HC Deb 17 December 1878 vol 243 cc1018-37

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


said, he was astonished at the statements made by the Opposition as to the oppressive nature of this charge upon the enormous population of India. It seemed to him absurd to say that the cost of a war with a petty kingdom of 2,000,000 or 3,000,000 of people in a poor lime- stone district could not be borne by the Empire of India, with its 200,000,000, whose share of the burden would average about 1½d.each. He was disposed to think that there would be very considerable danger, seeing this war was waged in the interest and for the defence of India, in saddling the people of this country with that expenditure. It might be a question of policy, but it certainly was not a question of principle, that this country should bear a portion of the expenditure of a war for the defence of India. Happily, there had been recent indications given that the people of India were eager to co-operate with us in our Imperial policy, and it might possibly be politic that we should be called to bear a portion of this expense; but India was both able and willing to defend herself. Frequent allusion had been made to the war with Afghanistan 40 years ago, which was stated to have thrown a burden of £20,000,000 on the people of India. That war was waged under a Liberal Administration; but nothing was said of saddling England with the cost, although, at that time, the resources of India had not been developed as they had since been; the millions of British capital thrown into the country for the construction of railways had not been introduced; the internal communications had not been opened up to the extent they now were—in short, India was not at that time in the same condition to bear the burden of a war that she now was; and it seemed unreasonable to say that that country, with her increased resources, was unable to bear the small expenditure requisite for a war to defend her own Frontier. During this debate, and that which preceded it, there appeared to be, on the other side of the House, an almost general forgetfulness of the enormous benefits which British rule had conferred on India. India, they had been told by the hon. Member for Morpeth (Mr. Burt), was "groaning under the military despotism of England;" but let them remember what the state of that country was before British rule was established. Lord Macaulay thus eloquently described it— A succession of nominal Sovereigns sunk in indolence and debauchery sauntered away life in secluded palaces. A succession of ferocious invaders descended through the Western Passes to prey on the defenceless wealth of Hindostan. A Persian conqueror crossed the Indus and marched through the gates of Delhi …The Afghans soon followed to complete the devastation which the Persian had begun, and every corner of the Empire learnt to tremble at the might of the Mahrattas, whose dominion stretched across the Peninsula, and though they had become great Sovereigns, did not cease to be freebooters. Wherever their kettledrums were heard, the peasant threw his bag of rice on his shoulder, hid his small savings in his girdle, and fled with his wife and children to the mountains or the jungles, to the milder neighbourhood of the hyena and the tiger. He could not allow all that had been said against British rule in India to pass without some reference to the advantages which our rule had conferred on that once down-trodden and distracted country. We had established peace and prosperity in India, and he could not admit that the people of that country were not able to bear the cost of a war of this kind for their own protection.


said, he would not provoke any recurrence to the debate of last week, or touch on any topic which did not relate to the Resolution before the House; still, in passing, he must observe that no one could fail to be struck with the great change of tone which had come over the front bench opposite in the course of these discussions. Last week they were told they had to deal with an Imperial question, in which the fortunes of the country were bound up; now they were discussing "a mere Frontier war," and they were told that the Resolution moved by the Under Secretary of State for India prejudged nothing, and that if the House should hereafter decide that the whole charge for this war should be paid out of the English Exchequer, the Resolution would not be inconsistent with that decision. If that were the case—if they had been called together to discuss "a mere Frontier war" and to pass a Resolution which prejudged nothing—he could not but wonder that Parliament should have been summoned at such an unusual season to discuss such trifling matters. It had been contended that this Resolution amounted to nothing more than a permission, under the Act for the Government of India, to the Indian Exchequer to make certain advances in connection with this war, and that it concluded nothing as to the ultimate incidence of the burden—whether it should be converted into a permanent charge either upon the British or Indian Exchequer. Now, he believed that doctrine was altogether unsound. On the contrary, the Resolution was an absolute and unlimited Vote of Credit on the Indian Exchequer for the whole expense of the war, whether incurred in the present or in any future year. A Resolution of this kind was a precedent for all time, and it was necessary to be extremely cautious in framing it. The Resolution said— that this House consents that the Revenues of India shall be applied to defray the expenses of the Military operations which may be carried on beyond the external Frontiers of Her Majesty's Indian Possessions. What he wished to ask the Government was simply this—whether there was the smallest authority or precedent in any financial Resolution adopted by Parliament, either in present or past times, for the word "defray" being applicable to anything else but an absolute charge on the Revenue? It so happened that at the end of the 56th section the word "defray" occurred again. It said that the pay and expenses incident to Her Majesty's Military and Naval Forces in India should be "defrayed" out of the Revenues of India. There could be no question whatever that when authority was given to "defray" a charge the authority to defray it was absolute, and that the word was never used for a temporary charge. Therefore, as it was intended to carry out the object of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, this Resolution should be modified in its terms. A very simple explanation of this extraordinary proceeding had been suggested to him; it was that the English Exchequer was in deficit and that the Indian Exchequer, as he would show, was overdrawn, and it would be possible under this Resolution to leave it open for a year to say upon which Revenue the expenditure should be charged. He hoped that to-night the House would arrive at a definite vote as to what should be done. On this question he could not help thinking that the House was being dealt with hardly fairly. Assuredly they were competent in that House to receive a definite proposal from the Government, and the Government had had ample time to consider what proposal it would make. Though this Resolution covered, in its terms as it stood, the whole expenditure of the Afghan War, we were expressly told that it was only to apply to the present year. It was, therefore, a very simple question for the Government to say what their views were as to the division of the charge. He did not think it was reasonable, in dealing with such a body as the House of Commons, for the Government, because it had a large majority at its back, to place only a limited amount of information before the Members. Nor was Parliament alone kept in the dark. How, he would ask, had the Government dealt with the Council in London, constituted to advise with the Indian Secretary upon financial questions? ["Hear, hear!"] He submitted it was the duty of the Secretary of State to submit to his Council all proposals involving financial questions. ["No, no!"] In 1869 the present Lord Chancellor took this view of the Act, and ultimately the then Secretary of State, the Duke of Argyll, agreed with him. He complained that the Council had been passed by and over-ridden in this question, and the control of the Council of India over Indian finance, which it was the object of the statute to confer, had been rendered practically nugatory. It was shown by the Papers that in this important question, which might involve millions, and which would certainly cost more than £1,000,000 in the present financial year, the Members of the Council, who were supposed more particularly to advise with the Secretary of State on financial matters, had not even a day given them to consider the merits of the case, or even to review the calculations of the officials. They had been treated most cavalierly, and no real financial check had been exercised by them. In this way the control intended by the framers of the Statute had been evaded and set at nought. Let him now pass to the purely financial question. He was by no means satisfied with the statement made on behalf of the Indian Government of the existing state of their finance. The Secretary of State, in "another place," explained that, including the new taxes, the surplus of Indian Revenue had been calculated at £2,131,000, or, after deducting the credit to the Famine Fund, £1,500,000, at above £500,000. But, he said, the Revenue had exceeded the Estimate; in opium the increase was £1,246,000; that during the present financial year the cost of the operations would not exceed £1,100,000, so that there would still remain a substantial surplus of above £500,000, after the payment of the charges for the expedition. That was the information the Secretary of State had on Monday week given to the country. But what was the explanation given now in this House. Instead of the financial position being improved since the Indian Budget it was admitted to be worse by £600,000. Thus the whole surplus was swallowed up, and the £1,100,000 could only be obtained by trenching on the credit of the Famine Fund. Now, there was an express contract between the Government and the people of India, when the increased taxes were imposed upon them last year, that the proceeds of those new taxes should be devoted to providing what Sir John Strachey called "an insurance against famine," and to no other purpose whatsoever. If, therefore, the Government having got the additional £1,500,000 so raised, instead of placing it to the credit of the insurance fund, paid out of it the expenses of the Afghan War, they would be committing, he contended, a distinct breach of contract. That was a very serious consideration, and the House ought, in his opinion, to hesitate before it gave its sanction to such a course. The House would remember the very important Petition presented to the House of Lords last year by Lord Northbrook, who stated that faith ought to be kept with the people of India to the utmost in this matter, and this had been admitted on all hands. He would now proceed to the question whether the present war could be fairly charged in its entirety to India? It seemed to him that very strong reasons had been already given for not treating this as a purely Indian war, or entered into upon purely Indian considerations. But there was a point in connection with the war which he would like to submit to the House, and with regard to which the Chancellor of the Exchequer might possibly be able to give some information. If the war had been entered into on purely Indian considerations, it would have presented a totally different aspect on the question of time. The India Office Papers which had been laid on the Table of the House did not show when, in the view of the Government, there was a probability of the Russian forces being moved in the direction of India, or when it was known that a Russian Mission was about to be sent to Cabul. But, on looking very carefully at the Central Asia Correspondence, prepared by the Foreign Office, hon. Members would find a somewhat astonishing fact, and it was that as to which he thought some explanation was due. They would see that the movement of Russian troops commenced on the 13th of June (new style), that another column set out on the 20th of June, and that the intention to move those columns towards India was notified in The Tashkend Gazette of the 26th of May, in which the strength of the columns was described. Further, that the Mission left Samarcand on the 14th of June. Taking those dates into account it was somewhat extraordinary that the Government of India appeared to have done nothing until the month of August. Now it might be, perhaps, said that the news took long to travel, and, no doubt, the unwise withdrawal of the Native Agent from Cabul put us at a disadvantage. But on looking closely at the Central Asian Papers, details would be found as to the time when these proceedings became absolutely known to the Indian Government. It would be seen that on May 13 intelligence reached them as to proposals of Abdul Rahman to the Russian Government to aid in subduing Afghanistan which had very much alarmed the Ameer. It would be seen, too, that on the 7th of June Major Cavagnari reported that the Russians were road-making to the Oxus, and that the Khan of Khiva, with 800 horse, was protecting the working parties; that on the 16th of June he reported that the road-making was being pushed on with great activity, and that a large force was mobilized, part of which was to move by Khiva, and that the Russians had ascertained what supplies and means of carriage could be procured; that the Ameer was alarmed, and anxious to know how these proceedings would be met by the British Government; that he said he would make friendly advances to what- ever Government was friendly to him. Further, that the Mustaufi urged him to come to terms with the British Government, as they were moderate, whereas the Russians were shameless; and that Wali Mahommed, when appealed to, concurred. It would also be see that on the 18th of June news, stated to be authentic, was reported from Peshawur to the effect that Russian Agents had laid proposals before the Ameer for permission for Russian troops to be quartered in his territories. Reports of the coming of the Mission were received on the 5th, the 11th, and the 13th of June—so that early in that month the Government had information, if not in detail, at any rate from several different sources. However, the first complaint we made at St. Petersburg as to the movement of troops was on August 14, and the first communication to the Ameer was of the same date. There was, then, the strange circumstance of the Government having information from a variety of sources—information which, though, not official, was strictly correct, and some described in the Papers themselves as authentic—of the movement of Russian troops and the approach of a Russian Envoy, and yet the Government for two months did nothing. If that was so, what were they entitled to say of the Government? Had it been a question solely of India, and the Indian Government had been acting free from dictation at home, could there be any question that the Government of India would have sent at once to the Ameer and have told him that his fears seemed likely to be justified, and that we were, therefore, prepared to step forward, as he wished, and we had promised, in defence of his Frontier? But, unfortunately, it was an English and not an Indian question, and they waited two months. And why? At the end of May the Salisbury Schouvaloff agreement was signed, which the Government believed would settle all things satisfactorily; so that, feeling that the danger reported to them from so many quarters was over, they made no representation to Russia or to the Ameer for two months. And then, on the same day, they ordered Lord Augustus Loftus to protest to the Russian Government against a movement of troops which was long over, and the Viceroy to summon the Ameer to receive the Chamberlain Mission. That was the question which, in his opinion, called for an answer from the Government; for who could doubt that, but for this delay, there would have been no war?


I hope to detain the House but for a very short time, and do not intend to follow the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Childers) into his examination of the statements of my noble Friend, Lord Cranbrook, nor into his financial examination of the statements of my hon. Friend the Under Secretary of State as to the Indian Budget, because I am sure that were it necessary to tell anything further on that subject my hon. Friend would be better able to tell it than I; but with regard to one or two questions raised, it is my duty to make some remarks. With reference to one of the charges, he mentioned the delay which he notices as having taken place in the communications made with Russia and to the Ameer with respect to the Russian Mission. I admit that undoubtedly it was the case that for a considerable period—even extending much further back than the month of June last year—we were continually receiving communications of more or less authority, pointing to the movement of Russian forces in Central Asia. It was, however, exceedingly difficult to get at the exact truth of these reports. Reports often reached us which at first sight appeared very formidable, but which were afterwards explained away, or reduced in their importance; and frequently we were led to the conclusion that they were spread for the purpose of causing anxiety, or accidentally magnified by the imaginations of those who had made them. Without going too minutely into details, I may say that it was not until the middle of August that we were distinctly informed by the Indian Government that a Russian Mission had actually come to Cabul; and until that Mission had actually arrived there, we had no right to say that Russia was moving in parts of Asia in which she had no right to interfere; while we might always have been met with the denial on her part, as to the intention of overstepping the limits assigned to her influence. We were in no hurry to raise a question which might have produced a quarrel; but, as far as we could, wished matters to cool down, as we hoped they would after the negotiations at Berlin; and it was not until we were absolutely certain that the Russian Mission had arrived at Cabul that we sent conditional instructions to the Viceroy to take certain steps as soon as he was able to ascertain this beyond doubt. With regard to another point raised by the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Childers)—who I see has left his place—in passing, upon which he quoted the authority of the present Lord Chancellor and of Lord Salisbury from opinions expressed some years ago in the House of Lords, he seems to have forgotten that on that very occasion the Lord Chancellor of his own Government then in power—Lord Hatherley—answered the observations of Lord Cairns, and that he laid down with authority that— an order to the Governor General to declare war against a border State would not require the assent of the Council, though, of course, it would, in its consequences, involve expenditure."—[3 Hansard, cxcv. 1830.] This latter view is against the contention with which we are met; but it is not my intention to pursue that subject, which is unnecessary for the purposes of this discussion. The right hon. Gentleman has made a very great part of his speech turn upon the terrible word "defray"—indeed, we have had that word so dinned into our ears by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Greenwich, as well as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Pontefract that we have come to feel uncomfortable about it. I quite agree with the right hon. Member for Pontefract, that in our proceedings, when we are setting precedents, it is desirable and incumbent on us to be cautious about the language which we use; and I must say upon that point, with reference to that particular statute, that I think the Government, drawn from the front Bench opposite, were exceedingly cautious when they had to take proceedings under that Act. For very shortly after it was passed, upon one occasion when they did use Indian troops, and allowed Indian monies to be applied for the maintenance of those troops upon an expedition beyond the borders of India—in China—they were so afraid of using this terrible word "defray," that they did not use any word at all, and never came to Parliament either, to tell them anything about the affair. That was a very curious and interesting circumstance. When I have had occasion before to refer to it, I have always been met with this observation—"Oh! that was a case which did not fall within the meaning of the statute at all; that was a case which was provided for by the exception clause, in which it is said that—"Except for the purpose of repelling or preventing invasion, or in case of some sudden or urgent necessity, the Forces of India should not be used without the consent of Parliament." The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Greenwich (Mr. Gladstone) told us that the Peiho affair was a case of "urgent necessity;" that what happened in that case was this—a friendly Mission was being sent by the British and French Governments to the capital of China—to Pekin—and on its way it was suddenly assaulted and stopped in its progress, and therefore the emergency was so sudden that it was absolutely necessary to take steps to redress the insult. There are, certainly, some parallels which might be suggested in the present case, and, let me add, some points of difference. Notwithstanding the suddenness of the emergency, one year and two months were allowed to elapse before the Force was dispatched; and during that time a Session of Parliament took place, but nothing was said about it; and we are driven to the conclusion that in the view of Gentlemen opposite, when an insult is offered to the British Power beyond its own Frontiers, it is such an emergency that it will justify the employment of Indian troops without Parliament being consulted. You cannot say that the case in question was in any sense one of preventing or repelling invasion. In the case of Afghanistan, it might, perhaps, have been contended, with some little plausibility, that it was a measure of precaution, used to prevent invasion; and, certainly, with regard to its suddenness, that it was one of the very greatest emergency; because we could not wait 14 months, nor even 14 days, for it was a question of the season of the year, which, if the troops had not been ordered to move, would have been lost, and this would probably have led to much greater bloodshed and suffering, as well as added to the cost of the war. If we are to be so careful about precedents in the use of this ambiguous word "defray," our conduct is, I think, more excusable than that of right hon. Gentlemen opposite. It is said you cannot apply the word "defray" to the payment of temporary charges; and the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Childers) observed that there was a great difference between the language used in this case and that used in the Vote for the Abyssinian Expedition. Of course, there was; because in the latter it was distinctly intended that the British Government should pay for the whole, or the greater part, of the expenditure—the object being avowedly an Imperial and British object. All that was then proposed was, that we should use the Indian Army and relieve the Indian Revenue of all charges; and, therefore, anything that was put upon it was distinctly of a temporary character. But what is proposed now is something wholly different. It is proposed to apply the Indian Revenue to this expenditure; not thereby meaning to say that it is not a matter that will require serious attention as to how far the British or Imperial Exchequer is to come in aid of that expenditure. But the right hon. Gentleman is right in saying that it will fall in the first instance, upon the Indian Revenue; and I wish to go into this matter and face it, without attempting to disguise what is my view of it. I have said that I wish to put our view of the case before the House; and I hope hon. Members on both sides will endeavour to free their minds from any feeling of prejudice, and not be guided by mere impulse, without consideration of all the consequences at which they may arrive. What I ask the House is this—are we or are we not to understand that India is to be a self-supported part of the British Empire? The hon. Member for Hackney (Mr. Fawcett) says it is. Then, if India is self-supporting, is it to pay for her own self-defence? That is a question which must be answered with some little reserve. I think there is to be the greatest distinction drawn between defence against immediate neighbours and defence against distant enemies. Take, for instance, the strongest case on the one side. Suppose a quarrel to arise between the British Government in India and the Nizam or Maharajah Scindia, and a contest or war takes place between them—is it or is it not the part of the Indian Exchequer to bear the expense of that war? I apprehend that, supposing it to have arisen in ordinary circumstances, there would be no question whatever that the charge should be rightly laid on the Indian Revenues. If you were to adopt a different principle, and say that the Indian Government should be at liberty, whenever they thought right, to undertake wars against their neighbours, and that they should be held harmless, I ask, what would be the temptation of the Government of India to go into quarrels which would be of a dangerous kind, and which would bring anything but satisfaction or economy to the people of India? But knowing that if they get into complications with their neighbours they will have to bear the expense is a check which, in their interest, as well as in the interests of the people of England, ought not to be disregarded. Again, where you have to deal with immediate border neighbours—such as Nepaul, Burmah, or any other States—I apprehend the case is clear that India ought to bear the expense. And similarly, I believe, within the Indian system, in which I include Afghanistan, upon the rule I have laid down, if a quarrel arose between that country and India, the Indian Revenues should bear the expense. I now want to qualify that doctrine by another consideration. I have said it is right that India should bear the expense of hostilities against immediate neighbours; but I have drawn a distinction between them and distant enemies: and when I speak of distant enemies, I especially refer to enemies who may be moving against her, not on account of any direct quarrel with her, but on account of some quarrel with the British Empire of which she is a part. In such a case, we ought to recognize the justice and equity of the Imperial Exchequer coming in aid of that part of our dominions which is attacked, not from any special local cause but from Imperial causes. We must bear in mind, therefore, what the Imperial Power does towards the general defence of India. There is no doubt we do a great deal to keep back the tide of invasion. If anybody will look at the history of India, they will see that wave after wave of different na- tions came over that country and overran it, generally from the North West and through these very Passes of which we have been speaking. Anyone will see that this would again be the natural course of events, if there were not some strong Power in India like the British Power; and that if a great Power were advancing over those regions of Asia, that advancing Power would sooner or later sweep over India also. I believe that if it were not for the presence of British Power there, the shadow which such invasion would throw before it would even now be producing alarm and disturbance in that country of a serious character. But the great Power of England, and the warning hand of England, keeps India quiet, and thereby confers great benefits upon her. But what is the real cause, extent, and meaning of the present war? This is one point upon which we require further information than we have at the present moment. As to the actual and immediate cause of the present war, it was the refusal, with insult, offered in the eyes of all India, of a Mission sent by the Indian Government. There can be no doubt that if that were submitted to the Government of India would have been fatally, or at least seriously, weakened; and the country would have been put to considerable expense and exertion in order to redress the evil suffered. If there were nothing more in this quarrel than that insult offered—perhaps from the peculiar character, the moodiness, or ill-will and obstinacy of a particular Ruler, which might be speedily avenged, and that Ruler brought to his senses—and if the expenditure is to be of a moderate character—as we are told by the authorities of India it may be expected to be—and if, as I earnestly hope and pray may be the case, we have nearly arrived at the conclusion of this business, it will be a matter of considerable doubt whether the Imperial Exchequer ought to be called upon to pay anything at all. But if, on the other hand, there should be more in the war than at first sight appears—if it should seem that this is a war—of course, not openly or avowedly, but secretly, and against the will of another Government, but, nevertheless, by unofficial means—stirred up and maintained against us by a European Power; and if it becomes necessary to put forward anything like our Imperial strength, I am sure that the people of England will be ready to bear their full share—and even more than their full share—of the burden of this war. I wish to remind the House of the position of affairs under which we are called together. Up to the time of the period allowed for the Ameer's reply to our Ultimatum we fully hoped that war might be avoided, and a peaceful settlement arrived at. Prom the moment when the advance began—namely, on the 21st November—until now, the interval is less than four weeks, and it is really exceedingly difficult at present to tell what is the real nature of the resistance to be offered, or the upshot or outcome of the war. In the course of another month or two we shall have learned a great deal, and be in a very much better position to make to Parliament a serious proposition appropriate to the real state of the case. At the present moment in our uncertainty as to the extent of the operations necessary to obtain the submission of the Ameer, it would be impossible for us to come forward and do what we have done in other cases—propose a definite Vote of Credit. If we are to give aid it must not be by undertaking that we should bear the expense of a war administered by others, set free from all considerations of economy, who might press it beyond the length which might be desirable, because they are exempt from all risk of having to pay for it; but what we may think it right to give should be in the shape of a Vote in aid of the expenditure of the Indian Government. The principle upon which we proceed is one which we have adopted with reference not only, and not even principally, to the interests of taxpayers in England; but with the sincere belief that it would be better for the interests of India herself that she should be made to feel the responsibility under which she carries on war, and that it would be a very bad principle to allow her Administration to believe that they might go to war and cast the expense upon the Imperial Exchequer. I admit that there is much which raises the presumption that this should be treated as an exceptional case; but all I can say at present is that the Government will be fully prepared when we meet after the Recess to give full explanations to the House as to what proposals we shall have to make.


There is one point in the observations of the Chancellor of the Exchequer which I think ought not to be left altogether without remark. I think that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had some injustice done to him at an earlier period of the evening, inasmuch as the right hon. Gentleman has now given us some information as to what are the actual intentions of the Government. It appears that Her Majesty's Government intend the first charge of the war to be defrayed by the Indian Government; and their further intention is that according to the amount of resistance, or, in any case, according to the nature or object which they desire to gain by the war, they will come forward and ask this House to grant a subsidy in aid of the Indian Revenues. This appears to me to be a new and altogether unprecedented view of the subject. We have in former times frequently conducted wars by means of subsidies to foreign Powers; but I am not aware that we have ever subsidized one of our own Dependencies to conduct a war for us. There is this difference, I believe—that when a foreign Power has been subsidized to carry on a war in our behalf, there has been a distinct understanding and distinct stipulations as to the amount to be paid and the amount of assistance to be rendered. In this case, however, everything remains vague. It is in the power of the Government at home to issue such orders as they may think fit to the Indian Government as regards the prosecution of the war; and when the work has been performed, they can come down to the House and ask us to vote money in order to reimburse the taxpayers of India for the services rendered. In this case, what becomes of the power of this House to control questions of peace and war; and what becomes of the power of this House to protect the purse of the British nation? If Her Majesty's Government, through the agency of the Indian Government, conducts the war, the control of Parliament over the expenditure entirely vanishes. And as to the guardianship of the resources of the taxpayers, what becomes of that when, after the Indian Government has done the work, the Government comes for- ward to say that by our instructions and by our directions all this expenditure has been incurred? How is it possible that the House should turn round and say we decline to pay? We have been fulfilling one of our most important functions. To this House is confided, no doubt, the guardianship of our Indian subjects to a very great extent; but I think its primary duty is to guard the interests of the British taxpayer. Under the circumstances in which we have been debating this question, it has been impossible to enter into it at length; but I am anxious that the proposition of the Chancellor of the Exchequer should not pass without a protest; and I am of opinion that when we meet again, this question will be more seriously considered than the Government think it should be at the present moment.


said, he would not detain the House more than two minutes while he alluded to a matter which he had hoped would be mentioned by the hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Hardcastle), who had been more fortunate than himself in getting a place in the debate. A great deal had been said in the course of the debate about taking a surplus which ought to be devoted to the unfortunate people of India. He wished to remind the Government that there were many poor people in this country who had some interest in that surplus. Large deputations had come up from the North of England, from time to time, to ask for the removal of the cotton duties of India; and a Minister of the Crown had more than once promised those deputations that as soon as there should be a surplus it should be devoted to the removal of those duties. The Minister who made those promises was Lord Salisbury; and it would be rather a curious coincidence if, on looking up the dates, it should be discovered that at the moment when he was making those promises to the Lancashire people he was reversing the policy of peace in India, and making it impossible to apply the surplus to any such purpose. Representing a part of Lancashire, and knowing the condition in which Lancashire was at the present moment, he felt it his duty to say a word on this subject. The mills were being closed or working short time, and a great number of poor people would look with surprise and indignation on this unfortunate mode of disposing of the Indian surplus.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 235; Noes 125: Majority 110.

Allcroft, J. D. Dalkeith, Earl of
Allsopp, C. Dalrymple, C.
Arbuthnot, Lt. Col. G. Denison, C. B.
Arkwright, A. P. Denison, W. B.
Arkwright, F. Denison, W. E.
Assheton, R. Dickson, Major A. G.
Astley, Sir J. D. Digby, Col. hon. E.
Bagge, Sir W. Douglas, Sir G.
Balfour, A. J. Dyott, Colonel R.
Barne, F. St. J. N. Eaton, H. W.
Barrington, Viscount Edmonstone, Admiral Sir W.
Barttelot, Sir W. B.
Beach, rt. hn. Sir M. H. Egerton, hon. A. F.
Beach, W. W. B. Egerton, hon. W.
Beaumont, W. B. Elcho, Lord
Bective, Earl of Elliot, G. W.
Benett-Stanford, V. F. Elphinstone, Sir J. D. H.
Bentinck, rt. hn. G. C. Emlyn, Viscount
Bentinck, G. W. P. Estcourt, G. S.
Beresford, Lord C. Ewart, W.
Beresford, G. de la Poer Finch, G. H.
Floyer, J.
Beresford, Colonel M. Folkestone, Viscount
Birley, H. Forsyth, W.
Blackburne, Col. J. I. Fremantle, hon. T. F.
Boord, T. W. Galway, Viscount
Bourke, hon. R. Gardner, J. T. Agg-
Bourne, Colonel J. Gardner, E. Richardson
Bousfield, Col. N. G. P.
Bowen, J. B. Garfit, T.
Bowyer, Sir G. Garnier, J. C.
Brooks, W. C. Gathorne-Hardy, hn. A.
Bruce, hn. T. Gibson, rt. hon. E.
Brymer, W. E. Giffard, Sir H. S.
Bulwer, J. R. Giles, A.
Burghley, Lord Goddard, A. L.
Burrell, Sir W. W. Goldney, G.
Buxton, Sir R. J. Gordon, W.
Cameron, D. Gore-Langton, W. S.
Campbell, C. Gorst, J. E.
Cartwright, F. Grantham, W,
Castlereagh, Viscount Gregory, G. B.
Cave, rt. hon. S. Hall, A. W.
Cecil, Lord E. H. B. G. Halsey, T. F.
Charley, W. T. Hamilton, rt. hn. Lord G.
Christie, W. L.
Clive, Col. hon. G. W. Hamilton, Marquess of
Close, M. C. Hamilton, hon. R. B.
Clowes, S. W. Hamond, C. F.
Cobbold, T. C. Harcourt, E. W.
Cole, Col. hon. H. A. Hardcastle, E.
Coope, O. E. Harvey, Sir R. B.
Cordes, T. Hay, rt. hn. Sir J. C. D.
Corry, hon. H. W. L. Heath, R.
Cotton, W. J. R. Helmsley, Viscount
Crichton, Viscount Herbert, H. A.
Cross, rt. hon. R. A. Herbert, hon. S.
Cuninghame, Sir W. Hervey, Lord F.
Cust, H. C. Hick, J.
Hill, A. S. Pim, Captain B.
Holford, J. P. G. Plunket, hon. D. R.
Holker, Sir J. Polhill-Turner, Capt. F. C.
Holland, Sir H. T.
Home, Captain Powell, W.
Hood, Capt. hn. A. W. A. N. Praed, H. B.
Puleston, J. H.
Hope, A. J. B. B. Raikes, H. C.
Hubbard, E. Read, C. S.
Hubbard, rt. hon. J. Rendlesham, Lord
Isaac, S. Ridley, E.
Jervis, Col. H. J. W. Ridley, Sir M. W.
Johnson, J. G. Ritchie, C. T.
Johnstone, Sir F. Rodwell, B. B. H.
Jolliffe, hon. S. Round, J.
Kennard, Col. E. H. Russell, Sir C.
King-Harman, E. R. Ryder, G. R.
Knight, F. W. Salt, T.
Knightley, Sir R. Sandon, Viscount
Lawrence, Sir T. Scott, Lord H.
Learmonth, A. Scott, M. D.
Legard, Sir C. Selwin-Ibbetson, Sir H. J.
Legh, W. J.
Leighton, Sir B. Shute, General C. C.
Leighton, S. Simonds, W. B.
Lennox, Lord H. G. Sinclair, Sir J. G. T.
Lewisham, Viscount Smith, A.
Lindsay, Colonel R. L. Smith, S. G.
Lindsay, Lord Smith, rt. hon. W. H.
Lloyd, S. Smollett, P. B.
Lloyd, T. E. Spinks, Serjeant F. L.
Lopes, Sir M. Stanhope, hon. E.
Lowther, hon. W. Stanhope, W. T. W. S.
Lowther rt. hn. J. Stanley, rt. hn. Col. F.
Macartney, J. W. E. Steere, L.
Mac Iver, D. Storer, G.
M'Garel-Hogg, Sir J. Swanston, A.
M'Kenna, Sir J. N. Sykes, C.
Makins, Colonel Talbot, J. G.
Mandeville, Viscount Taylor, rt. hn. Col. T. E.
Manners, rt. hn. Lord J. Thornhill, T.
March, Earl of Tollemache, hon. W. F.
Marten, A. G. Tremayne, A.
Master, T. W. C. Tremayne, J.
Merewether, C. G. Turnor, E.
Mills, A. Wait, W. K.
Mills, Sir C. H. Walker, O. O.
Montgomerie, R. Wallace, Sir R.
Montgomery, Sir G. G. Watney, J.
Moray, Col. H. D. Watson, rt. hon. W.
Mowbray, rt. hon. J. R. Welby-Gregory, Sir W.
Muncaster, Lord Wellesley, Colonel H.
Naghten, Lt.-Col. A. R. Wethered, T. O.
Noel, rt. hon. G. J. Wilmot, Sir H.
North, Colonel J. S. Wilmot, Sir J. E.
Northcote, rt. hn. Sir S. H. Wilson, W.
Woodd, B. T.
Onslow, D. Wynn, Sir W. W.
Parker, Lt.-Col. W. Wynn, C. W. W.
Peek, Sir H. Yarmouth, Earl of
Pell, A. Yeaman, J.
Pemberton, E. L. TELLERS.
Percy, Earl Dyke, Sir W. H.
Phipps, P. Winn, R.
Acland, Sir T. D. Balfour, Sir G.
Allen, W. S. Barclay, A. C.
Amory, Sir J. H. Bass, A.
Anderson, G. Bass, H.
Ashley, hon. E. M. Beaumont, Colonel F.
Bell, I. L. Jenkins, D. J.
Blake, T. Jenkins, E.
Blennerhassett, R. P. Johnstone, Sir H.
Brady, J. Kay-Shuttleworth, Sir U.
Briggs, W. E.
Bright, Jacob Kensington, Lord
Bristowe, S. B. Kingscote, Col. R. N. F.
Brogden, A. Lawson, Sir W.
Brown, J. C. Leatham, E. A.
Burt, T. Leeman, G.
Cameron, C. Leith, J. F.
Campbell, Lord C. Macduff, Viscount
Campbell, Sir G. M'Arthur, A.
Campbell-Bannerman, H. Maitland, J.
Middleton, Sir A. E.
Carington, hn. Col. W. Milbank, F. A.
Cave, T. Monk, C. J.
Cavendish, Lord F. C. Morley, S.
Chadwick, D. Mundella, A. J.
Chamberlain, J. Mure, Colonel W.
Childers, rt. hn. H. C. E. Newdegate, C. N.
Cole, H. T. Noel, E.
Colman, J. J. O'Beirne, Major F.
Courtauld, G. O'Brien, Sir P.
Courtney, L. H. O'Gorman, P.
Cowan, J. O'Reilly, M.
Davies, R. Palmer, G.
Delahunty, J. Parker, C. S.
Dilke, Sir C. W. Philips, R. N.
Dillwyn, L. L. Playfair, rt. hon. L.
Earp, T. Power, J. O'C.
Edge, S. R. Ramsay, J.
Edwards, H. Rathbone, W.
Errington, G. Richard, H.
Evans, T. W. Roberts, J.
Fawcett, H. Rylands, P.
Ferguson, R. Samuda, J. D' A.
Forster, Sir C. Samuelson, B.
Forster, rt. hon. W. E. Samuelson, H.
Fry, L. Sheil, E.
Gladstone, rt. hon. W. E. Sheridan, H. B.
Gladstone, W. H. Simon, Serjeant J.
Gordon, Sir A. Smyth, P. J.
Goschen, rt. hon. G. J. Stacpoole, W.
Gourley, E. T. Stansfeld, rt. hon. J.
Grant, A. Stewart, J.
Gray, E. D. Sullivan, A. M.
Grey, Earl de Tavistock, Marq. of
Harcourt, Sir W. V. Taylor, P. A.
Hartington, Marq. of Tracy, hon. F. S. A. Hanbury-
Havelock, Sir H.
Hayter, A. D. Trevelyan, G. O.
Herschell, F. Waddy, S. D.
Hill, T. R. Waterlow, Sir S. H.
Holms, J. Whitbread, S.
Hopwood, C. H. Whitwell, J.
Howard, hon. C. Williams, W.
Hutchinson, J. D.
Ingram, W. J. TELLERS.
Jackson, Sir H. M. Laing, S.
James, Sir H. Morgan, G. Osborne

Main Question put. Resolved, That, Her Majesty having directed a Military expedition of Her Forces charged upon Indian Revenues to be despatched against the Ameer of Afghanistan, this House consents that the Revenues of India shall be applied to defray the expenses of the Military operations which may be carried on beyond the external Frontiers of Her Majesty's Indian possessions.