HC Deb 05 June 1862 vol 167 cc412-3

wished to say, in reference to the answer of the right hon. Secretary for India, that under the present circumstances of a portion of the country, it was very important that the right hon. Gentleman should bring forward his Indian Budget at some reasonable period of the Session, when the attention of Members could be fairly directed to it. His hon. Friend the Member for Stockport (Mr. J. B. Smith) had given notice that he would call attention to the operations which were going on in India, with a view to promote the cultivation and greater export of cotton. It had, he understood, been agreed that that subject should not come on that evening; but it would be a great convenience if the right hon. Baronet would bring forward the whole question in such a shape that the House could discuss it in the manner so great a question deserved. As far as he could gather, it did not appear that anything was really being done in India to promote either sensibly or speedily the cultivation of cotton in that country. He knew that all those persons in Lancashire who had turned their attention to the subject were grievously disappointed at the small progress that was being made in the matter. The right hon. Baronet appeared to have fallen into the error of some of his predecessors in thinking that the finance of India was a subject of no consequence—that it was a mere matter of form, which could be disposed of in the last week of the Session. At this moment, it was, in his (Mr. Bright's) opinion, a matter of the utmost importance; and he appealed to the right hon. Baronet to press upon his colleagues that this great question was at least of as much consequence as the Highways Bill, to which the House had given up too many nights this Session. If nothing were done in India, we should find that for two or three years to come the condition of Lancashire would be such as to cause the greatest concern to the House, to create great embarrassment to the public finances, and to produce, perhaps, difficulties over the whole country greater than hon. Members anticipated.