HC Deb 01 March 1877 vol 232 cc1212-3

asked the Under Secretary of State for India, If he will state upon what principle the Viceroy of India regulated the distribution of hon. ours among the Chiefs and prominent Natives at the recent Proclamation of Her Majesty the Queen as Empress of India at Delhi; if it be correct, as reported in several Anglo-Indian journals, that considerable dissatisfaction exists with reference to the distribution of these honours; if he will state how many of the Chiefs attended the Proclamation by invitation, and how many by command; and, whether he can state the cost which the ceremonial will impose upon the revenues of India; and, if he will have any objection to lay upon the Table of the House a Return showing the items of expenditure?


The principle upon which honours were distributed at Delhi was the same upon which honours are given here—namely, that Government selected those who, in their opinion, were best entitled to some mark of distinction. The Viceroy carefully consulted the various local Governments as well as his own Council in making those selections. Disappointment must, I am afraid, always result from any distribution of honours where the would-be recipients are more numerous than the honours given. All the Chiefs present came by invitation. We have not yet the accounts of the cost of the Assemblage, but as soon as we receive them they shall be laid upon the Table of the House. I am able to give the last estimate. The expenditure both in this country and in India is estimated at £65,000, from which £23,000 must be deducted, which has been paid as coming within the ordinary Military Budget of the year, as it relates to the movement of troops. On the other side there must be a considerable increase both in the railway and telegraph receipts in consequence of the Assemblage. We believe that when both sides of the account are considered it will be found that, owing to the judicious arrangements of the Viceroy, a great political object has been attained at small cost to the State.