HC Deb 22 April 1861 vol 162 cc892-4

said, he rose to ask the Secretary of State for India, Whether he has any objection to lay before the House Copies of the Orders or Communications sent or made by him to the Governor General for carrying out the amalgamation of the Royal and Local Armies, and for giving effect to Her Majesty's Warrant for the formation of a Staff Corps for India, dated January 16, 1861, together with Copies of all Dissents and opinions recorded on that measure by Members of the Council of India in January, 1861?


said, it would not be expedient at present to produce the communications he had made to the Governor General with respect to carrying out the amalgamation of the Royal and Local Armies. The Governor General had power, in concert with the Commander-in-Chief, to modify the details of the measures contained in the communications from England, and it was desirable that those measures should not be announced until they had assumed that authentic shape in which they would stand after receiving the corrections which the Governor General was empowered to make. He should then, however, have no objection to produce all the papers on the subject.


said, he wished to know what was the object of the Committee now sitting in Calcutta on the amalgamation scheme—whether it was for settling the details or for the purpose of introducing modifications. If the latter, would the modifications be sent home for the approbation of the Government before being adopted in India?


said, he did not quite understand the necessity for the appointment of a Committee at all, but the Governor General had appointed a number of officers for the purpose of looking into the details of the scheme, and ascertaining the wishes of their brother officers upon certain points. He hoped this inquiry would not lead to any great delay. The Governor General had power to modify the scheme, and to carry it into effect without waiting for the approbation of the Government in England.


said, he wished to inquire when the Calcutta Committee were likely to make their Report, and whether their Report, when made, would he published?


said, he had no information upon these points. He only knew that a Committee had been ap- pointed, and that they had already made one Report.