HC Deb 12 June 1879 vol 246 cc1723-4

I have to present to the House a series of Petitions, signed entirely, I believe, by Natives of India. The Petitions are some six in number. One is from Native inhabitants of Ahmedabad, in the Presidency of Bombay; one is from the Punjab; one from the North-West Provinces and Oude; one from the Province of Assam; one from Central India; and one from the Province of Bengal. I am assured that the signatures amount in all to 10,000. The Petitions are alike in statement and in prayer. They bring before the House the fact that many promises have been made to the Natives of India that they should be accepted, not into the ordinary, but into the covenanted Service; and they say that these promises have been almost altogether unfulfilled. Without going into detail I will, with the permission of the House, conclude by reading the prayer. It is— That the maximum limit of ago for admission to the open competition examination for the Civil Service of India be raised to 22 years —for reasons that are stated in the Petition. And, further, says the prayer— That the open competition examination for the Civil Service of India he held simultaneously with that in London, in some centre or centres in India where a definite proportion of appointments, such as may he determined upon by your honourable House, may he competed for year after year. The Petition gives strong, and I should say abundant, reasons for the fairness of the proposition which the Petitioners make to the House. I shall be glad to move, if I am in Order, that one of the Petitions be printed with the Votes.


According to the ordinary course, when a Petition is referred to the Select Committee on Petitions, it rests with them to determine whether it should be printed.


I have to present a Petition, signed by British-born and Indian subjects residing in Calcutta and in the neighbourhood of Calcutta, similar to one presented by me some time ago from another quarter. This Peti- tion relates in particular to the expenses of the Afghan War, and to the repeal of the duty on certain descriptions of cotton goods. The prayer is that the House will direct that India be relieved from any further share in the payment of the cost of the Afghan War; and that the House will also condemn the Order of the Government of India exempting certain cotton goods from payment of import duty. The Petition consists of very careful and, I think, able reasoning, or series of statements, in support of those propositions.