HC Deb 13 March 1876 vol 227 cc1867-8

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether he will lay upon the Table of the House any Papers or Despatches from the Governor General or any other authority in India, stating that it is the wish either of the Princes or of the people of India that Her Majesty should make any addition to the Royal Style and Titles?


Mr. Speaker, it is the duty of the Government to furnish the House with all the information in their power on any subject of public interest, such as the hon. Gentleman's Question refers to, provided it can be done with due regard to the public good. I have conferred with my noble Friend the Secretary of State for India upon the point dealt with in the Question of the hon. Gentleman, and we are of opinion that these despatches or Papers, such as the hon. Gentleman asks for could not be produced. We are of opinion that it is not expedient to produce them, and for this reason, they involve political considerations with reference to the particular title contemplated by Her Majesty—considerations which we have scrupulously refrained from introducing, and I trust that these debates may be closed without their being introduced. For these reasons, I am unable to comply with the request of the hon. Gentleman, and hope he will not press for the Papers.


As the House is not to be furnished with any more information on the subject, I beg to give Notice that on Thursday next, in going into Committee on the Royal Titles Bill, I will move— That seeing there is no literal translation into the Indian languages of the title of Empress, and that Her Majesty's new title in the Indian Empire cannot therefore be rendered as the highest dignity, whatever may be the English addition made to the Royal title, it is the opinion of this House that it would be inexpedient for the First Minister of the Crown to recommend Her most gracious Majesty to adopt a title so novel and so unpopular with her British subjects as that of Empress.