HC Deb 19 July 1867 vol 188 cc1726-7

said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for India, Whether, as there is to be or has been a selection made of Members of the Legislature to meet the Sultan on the occasion of the purely "State Entertainment" so called, to be given to him on Friday by the Government of India, he will state who is to make or has made the selection, and upon what principle such selection has been conducted; whether those Members who have been longest in the House are to be the first selected; whether those Members who represent the largest and most important places are to be selected; whether those Members who are connected with, politically or by relationship, the Members of the Council of India are to be the first if not the principal persons invited; whether, in order to make this State Ceremonial more remarkable and impressive, the 2,600 tickets which it is said have been issued have been ballotted for by the Members of the India Council, and distributed by them at their pleasure; whether on the occasion of a State Entertainment the Members of the Legislature would not have been as suitable persons to meet the Sultan as the 2,600 other persons who have been invited to meet His Majesty; whether the system pursued by the Home Government on State occasions, such as Reviews, Levées, &c.—namely, the circulating a written announcement informing Members that up to a certain time tickets may be had at a particular place by those who desired to have them, would not have been, in his opinion, a better mode of proceeding; and, whether the 2,600 persons who have been thus invited by the India Council, and asked to be present at the "State Entertainment," are all of them persons connected in a more direct way with the Government of India than are the Members of the Legislature?


I have already explained to the House the nature of the arrangements and the principle on which the invitations have been issued. I hope I shall not be considered as acting discourteously to the House if I decline to enter upon the subject which the hon. Member has opened up. There is one statement I may make on behalf of the Council of India. The invitations were sent out by a committee of the Council of India, and the Members of that Council individually requested that only one ticket should be given to each of them and a member of their families.


said, that as the right hon. Gentleman declined to answer his Question, he should, on the Order for going into Supply, move for a list of the persons who received invitations to that entertainment. ["Oh!"]