HC Deb 13 March 1860 vol 157 cc445-6

said, the House would perhaps recollect that one of the last acts of the Court of Directors was to send out to India a Despatch disallowing the annexation of the State of Dhar, and desiring that it might be restored to the Native Owners. No reply having been received to that communication, like directions were again sent out in April, and that communication remained unanswered up to the time of his leaving office. He understood that some steps had since been taken in the matter; and he wished to know what they were. In the words of his notice, he wished to ask the Secretary of State for India what steps have been taken by Lord Canning for the restoration of the State of Dhar to its Native Rulers?


said, the noble Lord was quite right in stating that during the period of his continuance in office no answer had been received to the communication to which he referred. Late in the autumn, however, a Despatch had reached the India Office from Lord Canning, in which he justified the course he had pursued in reference to the annexation, and pointed out the future steps which he recommended to be taken. Having con- sidered the subject fully, Her Majesty's Government had determined to adhere in the main to the advice which was contained in the Despatch which the noble Lord (Lord Stanley) had addressed to the Government of India, and Lord Canning had accordingly been directed to retain possession of the State of Dhar only until the heir to it should come of age, when he was to be restored to the territory which belonged to him. The only exception which had been made in the case was that of an outlying district which we had administered for many years, and which had paid to the Native Ruler a much larger sum than that which we had received from it. It had been deemed to be only right that when we were taxing our own loyal subjects in India for the expenses of the war some contribution should be made by those whose misconduct had entailed that expense. Her Majesty's Government had therefore directed that the payment on account of the outlying district to which he referred should no longer be made to the Chief of Dhar, by which the revenues of India would be saved from a charge of between £2,000 and £3,000 per annum.