HC Deb 28 July 1877 vol 236 cc114-31

(Mr. Raikes, Lord George Hamilton, Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer.)


Order for Committee read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair."—(Lord, George Hamilton.)

SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL rose to move— That in raising such. Loans as are really inevitable, it is desirable that greater facilities should be given to the native community throughout India to invest money in Government Securities in small sums in their several localities. He said it was a great source of weakness and a great evil that the amount of remittances to this country from India should be continually increasing. It was said that the debt due to England from India was for value received. To some extent that was true; to some extent it was not. In time of trouble the amount of debt would become a great source of weakness. He wished to suggest that when it was absolutely necessary that the Indian Government should borrow at all, they should offer such terms to the Natives as would induce them to lend the money. They would be then adopting the same system as had been tried so successfully in France, where the National Debt had become a source of stability for the Government rather than that dangerous element which the debt now being incurred by India in England was becoming. The Under Secretary had stated that the Government intended to borrow £2,500,000 for immediate purposes, and the remaining £2,500,000 for necessities which might afterwards arise. He wanted to know whether the Government were to have power to raise the £5,000,000 at once? He wished also to object to the system of borrowing from great capitalists. Instead of having, as formerly, loans open in the villages to all the Natives, the Government now issued advertisements in the great towns for loans from great capitalists. The result of abandoning the system of open loans had been that India had to pay a higher rate of interest for the money, and that the faith of the Natives in the British Government as the depository of their savings had been diminished. The total Rupee Debt was some £71,000,000, of which the Natives held 25 per cent only, while 75 per cent was held by Europeans. But taking the whole debt of India, including the English and the guaranteed railway debt, the Natives did not hold more than one-tenth in all. Speaking from a political point of view, that was not only undesirable, but even dangerous. The fact was, the Government of India was getting more and more into the capitalist groove, and more and more taking away from the Natives the inducement which they formerly had for looking with confidence to the Government. Great irrigation works had been undertaken by the Government of Bengal, which had not paid, and were now leading to increased taxation. Some strong remarks had been made on that subject by an hon. Gentleman now present (Mr. Smollett), and therefore he would not go fully into the matter. But he would merely observe with regard to the Orissa Canal that whereas scarcely anyone else connected with it had gained, the secretary had made a fortune, and had cleared some £30,000 or £40,000 by the concern. He understood that it was the same gentleman who was secretary to the Madras Canal. If what was done in the case of the Orissa Canal could be repeated in other parts of India, the impression would be produced that the Government of India offered a fair field to the harpies of the City. In the case of another canal which was undertaken on the advice of a respectable and honest officer the sanguine estimates were not likely to be realized. These instances showed how necessary it was not to be led away either by speculators or too sanguine and enterprizing engineers and officers. In reference to the excessive preparations made to meet the Bengal Famine, he quoted a Minute of his own as Lieutenant Governor of Bengal, dated February, 1874, submitting to the Government of India Sir Richard Temple's grain estimates for Behar, in which he said— I confess that the estimate now made exceeds what I had thought that Government could undertake. I have throughout believed that private trade will in most quarters do much. As regards a great part of Tirhoot private trade cannot he overlooked. Patna is at this moment overflowing with private grain seeking an outlet, and further private supplies are forthcoming in large quantities from the Punjab and the North-West Provinces. The failure has been chiefly a rice failure. The pulses are good; the present rain will allow some quick-growing grains and vegetables to be sown; fish, milk, &c, are still in the country. Many classes habitually eat meat, even in the shape of dead bullocks, mice, &c. With regard to the famine demands, in future they must try to steer a just middle course, and they must also very much try to localize these demands. He did not think they would steer a just middle course until they had localized the famine expenditure. The hon. Gentleman concluded by moving his Resolution as an Amendment.

Amendment proposed, To leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words '' in raising such Loans as are really inevitable, it is desirable that greater facilities should be given to the native community throughout India to invest money in Government Securities in small sums in their several localities,"—(Sir George Campbell,) —instead thereof.

Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."


I beg to move, Sir, that the debate be now adjourned; and I think it only respectful to the House to state the reasons why I make this Motion. The Sheriffs Courts (Scotland) Bill was brought on to-day most unexpectedly. In fact, it was only announced between 1 and 2 o'clock this morning that we were to meet at noon for the purpose of discussing it. In consequence, when we met, a Motion was made for the adjournment of the debate upon the Bill, and another Motion had previously been made to the effect that no measure on the subject could be satisfactory which did not do certain things. The discussion went on, and I believe that all the Members for Scotland who were present—all, at least, who sit on this side of the House —expressed their opinions on the question. There were but few Amendments on the Paper, and these not of great importance, and in all probability an hour would have sufficed to pass the Bill through Committee. In fact, the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary urged the hon. Member for Forfarshire (Mr. Barclay) to withdraw his Amendment for the adjournment of the debate in order to allow the Bill to get into Committee, and the hon. Member for Inverness (Mr. Eraser-Mackintosh), who had an Amendment setting forth that the measure would not be satisfactory unless it provided for the abolition of double sheriffships, seeing that the feeling of the House was strongly in favour of going on with the Bill, also agreed to withdraw his Amendment. There was then a fair field, and consultations took place amongst the Scotch Members on this side of the House, all of whom were agreed, with the exception of one Gentleman, who is hostile to the Bill altogether, that it was desirable to proceed with the measure in Committee. I told this to the Lord Advocate, I told this to the Under Secretary of State, and other hon. Members, and I would have told it to the Home Secretary had I had an opportunity; but notwithstanding the all but unanimous wish of the Scotch Members to go on, the Government themselves proposed a Motion for reporting Progress. Sir, I think it is deeply to be regretted that Her Majesty's Government should adopt a policy of obstruction—that is the word which we have heard so frequently of late— towards a Bill of their own—a Bill which had reached that stage that it might very easily be passed through Committee. I say that the action which the Government has taken is neither creditable to themselves nor respectful to the House, but it is just part and parcel of a system which prevails of disregarding everything pertaining to Scotland. We pay £7,000,000 a-year of taxation, which is considerably more than Ireland pays; we pay 9d. per head of population more than England pays, and yet we have no more consideration shown to us in this House than if we had been a small Crown Colony conquered in some war. Scotland during the present Session has been practically ignored. I have now been 12 years in this House, and I have never in all that time moved that Progress be reported, or that the House should adjourn, and, therefore, no man can say that I have ever impeded the public Business; but, in the circumstances which I have mentioned, I feel that it is my bounden duty to take the course I have done on this occasion, and to tell the Government that they have grievously neglected an opportunity of pushing on a Scotch measure, and that their mode of dealing with Scotch matters as a whole is the reverse of satisfactory. Many of us came down to-day at considerable personal inconvenience; and I think that the usage which we have received has been extremely reprehensible.


I should be exceedingly sorry that it should be supposed by Scotch Members that there is any intention on the part of Her Majesty's Government to cast any slight upon them or Scotch Business, and I would venture to point out the difficulties under which the Government lay in arranging the Business of the House. I quite understood until last night or early this morning that we were to proceed to-day in Committee on the South Africa Bill; but in consequence of what was said in the course of the discussion early this morning, it was agreed that it would be inconvenient to proceed with that Bill, and an undertaking was made in the course of the debate that we would not bring on the South Africa Bill to-day, but would put it off until Monday. The question was what Bills should be taken, and it was decided to take the Sheriff Courts (Scotland) and the East India Loan Bills. Both these questions are important; and it is a matter on which the Government have earnestly set their minds to have them passed in the course of the present Session. The East India Loan Bill is of the first importance, and the Sheriff Courts (Scotland) Bill is also one of first-class importance, and one which we are desirous to see passed. I understood, certainly, when I consented to this arrangement, that the East India Loan Bill was to be taken first. Some objection was raised to taking the Sheriff Courts (Scotland) Bill at so short notice, because a good many Members were absent, and would not be able to take part in the discussion. Accordingly, an inti- mation was made that the Government should not press the Bill further forward in Committee, and should dispose of Amendments prior to that stage, and should then proceed with a few clauses till they came to some question of opposition. When I came down to the House I understood that there would be no real difficulty in agreeing to the first clauses of the Bill; but I did not understand that almost everybody who took part in the discussion intended to pass the Bill. That was not my understanding. Certainly, the hon. Member for Glasgow (Mr. Anderson) gave notice of opposition. [Mr. M'LAREN: I said with one exception.] This was an exception, and an important exception, and I understood that many Scotch Members, believing it would not be taken first, had gone on other business. Under these circumstances, Notice was given that the East India Loan Bill would be taken today, and I am sorry that that should have given offence to the Gentlemen from Scotland. I can assure them Government are desirous to pass this Bill, and if hon. Gentlemen from Scotland can arrange, as they often do, among themselves points which will be discussed on details of this Bill, they will find that time has not been lost by the adjournment which has now taken place, which might have been occupied in long discussions on the part of hon. Members from Scotland. I can assure hon. Gentlemen that there is no want of respect for Scotland, and no want of appreciation of this Bill in particular, on the part of the Government; and I hope the hon. Member for Edinburgh will not persist in his Motion for the adjournment of the debate. Every means that we have shall be taken to see that they have time to consider the Bill; but I trust they will see that these opportunities will be greatly curtailed if we are not able to go on with other Business, and if time is spent in discussion which can lead to little or no practical conclusion. Such a discussion as this of the nature of a complaint against the Government can really only lead to the loss of a certain amount of time without producing any corresponding result.

MR. LEITH rose to second the Motion of his hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, from a feeling of deep responsibility to his constituency, one of the largest in Scotland, in regard to the way Scotland was treated in the administration of the Business of that House. The disregard of Scotch Business had culminated that day. Instead of words of respect for Scotland by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, they would prefer seeing acts. They had seen no such acts. What they complained of was, that when it was a question between a Scotch Bill and an English Bill, or a Government Bill, the Scotch Bill was put aside, and the Home Secretary was overruled by a mandamus, and must allow other business to come on. He asked if that was fair conduct? Three years had the Members from Scotland been attempting to obtain some relief by this Bill in the jurisdiction of the Sheriff Courts in Scotland. In 1875 a Bill was brought in by his right hon. and learned Friend the then Lord Advocate (Mr. Gordon), but on certain pledges given the Bill was withdrawn. In 1876 a new Bill was brought in, and that Bill was wrecked in the same way, not by the opposition of Members, but by the Government itself. Now a third Bill was brought in, and they had been anxious since the commencement of the Session to obtain from the Lord Advocate or the Home Secretary a day for its discussion, but not until the 28th of July were they able to obtain a day. They came down at great inconvenience that morning to get it through, and they might have succeeded in carrying it through. Notwithstanding what was said in regard to the objections taken by certain Members, there was no Member who did not entertain a disposition to meet the general ideas of the Members who represented Scotland. All were in harmony and unanimity, and they had all agreed that they would endeavour to facilitate the passing of the Bill. Had the discussion of the measure been continued, they would have endeavoured in a short time longer to have the Bill passed. The whole of the Amendments would have been dealt with by the assistance and facilities which hon. Members were ready to give. Certainly he, for one, felt, in common with others, that the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary was as desirous as they were to meet the wishes of Scotch Members, and to give them the remainder of the day or portions of it, and yet they must see that the Government had allowed only one Bill in three years to pass.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Debate be now adjourned." —(Mr. M'Laren.)


wished to say one word before giving his vote on what he believed would be the majority in this division. When it was said that the Scotch Bill was postponed to make way for English Business, it should be remembered that the East India Loan Bill was not an English Bill, but an Imperial Bill, affecting the interests of England only in a remote degree. It would be greatly to the advantage of Public Business if the Government would take an early opportunity, say on Monday, of stating what Bills they intended to pass. There were 35 opposed Government Bills on which discussion might arise, and yet notice had only been given to drop three, leaving 32 in respect to which some statement ought to be made.


said, as a Scotch Member sitting on the Conservative side of the House, he could not join in the Motion of his hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh. It seemed to him a very reprehensible practice when a totally different question was being discussed, and an hon. Gentleman got up in order to make a complaint regarding some business that had taken place immediately before. He could not remember in his early days in that House that any such circumstance occurred. He could not support the hon. Member for Edinburgh in his Motion. At the same time, he could not support the Government entirely in regard to Scotch Business. He did think every part of the Business of the Government should have its fair share of attention, and that when measures for Scotland were announced in the Queen's Speech, fair opportunities should be given for discussion. Making fair allowance in consequence of what had taken place, he still thought it would be quite possible to resort earlier in the Session to Morning Sittings, and that the Government might take care to keep a House in the evening. Formerly Morning Sittings began earlier in the Session than had been the case in the last few years, and if they were to get through all the Business, the only plan would be to resort again to something of that kind. He hoped the Government would give an early day for resuming the discussion.


If hon. Gentlemen opposite are fond of Divisions, we may give them an opportunity of walking through the Lobbies. If the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer had been present during the whole of the discussion on the Bill to which reference has been made, he would have somewhat changed the expression of his views. I cannot conceive, after the experience the House has had of the endurance of Scotch Members, that it can be supposed we have any desire to obstruct Business; but there are limits to human endurance, and I think the Division taken to report Progress was sufficient evidence that the bound had been reached in relation to Scotch Business. The right hon. Gentleman who does not now agree with us went into the same Lobby with us to prevent Progress being reported. The Chairman gave his opinion in favour of the Noes, but that was challenged by an hon. Member, and I think myself, if Scotch Members are to have any attention paid to Scotland, it is necessary that we should make some protest of this nature. We very rarely unite with Members from other parts of the Kingdom to prevent the passing of Bills; but the Government, by their persistent neglect of Scotch Business, are training us to follow the same kind of tactics that have led to so much interruption, to so much discomfort, to Members of this House. For myself, I do not feel that I would be justified in permitting this neglect to go on without a most distinct and emphatic protest — without marking, as I now do by supporting the Motion for adjournment, my sense of the way in which the claims of Scotch Business is persistently and continuously ignored by the Government. It is true we have received from the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and from hon. Gentlemen opposite, the greatest courtesy personally that any Gentleman could expect to get from another, but smooth words do not suet parsnips, or something of the kind. I do not recollect the phrase exactly. [Lord JOHN MANNERS: "Butter no parsnips."] Thank you. The right hon. Gentleman's soft words will not serve our purpose. The hon. Member for Aberdeen (Mr. Leith) has pointed out that we have been persistently ignored. Whenever our Bills are brought forward we have no opportunity of discussing them. This very Bill was passed through its second reading without a single note or comment by Members of the House. It is said we shall get time on Tuesday, but what we complain of is that we are always put off from day to day, and without advantage are kept in constant attendance when we have other duties to perform. The Chancellor of the Exchequer says he hopes to give us Tuesday. Well, Wednesday is a Morning Sitting. [The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER: No, it is not.] Probably it would come on after 12 o'clock at night. The right hon. Gentleman says no; but how does he know? My hon. Friend (Sir George Campbell) may have a long speech on the previous Bill. Time may be occupied, and the wishes of the right hon. Gentleman to give us the time he promises may be defeated. He may give us a prominent place; but that does not secure the attendance of Scotch Members who are here to-day. There are a number now present who are leaving before that day, and who were willing to have gone on with the Business we had in hand. Some arrangement has been alluded to by the Chancellor of the Exchequer with the hon. Member for Glasgow (Mr. Anderson); but the hon. Member has not withdrawn his opposition, although he intimated that he would allow the Bill to pass the present stage. He had done that before even the Motion for reporting Progress was brought forward. Nothing said, therefore, by the hon. Member for Glasgow can justify the course the Government is pursuing. The truth is that Gentlemen from other quarters have been so ready to oppose Public Business that the Government have asked from Scotch Members what they would not ask from Members from the other parts of the United Kingdom. If the Members for Yorkshire, Durham, and Northumberland were united, I do not think Members would regard those counties as of greater or equal importance to Scotland; but what they required would be done. This practice of ignoring the claims of Scotland altogether is fast teaching us to follow the tactics which we all regret to see pursued in the case of another country. I cannot, therefore, concur in asking the hon. Member for Edinburgh (Mr. M'Laren) to withdraw his proposal to adjourn the debate; but I shall be glad to divide, in order to show to Her Majesty's Government that other than Irish Members can adopt means of obstructing Public Business if necessary.


said, that he thought it would be for the convenience of the House that the Bill should be placed first on the Orders of the Day for Wednesday.


congratulated the House on having the treat of a Scotch row in a debate on an Indian subject. They had reached a Scotch grievance, and as much time had been taken up as would have passed the Bill.


thought the offer made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to Members for Scotland was a fair one. He did not think the arrangement on the Paper that day had been at all a fortunate one, and that was an opinion shared on both sides of the House. As the East India Loan Bill was a Bill of pressing importance, that Bill ought to have been put first, and in putting another before it the Government had asked the House to do rather more than could be expected on a Saturday morning. Nearly five hours had been consumed without getting into Committee on this Bill. The Government had better throw some other freight overboard, and not attempt to navigate with so much canvas spread. He hoped the Business of the House might now be allowed to go on.


thought, after the announcement made by the right hon. Gentleman, it would be as well that the discussion should not go further, and he trusted his hon. Friend would not put the House to the trouble of a division. The impression left on his mind was not to do a good-natured act again. He came down to support the Government, and he now found himself opposed to their course on this Bill.

MR. M'LAREN, having consulted his hon. Friend near him (Mr. Leith), who spoke on the subject, begged leave, with the consent of the House, to withdraw the Motion, and to accept the offer of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, to place the Bill as the First Order on Wednesday.


said, he did not approve of this Motion for Adjournment, because it interfered with Business; but he must say the hon. Member for Edinburgh had some ground for making the Motion, because Scotch Members had some reason to complain of great injustice shown by the Ministers on the front Bench. The Bill was the First Order of the Day that day, and they had only occupied two hours and 40 minutes, although there was no discussion on the second reading. If the Bill was placed the First Order on Wednesday, there was no guarantee that there would not be a Motion for the adjournment of the debate, and some other Business might be taken. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had stated that he regretted that he had given offence to Scotch Members; but he had not only given offence to Scotch Members but to Scotland generally, with the exception of the lawyers and solicitors of Edinburgh, who would rejoice over the adjournment of the debate on going into Committee on the Bill. This was the only Scotch Bill that had reached any stage at all; and he hoped that, in future, the Ministers would treat Scotch Members more reasonably. At any rate, it would be found the independent Members were not to be trifled with.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.


contended that the India loans were by no means inevitable, although they were so styled in the Amendment moved by the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy. These Indian loans had had been caused by the Government having embarked into a vast outlay for extraordinary, and therefore unnecessary, and, for the most part, unproductive, works, made with borrowed cash. From 1872 to 1877 there had been £21,500,000 so expended. This loan of £5,000,000 was not required for famine purposes, but for providing for the expenditure of the pestilent Public Works Department in India, estimated in Sir John Strachey's budget at £4,000,000. If the Secretary of State had done his duty he would have ordered the omission of this outlay from the Budget, and then the introduction of this Bill would have been unnecessary. Having stated his objection to the measure he should at once withdraw, and take his leave of Indian affairs for this Session.


said, that abstractedly he agreed that greater facilities should be given for investing small sums of money in India, but before that could be accomplished they must induce the Natives of India to take the same view of the question. As he did not think the Amendment was practicable, he hoped his hon. Friend would not press it to a division. A measure of this kind was needed, and it ought to be passed without delay. He objected to laying the seeds of future expenditure by the establishment of Cooper's Hill College.


said, the success which had attended the policy of the British Empire in inducing large masses of the Indian population to invest in the expenditure of British funds had certainly not been very great. But they must remember that in India the higher education of the people did not bind them to our rule as fully as optimists expected; but, on the contrary, in many cases the higher education of the Natives of India made them inclined to yearn for a form of government in which they, with their more extended powers, would be able to achieve a position more worthy of themselves and their race. It was for this reason that he went very far indeed with the spirit of the Amendment of the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy (Sir George Campbell); but, at the same time, he apprehended that the object of bringing these loans within the reach of the masses of the people must fail for some very obvious reasons. He thought the recollection of such examples of sharp practice as had been just referred to must have very considerable weight. Such examples must have very considerable influence with those classes, as also must the extravagant expenditure of the public department, and must deter them in a very considerable degree from investing in our funds. But even if we obtained the alliance of the wealthier classes the object of the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy would not be attained. He was afraid that in India there was not a very comfortable peasantry, nor a very comfortable class next to the peasantry, as there was in France. In fact, he was afraid it must be admitted that the substantial comfort of the Indian peasantry was not on the increase, although their numbers were increasing, and putting loans in their way would be of very little avail indeed. There was another question which bore on the question of the capacity of the Indian peasantry to invest in our funds, which was one, he respectfully submitted, that deserved the most earnest attention of the Government—namely, the frightful extent to which the plague of usury had spread among the Indian peasantry. He was sure the Government were aware of the danger of this matter; and not the least occasion of evil was that the strictness of our law tended to make the burden more intolerable, because the effect was that under our rule the usurer could strictly exact his claim, and the peasant was bound hand and foot, without hope, when once got into the clutches of the usurer. He was afraid that, under our present system in India, small capitalists and money dealers found it vastly more to their advantage to stick to the practice of usury than to invest in public funds. And he thought the present mode of bringing public loans within the reach of the people must fail, for the simple reason that no people in India were in a position to take advantage of our financial kindness in this respect.


expressed his concurrence in the remarks of the hon. Member opposite (Sir George Campbell), and his hon. Friend behind him (Mr. Denison), and, therefore, refrained from traversing the ground over which they had gone. The hon. Gentleman who had just sat down had truly pointed out what were the difficulties which prevented the agricultural classes from investing their savings in Government securities. He (Lord George Hamilton) agreed with the hon. Member that we had given to the usurer a security he had never had before. The consequence was that there was a very large amount of debt in India. A Commission had been appointed to inquire into the question, and he hoped the Government would see their way to putting an end to its evils.

Notice taken, that 40 Members were not present; House counted, and 40 Members being found present,

LORD GEORGE HAMILTON, resuming, said, he was about to observe that both Sir John Strachey and Lord Lytton had given particular attention to the point to which the hon. Baronet (Sir George Campbell) had called attention. There was a way of testing the practicability of the proposal. The municipalities had from time to time to construct local works, and it was the opinion of Sir John Strachey that the inhabitants of the different localities to be benefited would be more likely to subscribe to those smaller works than to the larger works to be constructed by the Imperial Government. He agreed in much that had been said as to the unwisdom of borrowing in this country, and the only reason for doing so this year was the famine, which was not only trying so severely a large part of India, but had also affected the money market. We were, therefore, in this position— we must either stop a large number of railways or other useful works, or largely curtail the relief which was now being given to distressed and destitute persons in the famine-stricken districts. The Government wished to borrow this money in order to continue that relief. They trusted it would not be necessary to raise the whole of the requisite sum during the present year. At any rate, they would certainly make the most economical use of the money.


said, he had to express his regret at the unprecedented course adopted by the Government of moving to report Progress on the Sheriff Courts (Scotland) Bill in order to go on with the East India Loan Bill. He had anticipated that the Scotch Bill would be taken first, and that he should have had the opportunity of hearing the discussion on the subject now before the House. Owing to what he would term the sharp practice of the Government, that course unfortunately was not adopted, and he had to apologize for not being so fully acquainted with what had taken place as he should otherwise have been, unless he could call the speech of the Under Secretary of State for India a contribution to the debate. He desired to refer to the way in which successive English Governments kept adding to the public debt of India, while the people of India received no counterbalancing advantage. It had been remarked that England derived no benefit from Indian taxation, but he should prove that was a mistaken view. This money had been spent for the purpose of promoting English and not Indian interests. There was a good deal of talk about the system of railways in India, which was far in advance of the require- ments of the country. A sound rule adopted in other countries was that the construction of railways should be left to private enterprize, and it had been a rule attended with most salutary effects; for, if railways were made by the State which were not required, the taxpayers were punished, while under private enterprize the loss fell upon the promoters of the scheme. The Government had provided for the results of their mistakes in. making too many railroads by levying taxes on the people of India. When he said that the Government had done this he did not mean the present or any particular Government, for they were all forgetful of the loss which was entailed by railways which could not be wanted for half a century. After land carriage of 800 or 1,000 miles had been paid there was very little chance of return left for the unfortunate cultivators of the soil, who were taxed in order that the people of England might be able to receive that at a cheap price. That was only one of many ways in which the people of India were oppressed by the people who ruled them. They all knew that the Indian Civil Service was a very extensive one, and that a large number of the youth of the English middle classes found employment in it who could not otherwise find a field for their energy. He contended that taxes were derived from the people of India in a most unjust way—he would instance tax upon salt, which was a staple and a necessary of existence. Were it not for the necessities of the people of India the English manufacturers would not be able to find such a good market for their calicoes. But the Indians were finding that it was better to purchase their calicoes from America than to purchase the heavily-sized calicoes from Lancashire. The English would insist upon looking at the Indians as an inferior race who were enormously benefited by English rule. He did not think they were entitled to assume that if the English had never interfered the Indians would not have been a great deal better off than they were just now. He held that if the Indian people had been left to themselves they would have solved the question in the same way as the English had solved their question; and though they might have been conquered and subdued, as the English had been, by stronger nations, they would have solved these questions far more satisfactorily than they were likely to be solved by a Parliament which nearly allowed a count out on the evening when the Indian finances were before the House.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

Question, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question," put, and agreed to.

Main Question, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair," put, and agreed to.

Bill considered in Committee.

Clauses 1 to 12, inclusive, agreed to.

Clause 13 (Securities, &c. to be charged on revenues of India.)

MR. O'DONNELL rose to move an Amendment to the effect that the Indian revenue should only be charged with them to the extent of one-half, leaving the remaining half to be charged on the revenue of the United Kingdom, if necessary. The hon. Member said that India was a poor country—


said, that the hon. Member could only propose to charge money on the revenue of the United Kingdom after the Report of a Committee on the subject had been adopted by the House.


wished to leave it to the Government to raise the half from which he would relieve the Indian revenue from such sources as they might wish. They ought not to tax the Indian revenues beyond what was wanted for their service.


said, that he could not admit the Amendment, inasmuch as the effect of it would be to leave the other half chargeable on the Consolidated Fund.


supposed that this reasoning would apply if he had moved to reject the whole of the Vote.

Clause agreed to.

Clauses 14 and 15 agreed to.

Clause 16 (Returns to be prepared half-yearly of moneys raised on loan, and presented to Parliament.)

LORD GEORGE HAMILTON (for General Sir GEORGE BALFOUR) moved, in page 4, line 34, after "half year," insert— Also a Return of all stocks, loans, debts, and liabilities then chargeable on the revenues of India, as provided for in twenty-first and twenty-second Victoria, chapter three, with rates and amount of interest, showing the changes which have taken place in each half year, in respect to the debts incurred and paid off or discharged.

Page 4, line 35, after "Parliament," insert "as respects the Return of Loans and Liabilities in England."

Page 4, line 36, after "periods," insert— And within three months after the expiration of each half-year, as respects the Return of Loans and Liabilities in India.

Page 4, at end add— And the various conditions in respect to terms, prices, dates of payment, and rates of interest on which bills have been issued during the half-year under the authority of sections six and seven of this Act, shall be shown in the return in a form admitting of a comparison with previous years.

Amendments agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 17, 18, and 19 agreed to.

Bill reported; as amended, to be considered upon Monday next.