HC Deb 07 April 1873 vol 215 c646

asked the Under Secretary of State for India, If he would state to the House, what amount of Booty was seized by General Whitlock's Force in January 1859, before the end of the war, in the house of one Muckhooned Rao Jamdar, in the captured town of Kirwee, and whether it was taken by the Government of India from the troops, and given back to Muckhooned Rao Jamdar while incarcerated as a rebel enemy in the gaol at Allahabad; whether the appropriation by the Provincial Government, without express licence from the Crown, of part of the Kirwee Booty, amounting in funded and other property to nearly £300,000 (Rupees 2,896,932 2 1,) is in conformity with the Law, or with the principle established under very high authority in the Deccan Case, and whether there has been any express grant of this Booty by Her Majesty, in whom it vests, to its present holders, to legalise the possession of it; and, whether the troops are not entitled, under the Act 3 and 4 Vic. c. 65, s. 22, to have these and other disputed claims referred for a judicial instead of an arbitrary decision, and which was the unanimous recommendation of the Royal Commission appointed by Lord Palmerston in 1864?


In reply, Sir, to my hon. and gallant Friend's first Question I have to say that certain property was found and dealt with as he describes, but that such property was not "booty." In reply to his second Question I have to say that the appropriation by the Indian Government of the property which I suppose to be alluded to in that Question, but which is quite erroneously described as booty, was strictly in conformity with the law, and, further, that by law no express grant to the Indian Government was required. In reply to his third Question I have to say that the decision which was given by the Treasury after hearing counsel was final, and that no rights to the contrary accrue to any one either under the Act 3 & 4 Vict., c. 65, or under any other authority.