for those of the Natives that chose to frequent them. And I do hope that we shall learn wisdom by what has passed.
He concurred entirely with the Archbishop, who feared the interference of Government; for it must never be forgotten that we are but as one to 4,000 of the Natives; and for the sake of our safety, therefore, our efforts ought to be limited to appeals to their reason and judgment, and not be associated with demonstrations of the State to raise their hostility.
§ He would pass now to the question of patronage. This Bill would make the Minister of the Crown the despot of India. All the great offices of State in India were at his disposal; he gave them as he pleased. But the great offices of State were not the only disposable places. There were in India many offices, both civil and military, of from £3,000 to £4,000 a year, the patronage of which had hitherto remained in the hands of the Governor General and the Governors of the Presidencies; but when the Minister was no longer checked by independent men sitting in Leadenhall Street, who knew how every appointment was given away, might it not be expected that he would interfere in some of those appointments by means of his direct communications with the Governors in India, without this House knowing anything about the matter? The major part of military cadetships were to be given to the Councillors. That was a very proper arrangement as far as it went, but, as these Councillors were to be appointed by the Indian Minister, might it not be supposed that he would have some little in- 1628 fluence over his nominees? A part were to be set aside for the sons of old officers. That plan had often been considered at the India House, but had been found to be totally impracticable. There would be at least from 1,200 to 1,500 claimants for the ten, twenty, or thirty appointments which might be set aside, and who was to decide between them? One would support A's claim, another would think B more deserving, and a third would be for giving it to C; so that it would have to come to a toss up or a decision by ballot. It was found utterly impracticable to carry out the suggestion, and the matter was left by the Court as it stood. From a Return which he had lately obtained it would be found that the total number of cadetships given away from 1840 to 1855 was 5,477. Of these 1,865 had been given to the sons of military, medical, or marine officers, of chaplains, and of civil servants in the East India Company's service; 717 had been given to the sons of military, naval and medical officers in the Queen's service. Clergymen, the preachers of peace, would appear to have a belligerent progeny, for 580 cadetships had been given to their sons, and the remaining 2,315 had gone to the middle classes of society. He had no hesitation in expressing his firm conviction—and he felt sure that all his colleagues would say the same—that not one of these cadetships had been given away for party purposes. When the subject was considered in a higher point of view, as operating on parties in this country, what did we see? Of course, the party in office at the time took care to sanction only as Governor General one of their own side in politics. There was a proof of this in the case of Lord Heytesbury. No sooner had that noble Lord been appointed than the Whigs came into power, and though he had embarked they immediately put a silver oar on board the vessel on which he was and brought him back. In fact, just as parties were in or out, so were the ins and outs of Governors General of India. That was dangerous, to say the least of it. There was a mistaken impression in the country that the appointment of the Governor General originated with the President of the Board of Control. Such was not the case; but the course of proceeding was this:—the Chairman of the Court of Directors, having ascertained the feelings of the majority of the Court, proposed a certain name to the President of the Board of Control, and in case that 1629 name proved acceptable it was submitted to the Court of Directors, and the appointment was made by ballot, and he was sworn' in as a Company's servant in the same manner as the humblest cadet would be. But as the President of the Board of Control could veto any name proposed, the practical result was that a party man only would be accepted; the Directors, however, by the power they possessed, being able to prevent the appointment of an admittedly incompetent or dangerous person; and in consequence, with rare exceptions, the Governor General and Governors of Presidencies had been men of ability. Not so with the great military commands; and it had been the curse of India, that the Court of Directors had no power to object to any military nominee for high command. Those appointments were made by the War Department. They simply communicated to the Court that so and so had been appointed Commander in Chief or General on the Staff, and he was sworn in as a matter of course, the only discretion which the Court had power to exercise being as to whether or not they should make him a Member of the Council. The consequence of the absence of all control on the part of the Court in the appointment of the Commanders in Chief had been most unfortunate for India, and damaging to our reputation. There was Sir John Cradock—a military martinet, ignorant of the prejudices and feelings of the Madras soldiery—interfered with the religious usages of the Sepoys, and a mutiny in the Madras army was the result. An amiable man, but one quite incompetent from the state of his health, was appointed to command the Cabul force, and the result of his want of energy or bad health was, that the whole of that force was lost, and their bones he bleaching in the passes of Affghanistan, One European doctor alone escaped out of 15,000 men. He had witnessed in the Court of Directors the appointment of a Commander in Chief who, after having been sworn in, had to return thanks. That Commander in Chief was so weak that he could scarcely rise from his chair, and he believed that he never mounted a horse in India. He had seen another Commander in Chief sworn in who was so blind that on retiring from the Court he would have run against the edge of a screen but for the interposition of a Director. Again, there had been the appoint- 1630 ment of another Commander in Chief, an amiable man, a loveable man, and, he was told, an able man, and one much liked where he had been; but he had never been out of Europe, and he was necessarily entirely ignorant of the country and the people of India, and of the peculiar constitution of an Indian force, and as such he ought not to have been placed at the head of the Indian army, and we had now to deplore for the second time the mutiny of an entire army upon religious grounds. Whatever alterations might take place in the Government of India, he trusted that some provision would be made that the officers sent out in future to command the Indian army should, at all events, be free from physical infirmities, and should have some knowledge of the Natives. In the remarks which had been made on the subject of patronage no account had been taken of the enormous number of uncovenanted officers in India, of whom there were some thousands. Hon. Members all knew from experience the solicitations for appointments to which they were subjected from certain of their constituents, and he feared that these solicitations would be increased if the check of Leadenhall Street be withdrawn in the case of appointments of this description, which hitherto had been left entirely with the local authorities in India, but which might be interfered with by recommendations from home under a direct Government; and Brown, Jones, or Robinson, protegés of Members, might find themselves with snug berths, whether they were adapted to them or not, at the cost of the interests of India. Let the House reflect that the proposed Bill would give to the War Department and Horse Guards the additional patronage of an army of 300,000 men—the control, if not the direct nomination to all staff offices in India, and the Minister would directly nominate to all great civil offices, and might indirectly nominate to all other civil offices whatever! Would the House consider the constitutional liberties of the country safe by such gigantic influence being in the hands of military and political servants of the Crown in this hitherto free country? In the change which it was proposed to make in the Government of India he trusted that the past management of our Colonies was not to be the model on which the Government was to be framed; for that afforded but a sorry guarantee for success in the future conduct of Indian affairs. Were we to go through the ordeal 1631 of a battle with India, and possibly ignominous defeats, similar to those with the North American States, ending in final separation? Or were we, as in Canada, to force a rebellion and acknowledge independence? Or, as in the Capo of Good Hope, produce resistance to Imperial authority, Caffre wars, at the cost of three millions sterling, and virtual independence? Were we to have Parliaments with the twenty nations of India, after the fashion of Australia? or were we to reduce India to poverty and ruin, like the West India colonies? or provoke rebellion and outbreaks every two years, as in Ceylon, despite its vaunted administration by governors, whose average duration of office was two years and ninety-nine days, as held up for the approval of the House by the hon. Member for Devon-port, in utter oblivion of the past history of the island? He asserted that India would not be safe in the hands of men wholly ignorant of the country, and of the habits and temperament of the people, and that there could be no guarantee for the security of that great empire unless it were governed by experienced men, who were thoroughly acquainted with India and the varied institutions of her twenty nations.
§ He came now to a subject of deep importance to Liberal Members on the Ministerial side of the House and to the constitutional interests of the country. He would illustrate every Liberal Member's position by his own. He was a Liberal—or something more. He considered himself to be a constitutional Whig at present. At Aberdeen he had assured his constituents that he would do all in his power to assist in carrying a Reform Bill; and for what object was that measure to be introduced? Was it to increase the power of the Minister? He presumed not. Surely a Reform Bill should be introduced rather to increase the power of the people in that House, and to diminish the power of the Minister. That being his opinion as to what the Reform Bill ought to effect, how, on earth, could he meet the taunts of his constituents when he went back to them—as he hoped he soon should, with a Reform Act in his hand—if they should say to him, "Sir, you voted indeed for a Reform Bill, but at the same time you voted for a Bill that will make the Prime Minister the despot of the House." It might be his misfortune that he had read Locke, and that his mind had been somewhat trained to logical deductions and to acknowledge the power of a syllogism, and that he 1632 could not consider free institutions compatible with the powers of an autocrat, and that consequently he must have voted against the noble Lord's Bill upon constitutional grounds, and wholly independent of any personal considerations whatever. He hoped that hon. Gentlemen who proposed to vote for the India and Reform Bills, would be able to solve the difficulty in the presence of their constituents better than he should be able to do. The noble Lord, of course, expected that his proposed system of governing India would be characterized by a consistent and permanent policy; but how was it possible to have a consistent and permanent policy for India, while the Minister for India went out with every change of Administration? What would have been the result of the constant changes of Administration that had been made in past years if India had not had that "consistent and permanent" body which this Bill would annihilate? From the year 1784, in which Pitt's Bill—which, he must say, was infinitely more liberal than that proposed by the noble Lord—was introduced, there had been twenty-eight Presidents of the Board of Control, making the average duration of the official life of each just thirty-one months and a half. How was it possible for any man, whose official life did not exceed thirty-one months and a half, to administer any government upon a consistent and permanent policy? But the permanent Court of Directors prevented the evils which would otherwise have resulted from these frequent changes. He could not say whether the noble Lord wished, by introducing this Bill, to compensate himself for the loss of power which his Reform Bill would occasion him; but that idea possibly may have intruded itself. He had demonstrated to the House that there was no foundation in fact for the noble Lord's statement, that the acts of the Court of Directors impede the machine of Government, and that it is therefore necessary to abolish the East India Company. Admitting, however, the existence of impediments; they have been in operation for three quarters of a century, and have been compatible with great material and moral progress in India, and consequently there can be no immediate pressure for a change of government which will alarm the people of India, and indeed be a premium to mutiny. Have the members of the Court of Directors also, no claim to consideration; men of position, ability, and reputa- 1633 tion, who as the executive portion of the Home Indian Government have in no instance failed in their duties. Who in fact hold their office for terms of years by elections under an Act of Parliament, which, if the noble Lord can induce the House to abrogate, then no charter or rights of any corporation whatever will be safe. As the noble Lord has not adduced any sufficient public grounds, there surely must be some latent grounds for crushing the Court of Directors, and holding them up to degradation in the eyes of Europe; for their summary and unexpected dismissal must necessarily have that effect. Does the noble Lord mean to attribute the mutiny in the Bengal army to the mal-administration of the Court of Directors, when the supreme Government has told him it came as unexpectedly upon it as upon the authorities in Europe. It cannot be that the noble lord gives credit to the crude assertion, that in the present bloody contest in India, the Queen's name would be equivalent to an army of 20,000 men. The hon. Member for Reigate (Sir Henry Rawlinson), who was very deservedly cheered the other night for the ability he possessed—as an antiquarian—told them that the Queen's name was a host; but he disputed the hon. Gentleman's knowledge of India. That hon. Gentleman has spoken of his experience of thirty years, but it had been chiefly in Mahomedan countries out of India; for, to qualify him to take his seat in the India Direction by having passed ten years in India Proper, it was necessary to have recourse to the Ayeen Akbari, or Institutes of Akbar, and to admit that Affghanistan, in which the hon. Member had served, was once a province of India Proper. Now, the hon. Member must know, or ought to know, perfectly well, that there had not for six centuries been a Queen upon the throne of Delhi, nor a Queen upon any one of the five Mahomedan thrones of the Deccan. He ought to have known also that the Mahomedan law did not permit a female to succeed to the administration of political authority; and it was equally the rule and usage with the Hindoos. It was quite impossible for the Natives of India to appreciate the affectionate loyalty, the devotion, and in fact, the love—if I may use such an expression—which Englishmen entertain for their Queen—and which I most heartily and devotedly entertain; but if the Government of India were at present to be transferred to the Crown, the Queen's 1634 name amongst the Mahomedans would be introduced as "Padisha Begum"—that is to say, the Wife of the King; and it would be asked, "but where is the King?" Amonst the Hindoos, who were equally opposed with the Mahomedans to the exercise of administrative political authority by females; the Queen's appellation would be "Maharanee," Wife of the King or Prince. There had been one or two occasions on which females had been regents for their sons, but a male has always been the object of regal succession. The statement of the hon. Member for Reigate, therefore, was not supported by historical facts, nor by the usages or expectations of the people of India. With all anxiety, therefore, to introduce the Queen's name, let not her name be introduced under a misunderstanding of the supposed effect. Let them have the Queen's name by all means on a proper occasion and at a proper time, but this was not the proper time. There was now surging in India a feeling of panic and alarm which might burst out from one end of the country to the other—from the Himalayas to Cape Comorin. What effect would a change of Government produce in India? First of all, the Sepoys and those connected with them might say, "Oh, this mutiny of ours has succeeded, at all events, in putting down one Government—we have only to try again and we shall upset another." The present agitation in India ought to be allowed to subside, the people to be tranquillized, and their fears to be allayed, before any idea of changing the Indian Government was entertained by Parliament; for was it not well known that in many parts of India the remnant of Native troops that had remained faithful mutinied not only at the eleventh hour, but at the eleventh hour and fifty-ninth, minute, because, on hearing of the arrival of additional troops in India, they were seized by a fear of being exposed to European vengeance? Their belief was that the Europeans were coming for the express purpose of putting them to death with degradation, and they preferred death without degradation; the people at large also would consider the change of Government intended to carry out the exclusive views expressed by the Europeans of Calcutta and by part of the press in England; and most of all would they believe that the change was intended to carry out the views promulgated from the pulpit and the platform at religious 1635 meetings. It would be perfectly absurd to suppose that they could get on in India without a very large Native army; and they could never have that without respecting the prejudices of the Natives. The present vivid impressions from the blowing away from guns, and from the almost unrestrained power of multitudinous hangings, which Lord Canning has so humanely and judiciously endeavoured to limit, and the religious panic about caste degradations would have passed away, or be so weakened, ere long, that a change of Government might be effected without its object being misconstrued or dreaded; but my decided opinion is, that it would be wise to let that administration alone which has been not only compatible with, but has promoted the material welfare of the nations of India and the development of the resources of the country. I care not what form of Government it is, provided it protects the rights and privileges of the people, insuring to them equal justice with their Eropean fellow-subjects: and if Parliament should insist upon the abolition of the so-called double Government, then let its initiative be the doing away with the Board of Control—introducing the Queen's name—the constituting a Council sufficiently numerous to do the work of administering an empire of 181 millions of souls,—placing at its head a Minister of the Crown, with the same powers and functions, and standing in the same relation to the Council as the Governor General of India does to his Council, and the giving to that Council an assurance of independent action. Above all things, he besought the Liberal Gentlemen in that House to preserve the elective principle. If their professions to their constituents were worth a rush they would do so. They might then govern India well, and keep its administration free from party influences. Such being his views, he had been compelled to trouble the House at some length, and he would conclude with the words of a Resolution which had been unanimously agreed to at a meeting of the East India Company after a debate of four days, and which had been conducted with an amount of eloquence, ability, and of prudence and judgment which would have done honour to the House of Commons itself. That Resolution was, "That the proposed transfer of the governing powers of the East India Company to the Crown is opposed to the rights and privileges of the East India Company, is fraught with danger to the 1636 constitutional interests of England, and is perilous to the safety of the Indian empire."
§ SIR C. WOOD
then rose and said,—It was my duty, Sir, five years ago to propose to this House a measure under the provisions of which the Government of India is at present administered, and I hope therefore that the House will not think it unbecoming upon my part if I am anxious to address to it a few observations on the present occasion. I think, in fact, that the House will consider it my duty, and will expect me to say a few words with reference to the Bill which is now brought forward by the Government, and I wish to do so more especially because the hon. Member who moved the Amendment seemed to imply that there must have been something like insincerity on the part of the Government of Lord Aberdeen in reference to that measure. Now, the Act of 1853 did not change the form of the government of India, but it changed in a most important and decided manner its constitution. It is not necessary for me to refer to those more ancient times when the East India Company were, as the hon. and gallant Gentleman who spoke last seems to imagine they are at present, the independent and sole governors of India. That they were so once is no doubt true, but that has ceased to be the case since the year 1784, and my right hon. Friend near me (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) in that able summary which he drew of the history of the government of India and of its constitution, I think, clearly showed to the House that since the year 1784 the East India Company have been governors of India in name, indeed, but that they have never since that period had the exclusive or independent government of India. It is necessary to observe that the most important change which has been made in the constitution of the government of India since 1784 was the change which was made by the Act of 1853. The changes which had been made upon former occasions had indeed stripped the East India Company of some of its commercial privileges, but as far as the government of India was concerned matters had remained in the same condition since the year 1784. In the year 1853, however, we destroyed the constitution of that independently elected body, as the gallant Gentleman called it, by introducing into it a certain number of persons nominated by the Crown, and thus destroyed thence- 1637 forth and for ever the elective character of that body, and I do not believe that by so doing we in the slightest degree diminished its independent character. I was told at the time that the nominees of the Crown would be party men, that they would be subservient to the Minister of the day, and that they would impede the action of the elected members; hut I appeal to the hon. and gallant Gentleman himself, and to those elected members of the Court of Directors who have seats in this House, whether those predictions have turned out true or false. I ask them whether those gentlemen nominated by the Crown have not as faithfully, as fairly, and as independently exercised their functions as those elected by the Proprietors? I well know what the answer will be, and the best proof of what it will be is in the fact that one of those gentlemen has himself been nominated by his brother Directors, and the circumstance is as much to his credit as it is to their honour, to be their Deputy Chairman. We may learn from this not to be so much alarmed by those predictions of danger from further changes as the opponents of the measure wish the House to believe, and that nomination by the Crown by no means implies want of firmness and independence on the part of the nominees. The hon. Gentleman who has moved the Amendment bore testimony to the success which had attended the action of the Court of Directors as at present constituted, and I am not ashamed to say that I am sorry that circumstances have occurred to render it advisable in the opinion of Her Majesty's Government to put an end to that government as at present constituted. In 1853 the question of transferring the government of India to the Crown was fully considered by the Government of Lord Aberdeen, and there was a great deal then to be said in favour of that line of policy, but the Government came to the conclusion that it was not the time to propose so great a change, and they thought it more advisable to adopt the course which they did upon that occasion. But, although they did not then propose to transfer the government of India to the Crown, that alteration was by no means lost sight of, and hon. Gentlemen may perhaps remember that in that debate the possibility of adopting the policy which we now propose at a future period was distinctly alluded to. We did not bring in that Bill in 1853 with the notion, or intention, or for the purpose of 1638 subverting the Court of Directors, but we brought in that Bill because we believed that the form of government proposed by it was that which was at that time the best adapted for the conduct of Indian affairs. I stated, however, in introducing the measure, that at some future period a further change might be required, and that the measure which we proposed was calculated to render that change, if it became necessary, more easy and less dangerous than it would otherwise be. I am most anxious that on this point the Government of Lord Aberdeen should stand clear before the House, particularly as the hon. Gentleman who moved the Amendment seemed to imply that we had displayed something like insincerity, and I therefore shall take the liberty of quoting the words which I myself used in 1853, not that I wish to attach any unreasonable importance to any words of mine, except in so far as that upon that occasion I was the organ of the Government in proposing the measure:—We think it far wiser and safer to maintain the present form of government, and to improve its constitution in such a manner that, while it will be rendered a more fitting instrument for the good administration of Indian affairs, the change which we propose will in some respects render it more easy to do at a future time what circumstances or an extension of the information on the subject of India may render fitting—viz., to assume the Government of India in the name of and the immediate power of the Crown." [3 Hansard, cxxvii. 1153.]Well, Sir, the question was raised, whether the form of Government which we then proposed should be continued for a fixed period. We considered it to be a wiser course not to assign any fixed period for its continuance, and I then said:—We do not think it fair to tie up the hands of Parliament so as to prevent its making any change that may, even in the course of a short experience, appear desirable. The times change, and in these days no man can say how soon the necessity for alterations may arise."—[Ibid. 1155.]Well, Sir, another Member of the Government also spoke upon the occasion, my right hon. Friend the Member for Carlisle (Sir James Graham), and he said:—In twenty years hence the Government of India must be exclusively in the hands of the Crown. Possibly that event might be anticipated, and it might become necessary for the Crown to take the Government earlier; but the great object was, on the part of the Government which introduced the measure, and on the part of the Legislature which had to deal with so important a matter, to make that inevitable change, come when it might, as little convulsive and as easy in its transition as legislation could make it. His 1639 own confident belief was, that the proposition made by Government "was based on that view. He believed that the introduction into the direction of a small proportion of Directors nominated by the Crown would form the nucleus of a consultative body hereafter, which should be the Council of the sole Minister of India, named by the Crown."—[3 Hansard, cxxix. 70.]I think these two passages sufficiently indicate that in the Bill which we proposed in 1853 we contemplated that a measure like the present might be necessary at some future time—it might be at the end of twenty years—it might be much earlier, if circumstances or experience rendered it advisable. I distinctly stated that it was impossible to say how soon circumstances might make such a change inevitable. We avowedly left it open for Parliament, without any breach of faith or any contradiction of that which we professed at the time, to do what even then many Gentlemen deemed to be indispensably necessary, namely, to transfer the Government of India to the Crown, and put an end to the existence of the East India Company as the body in whose name the Government of that country is carried on. Now, we say that the circumstances then contemplated have arisen. Of course, it may be a question fairly open to argument whether the existing state of things justify such a measure; and the House will have to decide on that question during the progress of these discussions. All that I have aimed at showing up to the present moment is, that in bringing forward this Bill the Government are not acting inconsistently or insincerely as regards the measure of 1853; that the possibility of such a contingency as has now occurred arising, was present to our minds at that time; and that a provision was made to enable Parliament, whenever it thought fit, to effect this further change by framing the Act of 1853 in such a manner as to render the transition more easy than it would otherwise have been, and by introducing into the Court of Directors what my right hon. Friend rightly called the nucleus of the consultative body to be attached as advisers to the responsible Minister of the Crown. What we now propose is, to carry on the Government of India in the name of the Queen. I will not advert to the question raised by my hon. Friend on the fact that the Sovereign of this country happens now to be a Queen and not a King, except to say I am astonished that the syllogistic mind of my hon. Friend could have thought it worth while to frame an argument upon 1640 that accidental circumstance. The question before us is not, however, as my hon. Friend would have us believe, whether we shall transfer from the exclusive and independent authority of the Court of Directors to the sole and exclusive authority of a Minister of the Crown the Government of India. I never heard any one but my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Sheffield advocate even the possibility of governing India by a Secretary of State without the aid of a Council of some kind or other. Ever since the year 1784 the Government of India has, in point of fact, been a compound Government, consisting of a Minister named by the Crown, responsible to Parliament, and changing with his party, and an independent body performing the functions of a Council. Her Majesty's Government do not now propose that it should be otherwise; they propose that it should be a Government formed of a responsible Minister of the Crown, and a Council consisting of men who will bring Indian knowledge and experience to his assistance. I do not believe it possible to govern India without some such Council. How that Council is constituted, whether it is elected by the Court of Proprietors, or by the servants of the East India Company, or is partly elective, or partly or wholly nominated, does not affect the question of the mixed or double Government—if I may so call it—of a responsible Minister and a Council. I repeat, that there must be a responsible Minister for India in Parliament, forming part of the general Government of this country; and, in my opinion, it is equally indispensable that he should be aided, or guided and checked, if you will, by a Council composed mainly or exclusively of men of Indian experience. I frankly admit that no one, chosen as Ministers must necessarily be in this country from the leading men of the respective parties either in this or in the other House of Parliament, can possibly be supposed to be sufficiently acquainted with the affairs of India to enable him to deal satisfactorily with the multifarious details which come before him without a council of some kind to assist him with that special knowledge which has always existed, more or less, in the Court of Directors of the East India Company. Much unnecessary declamation has, I think, been used about the term "double Government." Certainly, a double Government, if its two parts were to act as my hon. Friend described to-night, counteracting and thwart- 1641 ing each other, and causing every possible delay, would be a great evil. But the double Government, in the sense in which I use the phrase—that is, a mixed Government—has always existed, and must always exist; and I remember my noble Friend, Lord Macaulay, in an eloquent speech which he addressed to this House in 1853, pointing out what I venture to repeat in a much less effective form—namely, that in one shape or another we must have a double or mixed Government for India, constituted of a responsible Minister and a Council to aid him. Such a Government I found in 1853, such a Government remained under the Act of 1853, and such a Government will remain under the Bill which we now propose. I must do the Court of Directors the justice to say that during my tenure of office at the Board of Control I found them most able, willing, and honest assistants and Councillors. I never met with anything in the slightest degree like antagonism from them. I received willing and ready assistance from every member of the Court, and every officer in their establishment. I had to do with four successive Chairmen and Deputy Chairmen—Sir J. Hogg, Mr. Russell Ellice, Colonel Oliphant, and Mr. M'Naghten. I saw them every week, and consulted them freely on every matter which was under consideration either at the India House or at the Board of Control. I never limited myself to seeing only the Chairs. If there was any subject on which I wished for advice or information from any other member of the Court of Directors, I requested the Chairman to ask him to come to me. I saw Mr. Prinsep on one matter, my hon. Friend, Mr. Willoughby, on another, Mr. Bayley on a third, and other Directors on other occasions. I also had frequent interviews with Sir James Melvill, with Mr. Mill, Mr. Mason, and other members of the establishment of the East India House, and I was only too glad to avail myself of the assistance of every Director and every officer of their establishment, as if they were part and parcel of the Board of Control and its establishment, all of whom cordially and ably afforded me that assistance. I was and am most grateful to them for the aid which they gave me. They were as good a Council as any man could have. I have no doubt that from the present Court of Directors as able a Council as could be found might be selected. But the House must see that, if 1642 the government of India is henceforth to be taken and administered under the name of the Queen, their independent existence as a governing body is utterly incompatible with that measure, and the assistance which I derived from them was not in the character of an independent body but as advisers, whom I could consult. Under a changed name they might act as well as a Council as they do at present as a Court of Directors. The substantial change now proposed, then, is in reality much less than it appears; and by it we obtain the advantages to be derived from the use of the Queen's name. I will not now enter into the constitution of the Council. A Council there must be. A more absurd mode of selecting a Council than by the votes of the Proprietors of Stock, who have no knowledge of or interest in India, cannot well be conceived. The result of that practice was such that in 1853, with the general concurrence of the House, we put an end to the exclusive system of election, and introduced members named by the Crown. Believing that the Directors nominated by the Crown, from their having come more recently from India, were in many respects superior to some of those elected by the Court of Proprietors, I see no reason why, if the members were mainly or wholly chosen by the Crown, they should not form as able and skilful a Council as any body elected by the Court of Proprietors. My noble Friend distinctly stated that in making this change he imputed no blame whatever for recent events to the Court of Directors, and I must say I entirely concur in that sentiment. Holding as I do that the Court of Directors is not the Government of India, but that the Board of Control and the Court of Directors constitute that Government, if I thought blame could attach to the one body, of course I must think it would equally attach to the other; and still more must I believe the Government in India to be in fault, which after all must necessarily be more responsible for what takes place in that country than the Home Government can possibly be. But I think that great injustice has been done even to the authorities in India in attributing to them, as has been done by some persons, great blame for the late calamities. I am of opinion, with my hon. Friend, that there has been no organized conspiracy or insurrection—that a great deal of what has happened has been owing to circumstances which no one could foresee. And though 1643 I do not wish at present to pursue that question, I believe the notion which has been so widely disseminated that the Government of India disregarded constant warnings is utterly destitute of foundation. It is now admitted by common consent that what has occurred has been merely a military mutiny. The Native Princes and the Native population, with, perhaps, the exception of Oude, have not gone against us, but have for the most part been in our favour. That is the best testimony to the good government of India. There may be defects in that government, and I know that there are. But when we are sitting here year after year to remove defects in our own legislation, there is but little wonder that abuses should exist in a country where with such inadequate means a small number of Europeans have governed 200,000,000 of people. Upon the whole, I think the Government of the East India Company has been a liberal and beneficent Government. It has regarded the feelings and the religion of the people of India. The hon. and gallant Gentleman has said a good deal on the subject of encouragement to Christianity in India. I think that Christianity in India should be furthered by voluntary efforts, and no one would wish more than myself to see it extend itself in India. But it would be the height of insanity, and nothing would tend more to stop the voluntary progress of Christianity than, if anything were done by the Government, to infuse the belief into the minds of the Natives that the Government of India had determined even in the slightest degree to proselytize. I see no reason why the same policy—wise and prudent as it has been—which has been adopted by the East India Company should not be pursued hereafter by the Government of the Crown. I saw with great regret an expression in that able petition from the Company which insinuated that the change now proposed might produce among the Natives of India a belief that an alteration in the policy heretofore pursued in regard to religion was intended. The Directors ought to have known that such an insinuation was likely to produce the very evil they deprecated, and a more unwise and unjustifiable expression could not have been introduced. I perceive no such danger arising from the proposed Government of India, but I should see great danger to our Indian empire if I thought that the feelings and opinions which find expression on the part of the people of Calcutta were likely to be the 1644 guide of the future Government of India. If contempt for the Natives, if the refusal to admit the more worthy of them to employment under the Government, if persecution and vindictive cruelty towards the Natives, are to be the feelings which are to animate the Government of India, then I hope that we may rather quit that country for ever. It is impossible that India can be governed by this country if these are to be the feelings that actuate the governors. We may garrison the strong places, we may hold India for a while, but we cannot so govern the millions of that country. We have deprived India of her own Government and substituted our own, we have taken upon ourselves the heavy responsibility; but, if we are to govern India, it must be for the benefit of the Natives of that country, and not to trample them under foot, and merely seek to find the means of employment for men and troops from this country. The main and important question is, whether the circumstances are such as to justify the proposed change of the form of Government. Certainly circumstances of sufficient gravity have occurred in India to render it advisable to consider anew how the future Government of India can best be constituted and conducted. I impute no blame to the Government at home or in India for what has happened. A great crisis has occurred by which a serious "shake" has been given to the Government of that country. It is therefore necessary that in looking forward we should, to use an old expression, set our houses in order, and put the Government on such a footing as may insure the best administration of affairs. We had a large and well-disciplined Native army, upon whose fidelity, up to a recent period, no suspicion rested. No men had better opportunities of ascertaining the truth than the officers whose lives depended upon the fidelity of these men, and who up to the last moment confided in them. The Bengal Native army did not deserve this confidence—the Bombay army was slightly tainted, while the Madras army remained perfectly faithful. I remember that some five years ago a proposal was urged upon us for amalgamating the whole of the Native army of India. Where must we have been now if this had been done? The taint must have spread much more widely, and it has been no small source of safety to the Indian empire that the armies of the three Presidencies have been kept separate, and that the disaffection which spread so universally 1645 in one army should hardly have reached another, and should never have touched the third. It will be impossible to restore the same Native army that we have had. It is equally impossible that a Native army in some shape or other should not exist, since Europeans cannot be expected to perform all the duties of the army in India. It will obviously be necessary to have a much larger European force than hitherto in that country. It will be impossible to leave India with 30,000 or 35,000 troops, and I believe that the most efficient means of maintaining European troops in that country will be to send Queen's troops altogether. We know that jealousies between the Queen's and the Company's troops, which even the present state of danger has not altogether stifled, have been of frequent occurrence. Would it not be wise to declare that the whole of the troops in the different Presidencies of India shall in future be the Queen's troops, in order that those jealousies, and difficulties should at once be put an end to? Would it not insure greater uniformity and unity of spirit if the whole administration of the army rested with the Queen? The same argument applies in a minor degree to the courts of justice. Look at the distinction between the Queen's Courts and the Courts of the Company. Five years ago the evidence before our Committees was all in favour of amalgamating the superior courts of the Crown and the Company. Great jealousies exist been these courts, which have impeded this union, and if Parliament put an end to the distinction between them in name it would go a long way towards removing those jealousies. Another reason weighs with me—that I think it important to put the Government of India on the strongest possible footing—to leave no weak place in it, no sore that can be touched by any hand. How many great authorities have stated in the other House of Parliament as well as in this their objections to the present form of what is called the double Government of India? I use that expression as the shortest to express the action of an independent Court of Directors and the Board of Control. Whenever an improvement is suggested in India we are told that the double Government is an obstacle to that improvement. Whenever delay is attributed to the Indian administration it is declared that it is owing to that form of Government. Is it not a source of weakness, whenever a desirable alteration is proposed, to find that the form of Government 1646 is taken as the chief obstacle, not by persons of ordinary or mean authority, but by authorities of the greatest weight? Is it not a weakness that organic change should be proposed as a remedy for every minor evil? Do you suppose that the Government so discredited by these attacks will command that respect in India which it is desirable the Government should enjoy? Let it be remembered that it is not now as in former years when time rather than distance separated the two countries. We know that English newspapers are greedily read and translated by the Natives in all parts of India. They read the attacks on the double form of government. They know that the election of Directors by the shareholders is laughed at and ridiculed by every man of sense. Is this likely to command the respect of the people of India, who know little of government except as a monarchy of a despotic shape, and who have no notion of a constitutional Government, or of the checks of our various forms of Government? In my opinion it will be wise to place the Government of India, especially after what has happened, in such a form that it will no longer be open to such attacks or appear to be discredited in the opinion of a large portion of the Parliamentary knowledge and talent of the country. I believe that it will be of essential value to govern India in future in the name of the Sovereign, that the Government of India will then be entitled to the respect of the Native Princes, and that you will insure that unity in the administration of the whole country which can hardly be obtained when you have those conflicting authorities both in regard to law and administration to which I have referred. If the form of government now existing was one which we could defend on principle, I should not so strongly feel what I have said; but can any man gravely assert that the Court of Proprietors, and the Board of Directors elected by them, is a form which any man in his senses would counsel if we had now for the first time to frame a government of India? It arose, as every one knows, out of the accidental circumstance of a trading Company acquiring territory which has from time to time been increased; and when my hon. and gallant Friend talked of the greater liberality of Mr. Fox's Bill, which to a certain extent retained the Company, he quite forgot that at that time the East India Company was a trading Company, and that, therefore, it would then have been as unjust to exclude the Proprietors 1647 who subscribed the capital from any share in the election of Directors as it would now be to deprive the shareholders of any joint-stock company of their right to elect its board of management. But in 1833, when all trading interest on the part of the Proprietors and Directors was abolished, and they became simply and solely trustees of the Crown for the government of India, that argument ceased. Now the only question is, how it is most advisable to constitute the governing power for the administration of Indian affairs; and I shall be much surprised if any one will rise in this House, and assert that the—I forget how many thousand—Proprietors of India Stock, who may know no more of India and have no more interest in that country than the holders of the same amount of Three per Cents or railroad stock, are the proper persons to elect the governing body for an immense empire. Then, Sir, if the present form of government is utterly unreasonable and indefensible in argument, it seems to me to be most desirable, especially at this moment, that we should constitute our Government upon the firmest basis, and so arrange it as to present it most advantageously to the Princes and Natives of India. That object will, I believe, be best accomplished by vesting the government in the Queen, and to be administered in Her name, not, as my right hon. Friend seemed to imagine we proposed, in a Secretary of State, but in a responsible Minister, assisted by a Council. The Amendment of my hon. Friend the Member for Huntingdon is an Amendment for time, and it is not a little remarkable that in 1853, precisely the same Motion was made. But it was then made by those who wished to go further than we did, and many of the same Gentlemen are now turning round upon us and advocating delay, in order to prevent our going as far as they then proposed. Something may be said for those who, like my hon. Friend the Member for Huntingdon, are not disposed to go as far as the Government Bill. I think there is a complete answer to him; but I shall indeed be surprised if those who in 1853 advocated the extinction of the East India Company and the adoption of the Queen's name shall now support the Amendment of my hon. Friend. An hon. and learned Gentleman, whom I am glad to see in his place (Mr. Whiteside). tools that line. In the speech in which he argued this question—I have no do; be very eloquently, because be is always consquent—he did me the honour to quote 1648 very largely from what fell from me in 1853 in favour of the double Government, and he seemed to think that it was a very convincing answer to my noble Friend. I am sorry that that argument produced so little effect upon him at the time.
§ SIR C. WOOD
In 1858 we propose, as Mr. Phinn did in 1853, to have a responsible Minister with a Council. In that year Mr. Phinn proposed to do away with the double Government, as it is called, and that India should be governed in the name of the Queen, by a Minister with a Council; and the hon. and learned Gentleman gallantly voted in favour of that Motion. Now, I should like to know on which side we are to reckon his authority, that for which he had spoken in 1853, or that for which he had spoken in 1858? For my part, I think we ought to reckon it on the side of the Government proposal. The hon. and learned Gentleman is an ornament of a profession the duty of which is constantly to make eloquent speeches in support of views of the truth of which it is not necessary that they should be convinced. That is the duty of an advocate; but I cannot believe that the hon. and learned Gentleman could in 1853 have done so strange a thing as to have voted against his conscientious opinions. Therefore I think we are entitled to use his authority on the present occasion, and to say that, apart from the question of time, he is still of opinion that the Government of India ought to be carried on in the Queen's name. I am very sorry that my hon. Friend the Member for Huntingdon (Mr. T. Baring) should have made this Motion on the score of time. If we are met upon the principle of the measure, I have no more to say. It is quite right that the question of principle—of the form of Government as it stands, or Government in the Queen's name—should be fully discussed and the opinions of hon. Members fairly taken upon it; but I much regret that a Motion merely for time, in order to enable people of diametrically opposite opinions to vote together, should be made upon so important a matter as the government of India. I am surprised that my hon. Friend, who was so anxious, and rightly so, to avoid the introduction of party spirit into Indian questions, should himself have made this Motion. I remember that in 1853 he spoke against the Motion for delay; and I cannot put what I wish to say upon this 1649 subject into stronger language than he then used. He said—The danger of delay did not rest upon any letter of Lord Dalhousie's but was apparent; for it was evident that if they weakened the power of the present Government by delaying the settlement of this question, by hanging up authority in abeyance as it were, and by advertising that there was going to be a new system, they would excite both Englishmen and Indians to agitate for two or three years, in order to determine the character of that new system, and would thus inflict an injury which no subsequent good government could rectify; for it was, in his mind, impossible to inflict a greater curse upon a country than at one and the same time to denounce its government as bad, and to announce its continuance."—[3 Hansard, exxvii. 1319.]Well, Sir, those at least who are in favour of governing India in the Queen's name, but support delay, are doing that which the hon. Gentleman said would inflict the greatest curse that could be inflicted upon the country, I hope and trust that the House of Commons will not sanction such a course. If for the mere purpose of gathering discordant votes a question is raised, not upon the merits of this measure, but as to time, simply in order to stretch the net wide enough to catch fish of every colour, it is doing exactly that which my hon. Friend so strongly and so feelingly deprecated—it is making the empire of India the shuttle-cock of party. During the two years that I was connected with the Board of Control I learnt to take the deepest interest in India, and I have never ceased to follow the course of events in that country, even amid the absorbing occupations of my present office. I hope that by my appointment of Directors I have shown that I was influenced by no party feeling. There (pointing to one of the Opposition benches, on which Mr. Willoughby was seated) sits the proof of it. I have shown that, attached as I must naturally be to the Bill of 1853, I am influenced by no personal considerations; of all things, I deprecate the introduction of party into Indian affairs. I join my hon. Friend in imploring, in the most earnest tones and words which I can use, every Member of this House to decide according to the best of his judgment, to discard from his mind all party feeling, and to vote honestly and uprightly for that which he believes will constitute the best form of Government for our Indian empire.
said, he felt very forcibly his incompetence to do justice to this important subject, and in rising to address the House he was still further embarrassed by finding himself in reluctant opposition 1650 to the right hon. Gentleman who had just sat down. The fact was that, in India, almost all the business of the Government was conducted in writing, and is made matter of record. To this great cheek he attributed much of the acknowledged purity of intention and beneficence in act which characterizes the Administration of India. Those who had served there were in consequence unaccustomed to take part in the debates of public assemblies, more especially of an assembly like that he had now the honour to address. They could seldom make speeches, though they were accustomed to write "Minutes;" and, for himself, he must say that he never rose in that House without feeling that he required their indulgence, and never more so than on the present occasion. Rising so late in the debate, he could not expect to be able to import into it much of originality or novelty, as most of the facts and arguments which he might have employed had been made better use of by preceding speakers. The first remark he would make was, that he was not wedded to any particular system, or to a name. He could even be content to see the East India Company depart, with all its glorious associations, and all its successive generations of able servants, civil and military, provided a substitute was found from which we might reasonably expect better fruits. Most cordially did he concur in the concluding remark of his right hon. Friend the First Lord of the Admiralty, that this was a question into which party politics and party spirit ought not to intrude; and it was on that very account, and because he thought in his heart that this Bill, if adopted, would ultimately destroy the freedom and exemption from the effects of political strife secured by the existing system of administering the affairs of India, that he gave it his decided opposition. He hoped they would permit him for a moment to recall their attention to the real objects of this debate. They were about to legislate for the most magnificent dependency of the British Crown—an empire in itself, not a colony—"the creation of many minds and many ages;" the value of which could hardly be overrated, and which he had never heard doubted till the other evening in the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He was inclined to prefer to the view taken by the Chancellor of the Exchequer the words of the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield, that "if we lose India, we should lose the world." They were about to legislate for 1651 an empire (I take my statistics from a Parliamentary Return recently published) with a territory the area of which was computed at 1,456,322 square miles—larger, in fact, than Prance, Austria, and Prussia put together; inhabited, according to the latest accounts, by 180,367,148 souls, not of one race, but of many races, all aliens in blood, aliens in language, religion, customs, and manners, not only from ourselves, hut from one another; yielding in 1855 a gross and, before this unhappy mutiny broke out, be believed, an improving revenue of £30,817,528, the value of whose exports and imports amounted to £34,965,182, a moiety of which, as nearly as possible, or £17,490,587, was exported to, or imported from the United Kingdom, a trade which, exclusive of the Native craft engaged in the coasting trade, occupied 25,325 vessels of 3,252,256 tons, in which were included 4,728 British vessels of 1,822,157 tons; and burdened only with a debt of not more than two years' revenue. Now, by what means and by what agency was this magnificent empire raised? Notwithstanding the high authority of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, he presumed to assert that that empire was created by the East India Company, and, as was correctly stated in the petition of the East India Company, without the cost of one farthing to the British Exchequer. It was true the Company were assisted by the troops and fleets of England; but let it be remembered that every farthing of the expense was defrayed from the revenues of India; aye, and that, on various occasions in Indian history, the resources of the East India Company were applied for Imperial purposes alone—as, for example, in Egypt, Java, the Mauritius, China and Persia, and in Affghanistan too, where an expensive war was carried on, not for Indian, but for Imperial purposes. Then, let them not touch this noble fabric with rude hands, or without careful and deliberate consideration, preceded by patient and anxious inquiry; for let them remember that, if they once destroyed the power of the East India Company, it never could be resuscitated, His first objection to the Bill had been anticipated by preceding speakers, and more especially by the hon. Member for Huntingdon, in his eloquent and able speech on Friday last,—namely, that it was inopportune in point of time. He believed in his conscience that the most perfect Bill that could be framed at this time, involving changes such as were introduced into the Bill before the House, would 1652 be productive of pernicious consequences. Surely it was not wise, in a time like the present, of great peril abroad and excitement at home, to introduce a measure which they could not hope would receive that calm and dispassionate consideration that should always be given to Indian questions. Surely it was not the part of wisdom to hang the sword of Damocles over the authorities of India and in England, at a time like the present, when the sceptre of authority in India seemed passing from our grasp, when all their thoughts and all their energies should be applied to the retention of our power in that empire. Disguise it as you may, the Bill if passed will effect a radical change in the constitution of the Government of India both at home and abroad. The East India Company had always been just, liberal, and generous to their servants, and could Her Majesty's Government think those servants would be indifferent to the extinction of that authority to which they had hitherto looked up as the guardian of their rights and privileges, and more especially the officers of the Company s army? There was not a more devotedly loyal body of Her Majesty's subjects than the servants of the East India Company; but that was not incompatible or inconsistent with a feeling of regret at the severance of the ties that had so long subsisted between them and the East India Company. His hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Reigate (Sir H. Rawlinson) had taken upon himself to represent the wishes of the Company's servants. He (Mr. Willoughby) did not pretend to represent them himself, but his opportunities of learning their feelings were at least as great as those of his hon. and gallant Friend, the best part of whose honourable career had been spent in Persia, Turkey, and Affghanistan; and he could truly say that every servant of the Company he had met, whether civil or military, had expressed a feeling of dismay at the proposed change. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had drawn no very flattering picture of the early history of the East India Company, but that had really nothing to do with the present question. When the right hon. Gentleman observed that the weakness of a vessel at sea was best tested in a storm, he might have added that that was not a very appropriate time to throw the captain and the pilot over-board. Another objection to this measure, equally strong, was the effect that it would produce on the Natives of India. The 1653 Natives of India were not, as some people supposed, children or savages. They were an acute, intelligent and sensitive people, and, above all, apprehensive of change. He was not aware that any desire for change had been expressed by the Natives of India. In fact, the only petition for a change that he had heard of came from a section of the Anglo-Indian community at Calcutta, and was caused by Lord Canning and his Council having refused to adopt a policy of indiscriminate vengeance, which, if adopted, would have drawn this military revolt into a national revolt. The Natives of India know that so recently as 1853, both Houses of Parliament, after a full and careful inquiry, reported favourably of the then existing system of administering the affairs of India, and that with a few important modifications (which now turn out to be the thin end of the wedge) that system was continued under a Bill brought in by the right hon. Sir C. Wood, Lord John Russell, and the right hon. Sir James Graham. They knew also that Her Majesty on the 20th August, 1853, in a Speech from the Throne, expressed her persuasion "that it would prove to have been wisely framed, and that it was calculated to promote the improvement and welfare of her Eastern dominions." They knew that the Act of 1853 had not had a fair trial, and, in fact, had scarcely been put into operation. They would at the same time say they also know that at no former period of the Company's raj was so much vigour and activity employed in promoting the moral and physical improvement of the people of India, or in taking care of their interests when their efforts were unhappily arrested by this calamitous military revolt. When to this they added that the Government of 1853 was partly composed of the same elements as in 1858, they would naturally ask why what was considered wisdom in 1853 should be considered folly in 1858? They would, notwithstanding all the fine speeches and assurances, that no fault or delinquency is charged against the East India Company, couple together the existence of the mutiny and the extinction of the authority of the East India Company, and guided by the public press, by orations from the pulpit and the platform, and by other indications, they would imbibe the impression, however erroneous, that they were to be the subjects of a change of policy—of a change of that policy which had been 1654 pursued by eminent men like Malcolm, Elphinstone, and Monro—that an intention existed of introducing a system antagonistic to all their most cherished privileges and feelings; and he warned the House that if once such an impression obtained hold of the Native mind the effect would be more disastrous than the greased cartridges had been on the mind of the Sepoys, for there it did not matter much whether a belief was true or false, provided it was seriously entertained. It was said the double Government was slow, cumbrous, anomalous, and irresponsible. The hon. Member for Reigate (Sir H. Rawlinson) had given an amusing account of the process which a despatch concocted in Leadenhall Street underwent before it was finally sent out to India; but his picture was greatly overdrawn, and by enumerating the stages which a despatch might go through, rather than those it did go through ordinarily, he had stated the exception and not the general rule. On the other hand, the Vice President of the Board of Trade sought to show that all the business of India was transacted in Cannon Row; but any gentleman practically acquainted with the duties devolving on the Court of Directors on the one hand, and on the President of the Board of Control on the other, would know how exaggerated and erroneous such a statement was, the initiative, save in questions relating to peace and war, being vested in the Court. Again, the Vice-President of the Board of Trade would lead the House to suppose that it was the duty of the "Chairs" to go up weekly to Cannon Row and obtain the instructions of the Board of Control. Whatever might have been the custom when the right hon. Gentleman held office at the Board of Control, he (Mr. Willoughby) could only say that the weekly visit of the "Chairs" had for its object to discuss matters of importance and to smooth over difficulties; but as for all the business of India, and the correspondence with India, with all the voluminous "Collections" appertaining thereto, being disposed of by the Board of Control, it was obviously impossible. With regard to the alleged anomaly, he (Mr. Willoughby) admitted there was anomaly; but was that a reason for abolishing a long established system like the government of India? Is the anomaly unattended with no compensating advantages? Are the checks it imposes against rash innovations, crude legislation, 1655 precipitant disregard of the rights and privileges of the Natives of India; and the security it affords for a careful consideration of the numerous appeals received from all classes in India, and on other points affecting the welfare of India, to be regarded as nothing. True it is an anomaly, but is it the only existing anomaly? Was not our own glorious constitution itself, with its triple Government, under which we enjoyed all our liberty, an anomaly? Was not our representative system an anomaly? What was one of our most cherished institutions—trial by jury—but an anomaly, seeing that one juryman might, by superior physical endurance, hold the remaining eleven in check from coming to a decision? What else were the Horse Guards and the War Office? Above all, was not the very possession of India itself the greatest anomaly? The fact was that the duty of the Home Government was more deliberative than executive, and India, to be governed well, must be governed in India. For that end it was necessary to intrust vast and almost despotic powers to the hands of the Governor General and the local authorities in India acting under him. But, in consequence of that necessity, there was the greater necessity for their acts and proceedings being scrutinized and revised by some intermediate and independent body, not in a spirit of captious objection, but of liberal and generous consideration and a due appreciation of all the difficulties with which they had to contend. He maintained that that duty had been hitherto most efficiently performed by the East India Company under the control and authority, of course, in the last resort of the Board of Control, always excepting that the Court bad nothing to do with the proceedings of the Secret Committee. On questions of peace and war conducted in the Secret Department, the interference of the Court is interdicted by law, and therefore as regards these they are free from responsibility. With regard to the alleged irresponsibility under the present system, he had been anticipated in replying to that charge by the hon. and learned Member for Enniskillen (Mr. White-side), who with that view quoted a very lucid passage from the speech of the First Lord of the Admiralty when introducing the Bill of 1853, which he (Mr. Willoughby) need not again trouble the House by reading. But it was now said that greater responsibility would be exacted under the new form of government proposed— 1656 namely, a Minister of the Crown, assisted by a Council appointed by the Crown, and subjected to the control of Parliament. He was far from desiring to give any, the least, offence to the House, but he thought, with all due deference, that that House would not, could not, and ought not to attempt to exercise the control over the proceedings connected with the government of India which was now exercised by the East India Company. They might depend upon it that as soon as the present excitement subsided that House, generally speaking, would relapse into the same indifference which it almost invariably showed with regard to questions relating to India. When the present crisis passed away India would again become the "dinner-bell" of the House; for, as Lord Macaulay once truly said, a turnpike Bill or a riot in Covent Garden always commanded more attention in Parliament than the most important question connected with India. His hon. Friend the Member for Devonport (Sir E. Perry) had already anticipated that spirit of indifference, for in the speech he addressed to the House on the question under discussion he urged them to strike now, and so accomplish the object they had in view, for "it was only in times of emergency that the time of Parliament and the attention of the country could be directed to Indian questions." Then he (Mr. Willoughby) said the House could not exercise the control which members of the Government expected it would do. He did not mean, of course, that a great question connected with India, such as the annexation of Oude, would not command the attention of the House and be fairly and deliberately debated. He alluded to the questions which ordinarily came under discussion before the Court of Directors. In the first place the Members of the House, generally speaking, did not possess the necessary information to enable them to do so; secondly, it could not spare time to do so from the consideration of domestic politics and concerns of this country; and for those reasons it ought not to make the attempt. The fact was that, according to his small experience, responsibility to Parliament simply meant that when a Minister was strong, and hacked by a strong party, he was unaccountable; when weak, he was assailed with party violence, and often compelled to do what was wrong or blamed for doing what was right. But, in the words of the historian:— 1657Heretofore one of the chief excellencies attributed to the present system is that India should be subjected to an intermediate governing body, unconnected with party politics or Parliamentary divisions, and independent of the changes of Ministry in England; one that should look to the government of India as its sole interest and obligation, and should not be liable to be diverted from its one great duty by the manifold objects which, whether of European or purely British origin, whether of great or trivial magnitude, must ever render Indian interests of secondary weight with a British Administration.It was true that in some cases this barrier against party influences and Parliamentary conflicts—this breakwater—had been sometimes broken through, to the discredit of the nation, but these exceptions undeniably proved the value of the check thus wisely interposed by the wisdom of preceding Parliaments. He might mention as instances of that the case of the Lucknow bankers, and that of the Noozeed Zemeendar, of which, in allusion to the Parliamentary influence successfully exerted, Lord Brougham observed,—Unless some such, agency was at work, nothing could be found to sanction the extraordinary interference of the Legislature to pass an Act in favour of a claim contaminated in its origin and illegal in its prosecution.Another case was that of Mr. Hutchison, an officer of the Company, who, contrary to the regulations of the service, had engaged in pecuniary transactions with the Rajah of Travancore. He presented a Bill to that House; it passed through several stages, but was ultimately thrown out through the opposition of the Court of Directors, aided by the transcendent ability of Mr. Macaulay, then Secretary to the Board of Control. So with the case of the Nawab of Surat. He did not intend to go into the merits of that case; but when it was discussed in that House a. tolerably large attendance was obtained through means of an active canvass, or of a process designated in America by the term "lobbying," although, a few days afterwards, the President of the Board of Control delivered his budget to nearly empty benches. So much importance attached to this point that he must be permitted to read the evidence of a very competent authority, Sir Charles Trevelyan. Sir Charles was one of the ablest officers of Her Majesty's Government, but one, whom India claimed as her own, because it was there that he had received his first lessons in statesmanship, and who therefore looked upon the question from an Indian as well as an English point of view. 1658 The following was the evidence he gave about the increase of Parliamentray action on questions relating to that country:—It is most essential that the governing body in India and England shall not be subject to party influences. This object also has been satisfactorily attained:—there is an entire absence of party feeling in India; everything is decided on its own merits. Whatever faults the Court of Proprietors may have, it has furnished an independent basis for the Government of India. Deriving their power from a separate source, the Directors have not been influenced by political changes. They are taken from the best and most substantial portion of the middle class; they have the English clement without any objectionable admixture of English party spirit. It is not the practice for them to take office under the Queen's Government; it is eminently a Government of the middle classes, and of the best portion of them. Their independence, also, in a secondary degree, rests upon their local position in the City of London, instead of their being at Westminster, and also upon their number being considerable. I consider that there would be very great danger in, putting the Government of India immediately under the Government of England.He then designated as the fatal detriment of the House of Commons—The evil principle which is known under many forms and names, party, patronage, favouritism, jobbing.He thus adverted to the action of this evil principle:—The Executive Government depends for its political existence and success upon the House of Commons. Each individual Member of the House of Commons depends for political existence and success upon his constituents. Even in ordinary times the executive Government and individual Members of Parliament find it difficult to refuse favours which it is in their power to grant, however strong the reasons may be against granting them; and when parties are evenly balanced, or great questions have to be carried, or a Government has to be maintained in power, or an Opposition has to be lifted into place, things are done in this country, in the face of our active public opinion, and free press, and freedom of exposure in Parliament, which show how much greater the evil would be if India were brought within the direct action of our party politics.He had several other great authorities on the same subject, but he thought that would be quite sufficient. It was true that the noble Lord at the head of the Government had spoken lightly of these great dangers in introducing his measure, but he (Mr. Willoughby) confessed he was disposed to agree with the opinion expressed by one of the ablest of the servants of the Company, the late Sir Charles Metcalfe, who, though an "Old Indian," one of that class which the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield (Mr. Roebuck) considered perfectly incompetent to have any share in 1659 administering the affairs of India, had stated it to be his conviction that if ever our empire in the East received its deathblow it would be in the House of Commons. Upon the next subject to which he would take the liberty of referring, that of patronage, he was very sensitive, perhaps Utopian. He had always been of opinion that no greater trust could be confided to man, or one involving more responsibilities than that of selecting fit and proper persons to fill offices of high trust and responsibility. That trust, in his (Mr. Willoughby's) opinion, is not sufficiently fulfilled by selecting one who is merely qualified; but the most competent man available should be selected. That opinion, no doubt, had been imbibed in India, where we bad seen patronage exercised for the good of the public service alone. It was his good fortune about twenty years ago to be associated in high official position in India with one of the best, ablest, and most conscientious men he ever met with, the late Sir Robert Grant. Upon one occasion he was consulted by Sir Robert regarding an appointment of great importance. He sent him a list of the names of those whom he (Mr. Willoughby) thought had any pretensions to the appointment, and in giving his opinion in favour of one, he enclosed an extract on patronage from a book called The Original, written by a well-known police magistrate in this Metropolis. He marked the passage then, and little thought at that time he should ever have occasion to use it in the House of Commons. In the chapter entitled "Preferment in Places" Mr. Walker said:—I have often wondered, both in reading history and in observing my own times, that there are so few examples of the worthy employment of patronage. It might be supposed the glory and influence that would result from it to men in high place would have made that the rule which unfortunately for mankind is but the exception. It is marvellous that the feeling of responsibility, that the consciousness of the destiny of millions being in their hands, that the love of the approbation of the wise and good, do not outweigh in the minds of Kings and Ministers all lesser considerations. Nothing would so effectually excite honourable ambition as the conviction that the road to preferment lay open to merit alone, and that every place would be bestowed, without other consideration, upon the person most fitted to fill it. All patronage is a trust; and bestowing preferment unworthily is a violation of a trust, and the greater the unworthiness the greater the violation. It is not enough to prefer those who are fit; the choice should fall upon the most fit. It is not enough to choose from those who apply; the most meritorious should be sought out, and the preferment offered to them, not as matter of 1660 favour and obligation, but as something required to be accepted from a sense of public duty.It is true these are not the doctrines generally received; if they were patronage would not so openly be made an instrument for creating undue influence or upholding party, nor would the public service be so often sacrificed for the sake of making provision for relations, friends, and dependants, a system which, strange to say, has many advocates amongst those who think rightly on other points. In my opinion, there is nothing more deserving of reprobation in public men than abuse of patronage, because I think there is nothing more detrimental to the public welfare. It not only discourages existing merit, but it encourages importunity, intrigue, servility, profligacy of principle, and many other base qualities which spread their pestiferous influences over society. It enables men in power to maintain themselves by other supports than that of public opinion, and surrounds them by a phalanx of hangers-on who effectually deter the meritorious from making their approach.He had read that passage, in order to state that, according to his own experience, the patronage of India was distributed upon the principles laid down by Mr. Walker to a greater extent than in any quarter of the globe. He did not pretend to say that interest and influence had not sometimes their weight in India, as everywhere else, nor did he wish to be understood as referring to the ordinary routine appointments in the service, which must pass to a class of persons trained up to fill them; but his remarks were applicable, in all its force, to what were known as "selected appointments," large in number, and open both to civil and military officers. These appointments involved the greatest responsibility; and in the exploits of the noble men, who had lately brought themselves under the public notice, we were reaping the fruits of the system by which the most important offices in India were given to those best qualified to fill them, He could venture to assert that, in these cases, merit and qualification for the most part secured the appointment; and in this manner some of the most distinguished servants of the East India Company obtained their first introduction into the public service. A very salutary check existed even with respect to the ordinary appointments. The Governor, of course, had the initiative, and may even overrule his Council; the latter have the power, on good and sufficient grounds, to object, and finally to record their dissent,—the proceedings in such cases being reported to the Home authorities, which constituted another great check against the abuse of patronage. He had 1661 frequently exorcised this privilege, sometimes on merits, but oftener on the ground of infraction of some rule or regulation—such, for instance, as not having passed in the languages, withdrawing more than the prescribed number of officers from the same regiment. But he was checked by his Council; and it was one of the objections of the present Bill that it proposed to do away with that arrangement. An "Old Indian" like himself could not be expected to look favourably upon a measure which substituted for the existing system the one which prevailed in this country. Here each Government distributed its patronage among its own friends and supporters. Under a Whig Administration the stream flowed in a Whig direction, and under a Conservative Government in a Conservative direction. Nor was the apprehended evil a light one. It was a great mistake to suppose that the patronage involved in the proposed change amounted to only a few cadetships. There was, besides naval, legal, educational, and other patronage, and it was elicited in the course of the evidence taken before the Committee of 1853, that those appointments were at present made in an unobjectionable manner. The initiative devolved upon the Chairman for the time being, but his nominations must be confirmed—they were often canvassed and sometimes put aside—by the Court of Directors. He understood it to be the intention of the Government to keep the Native army distinct, but to amalgamate the Company's European troops with the Royal forces. He thought that would be found a more difficult arrangement than seemed to be anticipated. This, however, would at once transfer to the Horse Guards 17,596 men, and 1,531 officers—a very serious matter as regarded the distribution of patronage. But his greatest apprehension related to the patronage in India, a matter which had been touched upon by the hon. and gallant Member for Aberdeen (Colonel Sykes). The Government, no doubt, believed the Bill to be a good measure, and it would be unfair to them to suppose that it was not introduced by them under that supposition. If it was in their power, he believed they would be glad to be relieved of all patronage; but that was impossible. It was the duty of a wise Parliament to foresee and to guard against possible danger. Suppose the case of a weak Minister, who had not the power or the strength to resist, or, what would be 1662 worse, an unscrupulous Minister, who was courageous enough to appropriate, would he not avail himself of the vast power conferred by Indian patronage? Without using strong expressions, he might say, that giving to the Imperial Minister the Indian patronage would enable him to convert the Treasury bench into a freehold. Just lot the House consider how the Bill proposed to prepare and pave the way for such a Minister. The Minister was to appoint the Governor General and the Governors of Presidencies; but they were to appoint their own Councils. And then what check would there be in such a case? The check at present was, that in case of any wrong appointment, or any deviation from the regulations, it could never escape the scrutinizing eyes of the Court of Directors, and, although that might be late, it was certain to be brought under their notice, when often the objectionable act was undone, or, if not, a censure was passed which prevented a repetition of it. The Bill interposed no check at all. He was bold enough to say that it would not be in the power of Parliament to apply any check. The hon. and gallant Member had also anticipated him, on another point—he alluded to the amount of patronage to be disposed of. Let it not be supposed that there was not a vast field open for a vast amount of patronage. There was the whole covenanted and military services, all the staff appointments, most of which were by selection; but, above all, to keep within the mark, there were hundreds—his hon. Friend had said many thousands—in which latter calculation were included all the subordinate appointments held by Natives, and in saying many hundreds, he (Mr. Willoughby) only included those that wore held, or likely to be held, by Europeans—hundreds of appointments that would come within the purview of the patronage of the British Government. There were the deputy magistrates, the deputy police magistrates, and magistrates at the different Presidencies, the survey officers, the legal officers, and an immense number of miscellaneous appointments too numerous to recapitulate. It might be said, in reply to this, that even under the present system the Government influence was felt in regard to appointments in India. In the course of a long official career in India he had known instances of Downing Street influence in India, but they were rare, and the check of the Court of Directors was useful in resist- 1663 ing them; and even supposing there was a desire, which there could not be, in a Minister to ask the Governor General to serve his friends, it would be detected and disapproved of. Under the present system the Governor General was, to all intents and purposes, a servant of the East India Company. He (Mr. Willoughby) had the misfortune to differ from the hon. and gallant Member for Reigate (Sir H. Rawlinson), upon many points, but there were some in which he entirely concurred. The hon. and gallant Gentleman had lately had to undergo the ordeal of an electioneering canvass, in the course of which he had been called upon to state to his constituents his opinions upon different matters. In one of those addresses the hon. and gallant Member referred to the danger of Parliamentary action upon the welfare of India, although it appeared now, that notwithstanding his opinions upon that point, he intended to support the Government measure. The hon. and gallant Member, in another of his addresses to his present constituents, said—The object of the Directors was to improve India for the benefit of England, and if that object could be better obtained by the Crown, then, in God's name, let the Crown have it.To which he (Mr. Willoughby) cried Amen! If he thought that the transfer of the Government to the Crown would benefit India, he would say, abolish the Court of Directors at once—But he doubted very much if the people of England had as yet begun to realize the important of the step which was about to be proposed. He doubted if the taxpayers of England were aware that in taking that liability upon them they took upon themselves the liability of £ 100,000,000 sterling. There would be a difficulty, too, in transferring East Indian establishments to the Crown, because they were on a different system. But the great danger was from the increase it would give to the power of the Crown, a point upon which Englishmen were ever most jealous. "When the Bill was proposed in the last century it was proposed entirely on the consideration that it was of the utmost danger to place an overwhelming influence in the hands of the Crown. He was quite ready to admit that means must be devised for preventing that evil, and for throwing open the patronage to the country at large; and, in that case, he would go hand in hand with the Government in carrying through the measure. It had been said that it would make no difference to the people at large whether the Crown or the Company had the patronage, because the military services would be recruited from the ranks of the middle classes as they were at present. That was the opinion stated in an article of the Times—an article intended to support the Government measure, but it omitted a most important question. The hardworking people would no doubt be of the middle 1664 class; but the sugar-plums would be reserved for the upper class. The great benefit of the present system was, that after a man entered the Indian service he arrived gradually at the top; but in the other system he might work for twenty or twenty-five years, and then have the sugar-plum taken from his mouth, and put into that of some titled favourite of the Horse Guards.Upon another occasion something like the same sentiments had been expressed by the hon. and gallant Member. In a speech, he had made in the Court of Proprietors, he said:—If selection, indeed, should be substituted for seniority in the higher grades and commands, and if the nomination were to rest with the authorities at home, I should apprehend that the rank and file of the army, the hard-working men who had done subaltern's and captain's regimental duty in the country, would be generally superseded by nominees from England, and that the morale of the army would thus seriously suffer. This is of course an evil to be guarded against, but it is not one of paramount importance or of constitutional danger '.There were many other topics upon which he (Mr. Willoughby) wished to make some remarks, but the present was, perhaps, not the fittest occasion for them, and he had already trespassed at too great a length on the attention of the House. He should, therefore, confine himself to stating a few of the objections which he felt respecting the Bill itself. He was quite certain from his own experience of the quantity of work to be done that a Council of eight would never be able to do it. It would be physically impossible. He did not pretend to say that, if the work were to be slurred over or done, in a superficial manner, eight, or even two or three would not be enough, but to do it in the careful manner it had hitherto been done would require a Council of more than eight. The old system of governing India might appear to be somewhat cumbrous. The correspondence from India might appear to be unnecessarily voluminous, and he did not pledge himself that in some details improvement and simplification might not be introduced, yet if they were to abolish the long existing system to which was attributable much of the efficiency of Indian government, which required that records of all transactions should be sent home, they would at the same time remove all checks upon malversation. With respect to the Court of Proprietors he regretted that it was intended to abolish it. He remembered, when in India, reading of debates in that Court which were of great value and importance 1665 to India. It was true that lately the debates had fallen off in value, but it did not follow that therefore they should destroy a constituency which he considered to be a useful safety-valve—a means of ventilating Indian questions before an audience who would pay attention to them. He did not mean to say that the Court should not be reconstituted, and the anomaly of giving votes to ladies removed, yet he would maintain it in a remodelled and improved shape. The Bill proposed that the Governor General should appoint his own Council. This he thought wrong. At present the Council were appointed by the Court of Directors to assist and advise the Governor General, and certainly from the mode in which Governors General were sent out it was necessary that they should have persons of local experience to advise them. He did not mean to make that statement offensively, for, taking all things in consideration, he believed that the Governors General and Governors of Presidencies sent out from this country had been, for the most part, able and distinguished men. He was speaking of their Indian experience. The Council were not only advisers but they were checks. At present the Council acted as a check upon the commission of any job by the Governor General or the Governors of Presidencies, but if the Governor General is to select his own Council, that check would be gone. He would not say he had not seen some jobs attempted, and perhaps had prevented some. In the course of the debates, many erroneous statements had been made with regard to the Directors to some of which we would refer. The hon. and learned Member for the Tower Hamlets (Mr. Ayrton) had done injustice to the Court of Directors in respect to the question of patronage, for although what he had said was technically right it was substantially wrong. The hon. and learned Member said that the Court of Directors, in its corporate capacity, never gave appointments to the sons of officers who were killed in action, or had died in the service. There was no patronage at all in the disposal of the Court in their corporate capacity, but the papers which had been laid before the House showed how patronage had been distributed, and would certainly refute the charge. If the hon. and learned Member was not satisfied with that statement, let him call for a return extending over a certain number of years—say five years—showing the donor, the receiver, and in another column (which 1666 would be the most important as testing what influence prevailed), at whose recommendation the patronage was given, and he was satisfied that such a return would be most favourable as respected the mode in which the patronage was dispensed. He did not think he need answer the hon. and learned Gentleman's remarks about the last farthing being exacted from the ryots, or to answer the charge that the Natives were reduced to the necessity of eating dirt, and he fancied the hon. and learned Member, when making such observations, must have had in his mind the Oriental expression of "eating dirt." The hon. and learned Member for Devonport (Sir E. Perry) drew a glowing comparison between the Government of India and that of Ceylon, favourable to the latter. The two did not admit of a comparison very well, but if it were made it would be found favourable to India. A similar comparison, had been made by the hon. Member for Poole (Mr. Danby Seymour), the Secretary to the Board of Control, though the hon. Member did not seem well versed in the history of Ceylon, or had not refreshed his memory lately. If he had looked to the evidence taken by the Select Committee in Ceylon in 1850, he would have found that in that island there was an open rebellion in 1817, 1823, and 1848, and three conspiracies, independent of other circumstances of a threatening nature, were detected before they exploded in 1820, 1824, and 1843, and there had been plots in several other years. In a temperate and dignified letter to the Secretary of the Colonies, what did Viscount Torrington say of the state of Ceylon in 1847? The noble Lord stated—It is necessary to remind you of the state in which I found Ceylon on ray assumption of the Government in 1847, its treasury nearly empty, its current expenditure largely in excess of its annual income; its commerce declining; the cultivation of its staple products, coffee and cinnamon, suddenly arrested and discouraged, and its general condition leading rapidly to bankruptcy.He, however, was ready to acknowledge that since 1847 the condition of Ceylon had improved wonderfully; but he must say, that it was to the credit of the East India Company that it was so, for a large portion of the improvement was due to an Indian official, the late Sir G. Anderson. He was much inclined to notice some of the many fallacies which were entertained with respect to India. He had read with great interest the numerous 1667 speeches made on the subject by Members of Parliament and others, and observing the great amount, he would not say of ignorance, for that was a strong term, but of want of information exhibited, he was not surprised that the East India Company were described as tyrants and oppressors. The hon. Member for Salford (Mr. Massey), in an address to his constituents, stated that Bhuddism and Christianity could not stand together. Now, Bhuddism was the religion of Ceylon, but it was not the religion of India. Then the hon. Member advocated the principle of toleration, but immediately afterwards explained that he meant toleration between different sects of Christians, but that toleration of Hindoos and Mahomedans was entirely out of the question. Now, if India was to be governed on that principle, it would not be worth six months' purchase. The hon. Member for Dovor (Mr. B. Osborne) told his constituents that the Company had swept away the Hindoo system of adoption, and he went on to add, that it was alleged the miscreant Nana Sahib had been impelled to all his atrocities in consequence of the great wrong inflicted on him is reference to this question of adoption. Great ignorance prevailed in this country on this subject of adoption. Nana Sahib's adoption was never interfered with. By his own account he inherited £280,000 from his adopted father, but in reality nearer £500,000. What he wanted was, that Government should continue to pay him the pension which had been granted to his adopted father for life; that, of course, was refused by the East India Company. Now he had read a letter, dated the 13th June, 1818, from Sir J. Malcolm, reporting that the pension was given to the adopted father of Nana Sahib only for life. Was it possible, then, for the British Government to confer this pension of £80,000 a year on Nana Sahib? However, Nana Sahib sent over to this country Azumullah Khan, and some hon. Members might possibly have seen that worthy, for he had resided two years in this country, and was admitted, it appeared, to the highest circles in London and Brighton. That agent of Nana Sahib spent £30,000 or £40,000 in this country, and this circumstance showed the evil connected with the agitation of Indian questions in that House. Azumullah is not the only instance of emissaries deputed to England. After spending so much money in England, he went back to India, having found out that in this country people did 1668 not administer justice for money. Having thrown away so much money, he was inflamed against England; and again became the infamous councillor of the still more infamous Nana Sahib, and it was he who was sent to negotiate with the unfortunate Sir H. Wheeler the terms of capitulation, and who instigated Nana Sahib to the treacherous murder of the garrison of Cawnpore. He was a specimen of the men sent over to England to prosecute unfounded claims. With regard to the law of adoption, he contended that the British Government never interfered with or violated it. Had they done so they would have acted in opposition to repeated Acts of Parliament, which declared that the laws and customs of the inhabitants of India were to be attended to. The right of adoption was one of very great importance in India, as the Hindoos believed that the future happiness of the? father depended on certain ceremonies being performed after his death by his son or adopted son. It was true that the British Government refused to recognize an adoption carrying with it territorial and political rights, but this was not a practice introduced by the British Government, but had existed from time immemorial in India. In refusing to sanction adoption, the Company had never interfered with the custom so far as private property was concerned, and in proof of that statement he might observe that the Rajah of Sattara, though not recognized as the ruler of that territory, had been allowed to inherit all the personal property of his father as well as land to the value of £2,000 per annum. There was another subject to which he also wished to refer, but which he approached in a spirit of great humility. He had never felt more humbled than when he found it stated by an influential portion of the press, and re-echoed from the pulpit and the platform, that the Government had ignored their faith in India. A more unjust, a more unfounded charge than that he should contend had never been made. It was said to the Court of Directors, "Did you not preserve Hindoo temples and uphold Mahomedan mosques? Did you not, in 1819, dismiss from a regiment of Sepoys, one of their number who had become a convert to Christianity?" His reply to those questions should simply be, "You are talking of past times, and if you will but bring to our notice any remnants of the old system which ought to be dispensed with a remedy is sure to be applied." But he would go further, and tell the House 1669 that if they now asked the missionaries who afforded them the most efficient aid, they would reply, the civil and military servants of the Bust India Company. It was chiefly through their contributions and exertions that churches had been erected in many parts of India. Indeed, out of five churches which had been built on the island of Bombay three had been erected on the voluntary principle. To the Company's servants also was India mainly indebted for her benevolent institutions—a fact to which several Missionaries, with whom he was acquainted, would be found prepared to bear testimony. He was aware that many hon. Members had lately devoted themselves to the study of the condition of India, but it was idle to expect that accurate information upon the subject could be obtained by any man who had not been resident in India. Book-learning might be useful, but the information which it furnished must necessarily be incomplete, but no man could understand India, or form a correct idea of the difficulties we have to encounter, without visiting India. He might, however, call the attention of the House to one book in corroboration of the justice of the views which he entertained—he referred to the interesting journal of the amiable and pious Bishop Heber. That right rev. Prelate there stated that upon the occasion of his entry into the town of Baroda, a deputation had been sent out ten or fifteen miles to meet him, and that no English Prelate had since the days of Thomas A'Becket and Cardinal Wolsey been so well received. The strongest evidence, however, he (Mr. Willoughby) could give the House of the unfounded nature of this terrible charge (for such he personally felt it to be), was contained in what he might almost call the dying words of the venerable Prelate who had tilled the see of Calcutta for twenty-five years, and who, in the beautiful language of the Government order announcing his death—After a career of pious Christian usefulness as metropolitan, extending through a quarter of a century, marked by a zeal which age could not chill, and by an open-handed charity and liberality which have rarely been equalled, this venerated Prelate has closed his long life, leaving a name to be remembered and honoured throughout British India.The Governor General in Council requests that the principal officers of Government, civil and military, and all who may desire to take this opportunity to mark their respect for the memory of the deceased Bishop, will attend the sad ceremony of his intermentThe flag of Fort William will be hoisted half- 1670 mast high at sunrise on the morning of Monday, the 4th of January, which will be the day of the funeral.By command of the Right. Hon. the Governor General in Council,
§ "CECIL BEADON,
§ Secretary to the Government of India."
In his sermon preached at Calcutta on the day of fast and humiliation, the 24th July, 1857, the late Bishop Wilson thus reviewed the efforts which have been made for the spread of Christianity in India, and the moral improvement of the people of India:—
Things were better with them than they were formerly. All had been moving on in the right direction for more than fifty years past. Never was there a more just or beneficent Government than that of the British power in India. Peace and security for person and property have prevailed, commerce and all the Western improvements in medicine and the arts have been encouraged; every man stands equal before the laws; the administration of justice is pure; the taxes are of moderate weight; the contrast, indeed, of the equity of the British Government for the last sixty years, with the fierce tyranny of the Mahomedan for 600 years is immeasurably in our favour. Then as to Christianity, pious Ministers of every name and class, missionaries from all this different societies, all protected and honoured. The reverend chaplains have been trebled in number since Bishop Heber's time. Sacred edifices have been reared in more than a ten-told proportion, many of them with the munificent aid of Government Native converts have been added in large numbers to the Lord, especially among the Karens in Pegu, at Tinnevelly, Krishnaghur, and elsewhere. The number of enlightened and faithful European Christians has largely increased in the civil and military, and other services, and amongst the East Indians also charitable designs to meet new forms of destitution are liberally rewarded. Christian education in all our Missions and national education not excluding Christianity, though not directly teaching it, is spreading throughout the country. Unity and love prevail amongst the different divisions of the Protestant family. We no longer maintain the old and fatal mistake that Christian men are not to co-operate for anything till they agree in everything. We now hold the antagonistic and true maxim that Christian men should act together so far as they are agreed.
Such was the dying testimony of this good and pious Prelate, and no one, he thought, would hereafter charge the Government of India with ignoring the Christian faith. He should next advert to the question of colonization and the charge which was brought against the Company in connection with that subject. Tile Court of Directors were asked, "Why do you not colonize India as Australia and Canada have been colonized?" His an-
swer was, "The cases are not parallel. In Australia and Canada, those who emigrate can without much difficulty take possession of land, or purchase upon their arrival, which will reward the exertions employed in its cultivation. In India the colonist would find not only that the best portions of the country were occupied, but also densely peopled." Another objection to his settling there was the nature of the climate "for the hewers of wood and drawers of water;" the climate was a complete bar in the plains of India. There might be a few spots in the Himalayas, where colonists from this country could establish themselves; but as to settling in the plains, it appeared to him absurd to expect that Europeans could withstand the scorching heats of May and June, or the equally destructive rains of the succeeding months. He had now endeavoured to answer some of the many charges which had been brought against the East India Company. With reference to the Bill before the House, he could only say that the further the noble Lord at the head of the Government proceeded with it, the greater would he find the difficulties by which his path was beset. There was, in the first place, the military difficulty—the dealing with the Company's troops and defining their rights and privileges. It was said that an order of three lines would settle this, but such was not the case. The Company's troops had their rights and privileges, and above all their own funds, which could not be interfered with. Then came a more formidable question still, that of Indian finance. All the loans had been contracted and obligations incurred in the name of the Company, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer would not, he thought, find it an easy matter to deal with those public creditors who might say to him, "We lent our money to the Company on the faith of their good management, you have altered our security, give us back the sums which we invested." If those creditors were disposed to place a strong reliance upon the wisdom of the new arrangement they would not take that course, but under other circumstances such might be the result. He (Mr. Willoughby) did not say such a demand would be made to any extent. He hoped not, but if it was, he did not see how, consistently with good faith, it could be refused. Then there was a third difficulty, namely, that all treaties, contracts, and engagements had been en-
tored into with the East India Company, and on some of those the East India Company could sue and be sued. How were they to be transferred bodily to Her Majesty's Government. He was not the panegyrist of the East India Company, for he knew that they had committed many faults, and had also borne the blame of many others which they had not committed. But he concurred in all that had been said n the eloquent peroration of the hon. Member for Huntingdon (Mr. T. Baring) as to the general goodness of their administration, and although it was now proposed to extinguish their authority, he had no apprehension as to what the judgment of posterity would be. In fact, he might say, that the judgment of posterity had been already pronounced. He meant by that, that as Madame de Stael had remarked, "the judgment of foreigners was the same as the judgment of posterity, because it was free from all prejudice and bias," and certainly all the histories and travels be had read, from the earliest writers down to Baron van Orlich and the American traveller Bayard Taylor, were full of admiration of the Company's rule; and one of them, if his memory did not deceive him, the Swedish Count Bjornstjirna, describing it as a living miracle. One word more and he had done. He (Mr. Willoughby) should have rejoiced not to appear on the present occasion in opposition to the Government. He entertained a deep sense of the high honour they had, without solicitation, done him in selecting him, a stranger, to be one of the first nominees of the Crown, and he owed a special obligation to the right hon. Gentleman who had preceded him in the debate (Sir Charles Wood). The honour, however, was unsolicited and conferred without conditions. But he felt that he only had the alternative of either remaining silent or speaking out, and as his apology for the course he had taken he had only to bay—"Amicus Plato, amicus Socrates, sed magis amica Veritas."
said, that having passed great part of his days in India, he felt it his duty to the House, himself, and the country, to lay before them the result of the experience acquired there on the subject under discussion. The good sense of hon. Members would probably load them to agree with him, that the testimony of men, who had property at stake in India, should have more weight on a question affecting change than the testimony of 1673 men who had everything to lose from prompt action, and everything to gain from delay. Now, he had received a letter from an extensive zemindar and indigo planter in Dacca, but at present residing in London, who gave it as his opinion that the substitution of the Queen's name for that of the Company would have a most telling effect—that it would be like oil thrown on the waters, and would smooth the way to a return of quiet throughout the country. The opinions of his Native correspondents were in conformity with his own. They said that their conduct, in remaining faithful, entitled them to the direct government of the Crown, and that no confidence would exist among them until this was done. Another class of Natives believed that as the Koh-i-noor, in their estimation, proved so efficacious in renewing the Company's charter in 1853, the treasures of Delhi and the Crown jewels recently taken at Lucknow would be found equally efficacious in preserving the Company's rule on the present occasion. He hoped, however, that the conclusion come to by the House would be one which would put an end to such speculations. If the shadow of the Queen's Government in! India and the reality of the Queen's troops had already effected so much, the reality of both would do far more to reduce that country to a state of peace and tranquillity. If the decided policy of Sir John Lawrence had been so efficacious in the Punjab, an equally decided policy on the part of Her Majesty's Government in India generally would prove as efficacious. He was of opinion that the people of India should have been told in plain and intelligible terms, eight months ago, that the rule of the Company had ceased and that of the Queen had commenced, and that all obligations and loans secured upon the revenues of India would be held sacred. Had such a course been taken, he believed it would have been unnecessary to raise £10,000,000 in this country. In that ease the sound policy which had hitherto prevailed of raising loans in India, thereby rendering the Natives largely interested in the maintenance of our authority, might have been pursued on the present occasion, and the loan now demanded here would have been effected in India without having recourse to the people of this country. It was owing to want of confidence in the Company on the part of the Natives that they exhibited so much disinclination to invest in Indian stock. He could not 1674 but admire the intrepidity of Her Majesty's Government in holding themselves solely responsible for the acts of the East India Company, whether of omission or of commission; but he imagined that the good sense of the people of this country would attribute to the Directors duties and obligations, which must involve upon them heavy responsibilities. He could not but suppose that the local experience of many of the East India Directors must always have had great influence with Her Majesty's Government upon all matters relating to Indian administration. He could not believe that the President of the Board of Control would turn a deaf ear to the representations of gentlemen who collectively were so well acquainted with the internal condition of India. He must, therefore, regard the Directors of the East India Company as the creators of that large Native army which had originated the recent mutiny. Within some twenty years past, the territory of the Company and the number of the Native army had been nearly doubled, while during the same period the European army in India had not been increased by a man, in disregard of all previous practice and experience. In fact, the European force available, when the mutiny broke out, was absolutely below what it was in 1835. During his residence in India, and previously to the annexation of Oude, a force of from 2,000 to 2,500 Europeans was always stationed at Cawnpore, to overawe the turbulent city of Lucknow; 1,000 Europeans were in garrison near Benares to overawe that city; while a garrison of 1,000 men was maintained at Berhampore to overawe Moorshedabad, 1,000 at Chinsura, and another 1,000 employed in overawing the Santhals at Hazaarebaug. When the mutiny broke out, however, at none of these stations was there an European soldier, except at Cawnpore, where there was a small force of some 200 or 300 men. Was not this the fault of the Directors of the Company, whose practical knowledge of the wants of every station in India must have been infinitely superior to that possessed by the President of the Board of Control? The hon. and gallant Member for Aberdeen (Colonel Sykes) occupied the position of Chairman of the Company at the period of annexation at Oude. The Crimean army, the creation of which had cost this country so much anxiety as well as money, was then returning to our shores; but was any attempt made by the 1675 hon. and gallant Member to induce Her Majesty's Government to utilize that army by regarrisoning those deserted stations, or by occupying Oude? Was a single regiment of that army sent to India? No; but Her Majesty's Government despatched no less than 21,000 men and the German Legion to colonies which had far less need of such reinforcements, and were far less able to support them. He would venture to say that, had 10,000 or 12,000 of those troops been sent to India, the mutineers would never have made head, and the bloodshed and disasters which we had to deplore would not have occurred. An hon. Gentleman opposite had referred to the colonization of India, and it was a strange fact that, after occupying a great part of that immense territory for upwards of a century, only some 10,000 independent European settlers could be found throughout the length and breadth of the country; although the soil might, in many districts, and especially in the Hill Districts, be turned to valuable account in the hands of colonists. The Company claimed credit for the improvement which had taken place in the exports and imports of India, but the truth was that the increase was mainly attributable to the energy of the independent European element which the Company had done all in their power to discourage. He might also observe, that the fidelity of the Natives to the European settlers, during the recent outbreak, stood out in marked contrast with the treachery of the Sepoys. The Company claimed credit to themselves for many of the improvements which had been effected in India, but it was within his own knowledge that most of these improvements had originated with the Governors General. It was, for instance, Lord William Bentinck who opened the Grand Trunk Road, who abolished the Suttee, who established canals, who encouraged a system of inland steam navigation, ocean steam navigation, the overland route, and railwa3's, and who gave a stimulus to educational efforts. He might also state that the manner in which the financial operations of the Company with regard to exchanges were conducted entailed upon them a loss of from £200,000 to £300,000 per annum in London. He would not detain the House by reading documents relating to the frightful effects of famine, of which be had himself been a witness, but he would only add that, from 1837 to 1850, the Company had not 1676 adopted any efficient measures for affording assistance to the unfortunate inhabitants of the districts liable to these visitations by making the redundancy and abundance of Bengal available to cheap communication for the supply of their deficiencies. He thanked the House for the attention given him, and as many other hon. Gentlemen had to address it, he reserved his further remarks to the future stages of the Bill.
§ SIR BULWER LYTTON
said: It has been made a subject of complaint by the right hon. Baronet the First Lord of the Admiralty against my hon. Friend the Member for Huntingdon (Mr. F. Baring) that he should have rested his objection to this Bill on the score of time. But the right hon. Gentleman must be well aware that a measure of this importance brought forward by the head of the Government would be entitled, whatever might be its defects, to be allowed to pass to a discussion of its principle upon a second reading, if there were not something in the season, at which it was submitted to our consideration, that was peculiarly unfavourable to its introduction. With regard to the Bill itself, which I am not disposed to discuss at this moment at any length, I must say that I think it is at once audacious, incomplete, and unconsidered. It is audacious, in as much as it effects the conversion of an administrative body through which, whatever may have been its faults, every hasty or unwise proposal on the part of Her Majesty's Government was sure to be carefully sifted, into a set of irresponsible nominees of the Ministers of the day. It is incomplete, because it does not afford us a single guarantee for that wholesome restraint on a precipitate or a despotic policy that is effected by the system which it is proposed to remove. And it is unconsidered, because even on so simple a point as the mere number of the Council which it would establish, every hon. Gentleman, who has any practical acquaintance with the affairs of India, tells you that it is preposterously inadequate for the discharge of the amount of business which the Council undertakes to perform. I believe it may be shown, too, that it is unconsidered on a much more important point, because Her Majesty's Ministers assert, and I have no doubt honestly believe, that this Bill will not increase their patronage; while I am persuaded that it will appear, when we come to detail, that their patronage will be enormously 1677 increased, and increased in a direction that is peculiarly dangerous, because it applies to the class of gentlemen—the class of whom this House of Commons is composed; and the patronage is, therefore, of a nature which will prove hard to reconcile with our virtuous horror of bribery and corruption. I am not surprised to find that this measure is incomplete and un-considered, because I do not think that the Government could have had the requisite calmness of temper to devise a complete, safe, and comprehensive measure for the civil administration of India at a time when revolt is still raging—at a time when no man knows or can conjecture how far disaffection has spread or is spreading—at a time when none can know the proper remedies that ought to be applied—and at a time when all our thoughts are, or ought to be, concentrated on the fittest military measures for the support of a handful of our countrymen, amid the dangers that surround them. But the noble Viscount says this cry of time is a stale cry; that it is always said that it is not the right time for change. The noble Viscount is unquestionably the highest authority of any man living as to the right time for change, and I am surprised that so acute a statesman should not be able to distinguish between the mere hollow cry against a time for change, which Mr. Bentham classes among the "Fallacies of Delay," and the plain truth that nevertheless there are times which are peculiarly unpropitious to change; a truth which Mr. Bentham himself would have been the first to acknowledge, because, though he was a great philosopher, he was also, strange as it may seem, a man of common sense. But, by-the-bye, after that remarkable chapter of Mr. Bentham's on the "Fallacies of Delay" comes his immortal chapter on the "Fallacies of Confusion," in which is explained the fallacy of Ministers making use of the name and authority of the Crown for the purposes of corrupt patronage, a chapter that Her Majesty's Ministers have, no doubt, studied with extraordinary diligence and care; but with respect to this objection of delay, what was the answer which the noble Viscount made to his noble Friend the Member for the City of London, when he wished to persevere with his scheme of Parliamentary Reform? We all know the life-long attachment of the noble Viscount to the cause of reform. But what was his answer 1678 on that occasion to the noble Lord? It was, "this is not the right time for change." Why was it not the right time for change? Because we were then engaged in a war with Russia. And can this, then, be the right time for a reform in the government of India, when you are engaged in a war with India itself? Yes, said the noble Viscount, this is exactly the time, because we want a system of more vigour and promptitude to deal with the difficulties that surround us. "Only think," says the noble Viscount," of the waste of precious hours in sending cabs from one end of London to the other. How much more convenient would it be to have one snug little family party round a single table in Cannon Row." Why do you want this peculiar promptitude and decision? Because you are in a state of abnormal and temporary difficulty. I object to legislate for the securities of permanent and normal administration in a time of abnormal and temporary difficulty. I object to legislate for the provisions of peace at a time when your thoughts are concentred on the exigences of war. I grant that war requires promptitude and decision—but peace requires deliberation and caution; and I believe that the slowness produced by the checks and counter-checks of which the noble Viscount now complains have saved the empire from many fatal blunders which would have been committed by the rashness of a Minister if he had had no better advisers than the complaisant nominees of himself and his party—men not like the present Court of Directors, who have nothing further to expect from the Government, but men who, if they are of the mark and ability you desire to secure for your new Board, will be comparatively young and ambitious—men who will, perhaps, only take their place at your board with a view to some higher and more dignified position in India, and who will thus be stimulated to a discreet acquiescence in the policy of their Ministerial patron by a lively sense of the prospective benefits of Ministerial patronage. But I ask whether, according to the policy you are now pursuing, you are likely to attain the object you desire? Do you think that the advantage of promptitude and vigour, for a special and, we hope, temporary occasion, will be obtained by the course you propose to adopt. Are not the next few months most critical in regard to the security and tranquillity of our sovereignty in India? And how do Her Majesty's Ministers in- 1679 vite us to spend them? In conveying to the hesitating courts of the neutral Princes of India our own doubts as to the efficacy of our machinery and the rectitude of our cause in apprising rebels that the Ministers of England admit that our rule was acquired by "rapacity and perfidy," and is administered by a system, cumbrous and feeble and effete? Is not this the language of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and can you suppose that that language will not be published, translated, and garbled from one end of India to the other? Is this the way to strengthen our government over those who are doubting whether they should submit to be governed by us at all? All Orientals dislike change—all Orientals are suspicious—all Orientals believe that the wiser you are, the more in any change you mean to dupe or to injure them; and, therefore, whenever you propose change for Orientals, take care that you propose it when your sovereignty is unquestioned—when your rule is calmly predominant. To institute a change in the midst of rebellion is too often considered but a treaty of compromise with the rebels. Take the language of the Chancellor of the Exchequer—say that our empire was acquired by unqualified rapacity and perfidy—say that it is matter of doubt whether the empire be a been to England, and do you not justify rebellion? Accompany the change with the language of the noble Viscount, which has also been repeated by the First Lord of the Admiralty—say that the change is of no importance—say that it affects only the Home administration—say that it holds out to India no particular benefit or hope of amelioration—say that it will only make our rule more vigorous, or, as India will construe it, more arbitrary and stern—say that the Company, which you are now constrained to acknowledge has always opposed schemes of conquest, annexation, and religious intolerance, is no longer to be allowed to thwart, to admonish, or to recall a Governor General who may be stimulated by the lust of popularity or of fame to meditate schemes of annexation, conquest, or religious intolerance—and can you tell me that this may not provoke to rebellion the Princes who at this moment remain neutral, or even friendly to our rule? When it is understood in India that you propose to new model the machinery of government in such a manner as to render the Governor General more despotic, 1680 when it is understood that a large party in this country is opposed to this scheme, and that months may be spent in discussing it, and when all this occurs in the very ferment and meridian of disaffection—when the whole population of India is, I will not say hostile to you, but still in that state of oscillation which the hon. and gallant Director (Colonel Sykes) could only describe by an expressive movement of his hand—when the whole state of feeling in that country is so delicate that no prudent man will venture to analyse it—will you tell me that, at such a moment, the very discussion of a change does not tend to weaken authority, and to provoke resistance? An important paper has been put into our hands to-day, to which I will briefly refer. It is a portion of a despatch from a commissioner of revenue, in which the writer states that many people endeavour to persuade themselves that the Natives are not aware of the contents of the English papers, and that, so far as they are concerned, it is immaterial what appears in those publications; but that, he adds, is a great mistake—the English newspapers have for many years been the source to which the Natives have looked for news and intelligence, and since the revolt commenced the greatest anxiety has been manifested to learn what those papers say. Every one who is fortunate enough to get hold of an English paper is called upon to translate it for a large circle of Natives, and there can be no doubt that whatever appears in those papers which can in any way serve the purposes of the disaffected is speedily made known to them by agents in Calcutta or elsewhere. If this be so, who can doubt that these debates will not be extensively translated among the Natives? In England we think little of imprudent speeches. Gentlemen may cheer the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he denounces the founders, and questions the value of the Indian empire. But what will be thought of such opinions stamped with the authority of the Queen's adviser, by men who are actually rebelling or considering whether they should rebel? At what period did the necessity for this change flash on the inexperienced mind of the noble Viscount? For fifty years the noble Viscount has been in the service of his country, one of the most eminent statesmen which this country has ever known. Whatever may happen to him, his name is immortal in the history of 1681 this country. Well, but in that interval, we have had momentous wars in India; and yet in that interval the evils of what is called the "double Government," or what the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Admiralty called the "compound Government," never seemed to occur to the noble Viscount. They never occurred to him at all till—when? Till any check or counter-check whatsoever is extremely inconvenient to the single Government of the noble Viscount. Says the noble Viscount, "Under the present system we have no responsibility—we want more responsibility." The Chancellor of the Exchequer echoed the same plaintive cry—" We want more responsibility." No, you do not want more responsibility—what you want to obtain is more power—and power not only over the population of India, but over the Parliament of England. When the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Admiralty got up, I own I felt a lively interest to know what he would say on this point. I recollect the speech the right hon. Gentleman made in 1853. He then said, "I, as President of the Board of Control, have as much responsibility for whatever happens in my office as the Secretary for the Colonies has for whatever happens in his." I therefore felt a lively interest, when the right hon. Gentleman got up this evening, to know his opinion. Did he retract? Did he say that upon reflection he had discovered that the President of the Board of Control was not responsible? No; his great object was to show that the present Court of Directors were a dependent body, and, therefore, that the President of the Board of Control was actually responsible to Parliament. That was the whole of his argument. But, says the Chancellor of the Exchequer, it is only in stress of weather that the vessel can be proved. The metaphor is not very new; but, as coming from a Gentleman of his solid attainments, any metaphor acquires the grace of novelty. It is only in stress of weather that the vessel can he proved. That is true; but only just observe the ingenious manner which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has of proving the vessel. He and his friends, who are the temporary passengers, throw overboard the tried and regular crew, and appropriate to themselves the cargo. That is the ingenious mode by which the Chancellor of the Exchequer proves a vessel! What does he mean by stress of weather? He means that 1682 this is a time of peculiar emergency—a time of mutiny, revolt, and disaffection. Well, let us grant that it is so. But now tell us in what joint has the vessel parted? In what single instance, metaphor apart, has the Company failed you? Has it failed you in a single instance by which it could assist you in putting down the mutiny or quelling the rebellion? No; it is to the Company we owe those instances of ability and heroism which have never been exceeded in the annals of any country in the world. And is this a moment to annihilate their existence, and to affix—. there is no mincing the matter, for you do affix upon them in the eyes of India, of Europe—the ignominy of an abrupt dismissal, not only without a fault, not only without a trial, but in the midst of acknowledged and imperishable obligations? And by whom. is it done? By that grateful Administration, whose numberless blots of policy and prudence, of energy and foresight, that Company has been lavishing the blood of its best and bravest in the endeavour to efface. Hitherto it has been the policy of the noble Viscount, and it is a generous policy, to support his officials, his agents, his employés, even though they should commit occasional acts of indiscretion. We are now, for the indiscretion of a couple of agents at Hong Kong, plunged into a war with China, of which none of us can conjecture the end—of which very few of us can conceive the object. But now, in a temporary moment of clamour, you refuse to stand by a great Company to whom you owe the acquisition, the preservation of India; and all its virtues are to be ignored, all its faults exaggerated, and itself thrust aside from all participation in the glory of restoring peace and security to an empire which was won by the genius of its founders, and which is hallowed by the graves of its martyrs. I have now a word or two to say on the speech of the First Lord of the Admiralty; but the right hon. Gentleman has so many claims to our respect and regard, he has served this House and the country with so much ability—and I understand that he has, in much bodily suffering, come down to the House this evening from a desire to show respect to the House, and to acquit himself of the charge of inconsistency—that I think it would be ungenerous in me if I were to triumph over the weakness of his argument under these circumstances. I shall content myself, therefore, with observing that the 1683 greater portion of his speech to-night was an inadequate answer to his argument of 1853, and consisted mainly of those reasons for change which he then declared to be such utter rubbish "that no man of sense would answer them." But he thinks he obtained a triumph over my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Enniskillen (Mr. Whiteside) and other hon. Gentlemen on this side of the House. He says that in 1853 the Member for Enniskillen, and others on this side the House, voted in favour of carrying on the Government of India in the name and authority of the Crown. Well, why not? I myself think that would be an advantage. I think the right hon. Gentleman urged a new and a cogent argument in favour of it, deduced from the increased number of British troop3 to be henceforth employed in India. I see nothing at all inconsistent with that view in the whole of the speech of the hon. and learned Member for Enniskillen. Nothing can be more obvious than that the Company are the trustees of the Crown; than that every act that is done in relation to the Government of India is at this very moment approved of by the Crown, ratified by a responsible minister of the Crown; that, in short, such acts are acts of the Crown. Well, then, supposing that to-morrow you were to pass an enactment by which the Government of India should henceforth be carried on in the name of the Crown, that would not—and I appeal to any lawyer in the House to say whether I am wrong—that would not necessarily destroy the existence of the Company; it would not necessarily alter the position of the Board of Control and the Court of East India Directors. I, myself, am for carrying on the Government of India in the name of the Sovereign. But I go much further than that in the way of concession. I grant that it may be inconvenient that the respective places in which the business is transacted should be so far distant from each other as to be an obstacle to the despatch of public business; I grant that it may be proper that the two bodies should meet either in the same building, or buildings contiguous to each other; although, so far as the question of the preparation of the despatches is concerned, I must do the hon. and gallant Gentleman (Colonel Sykes) who commenced the debate this evening, the justice to say that he made a most admirable answer to that; but I will, for the sake of argument, suppose that the 1684 history given with reference to the delay of despatches is correct, and that that which was said by the hon. and gallant Member for Reigate (Sir H. Rawlinson), by the Secretary of the Board of Control, by the Vice President of the Board of Trade, was the fact—granting, I say, that the present mode of communication between the Court of Directors and the Board of Control is too tedious and prolix, cannot you make all the necessary improvements without destroying the Company? That is the point which I wish to impress upon the House. Granting all the defects of which Her Majesty's Ministers complain, I venture to say that, if you had come down to the House with a simple Bill to remedy those defects, you would have met with no opposition to it. But, Sir, even if I assume, for the sake of argument, that it is quite right to destroy the Company—further than that, if I assume that the present is the right moment for so doing, am I, therefore, obliged to accept the substitute which you propose? Am I obliged to accept the principle of your Bill? The hon. and gallant Member for Reigate himself, although he is going to vote for leave to introduce it, cannot accept the principle of the measure. What! Did not the hon. and gallant Gentleman say that he wished the Council to be independent? Did he not say, "I want the Council to be chosen not by nomination, but upon some principle of election?" But look at the Bill. Is not its very essence nomination? You say that for the Board you constitute you may obtain some of the most eminent of the existing Court of Directors. The great inducement held out to this House to persuade it to accept the measure is this—that you may possibly obtain for your new Council a small portion of that wisdom possessed by the Court which we are now called upon to abolish. Sir, I do not believe that the more eminent of the Court of Directors will condescend to sit as mere Ministerial nominees at that Board you propose to institute. But grant that they do. Do you mean to say that there is no difference between a Board which consists of Ministerial nominees and a Board in which the same men are animated by the pride of an independent class, and exercise the functions of a responsible body? Take the twelve most eminent men in this House; place them in the legislative council of some absolute Sovereign, and will you venture to tell me that they would exhibit the same high-spirited intelligence; 1685 that they would be impressed with the same pure and noble feeling of grave responsibility by which they are now distinguished? If you want to govern India by clerks, call them clerks; and, as clerks, let them be nominated. If you want councillors, councillors must be free. You will substitute, you say, for an existent independent Council, the superintendence, the vigilance of Parliament. The noble Lord condescends to flatter us by saying that it is all very well for people out of doors to disparage the House of Commons, but he does not think that any hon. Gentleman will get up here and say that we are not just as wise, just as capable of administering the affairs of India as a set of merchants. Sir, I hope the Members of this House are too manly to accept that species of adulation. We all know the merits of this illustrious assembly of which we are so justly proud, we also all know its defects—there is no man who knows them better than the noble Viscount. If upon any question, however trivial—if upon any question of foreign policy, not half so important to us as the affairs of India, not half so delicate to deal with—some hon. Gentleman were to ask a question of the noble Viscount, would not the noble Viscount rise with more than usual stateliness, and would he not as good as tell us that we had better attend to our domestic legislation, and imply that it was not well that such delicate matters should be handed over to the tender mercies of a popular assembly? Suppose that this Bill passes, and some young and innocent Member, anxious to assert that vigilant superintendence now held out as so strong and seductive an inducement in favour of this measure, should venture to put such a question as—What are the intentions of the Government regarding the Nizam?—what the true state of our relations with Holkar or Seindia?—do we not know perfectly well that the noble Viscount would rise in his place and say, as he said the other night," that without meaning anything personal, the question was extremely absurd." And, indeed, for my part, I own to a wholesome dread of hon. Gentlemen cramming themselves with blue books, and coming down to the House with an elaborate speech about Rajahs and Nawabs conceived in accordance with the respective interests of party; sometimes, as the case may be, to defend some more than ordinary act of duplicity by which we had an- 1686 nexed a kingdom; or, on the other hand, to declaim against some measure which might be necessary to the stern necessities of Oriental rule, but painful to the feelings of an English popular assembly. That would be dangerous for India; but still more dangerous in its effects upon the moral character of England, which it cannot be well to familiarize with all the details of despotism, all the excuses for arbitrary powers. Before you can judge with discrimination of a policy applied to Orientals, you must learn to Orientalise yourselves; you must be familiar with the customs, the laws, and the manners most at variance with all your own free institutions; you must know the principles and the forms of a mythological religion which, I suspect, very few of us can comprehend, but which is interwoven with the habits, with the feelings, with the affections, with the daily routine of Hindoo life. Without some clear perception of the mode in which that religion influences and colours all the social and moral existence of Hindoos, how can you even pass an opinion on that administration of justice to which the superintendence of Parliament is to be involved? You may sanction penalties which, to your English ideas, will seem mild and equitable, and which, to a Hindoo, seem the most exquisite torture. And why? Because such penalties, mild in their operation in this life, may, according to his creed, affect him in the life to come; and, in forfeiting the sacred privileges of his birthright, condemn him to countless ages of degradation. But you will peaceably escape this danger. The House will have the wisdom to shun it—the House will never habitually exercise the superintending vigilance you commend to it-it will only interfere with the despotism you are about to establish whenever it suits the interest of party to assail a Minister, or asperse some illustrious name. But be that as it may, I content myself now with the simple declaration, this is the moment not to legislate, but to arm. This is the moment, above all others, when you should give to that authority which is already established in India, and which has never failed you, all the force, all the power of your own unanimity. This is not a time when you should damp the ardour of England by tracing to perfidy the empire you ask it to defend. Rather should you appeal to the conscience of Englishmen for every aid they can raise and send 1687 forth, to protect from carnage and massacre their countrymen, their women, and their children. Your Indian empire has passed through the perils of a mutinous army; do not expose it to the more fatal ordeal of an organized system of favouritism and jobbery. That empire was won by the valour and intellect of the middle classes, of whom you call yourselves the representatives; and it is for you now to determine whether it shall henceforth be jeopardized by official imbecility and Ministerial corruption.
§ LORD JOHN RUSSELL
The hon. Baronet who has just sat down has, by his eloquent speech, added another illustration of the strange nature of this debate. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Huntingdon (Mr. Baring) proposed to us a Resolution to the effect that this is not the best time to legislate upon India. The hon. Gentleman enforced his views with his usual ability, and confined himself very much to the topics of his Resolution. I must say fairly to the hon. Gentleman that if he had gone into the Cabinet with his reasons and been successful in persuading the Ministers of the Crown that it was better to defer for a year the consideration of the Indian question, as by that time we should have more knowledge and calmer minds, I conceive the House would have been contented with that solution of the question. But our position now is that the Ministers of the Crown have proposed to us to consider the question of India, and we have for three nights been debating that question with hut very few speakers who support the argument for delay; indeed, the supporters of the hon. Gentleman, on the contrary, have urged every argument to show that the present form of government should not be disturbed, that the India Company should be kept in the same form in which it at present exists, and that there would be the greatest danger in making any change. If the House agreed to the Motion of the hon. Gentleman, would this House be satisfied or would any one be satisfied, that there ought to be no alteration of the Government of India? If the proposal were that for this year and at the present time there ought to be no alteration, would not there be the greatest doubt both here and in India as to what was the meaning of that Resolution? Would not every man's mind turn on the questions—Does the House of Commons mean to alter the government of India? Is it deferred to next year? Or, is it to be 1688 postponed for many years—for an indefinite period? I can conceive the value of a Resolution saying that this House is contented with the government of India by the East India Company and the Board of Control. You would then have some certainty and some security. I can conceive the wisdom of agreeing to the Motion of the noble Lord by giving him leave to bring in the Bill. But I confess I cannot see the wisdom of a course by which the whole question is to be hung up in suspense, and no man is to be able to say what is to be the issue of our deliberations. I hope, therefore, the House will not agree to the Resolution of the hon. Member. I confess I am not persuaded, however plausible the arguments, against legislating during the existence of a revolt in India. I remember that we legislated upon the Catholic question while Ireland was almost on the verge of civil war. I recollect that we legislated for a reform of Parliament at a time when the agitation of the country was bursting into tumult and riot. I recollect that at the time we repealed the corn laws the public mind was far from tranquil. It would really seem that this House, with a wisdom which it is difficult to commend, but certainly a wisdom not unusual, abstains in quiet times from legislation that is not needful, feeling that when the crisis comes it is fully equal to meet that crisis and to provide for each emergency as it arises. I will, therefore, address myself to the question which I think is really before the House, whether we should make or not make any change in the government of India, for I think we may conclude that, if it should be the opinion of this House to agree in the Resolution setting aside the proposal to legislate, the whole matter will remain in doubt, and perhaps years elapse before it is taken up again. What, then, is the position of the Company? I am quite willing to admit their merits. I am quite willing to admit that they have staved off great evils, and that they have conferred on this country great benefits, but I remember the remark of as shrewd a man of the world as ever I know, who went through the whole period of the French revolution, with regard to Franco, which was his own country, "that men were always guarded against dangers which had passed, and never against dangers which were to come." He gave an illustration of this view, which I need not detain the House by repeating, but I apply the remark to the case of our present 1689 position with regard to the East India Company. It is perfectly true, although my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer has been much blamed for mentioning it, that all parts of this House were indignant against oppressions in India, which they considered to be unjust, and which were carried on by the then Governor General of India. Mr. Dundas came down to this House, and after a speech of three hours, moved that Mr. Hastings should be recalled. The Court of Directors went one way,—the Court of Proprietors went another. The whole matter was in confusion. Mr. Hastings continued as Governor General. The object both of Mr. Pitt and Mr. Fox, was to find a remedy for this state of things. The remedy which was adopted was that of Mr. Pitt. Mr. Fox proposed to place the remedy in the hands of Parliament, Mr. Pitt proposed to place it in the hands of the Crown; but he placed for that purpose a very effectual check upon the Directors, upon the Proprietors, and upon the Governor General of India. He prevented, by means of the Board of Control, orders going out to India to sanction aggressions of a similar nature to those of Mr. Hastings. This measure was perfectly successful. From 1784 to the present day we have had no reason to complain of aggressions of the Governors General of India which were not authorized from home. But I beg to submit that the danger, which we have before us, is not the danger which occurred previously to 1784. Those very checks, those very obstructions, those very devices to prevent action which were wise in 1784, are inappropriate at the present time. What we want is unity; what we want is despatch; what we want is concentration, and therefore, I say, that we must not apply to the present day the remedy which was good for our ancestors seventy years ago. There is another point of view also from which this question may be looked at, and that is the gradual loss of authority on the part of the East India Company. That Company was formerly a most powerful Company. It engaged in a monopoly of the trade with the East, and combining that monopoly with great political influence, having forts in one place, factories in another, or perhaps forts and factories conjointly, it presented to the world a spectacle of what may be called an anamolous and yet a harmonious body. Now, what has been done since that time? In the year 1690 1813 the question of the powers of the East India Company was debated by two very able men, Lord Wellesley and Lord Grenville. Lord Wellesley assumed the position that the monopoly of trade should be retained by the East India Company, while Lord Grenville was desirous of depriving them of it; but upon one point both were agreed, and that was, that the authority of the Company could not be maintained unless its trade monopoly were maintained also; "Therefore," said Lord Wellesley, "as I wish the monopoly to be kept by the Company, so I wish the Company to be maintained;'" while Lord Grenville said, "As I wish to destroy the monopoly, so I am prepared to do away with the Company." It is obvious that both those able men saw the close connection between the power of the Company as rulers and as traders. In 1833 another blow was struck at the authority of the Company. They were deprived of their trade altogether. They were deprived of their China trade, and all their forts and factories and everything they possessed, were taken from them at a fair valuation. In 1853 another change was made in the constitution of the Company by introducing into the Court of Directors a certain number of persons to be nominated by the Crown. There was, however, another change in the Act of 1853 more important still, for whereas by the Acts of 1793, of 1813, and of 1833, the charter had been granted to the Company for twenty years, the Government of the Earl of Aberdeen reserved the whole question open for the consideration of Parliament by declaring that, at any time, after any interval, however short, the Crown might give notice to the Company that their authority was about to cease, and their territories taken under the actual administration of the Crown. The hon. Member for Huntingdon is certainly not authorized in assuming that there was any kind of deceit or stratagem concealed in the proposal which was made by the Government of the Earl of Aberdeen. I believe it was the general opinion of the Government of my noble Friend that although it was not wise to disturb the existing arrangement at that time, in a few years it might be thought that the Government of India would be better conducted in the hands of the Crown, and that the authority of the Company should not be any longer maintained, and they wished therefore to reserve to Parliament full power and liberty to deal with 1691 the subject at any time. The great question, however, is—are there any reasons which would render it desirable at the present moment to take this authority out of the hands of the Company and transfer it into the hands of the Crown? Now, Sir, I speak upon this subject with the deepest sense of its importance, with the deepest sense of the great and inestimable value of our Indian empire, with a dread of in any way disturbing the security of that empire, and with the wish of providing everything which can be provided for the maintenance of that security; but at j the same time I cannot hut see that there is in the constitution of the East India Company itself, as regards the Government of India, a source of great and serious danger. That danger has been seen by men of the highest ability in this country, and by men well versed in Indian affairs. It was seen by Lord Metcalfe, by Sir John Malcolm, and, I should add, by Lord William Bentinck. I mean the danger arising from the great Sepoy army, the great army of Bengal. Many hon. Gentlemen have entered into a discussion as to the causes of the mutiny which has lately occurred, and my gallant Friend near me (Colonel Sykes) has attributed it entirely to a fear of some interference with their religious liberty. Now, that may be so. I do not dispute it. Other causes have also been given, but I would wish to go further back. I would not wish so much to inquire into the cause of the late mutiny as into the cause of the existence of the Bengal army itself. If we look through history we shall find no parallel case nor anything at all resembling it. The Romans held Spain with a single Roman legion. With a like force they held Africa and Egypt. It is true that auxiliaries were attached to those legions, but the really armed and effective body was the Roman army itself, and the Romans would never have dreamt of having a large Native army to rely upon in case of emergency. Look to our own Colonies—which by those who take the part of the East India Company have been made matter of reproach—and see what might have been the result if we had followed the principle which has been adopted in India. Consider the position of our colonial empire, acquired as it has been from time to time, cemented by British blood, and fortified and strengthened by the wisdom of this country, and do you think that we should not have experienced great difficulties if 1692 we had in our various colonies raised a force similar to the Native force in India? At one time the nationality of Canada was aroused under the direction of an unscrupulous but able demagogue into resistance to the British rule, and what do you think would have been the result if we had organized in Canada a considerable body of French Canadians? As it was, Lord Seaton had nothing to do but to attack a few ill-armed peasants scattered through the villages, and in a few days the insurrection was at an end. What do you think would have happened in the Ionian Islands if Sir Henry Ward, instead of having an English regiment, had been at the head of a Native force armed and disciplined? What, again, would have happened in Ceylon, in 1848, if we had organized and disciplined a large force of Cingalese? Let me, then, glance at what the condition of the Bengal army really was. Lord William Bentinck said of it that it was the most costly and at the same time the most inefficient army with which he was acquainted. Lord Metcalfe said of it, that as long as that army was faithful the British rule was secure; but if that army became unfaithful, there was no knowing what might occur. Sir John Malcolm said, that the position of the British in India was so precarious that no man could tell at any moment whence the danger might come, and that the cause of that precarious condition was, that the Native army, though it had been faithful for a long period, might waver in its fidelity. I remember myself to have seen in letters from officers mention made of four or five things which the Sepoys will not do. They will not bear the slightest suspicion of any interference with their religion; they will not endure the least want of compliance to their demands for pay or allowances; they will not embark upon the sea, nor will they work in the trenches, because it would lose them their caste, so that in sieges the hard work has to be performed under the hot sun of India by European troops, aided perhaps by Natives of a lower caste, who are not considered by the Bengal Sepoys to be fit to associate with them. Why, Sir, is it not obvious that while you have an army of such a-nature you cannot be safe? And the question now to be considered is, not what was the cause of the mutiny, for in every year which has passed over our heads there has been a great probability of an outbreak, arising either from some trifling cause or from a wish to re-establish the Native 1693 supremacy in this army of 100,000 or 150,000 men without our having the means of stopping it; but what is the origin of the army which has mutinied? Now what was the cause of our having this great army? Why, Sir, it arose from that system introduced by Mr. Pitt, a system which I believe he would have been fain to subsequently alter to a great extent. We all know how Mr. Pitt rose to power by professing the utmost regard for the chartered rights and privileges of the Company, to attack which would, he said, be a violation of the constitution and robbery and spoliation. Well, then, after the Board of Control was established, Mr. Pitt and Mr. Dundas, two very able men, naturally desired to have the government of India to themselves; and, accordingly, in 1786 or 1788 Mr. Pitt wished to send to India six English regiments which were not wanted at home, whereupon the East India Directors immediately protested against such a proceeding as being contrary to the Act of 1784. Mr. Pitt then introduced a declaratory Act, which declared that under the Act of 1784, it was intended that the Government of this country should have power to send troops to India—a thing which everybody knew was not the case, and thus in a somewhat clumsy manner he carried his point; but so great was the influence of the Company, even when Mr. Pitt was at the summit of his power, that they succeeded in procuring the insertion of a clause which limited the number of troops to be sent. Now, so far as I have gathered from gentlemen who have occupied the position of President of the Board of Control, and from officers high in the office of the Commander in Chief, I find the greatest jealousy exists as to increasing the number of the Queen's troops in India, and that the Government of India have always shown a decided preference either for Native troops or for the European troops of the East India Company. Believing that to be the case, I say I see at once the source of danger. It is rather late, it may be said, because this mutiny has actually broken out, and the army, which was like no other army on the face of the earth, which had in fact sole possession, which was petted and spoilt, as Lord Dalhousie said, according to the views of the Company and the Directors, has risen in open revolt; and it is put as if it were almost a matter of necessity for them that they should have massacred their officers, 1694 and with them the wives and children of those officers, in order to exterminate those who hitherto thought they had their confidence. But does not this require some decision on the part of the Government, and some expression of opinion on the part of this House as to what ought to be done for the future? And what, in the first place, must be done for the future? You cannot raise—you cannot even wish to raise up such a Bengal army as has mutined, and part of which is still in arms against the troops of Her Majesty. You must have a considerable army of the Queen's in that country. That army must be composed of European troops, of British troops. But when you have made that change you will have broken down the very foundation of the power of the East India Company. And surely you cannot say that an army of 50,000 or 60,000 Queen's troops shall be placed entirely at the disposal of the Company? You must use the name and interpose the authority of the Crown; and as the military power must hereafter rest in the Crown, so the political and civil power must follow it. Sir, that appears to me to be the urgent cause for legislation on this subject. Whether you should legislate this year or the next, it is a subject to which you cannot shut your eyes. The hon. Baronet who spoke last, instead of discussing merely this preliminary question, has discussed the merits of the Bill of my noble Friend at the head of the Government. Now, I entirely decline to follow him and others in that course. I say that the hon. Member for Huntingdon refuses to let us see this measure. The subject is one of vast importance; the particular provisions are, no doubt, of immense consequence; but I defy any man to argue closely and correctly of those provisions without seeing the Bill and examining their connection with each other. If I am obliged to consent to this change there are some things which I should wish. to bear in mind in making it. I quite admit the great benefits that have accrued from the kind of independence which belongs to the Directors of the Company. I do not, however, see very well how a body of constituents like that which now exists in the Court of Proprietors can be retained as the foundation of the future Government. There is something absurd in a number of Proprietors of stuck electing the governors of an empire like India, and when this question is stirred it can hardly be expected that such a basis of government will 1695 be maintained. But everything that can be done to preserve an independent character to the Council should, I think, be carefully considered. And I say of this part of the Bill as I should say of the other parts of it, that if I find the provisions are not sufficient to attain the objects which I think essential, I shall be quite ready to join with any hon. Gentleman who can devise more security for the independence of the members of the Council. Another great object which I should desire to keep in view is that the great service of India—that great military service, one of the noblest, most distinguished, and most successful that has ever appeared on the face of the earth—should be upheld with all its honours, rewards, and emoluments, and with, I trust, the same advantages to India and to England which it has hitherto conferred. You may say it is a trifling matter whether you keep up this patronage in the middle classes or not. That is not the point. The question is, whether the men of the middle classes of England have not done everything for India that you could wish; whether they have not been men who have arisen after many years of faithful and laborious service, in a climate most unfavourable to health, to high stations, and having conducted themselves in those stations as the highest statesmen and the ablest generals of Europe have conducted themselves in their European campaigns and negotiations. And if such be the case, nothing shall induce me to agree to any provisions in this Bill which might in any way ignore or depreciate that service. There is another point on which I wish that we could have security; but in respect to which I fear we must make up our minds to encounter some danger. I wish it could be found, by any plan which gives to a Minister of the Crown the direction of the affairs of India, that you could prevent questions of Indian government from becoming subjects of party debate in this House. It is not, Sir, that factious men will take advantage of these questions; it is that while there are always a number of Members in this House who have the fullest confidence in the Government for the time being, there are also always another set of hon. Gentlemen, as we all know, Sir, who have no confidence in that Government, and who distrust either their competency or their honesty, or perhaps both. And the Opposition of the day, be they whom they may, are pretty sure to look with an unfavourable bias upon the 1696 measures which have been settled in India, and, perhaps, also in this country, after the most mature consideration of what is essential to the best interests of our distant dominions. We cannot, I fear, prevent Motions and discussions in this House on the affairs of India; but we have stood that trial with respect to the rest of our Government. There are many matters relating to foreign and colonial affairs which are of the utmost delicacy, and of which one would sayá priori that nothing could be more injurious to the country, and more calculated to throw difficulties in the way of a satisfactory settlement of them, than to make those delicate and difficult matters the subjects of popular debate and the theme of angry party conflicts. But that, Sir, is the condition of our existence. It is a principal feature of our constitutional life. We must bear with it in India as we have borne with it elsewhere. I see the peril, perhaps, as clearly as any one. I see how much moderation it will take in order as much as possible to avert it; but I own I perceive no alternative but that of looking this question in the face, of endeavouring with all the deliberative wisdom of Parliament to arrive at a solution of as large a problem as we have ever had before us, affecting the future fate of the great empire which has been intrusted to; our hands, and which we are as it were the instruments of Providence in holding for the benefit and happiness of millions and millions—a duty which, I trust, we shall perform well, and one which I feel sure we cannot avoid.
§ MR. DISRAELI
I have listened to the interesting narrative of the noble Lord, which included a history of the Sepoy army, with an emotion which I think must have been shared by every hon. Gentleman in the House. No one could listen to it without feeling at every step and sentence of the noble Lord, that the Indian empire has been the most critical portion of Her Majesty's dominions. But what surprised me most was, that with his full acquaintance of the subject, and his profound conviction of the imminent peril, the noble Lord, in 1853, had not thought fit to call the attention of his colleagues and their consideration to the state of affairs which formed the subject of his present comments. Sir, I agree with the noble Lord, that it is a question of great difficulty. It is not certainly my task to-night to vindicate the elements of the constituent body by which the Directors of the East India Company 1697 may be chosen. It may be possible that the constituent body is only correctly described by the epithets used by the noble Lord: but surely, in 1853, when we were called upon to consider the whole question of the Indian empire, and the best means for its administration and government, the noble Lord must have been equally sensible of what he now styles the absurdity of hose elements. Nor do I feel at this moment that the noble Lord was peculiarly happy in the argument which he urged, and the illustration which he offered us to show that this is the time for legislation respecting India. According to the noble Lord, the illustration would run thus:—We legislated in favour of our fellow-Subjects in Ireland professing the Roman Catholic religion at a time when we feared an insurrection in that country; and, therefore, we should not shrink from doing the same thing when there is an actual insurrection in India. But, with great submission to the noble Lord, the state of affairs in the two countries is wholly distinct. The difference between the two cases is so great as to destroy altogether the force of his reasoning, and the apposite-ness of his illustration. I can conceive very easily a statesman proposing a measure of legislation in the case of a threatened insurrection, with the view of preventing it; but surely with a country in which an insurrection actually rages, no identity can exist to justify the illustration upon which the noble Lord lays such stress. Now, when the noble Lord enters into the causes of the Indian revolt, and on these causes founds his arguments in favour of legislation, I cannot forget that when, last year, I asked the House to inquire into these causes, there was no one more strong, I might even say more violent, than the noble Lord in opposing my proposition. The noble Lord was then heard declaring emphatically that, until the insurrection was completely put down, it was idle to investigate what might be its cause; and that all the energies of the country should be devoted to its suppression. Now I myself have long been of opinion that it was a matter of high policy that the relations between the Sovereign of this realm and the inhabitants of India should be drawn more closely together, and should be rendered more direct. I have for a long time been persuaded that, upon such a consummation, the administration of India would be greatly improved, and that such a change would be the precursor of 1698 benefits to the population of that country, and indeed to the population of our own, which it would be difficult, I think, to exaggerate. In examining this question now brought before us—in bringing all my powers of investigation to bear upon the measure of Her Majesty's Government—I, at least, am not influenced by any prejudice, because the bias of my mind—and none of us can be free from bias upon a question of such magnitude—is rather in favour of a measure which, it is understood, is the object of the proposition of Her Majesty's Ministers. Nor, in considering this question, as we have heard a great deal said about party feeling, could I be at all influenced by the hon. and learned Member who proposed the Amendment on this occasion. Because, although it is an honour, which I greatly appreciate, to possess the friendship of the hon. and learned Member for Huntingdon, it was only at the end of the Session last year that that hon. Gentleman informed the House, and then not for the first time, he regretted upon the subject of India that my views and his so little agreed. Therefore, when I come to ask myself as to the course I shall pursue on this question, I feel that I may approach it without prejudice, and until the argument which I shall briefly submit to the House is answered, I shall believe that the course which I shall take myself is also the course which the House ought to adopt. Now, if I had thought that a change in the direction recommended by Her Majesty's Ministers was one which would draw the relations between the inhabitants of Hindostan and this country nearer—if I thought that such a change would gradually improve the condition of the inhabitants, I should certainly support it; but I must express my opinion that the operation and effect of the measure proposed will produce in both instances an effect the very contrary. And now, Sir, in the first place I would ask the House, before it comes to a decision upon the question, to consider the influence which the Vote they are called on to give will have on the finances of this country. I have not heard that question as yet clearly put. It appears to me to be not only one of great importance, but one which is extremely pressing and imminent. We have had, on several occasions, controversies as to the identity between Indian and English finance; and I believe that the general opinion has been, that, although it may not be possible altogether to sever them, 1699 the means by which they will be inseparably united is one of a gradual and perhaps of a protracted process. But let me remind the House of a Bill laid upon the table lately for raising money for the service of India; let me remind the House of what must be the effect on our finances and the Indian finances by this proposition. It is idle any longer to distinguish between English and Indian finance. If the President of the Indian Council—the Queen's Minister in Downing Street—should find it necessary to raise money by a public loan, to pay Her Majesty's troops in India, it will be idle, when the dividends on that loan are due, if the exchequer of India is empty, to pretend that the revenue of India is alone liable. Every Gentleman must feel, immediately after such change takes place, that the difference between the finances of India and of England cannot be maintained for a moment, and that a blow to British credit in the very Metropolis would be inevitable if such a plea, under such circumstances, could be urged by a British Minister. Well, if that be true—and I cannot suppose for a moment that any hon. Member in this House, if the Bill passes, will for a moment contend that the distinction between Indian and the English finances can be maintained—before I proceed to the examination of this Bill, I would ask the House to consider what are the relations at this moment between the finances of England and of India. We have documents to show that there is, at this time, a chronic deficit in India of about £2,000,000 per annum. We have a paper—I do not know whether and it is generally circulated—by which it appears that, next year, there are to be in India 92,000 of Her Majesty's troops; that is to say, 52,000 troops in excess it is official, but it certainly is authentic, of the established number to which we have been long accustomed, and which are to be provided for by the routine finances of India. You may put down as an average expense for a regiment, infantry or cavalry, £90,000 a year; so that you must estimate the cost of those 52,000 troops at between £4,000,000 and £5,000,000. You are to deduct from that the expense of the Bengal army which has been superseded; but the expense of that army was only one moiety of that sum of between £4,000,000 and £5,000,000 sterling. You have, therefore, when you are adopting the government and liabilities of India, 1700 which you are asked to do as a matter of course, without consideration, to adopt a deficit—a chronic deficit—of, at least, £4,000,000 sterling. Now, I think the House will observe, that I have put this without the slightest reference to the consequences of the late and the present disturbances on the finances of India. The deficit in India this year may, and probably will be £11,000,000 or £12,000,000. Taking those extraordinary influences, out of consideration, and looking merely to the chronic deficit—that deficit which has gone on for several years—and adding to it what appears to be an inevitable increase of expenditure for those forces which the noble Lord has just told us were the foundation of our Indian authority, you have to deal with an Indian deficit of between £4,000,000 and £5,000,000. Now, Sir, what is the position of this country at the present moment? Have we a surplus revenue of such an amount that we can look with calmness and composure on a proposition of this kind—on the introduction of a policy which entails upon this country such a liability. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has not yet told us what is the state of our finances. His communication on that subject is one that cannot be long delayed, and the night on which it is made will be one added to those nights of interest which this Session promises to produce. I do not presume to form an accurate estimate as to what the revelation then to be made to the House of Commons will be; but this I will say, that I would not take £7,000,000 sterling to pay the British deficit which will be introduced to us by the Chancellor of the Exchequer within the course of the next month. Now, are you prepared, without thought, supposing only that you are doing a sentimental act, by changing the government of a country—are you prepared, by an aye or a no, to entail on the Minister of Finance of this country an immediate deficit of between £11,000,000 and £12,000,000 sterling?—for that, the House may be sure, will be the immediate consequence of the proposition of the Government which we are called upon to sanction, and which I am afraid so many of us were at first so recklessly prepared to accede to. Sir, before the House of Commons, before England undertakes the government of India, they should make themselves masters of the resources of India—they ought to make themselves masters of the means of managing the resources of India—they 1701 ought to make themselves masters of the mode by which the revenue is raised, and the expenditure of the country controlled. This shows how completely, in this business, we commenced at the wrong end. India is not governed in Cannon Row, or in Leaden hall Street, it is governed in Calcutta; and if you pass an Act of this kind, which by a phrase would assume to change the Government of India without acting on the more distant and real Government, you will be entailing on this country all the consequences of the policy and the engagements of the Government in Calcutta, while in effect you will have no control whatever over the system which prevails in that country; and you will find that when you have passed this Bill, you will have less means of governing India than even you have now in the somewhat roundabout system which exists. Remember what constitutes the Government of India. If you are to form your opinion from the Bill of the noble Lord at the head of the Government, as defined in his speech, you would suppose the Government of India depended on a few individuals living in England, and receiving public salaries and obeying the dictates and commands of a Minister of State. But the Government of India is something very different from that. The Government of India has to deal in the first place with the raising of a large revenue, and it has to deal with the raising of a large revenue which is not adequate to the expenditure which that Government requires; and unless, when you take upon yourself all the pecuniary responsibility of India, you at the same time take measures by which you can appropriate the revenues and prudently manage the resources of India, all that you will obtain from the Bill which the Government are asking you to permit them to introduce will be that you will have to supply the deficiency, and to pay for the expenditure of a distant Government, over which you will have no control. Such a proceeding will, as I shall show you, inevitably aggravate all those injurious consequences which you imagine by this Act you are going to put an end to. Now, Sir, what you want in India is a total change in the system of administration in that country itself. You want power to inquire into the expenditure which results in this deficiency. You want power to examine into your relations with Native Princes. You want power to investigate as to the means by which your 1702 Indian revenue is raised. You want power to improve the system of the tenure of land in that country, and to enable you to bring all the Native labour and capital—and they are both abundant to the cultivation of the land. You want all those things without which the revenue of India cannot extend. Remember what the revenue of India is. You have had statements of that revenue before, but they were of no interest to the House of Commons or the country, because they are not responsible for the existing engagements. The revenue of India is principally raised from the land by means which pauperises the country, and by which those who are acquainted with it, however they may differ on different schemes by which the revenue might be raised, agree that the revenue cannot be increased. Revenue is also raised from a very precarious and not very honourable source. Those things, managed with very great talent and discretion by those on the spot, by peculiar services organized for that duty, and whose existence depends on the fact that your revenue in India should be so raised, have hitherto, with great occasional disadvantages and deficiencies worked pretty well; but matters will be quite different when the credit of England and that of India are perfectly identified. No one will have then any great object in managing the revenue of India, of which the deficit is to be supplied by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the House of Commons. I say again, you have begun at the wrong end. You ought to have begun with the course which I took the liberty of recommending last year, when I suggested that when you put down the rebellion you should send a Royal Commission to India with plenary powers. It would be for that Commission to examine those great questions; to revise and re-establish your relations with Native authorities. It would be for that Commission to re-organize your forces, for you will have to raise Native forces—large Native forces—and on the system upon which your Native forces are raised the pecuniary position of India will considerably depend. That Royal Commission would also have to investigate into and decide upon the plans by which the revenue of India should be raised; and it ought to inquire whether the tenure of land in India, on which all depends, might not be modified in a manner beneficial for all parties. When Parliament had made itself master of the situation—when all this knowledge had been 1703 acquired and all those arrangements made, then would have arrived the time to consider whether a change should not be made which would transfer the supreme Government of India to the Government of Her Majesty in this country. But at present we are hampering ourselves by immense liability. We are entering on a scheme which ought to make us all tremble; we hare no security that those who really have the power—who manage the resources—who actually exercise the Indian Government will be in the least controlled for our benefit or will so exercise that authority, that we may not find from those proposed arrangements great and increasing evils. Let me ask the House for a moment, how, if we agree to this principle, it will act as regards the real Government in India? Let us assume for a moment that this Bill, as discussed by the noble Lord, has passed both Houses of Parliament and received Her Majesty's sanction, and that we have a President of India with his eight nominees. Now, in 1853, when, in company with my noble Friend the Member for King's Lynn (Lord Stanley) I implored the House not to enter in haste into the settlement of this question, but to enter into a full consideration of the question before they decided on the government of India, the principle then adopted was, that one-third of the Directors should be Government nominees. To that argument I raised an objection, which it appears to me remains unanswered to this moment. It appeared to me that the members of the Council nominated by the Crown should, of all things, be independent; and if independent, I did not see how their independence could be accomplished unless they were permanent. It appeared to me that to secure independence and knowledge were the great points, and that those results could only be achieved by permanency. It appeared to me at that time that a fatal objection to the Bill of 1853 was, that the permanency was not secured; but if that was a fatal objection to the Bill of 1853, when one-third only of the Directors were to be nominees of the Government, with how much more force does it apply now when it is proposed that all the Councillors shall be nominees? Now, Sir, how will this work? Let us see the influence which this plan would have on the Government of India, and the fatal reaction it will have on the fortunes of this country generally. Now, the Government nominees, according 1704 to the plan of the Minister, cannot be independent. They are limited in number, and every element of their dependence is provided for. We are not to see them in this House; they are to be screened from the control and constitutional criticism of Parliament. What will be the influence of the nominees on the President of the Council of India? Why, Sir, they will have the influence with their superiors which inferiors generally exercise; they will have no influence unless they pander to his interest; and none will be commended—none will be looked on as assiduous and energetic—but those who are his assiduous supporters and those who are active to accomplish the purposes of the Government. It requires no argument to prove that, so far as influence is concerned they will sink into that insignificant position which is the inevitable lot of persons placed in such circumstances. They will be creatures of the Minister. The Minister may rid himself of them whenever he likes. A plausible and adroit Minister might get rid of all the eight Government nominee Councillors in twenty-four hours. This dismissal might be ably defended on economic grounds. Let there be another cry for administrative reform, let there be another demand for economical reductions, and I can imagine no Minister more popular than a Chancellor of the Exchequer who, in making his annual statement, should dilate upon the reductions in the public service, the large amount saved to the nation, and the diminution of expenditure by a patriotic Ministry. He would enter into all the details, give us a catalogue of all the salaries diminished, and all the places abolished, and would wind up by saying that he had the greatest satisfaction in informing the House of Commons that his right hon. Friend the President of the Council in India, with that public spirit which had always distinguished him, and that devotion to public business for which he was remarkable, had found out that the eight members of the Council were of no use whatever, that he could do all the business himself, and that £8,000 a year might be saved to the public service. Where would be the eight Councillors? In the same tomb with the lay lord of the Admiralty, and many other persons who have departed from the scene of political life. We shall, practically, have a single and solitary Minister in Downing Street. I will admit, whoever he may be, his great talents, his great experience, and unrivalled 1705 energy. But still, with all these great qualities, what will be his position? With all the demands which Parliamentary life makes upon him, and which will be greater in proportion to the brilliancy of his abilities and the energy of his mind, what will be his position when he is called upon to transact the business of the twenty-five nations of Hindostan? Sir, there is no intellect that will not sink perplexed and overwhelmed under such a task. What, then, must the consequence be? Everybody in this House must know. He must trust entirely to the Governor General, who will become a despot. It will be impossible for a Minister in England to grapple with the details of Indian affairs, he must trust to his Governor General, and what will be the position of the Governor General? You think you have obtained Indian reform by this Bill; but you have not touched it. The Governor General may be able and ambitious—anxious, as most men are, that his name should descend to posterity. He will undertake great conquests; he will undertake great works. He will take care that his administration shall be brilliant and famous. The expenditure of India and the deficit will increase every year, because the Governor General will depend upon the admirably conceived and highly gifted labours of the civil servants in India, and they will support and assist him as long as he supports and assists them, and so long as he depends on the revenue raised by the preconsular system which they uphold. They will support the Governor General so long as he carries out the system of government now established in India—a system which may have been admirably devised and admirably suited to India, but which if adopted by this country will soon have such an effect on our finances, that I believe it will not be a question whether we shall ruin India, but whether we shall ruin the mother country. But is that all? May we not have a Minister at home, who, though not able to grapple with the details of Indian administration, as no one man can, will be an able man, capable of taking general views, and who will not allow the Governor General to pursue his career without some notice being taken of it in a fine historical despatch, such as no one could write better than the noble Lord the Member for London? How will the Governor General, in such circumstances, manage a suspicious Administration in London? He 1706 will place at the disposal of the Minister the patronage of India. Wherever there is an important friend to be rewarded, or an opponent to be got rid of in a moment of emergency, in such exigent circumstances the Government will know there is an all-powerful friend who will assist them in the person of the Governor General of India. But when the Governor General has favoured all your creatures; when in hundreds of cases placed in difficult and dangerous circumstances, his power and patronage have always been ready to save you, can you call that Governor General to account? Will he not be the possessor of a supremacy of power such as I for one should be sorry to see any English subject command? The consequence will be, that instead of a change which will draw nearer the relations between the inhabitants of Hindostan and England, you will have a law calculated to produce exclusion and estrangement upon a great scale. Instead of a law that will allow you to breathe a new spirit into our Indian administration, and effect wholesome and regenerating measures, you will have an abyss established between the metropolis and Calcutta that no man in this House will ever be strong enough or bold enough to pass. Sir, it is a wise policy to establish the name of the Queen in India, but if you want to establish the name of the Queen in India—if you want to transfer thither the authority of the natural functions of the Sovereign—it is in India you must commence the change. It is in India those changes must be effected that are necessary for the good government of India. And the alterations you must make in England are but the consequences of the revolution, I will call it, that must be made in India. And you must at the very outset meet the financial question. You can no longer, now that an inevitable connection is to be established between English and Indian finance, allow a blind deficit to be created in India any more than in England. And by what steps will you effect this great object? A council of insignificant men, who may be swept off the scene in a moment, will be useless for such a task; and even the most distinguished men that ever ruled in England could no more in England deal with the great question of Indian administration than they could deal with the administration in some distant planet. I won't go into those questions that have been touched on by so many hon. Gentle- 1707 men. I will not enter into the effect upon our free Parliamentary life of the increased patronage that will accrue to the Government. All these questions will develope themselves in time, and I will, after all that has been said, confine myself to the financial question, which has hardly yet been touched upon, but which is of all questions the most important. Twelve months will not elapse before you will feel the consequences in increased taxes. Remember how you were compelled to put an end to the increased taxation caused by the late war. Remember the impatience with which, when the war was concluded, the country regarded the heavy amount of direct taxation they had been called to bear. Think what the present state of our finances is. I am not certain that the Chancellor of the Exchequer is not now passing many anxious nights in preparing the ways and means for the present year to meet the wants and necessities of our dominions in Europe; but when we reflect that the deficit in a year or two may be doubled by the steps you are now taking in regard to Asia, I beg you to consider what then will be the effect on the purses of your constituents. How are we to meet the constituencies when we have a deficiency of a much greater amount than we have ever seen in the times that are past? I entreat the House to consider seriously this question of finance. That is the way in which I would read the Amendment of my hon. Friend (Mr. Baring), who, I need not say, so far as I am aware, gave notice of that Amendment without consultation with any one. I say, then, it is not the time to legislate for India till we have had a much more matured plan of legislation before us. I do not place my argument, though it might be placed triumphantly and indisputably on the condition of India itself. I do not place it on the ground that until the rebellion is put down we should think of nothing else but devote all our energies to its suppression, although I think that objection would be sound and unanswerable. I put it on a more selfish footing. I take a lower tone, but one which I find must be urged and pressed on the attention of the House and the country. I am asked to take a step that will involve this country in pecuniary embarrassments that are frightful to contemplate. Till we have complete possession of the resources of India in India—till we have the means of availing ourselves of its resources—till we have 1708 taken the steps that are necessary to increase those resources, and place them in a sound and healthy condition, do not let us take a course which is not transferring the government of India from the Company to the Queen, but is only transferring the patronage of the Company to the Government in Downing Street. I won't say that is the object of the Bill, I will say that it can have no other effect. I lament that this question has been brought forward at this moment. I and not surprised that the House of Commons is at this period of the year involved in Indian debates. No one could suppose that we could meet without our time and our thought being called to this question, that we should meet without inquiring into the causes of the rebellion, into the conduct of the war, and into the policy of those Ministers who, with India in the position in which they tell us it is and has been for years, could have embarked in a war with Persia and the empire of China. That we should have inquired into all these circumstances I can understand; but strange indeed is the different lot which is awaiting us. The proposition that we have before us is this—that we are to increase the power of those who we believe, and events have proved, have exercised injudiciously the power they possess, and that we are to transfer authority to those who have proved by their conduct that they are not worthy of the authority which they already hold. Sir, I hope the House will hesitate long before it sanctions this measure. It is possible on a debate of this kind, originating with an independent Member, that a majority at this stage may be obtained; but I take it for granted that the hon. Gentleman the Member for Huntingdon wanted discussion—that he wanted the public attention to be roused to the immense stake now at issue, and therefore very rightly, and in that sense very wisely, he has lost no opportunity by which this attention should be attracted. We have heard over and over again in this House that India never could command attention here—that so long as there was a debate on India it was impossible to make or keep a House, and that it was a subject—however great its magnitude and vast and varied its details, in which Englishmen would never take an interest. I think, Sir, there is a very simple and satisfactory reason for conduct which I cannot say is much to our honour, and for circumstances which I own are somewhat humiliating, 1709 Englishmen have never yet had to pay for India. That is the secret why India has never produced any interest in this House. Questions of conquest, questions of annexation, and even questions of rebellion, the greatest rebellion that has ever happened in our empire, last year hardly commanded attention because hon. Gentlemen, full of confidence in the Ministry and in their good stars, went out into the lobby and said, "Never mind, the Company will have to pay for it." Sir, I think that delusion is gone for ever. I don't think, after this Bill shall have passed, that there is one among us who will fail to see that there is a complete identity between Indian and English finance. Of all the delusions ever practised in Parliament was that arrangement of 1853, which afforded the House of Commons an opportunity of hearing an Indian budget. An Indian budget detailing the fortunes and progress of an empire for which we did not pay, and are not responsible, was a subject not likely to contribute much to the edification of the House, and who could be surprised that the Minister could not command a House to listen to the lucid narrative? But what I want to impress on the House is, that those days of Paradise are over. We may, in future, misgovern India, but in future we shall have to pay for it. We have been discussing these affairs for three or four nights, but no hon. Gentleman has descended from the high Empyrean of politics to touch on this vulgar point. Depend upon it, however, that day after day, week after week, and month after month, it will more and more develope itself until it acquires colossal proportions, and, if you wish to take a prudent step and seize the opportunity of examining your position before incurring fresh responsibilities, I recommend you to wait till you have seen the budget of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, before involving yourself in the question of Indian expenditure.
§ VISCOUNT PALMERSTON
Sir, there is nothing more curious sometimes than the progress of a debate. This debate began by the hon. Member for Huntingdon moving a modest Amendment, and professing that the question was not one that ought to be treated in any party spirit, that it was simply a matter of opinion, and that upon that ground he called for the decision of the House. But when the hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the table took up the debate we found it assume the shape of the 1710 most animated and acrimonious party question. The other evening we had the speech of the hon. and learned Member for Enniskillen (Mr. Whiteside). We have "seen" the speech to-night of the hon. Baronet the Member for Hertfordshire (Sir Bulwer Lytton), of which I will only say, whether it excited conviction in the minds of those who heard it I know not, but I am sure it excited deep envy in the mind of the hon. and learned Member for Enniskillen. No doubt the hon. and learned Member for Enniskillen, when next he rises to address the House, will feel that he will have to put forth, not his mental, but his physical exertions, for the purpose of equalling, for he cannot surpass, the exhibition we have seen to-night. But the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down has come to the real point of the case. He, throwing aside everything connected with the mere abstract question, has stated the question, in his opinion, as this—that we who sit on this side of the House are not worthy of the confidence which the Crown and the country have reposed in us, and that we are unworthy to continue to exercise that power, which he says will be augmented by the Bill under consideration. Sir, if that be the opinion of hon. Gentlemen opposite, why do they shrink from putting that question to the House? Then, forsooth, the right hon. Gentleman taxes us with our policy in regard to China, which he knows received the full and entire approbation of the country. He has also endeavoured to frighten the Members of this House with a financial bugbear. He says, if you pass this Bill you will have a complete identity between the finances of this country and the finances of India. Nothing can be more contrary to the real fact than that statement. This Bill will make no change in the distinct division that now exists between the finances of England and those of India. On the contrary, it will render that division more clear and more precise, and will put it more in the power of Parliament to prevent any amalgamation, should it ever be attempted. Most curious, indeed, has been the way in which those who have supported the Motion of the hon. Member for Huntingdon have endeavoured to make that Motion square with the opposite opinion on which that Motion is founded. The greater part of those who have spoken on the other side have admitted, and none more strongly than the right hon. Gentleman the Member for 1711 Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli), that it is highly expedient that the Government of India should be administered in the name of the Queen. But, says the right hon. Gentleman, you should continue the present system, and yet you should have the administration of India carried on in the name of the Queen. How are the East India Company to carry on the administration of India in the name of the Queen? Are they to be converted into officers holding office under the Crown? Unless that be so, how is it possible you could have the administration by the present machinery in the name of the Queen? What we propose amounts to the very slightest change which is compatible with carrying out those moderate measures which all who have spoken think desirable. What we propose is this—there is at present an Indian Council, of which a certain number of members are nominees of the Crown, but which has no direct communication with the responsible advisers of the Crown. We propose to abolish that Council and transfer the five members to another Council, with the addition of other nominees of the Crown, and to place that Council in direct personal communication with the responsible advisers of the Crown. The right hon. Gentleman who, in 1853, said he did not know who was the Indian Government, or who was responsible for it, appears to-night at last to have found that out. He says it is the Governor General. He says you may do what you like at home—you may either continue the Company or transfer the Executive to the advisers of the Crown—but it is the Governor General of India who has the ruling authority; it is he whom you ought to control, and it is in India, therefore, that you ought to make your alterations. Sir, that opinion is diametrically opposed to the opinion on which the hon. Member for Huntingdon has founded his Amendment. He says it is inexpedient to disturb anything relating to Indian affairs until the mutiny is over and tranquillity restored. But for a moment imagine the proposal of the right hon. Gentleman to be carried—suppose you were really to send out a Royal Commission to India, what would that be but to supersede the Governor General? And I would ask, then, is it an opportune moment, when you require all his energy and experience, to send a roving Commission to inquire into all the proceedings of the Governor General and the officers 1712 under him? I say that no course could be better calculated than that to defeat your purpose, and to prevent the tranquillization of India. If it be true, as I think is admitted by almost all those who have spoken upon this subject with any weight or authority—barring those who, belonging to the Court of Directors, must naturally have great difficulty in arriving at the conclusion that a change ought to be effected,—that great advantage at home and great benefit in India would arise from governing that country by the direct authority of the Queen, then I say you ought to begin at home, and not commence by any local change in India; and the measure which we propose is well calculated to produce the desired result with as little derangement and alteration of the existing machinery as is consistent with the accomplishment of the object in view. But it is said that the members of the Council will not be independent. I am at a loss to understand what hon. Gentlemen mean when they use that argument. If they mean that you are to have associated with the President, who is charged with the administration of India, a Council who are to thwart him, who are to be antagonistic, who are to overrule his decisions, and who are not to be responsible either to Parliament or the country, then I say that is a sort of Council not likely to conduce to harmonious action or beneficial results. What would hon. Gentlemen have said if we had proposed, as they have suggested, to appoint a Council the members of which should be for life? Would any one of them have acquiesced in a proposal by which the Government of the day was to appoint perpetual Councillors, who were to control and overrule those who might hereafter, by a change of political parties, become responsible for the administration of India? Responsibility in this country can rest only in one quarter, that quarter being those persons who, by the confidence of the Crown and the choice of Parliament, are for the time being answerable for the conduct of public affairs. Moreover, the proposed Council must be a council of advice, not a council of control. It is said that the persons who may be charged with the management of affairs, will choose those who are most obsequious, and most disposed to yield to the passions and prejudices of the Government of the day. That is not the principle upon which any sensible man would select his advisers. We must suppose that the Government would wish 1713 to be advised by those most competent to give advice, and so far from choosing as Councillors those most likely to be subservient and flexible, they would no doubt deem it their duty as well as their interest to select those who, by their knowledge, experience, talent, and capacity were most certain to prove useful assistants in the management of Indian affairs. I apprehend, then, that the more the House considers the question, the more it will find that the arrangement which we propose is, that which is most conducive to the end which we have in view. Some of the arguments used during this debate are, as I have already stated, of a singular character. I can quite understand those who say that they are opposed to any change. I may hold a different opinion; but I can see a logical process by which hon. Gentlemen might arrive at the conclusion that the present system is best, and ought to be continued. But that which I cannot understand is that Gentlemen who think the present system is not the best, and ought not to be continued—who think, on the contrary, that it is defective in principle, and that great advantage must arise from transferring the Government of India to the Crown—should pronounce that opinion in Parliament, dooming the Company by their condemnation, and yet should wish to continue the Government so doomed for an indefinite period, and under circumstances in which the administration of India requires unity of action, vigour of execution, and singleness of purpose. I trust, then, that the House will not be led away by any of the sophistries we have heard. I trust it will not be daunted by the phantom which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire has endeavoured to raise of some imaginary call upon the public revenue of this country for the purposes of Indian service. If it be true that the local Government has it in its power to increase unnecessarily the expenditure of India—if you have reason to distrust the Governor General for the time being—why then strengthen your home Government, give it greater powers of control, and place it in direct contact with Parliament, so as to enable the House of Commons to interfere whenever necessary. What conflicting opinions we have heard! Some hon. Gentlemen say there is not sufficient control over the local Government of India. Well, that control would be furnished by bringing the responsible advisers of the Crown 1714 in regard to Indian affairs in direct contact with Parliament. But then those whom I should have expected to be imbued with constitutional principles say, "Oh! for Heaven's sake let not the House of Commons meddle with Indian affairs; there is no telling to what degree faction may pervert these questions to the public injury." I bow with deference to opinions from the other side of the House as to the extent to which faction may be carried. I do not presume to question the assertions made upon that head; but, in spite of the fears entertained by hon. Gentlemen that an Opposition may, from factious motives, injure their country for the purpose of weakening their opponents; and notwithstanding, also, what I know to be the general play of Parliamentary tactics, I feel assured that the good sense of the House of Commons would prevent any attempts of that kind, and that great benefit would arise to the interests of our Indian empire from the vigilant supervision of Parliament. I trust, therefore, that the House will not be led away by either the eloquence which we have heard to-night, or the more sober argument of the hon. Member for Huntingdon. Believing, as I do, that the great bulk of the people of this country have settled the question in their own minds, and have come to the deliberate conviction that the present complicated system of Indian Government ought not to continue, believing, as I do, that now is the time for making the change—that no delay ought to take place—that you ought not to continue in action a Government at home which is doomed by public opinion and by Parliamentary discussion—I trust that this House will give us leave to bring in a Bill, the general outline of which I have explained, and will bestow their most serious attention upon its provisions, not criticising it for the purpose of defeating a measure which is calculated, as we think, to promote the public good, but for the purpose of passing it in an effective shape. Let that course be adopted, and I venture to say that the change which we propose, should Parliament in its wisdom think fit to accomplish it, will do more for the interests of our great empire in the East than any other that could be suggested.
§ MR. NEWDEGATE
was understood to ask the noble Lord who introduced the Bill whether he had obtained the consent of the hon. Members who were now the representatives of the East India Company 1715 in that House? That was where the House and country would feel the loss of East Indian representation in this country. By the proposed Bill the Council to be constituted by it would have the control of revenues larger than those of Austria, Prussia, or Russia. He should like an answer from the noble Lord to these questions.
§ Question put: The House divided:—Ayes 318; Noes 173: Majority 145.
|List of the AYES.|
|Adderley, C. B.||Cheetham, J.|
|Adeane, H. J.||Child, S.|
|Akroyd, E.||Churchill, Lord A. S.|
|Alcock, T.||Clark, J. J.|
|Annesley, hon. H.||Clay, J.|
|Antrobus, E.||Clifford C. C.|
|Ashley, Lord||Cobbett, J. M.|
|Atherton, W.||Codrington, Gen.|
|Ayrton, A. S.||Cogan, W. H. F.|
|Bagshaw, J.||Collier, R. P.|
|Bagwell, J.||Colvile, C. R.|
|Bailey, Sir J.||Coningham, W.|
|Baines, rt. hon. M. T.||Conyngham, Lord F.|
|Baring, H. B.||Conolly, T.|
|Baring, T. G.||Cowper, rt. hon. W. F.|
|Barnard, T.||Coote, Sir C. H.|
|Baxter, W. E.||Cotterell, Sir H. G.|
|Beach, W. W. B.||Cowan, C.|
|Beale, S.||Craufurd, E. H. J.|
|Beecroft, G. S.||Crossloy, F.|
|Bentinck, G. W. P.||Dalglish, R.|
|Berkeley, hon. H. F.||Dashwood, Sir G. H.|
|Berkeley, F. W. F.||Davey, R.|
|Bethell, Sir R.||Davie, Sir H. R. F.|
|Biddulph, R. M.||Deasy, R.|
|Biggs, J.||Deedes, W.|
|Black, A.||Dent, J. D.|
|Blake, J.||De Vere, S. E.|
|Bland, L. H.||Devereux, J. T.|
|Bouverie, rt. hon. E. P.||Dillwyn, L. E.|
|Bouverie, hon. P. P.||Dodson, J. G.|
|Bowyer, G.||Duff, M. E. G.|
|Boyd, John,||Dunbar, Sir W.|
|Brocklehurst, J.||Duncan, Visct.|
|Browne, Lord J. T.||Dundas, F.|
|Bruce, Lord E.||Dunlop, A. M.|
|Bruce, H. A.||Dutton, hon. R. H.|
|Buchanan, W.||Ebrington, Visct.|
|Buckley, Gen.||Edwards, H.|
|Buller, J. W.||Egerton, W. T.|
|Burke, Sir T. J.||Egerton, E. C.|
|Bury, Visct.||Elcho, Lord|
|Butler, C. S.||Elton, Sir A. H.|
|Butt, I.||Emlyn, Visct.|
|Buxton, C.||Ennis, John|
|Buxton, Sir E. N.||Esmonde, J.|
|Byng, hon. G.||Evans, T. W.|
|Caird, J.||Ewart, W.|
|Calcraft, J. H.||Ewart, J. C.|
|Calcutt, F. M.||Ewing, H. E. C.|
|Campbell, R. J. R.||Fagan, W.|
|Cardwell, rt. hon. E.||Fenwick, H.|
|Castleross, Visct.||Ferguson, Col.|
|Cavendish, hon. W.||Ferguson, Sir R.|
|Cavendish, hon. G.||Finlay, A. S.|
|Cayley, E. S.||FitzRoy, rt. hon. H.|
|Charlesworth, J. C. D.||Fitzwilliam, hn. C.W.W.|
|Fitzwilliam, hn. G. W.||Locke, Joseph|
|Foley, J. H.||Locke, John|
|Foley, H. J. W.||Lockhart, A. E.|
|Forster, C.||Lowe, rt. hon. R.|
|Foster, W. O.||Luce, T.|
|Fortescue, hon. F. D.||Macarthy, A.|
|Fortescue, C. S.||M'Cann, J.|
|Freestun, Col.||Mackie, J.|
|Gallwey, Sir W. P.||Mackinnon, W. A,|
|Garnett, W. J.||Maguire, J. F.|
|Gavin, Major||Mangles, C. E.|
|Gibson, rt. hon. T. M.||Marsh, M. H.|
|Gilpin, C.||Marshall, W.|
|Goddard, A. L.||Martin, C. W.|
|Goderich, Visct.||Martin, P. W.|
|Greenall, G.||Massey, W. N.|
|Greene, J.||Matheson, A.|
|Greenwood, J.||Matheson, Sir J.|
|Green, S. M'C.||Mellor, J.|
|Gregory, W. H.||Mills, A.|
|Gregson, S.||Mills, T.|
|Gray, Capt.||Moffatt, G.|
|Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.||Moncreiff, rt. hon. J.|
|Grey, R. W.||Montgomery, Sir G.|
|Griffith, C.D.||Moody, C. A.|
|Grosvenor, Earl||Morris, D.|
|Gurdon, B.||Napier, Sir C.|
|Gurney, J. H.||Newark, Visct.|
|Hadfield, G.||Nicoll, D.|
|Hall, rt. hon. Sir B.||Noel, hon. G. J.|
|Hamilton, Capt.||Norris, J. T.|
|Hanbury, R.||North, F.|
|Hankey, T.||O'Brien, P.|
|Hanmer, Sir J.||Ogilvy, Sir J.|
|Harcourt, G. G.||Osborne, R.|
|Hardcastle, J. A.||Owen, Sir J.|
|Harris, J. D.||Paget, C.|
|Hartington, Marquess of||Paget, Lord A.|
|Hatchell, J.||Paget, Lord C.|
|Headlam, T. E.||Palmerston, Visct.|
|Heathcote, hon. G. H.||Patten, Col. W.|
|Henchy, D. O'C.||Pease, H.|
|Heneage, G. F.||Pechell, Sir G. B.|
|Henniker, Lord||Perry, Sir T. E.|
|Herbert, rt. hon. H. A.||Philips, R. N.|
|Holland, E.||Philipps, J. H.|
|Hopwood, J. T.||Pigott, F.|
|Howard, hon. C. W. G.||Pilkington, J.|
|Hughes, W. B.||Pinney, Col.|
|Hntt, W.||Portman, hon. W. H. B.|
|Ingram, H.||Powell, F. S.|
|Jermyn, Earl||Price, W. P.|
|Jervoise, Sir J. C.||Pryse, E. L.|
|Johnstone, J. J. H.||Pritchard, J.|
|Johnstone, Sir J.||Pugh, D.|
|Keating, Sir H. S.||Puller, C. W.|
|Kendall, N.||Ramsden, Sir J. W.|
|Ker, R.||Ramsay, Sir A.|
|Kershaw, J.||Rawlinson, Sir H. C.|
|King, hon. P. J. L.||Raynham, Visct.|
|King, E. B.||Rebow, J. G.|
|Kinglake, J. A.||Repton, G. W. J.|
|Kingscote, R. N. F.||Ricardo, J. L.|
|Kinnaird, hon. A. F.||Ricardo, O.|
|Knatchbull-Hugessen. E||Rich, H.|
|Labouchere, rt. hon. H.||Richardson, J.|
|Langton, H. G.||Ridley, G.|
|Laslett, W.||Robartes, T. J. A.|
|Legh, G. C.||Roebuck, J. A.|
|Levinge, Sir R.||Roupell, W.|
|Lewis, rt. hon. Sir G. C.||Russell, Lord J.|
|Lincoln, Earl of||Russell, H.|
|Lindsay, W. S.||Russell, A.|
|Russell, F. W.||Turner, J. A.|
|Schneider, H. W.||Vane, Lord H.|
|Scholefield, W.||Villiers, rt. hon. C. P.|
|Scrope, G. P.||Vivian, H. H.|
|Seymour, H. D.||Vivian, hon. J. C. W.|
|Shafto, R. D.||Waldron, L.|
|Shelley, Sir J. V.||Walter, J.|
|Sheridan, H. B.||Weguelin, T. M.|
|Sibthorp, Major||Western, S.|
|Slaney, R. A.||Westhead, J. P. B.|
|Smith, J. B,||Whatman, J.|
|Smith, rt. hon. R. V.||Whitbread, S.|
|Smollett, A.||Wickham, H. W.|
|Somerville, rt. hn. Sir W.||Williams, M.|
|Stafford, Marquess of||Williams, W.|
|Stanley, Lord||Williams, Sir W. F.|
|Stapleton, J.||Willyams, E. W. B.|
|Steel, J.||Wilson, J.|
|Stuart, Lord J.||Wise, J. A.|
|Stuart, Col.||Wood, W.|
|Sturt. H. G.||Woods, H.|
|Sturt, N.||Worsley, Lord|
|Sullivan, M.||Wrightson, W. B.|
|Taylor, S. W.||Wyld, J.|
|Thornely, T.||Wyvill, M.|
|Thornhill, W. P.||Young, A. W.|
|Tollemache, hon. F. J.||TELLERS.|
|Townsend, J.||Hayter, W. G.|
|Traill, G.||Brand, hon. B. W.|
|Trelawny, Sir J. S.|
|List of the NOES.|
|Adams, W. H.||Du Pre, C. G.|
|Archdall, Capt. M.||East, Sir J. B.|
|Bagshaw, R. J.||Elliot, hon. J. E.|
|Baillie, H. J.||Elmley, Visct.|
|Baring, A. H.||Elphinstone, Sir J.|
|Baring, rt. hon. Sir F. T.||Estcourt, T. H. S.|
|Bernard, T. T.||Farnham, E. B.|
|Bass, M. T.||Farquhar, Sir M.|
|Bathurst, A. A.||Fellowes, E.|
|Bective, Earl of||Fitzgerald, W. R. S.|
|Bennet, P.||Forester, rt. hon. Col.|
|Blackburn, P.||Forster, Sir G.|
|Boldero, Col.||Fox, W. J.|
|Bovill, W.||Eraser, Sir W. A.|
|Bramley-Moore, J.||Gard, R. S.|
|Bramston, T. W.||Gaskell, J. M.|
|Bridges, Sir B. W.||Gifford, Earl of|
|Bruce, Major C.||Gilpin, Col.|
|Buller, Sir J. Y.||Gladstone, rt. hon. W.|
|Bunbury, W. B. M'C.||Glyn, G. G.|
|Cairns, H. M'C.||Graham, rt. hon. Sir J.|
|Carden, Sir R. W.||Greaves, E.|
|Carnac, Sir J. R.||Grenfell, C. P.|
|Cecil, Lord R.||Grenfell, C. W.|
|Christy, S.||Grogan, E.|
|Clinton, Lord R.||Hall, Gen.|
|Clive, hon. R. W.||Hamilton, G. A.|
|Close, M. C.||Hamilton, J. H.|
|Cobbold, J. C.||Hardy, G.|
|Cole, hon. H. A.||Hassard, M.|
|Colebrooke, Sir T. E.||Heathcote, Sir W.|
|Corry, rt. hon. H. L.||Hodgson, K. D.|
|Crook, J.||Hodgson, W. N.|
|Curzon, Visct.||Holford, R. S.|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Hope, A. J. B. B.|
|Damer, L. D.||Hume, W. W. F.|
|Davison, R.||Hunt, G. W.|
|Disraeli, rt. hon. B.||Ingestre, Visct.|
|Dobbs, W. C.||Ingham, R.|
|Du Cane, C.||Johnstone, hon. H. B.|
|Duke, Sir J.||Joliffe, Sir W. G. H.|
|Jolliffe, H. H.||Robertson, P. F.|
|Kelly, Sir F.||Rushout, G.|
|Kerrison, Sir E. C.||Rust, J.|
|King, J. K.||Sclater-Booth, G.|
|Kinglake, A. W.||Scott, hon. F.|
|Knatchbull, W. F.||Scott, Major|
|Knight, F. W.||Seymor, H. K.|
|Knox, Col.||Smith, M. T.|
|Langton, W. G.||Spooner, R.|
|Lauric, J.||Stanhope, J. B.|
|Lennox, Lord A. F.||Stephenson, R.|
|Lennox, Lord H. G.||Stewart, Sir M. R. S.|
|Leslie, C. P.||Sykes, Col. W. H.|
|Liddell, hon. H, G.||Taylor, Col.|
|Lisburne, Earl of||Tempest, Lord A. V.|
|Lovaine, Lord||Thompson, Gen.|
|Lowther, hon. Col.||Trefusis, hon. C. H. R.|
|Lyall, G.||Trollope, rt. hon. Sir J.|
|Lygon, hon. F.||Vance, J.|
|Lytton, Sir G. E. L.B.||Vansittart, G. H.|
|Macartney, G.||Vansittart, W.|
|Macaulay, K.||Verner, Sir W.|
|Mangles, R. D.||Verney, Sir H.|
|Manners, Lord J.||Waddington, H. S.|
|March, Earl of||Walcott, Adm.|
|Marjoribanks, D. C.||Walpole, rt. hon. S. H.|
|Maxwell, hon. Col.||Walsh, Sir J.|
|Melgund, Visct.||Warren, S.|
|Miller, T. J.||White, J.|
|Miller, S. B.||Whiteside, J.|
|Milnes, R. M.||Whitmore, H.|
|Mitchell, T. A.||Wigram, L. T.|
|Morgan, O.||Williams, Col.|
|Mowbray, J. R.||Willoughby, Sir H.|
|Naas, Lord||Willoughby, J. P.|
|Napier, rt. hon. J.||Willson, A.|
|Newdegate, C. N.||Woodd, B. T.|
|Newport, Visct.||Wortley, Major|
|Nisbet, R. P.||Wyndham, Gen.|
|North, Col.||Wyndham, H.|
|Ossulston, Lord||Wynn, Col.|
|Packe, C. W.||Wynne, rt. hon. J. A.|
|Palk, L.||Yorke, hon. E. T.|
|Peel, Sir R.||Baring, T.|
|Pennant, hon. Col||Crawford, R. W.|
§ Main Question put, and agreed to. Bill ordered to be brought in by Viscount PALMERSTON, Mr. VERNON SMITH, and the CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER.
§ Bill read 1°.
§ House adjourned at a Quarter after One o'clock.