HC Deb 30 July 1860 vol 160 cc351-404

Order read, for resuming Adjourned Debate on Question [27th July], That it be an Instruction to the Committee, that they have power to make provision therein that all appointments to military commands in India (the commands in chief alone excepted), and all Staff appointments, whether military, naval, or medical, be vested in the Governor General in Council and other constituted authorities in India.

Question again proposed.

Debate resumed.


said, it was not his wish or that of any Gentleman who concurred in his views to throw any obstacle in the way of the fair discussion of this measure. The reason why these instructions were moved was that, unless they were agreed to, hon. Members were precluded from moving any clauses to that effect in Committee. The object of the instruction now before the House was to give by Act of Parliament to the Governor General that power which the Secretary of State said he was perfectly willing to give him. It was not right that the Governor General should hold that power merely at the will of the Secretary for India, who, by a stroke of the pen, might at any time transfer it to the Horse Guards. If the right hon. Gentleman really wished this power to remain in the hands of the Governor General, how could he object to this instruction? The right hon. Gentleman seemed to want to vest absolute power in the Secretary of State, but to this there were many objections. There had recently been three Indian Secretaries within the space of four months; and when there were such frequent changes among the holders of this office differences of opinion might exist which would lead to great inconvenience. What had been the course of Indian legislation for the last twenty years? Indian officials declared that the event which first appeared to shake the British power in India was the interference of the home authorities in the Affghan war, which was undertaken by the Home Government against the weight of Indian experience. The next event which shook Native confidence and English prestige was the policy of annexation, which was also supported by the Home Government against the weight of Indian experience. The third great occasion was the introduction of the financial measures of the right hon. Gentleman the present Secretary of State, who five years ago reduced the interest on Indian loans, thereby saving a considerable sum to the Indian exchequer. For this the right hon. Gentleman was applauded at home, but condemned in India; and on all these occasions the course of the Home Government, prejudicial as it had been to our rule in India, had been at variance with the experience of Indian officials. He hoped, in conclusion, that the Secretary of State would not refuse his assent to an Instruction which would merely carry out the opinion expressed by the right hon. Gentleman himself.


said, he had some remarks to make upon the proposed instruction. But previously to doing so, he wished to correct the report of what he had said on a previous occasion with respect to the 5th Dragoon Guards. He had been understood to state that this regiment joined the rebels in Ireland in 1799. What he had really said was, that the 5th Dragoons (not Dragoon Guards) had refused to charge the rebels on that occasion, and he re- gretted that any pain had been occasioned to the 5th Dragoon Guards, a distinguished regiment, by this misapprehension. With regard to the instruction to the Committee before the House, the question was whether the Governor General of India was to have the entire control of the civil and military departments under him, or whether the War Secretary and the Horse Guards were to participate in that control? Mr. Willoughby, a gentleman of great Indian experience, said that the uncontrolled authority of the Indian Government was absolutely necessary to the good government of India. Lord Elphinstone said that if there was one thing which must be laid down as a principle not to be departed from in our military Government in India it was the entire subordination of the army, both European and Indian, to the Government of India; that the troops of the Queen's regular army, while serving in India, must be wholly subject to the authority of the Queen's Government in India; that military promotions indeed might be left entirely to the Horse Guards, but the patronage of every staff appointment in India should be vested, as with few exceptions it now was vested, entirely in the hands of the supreme and local Governments. All that the Instruction to the Committee aimed at was that the House should confirm this. The recommendation of a man who was entitled to so much of their respect and confidence, Mr. Frere, in his Minute, said that the localized character of the three armies was a main cause why the mutiny was chiefly confined to the ranks of one of those armies, and that it would have spread wider and been more disastrous, had it been centralized under an authority like the Horse Guards. He would ask how could there be a complete control exercised by the Governor General, if it was to be participated in by the Secretary for War and by the Commander-in-Chief of the Forces in England? In August, 1858, the Commander-in-Chief had applied to the Indian Department that all Returns relating to the forces in the East Indies should be sent to him, in order that he might exercise a complete control over those forces, thus asking for the Horse Guards, already overburdened with work, the control and management of an additional army of 300,000 men. The reply of the noble Lord then Secretary of State for India was, that it was not necessary to adopt the measure indicated by the Commander-in-Chief, and it was gratifying to find that the noble Lord still entertained that opinion. He would give an instance of how necessary it was that the Governor General should have the power of selecting officers. The House would remember our misfortunes in Affghanistan. Unhappily the Cabool army was placed under an officer who had been appointed to the Staff in India, not by the Court of Directors or Governor General, who, according to present opinion should have been a perfect master of strategy, because he had been drilled in one of the regiments of Her Majesty's army. However, the result was that the whole of the Cabool army, with its followers, was lost, only one person, a doctor, making his way to Jellalabad; our ladies were left in the hands of the enemy; our honour was sacrificed. It was resolved—it was happily resolved—that an attempt should be made to redeem our honour, and the Governor General selected as the commander an officer who had never been in the Royal army, had never been drilled by a Royal drill master, and was therefore incompetent, according to recent dicta, to command at all. That officer was General Sir George Pollock. The Native army, actuated by great and strong prejudices, were under disquietude with regard to crossing the Indus, and entering the regions of Affghanistan, because that act, according to their sacred book, involved the loss of high caste. At the same time great sickness prevailed in the army. But Sir George Pollock, with that tact and knowledge of the Native character which distinguished him, entered the hospitals, mixed with the men, spoke to them as a father speaks to his children, and urged the necessity of avenging the recent reverses. In this way the disquietude was dissipated and confidence restored. The consequence was that the formidable pass of the Kyber was stormed; Jellalabad, which had been besieged fifteen months by the Affghans, was relieved, Cabool was taken, and ultimately the ladies were recovered, and the honour of the British arms restored. And had the same prudence, and the same tact, and the same knowledge of Indian character been employed to avert the mutiny in the Bengal army, which, after all, originated in caste prejudices, and not in disloyalty—not, he repeated, in disloyalty, but in religious prejudices—we should never have had a mutiny at all in India. And that the mutiny did originate in this way was proved by the correspondence of Sir George Anson, the Commander-in-Chief, and others with the military authorities at the depot of regiment of Enfield rifle instruction at Umballa, which he held in his hand, and which had been sent for by the noble Lord the Member for King's Lynn, although it had not yet been laid on the table in an official shape.

He next came to the importance and danger of the patronage question and how necessary it was that the control of the army in India should be continued in the Governor General. The total number of British officers in the local armies was no less than 4,980, Their commissions, as they fell vacant, would be filled up by the Horse Guards, and a dangerous amount of patronage would thus be added to that already posssessed by the military authorities at home, of which the nation was very properly jealous! But, independently of these commissions, there would be the appointment of three Commanders-in-Chief in India, and eighteen Generals of Division, each with not less than £4,000 a year, besides adjutants and quartermasters general, and inspectors general of hospitals, and other appointments. The Secretary for War stated that there were 145 officers of the Line already employed on Staff appointments in India, and as their places would necessarily be filled up in their regiments, 145 additions would be made to the Indian service at the expense of the revenue of India, and without the authority of the Secretary of State for India and at the expense of the poor ryot, who had been the constant theme of sympathy which under the so-called oppressions of the Company, when it was desired to crush the Company by the India Bill of 1858. If the ryots were their paupers they were likely to he much more pauperized by additional charges for the future. It seemed to him that there would be constant collisions between the Home authorities and the Governor General, and these collisions had already taken place; for it appeared that direct communications had been addressed to the Commander-in-Chief in India, without going through the Governor General. For example, an order might be sent out to India to send a particular regiment home. The Governor General might say the regiment could not be spared, but the order from home would be pleaded, and thus a collision would be the consequence. He maintained that the Governor General should be absolute in India, that India should be governed by him as Viceroy, under the control of the Secretary of State for India, who was responsible to that House. He repudiated the bugbear of two armies in India. How could there be two armies? All the local troops took the oath to the Queen, and the officers held Royal Commissions under the Viceroy of India. How, then, could they be called two distinct armies? They no more formed two armies than did the Line under the Commander-in-Chief and the Marines in England under the Admiralty. When they came to consider the question of amalgamation he would be prepared to show that, if good faith were kept with the local army, amalgamation was, under the 56th Clause of the Act, practically impossible.


said, his hon. and gallant Friend put an interpretation upon the clause of the Act to which he had referred which few, if any, would think of doing. His hon. and gallant Friend said that it was impossible, with that clause of the Act in existence, to make the change which he proposed. They did not, however, depend on amalgamating the two armies. It would not be denied, that if the East India Company had still existed they would have been able to reduce the local army, and if so it followed that this interpretation of the clause was one which no legal man was likely to put upon it. The policy of annexation had been alluded to. That was the policy pursued by the Marquess of Dalhousie. Sometimes that policy was confirmed and sometimes it was rejected by the Government at home, and he himself, when at the Board of Control, had put a stop to the annexation of Kerowly. With regard to his financial policy in the reduction of the interest on the 5 per cent loan of 1853–4 he did not wish to disclaim any responsibility. It was commenced by the Marquess of Dalhousie with his approval, and he had confirmed what the Government of India had done. In none of the three cases referred to by the hon. Member for Poole had the Home Government acted in opposition to the views of the Government of India. [Mr. DANBY SEYMOUR: I did not say Governors-General; I said Indian statesmen.] The hon. Gentleman would perhaps exclude all those who did not agree with him from the ranks of Indian statesmen. He would not follow his hon. and gallant Friend (Colonel Sykes) through the history of the Affghan campaign. Sir Robert Sale, a Queen's officer, defended Jellalabad; Sir George Pollock, a Company's officer, relieved it. The honours, therefore, were fairly balanced between the two. But he had carefully avoided any comparisons that might arouse the feelings of any one; and he would not go further into the subject now. Coming to the Motion of his hon. Friend the Member for Pontefract, he was surprised at the grounds on which his hon. Friend brought it forward. He argued as if the Bill deprived the Governor General of all authority, and concentrated it on the Secretary of State for India and the Commander-in-Chief at home. He should feel obliged to those who might follow him if they would point out in what way, how, and where a single word of this Bill would operate the change that his hon. Friend deprecated so strongly. The divisional commands and Staff appointments were all made by the Indian Government. Formerly cases occurred in which the Home Government interfered and ordered certain appointments to be made by the Indian Government, but now these appointments were left to the Governor General and the Commander-in-Chief in India. If all the appointments were to be made by the Governor General of India from officers serving in India, that country would be debarred from the services of those who had once served in India, but who were at the moment in this country. Lord Clyde was sent out from this country, so were Sir William Mansfield, the Chief of the Staff; Sir Hugh Rose, who had distinguished himself by his brilliant achievements during his command in Central India; and Sir Hope Grant, who had been selected from his services in India for the command of the forces in China. If the recommendation meant anything at all these officers could not have been sent out to India, because the Governor General would not send home for officers of this kind when he wanted them. The proposal would therefore exclude from Indian service any officer of Indian experience who might happen to be at home at the time when a vacancy occurred. Nothing so detrimental to the Indian service could be devised as such a proposal. The Bill made no change whatever with regard to these appointments, and he should therefore resist the proposal of his hon. Friend the Member for Pontefract, not, however, because he wished to reserve to the Commander-in Chief at home the appointments that ought to be made in India. The proposal, if it were operative, would do mischief, and if it were inoperative would be useless.


said, he thought the objects of the opponents of the Bill would be best served by waiving all discussion on minor points, and proceeding at once to the debate upon the Motion of the hon. and gallant Member for Ayrshire (Sir James Fergusson) against proceeding further with the measure at present. He, therefore, would recommend his hon. Friend the Member for Pomfret, and the other hon. Members who had given notice of Instructions, to withdraw their Motions.


objected to the policy of the Government in calling upon Parliament to sanction a Bill for the organization of the Indian army, when the details of the measure were to be left entirely to the subsequent regulations of the Executive. He was not, therefore, surprised at private Members stepping forward to propose plans to supply the deficiency, and he was astonished at the simplicity of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for India in stating that nothing was proposed by the Bill in the direction pointed out by the hon. Member for Pomfret. That was the very reason for which he quarrelled with the measure. As he wished, however, to proceed as soon as possible to a direct opposition to the Bill, he concurred in the recommendation of the hon. Member for Richmond (Mr. Rich).


rose, and was about to address the House, but was stopped by Mr. SPEAKER, who told the hon. Member he had no right of reply.

Question put, and negatived.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair."


said, that as two hon. Members had abandoned the Instructions of which they had given notice, he was ready to move the Resolution of which he had given notice, and to oppose the further progress of a Bill for abolishing the present system without enabling the House to judge of that which was to be substituted in its stead. There had been an evident distaste to embark in Indian discussions, which had on former occasions led to measures being passed of which Members knew little. It would be better now if the discussion were taken on one question, which might be fully raised and fairly disposed of, rather than that the arguments against the Bill should be diluted and wasted on points of detail, which might, perhaps, have been discussed with advantage at an earlier period of the Session. But as the Government had brought forward no plan, and as at that advanced period of the Session it was hopeless to attempt to legislate for the reorganization of the Indian army in the same manner as was done in the case of the transfer of the Government of India from the Company to the Crown, there was no other course for those who saw danger in this Bill to pursue than to ask the House to refuse to abandon a system which had been found succcessful for so many years, and to expose that country to all the evils of a change the effects of which they could neither anticipate nor calculate upon. He should not, however, have come forward to move the Resolution if he had not been requested to do so by hon. Members whose opinions in opposition to this Bill he fully shared. The right hon. Secretary of State for India had endeavoured to narrow the question on which he asked the opinion of the House. He had avoided, he said, encumbering the decision of the question by details. But it was in the details of the scheme that its essence lay, and unless they saw the manner in which he proposed to carry it out they ought not to leave to the decision of a Government—probably to the decision of a single minister—the settlement of so large a question. In discussing the Bill, questions were opened up of still larger importance than the organization of the Indian army—in fact, they saw in the Bills which the right hon. Gentleman introduced with respect to the civil service, but which had since been withdrawn, that this was only a part of a gigantic scheme of centralization, which would transfer the Government of India from Calcutta to an office in London, where neither the civil nor the military services would be usefully governed. In the words of the political and military Committee which had sat to examine these subjects, in this matter were involved questions affecting the stability of India, the renown of our army, the power of England, and the future welfare of both India and England. He asked the House then to look with some jealousy on that very new plan of governing India in England; Before assenting to any such alteration the House ought to consider fully the constitutional and financial questions which were involved in the change—ought to ascertain how the efficiency of the army and the national safety were to be provided for, and to know what arrangements the Government in- tended to substitute for the system which they were about to sweep away. The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for India had justified his conduct in introducing this measure without consulting his Council by a reference to a speech delivered by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bucks, when Chancellor of the Exchequer and leader of that House; but although some portions of that speech might bear such an interpretation, yet its general tenor was exactly contrary. His right hon. Friend then said:— We are now asked, 'What have this Council to do?' Sir, what they will have to do is generally to perform those duties which are now performed by the Court of Directors. They will be a Council who will have to review our Indian administration, and who will virtually, if not theoretically, initiate measures, and to present the result of their judgment and researches before the Minister of State, who, it is reasonable to presume will be guided in most cases by their labours and counsels. It will be a real Council, as I hope it will be found a prudent and a prudential Council. The right hon. the present Secretary for India also said,— Let the House remember who these Councillors would be. They would be men who had held high offices in India, had acted as ambassadors at Native courts, and had ruled provinces with pro-consular power; men who, having spent the greater portion of their lives in India, took a deep interest in Indian affairs.…Was it likely that they would sacrifice the welfare of the Government of which they themselves formed a part, rather than give an independent opinion to a minister? So the noble Lord at the head of the Government said,— The business of the Members of Council will be to give honest and sincere advice to their principal. But how had the right hon. Baronet dealt with that Committee? He had not consulted them, but the Cabinet, on the subject of the measure. He (Sir James Fergusson) asked, in what clause of the Act was it provided, that a Bill for the reorganization of the Indian army was to be introduced to Parliament without the Council being so much as consulted.

Perhaps, the most important question for consideration was, how the power of the Governor General was to be maintained. The Governor General, as was pointed out by Colonel Durand in his able Minute on this subject—and his (Sir James Fergusson's) apology for quoting from the papers must be that to neglect the infor- mation which they contained would be to imitate the conduct of the Secretary of State for India—had always exercised the supreme civil and military command of the country. That able officer said:— What is the object of this military experiment? To centralize under the Horse Guards the administration of the Indian armies; this, too, when the events of 1857, 1858, and 1853, have afforded irrefragable proof of the expediency of distinct armies and distinct systems. Under the late Act the powers of Her Majesty's Viceroy remain unaltered; and though a reference was made in August, 1858, by Her Majesty's General Commanding-in-Chief and by Her Majesty's Secretary of State for War upon the scope of this enactment with reference to Her Majesty's Indian armies, the opinion of the law officers was 'that the control of the whole military, as well as civil Government of India, which was vested in the Governor General by the Act of 1833, sec. 39, is undisturbed by the recent Act;' and that it was not competent to the Secretary of State in Council, or any other authority, to transfer or delegate to the General Commanding-in-Chief any powers over Her Majesty's Indian armies not possessed by him prior to the 21st and 22nd Vict., thus clearly laying down that there was no indication of any purpose on the part of the Legislature in that Act to depart from the main features of the policy under which the empire of India was added to the British Crown. It is incumbent upon those who advocate placing the Indian armies under the Horse Guards to prove that this can be done without seriously impairing the position and authority of Her Majesty's Viceroy in India, and without the complete subversion of the principles upon which, up to a very late date, the Imperial Parliament has hitherto deliberately seen fit to hold India. The Governor General is now regarded by the people of India as being really, not nominally, at the head of three armies. Nowhere more than in India is it ingrained in the mind of the people that the sword and the sceptre are synonymous terms. I am of opinion that late events in India, instead of affording any argument for the reduction of the power and authority of Her Majesty's Viceroy, render it more than ever imperative that his hands be strengthened; and that, as the representative of the Crown, the reality and not the empty name be conferred upon him. As a contrast to that, let the House consider the following extract from a despatch of the late Secretary at War:— I request that the necessary instructions may be given without delay to put me and the General Commanding-in-Chief in official relation with Her Majesty's troops now serving in India. To effect that object it will be necessary that all Reports and Returns should be made to me and the General Commanding-in-Chief by the Commanders-in-chief of the different Presidencies in India, in the same manner as obtains in other parts of Her Majesty's dominions. The measure proposed by the Government would practically diminish the power of the Governor General, by placing the Indian army under the entire control of the Com- mander-in-Chief at home, and it might thus shake the security of our Indian empire.

He would next ask the House to consider the question in its financial bearings. At a time when the financial affairs of India were the source of great anxiety, it was of the utmost consequence that in any change we might make we should not add to the burdens of the Indian people. The Government had consulted an eminent actuary as to the comparative expense of a regular and a local force. It appeared from the Report of that gentleman that the cost of Queen's troops was much greater than that of a local army. Supposing a force of 80,000 men, he stated that the expense of Queen's troops would exceed that of local troops by no less a sum than £460,000 a year; were two-thirds Queen's troops and one-third local troops, the additional cost would be £308,000; were one-third Queen's troops, which was about the present proportion, it would be about£180,0Q0 a year. Consequently, the plan of the Government would entail upon the people of India a taxation of nearly half a million more than would be required for local troops. It was evident that a regular army would involve a much larger expenditure of men than a local army. He believed that 29,000 men would have to be carried upon the sea every year to keep up a Royal army in India to the extent contemplated by the Government. Another important consideration was the health—in other words, the efficiency—of the army in India. Some people said that old soldiers lost their health in India; others, that they became acclimatized, and better able to take care of themselves. He believed there was some truth in both statements—that Europeans deteriorated after a certain number of years' service in India, but, at the same time, that men who had resided there for a few years knew better how to protect themselves than raw recruits just arrived from England. Two years ago not a word was said against the efficiency of the Indian army. At that time the Indian army was quoted as the perfection of organization, and we were overflowing with gratitude to the men who, at the hottest time of the year, fighting battles every day, had forced their way to the relief of our countrymen in Lucknow. What had worked such a change in public opinion within the short space of two years? Besides, there could be no doubt that the Staff in India had been promoted much more from considerations of merit, and not of patronage, than the Staff in the Royal service; and that was necessarily an important point in considering the question of military efficiency. In connection with this subject an important consideration had reference to the national safety. If the preservation of India was important for England's position in the world, it must be evident that any change which diminished the security by which India was held must be dangerous to the stability of the empire. Supposing a European commotion to take place, how was the army of India to be kept up, if it were to be dependent on reliefs from this country? Might it not be feared that India, when there was a demand for troops elsewhere, might be left unguarded, and that some ambitious politicians abroad might take advantage of the circumstance to excite rebellion in that distant country? Another great advantage of maintaining a local army in India was that it ensured the services of officers specially trained for the special duties they had to perform. The Indian army was thus commanded by men who knew India, and who looked to that country as the scene of all their advancement. It was well known that many of the very highest authorities were opposed to the measure, and among them them he might mention Sir John Lawrence, who had, perhaps, contributed more than any other individual to save our Indian empire. On the 17th of December, 1859, Sir John Lawrence expressed the following opinion: There are peculiar and especial reasons for maintaining a local army in India, reasons which none of the officers who advocate its abolition have really grappled with; while the evils connected with it are due to the unhappy selection of officers for high commands in India. The reform that is required, then, is not to do away with the local army, but to take effective measures to prevent the abuse of patronage at home, otherwise we shall find, but too late, that a new system has been introduced, in which, not only are the old evils perpetuated, but new ones, equally injurious, are superadded. I believe that the more the matter is inquired into the more important will it be found that the main body of the Indian army should be local. An important subject for the House to consider was, the connection of the present Bill with the maintenance of the guarantees into which Parliament had already entered for ensuring the permanence of all the advantages to which the officers of the local army were entitled under the old system. Sir William Mansfield, who was himself favourable to the change, ex- pressed his belief in the following passage, that some extraordinary measure must be adopted in adhering to that engagement:— I believe that whatever may have been our opinion before on account of political convenience, and the guarantees given by Parliament to the officers of the Indian army, all these considerations must be swept entirely away, and that the plan of his Royal Highness must be adopted in preference to any other which should continue the existence of a local' force, which has now shown that it is capable of combining against authority for the attainment of its own ends and the intimidation of Government. You are aware that till recently I have been of opinion that with reference to the Act of Parliament and the guarantee claims of the Indian officers, no resource lay open to us but a transition measure of a local European army; but now that I see that we cannot ensure loyalty, of which we had immediate and actual experience, it is necessary to look the state of things straight in the face, and blot out altogether all local and partial or class considerations, the Parliamentary guarantee being provided for in some other manner, as best may be done. Sir Patrick Grant did not go so far, and was too just a man to advocate such opinions. He said that the guarantees of Parliament must be kept. Mr. Willoughby declared that no plan had been devised by which amalgamation could be effected without violating the Parliamentary guarantees contained in the Bill of 1858. Well, the House was entitled to know how the right hon. Gentleman proposed to deal with these guarantees, and unless there was upon the table a plan by which public faith with the service would be maintained inviolate, the House ought to have time for consideration.

What were the reasons for the change of opinion on the part of the Government since the 10th of August last, when the right hon. Gentleman had proposed that the local European army in India should not only be maintained, but increased? Had the Government become aware of any alarming disclosures of discontent in the European troops in India which were unknown before, there might, indeed, have been some ground for this change; but if on the 10th of August they were cognizant of every important particular connected with the so-called mutiny, he could see no ground for the course now proposed. On the 14th of May the Commander-in-Chief in India wrote a letter in which he dwelt on the fact that not one of the noncommissioned officers had come forward to tell their superiors of the discontent prevailing in the regiments. On the 18th of May there was a despatch from the Commander-in-Chief to the Governor General, enclosing an intercepted letter written by a gunner to his friends at other stations, proposing a general movement and a combined strike in the whole army. These two letters contained the gravest statements respecting the discontent, but they must have been in the hands of the right hon. Gentleman when he made his speech on the subject last year.


As a matter of fact they were not.


admitting that the knowledge of those circumstances was more recent than he had been led to anticipate, said he should now endeavour to show that the information thus furnished to the Government was not entitled to such weight as warranted them in changing their opinions. With reference to Lord Clyde's remark about the non-commissioned officers, Sir John Lawrence had pointed out that the sergeants of the local European army could not be fairly charged with complicity, because the existence of the discontent was carefully kept from them; and as to the gunner's letter of, which so much had been made, it was merely addressed to one person, and contained the request that it should by all means be kept secret from the sergeant. The letter, the grave part of it, ran thus:— We all meet to-night at the Monkey Tank for to a pint the day of strike for good or for the worse. But I shall not close my letter until I hear what it is to be, then I shall be able to let you know all of it. And again our 1st troop is ready to make for Meerut at our call, and light troop of Rifle Horse Artillery; they are ready to stand to act at the time to be stated, and the 75th do say that not a man will fire a shot at any of us; so things is going on very steady in Meerut and Lucknow; and in Muttra with the 3–3 H. A.; and in Lucknow with the 1–1 N. M.; and the 3–1 H. A. in Delhi; the 4–1 L. A., and the 1–4 F. M. But I cannot tell you all, but you will hear all before long. Your troop is the only troop that is at a stand what to do. But you must not let my letter be seen to any of your sergeants, but to as many of the gunners as you like; for we will make a fine gale of it when we do make a stand, and that will be in a day or two. He believed that the statements in that j letter were absolutely false, for the Queen's troops would have acted if they had been j called upon. The letter was a foolish and stupid one, and yet it was upon such grounds as these that the right hon. Gentleman proposed to make the great change he had submitted to the House. The dis- content of the men had arisen from no mutinous spirit, but from a conviction that the law had been violated with regard to them. They had not refused to obey the law, but denied that they were under any law which obliged them to transfer themselves to the Crown. They showed that at the very time when this transfer was proposed men were being paid a bounty to volunteer from the Queen's to the local army, which in their minds proved that the two services were distinct; and one of them laid bare the main grievance when he said that had an option been given to them seven men out of ten would have entered the Queen's service willingly. The letter was as follows:— I have the same grievance as I fancy every other soldier has who is come before this Court; regarding the transfer, I consider I ought to have had option of discharge or re enlistment, and therefore I feel aggrieved at not getting either one or other. I took the oath at page 182, when I enlisted into Her Majesty's service, which I was in a long time. I was regularly discharged, as I wanted to see after some property, but I met with disappointment, and after two years and nine months I re-enlisted into the Company's service; I did not then take that oath; but I took the one at page 183. If the Government had given, as I think they should, the option of discharge or re-enlistment on the transfer to the Crown, there would not have been so much trouble thrown on the authorities. I can answer for it that the great cause of discontent is not having the question asked, and having no option; had it been otherwise I believe seven out of ten men would have entered Her Majesty's service willingly. Some men may say that they think they may be compelled to re-enlist, but I do not think so, and I try to prevent others from believing falsehoods. Lord Clyde, who now showed the men such little mercy, had stated that upon the enlistment for the Company's service, the recruit was asked whether he would serve the Company only; that no alternative of serving the Crown was contained in the attestation; and that even in the old regiments of the Crown a man could not be transferred from one regiment to another without his free consent, he having enlisted to serve in a particular regiment. Lord Clyde told the men that the question should be referred home, and they accordingly waited for eight months, when, the only answer being the opinion of the law officers of the Crown that they were bound to serve, the men said they would not serve, that they had the opinion of a Prime Minister in their favour, and the Commander-in-Chief had recommended their claims to be considered. It must, therefore, not be said that those men were ready to act as the Sepoys had acted, and, after all, only 10,000 out of 31,000 had accepted their discharge, and of these no less than 2,000 had been re-enlisted since arriving in England. If then they were mutinous before, why were they wearing the British uniform now?

By following the course proposed we should not be following the policy which Lord Macaulay had recommended when he said that a hostile monarch might offer mountains of gold to induce the Natives to desert the Company's service, while the Company only promised a moderate remuneration; but the Sepoys knew well that as long as they lived their bread and salt were insured to them. If, however, they saw their fellow-soldiers treated with so little consideration, when the guarantees that had been given to them were violated, it would tend greatly to shake the confidence of the Natives in the promises of the Indian Government. The peculiar object of his (Sir James Fergusson's) Motion was to urge that there was no plan before the House. It was proposed to subvert a system that had been successful without proposing any definite plan as a substitute. There had been four plans laid upon the table of the House, and he wished to know which was to be adopted. He believed the right hon. Gentleman had not only anticipated the action of Parliament by directing the suspension of recruiting for the Indian army, but he had also, as was understood, gone so far as to name the Commission which was to sit upon the question. That was treating Parliament with as little consideration as the Council. The truth was that Government had no plan; and, although they had asked in all quarters for one, they had not succeeded in obtaining one. In truth the proposed scheme was only the result of a desire on the part of somebody to put the whole army under one head. All the greatest authorities were opposed to the change—Sir Bartle Frere, Mr. Willoughby, Sir James Outram, Sir John Lawrence, and Earl Canning, Sir Bartle Frere said:— That the army of India was composed of men and officers who look to India as the ordinary field of service for the whole of their working life, who expect their ordinary reward of promotion in India, and who look to the favour of no other authority than that of Her Majesty's Government in India for any remuneration or distinction other than Indian service may entitle them to. Sir James Outram said:— To cite the recent partial breaking up of the late East India Company's European troops as an argument against the maintenance of a European local force in India appears to me illogical, ungenerous—I had almost said disingenuous. Sir Hugh Rose said:— Nobody has mixed with Indian officers more than I have; I know the state of their feeling. They admit to me that the disorganization and indiscipline of the Bengal army, and, in a lesser degree, of the Indian army in general, were the causes of the mutinies. They admit, especially since the mutinous conduct of the European Indian army in the discharge question, that amalgamation is necessary for the better discipline of an Indian army. Sir John Lawrence said:— One of the most distinguished officers of the Royal army, whose letters are brought forward against the local officers, states that he is well aware that to the indiscipline of the Bengal army we owe in major degree the late mutiny. That officer had never, at the time he wrote, served with or commanded these troops; he knew nothing of them before the mutiny; he could only, therefore, speak from hearsay. I can affirm, in all humility, that the conclusions he has formed are erroneous. Sir Patrick Grant's opinion was:— Existing rights and privileges have been solemnly guaranteed by Parliament, and the pledge must be faithfully kept in every particular. If this be admitted.…it follows that the present establishments of the several grades of commissioned officers must be maintained without reduction as they now stand.…All funds of the Indian armies should be taken over by the State. I know not how it may be in Bengal and Bombay, but the Madras Military Fund has a capital of nearly one million sterling. Mr. Willoughby was of opinion— That no plan or scheme has yet been devised by which amalgamation can be effected without a violation of the Parliamentary guarantees made to the Indian army in Clauses 56 and 58 of the Government of India Bill of 1858. The last opinion be would quote was that of Earl Canning, who said he adhered to the opinion that the interests of India required an army devoted to India. The opinions of such men were entitled to weight, for they were men who had been exposed to the severest ordeal that ever men underwent in India, and to whose exertions it was chiefly due that Her Majesty was still Queen of India. It was to be hoped the House would attend to the solemn warnings of such men before it committed itself to a scheme of whose details it knew nothing, for if it adopted this scheme of the Government, which contained no plan, then the House would be responsible for evils which would produce bitter fruits.


seconded the Motion.

Amendment proposed, To leave out from the word 'That' to the end of the Question, in order to add the words 'in the opinion of this House, it is inexpedient to proceed further with legislation respecting the European Troops in India, until the whole plan of the Government for the regulation of the Military Force of that country shall have been submitted to the consideration of Parliament.' —instead thereof.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."

The House divided:—Ayes 88; Noes 50: Majority 38.

Question again proposed, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair."


said, he would move that the House should adjourn. He had attempted to address the House just previous to the division, not for the purpose of occupying unnecessarily their time, but to make a brief explanation of a statement he had uttered on a former occasion which seemed to have been misunderstood. At the same time he wished to express an opinion upon what had fallen from his hon. and gallant Friend near him. The explanation of what he had stated on a former occasion was simply this:—He had mentioned the fact of his having been on board a ship on one occasion with twenty-two officers, twenty of whom he was reported to have said could not write their own names. Now, he was one who never felt it was necessary to question a report of what he said in that House, because he felt that they were all much indebted to the reporters in the gallery for not only rendering their speeches with great accuracy, but also for materially improving the language in which they were couched. But what he intended to have said on the occasion in question was, that the officers to whom he alluded could hardly write their own names, which was literally the case, as many of them were very illiterate. His argument was, that in former days the substitutes which gentlemen paid very large sums of money to obtain were, generally speaking, persons who proved no great ornaments to the service. The position of things at present was, however, very different; but still he held that a man going out to India at a certain age, after he had become accustomed to society this country, was not a man who was likely to identify himself with the Natives of India. He regretted, from the apparent haste with which this question had been put, that many hon. Gentlemen who intended to take part in the debate were precluded from doing so. The hon. Member for Carrickfergus (Mr. Torrens), for example, whose experience of India was probably as great as that of any man in that House, and who was a gentleman that seldom obtruded his opinions upon the House, was desirous of speaking upon the subject. The matter, however, appeared now to be at an end, and so far it was difficult further to oppose the Bill with its one only clause. He must, however, say that the course taken by the Government in respect to it was a most dangerous one. He was most unwilling to detain hon. Members, or to obstruct the progress of the Government measures; but, nevertheless, it was his conscientious opinion that the introduction of the measure was most improper and unjustifiable, in the absence of that information which the House had a right to demand, and at so late a period of the Session, when it was most difficult, if not impossible, to give it that deliberation which its gravity and importance required. When Indian measures were brought forward under such circumstances, he should always, to the best of his ability, as long as he had a seat in that House, endeavour to prevent their passing into a law.


seconded the Motion.

Motion made, and Question proposed,—"That this House do now adjourn."


said, he had intended, before the question was put, to address the House, but after the able speech of the hon. Member for Ayrshire (Sir James Fergusson), to which the Government had not ventured to reply, he would not do so. The silence of the Government would have more effect on the country than anything else that could have been done. The opponents of the Bill would join cordially against it in its future stages, and he trusted that by pursuing this course, and urging their opinions firmly and respectfully on the House, the Government would not have much to boast of in future divisions.


said, he was anxious to express his objections to the principle of the measure before the Speaker left the chair. He did not know whether the Motion for the Adjournment of the House was intended as a substan- tive Motion or not. At all events, he did not speak upon the question for the sake of delay, but with the single object of stating the strong opinion he had that the House should not go into Committee upon the Bill without the fullest information being laid before them. It was a Bill that settled nothing, but unsettled a great deal, and it left that House and the country entirely in the dark as to the great question of the military government of India. There never was a more important question submitted to Parliament or one in which the House had been taken more by surprise. The right hon. Baronet the Secretary for India made a great mistake when he evaded the whole principle of the measure of 1858 by refusing to take the opinion of his Council upon this proposition, for the Council was not a co-ordinate but a consultative authority. Certainly the Secretary of State for India was at liberty to set at nought the opinions of his council; but if he did, certain forms were then to be pursued. In this case, however, he had not consulted them at all. It was said, that unless the Secretary of State could do this, he would have less power than had the President of the Board of Control previously to the Act of 1858. But could the President of the Board of Control have proposed to destroy the whole Indian army without consulting the Court of Directors? Certainly not. He could not understand why the Secretary of State did not allow his colleagues in the Council of India to report their opionions. If upon high principles of State policy he considered it to be his duty to act in opposition to their opinions, he could still have done so, and stated his reasons. The Government had taken a division on the principle of the Bill at a time when the House had not adequate information before it, and a dozen hon. Members had told him that if they had known as much as they knew now they would not have voted for the second reading. That was not a fair position in which to put the House. Again, Parliament had pledged its faith to protect the prospects of the officers and men of the Indian local army. Was it right, then, that a Bill should be brought in which destroyed the present system of recruiting, but said not a word about the prospects of the army? It was for the House of Commons and not for the Government to determine how good faith was to be kept towards these men. The noble Lord the Member for the City of London had led the House to suppose that the Indian local army did not exist. But there were at this moment 17,000 men in that army, including those on their way there, and those actually in India. There were 5,000 officers connected with that army, and how were their claims to be treated? Those of the men, too, who were now in the Queen's service, had been promised that, at the end of their term they might renew their engagement. That promise was checkmated by the Bill, and it really seemed as if the Government were preparing for another strike? During the rule of the East India Company jealousy in some quarters had prevented the increase of European forces which they had demanded after each successive extension of their territory. So late as 1857 the Marquess of Dalhousie prayed for an increase of European troops in vain. The old jealousy against the Company had been allowed to show itself again in this Bill. The whole army of India must be the Queen's army. That was clear, for it could be nothing else. The sole question, however, was whether it was not desirable that a certain portion should he localized in India, having been trained for service in that country. He maintained that, so far as the opinions of great and able men had been collected, the arguments were ten to one in favour of a certain proportion of the Queen's army being localized. If Parliament declared that there should be 80,000 troops of the Line in India, and 20,000 recruits for that army in England, it would at a stroke double the military force of this country. That appeared to raise a serious constitutional question on which the House of Commons ought to be taken into the councils of the Government. It must be remembered that these 80,000 men must he paid out of Indian revenue, and would never be paid by the Votes of that House. They would, moreover, be trained up in a despotic country. Was it not advisable, even in a constitutional point of view, that a certain portion should be localized in India to support the authority of the Governor General and uphold the fabric of our Indian Empire? Did any one know, when the Bill came into operation, to what extent the Commander-in-Chief in England would command the army in India? Had any hon. Member a distinct view of the authority of the Commander-in-Chief over the army in England? The effect left upon his mind after perusing the Report of the Committee on Military Organisation was anything but clear. All the power seemed to be placed in one hand, and all the responsibility in another. In 1857–8 between 600 and 700 first commissions were given away by the Commander-in-Chief, the money value of which amounted to £380,000. The Commander-in-Chief, who was wholly irresponsible, gave away all this unexampled mass of patronage, while the responsibility rested with the innocent Gentleman who filled the office of Secretary of State for War, who had a list handed to him which he accepted. Was the House prepared, by the stroke of a pen, to double the patronage already enjoyed by the Commander-in-Chief? Was that a wise, prudent, or just course? Again, if there had been any deficiency of discipline in the local army of India it was the fault of the system rather than of the men. Under a better system there was nothing to prevent twenty-five regiments localized in India from becoming as effective as the Queen's army. If anything went wrong with a local force the House could get at the Secretary of State for India at once, instead of having to go through the Horse Guards. It was most important in legislating for India not to make more changes than they could help. He firmly believed that the Government were shaking our Indian Empire to its centre by trying too many changes. He denied that the mutiny afforded any sufficient ground for the Bill. The dissatisfaction among the men was very much aggravated by the debates in Parliament, and it was a singular thing that a number of the privates founded their complaints upon a dictum of the noble Lord now at the head of the Government. It was clear that such a mutiny could not occur again; and he might remind the House that there had been mutinies in regiments of the Line in India, and that such regiments had been disarmed by Native troops. All these, however, were exceptions, and the House was too wise to found a system upon such isolated cases. It was absolutely necessary that the authority of the Governor General in India should be supported, and he therefore deeply regretted that the Secretary of State for India had laid upon the table a despatch addressed by Lord Clyde, on the 11th of May, 1859, to the Commander-in-Chief in England, in which that noble Lord said that all the Indian officers were discontented. Would it be possible to govern India if the Commander-in-Chief there was allowed, in a despatch, addressed, not to a responsible Minister, but to the Commander-in-Chief in this country, to make disparaging remarks with regard to a large number of officers who were employed in situations of responsibility under the Governor General? Such a course was calculated to produce the utmost mischief; it was in direct contradiction to the opinion of the ablest Indian administrators—Lord Cornwallis among the number—that all despatches from officers in India ought to come to this country through the Governor General, and that all despatches from this country ought to be sent out through the same channel; and he, therefore, entreated the House to take care what they were about, and to provide that the authority of the Governor General should be well supported. They should take care lest they introduce throughout the whole of India a spirit of distrust amongst men of whom it was impossible to speak too highly; for he did not believe that a more able body of men, civil and military, ever existed than those which upheld the power of this country in India. If it were the policy of the Government to back up the Governor General in India they could not take a more effective mode of doing it than by allowing a portion of the army to be localized in India, to be trained for that purpose, and to be officered for that purpose by men inclined to make India their home. He did not want to press the argument too far, and, if 40,000 men were thought to be too many, let twenty-five regiments of the Line be localized and placed under precisely the same discipline as that which had acted so well in the British army.

In the next place he must ask the House to consider what would be the cost of maintaining in India an army of 100,000 men—all troops of the Line. There were many ways in which we might lose our empire in India, but that which was most likely to make it not worth having was the adoption of novel schemes of taxation. There was an erroneous impression abroad that India was a very wealthy country; but within four years its debt had increased £37,000,000, and the army expenditure had risen from £8,000,000 to £20,000,000. The difference in the cost of a partially localized army and of one consisting entirely of troops of the Line was most material. In one year we had paid £2,180,000 for the transport of troops to India; officers of the Line cost £388,000; the officers of a single regiment cost £11,000; the trans- port of a whole regiment, £46,000. If we had an array of 80,000 men in India we should have to keep 20,000 at sea. Between £700,000 and £800,000 had been spent in sending the wives and children of soldiers to India. With a localized force they would escape all the se expenses. The men were young and unmarried. They were all about the same age, and did not require carrying backwards and forwards. That was not a matter which was entirely without interest for English constituencies. The House might depend upon it that sooner or later we should have a Bill, and a very long one. What happened when an officer of the Line was removed? He could quote two cases which occurred within seven months, in which two subalterns cost the country £430 passage money. One Gentleman's name was very appropriate, he was called Lieutenant Costly, and when he was removed from the battalion home the country paid £120. He was succeeded by an ensign who cost £95. Lieutenant Bowyer of the same regiment was moved, and up jumped Lieutenant Costly again and cost another £120. This was not an isolated case. In the course of the same year the country paid for sixty-five passages. Mr. Wilson, who lately went out to India, was much struck by the attention paid to the Natives by the officers of the local army, and contrasted it with the rude and offhand manner of some of the officers belonging to regiments of the Line. Was not that a reason for hesitating before making the change proposed by the Government?

Further he believed that localized regiments stood the action of the sun much better than regiments fresh from England. The 78th Regiment in a few months lost nearly the whole of its men, and great mortality had occurred in some other corps. Upon the whole, looking at the question in a constitutional and an economical point of view, and as affecting the welfare of the Natives of India, and the permanence of our dominion in that country, he thought the House would do wisely to reject the present Bill. No one had ventured to grapple with the question how we were to amalgamate an army in which the system of purchase prevailed with an army where promotion was by seniority, and where provident funds existed to the amount of £4,000,000. The House might depend upon it that if it sanctioned the proposed change it would be forced to dip its hands very deeply into the national treasury, for the finance of India would speedily become part and parcel of the finance of the empire.


I rise. Sir, to speak to the question before the House. The hon. Baronet the Member for Portsmouth (Sir James Elphinstone) has moved the Adjournment of the House, but the hon. Baronet the Member for Evesham (Sir Henry Willoughby) has not said a word upon that subject. He has been speaking upon a question which an endeavour is made to preclude us from discussing. My hon. Friend the Member for Lanarkshire (Sir Edward Colebrooke) has said he would leave the country to judge between the proceedings of the Government and the proceedings of the se who are endeavouring to oppose the present Bill. I put it upon the ground stated by the hon. Baronet the Member for Portsmouth. He has boldly and frankly avowed that he joins in these attempts at delay for the purpose of stopping the progress of the Bill. I say that strikes at the root of constitutional institutions. If there is one principle more than another upon which constitutional institutions are founded, it is the principle that after full discussion, after every opportunity given to individuals to express their opinions, the majority ought to prevail over the minority. If the decision of the majority is not allowed to prevail, there is an end of constitutional institutions. In countries where the people are not accustomed to work such institutions, the minority have recourse to open violence. We are now witnessing proceedings similar in principle, the ugh carried out in a different way, because here the minority, conscious, as I must assume them to be, that their arguments will not avail to overthrow the conclusion of the majority, are resorting to every device which the forms of the House enable them to take advantage of, for the purpose of defeating by delay a measure which they are unable to induce the House to reject by reason. Upon that proceeding, boldly, manfully, and frankly avowed by the hon. Baronet the Member for Portsmouth, I leave the country to decide; but, I venture to say, it is impossible for Parliament to work out its constitutional functions if that system is to be pursued upon every occasion on which a minority may feel itself unable to effect its object by argument. We will not submit to be coerced in that manner. We will go on as long as health and strength enable the majority to contend against what I must call the fac- tious proceedings of the minority. I trust, however, that the hon. Baronet the Member for Portsmouth will not put us to a trial of that sort, but will have the goodness to withdraw his Motion for Adjourning the House, in order that we may really enter into the merits of the question and discuss it according to the ordinary rules of the House. According to the strict rules of the House hon. Members ought to speak to the question. The question now before us is, shall the House adjourn? I think the se who are inclined to speak upon it should give reasons why the House should adjourn, and not reasons why the Bill should be rejected. But I really hope that the hon. Baronet the Member for Portsmouth, whose fairness and generosity in debate everybody must acknowledge, and who argues his points with great ability and knowledge, will feel that it would he more conducive to the progress of business, and more consistent with the character of Parliamentary proceedings, that he should allow us fairly to discuss the Bill itself.


said, he did not wish to make any unconstitutional opposition to the discussion on this Bill; but he must say that from the delay which had taken place in the production of the papers and the manner in which the question had been brought before the House, they had not been able properly to discuss the measure itself. He begged, however, to withdraw his Motion.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.


I wish to take the liberty of saying upon this question of adjournment that I think the hon. Member for Portsmouth would not have moved the adjournment of the House if he had been aware that there stood immediately in order a Motion which would have given him an opportunity, in the due course of Parliamentary proceedings, of rising to express an opinion, because the question that I now leave the Chair is the question before the House.


said, he had moved the adjournment of the House, as stated by the right hon. Gentleman in the Chair, in consequence of a misapprehension as to the forms of the House, and not from any disrespect to the Government.


said, the description given by the noble Lord of the se who voted against the Committee, of "a body of Gentlemen who were desirous of obstructing the measure by the power of the mi- nority," did not apply to him (Mr. Malins), for on the second reading he voted with the Government; and although he regretted to say that he had since felt obliged to vote against them, he thought what he had stated would be sufficient to clear him from the imputation of voting from factious and party motives. There were some points in the question before the House which he regarded as of great importance; and although Indian subjects required for their elucidation much knowledge and research, still the principle on which this Bill was introduced to the House appeared to him to involve such high considerations that he was desirous of submitting some of them to the attention of the House. Although he took no part in the debate of 1858 he most sedulously attended that debate, and he retained a most lively recollection of the principles then propounded to the House in the discussion on the Bill, and he thought every one would remember that it was assumed by the House that no Minister of the Crown, as a mere Minister of the Crown, was to have the entire Government of India; but that as the Government of India had been partly in the East India Company and partly in the Crown, and great evils had arisen from a divided Government, there was presented as a substitute a united body, a Council for the Government of India presided over by a Secretary of State. They were told that as the directors of the East India Company consisted of men who, for the most part, had spent a large portion of their lives in India, so it was provided in the new Government that the majority of the Council should be men who had passed at least ten years in India. The 19th section provided that the Council should, under the direction of the Secretary of State, conduct the business transacted in the United Kingdom in relation to the Government of India. The 23rd section provided that questions submitted to the Council should be decided by a majority of votes, and the 25th section provided that if a majority of the Council recorded their opinion against any Act, the Secretary of State should record his reasons for acting in opposition thereto. According to the intention of Parliament in 1858, which was to be collected from the debates and from the Act itself, it was distinctly understood that the Government of India was not to be in the Indian Minister only, but in the Indian Minister with the aid of the Council. It could never have been supposed that the Secretary of State would submit a measure to Parliament without having first submitted it to the consideration of the Council. This was probably the greatest question which could occupy their attention, but it was one upon which men who were engaged in the ordinary avocations of English life could not form an opinion themselves. They must depend very much upon the opinion of the se who had been in India, and now it appeared that, although the Indian Council had not been consulted, or required to give their opinion, they felt it to be a solemn duty unanimously to protest against the measure of the Government. The Secretary of State avowed that he had never consulted the Council upon it, except in private conversation, and they were bound to believe that if he had formally proposed to them a Resolution embodying this plan, and heard the reasons which they would have assigned against it, the right hon. Baronet would have been induced to refrain from making his proposal to Parliament. He asked the House whether they were prepared to give the go-by to the Council altogether, because if measures were to be proposed, not only without their being consulted, but in direct opposition to their opinions, what was the utility of the Council? It could not be said that this was not a question of the Government of India within the meaning of the 10th section. India was governed by civil and military servants. It was proposed to make a total change in the Government by the military servants. It was admitted that a greater change could not be proposed. The Act said that such questions should be considered by the Council first and then by Parliament, but Parliament was asked to decide, and the Council were never consulted. In order to carry out an opinion of his own, the right hon. Baronet the Secretary of State for India had not only passed over the opinions of the Council specially appointed to advise him, but had placed himself in opposition to the views of the great majority of the se who were experienced in Indian affairs. He had been surprised to hear it said in the course of the debate that it was dangerous to rely on the opinion of men of experience, because they were always so prejudiced. He believed that where prejudices did exist in the minds of such men they were generally in the right direction. In the business of ordinary life great weight was always attached to the views of men of experience. In 1858 every one allowed that it would be unsafe to intrust the ad- ministration of India to inexperienced persons; and the Council was specially established to supply that experience in which the Ministry of the day might be deficient. Why, then, was the Council not consulted on this most important question? He believed that the disregard with which it had been treated amounted practically to its abolition. Under the old system such a measure as this would never have been introduced until the Directors of the East India Company had been consulted on the subject, and practically their concurrence in it would also have been required. The Council was substituted for the Board of Directors, as a check on the inexperience of the Secretary of State; and, in his opinion, the law required that it should be consulted on such a subject as this. The right hon. Member for Stroud (Mr. Horsman) had argued from the 25th section of the Act, that in all cases where the Secretary of State differed from his Council he was bound to record his reasons of dissent from them. The right hon. the Indian Secretary contended, on the other hand, that this only applied to acts of correspondence with India. he (Mr. Malins) had looked carefully to the Act of Parliament, and he was bound to say he believed the right hon. Member for Stroud was right; and that in not having submitted this measure to the Council, in not having recorded his reasons for not deferring to their opinion, the right hon. Gentleman had violated the provisions of the Act.


said, that he wished to explain the position in which he and, he believed, many other Members, stood with respect to this important subject. He had taken much of this Bill on trust, after the eloquent speech of the right hon. Baronet in introducing it, and after the frank avowals he had made in that speech. Since that time, however, papers of great importance had been produced which ought certainly to have been on the table of the House before the introduction of the measure. He had felt it his duty to read them, and he confessed he had been filled with dismay when he saw the gravity of the consequences which might arise out of passing a hasty measure upon this subject. When, therefore, the noble Lord charged the opponents of the Bill with throwing obstacles in the way, he must say that he thought that the way in which the noble Lord had introduced the measure, withholding all the documents which were absolutely essential to its proper considera- tion, struck a blow at the root of all free Parliamentary discussion. the se Gentlemen who had had an opportunity of the roughly investigating the question had all dissented from hasty legislation on this subject, and when he consulted the opinions of the se who had been long in India he became more and more convinced of the danger they were about to incur. The preamble of the Bill set out that the existence of a local force any longer was inexpedient. Surely the House would not commit itself to that opinion without hearing a sketch at least of what the Government proposed to do. Hitherto no information as to the arrangements intended for the future had been afforded. The noble Lord might charge the opponents of the Bill with taking unfair advantage of the forms of the House to delay the measure: but any one who had watched the proceedings of the House, and was cognizant of its usages, would be aware that there never had been a measure of similar importance introduced under similar circumstances to the House. There was especial reason for caution and inquiry, as this was the first important measure originated under the new system of Indian Government. A question of legality was involved. The Chief Secretary has entirely set aside the Indian Council, and is acting in direct opposition to their authority and advice. This Council was formed of men selected from their known talents and experience in Indian affairs. This Council, so formed, was unanimous in opposing the scheme proposed. Is the House prepared to sanction this arbitrary extinction of the Council created by itself, and to allow the Chief Secretary to act in defiance of its recorded opinion? Why was it that Mr. Willoughby's and other important Minutes had been withheld from the House? Why was it that the Report of the Finance and Military Committee was kept back even from the Council? Why were not the memoranda of Mr. Hamilton produced? All the highest authorities in India had spoken against the proposed change, and he must invite the Government again and again to give fuller explanations and information on this Bill before asking that it should be proceeded with further. It was almost impossible to assent to the measure until the Government could give them satisfactory information, and he hoped the House of Commons would persist in demanding it as a constitutional question.


said, he quite agreed with the noble Lord that the minority were bound to obey the majority; but that was on the supposition that the arguments of the minority had been heard and were duly considered by the majority. Upon the late occasion, when there was a division of five to one in favour of the present Bill, he sat in the House for five hours listening to the arguments of the opponents of the Bill—arguments founded on documents on the table of the House and on their own knowledge and experience—and during the se five hours there were at times only twenty-three Members present, and never more than thirty-eight. For five hours the discussion of this momentous question was listened to by a number of Members insufficient to constitute a House, but at midnight, when the division bell rang, the House was filled with Members, whipped in, who voted without having heard a word of the arguments which had been used. The noble Lord said the country would judge the conduct of the resisting minority; and he (Colonel Sykes) was quite content to leave it to the country to decide which party had acted unconstitutionally; the minority which voted from its knowledge and convictions, or the majority which voted in ignorance. With regard to the proposed amalgamation, he would ask the right hon. Gentleman (Sir C. Wood) the important question whether he intended to adhere to the 56th Clause of the Act of 1858, which guaranteed to the Indian army the rights and privileges which it now enjoyed. The officers composing the army numbered, not 2,000, as had been stated, but 4,980; and if faith were to be kept with them they would be entitled to promotion by seniority, to Indian pay and allowances, to their pensions upon certain fixed and acknowledged conditions, while they had at the same time their widows' funds and their military and orphan funds. Suppose the Bengal Fusiliers, which was formed in 1757, and fought at the battle of Plassey, and in fifty battles since, became the 101st regiment in the Queen's service, it would enjoy privileges which the 100th Regiment of the Line did not possess. It could not be sent to the Colonies or to Europe; it could not be sent out of India unless with its privileges; and therefore it must practically be a local regiment. The proposed amalgamation, was impracticable, provided faith were kept with the Indian army. He would ask who had called for this amalgamation? Last year the right hon. Gentleman (Sir C. Wood) passed a Bill increasing the local European force in India from 20,000 to 30,000 men, and now, eleven months after, he asks the House to subvert that arrangement, and exactly reverse what had been done by repealing the Act of last August. To use a vulgar phrase, he had turned his back upon himself, and "jumped Jim Crow." Why he had changed his mind the hon. Baronet had not informed the House, but the papers that had been presented to the House threw some light upon the subject. The change was first asked for by the head of the army at home, and the request was negatived by the then Secretary of State (Lord Stanley). And it was now found that the late Commander-in-Chief in India also advocated the new system. It was painful to speak in any terms but the se of eulogy of the distinguished officer whose military successes had been so great in India; but what would be said when it was found that one of his arguments for abolishing the rights and privileges of the Indian officers was that they were not competent to command a division of the army, because they had not received the education of a soldier in one of Her Majesty's regiments? During his military life he had always found that a martinet, of all men on earth, had the narrowest views; that he was a man of pipeclay and stiff stocks and parades, and had not the general resources and knowledge of strategy which enabled an officer to command in the field. Lord Clyde, however, seemed to be of a contrary opinion. But in reply to his argument that a training in British regiments of the Line was indispensable, and that the maintenance of the British power in India was dependent on the prowess of the troops of the Line and on the Generals of the same service, Earl Canning said:— The claims of the officers of Her Majesty's Indian forces are undeniable, founded, as they are, on distinguished service rendered in the course of a long period of years, during which one commander after another has arisen from among these forces, in whom the highest qualities of general officers have been conspicuously exhibited; and not the se officers only, but many others of the local forces now holding high rank, and rising to rank, by promotions conferred on them as the due reward of their services, have taken their full share with officers of the Line in upholding in India the honour and dignity of Her Majesty's arms. Lord Clyde had communicated his views on this subject to the authorities unknown to the Indian army; and it was only from the papers on the table so tardily given by the Government that they came to light; and he could well imagine, when known to Indian officers, the feeling of indignation which they would excite from one end of India to the other. Such views could only be ascribed to an ignorance of Indian history. A host of names rose up to disprove the assertion that Indian officers were unfit for command. Pearse, Malcolm, Munro, Ochterlony, Richards, Burrell, Lumley, Adams, Nott, Pollock; Outram, the Bayard of the East, who was never drilled in a Line regiment, but was adjutant of a Sepoy corps; Nicholson, Chamberlain, Archdale Wilson of Delhi, Napier, Vivian, Story, Roberts, Whitlock, John Jacob, Roberts, Stewart, who lately commanded in Rajpootana,—all these officers had commanded in the field, with none of the mishaps and disasters which had befallen some of the Queen's officers in India. There were other names which he might mention, such as Sir Henry Lawrence, equally celebrated as a soldier and a statesman, and Sir Hugh Rose, a Royal officer, who had gone direct to India, showing that it was not necessary for every officer to have been drilled in a regiment of the Line to make a general. A good deal was said in the papers before the House about the indiscipline of the Indian army; but what did Lord Clyde say? That gallant general, in his farewell address, said, "he took that opportunity of thanking the officers and soldiers of the two services for their valour and endurance;" and went on to add, that it was not to that valour and endurance alone that success was attributable, but to their "discipline, the foundation of all military virtues." Which assertion would the House adopt—that which was privately suggested on the papers now before the House as the groundwork of the Bill, the indiscipline of the Indian Army—or that which was promulgated in general orders by Lord Clyde? He would only touch lightly at the present time upon the financial part of the question, but would point out generally the enormous additional expense that would be created by this measure. In 1857 there were in Bengal 22,907 European troops. Lord Clyde was asked by Lord Canning to give a programme of the number of troops in his opinion necessary for the future defence not of India, but of the territories under the Bengal Government. Reducing Lord Clyde's proposition to figures, he found that for the future defence of Ben gal alone, a total of 61,360 men would be required. As the cost of a European soldier was nearly five times that of a Native, and there would be three times as many European troops as there were before, the former expense would be tripled. The mere cost of passage backwards and forwards of the men would be an enormous item, besides the officers' passages. If the officers remained local, they would not be entitled to have their passages paid; but if transferred to the Queen's army, their passages home and out would have to be paid for them.

Another point was, that a local European force would be attended with a much smaller waste of human life. Out of 1,000 men more than 100 died within the first year after their arrival in India. In the next two years the mortality was rather less; and after the lapse of ten years it was calculated that a number corresponding to the number originally landed would have disappeared. But after the third year the mortality considerably diminished, the soldier finding that he must adapt his food, clothing, and habits to the character of the country. The effect of that was that he became like most old Indians—not very robust, perhaps, but less subject to inflammatory action, and capable of getting through a good deal of hard work. The advantage of having a body of troops thus acclimatized in India was obvious; and motives of humanity suggested the continuance of a local force instead of landing 6,000 or 8,000 fresh men for reliefs annually. Again, without some sympathy between the Native and the European, there could be no prospect of permanence for our power in India; and the chance of that sympathy and mutual forbearance was manifestly greater with a local European army, long in juxtaposition with the Natives, when antipathies have died away, than with constantly changing Queen's troops. It was this consideration which, more than any other, induced him to advocate the continuance of a local army in India. Another consideration was, that by increasing the Royal army by from 40,000 to 50,000 men for the Indian service, they would draw away from this country so much of the manly strength which it might greatly need not only for military purposes but for its industry. Moreover, the army of England was paid by that House, and would fall to pieces unless the Mutiny Act were annually passed. If, however, there were 100,000 Royal troops in India, they would not be paid by that House, or he under its control, but would be maintained by a quasi independent authority. Can such an army be constitutionally maintained under the Crown. What happened two centuries ago might possibly happen again, however improbable it might be. The Reform Bill of 1832 was strongly opposed by a certain class of society; and if it had not ultimately passed, 70,000 men from Birmingham alone were ready to march upon London. In such circumstances it might be dangerous to liberty to have soldiers available not paid by the House of Commons. In conclusion, he maintained that in proportion as the control of the Indian army was handed over to the Secretary of State for War and the Commander-in-Chief, would the authority, the lustre, and the usefulness, both of the Secretary of State for India and of Her Majesty's Viceroy, be diminished.


said, that having spoken on the second reading of this Bill, he could assure the House that he rose now with the greatest reluctance to claim their indulgence again for a few minutes, and it was for this reason that he did so:—It appeared to him that hon. Members who were in favour of maintaining the old system—that of a local European army—had treated the se who urged the necessity of an amalgamation rather unfairly. They accused their opponents of attaching exaggerated importance to the insubordinate spirit evinced by the local force. For his part, he must deny that allegation; and, on the contrary, say that in forming his opinion on this question he had been aware for many years past of the fact that under the present régime a vast proportion of the officers of the locals were always absent from their regiments in civil, political, or staff employ, and that the best noncommissioned officers were constantly and rapidly removed to be made conductors of ordnance, superintendents of roads, barracks, and other buildings, sergeant-majors and quartermaster-sergeants of Native regiments, and to many other appointments which greatly improved their circumstances, and that these appointments and emoluments were exclusively enjoyed by them, and as rigidly denied to the officers of the Line or Royal army. In support of this opinion he would quote Sir Edward Lugard—confessedly a very high authority. Sir Edward said, "The officers of the Indian local army retain all the advantages which they enjoyed before the transfer from the East India Company to the Crown, and which they expected to receive when they entered the service;" and he represented the ease of two retired captains, after twenty-eight years' service, thus:—"The Indian officer, £365 a year; the English officer, £127 a year." By the amalgamation they would sweep away this vicious system of keeping rewards, rank, and honours for one set of officers to the prejudice of the other; and in its place they proposed to substitute a contented and highly disciplined force, which would be cheered on in the performance of their duties by the pleasing prospect of revisiting their native land at the expiration of the allotted period of service, and animated by one spirit, one feeling, and one interest—namely, a deep-rooted devotion to the cause of their Sovereign and their country. He declared that in his conscience he believed that the evil considered by so many hon. Gentlemen likely to result from the extinction of the local European force to be greatly exaggerated, and that all they had to do was, what he had already stated and repeated again, to ascertain in the first instance the precise number of Europeans necessary to be employed for the security and defence of India, and to let that number be accepted and ratified by an Act of Parliament, and they would have to all intents and purposes a local army. He would not be tempted to follow hon. Members into drawing a contrast between the local and the Royal officers. Such a contrast would not only be invidious, but he maintained that an Englishman was an Englishman all over, and in 99 cases out of 100 would do his duty faithfully and loyally to his Queen and country. The hon. Members for Perth, and Pontefract, and Aberdeen, however, showed a little forgetfulness of the history of British India, in speaking of the Cabul disaster; for, although General Elphinstone was a Queen's officer, yet, on his evacuating Cabul, it should be remembered that these two heroic Queen's officers, Generals Sale and Dennie, retained possession of Jellalabad for several months with Her Majesty's 13th Regiment, and during the siege sallied forth and encountered 10,000 Affghans under the command of Akbar Khan, Dost Mahommed's son, and completely routed them, capturing all their guns, camp equipage, &c., and made the reoccupation of Affghanistan, comparatively speaking, an easy affair for Generals Nott and Pollock. Again, reverting to more recent days, no one could dispute the fact that India was reconquered by Royal troops. When General Ilavelock left Allahabad on the 7th of July, 1857, to encounter that devil incarnate Nana Sahib of Cawnpore, and to relieve Lueknow, his force of 1,800 men was composed almost entirely of Her Majesty's 64th, 84th, 78th Highlanders, and Maude's Royal Artillery. Lueknow, as all the world knew, was defended by Her Majesty's 32nd Regiment. Then, with regard to Delhi, he found Her Majesty's 8th, 52nd, 60th Rifles, 61st, 75th, "and the 9th Lancers, and the 10th Dragoon Guards, taking a prominent part in that celebrated siege, and that the non-commissioned officers and men of these two cavalry regiments actually volunteered their services to work the batteries. To draw a comparison between the two services was invidious, and, therefore, in conclusion, he would merely say that his opinion of the necessity of this amalgamation had undergone no change from the speeches he had heard, nor from a perusal of the se prosy and weary Minutes drawn up by the Members of the Indian Council, which was chiefly composed of respectable elderly civilians, who were wedded to the old system, and who were incapable of entering into the real merits of the case, and that he considered this measure to be the one-sole redeeming feature of this Session—a Session that would be for ever memorable for the remarkable manner in which its first five months were wasted in a most profligate and useless expenditure both of time and money, by the discussion of the disastrous financial schemes which the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer pressed forward with such erratic temerity, and by the equally unfortunate Reform Bill, introduced under the auspices of the noble Lord the Member for the City of London.


said, he wished to say a few words in vindication of his vote for delay. He had not voted against the amalgamation of the two armies. Almost all the officers he had met who had served in India thought amalgamation was necessary. he had offered no opposition to the Bill, which, of course, the Government must take on their own responsibility; but he thought, before asking the House to pass such a measure, the Government should have submitted some explanation of their plan, and the effect it would have, not only on the Indian army, but also on the British army, to which he had the honour to belong. What was to be done with the mass of Indian officers? It was said a large Staff corps was to be formed in India that would absorb the greater number of Indian officers. Was that to be a separate army? How were the officers who had acted under different rules and regulations to be incorporated? That should be explained to the House. The Indian officers had rights which they were bound to consider, and the officers of the British army had also rights which they could not ignore. There was no jealousy between the two services, but how was it proposed to reconcile the se rights? There were several other questions which ought to be answered. Was the European force to be determined by that House, and how were the Estimates voted for the two services to be apportioned between the nation and India? There had been a running account with India from 1855 downward. At this moment the expenses of the Persian war were still unsettled; even the se for the first Chinese war and various other accounts were still unsettled. Were they to begin a new system before these accounts were closed? Even in a financial point of view the House had a right to know what amounts were to be charged to the Indian revenue, and what to the Imperial revenue. He repeated he did not mean to give any opposition to the Bill, but the Government were bound not to ask the opinion of the House on a system which they had not themselves matured and submitted for the consideration of Parliament. How was that amalgamation to be completed? What was to be done with transfers from the British army to the Indian service? It was said the Government had no plan, and that the matter would be referred to a Commission. Was that so? It was said that the Indian army had been annihilated; but although the Bengal army had been annihilated, the Returns still showed a Bombay army of 70,000 men, and a Madras army of 40,000. Were these forces to be converted into irregular corps, reducing the number of officers; and if so, how were the officers to be dealt with? He would also ask how the recruiting difficulty was to be got over. Then what was to be done with the pensioners? All these matters unexplained induced him to vote with the hon. Baronet for delay, thinking they were unfairly dealt with in being asked to approve a scheme which in reality was not before them.


I should cer- tainly be exceedingly unreasonable if I asked the approval of the House to a scheme which is not before it. I do not do so. What I did seek, and what I do seek, is, that the House should give its approval to this—that, for the reasons I formerly stated, the military efficiency of the army in India and the safety of our empire there would be insured by our having one homogeneous European army. That is the principle to which I seek the assent of the House. I have already made rather a long speech on the subject. I then stated the grounds on which I made that proposal as distinctly as I could. I stated, also, distinctly that I had pledged myself last year, before any step was taken on a matter of such vital importance, to take the opinion and ask the sanction of the House; and I think I was bound, in the first place, by the pledge I gave; and, secondly, by the importance of the subject, to take no practical step till I obtained the sanction of the House to the principle. I stated generally the outline of the plan I proposed, and I stated also that the Council of India represented to mo that they were opposed to my views. They said very fairly, "We arc not without hopes that your views will not be sanctioned by Parliament; but if they are sanctioned by Parliament, we shall be ready to perform our duty to the best of our power, and assist you in carrying out the wishes of Parliament." That was highly creditable. Well, but could I call upon them fairly to discuss and arrange beforehand the details of the measure when they were not favourable to the plan itself? I do not doubt, however, that if Parliament decides that the plan of the Government shall be adopted, the Council of India will give me their ready and efficient aid in carrying out cither such a plan as I have sketched out, or such other plan as I may be able, after consultation, to devise. The details which have been referred to, such as the retirement of Native officers, and the organization of the Indian army, are matters which have never been regulated by this House, but have always been settled either by the Government in India or by the Indian Government at home. They do not form a charge upon the revenue of this country; they have always been settled by the Government of India; and would not under ordinary circumstances be brought before Parliament. With regard also to the organization of the Native Indian army, that also has been a matter determined, not by this House, but by the Govern ment of India. We have had various Estimates as to the number of European troops necessary, under existing circumstances, to maintain our supremacy in India. The highest estimate is 95,000 European troops, and the lowest 79,000. I think that about 80,000 troops, in the opinion of the best authorities, ought, under the present circumstances, to be maintained in that country. I should hope that we may be able at a future time to reduce that number, but I think that at present the European troops in India ought not to be much less than 80,000. The recruiting will go on pretty much the same whether we have troops of the Line or local troops in India, the proportion being about 10 per cent in either case. With regard to another question, the allowance made by India to this country for dead weight, the Report of a Committee of English and Indian officers came to the conclusion that £60,000, which has been paid for many years by the Indian Exchequer, i3 a very inadequate payment for the dead weight of this country. In this opinion I agree. But, on the other hand, some expenses have been unfairly charged against the Indian Government, the balance, however, being against India under any circumstances. It must also he remembered that the dead weight of the English army is but a feather in regard to the dead weight of the Indian army in proportion to its numbers. One result of garrisoning India with troops of the Line will be a reduction of the charge for dead weight now paid for the Indian army. The heavy charges upon the finances of India for dead weight have been much greater than any charge that can accrue in this respect from the Line army. With regard to the position of officers of the Indian army, notice has been given by an hon. Member of a Motion on that subject, and I think it better to defer what I have to say upon that matter until it is fairly before the House. The hon. and learned Member for Walling-ford has resuscitated the discussions of last Friday. All I will say is, that he has not altered the view I took of the meaning of the Act of 1858, which is also the meaning attached to it by the late Government, by whom the Act was framed. Reference has been made to a paper which, it has been said, hon. Members have not had an opportunity of seeing. In fact, that paper was printed long before the Bill was introduced to the House.


said, that if hon. Members who spoke against the proposal of the Government had studied the blue-books, the Bill itself had certainly escaped their notice; for all the speeches against the Bill had been directed to something besides the provisions of the Bill. Did the Bill really provide for the destruction of the three great armies in the Presidencies of Bengal, Madras, and Bombay? On the contrary, it dealt with only a very small portion of the se armies. Taking the Presidency of Bombay, it dealt with 3 regiments of European infantry, and left 29 regiments of Native infantry untouched. In Madras, again, there were 3 regiments of infantry affected, while there were 55 regiments of infantry and several regiments of cavalry untouched. The Bengal army was composed—including the Punjaub, the Gwalior, and other forces—of 144 regiments. Many of them had disappeared, but a portion of the officers remained, and many of these regiments would be raised again. Not less than 70 or 90 regiments of infantry and cavalry would be retained for the Native army of Bengal. There would thus be 9 regiments of infantry affected by this Bill, and about 160 regiments of infantry, and 40 or 50 regiments of cavalry, &c, that would be in no sort of way affected by the Bill. Yet hon. Members had argued as if the whole army had been dealt with, and as if 5,000 European officers were affected by the measure. With regard to Artillery officers, which corps would naturally be amalgamated with the Royal Artillery, he must remind hon. Members that the patronage of first appointments was not with the Commander-in Chief, but was thrown open to competition. It was said the patronage was to be transferred to the Horse Guards, but there was nothing in the Bill to do that, and the Government said the patronage would remain as now with the Indian Council or the Governor General. There were 9 regiments to be transferred to the Horse Guards, and it was on so small a foundation as that that the vaticinations of the hon. Member for Portsmouth were based, to the effect that the whole country would be deluged with corruption, and that the giving away of ensigncies for the se 9 regiments would upset the English Constitution. Now, that appeared to him to be a very great result to anticipate from the realization of so trifling a change.

He wished in the next place to refer to the observations which had fallen from the hon. and gallant Member for Aberdeen (Colonel Sykes), whose observations tended to lead the House to suppose that the officers of the Royal army, and they alone, were in the habit of abusing and ill-treating the Native population of India. The fact, however, was that if the officers of the Royal army did offend in that way, it was only because they were too apt to follow the example which was set them by their brethren of the local army, who were constantly in private conversation heard to speak of the Natives as "niggers." The gallant Officer had also fallen into an error in stating that if the present Bill were passed into a law the Commander-in-Chief would be enabled to order home from India any regiment he might please, the fact being that, as in the case of the Colonies, he had no power to send out or order home a single regiment, the authority for doing so resting entirely with Her Majesty's Ministers. It was quite clear if that were so that the gallant Officer must be singularly unacquainted—entertaining the opinions to which he had given expression—with the mode in which the Government of the country was in such matters conducted. But the gallant Officer had gone further, and had spoken of the expenses of the passage of officers from India being thrown on the Indian revenue. He should, however, remind the House that no officer coming home, simply on his own application for the purpose of effecting an exchange, was entitled to receive one farthing of the public money to defray the expenses of his passage; nay, more, that every officer who came home on leave for his own private objects was bound to pay the expenses of the officer who was sent out as his relief.

Again, it had been stated by the hon. Member for Portsmouth (Sir James Elphinstone) that 8,000 men per annum would be required in the shape of draughts from this country to India; while be seemed to imagine that none of the se men would die when they got out there, inasmuch as he calculated also that every year 8,000 men would come home from India, adding that the consequence would be that we should have at the same time 16,000 men at sea. By what process of reasoning the hon. Baronet arrived at that conclusion he was at a loss to understand, inasmuch as the troops left for India and came home at different seasons; but he was still more puzzled by the calculation, proceeding on which it was argued that we should constantly have 29,000 men at sea, in the event of its being found expedient to keep up an European force of 80,000 men in India. The hon. Baronet had also contrasted what he seemed to regard as the luxurious habits of the officers of the Line with the homely style of living of the officers of the local army; but, for his own part, he had heard much of luxurious habits contracted in India, and when, in addition to the small income of lieutenants and ensigns in the Line, it was borne in mind that many of them had private allowances of not more than £100 a year, he did not think there was much danger of their corrupting, in an economic point of view, the minds of their brethren of the local force. With regard to the question of patronage, he could only say that the Commander-in-Chief here would have no more to do with the appointments to the irregular regiments or to the staff in India than with staff appointments in Algeria, while the real point at issue was whether we should maintain an army in India in a condition of the best instead of in one of inferior discipline; for in none of the Minutes of competent authorities which had been laid before the House was it contended that the discipline of the local was quite equal to that of the Royal troops. He could not, he might add, help regretting that Earl Canning should have been induced to speak so lightly on the subject of discipline as to say that it was a matter not of vital importance, because an army on whose discipline reliance could not be placed was in his opinion a most dangerous weapon. He did not, of course, in making these remarks, refer to that discipline which consisted in pipeclaying, holding up heads, and looking smart, as it was termed, on parade—for the se were, to the eye of the experienced soldier, but the outward signs of that in which, in reality, true discipline consisted.

But, passing from that point, he wished briefly to refer to the statement of the hon. Baronet the Member for Evesham (Sir Henry Willoughby) to the effect that in the space of four years we had expended in excess of the revenues of India the sum of £37,0C0,000. Now, he should answer the hon. Baronet's question—how were we to go on spending money at that rate?—by asking whether there were no instances in the case of England and other European countries in which the national expenditure had outrun the national revenues as a consequence of some great struggle. Was there, he should like to know, any good reason why India could not pay her way in ordinary times to be found in the circumstance that at a period of great difficulty a widespread mutiny had been put down at a cost which was not so vast when the work which had to be accomplished was taken into account? Now, the hon. Member for Pontefract (Mr. M. Milnes) had stated that he was opposed to the Bill under discussion, because he wished the Indian army to be subordinate to the Indian Government. In that wish he entirely concurred, but it was because he the thought there was some danger of its not being otherwise realized that he supported the measure. Lord Clyde, in one of his despatches, said it was very fortunate the outbreak of the European troops happened at a time when their services could he dispensed with, otherwise the occurrence might have been very formidable, as the Government at an early period could have done nothing but yield to their demands. Having once given way on a question of money there was no doubt that the demands of the moment would form but the groundwork of similar attacks in future, and it was because he was anxious to strengthen the hands of the Governor General that he wished to see the local army amalgamated with the Queen's forces. Hon. Members who contended that the troops had not been guilty of mutiny, could, he the ught, scarcely have road the enlistment oath; and lie was at a loss to know in what mutiny consisted if men who barricaded themselves in barracks, seized the guns, and talked of joining the Sikhs and carrying on war against the Government, were acquitted of the charge, the se portions of the oath which did not answer the purpose of the European troops were ignored, and the se only borne in mind which suited their convenience. But the first paragraph distinctly bound nil who took the oath to obey Her Majesty, to be faithful to her service, and to comply with the orders of the se officers who were placed over them by Her Majesty. In an additional paragraph fidelity was then sworn to the East India Company and to the officers whom that Company might place in command. Much stress had been laid on the argument that these men were entitled to receive a bounty on their transfer to the Queen's service, because soldiers, when transferred from one regiment to another, and into the Indian service, received a bounty. But in the attestation clause it was expressly declared that every man joining the Royal army was enlisted for service in a particular regiment, and the contract therefore could not be broken without the authorities' consent. The bounty, therefore, was given principally to cover the expense of a change of uniform; in India, where the the amount was somewhat greater, it operated as an inducement to serve. But the soldiers of the local army were to have remained in the corps in which they were bound to serve, their pay and allowances were continued, their pensions guaranteed, they were not called on to serve anywhere but in India, their rights and privileges were preserved, and he maintained that the spirit as well as the letter of their agreement had been fully and strictly kept. The Bill, instead of being a source of weakness, would, be was convinced, confer additional strength on the Indian administration by enabling it to rely on the European force. he should be the last person to diminish in any way the prestige, credit, or glory of that Administration, or to lessen the influence of the Governor General, for in no country in the world was it more essential that the power of the sword should be combined with the majesty of the sceptre.


said, he held that the maintenance of discipline was impossible if justice were not rigidly dispensed towards the men; and it was only recently that the numerous irregularities and cases of injustice practised towards the gallant soldiers of the local European force in India had come to light. At the risk of even wearying the House he must read one extract which had not yet been brought under their notice. Regimental No. 160, Private John Jackson, considers himself aggrieved at being transferred from the service of the late Hon. East India Company to that of the Crown, and gives the following reason for claiming his discharge:—On the 27th of October, 1852, I was discharged from Her Majesty's service (74th Highlanders) on payment of £20; and on the 23rd of November of the same year I enlisted in the service of the Hon. East India Company with the view of bettering my condition, in the full belief that the service of the said Company and the service of the Crown were quite distinct, thus voluntarily forfeiting half the purchase money—namely, £10, of my discharge, and my service of eight months, to both of which I would be entitled by re-enlisting in Her Majesty's service. I now find myself in the service of the Crown, to get out of which I paid, as already stated, £20. I trust that what I have stated will be considered sufficient to establish the validity of my claim to be discharged from a service I did not re-enter. Where injustice of such a serious character was practised the House, he was sure, would feel that the unfortunate men were justified in laying their case respectfully before the authorities, as, with rare exceptions, they had done. In the earlier stages of the discontent General Beresford, who held a command at the southern side of India, invited his men, at an inspection, to put forward any complaints which they might have to make. This was a practice in accordance not only with military usage, but with the course pursued by magistrates in their periodical visits to public establishments. On that occasion a very large number of men stepped forward, and the General entered into their complaints at length, and concluded his despatch by stating that they behaved in a perfectly respectful manner. In other parts of India similar grievances were made known in an equally becoming spirit. The men declared that they had been fighting the mutineers for twelve months, that they had reason, from the tenor of general orders, to believe that they had conducted themselves to the satisfaction of the Commander-in-Chief, and now that the mutiny had been brought to a close they hoped their private grievances would be inquired into and disposed of. True, it was said that they themselves had mutinied, and had incited their comrades to strike; but on looking at the descriptive rolls he found that the man who was conspicuous in this attempt was a man fresh from the land of strikes, having enlisted in Lambeth only a year before. The Judge Advocate General was desired to draw up charges against him in the most formal manner; but on inquiry it was found that this truant from school had been punished for being dirty, and was then designated a mutineer. The Judge Advocate General felt that the charges were too absurd, and they were dismissed. The officers of the Indian army had just grounds of complaint of what had been said of them in the course of this debate. Over and over again it had been repeated that they were not fit to command. The right hon. Baronet the Secretary of State for India, whose duty it was to defend them, said that the officers of the Indian army "had not acted so vigorously of late," and in enumerating the general officers who bad served with distinction in India he made no mention of the officers of the Indian army. He had no wish to draw invidious distinctions between the two armies, but he would never allow disparaging remarks to be made of the service to which he had belonged without raising his voice in its defence. Surely, Sir James Outram, who in a single campaign had subdued the great empire of Persia, who in a very short time afterwards took such a distinguished part in the relief and subsequent capture of Lucknow, was not an officer of whom it might be said that he had not "acted vigorously of late." Then, again, were not Neil, Hodgson, and the defenders of Arrah officers of whom any army might be proud? He had no wish to disparage the officers of the Queen's army—he had joined cordially in the cheer which the mention of their deeds had elicited—but the services of the Indian army deserved to be recorded side by side with theirs in the same page of history. He never could sit still and hear the army decried with which he had had the honour to be connected. It certainly was a most unworthy mode of attempting to carry this Bill by describing the men of the Indian army as mutineers and the officers as unfit for command.


said, that this measure had raised great apprehensions among the officers of the Native Indian army that they would be dealt with next after the same fashion, and the language of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for India in introducing this Bill certainly justified them in that apprehension. The local army had frequently been spoken of in the course of this debate as. if it were a mere undisciplined rabble, but nothing could be further from the truth. In point of discipline it might not come up to the mark of the Queen's army, but all military authorities allowed that in a tropical climate it was impossible to keep up discipline to the same pitch as in this country. No regiment of the local army had ever been known to turn its back on the enemy, and that was a misfortune which happened to several distinguished Austrian regiments in the late Italian campaign. It was greatly to be regretted that no code of Instruction had ever been issued for the officers, but no one was more blameable for this than the present Secretary of State for India, who had twice been at the head of the Indian Department. He had heard with the utmost surprise of the accommodating language in which an officer of Sir William Mansfield's rank and position had written, when he changed his opinion as to the amalgamation of the forces in India. That officer was at first strongly in favour of the retention of the two armies, but having changed his opinion, he made use of the se accommodating words. Whatever may have our opinion before on account of political convenience, and the guarantees given by Parliament to the officers of the Indian army—all these considerations must be swept entirely away, and the plan of his Royal Highness must be adopted.

Question, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair," put, and agreed to. House in Committee.

Clause 1 (Repealing so much of recited Act and of certain other Acts as authorizes the Secretary of State in Council to give Directions for Raising European forces for the Indian Army of Her Majesty).


said, that he rose pursuant to notice, to move the addition of a proviso to the clause. If the debate had done no other service, it had shown how well the officers of the Indian army could fight on any question in which they took an interest. If that were a sample of the manner in which they fought in India, it was very satisfactory. When first he saw this Bill, consisting of a preamble of about nine lines and one clause of about six lines, he was at a loss what to make of it. The only manner in which he could explain it was that the Government had brought it forward as a peg on which to hang a debate. If that were the wish of the Government, they had entirely succeeded. When he heard right hon. Gentleman after right hon. Gentleman say that they had changed their opinion, he really the thought that the Bill might be brought in to prevent their changing their opinion back again. There was no law to compel the Secretary of State to enlist a single soldier unless he liked. He might have gone on as he pleased, and when he had completed his plans he might have laid them before Parliament. The right hon. Baronet, however, the thought it more fair and candid to state his views in the open and manly way in which he had put them forward, and had used this Bill as a means to place the plan before Parliament. The right hon. Baronet had used language which might bear the construction that the guarantees in the Act of 1858 were in danger. He was quite sure that neither the right hon. Baronet nor the Government had the least intention to break faith with the Indian army. But they might all die to-morrow, and Governments of all things were the least permanent, so that it was impossible to say who would have to carry this unformed plan into execution. Alarm had also been created by the letters of the late Commander-in-Chief and Sir William Mans- field, especially the letter of Sir William Mansfield, in which was the expression that all guarantees should be swept away. Supposing the scheme of the right hon. Baronet were carried out by the Commission, the regular regiments of the Native army would be turned into irregular regiments, the officers of the irregular army would be taken from a Staff corps, the Staff corps would be formed of officers of the Line, and the first appointments would be in the Commander-in-Chief. Under the se circumstances he did not see how the due number of appointments would be secured to the children of persons who had served in India, and he therefore the thought it better to put on record the opinion of the House, that these privileges should be retained. He would therefore conclude by moving, as a proviso at the end of the clause, That the same or equal provision be made for the sons of persons who have served in India, and the advantages as to pay, pensions, allowances, privileges, promotion, and otherwise, secured to the military forces of the East India Company by the Act 21 & 22 Vict., c. 106, ss. 35, 56, and 58 respectively, shall continue and be maintained in any plan for the reorganization of the Indian army, anything in this Act contained notwithstanding.


said, he was obliged to the right hon. Gentleman for giving him the credit of never having indicated an intention to break faith with officers of the Indian army. When first he saw the Amendment he was disposed to say that it was unnecessary, because there were no words in this Bill which repealed the clauses in the Act of 1858. But as a number of persons had taken on themselves to assert that it would he impossible to keep faith if the Indian local forces were united with the general army of the Line, and as opponents of the Bill had attributed to the Government an intention to break faith, which was never entertained, he was perfectly willing to assent to the Amendment. He did not know how the Government could give a better pledge of the sincerity of their intentions than by accepting gladly and willingly the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman, and it would, at the same time, allay any feeling of alarm which might have been created. It had always been the intention of the Government to maintain faith with the officers of the Indian army, and he was convinced that Sir William Mansfield did not for a moment intend, when he used some incautious words, to convey the impression-that he the thought faith should be broken. Whatever arrangement was proposed, faith would be fully kept, and he was glad that words would be added clearly showing what were the intentions of every one in Parliament upon the subject.


said, he the thought it necessary that the clause of the Bill of 1858 should be re-affirmed, and the more so as the Royal Commission of that year inserted words in their Report relative to the difficulty of maintaining the existing rights of the officers of the local force if it should be united with that of the Line.


observed, he was glad to accept the concession of the Government, as an acknowledgment of the difficulties which surrounded the question.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Preamble agreed to.


said, he wished to know when the question of fortifications was to come on.


said, that hon. Members who had notices standing for the next day were kind enough not to object to the Report of the Committee on this Bill being taken to-morrow before the Notices. Now that the Government had conceded to the Motion of the right hon. Gentleman, he hoped that when the House had agreed to the Report the debate on the third reading would not occupy a very long time. He would have liked to take a third reading on Wednesday, but, on account of other Bills, that could not he done. He had fixed it for the earliest possible occasion—the first thing on Thursday; and as soon as they had disposed of it they would go into the subject of fortifications.


said, that the statement of the noble Lord seemed to involve a very considerable change. He maintained that nothing could be clearer or more distinct than the statement of the noble Lord the other day, that after they had gone through Committee on the Indian Army Bill the question of fortifications was to be taken. It was the thought to be rather a serious matter that that question should be indefinitely postponed; and the appointment of the third reading of the Indian Army Bill for Thursday was certainly a wide departure from the general understanding. He the thought that after what had occurred that evening the Government ought not to be quite so sure that the third reading would pass without discussion. He must say he never remem- bered an instance of such an occurrence as they had witnessed that night. It was understood that a discussion was to take place on the Motion of the hon. Baronet the Member for Ayrshire (Sir James Fergusson). By common consent the various instructions to be moved on going into Committee were all withdrawn; and there were, he was certain, not less than from a dozen to a score of hon. Members who were ready to have taken part in what was deemed the real disucussion on this subject. He could see hon. Members in different parts of the House who had reserved themselves for that discussion. To the amazement of everybody, as soon as the hon. Member for Ayrshire sat down, the question was put from the Chair. In all his experience he never knew an instance of a question being put so quickly; nor could he recollect any occasion on which, in the division lobby, so much surprise and dissatisfaction were expressed. Not once only, but twice, had the same thing happened that night. It was known that he was going to make a Motion before the Orders of the Day were gone into. He was somewhat experienced in the business of the House, and, having carefully watched his opportunity, he rose at what he believed was the proper moment. He was told he was too late. Twice, therefore, it had occurred in the course of the evening that an Amendment had been suppressed—


said, he rose to order. It was, he believed, out of order for the right hon. Gentleman, with the Chairman of Committee presiding, to impugn the conduct of Mr. Speaker, who should be present to hear any charges made against him. Even if the right hon. Gentleman were not out of order it would be at least more becoming in him to postpone his statement until the Speaker had taken his seat.


It certainly is not regular in a Committee upon a Bill to advert to any topic except its clauses. The Committee has closed the discussion of the clauses of this Bill. The Question is that I now leave the Chair, and it is not desirable that any discussion foreign to the clauses of the Bill should be opened.


said, that a question had been put to the noble Lord which had naturally led to the discussion, and if the noble Lord was in order in stating reasons for supposing that there would be only a short discussion upon the third reading of the Bill, he might state reasons why he thought that the contrary would be the case. As this was a question which probably would, and which ought to, occur very seldom, he might be permitted in the general interest of Members of the House to say he entirely differed from what had just been said by the right hon. Baronet the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and that he the thought that when these discussions had been curtailed it was better that it should he remarked upon when it could be done without impugning the conduct of Mr. Speaker at the time that he was in the Chair. He did not wish to impugn that conduct, but still he did say that on two occasions that day their discussions had been stopped when hon. Members were anxious to go on with them. The noble Lord ought, therefore, to feel that when the third reading of the Bill came on, there might be a desire to revive the discussion which had been curtailed that evening. He would only in conclusion repeat an opinion which had been expressed in various quarters of the House, that the shortening their discussions by the strange mode of putting questions more rapidly than hon. Members could intercept them by their speeches would conduce neither to the progress of public business, nor to the dignity and good order of the House.


said, he did not wish to refer to the Indian business, or to the question mooted by the right hon. Gentleman who had just sat down, but he did wish to remark that he did not think the noble Lord (Viscount Palmerston) was treating the question of fortifications or the House itself fairly in saying, that provided there was no discussions on the third reading of the Indian Bill he would bring on the Vote for Fortifications on Thursday. What lie wished, with every friendly disposition to the noble Lord, was to impress on the noble Lord the importance of stating Thursday positively as the day on which he would bring on the subject. It was altogether too serious a matter to he trifled with. No doubt the Indian army was a most important subject for debate, but he believed the fortifications question was equally so.


rose to a point of order. He apprehended that the question of the proper time for the third reading would properly come forward after the Chairman hail left the chair, and he would venture to submit that that would be the occasion for mooting it.


I beg then to give notice that, when the Orders of the Day on Thursday are read, I will move that the Vote for fortifications shall take precedence of all other orders.


I venture respectfully again to repeat to the Committee that we are discussing the question of the fortifications and other matters of which this Committee has no cognizance whatever. This conversation, therefore, so far as it has related to such topics, is entirely irrelevant.

House resumed.

Bill reported; as amended, to be considered To-morrow.